Indian Railways is the leading transport medium for India’s ninety percent population. The Indian Railways currently have approximately 67.956 million metres of track, making their network reach every corner of the country. Despite this impressive performance, the Indian Railways are still actively developing. The new Vande Bharat Train fleet, which can travel at speeds of up to 130 kilometres per hour, was recently introduced to the Indian rail network. The passengers overwhelmingly praised the Vande Bharat Express.
Indian Railways has just made an even more incredible announcement. If you’ve ridden a bike before, you know that when you make a right turn, the bike leans to the left. Can you see a full-size train leaning on its side at curves? That’s unthinkable! We will be subjected to such an event very soon.
Rail Apps and websites like RailMitra will become increasingly beneficial for passengers as the Indian Railways undergo continuous improvement.
Indian Government’s Plans To Introduce Tilting Trains
The railway industry in India is expanding rapidly.Tilting trains will also be introduced across the country by 2025. As many as one hundred Vande Bharat trains could get this upgrade during the next few years, courtesy of the Rail Ministry. With this technology, trains can travel around tight turns at rapid speeds.
With the tilting technology, trains can navigate curves effortlessly without slowing down significantly, much like a motorcycle on a winding road.
How Do Tilting Trains Operate?
When a train turns on a curved track, people and objects within tend to shift and experience lateral forces. While those who are seated may feel like they are being pushed to one side, those who are standing may find it difficult to keep their balance.
But in slanting trains, this unsettling effect is neutralised. The tilting train uses motion control technologies to regulate the flow of passengers within the car.
Because of how they’re engineered, these trains can angle themselves to go around a bend in the track. This reduces the internal force felt by passengers, which is especially helpful when the train is travelling fast and approaching a curve.
According to Sweden’s KTH Engineering Sciences, tilting trains shift the car body inwards throughout curve handling to lessen passenger lateral acceleration.
High-precision tilting systems do more than only keep passengers and cargo in a train safe and fast; they also give railway system operators more control over acceleration options, reduce operating costs, and guarantee dependability.
India is developing a technology for its tilting trains that will enable them to enhance their speed on the country’s pre-existing broad-gauge tracks.
A railway official once explained, “Everything slides around when a fast train goes around a bend.” Sitting passengers are cramped by the armrest, while those who stand up are more likely to fall over. The tilting train design mitigates this.
Does a Tilting Train Make People Sick?
Though there are many positive aspects to riding a tilting train, many travellers who have taken one in a country that uses them have reported feeling unwell.
The National Library of Medicine reported that eight healthy volunteers rode tilting trains along the track with the most turns. During the investigation, the volunteers drove three vehicles for approximately three hours per day for three days.
While the majority of volunteers reported a pleasant trip, 10% indicated they experienced motion sickness. When they adjusted the lateral acceleration at a tilt angle of 55% instead of the standard 70%, it reduced motion sickness symptoms by 25% to 40%.
The paper also notes that modifying the time of the cars’ tilts while entering and exiting the curves can eliminate travel sickness. According to the results, motion sickness is eliminated “when the cars lean just before the onset of the curves rather than during the process of making the turns.”
Earlier Efforts at Implementing Tilting Trains
India has considered the possibility of tilting trains before. Tilting trains for the country were the subject of an agreement signed by the Railway Ministry and Switzerland in 2017. In this regard, the two nations have signed a series of memoranda of understanding (MoUs).
Prime Minister Narendra Modi presided over the signing of the two memorandums of understanding (MoU) for technical cooperation in the railway industry with the Central Ministry of the Environment, Communications and Transport of the Swiss Confederation.
According to a PTI article, the initial agreement was a continuation of previous bilateral cooperation agreed between then-Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and the Swiss Ambassador in 2016.
Collaboration in traction rolling stock, electric multiple units and train sets, traction propulsion equipment for freight, and tilting trains was the goal of the MoU.
Nations with Tilting Trains The Czech Republic, China, Germany, the UK, Switzerland, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, Finland, Russia, and Romania are just a few of the nations that now operate tilting trains.
Alstom Ferroviaria is responsible for producing the tilting trains in Italy called Pendolino (pendulum in Italian). At their quickest, the trains may reach up to 250 kilometres or 155 miles per hour. Railway Technology claims that the trains’ hydraulic tilting bogies are made possible by “Tiltronix” technology.
Virgin Trains runs tilting trains in the United Kingdom. The company has used Bombardier Class 221 Super Voyager diesel trains and Class 390 Pendolino electric multiple unit trains (EMUs) since 2002. The latter travels between London and Scotland at a maximum speed of 225 kilometres per hour.
If you are a frequent railway traveller, you can use the AI-enabled RailMitra app or website to check the train schedule, live train status, PNR status, order food delivery while travelling, and stay current on rail news.