The Principle and Potential of the VacTrain
The Concept of the Vacuum-Train or VacTrain® is attributed to Robert Goddard (patent 1945). It was re-invented by Rodolphe Nieth for the SwissMetro project in 1974. It removes the impediments to movement and speed instead of burning more and more fuel to fight them. Rolling resistance (friction between wheel and rail) is eliminated with magnetic levitation (the vehicle floats on a magnetic field similar to the Transrapid) whilst aerodynamic drag (air resistance) is eliminated by removing the air surrounding the vehicle in a tunnel or pipe. A high efficiency and ultra-fast (supersonic) speeds become possible, economically feasible and environmentally friendly.
The development of the VacTrain® is inevitable. It is the only system which can provide sustainable ultra fast transportation (technological convergence). With increasing world population, the emergence of mega-cities, intensifying demand on intercity and transcontinental travel relations as well as with the enormous social, economic and environmental benefits which it will provide, this is only a question of time.
The VacTrain® has long been a vision of scientists and engineers. The ongoing Research and Development at the STR-Institute and its deployment in SwissMetro-NG and in countries around the world will soon make it a reality.