beleben

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More than a bit of safety nonsense

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Alstom AGV nose, from 'Megafactories' tv series

A driver running a train at more than 300 km/h “needs more than a bit of protection”, according to National Geographic’s “Megafactories: High Speed Rail” episode about Alstom’s AGV (16m 35s onwards).

[Megafactories soundtrack]

[Narrator:] …So designers developed a safety technology in one of the most crucial areas [-] the nose. The megamodule is basically a supercharged crumple zone.

What would be the protection afforded by the ‘nose crumple zone’ in the event of an ‘impact at 300 km/h’? It would depend on what was being struck, but it is highly probable that in a collision with a heavy object – such as a concrete beam, or another train – the benefit would be small to negligible.

According to Alstom, the AGV nose crumple device absorbs the impact of hitting a truck at '110 km per hour' (68 mph). So what happens in impacts of 120 km/h? Or 300 km/h?

At 300 km/h current high speed train designs, such as the AGV, offer limited protection to crew and passengers. Intermediate carriages tend not to have much, or any, ‘sacrificial’ crumple zone, which ought to be a matter for concern. The even-higher-speeds proposed for HS2 mean that the kinetic energy involved in an accident would be enormous.

The delusional design specification of HS2 would mean higher risks of an accident, and higher risk of fatalities and serious injuries. Yet HS2 Ltd visualisations of train interiors have shown passenger lounge space located right behind the driver’s cab.

Wenzhou high speed rail disasterSantiago high speed rail tragedy

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Written by beleben

September 21, 2016 at 11:00 am

Posted in High speed rail, HS2

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  1. I believe the only sales of the Alstom AGV were to NTV in Italy, who ordered 25 in 2008 with an option for 10 more. In 2015 NTV decided that it would not take up that option but would order eight 250kph Pendolinos. Earlier this month it took up an option for four more Pendolinos. A higher powered version of the Alstom AGV was selected by HS2 to be its reference train but it looks increasingly unlikely that higher speeds are not the future with DB also opting for sub-250kph for its ICE4.

    John Marriott

    September 26, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    • 250 km/h trains also operate on the Spanish high speed AVE network (e.g. Serie 104). As well as path-hungry mixed maximum speeds, AVE makes use of short trains (less than 110 metres long). Like most world high speed rail (including HS1), AVE is not designed to be ‘high capacity’.

      beleben

      September 27, 2016 at 11:10 am


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