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roelontwerpt

High Speed Train

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I watched the discovery program nextworld about high speed trains, and that made me think about the following idea.

Amsterdam and Paris are now connected by the high speed train thalys, the distance is about 500 km, the train travels at 300 km/h and it still takes more than 4 hours! Obviously this is because of all the stops and that's where some real travel time reduction can be accomplished.

 

What if you would have a High speed train that goes directly from Amsterdam to Paris, and a Transfer shuttle that goes from city to city, getting people on and off the high speed train inbetween the cities. The High speed train would have to slow down to 120 km'h, drive next to the Transfer shuttle, a connection would be made and people would get on and of in about 4 minutes, the trains disconnect, the Transfer shuttle drives to the next city, and the High speed train would accelerate to 300 km/h again.

 

This way, it should be able to travel from Amsterdam to Paris in under 2 hours, I'd like to hear your opinions about it!

here a first (very) rough sketch, just to illustrate the idea for everyone who is bored by all the text above :D

post-1434-1263558157.jpg

post-1434-1263557589.jpg

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Am I getting this right - you get off the fast train onto a shuttle while it is still moving at 120km/h? Are you serious? The lawyers are salivating with the possibilities! What happens when the frail old lady or man moves slowly from the fast train to the shuttle and the shuttle runs out of track! Do the doors close and they get sucked out or what?

 

This classifies as a fairly mad idea!

 

Have you any idea what kind of control systems are needed to synchronise two trains moving at 120 km/h and line up doors? What happens if the power fails on one train whilst the transfer is taking place? The only way I could see this working would be if the trains were physically locked together during the transfer phase so that at least they "should" stay together if any failures arise but to my mind it is all just a bit unnecessary.

 

A more logical solution is simply to run a few express non stop services as well as the more frequent stop services....but don't they already do that?

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Mad idea obstacle #1: frail old lady.

 

Seriously thou, I don't find this idea that mad, I'm quite sure all the conceptual problems like that could be solved. It would be pretty cool to have trains running all across Europe 500mph without real destinations or stops, but with approaching shuttles here and there. Make it! Richard Branson might be interested.

 

To quote a friend of mine:

"100 years ago, who would have figured that the most problematic thing with flying, would be administration?"

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Guest Bowl of Soup

So am I the only one questioning the true added value of this vs. the cost of implementation? Even regardless of safety?

 

If we took your logic and extrapolated, you would not stop over and re-fuel for long flights, you would re-fuel in mid air... this only happens for SR-71s and such. Does not happen anywhere in the entire realm of profit making air travel.

 

Just saying my two cents, this might be an interesting idea for automated freight but replace the shuttle with a truck or some such for the last 10 miles of distribution.

 

Sorry about the candid tone.

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Guest Incolumis
So am I the only one questioning the true added value of this vs. the cost of implementation? Even regardless of safety?

 

If we took your logic and extrapolated, you would not stop over and re-fuel for long flights, you would re-fuel in mid air... this only happens for SR-71s and such. Does not happen anywhere in the entire realm of profit making air travel.

 

Just saying my two cents, this might be an interesting idea for automated freight but replace the shuttle with a truck or some such for the last 10 miles of distribution.

 

Sorry about the candid tone.

ever heard of electric trains?

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I understand the idea of high speed trains, and even 4 hours for a 500km span is still much faster than any car or air travel (given the 1-2 hour wait at the airport).

 

I realized I was reading this wrong.

 

The idea of swithcing trains while moving is a bit terrifying and rather unrealistic as was mentioned. If you have exactly 4 minutes of time to disembark and transfer that still means you need to have at least 5miles of perfectly parallel tracks. You'd have to take into account for the sway andmovement of the trains and as someone mentioned, if someone didn't make it when the trains tracks diverged again, it would be ugly. I'm sure you'd need even more track then that to allow the trains to sync up, and decouple again. Even if the speed slowed down this seems like it would just be an infrastructure nightmare, not a design project.

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Guest JelleT

Nice! Very Dutch concept ;-) Very non-Dutch reactions :) I think all the obvious 'problems' with this system can be solved quite easily. The principle in this concept is the transfer of people from a high speed transport to another low speed transportation. What if not the people move, but some module on the train (yeah with people in it) will be coupled on a set of wheels of the other train. Then you just need to be sure you are in the right module when entering the train.

 

Sure you have two moving objects riding allong one another but what if the high speed train is riding on the railway tracks (on ground) and the low speed thing is hanging above the train (like some rollercoaster ride) with some hooks and grabs a module and carries on?

 

I'm sure somebody will figure a way out to solve the challenges...

