Wednesday, February 29, 2012
A ship named after the Ostsee (Baltic Sea) town of Binz, and built in DDR days for the VEB Fahrgastschiffahrt "Weisse Flotte" (White Fleet) in Stralsund. In 1994 it was sold and has since changed hands a couple of times, most recently to Belgian owners in 2010.
Builder: VEB Schiffswerft "Edgar André", Magdeburg
Length: 42.95 metres
Beam: 7.62 metres
Draft: maximum 2.2 metres
Engines: 2 × SKL-6 NVD 36
Output: 540 hp
Speed: max. 11 knots (20 km/h)
Cargo capacity: 47 tonnes deadweight
Authorised Passengers: 440
at 10:37 PM
at 8:52 PM
A rather idyllic postcard from 1916 showing a level crossing and its keeper in the town of Villers-Cotterets in the heart of the Retz forest with the Passage des Chatagniers. The Latin name for chestnut tree Castanea is where the word castanets comes from.
at 12:10 PM
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
The 5546-5550 (5 units) of the SNCF 2D2 class, for 1.5 kV DC, delivered from April 1942 to October 1943, had the nickname of 'Waterman' after the resemblance of the nose to a well-known ink-bottle, but from a technical viewpoint, an interesting feature was the use of Buchli drive.
In a Buchli drive a driven gear wheel is securely fixed to the locomotive frame. Inside this gear wheel are two levers, coupled to gear segments that mesh with one another. The other end of the levers is coupled via universal joints to tension bars, which are then coupled via more universal joints to the driving rail wheel. Vertical movement of the driving wheel results in the gear segments moving due to the internal mechanism, and the driving wheel can move in a horizontal or vertical direction with respect to the gear wheel, while still transferring the momentum of the gear wheel. See diagram.
A disadvantage of the drive was the large number of moving parts, which demanded frequent lubrication and careful maintenance. The Buchli drive system was mainly used on express train locomotives, as there were no other drive systems that gave the same performance at high speeds. However, at higher speeds the drive components became unbalanced, causing issues at speeds over 140 km/h. See also the post about the femme enceinte.
at 8:46 PM
Yes, it would be ideal transport for bnz employees, but it is actually owned by the Kelly Tarlton Underwater World experience (calling it an aquarium doesn't do it justice). website
Bus details2005 Toyota Coaster
Number of seats: 23
Engine size: 4,000 cc
Fuel type: Diesel
Country of origin: Japan
Gross vehicle mass: 5.5 tonnes
Tare weight: 3.6 tonnes
Maximum rated towed mass: 750kg (for unbraked trailer) and 3,000 kg (for braked trailer)
No of axles: 2
Wheelbase: 3,940 mm
at 6:47 PM
Actually Nicaragua is a country Steven Joyce should enjoy as today it has no operating railways. The majority of lines were closed in 1993, the last one in 2001.
Narrow gauge railways had been built there since 1878 on the Pacific coast. First was a Western division (from Corinto to Puerto Momotombo at Lake Managua, passengers to Managua had to change to a steamboat), then the Eastern division from Managua to Granada and finally a Central division connecting these two (thus eliminating the need for steamboats). In the following years, several branch lines were built. There were attempts to connect both coasts, but they all failed; except for a few isolated lines in the North, almost all of the network was in the Pacific basin. In 1993 there was 373 km (228 miles) of 1,067 mm (3'6") narrow gauge tracks in the Pacific region and an isolated 3 km of 1,435 mm (standard gauge) line at Puerto Cabezas in the Caribbean. Most lines were shut down on 31 December 1993. The last one - 6 km from Chichigalpa to Ing. S. Antonio - was decommissioned in September 2001.
at 10:19 AM
A two-hour program on the History Channel a few days ago looked at this, and it made you realise what a mammoth undertaking it was, all funded and supervised by the US Government. Lesser known aspects include the decision to kill all mosquitoes in the canal zone to stop yellow fever which was killing off lots of the (mainly West Indian) workers.
You wonder what the attitude of Congressional Republicans - who don't even want money spent on a few high speed rail lines - would be today.
at 9:54 AM