Showing posts from January, 2015

The Flying Hamburger

There isn't really too much to say this week, so I'll let Wikipedia, some pictures (from Wikimedia Commons), and a hella cool and old-school video (or at least part of it, from YouTube) do most of the talking.

So I was looking at early high-speed trains for something ever-so-slightly worked related the other day, and I came across this funky looking, Burlington Zephyr equivalent streamliner from the 1930s in Germany. Now this is way before the DB days, and the trainset was built by some company that's been gone for a while as well (however, here's a little Wikipedia history lesson of it if it fancies you).

So the culprit of this week (I'll lump the prototype and production trains together), at least the very first set of it, is apparently called the Flying Hamburger if you do a literal translation of its name. This trainset (SVT 877 for prototype, SVT 137 for production sets) was developed for the very same reason our Zephyrs were, to go fast. So fast that in 1933 …

Union Pacific M-10000

I was looking at the history of fast trains in the world and happened to stumble across the Union Pacific M-10000. I'm pretty sure I've seen it somewhere already (in photographs online, of course), but this is the first time I've actually read about it in any sort of detail (which is not all that detailed, really). Anyway, I thought it'd be something to write about here, given that it was the first articulated American Streamliner and all. The M-10000 probably wasn't talked about as much as the more famous Zephyrs, but it wouldn't be right to shrug off her importance. It was the M-10000 that gave inspirations to all the subsequent Streamliners that popped out across railroads of all shapes and sizes.

The M-10000 was delivered in February of 1934. At the time, it was deemed that no reliable diesel engine would satisfy the power-to-weight ratio required by the M-10000 and therefore a Winton distillate engine was used. The very front truck of the train was powered…


News! Well, right now as I'm writing this on the 8th anyway... See I kind of shot myself in the foot when I named this blog Train of the Week...

So the first 12-car ICx has taken to the rails! I had to specify the number of cars because there's also a 7-car, slightly less fast (because it's not slow either), version coming later. I'd think ICx wouldn't be the final name for this EMU though. I mean what's next then? ICy? Anyway, at least for now, to distinguish the two variants, the 7-car version is classed as the K1n, and the 12-car version the K3s.

Clearly I didn't pay enough attention to InnoTrans back in 2012, or I forgot, the ICx was first unveiled there. She's intended to replace the current push-pull IC, ICE1, and ICE2 trains in corridors where it's not practical to operate new ICE trains. At the beginning, K3s was supposed to be 10-car sets, this was changed by DB in 2013. Thank Wikimedia Commons for the picture below.

The K1n is slower due t…

Union Pearson Express

I'm kind of sure I've posted about the airport rail link in Toronto at some point, but I can't find it through searching my blog. Oh well. Even if I wrote about it before I wouldn't have had a lot of information. So I don't think it hurts to mention it again.

As its name suggests, the Union Pearson Express, or UP Express (except UP doesn't stand for Union Pacific), is the express rail service between Toronto Union Station and Pearson International Airport. This service is scheduled to inaugurate prior to the 2015 Pan Am Games. The UP Express will traverse a distance of 15.5 miles, most of which along the GO Kitchener Line trackage. A new, 2.1 mile, Airport Spur was constructed to connect the GO Train tracks to the airport. Trains will run every 15 minutes and it takes 25 minutes to complete the journey. There are two stops en route, one at Bloor-Dundas, where subway connection is provided, the other at Weston GO Station. Initially, service will be operated by 2…

Some simple train principles from a Top Gear episode

Happy new year! I thought for the first Friday of the year I'd begin with something informal and quite entertaining.

A few years ago, on one episode of the famous British motoring show Top Gear, the three hosts set out to build a cheap train using cars. At some point, the ideas of the hosts were split and they decided to create 2 separate versions instead. I'll leave you to watch it on YouTube, because the BBC has actually posted the part of the show.

What I think is very interesting is that although the Top Gear hosts created trains that were very primary in nature and could not possibly ever see real service, some very real ideas were conveyed to those who paid attention. The 2 trains from the episode, the Caravan Train by May and Hammond, and the Sports Train TGV 12 by Clarkson, inexplicably modelled after two very predominant types of railroading in the world. The Caravan is analogous to North America's heavy haul adhesion limited railroads while the Sports Train Europ…