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Welcome to 4rail.net Timeline Main Page!
With numerous stories already in place we are currently in the next phase of developing our Timeline pages. More content is added here regularly.

Novelty, Sweden




Vintage Rocketr at London Science museum, U.K.

Richard Trevithick

Richard Trevithick

History of railways, timelines, inventions, trials and errors, etc.


Created for 4rail.net by John McKey. Pictures by Andreas Ehnberg, Hannu Peltola, Stanislav Voronin, Ilkka and Sanna Siissalo, Nick Slocombe, Gerard J. Putz and John McKey.


BNSF freight leasd by C44-9W number 535, Southwest U.S.A.
Today's Railways Timeline archives


King Street Station in Seattle Washington

A drawing of the Velaro-D DB class 407 in use arriving at station

Shay at Cass West Virginia, U.S.A.

A replica of the Trevithick's 1804 locomotive at National waterfront museum, Swansea, U.K.

Branca steam turbine, Italy


Historical Timeline

  Beginnings of the Railway Era
Guiding and friction, Early Mine Railways, Battle of rail types, Gauges

  Birth of the Steam Machine
  Stationary Machines Prov. Power

In development
  Early Steam Locomotives
  Trevithick's First Locomotives
  The Rainhill Trials of 1829


19th Century Timeline

20th Century Timeline
1955 |


Today's Timeline

2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 |

 

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Historical Timeline

  Beginning of the Railway Era
Prehistory
  2000 BC - 600 BC 

The history of the railways as we know today spans long to the 18th century and beyond. The guiding system related to railways was invented most likely two thousand years earlier (depending on the definition).


It is said that the first "rail" related guiding systems, grooves in the limestone, were built around 600 BC in the ancient Greece, where crossing the Isthmus in Corinthos saved substantial sailing distance on the water ways around the peninsula in the Mediterranean. Normally only goods where transported this way, but ultimately even whole ships were moved when need be. Wagons were used to transport the goods too.

Similar arrangements existed also elsewhere in the Mediterranean Europe. These grooves existed in Malta, where they were carved, or worn, already 2000 BC. The Maltese grooves are said to be the oldest of its kind.








Novelty, Sweden

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  Roman Period of Building

Mountain paths on the French southern Alps

 

Romans were excellent road builders with their vast resources. Some of their roads with stone surface initially had grooves, where the wagon wheels would easily roll. more importantly, these grooves stopped wagon wheel from slipping sideways. Many of these grooves were built at cities, where it was important that the carts would be guided at the exact spot on the narrow roads between the buildings.

Romans could also create better mortar than we use today, its secrets of volvanic ash content having only recently been discovered. They were even able to create a very early steam powered machine too, but found it - useless! Just think if Roman period would had allowed for early industrialization! What woudl the world look like today?

  On the left and right one of the paved roads running on the foothills of the Alps in southern France. It is doubtful the grooves on this road were made there intentionally, but certainly they help guiding the cart on the demanding stretch of the path. The Roman roads were relatives to this kind of paved alpine path.

Once the Roman empire started falling apart, little happened for almost 1000 years. Yet, there were occasional proofs that not everything was forgotten. For example a cathedral stained class window has a conveyor from 1350 used for building the church.

Mountain paths on the French southern Alps

Translohr tram APS 08 in Padova, Italy

   
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  Early Industrialization

Blockade runner Advance with its paddle wheels, U.S.A.

 

By the time of early industrialization Europe was still at its technological infancy, and so was refining raw materials in many cases too. The invention of how to refine iron in a large scale, industrialization with its transportation needs and the development of the pressurized steam machines added momentum to the machinery of the development, chancing everything once and for all. Where fabrics were voven in small workshops this work moved to ever larger factories. Iron factories replaces some of the traditional work of smiths. Mining could proceed further down with the steam enginess pumping water more efficiently. Transportation behind a steam machine called "locomotive" was much more efficinet and larger quantities could be moved withrelative ease. Soon steam machine also left the form ground and developed to provide power for paddle steamers too.


Leitnagel used for amusement purposes, Stockholm, Sweden

Leitnagel hund cart from the 16th century Europe

Early Mine Railroads
Mines were dependent on the steady transportation of the raw materials in an out of the underground sites. This need fed for innovativity in the early mines and soon the Leitnagel Hund type "plank railways" were invented. This was a kind of wooden road with a groove running in the middle of it. It was installed so that the wooden supports in it were always relatively level, so a cart could be pushed and pulled on it. Guidance in the middle was a valuable addition to this. Wood as a construction material was also still widely available for most areas and was inexpensive to use, a major factor for the mines survival.

