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Toothless Stitch

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121 posts in this topic

Did you know NASA discovered a planet called Kepler-452b which is the closest to matching our Earth?

Yeah, and it is 1400 light-years away.  We will never visit it until we can stop playing with last century's fire crackers.

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Did you know there are very lonesome animals on this planet?  For example the olm. No near relatives in europe, only a colored one in america.

Even worse the walrus - no family members at all, he is the only species that makes up the whole biological family.

Or the spiny anteater - all family members long gone, no near relatives, only one single friend world wide, the duckbill, sharing his strange sexual preferences: beeing oviparous and mammalian same time.


  Edited by fantozzi

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Did you know that the great zeppelin airship LZ 129 Hindenburg was not the only flying machine by that infamous name, and that there was a rival Hindenburg airliner flying?

1967452153_4a57b9f6cf_o.jpg

Junkers produced in 1929 the Junkers G.38, a prototype transport for the Reichsluftfahrtministerium that soon offered regular commercial passenger service between Berlin's Tempelhof and London under Deutsche Luft Hansa.  At the time, these two aircraft were the largest land-based airplanes in the world, and, of the two hulls, the second prototype D-2500 was named the Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg.  It flew successfully for Lufthansa until the outbreak of war, when it was destroyed as a Luftwaffe transport by the Royal Air Force in 1941.

ABJ_590_J38_038_0.jpg

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Within an early blended wing design, passengers cabins were actually in the wing roots, with forward-facing observation windows, while the double-decker main fuselage body had lounges and smoking rooms.  With such comparatively roomy access, onboard engineers could further directly service the engine nacelles internally while the plane was inflight.  The thick, ungainly profile of the blended wing G.38 might look familiar, as it is one of several inspirations for the fictional Blohm & Voss BV-38 flying wing in "Raiders of the Lost Ark."  Just remember not to turn around in front of the spinning propellers!

IH184202.jpg

Of course, while these were then the largest non-seaplane airplanes, they were still utterly dwarfed by their zeppelin counterparts:

LZ127_G38_Rheinlandbefreiungsflug_1.jpg

That is the sister first G.38, the D-2000, and beyond is the LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin.  For scale, note the airshow onlookers in the foreground, and then check out the distant crowd massing at the zeppelin's gondola.  Pity that there doesn't seem to be a photograph of the zeppelin Hindenburg alongside the airplane Hindenburg.  The little craft here would have to nimbly race into the wind down the field to gain lift for takeoff, while the behemoth would just gently float up and away.

Hehe, I admit, the whole point of this post was to show off that last photograph, as it is not often you see such mind-bogglingly dramatic scale contrasts between foreground, middle ground, and background.  Look at the size of that thing!

 

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   Did you know ?   ... Every time you stop on a road trip , with interstate travelling . Each stop adds 10 , 20 or more minutes to your ETA . All depending on how much time the stops consume .

For example , Grafton,WV to Baltimore,MD  240 miles , Without traffic and stops in between . ETA  3 hours and 50 minutes

   The same trip , 240 miles , no traffic , doing the speed limit plus 2 - 10 minute interstate restroom stops , 5 hours and 40 minutes  . 

Darn kidneys .

   Now , same trip 240 miles , 10-15 over speed limit , no stops 3 hours and 15 minutes . 

   All of this was brought to my attention by my Son-In-Law some time ago . He said the second trip , stopping twice consumed the most fuel . The last one , no stops and speeding . Consumed the least fuel . He said , because speed limits are set at a particular RPM range . Too consume more fuel . 

   I don't know how true , but kinda makes sense . Like residential areas speed limits set at 25 MPH instead of 30 MPH . So if you have a tachometer in your vehicle , check it out . You may find it to be true .

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Interesting point.  Did you also know that you can have your car tuned for cruising U.S. highways at 55 m.p.h.  Ask your local mechanic, and if he is any good, he will do it.

