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High Speed Trains

This history of High Speed Trains begins with the Japanese in the 1960s and the rounded nose "bullet trains", travelling at speeds in excess of 200km/h, a speed which was just attainable on the better standard gauge tracks in Europe by the late 1960s. The French developed high speed rail tracks planned to follow the topography and rely on momentum and a high power to weight ratio to ensure a consistent high speed. Not only was this a success, but increasingly larger trains were required to meet the demand. New high speed lines were extended through Europe, and were adopted in Korea, China and Taiwan and higher speed trains were introduced on existing lines elsewhere. High Speed Rail is now an established alternative to shorter distance air travel, as speeds have increased from just above 200 km/h in the 1960s to just below 400 km/h today. In Australia there is renewed interest in High Speed Trains. There have been two earlier serious investigations, centred on the Sydney-Melbourne route, These proposals are examined, and the current use of high speed train designs on existing lines, for both long and medium distance services. The first was the Country link XPT, based on the British Rail HST diesel train. The next was Queensland Rail's Electric Tilt Train, which was a modification of a train used on Japan's older narrow gauge system. Victoria's Regional Fast Rail project produced not only a much needed upgrading of the track to the major regional centres, but new trains which provide a significant improvement in comfort and journey time Peter Clark is a mechanical engineer with experience in Australian Railways, including involvement in rail and wheel interaction studies on heavy haul railways in Australia. He has written two books on locomotives, An Australian Diesel Locomotive Pocketbook and Locomotives in China.
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About the Author

Peter Clark has translated several books from Arabic. He worked for the British Council for thirty-one years, mostly in the Arab world, and is now a freelance translator and consultant on Middle East cultural affairs.


I do hope it is followed up with further publications on the subject. We have so many excellent books about railways of the past, but virtually none about high speed rail, the railways of the future. - David Thrower, Stockton Heath July 2012 "This is an impressive collection of illustrations, supporting an informed appraisal, from steam locos to Maglev. The standard of all photos & the quality of reproduction is excellent. This book will look good on the coffee table - but it is also a useful source of comparative reference, with an international scope that should strike a chord with many CM readers." Continental Modeller, June 2012 edition

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