Windmill Powered Trains Are Coming | TG Daily

Posted July 16, 2013 – 09:55 by David Konow

We just reported on TG about how one day soon we’re going to have battery-powered airplanes, much like hybrid cars. They can only fly short distances for the moment, but we will probably be able to go a lot further distances in the near future down, and as long as they can stay up in the air, it’s great that we won’t be wasting so much fuel.

train electric.gif

Now as Impact Lab reports , in England they’re working on railways that will be 70% windpowered. This is only in the trail phase at the moment, and this report tells us this could happen via wind turbines that are placed alongside the tracks. Again, if it works, it will be a great way to save energy, and what’s the worst that could happen? You get stalled? At least that won’t happen up in the sky, right?

This is being funded in part by the Department for Energy and Climate Change, and the wind turbines are being developed by a company called X-Wind Power. This technology being developed, as this report tells us, could be “potentially game changing” not just because of the energy it saves, but because it’s also very quiet as well.
This project is part of a two-year trial, and there will be further tests in the near future. If this goes over in England, it would also be wonderful to see it happen all over the world, providing inexpensive energy transportation everywhere. And perhaps we’ll indeed see both battery powered airplanes and air powered trains within the next ten years or less. If it helps us save a ton of gas and provide clean energy for the environment, we’re all for it.


Wireless power transfer tested on Korean railway | TG Daily

Posted February 13, 2013 – 06:45 by Emma Woollacott

Korean engineers have developed a new wireless power transfer technology for railways, harbor freight and airport.

The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and the Korea Railroad Research Institute (KRRI) today successfully tested it out on railroad tracks at Osong Station.

The technology supplies 60 kHz and 180 kW of power remotely to transport vehicles at a stable, constant rate, they say. It was developed originally as part of an electric vehicle system introduced by KAIST in 2011 known as the On-line Electric Vehicle (OLEV).

The first models, a bus and a tram, tap 20 kHz and 100 kW power at an 85 percent transmission efficiency rate, while keeping a 20cm air gap between the underbody of the vehicle and the road surface.

Today’s demonstration of the technology in a train shows that OLEV can be used successfully in larger-scale systems.

“We have greatly improved the OLEV technology from the early development stage by increasing its power transmission density by more than three times. The size and weight of the power pickup modules have been reduced as well,” says Professor Dong-Ho Cho of KAIST.

“We were able to cut down the production costs for major OLEV components, the power supply, and the pickup system, and in turn, OLEV is one step closer to being commercialized.”

KAIST and KRRI plan to apply the wireless power transfer technology to trams in May and high speed trains in September.

High-Speed Rail Gains Traction in Spain

Most of the high-speed Alta Velocidad Española trains originate or end at Madrid-Puerta de Atocha station. More Photos »


ABOARD THE AVE — Carlos Martínez and his colleagues were enjoying soda and sandwiches in the bar, having chosen not to watch a film — “Appaloosa,” with Ed Harris — that was playing on overhead screens. They barely seemed to notice the arid landscape whizzing by or the digital display reflecting their speed, which hovered around 186 miles per hour.

Since a high-end, high-speed rail connection between Barcelona and Madrid opened in 2008, a 325-mile journey that takes about 6 hours by car can be completed in just 2 hours and 38 minutes, from city center to city center.

Two years ago, nearly 90 percent of the six million people traveling between Madrid and Barcelona went by air. But early this year the number of train travelers on the route surpassed fliers, and the trajectory is ever upward.

The shift has political and economic benefits for Spain, which like other European Union countries has set out to lower its carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent over the next 10 years. Emissions per passenger on a high-speed train are about one-fourth of those generated by flying or driving.

But those who board the AVE (for Alta Velocidad Española, or Spanish High Speed) are not necessarily thinking green. Like high-speed railways in France and China, Renfe — Spain’s national train operator — has performed the ultimate green sleight of hand by simply making the low-emissions option more comfortable and convenient.

“Since the day this train opened, I have never, never set foot on the plane again,” said Mr. Martínez, 31, a lawyer who travels between Madrid and Barcelona twice a week. “Why would anyone fly?”

Here, perhaps more than in any other country, the new high-speed train service has consciously set out to turn traditional stereotypes about train travel and plane travel on their head.

Unlike the French, who sought to maintain a low-cost image as their trains gained speed, Renfe decided to go upscale, said Josep Valls, a professor of marketing at the Esade Business School in Barcelona.

