Maybe you’ve heard about the proposed high-speed train in California. Well, Sweden is beating the West Coast to the punch with their Green Train.
The Green Train, or Gröna Tåget, will cut energy use on rail lines by 30 percent through lowered operational costs and journey times. Top speeds reached 183 MPH on a test run.
Best of all, the Green Train can operate on the current rail infrastructure. That means there’s no need to lay down new tracks.
Energy saving measures on the train include a permanent magnet motor to increase propulsion chain efficiency and a system that saves up to 15 percent of traction energy by assisting drivers with speed and traction force information.
While the Green Train is significantly slower than California’s proposed high-speed rail (and the same speed as the French high-speed train), it has set a Swedish speed record. Additionally, it is already in the testing stages, while the California rail won’t be ready for at least 20 years. Research on the Green Train will conclude in 2010 or 2011, so it shouldn’t be too long before the system is operational.
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Ariel Schwartz was formerly the editor of CleanTechnica and is a contributor at Fast Company, Inhabitat, Triple Pundit, SF Weekly, and NBC Bay Area Online. A graduate of Vassar College, she has previously worked in publishing, organic farming, documentary film, and newspaper journalism. Her interests include permaculture, hiking, skiing, music, relocalization, and cob (the building material). She currently resides in San Francisco, CA.