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Occasional Train Blogging: Double-Deck Train

by DoDo Thu Nov 16th, 2006 at 12:53:30 PM EST

For two weeks, a German double-deck push-pull train consist toured Hungary. Last Friday, I went to photograph it.

The train nears Hatvan in late autumn desolation. Out of sight: the best photo position, up on a tree, was already taken!... Railway photography really turned into a mass sport here


How can the passenger per weight ratio of a train be decreased? What to do if on a crammed line, the capacity-increasing possibilities of widening cars, lengthening trains or making the schedule more frequent hit their limits? There is a third space dimension: upwards. Thus did designers arrive at the idea of building double-deck cars.

A pretty straightforward application of the idea, there called bi-level car, appeared in the USA from the early fifties in the Chicago area (later also in California), in suburban commuter trains:

Pullman Standard bi-level cars in a Chicago & Northwestern push-pull consist. Photo by L.S. Melin from Trainweb

The spread of motorisation though eliminated the demand in the USA, so bi-level cars didn't spread. However, there was a parallel development on long-distance trains: from dome cars to high-level cars.

On scenic routes, some cars got compartments with panoramic windows on a raised level or even atop a normal level in the middle of the car: these were the dome cars. The 'dome' was first extended along the car's full length in Atchinson, Topeka & Santa Fe's 1954 "Auto Train" cars, then AT&SF developed the concept towards 'normal' bi-level construction. The development reached its conclusion in AMTRAK's not-that-panoramic Superliner cars: cars with a full-length top level for passengers (some with panoramic sight), and a lower level used as baggage store room, dormitory, maybe with a small seat compartment.

The Toronto–Chicago International, during the period when it ran with VIA locomotives and AMTRAK Superliner and Hi-Level cars. Photo by Scott Haskill from RailPictures.net

In Europe, there is one difficulty: smaller cross-sections. The two decks, floors, roof and underframe must fit into a height of 4.65 m or less. There is only one way to do it: the lower level can only be low-floor, and extend only between the bogies. So, this leads to two problems: it is difficult to make such a carbody strong enough, and the seat number gain is reduced. A third drawback is passenger flow: commuter trains usually have lots of doors for quick boarding, but on these cars there can only be two and they serve two decks.

For these reasons, despite demand, European double-deck trains were long in coming. The first successful lineage was started in 1936 by the WUMAG factory in Görlitz, in what became East Germany. Their first models were articulated trainsets with Jacob bogies (e.g. bogies on which the ends of two neighbouring cars rest, also see Trainwreck diary). Production really ran up during communist times.

Four-car articulated double-deck consist series DBvqe (built 1970), in a push-pull train of DR (railways of East Germany). From Bahnstatistik.de

From the eighties, double-deck trains also became widely used in France (primarily in connection with Paris's new RER service), and also the Netherlands. Then in the nineties, double-deck trains really had their breakthrough: Swiss InterCity push-pull trains and commuter Electric Multiple Units (EMUs), Italian commuter EMUs, the French TGV Duplex, Czech commuter EMUs, Austrian commuter push-pull trains, French regional EMUs... One of the first of the new wave was the series IRM inter-city EMU of NS, the Dutch state railways:

IRM 8735, of the 6-car sub-series 8700, at Dordrecht. Picture by Leen Dortwegt from RailFanEurope.net

But the largest number of double-deck cars were built by the same factory in Görlitz, Germany. Currently owned by Canadian-based company Bombardier, post-German-unity production was in excess of 1,500 cars. Most of that went to German state railways DB, but some got as far as Israel.

The train I photographed was a regular-traffic consist from Lübeck/Northern Germany: two middle cars and a driving trailer, pushed/pulled by a diesel locomotive of series 218. It was sent here by Bombardier on a demonstration run – presumably hoping that Hungary will spend its EU money on such things, unfortunately my government is fixated on highways. Last Friday, the train was shuttling between Hatvan and Salgótarján, north-east of Budapest (this line was the first built for the state railways BTW).

The train pauses in Hatvan station before going back towards Salgótarján

Stairs to the lower and upper deck from one end of the car

First-class upper deck

Sunlight reflections in the November late afternoon near Apc

The very last sun-rays reach the train at the road crossing south of Pásztó station

:: :: :: :: ::

Check the Train Blogging index page for a (hopefully) complete list of ET diaries and stories related to railways and trains.