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Guest bfg
Nice! Very Dutch concept ;-) Very non-Dutch reactions :) I think all the obvious 'problems' with this system can be solved quite easily. The principle in this concept is the transfer of people from a high speed transport to another low speed transportation. What if not the people move, but some module on the train (yeah with people in it) will be coupled on a set of wheels of the other train. Then you just need to be sure you are in the right module when entering the train.

 

Sure you have two moving objects riding allong one another but what if the high speed train is riding on the railway tracks (on ground) and the low speed thing is hanging above the train (like some rollercoaster ride) with some hooks and grabs a module and carries on?

 

I'm sure somebody will figure a way out to solve the challenges...

 

Now I'm *really* terrified. And I actually like rollercoasters.

 

I have a more fundamental question: why do feel the need to get from Paris to Amsterdam in two hours? Why not enjoy a slightly longer journey in comfort? Watch the world go by... read a book... do a crossword or two... come up with a slightly bonkers idea for revolutionising rail travel ;) ... The possibilities are endless.

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I was actually going to say it almost seems like it would make more sense if all passengers for station X were on 1 car, Station Y another, and Station Z the last.

 

Then as the train would go the last car could break off, self power itself at the slower speed to Station X, and venture off onto it's own track, then get picked up again. Though then you would have the issue that you'd have to lug around all of those motors which would add weight and make the ultra-high speed part harder (the high speed locomotive would need to do much more work at an impact to energy or speed).

 

Of course that also implys that each car is self contained and has it's own conductor.

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Guest Bowl of Soup
So am I the only one questioning the true added value of this vs. the cost of implementation? Even regardless of safety?

 

If we took your logic and extrapolated, you would not stop over and re-fuel for long flights, you would re-fuel in mid air... this only happens for SR-71s and such. Does not happen anywhere in the entire realm of profit making air travel.

 

Just saying my two cents, this might be an interesting idea for automated freight but replace the shuttle with a truck or some such for the last 10 miles of distribution.

 

Sorry about the candid tone.

ever heard of electric trains?

 

Hmm, nope... On a serious note, I am using this extrapolation to highlight that it may be much more effective to just slow down for stops. I like the idea of modules, but again stopping may be more practical. If it were modular, it need not be a train though, it could be a track with separated modules, even independent hybrid road vehicles that could "hop-on".

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Guest hupseflupse
Am I getting this right - you get off the fast train onto a shuttle while it is still moving at 120km/h? Are you serious? The lawyers are salivating with the possibilities! What happens when the frail old lady or man moves slowly from the fast train to the shuttle and the shuttle runs out of track! Do the doors close and they get sucked out or what?

 

This classifies as a fairly mad idea!

 

dude, there are people in space!

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Guest indy2878

I just had to say this, but this concept of moving from the train to the shuttle does sound like that one movie with Steven Segal in it when they had to transfer the soldiers from the fighter jet to the 747.... :-)

I totally forget the name of the movie but I think it was a 90's movie.

 

CyberDemon has a good point about the thing where each car of the train can be separated from the main train and then run on its own, etc.... Or maybe a way of lifting the shuttle to the top of the train and having passengers load and unload.

How fast would the train run while the shuttle is connected to the main train?

Another interesting concept is an "Emergency train" that disconnects from the main train before an Emergency happens such as a train falling off the tracks.

 

I can't come up with any meaningful engineering concepts right now, but that's what's on my mind.

 

 

 

But yes, you guys from the Netherlands ARE VERY interesting! I MUST visit your country sometime! :-)

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dude, there are people in space!

 

Hey I'm not against wild thinking - this was a request for feedback after all. I just see this as a solution looking for a problem. In this day and age of green design, it doesn't sound that green to be ripping up half the country building high speed rail lines and feeder tracks side by side in the quest to knock a few minutes off a train journey. The simple reality is that if I run a train non stop from A to B it gets there faster. This is a more a timetabling issue. If the run is 500km, and you have 5 stops of 4 mins each that is only 20mins of stop time and maybe another 20mins of accelerate/deceleration. So you are only losing 40 mins on a flat out run.

 

Taking this forward, if you timetable your link trains to leave a few mins after the high speed one has stopped you can cover the 50km between the 100km stations (that is 50km one way, 50km the other), with multiple local stops, so you get a better service (because you are stopping nearer your destination) and a shorter overall journey time - max of say 40mins from your high speed stop plus your high speed train journey time.

 

It might not be sexy to redo a rail timetable but it actually is a better design solution overall. Go on. I dare one of you students to propose that as a solution to transport product design projects!

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Guest csven

I believe there is a Japanese company already working on a similar concept in which the train doesn't stop at the station, it slows and passengers embark/debark via an intermediary vehicle.

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