Transcript: Ep. 4 - The Need for Speed | Aug 14, 2018

Clips show images of railways crossing rivers and climbing up mountains.

A Male Narrator says FROM THE WORLD'S
WILDEST WATERS...

A man in safety gear says IT WAS INCREDIBLY-DEEP WATER.
IT WAS DEEPER THAN THE
NORTH SEA, A LOT OF IT.

The Narrator says TO ITS MIGHTIEST MOUNTAINS...

A balding man says IF SOMEONE SAID TO BUILD A
TRAIN THROUGH THESE MOUNTAINS,
YOU WOULD THINK THEY'RE CRAZY.

The Narrator says RAILWAYS HAVE SET OUT TO
CONQUER THEM ALL.

A man piloting a helicopter says I CAN'T IMAGINE HOW THEY
COULD BUILD THIS LINE.
IT'S ONE OF THE MOST
IMPOSSIBLE RAILWAYS.

A woman in a boat says I'M ACTUALLY A LITTLE
BIT SPEECHLESS.
IT'S JUST-- IT'S AWESOME.

The Narrator says DRIVEN BY DARING ENGINEERS,
FOR WHOM NO OBSTACLE...

A man climbing a mountain says THIS IS MY KIND OF FUN NOW.

The Narrator says IS TOO GREAT.

A man stands at the top of a pit in a mountain and says I TRULY LOVE THIS STRUCTURE.
IT'S MAGNIFICENT.

The Narrator says IN THIS EPISODE: THE NEED
FOR SPEED.
ENGINEERING CHALLENGES FACING
THE WORLD'S FASTEST TRAINS...

Ollie says IT'S GOT SO MUCH POWER.
WHEELS SPIN STRAIGHT AWAY.
IT'S SUCH A POWERFUL BEAST.

The Narrator says AND THE INGENIOUS SOLUTIONS...

A man with white hair says WE CAN GO UP OR DOWN GRADES
THAT ARE STEEPER THAN
TRADITIONAL RAILS CAN HANDLE.

A kingfisher dives into water.

Eiji says I REALISED THAT KINGFISHER
COULD BE A GOOD
INSPIRATION FOR OUR TRAINS.

The Narrator says THAT MAKE THE
IMPOSSIBLE POSSIBLE.

Leslie says I BELIEVE THIS IS THE MOST
INCREDIBLE RAILWAY IN THE WORLD.
I WOULDN'T WANT TO BE
ANYWHERE ELSE.

The name of the show appears against black and white drawings of vintage and modern trains. It reads "Impossible railways."

The Narrator says FOR OVER 150 YEARS,
OUR RAILWAYS HAVE BEEN PUSHING
ENGINEERING TO ITS LIMITS IN
ORDER TO OPEN UP OUR WORLD.
DRIVEN BY PROGRESS AND A THIRST
FOR ADVENTURE, TRAINS CAN NOW
TRAVEL FURTHER AND CLIMB HIGHER
THAN EVER BEFORE.
BUT FOR TRAIN ENGINEERS,
THERE'S ONE AMBITION THAT'S
PERHAPS THEIR BIGGEST DRIVING
FORCE OF ALL: THE NEED
FOR SPEED...
SHAPING THE ICONIC MACHINES OF
THE PAST, PRODUCING INNOVATIONS
FOR THE FUTURE.
BUT MAKING TRAINS GO FASTER
POSES A UNIQUE SET
OF CHALLENGES.

Leslie says IF YOU HIT VERY MANY
SPEEDBUMPS AT THESE ULTRA HIGH
VELOCITIES, YOU WILL
NOT SURVIVE.

A man in his thirties says WHEN YOU HAVE A TRAIN VERY
POWERFUL AND VERY LIGHT,
YOU NEED A SPECIAL BALANCE
BETWEEN GRIP AND POWER.

Eiji says WHEN OUR TRAIN
RUSH INTO THE TUNNEL
WITH HIGH SPEED,
THE SHOCKWAVE ON THE EXIT,
WE CAN GET A BIG BANG.

An animation shows wagons attaching to a train.

The Narrator says THE TROUBLE WITH MOST TRAINS
IS THEY ONLY HAVE ONE ENGINE.
SO, THE LONGER YOU MAKE THEM,
THE LOCO MUST TAKE THE STRAIN.

A cyclist passes by and says HELLO.

The Narrator says BUT IF THERE'S A NEED FOR
SPEED, THERE'S ONLY SO BIG AN
ENGINE CAN BE.
(groaning)
(train whistle blowing)
THE BIRTH OF OUR RAILWAYS AND
THE STEAM LOCOMOTIVE GO HAND
IN HAND.
FOR OVER A CENTURY, ACROSS THE
WORLD, THESE IRON WORKHORSES
GRACED OUR RAILS.
BUT BY THE 1930S, IN THE UK,
THESE MIGHTY MACHINES FACED A
SEEMINGLY IMPOSSIBLE CHALLENGE.
THEY NEEDED TO GO FASTER...
AS RAIL JOURNALIST TOM BRIGHT
IS FINDING OUT.

A caption reads "Tom Bright. News and Features Writer. Steam Railway Magazine." Tom is in his early thirties, clean-shaven with light brown hair. He wears blue jeans and a black jacket.

Walking past a locomotive, Tom says PASSENGERS AT THE TIME WANTED
THEIR TRAINS TO BE FASTER,
MORE COMFORTABLE AND
MORE LUXURIOUS.
SO, THEY INTRODUCED MORE
FACILITIES ON THEIR TRAINS,
SUCH AS DINING CARS AND
LUXURY SALOONS.
BUT THAT MEANT TRAINS WERE
HEAVIER AND THEREFORE SLOWER.

The Narrator says THE ONCE THRIVING RAIL
NETWORKS WERE UNDER THREAT FROM
NEWER, FASTER ROAD TRAVEL.
AND THE RAIL COMPANIES WERE
FIGHTING FOR FARES.

Old footage shows city traffic. Then, an animated map of the UK appears. A red line joins London and Edinburgh.

The Narrator continues THE MOST HOTLY CONTESTED ROUTE
WAS BETWEEN THE TWO GREAT
CAPITALS, LONDON TO EDINBURGH.
TO MAKE THIS NEAR 650 KM
JOURNEY AT SPEED IN A STEAM
TRAIN WEIGHING SEVERAL HUNDRED
TONNES WOULD REQUIRE A
LOCOMOTIVE LIKE NO OTHER.
AND IN 1935, IT WAS THE
A4 PACIFIC CLASS THAT WOULD
CHANGE EVERYTHING.

An aerial view shows parked locomotives.

Tom says THERE WERE IMPROVEMENTS IN
SPEED AND POWER THAT THE WORLD
HAD NEVER SEEN BEFORE.
THE A4S WERE THE ULTIMATE IN
EXPRESS PASSENGER LOCOMOTIVES.

A black and white portrait of an old man appears.

The Narrator says ITS DESIGNER WAS ONE OF
BRITAIN'S GREAT RAILWAY
PIONEERS, SIR NIGEL GRESLEY.
GRESLEY HAD ALREADY DESIGNED
THE LEGENDARY FLYING SCOTSMAN,
AN A3 CLASS LOCOMOTIVE.

Tom says WHAT GRESLEY DID WITH THE A4S
WAS BRING TOGETHER ALL HIS
EXISTING IDEAS.
IN EFFECT, THE A4 IS AN A3 GTI,
A SOUPED-UP A3.

(soft music plays)

The Narrator says THE SECRET TO THE A4'S POWER
IS THE UNIQUE COMBINATION
OF INNOVATIONS.

Tom says HE WAS REALLY
PUSHING BOUNDARIES.
WITH THE A4S, HE OPTED TO HAVE
THREE CYLINDERS.
WITH TWO CYLINDERS,
THE LOCOMOTIVE TENDS TO WOBBLE
AT SPEED.
WITH THREE, IT'S MUCH
MORE BALANCED.

The Narrator says GRESLEY'S THREE-CYLINDER
FORMATION PRODUCED
SMOOTH POWER.
AND THE WHEEL CONFIGURATION
MADE THE MOST OF IT: FOUR SMALL
AT THE FRONT, FOLLOWED BY SIX
ENORMOUS DRIVING WHEELS,
GIVING 50 percent BETTER GRIP, AND TWO
SMALLER REAR WHEELS,
WHICH ALLOWED SPACE FOR A
LARGER FIREBOX.
IT MEANT MORE STEAM, MORE POWER
AND SO MUCH MORE SPEED.
AFTER RECENT SIGNIFICANT
REPAIRS, TODAY, A GROUP OF
ENGINEERS AND ENTHUSIASTS ARE
FIRING UP THE
UNION OF SOUTH AFRICA, ONE OF
ONLY SIX REMAINING A4
SUPER ENGINES.

