There is always competition and tension between modes of transportation; when airplanes were introduced, the railroads fought the award of mail contracts. With the introduction of the TGV in Europe and MagLev particularly in the US, the airline industry fought a hard battle to ensure that this new technology was not just a heavily subsidized endeavor. For a variety of reasons too numerous to mention, high speed rail has not really taken off in the US.
Now comes VACTRAIN an idea originally conceived by Robert Goddard, the father of the first liquid rocket. The article lays out the concept, technology and challenges of the VACTRAIN. The holder of the current patents acknowledges that the VACTRAIN would best perform on dry flat, unpopulated terrain that does not freeze.
A New York- London in an hour VACTRAIN faces the obstacles of an underwater environment and a sea bed that more resembles mountain profiles than a flat desert. The cost to build and operate the VACTRAIN is yet to be determined, but one proponent says it can be ready in less than 10 years.
Will the VACTRAIN replace air transportation? Not anytime soon, but this is technology that has been proven theoretically and would foster new innovation and create potential competition for the airline industry if it can be practically implemented.Share this article: