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Trains


— Good Thinking

Google Maps gives the Street View treatment to world's largest model railroad

Remember when Google Street View only allowed you to explore streets? Since its launch in 2007, the service has been expanded to include things like coral reefs, hiking trails and the Amazon River. In its latest "off-road" adventure, however, Google Maps has thought smaller – it's used miniaturized Street View cameras to visually map a model railroad.

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— Children

Takara Tomy's maglev Linear Liner – the fastest toy train in the East (and West)

Japanese toy company Takara Tomy is offering a working scale replica of the record-breaking 603 km/h (375 mph) SC Maglev (Superconducting Magnetic levitation) Train. However, all is not what it seems, as it is more than just a 1/90th scale facsimile of the real thing. The Linear Liner uses an original magnetic propulsion system, and has an intriguing creation story behind it.

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— Good Thinking

Rail power could light up rural crossings

While city dwellers may be used to railway crossings marked with flashing red lights, the easier-to-miss warnings at rural crossings often just consist of a sign. That's because there's no easy way of providing electricity to such isolated locations. While solar panels could provide part of the solution, a team of engineering students and faculty at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln believe that photovoltaics alone can't consistently provide enough power. Instead, they devised several systems that harness power from the rails themselves.

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— Good Thinking

Advanced Rail Cleaner blasts snow and ice off railway tracks

Imagine if you were trying to pull a heavy sled up an icy hill, while wearing slick-soled boots. Well, that's kind of what it's like for locomotives working on snowy mountain railways. If there's too much ice or snow on the rails, their steel wheels will just spin out when traveling up inclines. Because of this problem, trains going along such routes are generally kept short and light – which isn't cost-effective. Now, however, GE Transportation has developed a supersonic air blower to keep those tracks dry. Read More
— Urban Transport

Space technology cools Paris commute

The Paris Metro is one of the world's great underground railways and not the sort of place you'd expect to find cutting edge satellite technology at work. But for the last year and a half a cooling system developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) for its satellites has been making Trains on Metro Line One more comfortable. The new cooling system works without moving parts and frees up more space to be enjoyed by passengers while saving costs. Read More
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