Showing posts from February, 2010

British Rail InterCity 125

The InterCity 125 (brand name used by the former British Rail), or the HST, short for High Speed Train, is a light-weight push-pull diesel-electric trainset manufactured by the BREL (British Rail Engineering Ltd) from 1976 to 1982.  It consists of two 1,678 kW (2,250 hp), 70 tonne, Class 43 power cars at the ends of the train and 7 or 8 Mark 3 carriages.  The 7 carriage HST is desigated Class 253 and the 8 carriage HST is designated Class 254.  The HST is the first train allowed to operate at 125 mph (201 km/h) in regular services by British Rail.  Since the privatisation of British Rail at the end of the last century, fleets of the HST have been operated by most long-distance train operators in the Great Britain, and is still in service with First Great Western, East Coast, East Midlands Trains, Grand Central, CrossCountry, and Network Rail (used as track measurement train, the NMT).

Paxman Valenta HST in British Rail livery
A speed of 148 mph (238 km/h) reached on 1 November 1987 by …

JRF M250 Super Rail Cargo

The Japan Rail Freight Series M250 Super Rail Cargo is a freight electric multiple unit designed and manufacturered by Kawasaki, Nippon Sharyō, and Tōshiba.  It is designed to carry containers at a top speed of 130 km/h (81 mph).  The train operates on the Zairaisen (as opposed to the Shinkansen or new trunk line, Zairaisen litereally means existing line) which makes up the majority of Japan's railway network with a gauge of 1,067 mm (3 and a half feet).

Loaded M250 in service
The M250 is equiped with AC traction.  A standard M250 consists of 16 cars and has 16 powered axles with a 220 kW (295 horsepower) traction motor per axle.  The combined total output of the M250 is 3,520 kW or 4,720 hp.

Powered cars on one end of the M250
If you are interested, here is also a video of the M250 in action.

Next week we can talk about the fastest diesel-electric trainset in the world.

Alstom V150

3 April 2007 was a remarkable day for the railway industry in France and the world.  On this day, the latest official world speed record for trains running on conventional steel rails was set by the train named V150 built by Alstom Transport and SNCF.  The name V150 simply comes from their goal for this record run, to reach a speed of 150 metres per second (here is a hint, 100 mph is equivalent to almost 45 m/s).

Why don't we begin with the official film of this record run (make sure you turn up the volume).  Note that although it looks like simply a shorter version of the TGV, 12 of its 16 axles are actually powered.

In the end, this train had reached a stunning top speed of 159.7 m/s.  Let's enjoy a few more pictures of this marvellous train.  The power cars on the V150 were converted back to regular TGV POS power cars and have been serving on the LGV Est line since its opening on 10 June 2007.

The V150 on public display after its record run

If you still crave more informatio…


The train of this week is a locomotive unveiled in 2009 by the BNSF Railway.  Instead of using conventional diesel fuel, it is powered by hydrogenfuel cells (I have very limited knowledge in this area, so please feel free to comment on this post if you are interested in and familiar with the topic of hydrogen fuel cells).  It is called the HH20B, a hydrogen-hybrid switcher locmotive based on the GG20B Green Goat diesel-hybrid switcher built by Railpower Technologies Corp. of Brossard, Quebec (acquired by R.J. Corman Railroad Group of Nicholasville, Kentucky in 2009).  The GG20B is powered by a 300 hp 4-stroke Caterpillar diesel-engine and a battery pack with a combined tractive output of 2,000 hp.  On the HH20B, diesel engine is replaced by hydrogen fuel cells.  Hydrogen storage is in a set of tanks installed on top of the long hood of the locomotive in a heavily vented enclosure, above the batteries.

The BNSF Railway displaying its low- and ultra low-emission locomotives
3GS21B (Left),…