Tours tram wireless operation

Videos of Alstom Citadis 402 trams in the French city of Tours switching from 750 V DC overhead to APS ground-level power supply, outside the main station. APS catenary-free operation is used on a 1ยท8 km section of the line through the pedestrianised city centre.

Design agency RCP developed the ‘architecture in motion’ theme for the trams, which features a mirrored adhesive film intended to reflect the urban surroundings and resemble the River Loire.

The tram ends feature two vertical strips of LEDs aligned with the rails, which glow white at the front and red at the back.

West Croydon ticket machine offers unexpected option

I was rather surprised to find a ticket machine at London Overground’s West Croydon station offering me the option of a ticket valid for travel “By West Anglia Great Northern only” when I was buying ticket to Brighton on 23 February 2014.

Problems:

  1. WAGN ceased to exist at the end of March 2006.
  2. When it did exist, it didn’t go anywhere near Croydon* or Brighton.

As the GN part of WAGN was merged with Thameslink to create the franchise which is currently held by First Capital Connect, I suspect a database somewhere has got confused and output WAGN when it really means FCC.

I would get out more, if I could find the right ticket.

(as to why I was trying to do this: Croydon to Brighton tickets routed FCC only are cheaper than any permitted tickets. And there are usually shorted queues for the ticket machines at West Croydon than at East Croydon.)

* The Croydon in Cambridgeshire doesn’t have a station.

Trains in Ontario

In January 2001 I went to London, Ontario (where the Class 66 locomotives are built), and also had chance to take a train ride to Windsor and visit a freight yard in Toronto. These pictures some pretty grotty old scans, first uploaded back when downloading an image over dial-up could involve a long wait.

I went back to Canada in June 2004, this time touring the country by train.


Looking across from Windsor in Canada to Detroit in rebel-controlled North America.

[Preserved steam locomotive]
CN class K-3-b steam locomotive number 5588, formerly Grand Trunk Railway class P6 number 213. This pacific was built in 1911, and is now ‘stuffed and mounted’ in Riverside Drive, Windsor. It carries the name Spirit of Windsor. If you ever visit Windsor, it may be useful to know that the station is a long way from the city centre – I didn’t! It was about -7°C when I took this – maybe nothing special to the locals, but jolly cold for me.

[7260 in Windsor]
GY-418e number 7260 alongside the river in Windsor, with Detroit in the background. Originally build by General Motors in 1956 this locomotive was remanufactured at Pointe St-Charles main shops in Montreal in 1990. It is approved for operation in the USA, and is equipped for remote control operation.

Behind the locomotive is GP9 slug 253. This was converted from a cut-down General Motors GP9 in 1990. It has no engine, instead taking power for its traction motors from the locomotive.

[6424 at Windsor]
I caught the 09:55 departure from London to Windsor on 9 January. This set off from London about half an hour late, and was about an hour late into Windsor. A freight train in front of us was apparently having problems.

There is quite a difference in height between the loco and the three carriages.

[6424 at Windsor]
Another view of the locomotive about to run round. 6424 is a 3000 hp B-B built by General Motors in 1987, and is one of ten examples of the GPA-30b class. There were three orders for these GPA-30 passenger locos between 1986 and 1989, totalling 59 locos

[6426 at London]
Compared to the UK, Canadian trains are big. 6426 departs London for Toronto at 15:48 on 8 January 2001

[Amtrack train]
An Amtrak train bound for Chicago leaves London, 10am Tuesday 9 January 2001. The picture doesn’t really capture the size of the thing. The station doesn’t have raised platforms like the UK, just a tarmaced area next to the line, so the train really towers above passengers. There is a second platform, but that was under deep snow. The loco, number 519, is a GE B32-8WH of 1991.

[Disused station in London]
A disused passenger station on the CP line in London. Freight still comes through here. 8 January 2001

[Switcher 12]
This GP9 is one of three switchers (shunters) belonging to a private contractor that are used at the Canadian Pacific Railway’s Vaughan Intermodal Terminal near Toronto. Vaughan is the largest container freight yard in Canada, and sees trains up to 10 000 feet long! Seen here on 10 January 2001

[Switcher 1254]
GMD type SW1200RS B-B switcher of 1956. Formerly a CN loco, it now belongs to a contractor, and is also used at Vaughan. 10 January 2001.

[Switcher 7703]
GMD type SW9 of 1952, formerly belonging to Century Locomotive Parts, and previously a CN loco, but now belonging to a contractor and working at Vaughan yard. 10 January 2001.

[Loco 6046]
EMD SD40 or SD40-2(?) 6046 of 1952 at MacMillan Locomotive Reliability Centre, near Toronto.

[Loco 7276]
EM GY-418f 7276 at MacMillan Locomotive Reliability Centre, near Toronto. Originally build by General Motors this B-B locomotive was remanufactured by AMF Technotransport in 1993. 258

GP9 slug 258 was converted from a cut-down General Motors GP9 no 4411 (ex-1735) in 1990. It has no engine, and takes the power for its traction motors from the locomotive. It is equipped for remote control operation, and approved for use in the USA.

I found the details of the vehicles in the book Canadian Trackside Guide 1996, published by Bytown Railway Society Inc of Ottawa.