110½ MILES AN HOUR was achieved by the “Comet” on its test run. This streamlined express was built for the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad by the Goodyear-
IN Great Britain there is a well-
The American “Comet” is a light Diesel-
On a trial run from New Haven to Boston, with more than 120 guests aboard, the “Comet” covered the 156.8 miles in 143 minutes, averaging 65.7 miles an hour. The total time was forty-
The “Comet” owes much to airship design. When airship construction in the United States was brought to a standstill by the Macon disaster the Goodyear-
Ready to run, the “Comet” weighs about 126 tons, or about forty per cent less than an American steam-
Each car is built in the style of a tube, the entire framework being covered with heavy-
There are two Westinghouse Diesel engines, one at either end of the train. These are 400-
The train is 207 ft long, 9 ft 10-
The two end cars, containing the engines, are each 74 ft 2-
There is a heating coil in each air-
The “Comet” is a three-
The suspension of the cars is novel, hydraulic shock-
Not a single light fixture is visible in the cars, the lamps being hidden in troughs which run full-
Each end of the train has a headlight with a vertical beam of 250 candle power and a horizontal beam of 500 candle-
Doors and steps are automatic, the steps folding up when the doors close, and automatically projecting when the doors open. It is impossible to close the doors if a person is standing on the steps, and the train cannot be started if any door is open. Doors and steps are controlled by compressed air, actuated by electro-
The new type of air brake designed by the Westinghouse Air Brake Company for fast trains has a braking rate three times as fast as that of ordinary brakes. These brakes are equipped with automatic deceleration, set at the rate of four miles an hour a second. By this means a train travelling at a hundred miles an hour would be stopped in twenty-
The safety control system adopted requires the driver to keep his hand on the brake valve handle, or his foot on a pedal. If he fails to do so, the power is cut off and the train stops.
The “Comet” has a handsome appearance, the streamlining of the exterior being accentuated by alternate wide bands of brilliant blue and shining aluminium, extending the whole length of the train. The roof is finished in grey enamel, closely matching the natural tones of the aluminium alloy of which the train is built.
Beneath the roof and above the windows is the first wide ribbon of bright aluminium. The window panels are finished in a beautiful ultramarine blue enamel, tying all the windows together in an unbroken line. Beneath this is another wide band of aluminium. The lowest band is a strip of blue enamel, somewhat darker in tone than the window panels. All the exterior aluminium is finished in a whorled effect, and a clear varnish coating is used to prevent tarnish.
BOARDING THE TRAIN. The streamlined “Comet” carries 160 passengers. Steps on the train fold up automatically when the doors shut, and project when doors open. Should a passenger be standing on a step, safety devices come into action; the doors cannot then be closed and the express cannot start. These devices are compressed-
When the engineers tested the models of the train in the wind tunnels, they had an unusual problem as they were called upon to design a train to travel forwards and backwards with equal facility. As Diesel-
To permit a higher speed through a given curvature, the low centre of gravity was designed. The problem was to design the front and rear ends for a cylindrical middle section, so that the whole would have a minimum of air resistance. The middle section required a smooth, unbroken surface and a shape that, in combination with the two ends, would produce a minimum diagonal and side force for both head and side wind conditions.
The train has a low resistance while heading into the air. The front ends are well rounded, and slope backwards towards the roof. The roof arches gradually back into the rear portion. There are no sharp corners; the headlight is streamlined, marker lights, horn and draught gear are covered by the outer surface, and the emergency coupler and its attachments are carried in the car.
The middle section of the train has straight side walls, and a well-
Fresh air is taken in on either side of the rear end of the engine-
The deflector vanes, installed at air intake and outlet, help to correct the air flow, and greatly reduce the air resistance, according to wind-
The weight of the car body structure is only about twenty per cent of the total weight of the completed train.
The rating of each engine is 400 bhp at 900 rpm, and is based on an altitude not exceeding 1,000 ft, with the air to the engine not exceeding 80° F. Each Diesel engine works on the four-
The bedplate is of welded steel, and of rigid construction with minimum weight. It supports both engine and generator, and contains the lubrication oil sump and reservoir. Cylinder heads are cast aluminium with cored water passages, renewable steel valve seats, dual inlet and exhaust valves, rocker arm mechanism, and single atomizer located at centre of head. They are easily removed, and there is ample provision for the cleaning and inspection of water passages. Valves are dual intake and exhaust, readily accessible with renewable seats, and pressure-
The camshaft is made from special heat-
ALUMINIUM ALLOY has been extensively used in the construction of the “Comet”. The train contains one Diesel engine at either end. These drive the main and auxiliary generators. The total length of the train is 207 ft. It is 9 ft 10¼-
[From part 39, published 25 October 1935]