The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Have the railroads considered this VERY high speed train system?  (Read 2206 times)

DiscoverDave

  • Guest
Now that I know we have railroad enthusiasts on the forum, let me share this with you.  We hear about railroads laying down special high-speed tracks (even some with banking) and building special high-speed trains (even some with tilting carriages), etc … all for the sake of trying to make trains go faster.  However, the average speed is degraded significantly because a train must slow down, come to a halt, wait, and get up to speed at every stop along its route. 

I came up with an idea years ago where the train (either regular or high-speed) would maintain its cruising speed the entire length of the route, say from Boston MA to Washington DC. 

The special cars at the back of the train would have independent power available.  The people getting off at the next stop would walk back to the last car or two.  At the appointed time, the car(s) would detach and drop back, the switch into the station would activate as soon as the train passed, and the detached cars would turn toward the station, slow down and stop, and the passengers detrain. 

In the meantime, the people at the station wanting to get on the train would board other self-propelling car(s) at the platform, and begin to accelerate before the train even passed the station.  The car(s) join the main line and, under computer control, dock with the train, which the passengers then enter and occupy.  The passengers to get off at the next station make their way to these last car(s) for the next disembarkation, and the cycle starts all over again.

Anyone going to any station gets a top-speed non-stop ride!  Contingencies include failure to dock or undock, in which case, the self-propelled car(s) continue on to the next station, and the people wait for the next train.

Countries or regions that cannot afford bullet trains or high-speed lines can get high-speed train service with this system.  The track switching and the docking and undocking must be computer controlled and synchronized, but we can do that now.


 

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8328
  • "Vive la résistance!"
    • View Profile
Erm, well you are only about 150 years too late  ;D

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slip_coach

(Actually this really only includes the detaching idea.)
 

Offline graham.d

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2208
    • View Profile
Great idea, Dave, and all within the bounds of technology today I think. There may be a fair number of people wandering about between stations, moving betwen carriages, which may be a downside. Not too bad on the very long journeys in the US but not so good in the UK.
 

Offline graham.d

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2208
    • View Profile
Well bu**er me, it's been done and 150 years ago to boot.
 

Offline peter125

  • First timers
  • *
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
Still, it's not being put to use at the moment. Maybe it's not a new invention but it could be monetized by entrepreneurs such as yourselves today.
 

Offline Samvolta

  • First timers
  • *
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
That's a good idea. I doubt it's being researched now though. Trains are way too underused in the U.S. for them to consider this unfortunately. I think trains have huge potential in the U.S. but we just don't use 'em...
 

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8328
  • "Vive la résistance!"
    • View Profile
Hmmmm?

Do you think they need more than 150 years to think about it?
 

The Naked Scientists Forum


 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums