This Proposed Chinese Train Picks Up Passengers ... Without Stopping

Is it useful? Maybe not. But it's definitely cool. 

China is a train lover's paradise. In contrast to the United States, where even modest high-speed rail initiatives face serious opposition, fast new trains connect most of China's major cities—or will soon. And for the last decade, a magnetic levitation train has ferried passengers from Shanghai's Pudong Airport to the city center at speeds faster than any other rail service on earth. 

But even these fancy Chinese trains have not solved one necessity of rail travel: Heist movies aside, trains must stop so that people can get on and off. 

Via Shanghaiist, a possible solution to this problem has arrived: This concept train features an elevated compartment in which passengers enter and, after the compartment attaches itself to the train car itself, board without the train having to stop. The nifty video demonstration is here:

Aside from various logistical questions, there's the question of utility: Is it really a problem to wait a few extra minutes at each stop? Perhaps not—but for those who believe the usual line that the Chinese lack an innate ability to innovate, this is, at least, evidence to the contrary.

Matt Schiavenza is a contributing writer for The Atlantic. He is a former global-affairs writer for the International Business Times and Atlantic senior associate editor.

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