Chinese Concept: The Train that Never Stops

There have been many different Train concepts that aim to be the future of transportation, adding more speed, more room, more comfort and more features, but what about a new conceptual design looking to create a train that doesn’t need to stop?This innovative concept train by Jianjun Chen is made up of out of the box thinking and aims to save tremendous amount of time for passengers and train personnel.

Basically, the train is made up of the regular train compartment and also the ‘boarding/unboarding’ compartment. Passengers may board the ‘boarding’ compartment while waiting for the train to arrive at the station. As the train arrives, it slows down and is located beneath the ‘boarding’ platform, latching on and begining to carry the now boarded compartment. Passengers are then able to go down into the actual train and continue their journey. Moreover, as the train arrived at the station and picked up a new compartment, the previous station compartment was unlatched and was left at this current station, allowing passengers to board at their own time-constraint and leisure. Check out the video for a demonstration of the Non-stop Train.

Of course, this new Future Train concept is just that…a concept, but it is also an innovative one that aims for increased efficiency and time saving. I guess the major issues would be how to be able and populate tremendous amount of passengers on the small compartments and also what about an inertia problem that could occur when the train starts carrying the compartment or letting one go?

What do you think of such a concept, is it realistic or is it just a dream that could never become a reality? What other challenges do you see it needs to solve for it to become a possible design?

For other cool train posts, check out the World’s Smallest Train Model that really works, the Model Train Briefcase for enthusiasts or the actual Futuristic Car Concepts for those more interested in futuristic concepts.

Thanks Mickael for the tip 🙂

40 thoughts on “Chinese Concept: The Train that Never Stops

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  2. James Edward Cooper 3rd.

    The Holy Ghost is going to allow me to design a train that goes 2,000 mph!. Or more, depending on the planet, solar system, or galaxy that we are in. Nebula too. I have to support my wife, and our children, and the will range from nuclear too solar powered, individually. With the rails too, and all beneath the sea, and joining continent to continent, across the Atlantic, and the Pacific, beneath. I have already started on it. And mailed it to the U.S.Government, and I still have another 20 pages to send to them, and more after that, and they are going to run all underground in depth! So make sure you tell them all to get they weight up!!! Hallelujah! Amen. And the robots, and tools, and machinery to help build them too!.

    Reply
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  10. Susan.

    It would never work in the US. There’s too many ADA laws. The extra time needed to board a wheelchair, not to mention the stairs. Really cool idea though.

    Reply
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  13. Kevin.

    What about tunnels? Or overpasses? This design would result in a train that is taller than existing models and would require enlarging tunnels to accommodate it. It would certainly be more efficient and cost-effective to adapt existing infrastructure for the new design, rather than building a completely new system. While that would necessarily involve significant added costs and schedule/service disruptions, those seem minor compared to what it would take to enlarge tunnels or raise overpasses. I suppose a way around this is to simply not use this design in situations that involve tunnels and overpasses, but it seems like that would negatively impact the economies of scale involved.

    Reply
  14. jwheel.

    A lot of commuter trains operate below cities, this train looks like it needs to be above ground with proper room.

    Reply
  15. Dave R..

    Hmm. It goes much faster but carries half the number of people (the top deck is given over to the boarding cars).

    Reply
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  17. Ross.

    I agree. I think this looks eloquent in the video, but in real life it would not work.

    Having enough time to get everyone in and out of that top unit and dispersed through the train to where there is seating would take ages.

    The top unit would have to have all the passengers get out first and find a seat in the train, then all the people wanting to get off at the next stop would have to get up and get into the top unit. That is a lot of moving about in that train!

    The train could never be filled to 100%, to allow room for the next lot to get on. This is the deal breaker for me.

    There would have to be a lot of time between stations to do this. Also, the percentage of people getting off is a problem, if half the people want to get off. Another deal breaker.

    The G-force required to accelerate to a speed of 100mph, 200mph or more in the short distance would be tricky, especially if you have kids and babies in prams. Everyone would have to be tied down with safety belts, adding more time to get everyone onboard.

    The top unit would have to have everyone seated and set ready to go with a margin for safety before the train arrives, say 5-10 minutes before it arrives, adding more time to load.

    This is not an efficient way to get people on and off a train, unless there are not many people getting on and off, and never a full train, with heaps of space between stations.

    Whew!

    Reply
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  19. greg.

