Bringing our Railways into the 21st Century

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I realize that this concept is too grandiose for the the context of this contest; but because it is something that our country desperately needs and something that we are destined to eventually have anyway, I want to take the opportunity to put it in front of as many eyes as I can possibly have look at the idea. I'm proposing a revolutionary new railroad system that will use the technology that exists today to make the railroad a sought after mode of travel to all areas of our country. Railroad shipping and passenger freight is the most cost effective way to transport from point A to point B. If we truly want to make the rail system appeal to the masses, we have to do more than increase the top speed of the train. In fact, I will be bold and say that high speed rail will never accomplish what this idea accomplishes using the rails, rolling stock and engine technology that exists today in 2015.

The concept of the train that never stops will actually reduce the travel time over a typical cross-country trip even more than a high speed train that runs much faster than the top speed of the current U.S. Rail system. This idea deserves to be elevated to a higher level of public awareness because it makes so much sense and would be inherently safer and less expensive than high speed rail.

To make this idea really work new rail right-of-ways would be needed and the government would have to establish a new railway system that functions like the airways function for commercial air travel. The basic concept is a system of trains; engines pulling passenger and freight cars that never stop, even the maintenance and re-fueling and re-supply functions will be carried out without any stoppages of the rolling stock. These will all conform to the new design standard to load and unload passengers and cargo while the train continues to travel, albeit a somewhat reduced speed might be used during loading and offloading. The trains will be owned and operated by rail transportation companies in competition with each other for passengers and freight on a scheduled basis where the scheduling is run by a government agency similar to the way the FAA schedules competing airliners. In other words the government provides a publicly owned rail system analogous to the publicly owned airways; but private industry builds it, runs it and maintains it all on a competitive bid basis. Some of the benefits of this concept would be new jobs to build the system reduced costs of transportation, a major reduction in fuel oil consumption and a large burden of trucks removed from our highways which will allow us to halt or at least slow further expansion of the highway system to meet traffic requirements. See the pdf and jpg documents for some supportive data and details.


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  • Name:
    John Porter
  • Type of entry:
  • Profession:
    Retired Electical/Electronic Engineer
  • Number of times previously entering contest:
  • John's favorite design and analysis tools:
    My mind
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    The worlds needs
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