Paul Priestman from London design consultancy Priestmangoode has come up with a way of letting passengers board trains while they're moving, making the rail network more efficient.
His "Moving platforms" concept would see long-distance trains in continuous motion. Separately, a tram system would collect passengers from local stations. Those trams would then speed up alongside the long-distance trains, and dock alongside them -- while both are moving at speed -- so that passengers can transfer from one to the other. The carriages would stay connected for approximately the same amount of time that the train normally spends stopped at a station.
|Once the transfer is complete, the tram would slow down again to make another trip around the local stations to allow passengers to embark and disembark locally. Tickets would be checked using an RFID system, not unlike an Oyster card, to ensure that each passenger pays the correct fare. |
The system would not only let the high-speed trains be more efficient and have a more predictable schedule, but also decrease the amount of time passengers spend waiting on cold platforms for a connecting train. You can see Priestman explain his thinking in the video embedded below.
On Priestmangoode's website, the agency says: "Our experience of various systems has led us to conclude that it is hugely inefficient to run a new 21st century high tech, high speed train service on a 19th century infrastructure that was invented for steam trains."
Priestman adds: "I'm under no illusion this is a big idea, but we have to think big. The world is going to a be a very different place in 10 to 20 years time and we have to think of alternative ways of travel."