Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Trains of the future

The MAGLEV

There's something very unusual about these futuristic trains. They don't have any wheels! Instead, they float above the track. Maglev is short for magnetic levitation [mag-NET-ick lev-ee-TAY-shun] which means using magnets to make the train rise up from the track, and it means they can go faster. Some Maglevs have already been built in Germany and Japan, where trains have already run at an incredible 552kph (343 mph) on a test track. It is expected that Maglev trains will reach speeds of up to 800 kph (500 mph) by 2020.
Train experts are proposing an even more futuristic development of Maglevs. It is envisaged that these 'floating' trains would run through vacuum tubes. A vacuum is a space without any air in it. It would mean trains could go faster - up to 3,000 kph (1,684 mph). Not only is it super-fast, but it means it wouldn't take as much energy as other kinds of transport.
Vacuum tubes could be built all over the world - under the sea and across continents. A tube could be built under the Atlantic Ocean, and that would mean you could get from England to America in less than two hours (it takes 6 or 7 hours by plane). It would cost about £20 billion to build a tube like that.

Tony Roche, who is the president of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers said "Some might see this as a pie-in-the-sky idea, but a lot can happen in 50 years."

This was written by Robin Gray of the National Railway Museum.

1 comment:

tonyon said...

Hexapentas for space elevator future