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Ephphatha
Dec 18, 2009






Because our train/plane/automobile has to be better than the rest of the crapperfectly suitable alternatives already available.

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Boiled Water
Apr 5, 2006

YOU ARE A BRAIN
IN A BUNKER


Mr. Flunchy posted:

I know it's a pretty stupid question - but why the hell is it apparently so difficult to build a sensible, reliable train?



It doesn't have to be. The Danish IC3 series has been in service for 15 years and going strong. Made by Bombardier Transportation in the late 80's and introduced in 1991 and still going strong. Together with the S-trains they form the backbone of Danish rail transportation. The best bit though is that they are made for comfort as seen in the interior:

Zeether
Aug 26, 2011



My favorite failed tech is the Pioneer LaserActive:



Some genius at Pioneer decided that LaserDisc based arcade games needed a home console, and came up with this. See those two disk drive looking things on top? Those are the modules you need to play the games. You need BOTH of them, because some games only work with one type of module. Also, they're from Sega and NEC respectively and you can play Megadrive/Genesis and Turbografx-16/PC Engine games on them (and I think you could also hook up a Sega CD or Turbografx-CD too). The system failed miserably because it cost a fortune to own one PLUS you needed the modules for its games, which ranged from arcade titles like Road Blaster to rail shooters like Vajra and Pyramid Patrol with fancy backgrounds generated by the LaserDisc player. Oh, and in Japan it had some porn stuff released on it.


Pictured above: Rocket Coaster

It also had 3D glasses that worked with some games, plus they used the same tech as the Sega Master System goggles and were interchangeable with them as a result (which if you're fortunate enough to own one of these beasts is probably a good thing because the 3D glasses for LaserActive are probably expensive as all hell).

There was also the 3DO, which was an attempt at a multimedia game console in 1993/1994 conceived by Electronic Arts' Trip Hawkins that fell flat on its rear end because it cost too much and the controllers on the first model were complete and utter poo poo due to requiring the screws on the back to be loosened in order to make diagonal movement work.



It did have some decent games like Super Wing Commander and a decent Super Street Fighter II Turbo port, but it also got some FMV junk like Sewer Shark, Night Trap and the abysmal Plumbers Don't Wear Ties which no one should ever be subjected to ever.

Zeether has a new favorite as of 15:07 on Jul 4, 2013

Shai-Hulud
Jul 10, 2008

But it feels so right!


Lipstick Apathy

Mr. Flunchy posted:

I know it's a pretty stupid question - but why the hell is it apparently so difficult to build a sensible, reliable train?

Well you are in the obsolete and failed technology thread. If you make a "Post awesome trains"-thread we could probably fill it up pretty quickly too. I think we already have one of those in AI though.

Light Gun Man
Oct 17, 2009

toEjaM iS oN
vaCatioN






Lipstick Apathy

I have one with the Sega PAC.

If you install the PAC, the LD drive is used to play the CD games for the console. You don't need any extra parts past that. It's actually one of the higher quality versions of the Genesis/Mega Drive to own. However, mine and many others develop problems over time, mostly from capacitors going bad, which lead to needing big repair jobs done on them.

Pretty great while they last though. I suppose I should also mention that the LD player is a one-sided one, so you have to flip the disc manually of course. The only game I have for it is Pyramid Patrol, which is basically a Space Harrier type game overlaid a movie of some 3D pyramid stuff. It's kind of neat, I suppose. Strange seeing a game made of real, decent FMV and Genesis level sprites though.

Axeman Jim
Nov 20, 2010

The Canadians replied that they would rather ride a moose.

Remember that in this thread we're just posting the disasters. Of course there were plenty of trains/aircraft/cars that were perfectly fine, even British ones occasionally, but they're less interesting to talk about or learn from.

