Sunday, May 23, 2010

The train that will not stop..........running ..........running

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. 
Some Interesting facts about Train

A train is a connected series of rail vehicles that move along the track. Propulsion for the train is provided by a separate locomotive, or from individual motors in self-propelled multiple units. Most trains carry a revenue load, although non-revenue cars exist for the railway's own use, such as for maintenance-of-way purposes. The railroad engineer or engine driver controls the locomotive or other power cars, although people movers and some rapid transits are driverless
In 1854 the British Colonial Government in India started building a rail link from Kolkata to the coalfields in Bardhman district. This was the second railway line constructed in India after the first one from Mumbai to Thaney in 1853. The line started from Howrah, then a small town on the west shore of the Hooghly River.

The first locomotive, shown below christened “Multum in Parvo” (barely visible on the wheel casing), which was used by the East Indian Railway Company in 1854 on its 23-mile line from Howrah to Pandua.


Mumbai suburban Railway carries more than 6.9 million commuters on a daily basis and constitutes more than half of the total daily passenger capacity of the Indian Railways itself. It has one of the highest passenger densities of any urban railway system in the world. Transportation in India depends heavily on railroads. The railway system, owned and operated by the government, is the largest in the world under single management. Each year, more than 4 billion passenger journeys are made by rail. Railroads also carry about 60 percent of India's freight traffic (421 million tones) every year.
Indian Railways highlights (2007): 
route total: 64,000 km (17,000 km electrified; 12,617 km double track) 
broad gauge: 40,620 km 1.676-m gauge 
narrow gauge: 18,501 km 1.000-m gauge; 3,794 km 0.762-m/ 0.610-m 

gauge track total: 1,07,000 Track Kilometers 
Passengers travel per day: 1.7 million 
Stations: 6,977 
Fleet of trains: 7,000 for passengers and 4,000 for goods 
Wagons: 207,176