The Biggest Planned Trains?

Rhinocrates

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Sep 26, 2006
Messages
927
Reaction score
1,893
It looks like serious planning for truly giant trains has been limited by the reality of track gauges, which surprised me. Post WWII optimism (or lunacy) of the sort that came up with Ploughshare would have led to a plethora of concepts, I thought.

I had a look at the 1964 World's fair GM Futurama pavilion and certainly there was plenty of mega-engineering, but not much about trains. Gigantic vehicles to lay roads through forests, sure.

Of course googling 'atomic' always brings something up and I did find this, the X-12 by Dr Lyle Borst of the University of Utah in consultation with the Association of American Railroads and companies including Union Pacific.

It's mentioned briefly here in the context of UP looking for something more powerful to succeed coal-fuelled steam locomotives and trying turbines before inevitably thinking of nuclear power. See here from about the 9'10" mark.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5u_h2MH92xg


That was the result of just a quick search. I suppose the Soviets would have had some ideas.
 

Attachments

  • c8nbs8m6ygm61.png
    c8nbs8m6ygm61.png
    5.2 MB · Views: 33
  • main-qimg-34c1a9b4d03468d896541398be46a888.jpg
    main-qimg-34c1a9b4d03468d896541398be46a888.jpg
    267.2 KB · Views: 31
Last edited:

Rhinocrates

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Sep 26, 2006
Messages
927
Reaction score
1,893
There is this... trainwreck (yes, I know - my coat's over there) of a TV series from 1979.

 

Attachments

  • supertrain-01.jpg
    supertrain-01.jpg
    343.1 KB · Views: 25
  • supertrain-04.jpg
    supertrain-04.jpg
    341.7 KB · Views: 21
  • supertrain-03.jpg
    supertrain-03.jpg
    331.1 KB · Views: 19
  • supertrain-02.jpg
    supertrain-02.jpg
    351.8 KB · Views: 21
  • Vs76BWn.jpg
    Vs76BWn.jpg
    48.8 KB · Views: 30

Rhinocrates

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Sep 26, 2006
Messages
927
Reaction score
1,893
Giant trains have been a staple of sf and steampunk. Harry Harrison's A Transatlantic Tunnel Hurrah! is indispensable. There are giant nuclear-powered locomotives, giant coal-powered flying boats, and of course the titular project.

Michael Swanwick's Fairyland stories (The Iron Dragon's Daughter etc.) posit an 'Industrial Revelation' and here's something by Rodney Matthews that wouldn't be out of place there.
 

Attachments

  • tumblr_oflbn6KryI1vqtgh5o1_1280.jpg
    tumblr_oflbn6KryI1vqtgh5o1_1280.jpg
    344.5 KB · Views: 37
Last edited:

Iron Felix

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
422
Reaction score
982
Russian monorail project (1921-1922, started in early 1910s), double-deck 400 passenger car (Breitspurbahn - to 460 passenger in car), 150 versta per hour (160 kmph), Putilov plant (St.-Petersburg) began manufacturing a car frame. Most likely, the project was closed due to lack of money.
042710_2219_16-1.png
 

Iron Felix

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
422
Reaction score
982
During World War I, Russians worked on economic development projects for the 1920s and 1930s. It was assumed that in the 1920s, most of the main railway lines would be electrified, and heavier rails would be used, since it was assumed that the weight and speed of trains would increase.
 

Similar threads

Top