Ollie says IT NEEDS JUST A LITTLE BIT
MORE, MATE, ABOUT 3 QUARTERS FILL.

The Narrator says AND IT'S A RARE RETURN TO
SERVICE FOR THIS
80-YEAR-OLD POWERHOUSE.

A man wearing glasses says BASICALLY, WE'RE LIGHTING
THE FIRE.
SO, WE'VE LAID COAL IN THERE.
WE'VE PUT WOOD ON TOP.
AND NOW WE'RE USING
PARAFFIN-SOAKED RAGS ON TOP OF
THAT TO GET EVERYTHING GOING.

Ollie says THE MAIN PRIORITY IS WATER'S
IN THE BOILER.
WE DEFINITELY NEED WATER
IN THERE.
UHH, MAKE SURE IT'S FIT TO RUN,
REALLY.

A Male Train Driver says START THE CLOCKS, PLEASE.

The caption changes to "Ollie Goodman. A4 Driver." Ollie is in his late twenties, clean-shaven with short hair. He wears a gray woollen hat and a gray sweater.

Olli says WHEN YOU'RE PULLING AWAY,
YOU'VE GOT TO BE VERY, VERY
GENTLE WITH THE REGULATOR.
IT'S GOT SO MUCH POWER.
WHEELS SPIN STRAIGHT AWAY IF YOU
GAVE IT EVERYTHING.
HERE, WE'RE ONLY, UNFORTUNATELY,
ALLOWED TO DO 25 MPH.
YOU'RE HAVING TO HOLD IT BACK,
REALLY.
IT'S SUCH A POWERFUL BEAST.

The Narrator says FOR TODAY'S TRIP,
THEY'RE JOINED BY THE
UNION OF SOUTH AFRICA'S OWNER
OF 50 YEARS, JOHN CAMERON.
AND IT'S AN ANXIOUS WAIT,
HOPING THAT HIS ANTIQUE TRAIN
HAS STILL GOT WHAT IT TAKES.

John Cameron stands by train tracks. He is in his late seventies, clean-shaven with white hair. He wears glasses, a lilac jacket, red polo-shirt and dotted blue handkerchief.

John says THAT'S ONE OF MY CONCERNS,
THAT IT'S WORKING AND THAT IT
WON'T FAIL, IT WON'T SIT DOWN,
AS WE SAY.
(train whistle blowing)

People travel in the train.

The Narrator says THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF RAIL
FANS HOPING FOR THE EXPERIENCE
OF A LIFETIME.

The train driver's male assistant says THAT SOUND YOU CAN HEAR IS
THE SINGING THAT YOU WANT TO
HEAR SO YOU KNOW THE
INJECTOR'S ON.
ONCE YOU GOT THAT, THEN YOU KNOW
YOU GOT YOUR (UNCLEAR).

The train crosses a tunnel.

The Narrator says THERE'S A LOT RIDING ON THIS
MIGHTY MACHINE'S HISTORIC
ENGINEERING STILL WORKING.

John says WELL, YOU KNOW, YOU'VE A LOT
OF POWER AT YOUR COMMAND.
SO, YOU'VE GOT TO USE
IT SENSIBLY.

The train driver says GOT TO GET A FEEL FOR
THE REGULATOR.
SHORTENING THE CUT-OFF SO WE
DON'T NEED SO MUCH STEAM.

Sitting in the train, John says YOU ALMOST HAVE TO KNOW YOUR
LOCOMOTIVE AND KNOW HOW IT'S
GOING TO RESPOND, WHETHER YOU'RE
STARTING OFF, RUNNING AT SPEED
OR BRAKING.
I MEAN, THERE'S NO TWO
LOCOMOTIVES BEHAVE THE SAME,
EVEN THOUGH THEY'RE SAME CLASS.

The Narrator says GRESLEY HAD CREATED AN ENGINE
OF IMMENSE POWER.
BUT BEFORE HE COULD TEST IT
OUT, THERE WAS ONE MORE PROBLEM
TO OVERCOME: THE SHAPE OF
THE NOSE.

Tom says GRESLEY TOOK HIS FORMATIVE
DESIGN INTO THE WIND TUNNEL.
THIS IS SOMETHING HAD NEVER
REALLY BEEN DONE ON
LOCOMOTIVES BEFORE.

The Narrator says THE TRADITIONAL FLAT NOSE WAS
REPLACED WITH A WEDGE-SHAPED
NOSE TO DECREASE WIND
RESISTANCE BUT, CRUCIALLY,
LIFT THE SMOKE AND STEAM AWAY
FROM THE CAB.
IN 1938, EQUIPPED WITH THIS
PERFECT BLEND OF ENGINEERING,
THE A4'S MALLARD REACHED
126 MPH, BECOMING THE WORLD'S
FASTEST STEAM TRAIN, A RECORD
THAT STILL STANDS TO THIS DAY.
GRESLEY'S A4 DESIGN EASILY
OUTSTRIPPED HIS COMPETITORS IN
BOTH SPEED AND STYLE.
PASSENGERS COULD NOW TRAVEL ON
THE EAST COAST MAINLINE FROM
KING'S CROSS TO EDINBURGH IN
ONLY SIX HOURS.

John says WHEN MALLARD BROKE THE WORLD
SPEED RECORD, THEN THAT GAVE THE
A4S ANOTHER BIT OF ADDED
ATTRACTION, IF YOU LIKE.
BUT, I MEAN, THE POTENTIAL FOR
DOING SPEEDS AT THAT MAGNITUDE
IS CERTAINLY STILL THERE TODAY.
SO, WHEN YOU'RE ON A LINE LIKE
THIS, SOME PEOPLE MIGHT THINK
THAT YOU'RE JUST
PUTTERING ALONG.
BUT ACTUALLY, THERE'S JUST ABOUT
AS MUCH SKILL REQUIRES TO DRIVE
CAREFULLY AND EFFICIENTLY AT A
LOWER SPEED TO MAKE THE JOB
GO WELL.

The train reaches a crowded station.

The Narrator says AND TODAY'S RUN HAS DONE THE
TEAM PROUD.
GRESLEY'S SUPER HIGH POWER
DESIGN ACHIEVED THE IMPOSSIBLE.
THE SPEED OF THE MIGHTY A4
LOCOS HELPED REVIVE THE
RAILWAY, BRINGING PASSENGERS
BACK ON BOARD.
AND HIS CREATION STILL
CONTINUES TO AMAZE TO THIS DAY.

The train driver's assistant says UNION OF SOUTH AFRICA REALLY
IS ONE OF THE BEST.
SHE IS ABSOLUTELY LOVELY.

The Narrator says BUT SOME RAILWAYS' NEED FOR
SPEED AR E OUT OF THIS WORLD.

A rocket sled leaves a fire wake as it speeds up in a vast area.

Jason says IN TOTAL, WE'VE BROKEN THE
LAND SPEED RECORD SEVEN TIMES
AND CURRENTLY HOLD IT AT OVER
EIGHT TIMES THE SPEED OF SOUND.

The Narrator says CALLING FOR MORE
IMPOSSIBLE RAILWAYS.
SPEED: THE ULTIMATE AMBITION
FOR SOME OF THE WORLD'S
GREATEST RAILWAYS,
POSING ENGINEERING PROBLEMS
THAT REQUIRE NEW SOLUTIONS TO
TAKE TRAINS AND PASSENGERS
FASTER THAN EVER BEFORE.

Ollie says IT'S SUCH A POWERFUL BEAST,
WAY AHEAD OF ITS TIME, REALLY.

The Narrator says BUT ONE RAILWAY'S QUEST FOR
SPEED IS SO EXTRAORDINARY,
ITS PROBLEMS ARE SEEMINGLY
IMPOSSIBLE TO OVERCOME.
IF SPEED IS THE ONLY GOAL...

The animated train appears.

The train driver says COME ON!

The Narrator says THE FASTER YOU GO, THE BIGGER
THE PROBLEMS.
ANY CURVE IS OUT OF
THE QUESTION.
EVEN THE TINIEST BUMP HAS TO BE
IRONED OUT.
AND THEN, OF COURSE,
STOPPING CAN BE THE BIGGEST
CHALLENGE OF ALL.

