Category Archives: Railroad photos and videos

Railroad photos and videos shot by us and links to others we like on the internet.

UK Super Train – Megastructures – National Geographic Documentary

Published on Feb 1, 2013

Having set up their first railroad during the reign of Queen Victoria, it was about time that UK updated their railroad network to match the fast pace of 21st Centuries. UK Super Train, an episode of the National Geographic documentary series Megastructures tells the exciting tale of UK’s high-speed train project that was then known as the Highspeed1. This super train traveled at a daunting 300 km/h and was a much more complicated task than building bridges and highways. Construction of railroads resulted in a more drastic change to the topography of land than road networks and required building bridges and tunnels; the latter being a risky venture, if the possibility of cave-ins and fluctuating air pressure is taken into account.

The project made use of existing Victorian landmarks such as the St Pancras Station that was turned from a liability into an asset. This National Geographic documentary film of Megastructures series follows the entire grueling tasks and procedures assigned to the engineers, from digging a trench through a chalk hill to a possible threat to the historical heritage of the country; the project had its fair share of setbacks. Stumbling across artifacts that were almost 4000 years old, the construction venture was exciting, but also raised a nationwide concern regarding the safeguarding of these precious items. Despite these challenges, the project managed to survive and was completed, while as well preserving the historical sites that were done with the undying efforts of Archaeologists, who outnumbered the construction workers at one point.

MegaStructures: UK Super Train: The National Geographic documentary film entails interviews and an engaging narration that gives in-depth insight into the nature of the project and the various challenges it battled. The construction began with the aim of turning loss-making infrastructure into assets and to cut down on the cost of building the high-speed rail network that already stood at an overwhelming 7 billion pounds. The venture was one of the largest and most expensive engineering projects carried out in UK and became a major tourist attraction. UK Super Train, the National Geographic documentary film of Megastructures series covers every aspect of the development of Highspeed1 that gave UK’s railroad network a much-needed boost.


Superconducting vacuum trains

While fast, frictionless maglev train systems have been operational for decades, they haven’t exactly become ubiquitous – perhaps because of the cost of the systems, or perhaps because there is no compelling need to replace the already widespread and workable conventional railway infrastructure. Either way, the idea is not about to fade from our collective imagination and several maglev of the future concepts have been floated.

The Evacuated Tube Transport (ETT) system envisions superconducting maglev trains operating in evacuated tubes at speeds of up to 6,500 km/h (4,039 mph) on international trips – that’s New York to Beijing in two hours! The proponents of this system say that ET3 could be 50 times more efficient than electric cars or trains.

Terraspan goes even further than ultra-efficient mass transport with its vision for a network of superconducting tunnels. As well as providing infrastructure for “Terraspan trains,” this network would also facilitate zero loss transmission of electricity to our homes. Read More

China Unveils World’s Fastest High Speed Train (VIDEO)

BEIJING — A Chinese passenger train hit a record speed of 302 miles per hour (486 kilometers per hour) Friday during a test run of a yet-to-be opened link between Beijing and Shanghai, state media said. (Scroll down for video.)

The Xinhua News Agency said it was the fastest speed recorded by an unmodified conventional commercial train. Other types of trains in other countries have traveled faster.

A specially modified French TGV train reached 357.2 mph (574.8 kph) during a 2007 test, while a Japanese magnetically levitated train sped to 361 mph (581 kph) in 2003. More