With particular respect to British Rail and its successors, the big problem in the 1950's was that nobody in the UK had any experience in applying diesel traction to the railways. As there were no manufacturers with a track record, and desire to safeguard jobs prevented working with foreign (particularly American) companies who did, BR had to order pilot fleets from pretty much every manufacturer and cross their fingers. Some manufacturers, such as English Electric and Brush Traction (now Bombardier), coped well and their products formed the backbone of BR's fleet. Others didn't, and we've seen the results in this thread. At least most of the disasters we've seen here were prototypes, pilot classes or small fleets, with the exception of the class 17 which was ordered into squadron service without a prototype, with ruinous consequences.

Also, the wartime mentality of centralised, bureaucratic procurement was extended to peacetime, civilian purposes and was a very poor fit. The Labour government of 1945 founded the welfare state, but along with that came the nationalisation of most of the country's major industries, which were run into the ground by clueless bureaucrats and politicians who made terrible decisions. In both air and rail procurement, huge committees of idiots completely misjudged the future markets of both air and rail travel and ordered types that not only didn't work, but also weren't needed. As an example, the reason so many of BR's diesels were so pitifully underpowered stemmed from a belief that the railways would continue to provide local freight services when it was increasingly clear that door-to-door distribution was moving to the roads. BR ended up with a horde of low-powered diesels when it really needed fewer, more powerful locomotives. Likewise, with air travel, the Americans knew that the future of air travel was to cram people into tubes and blast them at their destinations as fast and as cheaply as possible, whereas the Brabazon committee decided, with reference to nobody and nothing, that stately luxury was the future of air travel, when it demonstrably wasn't.

DrBouvenstein
Feb 28, 2007

I think I'm a doctor, but that doesn't make me a doctor. This fancy avatar does.


ol qwerty bastard posted:

Buckminster Fuller's "Dymaxion Car" wasn't so pretty to look at either.

Admittedly the shape did make it more aerodynamic, and it could seat 11 or 12 people and got great gas mileage, but on the downside the reversed tricycle design and rear-wheel steering made it unstable and nearly impossible to control.



Holy poo poo, talk about coincidence. I read this post, and then watched a short "sneak peak" at this weeks' new episode of Venture Brothers:
http://video.adultswim.com/the-vent...ommas-boys.html

Zeether
Aug 26, 2011



Light Gun Man posted:

I have one with the Sega PAC.

If you install the PAC, the LD drive is used to play the CD games for the console. You don't need any extra parts past that. It's actually one of the higher quality versions of the Genesis/Mega Drive to own. However, mine and many others develop problems over time, mostly from capacitors going bad, which lead to needing big repair jobs done on them.

Pretty great while they last though. I suppose I should also mention that the LD player is a one-sided one, so you have to flip the disc manually of course. The only game I have for it is Pyramid Patrol, which is basically a Space Harrier type game overlaid a movie of some 3D pyramid stuff. It's kind of neat, I suppose. Strange seeing a game made of real, decent FMV and Genesis level sprites though.
Ah, I see. I've seen videos of Pyramid Patrol and it seems like a fun rail shooter, albeit pretty hard. Funny thing is it was ported to the 3DO under the title "Pyramid Intruder" except instead of using the 2D sprites and the first person view it went for a third person view with a 3D model of the ship, kind of like the game Microcosm.

I also just remembered the Nuon:



(Don't ask about the N64 controller)

Hey kids, do you like DVDs and video games? How about having a DVD player that ALSO plays video games? Ambitious idea, yet it completely bombed and only 8 games ever came out for it, including Jeff Minter's Tempest 3000 which was more psychedelic than 2000 and probably the only worthwhile game on the system.

Sunshine89
Nov 22, 2009


Ephphatha posted:

Because our train/plane/automobile has to be better than the rest of the crapperfectly suitable alternatives already available.

On this track, I'll say that there's a 10-tier hierarchy of innovation:

Paradigm Shift* > Major Breakthrough > Incremental Improvement > The Same Thing a Different Way > Good Concept, Sloppy Execution > A Solution in Search of a Problem > Fundamentally Flawed > Doomed from the Start > Just Plain Crazy/Awful > Scam


*the discovery of electricity, powered flight, the germ theory of disease, etc.

