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Thu December 1, 2011
Forget "high speed" trains, how about "mothership" trains?
Hundreds of millions of dollars are being invested in Michigan for
high speed higher speed rail.
For that, we'll get trains that can travel 110 m.p.h. for much of the Detroit to Chicago trip.
A modest boost in speed is about as much as we can ask for given the state of our infrastructure (over the summer, some passenger trains in Michigan were ordered to travel at 25 m.p.h. because of the sorry state of the tracks).
One drawback to train travel is the number of stops along the way. Detroit to Chicago has stops in Dowagiac, Niles, and New Buffalo, Michigan.
What if the train could just slow down around those stops?
Behold the "Moving Platforms" concept from Paul Priestman of the English design group Priestmangoode (bob head while watching):
O.k. - this pie-in-the-sky idea has been around for awhile. New Scientist magazine writes that they first featured an article about a similar idea in 1969.
Priestman told CNN that its valuable to throw off the chains and think big:
While Priestman admits that it will be some time before his vision could be implemented, he says the time has come to rethink how we travel.
"This idea is a far-future thought but wouldn't it be brilliant to just re-evaluate and just re-think the whole process?" he says.
But why not dream big?
Meet George Jetson while you think about it: