May 31, 1962: the Voghera massacre

May 31, 1962: it is a warm but not sultry night when the fate of 64 people is about to be marked. Shortly after midnight, at 0.02 am, the 8151 freight train from Milan Rogoredo station leaves from Lecco and goes to Arquata Scrivia. The convoy consists of 33 wagons. In the meantime, at 0.45 am, from another Milan station, the Central Station, the fast train 1391 also leaves, expected in Genova Brignole at 5.22 am. The passenger convoy stops at Voghera where it arrives at the third platform 15…

Read More

September 27, 1825: the first time in history that a steam locomotive carry passengers on a public railway

For the first time in history a steam locomotive carried passengers on a public railway on this day, September 27, 1825. The engine was called Locomotion No. 1 and in control was its designer, the engineer George Stephenson. The train belonged to the Stockton and Darlington Railway, which operated across the North East of England but, for the first time, apart from 36 wagons filled with sacks of coal and flour, it included a purpose-built passenger coach called, not by chance, The Experiment. Actually, shaking and springless, the carriage resembled…

Read More

Travel by rail across 14 countries around the world? Now is possible!

For travellers who want to explore the world by train, there is a fantastic new: a newly-launched trip that may be a dream come true! The English website Railbookers has launched a journey called “Around the World by Rail”, which gives travellers the opportunity to discover four continents, 14 countries and over 20 cities. The 56-day trip also takes in some of the world’s most popular train rides along the way, including the legendary Trans-Siberian Railway to Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia. Even though the trip is curated to begin and end…

Read More

SVL: the Very Fast Soviet jet-propelled Train of 1970

Before high speed, which today we consider a service almost obvious, railway companies around the world were looking for different tricks to make their convoys fast and able to travel huge distances in a short time. During the 1960’s, Americans, followed by the Soviets, experimented with turbojet trains. The idea was that, like a jet aircraft, the train is propelled by the jet thrust of the engines, rather than by its wheels. From Russia, in 1970, a futuristic project arrived that today appears to be decidedly vintage, a piece of…

Read More