Steam locomotives had soon the competition of the electric engines. The first electric engine was built in 1879. This reached a speed of 200 kilometres per hour.
The first diesel locomotive of high power was built for the railways of Russia in 1912. These engines didn’t exceed the speed of electric engines.
Modern railways use electric power and have rails and control systems that, the trains can reach a speed of 300 kilometres per hour. They call: “high speed trains”, these trains are fantastic.
The first rails were made of cast iron, but these were a bit dangerous and broke very easily. Therefore, from 1870, rails began to be manufactured in steel.
Future of high speed trains can be in magnetic trains. A Japanese prototype reaches a speed of 517 kilometres per hour. This train was built like a shuttle from Birmingham and a railway station in 1984.
High speed trains:
The first model was “bullet train”, this train was Japanese, that began to operate from Osaka to Tokyo in 1964. This train reached a speed of 200 kilometres per hour.
The design of these trains is very sophisticated, for security reasons they have a double suspension and a braking system of high power.
Signs are controlled by computerized control systems and these trains need specials rails. These rails must be looked after very well.
The first journey was from Barcelona to Mataro, this train was TALGO (Light Articulated Train Goicoechea-Oriol. Now Spain has more than 12000 kilometres of rails.
The most famous Spain’s train is AVE. This train arrived in 1992. It is a model like TGV ( French train). These trains have two engines, located in the head and the tail of the train. This train in some sections is capable of reaching speeds of 350 kilometres per hour. At present, the AVE carries 5 million people a year.
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