It is a little trickier up here in the frozen north because general speed limits vary from county to county.  Provincial highways are 80 kph except superhighways that are 100.  But in New Brunswick the Transcanada Highway speed is 110 kph.  In Simcoe county where I live the limit on country roads is 90 while Perth country (next over) is 80.  Cars need to be equipped with cruise control IMHO.  Much less tiring than jazzing that pedal all the time.

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Speaking about zeppelins, did you know there are currently projects considering bringing zeppelins back to our skies? Students from my home university proposed it:

http://www.damngeeky.com/2012/08/24/4314/freighter-bird-modern-day-zeppelin-will-soar-the-skys-in-near-future.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KONly8ZUxqo

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What a great idea, and not only for freight.  No reason not to use solar power for these with nice big batteries.  If you look at the passenger services provided up to the Hindenburg disaster one could travel in great luxury in the first class, and I suppose the coach class (if any) could be very good as well.  Helium for lift, of course.

This could help eliminate the use of fossil fuels in air freight, some in ocean travel.  Proof of concept solar aircraft have been successful, so let's hope that jet contrails will soon be a thing of past wonder.

Now, if we can only get shut of those damned firecrackers (rockets).

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13 hours ago, Fantozzi said:

Did you know: the very first web-page of human mankind, created by Tim Bernes-Lee in 1991, is still available?

Goes to show that what gets posted on the web stays on the web . Unless the powers that be wish for it , not to be . 

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Did you know that "Blitzkrieg" was never really an official German doctrine. Indeed, when Germany was planning to invade France in 1940, German military planners were actually expecting a repeat of WW1 with a stalemate at the front line and planned accordingly. The quick German victory in France came as a complete surprise, even to the Germans. It was after the fact that a number of people began promoting the idea that it was all planned from the start and it were British writers who invented the idea that "Blitzkrieg" was an actual doctrine and not just a set of vague ideas about using tanks to make rapid advances. 

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^ Further to that, did you know that the rapid armoured attack doctrine was published by a French Colonel between the wars?  His name was Charles de Gaulle.

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Did you know that iceland was lifted about 10 cm in the last five years? This is because the weight of the billions of tons of ice from the glaciers used to depress the whole island into the mantle of the earth. With the fast melting of the glaciers iceland looses weight and therefore arises.

Some experts say with the new displacement of earth mass by melting glaciers at north and south earth rotation will slow down.

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But the slow down will be fractional.  Will anyone but the time-keepers of atomic clocks notice?

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Did you know the highest christian church of the world stands in the city of Ulm, Germany, 161,53 meters high. It's told the citizens of Ulm (by this time about 10.000) wanted to show how important their city is. So they buildet a church for more than 20.000 people.

246px-Ulmer_M%C3%BCnster-Westfassade.jpg

The highest religious building of the word stands in Cassablanca. It's the mosque of Hassan II, 210 meters high.

316px-Morocco-31_%282218236689%29.jpg

Another world record holds the buddhistic temple of Borobodour, Indonesia. It displays on it's walls the longest picture story (comic strip) of the world, about 5 kilometers long, telling the life of Buddha. 

640px-Siddharta_Gautama_Borobudur.jpg

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For atheists the story about the Immaculate Conception is one of the best biblic jokes.

But did you know - for nature this ain't no problem at all? Nature knows many games of Parthenogenesis and Gynogenesis.

The New Mexico Whiptail f.e. has only females. British scientist who where observing an ant colony saw how the colony became male-less in a period of two years by introducing a technique of self-fertilization.

Exact this technique could, with a little scientific help, also work for humans. As any cells of a womans body could be used to fertilize her own ovule .

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Did you know that while the US technically has a high speed rail line, it is not normally counted as one?

It's the Acela Express. It's inaugural service was in 2000 and capable for speeds at 150 mph (~250 kph). But there are a few problems with it. First, the infrastructure breaks the rule of having a dedicated track to the line. There are certain parts on the Northeast Corridor that still share tracks with freight trains. Then there's the issue of reaching it's capable speed. The trains only reach its fastest speed for short bursts with it's average being only 64 mph (~102 kph).