Display:
Had so many pictures to select from, maybe I should do a sequel.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Nov 15th, 2006 at 08:12:33 PM EST
Please do a follow-up.  These are great pictures and fuel my wanderlust.

"I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, You know I'm a peaceful man...'" Robbie Robertson
by NearlyNormal on Thu Nov 16th, 2006 at 04:50:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Done deal. Next week it comes.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Nov 16th, 2006 at 05:00:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
These photos are magnificent!
by Matt in NYC on Thu Nov 16th, 2006 at 05:16:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I used to take the train regularly from St. Louis to Chicago years ago and I never thought of them as double decked trains, although I suppose they are.  But they definitely aren't panoramic.

Are European double decked trains high speed? (I'm not sure what a regular traffic consist is).  

by Maryb2004 on Wed Nov 15th, 2006 at 11:42:12 PM EST
Sorry -- I left out that the trains were superliners.
by Maryb2004 on Wed Nov 15th, 2006 at 11:42:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Are European double decked trains high speed?

Commuter and inter-city trains aren't counted as high-speed :-) These don't go faster than 160 km/h (100 mph). However, the double-deck TGV, the TGV Duplex, is of course high-speed (reaching twice the speed of the previous).



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Nov 16th, 2006 at 04:43:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure what a regular traffic consist is

Locomotive+cars assembled for and used in regular scheduled passenger traffic. E.g., no new prototype, no test train, no special train, but a normal train taken off daily service to parade around Hungary.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Nov 16th, 2006 at 05:02:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pendolino

adapted for winter here...

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Nov 16th, 2006 at 01:47:08 AM EST
More relevant to the diary is Talgo Oy, the Finnish subsidiary of the Spanish company, which not only manufactures double-deck cars:

...but, using Talgo's axle-less individual wheels technology, also has a project for the world's first throughout-double-deck EMU (but with AFAIK no firm order yet), the Talgo 22.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Nov 16th, 2006 at 05:00:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I've travelled on the Pendolinos many times - mostly to Turku/Åbo in the SW corner of Finland. Business class is a place you can actually work, and get good coffee where you sit.

But for meeting interesting people, the Sibelius to St Petersburg is much more fun.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Nov 16th, 2006 at 06:48:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, the Pendolino is nice - when it runs. Not when it is stuck in the middle of nowhere because of snow, a broken door, electrical problems or whatever... If I wanted to be sure I could reach my destination in time I'd travel with IC or IC2, not Pendolino.

You have a normal feeling for a moment, then it passes. --More--
by tzt (tzt) on Thu Nov 16th, 2006 at 09:21:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We desperately need double deck trains here, but our loading gauge is just too low.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Nov 16th, 2006 at 07:23:17 AM EST
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 16th, 2006 at 07:29:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here is a good introductory page on railway loading gauges that also has drawings. (The Wiki article mostly only gives maximum width and height, but roundings can be a significant constraining factor.) Here are some of note:

The British W6 loading gauge -- rather complicated outline and rather small:

UIC-C, the highest international standard of the Europe-centered International Railway Union (with French acronym UIC), according to the majority of normal-gauge European double-deck trains are built:

However, French, Swiss and Italian double-deck trains squeeze people into the smaller, only 4.32 high, though flatter-top UIC-B gauge:

Now for something scary -- the Association of American Railroads (AAR) double-stack loading gauge (for container trains with two levels of containers atop each other):

The first side/roof break point is where French trains have their roof, it's already almost 4600 mm where the profile turns upward, and nearly 6150 at top.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Nov 16th, 2006 at 08:44:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Which only goes back to my persistent complaint that the Great central Railway trackbed should have been preserved, even after the line was closed, because it was built to the full UIC-C loading gauge (and high-speed running factored into layouts).

We knew the Channel Tunnel would be built sooner or later, so closing it and letting it be bulldozed was an act of economic sabotage against the country's future.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Nov 16th, 2006 at 10:43:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wow, never knew. I know of the rebuilt nostalgic Great Central Railway, but didn't knew it was built with international gauge [nitpick: UIC-C is more recent; I suspect the GCR used the then international standard French gauge, which was later supplanted by Berne Gauge and then UIC-A, each slightly larger], and with an eye for the Chunnel.

While I was reading up on this, I found that some businessmen want to raise the 120-year-old idea from the dead: the Central Railway, which would re-use part of the GCR corridor, and which would even be suitable for double-stack containers!

