There has always been something singularly romantic about train travel, what with its steady speed and constant sound. Mexican artists Ivan Puig and Andrés Padilla Domene felt the pull of the rails, but since Mexico privatized its railways in 1995, passenger travel has essentially disappeared. They didn't let that discourage them, though. Instead, they pushed ahead to create their own way to explore the country's roughly 6,000 miles of abandoned tracks.
Hiriko's "folding" electric vehicle has been in the works for about two years but the momentum is picking up. The company has reached an agreement with the operator of the German railway network to start testing the vehicles within a car-sharing network in Berlin starting early next year.
Canadian-based train manufacturer Bombardier announced two contracts to supply hybrid locomotives in North-America. According to Bombardier, these two will be the first deliveries of such technology, which uses diesel and/or electricity to power the locomotives. The contracts were signed with the New Jersey Transit Corporation (26 units) and Montréal's Agence Metropolitaine de Transport (20 units). The locomotives are to be built in Bombardier's manufacturing facilities in Germany and Pol
John R. Stilgoe, Robert and Lois Orchard Professor in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Harvard Graduate School of Design, predicts that trains will once again play a key role in shaping American life. Based on an analysis of real estate investment patterns along railroad corridors, Stilgoe predicts that trains will make an important comeback, and not only for long distances but also back for freight, mail and express packages.
Just days after we wrote about the problem of trying to introduce cleaner locomotives into existing railway's fleets, Union Pacific Railroad has unveiled the first of 60 new environmentally friendly, ultra-low emission diesel locomotives for use in the Los Angeles region.
Railway operator BNSF Railway Co. is considering building a new railway hub at the Southern California Logistics Airport, which is projected to remove hundreds of trucks off the road thanks to rail's massive freight capabilities. The rail hub would process approximately 50,000 freights cars in the first year. Whether air quality will increase or not in the High Desert with the opening though has turned out to be a topic of hot debate.
Last week, Japan's Railway Research Technical Institute (RTRI) officially announced that they completed successful running tests of what they say is the world's first fuel cell-powered train.