Showing posts from December, 2010

LNER 4468 Mallard

The Mallard, No. 4468 of the former London and North Eastern Railway of the Great Britain is a Class A4 streamlined Pacific (type of wheel arrangement, a.k.a. 4-6-2) steam locomotive built in 1938 by LNER Doncaster Works. The Class A4 locomotives were built to haul express passenger trains with speeds up to 100 mph (161 km/h) on the East Coast Main Line between London King's Cross and Edinburgh Waverley. The No. 4468, the Mallard, however, was chosen for a greater mission. On 3 July 1938 on the slight downward grade of Stoke Bank south of Grantham on the East Coast Main Line, with 6 coaches and a dynamometer car, the Mallard broke the speed record of steam trains and achieved a stunning 126 mph. Although the Mallard suffered from overheating and never made it to King's Cross for the press, her record held until today.

Plaque on both sides of the Mallard reads: On 3rd July 1938 this locomotive attained a world speed record for steam traction of 126 miles per hour

Mallard on display …

2010 Year in Review

Dear readers,

Here is a little picture compilation from trips I've taken on rails this year. Hope you have also had the chance to enjoy some train rides. If you have an online photo album that you like to share, please post the link in the comment section. Thank you for visiting Train of the Week. Happy holidays!

Amtrak NPCU

The NPCU or Non-powered Control Units are control cars used by Amtrak that are modified from surplus EMD F40PH locomotives. A control car is a generic term for a non-powered railroad vehicle that can control operation of a train from the end opposite to the position of the locomotive. They can be used with diesel or electric motive power, allowing push-pull operation without the use of an additional locomotive. Control cars first appeared in the USA and France in 1960s. Trains operating with a locomotive at one end and a control car at the other do not require the locomotive to run around to the opposite end of the train when reversing direction.

In the United States, most control cars are modified from retired locomotives by removing tractive equipment and adding side baggage doors and have been used on several passenger railroads. The control cars are connected through the consist of the train by standard AAR 27-wire multiple unit jumper cables.

The NPCUs at Amtrak are also referred…

Alstom AGV

The AGV (Automotrice à grande vitesse) is a very high-speed electric multiple unit designed by Alstom of France that is to replace the TGV (push-pull trainset). Unlike conventional high speed EMUs, the AGV is articulated with the entire trainset (7 to 14 cars) rested on Jacobs bogies shared between each carriage. The articulated design enabled the AGV to be lighter than competitors from Siemens, Bombardier, and Kawasaki. According to Alstom, the AGV consumed 20% less energy than the TGV trainsets while achieves a higher revenue top speed of 360 km/h (224 mph). Each AGV trainset will have a total power output of 6 to 12 MW (8,000 to 16,000 hp).

AGV being tested in Italy
The bogie of the AGV was first introduced on the V150 test train that refreshed the world speed record of conventional trains to 574.8 km/h (357.2 mph) in 2007. The prototype of the AGV was unveiled on 5 February 2008 by Alstom with French President Nicolas Sarkozy in attendance of the ceremony.

The launch customer of th…

Voith Turbo Maxima

The Maxima is a family of 6-axle diesel locomotives built by Voith Turbo Lokomotivtechnik GmbH & Co. KG. of Germany. Unlike the conventional diesel locomotives we often see in North America, the Voith Maxima family of locomotives use a hydraulic transmission to transmit power from its prime mover to wheels instead of an alternator and traction motors (you may wish to read more about diesel-hydraulic at the bottom of this post). Voith, being one of the well-known transmission manufactures in the world who had been supplying transmission to other locomotives manufactures in Germany, completely designed and built the first Maxima locomotive in just 500 days and presented it at the InnoTrans 2006 fair.

Voith Maxima 40CC at InnoTrans 2006
The Maxima locomotives come in two flavours, the 40CC with an Anglo Belgian 3,600 kW (4,800 hp) 16VDZC prime mover and the 30CC with a 2,750 kW (3,700 hp) 12VDZC prime mover from the same supplier. They both use the twin converter transmisson designed …