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If you are looking for a truly ominous sign that the world is speeding toward a mass transit nightmare, here it is: In countries without air-traffic control, freight trains are already in a race for ubiquity – and they look like losing.

In most places, every train stops at a station, with the ability to ask passengers to exit when the platform fills up or to release passengers who board.

This means that no train can be completely packed – which might threaten the economics of the business.

But in countries without air-traffic control, a train station has to be attractive enough to convince passengers to get off.

First, it must seem convenient. That is as true for the coach as it is for the car.

Now consider a future world in which EVs reach a certain level of efficiency and function, allowing passengers to take trains without even exiting.

In such a world, trains are not merely convenient but necessary to transportation.

A train station would need to be crowded enough to create an expectation that there are seats available, then appealing enough to promise passengers a place to sit even before they exit the train.

The combination of two seemingly contradictory functions might force other trains to operate at near capacity.

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