Entries Tagged as ‘History’

Thursday, May 10, 2007 at 9:15 pm

A Propeller-Driven Monorail

Our friends at Modern Mechanix have the goods on a 1933 report of a propeller-driven monorail — a French equivalent, perhaps, of the roughly contemporaneous Bennie Railplane. The plans called for a 15-horsepower engine and speeds of 155 miles per hour: try that on conventional rail! Via Boing Boing.

Sunday, April 8, 2007 at 8:40 pm

Toronto Railway Historical Association

The Toronto Railway Historical Association has a new web site; they’re working on plans for a major railway museum — the Toronto Railway Heritage Centre — in downtown Toronto, and the site has the details. Via cpsig.

Monday, February 19, 2007 at 12:03 pm

Hay-on-Wye’s Abandoned Railways

On Urban75, a page about disused railway lines in and around Hay-on-Wye, Wales, including Glasbury and Whitney-on-Wye. A brief history — service was discontinued in the 1960s — with some present-day photographs of the abandoned rights of way and the uses to which the old station buildings have been put. Via Plep.

Monday, February 12, 2007 at 8:25 pm

The Bennie Railplane

Early monorails took many forms that look quite unlike today’s monorail designs. One that got a fair bit of contemporary attention was George Bennie’s Railplane, which may well have been the inspiration for these folks — it was a streamlined fuselage with propellers at either end. Developed during the 1920s, it ran on a quarter-mile […]

Wednesday, February 7, 2007 at 5:53 pm

Historic Photos of Oregon Trains

The Historic Photo Archive is the work of Tom Robinson of Portland, Oregon, who has been collecting and preserving negatives of old Oregon photographs (prints of which are for sale); naturally, there are train photos, most of which seem to be from Oregon if the location is identified. Includes lots of steam, an accident or […]

Monday, January 29, 2007 at 8:34 am

Metroland and Amersham

Metroland is a web site about the London Underground’s Metropolitan Line, in particular its service to Amersham, a station (and town) northwest of London which also has mainline commuter rail service. The site is a source of all kinds of material and minutiae about Amersham and the line, including old photos, timetables and material about […]

Wednesday, January 17, 2007 at 8:34 am

The World Runs on Coffee, and So Does Your Train

If a steam engine can run on bricks of dried milk, then using bricks of pressed coffee beans as fuel, as Popular Science reported was taking place in Brazil in 1932, doesn’t seem quite so farfetched. And I’m sure at some point someone took a look at a steam engine’s boiler and saw the biggest […]

Friday, January 5, 2007 at 12:32 pm

The Beeching Axe

The Beeching Axe refers to the 1963 Beeching Report, which recommended the closure of a number of rail services in the UK. In the wake of the report, branch lines were abandoned; for the most part, rail service retreated to trunk lines. (To a certain extent, the Beeching Axe resembles later retrenchments by Amtrak and […]

Tuesday, January 2, 2007 at 10:58 am

Christmas Books

I received a few railroad-related books for Christmas. From my father, Tony Koester’s Model Railroader’s Guide to Coal Railroading. From my significant other, Jennifer, two books on the history of British Columbia railroads: Logging by Rail: The British Columbia Story by Robert D. Turner, a history of logging railroads in B.C. (mostly on Vancouver Island); […]

Monday, December 11, 2006 at 11:20 am

Milk, It Does a Locomotive Good

Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me: from the March 1938 issue of Modern Mechanix, a steam engine running on bricks of dried milk instead of coal. “The substitute fuel is said to have burned readily, providing as much heat as coal.” Does anyone know more about this? Via Make: Blog.