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i-GATE Partners Discuss CyberTran Test Site
Cities consider benefits of ultra-lightweight high-speed rail technology
March 26, 2012
i-GATE officials visited the future site of the CyberTran International low speed test track in Richmond, CA. The meeting was attended by representatives from the cities of Richmond and Davis and the three East Bay department of energy national labs - Lawrence Livermore, Sandia, and Lawrence Berkeley. The primary focus of the meeting was to discuss requirements of a high speed test track location for CyberTran's ultra-lightweight high-speed rail technology. CyberTran is considering both Lathrop and Davis as potential locations for the high-speed test track.
"We are pleased to see i-GATE and its partners embrace the discussion of new applications of rail transit technology," said Jeff Ritterman, Richmond City Council Member.
The high-speed test track is proposed as a five-mile continuous figure eight loop that will allow CyberTran to validate the application of their technology at speeds in excess of 150 miles per hour. The CyberTran vehicle and rail technology have already been tested in low speed environments of up to 60 mile per hour on closed loop tracks and on a 1/32nd scale test track at their Richmond facility with speeds modeled in excess of 160 miles per hour. With a full-scale higg-speed test facility, CyberTran will be able to demonstrate that the technology is appropriate for use in urban and rural transit environments.
"Davis is committed to being a leader in sustainability modes of transportation. I am intrigued by the CyberTran technology," explained Davis Mayor Pro Tem Rochelle Swanson.
CyberTran's plan for the high-speed test track includes almost $100 million dollars of investment and will result in local and regional construction and manufacturing jobs in design and assembly of the track and vehicles. By demonstrating the ability of the system to operate across the spectrum of low to high speed environments, CyberTran hopes to demonstrate the potential for use of the technology as a connector between current mass transit systems across California, the US, and internationally. At a projected cost of just 20% per rail mile of traditional rail technologies, and due to the designed ability to operate in built-out urban centers with minimal impact, CyberTran is currently working with several congressional members to identify funding for the high-speed test track from existing transportation appropriations.
The technology provides a passenger rail system that can allow the passenger to plan their destinations around their personal schedule. The proposed 20-passenger vehicle has the flexibility and comfort of current rail vehicles while making personalized service levels a reality. The raised track includes an electric third-rail for vehicle power similar to many urban mass transit technologies, but the track is light enough that it can be incorporated into buildings and structures so that stations can serve passengers with the greatest amount of flexibility. The computer-controlled and light weight rail cars are powered by solar panels that line the track. Stations are aligned as off-track sidings to allow the system to continue to move cars through the systems while unloading and loading.
"Rail transit is an important part of the transportation picture," explains Neil Sinclair, CEO and President of CyberTran. "We have developed the CyberTran technology as an application of all of the best attributes that rail technology has to offer, including ease of use, seamless operation in urban and rural environments, connection between regional centers, and stations that are adjacent to the mainline so that the vehicles can bypass stations where no stop is necessary." This last point is a major distinction for the CyberTran rail technology. By usuing a station layout that allows stopping vehicles to get off of the mainline, travel times for passengers are dramatically decreased with the elimination of unnecessary station stops.
As part of the i-GATE iHub Initiative, CyberTran is an affiliate in the partnership that includes national labs, research instiutions, academic partners, economic and workforce development organizations, and venture capital firms. With a primary focus on connecting appropriate sectors together in collaborations, i-GATE partners have focused on identifying and quickly deploying new technologies and innovations to have a positive effect on the economy and assist in creating thousands of new job opportunities in the region.