Showing posts from January, 2010

TransLink West Coast Express

The West Coast Express is a single-directional commuter train and train-bus service operated by TranLink of Metro Vancouver and the Canadian Pacific Railway.  It links Mission, Downtown Vancouver, and 6 intermediate stations with an overall transit time of 73 minutes from Mission to CP Waterfront Station.  There are 5 trains and 2 buses westbound to Vancouver in the morning, 5 buses and 5 trains eastbound throughout the afternoon and evening to Mission on weekdays.  On weekends, West Coast Express runs 3 buses each direction on Saturdays and 2 buses each direction on Sundays.  You can click on the following hyper links to see train and train-bus schedules.  Like other conventional commuter trains in North America, the West Coast Express operates in push-pull mode with locomotive(s) on one end and a cab car on the other end.

West Coast Express with an EMD F59PHI

The West Coast Express uses the same bi-level passenger coaches manufactured by Bombardier as the MetrolinxGO Transit of the G…

JR East Series E5

Japan might be the first country to come to mind when people talk about "bullet trains".  It is the first country to have a 210 km/h (130 mph) standard gauge high-speed railway, the Shinkansen, literally translated as new trunk line.  The first line, the Tōkaidō Shinkansen (Tōkaidō, literally translated as east sea road, named of the most important of the Five Routes of the Edo Period connecting Edo, which became the modern day Tōkyō, and Kyōto) between Tōkyō and Ōsaka began service on 1 October 1964 with trains that have bullet shaped noses.  However, today's high-speed trains in Japan resemble little of what they use to look like half a century ago.  Of the high-speed trains operated by the different privatised JR (Japan Rail) companies, the East Japan Railway Company's Series E5 AC-traction EMU represents the latest and greatest of high-speed rail technology in Asia.  It is currently in pre-production stage and undergoing 2 years of trial-runs before it enters ser…

Electro Motive SD90MAC

We have 2 trains lined up so far before we can get to the GO Transit.  We will talk about one of them this week, the Electro Motive Diesel (former General Motors Electro Motive Division) SD90MAC.

The SD90MAC is one of the largest 6-axle single prime mover locomotive EMD has ever produced with a length of 80 ft 2 in (24.4 m).  The "SD" in its model name stands for Special Duty (i.e. 6-axle) and "AC" implies AC traction.  It was introduced in 1995 and was planned to use EMD's new 4-stroke H-engine as prime mover instead of the older generation 2-stroke 710 series engines.  However, due to technical problems, the H-engine was delayed until 1996.  As a result, the SD90MAC was initially shipped with a 4,300 hp (3,210 kW) 16-710G3B engine (these SD90s were referred as the SD9043MAC).  Unfortunately, this was only the beginning of the series of problems this locomotive had.  Wheel slip caused by either buggy or flawed traction control software and poor mechanical reli…

Bombardier IORE

For the readers who missed the posts in the past two weeks, we talked about the 110 mph General Electric diesel-electric locomotive P42DC Genesis (link here) and once the flagship transcontinental passenger train of the Canadian Pacific Railway The Canadian (link here).

Let's take a break from passenger equipments and look at a very powerful freight locomotive this week.  The Bombardier IORE is a 12-axle twin-section electric locomotive designed exclusively for LKAB (Luossavaara-Kiirunavaara Aktiebolag), a Swedish mining company, to haul heavy (8,000 metric tonnes) iron ore trains (hence the name IORE) at 60 km/h (37 mph) in extreme Nordic weather conditions of northern Sweden and Norway.  It was first commissioned in Year 2000.  The IORE, or TRAXX H80AC, is an AC-propulsion locomotive that belongs in the TRAXX family of Bombardier locomotives.  The top speed of the IORE is 80 km/h (50 mph).

The IORE uses 12 electric motors to power its axles (i.e. one motor per axle), the overhea…