The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 6 (October 2, 1933)
Rail-cars in Europe
Rail-cars in Europe.
Adapting themselves to changed conditions, the European railways continue to introduce considerable numbers of light rail-cars in place of heavy steam train units. On the French State Railways and the Paris-Lyons-Mediterranean system Diesel-engined rail-cars of a novel type are being employed, having the driver's compartment in the centre of the vehicle, with the upper portion of the cab projecting above the roof of the car. The idea is to afford the driver perfect visibility in all directions, and to simplify the transmission and centralise the controls. The new French cars seat 44 passengers. Over all length is 42 feet, width 8ft. 10 1/4in., and wheelbase 23ft. Tare weight is 14 tons, and maximum loaded speed 56 m.p.h. Another type of rail-car, petrol-driven, with observation top, has been introduced on the State Railways, this being a Michelin product, with pneumatic tyres.
On the Italian State Railways a new type of rail-car has been acquired from the Fiat Company. This is petrol-driven, seats 48 passengers, and weighs 11 tons empty. The car is 43ft. in length, the body being largely composed of aluminium. This is in line with the present policy throughout Europe of reducing the weight of train units to a minimum. That rail-cars have come to stay there cannot be the slightest doubt. In their absence, operation of many branch routes would be a hopelessly impracticable proposition from the financial viewpoint.