Public transportation is very important from the environment point of view. It decreases the per capita carbon footprint, because a large group of people can travel in the same space. In addition, public transportation is inexpensive as compared to privately-held vehicles. This makes it popular with the masses, especially in developing nations.
Of the different public transportation modes, the railway has seen massive technological innovation since its inception. From the horse-drawn railway of the nineteenth century to the maglev (magnetic levitation) trains of the twentieth century, the innovation in this form of public transportation has been unbelievable. In this article, you will be introduced to five environment-friendly futuristic trains that could change the face of public transportation.
1. Bombardier Eco 4
Bombardier Eco 4 Train, the brainchild of Francisco Lupin, is a boon to commuters as well as the environment. It is a maglev train that uses renewable solar energy as a power source eliminating the need for coal or electricity.
The renewable energy technology consists of solar panels on the roof. These solar panels are connected to a motor system that allows the panels to turn up to 30 degrees depending on the position of the sun in the sky. An on-board computer system automatically regulates this system.
Other attractive features include an automatic pilot system that guides the train along the track. The operations base controls the pilot computer. This system is tested at every stage to avoid mishaps.
The train is extremely passengerâfriendly. A buzzer system in the armrest of each seat allows passengers to select their exit stop. A unique information projector system informs passengers about climatic conditions, advertisements, or the time till the next halt.
2. BMW Train
The BMW train is the contribution of German automaker BMW to public transportation. In July 2011, the design consultancy and subsidiary of BMW Group â DesignworksUSA â announced the plans of the BMW train project. It will work with the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART). BART, the San Francisco Bay Area’s regional transit provider, is one of the busiest heavy rail rapid transit systems in the United States.
DesignworksUSA is working on a design for the BMW train that will add to the existing environment-friendly nature of the BART. The design will draw from the companyâs expertise in designing comfortable and luxurious automobiles for the new train. The exterior, interior, and train operator controls of the new fleet are expected to be stylish and innovative. The new trains are expected to hit the rails by 2017.
3. Maglev Train
The Maglev (magnetic levitation) train is being hailed as the future of American public transport system for its unique properties. It is extremely eco-friendly, because it is a non-petroleum based transportation system. It is propelled and guided by electromagnetic forces and is capable of traveling at speeds up to 300 mph.
Hopes of environment-friendly, comfortable, and fast passage have led to a bill for a proposed permanently levitated Maglev train route from Disneyland to Vegas.
4. Kawasaki Fastest Bullet Train
The âEnvironmentally Friendly Super Express Trainâ or efSET is the eco-friendly feather in the efficient cap – that is Japanâs rail system. It is designed by Japanâs Kawasaki Heavy Industries Limited. It is purported to be the Japan’s fastest high speed train, with an expected speed of a mind-blowing 217 miles per hour.
The efSETâs contribution to the environment will be lower noise levels and increased energy efficiency. It has a lightweight frame, a state-of-the-art electrical control system, an aerodynamic profile, and a regenerative braking system that will recycle the kinetic energy generated by its movement.
Kawasaki is planning to take this environmentally friendly super-fast train to international shores. The company predicts that the next 20 years will see approximately 10,000 km of high-speed railways all over the world.
5. China’s High Speed Train
China has continued its innovation in designing super-fast trains with a new environment-friendly, comfortable, and convenient train for public transportation. This super-fast bullet train from China is called the âHarmonyâ. It is a CRH-380A that promises to decrease the rates of carbon emission in addition to transporting its passengers quickly and comfortable.
The âHarmonyâ is being billeted as being the worldâs fastest high-speed train. During its trial run, it reached a speed of 415 km/h. It will operate between Shanghai and Hangzhou, the capital of East Chinaâs Zhejiang province. The Chinese Ministry of Railways has announced hopes of increasing the length of high-speed rails in China to 8,000 miles by 2012. The addition of trains such as the “Harmony” are part of this goal.