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All Aboard the Train that Never Stops!

by Kate Trainor on June 30, 2008

TrainSansStops All Aboard the Train that Never Stops!
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.

Related posts:

  1. All Aboard for National Train Day
  2. High Speed Rail Connects Barcelona and Madrid
  3. France Launches Hybrid Train
  4. Kris Murrin Stops Traffic in the U.K.
  5. U.S. Train Travel on the Rise
  6. Recent Posts

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mark R. February 25, 2008 at 4:46 pm

First let me say I think this sounds like a huge pipe dream.

while it would be nice to get off of petrol, I like the Idea of being able to pull CO2 out of the atmosphere. I know this isn’t what they are proposing but It would be an option we currently don’t have. If we could pull it out faster than we produce it, we might actually have a chance of getting to pre-industrial revolution co2 levels or at least strike some form of balance that we currently don’t have.

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2 Kate February 25, 2008 at 5:39 pm

Hi Mark,

I agree that Green Freedom sounds like a “pipe dream,” as you say — a big, carbon-belching pipe, at that. At first glance, it sounds like a great idea–taking the air we’ve spoiled and turning it into more fuel. But, when it comes down to the nitty-gritty, it sounds like the project would actually do more harm than good. It’s a reason to stay in our cars and keep sprawling, I think, so we wouldn’t have to totally overhaul our car-loving lifestyles. Your comment about balance, and removing greenhouse gases faster than we produce them is a good one. Maybe that’s what scientists should be working on: a way to get back to good, and to reverse the damage we’ve been doing with our cars, cows, and other post-Ford favorites. Does anyone know of any cool projects like this, in which scientists are working on ways to reverse the effects of carbon emissions to get us back to where we were long ago? (Of course, any project like this would be moot in the face of our current lifestyle. Society would have to change, too.)

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3 Mark R. February 26, 2008 at 10:03 pm

Kate, One other very concerning point I have to say on this subject. Under current law of supply and demand of fossil fuel, whoever can master the capture of CO2 and convert it back to usable fuel will unfortunately have more control than all the oil producers combined. and I don’t think any one person or group could/should handle that responsibility. One more of many reasons to move away from fossil fuel.

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4 Jim March 13, 2008 at 2:38 am

What a bunch of nut bars! If they can produce something that will help the enviroment, reduce foreign dependency, transport people and goods with out an expensive, complete restructuring of the country then I’m all for it. Let me guess, you guys are 19 and all full of idealistic piss and vinegar? Or are you the older hippy types that go to “environment demonstrations” then leave the place looking like a landfill with all the flyers and banners discarded everywhere. I drive a diesel,burn veg oil, have both a windmill and a water powered generator and two years ago hooked onto the grid because of my excess power supply. I get almost $2300 a month back from the power company. Yes I drive a Ford pick up and the wife drives a windstar minivan (I put in a 2.0L mecedes diesel). Yes I am one of those with a “terrible car loving lifestyle”.
But what are YOU doing besides bitching about what others are doing? Are you running spiral bulbs and have seperate septic tanks for grey water and black water? Do you grow your own organic foods while crop rotating as I do? I do more than my fair share for the enviroment and you bleading heart left wing freaks piss me off because all you do is piss and moan about others while not actually doing anything yourself.
HYPOCRITES!!!!!!

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5 richard schumacher June 19, 2008 at 2:49 pm

“I like the Idea of being able to pull CO2 out of the atmosphere. I know this isn’t what they are proposing [...]”
That is *precisely* what they are proposing. The process
makes carbon-neutral vehicle fuel which does not contribute to global warming because it uses atmospheric CO2 and energy from non-fossil sources. See the description and references at
http://www.lanl.gov/news/index.php/fuseaction/home.story/story_id/12554

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