I totally admit that it sounds absolutely vain to have a title of this nature, but many good solutions can come from common folk who think deeply about a problem. I encourage you, dear reader, to make suggestions on how to make this idea work better. My intention is to put America to work and end dependence on fossil fuel and thereby clean up the environment and make the air cleaner to breathe.
America needs better mass transportation. we lag behind much of Europe, Japan and China (and probably other places too) with our train system. Those places have high-speed bullet trains. I think we should go them one better. If America had better and more attractively priced public transportation we would drive less and create less pollution and use less fossil fuel.
My idea is for the government, in conjunction with the train companies, to build a high-speed train to connect America’s hub cities. This would be no ordinary train. It would be solar-powered by panels set on top of the tube through which it would move. This could be a similar application to solar roadways that I cited in an earlier blog post.The train would be set about one-third into the ground with the tube built around it and it would have a modified octagonal shape with rounded corners. It would have only one track and might work by the maglev system. The most famous maglev train is in Shanghai, China.
Sitting the train in a ditch and surrounding it with a tube would make it safer and faster as inertia could be modified within the tube through a suction like effect. There would be no collisions possible due to the train being inside the tube. No animals would be killed on the track because the train would be totally enclosed. Because it is only in a ditch and not in a subway tunnel the cost would be lower to build.
Thousands of American workers would be employed improving the grassroots economy of the country. Building the train system would provide construction jobs. There would also be maintenance jobs and service jobs running the complex rail system. There would be hundreds of engineering jobs in creating the plans and execution of this idea as well as thousands of peripheral jobs in train station services. Using the solar-powered train would lower the dependence on fossil fuels. It is a win-win situation for the country. No longer would we lag behind China, Japan and Europe.
This rough idea that has excited my imagination came to me all in one piece in an open meditation.
Update 11/28/12: Thanks to Stephan A. Schwartz via the SchwartzReport: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/japan/9702521/310mph-floating-trains-unveiled-in-Japan.html
The first photo in this article bears a resemblance to my drawing especially in the area of the furrow in which the train runs.