Showing posts from July, 2014


Well, this is one of those weeks where I can't really think of what to write and therefore have to pick something out of the blue. The world of trains is one where the more one looks the more she or he finds. It continues to amaze me how many variations of the same vehicle designed to operate on top of two steel rails there are in different corners of the Planet Earth.

So I will briefly write about a Japanese electric locomotive from the mid 20th century. The Class EF58 locomotive is a joint product by 5 companies, 4 of which are still quite well known today (and they are Hitachi, Toshiba, Kawasaki, and Mitsubishi). She was built between 1946 and 1958, during the golden days of the North American Streamliners.

If you remember, Japan's national railroad network, until the days of the bullet train, was entirely cape gauge (42 inches). The EF58 has 8 axles, however only 4 center axles are powered. Compared to standard gauge counterparts of the day, the EF58 wasn't really all …

World Speed Record 1981

One of the images in the post 2 weeks ago revealed another, earlier, record run of the TGV in 1981. That's what the video I'm posting will show this week. On 26 February 1981, the TGV Sud-Est no 100 set a world speed record for trains of 380 km/h, or in Her Majesty's units of measurement, 236 miles per hour.

World Speed Record 1990

I'd hope most people still remembered that breathtaking world speed record run of the TGV V150 in April 2007. I was in college at the time. I still remember the excitement I felt rushing home in order to stream the event live. Thanks to technology, many things we once have had to hear second hand can be witnessed at the happening. Thanks to YouTube, many things that have happened before us can be relived by a few keystrokes and clicks of the mouse.

Let's rewind to 18 May 1990, when the TGV Atlantique no 325 has set the world speed record for trains at the time of 515.3 km/h. That's still a jaw dropping speed of 320 mph even for today.

Enjoy this video from the French National Railways' official YouTube channel.

Train à Grande Vitesse

For a train blog that’s in existence for quite a number of years that’s had posts on equipment ranging from the humble neighborhood LRV to the latest and greatest post futuristic looking Japanese very-high-speed electric multiple units, the omittance of possibly one of the most famous trainset in the Western World is, at least in my mind, quite unacceptable. It is not that I don’t have anything to say about the TGV, or literally, the High Speed Train, the problem is quite the contrary. There is so much to say about this topic, I don’t know where to begin or end. In no way, the few words I am about to scribble down here will do this great engineering achievement by GEC-Alsthom (now Alstom) the justice it deserves. Hopefully though, it will provide somewhat of a understandable overview of some of the interesting facts that sum up this Concord of the land is all about.

I will note that this post is dedicated to what I call the first generation of the TGV, ones with power cars having the …