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What is a turbotrain?
What is a gas turbine?
   Merit demerit
   Torque details
__More power!
__More speed!
__Miracle in non-electrified line
__ Oil crisis
Turbo train in Japan
  Background for the birth
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  Revealed problems
Gas turbine advancement
  Facts M1 Abrams revealed
  Second generation of turbines
   Challenge to diesels
Trends of turbo trains
  ALPS project
  Low emission locomotive
 Performance of turbo train
 Is M1 power pack available?
 Effects of 4 speed transmission
  JetTrain simulation
  JetTrain 300 km/h operation
  EMU versus Turbo train


Gas turbine advancement


The gas turbine used in kiha 391 was a so called first generation of mass produced gas turbines based on the technology in 1950s. The efficiency was not enough to compete against diesels due to the poor design technology and the poor heat resistant material technology. In the air applications, a compact and light weight power source was most important and gas turbines were most fitted to this application and overwhelmed their rivals. This success encouraged many engineers to apply gas turbines to the marine and land use. The environmental pollution induced by the industrialization in those days had become the serious problem especially in car societies. Thus, high power weight ratio and clean exhaust of gas turbines attracted many car industries and many researches and developments started. But perished by the oil crisis 1973. After the oil crisis, the high efficiency became the most important and the clean exhaust was secondary importance. Especially in rail applications, if only a high cost for electrification was allowed, an environmentally friendly high speed rail could realize and turbine powered high speed plans were all aborted.  TGV lines were electrified, APT plan was aborted and the high speed plan was switched to the middle speed plan by diesels. In North America, turbo trains continued the commercial service but there was no forward motion to high speed rail and aborted lately. Small to middle class gas turbines only survived in applications like an emergency use or military use.
On the other hand, the power source for air use was limited and there was no other choice except for gas turbines and improvements were continued.
Around the end of 20th century, air pollutions were emphasized again and diesels gained global attention due to their toxic exhausts and relatively far cleaner gas turbines were paid attention again. 

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