The train tickets cost as much as plane tickets — about $200 one way, at the moment — although cheaper advance fares can be found on the Internet. AVE offers assigned reclining seats, computer outlets, movies, headsets, good food and even gloved attendants.

“It is not about the environment, it’s that people are very satisfied by these trains,” Professor Valls said. “This is really changing the paradigm of travel for Europe.” Other AVE lines connect Madrid with Seville and with Málaga.

He predicted that eventually all European routes under 800 miles would be dominated by train travel, with a high-speed train traveling, say, from Barcelona to Paris — 520 miles as the crow or plane flies — in a little over four hours.

Professor Valls said that Spaniards had so decisively opted for the comfort and convenience of trains that traditional airlines might not be able to compete. The number of flights between Madrid and Málaga dropped by half in the two years after the AVE route between those cities opened in 2007.

The main factor allowing planes to keep flying between Barcelona and Madrid was the arrival of extremely low-cost, no-frills cattle-car flights on the route this year, Professor Valls said. Book now on Ryan Air and you can fly for under $10 in April, though the price rises steeply for last-minute purchases.

The United Nations has said repeatedly that transportation emissions must be reined in if the world is to successfully combat climate change. Transport emissions in European Union countries grew 26 percent from 1990 to 2007, according to the European Environment Agency. Aviation emissions have grown particularly rapidly, and nowhere faster than in Spain — a premier destination for low-cost airlines — where they more than doubled in that period.

In the United States, President Obama has set aside $8 billion in federal stimulus money for investments in high-speed rail, but the money will go to a limited number of states, including Florida, California and Illinois. By 2020 half of Spain’s $160 billion transport budget will go to rail travel.

In the meantime, the Acela, Amtrak’s express train running from Boston to New York to Washington, looks like a homely tortoise by comparison with its sleek brethren here, averaging only 71 miles an hour. Spain’s high-speed train sector seems well positioned to expand. All AVE lines currently turn a profit and have easily survived price wars waged by airlines, Professor Valls said. What is more, trains require fewer employees and far less costly infrastructure than do planes.

Adding to rail’s competitive advantage, European environmental policies are likely to force an increase in airline ticket prices over the next few years. Beginning in 2012, the biggest polluters among the airlines will be required to buy extra credits to “pay” for their carbon dioxide emissions, and the cost will have to be passed on to travelers.

For many converts to the AVE, there is simply no going back to flying; they particularly do not miss flight delays and the long lines at airport security checkpoints. The rail tickets remind passengers to be onboard a mere two minutes before departure, and the only security procedure involves passing large suitcases though a scanner.

“I can get to the station 10 minutes before it leaves,” said Rafael Fernández, a logistics manager for Fujitsu who was returning to Madrid on an AVE train one day recently. “This has changed the way I travel.”

US High-Speed Rail: China To Bid On Projects


BEIJING — China plans to bid for contracts to build U.S. high-speed train lines and is stepping up exports of rail technology to Europe and Latin America, a government official said Saturday.

China has built 4,000 miles (6,500 kilometers) of high-speed rail for its own train system and President Barack Obama issued a pledge in November with his Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao, to cooperate in developing the technology.

“We are organizing relevant companies to participate in bidding for U.S. high-speed railways,” Wang Zhiguo, a deputy railways minister, told a news conference.

Wang gave no details of where China’s railway builders might seek contracts, but systems are planned in California, Florida and Illinois. He said state-owned Chinese companies already are building high-speed lines in Turkey and Venezuela.

Beijing plans to construct a 16,000-mile (25,000-kilometer) high-speed rail network by 2020 in a 2 trillion yuan ($300 billion) project it hopes will spur economic and technology development. A new line linking the central city of Wuhan with Guangzhou near Hong Kong on China’s southern coast is billed as the world’s fastest at 237 miles (380 kilometers) per hour.

China produces high-speed trains using French, German and Japanese technology. Its manufacturers have developed a homegrown version but have yet to produce a commercial model.

Chinese rail authorities have signed cooperation memos with California and Russia and state companies plan to bid on a line in Brazil linking Rio de Janeiro with Sao Paulo, Wang said. He said Saudi Arabia and Poland also have expressed interest.

The White House announced $8 billion in grants in January for rail projects including the high-speed systems in California, Florida and Illinois.