So much of it is shooting for #2 or #3 and hitting #5 through #8.

Take, for instance, the coal powered steam turbine locomotives. Had they been oil fired, and more care been given to the water piping and placement of equipment, they might have lasted longer- but they were built by railways in the coal belt, so they were designed from the start to utilize the coal.

The crap British diesels, as Axeman Jim stated better than I could, stem from protectionism, lack of experience with electric technology, and not seeing just how much the nature of railways were changing in Britain.

Few are outright crazy, or scams like the Holman Horror

VictualSquid
Feb 29, 2012

Gently enveloping the target with indiscriminate love.


So this is not actually obsolete, it still has some niche uses. But it used to be pretty big and crazy awesome.

There is a piece of technology called a Motor-Generator. It used to be the easiest way to transform DC to AC, AC to DC, AC to AC of a different frequency, and DC to DC of a different Voltage. These days ( since the 80s) this is done electronically.

They are still used for converting extremely high AC power to a different frequency. So the left over ones are big, this one converts 50Hz network power to 16.7 Hz for use on the German railway net. :


A common variant is this:

This looks like three different motors/generators on the same axis. Because that is what it is.
Motor 1 drives the axis using power from the normal net.
Generator 3 generates a small voltage which is used to excite the coils in Generator 2.
Generator 2 generates DC power.

This power is pretty stable and easily controllable by controlling the exciter voltage. It can be made more stable by adding a flywheel which would be replace by a capacitor in a modern setup.


Now one place where you would want controllable high power and voltage DC current is to drive the motors on a train.
So you would send your voltage through that set before sending it to your engines, if you are designing an electric train.

Another somewhat similar quirk was the idea to generate the low voltage needed to run the lights on a train from a generator attached to a empty running wheel. But people very quickly noticed that this was a bad idea.

So if you want to turn on the lights on your train:

A turbine turns in the power plant driving an axis.
This axis goes in a generator to make some current.
The current turns a Motor in a traction substation.
The Motor turns a Generator in the same substation.
The current turns a Motor on a train to turn an axis.*
This Axis creates a current in Generator.
This current excites another Generator to Generate a Power.
This Power turn the motors driving the train.

and if we get really crazy:
This movement turns an undriven wheel on the same train.
This creates Power in a Generator.
Which you use to turn on the lights.

I have heard, that British Rail used those much more even after the had become outdated. So maybe Axeman Jim can supply some better pictures.

* On a modern train there would be a switching power supply here to drive the wheels and the onboard current.

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Grimey Drawer

Boiled Water posted:


It doesn't have to be. The Danish IC3 series has been in service for 15 years and going strong. Made by Bombardier Transportation in the late 80's and introduced in 1991 and still going strong. Together with the S-trains they form the backbone of Danish rail transportation. The best bit though is that they are made for comfort as seen in the interior:


Well, apart from the vibration issues above 100km/h, the troubles with getting the four automatic gearboxes in each trainset to shift in unison, the massive troubles with getting the advanced (for the time) computerized control system to actually work, the toilet doors that randomly locked and unlocked themselves and the tendency for connected trainsets to refuse to communicate with each other.

All of these issues were solved by 1991, thankfully, and they've actually been in full service for 22 years now, not 15. I've traveled tens of thousands of kilometers on IC3 trains and only very rarely have there been any issues.

As for the IC3's replacement, the IC4? Oh boy, that's a clusterfuck of gigantic proportions. Basically everyone hosed up on that one. Danish State Railways, two different governments, the manufacturer, everyone. The end result is that the trains are now over 7 years late for the original 2006 deadline, not a single IC4 is in regular service yet. Currently, the project is ~$175 million over budget and the current "solution" is for AnsaldoBredo to deliver the unfinished trains and a small compensation for each unfinished trainset, so that they can be finished at the same company that originally built the IC3 trains.

The word "clusterfuck" really doesn't do the IC4 justice.