The train goes off the track, get back on it and reaches a cliff.

The train driver says UH-OH.

The Narrator says THE TULAROSA BASIN IS
NEW MEXICO IS A VAST,
ISOLATED WILDERNESS.
BUT IT IS ALSO THE UNLIKELY
SETTING FOR A
RECORD-BREAKING RAILWAY.
HIDDEN IN THE DEPTHS OF THE
DESERT LIES ONE OF THE MOST
EXTREME RAIL TRACKS ON
THE PLANET.

The caption changes to "Jason C. Vap, Lt Col, USAF. Commander, 846 Test Squadron." Jason is in his mid-thirties, clean-shaven and with a shaved head. He wears a military uniform and cap.

Jason says WE'RE AT
HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE,
NEW MEXICO, AT THE HIGH SPEED
TEST TRACK WHERE WE PUSH THE
BOUNDS OF SPEED.
AND WE USE THIS, THE MOST
INCREDIBLE RAILWAY IN THE WORLD.

The Narrator says BUILT IN 1949 TO TRIAL NEW
AVIATION TECHNOLOGY,
THIS EXTRAORDINARY 16 KM RAIL
LINE PIONEERS EXTREME SPEED,
PROPELLING ITS ROCKET SLEDS TO
AROUND 2,900 M PER SECOND.

At the Air Force Base, Jason says IN TOTAL, WE'VE BROKEN THE
LAND SPEED RECORD SEVEN TIMES
AND CURRENTLY HOLD IT AT OVER
EIGHT TIMES THE SPEED OF SOUND.
IT'S NO EXAGGERATION TO SAY WE
MAKE HISTORY HERE.

The Narrator says BUT WITH THE SLEDS COVERING
THE EQUIVALENT OF OVER
30 FOOTBALL PITCHES PER SECOND,
THE ENGINEERING CHALLENGES ARE
SEEMINGLY IMPOSSIBLE.
IF THE RAILWAY TRACK ISN'T
PERFECTLY ENGINEERED,
THE CONSEQUENCES WOULD
BE CATASTROPHIC.

The caption changes to "John D. Leslie. Engineering Flight Chief, 848 Test Squadron." Leslie is in his late forties, clean-shaven with graying hair. He wears a light yellow checked polo-shirt.

In a large facility, Leslie says ANY DEVIATION IN THAT RAIL IS
AN IMPACT LOAD.
IT'S BASICALLY LIKE A SPEEDBUMP
IN A PARKING LOT.
AND IF YOU HIT VERY MANY
SPEEDBUMPS AT THESE ULTRA HIGH
VELOCITIES, YOU WILL
NOT SURVIVE.

The Narrator says THE EXTREME RANGE OF DESERT
TEMPERATURES MEANS THE RAILS
MUST BE PRE-TENSIONED TO AVOID
ANY EXPANSION AND CONTRACTION.
THE CONTINUOUS WELDING ALONG
THE 16 KM LENGTH ENSURES
ARROW-LIKE STRAIGHTNESS.
BUT ALL OF THIS IS SECONDARY TO
THE MOST CRUCIAL ENGINEERING
OF ALL: THE CHALLENGE OF MAKING
SURE EACH SLED SETS OUT AND
SUSTAINS A PERFECT TRAJECTORY.

Leslie says THIS SLED'S GOING TO BE
TESTED AT MACH 4.
IN ORDER TO SURVIVE AND MAINTAIN
ITS PATH DOWN THE TRACK,
THE SLED HAS TO BE ALIGNED
WITHIN A FEW THOUSANDTHS OF
AN INCH.
FAILURE TO MAINTAIN THAT
ALIGNMENT COULD RESULT IN THE
SLED EXITING THE RAIL.
IT COULD DESTROY THE TRACK.
THE WAY THAT WE MAINTAIN THAT IS
WE USE A LASER 3D TRACKER TO
VERIFY ITS ALIGNMENT.

The Narrator says WITH OVER 10,000 TEST RUNS
COMPLETED ON THIS PHENOMENAL
RAILWAY, THE TEST TRACK'S SLED
PARK IS THE RESTING PLACE FOR
SPEED MACHINES ONCE USED TO
TEST VITAL AREAS, SUCH AS
PARACHUTE DEPLOYMENT AND PILOT
EJECTOR SEATS.

Jason walks around military aircrafts.

Jason says SO, WE'VE GOT THE A10, F-15,
F-16 HERE, THAT ALL RUN DOWN
HERE AT THE TRACK.
RIGHT HERE BEHIND US, WE'VE GOT
THE SONIC WIND REPLICA.
THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF THE SLED
THAT RAN DOWN THE TRACK,
SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED TO SEE THE
FACTORS AFFILIATED WITH
UNDERGOING LARGE GS.

A black and white portrait of a man wearing a suit and glasses appears.

The Narrator says IN THE 1950S,
THE SONIC WIND NO. 1 WAS
PILOTED BY
LIEUTENANT COLONEL JOHN STAPP.
HIS GOAL: TO ESTABLISH THE
EFFECTS OF EXTREME ACCELERATION
AND DECELERATION ON THE
HUMAN BODY.
IN 1954, A 1,017 KM AN HOUR RUN MADE
HIM THE FASTEST MAN ON EARTH.
INCREDIBLY, FROM THIS
MIND-BLOWING TOP SPEED, HE WAS
BROUGHT TO A STANDSTILL IN
UNDER 1 AND A HALF SECONDS THANKS TO AN
INNOVATIVE SOLUTION: A WATER
TROUGH BRAKING SYSTEM
POSITIONED WITHIN THE TRACK.

Jason says HE BASICALLY UNDERWENT UP TO
40 GS OF DECELERATION DURING HIS
LAST RIDE.

A clip shows the extreme acceleration test and men assisting the male pilot after it.

The Narrator says BATTERED AND BRUISED,
STAPP'S MISSION WAS NONETHELESS
AN IMPORTANT MILESTONE IN
IMPROVING SAFETY FOR AIRMEN
AND PILOTS.
TODAY, UNMANNED SLEDS REACH
ALMOST TEN TIMES THE SPEED
OF STAPP.
ALTHOUGH THIS RAIL LINE IS
PRECISELY ENGINEERED, THE SLEDS
THEMSELVES REQUIRE A GENIUS
INNOVATION TO SURVIVE THE
BRUTAL STRESSES OF A RUN.

Leslie says WE DON'T USE WHEELS BECAUSE
OF THE ULTRA HIGH SPEEDS THAT WE
TRAVEL AT.
YOU SIMPLY COULDN'T KEEP THE
SLED ON THE TRACK.
SO, WHAT WE USE ARE SLIPPERS.

The Narrator says ATTACHED TO THE BOTTOM OF THE
SLED, THE METAL SLIPPERS ARE
CURVED AROUND THE HEAD OF
THE RAIL.
AS THE SLED GAINS SPEED AFTER
LAUNCH, AERODYNAMIC FORCES LIFT
THE SLED FROM THE RAILS UNTIL
IT'S STOPPED BY THE SLIPPER.

An animation recreates the sled pieces at work.

Leslie says SO, ONCE A SLED TAKES OFF,
IT DOESN'T ACTUALLY SLIDE ON
THE RAIL.
IT KIND OF FLOATS.
THERE'S VERY LITTLE CONTACT WITH
THE RAIL.
A GOOD EXAMPLE IS IF YOU RIDE A
NEW, MODERN ROLLERCOASTER,
IT'S A VERY SMOOTH RIDE.
BUT IF YOU RIDE AN OLD, WHEELED
ROLLERCOASTER, IT'S A REALLY
BUMPY, ROUGH RIDE.
AND THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT THE SLED
EXPERIENCES OUT ON THE TRACK.

The Narrator says FOR OVER 60 YEARS,
THIS GAME-CHANGING RAILWAY HAS
ACHIEVED WHAT WAS ONCE THOUGHT
BEYOND THE REALMS
OF POSSIBILITY.
AND IT SEEMS, FOR THE
HOLLOMAN HIGH SPEED TEST TRACK,
THE SKY'S THE LIMIT.

Jason says SO, THE NEXT GOAL IS MACH 10.
JUST TO PUT IT IN PERSPECTIVE,
THAT'S GOING FROM THIS POINT TO
THE VERY NORTH END, 10 MILES
AWAY, IN ABOUT FIVE SECONDS.
SO, ANYONE THAT NEEDS TO GO
FAST, THEY LOOK TO THE
HOLLOMAN HIGH SPEED TEST TRACK.

