A builder’s plate indicates who built a particular piece of machinery, as well as the the model number, serial number, and date of manufacture. Here are some examples from the rolling stock of the railways of Russia and Ukraine.
Railklipper was the first sailing train in Europe that was included on a rail timetable. The vessel made it’s debut on the Amstel River at the Carré Theatre on 3 August 2005 under the name ‘SailTrain’. With a ‘home port’ was Utrecht Centraal, the vessel made a number of test runs through the Netherlands, where Volendam, Haarlem, Rotterdam , Dordrecht and Utrecht were visited.
From 17 to 21 August, Railklipper took part in the ‘Sail Amsterdam’ event, providing a passenger service between Amsterdam Central Station and the temporary ‘station’ Amsterdam-Javakade in the Eastern Docklands where the event took place. From 2 to 4 September, the Rail Clipper was present at the ‘World Port Days’ event in Rotterdam.
The train itself was a Nederlandse Spoorwegen ‘V-IRM’ (Verlengd InterRegio Materieel) carriage, specially modified for use on the water. Again, from Dutch-language Wikipedia.
The Railkipper consisted of a head coach of V-IRM train set 9518 that was placed on the former ferry “Burgemeester van Lier”.
The vessel was approximately 32 meters long and 6.5 meters wide, and had a draft of 1.1 meters, with a total weight was 180 tons, and a top speed of 6 knots. The head coach had 60 seats. The Rail Clipper was controlled from the extra cab that was attached to the rear of the train, and adapted with a maritime steering system. A pantograph was installed on the roof for decoration.
The train was developed by employees of NS, in collaboration with the Maritime Technology department of the Technical University of Delft, technicians from hoist and transport company Mammoet, stand builder Exhibits International , and MAPS Originals.
On September 13, 2005 the head carriage was removed from the ferry to be able to form another train set (8656) with other V-IRM coaches. The text ‘Rail clipper’ still appears to be on the carriage.
The extra head from which the Rail Clipper was operated for on the water has also been preserved and is stored in the former car workshop in Amersfoort . This is regularly exhibited at the NS on an open day under the motto of Milieubesparing bij de NS (‘Saving the environment at the NS’). This head has been completely dismantled from the inside of the entire control unit, but the extra windows that were needed due to the maritime traffic laws are still in place.
Across Europe a common theme at major railway stations is dead end platform tracks ending at buffer stops, with the main passenger concourse behind. But there was one thing I didn’t realise – sometimes the buffer stops are designed to give way if a train crashes through them.
As the federal police announced, the 51-year-old engine driver sprained his arm. The 220 travellers were initially unharmed. The accident occurred at 8.39 on track 15 of Munich Hauptbahnhof. “Of course, people are already frightened,” said police spokesman Berti Habelt. The train pushed the bumper about four meters into the ticket hall, with five floor slabs being moved along the platform. “It has rattled properly,” said Habelt. However, there could be no question of panic among the passengers, especially since the braking train was not very fast.
Since Wednesday, there is a yellow “No stay here!” sign on all railings at Munich’s main station at the end of the 16 platforms.
The Deutsche Bahn (DB) tightened the security arrangements – a reaction to the ICE accident on Friday a week ago. “We want to point out on the tracks in the main hall that people should move on quickly,” said Franz Lindemair, spokesman for DB Bayern. The space at the railings, which are immediately behind the buffer blocks, invites many train drivers to linger or even to sit down.
A dangerous undertaking, as it turned out on Friday eight days ago: There was an ICE from Lichtenfels could not slow down in time, crashed into the buffer and tore five floor plates from the anchorage. The 185 meter long train (5400 hp) came only four meters behind the actual breakpoint to a halt.
And that is precisely why the train is now reacting and intending to secure this area in the future. Lindemair does not even think about what could have happened if someone had been there. Then the accident would certainly not have gone so well. All 220 passengers remained unhurt, only a DB-Zugbegleiter sprained his wrist. According to DB, the cause is still unclear: technical or human error? The investigations of the Federal Police are still ongoing. The amount of damage is still open. But it should be in any case in the six-digit range.
