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(DFW Star-Telegram)   Electromagnetic "freight shuttle" aims to take thousands of trucks off of I-35 in six years   (star-telegram.com) divider line 96
    More: Cool, Freight Shuttle, Texas Transportation Institute, Union Pacific, I-35, Borders of Mexico, Texas Department of Transportation, Dallas-Fort Worth, logistics  
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4754 clicks; posted to Business » on 08 Jun 2012 at 1:23 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-06-08 01:08:15 PM
Still no high-speed rail for the plebians.
 
2012-06-08 01:18:31 PM
60mph? Wooooo..
 
2012-06-08 01:25:45 PM
I can't wait to load my freight onto that. And then load it off four hours later. It will only take two extra man-hours and crane fees; it's going to be awesome!!!

This project sucks until it goes AT LEAST the length of the state. It will have my full approval if it ever spans the entire I-35.

But you have to start somewhere, so... go for it, guys.
 
2012-06-08 01:25:58 PM
Unions will never allow something as useful as this.
 
2012-06-08 01:28:17 PM
Nice idea. But where will they get the electricity to power this? The nations power grid can barely handle the load as it is now.
And charging stations for electric vehicles? Can you say blackouts?
 
2012-06-08 01:32:06 PM

flaminio: Unions will never allow something as useful as this.


There's a huge shortage of truck drivers in this country and even if this gets off the ground that freight still has to be hauled from the shuttle to the end user.
 
2012-06-08 01:35:23 PM

wrenchboy: Nice idea. But where will they get the electricity to power this? The nations power grid can barely handle the load as it is now.
And charging stations for electric vehicles? Can you say blackouts?


Maybe we can finally get another nuclear reactor in Texas
 
2012-06-08 01:36:28 PM
What a concept! I bet it will be almost as cheap to operate as our current rail systems. Only with less capacity and more problems.
 
2012-06-08 01:36:48 PM

germ78: Still no high-speed rail for the plebians.


Find a way to do it in a profitable fashion and it will be done.
 
2012-06-08 01:37:10 PM

The_Sheriff_Is_A_Niiii: flaminio: Unions will never allow something as useful as this.

There's a huge shortage of truck drivers in this country and even if this gets off the ground that freight still has to be hauled from the shuttle to the end user.


Have you noticed that there's no shortage of huge truck drivers?

Coincidence?
 
2012-06-08 01:38:19 PM

Marcus Aurelius: The_Sheriff_Is_A_Niiii: flaminio: Unions will never allow something as useful as this.

There's a huge shortage of truck drivers in this country and even if this gets off the ground that freight still has to be hauled from the shuttle to the end user.

Have you noticed that there's no shortage of huge truck drivers?

Coincidence?


LOL!
 
2012-06-08 01:38:40 PM

Dancin_In_Anson: germ78: Still no high-speed rail for the plebians.

Find a way to do it in a profitable fashion and it will be done.


Profitable? We spend $368 billion a year on highway subsidies. That's hardly "profitable". It has to be subsidized, encouraged, and regulated by the government. That's their job.
 
2012-06-08 01:40:11 PM
Um... Don't we have a system like that already? It's called a freight train. (Even down to the electro-magnetic part!)
 
2012-06-08 01:41:38 PM

Marcus Aurelius: We spend $368 billion a year on highway subsidies.


How much is collected in taxes just on fuel alone?
 
2012-06-08 01:42:33 PM

Evil Twin Skippy: Um... Don't we have a system like that already? It's called a freight train. (Even down to the electro-magnetic part!)


This is better. It uses technology, and ain't got time to make no apology.
 
2012-06-08 01:43:35 PM

Dancin_In_Anson: Marcus Aurelius: We spend $368 billion a year on highway subsidies.

How much is collected in taxes just on fuel alone?


Beats me. The point is that we spend the money on highways, when mass transit systems would be a hell of a lot more efficient.
 
2012-06-08 01:45:09 PM

germ78: Still no high-speed rail for the plebians.


Freight pays more and complains less.
 
