Friday, 26 August 2016

"Caterpillar Train": Bringing the train system closer to Home

An Indian Railway Engineer, Ashwani Kumar Upadhyaya, has just won a global competition on innovations at Boston’s Massachusetts Institute of Technology for his idea that aims to take the train system to residential areas.

Caterpillar Trains, or C-Train, envisions a city wide network of lightweight elevated train coaches on a track supported by poles bent into arches. The train coaches which will be a series of small, seating only cars which can accommodate only 20 passengers at a time that will run at a speed of 100 kilometres per hour.  The coaches will have wheels both below and on top so they can ON and UNDER the track –giving it the appearance of a caterpillar.

The system would run on electricity, with each car equipped with a battery in case of emergencies. The traction mechanism is such that both acceleration and deceleration are fast.

Since coaches are smaller and lightweight and the poles require little land, the system is capable of penetrating residential areas and will cost a fifteenth of the conventional metro system.

Ashwani Kumar Upadhyaya, 43, a 1997-batch officer of the Indian Railway Traffic Service, will now present his idea to academicians and town planners at a global conference in MIT in September.

The idea, which won in both the popular choice and the judges’ choice categories, was picked over 500 entries from across the world at the Climate CoLab contest.

The contest was organised by MIT’s Centre for Collective Intelligence, which aims to offer a crowd-sourcing platform where people work with experts to create, analyse and select detailed proposals on how to tackle climate chang

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