It is almost 40 years since the first tilting trains were developed by British Rail, following significant R&D work, along with pioneering trials with a gas turbine power unit. This was of course the ill-fated Advanced Passenger Train (APT), which was effectively scrapped in the early 1980s, ending up as a static exhibit at the Crewe Heritage Centre.
In 1999, just before the ‘Pendolinos’ arrived in the UK, tilting technology had been deployed on high-speed trains in Sweden and Italy. The Italian versions benefited from the use of British Rail developed technology, although they had had a long history of the development of tilting trains – notably in the various ETR trains built by Fiat, Ansaldo, and others.
Other countries – Germany and Switzerland for instance – began to develop the technology, but there was limited take up, and in the February/March 1999 issue of “Rail Bulletin” I reviewed the progress to date.
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