Idle Detroit 3 factories could switch to building solar-powered trains

The design would allow for speeds in excess of 200mph

The design would allow for speeds in excess of 200mph

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An ambitious project to bring high-speed rail to the U.S. is underway by private investors, with a route between Detroit and Lansing among the first rail lines on the drawing board. The Interstate Traveler company is currently wooing a state task force, with hopes of gaining permission to build an elevated, magnetized rail line along state freeways.

The rail system would use hydrogen-powered carriages and there’s a chance that the Detroit 3 carmakers could be called upon to build them. The trains would work by using a magnetic field for propulsion, and would draw on solar power to charge their batteries. They would run along an elevated track running alongside common highways. These could also be used as conduits for fiber-optic lines and other utilities.

The system will be designed to carry both passengers and freight, and initial research has shown that speeds of up to 200mph are possible.

While it may seem logical to allow private investors to build the infrastructure for the rail line, the project still has to be approved by state authorities. Under the proposal, the rail company would give half of its profits to the state, as well as areas where the rail line passes through.

If approval comes quick enough then the line could be in production by next year, at which point the 200 investors from Interstate Traveler will be shelling out about $15 million for every mile of the train line that is built, reports the Detroit Free Press.
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Comments (6)
  1. i don't understand why new concepts always have to look futuristic. why can't you use solar power on a train design that is already in use?

  2. Nice! This creativity and ingenuity is going to bring our country to the lead in producing and manufacturing worldwide! Not to mention help our environment and turn the rust belt green!! Think about it if you can get to work for say 5 dollars and not have to use a car, this will reduce our need for 2,3 and 4 vehicles at home. This has a ripple effect. Also the real transition is with semi-trucks, office buildings and airplanes! GO USA!

  3. i'm sorry, but there is no physical way for the vehicle pictured to have the power density to hit 200mph given the amount of cells it has on it. not happening. the track has got cells all the way down it? sure.... maybe we're getting closer, but i doubt it very much.

    Sid, do we have any company names or engineering firms who are involved with this? id like to go brow beat them right about now.

  4. Interesting, but high speed transport history over the last 100 years is littered with ambitious projects that worked for getting funding but never became reel. Remember the Siemens high speed levatation train cost billions of goverment money but never commercial reality. As for going into production next year without a working prototype: pure pipe dream. Madof would be proud of them........

  5. It says they will use a magnetic field for propulsion, so that must make this a maglev. So why then does it need hydrogen powered carriages? I guess the solar power could be used for onboard lighting and doors etc. and any remaining juice could go to the track to power the magnets.

  6. i didnt notice that before China.. i guess not only are these trains magnetically levitated but theyre also using hydrogen as rocket propulsion.

    and here i was thinking there were no good drugs in america any more.

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