• Tesla LRV?

  • General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.
General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

Moderators: mtuandrew, gprimr1

  by Myrtone
 
Would anyone here like to see a transportation division of Tesla, Inc offer a light rail vehicle?
  by Cosakita18
 
Tesla will never make any sort of rail vehicle, not necessarily for any sort of market or technical reason...but because trains aren't "innovative" and "disruptive" enough for tech bros.
  by Myrtone
 
Rail vehicles can be very innovative. There may well be plenty of room to re-invent what rail vehicles could be.
  by typesix
 
Teslas have quality control issues.
  by Bob Roberts
 
Myrtone wrote: Tue Feb 08, 2022 3:32 am Would anyone here like to see a transportation division of Tesla, Inc offer a light rail vehicle?
Urbanist twitter talks a lot about how Musk’s youth in aparthied-era South Africa led to, what many say, an anti-public transit mindset. Even casual observers of his tunneling efforts can see that such strategies are poorly suited for cars, yet he continues to force square pegs into round holes (see the tunnel congestion videos from this year’s CES in Las Vegas). Other folks suggest that Musks flinging around promises of self-driving cars and hyperloops simply as a means of discouraging the construction of actual transit in order to preserve future market share for his (still vapor ware) products.

I dunno how much anyone can know about Musk’s psychology, but most transit folks believe that Musk is intentionally impeding transit development. Even without considering his psycology, its a pretty safe bet that he sees transit as an industry lacking wide moats.
Last edited by Bob Roberts on Sun Feb 13, 2022 1:29 pm, edited 4 times in total.
  by Ken W2KB
 
Back in 1994, I and a business development representative were sent by our employer to Denver to meet with several employees of Public Service of Colorado concerning that company's experience in participating in the then about to commence operation first section of the Denver light rail system. PS of Colorado was a principle contractor for the new light rail power supply system, and by 1994 NJ Transit had begun preliminary planning for the NJT Hudson-Bergen Light rail project. My employer was considering bidding to become the contractor for the NJT HBLR power system, and PS of Colorado offered to detail its experience in Denver, including a brief tour of the railyard and a near day long meeting presentation for my coworker and myself. As it turned out, NJT soon thereafter decided not to award individual major contracts, instead utilizing a design-build-operate-maintain ("DBOM") approach with a single contractor for the HBLR, thereby ending any potential participation by my employer which primarily had electrical power expertise and interest. However, incidental to this experience, I also did some research, and at some later point found an Electric Power Research Institute ("EPRI") study of potential use of battery powered light rail vehicles for service on routes for which conventional light rail overhead catenary was not cost effective. The most innovative aspect of the EPRI research paper was a proposal to use large capacitor plates under each light rail vehicle, and a matching capacitor plate between the rails at passenger station stops. The concept consisted of capable batteries and associated high speed charging with capacitive energy transfer during the minute or two a light rail vehicle was stopped at a station for passenger discharge and boarding. Thus the batteries would be charged sufficiently at these stops so as to not require impractically large batteries for longer distance routes. A potential extension of the Denver light rail to Denver Airport was cited by EPRI as a possible feasible implementation. So indeed, there is potential for a Tesla project on the basis of this much older research and studies. Additionally, the Federal Transit Administration published a research paper several years ago proposing use of wireless transfer technology for both light rail vehicles and buses. https://www.transit.dot.gov/sites/fta.d ... ._0060.pdf
  by scratchyX1
 
Vavarail has been putting batteries in rebuilt underground trains for this application.
Also, the boring tunnels are the same diameter as London underground ones,
Just saying, automated battery trains would have much higher capacity.
  by BandA
 
So, lack of volume compared to automobiles and can't charge as much as SpaceX. Potential synergies with traction motors, batteries of course, and electronics. Tesla could be a parts supplier or license their patents.

At one time Edison made electric cars, and his successor GE made trolley gear and locomotives, so history of synergy.

I think there is room for two companies, one who builds rail vehicles, and another that assumes all legal liabilities, handles the red tape, possibly finances the maintenance of idle production capacity between orders / evens out order flows.
  by STrRedWolf
 
Myrtone wrote: Tue Feb 08, 2022 3:32 am Would anyone here like to see a transportation division of Tesla, Inc offer a light rail vehicle?
Won't happen. Elon Musk hates trains, even though he'll end up re-inventing them the long way.

Now Ford/Honda/etc diversifying into trains? I can see that. Even VW retooling their diesel technology to train engines.
  by BandA
 
Autopilot would actually work on a fixed guideway.