Submitted by Joel N. Weber II on March 16, 2013
Would installing Tesla battery packs in passenger trains make any sense?
Amtrak currently runs some Northeast Regional service on overhead power where that's available, and then swaps locomotives to diesel for the New Haven CT to Springfield MA segments and the Virginia segments.
Why not have batteries in the trains that would charge from the overhead power lines where they're available and then power the trains where no overhead power is available?
There also seems to be some debate about what level of structural rigidity is appropriate for bringing the next generation of high speed trains to the US. If you install a Tesla battery pack in the floor of every passenger train car, will that improve crashworthiness?
Also, the typical commuter train may have a short enough run to make battery power for the entire trip practical.