Showing posts from November, 2010

Electro Motive JT56ACe

The JT56ACe is the first ever Electro-Motive (Electro-Motive Diesel is now owned by Progressive Rail Inc., a subsidiary of Caterpillar) locomotive exported to the People’s Republic of China. It is designated as HXN3 by the Chinese Ministry of Railway (HX are the initials of the word "Hé xié" which means harmony and N is the initial of the word "Neì rán", which means internal combustion; 3 is the designation of the manufacturer, CNR Dalian Locomotive Works). The JT56ACe is one of the two types of diesel-electric freight locomotives China has imported in the past few years, together with the General Electric ES59ACi which I will write about at a later date. The JT56ACe adopts a twin-cab design and does not resemble any EMDs we have seen in North America.

The JT56ACe uses the 16 cylinder EMD 16V265H (bore, or cylinder diameter, of 265 mm), a.k.a. the H-engine, a four stroke diesel engine, as its prime mover (remember the SD90MAC?). The 16V265H engine is US EPA Tier 2

Deutsche Bahn/Nederlandse Spoorwegen ICE 3

The Deutsche Bahn Class 403 and Deutsche Bahn/Nederlandse Spoorwegen Class 406 are more commonly known as the InterCity Express (ICE) 3 and InterCity Express 3M, where the M stands for multi-system (i.e. different voltage and frequency used in the overhead catenary of different European countries). These trains were developed by Deutsche Bahn and several train manufactures including Siemens and Bombarider Transportation. Unlike earlier generations of the InterCity Express, the ICE 3 adopted a multiple unit design rather than the traditional push-pull like the TGV. Each 8-car half-set of the ICE 3 is equipped with 16 traction motors distributed throughout the consist.

DB (top) and NS (bottom) ICE 3
The ICE 3 began revenue service in 2000. Although it is certified for a top revenue speed of 330 km/h (205 mph), the track speed in Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands, where the trains operate in is only 300 km/h (186 mph). The only line where the ICE 3 is operated at 320 km/h (199 mph) is…

Siemens Velaro

The Siemens Velaro is a platform of high speed EMUs developed based on the Deutsche BahnICE3. Although these trains look like the ICE3 from the outside, they do not have much in common. The Velaro is a sole Siemens product where the ICE3 project has other engineering firms involved including Bombardier Transportation. The majority of Velaro trains are used outside of Germany, with China being the largest buyer of these trains.

Deutsche Bahn ICE3
There are currently 5 variants of the Velaro with top revenue speeds ranging from 250 km/h to 380 km/h (155 mph to 236 mph). In chronological order, these are the 350 km/h Velaro E for Spain (or España in Spanish), designated by RENFE as the AVES-103, 350km/h and 380 km/h Velaro C for China, designated by the MoR as the CRH3C/CRH380B, 250 km/h Velaro RUS for Russian Railways as the EVS/Sapsan, 320 km/h Velaro D for Deutsche Bahn as Class 407, and 320 km/h e320 for Eurostar. To date the European countries ordered a total of 59 sets of the Velar…

Riding the Wu-Guang HSR

First I'd like to apologise for my absence for the last two weeks. I did not leave any information on where I was or what I was doing because I wasn't sure if I would have a chance to do collect some rail-related information. I'm back now, and here's what I've got...

During my two-week visit in Hong Kong and the People's Republic of China, I have had the fortune to ride the entire Wuhan-Guangzhou High Speed Rail from Guangzhou South to Wuhan. It was also my first time to ride a conventional high-speed train that ran faster than 125 mph (201 km/h). I booked a second class coach seat on Train G1002, one of the few limited-stop express trains on the Wu-Guang HSR. As of the last timetable revision on 1 July 2010, trains on the Wu-Guang have been split up into 8-car half-sets and frequency have been doubled to every 11-15 minutes. Non-stop trains  were replaced by trains with one intermediate stop at Changsha South, and the G1002 was one of them.

Guangzhou South Rail…