It was announced last month that Amtrak will be working to start upgrading the trains to a faster train by Alstom. Then as the first trains are brought in the rails will be upgraded to accommodate them. It will be a $2.4B venture, but now that it's getting more ridership each year it makes sense to convert it over to a true HRS standard. It will probably be done before CAHSR comes online.

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Did you know that there never was a major believe the world is flat? That medieval people believed and medieval church preached a flat world and with Columbus this believe changed - it's a myth born in the 19th century.

 

*************************

[It's also a myth that an early access version of a game called Sim City was involved in the rise of this myth]

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Did you know that famous American actor Edwin Booth, brother to Lincoln presidential assassin John Wilkes Booth, actually saved Lincoln's son Robert from serious injury or possible death, when Robert fell from a platform close to a moving train?

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Did you know there is still a ship in existence that is related to the Titanic?

The ship's name is Nomadic, and up until a few years ago was left derelict near the banks of the Seine River. While it wasn't used for oceanic travels, it was used as a tender by White Star to ferry passengers from shore to ship as the Titanic's draught was too great for the docks in Cherbourg. It's been restored to near perfect condition now and is currently docked in the ongoing construction area at Titanic Quarter in Belfast.

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On ‎10‎/‎20‎/‎2016 at 11:07 AM, airman15 said:

Did you know there is still a ship in existence that is related to the Titanic?

The ship's name is Nomadic, and up until a few years ago was left derelict near the banks of the Seine River. While it wasn't used for oceanic travels, it was used as a tender by White Star to ferry passengers from shore to ship as the Titanic's draught was too great for the docks in Cherbourg. It's been restored to near perfect condition now and is currently docked in the ongoing construction area at Titanic Quarter in Belfast.

While we're on the subject of the Titanic...

Did you know that a 55-foot model replica of the Titanic currently lies rusting and disintegrating on the grounds of the Mediterranean Film Studios in Matla?  The model was created for the 1980 special effects blockbuster Raise the Titanic, based on the bestselling novel by Clive Cussler, and was used in several key scenes (some of which weren't even included in the final cut of the movie).  Marine artist Ken Marschall oversaw the model project, which would cost five million dollars, and which also required a special water tank to house and contain it, ballooning the budget by another three million dollars.  After the savage critical reviews upon the film's opening, producer Lord Grade quipped that it would have been cheaper to lower the Atlantic...

raise-main.jpg?itok=lN3YMHlf

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@madhatter106, @airman15 (this is especially for you)

Did you know that the company "M. Welte & Söhne" from Freiburg, south germany, was assigned by White Star Lines in 1911 to build the ship organ for the Titanic?

While the builder, Karl Bockisch-Welte, arrived in time at Southhampton (as he was invited to join the travel), the organ itself didn't made it in time - for several obscure problems during transport. So White Star Lines decided to travel without the standard ship organ. But nevertheless they invited Karl Bockisch-Welte to come aboard. Karl Bokisch-Welte refused.

Therefore, the organ and it's builder survived. Today you can see the organ of the titanic at a museum in Bruchsal, germany.

 

 

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@madhatter106 It's a shame the model was left to disintegrate on a patch of grass. For what it's worth, they were only going by the testimonies and probable outcomes based on pre-discovery accounts of the wreck. If that model were kept in better condition, it could have very well piqued the interest of an obsessed collector with access to burning dollars.. Or if nobody wanted it I would have taken it!

@Fantozzi That's very surreal to hear what would have been another voice of the Titanic. They salvaged one set of whistles and got them to work with compressed air. Is that organ the same one they were going to mount on Britannic before being converted to a hospital ship?