Leslie says I BELIEVE THIS IS THE MOST
INCREDIBLE RAILWAY IN THE WORLD.
I WOULDN'T WANT TO BE
ANYWHERE ELSE.

The Narrator says WHEN SPEED IS TOP OF THE
AGENDA, RAILWAY ENGINEERS
UNDOUBTEDLY FACE SOME OF THEIR
TOUGHEST CHALLENGES, AND NONE
MORE SO THAN THE LIE OF
THE LAND.
IT WAS THE CHALLENGING TERRAIN
OF BRITAIN'S SOUTH DEVON COAST
THAT DROVE PIONEERING ENGINEER
ISAMBARD KINGDOM BRUNEL TO
CREATE AN EXTRAORDINARY SUPER
FAST RAILWAY EXPERIMENT.

An aerial view shows a beautiful shoreline.

The caption changes to "Any King. Great Western Society Volunteer." Any is in her mid-thirties, with shoulder-length blond hair. She wears a purple sweater.

Amy says SO, IT'S 1844.
THE RAILWAY HAD JUST MADE ITS
WAY, EDGING-- EDGING CLOSER AND
CLOSER TO THE WEST OF ENGLAND.
BRUNEL THEN WANTED TO TAKE
IT FURTHER.
HE WANTED TO GET HIS TRACK ALL
THE WAY DOWN TO PLYMOUTH.

The Narrator says BUT WITH A LONG STRETCH FROM
NEWTON ABBOT TO PLYMOUTH
RENOWNED FOR ITS HILLS,
BRUNEL HAD CONCERNS THAT
TRADITIONAL LOCOMOTIVES WOULD
STRUGGLE WITH THE
STEEP GRADIENTS.
TO CREATE POWER AND SPEED,
HIS SOLUTION WAS A RECENTLY
DEVELOPED CONCEPT:
THE ATMOSPHERIC RAILWAY.

Standing by a track, Any says SO, THE ATMOSPHERIC RAILWAY
WAS BASED ON THE PRINCIPLE THAT
YOU CAN PROPEL AN OBJECT USING
ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE IF YOU
CREATE A VACUUM IN FRONT OF IT
SO IT WILL PROPEL
ITSELF FORWARD.

(violin music plays)

The Narrator says DOING AWAY WITH THE
LOCOMOTIVE, BRUNEL ATTACHED A
PISTON FROM A CARRIAGE INTO A
SEALED TUBE BETWEEN THE
RAILWAY'S TRACKS.

An animation recreates the process explained.

The Narrator continues A PUMPING STATION POSITIONED
ALONG THE LINE PULLED THE AIR
OUT OF THE TUBE, CREATING A
VACUUM IN FRONT OF THE TRAIN.
ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE BEHIND
THEN ACTED ON THE PISTON,
PROVIDING MOTIVE FORCE,
PUSHING THE CARRIAGE ALONG
THE TRACK.

Any says HERE WE HAVE ONE OF THE
LARGEST REMAINING PIECES FROM
THE ATMOSPHERIC RAILWAY ITSELF.
EACH SECTION IS 10' LONG.
INSIDE HERE, THIS IS WHERE THE
AIR WOULD HAVE BEEN.
AND WE'VE GOT THIS SLIT IN THE
TOP, WHICH IS WHERE THE PISTON
FROM THE CARRIAGE WOULD HAVE
COME ALL THE WAY DOWN.

The Narrator says AIR LEAKING OUT OF THE SLOT
WAS A MAJOR PROBLEM.
THE SOLUTION WAS TO FIT A
LEATHER FLAP ALONG ITS
ENTIRE LENGTH.
AS A MALLEABLE MATERIAL,
SMALL WHEELS WOULD RESEAL THE
SLOT ONCE THE PISTON HAD
MOVED ON.
IT WAS UNDOUBTEDLY AN AMBITIOUS
DESIGN BUT PROVED INCREDIBLY
FAST FOR ITS DAY,
PROPELLING ITS CARRIAGES TO
ALMOST 110 KM AN HOUR.

Any says WHAT I'VE GOT HERE IS A SMALL
SCALE MODEL.
AT THE MOMENT, IT'S ALL UNDER
NORMAL ATMOSPHERIC CONDITIONS.
AND WHEN I TURN MY ENGINE HOUSE
ON, THAT'S GOING TO PULL OF THE
AIR FROM THIS SIDE OF THE TUBE.
AND THAT IS THEN GOING TO CREATE
A VACUUM.

She moves a paper train along a track and says THAT IS GOING TO DRAW THE PISTON
INSIDE ALL THE WAY ALONG.
AND AS THAT PULLS IT ALONG,
THAT'S OPENING UP JUST THAT
SECTION THERE.
AND THIS SECTION HERE IS
RESEALING ITSELF AS IT GOES.
OKAY, LET'S SEE.

(whirring)
She activates a hose that attracts the train to the other end of the track.

Any says AGAIN, YOU CAN SEE HOW FAST IT
REALLY WOULD HAVE GONE.
AND YOU CAN SEE WHY BRUNEL WAS
QUITE EXCITED BY THIS IDEA.

The Narrator says IT MAY BE IMPRESSIVE ON
THE FLAT.
BUT HOW WOULD IT FARE AGAINST
THE CHALLENGE OF DEVON'S HILLS?

Any sets the hose over two pieces of wood to create a 45 degree angle.

Any says I THINK BRUNEL WOULD
BE PROUD.
YEAH!

The Narrator says THE ATMOSPHERIC RAILWAY'S
SPEED AND ABILITY TO TRAVEL
UPHILL OFFERED
EXCITING POTENTIAL.
BUT IT HAD AN ACHILLES' HEEL.
THE SLOT'S LEATHER FLAP HAD
ATTRACTED GNAWING RATS.
AND CONSEQUENTLY, SEALING THE
SYSTEM PROVED
VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE.

A modern blue railway enters a tunnel´.

The Narrator continues AS COSTS SPIRALLED, AFTER JUST
A YEAR, THE LINE REVERTED TO
TRADITIONAL LOCOMOTIVES.
BUT ALMOST 170 YEARS ON,
IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA,
BRUNEL'S ATMOSPHERIC DREAM
LIVES ON.

The caption changes to "Eric Schlienger. Flight Rail Corp." Eric is in his sixties, clean-shaven with white hair. He wears a lilac polo-shirt.

Standing in a green field, Eric says THIS IS THE VECTOR 1 SIXTH SCALE
TEST TRACK.
THE TRACK IS ABOUT 2,000' LONG,
LITTLE OVER 600 M.
AND IT RUNS AT ABOUT 30 MPH,
WHICH SCALES UP TO ABOUT 180 MPH
IN FULL-SIZE VERSION.

The Narrator says COMPLETE WITH GRADED HILLS
AND 180-DEGREE CURVE, ERIC AND
MAX SCHLIENGER'S FUTURISTIC
RAILWAY SIGNALS WHAT THEY HOPE
WILL BE THE REVIVAL OF THE
ATMOSPHERIC TECHNOLOGY.

The caption changes to "Max Schlienger. Flight Rail Corp." Max is in his late seventies, clean-shaven with side-combed white hair. He wears a checked shirt.

In an office, Max says BASICALLY, WE DID EXACTLY THE
SAME THING THAT THEY HAD DONE
IN ENGLAND.
HOWEVER, AT THE SAME TIME,
WE WERE WORKING ON HIGH STRENGTH
MAGNETS AND FOUND THAT WE COULD
DO A LOT OF THINGS THEY WEREN'T
ABLE TO DO IN THE 1840S.

The Narrator says WHEREAS BRUNEL'S TUBE
ULTIMATELY FAILED BECAUSE OF
ITS LEAKY LEATHER-LINED SLOT,
THE VECTOR'S TUBE CAN REMAIN
PERMANENTLY SEALED THANKS TO
MAGNETS WHICH ATTRACT THE TRAIN
TO THE PISTON.

Eric holds a magnet in a large facility.

Eric says SO, WHAT WE HAVE THAT BRUNEL
DID NOT HAVE IS THE HIGH
STRENGTH MAGNETS WE USE TO
COUPLE THE THRUST CARRIAGE TO
THE PASSENGER CAR ITSELF.

