Moving Platforms For High Speed Trains Could Save Energy, Time

I’m not going to hold my breath for high speed rail in this country any time soon, as politics seems intent on killing the notion of a national HSR system. Meanwhile, other countries like China and France move forward with their plans for a national network of high speed trains, and the idea of moving transfer platforms running alongside these trains has cropped up again.

Disembarking At Speed

The idea of moving platforms for embarking and disembarking have been around for a while now, though one could argue that there is no time better than now for turning concept into reality. The latest concept, penned by Paul Priestman of Preistmangood, is called simply “Moving Platforms,” and Priestman envisions a world-spanning network where you could hop from train to train, without ever stopping.

As a high speed train approaches a station, it would slow down so that a tram-platform could connect, allowing passengers to transfer. This mobile platform could then take customers back to the station, or the next transfer train on their trip. Not only would this save time, it would save immense energy in both braking, and acceleration. It could make trains even more efficient than they already are.

Obviously, such a system would be impossible to implement on today’s archaic train infrastructure. But isn’t that our whole problem, with everything in this country? As Priestman points out, we’re a 21st century nation working with technology that is, in many cases, 100+ years old. One need look no further than New York’s subway stations, or Eisenhower’s interstate system, both of which handle way more than their intended capacity, and are woefully out of date.

Our nation is growing up, and we need new ideas like this to really progress and mature. Maybe this particular idea is too far-fetched for right here, right now, but we’re going to need bold thinkers with seemingly impossible dreams to make America great again.

They said getting to the moon was impossible, so is the idea of a moving train platform really that outlandish?

Source: New Scientist | Images: Priestmangoode


Christopher DeMorro

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.