Mon Aug 18th, 2008 at 03:39:54 AM EST
Totay I had a gruelling day: Murphy worked overtime to break down everything from shunters to software. Then back in Budapest, I ran around for stuff still missing for Prague/my bike trip. All this on the hottest day of August, I drank three litres but must have sweat even more.
But on my trip home, a pleasant surprise awaited me:
Mid-August Monday Train Blogging - afew
For two years, I commuted in trains which would be obvious proof of the insanity of the saving policy forced on state railways – would rail execs travel in them. Like this one:
You see 35-year-old cars full of graffiti pushed by an even older locomotive. You don't see even more graffiti and scratching, vandalism and filth inside. And you don't smell that filth, and every single toilet, whose minimal maintenance includes chlorine – the chlorine-urine smell combination is really special. Oh, and without air conditioning, these metal boxes can get really hot in the summer.
The newest stock on my line was the refurbished version of the previous. An almost total reconstruction on the cheap, but still a waste of money as a failed construction. They are graffiti- and more vandalism-resistant and with easily washable floors, but pulled by the pictured locomotive, there are strong longitudinal vibrations. The new doors in the new, thin section walls in turn have the same eigenfrequency as those longitudinal vibrations, so they resonate and make quite some noise. Air conditioning is a joke: absolutely insufficient even below 30°C, but loud.
But today, this critter took me home:
This is a four-car TALENT made by Talbot (now belonging to Bombardier) in Aachen. The Hungarian State Railways has ten of them, normally used in local traffic towards Vienna. I suppose it appeared here thanks to the ongoing delivery of 60 similar trainsets by rival Swiss maker Stadler.
So, some progress! And air conditioning.
Then again, 70 may seem much, but a serious modernisation of just Budapest suburban service would demand at least a hundred double-deck trainsets, not to mention track work. There isn't a single rail flyover in Budapest, nor a metre of separated track for suburban trains on mainlines.
Still, let's enjoy progress. Here is one of the three Jacobs bogies (car-joining bogie) of my TALENT:
...and here is an Old And New contrast again, this time on a single picture and with a shunter loco:
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