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Nov 16th, 2006 at 02:15:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You missed this, unfortunately....

http://www.eurotrib.com/comments/2006/11/11/64127/243/2#2

I got an email back just now from the former FD, Alan Stevens, who is now the CEO.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Thu Nov 16th, 2006 at 06:28:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We still have the bi-level trains in Chicago.  They are the hi-speed suburban communter trains (not the subway & not Amtrak).  They rock.  I like to get the spot on the upper level at the very front of the car, where you get your own little nook. :)

Interestingly, my subway station is closing for repairs for a year, and I will probably have to take this train downtown to work.  It only makes a couple of stops within the city, but one is in my neighborhood.

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Thu Nov 16th, 2006 at 08:34:25 AM EST
Hey, rotating pictures! Nice. And the Metra Electric is new to me.

hi-speed

Everything is relative... METRA's top line speed must be the notorious 79 mph = 127 km/h limit, I find even that only on part of some lines.

suburban communter trains (not the subway & not Amtrak)

I see I forgot to specify that... now corrected. Actually part of the current METRA stock is original C&NW stock, most of the rest is former private railroad stock too. (To connect to you twice, I first read of Chicagoan bi-levels in a book written by a British railway author touring the USA, which I lent out at the American Embassy library in Budapest in my highschool years.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Nov 16th, 2006 at 09:41:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But we all know the Chicago - Minneapolis run was the first hi-speed railway. The drivers of the J-6 locomotives would file complaints of rough riding at speeds of 120 - 130 mph.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Nov 16th, 2006 at 10:46:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But we all know the Chicago - Minneapolis run was the first hi-speed railway.

How true! Being a partisan of the Milwaukee 4-6-4s, I praised the F-7s here.

The drivers of the J-6 locomotives would file complaints of rough riding at speeds of 120 - 130 mph.

J-6 of which company? Is there not a typo? At any rate, what you say sounds like a very interesting tidbit, and if you can find a source, and if another certainly interested party, Chicago area railfan and fellow F-7 partisan SHKarlson doesn't turn up here, I'll email him.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Nov 16th, 2006 at 01:36:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ooooh crikey, that's a 20 year old memory of a story I read in one of the UK mags about the railways of the mid-west.

Probably J-6 is wrong, but the speed was correct. I'll see what I can google

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Nov 16th, 2006 at 02:43:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If it was Chicago-Milwaukee, it was most likely the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific, and the choices to search for are: F-6 (non-streamlined but strong and fast), A (a Hudson), F-7 (the latter two pulled the Hiawathas).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Nov 16th, 2006 at 04:39:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
whilst I have your attention.

Does anyone know if it's still possible to get a recording of "Silent Night" by O Winston Link.

Basically the organist of a presbyterian church was requested to play "Silent night" over and over as a steam train of the N&W came up the valley for 10 minutes, stopped at the station and then disappeared off into the night. The recording lasts until the engine can no longer be heard. It last for about 29 minutes I'm told.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Nov 17th, 2006 at 06:00:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, we don't "all" know that -- and I even grew up in that part of the world. Thank you for a wonderful piece of trivia.

(What was the second high-speed railway?)

by Matt in NYC on Thu Nov 16th, 2006 at 05:22:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
(What was the second high-speed railway?)

'The first' here is of course a relative and thus so is the second, but an interesting subject.

The very first first could be Brunel's Great Western Railway: built with broad-gauge rails, wide curves and lots of superstructure to have small inclinations, and still today forming the spine of the West Coast Mainline, it was definitely a quality jump compared to other railways.

Then in the thirties, while Chicago-Minneapolis, Hamburg-Berlin and British lines got rather fast service, it was Mussolini's Direttissima lines and the Pennsy's Northeast Corridor upgrade that first produced truly dedicated high-speed lines. Still, ones for less than 200 km/h resp. 125 mph.

Then came the Shinkansen, the first truly separated purpose-built high-speed line, but when it started, top speed was barely above 200 km/h.

Italy again pre-empted others in Europe with a dedicated high-speed line, but it didn't yet have the trains to really make much of it -- so the French TGV got the first spot as a full system...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Nov 16th, 2006 at 06:18:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I remember that the author highlighted that, whilst Mallard held the record going down a steep hill, it was hauling a very light train, 6 carriages (I think), less than 240 tons.

