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Communication & Technology

All the magnets, no high speed trains

Shanghai Maglev

China is beginning to explore high speed train technology, and who knows where it could lead. To illustrate some ideas about China’s emerging high-speed train technology, the author provides the following theoretical discussion:

I’ve been discussing the idea that if you put a maglev train in a tube and create a vacuum, then you can run it faster wherever you want it to go. Ok, nice idea, but I should point out the following flaws:

  1. Every time a train enters this tube it has to be sealed and a vacuum created; the longer the tube the longer this will take.
  2. Each train will need to carry its own oxygen supply or the passengers will arrive dead, not to mention any pets or other living things.
  3. In such an environment a train can’t have a kitchen or cook as there can’t be any exhaust.
  4. Should repairs be needed then the whole track has to be shut down, no traffic.
  5. If there is some kind of failure then how will people exit the tube? It was suggested that every 500 feet you have a door in case of emergency. OK, but if they can’t keep Biosphere II sealed that had no vacuum, how can they keep a tube with a vacuum sealed? (Look this up yourself.)
  6. Just how much energy will it take to create and maintain the vacuum?

I’ll leave it at that. Overall I think it’s a dumb idea. But there are solutions right now that can do just about as well and without the need for a vacuum tube.

I am going to use the distance between Berlin, Germany and Shanghai, China as an example, which is around 5,223 miles. My calculations do not take terrain into account, as this is an example only.

Driving is possible, but it would take just about forever. A plane could fly it around ten hours. But how about a train?

An electric super-train that can go about half as fast as a plane, or around 300 miles per hour, would take about 20 hours non-stop. There are a number of trains currently available that can go very fast. Some are even called bullet trains. There is one in China known as the CRH380A, which goes from Shanghai to Hangzhou.

I started this article discussing comments on a discussion I had with someone about high speed trains in a tube. The idea is not the tube but maglev. If trains without a tube can attain such speed then how about with maglev technology behind them? Instead of going 300 miles per hour a train could go 400, or possibly even faster with better design.

 If these electric trains were powered by solar, wind, methane and wave generated electricity, then they would be far ahead of the U.S., and Germany is already outpacing the U.S. in renewable energy.

About richard boettner

Everyone wants to know about me. How about the project instead. The Greenhouse Project is an idea I had after I've seen food prices go up due to fuel prices but when fuel prices came down food prices stayed the same. Also, a store I use to frequent raised prices on everything but their own brand name items, essentially ripping off customers. Far too often people can't afford healthy organic food resorting to what they can afford which is far less nutritious. Far too much food is imported from south of the border, or farther away and not enough grown locally to reduce food miles or pollution. So, I came up with the idea as way to grow organic food year-round in a greenhouse needing no fossil fuels.


5 thoughts on “All the magnets, no high speed trains

  1. Reblogged this on Craig Hill.


    Posted by Craig Hill | May 1, 2012, 7:16 pm
  2. If going on a train like that in Sweden, it would have met I had arrived before I departed.


    Posted by viveka | May 2, 2012, 1:16 am
  3. I think magnetic abilities are awesome. I have watched Documentaries on it here in the USA. They use it already for the government, and amusement parks. So why not trains?


    Posted by savageindian | May 2, 2012, 3:51 am
  4. a human in a vacuum tube going really fast sounds scary. Anyone seen “The Right Stuff” about the early space program in the United States?…when the test pilot Chuck Yeager was told about sending astronauts up…Yeager said, “Spam in a can.” It would be awful to be trapped in a train, or anywhere. So speed oriented. Is there a slow train?


    Posted by Brook | May 2, 2012, 6:03 am


  1. Pingback: Did China steal Japan’s high-speed train? | China Daily Mail - April 26, 2013

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