More Research Odds and ends.

Here’s some more link and related stuff. In this post I’m going to do things like link to books in my library as well. Do I think that everybody will be able to access naval academy textbooks from the 1930’s? Not really, but I never expected to find them either, but when I did I bought them. and the set of The History of Technology and that book on farm life in the Nineteenth Century.  The reason I have those references is that that I was open to buying them in the first place. As a writer the goal to be to write a book that Sarah Hoyt will not throw across the room. Your goal should be to not insult the reader’s intelligence, not go so far off the deep end that reader never wants to come back.  You should do enough world building that the reader will feel comfortable living in that  world.

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Don’t Do It On The Train Tracks

That’s the last sentence in this report from the Today Show:
http://www.today.com/video/rossen-reports-update-see-how-long-it-can-take-to-hear-a-train-coming-911815235593

The rails are not playground. Mr. Rossen is absolutely right when he says that trains can sneak up on you.  I’ve been around trains most of my live and I experienced first hand.  Yet there are people doing stuff like this.

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Consider that I shot this video the same day that those two people were playing with that water bottle.

The railroads keep trying to tell people not to be stupid.  Yet nobody listens.

A train can trash a car in seconds and what happens to somebody hit by one is never pretty.  Yet people don’t seem to understand just how powerful trains are. Two weeks and yet, here we are again.

https://theartsmechanical.wordpress.com/2017/03/16/how-many-people-have-to-die-before-people-stay-off-the-tracks/

There are plenty of dumb ways to die.

How Many People Have To Die Before People Stay Off The Tracks

Another one of those stories.

http://abc7ny.com/news/woman-killed-by-train-in-midst-of-modeling-shoot/1801811/

There are just too many of these stories.  RR tracks are not photo sets, trails or playgrounds. Nobody ever plays in the middle of a highway, yet here we are, yet another story of somebody hanging around on a busy RR track and paying the price.

https://theartsmechanical.wordpress.com/2017/03/04/dont-be-this-kid/?frame-nonce=44a8b7f381

The New Haven Goes Diesel

The New Haven RR was one of the first railroads to go heavily into dieselization.  They were quite proud of that and so was the manufacturer of the locomotives, Alco-GE. Here’s some scans of a couple of Brochures.

The first one.

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The second one.

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Due to the nature of the railroad’s operation and it’s not having a lineside fuel source the new Haven pushed every cost reducing technology they could.  These locomotives are a case in point and they would do heavy service in the war soon to come.

Along with a video.

Amtrak’s plan for Northeast Corridor Improvements.

My local paper had this article in it the other day.

The “Preferred Alternative: A Vision for Growth of the Northeast Corridor,” as laid out at www.necfuture.com, shows tunnels, trenches, embankments and “aerial structures” carving new routes through the highly developed corridor.

Those and other improvements, from Washington, D.C., to Boston, would boost capacity and shorten travel times, the FRA said.

But, local officials and one commuter advocate aren’t swooning over the plan, which could entail extensive property seizures and massive construction in densely populated communities.

“Be careful what you wish,” said Jim Cameron, founder of the Commuter Action Group, which represents Metro-North Railroad and Shore Line East riders. “If the state basically said to the Federal Railroad Administration, ‘We endorse going along the coast,’ now they’re going to have to look at the consequences of this realignment, because it’s massive disruption in some of the most affluent communities in the state.”

Cameron said an inland route following Interstate 84 would achieve “true world-class high-speed rail” without disrupting densely populated coastal communities.

According to the FRA, the Preferred Alternative would increase the number of trains and improve performance along the Northeast Corridor. The number of trains running daily from Penn Station to Boston, for example, would increase from 19 to 94. The travel time would decrease from three hours and 30 minutes to two hours and 45 minutes.

