Monday, December 03, 2007

Ideal narrow gauge coaches?

The Zillertalbahn's new push-pull train.
Click on the picture for more details (in German)

Every now and again in this blog, I have a bit of a whinge about how narrow gauge railways are treated essentially as heritage lines, and often end up using dated stock with several steps at the entrances (and narrow doors to make them really wheelchair-proof), arcane operating methods and low speeds. So what would my idea of perfect narrow gauge passenger stock look like?

Well, ideally:

Modern, not just a replica of an old coach but built for modern needs in a modern style.
At least partially low-floor
Probably loco-hauled for flexibility and maximum stock usage
Push-pull with a driver’s cab in the coaching stock to minimize runarounds
Wide doors with push-button operation, which actually close without allowing a draught
At least partially low-floor
Cassette toilets
Comfortable seats (with cushions)
Corridor connections
Proper passenger information systems
Quiet and smooth when moving.
Did I mention that it should be low-floor?

Essentially what we are becoming accustomed to on a bus or standard gauge train. This sounds a bit of a pipe dream I know, but the 760mm (about 2’6”) gauge Zillertalbahn in Austria has ordere new carriages which look remarkably like my description. The English page is for the tourists so it doesn’t mention them, but you can see an artist’s impression of the inside and outside here. You can also click here for pictures of the first units being delivered.

(Yes, they are partially low-floor)


zabdiel said...

Nice - You just need to build some models of them now!

Andy said...

Yeah... I'm building up to it slowly... I think my version may ba simpler-less compound curves for example. It'll need interior detailing as well.

I'll try one, but That may be a while while I build up my courage.

Thanks for commenting.