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posted by Fnord666 on Wednesday December 06 2017, @06:24AM   Printer-friendly
from the quite-the-charge(r) dept.

Siemens SC-44 Charger seen rolled out across country to replace some older locomotives for corridor work.

The new Siemens Charger locomotives, with 16-cylinder, 4,400-horsepower engines, are both lighter and quieter, and meet EPA emission standards. The trains will travel the same speed as before—79 miles per hour—but they'll reach the top speed faster.

The new locomotives can also take you to from Chicago to Detroit, or Chicago to St. Louis, for example, and they can do it using one-third the fuel, emitting one-tenth the pollution, and at speeds up to 125 miles per hour. (The Chicago-St. Louis route has been cut from 5-1/2 hours to 4-1/2 hours thanks to the new engines and track improvements.

"A lot of our customers care about the earth and about pollution, and these are so much cleaner to operate, and they're better for our partners at IDOT and the customers because they're going to cost less to operate in that they get better mileage," said Marc Magliari, Amtrak spokesman.

Just saw one while I was out for a cigar and thought it was pretty cool, I figure others might find it interesting as well. I have been taking my kids to go watch them do trackwork on the north-south line in Oregon and was wondering why they were so extensive in replacing all of the old ties. Although the speed limit is 79 I wonder if this will be increased with updated track and new locomotives. Here is hoping someone models it soon so I can waste money.
4400 horsepower, top speed of 125, and meets EPA Tier VI emission standards.

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  • (Score: 0, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06 2017, @09:25AM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06 2017, @09:25AM (#606051)

    Always, everywhere there is "rationing" in the sense that universities have a certain capacity. There's only so many professors to go around, you cannot increase student numbers forever. The US selects through tuition fees and entrance exams. Germany selects through final grades of secondary education, seldomly through additional entrance exams, and for a very few subjects there is a nationwide waiting list (based on secondary education grades and waiting time).

    Yes, in Germany there are some "selection points" earlier during the school system. Most German states have (up to three) parallel tracks in secondary education, with different focus. The basic idea is that a future university student needs a different kind of schooling (content, methods) than a future master carpenter (which is an official degree here), and again different from a future factory worker. And let's be honest: not everybody is the brightest candle on the cake and can take the same schooling ... so why not acknowledge that and prepare everybody as best we can for their future lives?

    That being said: there's *always* a possibility to reach higher, you are not forever-doomed to your track. Everybody, at any time, can switch to a different school type and continue from there. But you have to learn the same stuff as the others there, and prove it in the same tests, and they had a head start. The tuition (always for kids, otherwise mostly) and the testing (always) is free of charge. Obviously it's still difficult, but it *is* possible and it is being done, in both directions. Universities require you to have completed the "university track" with acceptable grades ... *OR MASTER AN TEST* after which it's the same as if you had been in the "university track" secondary school all along.

    So yes, there's *is* early selection, and there undeniably are some drawbacks to that. But so far our it's been working out quite well .... :-P
    And it's DEFINITELY NOT the kind of Stalinist "the-state-determines-your-life" rationing that the grandparent's propaganda would lead you to believe.

    I am German, so you may take the factual parts above as a citation.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06 2017, @09:42AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06 2017, @09:42AM (#606055)

    Is it good for anything? Could you get something like a PhD (the German equivalent) in something utterly worthless?

    Is the state willing to fund a decade of studying one of: feminist line dances, American football, communication with spirits, lesbian guitar songs, or the proper installation of toilet paper rolls?

    If not, how do they say "NO" to that?

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by c0lo on Wednesday December 06 2017, @10:34AM (1 child)

      by c0lo (156) on Wednesday December 06 2017, @10:34AM (#606072)

      If not, how do they say "NO" to that?

      I reckon it's very simple: the universities, being non-for-profit institutions, trade in prestige - the better prepared graduates, the higher number of students will ask for them. I know, this centuries old traditionalism looks a bit out of fashion for the modern American.

      Anyway, back on track: one doesn't get much academic prestige if one engages in American football or communication with spirits.

      Ah, for the sports - there are academic institutions dedicated to these kind of studies. I reckon it wouldn't be uncommon for athletes that didn't reach a point allowing them to earn their living from sport to seek a tertiary education in this area. But, apart from this case, I guarantee you, the choice of a student of which university/institute to attend is in no way determined by the results of their "football" team.
      So most universities don't maintain a "professional level" sport team. True, they'll have facilities for anyone willing to play a sport as an amateur, but... "sports scholarships"? A waste of money

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06 2017, @09:08PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06 2017, @09:08PM (#606404)

        We have people who waste money on useless degrees. Some of them are very seriously stupid. No normal business finds value in an African Poetry graduate. That doesn't help design a truck, remove a cancer, or formulate gasoline. It doesn't do shit.

        If the USA taxed people to pay for college, we'd have even more people getting useless degrees. There would be zero fear of being unable to pay back loans. There would be very little pressure from parents to chose a useful subject to study.

  • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday December 06 2017, @10:19AM

    by c0lo (156) on Wednesday December 06 2017, @10:19AM (#606065)

    Grateful for it, always good to have a first hand insight.