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China is planning to build a 1,000 kph locomotive, which would nearly double the current record speed.  (Source: China Daily)

The new train design revives a concept bandied about since the 1960s -- a vacuum tube train. To date the concept has never been commercially implemented.  (Source: Capsule Pipelines)
Design would almost double today's record speed

We've discussed a couple of times the U.S.'s growing gap in high speed rail compared to China.  As fossil fuels become more scarce, more expensive, and more dangerous from a political standpoint, mass transit solutions look increasingly appealing.  High speed rail is particularly promising as it promises not only to reduce fossil fuel use, but also to get you to your destination faster.

Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE) reportedly are preparing a record-shattering 1,000 kilometer per hour train, according to the 
Beijing Times.  

The new trains will make use of a vacuum tube to reduce friction losses.  They will first build a prototype vacuum magnetic suspension train capable of traveling between 500 and 600 kph.  That gives it a shot at breaking the record set by Japan's JR-Maglev train, which achieved a speed of 581 km/h (361 mph).  The record for a traditional railed train was set by France's TGV at 574.8 km/h (357.18 mph).

After the prototype, the group plans to implement a smaller train capable of speeds of as much as 1,000 kph.  Shen Zhiyun, a member of the research team, comments, "The speed can be reached by making vacuum pipelines for maglev trains to run through, with no air resistance."

Daryl Oster, who owns the U.S. patent on evacuated tube (vacuum) rail, now works at the CAE.  Along with Zhiyun and another researcher, Zhang Yaoping, he is leading efforts to deploy the technology.  The team hopes to begin laying ETT rail lines within the next ten years.

It would use less steel than current trains, but would be slightly more expensive.  China is targeting a cost of 200 million yuan ($29.54M USD) per kilometer for its traditional rail.  The Evacuated Tube Transport (ETT) rail would cost approximately 210 to 220 million yuan ($31.0M USD to $32.49M USD) per kilometer.

Currently the planned trains travel at 350 kph.  A cost increase of 5 to 10 percent seems a fair tradeoff to score nearly twice the speed.  It's just one more example of how ambitious China is when it comes to high speed rail.



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kph
By Murloc on 8/5/2010 2:00:39 PM , Rating: 4
the international standards prescribe to write kilometers per hour this way: km/h
since this is a "tech" site and speaks about science stuff, you should be more serious about units of measurement.
you write kph because you're used to the fact that in anglosaxon countries you write mph.
Don't americanize real units (yup, the ones used by international scientists) please, write km/h next time.




RE: kph
By Ristogod on 8/5/10, Rating: -1
RE: kph
By quiksilvr on 8/5/2010 2:44:41 PM , Rating: 1
Oh please, if there's one standard we can live without its the flawed English measuring system. 12 inches to a foot? 3 foots (I detest ee plural words, so they don't exist my vocabulary) to a yard, 1760 yards to a mile, or 5280 foots to a mile? What were they smoking when they came up with these random standard units?


RE: kph
By Kenenniah on 8/5/2010 3:05:44 PM , Rating: 5
Most of it came from actual use in the times the units were created.
http://physics.info/system-english/


RE: kph
By FaceMaster on 8/5/10, Rating: -1
RE: kph
By angryplayer on 8/5/2010 8:30:04 PM , Rating: 5
So widespread, it's only used in one country as a standard of measurement. And a basterdized version too.


RE: kph
By spread on 8/5/2010 8:42:57 PM , Rating: 4
... also used in Burma. Don't forget Burma.


RE: kph
By Gul Westfale on 8/6/2010 8:25:11 AM , Rating: 5
USA+burma=international coalition. let's invade metristania.


RE: kph
By aegisofrime on 8/6/2010 12:18:27 AM , Rating: 5
The English measuring system is obviously created by aliens. Any sensible human measuring system would be in base 10, for the obvious fact that we (or most of us) have 10 fingers.


RE: kph
By Solandri on 8/6/2010 1:21:57 AM , Rating: 5
English units actually make a whole lot of sense if you're actually using them in real life, not thinking of them as abstract numbers. You have to remember that when these units were invented, there was no widespread access to calibrated measuring devices like we have nowadays. Back then, actually measuring things was the hard part; doing math on them was easier, relatively speaking.

10 cm in a dm. Can be divided into 1/2 or 1/5 to yield integer measures.
12 inches in a foot. Can be divided in 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/6, all yielding integer measures.

