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Author Topic: Trains  (Read 21289 times)

Rick Powell

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Re: Trains
« Reply #70 on: January 04, 2011, 09:12:20 pm »

Ryan Lantzy wrote on Tue, 04 January 2011 12:35



From what I know of the European system (specifically German) nearlly all of the passenger lines were exclusively built for high speed service.  While they may carry less freight over rail per capita than the US that's not the point really.  When they started to offere high speed rail, they built new tracks.  The contstruction of high speed lines is much different, requiring super-elevated curves, fewer and gentler curves in general, and more moderate grades (i.e. more tunnels and bridges).

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It is expensive, but AFAIK grading and building a rail line is MUCH cheaper than highways.  Also, given the amount of abandoned right of way in the US, much of that could probably be reclaimed for use on high speed lines (once the curves are removed and tunnels/bridges are built).



The highest EU speed lines were "greenfield" projects using primarily new alignments.  There were also some upgrades of existing lines that allowed higher speeds to be used.

Grading and building a "greenfield" true HSR line on new alignment in the USA is extremely expensive - the California HSR project is looking at upwards of $40 billion to connect SF and LA, somewhere on the order of $100 million a mile.  There are not many new highways comparable that are being built, but I-69 between Indianapolis and Evansville, IN is coming in around $8 million a mile.  Where new rail competes most favorably with new highways is in tight urban areas, where a double set of tracks can be elevated and require much less urban destruction than a new highway, whether elevated or at ground level.  Building new urban freeways such as was done in the 1960's where entire neighborhood blocks were razed for construction is a complete non-starter, regardless of the extreme expense it would take.

Abandoned or little used rail lines do indeed present a redevelopment opportunity, provided they go where people want to go.  But the NIMBY issue will always be there.  Heck, there were all kinds of lawsuits, counter-studies, etc. when the Canadian National bought a lightly used rail line around Chicago and started running a few more trains on it.  The line was in existence 100 years before the complainers lived there and was always active to some extent.  You'd think, if you live near a set of tracks, that a train might occasionally pass by?  D'oh!

The larger issue is that there is scarce public money to go around to build new stuff, regardless of the mode you prefer.  That's why there are so many quasi-public/private initiatives floating around these days, where the government would kick in some money and the remainder would be kicked in by a private franchise, which would lease and operate the facility for a profit.  SNCF, the French railway, is even proposing to franchise some such HSR projects in the USA.  
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Rick Powell
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Trains
« Reply #71 on: January 05, 2011, 12:49:25 am »

Rick Powell wrote on Tue, 04 January 2011 19:42

John Roberts  {JR} wrote on Tue, 04 January 2011 11:18


I really liked that cute double decker approach, where the trains moved at constant speed, and picked up/dropped off passenger compartments at the stations without stopping.




The Chinese are considering something that is not exactly what you are talking about, but a double-decker approach to transportation nonetheless.  Seriously, this did not come from the Onion website.

 http://www.engadget.com/2010/08/02/china-to-build-ginormous- buses-that-cars-can-drive-under-video/


I've seen that bus too, but it doesn't seem all that clever, for any cars under it when it makes a turn.   Shocked

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K27VmNfwsaQ

The concept of of the train picking up/dropping off without stopping was IIRC done with mail bags and low mass things 100 years ago. Like I said, I don't think a real high speed rail line covering any distance really needs the complexity, but doubling or tripling the average train speed on local commuter lines could be useful and probably easier to actually pull off.

JR

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Rick Powell

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Re: Trains
« Reply #72 on: January 05, 2011, 11:48:20 am »

John Roberts  {JR} wrote on Tue, 04 January 2011 23:49


The concept of of the train picking up/dropping off without stopping was IIRC done with mail bags and low mass things 100 years ago. Like I said, I don't think a real high speed rail line covering any distance really needs the complexity, but doubling or tripling the average train speed on local commuter lines could be useful and probably easier to actually pull off.

