This is another shining example of the ingenuity of the men who have founded the steel highways of the world. It is an account of one of the most modern and luxurious express services in the British Empire. This chapter is the first of a series of articles on Famous Trains.
An account of the railway’s unceasing battle with the forces of Nature. In addition to the scope of the title, the article includes avalanches and typhoons. The article includes a photogravure supplement with additional illustrations. There is a complementary article on Clearing the Line in part 29.
A description of the lightweight expresses designed by French engineers. It includes the Bugatti petrol-driven trains. In the “Bugatti Autorail” the driver is amidships of the train, so that passengers in the front coach have an uninterrupted view. It is, in fact, the ideal observation car, as I found out when I journeyed from the Gare St Lazaire in Paris to the port of Le Havre. Leaving the station with an absolutely unimpaired view is an unforgettable experience. The journey from Paris to Havre is not so fast as that from Berlin to Hamburg, as the route is less direct and there is one stop at Rouen. This train is very well supported by the French travelling public, and there are similar trains on other routes in France. The French state railways have produced railcars (as they call them) capable of running at speeds which in carefully controlled tests have attained an average of 185 kph (115 mph), with a maximum speed of 192 kph (120 mph). These railcars have been put in use for several fast services, and easily attain a commercial speed of 110 kph (69 mph). The article also describes the Renault eight-wheeled motor coach, the Micheline motor coach, and the Renault streamlined express. This is the second article in the series on Modern High-Speed Travel. A supplementary article about Rail-Cars on Rubber Tyres appears in part 14.
Click on the small image to see a short British Pathe newsreel clip “French Streamlined Rail-car” (1935), showing the Micheline motor-coach in use between Leighton Buzzard and Euston.
The story of the railway across Death Valley in Nevada, the drama of the pioneers who drove a railway across the desert sands of Nevada. The chapter reveals the amazing courage demanded in the laying of a track across a territory shunned by all living things except rattlesnakes. You can read more on “The Conquest of Death Valley” in Frederick Talbot’s Railway Wonders of the World (1913).
One of the most remarkable engineering feats ever accomplished was the laying of a network of tubes beneath London and its environs. This chapter describes this subject, one of unparalleled interest, and shows how a vision was turned into achievement. How marvellous a feat of engineering is the laying of subterranean lines. Of London’s millions no fewer than 1,380,000 passengers travel underground every day. How has this been achieved? It has been achieved not only by the brain of man and the physical strength of man, but also by vision and faith. All conquest must be backed by these two qualities, or there is only inertia, and it is this thought, which is constantly in my mind, that lends to all human endeavour an added glamour and interest. The article concludes in part 4.
Click on the small image to see a short British Pathe newsreel clip of “The World’s Largest Tube” (Edgeware to Morden) opened throughout in 1926.