With the recent trial runs of the talgo trains in India, it was reported that the train had covered the journey between New Delhi and Mumbai in less than twelve hours. The current fastest train in our country is the Gatimaan express with a maximum speed of 160 km/hr. With plans for introducing bullet trains in India, let us see some other high-speed trains currently deployed in other countries.
These are high-speed trains working on the principle of magnetic levitation.Unlike conventional trains, they don’t possess wheels and instead they float on platforms embedded with electromagnets specifically constructed for them.Maglevs are fast and smooth.
The Shanghai Maglev Train is also known as the Transrapid. It is the fastest commercial train currently in operation and has a top speed of 430 km/h (270 mph). This line was constructed to connect two places, Shanghai Pudong International Airport and central Pudong,Shanghai. It covers a distance of 31 kilometres in eight minutes.Other countries where Maglevs are operational are Japan and South Korea. Although Maglevs are perfect in transport and by principle, constructing the required infrastructure is quite expensive.
The Harmony CRH 380A,is a high-speed train with a maximum speed of 380km/hr.It is the second fastest operating train in the world.
Developed in China, during test runs it made a record of 450 km/hr although it's operational speed is 380km/hr for safety reasons.
The CRH 380A has been operational since October, year 2010. It runs from Beijing to Shanghai and provides service on Wuhan to Guangzhou route.This vibration free high-speed train was constructed by CSR Qingdao Sifang Locomotive & Rolling Stock Company.
The research activities carried out by Chinese Universities resulted in its high-speed design.
The first Europen entrant in our article,AGV Italo is the first train of the AGV Series. It was comissioned into service in April, year 2012. It has a maximum operational speed of 360kmph.
The AGV Italo, built by Alstom is considered by many to be the most modern train in Europe. The train currently traverses the Napoli - Roma - Firenze - Bologna - Milano routes corridor.
Shinkansen is the name given to high-speed train service of Japan.
E5 Series Shinkansen Hayabusa trains started service in the month of March, year 2011.They were designed to run at a maximum speed of 300km/hr. Surprisingly, they currently run on the Tohoku Shinkansen Line with a maximum speed of 320kmph.
Currently, being the fastest in Japan, the train has achieved a speed of about 400kmph during trials.
The builders of this high-speed train are Kawasaki Heavy Industry (KHI) and Hitachi.East Japan Railway Company is the operator.The train possesses full active suspension system.This suspension system reduces the vibrations made by moving cars(bogies).The 15m long nose reduces sound blast in tunnels.
The bullet train service for India has been planned for the year 2023.The first route would be from Mumbai to Ahmedabad.
Can rail technologies get any better? The future seems promising as according to reports, Maharashtra is planning to give a test track for Elon Musk’s ambitious project ‘Hyerloop’.
Hyperloop is a tradename and a registered trademark for the high-speed transportation of passengers and goods in tubes containing capsules.These capsules are propelled by air compressors and linear induction motors which is a topic of research going by current technology.Hyperloop is a part of the SpaceX program proposed by Elon Musk of Tesla Industries.
The idea has a claimed a top speed of 1200km/hr, faster than most commercial jets.Although the idea is still in an experimental and analysis stage, if implemented it could revolutionize the way we travel.
Test Track designs are currently being developed . A full-scale prototype track has been scheduled for May 2016. In addition, a small scale pod design prototype has been tested in Nevada , USA. Elon Musk has made this project open sourced and has invited research and improvement ideas from Universities and Institutions.
Rail travel is not like olden days. These days trains are becoming as luxurious as air crafts and risks have reduced greatly over the years.
With the introduction of newer high-speed rail technologies , things are only going to get better,smoother,comfortable and of course faster!
A few years from now, these trains won’t just be conceptual ideas , they would probably be beside a platform on a station near you, ready to transport you to your destination in a zap!
Picture credits: Google images
Video credits: YouTube