Edit update (Friday, May 21, 2010) Andy Rooney makes a powerful case for the gambling industry offering nothing to help our economy. Good one Andy!
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Alan Mendelson of Alan's Best Buys has done it again as he reports on a new train venture that will travel between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
The X-Train sounds interesting. It is kind of ironic that the innovators and business savvy people who are able to find a niche new business that will probably succeed will be catering to the gaming/gambling industry.
It begs the question, is this the kind of enterprise that actually "stimulates" the economy and our alleged drive towards greener technologies, or does the X-Train just grab at an existing piece of hanging economic fruit?
Is there anything about the X-train besides how it "looks" on the inside that can be pointed to as a green energy innovation? If the answer is no, could the first X-train, once it's up and running, be used to generate profits that could go towards designing the next X-Train with some type of green energy innovation?
How about making the next X-Train out of reinforced solar absorbing plastics, the kind of technology that UCLA has been working on for a few years?
I wonder how the scheduling works for something like this. Is it one rail track that has to be shared by trains going in both directions? How many turnouts are there between Los Angeles and Las Vegas? Since the X-Train will probably be pretty fast, what if it catches up to a freight train?
What I really like about the X-Train concept is how business people are using an already existing infrastructure to create a business opportunity. Too bad it will rely on speed and the use of existing energy sources rather than the greener technologies that we are supposed to be gravitating towards.