Showing posts from July, 2013

Mallard Festival of Steam

This week will feature a promotional piece for an upcoming event for steam fans!

By now hopefully most of you know what the LNER Class A4 No 4468 Mallard is. Yes, that steam engine which broke the world speed record for steam trains 75 years ago near Grantham. Guess what, after 50 years of absence, the Mallard is returning to Grantham for everyone to see! Please now allow me to divert your attention to the this website and read more about the Mallard Festival of Steam coming in September of this year.

Next week we'll continue with some Aussie stuff.

The Ghan

Somehow I thought I wrote about this famous transcontinental train already but a search on my own blog proved me wrong. Anyway, if you haven't watched heard about this train or watched about it on the Channel 5 (UK) show Extreme Railways already, let me briefly introduce you to this passenger train operating over the Adelaide-Darwin Railway, the Ghan.

The name Ghan comes from the train's former nickname, the Afghan Express, honoring the Afghan camel drivers who helped pioneering Australia's unexplored territories. The train began operation first in 1929, but it was not until 1980 did continuous run-through service become available when the entire railroad line converted from several gages to standard gage. The original Ghan was also featured on television, on the BBC Great Railway Journeys of the World.

The Ghan is operated by Southern Rail today with an elaborate consist of some 20 cars. Haulage is provided by Pacific NationalNR Class locomotives. The 1,800 mi. north-sout…

AnsaldoBreda V250

Well, I guess we need to talk about this short-lived high speed train before the world forgets her. Unfortunately at this point I’m quite sure that nobody will miss her either, the much delayed and defect plagued AnsaldoBreda V250 electric multiple unit. Being an AnsaldoBreda, maybe some railfans aren’t surprised that they usually come with problems (the San Francisco Muni Metro is a good example).

The V250 was ordered by the Dutch and Belgian railways (NS and SNCB) to operate the cross border Fyra service. The order went through in 2004 and service was initially expected to begin in 2007. The process was nowhere near smooth. Due to a number of factors including a delayed European Train Control System specification and technical defects, the Fyra service did not start operating until December 2012. However, the tragedy of the V250 did not end just there, she was withdrawn from service in January 2013 due to serious mechanical failures. The orders from both railroads were canceled by J…

Mallard 75

I'd like to divert your attention to the celebrations at the National Railway Museum in York, England. On 3 July 1938, a London and North Eastern Railway Class A4, the no 4468 Mallard set the world speed record for steam trains at 126 miles per hour.

Please click on the picture below to go to the NRM's celebration webpage dedicated to the Mallard, and click here to read more about this locomotive from an earlier entry on this blog.