A resident of Westbury, NY, Valerie Varnuska enjoys learning about engineering technology. Valerie Varnuska is particularly fascinated by large, intricate machinery such as trains.
Today’s trains are impressive marvels of technology, and they are advancing rapidly. The following leading-edge train technologies are still in development but are poised to transform the industry.
– Hydrogen fuel cells. Germany is leading the way in hydrogen fuel cell technology for trains. The country is home to the Alstom Coradia iLint train, which is due to enter service in 2018. An onboard fuel cell combines hydrogen and oxygen to power this zero-emission train without the need for diesel fuel.
– High-speed rail. China is developing a hybrid propulsion system that will allow passenger trains to run at 310 miles per hour or carry cargo at 155 miles per hour. The current fastest train in the world, also from Chinese technology, is a magnetic train with a top speed of 267.8 miles per hour.
– The Hyperloop. Elon Musk’s futuristic train-like system relies on some of the same principles used by vacuum tubes. Low-pressure tunnels and friction-reducing measures could allow these advanced trains to reach speeds of 700 miles per hour. Preliminary testing is underway.