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 known for generous clearance width-wise and can accommodate trains of very wide body design by our standard (the X55 for example has an outside width of almost 11 ft 3.8 in versus 9 ft 11.5 in for Amfleet). The cars on the X40 are not wide (9 ft 8.5 in), however, they can be very long, in fact, 88 ft 7 in long (think about curves when wondering why they can’t be long and wide at the same time). To put this length in perspective, the Amfleet is 85 ft long, and a multilevel auto carrier (sample picture here) on a North American freight train is just over 89 ft (outside width less than 9 ft 6 in). Also, for info, here is a link that describes the various clearance diagrams from the Manual of Standards and Recommended Practices of the Association of American Railroads.

The X40 comes in 2- or 3-car consist

The X40 isn’t made out of fancy body material like some of the faster and more advanced trains in service today. The body panels consist of carbon steel, rather than stainless steel (like the Regina) or fancy lightweight hollow aluminium composite panels (not sure about their official names but I’m sure there is one, used on the Japanese high speed trains). Half of the trucks on the X40 are powered at 1,073 hp each. This helps the X40 to reach a respectable top speed of 124 mph in revenue service.

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