This type of "rail" use, if not yet true railway, already provided two major advantages: lower friction, especially if the planks were wet, and guidance.

  On the left is a modern "Leitnagel hund" kind of system used for plank railways. The groove in the middle provides guidance as the wheels under vehicle take care of supporting. This Leitnagel type plank way is located in the Skanssen amusement park in Stockholm, Sweden. Picture by Ilkka Siissalo.

  A 16th century cart drawing of the "Leitnagel hund" type vehicle used to transport ore from mines. German / Swedish word "hund" means a dog. The name derives from the sound which was produced by the guiding pin when the cart was moved!

  On the right a modern use of Leitnagel type guidance. This Padova tram is actually running on rubber wheels. The guidance however is from the groove in the middle of the running lane. Rails installed at the side of the groove also serve as earth for the electrical system, making unnecessary to have two wires above this tram line. The locals call this type or transportation Translohr and it can be also found as Modalohr. The French company manufacturing and servicing these trams was sold to Alstom of France in 2012. Picture by Ilkka Siissalo.
Translohr tram APS 08 in Padova, Italy
Mining cart in Funchal, Madeira, Portugal


Mining Railways

Mining operation were (and still are) a great promoter of railway technology as there are many conditions which benefit of these technologies.

Even in the mines the difference between running carts on the bare tunnel floor and running those on wooden "platform" made quite a difference when moving loaded carts from one location to another. Steel rails later introduced an age of even less friction, leading to the creation of the most effective transportation mode on earth: railways!

The Battle of Different Types of Rails
Steel rail in different forms was a big step forward. Today we take guaranteed that the rail is always more or less T shaped with a broad base to fasten in to ties.

The first use of iron on the rails "rayle way" happened very early in the 17th century. To achieve better durability some mine wagon rails in heavy use were plated with iron for better durability. These eventually lead to experimenting by changeable sections of rail with a folded edge. This fold helped to keep the wagon wheels lined. The new invention was called flanged rail. Flanged rail often came in sections spiked on sleepers and could easily be changed. L shape was also seen the most effective supporting a lot of weight.

  An example of the old flanged rail section. This track is preserved at the Danish Odense Railroad Museum. Picture by John McKey.

- - - Click any picture to see a larger versions of it! - - -
Plate rail from Odense RR museum, Denmark
Flangeway of Trevithick

 

Metallurgy at the time was not developed far enough yet to provide unbreakable rail, so lots of fractures occurred, even with the use of strengthened sections under the flanged track. Another caveat of the the L shape was the difficulty of installing switches which could not be simplified similarly as the current T shaped allows.


  A plate railroad does not look that different from what we are used to see on conventional T-shaped rail today. Many parts are also shared. In the end, it must have been the simplicity and strength built in to shape that gradually lead the T-shaped rail becoming more common and standard we use today.

 

 

   Huntingdon Beaumont
To make changes not just the inventor is needed, but also the industrialist with an enterprising mind set. These two met in Huntingdon Beaumont as a major new breed coal mine owner and developer. He was constantly looking for ways to enhance the running of his many businesses.

One of the main inventions was the building of the very first wagonway in the 17th century. This was used for the transportation of coal and pulled by horses.

Regrettably, Beaumont was less successful in the end with his businesses and died imprisoned for his debts in 1624. Unfortunately it seems not even a picture of him survives. Tragic end for such a forward looking gentleman.
Murton colliery in the early 19th century, U.K.
   
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  Birth of the Steam Machine
Branca steam turbine, Italy

Like discussed above, the Romans in fact invented a very early steam powered machine, but found it useless. It took then a whole of 1500 years before the invention found its use through refining and rethinking its structure.

In 1629 Giovanni Branca described and draw in his practical guide pocket book the steam machine which operated very much like the ancient ones. Here the steam source however was stationary blowing boiler fed by fire under it. A paddle wheel was located in front of the outcoming steam pipe. A very ingenious start for the new era of using steam!

As we may imagine, the power provided by this kind of machine was quite limited and something better needed to be combined here to make the machine more "every day" device.


