• Autonomous railcars

  • General discussion about railroad operations, related facilities, maps, and other resources.
General discussion about railroad operations, related facilities, maps, and other resources.

Moderator: Robert Paniagua

  by GaryGP40
 
I can see that too, but only after all the logistics are worked out. It's a neat idea, for sure, but I anticipate that many shortline RR's will not want to hand over millions to upgrade signals, and such. And it doesn't address what happens to passenger trains on some of the railroads, as many Class I's have some passenger service.

Maybe we could get our own personal "self-driving" passenger train cars to transport us to wherever we need to go. My guess is our cars will be self-driving first (once all the current kinks, etc. are worked out). But, it's nice to dream. :-)
  by eolesen
 
I can only imagine what happens the first time one of these breaks down or runs out of juice where it cant be recharged or unloaded, causing a branch line meltdown.

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  by ExCon90
 
I can see the FRA requiring fail-safe PTC equipment on board every one of those bogies just as on every locomotive and MU car, with required periodic inspections. Fail-safe braking systems will also be required; where will they find room for all that? And tracking down and corralling the bogies for the required inspections may prove expensive. I don't want to be like the people back when ENIAC was being developed at Penn who said computers would never be commercially practical because it would take the equivalent of Niagara Falls to cool the vacuum tubes; others went to work and figured out how to perform the same function as vacuum tubes without taking up space and generating heat. Maybe miniaturization can solve some of these problems; pity a lot of us may never find out ...