Fastest Train In The World

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Fastest Train

Why Japan’s Maglev is termed as ‘Insane and the World’s fastest train’ can be easily understood from the fact that the Maglev train in April, 2015 has spent 10.8 seconds for covering a distance of 1.8 kilometers, traveling at a marvelous and stunning speed of 603kmph (375 mph)!

Maglev is derived from the term ‘magnetic levitation’ and it is a transport method, which employs magnetic levitation to move vehicles without touching the ground! And with maglev, vehicles travel along a ‘guideway’ with the use of magnets to create both lift and propulsion and thus reduce friction by a great extent and allow very high speeds. Here is a list of 10 amazing facts about the Maglev train:

Fastest Train: Maglev

1. History

The first practical Maglev system was proposed and published by Japan in 1966. However, the basic principles of this technology were known even before the First World War and M. Emil Bachelet had built and displayed a working model in London just before the war had begun. Japan currently operates two independently developed maglev trains. One is Linimo HSST by Japan Airlines; while the other is SC Maglev by Central Japan Railway Company.

2. Top Speed

The Japan’s Maglev recorded a top speed of 603 kmph in April, 2015; breaking its own record of 581 kmph and 590 kmph in 2003 and 2015 respectively. However, China operates the world’s fastest commercial maglev right now; which has hit 431 kmph (268 mph) on a route through Shanghai. Maglev even offers competitive journey times with that of aircraft over distances of 800 kilometers (500 miles) or less!

Fastest Train

3. Cost

Japan has spent more than US$2 billion in developing its Maglev system. The only low speed maglev currently operational, the Japanese Linimo HSST, cost around US$100 million/km to build. But, the proposed Chuo Shinkansen maglev in Japan was estimated to cost around US$82 billion to build.

4. Working Mechanism

Maglev trains basically works on the principle of using magnets to push the train away from the tracks and drive the train forward. Japan’s maglev don’t take the use of metal tracks; instead, they float nearly 10 cm (4 inches) above special guideways and the like poles on magnets helps in keeping the train above track; and thus allowing for frictionless movement. The big difference between regular trains and maglev trains is that maglev trains do not use an engine and is propelled by electro-magnetic system in the sides of the guideway.

Fastest Train

5. Maintenance

Maglev guideways last for 50 years or even more with minimal maintenance; as there is no mechanical contact and wear and also the vehicle loads in Maglev’s are uniformly distributed, rather than concentrated at wheels.

6. Efficiency

Due to the lack of physical contact between the track and the vehicle; a maglev train experiences no rolling resistance, thus leaving only air resistance and electromagnetic drag, so potentially improving power efficiency.

Fastest Train

7. Control Systems

No signaling systems are needed for high-speed rail, because such systems are computer controlled; as human operators cannot react fast enough to manage such high-speed trains. And the two maglev system microwave towers always remain in contact with the trains.

8. Safety

Maglev has major safety advantages over highway vehicles, trains, and aircrafts. The speed of the vehicles and the distance between Maglev vehicles on a guideway are controlled and maintained automatically by the frequency of the electric power fed to the guideway. And therefore, there is no possibility of collisions between them on the guideway. Moreover, there is no possibility of collisions with autos or trucks at grade crossings since the guideways are elevated.

Fastest Train

9. Effect of Weather Condition

Maglev trains are little affected by snow, ice, rains and high winds. However, they have not operated in the wide range of conditions, which traditional friction based rail systems have operated.

10. Pollution Free

Maglev is based on ‘Noise Reduction’ concept and doesn’t make any rolling or propulsion noises; also wind noise is less noticeable than inner-city traffic. At the same time, it is also based on a ‘Clean Energy’ concept as no fossil fuels are required; also no engines are required as power source, thus eliminating altogether the concept of pollution!

Fastest Train

Also, Maglevs are able to ascend higher grades; thus offering more routing flexibility and reduced tunneling.

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