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This is a well written proposal. The concept is well described and a number of design issues are addressed in detail. We would have liked to have seen more detailed calculations of potential energy use and emissions, which were missing. Our concern is that the potential climate impact may not be significant. We think the timeline is reasonable, and a prototype/demonstration project is what what would be needed for this technology to move forward.
Areas for improvement are the engineering design of the rail trusses and the arches themselves to ensure that they can carry the regular system loads (acceleration, braking, vehicle weight) + any failure modes (earthquakes, wind shear) etc.
Also the cost estimations seems to be very optimistic and a better / realistic assessment should be done.
Thank you for your submission to the Climate CoLab.
The Judges feel this proposal would benefit from a more thorough literature review, and calculations on the novelty and feasibility of the project. Similarly, they felt more detail was needed regarding costs, and potential emissions reductions. The Judges would like more detail on the material intensity and integrity of the proposed structures.
Jun 14, 2016
Added a table showing extrapolated costs. Included images detailing the unique features that make the cTrain optimal for minimizing visual impact on the urban landscape while maintaining semblance of mass transit modes in the traditional sense.
The required weight for a cTrain per passenger is kept to a minimum as most materials are from light composites; and most of the weight being in the electric motors placed on the axles or the wheels. Regarding emissions reductions we can extrapolate that the energy needed per passenger will be less than the energy used (per passenger) by a golf cart.
The cTrain blue prints, can include standards estimating the required solar and wind power (combined with storage technology) to allow the cTrain to run entirely on renewable energy.
Vertical axis windmills as part of the stations can provide a means to add renewable energy more effectively. The image below includes an example of vertical axis windmill with "flappers" that close to capture wind power and open on the return to avoid resistance). Incorporating such wind mill-towers along the routes of the cTrain will help charge the storage especially during the night when demand is low.