Showing posts from October, 2013

SJ X40 Coradia Duplex

Since winter’s looming, I may as well shift gears into more of a Nordic theme this week. I am quite fascinated by Nordic railroad operations really. To me, the similarities in weather conditions and population densities along corridors in Nordic countries provide a complete, and concrete, set of evidence for that the lack of a viable passenger rail system in densely populated corridors in countries like Canada, is solely due to the lack of will, environmental consciousness, innovation, and the stubborn and absurd clinch to the lazy old ways. I need to say no more and a brief look at Via Rail’s timetable online suffices to support my statement.

Back to the X40 (also, this link takes you to more exterior and interior pictures). The X40 is a double deck regional EMU (electric multiple unit) operated by Sweden’s national passenger railroad carrier SJ. She belongs to the Coradia family (more precisely, Coradia Duplex) of trains from French builder Alstom and is built in Germany. Sweden is …

Movie Week

I haven't had much time to write a blog for this week. So I thought I'd share a video instead. It is a promotional film from the good ol' times of one of the classic stainless steel streamliners, the Chicago-Los Angeles Super Chief, from Santa Fe.

One can see from this film the unrivaled level of service offered by these long distance trains in the golden days. Hope you enjoy the film.

Station to Station, on the rail cars

This week I shall write about a moving public art project on the railroad utilizing vintage passenger cars from some of the most famous passenger trains of the fallen flags. The project, named Station to Station, showcases a variety of art, music, food, literature, and film across 9 cities across the nation. The rich content of its website is mesmerizing to weave through let alone for someone as art-illiterate as I am to stand a chance to describe to you. However, I can present you the part of Station to Station that is within my capacity, the rail cars.
The train features a fabulous consist of passenger cars of the past of heavy weight, lightweight, and stainless steel constructions. The oldest car of them all being the 6-axle heavy weight former Norfolk and Western (now Norfolk Southern) Lamberts Point, a frequent guest of exhibition trains of all kinds, which has also carried a number of famous passengers (see Station to Station website for a few examples).

The sleek silver cars on t…

Amtrak Talgo Pendular

Remember the unusual looking low-sitting trainset from the pictures I’ve posted last week? Yes they look quite uncommon for those of us who live outside of the beautiful Pacific Northwest, because so far, they have been unique to the region. Those sleek looking passenger cars are called Talgo Pendular articulated passive tilting cars manufactured by Talgo from Spain (another example of the Talgo is the AVE S-102).

Passenger trains can usually travel at faster speeds safely around curves than they are allowed to, but not comfortably. To enable the full speed potential of these trains around curves, minimise energy loss and wear on the brake system by slowing down, tilting trains have been developed for rail lines where the alignment of the right of way cannot be altered to construct gentler curves. Tilting trains can be active or passive. Active tilting trains decide on a tilting angle from computations performed on the inputs of an array of sensors that tells the train speed, accelera…