India Debuts its First Solar-Powered Train…

Anil Kumar Chhatri/Indian Railways

The Indian Railway (IR) system, the largest rail network in Asia and typically filled with diesel-powered trains, has just introduced its first solar-powered train, named the Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU). The DEMU, which has solar panels placed on the roof of the unit, will operate in the city of New Delhi. It will be pulled by one of IR’s diesel-powered locomotives, with the solar panels powering only the passenger comfort systems (including lights, info displays, fans, etc.). According to IR, one train with six solar-panel equipped cars will save 21,000 liters (or 5,547 gallons) of diesel fuel every year, all while saving approximately Rs12 lakh (almost $20,000) in operating costs.

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Funnel Plans Fast Cars THQing Six-Sided Rings – WIRed #105

It’s time for Episode 105 of WIRed, where Montez McCrary discusses a really open house in Japan, the fastest toy car in the world, the resurrection of THQ, and TNA Wrestling’s latest stunt upsets their talent.! Welcome to WIRed, bringing you the nerdy-geekery on architecture, technology, gaming, and pro wrestling. Continue reading “Funnel Plans Fast Cars THQing Six-Sided Rings – WIRed #105”

High-Speed Maglev Toys are Coming in 2015

Takara Tomy made a promise that MagLev technology would make its way to its toy car playsets in the following year, and when the big day came, the crew at Engadget got a chance to speak with the company at this year’s Tokyo Toy Show. The company showcased two very different toys they were presenting: one was a train that they claimed could reach up to 600 KPH (relative to its scale, at least). At first sight, the train was moving pretty darn fast, the actually the train has its own magnet that levitates it off the plastic track, which is ITSELF laced with magnets. Essentially, there are two magnetic forces pushing away from each other — something you may have learned with giant red-and-black magnets in elementary school science lessons. Similar to that demonstration, an air cushion is created, resulting in NOT a miniature bazillion-horsepower engine, but the greatest trick in physics; good, old-fashioned friction! Continue reading “High-Speed Maglev Toys are Coming in 2015”

A LEGO Data Network Protocol?! Are You Foolin’ Me?!

Speed in tech is an awesome thing.  Nowadays many of us can appreciate bullet-quick solid-state hard drives (SSDs) and fiber-optic networks (like Google Fiber; PLEASE come to San Antonio), but the best way to appreciate something is to understand where it all came from. Before the days of the aforementioned technology we now use, there was the telegraph, and even further back we can see that data travel everywhere by train. A hacker named Maximilien recreated that locomotive golden era of transferring information using LEGO, Arduino and Linux.  Even though this method will definitely lack the bandwidth, the point is the nod to the historical relevance of networking.  While the latency of the network is awful, the bandwidth is actually pretty good. Continue reading “A LEGO Data Network Protocol?! Are You Foolin’ Me?!”

Le Massif de Charlevoix (my tongue hurts) Train Station mixes the Simple & Complex

The Le Massif de Charlevoix Train Station serves as an example (in my honest opinion) that sometimes combining complexity with simplicity is the way to go.  Built in the Petite-Rivière-Saint-François municipality in Quebec, Canada along the St. Lawrence River at the bottom of the Massif de Charlevoix mountain, the Grande Pointe railway station, designed by STGM Architectes, gives travelers of the brand new tourist train and shuttle service access to said mountain. The station integrates with the region’s unique landscape through its simple design, moderate scale, use of local materials, and essential relationship with the nearby river.   Continue reading “Le Massif de Charlevoix (my tongue hurts) Train Station mixes the Simple & Complex”