Here's the Google translated Danish Wikipedia page for the whole thing:
http://translate.google.com/transla...4-sagen&act=url

KozmoNaut has a new favorite as of 16:00 on Jul 4, 2013

Johnny Aztec
Jan 29, 2005

Set Phasers to FUN!

Axeman Jim posted:

[b]Crap British Planes
Let's be clear about what happened here. Lord Brabazon spent a colossal amount of taxpayer's money, in a country that needed every last penny to rebuild its shattered infrastructure, on a plane to carry him and his fat aristocrat mates across the Atlantic in more luxury and comfort than most people in Britain had in their own homes - and hundreds of thousands didn't have a home at all. And he named it after himself.

WHAT a oval office.

You know, there are dozens, or more, of stories of Idiot X using taxpayer money to fund poo poo like this, that fails and is a huge waste, and then...nothing? There is no consequences to these people.
Government money shouldn't be an umbrella for idiots to hide under. They should have seized Brabazon and his cronies assets to repay that waste. Same thing today when some contractor lowbids and ends up loving up a huge project, even more so if was something the public would use. Of course, there is also the problem of just taking the lowest bid to begin with!

BogDew
Jun 14, 2006

E:\FILES>quickfli clown.fli

Zeether posted:

Jeff Minter's Tempest 3000.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OS9alQbHHPk
That game is designed off the back of the in-built music visualizer.

The Wondermega.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkpI-9uioGI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enC87nqL91c

Released in 1992 this was a SEGA knockoff created by JVC/Victor. It was released with stripped down features in the US as the X'Eye. It's notable for playing both Mega CDs and cartridges with options for infra red controllers. It also doubled as a karaoke machine, as well as containing a midi port so you could plug in a piano keyboard.

Despite having a rather solid design it didn't fare well as poor sales with Mega-CD games and the pricetag did little to push sales.

longview
Dec 25, 2006

heh.


KozmoNaut posted:

The word "clusterfuck" really doesn't do the IC4 justice.

Here's the Google translated Danish Wikipedia page for the whole thing:
http://translate.google.com/transla...4-sagen&act=url

At first glance that sounds like a healthy case of the second system effect, which probably applies to a lot of the things being discussed in this thread.

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

Proudly supporting vanilla legends 1994-2014


Zeether posted:

Jeff Minter's Tempest 3000 which was more psychedelic than 2000 and probably the only worthwhile game on the system.

The number of consoles of which it could be said that Minter's Tempest x000 was the only worthwhile game on the system cannot easily be reckoned. No matter how obscure, there always seems to be a version of it.

ANIME MONSTROSITY
Jun 1, 2012

by XyloJW


The Something Awful Forums > Discussion > Post Your Favorite (or Request) > Post Your Favorite lovely Train

Krispy Wafer
Jul 26, 2002

I shouted out "Free the exposed 67"
But they stood on my hair and told me I was fat



Grimey Drawer

You Are A Elf posted:

Wrap-around windshields actually died out by the mid-1960s, not the 1990s; cars were pretty aerodynamic by the 90s with flatter windshields. Example: 1963 Chevrolet truck:



Notice how the A-pillar tapers toward the door instead of the front? That's a true wrap-around windshield. Then, sometime in 1963, the all new totally redesigned for 1964 Chevrolet trucks came out that same year and looked like this:



Yep, The windshield is now flat, and the A-pillar resembles a modern truck for the first time. Other vehicles quickly followed suit, and wrap-around windshields were practically gone forever.

Wrap around windshields lingered for quiet a while.

Early to mid-90's Saturn:



Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme:



Granted, it's possible we're both right since you were probably referring to the front windshield whereas all my examples are of the rear. And the only examples I seem to be finding are all GM cars so maybe it was just a stylistic choice on their part.

Still, it seemed they really helped with rear visibility. Now we have big honking C pillars creating blind spots.

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Grimey Drawer

longview posted:

At first glance that sounds like a healthy case of the second system effect, which probably applies to a lot of the things being discussed in this thread.

