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I am interested in many kinds of trains from trams to high speed
trains and main-line big time railroading. Because of the language
barrier I am mostly interested in Swedish, UK and US trains. Of
special interest is the London Underground.
The reasons for this are many:
I have been to the western United States four times (three and a half months together) and became interested in american railroading in general and especially Union Pacific Railroad. UP had some of the most powerful locomotives in the world:
You might ask why did they go down from 10000hp to 6600hp. The main reason is fuel economy, a turbine uses a lot of fuel even when idling. The turbines were not called "big blows" for nothing.
In the United States, they have (or had, because they are gone
now) two beautiful kinds of locomotives, the F-units
and E-units. You can see my
photographs of them here.
Since I live in Sweden I am also interested in Swedish trains. In Sweden all main lines were electrified early and my favourite kind of locomotive is the electric. They are quiet and efficient.
Swedish State Railways also has a very powerful locomotive called
Dm3. It is an electric locomotive rated around 10000hp. There are
some disputes about electric locomotives really being locomotives
becase they do not generate their own power on board. Personally I
don't think there is any real difference if you get the power in
solid (coal) form, liquid (diesel) form or by wire/third rail. There
is another thing about the Dm3 units that I think disqualifies it as
a candidate for the most powerful locomotive in the world. The Dm3
locomotive consists of three units. The middle unit may be removed,
leaving a locomotive with less than 7000hp. Compare this with the US
way of putting several units together to make them as powerful as you
The Dm3 is a very impressing locomotive. It was built between 1960 and 1961 with a few units delivered as late as 1970. Most of the units are still running today! They are used to haul ore from Swedens main iron ore district to the ports in Narvik (Norway) and Luleå. Most of this line is above the arctic circle. In the winter a train may start i Narvik where it is raining and, say, 3 degrees Celsius (or centigrade). After one hour you have gained much altitude and now it may be -20 degrees Celsius with a snow storm. That puts a great strain on any train.
of Dm3 (43kB)
Picture of Dm3 (101kB)
Swedish railways page
Swedish Museum Railways
Svenska Järnvägsklubben (Swedish Railway Club)
Transport Official Website
Clive's UndergrounD Line Guides
Dockland Light Rail