THE NEED FOR SPEED. DoDo's Monday Train Blogging for November 15 highlights the fastest passenger trains, including a note that the German ICE-3 sets, which offer first-class passengers the second best railfan seat in railroading, are authorized 330 km/h (a bit over 200 mph) when recovering time. Some of the discussion there focuses on the opportunity costs of the high-speed service. Apparently the freight service and the branch passenger trains get short shrift. On the other hand, the recently-arrived Great Western issue of Railway showed a Class 66 being tested in France. Condensed SD70s on the Western Front, Dash-8s in Estonia, bring on the Armour yellow.

I mentioned the railfan seat. The best one looks like this. (The Germans are probably relieved that there are no level crossings of the high-speed lines.) And, continuing an earlier conversation, look what I found in La Locomotive a Vapeur, which is a useful technical reference for the erecting shop downstairs.

This is a speed tape M. Chapelon obtained after a cab ride on the northbound Hiawatha on November 8, 1938. The consist is the Four-Spot with nine on. That's a heavier train, which will affect its braking and acceleration. The A class were optimized for a seven-car train. It's a routine run all the same, with the train reaching cruising speed north of Morton Grove, checking to 90 or so for the diamonds at Rondout, checking again for the State Line curve at Russell. (One of these days I must research the history of the survey of the Northwest Territories. None of the north-south section roads line up across 42o 30' N. There is also a jog in I-94 at Russell Road.) Then a sustained acceleration of a heavy train with a few miles run at 100-plus north of A-68 and the hard checking downhill from Lake into the curves and drawbridges leading into Milwaukee.

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