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The Train That Literally Never Stops

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!

A brilliant new Chinese train innovation - get on & off the bullet train without the train stopping

  • elcentral
    insanly smart. and cool, to bad sweden got cramped long tunnels gonna cost a buck to insert this in to our systems ^^
  • bogcotton
    I had a very similar idea to this, but for cars.

    On the motorway, if every car had a computer which was connected to each other wirelessly, there would never be traffic jams, as warnings would be sent out and cars made to divert to other lanes.

    Imagine if all you had to do on a motorway (freeway) was click connect to the next car infront, and wait for your exit.

    Too bad this kind of thing would be impossible to impliment on a large scale.

    Where are my superior electric cars!?
  • pocketdrummer
    God.... Damnit...

    I knew I should have patented this when I thought of it.
  • thejerk
    Not bad. Cruising is the most-efficient state, acceleration uses the most energy. Saving time and energy is a good deal. Now making it so it doesn't kill everyone...
  • digiex
    China, reinventing the railway system, good luck!
  • domenic
    When I read the title "train that never stops (from China)", I thought they had a jumping (or throw-off) platform)! LOL

    “A train that can continue moving also won't waste energy on regular stops.”

    Uhmm… the detaching & attaching parts of the train will waste energy as they decelerate & decelerate. only less as the system is optimized so only full cabins stop. It’s a cool concept except it works best if all stations have similar numbers of passengers. What happens at main hubs where 50% or more passengers need to transition?
  • haunted one

    That is all.
  • Pei-chen
    Complicated but sounds better than all the "personal" mass transit schemes so far. At least this one promises to save energy rather than everyone having their own maglev pod.
  • Well, I don't know how original this idea is. I was discussing with my friend a few days ago, and he has the exactly the same idea, which was dismissed by me for the complicity of the whole system.
  • i think the concept works if each 'cabin' is an individual small train that can accelerate/decelerate.. then when it reach certain speed, it attach to 'mother train' for cruise mode to conserve energy.

    but this does sound a bit sci-fi and i hope the chinese can finish building the ark for 2012 first before going for project.