The graphs were created by Anne-Aël Durand and Gary Dagorn using data from the SNCF’s Open Data platform, and were published in the Les Décodeurs section of French newspaper Le Monde as “Comment le TGV a rétréci la France” (How the TGV has shrunk France).
An electro-diesel locomotive is a unit that can operate from either an external electric power source, or standalone with an onboard diesel engine, and on the railways of the former USSR is an interesting example – the ОПЭ1 and subsequent developments.
Developed in the 1960s to work on the open cut mine railways of the USSR, electrified with 10 kV AC 50 Hz overhead lines, a ОПЭ1 locomotive can be made up of a mix of four different kinds of unit:
electric section (E) featuring a traction transformer, rectifier, pantograph, and driver’s cab.
autonomous power supply section (T) featuring a diesel-generator set from a M62 diesel locomotive, and driver’s cab.
motor section (M) featuring traction motors on locomotive bogies beneath a side dump freight wagon.
motor booster section (M) featuring traction motors beneath a shortened locomotive body.
Which can then be arranged in a variety of ways:
Three sections (electric locomotive, diesel locomotive and motor section) – the primary combination of traction units, able to work under overhead wires or autonomously (traction and braking in both modes are created by all 12 traction motors);
Two sections (an electric locomotive and diesel locomotive, without motor section) – able to work under overhead wires or autonomously (power from both modes with rheostatic braking by 8 traction motors);
One electric locomotive section (electric locomotive, without motor section or diesel locomotive) – work with the train in electric mode (4 traction motors);
One diesel section (diesel locomotive, without a motor section or electric locomotive) – powered by a diesel generator (4 traction motors, but no resistive braking provided).
Following the collapse of the USSR production of the ОПЭ1 locomotive slowed, with a total of 417 electric/diesel locomotive combinations, 52 motor dump cars, and 32 traction power boosters manufactured by the time production ended in 2002.
The ОПЭ1 design concept was also applied to the ОПЭ2 electric locomotives developed in the 1970s – each features a ‘control’ electric locomotive coupled to two ‘motor dump cars’ to provide extra tractive power.
While American railroads call such locomotives slugs:
A railroad slug is an accessory to a diesel-electric locomotive. It has trucks with traction motors but, unlike a B unit, it cannot generate power on its own since it lacks a prime mover. Instead, the slug is connected to a powered locomotive, called the mother, which provides the needed electrical power to operate the traction motors, and the motor controls.
Which look much the same as the USSR examples already seen.
For many railfans their interest in railways ends at the border of their own country, with little interest in the trains found elsewhere in the world. But it seems that German railfans are an exception to this, being happy to follow trains wherever they run.
I first noticed this when I was looking up the Richards Bay Coal Line in South Africa, and the only Wikipedia page on the subject was in German – nothing in English, and nothing in Afrikaans.
But why? Science and technology form a large part of German culture, which presumably combined with a open worldview means a German railfan is more likely to take an interest in the railways elsewhere in the world.
There is a German company called Tanago that runs guided railway photography tours to offbeat locations all over the world.
On the outskirts of Moscow is VDNKh – originally built by an exhibition centre to show off the achievements of the Soviet Union, by the time I visited in 2013 it was a bizarre mix of fairground meets flea market, set amongst a collection of Soviet architecture.
Established in 1935 as the All-Union Agricultural Exhibition (VSKhV) (Russian: Всесоюзная Сельско-Хозяйственная Выставка; Vsesoyuznaya Selsko-Khozyaystvennaya Vystavka), each pavilion showcased the achievements of a geographical region of the Soviet Union.
The park was further expanded in 1948 when the Soviet Council of Ministers issued a decree ordering a unification of VSKhV with the All-Union Industry Exhibition, which formed today’s Выставка достижений народного хозяйства (ВДНХ) (Vystavka Dostizheniy Narodnogo Khozyaystva (VDNKh)) – literally the “Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy”.
By 1989 the exhibition had expanded to an exhibition area of 700,000 square metres across 82 pavilions, many dedicated to a particular industry or field, but following the collapse of the Soviet Union the exhibitions were closed, replaced by a variety of tenants.
The administration of the park and the Moscow City Government have so far displayed a marked tendency to restore the Exhibition to its condition in 1954, favouring Stalinism over Modernism. In 2014, the facades of two modernist facades were hastily taken down, in defiance of the law.
The tram in Ploiești was opened in 1987 and originally consisted of six routes. 1998 saw route 105 close, and by 2003 only lines 101 and 102 were still in operation.
The initial fleet was Timiș 2 trams made by Electrometal Timișoara and V3A trams by ITB București Main Workshops. However by the late 1990s and early 2000s, they were replaced by Tatra KT4D trams from the town of Potsdam, Germany.
Modernisation works were started around 2014 and in 2016 the tram system was reopened, with modernised and up to date infrastructure.
