Compared to the other transport technologies, train technology is progressing in a slower way. The main reason behind this is that train systems last for a very long period of time, and thus it takes more time to integrate new and innovative technology.
However, this does not mean that there is a shortage of ideas. According to the research, the number of rail passengers has increased by 3.5% all across the world. Thus, to cope up with the increased demand in railway service, new innovation needs to be done.
Different innovations are taking place in the fields of improved traction, braking and route planning. Modern trains are more energy-efficient and are more safe. Some of the latest innovations for passenger trains and the trains for commercial purposes are outlined below.
Formula 1 cars have the carbon composites which light weight materials and they help the cars in their high performance. A team from Newcastle University in UK has researched for three years along with AP&M, a Portuguese manufacturing firm and Bombardier Transportation.
They have invented a 40% lighter train cab. They have used an aluminum honeycomb structure and polymer foam core and are covered with special glass-reinforced plastic. This helps to get the same performance as formula 1 but at a cost which is much lower compared to per unit cost of formula 1. It is said that the train cab will first be used for commercial purpose on suburban service in Paris.
High-speed trains have become quite popular in many parts of the world, like Japan, China and different countries of Europe. Recently, new innovative ideas have come into play to make the train even faster. Elon Musk's has discovered 'Hyperloop' which is a new form of train.
It consists of elevated and reduced-pressure tube. The tube has pressurized capsules, which are driven by a number of motors. Its innovator claims that, it will never crash and will go at a speed which is twice of the airplane. It will also be resistant to extreme weather conditions. The best past is, it will run completely on solar power. But unfortunately, it has not received financial and political support as yet to be a reality.
Trains used for commercial purposes present unique and creative innovations that have lead to greater efficiencies in more ways then one. Among the most advanced involves how rail cars are weighed to determine both load weight as well as maintain rail car limits to sustain the quality of the tracks and cars over years of use.
Rail car weigh scales are the centerpiece to this innovative technology. Trains can pass over in-motion rail scales at slow speeds to have weight measurement taken. As a pioneering system that's redefining how commercial uses determine rail car weight, in-motion rail scales have progressed train technology to new heights. Rail car weigh scale companies like Walz Scale are making great strides in the industry by revolutionizing these weighing systems for trains.
Several researches are being made to make the diesel powered trains more environment friendly. The researchers at the Institute of Vehicle Concepts in Stuttgart, Germany have invented a hybrid DMU concept. This concept includes a hybrid energy storage system which is made up of two layer capacitors and batteries.
This hybrid hydro-mechanical DMU concept is yet to go through some more modifications before being implemented on trains. It would be important to save 6 to13 percent of fuel in order to decrease the carbon-dioxide emission from a diesel powered train, so that it can become more eco-friendly.
Rail-weighing is an important feature of rail operations and has gone through certain innovations as well. Optimum efficiency can be obtained from in-motion rail scales which allows to move the rail car axle, wagons and trains while in motion. It is the ideal train weighing solution and can detect the weight, which helps in heavy duty load management.