Taiwanese inventor Peng Yu-lun has unveiled his "non-stop MRT system" to the world. The system avoids trains having to decelerate and stop at station stops, instead taking on boarding and alighting cars on the fly. The system saves energy and reduces equipment costs among other advantages, and Peng has already applied for a patent on his invention. However, Peng himself believes that the technical challenges will still require expert assistance in order to make the plan a reality.
Peng works in a sand and construction materials plant in Sanwan. A previous work of his, "Step Bricks for Recreational Trails", earned him a bronze medal from the Nuremburg International Inventors Exhibition in Germany, as well as a silver medal at the Taipei International Inventors' Exhibition. In 2006, Peng was named an outstanding Taiwanese inventor and received an honorary doctorate.
Recently, Hsinchu and Miaoli have announced their intention to join up in promoting "Hsinchu-Miaoli Light Rail Transit", and this idea sparked Peng's interest, the result being the new "non-stop" system. Peng has applied for patents in Taiwan and China, and was on hand at this year's Taipei International Inventors' Exhibition and the Nuremburg inventors' event as well.
Peng publicly announced his hopes to provide a mass rapid transit plan which could be analyzed for feasibility.
Peng used toy trains and track models to come up with his idea. When a train comes into a station, passengers first enter a "boarding" car, which is put into motion ahead of time. After the rear of the traveling train catches up, the car is joined to the rest of the train.
Passengers wishing to get off the train change seats, moving to a designated car. Before they actually arrive at the station where they will alight, that car is detached from the train. The main part of the train continues onward, and the "alighting car" alone stops at the station. Peng says that making good use of these special cars can allow a train to travel its entire route without ever slowing down or stopping at a station.
Taking the Kaohsiung MRT system as an example, Peng says that its maximum speed is 85 kph. Because it must stop at every station, it achieves an average speed over its route of just 35 kph. If the non-stop system were in place, the top velocity of 85 kph could be maintained throughout the system, saving time and energy. Platform equipment and land area required for stations could likewise be reduced. But now the big problem is just precisely how the special boarding and alighting cars will be joined and detached from the main train. Peng says that those are questions that will require participation from experts in order to solve.