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Thread: Trains At Seven Times The Speed Of Sound By 2050

  1. #1
    Majestic Guest

    Default Trains At Seven Times The Speed Of Sound By 2050

    By Vinay Kumar
    6-10-2

    NEW DELHI - Radical ideas appear to be grabbing the attention of engineers and techno-experts who are devoting their time and energy to changing the face of passenger rail travel. If these ideas take shape, a day return trip from Bristol to Boston aboard the supersonic "Super Maglev'' - the train in pipes - may become a reality by 2050.

    Imagine supersonic trains cruising at speeds seven times that of the speed of sound and a network of tube-trains criss-crossing the entire globe. Already, high speed trains such as Eurostar, TGVs, Super Voyagers, Pendolino and Maglev have become a reality and a new world record of 552 km per hour has been achieved.

    Now picture this arrangement for an Atlantic Tube where the tube infrastructure is constructed of concrete and built on land, then taken by ship to where it is needed. Dedicated tubes for each direction would be assembled at some 50 metres below seal level and tethered to the seabed or to surface floats.

    Combined with land tubes, a global system running to several thousand kilometres is envisaged. To ensure absolutely no physical contact between train and tube, the system would be fitted with computers that permanently measure clearances and then adjust the train's trajectory by fractions of a millimetre to reflect any change in the position of the tube.

    A further practical consideration relates to the amount of acceleration or deceleration people can comfortably bear. The proposal plans for uniform acceleration for the first six minutes of the route and a period of nearly 15 minutes for deceleration to the terminus. The remainder of the journey would be at a cruising speed of 3,700 km per hour, making a trip from the U.K. to the west coast of the U.S. in less than two hours.

    This scenario was conjured up by Tony Roche, an engineer who has spent four decades with UK Rail, in this year's George Stephenson lecture held recently in the Capital. He pointed out that the principal constraint on how fast a magnetic levitation train can go, apart from power supply, is associated with friction between the train and the air around it, since air resistance rises exponentially with speed. By enclosing the train in a tube from which the air has been evacuated, a system can be created without aerodynamic resistance and in these circumstances the power requirements are directly proportional to speed.

    Using these two engineering concepts of a vacuum tube and super-conductivity, groups of engineers in Japan and the U.S. are looking into the concept of a global network of tubes in which trains would travel at seven times the speed of sound and provide stiff competition to air travel.

    Mr. Roche said it was an article by Jules Verne in the Strand magazine in 1895 that captured the imagination of an American entrepreneur, Frank Davidson, who with his colleagues at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and others in Japan, created the vision of the global tube train system.

    Copyright 2002 The Hindu. All rights reserved.

  2. #2
    Acela7 Guest

    Default RE: Trains At Seven Times The Speed Of Sound By 2050

    That's almost more than 3 times the speed of the concorde, the currently fastest commercial form of trasportation!

    -Jesse

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
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    Default RE: Trains At Seven Times The Speed Of Sound By 2050

    Heres what the swiss maglev using the same principles may look like.

    [Link Expired]


    [Link Expired]
    Craig Scott
    [email protected]

  4. #4
    McDeth Guest

    Default RE: Trains At Seven Times The Speed Of Sound By 2050

    I dunno about that. Having a negative air pressure under 50 feet of water would not be comforting to me :/

  5. #5
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    Default RE: Trains At Seven Times The Speed Of Sound By 2050

    Wow,what a vacuum pump to maintain a vacuum in a 3000mile tube.Better have good airlocks too,can't have customers exploding all over the place.Talking of air,got to carry own supply within train.Too bad if there's a breakdown in power supply,explode or suffocate.You would also fry if a fire breaks out,you can't stop,evacuate,unless everybody has a space suit.
    If you want to try vacuum travel,try space.I would think it's easier to develop air travel for this concept,a combination of Concord and Shuttle technology.Roll on April the first.

  6. #6
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    Default RE: Trains At Seven Times The Speed Of Sound By 2050

    Actually, that does sound pretty..Well, um...'Dangerous', to say the least..I could understand having LOW atmospheric pressure in the tube, but NONE?!!?! that tube springs a leak, the train would be crushed almost immediately from the inrushing ocean; not to mention the sudden influx of atmospheric pressure..Ever realize exactly how much pressure you're under right now??? Wonder why balloons pop at high altitudes? Or why a submarine actually gets slowly crushed like a beer can when deeply submerged? Or take a soda can full of boiling water, and drop it upside down in a bowl of ice water?
    Sudden recompression as well as decompression does strange things..
    Y'know how they have those pumps to keep soda from running out of fizz? You attach it to the neck of the bottle, pump it till the fizz stops coming up, and you have soda that lasts a lifetime..
    Well, I played with mine..Pumped it till the bottle was at the point where it could hold no more air, then suddenly took the pump away..Sounded like a gunshot, air inside the bottle turned smokey from all the carbon being released at once.







  7. #7
    pointroberts Guest

    Default RE: Trains At Seven Times The Speed Of Sound By 2050

    All great stuff in theory, but is anyone addressing the problem of where to park at the train station.. and what about those meals? :)

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