Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Train Racing

Train manufacturers battle for the fastest sport on 2 rails.
  [vote for,

The trains would of course be modified for aerodynamics, and be sponsored by computer, communications, electronics, and alcohol companies as Tobacco sponsorship is going out worldwide.

Various classes are possible:

Formula Train One (FT1): They would race 2 at a time on a specially built figure-8 track to ensure fairness. Trains are only a single powered unit.

World Rally Train (WRT): Trains leave at 30min intervals for special stages across a country. The Trans-Siberian event is of course the most challenging and prestigious.

Trains consist of 2 locos and 10 carriages. Support crew are carried on board.

Formula Mono: Entry level class for drivers, monorails compete on multi-track circuits.

zero5, Sep 18 2001


       And yes I know this sounds like Starlight Express, but these trains don't sing and dance.
zero5, Sep 18 2001

       Yeah, sorry I forgot to mention, there are 2 parallel sets of tracks. That's why its an 8, so each train has the same distance to travel on a lap.
zero5, Sep 18 2001

       If the trains are on independent tracks, you might as well just time their progress through some known route. And that form of train racing is Baked (though you won't find much of it any more).
egnor, Sep 18 2001

       This idea appeared for steam trains in "The Difference Engine", a fictional book based on an alternate world where Babbage completed and popularised his brass computers and therefore the Information Revolution happened in Victorian Times.   

       The competitions were to encourage people to design better and faster steam engines.
Aristotle, Sep 18 2001

       What about the Rain Hill Trials? (1825 competition to choose a new locomotive for the Liverpool and Manchester Railway) I don't know if the races were head to head or were separate time trials.
rambling_sid, Mar 23 2005

       Just wouldnt be exciting with electric trains, I mean, TGVs are quick, yeah, but essentially they're mostly nulclear powered.   

       Not sure what the trains are like in the US, but in the UK there is a massive and ancient fleet of 'Intercity' diesels which I recently learned are the fastest diesel trains in the world. They also sound like jets taking off when they pull out of a station owing to their massive turbochargers. (sometimes nicknamed 'Screamers')   

       The only problem is in the UK they would be inexplicably late, even on a closed figure-of-8.
Jim'll Break It, Mar 23 2005

       How about locomotive tug o' war?
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Mar 23 2005

       [Absinthe]: I *like* this!!   

       Also, train drag racing, as the best trains probably dont have the highest top speed, but accelerating quickly is important on our tiny little island.
Jim'll Break It, Mar 23 2005

       Those ancient intercity units, while once impressively quick (150mph on an early test run) are now, well, ancient. The quantity of blue smoke they shove out even at idle shows the lack of maintenance those highly capable beasties have been given.
david_scothern, Mar 23 2005


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