Dieselpunk + Steampunk Culture

All Articles Tagged 'rail' (104)

Sunday Streamline #39. The Iron Mask

The first French full-streamlined locomotive had something in common with Alexandre Dumas' character:

In 1935 such locomotives entered service of the Paris à Lyon et à la Méditerranée Railway (PLM), the pioneers of French streamlining. The locos were not new. In 1934, when the decision to establish fast streamliner service had been taken, the management's choice were already retired…


Added by lord_k on July 3, 2011 at 6:30am — No Comments

Sunday Streamline #38. Italian Style

In the Streamline Race of 1930s, Italy was a powerful entrant full of ambitions.

The ATR 100 class of three-car diesel-motor units built by FIAT in Turin, should be seen as flagships of new streamline fleet - scores of modern, fast lightweight trains. Nine ATRs were ordered by F.S., Italian state-owned railways. The first unit, ATR 101 was ready in 1936. It entered…


Added by lord_k on June 26, 2011 at 6:30am — No Comments

USSR, Export Version

Hello, there's a postcard to let you know: "This is more than a pleasure trip - it is a voyage into new world!"

The poster is published by Intourist, a very special company established by the Soviet government in 1929. It was responsible for managing the great majority of foreigners' access to, and travel within, the Soviet Union. Intourist grew into one of the largest…


Added by lord_k on June 22, 2011 at 6:30am — 5 Comments

Sunday Streamline #37: Rare Bird

I'm not sure the blue geese are really so rare (ask your local poultry keeper if you're curious) but this big bird is unique.

It's called the Blue Goose and it's huge: more than 54 ft long, 16 ft 8 in tall, rolling on giant 84 in drivers, weighing 187.1 tonnes without the tender.

The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway's 3460 class comprised six 4-6-4 Hudson type steam…


Added by lord_k on June 19, 2011 at 6:30am — 5 Comments

Lord K's Garage - #93. Chrysler Airflow

A milestone in the automotive history, this car was hardly a success. It is listed among the 50 worst cars of all time. But its place in the Streamline Hall of Fame is secured.

After making few changes through 1933, Chrysler made a major one, summoning the future with the most-radical production car yet attempted by a U.S. maker. Widely recognized as the first truly modern automobile, the…


Added by lord_k on June 17, 2011 at 6:30am — 5 Comments

Sunday Streamline #36: Hungarian Connection

Hungary is a small but proud Streamline power.

Hungarian locomotive builders started their experiments with aerodynamic designs before WWI, creating several engines with pointed front part, slightly resembling French "Windcutters". In 1930s a small class of modern streamlined tank locomotives, bearing more than a passing resemblance to…


Added by lord_k on June 12, 2011 at 6:30am — 2 Comments

Sunday Streamline #35: Kiwi "Mountains"

A nation that was a proud member of the Battlecruiser Club in 1910s should join the Streamliners Club in 1930s. It's inevitable, isn't it?

So New Zealand Railways acquired a respectable fleet of streamline steam locomotives - like the battlecruiser, British-built.

Following the success of the K class on NZR main lines, there was an urgent need for a modern, powerful locomotive capable of running over secondary lines laid with lighter rails. Thus a new "Mountain" 4-8-2…


Added by lord_k on June 5, 2011 at 6:30am — No Comments

Sunday Streamline #34: Local Production

This streamliner is famous, against all odds.

It never set a speed record. Its elegant shape wasn't drawn by a great designer like Dreyfuss, Loewy or Kuhler. It wasn't built by any major locomotive works like ALCO, Baldwin or Lima. But it survived.

Norfolk and Western Railway's J class steam locomotives were a class of 4-8-4 locomotives built by the Norfolk and…


Added by lord_k on May 29, 2011 at 6:30am — No Comments

Sunday Streamline #33: The Balkan Spirit

This dream machine is perfectly fit for any kind of Dieselpunk movie:

It was built for scheduled express service between Belgrade and Zagreb. The picture above is widely known but information on the streamline loco is scarce. A thorough search brought me to a number of Serbia- and Croatia-based forums, one of them providing useful info and additional images.…


Added by lord_k on May 22, 2011 at 6:30am — No Comments

Lord K's Garage - #89. Opel Rocket Cars & Craft

Remember Fritz von Opel? The one with a rocket motorcycle?

The motorcycle is only half of the story... no, less than half. Here's the story of other Opel rocket vehicles brought to us by David Traver Adolphus @ Hemmings…


Added by lord_k on May 20, 2011 at 6:30am — 1 Comment

Sunday Streamline #32: Forgotten Chicagoans

This streamliner, photographed by Jack Delano in 1942, could be a Diesel Era icon like its famous brethren.

