It inspired me to think of one of my favorite sources of renewable energy. It is called wasted energy. We are skilled at producing plenty of that. That reminded me that one of the great opportunities to save huge amounts of energy exists in the rail transport industry. Yet here is an industry that has still to make the conversion to disc brakes.
The investment question is who will lead the change to a low energy system.
The energy question is how. And it is really quite simple. All those freight cars need to be converted over to air pads for frictionless movement. At the moment, it is fair to say that I have worked out how to do this while retaining and improving existing infrastructure.
We combine this with a direct current wheel motor and dynamic braking system and we have the core of a revolution. I foresee a power takeoff used on the downhill leg to charge cheap track side batteries and that stored power used to haul a train going in the opposite direction back up the grade.
Eliminating most rolling losses and possibly a lot of weight, will slash the cost of moving goods anywhere. even more important, the speed can be maintained as high as 80 to 100 mph with some modification along an entire route. This means that a mile long train can be 2000 miles down the track inside a twenty four hour period. Long haul truckers, eat your heart out!
And of course, that is who the rail companies need to beat. Not each other.
I have thought through the technical aspects sufficiently so as to believe that it can be done.
Moving freight cross country at 80 mile per hour is awesome and doable. Who is going to be the leader?