Moving platforms

Priestman Goode’s Paul Priestman is something of a train expert, having worked on designs for the Virgin Pendolino, the Mercury train concept and the Sifang Locomotive Company in China.

This means that however far-fetched his concept designs might initially appear, a closer look will invariably show them to be feasible, sensible and practical.

And his latest idea – Moving Platforms – is a real corker. Priestman is proposing a network of non-stop cross-country high-speed trains, linking up with local trams, which will see travellers passing between the moving tram and the moving train to make a connection. Yikes!

Priestman Goode, Moving Platforms, Tram and high speed train docking, Front view
Priestman Goode, Moving Platforms, Tram and high speed train docking, Front view

Although, as Priestman says, ‘this idea is not as crazy as it sounds’. He cites current examples of where we step on to a moving vehicles, such as escalators, moving walkways and the London Eye.

In this rather spiffy film, Priestman outlines how the system will work, with the train slowing down to meet the tram at the same speed, before the two vehicles dock, with the tram, in effect, operating as a moving railway station:

Priestman, who says, ‘I’m under no illusion that Moving Platforms is a big idea’, points out that current rail infrastructure is based on a 19th-century system of steam trains and we should be ‘rethinking infrastructure and building an inter-connected local-to-global rail network’.

He adds that current plans for high-speed rail networks have the disadvantages of needing an entirely new infrastructure of stations and meaning that high-speed trains will have to slow down between stops – ‘the problem with high-speed trains is that they are not very fast’, he points out.

Priestmangoode, Moving Platforms, Tram and high speed train transfer
Priestman Goode, Moving Platforms, Tram and high speed train transfer

Priestman Goode, Moving Platforms, tram and high speed train docking, birds eye
Priestman Goode, Moving Platforms, tram and high speed train docking, birds eye

The Moving Platforms concept, Priestman believes, could in many cases roll out with existing infrastructure, with high-speed and local tracks frequently running alongside each other at the moment and existing local stations ripe for conversion to tram stops.

Priestmangoode, Moving Platforms, Tram and high speed train transfer
Priestman Goode, Moving Platforms, Tram and high speed train transfer

So pay close attention to this film clip – because if Priestman has his way you could soon be travelling like this:

Oh no, hang on, like this:

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