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Old 01-24-2022, 01:47 AM   #1 (permalink)
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electrive.com: Parallel Systems reveals a rail innovation

www.electrive.com/2022/01/20/parallel-systems-reveals-a-rail-innovation/

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Parallel Systems, a company founded by former SpaceX engineers to reimagine the railroad system, [snip] is basically an autonomous rail system that consists of separate self-powered wheel units that shipping containers can sit on. These containers can join up via the self-powered, autonomous wheel units to form what the company is calling “platoons” or travel as individual units. Of course, this also means the containers can travel as a platoon for part of a journey and simply split off in different directions depending on their destination.



The Parallel System has a few rather spectacular data sets. The fact that a shipping container with these self-powered, autonomous wheel systems can travel up to 500 miles (around 800 kilometres) is great, but if the system uses only 25% of the energy of a semi-truck, that is indeed a breakthrough. Similarly, the claimed charging time of less than one hour makes this a significant solution. Also impressive is the payload capacity: Up to 128,000 lbs. / 58,000 kg. (in a double stack container formation), which Parallel says is 2.8 times more than a semi–truck.

Another advantage over traditional train systems is that freight trains would not need to be so long. Long trains require a lot of loading time and also mean that traffic has to wait for a while for large trains to pass. With Parallel Systems, a longer platoon can even split up to allow better traffic flow – which should be easily monitored with the right exchange of information.
On it's face, this is pretty brilliant. Take rails and shipping containers and obsolete everything inbetween. What's the problem? Who owns the rails.

Note that these are SpaceX veterans. There is obviously an opportunity here for The Boring Company, IMHO.

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Old 01-24-2022, 09:22 AM   #2 (permalink)
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This is a BS invention for a number of reasons:
1. They can not use a lot of existing cargo infrastructure
2. They can't use manual switches
3. Using batteries instead of overhead wires is far less efficient and has range issues
4. They would be slower than conventional freight trains (here in europe)

More reasonable alternatives:

1. conventional intermodal cars
2. Megaswing intermodal cars (pic related)
3. Battery electric locomotives for operation on short distances of non electrified rail (could charge when operating in electrified areas)
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Old 01-24-2022, 01:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The Megaswing is interesting. I have no idea how loading and unloading containers goes today. I doubt rail yards have overhead cranes like the shipyards.

Anyways, I doubt you'll ever see them on surface tracks. In a tunnel, the third rail is a safe alternative.
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Old 01-24-2022, 04:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freebeard View Post
The Megaswing is interesting. I have no idea how loading and unloading containers goes today. I doubt rail yards have overhead cranes like the shipyards.

Anyways, I doubt you'll ever see them on surface tracks. In a tunnel, the third rail is a safe alternative.
Loading/unloading does indeed usualy lack overhead wires and uses large overhead cranes for intermodal containers.
Often a small diesel locomotive is used to move them around there.
A battery electric one could be a good replacement there.
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Old 01-24-2022, 05:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Switch yards could be autonomous with drones chasing the hobos train robbers.
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Old 01-25-2022, 10:21 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Here in Reno /Sparks we're are using RC controlled switchers in the yard. The driver is somewhere else and is not rated as an engineer. Signs all over the place warning you it's dangerous.
Yards that do containers have a forklift device or a wheeled crane/dolly you drive the railcar underneath, but most yards don't do containers at all.
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Old 01-29-2022, 12:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I thought we were done with this, but here come the debunking videos:

Adam Something: So Someone Reinvented Trains (Again...)

Low effort, mocking the original promo with a new soundtrack.

Alan Fisher: Parallel Systems Autonomous Pod Train is an Obvious Grift

This one is better. It mentions the Megaswing, and also Road Railers. This is similar to the Talgo train (Including the AMTRAK Cascade that passes through town 2 or three times a day.) with one truck per car. My alltime favorite locomotive is the original Talgo:



Can't sleep, clowns will eat me....

Anyways the objections raised are, I think, mooted because this autonomous packetized delivery system will be in tunnels.
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Old 01-29-2022, 06:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Is it possible Adam Something reads Ecomodder?

Leaked BORING COMPANY CARGO Investor Pitch Video

He puts 2 and 2 together; but still disses the whole idea.

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