Saturday, December 31, 2011

China launches 310 mph train despite railway controversies

Back when supercars were just a mere figment of one’s imagination, the way to get around was to hop on a train and wait out the trip. Airplanes and cars traveling on high developed roadways have knocked traveling on a train down a few pegs, but that may be about to change. Chinese train manufacturer, CSR Corp Ltd., has launched a super speedy train whose top speed has clocked in at 500 km/h or 310 mph!

The train consists of six cars that are made of plastic materials "reinforced with carbon fiber" and was designed to look like an ancient sword. It delivers a total of 22,800 kilowatts of power, or about 30,575 HP! This project is part of China’s trillion dollar effort to build 8,078 miles of high-speed rail network by 2012, and about 12,427 miles by 2020.

CSR isn’t the only one developing these high speed machines either. Identical projects include the development of a maglev train by Southwest Jiaotong University, the Tokyo to Osaka bullet train planned for 2045, and the proposed 269 mph maglev train from Anaheim to Las Vegas.

We are actually surprised that these high speed trains are even leaving the drawing board at all. These ongoing projects were almost forced to a halt when former Railways Ministry chief, Liu Zhijun, was canned after cashing in on $122 million. This was then followed with collision back in July between two high-speed trains in Wenzhou. This incident ended up killing at least 40 people and injuring another 210. With China using low-quality materials to build the tracks, and subsequently, the trains having a higher chance of derailing, causing the top speed to be dropped from 218 mph to 186 mph, it seemed as though the railway system in China was on its way out the door.

These new high speed trains have proven, however, that the railway system is very much alive, and gaining speed.

China launches 310 mph train despite railway controversies originally appeared on on Friday, 30 December 2011 15:00 EST.

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