S-Bahn Class 481 Berlin Underground Train Poster

S-Bahn Class 481

The Class 481/482 is an electric multiple unit train for the Berlin S-Bahn which was designed to replace the aging rail cars after the German reunification in 1990.

In 1990 most of the rail cars were still composed of mostly Class 475, 476 and 477 vehicles from before World War II. The average age was about 40 years at the time. Both the West Berlin and East Berlin S-Bahn operators had already started to replace their aging fleet with Class 480 (West) and Class 485 (East). The German reunification prompted a unification of the operators leading also to a requirement of a common operation scheme for the whole of Berlin. When the last of the 500 rail cars had been delivered, the theoretical 55 years average age shrunk to merely 6 years in 2004.

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S-Bahn Class 481 Berlin Underground Train Poster

S-Bahn Class 481 Berlin Underground Train Mug

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InterCity APT

The Advanced Passenger Train (APT) was a tilting high speed train developed in the 1970s and early 1980s for use on the West Coast Main Line (WCML). The WCML contained many curves, and the APT pioneered the concept of active tilting to address these, a feature that has since appeared on designs around the world. The experimental APT-E achieved a new British railway speed record on 10 August 1975 when it reached 152.3 miles per hour (245.1 km/h), only to be bested by the service prototype APT-P at 162.2 miles per hour (261.0 km/h) in December 1979, a record that stood for 23 years.

Development dragged on and by the late 1970s the design had been under construction for a decade and the trains were still not ready for service. Facing the possibility of cancellation after the election of Margaret Thatcher, it was decided to put the prototypes into service, with the first runs along the London-Glasgow route taking place in December 1981. Problems plagued the design and the trains were withdrawn from service by the end of the month.

The problems were eventually solved and the trains quietly reintroduced in 1984 with much greater success. By this time the competing High Speed Train, powered by a conventional diesel engine and lacking the APT’s tilt and performance, had gone through development and testing at a rapid rate and was now forming the backbone of BR’s passenger service. Support for the APT project faded and wo of the three sets were broken up, and parts of the third sent to the National Railway Museum where it joined the APT-E. The patents for the APT’s tilt system were sold to Fiat.

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InterCity APT train poster

InterCity APT train mug

TGV Duplex French high speed train poster

TGV Duplex

The TGV Duplex is the third generation of French high-speed train and is the first TGV trainset to feature double-decker carriages. It was specially designed to increase capacity on high-speed lines with saturated traffic and features a seating capacity of 508 passengers.

After its opening in 1981, the LGV Sud-Est from Paris to Lyon rapidly reached capacity. To counter this, the separation between trains was reduced to three minutes on some TGV lines, but the increasingly complex signalling systems and high-performance brakes to reduce braking distance limited this option. Another option is to widen the train but is generally not practicable due to loading gauge restrictions. Running two trainsets coupled together in multiple-unit (MU) configuration provides extra capacity, but required very long station platforms. Given length and width restrictions, the remaining option was to adopt a double-decker configuration, with seating on two levels, adding 45% more passenger capacity. TGV Duplex sets are often run with a single deck Réseau set or another Duplex set.

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TGV Duplex train poster

TGV Duplex train mug

TGV Atlantique train poster

TGV Atlantique

The TGV Atlantique is the second generation of TGV high-speed trains used in France, built between 1988 and 1992 following on from the TGV Sud-Est. 105 trainsets were built for the opening of the LGV Atlantique line. The Atlantique is made up of two power cars and ten carriages with a total of 485 seats and capable of a maximum speed of 300 km/h (186 mph).

Modified unit 325 set the world speed record in 1990 on the new LGV before its opening. Modifications, such as improved aerodynamics, larger wheels and improved braking were made to enable test run speeds of over 500 km/h (311 mph). The set was reduced to two power cars and three carriages to improve the power-to-weight ratio, weighing 250 t (246 long tons; 276 short tons). The TGV Atlantique’s world record was beaten on the 3 April 2007, by a TGV POS set on the LGV Est, which reached a top speed of 574.8 km/h (357.2 mph).

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TGV Atlantique train poster

TGV Atlantique train mug

E6 Series Shinkansen poster wall art print

E6 Series Shinkansen

The E6 series Shinkansen high-speed train operates on Komachi “mini-shinkansen” services on the Tohoku and Akita Shinkansen from Tokyo to Akita. Technology incorporated in the E6 seeries is derived from the experimental Fastech 360Z train previously tested by JR East. Read More

E5 Series Shinkansen Hayabusa high speed bullet train

E5 Series Shinkansen

Derived from the experimental Fastech 360S train tested by JR East, the E5 series Shinkansen high-speed train is operated on the Tohoku Shinkansen services since 5 March 2011 and on Hokkaido Shinkansen services since 26 March 2016. Read More

E4 Series Shinkansen poster

E4 Series Shinkansen

The E4 series shinkansen bullet train is the second series of double-decker Shinkansen trainsets, operating on the Tōhoku, Jōetsu Shinkansen, and occasionally Nagano Shinkansen. Read More

Shinkansen E3 Series poster

E3 Series Shinkansen

The E3 series Shinkansen was built for Komachi services on the new Akita Shinkansen “mini-shinkansen” line, a regular 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) narrow-gauge line re-gauged to 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge. Read More

E2 Series Shinkansen poster

E2 Series Shinkansen

The E2 series Shinkansen operated on the Tohoku and Hokuriku Shinkansen high-speed lines in 8 and 10 car sets and operate at a maximum speed of 275 km/h (170 mph) on the Tohoku Shinkansen and 260 km/h (160 mph) on the Hokuriku Shinkansen. Read More

800 Series Shinkansen poster

800 Series Shinkansen

The 800 series Shinkansen was introduced in 2004 on the Tsubame service for the Kyushu Shinkansen high-speed rail line. The 800 series maximum design speed is 285 km/h (177 mph) though in service operates at a maximum speed of 260 km/h (160 mph).

Following the opening of the entire Kyushu Shinkansen route on 12 March 2011, 800 series trains were primarily used on all-stations Tsubame services operating mostly between Hakata and Kumamoto. They also operate some Sakura services within the Kyushu Shinkansen.

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800 Series Shinkansen poster wall art

800 Series Shinkansen mug