To continue the trend, did you know you can still view the furnishings from the RMS Olympic? Unlike her two younger sisters the Olympic saw 20 years of service and even survived WWI. When the depression hit and affected Europe, the Olympic was decommissioned and sold for scrap. During the process they took the paneling from the 1st class areas and you can see them in two spots. The MV Celebrity Millennium has a restaurant utilizing original wall panels and tables with chairs. And if you find yourself in Alnwick, the White Swan Hotel is home to the Olympic Suite with more furnishings from Olympic.

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5 hours ago, airman15 said:

Is that organ the same one they were going to mount on Britannic before being converted to a hospital ship?

My knowledge about that is limited. All ships of the olimpic class were designed to have organs in the luxury dining/restaurant, all by 'Welte & Söhne'. This dining on the Britannic was much bigger an so was the organ. I have no clear information what happened with the organ for the britannic. Furniture elements would come at the end of the building process. But the Britannic never was finished as a passenger ship - to my knowledge military overtook the building process towards the end. The organ was delivered. But I have no information about what happened then, if installation was completed. If someone has information about that I would be courious about that myself.

There is a picture of the dining hall of the Britannic on wikipeida that shows the pipes alread installed - but I can't see the organ, the mechanism itself:

365px-Welte_organ_britannic_II.jpg

So it seens the pipes where there and weren't removed by military, so they sunk with the ship - but the organ? I don't know.

 

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I looked back into it; they're different instruments. The one intended for Britannic was installed on the ship but almost immediately taken off when it was decided to convert the ship to a floating hospital. Oddly enough, that one was manufactured by a German company. after removal from the ship, it was returned to Germany and changed hands several times between the manufacturer and private customers. It was later transferred to the Museum of Music Automatons (Switzerland) in 1969 also through private hands. Nobody realized it belonged to the ship until some engravings reading "Britanik" were found on the instrument itself as part of a restoration project.

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@airman15

Did you know, that high speed lines in europ are usually also used by freight trains? (Except for some in france and one in germany)

(Btw: the NEC saw - except for small portions around Providence where track speed is around 240kph no biginvestmens since upgrade works done by Penn Central for it's metroliner services in the 70s....., by european standards it would be called a conventional railline with increased track speeds)

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@Skimbo- I thought most HSR have dedicated track that aren't used by any other line? I have taken the Capitol Corridor before and taking it you would see trains from Union Pacific with much of the line bypassing industrial yards which include maintenance facilities and petroleum transferring stations. Then going through the Bay Area, you'll have Caltrain on the same right of way as Amtrak.

Amtrak was created to be a temporary solution to a struggling passenger service as driving or flying were becoming more of a go-to for long distance travel. Almost all of the rail is owned by freight companies in the US, with a marginal percentage owned by Amtrak outright. The NEC is one of the few sections of rail owned by them. While the Acela is the closest train we have to HSR now, they announced a new train will replace it with the Avelia Liberty and it will come with infrastructure upgrades. As it stands, the maximum allowable speed on the NEC is about 215kph on straighter sections. When the project gets upgraded to global standards, it is expected to be closer to 300kph.

My home state is underway with a dedicated HSR line, with work starting on bridges and tunnels first through the Central Valley. It will not share tracks with any other line and it will avoid any at-grade crossings. They are expecting the line to be built with speeds of ~350kph meaning it will take you from San Francisco to Los Angeles in under three hours. Granted the project will carry on through 2022 but that's because the infrastructure has to be made from nothing. They haven't officially chosen the rolling stock yet, however Seimens built a mock up of a Velaro operator's car which right now is displayed in the state railroad museum. I'm almost certain they will use that model since they're the only manufacturer that meets the requirements for winning the contract (plants in the US, experience with HSR trains, presenting a mockup, etc).

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@airman15 Some HSRs feature dedicated trackage, especially if the passenger traffic volumes are high enough to decrease the "track capacity" for cargo traffic to zero. Good examples for this situation are the Paris-Marseillie line in france, the Cologne Frankfurt HSR in Germany or the high speed line Milano-Roma-Napoli in Italy. Some HSR lines are also buildt with slopes of up to 4% which -again- blocks cargot traffic as theese sections are to steep for cargo trains (example again the Cologne-Frankfurt HSR in Germany). 