Surprisingly, the IC4 doesn't really have that many additional features over the IC3. Mostly it's just stuff like a power outlet for every seat, a slightly different seating layout and a dedicated bistro area instead of the current trolleys. On the other hand, the Danish State Railways did insist on a custom configuration instead of going with an off-the-shelf configuration, so there was at least some second-system effect going on. After all, they did spec four 20L diesel V8 engines for each trainset (3000hp total). I don't know much about trains, but it sounds pretty excessive considering the IC3 does just fine with 1600hp total.

One of the flaws of the IC3 that the IC4 does adress is the lack of platform-level entry. Every station needs to have a wheelchair lift and you have to call in advance if anyone in a wheelchair or using a mobility scooter needs to enter or exit an IC3. The IC4 has one platform-level entry per trainset. So I guess that's one good thing about it

KozmoNaut has a new favorite as of 18:34 on Jul 4, 2013

BattleMaster
Aug 14, 2000


Avast!

Boiled Water posted:


It doesn't have to be. The Danish IC3 series has been in service for 15 years and going strong. Made by Bombardier Transportation in the late 80's and introduced in 1991 and still going strong. Together with the S-trains they form the backbone of Danish rail transportation. The best bit though is that they are made for comfort as seen in the interior:


Bombardier is very good at making trains. On the other hand, "design by committee" as seen in all those British trains isn't a very good model to follow. Too many managers and decisionmakers and bean counters, not enough engineers I guess. That's the only way I can figure out why someone would think strapping a bus to a train's motive system would be a good idea.

BattleMaster has a new favorite as of 18:52 on Jul 4, 2013

Zeether
Aug 26, 2011



Jedit posted:

The number of consoles of which it could be said that Minter's Tempest x000 was the only worthwhile game on the system cannot easily be reckoned. No matter how obscure, there always seems to be a version of it.
Minter even made a game for the unreleased Konix Multisystem that was an enhanced version of Attack of the Mutant Camels. Someone coded an emulator for it and with Minter's blessing put the game on there, and it's in a playable alpha state of sorts.

Trailer for the Multisystem: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgkOLfcRWYA

Short video of the AMC port: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yN2CrhO93A

Zeether has a new favorite as of 19:00 on Jul 4, 2013

Willfrey
Jul 20, 2007



Fun Shoe

Call Now posted:

The Something Awful Forums > Discussion > Post Your Favorite (or Request) > Post Your Favorite lovely Train

And it is awesome! the past 75 pages of old electronic things are neat, but I am in love with old mechanical devices.

Though I'd like to see a thread like this in AI where the regular posters there can toss in bullshit I'd never think of

For content I always thought mechanical slot machines were neat:



edit: Huge-ify at your own table-breaking risk

Willfrey has a new favorite as of 19:08 on Jul 4, 2013

Shai-Hulud
Jul 10, 2008

But it feels so right!


Lipstick Apathy

Krispy Kareem posted:

Wrap around windshields lingered for quiet a while.

Early to mid-90's Saturn:



Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme:



Granted, it's possible we're both right since you were probably referring to the front windshield whereas all my examples are of the rear. And the only examples I seem to be finding are all GM cars so maybe it was just a stylistic choice on their part.

Still, it seemed they really helped with rear visibility. Now we have big honking C pillars creating blind spots.

Hey now, it's not just GM. And it's not just wraparound, it also has giant D pillars. Best of both worlds!


I still like it

JuiceOne
Sep 5, 2007



Zeether posted:

...but it also got some FMV junk like Sewer Shark...

Sewer Shark featured veteran character actor Bob Costanzo and the soundtrack was done by Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh

And it wasn't nearly as bad as all the American Laser Games garbage.

Jasper Tin Neck
Nov 13, 2008


"Scientifically proven, rich and creamy."