Thanks to an internal program set up at TCE Ploieşti, operator of the Ploieşti Tramways, ten trams out of a total of 24, will be repaired and repainted into the colours of Ploieşti’s coat of arms (white, blue, red) and yellow, the colours of public transport common.
The coat of arms of Ploiești consist of a blue shield, loaded with two golden lions, with a red tongue, which sustain a silver, uprooted oak tree. Everything is put on a red scarf with the inscription of M.V.V. (Mihai Viteazul-Voievod)
I can see the resemblance, but no way did Ploieşti come up with the livery on their own!
One thing you won’t see in Adelaide is snow – here is KT4D #075 headed through a Romanian winter.
A few months ago I came across a photo on Twitter showing a barbecue along tram tracks, with a hotplate full of sausages sizzling away on top. So where was the photo taken, and what was the story behind it?
With the location and date, I was also able to find this news article by the France 3 Provence-Alpes network.
Railway workers demonstrated in the center of Nice on Monday “without train”
Laurent Verdi with AFP
Posted on 14/05/2018 at 15:15
Around 800 people, employees of SNCF and workers from other sectors demonstrated Monday in Nice against the reform of the SNCF. The demonstrators blocked a time the entrance of the town hall of the city.
Nearly 90% of the staff of the SNCF are on strike Monday in Nice according to the unions. Management also recognizes a particularly difficult day.
In Nice, a general meeting of the staff of the SNCF took place Monday morning at the initiative of the inter-union near the central station. About 400 people were present to discuss the social movement.
At the end of the general assembly, a procession of 800 people , according to the unions, marched in Nice to demonstrate against the reform of the SNCF. This procession was made up of SNCF staff and other sectors as well as political activists.
The protesters left the central station, went up Avenue Jean Médecin, to finish in front of the town hall of Nice as shown in this report by Nathalie Morin and Yannick Fournigault.
The network also posted footage of the protest.
In which I found the same tramway mounted barbecue that started my search.
The tradition to touch the statue of a bronze border dog at Ploshchad Revolutsii station arose long ago, but at first it was just a student problem. One can understand: the students in the majority of their people are dark and disorderly, they remember about the exam three days before its end, when all that remains is to hope for only a miracle. And who else can pray for the miracle of the Soviet Komsomol https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Komsomol – not the saints of the saints. So let the mystical patron of a lost Komsomol become a bronze animal, whose polished snout mysteriously flickers in the twilight of Moscow dungeons. In general, at first it was rather funny.
While also detailing the damage this ‘tradition’ has caused to the sculptures.
In the past ten years, the pilgrimage to the underground shrine suddenly became a nationwide action. Check for yourself: out of ten metro passengers passing along the platform, at least three will certainly attach to idols, and if someone does it in passing and in jest, then many are genuinely religiously zealous. At peak hours, the frequency of wiping each dog’s nose reaches 20-30 approaches per minute, and a queue forms.
Once the dog’s noses just glistened, and now they have completely lost the surface relief and are already beginning to lose shape. Pay attention to how finely and conscientiously the texture of these statues is worked out – the roughness of the soldiers’ overcoats, the furry dogs and everything else. The dog muzzles first lost their hair, then their noses – only holes remained, in a few more years they would not be there either. Roosters are rapidly losing feathers.
As Ploshchad Revolyutsii station there are 76 bronze figures depicting Soviet people, located on the pedestals in the corners of each archway. There are 20 different designs: 18 of them are repeated four times, and two – twice.
The sculptures were made at Монументскульптура (Monumentskulptura) in Leningrad under the guidance of prominent sculptor M. G. Manizer, with the team of sculptors including A.I. Denisov, A.A. Divin , A.A. Vetutnev, I. P. Ivanov, E. G. Falco, M. A. Vladimirskaya, V. A. Puzyrevsky.
And the scenes pictured:
The sculptures are arranged in chronological order from the events of October 1917 to December 1937:
For example, the approach to any serious bridge is enclosed by a zone of alienation with barbed wire, signs and armed guards.
We photograph the railway bridge, for example. The ВОХРовец is approaching us and politely is interested, but on what basis are you taking these photos?
ВОХРовец, according to the statute of the guard service they do not have rights to leave the facility, those because of the territory he should not leave. But to call the police – easily. And if on the fence, there are inscriptions about the prohibition of filming, then they will be right.
Specialised state departmental armed units responsible for protecting buildings, structures, vehicles, and cargo from unlawful attacks. They have the right to use military and service firearms, in addition to service dogs, handcuffs, rubber batons, and spike strips used to stop vehicles. Officials of state departmental protection (established by federal state bodies) have the right to draw up protocols on administrative offences, carry out personal searches, inspect items belonging to individuals, inspect vehicles and other procedural actions established by the Code of Administrative Offences of the Russian Federation.
The Federal State Enterprise “Departmental Protection of the Federal Agency for Railway Transport” carries out its activities on the basis of the Resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation of June 27, 2009, No. 540 “On Approval of the Regulation on Departmental Protection of the Federal Agency for Railway Transport.”
