Get on the TGV and take a ride at over 350 mph

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For connoisseurs, a famous car by John Travolta in 1977 was a Ford DeLuxe convertible, personalized with a chic new name. It was, according to the song, automatic, hydromatic and systematic too.

Without going into too much detail on the lyrics, the same goes for the slightly less lewd, but no less fast, High Speed ​​Train across the Atlantic Ocean.

It might not immediately make you think of chicks, and it might not look like a greased lightning bolt, but it is a worthy vehicle for our time because it is as important a feat of engineering as any other. .

The bullet train also doesn’t have chrome rods, which Travolta could certainly claim from his Ford, but he may have been impressed with his ability to transport himself and many of his fans in luxury. and at high speeds, up to nearly 200 mph quietly to drown the rock ‘n’ roll party on board.

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High Speed ​​Train

Via: Cloudfront

Via: Cloudfront

TGV means “high speed train” in French, and it is used as the fastest means of transport from town to town, from region to region in France. Other than air travel, there’s no faster way to get from A to B, and even then – with the usual security checks and protocols attached to flying, it’s probably even faster than the planes flying overhead.

In Europe, things are well connected when it’s rail you’re talking about – and the high-speed train can get you from London to Sweden as well as Spain, Italy, France and many more. country.

This idea of ​​fast train became a reality and started to revolutionize things in the 80s and 90s, the first fast locomotive line being that of Paris to Lyon (third city of France) in 1981.

It’s faster than a bullet

Via: wikimedia

Via: wikimedia

You might be quick to say that the bullet train in Japan is the gold standard when it comes to locomotion speed, and you’d be partly right. But the fastest train isn’t the ball, and it doesn’t use wheels either – it uses magnets to lift the train a small distance out of the track to reduce friction, so that ‘it does not compete with conventional trains. Normal trains in Japan – which use wheels – peak in the N700 high-speed train series and these will hit 185mph on a commercial route.

You can get up to 268 mph in your maglev without a full tilt wheel, but that’s nothing compared to the TGV record.

In 2007, a team of potentially mad French engineers decided to squeeze every mph of a specially tuned TGV to see how fast it could go, also adding ballast to the track to keep it strong enough for testing. The result was 574 km / h or 350 mph for the rest of us. See here for the video, but with Eastern European dance music to accompany it.

However, it should be mentioned here that a normal TGV traveling with passengers will normally run at a maximum speed of 186 mph, like Japanese high-speed trains.

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What drives this super locomotive?

Via: michaelwhiteley

Via: michaelwhiteley

Before opening the hood, there are two interesting things on the outside of the TGV drive (the “engine” part of the train). First of all, we notice that he uses a pantograph for his food – not like a Spirograph, unfortunately; but he draws a line using a metal ariel against an overhead power line, so no diesel here.

Second, although more difficult to manage in practice, the carriages once mounted are interconnected by bogies (the wheel units) located in such a way that there is a bugy between each cart which carries the load of both. – it is placed under the two trolleys simultaneously instead of being separated for each trolley. This minimizes issues like jackknifing and flipping, which isn’t exactly an ideal situation to experience on a train.

Power units are complex units that make about 6,000 horsepower each, with two of these power units, one at each end, of 10 other cars typically. Expect at least 12,000bhp from your 444-ton combo train, with no one on board sipping latte and cruising at 185mph all day without any issues.

If you do the math, the heavy train makes 27 hp per liter, but with the kinetic energy that has been built up, the train uses a lot less energy to maintain speed than to move.

All aboard the moonlit train!

Via: railway log

Via: railway log

In the United States, the situation is a little different from that of rail transport in Europe. Business Insider has an article that show a map of how the country could be hypothetically connected to the TGV (high speed train). We know what you’re thinking – it’s faster to fly – but not necessarily, depending on how far you fly versus the time spent on the flight, with check-in, security, boarding, bag collection, etc.

Keep in mind that the bullet train is always 3 times faster than a long-distance coach like a Greyhound, assuming an average coach can go around 60 mph. Unless you detach a rocket from the back of one like this.

The United States has the largest rail transport network in the world according to Wikipedia, which is surprising when you factor in the size of India, China and Russia – but it is indeed a vital part of the US economy.

Most trains in the United States are local and metro-type services, but there is Amtrak’s Acela service, which will peak at 150 mph (only 35 mph slower than the TGV) on the North Corridor. is where it operates on the 450 mile line from Boston to Washington DC We can expect more high-speed services to follow as climate concerns take center stage and efficient, low-emission alternatives to carbon to the plane or to the car have a higher priority.


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