This Hyper Speed Vertical Train Hub shows off an innovative way to minimize the real estate taken up by rail stations, by flipping them vertically. The concept picked up the Honorable Mention in the eVolo Skyscraper competition this year for its unique take on public transit.
The basic idea here is that instead of having flat tracks side by side, the last stretch of the magnetic tracks continue up the outside of the building. The commuters would then use an elevator to reach one of the 10-person cabins. When the train takes off the cabin slowly turns 90 degrees and remains upright when the train switches to a horizontal position, similar to a ferris wheel cabin.
One limitation of this idea is that in a high volume station, a limited number of trains that can be used simultaneously. This system would put a stranglehold on stations like Shinjuku in Tokyo, a system that move sover 3.5 million people a day. Although, a new design incorporating concentric circles of platforms may allow for a higher number of platforms, alleviating this problem.
These stations will help maximize the limited space left in many cities and with a little more development of this concept, it may reveal that it could provide assistance with more problems than just spatial ones. By placing the trains vertically, gravity can be used to start the train from a standstill, alleviating the energy consumption during this step. It’s another concept designed to take advantage of the way trains move lots of people for comparatively little energy and space.
Looking at the vertical train hub and other submissions in eVolo’s competition, such as a building that filters polluted air and a skyscraper with a maritime transportation hub, it is clear that the skylines of our cities are rapidly evolving. With these changes, it is important to remember that as the number of inhabitants on this earth increases, we must do what we can to make each inhabitant’s footprint a little smaller.