Autos & Motorräder

Trains March 2018


United States
Kalmbach Publishing Co. - Magazines
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CHF 41.47
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2 Min.
speedy trains in the u.s.

Given that premise, this special issue devoted to fast trains is long overdue. This publication, going back to the 1960s, has celebrated speed. We once devoted pages to an annual survey of fast freight and passenger trains in North America and worldwide. Since then, true high speed trains have changed how people move across Europe and Asia. At home, the Northeast Corridor and Acela have been the standard bearers for America’s fast trains. There have been brillian strides forward: Talgos in the Pacific Northwest, 110-mph running in the Detroit and St. Louis corridors. There have been false starts, too. Proposals for fast trains in Florida and Texas have come and gone. In California, we finally have a true high speed project rising from the fertile soil of the Central Valley and set…

2 Min.
trains without crews

The article, “Trains Without Crews” [pages 26-33, January], presents a timely assessment from the sides of both business decisions and human operations. Left unanswered is how you and I will react as observers. I’ve taken photos of Vancouver’s crewless SkyTrain; however, in many images I’ve made of freight trains, the crew is not prominent, if visible at all. But whether making photographs or simply watching trains, there is the understanding or comfort of knowing that someone is in the cab running the train, with ideally the reward of a whistle toot or friendly wave from the cab. Should I live long enough, will I still go trackside to watch robot grain trains roll by? Will the machine be enough to make me care? Al Crossley, Waterford, Conn. I read Justin Franz’s feature about crewless…

2 Min.
train 501’s tragedy

A day of celebration turned to tragedy Dec. 18 when the Amtrak Cascades’ inaugural run on a new bypass route derailed north of Olympia, Wash., killing three people and injuring 62 more. The derailment — which had striking similarities to the 2015 wreck of Amtrak train No. 188 near Philadelphia — once again raised concerns about safety on the passenger railroad. Seattle-to-Portland, Ore., train No. 501 was moving at 78 mph when it entered a curve posted for 30 mph. The train’s lead locomotive and all 12 cars derailed on a bridge over Interstate 5, blocking traffic on the busy highway. The locomotive on the rear of the train was the only piece of equipment to remain on the rails. Charlie Heebner, 79, of Olympia was like many of the 78 passengers…

1 Min.
‘cascades’ 501: the siemens charger

The Siemens SC-44 Charger passenger locomotive, like No. 1402 involved in the deadly wreck of Cascades No. 501, made its debut on U.S. rails in 2016. The locomotive traces its roots to Siemens’ popular Vectron platform, which is used widely in Europe. The SC-44 is powered by a Cummins QSK95 prime mover that produces 4,400 hp from 16 cylinders. The unit achieves Tier 4 emission compliance in part from a urea-based after-treatment system. The Washington State Department of Transportation order for eight SC-44 locomotives was part of a larger multi-state order for SC-44s led by the Illinois Department of Transportation. The order included 69 locomotives purchased on behalf of the transportation agencies of Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, California, Washington, and Maryland. The new locomotives are built at Siemens’ new plant located in Sacramento,…

2 Min.
‘cascades’ 501: amtrak crew training

‘Look-alike’ might be too strong a word, but the similarities between the Dec. 18 Amtrak Cascades train 501 crash on a curve in Washington state, bears at least a little resemblance to the May 12, 2015, Philadelphia crash of Northeast Regional train No. 188 on a curve at the end of a higher-speed straightaway. As its investigation into the December event continues, one thing the National Transportation Safety Board will look at is whether Amtrak managers adequately prepared the Cascades engineer to avoid losing situational awareness as train 188’s engineer is believed to have done. From the time Amtrak began hiring its own crews in the 1980s, the company has refined training protocols for engineers and conductors in partnership with the Federal Railroad Administration, “that meet all required federal standards and exceed…

3 Min.
german know-how for cali

DB Engineering & Consulting USA, a branch of Deutsche Bahn, Germany’s national railway, signed a six-year, $30-million contract at the end of 2017 that is intended to lead to it becoming the first operator of California’s high speed rail system. It won the contract in a year-long competition against high speed rail operators from China, Italy, and Spain. Carsten Puls, DB Engineering’s president, discussed the deal in an exclusive interview with Trains. Q Can the system California is building be commercially successful and operate without a subsidy? A It’s a great project. Yes, I believe so. Q This project had its beginnings 21 years ago and has been the object of considerable political opposition and uncertain funding. How much of a concern is that to DB? A We have the same challenges in Germany on…