Fast Polish “Torpedo Car” Powered by Diesel Engine (Jun, 1936)

Fast Polish “Torpedo Car” Powered by Diesel Engine

Poland’s “torpedo train,” a streamline rail car that travels ninety-three miles an hour, bears the reputation of being one of Europe’s speediest trains. It is driven by a Diesel motor with automatic clutch, operating on an extremely economical basis. The car, one of several in service on Polish railroads, carries eighty-six passengers. The engineer’s cab is set back from the low, protruding radiator.

Mobile Power Plant (Sep, 1948)

Mobile Power Plant
GAS-TURBINE power plants on rails have been conceived by Allis-Chalmers engineers as emergency units to be used when power plants fail or disaster disables transmission lines. Still in the blueprint stage, the turbine generators mounted on railway trucks for rapid movement will be built in 3000 and 6000-kilowatt units, to operate as a sole source of electric power or to be synchronized with an existing power system.

Wonder Subway Built Under Skyscrapers on Stilts (Jan, 1933)

Wonder Subway Built Under Skyscrapers on Stilts

Propping up multi-storied skyscrapers on stilts, burrowing beneath railway tunnels, digging out huge chunks of solid rock, thousands of workmen have just completed the most amazing engineering job of its kind on record—the construction of New York City’s newest subway, which is the very last word in underground transportation luxury.


ONE winter day 62 years ago, wheels turned in the first underground railway ever operated in an American city. Really it was a block-long subterranean pneumatic tube, through which a steam-driven fan blew a singe 18-passenger car, then sucked it back.

Ball-Shaped TRAIN Pulled By Magnets (Jul, 1935)

Ball-Shaped TRAIN Pulled By Magnets

THE “bullet-flash,” most radical idea in railroad design since the recent advent of streamlining, has just been conceived by a Swiss engineer. Based on electro-magnetic principles, the new ball-shaped iron horse is expected to roll on standard-size rails at a speed as high as 300 m.p.h.

A RAILWAY that FALLS Down Hill (Feb, 1933)

A RAILWAY that FALLS Down Hill

GERMAN engineers have recently proposed the building of novel “roller coaster” railways for use on short runs between cities and suburbs. The ingenious yet simple construction of this railway, which literally gets its power from falling down hill, is well shown in the accompanying drawing.

Each waiting station is elevated forty or more feet in the air, and passengers are lifted to the platform in an elevator. The train, consisting of two or three cars, awaits them on a level stretch of track beside the station.

Old Railway Thrills Tourists (Dec, 1937)

Old Railway Thrills Tourists

TOURISTS visiting Cincinnati, Ohio, are thrilled by a ride on the local Mt. Adams Plane Railway, which was erected in 1877 to carry street cars up a 980-foot incline. Only the demand of sight-seers has saved the novel railway from being abandoned in the march of progress, over two million persons using the railway annually.

The lifts of the old railway are drawn by four cables and operate in balance, one ascending while the other descends. Street cars using the lifts are kept on an even keel while traveling the 28.9% grade.

Home on a Train (Dec, 1951)

Home on a Train

SOME hobbyists let their hobby occupy them night and day. Well, the reverse is true of Dr. John Payne Roberts. He occupies his hobby!

For Dr. Roberts and his wife make their home in an old railroad car which is a prize exhibit of the Museum of Transport, located in Kirkwood, on the western outskirts of St. Louis. The Museum contains a remarkable collection of old railroad equipment.

Air-Rail Line Spans America in 48 Hours (Nov, 1929)

Air-Rail Line Spans America in 48 Hours

RECENT inauguration of regular 48-hour New York to Los Angeles or San Francisco air-rail service by the Transcontinental Air Transport, Inc., in which the Pennsylvania railroad is financially interested, is interpreted as the outstanding commercial aviation development of 1929 in the United States.

A Century of Railroads on Parade (Sep, 1948)

I love the upside down train, that’s a great idea.

A Century of Railroads on Parade

OLD AND NEW fashions in American railroads are on exhibit at Chicago’s lake front in a Railroad Fair celebrating 100 years of railroading in the Middle West. Pioneer locomotives with steam up run alongside the newest steam and Diesel-electric trains, while some cars yet unbuilt are shown in mockup form.

Gliding Cars Planned for new Railway (May, 1933)

Gliding Cars Planned for new Railway

TRAINS THAT WOULD SKIM TRACKS AT HIGH SPEEDS PROPOSED IN DARING TRANSPORTATION SCHEME IMAGINE a flying railroad in which captive airplanes serve as cars. Skimming through the air, the streamlined cars are expected to attain speeds up to more than 200 miles an hour. A cage of rails restrains them from actually leaving the track.

That is a brief outline of a project for a high-speed transportation system put forward by a New York engineer, Walter H. Judson, pioneer aviator and formerly chief engineer for a railway car manufacturer. In Judson’s opinion, all engineering details have been worked out. With the cooperation of makers of railway and electrical machinery, structural steelwork, and airplane equipment, he has prepared a complete plan.