The bullet train that never stops - an idea from China

Since you all just loved loved loved my video last week about the bus rapid transit system in China, I know you'll go gaga (especially Scooter) over this concept video of the bullet train that never stops.

Passengers board in a connector cabin the bullet train picks up as it sails through the station. It also drops off another connector cabin for those who want to exit at that station.

I'm not sure whether this ever would be put into practice, but I have to admit it's a cool idea.

From the video description on YouTube.

No time is wasted. The bullet train is moving all the time. If there are 30 stations between Beijing and Guangzhou, just stopping and accelerating again at each station will waste both energy and time.

A mere 5 min stop per station (elderly passengers cannot be hurried) will result in a total loss of 5 min x 30 stations or 2.5 hours of train journey time!

How it works:
1. For those who are boarding the train: The passengers at a station embarks onto to a connector cabin way before the train even arrives at the station. When the train arrives, it will not stop at all. It just slows down to pick up the connector cabin, which will move with the train on the roof of the train.

While the train is still moving away from the station, those passengers will board the train from the connector cabin mounted on the train's roof. After fully unloading all its passengers, the cabin connector cabin will be moved to the back of the train so that the next batch of outgoing passengers who want to alight at the next station will board the connector cabin at the rear of the train roof.

2. For those who are getting off: As stated above, after fully unloading all its passengers, the cabin connector cabin will be moved to the back of the train so that the next batch of outgoing passengers who want to alight at the next station will board the connector cabin at the rear of the train roof. When the train arrives at the next station, it will simply drop the whole connector cabin at the station itself and leave it behind at the station.

The outgoing passengers can take their own time to disembark at the station while the train had already left. At the same time, the train will pick up the incoming embarking passengers on another connector cabin in the front part of the train's roof. So the train will always drop one connector cabin at the rear of its roof and pick up a new connector cabin in the front part of the train's roof at each station.

Comments

Leave a comment
  • That looks pretty awesome. The only problem I could see might have to do with capacity. What happens when more people want to get off than can fit in the connector car? Or what happens when there are more people in the connector car being picked up than can fit on the train? Probably not something that would happen too often though.

  • In reply to Seitz:

    I was thinking of the same thing. perhaps the connector car would be quite a bit oversized for the normal flow, or maybe a double connector car could be used in some stretches. Clearly at the terminal destinations passengers would exit through normal doors.

  • In reply to redisaac:

    Yeah, you could definitely run into problems when there are situations like Addison where 90% of the train is getting on/off for the Cubs game. What happens if everyone hasn't boarded but the train is ready to start pulling the connector car? Don't stick your baby stroller in the doors I guess!

  • In reply to Nirvana911:

    Yeah I'm sure you wouldn't have last second boarding. The doors of the connector car would have to be closed a set time period before the main train arrives, you couldn't really mess around with that.

  • In reply to redisaac:

    I'll retreat from my comment about not bothering with fantasyland only to this extent

    From the Musical, The Man from LaBridgeport:

    "To dream the impossible dream
    To ride the unrideable train
    To hope that China invests in something that won't happen
    To go where no one will go....

    This is my quest
    To get to Richard M. Daley Airport
    and wait in the TSA line
    No matter how hopeless..."

  • In reply to jack:

    Oh Jack, you jokester you! You make me laugh. Thanks.

  • In reply to Seitz:

    I actually had a similar thought a few years ago. My idea didn't use separate tracks for the connector car. All it did was pick up a new front car and drop off the last car at each station. Electronic signs in each car would guide passengers to the car being dropped off at their desired stations. Such a system would involve paying attention, though, and that seems to be too much to expect in general. Going longer distances would require more than one car change.

  • In reply to Seitz:

    This is cool, but it won't work here because unlike in China, the people here constantly need their asses kissed, and aren't gonna put forth the effort to move to the car they need to move to. The people here expect less effort on their own part, and more rewards in return for it.

Leave a comment