Siemens SD-160

To kick off, let's talk about something that runs just down the street.  The German Siemens SD-160 LRV (Light Rail Vehicle, aka tram, trolley, street car) used for Light Rail Transit systems.  A standard SD-160 includes 2 carriages articulated on 3 two-axle bogies (bogie or truck in short: the wheel assembly with or without traction motors) and is equipped with 1 pantograph (mechanism that draws electricity from the overhead catenary) and 4 electric motors providing a maximum power of 580 kW (777 horsepower).  Regenerative braking is made possible due to the use of AC traction motors which can be turned into generators when decelerating.  As a result, the SD-160 feeds electricity back to the grid during braking above the speed of 5 km/h at which point the LRV's control system automatically switches from regenerative to mechanical braking (i.e. the brake shoes kick in, reason why the train shakes and jiggles a bit before it comes to a complete stop).

The above picture shows a standard 6-car Calgary Transit SD-160, capable of carrying 600 passengers, with mixed liveries leaving 7 St SW Station heading westbound on 7 Ave SW.  Although the maximum speed limit set by Calgary Transit is 80 km/h, this LRV is capable of travelling at 105 km/h.  Below is a restyled SD-160 operated by the Edmonton Transit System.

Please comment on the level of technicality (although personally I don't think it's technical at all) of this post and I'll try to gauge it better next time and make it easier to read, thanks.  By request, next week's post will feature the SkyTrain from Vancouver BC.


Rod said…
About right for me. Great start! Can hardly wait for the SkyTrain feature.
Renae said…
It's great! How about something on the Mag-Lev system next? Or TGV in France?
Anonymous said…
good work. most transit authorities refer to the A and B ends of the train as one car. calgary runs 3 car trains edmonton now runs 4 car trains. technically siemens calls the articulation section the C car but i have never heard anyone call it that except siemens employees.
car aircon said…
Looking for somewhere in mountains that will still have snow at tree line first week of may & has a train tracks within the snow covered area ...

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