Tag Archives: trains

New trains costing $2 billion too wide to fit in tunnels

The Australian government in action! An order of new trains for New South Wales in Australia, costing $2 billion, have been built 20 centimeters too wide to fit in the existing tunnels.

Their solution? A very typical government one:

But Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW), the Government body that manages the state’s rail system, has come up with a cunning plan. It has proposed simply relaxing current safety standards. In addition, 10 tunnels built in the 1900s will be partially modified to allow the new trains to run. [emphasis mine]

Reading the whole article is like entering the world of Bizarro. Here is how the government explains their plan: “This option would allow the New Intercity Fleet to operate on both lines and pass each other, and therefore ensure better longer term operational outcomes, while also minimising heritage impacts through reduced tunnel lining modifications.”

They make no mention of the collisions that might occur.


No 6207 A Study in Steel

An evening pause: A fascinating and well-filmed documentary from 1935 describing how a British company then built locomotives. Note the lack of construction helmets, gloves, or safety glasses. Note also the number of workers involved. Today most of this work is automated, making it more precise and efficient. Then, however, they did not yet have such technology, and instead found ways to build very sophisticated machines using the skills of ordinary humans.

Hat tip Edward Thelen.