2012-06-08 01:46:00 PM

wrenchboy: Nice idea. But where will they get the electricity to power this? The nations power grid can barely handle the load as it is now.
And charging stations for electric vehicles? Can you say blackouts?


Perhaps local power stations using high-efficiency, diesel-powered generators supplemented by all the wind energy that Texas has been installing?

And I don't think it's really necessary to overhaul the national power grid for the sake of a EM track from San Antonio to Austin.

And what about electric vehicle charging? Most of it happens at night when the load is lowest.

And people call me pessimistic....
 
2012-06-08 01:46:35 PM
thezipdownlow.files.wordpress.com

Looks an awful lot like a monorail
 
2012-06-08 01:46:52 PM

Marcus Aurelius: Dancin_In_Anson: germ78: Still no high-speed rail for the plebians.

Find a way to do it in a profitable fashion and it will be done.

Profitable? We spend $368 billion a year on highway subsidies. That's hardly "profitable". It has to be subsidized, encouraged, and regulated by the government. That's their job.


Because they say so, and if anybody knows what the limits of the government should be, it's the government.
 
2012-06-08 01:46:52 PM

Marcus Aurelius: The point is that we spend the money on highways, when mass transit systems would be a hell of a lot more efficient.


And if the private industries that are being encouraged to take a stab at this project can do it efficiently and make some scratch doing it we all win.
 
2012-06-08 01:48:02 PM

oldass31: wrenchboy: Nice idea. But where will they get the electricity to power this? The nations power grid can barely handle the load as it is now.
And charging stations for electric vehicles? Can you say blackouts?

Perhaps local power stations using high-efficiency, diesel-powered generators supplemented by all the wind energy that Texas has been installing?

And I don't think it's really necessary to overhaul the national power grid for the sake of a EM track from San Antonio to Austin.

And what about electric vehicle charging? Most of it happens at night when the load is lowest.

And people call me pessimistic....


You farking idiots. Texas has its own power grid.
 
2012-06-08 01:48:28 PM
If they had climate-controlled containers, I think it would be really useful if you could load yourself in your car into one, sleep while you ride overnight, then wake up at your destination city with your car.
 
2012-06-08 01:52:56 PM
OK, it's interesting. I like tech, I like the idea, I like when Americans innovate.

I have one question, though. What problem is this solving?

Energy? Congestion? Speed?

The cynic in me says it's some "small government conservative" who has a company with a product and no customer, and is looking for a gummint teat to latch on to. Why? "Because".

Show WHY this is an improvement over existing methods, and I'll get on board.
 
2012-06-08 01:54:06 PM

Dancin_In_Anson: Marcus Aurelius: The point is that we spend the money on highways, when mass transit systems would be a hell of a lot more efficient.

And if the private industries that are being encouraged to take a stab at this project can do it efficiently and make some scratch doing it we all win.


That's very true, but this sounds like an expensive idea. Maglev is not cheap to build. It would be interesting to know where the capital is coming from.
 
2012-06-08 01:55:58 PM

Guelph35: If they had climate-controlled containers, I think it would be really useful if you could load yourself in your car into one, sleep while you ride overnight, then wake up at your destination city with your car.


They'd also need on and off ramps. The car train idea was already tried on the east coast, but the connections were always worse than flying and the trip cost almost as much as airfare.
 
2012-06-08 01:57:01 PM

Marcus Aurelius: Dancin_In_Anson: Marcus Aurelius: We spend $368 billion a year on highway subsidies.

How much is collected in taxes just on fuel alone?

Beats me. The point is that we spend the money on highways, when mass transit systems would be a hell of a lot more efficient.


Mass transit makes sense along routes where transit would actually occur en masse. The vast majority of road miles in America though are not places you'd want to develop mass transit infrastructure. Even if you did convert all the interstate roads to some super mass-transit system, the majority of transportation funds would still be spent maintaining you're basic small town and farm-to-market roads.
 
2012-06-08 01:57:16 PM

StopLurkListen: OK, it's interesting. I like tech, I like the idea, I like when Americans innovate.

I have one question, though. What problem is this solving?

Energy? Congestion? Speed?