He attaches to a model track and continues THAT MAGNET IS REALLY WHAT MAKES
THE SYSTEM WORK.
AND WHEN WE COMBINE THAT BY
COUPLING THE PASSENGER CAR TO
THE THRUST CARRIAGE, WE NOW HAVE
A SYSTEM THAT MOVES ON
ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE.
SO, NOW THAT WE HAVE IT COUPLED,
ALL WE REALLY NEED TO DO IS ADD
A BIT OF AIR PRESSURE.

Then, he attaches the magnet to a white model railway.

He blows the railway and says AND THE TRAIN MOVES.

The Narrator says WHEN SCALED UP, THE PILOT
MODEL USES THE SAME PRINCIPLES
OF PRESSURE ADOPTED BY BRUNEL.
AND WITH NO LOCOMOTIVE OR
TRACTION MOTORS ONBOARD,
MINIMAL WEIGHT PRODUCES
IMPRESSIVE SPEED.

Now, Eric stands next to a real train track.

Eric says THIS TRAIN DOESN'T HAVE AN
ENGINE ONBOARD.
NOR DOES IT CARRY ANY FUEL.
INSTEAD, WE HAVE A PUMPING
STATION LIKE THIS ONE.
THE PUMPING STATION PROVIDES
EITHER A VACUUM IN FRONT OF THE
TRAIN TO PULL IT OR PRESSURE
BEHIND TO PUSH IT.
AND THAT IS WHERE OUR FORCE
COMES FROM.

Max says AND SINCE ALL OF OUR PUMPING
SYSTEMS ARE STATIONARY, WE CAN
USE A LARGE VARIETY OF FUELS.
IN FACT, WE THINK THAT THERE
WOULD EVEN BE A POSSIBILITY OF
MOUNTING SOLAR PANELS ALONG THE
EDGES OF THE TRACKS.

The Narrator says IN FULL SCALE PRODUCTION,
MAX AND ERIC BELIEVE THE
ELEVATED VECTOR COULD PROPEL UP
TO 800 PASSENGERS TO SPEEDS IN
EXCESS OF 290 KM AN HOUR.
AND BECAUSE THE TRAIN DOESN'T
RELY ON TRACTION AS WITH
BRUNEL'S CREATION, IT APPEARS
TO BE AN EFFECTIVE SOLUTION FOR
CLIMBING HILLS.

Eric says THE ADVANTAGE OF THE
ATMOSPHERIC RAIL IS THAT IT
ELIMINATES THE DEPENDENCE OF
STEEL ON STEEL FRICTION.
CONSEQUENTLY, WE CAN GO UP OR
DOWN GRADES THAT ARE STEEPER
THAN TRADITIONAL RAILS
CAN HANDLE.

The Narrator says ALL IN ALL, THIS PIONEERING
INNOVATION IS REVIVING A
FORGOTTEN TECHNOLOGY FROM THE
PAST, ONE THAT COULD HELP SHAPE
THE FUTURE OF THE RAILWAYS.

A modern white train crosses a bridge in the woods.

Max says I JUST HOPE IT HAPPENS IN
MY LIFETIME.
BUT IF IT DOESN'T, THE PEOPLE A
LOT YOUNGER, I THINK THEY'LL BE
ABLE TO PULL IT OFF.

Eric says THIS IS THE FUTURE OF RAIL.

The Narrator says BUT CREATING THE FAST TRAINS
OF TOMORROW MEANS OVERCOMING A
WHOLE HOST OF PROBLEMS.

Eiji says WHEN A TRAIN GOES
INTO THE TUNNEL WITH A HIGH SPEED,
ON THE EXIT WE CAN GET A BIG BANG, "TOKAAAANG!"

The Narrator says IT TAKES MANY INSPIRED
SOLUTIONS TO CREATE
IMPOSSIBLE RAILWAYS.
RAILWAYS ARE PICKING UP SPEED,
WITH RECORD-BREAKING TRAINS
PUSHING INNOVATION TO THE BRINK
AND BEYOND.
BUT WITH GREAT SPEED COMES EVEN
GREATER PROBLEMS,
REQUIRING INSPIRED
ENGINEERING SOLUTIONS.

(soft music plays)
An aerial view shows a green valley next to a lake and a range of mountains.

The Narrator says JAPAN: A LAND OF ISLANDS AND
MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN.
BUILDING AN EFFECTIVE TRANSPORT
NETWORK ACROSS THIS SPECTACULAR
LANDSCAPE HAS HISTORICALLY BEEN
A PROBLEM.
AND TRAVELLING ACROSS COUNTRY:
EXTREMELY SLOW.
IN 1940, JAPANESE ENGINEERS SET
THEMSELVES THE SEEMINGLY
IMPOSSIBLE CHALLENGE OF
CREATING A HIGH SPEED
RAIL NETWORK.
AND FINALLY, IN 1964,
THEY INTRODUCED THE
BULLET TRAIN.

Eiji says THE INFLUENCE OF THE
TOKAIDO SHINKANSEN
IS VERY BIG TO THE JAPANESE
SOCIETY.

A clip shows the bullet train crossing bridges.

The Narrator says THE BULLET TRAIN,
OR SHINKANSEN, AS IT'S KNOWN IN
JAPAN, WAS THE WORLD'S FIRST
HIGH SPEED TRAIN.
THIS POWERFUL, STREAMLINED
MACHINE COULD TRAVEL AN
UNPRECEDENTED 210 KM AN HOUR H.
AND THE COUNTRY
WAS TRANSFORMED.
DR. EIJI NAKATSU WAS GENERAL
MANAGER OF THE TECHNICAL
DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT.

Eiji is in his seventies, clean-shaven with graying hair. He wears a pale green hat, gray jacket, lime vest, white shirt and patterned dark red tie.

Eiji says IN 1964, AFTER THE OPENING OF THE
TOKAIDO SHINKANSEN
WE CAN HAVE SO MANY PASSNGERS,
TOURISM AND BUSINESS TRIPS
THE AIRLINE BETWEEN TOYO AND OSAKA
WAS ABOLISHED
AND MOTORWAYS UTILISATION
WAS ALSO TEMPORARILY
DECREASED.

An animated map of Japan appears. A red line joins Tokyo and Osaka.

The Narrator says THE 515 KM JOURNEY BETWEEN
TOKYO AND OSAKA, IN THE
TOKAIDO SHINKANSEN, WAS NOW
POSSIBLE IN JUST FOUR HOURS,
AS OPPOSED TO THE PREVIOUS
6 AND A HALF HOURS.
BUT IT WOULDN'T TAKE LONG
BEFORE JAPAN WANTED TO GO
EVEN FASTER.
Eiji says THE FIRST OF THE BEGINNING
OF THE TOKAIDO SHINKANSEN,
THE MAXIMUM SPEED 210 KM PER HOUR.
AFTER THAT, WE HAVE TRIED TO REALISE
THE SPEED UP TO 220 OR 270 KM PER HOUR.

The Narrator says BUT INCREASING THE SPEED OF
THESE SUPER TRAINS CREATED AN
UNEXPECTED PHENOMENON.

Now, Eiji sits at the driver seat of the bullet train.

Eiji says WHEN A TRAIN GOES
RUSHING INTO TUNNEL WITH
A HIGH SPEED THE SHOCKWAVE
STANDS UP AND GOES
TO THE EXIT OF THE TUNNEL
AND ON THE EXIT CAN GET A
BIG BANG,"TOKAAAN!," LIKE THAT.

(shockwave banging)

Eiji continues AND ALSO THIS
PRESSURE WAVE SPREADS IN ALL
DIRECTIONS.

The Narrator says LIKE A PISTON IN A CYLINDER,
AS THE TRAIN SPED INTO A
TUNNEL, IT GENERATED
ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE WAVES,
FORCING THE AIR OUT OF THE
TUNNEL EXIT AT THE SPEED OF
SOUND, CREATING WHAT'S KNOWN AS
TUNNEL BOOM.

Eiji says FOR THE PEOPLE ALONG
THE LINE, THESE NOISES
BECAME A BIG PROBLEM
BECAUSE FROM 6 O' CLOCK IN THE
MORNING, EARLY MORNING,
UNTIL MIDNIGHT
THEY SUFFERED FROM THESE NOISES.

An aerial view shows colourful houses in a crowded city.

