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making it safe
naperlou   12/17/2012 8:54:58 AM
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.

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Train Safety
beelee   12/18/2012 4:24:13 PM

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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