"People think trains are old-fashioned. So, they go to great lengths to figure out systems that do everything that trains do, but they're not trains."
-- donoteat1

Trains are the future, y'all.

Like, regular-ass trains, some of them very fast, steel wheels on steel rail.

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So I looked it up and the fastest train route currently in service is between Beijing and Nanjing, with an average speed of 197mph. Steel wheels, steel rail.

The steel on rail record speed is held by the French TGV: 357.2 mph.

Fast, y'all.

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FWIW, the maglev speed record isn't actually all that much faster: 375mph.

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Importantly, that wheel on rails speed record? That's an electric train y'all.

Electricity like the kind we can get out of the sun and wind.

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@Felthry Do you know about how the automotive industry systematically undermined public transit in the middle half of the 20th century? Because, that was a thing.

@starkatt Although the TGV people cheated by using bigger wheels and juicing up the power in system during the trial.

But day to day Train Service at 300-350 km/h is quite ubiquitous over here in Europe.


@starkatt while impressive the πŸ‡¨πŸ‡³ train experience is very much like flying with Security, Stewardess and all such distractions.

In Europe it is just like taking a tram. Basically hop-on, hop-off.

@starkatt example for πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Trainservice (I was curious myself, so I checked): Cologne inner City Station next to the Cathedral to Frankfurt Airport: 181 km / 56 min by train. 2h by car.

From my house to Frankfurt Airport: 5 min walk to the team, 28 min to the Trainstation, 56 min to Frankfurt Airport.
By Plane: about 35 min to Cologne Airport, about 45 min check-in, about 30 min ✈️, about 20 min to get of the plane

@starkatt I am reminded of our earlier convo where the phrase "regular ass trains" came up:

@starkatt gosh, I love and adore you good fox! ❀️

@starkatt When you're up into the hundreds of miles per hour, almost all of your energy is just going to push air. So putting the train inside of a tube and sucking the air out starts to become interesting.

Another innovation is autonomous cars which are capable of driving on train tracks -> much of the benefit of rail without the part about waiting for the train to come

@cjd @starkatt thats not a good idea, the greatest benefit of trains is they can carry a lot of people at once, cars have a much lower capacity, they also use more energy

@radikalgrafitio @starkatt
I definitely see the value from an energy perspective, I live in France where everyone uses trains and busses for transport (I don't even own a car) so I also have a pretty good handle on the inconvenience too.

Fuel here is heavily taxed, 1.40€/L (5.30€/gallon) to discourage use of cars, but people still do. Gilet jaune protests started over fuel tax.

So my point is trains are awesome, communal transport, awesome, but sensitivity to peoples' needs is also important.

@cjd @starkatt About that...

This post also reminds me a lot of Hyperloop. TBC tunnels also need PRT-like systems, but a lot more sophisticated because not every car has a sub-10 0-100kph.

My personal favorite idea is a "pod" system where you sit inside of the pod and the pod gets transferred by robotic arms from one transport system to another (autonamous car, train, boat, hyperloop) so we can finally have a rail-based transport system which is able to support all use cases.
(If an ambulence cannot use it to rush someone to the hospital then it doesn't support all use cases)

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