Possible benefits

Running the circle with a constant speed might have several benefits. The most significant ones are described below.

It is the basic target of this simulation to provide raw date to judge these statements.

Cost efficiency

This concept is an evolutionary concept in comparison to many revolutionary approaches like magnetic monorail. Most revolutionary approaches failed because of impossible base investements. Apart from the costs of the raw technical infrastructure for tracks signals and energy supply, it is nowadays not possible anymore to get the land in densily populated area because of massively raised land value. Even if there was enough money,  it is no longer imaginable today to expropriate large zones in urban areas as the political and juridical possibilities and means have raised a lot in the past centuries.

A continuos track does not demand a complete new build, it only needs a bypass around cities and densely populated areas where tracks pass train stations or have to be run with reduced speed because of savety reasons. This is an important detail as it reduces the installation costs about 90% compared to a revolutionary transport system where the complete infrastructure has to be build and financed – and cannot used by conventional trains anymore.  Only the fraction of those bypasses have to be built, the rest of the infrastructure can be reused – including the trains, coaches and waggons.

Therefore it might be that the circle train could maximize the capacity of a slightly adapted existing railway network with minimal costs. However, this is a hypothesis that need to be verified yet by an economical analysis as described in Extension steps.

Energy saving

A train  like any other vehicle  is using the minimal energy consumption possible while running with  a constant speed. This is the law of inertia, stated the first time by Galilei in 1638 and building the first of the three laws of motion from Newton in Philosophiae naturalis in 1687:

A body moving on a level surface will continue in the same direction at a constant speed unless disturbed.

It is simple: Since rail tracks and rail wheels have the minimal rolling resistance from all vehicles, a train running at a constant speed will use the minimal energy compared to other vehicles. The rolling resistance coefficiant of a rail car is 0.0010 to 0.0024, for a large truck tires it is 0.0045 to 0.008  ( 4 x more ! ) and for a care it is 0.0062 to 0.015, that is 6 times more! It takes several people to kick off a wagon, once it is in motion 1 single person can easily move it at a constant speed! If you ask the railway staff, they can confirm or even show.

Of course the speed has a great influence on the energy used to transport the good, as the air resistance is growing with the square of the speed. It might be a future usage of the simulation to calculate the optimal speed. However, given that the surface of the front of a train is rather smaller then the one of a truck, it is evident, that the truck uses much more energy as the train.

Increased capacity

Due to the constant speed of the trains and an optimized entering and leaving of the circle, it might be possible to increase the transport capacity of the tracks by putting more trains to the tracks and also because the trains in the circle do not cause delay by slowing down (except for emergency situations).

This assumption is more sophisticated to prove, as it needs comparison data of existing train systems wich are commonly not available. There are a few overall capacity indications in the annual reports of railway companies, but they do not distinguish the transportation capacity of high speed tracks from tracks that are used for regional transport allowing only very slow transport.

In case if you had information of existing railway or other transport systems, please do send them through the feedback form!

Improved security

If trains move with a constant speed, their position can be predicted easily. This is allowing a efficient intervention, as devitiations from the calculated position to the real position can be discovered immediately. Thus dangerous approaches between trains happen much less if there is a clear speed to follow and a dangerous approach between trains can much faster be detected and prevented before a crash.

It also allows planning for save entering and leaving the circle on the railroad switch, which is by nature the main peril point of a railway system.

Another important aspect of security is the fact that the main traffic is bypassing cities and densely popluated areas. This is not only reducing the risk for accicents in the zone of high traffic, it also reduces the impact of an accident with dangerous freight.