The Narrator says HOMES AS FAR AWAY AS 400 M WERE
AFFECTED BY THE
CEASELESS NOISE.
AND IF TRAINS WERE TO GO
FASTER, IT WOULD ONLY
GET WORSE.
SO, HOW DO YOU KEEP UP WITH THE
DEMAND FOR MORE SPEED BUT,
AT THE SAME TIME, REDUCE THE
NOISE POLLUTION?
THE ANSWER CAME IN THE FORM OF
THE NEWLY DESIGNED 500 SERIES.
DESIGNED BY DR. NAKATSU,
HE CREATED A REVOLUTIONARY NEW
SHAPE INSPIRED BY NATURE.

Eiji stands by a shiny white and lilac bullet train.

He says I AM A BIRDWATCHER, MY
HOBBY IS BIRDWATCHING.
KINGFISHER JUMPS INTO THE
WATER TO CATCH GAME
FROM THE AIR WITH
LOWER RESISTANCE
AND INTO WATER
HIGHER RESISTANCE.
THIS IS VERY SIMILAR TO THE TRAIN
SET RUSHING INTO THE TUNNEL.
THAT GAVE ME A GOOD IDEA.

The Narrator says A KINGFISHER DIVES INTO THE
WATER AT HIGH SPEED.
AND EVEN THOUGH WATER IS
800 TIMES DENSER THAN AIR,
IT BARELY MAKES A SPLASH.
THE KINGFISHER'S STREAMLINED
SUCCESS LIES WITH THE SHAPE OF
ITS BILL.

Eiji says I REALISED THAT KINGFISHER
COULD BE A GOOD INSPIRATION
FOR OUR HEAD-SHAP OF THE SHINKANSEN
TRAINS.

The Narrator says THE NEW 15 M NOSECONE ALMOST
EXACTLY REPLICATED THE BIRD'S
BILL SHAPE,
PRODUCING REMARKABLE RESULTS.
INTRODUCED IN 1997, THESE NEW
SUPER TRAINS HAD 30 percent LESS AIR
PRESSURE RESISTANCE AND COULD
REACH THE RECORD-BREAKING SPEED
OF 300 KM PER HOUR.
AND THE TUNNEL BOOM WAS
DRAMATICALLY REDUCED.
IT WAS A MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH IN
FAST TRAIN ENGINEERING,
SETTING A TEMPLATE FOR
THE FUTURE.

Eiji says THIS PROJECT WAS NOT MADE
BY MYSELF, SO MANY STAFF,
OTHER PERSONNEL
WORKED TOGETHER FOR THIS
PROJECT AND
I AM PROUD OF IT.
AND THIS TRAIN-SET, 500 SERIES,
GAVE A GOOD DIFFERENCE,
NOT ONLY JAPAN BUT ALSO ALL
OVER THE WORLD.

The Narrator says THE BULLET TRAIN IS AN
UNDISPUTED HIGH SPEED ICON.
SINCE 1964, IT'S BEEN REFINED
SEVERAL TIMES OVER,
GETTING QUICKER EACH TIME.
BUT THE LATEST BULLET TRAIN
ENGINEERS HAVE TURNED THEIR
ATTENTION TO THE FASTEST
TECHNOLOGY OF ALL: MAGLEV.
STILL IN ITS TRIAL PHASE,
THE NEW MAGNETIC LEVITATING
BULLET TRAIN HAS SURPASSED
600 KM PER HOUR.
THIS FRICTIONLESS TRAIN HOVERS
ABOVE THE GUIDEWAY AND RELIES
UPON THE PROPERTIES OF
SUPERCONDUCTORS FOR ITS
EXTREME PERFORMANCE.
PHYSICIST ANDREW STEELE
EXPLAINS.

Andrew Steele is in his early-thirties, with a beard and brown hair. He wears a blue T-shirt and goggles.

Andrew stands behind a table holding small round metal piece.

He says A SUPERCONDUCTOR LIKE THIS
ONE IS A MATERIAL THAT HAS NO
ELECTRICAL RESISTANCE WHEN IT'S
COOLED BELOW A CERTAIN
CRITICAL TEMPERATURE.
SO, WHEN WE GET THIS DOWN TO
200 degrees, IT'S GOING TO CONDUCT
ELECTRICITY BUT WITHOUT LOSING
ANY ENERGY.
SO, IF I DROP IT INTO NITROGEN,
THAT'S COOLING IT DOWN TO THAT
INCREDIBLY LOW TEMPERATURE.
WHEN YOU BRING IT NEAR TO THE
MAGNETS, IT SETS UP AN
ELECTRICAL CURRENT INSIDE THE
SUPERCONDUCTOR WHICH KEEPS IT
LEVITATING THERE.
BUT THAT ELECTRICAL CURRENT IS
STOPPED AS SOON AS THE
SUPERCONDUCTOR GETS ABOVE THAT
CRITICAL TEMPERATURE.

The Narrator says BUT IF THE SUPERCONDUCTOR
REMAINS COLD IN ITS
SUPERCONDUCTIVE STATE,
THE CURRENT WILL CONTINUE TO
FLOW ALMOST INDEFINITELY,
CREATING AN INTENSE
MAGNETIC FIELD.

Andrew says WE CAN USE A PRINCIPLE VERY
SIMILAR TO THIS TO TRY AND MAKE
AN EXAMPLE OF A FRICTIONLESS
TRANSPORT SYSTEM.

Andrew places a transparent piece on a toy train track.

Andrew says HERE WE GOT SOME LIQUID
NITROGEN AGAIN.
WE JUST POUR THE NITROGEN ONTO
THE SUPERCONDUCTOR.

Steam comes out when he pours the nitrogen.

He continues AND BECAUSE THE SUPERCONDUCTOR
IS BEING COOLED DOWN REALLY
CLOSE TO THOSE STRONG MAGNETS,
IT MEMORIZES THE MAGNETIC FIELD
THAT IT'S COOLED DOWN NEAR.
AND THAT MEANS THAT IT WANTS TO
STAY IN THE SAME POSITION
RELATIVE TO THOSE MAGNETS.
SO, SINCE THE MAGNETISM IS THE
SAME ALL THE WAY AROUND THE
TRACK, THAT MEANS THAT IT'LL BE
STUCK TO THIS PARTICULAR PATH.
IF I GIVE IT A LITTLE PUSH...
IT'LL GO AROUND AND AROUND FOR A
VERY LONG TIME.
SO, YOU CAN SEE THAT THIS KIND
OF ELECTROMAGNETIC LEVITATION
WITH SUPERCONDUCTORS ALLOWS US
TO CREATE A FRICTION-FREE
TRANSPORT SYSTEM.

The Narrator says AND IT'S THIS FRICTION-FREE
TECHNOLOGY THAT ALLOWS THE
JAPANESE MAGLEV TO
BREAK RECORDS.
ONBOARD, SUPERCONDUCTIVE
MAGNETS COOLED WITH LIQUID
HELIUM TO -269 degrees C ARE USED TO
BOTH LEVITATE AND PROPEL
THE TRAIN.
IT'S HOPED SERVICE WILL BEGIN
IN 2027, WITH EVENTUAL TRAVEL
TIME BETWEEN TOKYO AND OSAKA
JUST OVER AN HOUR, A FAR CRY
FROM THE 6 AND A HALF HOUR RAIL JOURNEY
OF THE PAST, ONCE MORE SECURING
SHINKANSEN'S STATUS AS FASTEST
IN THE WORLD.

Eiji says I THINK THE SHINKANSEN
ARE THE MOST ICONIC
RAILWAYS ON THE
HISTORY OF THE RAILWAYS.

The Narrator says BUT ACHIEVING AND MAINTAINING
GREAT SPEED MEANS BALANCING
GREAT FORCES...

Sabato says WHEN HAVE A TRAIN VERY
POWERFUL AND VERY LIGHT,
YOU NEED A SPECIAL BALANCE
BETWEEN GRIP AND POWER.

The Narrator says PUSHING RAIL ENGINEERING TO
ITS LIMITS.
ONE THING HAS ALWAYS BEEN A KEY
DRIVING FORCE IN THE
DEVELOPMENT OF RAILWAYS:
THE PURSUIT OF SPEED,
WHILE ENGINEERS HAVE TRIED
EVERYTHING, FROM SLICK DESIGN
TO SLICE THROUGH THE
ATMOSPHERE, TO GOOD
OLD-FASHIONED BRUTE FORCE OR
EVEN TEARING UP THE
RULEBOOKS ALTOGETHER.
IN ORDER TO CREATE A TRULY 21ST
CENTURY SPEED MACHINE,
NO SINGLE STONE CAN BE
LEFT UNTURNED.
ITALY: WHILE THIS COUNTRY MIGHT
BE RENOWNED FOR ITS AGE-OLD
LANDSCAPE AND FOR ITS ANCIENT
HISTORY, IT CANNOT AFFORD TO
LIVE IN THE PAST.