This better technology came in the form of pressurized steam used in cylinders where the piston was pushed up and down and operating a rod a top of it. It in turn was attached to various devices like pumps. These steam operated pumps were desperately needed at the dawn of industrialization in mines. Many mines for the time had to use lots of resources to keep the shafts dry, often very expensive and sometimes impossible task. Though the "walking" slow moving and low pressure steam pumps of the time may seem quite simple, even primitive to today's observer, they in fact were high tech of the time.

When evaluating if this machine was primitive or not, please observe that in the early 18th century there were not high tech tools, machines or 3D printers to build it. Every inch of the metals used on the machines at the time had to be created and perfected painstakingly by hand. So every machine at the time seemed like a huge endeavour. Of course the rewards often were big too, so more steam powered machines started appearing. After the first machines proved success, the development accelerated and more builders joined the ranks of the steam machine building.

Branca steam turbine, Italy
 


     
 


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 Stationary steam machines providing power for vehicles on rail
Winding engine shed in U.K.

The early steam machines were quite bulky because of their low pressure. Before the technologies evolved the machine could not be located effectively on top of a rail vehicle or road vehicle for that matter.

Instead the machines were installed stationary. Imagine a situation on a rail incline with a mine at the top and the waterway at the bottom of it. This invites a use of even stationary power source to move the carts / ore cars up and down the incline. Using horses or mules to wind the wheel can be ineffective if the quantities of products handled increase. Waterwheel can not be placed in many of these places for energy providing. But you can always use a steam stationary engine, water you most of the time have nearby and wood and coal for burning can be transported to scene.

You place the quite large shed housing the steam engine most practically atop the incline. This provides protection from the elements to quite sensitive machine. Attached to the steam machine you need a coil. From there you attach a cord to the rail vehicles. Or even a double coil and ropes to create a counterbalanced funicular to minimize the use of power.

This solution was within technological limits early on, even with all the difficulties maintaining a system like this it was more effective than having horses pulling the wagons.

 

Even the worlds first railway Stockton and Darlington railway had two inclines near and on its line: Etherley incline railway and Brusselton incline. The Brusselton incline handled the traffic on the northern section of Stockton and Darlington railway.

A well working, reliable and simple system some of the operations of the inclines in the U.K. only ceased in the 1980s.

Winding engine from U.K.

 

 

Steam machines on wheels

 

 


 Early locomotives
 

Looking at early steam machines they are very large when you look at the power that could be provided. The reason for this huge bulk is the low steam pressure initially used. To achieve a certain amount of power from the machine you could only build it bigger, which was often quite all right as long as the machine was stationary. However, for a moving vehicle the weight of the machine, fuel and water supply needed to be carried. With low steam pressure this would mean a machine so huge (to be effective working something) it would be impractical.

A frantic search for the solutions began. James Watt was one of the famous names associated with these higher than normal pressure machines.

 



 1801 - Richard Trevithick Builds the First Working Locomotive
A replica of the Trevithick's 1804 locomotive at National waterfront museum, Swansea, U.K.

Richard Trevithick (1771 - 1833) was the pioneer of developing locomotives that worked in reality, to be used instead of horses to pull loads of passengers and freight.

Trevithick started as building many working models of his designs and gradually worked towards bigger scalers to perfect his designs. The earliest success was on the road locomotive, which hauled in 1801 a party of enthusiastic people up a steep hill. Next written mention is about another road locomotive achieving 10 miles per hour in London.

Richard Trevithick
Richard Trevithick

These successes lead to Trevithick being invited to build the Pen-y-Darran tramway in Wales.

Another interesting piece of history is the 1808 "Catch me who can" circus in London, U.K. Trevithick built a round track there to demonstrate the capabilities of the steam locomotive. You had to buy a ticket to enter the walled area, to see the locomotive in action or even ride the coach coupled to it if you were very daring.

  Picture on the left shows in quite a detail level the Catch me who can circus and the details of the Bridgnorth Hazledine Foundry built locomotive. One thing that is missing here is the scale: everything is actually quite a bit bigger than you would imagine.

The publicity stunt proved very popular, though the derailment that ended circus musty have been the first of many railroad disasters made public.



 The Rainhill Trials in United Kingdom
Vintage Rocketr at London Science museum, U.K.

Year 1829 in Rainhill, United Kingdom, along the Liverpool and Manchester line. Though Stephensons and the railroad management were good friends it would appear the management wished to make sure the technology to pull their trains would be the best available. The trials, or "Ordeal" according to the newspapers of the time, were also created to turn the public opinion towards railways instead of all kinds of fears associated to this new technology.

