Author Topic: Trains of all sorts ...  (Read 10459 times)

Offline Weaver

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Trains of all sorts ...
« on: May 02, 2013, 07:32:36 PM »
There seem to have been a lot of armoured train models around in various scales in the last few years, so this article from Dark Roasted Blend seems timely. It's certainly interesting:

http://www.darkroastedblend.com/2013/05/awesome-armoured-trains-and-rail.html
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Offline Dr. YoKai

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Re: Trains of all sorts ...
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2013, 10:23:08 PM »
I love land battleships in whatever incarnation they appear, and have been prfoundly tempted by
some of the recent sets of armored trains out of Russia...but most of the images from DRB are
new to me. Wonderful stuff! ( man, they got a lot of use out of the T-28 turrets...)

Offline raafif

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Re: Trains of all sorts ...
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2013, 08:57:19 AM »
Hmm, DRB has only added 3 new pics on that page since I visited last year :(

Here's a couple ...

mainly Russian http://semboyan35.com/archive/index.php/thread-916-1.html
Even tho they don't look it, the Russian ICBM launcher-train is armoured behind the skin.

Flak-wagons of the Romney, Hythe & Dimchurch miniture railway
http://www.rhdr.org.uk/pages/history.html



Also the Serbian Krajina Express - http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=sr&u=http://oklop2.tripod.com/voz/krajina_ekspres.HTM&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dkrajina%2Bexpress%26start%3D10%26sa%3DN%26biw%3D800%26bih%3D403
photos are not linked but are still on the internet host.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2013, 09:04:36 AM by raafif »

Offline raafif

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Re: Trains of all sorts ...
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2013, 09:01:45 AM »
here's just a few from my collection .....

Hairy Mary - Boer War, "armoured" with thick rope, it was impervious to rifle & mg bullets.

and two Sth. African rail-motors ....

Offline Weaver

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« Last Edit: May 03, 2013, 09:48:35 AM by Weaver »
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
Minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith

Offline raafif

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Re: Trains of all sorts ...
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2013, 12:49:05 PM »
DoH !! yes I forgot that the translator drops the pics :-[

a few more ..... 1960's Russian train with JS-3 turrets now in a museum & a British Wickam rail-car in Malasia.

jetboy

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Re: Trains of all sorts ...
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2013, 06:09:57 PM »
this must be the first example of a missile fired from a train?,now being considered again i believe?




cheers Don

Offline elmayerle

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Re: Trains of all sorts ...
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2013, 12:56:33 AM »
*snicker* back when the US was considering a rail-mobile ICBM, we joked about hiding it by putting the Launch Control Car and three missile cars on the back of an Amtrak long-distance passenger train and giving the Soviets a timetable - they'd never find them.

Speaking of modern armored trains, how about one for costal defense including some GLCM launchers firing anti-ship variants and with CIWS defenses for protection?

Offline perttime

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Re: Trains of all sorts ...
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2013, 01:04:50 AM »
How do you plan to protect the tracks in the coastal defence system?

Here's a site on Finnish armoured trains 1918 to 1944 (in English):
http://www.jaegerplatoon.net/TRAINS0.htm
« Last Edit: May 04, 2013, 01:11:14 AM by perttime »

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Trains of all sorts ...
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2013, 03:32:11 AM »
this must be the first example of a missile fired from a train?,now being considered again i believe?




cheers Don


Was it actually launched from that position?  Do you have more details?
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Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Trains of all sorts ...
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2013, 03:32:38 AM »
What would you do for a modern 21st century armoured train?
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Offline perttime

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Re: Trains of all sorts ...
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2013, 04:01:24 AM »
Make it independent of tracks. Tracks are an easy target nowadays.




Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Trains of all sorts ...
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2013, 04:14:53 AM »
I like your thinking.  Maybe have good Air defence systems on board...maybe something like the Pantsir-S1 (see below) on one "module" or even a VLS SAM system?



All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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Offline Dr. YoKai

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Re: Trains of all sorts ...
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2013, 04:21:06 AM »
 Two or three of the linked Terracruisers ( from the recently re-issued Mace kit ) might be a good
 base - likewise, for a Post-apocolyptic Mad Max world, well, I think some of my colleagues are
 familiar with 'road trains', no?

