Wednesday, April 10, 2024

soft exteriors of cars aren't sturdy in a crash

From Eric Peters at

Cars used to be able to take a hit. They weren’t as “safe,” it’s true. But the price you’re paying for that – literally – comes in the mail every six months or once a year, whenever the insurance mafia sends you the bill for it.

The bill – which has gone up by 26 percent on average over just the past 12 months – is based on the potential repair costs of fixing your late-model vehicle. Or the other guy’s. It doesn’t matter.

What does is that most of the cars on the road are soft on the outside. Their exterior panels are almost wafer thin, especially hoods. Raise yours and see. It is probably supported by a pair of small struts – because that’s all that’s needed to support a wafer-thin piece of metal you could probably bend by hand. You can imagine how much it will bend if you run into something.

“Bend” isn’t the right word, either. Bends can usually be fixed.

What will happen is the wafer-thin hood will fold up like a piece of cardboard – which might actually be preferable as hood material since cardboard is a lot cheaper to replace than a piece of wafer-thin stamped steel or aluminum.

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Wednesday, April 3, 2024

a 1965 Porsche C356 cabriolet once owned by Janis Joplin


tunneling is complete on the L.A. Metro’s D Line extension

Two LA Metro trains (an AnsaldoBreda P2250 model and a more recent Kinki Sharyo P3010 model from the late 2010's) on the A line cross near LA Union Station. (Geoff Churchman pic))

from the L.A. Times

After five years of construction and numerous delays, crews have finished tunneling operations for the 9-mile [14.4 km] westward expansion of the Metro D Line, which will stretch from the current terminus in Koreatown to a new Westwood/VA Hospital Station.

The expansion project will add seven Metro stations and a high-speed connection from downtown Los Angeles to the Westside, according to L.A. Metro’s website. Construction of the $9.5-billion project began in 2019.

“As one of L.A.’s busiest areas, the Westside is the region’s second-largest job center,” Metro says on its website. “We are closer than ever to connecting busy areas and improving travel for everyone who lives, works and plays in L.A. County.”

Monday, April 1, 2024

new NSW D set interurban trains

 One of the new sets at the Newcastle Interchange station. (Geoff Churchman pic)

from Wikipedia:-

The NSW TrainLink D sets, also referred to as the Mariyung trains, are a class of electric multiple units (EMU) being built to replace NSW TrainLink's Intercity EMU fleet. The trains will operate on services from Sydney to Newcastle, Lithgow and Kiama, allowing the retirement of NSW TrainLink's V set fleet, and freeing the H set fleet for reallocation to Sydney suburban services.

The first trains were delivered in December 2019. After a protracted dispute between the government and the drivers' trade union over their safety, the first are scheduled to enter service in 2024.