1000 m in a km. Can be divided into 1/2, 1/4, 1/5, 1/8, 1/10, 1/20, 1/40 to yield integer measures.
5280 feet in a mile. Can be divided in 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/5, 1/6, 1/8, 1/10, 1/11, 1/12, 1/15, 1/16, 1/20, 1/30, 1/40, 1/60 to yield integer measures.

English weight units are designed to be divisible by 2. In old days before every household had a calibrated scale, if you had 1 pound of wheat (measured on a calibrated scale at the market), how do you think they divided it evenly? They pulled out a simple balance, and split it until each side had the same weight - 8 ounces to a side. Split that again, 4 ounces. Split it again to get 2 ounces. And again to get 1 ounce.

Same goes for English volume measures. 4 quarts in a gallon (I don't remember what the 1/2 gallon unit is), 2 pints in a quart, 2 cups in a pint, 2 gills in a cup, 4 ounces in a gill (don't remember the 1/2 gill unit), 2 tablespoons in an ounce, 4 drams in a tablespoon. Again, if you're pouring liquid into two similar sized pitchers, it's almost trivial to eyeball it until both have the same amount of liquid. It's nearly impossible to eyeball 1/10th of a liter.

Nowadays, the situation is reversed. Calibrated measures are cheap and common. But most people don't have a calculator handy (and never got beyond elementary school math). So it makes more sense to use measures which match our base 10 counting system. (Except for computers, where base 2 makes more sense.)

Metric units are easier to calculate with. English units are easier to work with.


RE: kph
By Pjotr on 8/7/2010 8:02:21 AM , Rating: 2
History is irrelevant. Either use what most of the world uses, or stick to the US system, which loses me as a reader. When I read a review saying a laptop weights X lbs, it says nothing and I go to some other site.


RE: kph
By spamreader1 on 8/6/2010 8:58:03 AM , Rating: 3
Wouldn't any sensible measuring system be in base 2 for the obvious fact that we (or most of us) have 2 arms or 2 legs then?

Really, base 2 makes more sense since it's the simplest measurement system.


RE: kph
By MrBungle123 on 8/6/2010 12:20:16 PM , Rating: 5
screw it lets make everything 7x harder than it has to be and use base 27.5! Then both humans and computers can be equally confused when dealing with anything. :)


RE: kph
By Chernobyl68 on 8/6/2010 12:00:27 PM , Rating: 2
wait, what? You're complaing that other people are using "kph" vs. "km/hr" when you'd rather say "foots" than "feet"? pot, meet kettle. kettle, meet pot.


RE: kph
By FaceMaster on 8/5/2010 4:58:47 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Yeah, we American's wouldn't want to upset the international community now would we?


You've done a good job of upsetting the rest of the world so far, why buck the trend?


RE: kph
By Quadrillity on 8/5/10, Rating: -1
RE: kph
By FaceMaster on 8/5/2010 5:47:55 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
On that note... NEVER expect nor ask for our help during any disaster be it man made or natural. We wouldn't want to "upset" you and further.


Why would we want your help? You'd only make it worse, or try to steal our country's oil or something.


RE: kph
By NanoTube1 on 8/5/10, Rating: -1
RE: kph
By heffeque on 8/6/2010 12:31:21 AM , Rating: 5
We didn't even help our own people (Katrina anyone? I bet most people don't know that the place is still a miserable mess) How can other countries expect us to help THEM!


RE: kph
By Quadrillity on 8/6/2010 8:07:51 AM , Rating: 1
Katrina? Wow, you are one brainwashed media tool... Do you realize that they got more than a weeks notice to: "get your s*** and get the f*** out, there is a HUGE storm coming your way".

But that's OK, it is well within reason to build your homes BELOW SEA LEVEL in one of the most active hurricane regions in the world. If Bush hadn't sent that elite team of saboteurs, the levies would have held up. Curse your Bush! -sarcasm

While we're at it lets also have sympathy for people that park single wide trailers in TORNADO ALLEY.

There were hundreds of helicopters and other rescue teams zipping about after the initial storm saving people while most of the city was looting TVs, Jewelry, and whatever else. In fact, I remember several stories that showed people SHOOTING at the rescue helicopter!!! "Oh look! Someone's here to save us! SHOOT EM!"

You are a pathetic fool if you think my efforts should go to save people who build their homes in places that are very susceptible to flooding/fires/earthquakes. Don't get me wrong, everyone has to live somewhere, but New Orleans is by far a TERRIBLE choice for a decent person to live. That flood almost cleansed that entire area of scum that was living there.

