Rumors Vs. Reality: Technology Standards

Rumors Vs. Reality Technology Standards
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To ensure that the Texas Bullet Train is the safest high-speed railroad in the world, it will utilize the total Shinkansen N-700 system, which has a flawless safety record, including zero fatalities during operations in 52 years of service in Japan. One of the reasons for this is its state-of-the-art technology and the exceptionally high standards to which it is held.

 Lately, some folks have questioned this proven approach. Below, as part of the Railroad’s ongoing effort to correct rumor and misinformation in the marketplace, we separate FACT from FICTION.

Shinkansen N700 on an elevated Viaduct

RUMOR:

All Trains should operate on infrastructure shared with other systems, including freight, commuter and regional trains.

FACT:

High Speed passenger trains should have safety as their first priority. The only train system that can boast a perfect safety record is the Japanese Shinkansen, in part because it operates as a secure infrastructure with no shared track with heavier and slower trains and it does not cross any roads at grade.

Mixing freight, commuter, and high-speed trains on the same track has resulted in crashes in other systems around the world. Recent, fatal train accidents in Europe were partially a result of high-speed trains operating on shared corridors. These mixed-traffic sections of track simply do not offer the same level of safety and security as a secure corridor does.

RUMOR:

The infrastructure being developed for the Texas Bullet Train would not accommodate other train technologies. Trains in Europe operate on a different gauge of track.

REALITY:

The Texas Bullet Train will operate on the global standard gauge 1435mm (4ft 8.5 in) track. It is the same track that all US passenger and freight systems run on including the more than 10,000 miles of freight and passenger lines in Texas. It is also the global standard across Europe and Asia.

High speed electric trains are powered under a worldwide standard for electric traction using 25kv overhead catenary system. The Texas Bullet train will also deploy this. It is the widest passenger train in the world driven to provide passenger comfort. This means the system is designed for a wider train and if retrofitting were necessary could accommodate a smaller train. To preserve maximum competition and interest from global manufacturers, Texas should embrace a system that uses wide trains such as the Shinkansen system.

RUMOR

Operating the Shinkansen system in Texas would create a monopoly.”

REALITY:

This new safe and reliable transportation choice gives travelers an additional option to driving or flying.  In choosing train travel, industry standards apply. Multiple manufacturers produce trains that could operate on the infrastructure planned for the Texas Bullet Train system.

Any high-speed train operating in the United States must go through the same federal certification process that the Shinkansen system is currently going through. With standard, reasonable modifications, trains that comply with federal regulations could also operate on the infrastructure planned for the Texas Bullet Train system.

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