KozmoNaut posted:

Surprisingly, the IC4 doesn't really have that many additional features over the IC3. Mostly it's just stuff like a power outlet for every seat, a slightly different seating layout and a dedicated bistro area instead of the current trolleys. On the other hand, the Danish State Railways did insist on a custom configuration instead of going with an off-the-shelf configuration, so there was at least some second-system effect going on. After all, they did spec four 20L diesel V8 engines for each trainset (3000hp total). I don't know much about trains, but it sounds pretty excessive considering the IC3 does just fine with 1600hp total.

One of the flaws of the IC3 that the IC4 does adress is the lack of platform-level entry. Every station needs to have a wheelchair lift and you have to call in advance if anyone in a wheelchair or using a mobility scooter needs to enter or exit an IC3. The IC4 has one platform-level entry per trainset. So I guess that's one good thing about it

I've been meaning to post about the IC4 for a couple of days, so here goes my take on things:

Danish governments in the 70s decided the highways and cars were the way of the future, so there was a systemic lack of investment in railways. That's one of the reasons why Denmark has never really bothered to electrify their railways:

Only the main line and the branches to Germany and Sweden were electrified, which became a problem once Danish governments did a 180 and decided that high-speed trains were the way of the future. Electrifying the railways would have required massive investments, but that would have allowed Denmark to buy off-the-shelf rolling stock. This would have delayed the plan to introduce high-speed rail travel in Denmark. The state-owned railway operator DSB didn't believe the government would go for such a massive investment, so it got the go-ahead to order a high-speed diesel multiple unit instead. High-speed DMUs are rather unusual, so it had to be a custom job. The tender went to AnsaldoBreda, an Italian manufacturer with close ties to Silvio Berlusconi.


Wouldn't you buy stuff from this man's buddies too?

AnsaldoBreda isn't exactly known for excellent workmanship and the IC4 seems to have been a bit over their heads. None of the trainsets have been delivered on time, the computer systems controlling the brakes are apparently both buggy and extremely opaque, and the wiring is shoddy. To top it all off, one of the missing train sets was found in Libya, with the inscription "for 40 years of achievement", coincidentally a bit after the 40th aniversary of Muammar Gaddaffi's coup. (Link in Danish, chosen for the pictures of the swanky interior.) Bizzarrely, instead of cancelling the whole order and suing the pants off AnsaldoBreda, DSB took over the unfinished train sets, intending to finish them themselves.


Strange rolling stock choices are not really the only strange thing about Danish railways though. Having taken a few courses in railway engineering in Denmark and worked in Finland, I'm constantly mystified why Danish railways make life so difficult for maintenance. In Finland, there is an extremely limited selection of switches and crossing that are allowed on public railways. This means that switches and crossings can only be placed on straight sections, but it also means that unless one of the very few curved switches or a diamond crossing breaks, you can pull a replacement straight out of the warehouse. Danish and Swedish railways are much more permissive about the use of custom parts, which I can't really understand.

The overhead line poles are also another baffling choice. Here is the Finnish version, which is similar to Swedish and German ones:


Here is the Danish version


Although the Danish drawing is a bit more schematic, notice that while the Finnish overhead line pole is slightly wedge-shaped, the Danish one is just a square beam. If you need to mount heavy equipment on a Finnish pole you can do that with a clamp and it will stay put. On the Danish pole, you have to have mounting plates welded on first, which usually means switching the whole drat pole. To top it off, the Danish poles are made of weathering steel, which is more expensive than galvanized steel. Poles at stations are made out of galvanized steel though, to prevent rust stains on passengers who lean against the poles.

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Grimey Drawer

Jasper Tin Neck posted:

To top it all off, one of the missing train sets was found in Libya, with the inscription "for 40 years of achievement", coincidentally a bit after the 40th aniversary of Muammar Gaddaffi's coup. (Link in Danish, chosen for the pictures of the swanky interior.) Bizzarrely, instead of cancelling the whole order and suing the pants off AnsaldoBreda, DSB took over the unfinished train sets, intending to finish them themselves.

Ah yes, the Gaddaffi train, one of my favorite parts of the whole drat mess

Never do business with the Italians. Eat their food, drive their cars, admire their women, but never ever do business with them. Especially not if they're in the pocket of Berlusconi, which most of them are.

