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Aerotrain

Some of the fastest trains in service today have a top speed in excess of 200 miles per hour. With the exception of Shanghai maglev, all of them are conventional wheel-on-tracks system, which is remarkable because rolling friction has always been the biggest obstacle to high-speed travel. But if you want to see what the future has in store for rail travelers, just look at the world speed records—out of the top ten speed record holders, eight are maglev trains. The highest speed achieved by any train is an astounding 375 miles per hour (603 kmph) by a Japanese maglev train under development. The ability of maglev trains to eliminate rolling friction is what gives them their superior speed. Half a century ago, when research in maglev trains were just getting started, a French engineer proposed an entirely different system but based on the same concept of frictionless travel.


© Amusing Planet, 2020.


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