Showing posts from March, 2013

Pioneer Zephyr

This week, I’m gonna write about another piece of historically very important passenger railroad equipment that I’ve had the privilege to have a close encounter with and lay my hands upon. However, unlike the almost-mythical JetTrain, this streamlined, articulated, and stainless steel diesel-electric trainset is on display at a museum for the admiration of the masses. I’m talking about the Pioneer Zephyr at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago (located minutes walking-distance away from the 57th Street exit of the 55-56-57th Street Station of the Metra Electric Line).

The history of the Zephyr is abundantly available on the internet, and I won’t reiterate too much of it here. The takeaway is that though for the non-foamer general masses is that this train is an icon of American passenger railroading and has inspired the era of the railroad streamliners. She was built for the Chicago, Quincy and Burlington Railroad by the famous Budd Company. On the Zephyr’s inaugural run, s…

Bombardier JetTrain

Looks like I missed another week of this blog. Things have been quite busy lately with work and personal affairs. Anyway, moving on so I can actually write about trains on this thing now.

This week I bring you a locomotive I got the honor to touch with my very own hands at a undisclosed location. Unfortunately she never came out of experimental stage due to funding (which really was the lack of willingness to progress our public transport system). This locomotive continued the very concept of very early experimental high speed trains, including the UAC Turbo, the Advanced Passenger Train, and the Train à Grande Vitesse 001. So you've probably pretty much figured it out, it's the Bombardier JetTrain high speed turbo-electric locomotive.
From the outside, the JetTrain shares the same shell and trucks (including traction motors) with the power car of the Acela Express minus pantographs. Rather than overhead power catenary or a hefty diesel engine, the JetTrain locomotive is power…

Pueblo Union Depot

Since I’m enjoying the privilege to be in Pueblo, CO for a railroad industry event, I will write about something local - a beautiful historic place that once has served the mobility needs of numerous people, Pueblo Union Depot.

Being called a Union Depot, the station was once shared by 5 railroads, Denver & Rio Grande Western (Rio Grande), Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe (Santa Fe), Colorado & Southern (later became part of Chicago Burlington & Quincy, or Burlington), Missouri Pacific, and the Chicago Rock Island & Pacific (The Rock), quite some names for railroads. The station was completed in 1890. Today, co-owned by two local brothers, the depot is used as a event venue hosting weddings and luncheons, etc. (check out the picture gallery online).

One can only hope that the Union Depot can contribute once again to people’s everyday lives. With the terrible volume and the consequential traffic jams on the I-25, maybe there is hope for the implementation of passenger rai…

British Rail Class 175

Well, why don't we keep talking about another Alstom Coradia while we are at it. If you've missed my old posts, so far we've talked about the not-so-successful-but-getting-better British Rail Class 180 Coradia Adelante, the Coradia Nordic, X60/1/2 and the Arlanda Express X3, in Sweden, and last week, the Coradia LINT (well, which wasn't really a Coradia). This week I'll briefly write about this other Coradia DMU that's running in Britain, the Class 175 or Coradia 1000.

Like the later Class 180, the 175 was built in Britain at Alstom's plant in Birmingham. 27 sets of 2 or 3-car trainsets (it's interesting to know that on a 2-car train, the cars are labeled only A and C with no car B in between) were built between 1999 and 2001, and the Class 175 was put in service in 2000 by First North Western (part of the later First TransPennine Express and Northern). In 2003 the sets were transferred to Arriva and had been used on Arriva Trains Wales ever since.

The …