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A new radar system could be used to detect and identify objects that fall onto train track...

Although you may never have seen it happen yourself, it isn’t all that uncommon for large objects – including people – to fall onto the tracks at subway or railway platforms. While security personnel viewing CCTV feeds will catch some of these accidents, the cameras’ shots are sometimes obscured by people, poor lighting, or even the trains themselves. The results can range from lengthy delays in rail service, to fatalities. Now, however, researchers working on a project for the Université Lille Nord de France have developed a system that uses radar to automatically detect and identify objects that fall onto the tracks. When installed at a platform, the system could then shut off power to the tracks, and notify oncoming trains.  Read More

China's latest experimental train is 200 km/h than bullet trains running in the country no...

China's state press agency, Xinhua, reports that the country's largest rail vehicle maker has debuted a six-car train more than twice as powerful and 200 km/h (124 mph) faster than the high-speed models currently in service between Beijing and Shanghai. The new electric test train can draw a maximum of 22,800 kilowatts and is reportedly capable of reaching speeds as high as 500 km/h (311 mph), making it one of the fastest trains ever designed for commercial passenger use.  Read More

About 4,000 trains per year - or the equivalent of a full day's worth of Belgian rail traf...

The roof of a two mile stretch of tunnel over Belgium's high speed rail line has been fitted out with 16,000 solar panels to provide power for trains running through Antwerp Central Station and the surrounding railway infrastructure. Solar solution provider Enfinity says that about 4,000 trains per year - or the equivalent of a full day's worth of Belgian rail traffic - will be able to run entirely on solar power generated by the installation.  Read More

The T-box concept would be installed between railway sleepers, and would harness the wind ...

As anyone living near railway tracks will tell you, speeding trains generate quite a bit of wind as they whoosh past. Industrial designers Qian Jiang and Alessandro Leonetti Luparini have come up with a device that's installed between the sleepers on a track, and as the train passes overhead, the wind drives a turbine to generate electricity. The T-box devices could be placed along railway or subway lines, and make good use of an otherwise wasted resource.  Read More

Gas turbine model train looks (and sounds) incredible

Developed by Hidepon Works, this train is about as bad-ass as model trains can possibly get. It's powered by a gas turbine engine, thus giving it a very noisy and very sexy jet-like sound as it prepares to "take off" on its run. We took a closer look at Make Fair in Tokyo.  Read More

Artists rendering a String Transport system

Trains might be a reasonably cheap transport option - but rail infrastructure is very costly to build. Monorail, maglev systems and high speed rail are more expensive again - and prices really skyrocket when you have to build bridges, tunnels and winding mountain routes, or cover difficult terrain. Which is why Anatoly Unitsky's String Transport Systems look like they've got so much potential. The system uses solid steel/concrete rails, reinforced with extremely high tension steel wires, to provide an efficient and smooth rail system anywhere between 3 to 30 meters above the ground. It's earthquake, hurricane and terrorist-proof, and capable of supporting vehicle speeds over 500 kmh, too, making it a genuine high-speed rail alternative, for a fraction of the price of road or ground rail alternatives. Fascinating stuff!  Read More

The new study by researchers at the University of California looks beyond the exhaust pipe...

By looking at the environmental impact of passenger transport – whether it be trains, planes or automobiles – beyond the exhaust fumes spewing from its collective tail pipe, researchers in the United States have discovered a significant spike in energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. By taking into account transport support systems – which includes sourcing raw materials, manufacturing, as well as the construction and maintenance of infrastructure – researchers at the University of California hope to provide a more detailed view for transport planners and policy makers. And produce a better outcome for the environment.  Read More

The solar bullet train could make the 116 mile journey from Tucson to Phoenix in just 30 m...

Bullet trains are considered by many to be one of the greener forms of transport, so imagine how environmentally friendly they might be if the sun’s power was harnessed to power them. That’s precisely what Solar Bullet LLC hopes to do with its 220mph solar bullet train, which the company claims can travel from Tucson to Phoenix in just 30 minutes.  Read More

The ES44C4 ecomaginationSM locomotive

The latest model in GE's fuel efficient and low emissions Evolution series has just hit the tracks. Offering cleaner, significantly faster, safer and more reliable alternative to the aging North American fleet of DC-powered locomotives, the new ES44C4 features a unique Dynamic Weight Management System which automatically improves traction at start up, on inclines or in poor weather conditions.  Read More

Series E5 bullet train

A new Shinkansen bullet train being built to go into service on the East Japan line will travel at up to 320 kilometers per hour (200 mph), making it the fastest rail service in Japan. Test runs for the Series E5 train are planned for July 2009 ahead of its debut in spring 2011. The 10-car train will be initially operate at a top speed of 300 kph, ramping up to 320kmh by the end of March 2013.  Read More

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