Aerial views of Italian cities flash by.

The Narrator continues BUT ITS DRIVE TO BE A THRIVING
MODERN NATION FACES A
SEEMINGLY IMPOSSIBLE
GEOGRAPHIC CHALLENGE.
ITALY'S FOUR LARGEST CITIES OF
TURIN, MILAN, ROME AND NAPLES
ARE SPREAD OUT ACROSS THE
LENGTH OF THE COUNTRY,
MAKING TRAVEL ARDUOUS.
THE ONLY SOLUTION TO KEEP
COMMERCE FLOWING: SPEED.
ITALY IS THE HOME OF EUROPE'S
NEWEST AND FASTEST TRAIN.

The caption changes to "Clemente Guerriero. Assistant Project Manager, Trenitalia." Clemente is in his mid-thirties, clean-shaven with dark brown hair. He wears a white shirt and black trousers.

Clemente says WE'RE STANDING IN FRONT OF
THE FRECCIAROSSA 1000, WHICH IS
THE HIGH TECH TRAIN OF
TRENITALIA ROLLING STOCK.
IT CAN REACH MAXIMUM SPEED OF
350 KM PER HOUR.

The Narrator says THE FRECCIAROSSA 1000,
OR RED ARROW 1000, IS THE
LATEST AND MOST
STATE-OF-THE-ART ADDITION TO
ITALY'S HIGH SPEED ELECTRIC
TRAIN NETWORK.

Clemente says YOU KNOW, ITALIAN HIGH SPEED
CHANGED WAY OF LIFE IN
MANY WAYS.
PEOPLE USED TO TRAVEL OVERNIGHT
OR SPEND THE NIGHT IN THE TOWN.
THEY DON'T HAVE TO DO IT ANYMORE
BECAUSE THEY CAN TRAVEL DURING
THE DAY THANKS TO THE REAL
JOURNEY TIME BETWEEN ROME AND
MILAN OR NAPLES.

The Narrator says BUT HOW DO YOU CREATE AN
ELECTRIC TRAIN THAT IS CAPABLE
OF RUNNING 350 KM AN HOUR AND CUTTING
THE 579 KM JOURNEY FROM MILAN
TO ROME TO JUST TWO HOURS AND
20 MINUTES?
THE ANSWER, IT SEEMS, IS TO
INNOVATE EVERYWHERE.

Clemente gets into a modern and luxurious white and red high-speed train.

Clemente says YOU KNOW, WHEN YOU RATE
SPEED, YOU CANNOT SINGLE OUT ONE
ITEM THAT MAKES YOU GO FASTER.
SO, EVERY SUBSYSTEM OF THE TRAIN
HAD TO BE THOUGHT AGAIN,
LIKE THE TRACTION SYSTEM,
THE BRAKING SYSTEM,
COMMUNICATIONS, SUSPENSION.
EVERY SINGLE PIECE OF THE TRAIN
IS AFFECTED BY THE WAY THAT WE
WANT TO RUN AT HIGHER SPEED.

The Narrator says AT THE FLEET'S DEPOT IN
NAPLES, ENGINEER SABATO CITRO
IS GETTING HANDS-ON WITH ONE OF
THESE SUPER TRAINS TO REVEAL
THE SECRETS BEHIND ITS
EXPLOSIVE SPEED.

Sabato Citro is in his early-thirties, clean-shaven with brown hair. He wears a white shirt and a red collar with a name tag.

Sabato says FOR MECHANICAL COMPONENTS,
AT 300 KM, STRESS IS VERY HIGH,
BOTH IF THE TRAIN IS GOING ON
STRAIGHT TRACK OR IS BENDING
ON TRACK.
SO, THAT'S WHY WE HAVE SAFETY
CHECKS HERE.
WE HAVE SPECIAL EQUIPMENT TO
MAKE SURE THAT EVERYTHING IS
PERFORMING AT 100 percent.

A male operator checks the train's wheels.

The Narrator says TRAVELLING AT RECORD-BREAKING
SPEEDS REQUIRES A
RADICAL RETHINK.
MOST TRADITIONAL TRAINS CONSIST
OF A SINGLE LOCOMOTIVE THAT
TOWS A STRING OF FREE-ROLLING
CARRIAGES BEHIND IT.
THAT MEANS ALL THE POWER IS ON
ONE SPOT, FINE FOR A SLOW
TRAIN, NOT SO FINE IF YOU'RE IN
A HURRY.
THE FRECCIAROSSA 1000
COMPLETELY BREAKS
WITH TRADITION.

Sabato says WHEN YOU HAVE A TRAIN,
VERY POWERFUL AND VERY LIGHT,
YOU NEED A SPECIAL BALANCE
BETWEEN GRIP AND POWER.
AT 300 KM PER HOUR, THE FRICTION
BETWEEN THE WHEEL AND THE TRACK
IS VERY IMPORTANT.

The Narrator says THIS REMARKABLE TRAIN DOES
AWAY WITH THE USUAL
LOCOMOTIVE ALTOGETHER.

Standing in a mechanical pit, Sabato says NORMALLY, A TRADITIONAL TRAIN
WOULD BE POWERED BY A
LOCOMOTIVE, WHICH IS A SPECIAL
COACH, UN-ACCESSIBLE TO
PASSENGERS, WITH ALL THE SYSTEM:
HIGH VOLTAGE SYSTEM AND
TRACTION SYSTEM.
WHILE HERE, USING 16 ENGINES,
WE ARE USING THE GRIP OF
16 WHEELS.
THIS ENGINE HAS THE POWER OF
600 KW, WHICH, ADDED TO THE
OTHER MOTORS OF THE TRAIN,
GIVES A POWER OF 10 MW, WHICH IS
ALSO COMPARED AS 100 CARS.

The Narrator says HAVING ELECTRIC MOTORS SPREAD
ALONG THE LENGTH OF THE TRAIN
MEANS MORE EVEN AND
EFFICIENT TRACTION.
IT ALSO MEANS THAT, INSTEAD OF
A GIANT POWERHOUSE AT THE FRONT
OF THE TRAIN, THERE IS NOW JUST
THE DRIVER IN HIS HIGH
TECH CAB.

Clemente travels in the train sitting in a pale fancy brown leather seat.

Clemente says IF YOU HAVE A LOCO, YOU JUST
CARRY ONE PERSON, THE DRIVER.
IN THIS TRAIN, WE DON'T HAVE
A LOCO.
ALL THE EQUIPMENT AND SUBSYSTEMS
ARE DISTRIBUTED ALONG THE TRAIN
SO WE CAN PROVIDE, AT THE SAME
LENGTH, TO MORE PEOPLE ONBOARD.

The Narrator says BUT CARRYING ALL THOSE PEOPLE
IN COMFORT AT UP TO 350 KM PER HOUR
THROWS UP EVEN MORE CHALLENGES.

Clemente says ONE OF THE GREAT ADVANTAGES
OF TRAIN COMPARED TO AIRPLANE
IS, WHEN YOU TRAVEL,
YOU CAN WORK.
SO, WHEN WE RAISE SPEED, ONE OF
THE BIGGEST EFFORT WE HAVE TO
MAKE IS TO KEEP THE COMFORT AS
IT WAS IN THE PAST.
IF WE DON'T PROVIDE A GOOD
(UNCLEAR) SYSTEM, IS TO BE LIKE
GOING ON ROLLERCOASTER.
YOU KNOW, YOU ARE AT VERY HIGH
SPEED BUT MORE COMFORTABLE.

The Narrator says AN UNCOMFORTABLE PASSENGER
RIDE IS USUALLY DOWN TO ONE OF
OR A COMBINATION OF THREE
THINGS: BUMPS AND VIBRATIONS
TRANSFERRED FROM THE WHEELS TO
THE BOGIE, BUMPS AND VIBRATIONS
TRANSFERRED FROM THE BOGIE TO
THE PASSENGER CARRIAGE THAT
SITS ON IT AND CENTRIFUGAL
FORCE WHEN A FAST TRAIN
IS CORNERING.
THE SOLUTION FOR THE SPEEDY
RED ARROW LIES BELOW THE
PASSENGER'S FEET.

An animation reconstructs the process explained.