The Federal State Enterprise “Departmental Protection of Railway Transport of the Russian Federation” for nearly 90 years has ensured the safety of the cargo being transported, the protection of objects and the fire safety of railway transport in the interests of the state, citizens and the company “RZhD” all along the steel highways from Kaliningrad to Sakhalin.
Today the departmental protection of the railway transport has 68,000 employees, with over 2400 objects of railway infrastructure protected, including more than 1900 most important ones.
More than 400 fire inspectors carry out fire prevention at stationary facilities and rolling stock. In constant readiness for action are 307 fire trains, including 67 specialised, with increased tactical capabilities to eliminate emergencies with dangerous goods.
They also show off their work protecting major bridges.
The fact that the railway bridges are so heavily guarded is understandable, no one doubts this is necessary. But I’ve always wondered: why are automobile bridges not so zealously protected?
In the event of an accident on the rail such as bridge collapse, the consequences will be much more significant compared to a road bridge. Any car will have time to stop seeing ahead of the obstacle. In addition road bridges are much more numerous than rail bridge, therefore it is impossible to protect all the bridges (where to find so many guards).
It is easier for road vehicles to find a detour, or engineering troops can erect a temporary pontoon bridge. Blowing up a railway bridge means complete paralysis of the route until the bridge is completely restored.
I understand that we are talking about “big” unique bridges. Standard railway bridge across the small river should be restored in a very short space from pre-prepared sets. Actually, that’s why they are not protected.
Following the October Revolution railway facilities of strategic importance were under the protection of the military department; protection of “external order, deanery and public security” was carried out by parts of the railway guard and the police. Cargoes, property and ways were under the care of watchmen, who were in full subordination to those whose good they had protected.
In order to strengthen the leadership, in March 1918 a special decree was adopted “On the centralisation of management, the protection of railways and the increase of their efficiency”. By the decree of the government of July 17 of the same year, under the People’s Commissariat of Railways (NKPS), the Office of Protection was established.
The squad on the ground included transport experts. They fought decisively against stowaways and those who tried to transport goods without payment, in addition to monitoring the efficiency of rolling stock use. It was envisaged to increase the number of protection staff to 70 thousand people.
The authorities could not tolerate chaos and theft on the railways. Looters cut the telegraph wires. Profiteers swarmed trains, like locusts. Hidden were robbers, bandits and other criminal element.
The NKPS was forced to take extreme measures. At the stations, warehouses, warehouses temporarily formed non-military protection. As for bridges and other structures not guarded by troops, as well as railway tracks, they went under the tutelage of local authorities, which formed out of brigade workers.
Some few propaganda videos
A video from the Voronezh branch to mark 95 years of railway guards, who protect the South Eastern Railway.
And from the Samara branch, who protect the railway bridge over the Volga River on the Kuybyshev Railway.
In accordance with clause 2.1.1, the boundaries of the restricted area are protected by a barbed wire fence (tape or net) in 12 threads 2 m high. In the terrain, they are designated by warning signs 2 m high above the ground surface, installed along the fence line from the inside through every 50 meters in the enclosure of the restricted area can be arranged gates and wickets. In accordance with clause 2.2.3, on the watch posts, guided (rotary) floodlights of the PFS type (without lenses) or other narrow-beam floodlights are designed to increase the equipping of the terrain outside the restricted area. In accordance with paragraph 4.1, posts for the protection of artificial structures.
While the «По организации работы караулов ФГП ВО ЖДТ РФ» (Procedure for organising the activities of Departmental Security Service of Railway Transport of the Russian Federation) dated 21 September 2010 specifies the other security features required.
According to clause 2.4.1 of the manual a protection system is created to provide protection for the protected object, which includes: guard, posts, orders, locations and routes, surveillance sectors, engineering and technical means of protection, posts of service dogs, means and other forces. Equipment posts should provide the guard: a sufficient overview of all sections of the post and the surrounding area; sufficient illumination of the approaches to the object, its most important points; absence of lighting (blinding) by lighting systems of security equipment and guards; the possibility of centralised management of the entire lighting system or a group of fixtures, and in necessary cases, separate lamps (projectors).
Equipment of restricted areas includes: their fencing, checkpoint, warning signs, indicative and delimiting signs, a security lighting system, technical security equipment, postal communication and signalling, guard posts, defensive structures. Depending on the nature of the object and the conditions of its location, the fence is built around the perimeter of the site and the boundaries of the restricted areas. When erecting a fence, it must be taken into account that it must be rectilinear, without unnecessary bends limiting observation, not less than one and a half meters in height. To it should not adjoin any structures. In the darkness of the day, the approaches to the post and the protected object should be illuminated so that the sentry, being on the post or moving along the site of the post, was in the shade. In accordance with the established procedure, security lighting should provide illumination at the borders.
Recently I came across a viral photo on Facebook that showed a railway track dropping over the edge of a cliff, then continuing on below. So where was the photo taken, and why is the track layout so ridiculous?