Taiwanese inventor Peng Yu-Lun has an innovative idea to make train transportation even more efficient: get rid of the stops. No, he’s not proposing that passengers are thrown on and off of fast-moving trains or that passengers are eliminated from the equation altogether. Instead, Yu-Lun envisions a small separated car perched atop the train. When the train enters a station, this car slides along on elevated rails that smoothly and gradually remove the car from the rest of the train and bring it to a stop.
Another identical car travels from these elevated tracks and gradually slides along the top of the train to pick up speed for boarding passengers. The end result: a train with no need to stop at stations.
Check out the video demonstration below, in Taiwanese, of what such a train would look like:
Sure, regenerative braking – the process that converts the energy typically wasted as heat when slowing down and storing it as electrical power in batteries – is a terrific energy saving solution. Many hybrid cars, such as the Prius, use regenerative braking and it’s starting to appear aboard hybrid diesel/electric trains as well. But more efficient still is to maintain your momentum and dispense with a train’s need to make stops.
Huge amounts of power go into bringing an entire train’s mass to a halt at stations and then reaccelerating it back up to speed. By keeping the main portion of the train on the move, the energy savings could be huge.
Via Boing Boing.
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