HAMBURG, Germany--Sure, Miniatur Wunderland is the world's largest collection of model trains, but to describe it that way would do it a serious injustice. What it really is is a beyond-belief collection of fantastic dioramas depicting scenes from the Swiss and Austrian Alps, Germany, the United States, and Scandinavia throughout which run 900 trains on the more than eight miles of tracks.
SEDRUN, Switzerland--I'm a kilometer inside one of the Alps and nearly 800 meters below the surface, and it's pitch black. And I'm falling at 14 meters a second.
But this isn't a story of fire and brimstone. It's a story of the construction of the world's longest tunnel, a new 57 kilometer all-flat rail line deep under the Swiss Alps that is planned to open in 2017 and which is hoped to double the capacity of cargo along the crucial Zurich to Milan line. It's also Switzerland's largest-ever ecological project.
This is … Read more
Imagine someone who is brand-spanking new to the Internet. Setting them loose in a browser with no guidance would be like directing a horse and buggy onto an L.A. freeway at rush hour. You could look over their shoulder as they discover the joys and pitfalls of the top Web sites, or you could simply send them a link to the free Internet-training videos at Grovo.
The company has created dozens of short videos covering just about every activity a person is likely to do on the Web. The videos last from less than a minute to more than … Read more
Safety issues aside, only three things are required to be happy in your job: do interesting work, get paid fairly, and get along with your boss. I can't help you with the last one, but if you're not happy with the work you're doing or your salary, one possible solution is to learn new skills that will translate into more challenging and financially rewarding work.
Tongue-in-cheek suggestions for avoiding the ax Any employment-related advice on the Web or elsewhere has to be taken with a grain of salt, especially when it comes to generic recommendations about successful … Read more
The U.S. railroad is about to get a minor makeover.
Axion International has won a $15 million contract to make railroad ties made from recycled plastic, the company announced yesterday.
The railroad ties will specifically be made of Recycled Structural Composite (RSC), the signature recycled plastic composite developed by Axion in conjunction with Rutgers University. RSC is a thermoplastic composite produced from 100 percent recycled consumer plastics (such as milk jugs and laundry detergent bottles) and industrial plastic waste.
Axion's deal to provide replacement railroad ties over the next three years is with an unnamed company purported to … Read more
The FBI is on the hunt for the hackers responsible for a recent wave of cyberattacks launched in defense of WikiLeaks.
FBI agents yesterday executed more than 40 search warrants in the United States as part of their ongoing investigation. Pointing to the group Anonymous, which has taken responsibility for the attacks, the FBI said that the distributed denial of service (DDoS) assaults were facilitated by software the group makes available as free downloads.
If you're like most folks, your New Year's resolutions included something like "lose weight" or "get in shape." Easier said than done, right?
Try FitnessClass, a new iPad app that serves up more than 200 workout videos. No trips to the gym, no fitting your workouts to someone else's schedule--just on-demand professional classes for just about any kind of workout you want: fat burning, core strengthening, arm toning, and so on.
In fact, you can search for classes based on your goal (weight loss, strength, etc.), the time you have available (from 10 … Read more
A study released Tuesday by urban planning initiative America 2050 recommends the U.S. Department of Transportation refocus its high-speed rail hopes on "megaregions" in order to be effective.
The term "megaregions" refers to the greater metropolitan areas concentrated throughout the U.S., which happen to consist of roughly 70 percent of the U.S. population and jobs, according to America 2050.
The 56-page study "High-Speed Rail in America" (PDF) claims to generally support the push that has been championed by politicians from both the Republican and Democratic party in certain regions of the … Read more
The U.S. government awarded $2.4 billion in funding last week to 54 railroad projects across 23 states in the U.S.
This latest round of funding is in addition to the $8 billion that was awarded in January as part of the comprehensive public works project to construct the "first nationwide program of high-speed intercity passenger rail service."
The funds are going toward new railroad lines and stations, as well as efforts to update and refurbish existing ones to coalesce with the high-speed plan announced in January as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
In this round of funding, Florida received $800 million to build a high-speed railroad connecting Tampa and Orlando with train speeds reaching up to 168 mph at some points along the route, making the trip under an hour compared with 90 minutes by car. The state's ultimate plan is to extend the line from Orland down to Miami, according to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).
Iowa received $230 million to hook into a new intercity passenger service that would connect Iowa City to Chicago and points in between.
California, known for its heavy traffic congestion, received $901 million, of which $715 million will be spent on a new high-speed railroad across its Central Valley. The state's ultimate goal is to have a high-speed passenger service reaching speeds of 220 mph at some points between San Francisco and Los Angeles that would run 2 hours 40 minutes compared with 6 hours by car, according to FRA statistics.… Read more
The dream of a London Underground network that's totally Internet-connected is getting a step closer to reality, as BT announced that Charing Cross would be the first Tube station to have Wi-Fi access.
The service is due to start today and will be trialed for six months, allowing people to log on to the Internet from Charing Cross ticket hall area, as well as the Northern and Bakerloo line platforms. There won't be access in the actual trains, apart from a few seconds when the doors are open--or if your train is stuck.