high speed on a floating magnet: tim jackson has an exciting ride on germany\'s hi-tech train. but, he says, this is far more than mere entertainment
First of all, you climb the metal stairs and cross the ramp.
At your feet, the workers in the same starched uniform are doing a final inspection of the machine.
Then the entrance to the carriage will automatically open and you will be able to enter.
Once the passenger gets on the plane, the front of the cave-like hangar opens silently, the smooth shape slides onto the rails, and the headlights flash on a dull winter afternoon.
Inside, the carpet in the hallway is very clean and the seats are very wide.
More BMW than Jaguar.
Two in 15 to 20 minutes.
The prototype of the car is in its 31 km (19 miles)
Lassen circuit in the Emsland area of western Germany.
From the beginning, it accelerates to 382kph (238mph)
Less than three minutes-
Gently push you back to your seat fast enough.
Then, it seems that the journey is over at the beginning.
The Baroque Muzak floated on the loudspeaker, and the passengers left obediently.
My most recent experience was a Star Wars tour at Tokyo Disneyland;
On top of that, you can join the queue again if you want.
But it\'s not just entertainment.
In five or six years, it may ship thousands of passengers in Germany at an average speed of more than 200mph.
According to developers, the government
A consortium sponsored by Germany\'s most respected heavy engineering company, Transrapid can revolutionize the short-term economy
Air-hopping is more attractive than a train.
The basic technology inside transapid, linear motors, has been a scientific dream for most of this century.
In 1909, an American named Robert Goddard invented the liquid.
Fuel rocket, designed an electric motor using a standard method of magnetic rejection and attraction familiar to rotating motors.
But there is an important difference.
Instead of wrapping the magnets around a cylinder, Goddard straightened them so that the open current generates horizontal motion along the straight line.
Used to keep the magnetic repulsive force in the middle of the object suspended
In theory, linear motors can provide the basis for railway technology, in which the train has never touched the track.
Goddard, however, is not the only one dedicated to the idea.
In 1922, German engineer Herman Kemper began to look at a variant of the idea in which the train would be kept high, not through the magnetic rejection below, but through the top
Over the years, he worked tirelessly for his model and got a patent 15 years later.
But \"maglev \"(maglev)
The train has never been one of the pet projects of the Third Empire.
And Hitler\'s V-1 and V-
His regime has never taken Kemper\'s ideas seriously.
A lot of work has been done since then.
A few short, low
The high-speed maglev railway has been put into operation, but it has been proved that enough power should be provided to move the entire railway.
Trains of high speed and reasonable safety.
Japanese scientists have been working on a maglev train that uses superconductive electricity.
Properties of certain substances with little resistance at very low temperatures-
Provide a powerful magnetic charge on a train with only a little bit of electricity. Room-
However, the temperature conductor is still the holy grail;
Today\'s refrigerators must be kept below freezing point with bulky and dangerous refrigerators.
Japan\'s experimental maglev train recently suffered a catastrophic fire and collision when it was tested on the experimental track.
German scientists have been trying to make this transition since their early 70 s.
Their seventh and latest model has a key technical difference from the earlier trains.
Instead of hanging the train above the track through the magnetic repulsive force of the magnet below, it uses Kemper\'s idea to lift the train from the track through the attraction of the magnet above.
The new model contains a mechanism that turns off about 100,000 current per second to prevent the train from clamping hard to attract magnets (
This will stop it from dying on track).
This means that the train is no longer needed to be that high.
Compared to 1 cm used by many early maglev trains, the gap between trains and tracks is only about 10 cm, so it takes much less power to keep it high.
To reduce the weight of the train, it is the track that carries most of the current, not the car.
As a result of all these differences, the performance of the train is significantly better than that of the existing maglev train technology or other experimental systems.
It is likely to be able to cruise at speeds of more than 400 km kilometers per hour (250mph)
Under actual conditions
At such a speed, it can match air travel between 1,000 km of the two city centers (625 miles)apart.
More importantly, Transrapid is more like a sports car than a train.
It can only reach cruising speed within the sixth distance of the existing highwayspeed trains.
This makes frequent parking of trains economical, unlike traditional high parkingspeed trains.
Transrapid can also easily climb and turn.
And the best TGV in France (
Train a Grand vites)
The model can manage only 3 gradients.
5%, while the tightest radius of the German train can turn is 7 km, the new train can easily install a 10-point gradient and Turn 1. 6km-radius circle.
This greatly reduces the number of tunnels and e-banks that must be carried out and allows railway planners to choose routes that are both reasonable and cheap.
Finally, the planner said
Rail lines require less land than traditional rail lines or roads.
These factors are combined to make the construction cost of the train track about half of the traditional high cost
Speed electric train track.
However, the technology does have its disadvantages.
First of all, the short distance that the train floats above the track means that both the train and the track work require great precision.
On the experimental ultra-fast orbit of Latakia, a part of the orbit will never change more than 0.
Horizontal plate 6mm or 0.
3mm up and down.
So far, there seems to be no problem with the maintenance of the track 31 km experimental circuit.
But, in the coming decades, it is a completely different problem to keep thousands of kilometers of tracks that have to carry electricity and keep them in less than millimeters.
Even though the Greens politicians complained that the train was too noisy, when I was standing at a high speed that was less than 100 metres from the track, I found it tolerable.
The current transfast model is expected to be named Europa, reflecting the ambition of its manufacturers to make it accepted as the core of the new transfast
European Super Networkhigh-
In the 21 st century, with the growth of traffic, high-speed trains capable of transporting a large number of passengers.
The German Bundestag will decide later this year a line between Hamburg and Berlin that will cost the dm8. 5bn (pounds 3. 5bn).
But the popularity of maglev trains is facing a big problem.
Although the railways have been crumbling, the railways that already exist elsewhere in Western Europe have been built for more than a century.
They paid almost all their expenses.
Before building a new track, making better use of existing capabilities, it may be cheaper to run more and better trains on today\'s tracks.
This is an example of a disappointing fact: Just because a technology is good and effective doesn\'t mean it makes sense to use it. (