Sabato points to the train's wheels and says THIS IS THE BOGIE OF THE
FRECCIAROSSA 1000.
IT'S CONNECTED AT THIS POINT
HERE TO THE COACH.
AS YOU CAN SEE HERE, WE HAVE
PRIMARY SUSPENSION WITH
TWO-SPRING SUSPENSION, WHICH ARE
ALMOST THE SAME USED IN
THE CARS.
HERE WE HAVE THE SECONDARY
SUSPENSION, WHICH IS BASICALLY
AN AIR BALL.
SO, IT'S FILLED BY HIGH
PRESSURE AIR.
AND THIS ONE IS VERY IMPORTANT
BECAUSE IT STORES ALL THE
ENERGY, ALL THE VIBRATION IN
BETWEEN THE BOGIE AND THE COACH.
SO, THIS ONE IS ESSENTIALLY THE
MOST IMPORTANT ONE FOR THE
PASSENGER COMFORT.
IF THE TRAIN TAKES A BEND ON THE
LEFT, THE CENTRIFUGAL FORCE WILL
PUSH THE TRAIN AND PASSENGERS ON
THE RIGHT.
SO, CONTROLLING THE AIR PRESSURE
IN THESE AIRBAGS, THE TRAIN CAN
LEAN ON THE LEFT SIDE.
AND THAT COMPENSATE CENTRIFUGAL
FORCE WITHOUT SLOWING DOWN.
THIS ONE IS THE ALS SYSTEM,
THE ACTIVE LATERAL SUSPENSION
THAT WORKS LIKE AN ARM AND KEEPS
THE CENTRE OF THE COACH IN THE
CENTRE OF THE TRACK.
AT 300 KM PER HOUR, THE VIBRATION ARE
VERY HIGH.
SO, ALL THE SUSPENSIONS WORK
TOGETHER TO ABSORB ALL THE
VIBRATION AND TO MAKE SURE THAT
THE COMFORT PASSENGERS ONBOARD
IS AT THE TOP LEVEL.

The Narrator says THE MULTI-LAYERED SUSPENSION
SYSTEM MAKES REGULAR
ADJUSTMENTS AS THE TRAIN
HURTLES BETWEEN ITALIAN CITIES.

The caption changes to "Matteo El Chakra. Conductor, Trenitalia." He is in his mid-thirties, clean-shaven with short hair. He wears a black driver uniform, matching cab, white shirt and red tie.

Inside a travelling train, Matteo says YOU DON'T FEEL THE SPEED.
WHEN YOU CHECK FROM THE SCREENS
THAT YOU'RE GOING 300 KM PER HOUR,
YOU SAY "NO, IT CAN'T BE."
IT'S AS IF YOU'RE STANDING,
AS IF THE TRAIN IS STILL.
YOU DON'T FEEL THE SPEED.

The Narrator says EVERY ASPECT OF THE TRAIN
FROM TOP TO BOTTOM HAS BEEN
INTERROGATED AND DESIGNED FOR
OPTIMUM SPEED.
THE ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS ARE
CUTTING EDGE.
THE JOINS BETWEEN THE CARRIAGES
HAVE BEEN COVERED WITH
AERODYNAMIC RUBBER.
AND THE ENTIRE TRAIN HAS BEEN
CONSTRUCTED IN THE LIGHTEST
WAY POSSIBLE.
BUT ALL THESE SPEEDY SOLUTIONS
CAN CREATE THE POTENTIAL FOR A
DRAMATIC AND UNWANTED
SIDE EFFECT.
WHEN TRAVELLING SUPER FAST,
A TRAIN'S CAB SHAPE IS KEY.
A REFINED NOSE MAY LOOK
THE PART.
BUT IF THE WIND'S BLOWING FROM
THE WRONG DIRECTION, EVEN THIS
CAN BE PRONE TO LIFT.
IF THE ENGINEERS OF THE SUPER
FAST FRECCIAROSSA DON'T GET ITS
FRONT RIGHT, THE TRAIN SIMPLY
WON'T STAY ON THE TRACK.

Back at the fleet's depot, Sabato says SO, THE SPECIAL PROFILE
DESIGNED FOR THIS TRAIN MAKE THE
AERODYNAMIC RESISTANCE VERY LOW
AT 300 KM PER HOUR.
THE AIRFLOW IS GOING ON THE TOP
OF THE TRAIN.
AND THEN HERE IS, AS YOU CAN
SEE, THE FLOW GOES UNDER THE
BOGIE, THANKS TO THIS PART HERE,
OF THE PROFILE.

The Narrator says LIKENED TO THE NECK OF A KING
COBRA, THIS UNIQUE FLARED SHAPE
CRUCIALLY REDUCES AERODYNAMIC
RESISTANCE AS WELL AS IMPROVING
STABILITY, ALLOWING AND
CONTRIBUTING TO THE INCREDIBLE
SPEEDS, THE FULL APPRECIATION
OF WHICH IS USUALLY RESERVED
FOR THE DRIVER POSITIONED IN
THE COBRA'S HEAD.

In the driving cab, Clemente says FOR ME, THAT I'M NOT A
DRIVER, IT'S ALWAYS, YOU KNOW,
VERY AMAZING TO BE IN THE CAB.
IT LETS YOU FEEL SPEED,
SEEING ALL THESE POLES COMING AT
YOU VERY, VERY FAST.
AERODYNAMIC OF THIS TRAIN IS
UNPRECEDENTED IN OTHER PROJECTS
BECAUSE THIS TRAIN WAS DESIGNED,
BUILT AND TESTED TO RUN AT
350 KM PER HOUR.
SO, AERODYNAMICS WAS ONE OF THE
KEY FACTOR IN BUILDING IT.

The Narrator says TODAY, THE DESIGNERS AND
ENGINEERS OF THE RED ARROW ARE
ACHIEVING THE IMPOSSIBLE.

Matteo says THANKS TO THE HIGH SPEED
TRAINS, WE HAVE A CHANCE TO
CHANGE THE WAY OF LIVING HERE
IN ITALY.
PEOPLE CAN AFFORD TO LIVE IN
NAPLES AND WORK IN ROME.
PEOPLE CAN AFFORD TO LIVE IN
TURIN AND WORK IN MILAN AND
VICE VERSA.
IT'S ALL THANKS TO THE HIGH
SPEED TRAINS.
IT'S 12 YEARS I'VE BEEN WORKING
AS A CONDUCTOR.
AND I'VE WORKED ON A LOT
OF TRAINS.
ONCE WE HAD THIS TRAIN,
IT CHANGED.
IT CHANGED OUR WAY OF WORKING.

Sabato says THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST
IMPRESSIVE TRAIN IN EUROPE.
I'M VERY PROUD OF BEING INVOLVED
IN THIS PROJECT.

Clemente says SEEING IT ON THE TRACKS AND
RUNNING AT SUCH SPEED, IT'S A
GREAT FEELING.

The Narrator says SINCE THE FIRST TRAINS TOOK
TO THE RAILS, ENGINEERS HAVE
BEEN DRIVEN BY THE NEED
FOR SPEED.

Tom says THE A4S, THEY'RE ABOUT TO BE
FASTER AND MORE POWERFUL.
THEY'RE THE ULTIMATE EXPRESS
PASSENGER LOCOMOTIVE DESIGN.

The Narrator says STRIVING FOR THIS SPEED,
THEY'VE PRODUCED
EXTRAORDINARY INNOVATIONS...

Clemente says WE THOUGHT OF HAVING A TRAIN
THAT WAS A BREAKTHROUGH IN
RAILWAY TECHNOLOGY.
AND NOW WE HAVE IT ON TRACKS.
SO, IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT
SOMETIMES, IN LIFE, TO MAKE A
STEP FORWARD, NOT TO FOLLOW
TECHNOLOGY, BUT TO SET A WAY.

The Narrator says BREAKING RECORDS ACROSS
THE GLOBE.

Eiji says THE 500 SHINKANSEN
SERIES ALSO COULD BE
THE MOST EPOCH MAKING
ROLLING STOCK
IN THE RAILWAY
ROLLING STOCK HISTORY.

The Narrator concludes AND THEY CONTINUE TO PUSH THE
BOUNDARIES TO CREATE MORE
IMPOSSIBLE RAILWAYS.

Music plays as the end credits roll.

Narrated by Matthew Skilton.

Producer, Caroline Topliss.

Executive Producer, Neil Edwards.

Series producer, Gill Hennessey.

Distributed by two Four Rights.

Produced in association with Yesterday.

Copyright 2017, Twofour.

Watch: Ep. 4 - The Need for Speed