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Stories by a short, fat bastard

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Steam Trains at Speed
45 minutes of steam trains traveling fast.

The A4 really is a thing of beauty.

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Lovely video, thanks for sharing it.

I love seeing these old engines stretching their legs.

Shouldn't that be "stretching their conrods?"

What never ceases to amaze me is that Great Britain achieved these speeds in the days of steam, and we in Australia have yet to do so in the nuclear age... :(

Our fastest trains are slower than their local interurbans. The local from Huntingdon to St Neots (approx 20km) hits 160kph.

This country is pathetic.

It's frustrating that engines built in the 1930s are *still* faster than the express trains here.

***EXACTLY!*** So is the culprit the actual trains here, or the railway infrastructure supporting them? I'd put my money on it being the infrastructure, especially given that we've *had* our own clone of the HST here.

Plus it's time we pumped more than 1.5kv through those copper cables above the emus.

Edited at 2015-01-25 05:01 am (UTC)

It's the infrastructure. The main lines in the UK are quite straight and flat, with wide radius curves. The run from Lithgow to Orange... well, you've seen that.

The TGV and Eurostars run on very straight purpose-built lines.

dewhitton said:"The TGV and Eurostars run on very straight purpose-built lines. "

Oh yeah! That's not hard to see. :)


Although that track would cost hundreds of millions to be built here, far simpler improvements could be made here. The journey I take into work for a start could be improved if they straightened out those ludicrously tight curves between Wolstonecraft and Waverton. There's a section through a cutting where it curves left then immediately right, but why it curves at all there I do not know. 9_9

A Sydney to Canberra Eurostar would cut the travel time to 2 hours and would *easily* compete with airlines. We just need the will to upgrade and build the line.

As for cost... When the Paris to London line was built, it passed through the Somme WW1 battlefield. For every km of track laid, 4 tonnes of unexploded ordinance had to be removed and disposed of. That is an expense we don't have to worry about.

There are 4 TBMs in operation inf Sydney right now. They should be put to work around the state. I suggest a pair of tunnels from Lapstone to Lithgo to start with.

Are trains still running Sydney-Canberra? I thought they had/were going to suspend train services (which has now happened to the Newcastle-Hamilton section of the line).

The French know the value of their rail system. Australia is just a very stupid country. Do you recall those advertisements they used to have on the ABC in the late 1980's where they were trying to encourage Aussies to put more effort into their work by showing what would have happened in history if others didn't? The great wall of China became the great "fence" of China, Michelangelo complained it would take too long to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and instead recommended a light blue coat, and Captain Cook rediscovered Spain instead of sailing to Australia. Goodness knows what this country could have achieved if the go-ahead had been given. I think the Harbour Bridge will be the only such achievement here for millenea.

TBM, does that stand for Tunnel Boring Machines? Yes, I'd agree that they should be used to build a high-speed line through the Blue Mountains. Definitely. They should also be used to go ahead with that plan from 15 years ago to run a new line from St Leonards under the harbour to St James. Above ground there should be new lines built to TGV stanard between Sydney and Brisbane - the track between here and Taree has a horrendous number of unecessary curves.

Also, the Belmont coaliery line should have been purchased by Newcastle City Council and developed into a light rail system instead of a cycleway.

Something else I've long been curious about. Is TGV capable track possible within the inland Australia climate, or would the heat buckling make the track unsafe?

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