Picking up Pins

A French train has just broken the world speed record for traditional wheeled trains with a speed of just on 570km/h. It has a 25000 hp motor and roars like a jet plane. Heaven only knows how much fuel it uses.


“Those on board say vibrations became more noticeable at 380 kph, at 490 kph passengers became slightly dizzy, while at 540 kph it was difficult to remain standing despite the stability of the train,” according to TV3.co.nz

At this speed it came very close to beating the overall locomotive speed record set in 2003 by a Japanese ML “Magnetic Levitation” train.

The ML train glides on a magnetic field and does not touch the tracks at all but glides over them. Electro-magnetism is very interesting and I predict that we will see more and more of this in transport solutions.

I recently watched a television program about a land speed record attempt in a jet car. The brakes were electro-magnetic, because no friction material currently used in braking systems would withstand the intense heat produced in bringing a vehicle to a halt from 1200 km/h.

A while ago I mused on a road safety device that made use of electro-magnetism. We could use it on particularly dangerous stretches of road. A sensor in the road would measure the current speed of the vehicle and it’s size, by counting the number of wheels.


A few metres further along the road, the correct amount of electro-magnetism would be applied from beneath the surface of the road to slow the vehicle down to the recommended speed. A truck is just a big hunk of metal anyway.


Quotation of the Day;

Imagination is more important than knowledge.

Albert Einstein


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