Manchester to New York by rail?

Now I know this instantly seems rather farfetched but so did Nike’s self-lacing trainers that appeared in Back to the Future (1985) supposedly due for release this year!

However, a trans-Atlantic rail connection, roads fitted with solar panels and a ‘hyperloop’ connection have all been proposed to solve the transport needs of the future.

I will start with the trans-Atlantic rail connection. Dubbed the ‘Concorde of the tunnelling world’ this vacuum train could be built underneath the Atlantic Ocean, similar to the ‘Channel tunnel’ to connect the UK with New York City. However the Channel tunnel is just 50km long compared to the 5320km long the trans-Atlantic tunnel would have to be. I don’t know about you but I’m not sure I would like to be underground for that long!

 NYC by rail

Next up is the ‘Northern Hyperloop’. Similar to the trans-Atlantic rail connection technology of using a vacuum, this proposal will connect the airports of the north via a rapid ‘hyperloop’ similar to a train. Building upon the vacuum idea, the hyperloop has a propeller to the front of the train which forces any remaining air resistance back. Although this would be a costly approach to speed up travel between cities and airports, rapid connectivity in the north is an incredibly popular idea.

Lastly, roads fitted with solar panels. This seems the most farfetched proposal in my eyes and I can only think of Nintendo’s Mario Kart when this topic is discussed (see the picture below). The idea is that sections of the road could be replaced by solar panelling to generate power for the national grid. A second idea would be generating electricity by capturing wasted speed and noise energy. In this second vision, roads will be equipped with win-capturing baffles and vibration ribs to capture wasted energy which in turn can become electricity for cars. With the electric car industry booming this proposal may come to life sooner than first expected.

Mario Kart


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