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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

New Train Speed Record

TGV V150 (train a grande vitesse) of France set a world record of 574.8Km/hr for train travel yesterday. With a 25,000 horsepower engine, special rail tracks to keep perfect contact with much larger than normal wheels that travel further with each revolution, the three double-decker coaches, pulled and pushed by two engines, one on either end, and with sparks flying from the 31,000 volts overhead electrical cables, is a joy to watch.

The train beats another French train that set the world record of 512Km/hr in 1990. TGV V150 was not the fastest train but the comparison may not be valid. The fastest train was JR Maglev MLX01 at 577.6 Km/hr made in Japan in 2003. Maglev is an magnetically elevated train - not the same as running a train on tracks with the wheels and the friction that come into play.

Here is the video produced by Alstom, the French company that made and tested the train in the French countryside.