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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Future of rail travel: SkyTran

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Where will rail be in 10, 20 or even 30 years time?

For the US and the UK, the future of national rail travel is high-speed (HSR), but there are concepts in various stages of development that could revolutionise not only how we use rail systems to move across cities but how we move around the world and possibly the universe.

The first article in this series looks at a system developed in part by NASA, which looks to harness maglev technology to transport personal travel pods at speeds of 150 mph around vast metropolitan areas.

SkyTran sees itself as the future of mass transit. The system claims to be almost completely carbon neutral and around the third of the price of HSR.

The vision is for passengers to be able to board a pod, type in where they want to go and be transported quickly and comfortably to their destination without the rushing to catch scheduled services or the hassle of crowded carriages.

Far from being just a rough concept, SkyTran’s Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) technology is almost a reality in some parts of the world.

Five networks are already being planned in India, with the cities of Gurgaon, Amritsar, Mumbai, Thiruvananthapuram and Kottayam all linked to the PRT system.

Other systems are also being discussed for California; Tel Aviv, Israel; Netanya, Israel; Ashdod, Israel; Jakarta, Indonesia; Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; and Melaka, Malaysia.

There have even been discussions to potentially bring the technology to Europe, with the UK, Germany and Slovenia showing an interest.

Chief Executive Jerry Sanders said: “Once the company executes its first project, we expect many more opportunities.

“The total market size is of several billions of dollars.

“In the long run, the company is expecting to roll out SkyTran in almost every major and medium size city and along almost the entire network of national highways.”

www.skytran.us
Photo: skytran.us

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