They were warned far in advance to get the hell out of there. They did not listen. So Bush was blamed as a racist as a result. The world moves on, stfu.

I guess we should have just sat back and watched when the earthquake at Hati came too huh?


RE: kph
By Iaiken on 8/6/2010 10:48:49 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
If Bush hadn't sent that elite team of saboteurs, the levies would have held up. Curse your Bush! -sarcasm


He didn't have to, the levies had a 15 year head start on falling down themselves. Unfortunately, no level of government wanted to pay for their maintenance and improvement. More interestingly, they are unwilling to work with the Dutch (who have far more expertise in this area) to create a failure tolerant system of levies.

quote:
While we're at it lets also have sympathy for people that park single wide trailers in TORNADO ALLEY.


Where do you draw the line Quadrillity, between earthquakes, flooding, deserts, tornadoes and all other natural disasters there's practically no livable space in North America according to your hodge-podge logic.

quote:
You are a pathetic fool if you think my efforts should go to save people who build their homes in places that are very susceptible to flooding/fires/earthquakes.


Not as pathetic as your apathetic self. The problem was a manageable one.

They had 15 years warning that this was possible, 15 years to spend the time and money it would take to maintain and upgrade the levy system. 15 years to collaborate with other experts in the field to come up with cost effective solutions to this problems. 15 years to add fault tolerance to the existing levy system.

Which cost more? To upgrade and improve the levies so they didn't sink into the mud or fall over with excess pressure, to build in overflow zones and evacuation zones? Would it have really cost more than the 91 billion dollars in damage that the failures caused?

The entire time of the Bush and Clinton administrations, the Government of Louisiana had sought assistance from the fed and the Army Corps of Engineers to expedite the upgrades to the levies in failure prone areas. Each time they were either flat-out denied or shoved aside in favor of other earmark projects. This was in spite of the fact that the Regan administration had tasked the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct an engineering survey of the levy system at which time they validate the now 5-year old concerns of the New Orleans civil engineers.

quote:
That flood almost cleansed that entire area of scum that was living there.


I've been there both before and since and I can say that your assertion is founded solely in ignorance. Both times, the people were friendly, happy, and I found myself invited to several dinners, parties and other events at peoples private homes just because. In Buffalo NY, people rioted, smashed, looted and burned because the Sabres got eliminated from the Stanley Cup, should we flood that city to cleanse them? You can't judge an entire people for the actions of a few idiots in the absence of law and order.

quote:
I guess we should have just sat back and watched when the earthquake at Hati came too huh?


Ironic you should bring that up since it damages your argument so badly. Within 24 hours the US had established an air bridge to Haiti and within 48 hours they had several hospital, support and supply ships making supply runs back and forth. Before the fifth day, 17 ships, 48 helicopters and 12 fixed-wing aircraft in addition to 10,000 sailors and Marines were involved in supply, rescue and policing efforts.

Meanwhile in Louisiana, it took the US government 48 hours to even approve additional national guardsmen, let alone get them to the disaster area. Further frustrating efforts were the delays by the fed in allowing international aid to the region, even Canada (the closest ally of the USA) had to put aid ships in international waters off the coast until approval came on September 2nd. European nations could not render aid until the fed finally OK'd it on September 4th.

In a disaster, time is of the essence and the Bush administration fumbled badly and because of it, even neighboring states were left waiting on the fed and Louisiana was left to fend for itself the first 48 hours. He had executive power to get these people the aid they needed and the opportunity to get it to them with expediency and he squandered both.


RE: kph
By Quadrillity on 8/6/2010 12:56:52 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Unfortunately, no level of government wanted to pay for their maintenance and improvement.

Which goes back to my statement about where its STUPID TO LIVE BELOW SEA LEVEL THAT HAS A REAL GOOD CHANCE OF FLOODING. And another thing... should we rely on "government" to babysit us? Can we not use common sense to protect ourselves and our families. Gov tit issue going on here...
quote:
They had 15 years warning that this was possible..

Yep, I agree. I wouldn't be living in conditions where it was "likely" that I lose my life and possessions because of living below sea-level in a flood-zone . So it's the governments fault that those people chose to live there?
quote:
I've been there both before and since and I can say that your assertion is founded solely in ignorance.

So you went to the "good parts" which accounts for about 2% of the entire city? Good comparison that you made there...

quote:
Within 24 hours the US had established an air bridge to Haiti and...

