Transit, Rail & SkyTran?
By Carol Metzner
President, The Metzner Group, LLC and
Managing Partner, A/E/P Central, LLC home of CivilEngineeringCentral.com
February’s stimulus plan has the US poised to put $8 billion into upgrading our rail network and developing high-speed rail “corridors.” Half of the articles I read support theses rail initiatives; the other half criticize them. As far as I understand, most of the criticism centers on the belief that $8 billion, even supplemented with additional stimulus monies, is not enough to have a true high speed rail like our UK counterparts. For example, the California high speed rail is estimated at over $40 billion. BUT, we have to start somewhere. For all the technologies that the US leads the world in, highspeed rail isn’t one of them! We need to fund the high speed rail initiatives. We can’t afford to wait.
If you are one of the anti-Rail people, why are you? Tell us your thoughts.
So, this brings me to my next question: Do you see SkyTran making a US hit in the next decade? SkyTran is described as “lightweight two-passenger vehicles suspended from elevated passive magnetic levitation tracks…expected to achieve the equivalent of over 200 miles per gallon fuel economy at 100 miles per hour or faster.”
If we can’t get folks on board with high speed rail, then does anyone actually think the US would invest in a patented personal rapid transit. Will we ever see a “Jetsons” type of world in transportation?