Axeman Jim
Nov 20, 2010

The Canadians replied that they would rather ride a moose.

What the gently caress?

At least the British wouldn't let their trains get into the hands of dictators...

...oh wait we totally would.



The Class 56 heavy freight loco. For some reason BR decided to outsource the construction of the first 30 to Electroputere, the state train builder of Ceauşescu's Romania.

No, I don't know why either. For some reason the first 30 never seemed to work as well as the others and had short lives. Like Ceauşescu.

Just Winging It
Jan 19, 2012

The buck stops at my ass


The IC4 isn't the only fuckup courtesy of AnsaldoBreda. Meet the V250. Scheduled to run on the highspeed link between Belgium and the Netherlands, it was delivered about 6 or 7 years late. Pulled from service after 39 days because they were already falling apart. 39 days.

Ever since they've been pulled out of service in January this year there's been a on going slap fight as to who's to blame. Ansaldo claim the trains haven't been run right, politicians are busy trying to score some easy points in the media by piling on the lovely build quality and the operators are looking into completely replacing them. They way it's looking right now it's unlikely they'll ever resume service at all.

Mr. Bones
Jan 2, 2011

ain't no law says a skeleton can't play the blues

JuiceOne posted:

Sewer Shark featured veteran character actor Bob Costanzo and the soundtrack was done by Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh

It still played like a bag of wet farts.

Brother Jonathan
Jun 23, 2008


Axeman Jim posted:

At least most of the disasters we've seen here were prototypes, pilot classes or small fleets, with the exception of the class 17 which was ordered into squadron service without a prototype, with ruinous consequences.

I forgot to mention something important about the Winans Camel. This wasn't a rejected prototype but rather a production vehicle that saw service on the B&O and P&R railroads. Many of the vehicles were in service, with many modifications, for forty years.

Here is a picture of the B&O No. 143, the last of the Camels, being broken up in 1898. It had been in service since being built in 1843, a service life of fifty-five years:


Even though they were poorly designed and poorly built, they did one thing very well: They actually burned cheap anthracite coal. Unfortunately for the crew and mechanics who had to keep them running, they cost half as much to run per ton-mile compared to other engines.

Retarded Pimp
Jun 2, 2002



Brother Jonathan posted:

Even though they were poorly designed and poorly built, they did one thing very well: They actually burned cheap anthracite coal.
Do you mean Lignite? Anthracite's the high quality stuff.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthracite
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lignite

Brother Jonathan
Jun 23, 2008



No, it was anthracite. When I say "cheap anthracite coal," I mean that it was much cheaper than the only workable alternative at the time, wood. The Camel was unusual in that it was the first mass-produced locomotive that ran well on coal when it was introduced in 1848. Three hundred of these engines were built. They became quickly obsolete as soon as engine builders discovered that monstrous fireboxes were not actually required.

Retarded Pimp
Jun 2, 2002



Ah, thanks for the clarification.

pants in my pants
Aug 18, 2009

by Smythe


Retarded Pimp posted:

Ah, thanks for the clarification.

I'm glad you asked since I figured this was some sort of typo. Pennsylvania Anthracite had a certain cachet attached to it until, I guess, the Eisenhower era. I have an old house maintenance book from the 1950s somewhere that shows, with diagrams, how to load and light a furnace with anthracite, and then later it explains how to do the same but with crappy bituminous coal. It even has a breakdown of the sizes of coal you could order from your coal guy (I think "egg", "stove", "nut," and "wheat" were the main grades in order of size.) Apparently this was all quite a process.

I suppose those diagrams belong in this thread when I dig that book up. Also featured were instructions on installing drywall with pre-printed knotty pine patterns on it, Chrysler Air-Temp central a/c units and why air conditioning is good for you, and information on the myriad uses of asbestos.

Natural Joe
Dec 27, 2006


I love crazy technology that solves problems that don't necessarily exist.