Back to the station hall: The signs alone should not be enough. “We will also paint yellow hatchings on the floor tiles next week,” Lindemair announced. The safety zone will amount to five meters and the approximately 400,000 people at the main station will point this out every day: on the way to or from the train, this area will pass quickly. Or even better: it’s best to go straight for it!
The spare track with the folding part after the bumper is covered and pedestrian area. Some years ago (I think after a train hit the bumper) they marked half of it yellow (as you can see) and added a sign "No waiting in this area". pic.twitter.com/wj29tuQJxV
As well as ‘conventional’ fire-fighting trains used to put out the flames anywhere conventional fire trucks can’t reach, the Russian Railways have also started rolling out a fleet of ‘robotic’ trains that can be used to fight fires in railway tunnels, and other places where fire fighters can’t go.
The first train was ordered in 2010, intended for use on the mountainous Adler to Alpika-Service railway, the main passenger artery for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. Between 2011 and 2015 a total of 84 new fire trains were manufactured, with a further 25 new fire trains to be manufactured in 2016.
The LUF 60 clears the path for advancement up to a distance of 300 m by incorporating a high capacity positive pressure ventilator and a “water beam” fog. This combination clears away smoke, heat, toxic gases and reduces the intensity of the fire, allowing fire fighters and rescue teams to follow safely. Using state of the art control elements ensure easy handling and high precision operation.
As a high performance machine, it is highly flexible and easy to handle. The very short time it takes for the LUF 60™ to control a tunnel fire reflects in the minimal damage to the tunnel structure itself and its associated infrastructure. The diesel powered LUF 60™ is a rugged machine that can withstand the rigors of severe operating conditions and confines spaces.
The radio-controlled unit has additional back-up manual controls in the event of a power supply failure. High mobility as well as flexibility is guaranteed by a crawler track system, which enable it to go up and down stairways as steep as 30° and is easy capable of “bulldozing” a normal family car out of the way.
This video provides an overview of how the train works.
While some more photos of the new train can be found on the website of the ‘The Departmental Security Service of Railroad Transport of the Russian Federation’ for the North Caucasian Railway:
Track-layer trains consists of a locomotive, a laying crane, flat wagons equipped with rollers for moving packages of rail-sleeper track panels, and one or more trolleys for transporting track panels along the train.
The laying crane is a self-propelled machine with a horizontal cantilever boom, under which a track panel is placed on the trolley. On the boom hoisting and traction winches are installed.
With the help of the traction winch, trolleys traverse the train and pick up the top track panel, lifted by the hoisting winch. Then the panel is carried out on the trolley along the boom forward and is laid onto the pre-prepared ballast. After docking this panel with the previously panel, the laying crane and wagons run over the newly laid panel and and loads a new panel.
Tracklayers can also used as to dismantle a railway, picking up each track panel, loading it onto the train, moving backwards, and repeating the process.
Track panels come in lengths of 25 or 12.5 meters, with the machine working at up to 1.2 km/h, with each panel taking 1-2 minutes to lay. The load capacity of the cranes is up to 21 tons.
Or you can watch this video of a model КЖУ-571 tracklayer at work.
Here a model УК-25 tracklayer is at work building a new railway.
While this pair of track layers is renewing an existing railway – one machine removing the old track panels, while the second one lays new ones.
It is hard for me to believe, but 2018 marks five years since I started this blog.
Conceived after my returning from my month long trip to Europe as a way to make share the 19,856 photos of trains, trams and trolleybuses I took along the way, it has since branched out an exploration of what makes the railways of Europe tick.
After a slow start, in the five years since I’ve published a total of 113 posts, a figure that grows every second Thursday when I publish a new post.
Thanks to every reader, and the 172 email subscribers so far, and here’s to five more years!
Monorails are a mode of rail transport that is yet to break into the mainstream, despite decades of research and development on a wide variety of track standards. Most monorail trains are suspended from a track, or run on top of it, but in the 1930s Ukrainian engineer Nikolai Yarmolchukom came up with something complety different – the Шаропоїзд.
Шаропоїзд was a monorail train design created by an engineer Nikolai Yarmolchukom in 1932- 1934. The train moved on ball-shaped wheels with built-in electric motors, which were located in semicircular timber troughs. A 1/5th scale model of the train was built to test the concept, and travelled at speeds of up to 70 km/h. It was assumed that the full-scale design would reach speeds of up to 300 km/h, running on concrete tracks.
