Time to think outside the box

Posted on May 14, 2010 by Alex Roman - Also by this author

China's current 4,000-mile network consists of upgraded conventional lines, high-speed passenger designated lines and the world's first high-speed commercial magnetic levitation (maglev) line. The country also has an additional 11,000 miles of high-speed lines currently under construction and has plans to have a complete network of approximately 31,000 miles in place by 2020.

It may seem a bit far out, but one idea China has to increase efficiency of its high-speed system is creating a connector cabin that passengers would load while awaiting a train. When the train arrives at a station it will not stop at all, but rather pick up the connector cabin, which will move with the train along the roof. While the train continues its travel, those passengers will board the train from the connector cabin mounted on the train's roof. Once the cabin is empty, passengers getting off at the next stop would then load into the cabin upstairs from the back of the train.

The idea is to keep the trains moving at all times, saving both time and energy — it is estimated that the system would save about 2.5 hours of train journey time a day. (You can view the video below)

The point is this: As this country struggles to find financing solutions to fund public transportation and is still unsure, at this point, how or if it will continue to invest in high-speed rail, the rest of the world continues to think outside the box to find ways to make travel for its citizens easier. Isn't it time this country steps up and starts coming up with some innovative ideas to make travel easier?



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