For the Rainhill trials there were five participants:
-- Cycloped, built by Thomas Shaw Brandreth.
-- Novelty, built by John Ericsson and John Braithwaite.
-- Perseverance, built by Timothy Burstall.
-- Rocket, designed by George and Robert Stephenson; built by Robert Stephenson and Company.
-- Sans Pareil, built by Timothy Hackworth.

Cycloped
was a double horse driven treadmill where the energy was used to power the wheels. In retrospect the inventor of the cycloped had had strong faith in the horse pulled vehicles and little knowledge what he was competing against. The treadmill did not endure the stress during the trials but it was the first to brake down.

Novelty
Novelty, as the name suggest, was a newly finished vehicle of excellent craftsmanship. While it was well developed, John Ericsson, the inventor, still lacked the long duration experience that the competing Stephensons had. With the trials starting well, Novelty would have needed a few months of finishing touch making everything more durable, something that was not possible by the trials. Still, transporting something of this scale to take part in the competition from Sweden to United Kingdom can be seen as a great accomplishment itself for the early 19th century.

Perseverance
Perseverance was built by Timothy Burstall. The locomotive was damaged on the way to trials and despite efforts it took five days to fix it. Perseverance only managed to run 6 mph on the Rainhill trials, a long way behind the more able competitors. Still, it was a working locomotive.

Rocket
Today we all know that it was Rocket that won the race. Was this clear from the beginning? Was this just a trick from the railroad company? Pretty much so because Stephensons had a head start for race in two respects. First, they were experienced locomotive builders already who knew all the tricks how to design and build an engine that was powerful and effective. As you see from the pictures the Rocket is in fact about the same size as the larger engines in the race, but it had many inventions making it far superior. The second reason, a more important one, was that in this case the builders had an opportunity to perfect their locomotive, they had tested this prototype for numerous hours, and they had thousands of hours of live steam experience from the previous locomotives built and operated. This meant the Stephensons had a much better chance of building something that lasted the torments of the race. The design required to win the race was very high tech for the time indeed.

Sans Pareil
The last competitor, Sans Pareil meaning "unmatched" was built by Timothy Hackworth. It was also a locomotive that Liverpool and Manchester Railroad bought after the trials (the other being the winner Rocket). Sans Pareil despite its name was an obsoleted design in many respects. Its boiler did not have tubes, it has vertical cylinders which caused extra stress to tracks (which often were weak at the time period) and its fuel consumption due to various technical choices was huge. Despite being overweight the Sans Pareil was let to run on Rainhill trials. The locomotive had to be pulled out of the race after its cylinder cracked.

This is also one of the survivors: it was used as a water pump until it reached the era when early industrial era inventions were valued.

Novelty, Sweden
Sans Pareil, U.K. according to drawing at the time
   
  More to be added in the next updates.

 

 

 

Vintage "Fryckstad" steamer at Gävle railroad museum, Sweden

Vintage 2-4-0 steamer Prins August, Gävle RR museum, Sweden


20th Century Railways Timeline

  1955
SNCF CC7107 recod locomotive seen visiting Germany French High Speed Experiments of 1955
Year is 1955. It is easy to sense the excitement of a big sports event in the air watching the film on SNCF high speed experiments. Very little knowledge of requirements was in use despite the long preparation.
SNCF had prepared two locomotives, one Jeumont-Schneider built Bo'Bo' class BB 9000 number 4 (9004) and another Alsthom (today Alstom) built Co'Co' class CC7100 number 7 (7107) for use. These both were worn out, thoroughly overhauled and their gearing changed
better suited for the research for the high speed travel.

Let us look at the background. France like Japan after the WW2 rebuilding period was in the need to show some positive signs and progress to their people. This time it was the French who got the first word. But also in Japan this experiment must have been closely watched
learning done from the mistakes and already in 1957 their long mothballed Shinkansen project was revealed. In France near Bordeaux the preparations continued in 1955, and the locos kept working their speed up and up day and week after another. The locomotives had
one or more aerodynamically improved coaches trailing them, light enough load that would not alter much the results.

The test runs started for real on March 25th. By 28th the measurements were well above 300 km/h / 186 mph for the CC7107. The BB9004 ran 290 km/h / 180 mph on 29th and the CC7107 achieved the long standing world record of 331 km/h / 206 mph the same day.
Almost with catastrophic results: the overhead lines were destroyed and needed to be rebuilt. It was also said that both the locomotives very nearly came to derail in those speeds! Also the track needed heavy repairs. Every experiment has its price...

