2009-06-07 48 9
The hashpoint is located around km 85 along the main railway line Stuttgart-Ulm, between the stations of Beimerstetten and Ulm Hbf, on the tracks.
The Stuttgart-Ulm line is one of the very early lines in Germany. When the kingdom of Württemberg opened it's first railway line in 1845, ten years after the first german railway at all, it was a first piece of what soon would become their first and most important trunk line from Stuttgart via Ulm to the Lake Constance. The railway is also commemorated in what is probably the best known folk song in suabian dialect.
When planning the line in the early 1840s, the available engine and railway construction techniques ran into severe problems because of the need to cross the Schwäbische Alb mountain range. Slopes of about 2% for a main line, as were finally realized here, were doubted to be feasible at all in the first half of the 19th century, and required to buy the most powerful locomotives available at the market, coming from America. The steep parts are mostly assigned to the Geislinger Steige between Geislingen and Amstetten, which still is a major issue for long distance trains as it only allows speeds of about 80 km/h for being both steep and curvy, but, although appearing more flat because of mostly running through rolling hills, the other side between Amstetten and Ulm actually is even steeper. This is where the hash was.
According to DB sources of 2002, the maximum legal speed on this part of the line is 140 km/h. Some trains may only go 130 at the point (even if technically capable of higher speeds), but my sources do not reveal which ones that are. Not all trainsets running local traffic along this line are capable going 140 km/h, some only reach 120 km/h.
... done by Ekorren.
Destination of the day was the Eibsee, with rerouting via München to meet the group there. There was no possibility to be there in time along any other route than this one. So all there was to do was sit on the train and wait for the hashpoint to come to me.
First pass on the way out took place on the southern, eastbound track. When the point came near, I prepared the GPS to show speed and distance at once, and tried to capture a picture as close as possible. The GPS only updates once per second, and we were going at about 130 km/h or 36 m/s, so the achieved shot of 6.99 m is really good.
In the late evening I was back at Ulm. This time the train was late for a few minutes, which is a good precaution for a speed racer - because in that case it will go fastest possible. This second pass went along the northern, westbound track. GPS shot as before, only I did something slightly wrong so I can only show the readings of about one second before reaching the point.
Heck, to call that easy really overemphasizes the difficulties, doesn't it?
The GPS shows 134 km/h, which actually should be slightly more (GPS tends to show slightly too low numbers in curves, but is still much more accurate than e.g. a car speedometer). Also, with trains "max. 140" really means max. 140. Trains do usually not exceed speed limits, not even by a very small amount, so unlike in road traffic where people tend to go ten percent more and call that legal, trains tend to go slightly less. Taking that together, a reading of 134 pretty much is the maximum legal speed at that point.
You think that this stretches the rules a bit too much? Well, then please do a honest rule check on all those other expeditions where people claim the speed racer achievement. There aren't many which do not stretch the rules in one direction or another. And I believe that the idea that it could be possible to make it without a car simply didn't occur to the original creators due to lack of imagination, and not was to be excluded intentionally.
|Ekorren earned the Déjà Vu Geohash Achievement|
| Ekorren has visited an Easy Geohash
| Ekorren earned the Speed racer achievement