Some HSR lines feature not just the fast intercity traffic but also regional commuter trains (mostly on a 160-200 kph range) This basically means high speed trains mixing with regional express passenger traffic.Good examples for this kind of operation are high speed lines like the Line London-Ashford (even 220 kph regio traffic), Nürnebrg-München in germany (Here we got MNX with 200kph), trackage speeds are still mostly 300+kph (Well, espeially the first example has regional (subventionized!!) passenger traffic running as fast as the acela.)

Then we got high speed lines which are buildt for omnipurpose use. This happens if there are several high speed trains running in an interval which allows other uses of the trackage as well. this lines often feature dense passenger traffic during day and a lot of freight during nighttime. Sometimes also very mixed on every hour of the day. Good examples for this kind of high speed lines are the (not jet completeley finished) High speed line Barcelona(ESP)-Avignon(F) where you can see freighters on a 350 kph (~220mph) trackage even during daytime, the austrian new western railroad (Vienna-Linz) which offers super dense mixed traffic or the Würzburg-Hannover HSR in Germany which switches from passenger traffic during daytime to very dense cargo traffic at night.

Penn Central's old mainline - the NEC - can be seen as the 1950's version of such a line, buildt for multi purpose use. The problem of the old NEC are several tight curves which will make upgrading this trackage very difficult, at least it's (on the NY-Washington section) free of level crossings and due to a good ammount of 4-track-sections also capable of a very high capacity for both commuter and high speed traffic. So in fact it's some mix between a HSR and a conventional line...... I guess Amtrak would have aleady upgraded the center tracks to higher speeds if there wouldn 't be problems like thecurves south of Philly or that high speed line nightmare near Wilmington (sharp curves and no space to make them whider). And the bridges.

Reasons for this mixed use are simple:  A high speed railroad means a massive investment into infrastructure that basically needs federal support (Except for some japaneese cases) because the input is extremeley high. So it's great if the use of this infrastructure can be maximised and cargo traffic offers good trackage renevues! In some cases, the final push to build a new high speed line are trackage shortages on the existing conventional lines.

 

California:

Here we got a special situation: In Europ and Asia we usually got operators of passenger and freight traffic which usually already operate this kind of traffic on parallel existing routes - and also own theese. Especially in Europ we also got the system of a state-owned infrastructure operator where train operating companies pay fees similar to a road toll for cars for their trains. So acess to trackage ain't that kind of a problem. This also grants a fair access to the trackage for every company. In the US meanwhile, trackage rights are private and the big railroads tend to hoard their usage rights to maximize their own number of trains - or, if they sell them, they're quite expensive. This means upgrading the existing trackage for high speed use is very difficult. So -for california- there's almost no other way than building something dedicated for their trains only (Except that hyperloop bullsh*) It'll be already fun enough to squeeze the HSR trains into theese tiny little gaps petween Caltrain's commuter trains on the northern end of the line. But so far there seem to be enough gaps between the HSR trains and during nighttime which also would allow to use this line for cargo traffic. So if they're whise enough they might add the needed connectionsto the existing network and offer usage rights for a fee to the freight companies. In the end it'll only make the infra cheaper for everyone and the state'sinvestment might not be just payed back by the taxpayers and passengers but also increase the cargo capacity (UP and all the others would not need to take big investments on new trackage to increase their network capacities)

 

On the other hand: The advantage of the american system: If the owner and sole operator wants to do something like starting up new private high speed passenger traffic and also got the money to do this, then it works out quite easy and sees trains running within a few years (and mostly no big conflicts with other train operators as there are none....) This is then called Brightline and just happens in Florida^^

 

 

About the delivery of Vehicles: Siemens got one big rival: Bombardier!

