The ‘Train that Never Stops’ Still Seems Appealing (Video)

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train-that-never-stops

Instead of stopping, this train picks up and drops off a shuttle from its roof. Pretty slick.

It looks cool and it doesn’t brake for anybody. No, it’s not a teenage rebel, it’s a train. The “Train that Never Stops” looks to save passengers time and train companies money spent on fuel. This concept, which has been kicking around for years, proposes that trains have a special shuttle on their roofs that passengers can enter and exit. At each stop, a new shuttle is picked up and an old one is dropped off, letting passengers (dis)embark via the shuttle without the need for the entire train to stop. It’s an ingenious idea and a fascinating one to watch in action. Check out the concept video below.

While the video credits Chen Jianjun of Hubei province with the design of this train, Taiwan Headlines declared the idea as Peng Yu-lun’s back in 2007. Supposedly Yu-lun designed the concept after studying Taiwan’s Kaohsiung MRT. Anyone with Chinese skills is encouraged to let us know which is the man in the video who explains the concept so eloquently with his toy cars starting at 1:23. Also, why does it seem like he’s on a game show?

For anyone who’s ever chosen an express train over a local the logic of this design is obvious: making stops slows you down. For mass rapid transit trains throughout Europe and Asia each stop may only take a few minutes, but this adds up to hours lost everyday. Bullet trains can reach peak speeds in excess of 200 Km/h, but a great average speed is less than half that. With non-stop trains we could save both time and energy that is wasted with every acceleration. I have no idea if a shuttle system as seen in the video would really work. I can imagine docking to be quite an engineering concern. Still, I congratulate Jianjun (or Yu-lun) on his concept. Hopefully we’ll one day use such a system to make transportation more efficient, but even if we don’t, it still looks pretty amazing.

[source: Video (original copyright owner unknown), Taiwan Headlines]

Discussion — 35 Responses

  • paul April 21, 2010 on 2:57 am

    Cool, but what happens if there’s a problem with the pickup shuttle, and it is not ready to be picked up?

    • Brian Lang paul May 6, 2010 on 1:06 am

      You would require that passengers be boarded by a certain time – sensors could determine the arrival time of the incoming train. Boarding would be blocked off by automatic doors on the platform and doors on the train.

  • paul April 20, 2010 on 10:57 pm

    Cool, but what happens if there’s a problem with the pickup shuttle, and it is not ready to be picked up?

    • Brian Lang paul May 5, 2010 on 9:06 pm

      You would require that passengers be boarded by a certain time – sensors could determine the arrival time of the incoming train. Boarding would be blocked off by automatic doors on the platform and doors on the train.

  • Richard James April 21, 2010 on 8:22 am

    It may not be game show but rather an inventors show. So he is presenting his invention to the judges.

  • Richard James April 21, 2010 on 4:22 am

    It may not be game show but rather an inventors show. So he is presenting his invention to the judges.

  • Olu April 21, 2010 on 11:09 am

    Jaque Fresco the revolutionary futurist and designer came up with this idea years ago,
    Check out http://www.thevenusproject.com

  • Olu April 21, 2010 on 7:09 am

    Jaque Fresco the revolutionary futurist and designer came up with this idea years ago,
    Check out http://www.thevenusproject.com

  • steve April 21, 2010 on 3:32 pm

    Very cool and in theory allows for shorter platforms?!?

  • steve April 21, 2010 on 11:32 am

    Very cool and in theory allows for shorter platforms?!?

  • bfung April 21, 2010 on 4:00 pm

    The man in the orange explaining with the model is Chen Jianjun (陈建军). The show is called “Win In China” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Win_in_China

  • bfung April 21, 2010 on 12:00 pm

    The man in the orange explaining with the model is Chen Jianjun (陈建军). The show is called “Win In China” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Win_in_China

    • Aaron Saenz bfung April 21, 2010 on 8:04 pm

      Thank you @bfung for the help. Is there anything in the video that states when Chen Jianjun came up with his idea? – It’s still not clear whether he or Peng Yu-Lun would have been the first to develop it, or if they both are deriving the concept from an earlier source.