“China is willing to share its mature and advanced technology with other countries to promote development of the world’s high-speed railways,” Wang said.

So far, China’s government has completed 2,295 miles (3,676 kilometers) of rail lines with top speeds of up to 220 mph (350 kph) and 1,795 miles (2,876 kilometers) with speeds up to 155 mph (250 kph), according to Wang.

Another 6,000 miles (10,000 kilometers) of lines are under construction, he said.

Once the network is completed, it will cut travel time from Beijing to Hong Kong from 24 hours to 10.

Some critics say high-speed train fares are too high for average Chinese and question whether the lines can recover their construction costs.

Wang said high-speed trains already have higher occupancy rates than regular trains, though he gave no details.


Associated Press researcher Bonnie Cao contributed to this repor

8 Of The World’s Most Popular High-Speed Trains

The world’s first high-speed rail premiered when Japan’s Shinkansen opened to the public in 1964. The Shinkansen has grown to become the world’s busiest high-speed rail line, carrying 151 million passengers between 2007 and 2008.

Travis Walter Donovan

The Obama Administration recently allocated money for high-speed train projects across the nation. Here at HuffPost Green, we think high speed rail is totally awesome, and we hope to see many great rail projects across the country. The definition of high-speed rail varies across the world, with the US Federal Railroad Administration defining it as a train that exceeds speeds of 110 mph, while other countries set the standard much higher. Many places in the world are way ahead of us on rail projects, but they certainly give us something to aspire to. Take a look at some of the world’s most popular high-speed trains, and let us know which you like best!

More Pictures ->

Renovating American Infrastructure, Step 1: Transportation, trackless elevated trains

Roads, Bridges & Trains Paul Wootton
Defeating soul-deadening gridlock, monster potholes and dangerous road ice
By Adam M. Bright

Trackless Elevated Trains

Task: Add urban railways for a third the cost of conventional light rail
Status: Texas A&M University’s Texas Transportation Institute has offered free land for a two-mile test track

To save the multibillion-dollar cost of clearing 24-foot-wide swaths for new track, trainmaker Tubular Rail wants to shoot trains up to 150 mph over existing infrastructure through a series of elevated rings 100 feet apart. As it passes through each ring, the 400-foot-long carbon-fiber car is pushed along by electrically powered steel rollers. To save juice, the motors gear up only as a train approaches; up to 90 percent of the kinetic energy of the train can be recaptured as the rollers wind down.

Trackless trains are cheaper, faster than conventional trains

As Ohio considers re-establishing passenger rail linking Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Dayton, it ought to look at cutting-edge approaches, such as that offered by Texas-based Tubular Rail.

Tubular Rail offers Ohio an opportunity to help birth a new transportation industry — and to reap the jobs needed to build it.

Tubular Rail’s unique, patented “trackless-train” design relies on a series of elevated O-ring stanchions that control the direction of the train. Rails mounted on each car guide it to the next set of rings. Our dedicated route enables our train to travel at constant speeds of 150 mph. Moreover, we reduce capital costs of conventional trains by 50 percent or more. These savings become amplified when comparing costs of true 200 mph trains. See and understand us here:

Ohio hoped to get $564 million for the 3C project, but on Thursday was promised only $400 million by the federal government, leaving a gap of $164 million. Among the 3C’s shortcomings are its slow average speed of 39 mph and very long one-way trip times (6½ hours).

These flaws prohibit the 3C from mitigating traffic congestion or helping the climate by reducing CO{-2} emissions. Moreover, new diesel units that would be employed on the 3C train cannot go faster than the slow freight train in front of them. Because the laws of physics are not suggestions, the 3C as foundation for a true high-speed train is a known fallacy.

A yearly state subsidy of $17 million estimated for the conventional 3C concept is clearly worrisome. With state budget gaps looming, this is a bad time for Ohio to start a decades-long project whose future build-out costs to real high-speed could be as much as $25 billion.

All we ask is for Gov. Ted Strickland to convene a meeting of Ohio-based manufacturers and others to whom we, our engineers and prospective partners, can present our concept. Our technology will create jobs to help replace the 330,000 lost in just three years.

Getting Ohio to show interest in us is as difficult as getting a rock to float. The Ohio Department of Transportation cannot tell us where the information we presented to its director is, or even if anyone ever reviewed it.