 But that strays a bit...under what circumstances would the armored train be viable in today's world?
 I could see it being useful in a Totalitarian country that still had problems with Revolution and
 insurgency. MGs/grenade launchers would probably be the bulk of the armament, with some light
 artillery for the intimidation factor.

 Alternately, taking the 'mobile missile' tack mentioned above, if you're putting your ICBMs on a rail
 platform, why not add ABMs & lasers, and pull the whole thing with a nuclear locomotive?

Offline jcf

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Re: Trains of all sorts ...
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2013, 05:07:18 AM »
What would you do for a modern 21st century armoured train?

Eliminate airplanes and helicopters.  ;D
“Conspiracy theory’s got to be simple.
Sense doesn’t come into it. People are
more scared of how complicated shit
actually is than they ever are about
whatever’s supposed to be behind the
conspiracy.”
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Offline Weaver

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Re: Trains of all sorts ...
« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2013, 05:35:50 AM »
Well the Krajina Express was only viable because the opposition had no significant air power and apparently couldn't bring heavy weapons to bear on it. The Serbs had another, smaller armoured train that got ambushed by Bosnians with a T-55 tank and that was the end of it. This suggests to me that the likeliest scenario for a "modern" (1960s onwards) armoured train would be counter-insurgency. Perhaps you might get a situation where logistics had to go along a railway, and the armoured train fulfilled the same role as the convoy-escort gun-trucks seen from Vietnam to Iraq.

Imagine this: a big country gets involved in a counter-insurgency campaign in a small country. The only route from the only port to the combat zone passes through an area of precipitous wooded mountains. The only roads through this area are narrow, crumbling, dangerous and vulnerable. Helicopters can't carry the sheer volumes of stuff neccessary, and it's impossible to build a landing strip at the destination. The only way through this area is a colonial-era railroad, driven through at enormous cost in blood and treasure in the 19th century. The Insurgents are as aware of these factors as the Army, and are determined to disrupt railways operations by any means possible, but the same factors that force the Army to use the railway also mean that the Insurgents can only bring to the party what they can carry: small arms, explosives and hand-tools.

As has been rightly pointed out, the biggest problem in armoured train operations is not protecting the train but protecting the track. The location of the track is fixed and known and it's impossible to physically prevent access along it's hundreds of miles. Insurgents could rip the track up or block it hours before the train arrives and contrive to trap it by blocking the rail miles behind where it stops. However this cuts both ways. The location of the track is known to the Army as well, and the insurgents have to come out of the cover of the forests and remain in a fixed location to work on it. This means that the Army can dissuade or prevent many attempts by patrolling the track, using aircraft/helicopters/UAVs according to era and preference.

The Army has large resources to bring to bear for arming and armouring the trains, but one thing it can't do, at least in the initial stages of the campaign, is choose the trains themselves. Importing a modern loco wolud be hugely expensive and difficult and if the campaign is initially expected to be short and sharp, then there may be a reluctance to commit to such a long-term investment for several years. This means that the train is likely to be, at best, a 1950s vintage item, imported second-hand from Europe in the 1960s and maintained to a variable standard ever since.

For armament against Insurgent attacks, one thing that immediately strikes me as useful for both it's lethality and it's psychological impact is the minigun. The normal objection to Gatling guns for ground use is that they waste ammunition and over-kill a point instead of covering and area. However, a train carriage has more space and weight capacity than any AFV, so it could easily carry a useful amount of ammo and could even be equipped with a small generator to power the guns and make them independent of batteries.
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
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Offline ysi_maniac

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Re: Trains of all sorts ...
« Reply #16 on: May 04, 2013, 08:42:43 PM »
I like your thinking.  Maybe have good Air defence systems on board...maybe something like the Pantsir-S1 (see below) on one "module" or even a VLS SAM system?



Love this, really!!!

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: Trains of all sorts ...
« Reply #17 on: May 04, 2013, 11:04:45 PM »
Weav, UAV's would be your best rail-line defense, these days, (arm them with airburst anti-personnel missiles) under most circumstances but nothing is going to provide perfect coverage. High winds, storms, fog... They'll all play a part in letting the insurgents set remote detonated explosive devices... or, even, pressure-switch devices (my father told me about the Czech resistance occasionally using pressure switches set x metres ahead of their explosives, near the end of WW2, so they blew up the engine, rather than the rock-filled flat-car ahead of the train).

