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Messages - Blue Comet

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Transit / Re: Turbine Locomotives
« on: March 09, 2014, 09:46:22 am »
Many thanks for your reply Hijau. I found the jet trains fascinating with their B36 engines. "JPU" sounds about right to me!

The YouTube video you mention is an extract from "Union Pacific Turbines of the Wasatch" published by Pentrax. I bought a copy a few years ago. It's very comprehensive showing the locomotives being serviced, fueled and sanded followed by journeys over the Wasatch range hauling very long freight trains.  During servicing the locomotives moved around the yards using an auxilliary diesel engine, which also acted as the turbine starter motor. The only thing that rather spoils the DVD is a superflous commentary along the lines of "...the turbines can travel at high speeds..." accompanied by a view of the turbine travelling at high speed.

Apparantly UP coupled two 8500HP turbines together but found that on entering a tunnel the train engine would flame out. They don't say why but I think it would be most likely due to air starvation.

They were very noisy indeed and a good indication of the sound level would be the YouTube video "F4 Phantom Engine Start Up and Take Off"  Incidentally on the same page is
"Afterburner Takeoff Night mission F-4 Phantom II HYAKURI AB JASDF" which might interest you.

I'm certain that the GTEL's weren't  fitted with afterburners but some of the dramatic flame-outs at start-up makes it look as though they were!

The UK gas turbines were developed by the Western Region of British Railways which at the time still had several members of the Castle Class steam locomotives in service. It wasn't long before the first gas turbine was nicknamed "Kerosene Castle" by the drivers.

Kind regards,

Blue Comet

Transit / Turbine Locomotives
« on: March 08, 2014, 09:24:39 am »
In the '60s Union Pacific ran freight trains hauled by 8500 HP gas turbine-electric locomotives. There is a good wiki page about them under the heading "Union Pacific GTEL's" and some videos on YouTube including one showing a flame-out at start-up.

The locomotives used Bunker C heavy fuel oil which had to be heated in storage and before use due to its high viscosity.

I know they have been modelled in Trainz but I have not come across them in BVE.

They were nicknamed 'Big Blows' due to the high pitched screaming sound of their exhaust.

There were two experimental GTEL's in the UK both of which entered revenue earning service. Travelling behind one of them the most notable feature was the smell of kerosene.

There was also a non-condensing steam turbine locomotive on British Railways known as the 'Turbomotive'. Very successful when it was running but prone to breakdowns. It once locked-up completely on the track.


Transit / Clean Emissions
« on: March 08, 2014, 09:21:12 am »
I note that there is a topic in this section about electric buses to be made in California

The city of Denver has had hybrid buses for several years which run on the 16th Street Mall Shuttle. They are quiet and fairly slow but very popular and I took a short trip on one.

They recharge their batteries from a small on-board i.c.engine, but whenever these start up they emit a cloud of exhaust fumes, typical of a cold start, unfortunately defeating the original intention.

The RTD are now testing a new generation of hybrids using lithium ion batteries. Further details are at

Electric propulsion is of course the cleanest but one has to reflect that somewhere a power station is operating burning fossil fuel.

General BVE/OpenBVE / Animations in Open BVE
« on: March 05, 2014, 08:42:59 am »
Having been out of touch with BVE for a while I have been astonished by the excellent animations that are now available. There is a YouTube page by Anthony Bowden at 'Animated Objects Cross City South....'which is well worth a look.

The Cross City South route was originally in BVE2 and I actually used the real Northern section to commute. One dark evening I took the fast express home but when getting off I didn't realise that the long train was short of the platform by two coaches. I jumped down rather clumsily and limped my way up platform ramp to be greeted by the guard who told me that all I had to do was to wave out of the window and he would have the driver pull forward for me!

Introduction / Been off the scene for a while
« on: March 02, 2014, 06:05:55 am »
Hello Everyone! Professional engineer and railway enthusiast - all types of traction. Resident in the UK
but keenly interested in American railroading history and practice. Have travelled on Amtrak during visits to the United States.

Involved with BVE from the early days of BVE2 (Ver. 2.6.3) when most of the routes were Japanese. Joined various forums and was a moderator. Briefly involved with the early stages of OpenBVE, but not a developer. Been off the scene for a couple of years.
Other activites, aviation, engineering generally, music classical and jazz, movies and the cinema.

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