Showing posts from July, 2010

Via Rail Canada Renaissance Cars

The Renaissance cars are the newest passenger equipment Via Rail Canada has acquired. They were designed and built in the 1990s in England by French manufacture Alstom but not purchased by Via Rail until year 2000.

Renaissance equipment on the Ocean at Halifax Station
The Renaissance cars were originally manufactured for a proposed overnight service between the Great Britain and continental Europe via the Euro Tunnel called Nighstar alongside the daytime Eurostar. They were based on the British Rail Mark 4 high speed carriages and optimised for use on long distance services (i.e. the cars were designed for British clearances, which is why a Canadian passenger would find the cars much smaller in every dimension than the usual domestic equipment). However due to competition from low cost airlines, the proposal was withdrawn and the manufacturing of the cars were put on hold.

Contrast in size between Renaissance and the Budd car
Renaissance cars hauled by 8,500 horses of awesomeness
In May …

Deutsche Bahn Class 605

The ICE-TD (InterCity Express-Tilting Diesel) or Deutsche Bahn Class 605 is a diesel-electric multiple unit designed and manufactured by Siemens and Bombardier of Germany. A total of 20 four-car trainsets were built between 1998 and 2001. Each car has a 560 kW (750 hp) Cummins diesel engine and a powered bogie with both axles powered. The ICE-TD has an axle load of 14.5 tonnes (16 tons) and weighs a total of 216 tonnes (238 tons). The electro-mechanical titling system on the ICE-TD is developed by Siemens unlike its electric counterpart, the ICE-T, which uses the hydraulic Pendolino system developed by Fiat (Alstom). The ICE-TD can tilt up to 8 degrees. The top speed of the ICE-TD in service is 200 km/h (125 mph) and a top speed of 222 km/h (138 mph) has been reached in test runs.

ICE-TD in Bonn Hauptbahnhof
Deutsche Bahn and DSB (Danske Statsbaner or Danish State Railways) are the only operators of the ICE-TD. Operationally the ICE-TD has not been very successful as it is said that th…

Bombardier Voyager

The Voyager is a family of diesel-electric multiple units developed by Bombardier Transportation of Berlin, Germany.  It includes the British Rail Class 220 Voyager, Class 221 Super Voyager, and Class 222 Meridian. This blog entry concentrates on the cosmetically similar Class 220 and 221 trains. The Class 220 is exclusively operated by CrossCountry and the Class 221 is operated by both CrossCountry and Virgin Trains.

The Class 220 and 221 trains were introduced in 2001 for commercial service (Class 222 was the improved version of the Class 220 introduced in 2004). The main difference between the Class 220 and 221 is that Class 221 Super Voyagers are fitted with tilting bogies that enable them to tilt up to 6 degrees in curves. The non-tilting Class 220 and 222 feature a lightweight bogie design. Each carriage of these DEMUs carries a 560 kilowatt (750 horsepower) Cummins diesel engine connected to a generator powering an electric motor on an axle on each bogie (2 axles per bogie). Cl…

The Ocean

The Ocean began operation by the Intercolonial Railway of Canada (IRC) in June 1904 as the Ocean Limited, a summer only limited stop passenger train between Halifax, Nova Scotia and Montréal, Québec.  It is the oldest named passenger train service in Canada that remains operating today.  The Canadian National Railways assumed its operation in 1918 after the merger with the IRC; the train was renamed to the Ocean in 1966.

Train 15 the Ocean at Halifax Station prepping for departure
Today the Ocean operates 6 days a week as Via Rail Canada Train 14 and 15, it offers a 21 hour transit time over the 836 miles of trackage (1,346 km) between Montréal and Halifax.  The Ocean is also the only long distance train in Canada today using the Renaissance equipment Via Rail purchased from Alstom (France) in early 2000s.  During the peak seasons, the Ocean also uses a stainless steel Park car Via Rail inherited from the Canadian Pacific Railway at the tail end of the train.

Park car at the tail end of…

Light, Rapid, Comfortable

The LRC is a Canadian diesel-electric powered passenger train developed from late 1960s through the 1970s to replace the TurboTrain on the Quebec City-Windsor Corridor.  The carriages were designed by Alcan and Dofasco and the 3,700 hp (2,700 hp for traction) diesel-electric locomotives by Montreal Locomotive Works (later purchased by Bombardier Transportation).  The carriages of the LRC are constructed using aluminium alloy and they feature an active-tilting design of which the carriages of the Acela Express are based off.  The LRC locomotives were originally intended to be designed to operate at a speed of 125 mph (201 km/h), however, due to excess weight, the production locomotives were permitted to operate at a speed of only 100 mph (161 km/h).  During test runs, the LRC reached speeds as high as 130 mph (209 km/h).  Production LRC trainsets were manufactured between 1980 and 1984.  In its early days, the LRC was plagued with problems, including cracked axles and locking of tilt p…