The cynic in me says it's some "small government conservative" who has a company with a product and no customer, and is looking for a gummint teat to latch on to. Why? "Because".

Show WHY this is an improvement over existing methods, and I'll get on board.


Do you really have to ask about congestion? Any freight that would be taking this route would now have the option of doing it without being on the road. This project isn't amazing to me, but isn't that fact at least obvious?
 
2012-06-08 02:06:35 PM

Wangiss: StopLurkListen: OK, it's interesting. I like tech, I like the idea, I like when Americans innovate.

I have one question, though. What problem is this solving?

Energy? Congestion? Speed?

The cynic in me says it's some "small government conservative" who has a company with a product and no customer, and is looking for a gummint teat to latch on to. Why? "Because".

Show WHY this is an improvement over existing methods, and I'll get on board.

Do you really have to ask about congestion? Any freight that would be taking this route would now have the option of doing it without being on the road. This project isn't amazing to me, but isn't that fact at least obvious?


Sure, but railroads exist. This duplicates the function of railroads, but without any of the benefits. (connecting to a national network, standardized equipment, many vendors.) Are there no rail lines connecting those endpoints? Is space at such a premium that you couldn't expand capacity for less than building an entirely new system from scratch? Would potential customers be willing to pay the cost?
 
2012-06-08 02:08:00 PM
Don't they have railroads in Texas? Haven't those railroads been in the business of moving shipping containers for years, so they already have equipment, facilities, and experience? Tell you what, UP, you give us real support for Amtrak, we'll help you build-out this infrastructure.
 
2012-06-08 02:09:57 PM
cache.rcdb.com

magnetic launcher past prototyping stage.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2012-06-08 02:11:09 PM
This might be good for congestion, but I don't know how it will compete with autonomous trucks in most areas. Using autonomous driving technology would allow them to use existing highways and reach destinations that don't have this overhead rail system. And you wouldn't have drivers falling asleep and running over people.
 
2012-06-08 02:11:43 PM

StopLurkListen: OK, it's interesting. I like tech, I like the idea, I like when Americans innovate.

I have one question, though. What problem is this solving?

Energy? Congestion? Speed?

The cynic in me says it's some "small government conservative" who has a company with a product and no customer, and is looking for a gummint teat to latch on to. Why? "Because".

Show WHY this is an improvement over existing methods, and I'll get on board.


It's the congestion. There are so many trucks coming up along I-35 from Mexico, it's ridiculous. All heading further up north to deliver their goods. And a lot of them don't know how to drive here in the US and cause backups with their asshattery. Texas has signs every 3 feet along the interstates and other major highways saying, "No Trucks in Passing Lane". A mile long traffic jam has 2 miles worth of freight in it. Know what "Mexican road block" is? It's when three trucks are cruising below the speed limit side-by-side-by-side taking up all 3 lanes of traffic.
 
2012-06-08 02:12:09 PM

Marcus Aurelius: What a concept! I bet it will be almost as cheap to operate as our current rail systems. Only with less capacity and more problems.


This. I read the article thinking: we already have these amazing things called trains that carry intermodel containers. Not sure why we wouldn't be using those instead.
 
2012-06-08 02:13:10 PM

Marcus Aurelius: this sounds like an expensive idea


Best left in the hands of the private sector then. Government has a way of farking up train wrecks.

Marcus Aurelius: It would be interesting to know where the capital is coming from


Might be something to get in on as in buying stock in the company that's going to try it.
 
2012-06-08 02:16:42 PM

Wangiss: Do you really have to ask about congestion? Any freight that would be taking this route would now have the option of doing it without being on the road. This project isn't amazing to me, but isn't that fact at least obvious?


There are railways that already do this. Today. If the large trucking companies have no incentive to use railways now, they aren't going to have incentive to use this thingy either.
 
2012-06-08 02:17:12 PM

Nightmaretony: [cache.rcdb.com image 639x800]

magnetic launcher past prototyping stage.


...Is that the Superman at Six Flags San Diego? Aka Wally World. Aka Magic Mountain. Oh memories...
 
