Tuesday, July 18, 2006

No More Brolley

This appears to be the remenants of a Trolley system--imagine my surprise! Dashing my hopes, a little bit of research reveals that this is not the case.

This is all the evidence of remains of Kabul's former Brolley System that I can find. I hope to locate the former depot and see if it still exists, and if so, if any of the former busses still exist (in whatever condition).

What is a Brolley? Its a combination bus & trolley (more commonly: trolleybus) or, in the case of the city of Tuscaloosa, Al, a Brolley is a bus painted to look like a Trolley and plays really loud (but bad) music out onto the surrounding streets as it passes by, so that drunk people can be made aware of it's presence, so as to hail it, so they don't have to stumble all the way home from the bar.

I actually didn't realize that I had any pictures of the remaining poles and catenarys until I got home and downloaded some images---this was actually in the corner of another subject & I cropped the pic to show this. The ones I noticed, I didn't have a chance to photograph.

This site has more info on the system: http://www.spvd.cz/?p=svet/af/kabul_en.html&m=menu_svet.html

Thanks to Andrew Grantham and his Railways of Afghanistan site for the above link.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Royal Palaces

Pictured here are the King's (foreground) and Queen's (background) Palace's. My understanding is that both King & Queen actually lived at the Queen's Palace, and the King's Palace was his office. The King's is much larger than the Queen's.

This is the rear of the King's Palace. When the Soviets invaded in the 1970's, they used it for a Ministry of Defense building. Since then, various warlords have used it as fortification until it became too damaged to be of use to anyone. Since then, virtually anything of value (including all scrap metal) has been looted.

You can see a guard fortification--small building--on the right of the picture to prevent further pilfering.

Side shot of the King's Palace, showing the extent of some of the damage to the building.

The dark boxes below the big holes in the building are the guard-fortification, made from Hesco Bastions, also visible from a different angle two photos above.

The Queen's Palace is in much better condition than the King's; thats not saying much though.

This is the view of the Queen's Palace from the rear of the King's Palace.

A closer view; you can see how extensive the damage is.

As you can see from the fortification, the Palace is currently under guard by the ANA (Afghanistan National Army) to prevent further looting.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


Well, these aren't great pics of downtown, cause there are actually multi-story buildings and such around. But then there is also this.

I think this hill is called TV Hill... Note also the old Soviet-era taxis.

I've seen maybe ... 6 traffic lights in Kabul. I mean 6 lights, not 6 intersections with lights--six devices with 3 colored lights in them. None I have seen have been working, and none have been grouped in more than sets of 2, with some being alone... Traffic circles are very common, as are intersections with no traffic control at all. A few intersections have traffic cops, at least at busy times.

Old Soviet War Museum?

I'm told that this may be part of an old Soviet war museum or military museum or something. There were stripped out & flipped over BMPs and other armored vehicles around too.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


There was a minor earthquake here today about 9:50am local time, or about 12:20am Central Daylight Time. The desk shook, as did the lights and computer monitors. A few things rattled. That was it.

The "realtime" Earthquake reporting system is not yet reporting the quake.


And try:


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Mighty Kabul River

The mighty Kabul River. It flows more in spring, during the snow melt from the mountains.

Wear your seatbelt

Always wear your seatbelt.

We followed this car for maybe a mile or so; I had our driver catch up to them so I could get a good pic. You can't tell, but this kid is hanging off the back because the entirety of the interior is chock full of other folks.

Friday, July 07, 2006

What I do

People ask me what I do. Some of the things I do are: make sure the design of the power plants is correct, which is where this genset is being used; check the design of the electrical system; make recommendations on what to do when there is a problem; safety analysis; power load analysis; etc... Basically: make sure the electricity works; from a new design thru ongoing use.

The picture above is of a 1 megawatt generator in one of the power plants we have designed. It burns diesel fuel.

Anyone want to rent a Carin?

Who wants to rent a carin?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Home Depot

Home Depot.

I think this speaks for itself

Kabul Museum.