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Can high-speed trains run faster and reduce their energy consumption?


Author/s: Ignacio González Franco

Increasing the speed at which a train can run on downhill sections (downgrades) owing to the force of gravity and the train’s inertia can mean a shorter journey time and less energy consumed (due to a reduction in the use of the brake). Moreover, this speed increase on downgrades offers other possibilities such as a reduction in train power and/or a lower maximum speed. Both alternatives maintain the necessary journey time on a route, since the time lost on upgrades (uphill sections) and on horizontal sections will be offset by the time gained on downgrades (downhill sections). This also entails a reduction in train costs and an additional reduction in energy consumption.

Keywords: Maximum speed, efficiency, downgrade, energy consumed, power.

Publication: 360.high speed magazine Nº 1-November 2011, pp.35-44


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