A combination of a travel image and the job stuff today. We were driving from Nairobi to Amboseli on our first full day in Kenya. The road we took initially is the main road to Mombasa which is the principal port for not only Kenya but some of its neighboring countries. Parallel with the road is a railway and, as we headed southeast, a train was coming the other way. A pair of diesel locomotives were pulling the train, and they had a message on the side about their role. I understand they were built by CRRC in China. One for the rail fans who read my blog, I think.
In the process of scanning so many old negatives, I come across shots that I had no idea I had taken. When I still shot film, I would not go nuts taking shots but I was certainly willing to take a shot of anything that I found interesting at the time. Since I had no idea that I was going to have a career in rail, I didn’t think trains would be very important. However, I am an engineer at heart and any big mechanical items catch my interest. It isn’t surprising that I found a few photos of trains. Some of my old colleagues will find these of interest. Others may just like them because they like trains. My sister will probably like the Class 50 just because she used to commute to work behind them for a number of years!
A recent work trip involved some testing of a locomotive. The test track in use is just outside Pueblo Colorado. The testing program involves a ton of different tests, many of which are pretty boring to watch if you are not involved. We did get to do some high speed runs while I was there though. The locomotive is designed for 125mph so it has to be tested to 130mph. We got to blast around the track for a while. Wildlife would scatter as we approached – usually. The loco is a modern design so at this speed, things were really quite uneventful. The ride was smooth. The noise was pretty quiet and would have been better if we didn’t have instrumentation cables out of the windows breaking the normal seal. Soon you will be seeing these locos in service in a number of states across the US.
I was actually looking for something else when I headed to Livermore. An interesting aircraft had come to the field from Denver and a friend had given me a heads up about it. I went over to see if I could see it. As it turned out, the tail was just visible in a hangar across the field but there was nothing much to see. I decided to hang around for a short while before heading home.
As I was wandering along the fence line, a light twin came in to land. I got some shots as it landed and could read the DA62 logo on the aircraft. This is Diamond’s newest product and this appears to be the first example to show up in the US. I had just been reading the flight test on it in Flight International. It turns out the wife of the pilot was standing nearby. They were due to head off but we chatted for a while about their training operations and now the role of distributor for the type.
The DA62 has a change for Diamond in that it can be painted in colors. Previously, the airframes were white and all you could do was add stripes to customize them. They have done something new with the composites and this example was in a really nice metallic gray finish. They soon loaded up and headed out. This is a cool plane and a comfortable seven-seater. If you are in the market, give these guys a call!