2012-06-08 02:18:10 PM
www.lagrangerailworks.com

Here's a map of rail lines in Texas I found (hotink, sorry) It looks like there are already railroads between every major urban center.

Granted, a line on a map doesn't signify capacity, but that goes to the question "which is cheaper, expanding existing capacity or building something entirely new".
 
2012-06-08 02:20:33 PM
Yeah, right.
 
2012-06-08 02:24:09 PM

Genju: Nightmaretony: [cache.rcdb.com image 639x800]

magnetic launcher past prototyping stage.

...Is that the Superman at Six Flags San Diego? Aka Wally World. Aka Magic Mountain. Oh memories...


magic mountain, you betcha. 100 mph, 1..25 million watts per launch which is pretty efficient. LSM based. Cars now run backwards plus they are attaching freefall tracks to both sides of the tower.

going to san dego tomorrow to ride manta, me excited. then picking up a ride computer to repair afterwards. Rides be my life :D
 
2012-06-08 02:27:35 PM
What would happen if I tried to ship a load of magnets in one of these things?
 
2012-06-08 02:28:49 PM

Dancin_In_Anson: germ78: Still no high-speed rail for the plebians.

Find a way to do it in a profitable fashion and it will be done.


As much of a supporter of HSR as I am, I have in recent years come to the conclusion that we first need to develop in a manner that allows for population densities in urbanized areas that allow for mass-transit and HSR type projects to be able to turn a profit, or at the very least not become money pits. But considering this country's love affair with automobiles and suburbs without any tangible centerpoints, I have my doubts that it will ever get done.

/until then, enjoy bending over and biting the pillow for arabian oil sheiks and chinese battery makers, cause they ain't gonna use lube
//it cuts into their profits, see
 
2012-06-08 02:29:30 PM

Wangiss: oldass31: wrenchboy: Nice idea. But where will they get the electricity to power this? The nations power grid can barely handle the load as it is now.
And charging stations for electric vehicles? Can you say blackouts?

Perhaps local power stations using high-efficiency, diesel-powered generators supplemented by all the wind energy that Texas has been installing?

And I don't think it's really necessary to overhaul the national power grid for the sake of a EM track from San Antonio to Austin.

And what about electric vehicle charging? Most of it happens at night when the load is lowest.

And people call me pessimistic....

You farking idiots. Texas has its own power grid.


While you are correct, most of Texas has on it's own power grid, that doesn't really address the actual point he was making.
 
2012-06-08 02:36:06 PM

StopLurkListen: Here's a map of rail lines in Texas


Amtrak made a little noise about running on the I-20 corridor and I was stoked. I'm about 20 miles from Abilene and would love to be able to ride to the 'Plex and back in a day's time.

FWIW, I took the Texas Eagle to Chicago and back last summer. The trip up there was one of the worst travel experiences of my life. The trip home one of the best.
 
2012-06-08 02:42:11 PM

StopLurkListen: OK, it's interesting. I like tech, I like the idea, I like when Americans innovate.

I have one question, though. What problem is this solving?

Energy? Congestion? Speed?

The cynic in me says it's some "small government conservative" who has a company with a product and no customer, and is looking for a gummint teat to latch on to. Why? "Because".

Show WHY this is an improvement over existing methods, and I'll get on board.


Today's freight train travels roughly 20mph, on a good day. This goes 60, which is actually competitive with the current government-subsidized freight transit method of choice (tractor trailers on the highway). Also, the far-and-away number one driver of wear and tear on our nation's roads is semi trucks. Less trucks will lead to less congestion and higher quality roads.

StopLurkListen:
Sure, but railroads exist. This duplicates the function of railroads, but without any of the benefits. (connecting to a national network, standardized equipment, many vendors.) Are there no rail lines connecting those endpoints? Is space at such a premium that you couldn't expand capacity for less than building an entirely new system from scratch? Would potential customers be willing to pay the cost?


