Light Weight Design for High Speed and MAGLEV Trains 2001-01-3254
High-speed trains today operate at speeds between 200 and 320 km/h and MAGLEV trains between 400 and 500 km/h, whereas world record stands at 515 km/h for trains on wheels and 552 km/h for MAGLEV trains. This speed level can only be reached economically when light weight design is systematically used. Low axle load is crucial for the useful life of the infrastructure and low overall weight is necessary to reduce traction power and braking efficiency. The influence of train configuration on the mass per passenger seat is shown. For a given train configuration finally light weight design is compulsory despite the fact that requirements for structural stiffness, sound dampening, thermal insulation and other comfort items need additional mass. A number of high-speed trains such as TGV Duplex, Talgo Pendular, ETR 500, Pendolino WCML, ICN are presented and compared with the MAGLEV train TR08. A special aspect in this comparison will be passenger safety and as part of it crash-worthiness of the vehicles. Development trends for the future are given.