The US locos were maintaining their speeds for mile after mile, up hill and down hauling 1000 tons trains.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Nov 17th, 2006 at 05:54:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"The US locos were maintaining their speeds for mile after mile, up hill and down hauling 1000 tons trains."

Not quite.  It is true that the LNER's Mallard might have briefly touched 125 mph on the way down Essendine bank, while a heavier Milwaukee Road test train maintained 120 mph for over five miles, with a possible maximum of 125 or 126 mph on a slight downgrade, but the best performances with steam Hiawathas were 30 miles or so at 100 mph but not exceeding 110 with at most nine car trains.

But I'm with DoDo in championing the Milwaukee Road as operator of the world's fastest steam engines.  (And there's a lot about the Midwest Hiawatha line through Hampshire, Genoa, and Kirkland in my back yard that hasn't been properly investigated.)

Stephen Karlson ATTITUDE is a nine letter word. BOATSPEED.

by SHKarlson (shkarlson at frontier dot com) on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 09:41:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
By hi-speed I mean they run express and do not make many stops.  In most cases the commute is faster than taking a car due to the infamously terribly traffic problems around here.  I can't speak to your definition of high speed, but they go very fast, actually.

By suburban commuter trains, I am referring to the purpose and the actual trains themselves, NOT the tracks on which they run.  The subway line follows the old trolley tracks but you would never refer to the subway as the trolley because it is not.  The Metra runs on all kinds of old tracks, like the Illinois Central, and one section of it is "electric" but they have all basically the same interior design which is vastly different from the el or the Amtrak.  You could not confuse them.  Purpose-wise, they extend only to the suburbs, and with a few exceptions, they are not a very good way to get around inside the city.  Hence, they are suburban commuter trains, connecting the suburbs to the city.  

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Thu Nov 16th, 2006 at 11:14:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
By hi-speed I mean they run express

Ah. 'Express', 'rapid' or 'fast train'. I guess the terminology is confusing because all the words refer to velocity even though express trains don't necessarily attain higher top speeds than stopping trains, but "high-speed rail" usually refers to non-local trains on high-quality tracks with significantly raised top speeds; today, that's usually anything significantly beyond 125 mph. (In the US, applied to the 150 mph AMTRAK Acela.)

By suburban commuter trains, I am referring to the purpose and the actual trains themselves, NOT the tracks on which they run.

I understood that. I guess it's my mentioning of line speed limits that made you think I don't? I note line speeds can be the function of both track and trains: the 79 mph limit for example, IIRC introduced just after WWII and stopping the development of US long-distance traffic, is valid if trains and/or the line aren't fitted with a (compatible) Automatic Train Stop system (e.g. a system that automatically brakes down trains speeding or passing a stop signal).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Nov 16th, 2006 at 12:52:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"METRA's top line speed must be the notorious 79 mph = 127 km/h limit."

The only Metra train allowed 79 mph is the last evening departure from Antioch on the "North Central" (old Soo Line) that returns to Chicago via the Milwaukee Road.  I discovered that run last summer.

Burlington's Naperville Zephyrs and a few of the Elburn trains briefly touch 70 mph.  The Metra Electric, however, is not very fast, and some genius off the Chicago and North Western arranged the schedules so that offpeak trains for South Chicago, University Park, and Blue Island leave five minutes apart at the half hour, rather than leaving at 20 minute intervals to provide something more like rapid transit service as far as 63rd Street.

Metra Electric also provides the Chicago South Shore and South Bend, an interurban complete with track in the middle of a street, with its access to downtown Chicago.

Stephen Karlson ATTITUDE is a nine letter word. BOATSPEED.

by SHKarlson (shkarlson at frontier dot com) on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 09:52:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BTW, poemless, once the subway station closes down, can we hope for a photo diary? :-)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Nov 16th, 2006 at 04:45:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of what?  Construction?  I don't even know how to use the camera in my phone yet (and don't have a digital camera.)

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire
by p------- on Fri Nov 17th, 2006 at 08:29:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Of what?  Construction?