    The problem is that everyone will always be dropped off at the back creating problems with the spreading out of passengers. You may have 40% of the passengers in 10% of the space towards the back at any given time. There is no way to dissolve passengers throughout the train.

    Reply
    1. Chris Knight.

      How about you have the boarding car move itself over a different segment of the train each time? It would be announced on board before each stop so people could move through the train to the section where embarking/disembarking is occurring.

      Reply
  20. John.

    The problem I see with this concept is from the video it looks like only about 10% of the train’s passengers could fit into the boarding compartment. What if more than 10% wants to get off the train? You usually see a couple of transportation hubs (e.g. where you change to another train) where almost half the train is emptied.

    It may have more potential if it just consists of three equal capacity compartments. One with an engine for carrying passengers, and the two others as boarding compartments that work like the ones showed in the video. At least you could drop of 100% of the passengers without stopping the train.

    Reply
    1. hello.

      Since stops are no longer an issue, the number of stations can be significantly increased. Not only will you get to your destination faster, but you can be dropped off closer to your actual destination. This concept is brilliant.

      Reply
      1. Chris.

        I wouldn’t be too sure about that, there’s a few problems. For one, building the structure for the stops (steps, platforms, etc.) is very costly. Even if this weren’t a problem, with close-together stations it would be hard to get in and out of the boarding compartment quick enough before it was dropped off at the next station.

        Reply
    2. Zoltan.

      I think the stop capacity problem can be solved just by stopping the whole train if needed. Based on the data from the tickets sold you can determine if the boarding compartment car is of sufficient size to handle the transfer of passengers. Makes schedule a pain, but the concept here really is only efficient for small passenger exchanges anyways, since carrying larger numbers of these boarding compartments would reduce the overall efficiency of the train during the bulk of its journey.

      Reply
  21. sxott.

    I had this idea once, but since I’m not in the industry it wasn’t ever worth telling anyone besides my girlfriend… I’m glad to still see everyday how humans on the opposite side of the world think exactly the same to figure out problems….

    This idea will be fully implemented if we are to have a serious efficiency standard… No other idea for trains will create such a grand step up in efficiency than this one…

    It is true that a lot of electronics last longer when left running, than if they were to be turned on and off constantly….

    all around improvements in my eye

    Reply
  22. C H.

    The “physics problem of inertia” could be solved with a more elaborate design for the boarding/unboarding system in which the upper track that the car apparently rides on is longer on both ends, raising cost and safety. The longer “ramps” allow for proper braking and acceleration to and from the train. the size of the ramps and the cars could be elongated accordingly. electronics would control the positioning and speed and locking elements.

    The real issue that is missing is the fail-safe and what happens with a mis-alignment or non-connection or some other problem. With the model shown the cars would be destroyed, including the contents.

    Reply
  23. Bob.

    This is an ingenious idea and would work extremely effectively if designed correctly, it’s really amazing. The inertia problems would be mitigated by the length of the loading track. Have the passenger train slow with electromagnetic sliders (like on roller coasters) even with partial fixed magnets to work as a generator, and the system would require very little fuel. Given that the train uses most of its fuel starting, it could be made to be nearly perpetual.

    Reply
  24. Bob.

    I know it’s just a concept, but what if I wanted to skip that stop and go directly to the next station?

    Reply
    1. TiE23.

      No, there is a stair well that you climb down into the main train. The way you talk about it is as if they run that entire train just to carry one shuttle vehicle. So, if getting on, you ride the shuttle, get taken aboard, and then enter the train. People who want to exit at the next stop then go into the shuttle and wait for the next stop.

      Oh, and it’s funny cause I had this same exact concept skip through my mind a few weeks ago. “What about a train that never stops, but instead has a loading train that follows it?”

      Reply
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  27. J Bradford.

    A train that never stops really isn’t anything new. Look at Walt Disney’s concepts for such a thing, namely the WEDway PeopleMover (wiki it). This was going to be the primary system of transit for Walt Disney’s EPCOT city, a dream that was never realized on the proper scale. Of course, this concept involves not a moving bucket to pick up passengers at a non-moving station, but instead provides for a slowly rotating station – the train is automatically slowed to match the speed of the station, allowing leisurely boarding, and as it leaves the station it picks up speed.

    Naturally this is better for a small scale installation, but the point to illustrate is this: while this train concept does provide a new method of dealing with the idea of trains that do not stop, it’s certainly not an entirely new concept.

    Reply

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