"Trains May Soon Come Equipped With Debris-Zapping Lasers"
The lovely word "may" is such an abused word. There are MANY things that MAY come, on the other hand it MIGHT not as well. My money is on that it won't be here anytime soon. There are so many technical and impractical issues that arise, that this is nothing more than a "wow...lasers, we're so 1337" 21 century etc. Sure, it makes for a good read, and even better...the house-geek will have his say over the dinner table...say...did you know honey, they're putting lasers in front of the trains now to clear the tracks. OOOOh honey, that's just up your Dart Vader alley!
Guess what? I've been working with technology and prototyping for years, and it's a riot every time this actually surfaces as an article once in a blue moon, you can't just put high power lasers in front of trains, you'll have reflection issues, IR-radiation, people claiming blindness, and the kind of power you need to "zap" it clean is extreme, this isn't your average laser pointer that can be used to write your name into a cellphone or pop balloons, heck...even hefty industrial lasers used to cut metal are so focused and concentrated that if you wanted to use it to blast away debris...you'd need a HECK of a lot more space for it to be actually practical, not to mention the need for cooling.