One of the world's fastest passenger trains is currently undergoing trials near Munich. The West?
One of the world's fastest passenger trains is currently undergoing trials near Munich. The West German Transrapid train has already reached speeds of 200 kms an hour (124 mph), but it's eventually expected to reach a maximum velocity of twice this speed.
Travelling on a special elevated track, the 16 ton train hovers on a magnetic field and is powered by an electric linear traction motor.
Electromagnets not only give the train lift, they guide it along the rails. One of the underlying principles behind the research programme is the need to find transport systems not dependent on oil following the fuel crisis.
To find out how the train will eventually react at speeds of 400 kms per hour, a special rocket-propelled research vehicle, known as the komet, is also being used in the tests.