      • Mike Aaron Saenz April 23, 2010 on 3:36 pm

        In the first text of the video, it’s a basic description of how the concept works. It’s signed by Chen Jianjun and date April 18th 2007, which predates the Taiwanese article by approximately 3 month.

  • Charlie April 21, 2010 on 4:43 pm
  • Charlie April 21, 2010 on 12:43 pm
  • junior programmer April 21, 2010 on 10:47 pm

    i had similar idea when i was young. but my idea was to eject people off the train and i had no idea how to get people board the train… anyway…

  • junior programmer April 21, 2010 on 6:47 pm

    i had similar idea when i was young. but my idea was to eject people off the train and i had no idea how to get people board the train… anyway…

  • Joey1058 April 22, 2010 on 3:06 am

    Has it ever occurred to anyone that people are already perpetually rushing through their lives? It’s an interesting concept, but keep express and commuter lines separate. If you need to be somewhere in a hurry, perhaps you didn’t do enough planning ahead to begin with?

  • Joey1058 April 21, 2010 on 11:06 pm

    Has it ever occurred to anyone that people are already perpetually rushing through their lives? It’s an interesting concept, but keep express and commuter lines separate. If you need to be somewhere in a hurry, perhaps you didn’t do enough planning ahead to begin with?

  • Mike April 23, 2010 on 7:34 pm

    @paul, the video only showed two shuttles, but in reality you’d probably need two seperate shuttles for the boarding/deboarding to happen fast enough. (Possibly left/right side of the train).

    @Charlie, the video and article dates back to 2007. So yes this is nothing new.

  • Mike April 23, 2010 on 3:34 pm

    @paul, the video only showed two shuttles, but in reality you’d probably need two seperate shuttles for the boarding/deboarding to happen fast enough. (Possibly left/right side of the train).

    @Charlie, the video and article dates back to 2007. So yes this is nothing new.

  • Mike April 23, 2010 on 7:36 pm

    In the first text of the video, it’s a basic description of how the concept works. It’s signed by Chen Jianjun and date April 18th 2007, which predates the Taiwanese article by approximately 3 month.

  • dogtato April 25, 2010 on 5:44 am

    so only a small percentage of the train’s capacity can board or exit at any given stop?
    seems like a deal breaker

    • Brian Lang dogtato May 6, 2010 on 1:08 am

      You’re right, it would only work in places where you were commuting from in to or out from a major center (ie. downtown). IT wouldn’t be as practical on more local routes where many people get on/off at each station. This would only be for high-speed rail anyway which is not really suited to local commuting.

  • dogtato April 25, 2010 on 1:44 am

    so only a small percentage of the train’s capacity can board or exit at any given stop?
    seems like a deal breaker

    • Brian Lang dogtato May 5, 2010 on 9:08 pm

      You’re right, it would only work in places where you were commuting from in to or out from a major center (ie. downtown). IT wouldn’t be as practical on more local routes where many people get on/off at each station. This would only be for high-speed rail anyway which is not really suited to local commuting.

  • Joe April 30, 2010 on 5:17 pm

    Huge problem.

    If you get on at one stop and want to get off at the next you’d have to walk all along the train; in which there might not be time.

    The Great Western in Britain about 150 years ago had a “slip coach” system where one or two coaches dropped off the back of an express train at a certain point and stopped in the station. Such a system was inefficient as it required too many extra staff.

    • Jerry Doerr Joe October 24, 2010 on 5:57 am

      Looks to me like a one-station traveler would stay on the shuttle (not traverse the whole train), since the boarding shuttle at one stop becomes the exit shuttle at the next stop.

  • Joe April 30, 2010 on 1:17 pm

    Huge problem.

    If you get on at one stop and want to get off at the next you’d have to walk all along the train; in which there might not be time.

    The Great Western in Britain about 150 years ago had a “slip coach” system where one or two coaches dropped off the back of an express train at a certain point and stopped in the station. Such a system was inefficient as it required too many extra staff.

  • Muhammad Ejaz December 25, 2013 on 11:27 am

    Sir,how the momentum of this fast moving train is beared by the transit cabin,or what design r mechanica is used to over come this problem