Plus: It's enough for the buy american rule to build the trains in the U.S., so every manufacturer of HSR trains is possible as long as they start up a contract with some american company to do the final assembly in the states. (Example: GE/EMD, Brookville, Wabtec(MPI) as contractor)

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@Skimbo Initial projections for HSR construction in CA state the ridership will be high, especially when the line connects the communities in the middle of the state with the two biggest concentrations in the North and South ends on the final build-out. Estimates for San Francisco to Los Angeles state there could be as many as 300 trains a day, not counting regional HSR runs. Going by the model made in the mockup, the trains will be about 10 cars long and can be departing every 15 minutes.

Several commuter lines exist through the state, though many of them are specific to the region they serve. I don't think CalTrain has ever seen a SMART train much in the same way that CalTrain has never seen Metrolink. In Roseville, you would be able to take the Capitol Corridor to Sacramento then when HSR arrives in Phase II you could go to LA and then take either Metrolink or the Metro through the interior of the city.

The trains we use now go about as fast speedwise as freeway traffic, or a little slower depending on rail conditions. In either case it's even slower than driving since certain lines make stops at all stations. It's faster to us to just take a car down one or two highways and then a few more city streets will take you directly to your destination. The diesel powered engines we are using now don't go any faster than 90kph. On runs where traffic on the road were normally back up as they do leading in and out of the city the same train is a faster alternative when it's a direct route. Only on weekends do the trains actually come to Roseville from Sacramento and they're immediately next to each other on the route map.

The Acela should have all of the necessary ingredients to justify a high speed line on par with an Asian-style line. If the Shinkansen ran on the NEC to their standards, they'd make the trip in two hours instead of the five on Acela. The trains employed on Acela would be much faster if it were as you said with infrastructure upgrades. The faster a train goes, the gentler the curves must be, and the more abuse bridges would have to withstand. Several bridges on the NEC have moving components and have been existing for decades which would undoubtedly need replacement if overhauling is not an option. It would be the most effort to undertake but if done the Acela would be able to attain it's top speed for longer.

Everything you listed is very much the case. In California, much of the proposed track does indeed parallel existing trackage used by the freight companies. For the Bay area leading to San Francisco, it's been decided to use a blended system where one side is Caltrain and the other is HSR. Caltrain would be following the line but will be making more stops along the route whereas there are only three stations for HSR. However, with wider turns in the Central Valley, it will intrude onto some property and will have to create new right of ways. This is where farmers in the region are trying to fight the project. On the other hand, the US interstate system had to carve farmlands 60 years ago.

Florida is a bit different, as they will be using diesel powered Tier IV engines. The Brightline is owned by Florida East Coast Railways which itself is a freight company. They will be implementing new track but it ultimately shadows their existing freight lines. Four stops are planned for the major metropolitan areas and at the end a connection to Orlando airport. It is not entirely privately funded, but instead they are receiving a federal loan which must be paid back in time to offset some of the construction costs. The anti-train crowd has been fighting to kill it and two counties that brought up lawsuits have already lost one of them and will be losing the others they brought up. Other critics are trying to force the line west to another set of tracks but those are owned by CSX, not the FEC.

That's true Bombardier has as much of a shot in the race for delivering trainsets. After all, they collaborated with Alstom to deliver the Acela in the first place. The last Bombardier product I boarded was a people mover at Sacramento International (sidenote- it's been proposed to extend a new line from Downtown area to the airport called the Green Line but only the portion north of the city has been realized). Siemens already has a plant in Sacramento where they are building light rail units for different cities and it's where they're already building the trains meant for Brightline. Therefore I'd be surprised if Siemens wasn't chosen as the final builder for the first trainsets.

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Did you know that young chickpeas/garbanzo beans in the pod are a popular street food called guasanas in Mexico?

 

Did you know that quesadillas with panela (basket cheese) and squash flowers are a traditional delicacy of Oaxaca and is a favorite throughout south and central Mexico, including Jalisco?

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