Still, intensive patrolling of, & the use of special forces troops around the line could limit even those opportunities (but that's still a win for the insurgents, removing troops from the "front lines").

 :)

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Offline Weaver

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Re: Trains of all sorts ...
« Reply #18 on: May 05, 2013, 12:32:34 AM »
Weav, UAV's would be your best rail-line defense, these days, (arm them with airburst anti-personnel missiles) under most circumstances but nothing is going to provide perfect coverage. High winds, storms, fog... They'll all play a part in letting the insurgents set remote detonated explosive devices... or, even, pressure-switch devices (my father told me about the Czech resistance occasionally using pressure switches set x metres ahead of their explosives, near the end of WW2, so they blew up the engine, rather than the rock-filled flat-car ahead of the train).

Still, intensive patrolling of, & the use of special forces troops around the line could limit even those opportunities (but that's still a win for the insurgents, removing troops from the "front lines").

 :)

Guy

Indeed, although I was allowing a definition of "modern" that was essentially "post WWII", so it might be set in the days before UAVs were common or effective. For those situations, I'm thinking a FAC-style light aircraft would be more cost effective than a helo IF you can find landing strips for it where it needs them. If you can't then helo it is.

If it is set in ultra-modern times, you might even have the UAV controller on-board the train.....

One way to deal with clever bombers would be to sweep ahead of the freight train with an independent "scout" train that consisted of two separate, self-powered vehicles (rail tanks, essentially) each with a sacrificial wagon ahead of it but with a variable gap between them. That way, even a bomb detonated by a trailing pressure switch is highly unlikely to get both of them, an the other can raise the alarm. The problem then would be that if the scout was knocked out by direct attack, it could become a barrier to the main train in itself, so it shouldn't be too precious to be unceremoniously pushed out of the way if neccessary.
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
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Offline jcf

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Re: Trains of all sorts ...
« Reply #19 on: May 05, 2013, 02:11:20 AM »
Up here on Puget Sound you don't need insurgents to take out the tracks, the earth does it for you.  ;D

http://www.king5.com/news/local/Train-engineers-hope-to-reduce-landslides-for-North-Sounder-line-193916181.html

Geology, geography, weather and climate are things to factor into an armoured train scenario.
“Conspiracy theory’s got to be simple.
Sense doesn’t come into it. People are
more scared of how complicated shit
actually is than they ever are about
whatever’s supposed to be behind the
conspiracy.”
-The Peripheral, William Gibson 2014

Offline Weaver

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Re: Trains of all sorts ...
« Reply #20 on: May 05, 2013, 02:22:12 AM »
Fair comment, and particularly in the "extreme mountain" scenario I outlined. After all, if the roads are problematic, then railways are almost certain to have many of the same problems. For the scenario to come true, I think you've have to presume that the Victorian engineers who built the railway were aware of the issues and did major engineering work around the track to protect it to an extent, but they probably didn't get everything right, and with over a hundred years of wear and tear and change, yes, I'm sure there'd be problems.
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
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Offline Rickshaw

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Re: Trains of all sorts ...
« Reply #21 on: May 05, 2013, 10:53:45 AM »
The usefulness of the Armoured Train varied depending upon conditions, rather than necessarily any set period.   For patrolling rail lines, their still useful today, as long as the insurgents only have limited access to heavy weapons and explosives.  In Europe and North America, their heyday was the late 19th century.  In Russia and Asia, up until about the 1930s.  In Africa, as late as the 1960s.  South America more than likely the 1950s.   After those periods, their limits and their vulnerabilities limit their tactic usefullness.

Interestingly, in Malaysia, the British were using modified Ferret scout cars to patrol the narrow gauge rail lines until the 1960s and the ARVN were doing the same with modified Daimler scout carts in South Vietnam.

Offline raafif

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Re: Trains of all sorts ...
« Reply #22 on: May 05, 2013, 11:25:09 AM »
The location of the track is fixed and known

who says ?  see pic below ;D ....






but then there's always E-boats & subs to sink it ....

Offline Story

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Re: Trains of all sorts ...
« Reply #23 on: June 21, 2017, 04:46:49 AM »
« Last Edit: June 21, 2017, 04:50:11 AM by Story »

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Trains of all sorts ...
« Reply #24 on: June 21, 2017, 03:43:00 PM »
 :) ;D
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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But you can make the Bastard work for it.