Yes, it's true that our disaster prevention/recovery system were very lacking. Haiti was proof enough that were did in fact vamp up those programs significantly. So what's your point? Why do you and many other have this notion that "the government" should look over each and every aspect of our lives? If people chose to live in a flood-zone that is held back by man made levies, then so be it! We still sent help regardless of how effective it was after being told to evacuate. The government isn't here to prevent stupid people from being stupid (impossible). But one of my main points is that how can we even launch a successful rescue mission if we have the people shooting at the workers and off looting stores? You can say whatever you want to, but only a fool would have stayed there with weeks of repeat warning.


RE: kph
By Iaiken on 8/6/2010 2:15:46 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Which goes back to my statement about where its STUPID TO LIVE BELOW SEA LEVEL THAT HAS A REAL GOOD CHANCE OF FLOODING. And another thing... should we rely on "government" to babysit us? Can we not use common sense to protect ourselves and our families.


The only problem with that is that it is in the governments interest that the port of Louisiana stay open and operational. It is the SINGLE HIGHEST VOLUME PORT IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE and is responsible for more tonnage per annum than Los Angeles, Long Beach and San Diego COMBINED.

Like it or not, this port is critical infrastructure and requires an enormous number of people to keep it running efficiently. When you factor in that this port is responsible for over 60% of all US grain exports, it criticality becomes even more apparent.

The amount of duty and excise that the US government makes off imports and exports makes it simply mind-blowing that they were unwilling to spend the money required to keep the city that the port relies upon intact.

quote:
So you went to the "good parts" which accounts for about 2% of the entire city? Good comparison that you made there...


Nope, I spent a month there both times and I got to go everywhere, city center, the port, the bayou and each of the different parishes. It's an amazing city and if you never go there in your lifetime, you're missing out. The only way I can describe the spirit of New Orleans is that it is like gaiety of Montreal on steroids with better food.


RE: kph
By Zingam on 8/7/2010 8:22:47 AM , Rating: 1
Imperial units... "IMPERIAL", Shakespeare, King Arthur etc... crap are NOT American... they are British. Today probably 90% of the Americans have nothing to do with Britain.
All EU countries used to have their own measurement units but the whole normal world changed to a common standard that makes sense - the metric system.
If US were so British, why driving on the right side of the road then?


RE: kph
By mgilbert on 8/5/2010 2:27:57 PM , Rating: 5
English language standards dictate that a writer should capitalize the first letter of every sentence - and end each sentence with a "period".

Your first sentence is awkwardly worded, and the sentence should have started with the word, "International".

In your second sentence, you used the word "you" in the indefinite sense - another error.

And "anglosaxon" should have been written, "Anglo-Saxon".

And "americanize" should start with a capitol "A".

And, finally, you should have left a blank line between your two paragraphs.

I'm sorry, but I couldn't resist. You made several more mistakes than the writer of the article did, and you did it in 100 words or less!!!


RE: kph
By Funksultan on 8/5/2010 3:24:47 PM , Rating: 5
Wow.

Boom, headshot.


RE: kph
By therealnickdanger on 8/5/2010 4:24:04 PM , Rating: 2
While I see it all the time, I thought sentences beginning with conjuctions (and, but) were also considered "poor grammar".


RE: kph
By chick0n on 8/5/2010 4:32:27 PM , Rating: 4
heeeaaaddd heeeaddd Headddshoooott !

Multiiiiikilllllllll

Ooops, did I just messed my English up? what is this? getting a PhD in English or something ? :D

btw, wtf is kph anyway. (is btw/wtf English? LOL! is LOL English?)

I only know km/h and mph.

enlighten me.


RE: kph
By KaiserCSS on 8/5/10, Rating: -1
RE: kph
By smackababy on 8/5/2010 4:32:43 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think that is the case, as it is more because kids don't form complete sentences when they start with conjunctions. And as is usually the case, most people don't form complete thoughts that way either.


RE: kph
By SoCalBoomer on 8/5/2010 6:39:30 PM , Rating: 2
In the case wherein each statement is basically a bullet point, dependent upon the initial clause, beginning with a conjunction is acceptable.


RE: kph
By Amiga500 on 8/6/2010 5:05:10 AM , Rating: 2
I believe the use of "But," at the start of a sentence is acceptable as a replacement for "However,".


RE: kph
By FaaR on 8/5/2010 9:09:04 PM , Rating: 3
I don't think the word "capitol" means what you think it means... ;)

If you're going to play teh grammer police and generally be an ass in the way you express yourself, you better make damn sure your post is flawless first.

You, Sir, fail.

Me? English is a second language to me, I have an excuse.