These locomotive world records were only broken in 2006 with a Taurus (Siemens Eurosprinter U2/U4) running 357 km/h / 220 mph.

Looking at the results the French despite all their efforts must have seen they were not yet ready for the high speed era. In the early 1960s after the Japanese had realized their prestige project long discussions also ensued in France.
As a result the concept of the TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse) was put forward. But that is another long story for another article.

Below both the locomotives used in the record runs of 1955. They have been carefully preserved and are kept at the museum in Mulhouse.
SNCF BB9004 record locomotive at Chaps Elysée, Paris, France
   
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/// To be refurbished down from here



Today's Railways Timeline

2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 |



  2012
   
   
   
   
   
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  2011
  Chinese train control trouble with high speed train units
In the summer of 2011 one of the Chinese high speed units ran into another unit that had stopped on the line. The cause of the terrible accident was investigated to be in the Chinese made train control (both trains were Chinese made) which showed "drive" to the driver of the train running behind instead of showing "stop" when the track was blocked.

While the investigations continue, there are temporary restrictions to the high speed trains speeds in China.

  Siemens to supply up to 300 new ICx high speed trains to Deutsche Bahn
Siemens, Bombardier and Deutsche Bahn (DB) have signed a 8000 page contract of the new generation high speed EMUs for use in Germany starting 2014. The EMUs have a distributed power systems and come in several configurations. The launch EMU will be a 7 car 230 km/h type. These 130 units are to replace older intercity type rolling stock. The next EMU type will replace the aging ICE1 and ICE2 type high speed trains with 90 10 car EMUs that can run 350 km/h. The latter EMUs will also be used on the international routes according to the plan. The contract is worth 5 billion to Siemens and 1,3 billion to Bombardier.
   
   
   
   
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  2010
 

   
   
   
   
   
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  2009
BNSF freight leasd by C44-9W number 535, Southwest U.S.A. BNSF to receive a hydrogen fueled locomotive
One of the largest railways in the world the U.S. BNSF Railway has received its first hydrogen fueled locomotive for testing from the Vehicle Projects Inc. The hydrogen is fed to the fuel cells to provide electricity for the traction motors. Platform for the experiment is one of the recent Genset/Green Goat looking locomotives. The hydrogen locomotive has a distinctive wide radiator looking section on top of the whole long nose making it easy to spot. (This is a bit like another veranda locomotive after the experimental Union Pacific turbine decades ago, only smaller). The vehicle was at the time of the news on the way to California. According to the builder "one thing people commonly ask is what kind of sound the locomotive makes while the prime mover is missing: the sound is similar to electric locomotives, you can hear blowers, smaller engines, sounds from the movement, but no engine sound always associated with railroading in the U.S.!"     
   
The search for alternative fuel sources has recently been quite active as it's widely acknowledged that the sea level might rise even 1,5 meters till the end of the century. This rising is the effect of the greenhouse gases, rising levels of carbon dioxide, methane and other warm conserving gases in the atmosphere.
     
The BNSF Railway has always been active on researching alternative fuel sources. As the diesel fuel accounts for 25% of the total operating costs of a typical railway, any savings on this has a significant economical impact. Currently BNSF is using its newest locomotives to pinch the fuel bill as low as possible. BNSF also operates a few locomotives fueled by natural gas in Los Angeles U.S.A. Recent studies have been made on electrifying the main lines, common in other parts of the world except the North America, but decisions remain to be made as the capital costs are prohibitive for Americans. One benefit of the electric locomotives is that they can feed the extra energy during the dynamic braking back to the electric networks. Plus of course you can make electricity any way you wish. 
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Later it was found that the fuel cell hydrogen technology was not ripe for the every day locomotive use and the unit was withdrawn. But this definitely was worth a try! The locos with the battery did not catch acceptance either but many caught fire, but the gensets were and are definite success.

   
   
   
   
   

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  2013
SNCF TGV-2N2 unit 4719 in Zurich, Switzerland

Year 2013 was as eventful as ever, despite the deep recession in many parts of the world. After all the big railroad operators and infrastructure organizations have their base level of activity providing capital which again can be invested beneficially.

Below are some highlights, more will follow with next updates.

