Posted 24th March 2009 | 1 Comment
Solar powered high-speed rail plan
A completely new and revolutionary type of high-speed rail transportation system — hydrogen-powered and magnetically-driven — is being proposed in the US state of Michigan. It would run from Detroit to the state capital, Lansing.
State Representatives Bill Rogers and Wayne Schmidt have set up a bipartisan task force to study the possibility of building the elevated line, which is forecast to cost $2.3 billion (£1.6bn) and could move passengers at up to 200mph (320 km/h).
The elevated rail line would use cars — built by Detroit Three automakers — that would use solar energy to power hydrogen batteries, said Justin Sutton, founder of Worldwide Hydrogen Super Highways, which has designed the rail system.
The tracks also would serve as conduits for fibre-optic cables and other utilities. Justin Sutton said the use of hydrogen, a highly flammable gas, would be safe.
Representative Bill Rogers said the bipartisan task force will consider the rail line's environmental impact, as well as its technological and financial viability.
Rail stations would be built at every freeway interchange along Interstate-96 for the Detroit-Lansing line. Justin Sutton said the rail company would make money through fares, advertising in stations and leasing the tracks for utility lines.
Mr Sutton added that magnetic trains are used in few other countries, and those systems use conventional electric power, not solar-powered hydrogen batteries.
Views expressed in submitted comments are that of the author, and not necessarily shared by Railnews.