The track and wheel design can be seen in this cutaway drawing.
In October 1933 Russian magazine Ogoniok ran a piece on this unusual monorail train (via Russian Wikipedia):
The train on the ball
(October 20, 1933)
As early as 1924 inventor N. G. Yarmolchuk planned to use the ball principle of motion on transport. Vaguely it seemed to him – it would be a ball, a hollow ball, inside which mechanisms, the necessary devices, people. At first, thus, the ball transport was a completely utopian venture. Five years passed. The former engineer was already a student, he studied at the Bauman Moscow State Technical University , and then at the Moscow Power Engineering Institute, and by 1929 the idea of ball-electro-tray transport had matured completely.
The cylindrical car has two points of support in two balls located under the car in front and behind. Developing an enormous speed – up to 250-300 kilometres per hour – the cars are not afraid in the way of abrupt changes in the profile: like a “roly-poly toy“, Forcibly dumped, immediately assumes the usual position, only the external force is eliminated.
After the report of the inventor to the Council of Labor and Defence, a special bureau with a staff of specialists was created. Provided extensive, specially fenced field for experimental work and a million rouble budget.
89 people – engineers, technicians, masters, carpenters, locksmiths – built a wooden pilot track with a length of 3 kilometers, models of cars, and a small electrical substation. And now, in 1933, Yarmolchuk’s idea was tested and confirmed practically.
You can climb into a small model tin car. Lying down you fit in it. For convenience, a soft mattress is placed inside the toy car. You race not in a straight line, but in a circle. The car slightly rolls and straightens again: counteracting the centrifugal element.
If the toy tin cans rush along the simplest wooden track at a speed of 70 kilometre per hour, then the real operational train will actually perform a 300 kilometre per hour speed.
The idea of the invention has already been tested on an experimental laboratory track. The Council of People’s Commissars obliged the People’s Commissariat of Railways to build a 20-25 kilometres long experimental operational railway using Yarmolchuk’s design.
As did US magazine Popular Science in February 1934.
Fragmentary and conflicting reports from Russia of a revolutionary new type of railway under secret test there, which aroused the curiosity and interest of the American engineering world, have just been followed by the first complete details of the new system, and actual photographs of a working model in operation.
Fully as remarkable as advance reports, the system proposed by M. I. Yarmanchuk, its inventor, calls for streamlined trains running at 125 miles an hour on giant, flattened spheres, twelve feet in diameter, instead of wheels. Each car is supported by two of these spheres, one at each end, and they are whirled by electric motors contained within their shells and mounted on the rigid axles. Since the centre of gravity of the car lies below the axle, the car is not top heavy and will not easily overturn. A single curved trough of reinforced concrete serves as a track, entitling the strange system to be classed as a monorail.
According to the inventor, this track should cost no more than a standard automobile highway to build. To test his scheme, the inventor has built and operated successfully near Moscow, a model railway with twenty-four-foot cars on a mile-long track. Plans are now under way to construct a thirty-mile railway on the same system, with 120-foot cars.
But the train was not to be – again from Ukrainian Wikipedia:
In August 1933 the Council of People’s Commissars approved a resolution “On the construction of a pilot Yarmolchuk rail system in the direction of Moscow-Noginsk“. However, the same problems faced by other monorail (high of cost and complex switching tracks) as well as problems with snow blocking the trough in winter led to the project being abandoned.
More 1930s footage of the test train can be found here:
On motor vehicles (except trams and trolley-buses) and trailers, registration plates of the appropriate model must be installed in the places provided for this purpose, and in cars and buses.
In addition, a receipt for the state technical inspection is placed in the lower right corner of the windscreen.
The numbers and letters of the registration plates must be repeated on the back of the bodies of trucks, trailers (except for trailers for cars and motorcycles) and buses (except for very small ones). The height of the digits is not less than 300 mm, the width is not less than 120 mm, the thickness of the stroke is 30 mm, the size of the letters is 2/3 of the size of the digits.
The trams and trolley-buses are marked with registration numbers assigned by the relevant departments.