To boost capacity and improve performance between New York City and Boston, the FRA has recommended improvements to the existing line and adding several new segments. Among the latter would be new two-track segment, beginning west of the New Rochelle station and continuing into Fairfield County. The segment would allow for more trains to operate between New York and Boston and allow express trains to pass local or freight trains, the FRA said.

http://www.thehour.com/news/article/Plan-would-carve-new-rail-lines-10807227.php

Here’s the NEC Future site

http://www.necfuture.com/

Here is the page for the “preferred alternative.”

http://www.necfuture.com/alternatives/

They hid the more or less detailed map in the Enivronmental Impact Statement, but here it is.

Click to access app_aa.pdf

One thing that I see is that the people who wrote this up probably did it with the map in hand and haven’t really seen the area, at least in my neighborhood.  Now the map shows RTE 95 as being relatively straight and flat.  As somebody who has traversed that stretch of  RTE 95 thousands of times, it’s neither.  That stretch is scary enough at 65, let alone at 150 mph+ . The fact is that coastal Ct through Fairfield and New Haven Counties is mostly ridge and valleys all running North and South.  The Original New Haven Line(now Metro North’s New Haven Line) ran as close to the coast as possible and even then is mostly cuts and embankments.  Along with curves, lots of them.  Those curves have been the bane of the railroad’s existence since it was laid out back in the 1850’s

Still the RTE 95 route is even worse.  What interesting is that according to the NEC Future website, most of the route through Fairfield County will be “aerial structures.” That’s especially true of the route through Greenwich and Stamford.  Which tells me that these people are either not serious about actual improvements to the NEC or really want to stick it to a bunch of wealth and well connected people with lots of clout. Because I know what Aerial structures for high speed trains means.

Here’s a picture of the Tohoku Shinkansen structure near Omiya Station.

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The is typical aerial structure high speed railbed in Japan.  It’s also something that would never fly in here in CT.  Even out in the eastern part of the state, the opposition is stiff and in Fairfield County the opposition would be incredible.

http://www.theday.com/article/20160722/NWS01/160729742

The funny thing to me is that the “preferred alternative” didn’t eve address the biggest opportunity for real improvement, a tunnel through east Bridgeport to eliminate the 35 MPH Jenkins curve.  Right now the tunnel and a new station could be built relatively cheaply because East Bridgeport is mostly empty lots with various and sundry development plans that have gone awry.  Yet the rout through Bridgeport, with it’s 19th Century  roadway is kept intact while the route messes around in Greenwich and Stamford real estate.   Which tells me that the whole thing can’t really be taken seriously. Which is a shame because the improvements are really needed and all this did was waste money that could have been spent on other things that Amtrak needs or even better, not spent at all.

A Train Trip Through Switzerland

I found these wonderful videos recently.  Japanese railfans have the advantage of being able to shoot videos through the front windows of trains in Japan.  YouTuber iso8 was invited by Swiss Federal Railways to shoot from the cab of a train through the Gotthard tunnel.  These videos were the result.

Locarno-Airolo

The Gotthard Tunnel. Airolo-Goschenen

Note the spacing of trains in the opposite direction.  This is a very busy railroad.

Part 3: Goschenen-Arth Goldau

Beautiful scenery and mountain railroad that climbs downgrade with loops and tunnels. You can also see the work for the approaches for the Gotthard Base tunnel.  Even if the new tunnel itself is open, the amount of track realignment projects and improvements to existing facilities are a massive project all by themselves.

 

Tracks To The Trenches

 

The static fronts of World war 1 created a unique logistics situation.  this was especially true due to the great numbers of troops and artillery involved and the sheer amount of material that needed to be provided. In 1914-1918 the truck was still in it’s infancy and the traditional use of horse or mule transport simply could not keep up with the demands of modern industrial war.  Standard gauge rail could get material almost to the front, but the size of standard gauge equipment and track meant that trying to get damaged track back into operation over war torn ground just was not feasible.  A different solution was needed. Enter the light rail. Here’s a video of the American AEF light rail operations.  The operations of all the combatants on the western front were similar.

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