Tuesday, April 3, 2007
High Speed Trains: The Future of Transcontinental Travel
Yeah, they're a little slower than planes, but they can run on electricity. Maybe some day planes could as well, but that's a lot of battery to carry around up in the sky.
Here's an article on the latest speed breakthru. A conventional (non Magnetic Levitation) train reached a speed of 357 miles per hour (574 kph) in France. While the United States is spending its resources on war, France, Germany and Japan use their resources for better transportation. Oh, why am I being such a Negative Nelly? It's cool that they're doing it, and I just hope that the United States either buys their technology or creates its own. Nuff said.
The thing that I'm really keeping my eye on is the Magnetic Levitation trains with Inductrak technology. I'm no professional engineer, but I have some ideas on this that I'll spit out in case anybody wants to entertain them. I'm picturing them someday being about 20 feet wide, and up to a mile long. Very lightweight, and in tubes with vacuums in front of them. The tracks, and bottom of the train, instead of being two parallel tracks, could be a wedge, so that the train would ride in a groove, making it much more stable, and also providing a larger surface area and potentially better tracking. The downside would be that the energy transferance might be diminished by the sine of the angle of the wedge. Given time and attention, the idea above might be decent.
A very wacky idea I have related to this would be to have the tracks themselves levitating and held in place by one magnetic system, and have the train's "wheels" surrounding the tracks entirely, and not only pushing against the tracks from above and below, but on all sides. That's gonna be too futuristic for now. Before that happens, we need to find a second form of magnetism.
lyrics: I think I might go work Orlando if them orange groves don't freeze.
Southern Accent, Johnny Cash
colors: generic orange soda orange
mood: hippity hoppin'
"bring it in, let's go." -Big Dad, my high school track coach