Showing posts from April, 2014

Alstom New Pendolino

It has been a while since I've written about anything fast lately. Lately I've seen a picture of a new trainset being transported to Poland as I stumble around the web for train pictures. This trainset has proven to be quite popular among European countries and is known by many names. Developed by the former rail division of Fiat, now under Alstom of France, this class of trainsets is known by the manufacturer simply as the New Pendolino.

Now if there's a New Pendolino, there must have been an old one. There have been quite a few kinds of those too, the British Rail Class 390 and Finnish Sm3 are a couple of quick examples. A Pendolino is named so because of the fact that she is a tilting train (i.e. the body of the train tilts towards the center of the curve up to 8 degrees, which enables the train to be able to travel faster than non-tilt trains in windy territories). However there are exceptions, like the Chinese CRH5, which is a Pendolino that doesn't tilt.

The New …

China Railways HXD1

North America has always been at the forefront of diesel traction in railroad heavy haul freight service. Although not heaviest in tonnage and not fastest in speed, our freight railroad system is balanced with longevity, interchangeability, and most importantly, service affordability.

Today though, I will write about a locomotive in a state-owned and operated heavy haul system where technological prominence is placed at a higher priority. The HXD1 is the first of the massive numbers of European electric locomotives China Railways has ordered in the early 2000s. Her primary assignment is the 10,000 tonne high speed coal trains on the Daqin Railroad.
The HXD1 is an 8-axle electric locomotive with 2 permanently coupled sections. The locomotive is based on the Siemens EuroSprinter, and is built by Chinese manufacture CSR Zhuzhou under license.

The HXD1 combines some of the best Europe and North America can offer. With a combination of German vehicle engineering, AAR knuckle couplers, Knor…

British Rail Class 59

Why not keep the SD40 theme of late going again. I like looking up different locomotives all over the world and have them turn up being something familiar. I guess it just goes to show that although we have a long way to catch to the rest of the world in passenger rail due to certain lifestyle choices, but we are still quite influential in the freight world of things. It’s indeed somewhat difficult to go around the world and not find American Locomotive Company and General Motors locomotives in one form or another.

So the SD40 of this week is a derivation of the SD40-2, known as the British Rail Class 59, aka JT26CW-SS by EMD. She’s got a low and narrow car body with a control cab at each end. A 16-645E3C sits at heart. Purchased by Mendip Rail in 1984, the Class 59 was the first American locomotive and first privately owned locomotive to command freight trains on the British mainlines. The locomotive proved very effective and reliable, about 10 years after Mendip Rail’s order, Nation…

Commonwealth Railways CL Class

I'm gonna write about this CL class from the former Commonwealth Railways of Australia. It is a very interesting locomotive, especially to those of us in North America, where the legendary bulldog nose on the F and E Units can only be found in nostalgia. The CL Class, still in service today, is the latest General Motors locomotive to feature that beautiful, streamlined, and timeless nose design.

Mechanically, the CL Class was an General Motors SD40, with all the parts we knew and were familiar with, when it was first designed and manufactured in the late 1960s and early 1970s by Clyde Engineering of Australia. This class of locomotives was operated from coast to coast between Sydney and Perth, Adelaide and Darwin by Commonwealth Railways and its successor Australian National.

On the side, I have a theory on why the CL class is named CL class. There is this other locomotive introduced in Australia by the Western Australia Government Railways a year before the CL Class and it's …