Addressed some of these before, but

1. Even modern rail freight is extremely slow, this is much faster.

2. If you take a look at the concept drawing for it in TFA, you'll see that they can more or less load a cargo container or trailer onto a cart and ship it off. electric lines allow for a lot more flexibility because you don't have to store the fuel source with the engine. So, instead of a giant train that take hours if not days to load and unload, thus making it impractical for many goods, you can efficiently make more flexible smaller trains.

3. Many countries have a mix of diesel and electric rail infrastructure. It's not unprecedented.

Dancin_In_Anson: Best left in the hands of the private sector then. Government has a way of farking up train wrecks.
.


New infrastructure takes a long time to build, especially when you have to eminent domain a lot of land in densely populated areas. I don't see how this is a government farkup. In fact, I really believe that you'd be hard pressed to find a private group that could do it any faster. Hell, the private sector would probably never even be able to finish it, because they'd never be able to get all of the land required.

Generally speaking, government-run passenger rail has been marketed terribly in this country. In Wisconsin, a "Madison to Milwaukee" high speed line was a big campaign issue in 2010. The vast majority of people didn't even know that it was to be an extension of the successful Amtrak Hiawatha line from Chicago to Milwaukee, and that it was only the next step in 110mph trains from Chicago to the Twin Cities. Ironically enough, it's part of the reason Walker was elected the first time around, because he was adamantly against it. Having rode on Deutsche Bahn countless times when I was in Germany, I'm a firm believer in socialized transit.
 
2012-06-08 02:43:32 PM
Wait. I was told that I-35 would be converted into a 16-lane superhighway straight from Mexico to Canada. does this mean they're not going to do that, now?
 
2012-06-08 02:45:31 PM

Nightmaretony: Genju: Nightmaretony: [cache.rcdb.com image 639x800]

magnetic launcher past prototyping stage.

...Is that the Superman at Six Flags San Diego? Aka Wally World. Aka Magic Mountain. Oh memories...

magic mountain, you betcha. 100 mph, 1..25 million watts per launch which is pretty efficient. LSM based. Cars now run backwards plus they are attaching freefall tracks to both sides of the tower.

going to san dego tomorrow to ride manta, me excited. then picking up a ride computer to repair afterwards. Rides be my life :D


Last time I was there the Riddler was new. I remember Mountain Dew cans had $5 admission or something. I loved the wooden roller coaster, the ninja, batman (and the riddler ride), and the colossus (the big white roller coaster at the end of National Lampoon's Vacation).

But yeah the Superman was neat considering how short it was.
 
2012-06-08 02:48:40 PM

Flab: Wait. I was told that I-35 would be converted into a 16-lane superhighway straight from Mexico to Canada. does this mean they're not going to do that, now?


Not if Gov perry doesn't get his bribe money

I think the thing was dropped anyway
 
2012-06-08 02:54:15 PM

CmndrFish: I don't see how this is a government farkup.


Are we talking about the article I posted?
 
2012-06-08 02:58:03 PM

Genju: Nightmaretony: Genju: Nightmaretony: [cache.rcdb.com image 639x800]

magnetic launcher past prototyping stage.

...Is that the Superman at Six Flags San Diego? Aka Wally World. Aka Magic Mountain. Oh memories...

magic mountain, you betcha. 100 mph, 1..25 million watts per launch which is pretty efficient. LSM based. Cars now run backwards plus they are attaching freefall tracks to both sides of the tower.

going to san dego tomorrow to ride manta, me excited. then picking up a ride computer to repair afterwards. Rides be my life :D

Last time I was there the Riddler was new. I remember Mountain Dew cans had $5 admission or something. I loved the wooden roller coaster, the ninja, batman (and the riddler ride), and the colossus (the big white roller coaster at the end of National Lampoon's Vacation).

But yeah the Superman was neat considering how short it was.



Riddler's is still good. They knocked out freefall, and also killed flashback and psyclone and put a new woodie in back called termiantor, the ride. Insane twisting fun. They now have a kinda wierd X rip called green lantern out near batman. the new drop sid things on superman should be a blast, 85 mile an hour dropping round 6-5 seconds of pure screaming falling.

Log jammer just got killed, they are putting in a dual launch world tallest loop coaster with a tentative name of full throttle. Should be lots of fun.
 
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