RE: kph
By heffeque on 8/6/2010 12:35:03 AM , Rating: 2
This is like those demotivational images that are nested each of them correcting something the previous person wrote incorrectly.


RE: kph
By lelias2k on 8/5/2010 10:00:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And "americanize" should start with a capitol "A".


Do you mean "capital"? ;)


RE: kph
By Pjotr on 8/7/2010 8:04:07 AM , Rating: 2
LOL of the week. :-)


RE: kph
By SSDMaster on 8/5/2010 3:21:24 PM , Rating: 1
You sir, are an a$$hat.


RE: kph
By tng on 8/5/2010 8:54:30 PM , Rating: 2
I agree that the English system is difficult. Just how big is a 7/32 wrench? Really? They expect me to do division just to find the correct tool?

I can visualize 3mm or 15mm in my head, much more practical in my opinion. None of the 5/8ths stuff.

Now I do like the Fahrenheit measurements over Celsius. For allot of the work that I do with measurement equipment, the Fahrenheit scale offers more resolution on instruments that will not read out in tenths or hundredths of a degree.


RE: kph
By FaaR on 8/5/2010 9:16:09 PM , Rating: 1
The resolution of the instrument has nothing to do with the temperature scale it uses, it's purely a function of the way the instrument itself was designed.

Anyway, Fahrenheit surely was smoking some serious shit when he designed his scale; it's almost completely arbitrary in its fundamental design. Arguably, so was Celsius I might add, originally placing 100 degrees at the freezing point of water and 0 at the boiling point... It actually took a frenchman to set things right. ;)

Americans are like the proverbial last dinosaurs on earth with their obsolete imperial measurements (bastardized, on top of everything else). Time to get in synch with the rest of the world, guys!


RE: kph
By elewand2 on 8/6/2010 1:31:35 AM , Rating: 2
Fahrenheit is the perfect scale for the average person who lives in the northern continental US. The hottest day barely goes above 100 and the coldest day barely goes below zero. The average yearly temp is about 50 degrees. For science Fahrenheit sucks but so does Celcius. Either scale you have to add 460 or 273 for most calcs.


RE: kph
By elewand2 on 8/6/2010 1:33:20 AM , Rating: 2
by add I mean subtract


RE: kph
By Solandri on 8/6/2010 1:40:11 AM , Rating: 2
The problem with the Celsius scale is that the "water freezes/boils" statements are only true at sea level. Even at sea level, these temperatures will vary with the weather that day (high or low atmospheric pressure). At any other altitude, the statements that water boils at 100 C, or freezes at 0 C, are virtually guaranteed to be wrong.

Fahrenheit actually did good trying to make 96 F equal to body temperature. The human body is remarkably good at maintaining the same body temperature regardless of external factors like location. It only got revised up to 98.6 F when some people after him proposed to redefine the scale based on boiling water at sea level. And 0 F was the lowest temperature likely to be encountered by anyone at the time (it's the freezing point of a brine water solution). Meaning that except for cooking, the temperatures encountered in the vast majority of people's everyday lives fit between 0 and 100 F.

A better argument for Celsius is that, fortuitously, the biggest temperature difference you can sense is about 1 C. Compare 85 F to 86 F and most people will tell you they're about the same. But compare 30 C to 31 C and most people will tell you there's a slight difference.


RE: kph
By Iaiken on 8/6/2010 9:52:34 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Meaning that except for cooking, the temperatures encountered in the vast majority of people's everyday lives fit between 0 and 100 F.


Maybe if you live in a temperate climate.

There are many nations where the temperature hits -40 degrees or colder (thankfully this is the same in both systems) several times each winter.

This was the first year in a long time where southern Ontario didn't dip below -30C.


RE: kph
By Richlet on 8/7/2010 1:14:29 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not an expert, and this isn't a flame, but I'm not sure I understand how 0 and 100 are "weaknesses" when F it's listed as 32F and 212F. Aren't those numbers also only true at sea level? Does the base scale for Fahrenheit change depending on altitude?


RE: kph
By JasonMick (blog) on 8/11/2010 5:29:17 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
the international standards prescribe to write kilometers per hour this way: km/h
since this is a "tech" site and speaks about science stuff, you should be more serious about units of measurement.


...er kph stands for " k ilometers p er h our" and is equivalent to km/h.

If you don't believe me type "kph" in Google. It gives you the unit conversion for km/h. Or type it in Wikipedia.

Maybe you have never heard of this abbreviation because of your lack of familiarity with the metric system, but don't blame me for that.


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