Where Bullet Trains Run the Gauntlet

In a giant wind tunnel, trains meet the challenge of rain, snow, sleet, and heat.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011
RELATED TAGS: TRANSPORTATION
polarexpress
polarexpress
Courtesy Siemens


Artificial snow pelts the lead car of the 460-passenger Velaro D, Germany’s newest high-speed train, during extreme weather testing at the Rail Tec Arsenal research facility in Vienna. As part of its safety tests, Siemens, the train’s manufacturer, purchased 1,000 hours in a 300-foot-long wind tunnel, where independent inspectors exposed a prototype to rain, sleet, and snow in temperatures ranging from below zero to more than 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Concerns over high-speed rail safety emerged in July after two bullet trains collided in China, killing 39 people and injuring 210. Bad weather may have played a role in the crash.

Comment on this article
ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Collapse bottom bar
DSCOctCover
+

Log in to your account

X
Email address:
Password:
Remember me
Forgot your password?
No problem. Click here to have it emailed to you.

Not registered yet?

Register now for FREE. It takes only a few seconds to complete. Register now »