The Gyrobus, a type of electric bus. It doesn't store its power in batteries or capacitors though, it stores it in a 3 ton flywheel spinning at 3000 RPM. The principle of operation was sound, but it was too expensive to maintain.

ol qwerty bastard
Dec 13, 2005

If you want something done, do it yourself!

On the upside you could probably take corners reeeeeally fast without tipping over.

Inspector_666
Oct 7, 2003

benny with the good hair


Natural Joe posted:

I love crazy technology that solves problems that don't necessarily exist.



The Gyrobus, a type of electric bus. It doesn't store its power in batteries or capacitors though, it stores it in a 3 ton flywheel spinning at 3000 RPM. The principle of operation was sound, but it was too expensive to maintain.

Because I know nothing about physics and engineering, at first I thought the post/bar assembly was physically winding up the flywheel as the bus drove under.

JuiceOne
Sep 5, 2007



Manfrompoot posted:

It still played like a bag of wet farts.

I know . I watched the cutscenes, not nearly as good as I remember. The Michael Biehn clone is not nearly Michael Biehn enough.

Arivia
Mar 17, 2011








Sunshine89 posted:

As an aside, much to the delight of enthusiasts (okay, foamers too), VIA rebuilt their entire F40PH fleet, with everything from a separate HEP generator and improved emissions controls to a microwave and A/C for the crew. New leads old:







I've been on this one (overnight luxury run from Montreal to Halifax) and it was pretty great. The bubble car is just as cool as I thought it was when I was a kid and it's even better going through the boreal forests in Quebec at dawn. I'd recommend it highly except for one thing: the sleeper car part is really, really, kill your legs bad if you're over six feet. Otherwise, it's really worth the extra cash, definitely a great way to start off our Maritimes trip.

Sunshine89
Nov 22, 2009


Arivia posted:

I've been on this one (overnight luxury run from Montreal to Halifax) and it was pretty great. The bubble car is just as cool as I thought it was when I was a kid and it's even better going through the boreal forests in Quebec at dawn. I'd recommend it highly except for one thing: the sleeper car part is really, really, kill your legs bad if you're over six feet. Otherwise, it's really worth the extra cash, definitely a great way to start off our Maritimes trip.

I'd love to go the distance from Toronto to Vancouver. When I finally score a salaried job with vacation, that's going to be my first real vacation.

I also threw that in there as an example of what went right with Canadian trains. Those cars are made of stainless steel, and have been in constant service since their construction in 1954. They were rebuilt in the late 1980s/early 1990s to replace the steam heating and air conditioning and axle generators for electricity with head-end power, and they're getting improved fixtures, fittings and furniture now. They're about the closest thing you can get to indestructible. They're also not the oldest cars in VIAs fleet- they bought some stainless steel baggage cars and short haul passenger cars thirdhand from Amtrak that were built as early as 1947. I like the extra headroom they have.

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Foxhound
Sep 5, 2007


Jasper Tin Neck posted:

AnsaldoBreda isn't exactly known for excellent workmanship

Been waiting for a while for this sentence to pop up, as it inevitably would. Ansaldobreda bolloxed up their delivery of trams to Gothenburg too!

Copying directly from the Wikipedia article, as I'm no tram buff (I just ride on them):

quote:

The City of Gothenburg, Sweden has ordered 40 one-directional Sirio trams which were to be put into service on the Gothenburg tram network during 2005 and onwards. The trams were delivered late and functioned poorly when put into traffic. Among reported problems were excessive track damage caused by the trams, malfunctioning airconditioners inside the trams and poor ride quality. The City of Gothenburg therefore is withholding a large part of the payment for a delivered tram until it is fully operational.[1] On December 3, 2009, the city authorities exercised their option for a further 25 trams of the same design at a cost of 61m.[2] In February of 2013, 38 out of the total 40 trams delievered in the first series were taken out of service due to extensive rust on the chassis.

While the city withheld payment for the trams, they were allegedly stuck in a german harbor for quite a long time.

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