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#1 2014-07-02 15:14:03

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,162
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Roller-coaster trains use half the energy of traditional trains

Today I had the idea to use roller-coaster type cars and tracks for transport.  They wouldn't be useful when it's raining, but that's a small tradeoff given that they could be built for a fraction of the cost of regular trains, the energy use would be tiny, and the infrastructure would require less space.

No one's doing anything exactly like that, but I just found out that in Japan (where else?), they're already building a train line with roller-coaster technology.  The cars are fully-enclosed, but the trains run on roller-coaster rails and don't have their own engines/motors, so they're lighter and use much less energy -- like around half as much as regular trains.  Most of the energy is kinetic, supplemented by some rotating wheels on the tracks under the train and some lifting:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg2 … 7RIOVZ1RUg

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