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Growing up, I have been fortunate to be close to half of my family. Not only are we geographically close but, because of our shared proximity, I’m also emotionally very close with my dad’s side of my family. My mom’s side of the family lives in Michigan and it’s very rare that we get the opportunity to see them. It isn’t always feasible for us to get on a plane and visit, because air travel can be costly and it takes eleven hours to drive to Detroit.
Perhaps growing up without the family connection with my Michigan relatives is a reason I’ve always been so fascinated with the idea Maglev trains and high-speed rail travel in general. There is something about the thought of being able to get somewhere in a quarter of time it takes to get to the same place in a car that is exciting to me. There are also people who either cannot ride planes because of medical reasons, or are terrified of air travel, so rail travel would be a great alternative for these people.
Airplanes have already made our world so much smaller, but I believe that trains like these are the next step in connecting people.
The future I see is one where high-speed rail systems and Maglev trains are ubiquitous. People would be able to live in one city and commute by train to work in a different city. Not only would there be trains to transport people, but products could be delivered across the country with incredible efficiency.
Families could connect over long distances.
However, the United States is far from this future. For a wealthy country we are lagging behind in transportation options. Much infrastructure needs to be set in place to allow for this type of rail travel. Additionally high-speed rail technology can be still be improved. If you look at certain Asian countries such as Japan and China, this infrastructure is more commonplace and these countries are surging ahead with travel innovation. Not only can the US benefit from similar innovations, but we can lead the rest of the world in this specific area of technology. We have the resources. We are already using this type of innovation with the work that is being done with vactrain technology in the Hyperloop project by Tesla and SpaceX. In my opinion, the future promises more technological improvements in this area and we will see more companies getting interested in the prospect of high-speed rail travel.
A lot of the innovation that is being accomplished in the maglev and high-speed rail industries is aimed at reducing the amount of drag that comes from trains travelling at incredibly high speeds, which consumes much of the energy used by these trains. Vactrain technology, as is used in the Hyperloop project, utilizes trains travelling in partially evacuated tubes to reduce air resistance. Vactrain is being looked at as an alternative to current train technology. While it may not be the most economically feasible solution to our transportation problems right now, I believe that as the technology and manufacturing processes become more commonplace, making it a more cost effective alternative to most current forms of transportation. In order for this future to be possible work needs to be done in the industry.
My dream is to be part of the Maglev high-speed revolution. This dream also includes Cornell Engineering to help me achieve this goal. The opportunity to study Mechanical Engineering at Cornell University would provide me with the skills and knowledge to contribute in this burgeoning industry. I’m aware that Cornell is the top school for Mechanical Engineering, which is why I am applying. I want to be involved in changing the world and creating this future. I would be honored if Cornell helped me get there.
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