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Greening The Desert

Arizona’s Sun-Powered Bullet Train

desertBullet trains are already considered a greener mode of transport that greatly curbs greenhouse emissions while cutting down on our reliance on pollution belching cars and airplanes, not to mention reducing the choke-hold OPEC and big oil have on everybody on this planet and the planet itself.

Now imagine zipping through the spectacularly beautiful desert scenery on a totally environmentally friendly bullet train powered entirely by Arizona’s abundant sunshine.

Arizona-based Solar Bullet LLC’s founders, retired civil engineer Bill Gaither and Raymond Wright, are proposing a new 220mph bullet train that will be entirely powered by the sun and will make the trip in 30 minutes flat. Although the project is still in the very early stages of development, the company is hopeful it can start operating “The Solar Bullet” by 2018.

The system would need 110 megawatts of electricity to run, which would be generated by overhead solar panels mounted above the tracks, making use of the Arizona’s abundant sunshine.

The target cost is about $20 – $40 Million a mile. But with the solar technology becoming cheaper and better by the day, the cost may be cheaper. Even if not, that still not a bad price. Have you priced the cost of a present day, multi-lane highway per mile?

Initially, trains would run on two tracks reserved for the direct route between Tucson and Phoenix. Eventually, though, four additional tracks would be built to extend the route north and south and take in additional stops, including Chandler, Maricopa, Casa Grande, Eloy, Red Rock and Marana.

solarbullet-ed02According to Gaither and Wright: “Tourists will go out of their way to travel to Arizona to see its spectacular and accessible scenery as well as travel on its unique solar-powered high-speed rail system. New businesses and residents will be attracted to the forward-looking developments that will spring up along this new passenger-rail system.

“The system will dramatically reduce their dependence on imported oil and at the same time, minimize greenhouse gas emissions. To do this, all the necessary technology and equipment are currently available in Europe, Asia and Arizona. We look for this innovative system and our new MotionSolar Technology to give Arizona a tourism, economic, employment and technological edge.”

Concerns have been raised over the practicality of the idea, including protecting, maintaining and cleaning miles of solar panels. Actually it will work just fine; regularly scheduled checks/maintenance and automated cleaning of the panels can be done. Existing rail monitoring systems could be modified to include the solar components and issue alerts to any abnormal performance or tampering as with the rails.

A system design that uses solar power as the primary energy source especially in the sun drenched U.S. desert southwest just plain makes sense.

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No Responses to “Greening The Desert”

  1. Says:

    Greening The Desert | Forced Green…

    Bullet trains are already considered a greener mode of transport that greatly curbs greenhouse emissions while cutting down on our reliance on pollution belching cars and airplanes…

  2. wilson Says:

    Go Arizona! I thought it’s an excellent idea, where the Arizona is the state that covering by sunshine about 300 days annually. This project is certainly a surplus to boost up the Arizona’s economy too!
    .-= wilson´s last blog ..Painkillers Might Be Unable To Stop The Stomachache! =-.

  3. cady Says:

    they were supposed to put a bullet train between atlanta and chattanooga, but that never ended up happening. i wish they’d take another look at it.
    .-= cady´s last blog ..Bedding Choices =-.

  4. Barbara Says:

    Go Arizona. This is great news that I hope we see taking hold elsewhere!
    .-= Barbara´s last blog ..Get Enlightened With Green Culture! =-.

  5. Maureen Says:

    Sun powered in Arizona- it must be very fast! Ha-
    .-= Maureen´s last blog ..Are You Living With Purpose? =-.

  6. Lissof Says:

    Great Idea!!! Let’s hope this proves to be such an economic and environmental benefit that expansion along the solar belt covered by the interstate highway systems of I-8, I-10, I-40 and the I-5 corridor from San Diego to Seattle.
    Then as the system spreads east to the Wind Belt and beyond, perhaps the energy harnessed from wind turbines could take over augmented by solar resources as the prime energy provider.
    Coastal regions could augment Solar and Wind resources with Tidal generated electric supply. The inter-mountain regions could augment Solar and Wind resources with Geothermal and Hydro generated electric.
    Then, letting my imagination release its full potential, why not incorporate a “Smart Grid” distribution system in the construction of the High Speed Rail system to deliver Green Electric Energy from Solar, Wind, Tidal, Geothermal and Hydro resources to the cities and towns along the routes.
    Soon the entire US interstate highway system could be serviced by high speed electric bullet trains where the station parking lots had charging stations for the electric vehicles the passengers utilized to commute to their homes and business. By incorporating “Smart Charge Technology” into the vehicle charging stations, off peak power would be utilized for charging the vehicles. There again peak demand on the grid could be supplemented from vehicles batteries plugged in for an extended stay of a day or more.
    Now if only my imagination could figure out where we could possibly resource the people that would be needed to fill all of the jobs such an infrastructure would require to build and sustain such a system.

  7. spygrrl Says:

    All I can say is “that’s hot.” hehe
    Really… I love this post here!….

    @Lissof….. wow..great response… “that’s hot” too!

  8. LadyGrace Says:

    I dont care how green they are, they scare the hell out of me!! I would rather fly lol.
    .-= LadyGrace´s last blog ..I am so hated…. lol =-.

  9. Mkcoy Says:

    This really does make sense. We are already starting to use Solar Power in out homes mainstream. I am seeing more and more solar panel installed on peoples roofs over here. I think this will be something we will 100% see coming in the future.

  10. Linda Says:

    Hi Mkcoy … where are you located? Yes, I believe that in the future, solar panels will be on everyones home…

  11. Mkcoy Says:

    Hi Linda I live in south east UK. Thinking more on solar powered trains. Our traditional trains run on overhead power cables which are old, outdated and in need of repair. It would be a decade before we even saw them putting safety before profits before we even see any kind of green modern change like this. Although I’m sure CEO’s have discussed how much money solar powered trains would save compared to the investment needed to actually set them up. But of course technology evolves and becomes more affordable so it’s only a matter of time.

  12. Linda Says:

    HI Mkcoy … You are right. Perhaps they could take the current trains and retrofit them for the solar express. Thus the cost would not be as monstrous as it would be by starting anew.

  13. Anthony Says:

    c vraiment cool come info . merci!

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