Alas, it never had a chance.

The locomotive belongs to Class E-4, Chicago & North Western Railway (C&NW). They were amongst the biggest Hudson type locomotives built; even larger than the New York Central's famous Hudsons.…


Added by lord_k on May 15, 2011 at 6:30am — 3 Comments

Sunday Streamline #31: British Mikados

Is your humble servant guilty of discriminating a great streamline power? The answer is: guilty.

Yes,  I'm guilty. Instead of using this weekly column as a splendid showcase for the world's finest and fastest I'm drawing forgotten locos out of obscurity, going to far places like Manchuria. The champions can wait, I say to myself, but the truth is they cannot wait forever. Two British streamliners per 30 columns - isn't it embarrassing?

So, the time has come to repent…


Added by lord_k on May 8, 2011 at 7:00am — No Comments

Sunday Streamline #30: Soviet Hudsons

This locomotive was an unofficial Soviet Railways symbol for two decades:

Its image appeared everywhere, from station decor to candy wrappings. When I was a kid (in the post-Steam Era) I used to think that all old locos had similar shape. It was quite an unpleasant surprise to discover that this dream machine was unique.

Its story begins in mid 1930s when the railway management realized that even the most advanced Soviet express locomotive, the IS, is too slow. Two…


Added by lord_k on May 1, 2011 at 6:30am — 6 Comments

Sunday Streamline #29: Dreyfuss Rockets

These steam locomotives, hauling the most famous American express train, are the ultimate Diesel Era icons.

No other "steam-stream" design is so eye-catching. No other can be called a synonym of streamlining. Yes, among its contemporaries are true masterpieces like the Milwaukee Hiawatha…


Added by lord_k on April 24, 2011 at 8:00am — 3 Comments

Sunday Streamline #28: Loewy Torpedoes

Meet Mr. Raymond Loewy and his new brainchild: the K4 streamliner.

Probably someone will call it a "second-hand Rose": new shrouding fitted to an old choo-choo. Well, the locomotive isn't new, it worked hard for several years before receiving this fantastic outfit. Is it a sin? I am amused by the endless argument between aficionados of two long-defunct railways, the PRR and New York…


Added by lord_k on April 17, 2011 at 6:30am — 2 Comments

Sunday Streamline #27: French Windcutters

A bit of prehistory: long before the global streamline craze one French railroad started to develop aerodynamic designs.

This 4-4-0 locomotive is not a steampuk artist's fantasy but a real iron workhorse designed by Charles Baudry for the Paris à Lyon et à la Méditerranée Railway (PLM). Two of these (C 21 and 22, dubbed "little C") were built in Paris in 1893. Later Baudry developed "big C", larger and more powerful type with a weird-looking partial streamline…


Added by lord_k on April 10, 2011 at 6:30am — No Comments

Sunday Streamline #26: The Electroliner

Light, articulated and fast, they looked fantastic, straight from the brave new world.

Tom aka Railfan 45 recalls his childhood impression of an Electroliner: "I remeber this trainset as a very young boy of about 3 or 4 years old. I thought it was a rocketship. I was in the loop waiting for an L with my parents when it…


Added by lord_k on April 3, 2011 at 7:00am — 2 Comments

Sunday Streamline #25: Polish Medalist

In August 1936, Polish government commissioned an experimental class of two Pacific (4-6-2) locomotives.

The decision to build a locomotive of the future was made by Polish authorities to celebrate 20 years of independent Polish State Railways (PKP), created right after the Armistice from parts of Austro-Hungarian, Prussian, Saxonian and Russian railways, - and also to prove the domestic industry's capability to supply world-class quality products.

To prove the capacity…


Added by lord_k on March 27, 2011 at 7:30am — 8 Comments

Sunday Streamline #24: Manchurian Candidates

Today, the streamliners arrive from the most unexpected place: Manchuria.

A bit of history: in 1932, Japan created a puppet Manchu State, formally separating Manchuria (occupied by the Japanese forces a year before) from China. In 1934, the Great Manchu Empire was proclaimed, with Puyi of the Qing Dynasty (remember Bertolucci's The Last Emperor?) as a…


Added by lord_k on March 20, 2011 at 8:00am — 1 Comment

Shangai Express


Chinese Noir, in the shadow of Marlene...

Added by Stefan on March 19, 2011 at 3:00pm — 4 Comments

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