From Mumbai to Paris, superhighway trains are travelling at dizzying speeds

The £21 million (or $27 million) Tatagarh Ghat Express sped through the French countryside at 1,135 miles per hour, meeting speed milestones of “hyperfast” speeds that have hit several recent construction projects. The train…

From Mumbai to Paris, superhighway trains are travelling at dizzying speeds

The £21 million (or $27 million) Tatagarh Ghat Express sped through the French countryside at 1,135 miles per hour, meeting speed milestones of “hyperfast” speeds that have hit several recent construction projects. The train project has been controversial since its inception in 2014, when officials first announced that it would bring the country closer to the official European speed limit of 200 km/h (124 mph), which currently stands at 240 km/h (152 mph). Tourists have been able to ride the trains for free since the project’s first run in February, but the line in the mountains remains closed for the rest of the year — the result of uncertain funds from the French state and a paralyzed French rail network.

A hyperfast train with a new hyperdrive

High-speed trains zipping through India have no business being so close to land speed records, but when global superfast train projects have been proposed in recent years, they’ve happened. In the Indian capital of New Delhi, the much-discussed Rail Budget, whose unveiling has so far been delayed five times, gave the go-ahead to build the longest hyperfast rail line in the world, which will reportedly reach 330 miles (512 kilometers) by 2023.

In Tokyo, the government said in 2015 that it would support the construction of a high-speed line around the inner city. If all goes according to plan, it would replace two existing suburban lines and would be capable of a top speed of 300 miles per hour. The project, which is currently in the design phase, has so far faced steep costs and is still awaiting final approval from the government.

Nevertheless, backers of high-speed trains within the world are not new. As The Telegraph reports, the racing industry has produced the fastest train at nearly 300 miles per hour. The U.S. has produced two people-carrying trains in the 1970s, and in 1984, the U.K. announced the formation of a people-carrying train that would reach 230 miles per hour. The country used the trains for testing and training purposes but never used the record-breaking technology for passengers.

There is growing interest in high-speed trains outside the world of high-speed transport, even for people who find going through the turnstiles to be relatively slow. A new exhibition in Leipzig, Germany, opened in February with models that recreate a demonstration in 1971 for a proposal by an airline pilot to run passenger trains across Germany. The idea, if it had come to fruition, would have been the fastest passenger trains on the continent, with a top speed of 317 miles per hour.

The idea of powerful airliners and rail trains battling it out for supremacy continues to be a thorny issue for politicians and politicians with a rational approach. After all, is the eventual plan to use the world’s fastest trains for heavier travelers, or do planners know that a century of dramatically reduced air travel has simply brought us all closer to air speeds?

Read the full story at The Telegraph.

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