Weekend Science Ticket. What will the train of the future look like?

What will the train of the future look like? Is Zero Carbon Rail Mobility For Tomorrow? (Illustration) (Doug Armand/Stone RF/Getty Images)

Due to COVID-19, the French spend most of their holidays in France this summer. Comfortable, eco-responsible and fast, the train is popular with commuters, and SNCF plans to use its lines at 93%.

In the face of this increased traffic, maintenance is necessary and it is being modernised. It deals with the maintenance of the catenary as well as the rail and the ballast, the gravel between the rails that absorbs vibrations. The company Novium innovates precisely in the management and saving of materials.

“Today, the tracks are laid on the ballast, manually discharged. Novium has just designed a machine that measures the height of this ballast in real time and which simply fills the need to avoid a ballast surplus. Is”. exact David Chatlett, director of Novium.

The train of the future is also defined by its speed. After the TGV and its 320 km/h average, we’re already thinking of the Hyperloop, a train that will reach 1,200 km/h in magnetic levitation in partial vacuum tubes.

For some time, the development of secondary lines with ultralight, electric trains has been the trend, which recharge in less than 4 minutes at each stop at the station. Hybrid trains are already a reality for maintenance and repair machines as well.

The classic machine is a diesel engine. Today, we tend to replace them by hybridization, which would allow us to run diesel engines over long distances, and then to work on electrical parts that require less energy.

David Chatlett, director of Novium

While 15,000 km, or half of the network, is not electrified, innovations are already on track. After Hybrid TER, the first hydrogen trains are expected for 2025. Intermodality will make them competitive.

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The idea is to start building gas stations that serve trains, so that the stations can be made road nodes from which buses, taxis and cars can go. In a way, create hubs that make it possible to build stations of sufficient size, and therefore less expensive.

Pierre-Etienne Frank, former Vice President of Air Liquide

“We support all of these maintenance initiatives, making it possible to run 11,000 trains that transport 5 million passengers every day, with no environmental and safety concerns”, shed light on ADEME. President of Arnaud Leroy

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