Trains are quickly accelerated from a full stop up to 40 miles an hour. An electric motor spins the heavy circular flywheel on the left side of this picture. When the train is firmly attached to the launch cable, a transmission connects the rotating flywheel to the large tan pulley partially visible on the right. The transfer of energy pulls the cable to accelerate the car while slowing the flywheel. But a minute or two later, the motor will have returned the flywheel back to its full operating speed and the system is ready to launch another train.
©2012 Joel A. Rogers.