Jon, thank you for your viewpoint from the conference. I wish I could be there.
Communication technologies are key to improving so many areas of our lives. Making transportation safer is a very important goal. Ensuring the safety of rail transport is a great goal as well. Some of those trains, especially in Southern Europe, were kind of slow, but it was a very flexible way for me to get around.
In my teens I have the opportunity to tour Eurpoe by train. It was a wild ride, but I could get from city to city easily. This encouraged me to try to live without a car for a time. It did not really work for me, so I finally got a car. I am not sure that was a good thing.
Several years back I lived in the UK for a few years. I took trains all over the UK. We also had cars, but many trips were fun on the train. For my work I often went from the UK to Paris. I took the Eurostar, and it was wonderful. I never drove in Paris, and never would.
In the US, when I lived in the East Coast, I often took the train between Washington, DC, Philadelphia and New York City. This was great, and I would ride the Metro Club most of the time. This was a much more civilized way of getting between those cities than driving.
They are talking about some high speed lines here in Illonis and the surrounding states. I take the train sometimes to Springfield or Detroit. It is much easier and cheaper.
I look forward to your next post from the conference.
The train safety topic has always interested me. After a horrific crash here in DC on the metro a few years back a thought occurred to me why there could not be a system where a sensor laden light vehicle could run ahead of a train to alert it to bad track, obstacles, hazards ahead and could even take the brunt of a collision before the rolling stock got there. I even did a patent search and found a European patent already exists for almost what I had in mind. See EP1037788 A1. This idea may be off the wall but as an engineering manager this sure would be a great project to manage.
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