Test run on the Transrapid 1.
Antecedent: one of the milestones of my Central European
railway tour around Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Denmark and Austria in 2002 was Kassel in
Germany where I had an opportunity to look around in the local ThyssenKrupp Transrapid GmbH
factory with four pals of mine. The factory which formerly built Transrapid 06, 07, 08 and was
building the first Transrapid coaches for the new Shanghai airport shuttle service.
Unfortunately, we could only make one photo regarding this is a very specially equipped factory
(I am the second on the left).
Although we came to know a few interesting things about the
Transrapid system and the Chinese project, so as the firm is in a large lag: when all three
trains each with six coaches had to be built only the first three sections of the first train
existed (see the picture above). They had no time to test them on the test track in Lathen, they
had to load them on trailers to ship them in Bremen. But I missed one more thing for the real
Transrapid experience: to ride it, to feel the speeds up to 400 kph at low level. It was made
possible in this year on the test track in Lathen, Germany (all right, I know, the time I am
writing this, the Shanghai Transrapid doesn't carry passengers because of the spreading SARS
virus so Lathen is the only possibility to ride anyway).
The group of eight consisting four common railwayfans and four
railway workers of MAV, gathered on a Hungarian internet forum for railwayfans, reached the
site, of course, by train.
Our first workhorse is a Taurus of the Federal Austrian Railways, pulling EC 24 Franz Liszt until
Wien Westbahnhof, and then pushing it. To the left there is a train consisting the avaible
prototype cars of the Intercity multiple unit train built by the late Ganz-Hunslet.
But there was a Bull of our own, too (1047 003) so I also made a photo about it.
In Wien West the train changes direction so another Taurus, namely 1116 016 pulls the train
further, together with the other locomotive remaining on the end. The picture was taken in
Passau where we had four hours to catch the connection, fitting in a sightseeing. See a few
photos from there:
There is the cathedral. On the right there is a bridge which reminded us the Erzsebet bridge in
Budapest in a smaller version, crossing the same Danube (Donau in Germany, Duna in Hungary)
I liked this short, double tunnel under the castle so I also made a photo about them. The river
Ilz flows into the Danube from the North, behind the castle hill.
At the same place the Inn is running into it, from the right. I have already seen the other end
of the Inn last year, on the Bernina railway line, it is a glacier lake.
And they make a good use of the branches of the three rivers, for example to start sightseeing
ships. On the right you can see the guys attempt the docking several times, sometimes not so
The castle hill again, on the other side there is the firth of the Ilz, making the photo from
the firth of the Inn.
This is where the small team takes a break the day before the Transrapid test ride.
This duck is cheating. You know, like Jesus in the joke, who couldn't walk on water, only knew
where the piles are :-)))
And so much for the urban traffic: the sightseeing bus also turns into the smallest possible
I said the smallest _possible_ streets, not these! :-) But these also have names!
Sometimes I felt the old city was built in too tight. But it's not ugly, I prefer it's more
photogenic. The stone arches mainly support supporting walls of the surrounding buildings.
A bridge over the fast flowing river Inn.
Now let's go back to the railway station. Well, what does the German if he wants to build a
pedestrian main square in lack of space? Yes, he lowers the road traffic underneath!
An engine with coupling rod class 363 is shunting a train, which is going to be hauled by a
class 111. On the right is our next train, IC 2020, we ride it until Munster (hauled by 101 043
until Frankfurt am Main, and 120 110 further). You can see the previous cathedral in the
The next morning we reach Lathen where we take a look at the
test track and a ride on the superspeed magnetic levitated train.
To Continue >>>