Friday, April 16, 2010
A BRILLIANT INNOVATION FROM CHINA: GETTING ON & OFF THE BULLET TRAIN WITHOUT THE TRAIN STOPPING
A good friend of mine, David Tang, who visits China quite regularly, has sent me the above videocast about a very cool concept from China:
It's certainly a brilliant innovation - getting on & off the bullet train without the train stopping.
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!
The passenger 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.
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.
My immediate comment is that, if China could conduct a manned spaceflight, build the fastest train in the world - from Wuhan to Guangzhou; next in the works, Beijing to Shanghai - & engineered the largest dam in the world - 'The Three Gorges Dam' - it's only a matter of time that the foregoing concept would become a commercial reality.