The Phys.org website reports that China has been testing an enclosed maglev train, a system capable of reaching speeds of up to 2,897 km/h. To put that speed in perspective, "the fastest passenger-carrying train, the Shanghai Maglev Train, in contrast, reaches a high speed of 268 mph (430 km/h)." Commercial airplanes, meanwhile, reach speeds of 850km/h.
The researcher, Dr Deng Zigang, who is project lead, is focused on developments for a high speed train system of the future. He is an associate professor of the Applied Superconductivity Laboratory. His superspeed train concept involves an enclosed vacuum tube vehicle. Gas 2 said air is the limiting factor on making even faster high-speed trains, but vacuum tubes operate in a vacuum, removing the air and letting even a low-power vessel operate at enormously high speeds. Maglevs make for very fast and smooth journeys but speeds are limited due to the excessive air resistance encountered at these speeds. The vacuum tube designs could allow trains to travel over seven times faster in the future, said the Daily Mail.
Are we looking at the future of train travel? Lidija Grozdanic in Thursday's Inhabitat also commented on the significance of his work: With regular maglevs, more than 83 percent of traction energy is wasted through air resistance at speeds higher than 250mph. Zigang has a tube that lowers air pressure in the running environment to 10 times less than normal.
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