F.L.A.S.H., or FLASH, is an acronym for Frictionless, Levitated, Accelerated, Subsurface, Hyper-train. His test vehicle is called the 'sled'. The FLASH is a portent of the modern high-speed rail service.
“Speed, the inverse relationship between distance and time. Since the dawn of the machine age, man has sought to increase one at the expense of the other. To do that, we needed the power to accelerate. But we encountered a limit – friction, the point where the wheel meets the rail. But if we were to lift the train by the force of magnetic repulsion and drive it forward by means of induction, then the only friction one would encounter would be the wind. And if we were to take that out, our speed could be infinite!”
Appearances and Mentions
- James Pendrick returns to Toronto with another invention, looking for investors: "Investment opportunity of a lifetime. Best project ever conceived." It's promotion in the Toronto Gazette prompts the Inspector, Julia and Murdoch to attend the event.
- The Pendrick FLASH would allow for a comfortable ride from New York to London in one hour, built from fifty thousand sections of cast aluminum (airless tubes) and held in place by cables secured to the ocean floor.
- Once again, Murdoch’s investigation leads him to Pendrick and his new laboratory on one of the Toronto Islands (Ward's Island) which they ride to on the Flash prototype, the Sled.
- The Sled runs on electromagnets in the test tube (vacuum). There are two sets: the one on its bottom are all of like polarity to create levitation and the one on its side alternate to allow induction for acceleration. When it reaches the midpoint in the test tube reverse polarity occurs to help brake the vehicle.
- The telephone at the Ward's Island launch pad used to communicate with Pendrick's headquarters is connected to the Mill Street Exchange and the large fans create the vacuum. The tube is evacuated behind an airtight seal after the room is depressurized, the seal opens. The controls are on either end but access is strictly limited to members of Pendrick's team. Charles Howden's murderer had to be someone with an intimate knowledge of Pendrick's operation.
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