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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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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 !


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,".

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