Supersonic Trains: The 4000 MPH Underwater MagLev
It’s all been said before; futuristic travel that seems to punch through the thin film that separates science from science fiction. “Not in my life time.”
I suppose that in 1900 the concept of transatlantic commercial airlines sounded pretty bizarre. For those that thought it possible surely thought they would never see it in their lifetime.
Skip ahead 30 odd years, with a lot going on in between, and Germany, France and Italy had regular flights from West Africa to South America. Flash forward another 30 years and the Concorde makes its first supersonic commercial flight. All of this happens within a lifetime.
The motivation for faster travel, cheaper travel and certainly more comfortable travel cannot compare with the motives of travel that will help prevent the destruction of the planet.
Airlines are expected to be spewing out 1.5 BILLION TONS of Co2 by 2025. The entire European Union emits 3.1 Billion. A single industry emits nearly half the amount of Co2 as the entire 27-Nation EU. If that is not motivation to change travel then we are all in a world of shit.
Enter the Trans-Atlantic MagLev: A 4000 mph train that will carry goods and passengers from New York to London in under an hour below the surface of the water. But is it possible? Sure it is. And it is not that futuristic at all. The only thing preventing it from happening is the cost. Estimated to have a $78 to $155 Billion price tag. That works out to about $100 per ton of Co2 for a single year. Not too bad actually.
Then again, coming up with $100 Billion can be tricky when the US pours Hundreds of Billions into failing banks. Global Warming vs. Greedy Bankers Bailouts. Am I stupid or is this a no-brainer? Of course the economic security of the nation is of vital importance, but perhaps being able to go outside without getting cancer, catastrophic weather changes, extinction of the human race etc. etc. has SOMEPLACE on the table here! Just saying…
Will we see this in our lifetime? Well that is pretty much up to us. It is not science fiction. It is simply a matter of priorities set by those we put in office. Today being “Election” day I thought this food for thought appropriate.
You can read more about The Maglev at http://www.popsci.com/scitech/article/2004-04/trans-atlantic-maglev