[sclug] OT: convert rail tracks to tarmac for private coach network which saves billions and provides a better service!

David Given dg at cowlark.com
Thu Sep 10 17:45:45 UTC 2009

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Alex Butcher wrote:
> Perhaps a rail buff can enlighten us as to why double-decker trains, as
> seen
> in mainland Europe, aren't possible here...

World War Two, mostly. The European rail infrastructure got so shredded
that it was rebuilt more or less from scratch using modern techniques.
We're still using a railway network that's been incrementally upgraded
from Stevenson's day. Also, the French government is willing to use
compulsory purchase orders, where ours isn't. The TGV lines are
*straight*. As a result it's possible to get from anywhere to anywhere
in France in 2.5 hours. It's just not worth flying...

Incidentally, the high-speed trains are very high-tech. It's worth
looking at a TGV some time. The bogies span pairs of carriages and
connect to them both via a complex articulated joint. It's a major
engineering job to uncouple a train.

(TGVs --- which, as any fule kno stands for Tres Grande Vitesse, which
is 'very very fast' more or less --- usually cruise at about 300mph and
have been clocked at 580kph on test tracks. That's over half the speed
of a jet airliner.)

- --
David Given
dg at cowlark.com
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