Riding on a sleeper train for several thousand miles seems a bit silly sometimes when you can just hop a plane for a couple of hours and get to the same destination in a fraction of the time, especially when it's often cheaper to fly anyway. Amtrak, however, is attempting to counter that image by promoting its train service as the landlubber's equivalent of a luxury cruise--a booze cruise, that is. According to an Associated Press article, the passenger rail service is trying to "gin up new business" (Ha, ha! You slay me, AP!) by offering … Read more
Battle stations! The U.S. Navy has upped the stakes in the battle of the training simulators with the commissioning of its 550-foot USS Trayer Battle Stations 21.
The Trayer, dry-docked at a mock pier in the $82.5 million USS Iowa training complex in Great Lakes, Ill., simulates an Arleigh-Burke-class destroyer and some of the adventure and hard work that goes with sailing the Seven Seas.
BTS 21 is part of a 10-year, $763 million "recapitalization" of training facilities that will set new standards in simulation technology by using video screens, smells, vibrations and sound effects to … Read more
Japan's train industry may have made headlines in recent months for its hybrid fuel experiments, but its true historical claim has been the high-speed performance that made its "bullet trains" famous decades ago with speeds up to 186 mph.
The country is continuing that tradition today with the "N700 Series Shinkansen" line. A prototype of the train, which was just unveiled publicly, runs at about the same speeds as its predecessors but has one major difference: It tilts. The one-degree difference allows a 16-car train to maintain speeds of 167 mph even as it makes … Read more
The Japanese are giving an entirely new meaning to the term "hybrid vehicle" with a combination train-bus.
Interestingly, the Hokkaido Railway Company has dubbed it the "DMV" for "dual-mode vehicle." (We hope that the abbreviation won't be as despised as the other DMV that we know all too well.)
The 28-passenger train-bus "looks like a minibus and runs both on conventional railway tracks and paved roads was tested on the Gakunan railway in Fuji city (Shizuoka prefecture) on the night of November 24," according to Tokyo-based Pink Tentacle. "The vehicle … Read more
We've seen hybrid cars, motorcycles and even planes. But hybrid trains?
Pink Tentacle, our favorite Japanese blog, reports that East Japan Railway Company just completed a dry run of the world's first fuel cell hybrid train. "With two 65-kilowatt fuel cells and six hydrogen tanks under the floor and a secondary battery on the roof, the clean train emits only water and runs without receiving juice from power lines," PT says.
Thirty passengers were aboard for ride, which supposedly will be just as comfortable as that of a standard train. Unless, of course, its riders must … Read more