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]