  • SNCF took into use the first larger batch of TGV-2N2 super high speed EMU sets. These provide for extended capacity on French international traffic and are a powerful means to enhance productivity. The TGV-2N2 also meant that SNCF could add new destinations to its chart, especially in Germany.
  • The first Zefiro 380s for Italy were in tests by the end of the year. These are jointly built and designed by AnsaldoBreda and Bombardier.

  • In locomotivon Vectron locomotives started to roll out of the Munich Allach plant for real as the certification program progressed throughout Europe.
RhB ABe 4/16 number 3103 at Thusis, Switzerland
   
   
   
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  2014
Eurostar E320 on display in London, U.K.

What is there for 2014 on railroading?
While this is very hard to predict before things actually happen there are certain plans that are worth listing:


On Electric Multiple Units

  • Eurostar will receive its first new Velaro Eurostar e320 train sets to supplement its aging fleet of TMST-Eurostars, the latter actually being TGVs in disguise. These trains are intended to run for instance from London to Amsterdam in addition to the Eurostar normal main route London - Paris.
  • Deutsche Bahn will also be able to take Velaros into use after many years of testing. It seems like certification is immensely difficult in Germany and all train manufacturers and operators are complaining about this.
  • Renfe will extend the routes of its AVE 100 fleet of TGV-Réseaus to France. Their intention is to run to Paris, but SNCF on French side is trying to keep them away to minimize competition to it. SNCF also intends to run into Spain but likewise Renfe wishes to keep the company to just to Barcelona. Hope this dispute will be settled in 2014.
  • Trenitalia in Italy will start receiving larger numbers of its first new generation Zefiro train sets from Bombardier- Ansaldo-Breda cooperation. Expect these to be appearing soon to international traffic too.

On locomotion

  • Expect to see tens of new Siemens Vectron locomotives for a dozen operators, both big and small.
  • In U.S. the Siemens manufactured Vectron close cousin ACS64 will finally enter traffic and start replacing the ill working HHP8 locomotives and the much aged and tens on millions of kilometers used Aem7s. Well working Aem7 in turn is a close cousin to Rc locomotives of Sweden.
  • MTAB (part of LKAB) in the Swedish North will receive the 34th IORE electric loco from Bombardier and thus finish its large order on these huge arctic locomotives. More might be in the pipeline looking a few years forward if the price of iron ore stays in current high level, for both LKAB and Northland Resources.
  • In Finland it is expected that VR-Yhtymä will finally make up its mind on the new electric locomotive's type, after 6 years in process. The current fleet is starting to look more or less ancient.
  • In Estonia Vopak AOA / ERS of Estonia will receive its first of a batch of 15 TEM33A locomotives. While these may sound Russian, they are in fact General Electric locos parts built mainly in U.S. and put together from kits in Kazakhstan.
  • In U.S. General Electric will roll out its Tier4 compliant demonstrator fleet to be operated by one or more operators. This is the latest model in the line of ES44 state of the art diesels and can easily be recognized by its triangular radiator unit.
  • The U.S. other builder Caterpillar-EMD will also be testing TIER4 compliant technologies and will continue testing of the 4 AC axle powered 6 axle diesel SD70ACe-P4s.

In infrastructure

  • Many large tunnels will progress steadily as will the European Union TEN-T network projects.


Class 193 number 923 of Siemens Mobility in Kiruna, Sweden during the mid winter
Amtrak ACS64 number 601 in Pueblo, Colorado, U.S.A.
SNCF TGV-2N2 unit 4719 in Zurich, Switzerland
   
   
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 2015

Swiss Rail traffic Re487 number 001 in Rekingen, Switzerland

HKL Metro M300, Helsinki, Finland

Developments in 2015
Some interesting developments for 2015:

  • TRAXX F140 AC3 hybrid electrics are finally becoming more commonplace. These locomotives have a diesel power pack for use on switching where the overhead wires don't reach. This invention renders many of the smaller switcher locomotives obsolete.
  • High Speed: market leader SNCF is pushing its one level coach sets aside and is both replacing these with double decked ones and simultaneously buying new double decked TGV-2N2s. TGV-2N2 supports 4 voltages and with additional packages can run into numerous countries. This change also means some of the older units from TGV-PSE, TGV-Atlantique and TGV-Réseau fleet will be retired and scrapped.
  • 20 new Metro M300 sets were delivered to Finnish capital Helsinki by CAF. Trains will come into use gradually from fall 2015.
  • 16 new trams for Estonian capital Tallinn were also delivered by CAF. First units are already in traffic.







     
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