Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Week 3 Day 3: Trip to the NYC Transit Museum

We learned a lot about trains today; maglev (magnetic levitation) trains, bullet trains, freight trains, pneumatic trains and commuter trains. If we were to play a game of which train does not belong in the group, it would be the maglev train. Maglev trains are trains that are suspended a few inches away from the tracks through the use of electromagnetic theory. We learned after a brief discussion, that they are capable of reaching top speeds of about 500 km per hour, which is equivalent to 311 miles per hour. The average intercity train in the United States has a top speed of about 80 miles per hour. Without touching the rails, maglev trains has fewer energy loss due to friction and is therefore more efficient. In a smart city, it is favorable to move people into and out of the city as quick as possible and this is possible through the use of magnetic levitation. 

During a tour at the NYC transit museum, we learned about AC/DC power and the various components of a commuter train through an interactive activity. 

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