JR




Here is an archive clip of a moving steam train picking up the mail with a mail hook.

http://www.archive.org/details/CEP00089

There is some grumbling here in IL about the $3 or $4 billion being spent on the Chicago-St. Louis rail line that would be better spent upgrading the Chicago area commuter rail service...the service is the 2nd most extensive in the US (to NYC metro area) and does provide a lot of options, but there are a lot of bottlenecks from the tangled web of freight yards, crossing tracks, and inadequate bridges leading into Chicago.  There is a program to relieve some of that, but it has not received the level of funding that the high speed rail program has.
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Rick Powell
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Phillip_Graham

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Train Exhaust Systems
« Reply #73 on: January 05, 2011, 04:54:14 pm »

Stumbled on this in the aftermath of this train thread:

http://www.thefireburnsmuchbetter.nl/

A recent PhD thesis published in book form of the evolution of the chimney exhaust systems of steam trains throughout history.

Looks like an interesting read.

Edit: Here is a research paper from the author above:
https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://www.xs4all.nl/~koo pmanv/York11dec2006.pdf
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Kristian Johnsen

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Re: Trains
« Reply #74 on: January 05, 2011, 06:34:08 pm »

John Roberts  {JR} wrote on Tue, 04 January 2011 17:01

Yup, I recall there was a nasty accident on that high speed German line when a truck or car, fell off an elevated crossing down onto the rail line... trains don't stop very fast anyhow and energy to scrub off when braking increases with the square of velocity. The vehicle wasn't enough to really wreck the train, but I think it derailed and then mayhem ensued.




Don't know if we're talking of the same accident, but someone in England managed to run a Range Rover towing a trailer with another Range Rover on it, into the side of a bridge causing the vehicle on the trailer to fall of, over the ledge and down on the tracks where it was hit by a train.

Bad one.
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Kristian Johnsen

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Re: Trains
« Reply #75 on: January 05, 2011, 06:37:52 pm »

The jet kinda puts things in perspective.  The bratty-looking teenager seems duly unimpressed, though  Laughing

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WbP_NJGDT0&feature=relat ed


Another fun POV.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qdrr66ycc-E&feature=relat ed

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Ian Hunt

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Re: Trains
« Reply #76 on: January 05, 2011, 07:12:31 pm »

Kristian Johnsen wrote on Wed, 05 January 2011 17:34

John Roberts  {JR} wrote on Tue, 04 January 2011 17:01

Yup, I recall there was a nasty accident on that high speed German line when a truck or car, fell off an elevated crossing down onto the rail line... trains don't stop very fast anyhow and energy to scrub off when braking increases with the square of velocity. The vehicle wasn't enough to really wreck the train, but I think it derailed and then mayhem ensued.




Don't know if we're talking of the same accident, but someone in England managed to run a Range Rover towing a trailer with another Range Rover on it, into the side of a bridge causing the vehicle on the trailer to fall of, over the ledge and down on the tracks where it was hit by a train.

Bad one.


The Ice train crash in Germany was caused by a mechanical failure in a wheel, Ice trains used 2 piece wheels, a replaceable metal rim on a metal wheel, TGV designers tried that technique and decided it was failure prone so they used a monolithic wheel, when it wears you replace the whole wheel. On the Ice train that crashed in Germany the rim separated from the wheel, dug into the track and all was chaos after that. Since the crash the Ice train uses monolithic wheels, like a TGV.

Ian
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Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

Ian Hunt

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Re: Trains
« Reply #77 on: January 05, 2011, 09:00:32 pm »

Kristian Johnsen wrote on Wed, 05 January 2011 17:34

John Roberts  {JR} wrote on Tue, 04 January 2011 17:01

Yup, I recall there was a nasty accident on that high speed German line when a truck or car, fell off an elevated crossing down onto the rail line... trains don't stop very fast anyhow and energy to scrub off when braking increases with the square of velocity. The vehicle wasn't enough to really wreck the train, but I think it derailed and then mayhem ensued.




Don't know if we're talking of the same accident, but someone in England managed to run a Range Rover towing a trailer with another Range Rover on it, into the side of a bridge causing the vehicle on the trailer to fall of, over the ledge and down on the tracks where it was hit by a train.

Bad one.


Also, not entirely relevant but I can't find a box to check on my insurance claim for that  one, should I just choose 'other'

Ooops
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Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

trace knight

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Why else would a grown man play with trains?
« Reply #78 on: January 05, 2011, 11:03:11 pm »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMxJtMoTnx8

I used to love this stuff, just my wicked sense of humor I guess

tk
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Mac Kerr

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Re: Trains
« Reply #79 on: January 30, 2011, 08:29:29 pm »

Not a model, but wow!

http://talk.newagtalk.com/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=165984& amp;mid=1190655#M1190655

Mac
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