Most of us are amazed by the high end cars that travel at around 200 to 300 kmph. But there is another class of vehicles that travel on the ground .These vehicles do not necessarily travel on the road but yes, they actually travel on the tracks. Taking a brief transition from Automotive to the Locomotive, we will concentrate on the state of art trains that surpass all land speed records of high end cars.
TGV- Train à Grande Vitesse – is one of the fastest trains on earth that runs on the tracks. In 2007, the TGV set a land speed record of 574.8km/hr. On the normal passenger journeys it clocks a speed of 320km/hr .One can only imagine the rush of blood that pumps into the brain when the train cruises at 320 km/hr .Originally started in the 1980’s the TGV was built by Alstom and SNCF(French rail corporation). The TGV has an unblemished record of no fatal accident in its service till date.With a train that is hurtling down at 320 km/hr, there is no doubt that the safety features and the braking technology of the train is far ahead of any other conventional systems.
I had the privilege to travel on one of the fastest rail routes of TGV from Stuttgart to Paris. Starting from Stuttgart, the train quickly accelerated to around 150 km/hr and cruised at the same speed till it reached Strasbourg in France. Once the train crossed Strasbourg, there was a change in the overall behaviour of the train. Within no time, the TGV accelerated menacingly and was shaking a little more than usual. The train also seemingly swerved to an angle while taking turns. As i looked out of the window, i could see the fields getting blurred as it was hard for my eye to register the speed of the train. While having a coffee at the pantry Bar of the train, The Coffee vendor replied that the train was cruising at 320km/hr. It really felt different sipping the French coffee while travelling at 320km/hr. The world seemed to shrink as I arrived at Paris within 3.5 hours .The TGV had covered a distance of around 600km in a staggering 3.5 hours .The same journey through Air would have taken an hour. Not to mention, our Rajdhani (one of the fastest Luxury Indian trains), would take a good 12 hours to cover the same distance.
Check the Video of the record breaking speed of TGV
Whatever be the case, French engineering seems miles ahead with respect to High speed locomotives.