A Chinese bullet train concept promises even faster trips on high-speed railways. How? By using special stacked cars that automatically detach and attach themselves to the speeding train as it passes by. These "connector cabins" lay in wait at each station, with passengers entering minutes before the train's arrival. When the train finally zooms by, the cabin begins attaching itself, slowly accelerating to match the train's speed.
At the same time, another cabin already attached to the train disconnects, decelerating automatically on the station platform. This of course means that passengers who want to get off the train need to enter the connector cabin way before the station comes up. The departing cabin slowly makes it way to the back of the train, to make room for the cabin at the next station. The entire process is animated through this YouTube Video.
Such a system has limitations of course. It won't work well on heavy traffic lines that have short distances between stops, and those second-level connector cabins exactly helpful for the handicapped.But imagine the potential savings in time! As the blog post detailing the concept illustrates: "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!" A train that can continue moving also won't waste energy on regular stops.
No info on implementation was available, but we can always hope for new developments. Stay tuned!