Contrast Ohio’s attitude with the one we found in Las Vegas, where our presentation at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, earned us an invitation to participate in a proposed transportation demonstration park in the desert.

While Ohio dismisses us, others have not. When the Discovery Channel featured Tubular Rail technology in its 2007 show called Future Trains, we smiled. When Popular Science magazine recently included Tubular Rail as one of the 25 new technologies it said will transform the nation’s crumbling infrastructure, we cheered. And when a class of Oregon fifth-graders discovered us and considered us cool enough to build a working model out of Legos, we went wild.

Director Ohio Operations Tubular Rail


Is High Speed Rail Coming to a City Near You? A Guide to Obama’s Plans

Photo via EBBC

by Brian Merchant, Brooklyn, New York

It’s one of Obama’s greenest ideas–even though it may be underfunded–but news broke today that a massive high speed rail is officially on the way. The president’s announcement included an outline of 10 corridors around the US that will each likely see rail begin construction. So buckle up. Obama’s serious about getting our transportation system up to the cutting edge—here’s a guide to his plan, and a breakdown of the cities slated for a high speed transit future.

Where the Rail Will Go

With only $8 billion specifically allotted to getting the project off the ground, and an additional $1 billion a year for five years, he’s going to have to be cautious of where he builds rail. And he seems to have acknowledged this in his planning—instead of an ambitious plan to lay rail from coast to coast, Obama is suggesting 10 corridors of 100-600 miles each around the country. Check out Obama’s vision for high speed rail in America for yourself below–the grey lines are where future lines will hopefully go. Blue is where high speed rail already exists (yup, it’s that single, solitary line in the Northeast—we’re way behind Japan and Europe here).

obama high speed rail corridor image
Image via Federal Railroad Administration

The Ten Rail Corridors

And here’s a complete list of the proposed corridors and the cities that would get high speed rail access.

California Corridor – (Bay Area, Sacramento, LA, San Diego)

Pacific Northwest Corridor – (Eugene, Portland, Tacoma, Seattle, Vancouver BC)

South Central Corridor – (Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio, Little Rock)

Gulf Coast Corridor – (Houston, New Orleans, Mobile, Birmingham, Atlanta)

Chicago Hub Network – (Chicago, Milwaukee, Twin Cities, St. Louis, Kansas City, Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Louisville)

Florida Corridor – (Orlando, Tampa, Miami)

Southeast Corridor – (Washington Richmond, Raleigh, Charlotte, Atlanta, Macon, Columbia, Savannah, Jacksonville)

Keystone Corridor – (Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh)

Empire Corridor – (New York, Albany, Buffalo)

Northern New England Corridor – (Boston, Montreal, Portland, Springfield, New Haven, Albany)

How the High Speed Rail Will Be Built

Obama’s goals will (hopefully) be realized through a combination of constructing brand new corridors that will be entirely dedicated to high speed rail and the incremental upgrading of existing rail. And in addition to the $8 billion in stimulus funds, money will be made available as grants for states with rail projects that are “ready to go.” Rail projects like these are expected to create a slew of jobs as well.

Both Express and Regional High Speed Rail lines are planned. From the plans:

HSR – Express. Frequent, express service between major population centers 200–600 miles apart, with few intermediate stops. Top speeds of at least 150 mph on completely grade-separated, dedicated rights-of-way (with the possible exception of some shared track in terminal areas). Intended to relieve air and high-way capacity constraints.HSR – Regional. Relatively frequent service between major and moderate population centers 100–500 miles apart, with some intermediate stops. Top speeds of 110–150 mph, grade-separated, with some dedicated and some shared track (using positive train control technology). Intended to relieve highway and, to some extent, air capacity constraints.

Green Benefits of High Speed Rail

Besides the obvious benefits of having a more effective mass transit system—less car travel, fewer flights, less congestion, less incentive for the creation of urban sprawl—Obama’s plan notes a specific green figure:

“According to one recent study, implementation of pending plans for the federally designated HSR corridors could result in an annual reduction of 6 billion pounds of CO2

So all in all, the plan looks like a solid first step–and it could very well mean that we finally see a high speed rail system emerge in the US in coming years.

More on High Speed Rail:
CA High – Speed Rail Initiative – “If We Don’t Pass This, We Will …
High – Speed Trains Coming to California, Voters Approve Prop 1A
High Speed Trains As Sexy as Fast Cars