Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Super Trains: Plans to Fix U.S. Rail Could End Road & Sky Gridlock

With airports and highways more congested than ever, new steel-wheel and maglev lines that move millions in Europe and Japan have the potential to resurrect the age of American railroads.

Unlike conventional diesel- and electric-powered trains, the motor for maglev trains is essentially embedded in the track. The track creates a traveling magnetic field beneath the train, which lifts the cars and propels them at 300-plus mph. The train’s on-board systems are powered by induction from the track. And only the section of track under the train is energized. (Illustration by Nathan Fariss)


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