No, I meant your predicted travels on METRA trains! And some Chicago 'sight-seeing'. But if the camera is the problem, I desist.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Nov 17th, 2006 at 01:09:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd just curl up and die if my subway closed down for a year. Even the part of my subway line that ran under Ground Zero wasn't closed for that long -- but you still hear New Yorkers shreiing about how awful that service disruption was. No question, you Chicagoans are a lot tougher than us wimpy Gothamites.
by Matt in NYC on Thu Nov 16th, 2006 at 05:25:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This year and the last in Budapest, the busiest subway line is upgraded. This means partial closures in the summer and some off-summer weekends, which indeed does turn traffic on its head. However, they maneged it rather well lately: they reserved one lane for buses on the main road above, and ran articulated buses in pairs and in permanent succession (say one pair per minute in rush hour).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Nov 16th, 2006 at 06:25:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's about 5 blocks to the nearest station (they close every other one).  I am really dreading it.  Uhg.  In the winter, of all times...

But they've never been made handicapped accessible, and there is currently not enouch room on the platforms for riders.  So it has to be done...

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Fri Nov 17th, 2006 at 08:25:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What's that in walking time?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Nov 17th, 2006 at 08:30:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL.  5-10 minutes?  Don't get me wrong; I do a LOT of walking. (I don't have a car.)  But the added walking time plus the inevitably slower service due to the construction along the route means I have to wake up earlier.  :(

This is why I'm thinking of taking the commuter train, which is also about a 10 min walk and is much more expensive, but will cut my communting time.

Still, walking 10 minutes anywhere in a Chicago winter is ... character building.    

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Fri Nov 17th, 2006 at 08:41:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have to wake up earlier.

That's never good.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Nov 17th, 2006 at 08:45:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
walking 10 minutes anywhere in a Chicago winter is ... character building.

The cold, the wind, or both? (10 minutes is my current walk time to the station.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Nov 17th, 2006 at 01:18:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The cold and the wind combined. They call it windchill.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Nov 17th, 2006 at 01:30:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is also the small matter of snow.



Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Fri Nov 17th, 2006 at 01:56:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Great diary!  I love the photos of the trains.  Very jealous of some of them actually, having just spent 2 hours in a crowded and boring carriage from London to Cardiff.  Would love to see a follow up diary.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 16th, 2006 at 05:25:22 PM EST
BTW, I'm slowly restoring dead picture links in my old Monday Train Blogging diaries (moving from unreliable picsplace.to to photobucket), it's finished from 18th to the crocodiles, you can check that out in the meantime.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Nov 16th, 2006 at 06:21:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I love the bi-level caltrain cars (caltrain being the commuter rail that runs from San Francisco to San Jose). They have about 110 seats per car. They are nicer and kept cleaner than the commuter rail trains I have rode on the east coast (Boston and NYC). NYC commuter rail gets bonus points for being electric though.

To my knowledge they only have two sets of the more modern equipment shown on top. They are even nicer but all the seats face each other in groups of four which is irritating for introverts like me.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Thu Nov 16th, 2006 at 07:05:34 PM EST
All the Cityrail electric stock in Sydney are double deckers ... even though the loading/unloading delays in the subway portion of the main lines called the City Circle might argue for single deck stock with more doors per side for shorter routes that run through Sydney City. The first is a Millenium train, the second is the new OSCAR (Outer Suburban Car).




I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Thu Nov 16th, 2006 at 07:19:39 PM EST
Didn't knew these! Somehow they seemed low from the picture, but I found an official page with some technical info, which indicates heights near 4400 mm. So there is the usual loading/unloading problem, but it is at least spacious?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 17th, 2006 at 01:27:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, it depends on whether all the seats are full or not. Both of those are 3+2 seating across, but at least they are reversible seats. The most comfortable ride are the old V-sets for the longer runs ... to Newcastle, to the Blue Mountains, to Wollongong.

They have 2+2 reversible seats.

These were the trains I rode the most often, when I was commuting from Newcastle three or four days a week to teach at the Central Coast, and when I had to go to Sin City. Indeed, this was the last type of train I rode in Australia, since there was trackwork the day I flew out and it was a bus from Sydney Central Station to the airport.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Fri Nov 17th, 2006 at 02:03:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The GO Train of the Greater Toronto Region (double-decker Bombardier design)

The classic image used in GO's advertising to highlight for people why people should take the train and get cars off the busy roads (in this case the notoriously busy Don Valley Parkway in Toronto)

Shortly after leaving Union Station

An typical suburban station

Crossing the Rouge River

Passing through an typical industrial area


"now this is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." W. Churchill

by Thor Heyerdahl (thor.heyerdahl@NOSPAMgmail.com) on Fri Nov 17th, 2006 at 02:02:52 AM EST
Great photo selection, thanks!

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 17th, 2006 at 01:13:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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