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Designing passenger vehicles the engineers try to obtain maximum comfort for passengers as well as improvements in ventilation and interior finishes1. We know the passenger rolling stock of today to comprise several types of cars. There exist sleeping and dining cars, coaches for day and night service, saloon coaches for tourists, etc. The modern rolling stock is built with two types of inside arrangement. One is the compartment type with a side corridor, and the other is the open vehicle with a central passage. There is also a fleet of restaurant cars, parcel vans and underground cars for urban transportation.

The design of passenger rolling stock varies greatly in different countries according to their geography, climate, economic and industrial development, etc. For instance, many North American or Russian journeys are of such a length as to require night travel. Consequently, a far greater proportion of American and Russian rolling stock must be designed to allow comfortable sleeping than it has ever been necessary in Great Britain. By the way, the prototype of a modern sleeping car was invented by an American publisher M.Pullman in the middle of the 19th century. And he was also the first to design and build the so-called hotel car, which was followed by a restaurant car, the forerunner2 of the modern dining car.

In general, British and Continental railways have favoured the compartment type of coach for day travel. In the course of time the British first-class sleeping cars have developed into the single-room vehicles of great comfort, each room with its own toilet and a birth for one person only, as well as almost every service expected in the bedroom of a first-class hotel.

In the United States and Canada, on the other hand, the centre-corridor type of coach (with reclining chairs3 to be brought to the full horizontal position at night) has been in universal use. Modern Pullman coaches are often different in every train. A feature of most American long-distance trains is the rear-end observation car4.

Many innovations have been introduced in car construction since the early days. Nowadays double-decker passenger trains allowing railways to increase passenger handling capacity are getting increasingly used. Modern carriages are made of lightweight steel, aluminium, plastics and reinforced fiberglass5. The application of these materials has resulted in considerable reduction of the rolling stock weight and, in addition, has increased the resistance of cars to corrosion.

Intrain Entertainment Systems6 being introduced on modern high-speed trains make long-distance journeys more enjoyable for passengers. Seat-back screens will provide passengers with on-board information as well as internet access, music videos, full-length films, games, etc. Passengers buy a scratch card7 for €3.50 giving them access to more than 40 items on a menu.

Thus, new state-of-the-art materials and design improvements provide better comfort for passengers.

1 interior finishes – внутрішнє оздоблення

2 forerunner – передвісник

3 reclining chairs – відкидні крісла

4 rear-end observation car – останній вагон з великими вікнами (для туристів)

5 reinforced fibre-glass – тверде скловолокно

6 Intrain Entertainment System – мультимедійна розважальна система для пасажирів

7 scratch card – карта доступу до системи


Exercise 42 Which of the mentioned types of cars are typical of the Ukrainian railways? Describe the interior of a typical Ukrainian car (a modern car). Compare our passenger rolling stock with that of Europe.


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