G Scale Model Train Forum banner

1 - 20 of 44 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
934 Posts
'Personal Rapid Transit' (individual cars on a railway system) has been brought up a time or three on the oil board I post at.

It is also a complete flop. Complaints range from circuitious routes to the amount of space required for the stations and tracks to the severe difficulty of implimenting the computer routing system. A number of demo projects have been attempted; all went massively over budget, all were deemed failures.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,510 Posts
No "private" vehicles???? NO WAY "I" could use the vehicle just exited by someone that decided to have a smoke while riding... or the one some kid (or drunk adult) just barfed (or worse) in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
Posted By Semper Vaporo on 05/21/2008 12:15 AM
No "private" vehicles???? NO WAY "I" could use the vehicle just exited by someone that decided to have a smoke while riding... or the one some kid (or drunk adult) just barfed (or worse) in.



Hehehe...ride BART or MUNI in San Francisco and that just may happen to you, it has to me./DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/sick.gif
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,746 Posts
Didn't they have something like this in the Woody Allen movie "Sleeper" 35 years ago?

Maybe neurotic robot butlers are not far behind?
 

·
Premium Member
Getting our home built so maybe we can start playing with trains again!
Joined
·
263 Posts
Personally I'd be more receptive to the use of a center lane of the major streets and thoroughfares for the laying of rail than that./DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/crazy.gif The convenience thing is what has gotten us into and keeps us in trouble./DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/whistling.gif Personally I have difficulty walking and it would be impossible to carry groceries/whatever the 5 blocks from a rail/trolley stop to the house but that would probably be more realistic than a personal rail car. Great to see folks thinking though. Unfortunately there's not much thought since all they have to do is look towards the past and find the solution. If that's not possible there is the train you see in the really old Gumby episodes. Remember it? The train layed the track in the front and it then dissappeared as it went over it?/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/blink.gif That sounds more feasable than the PRT. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/whistling.gif

Here's an Orwellian thought.....That picture of the Home Depot? In the future their sign is just four letters "less" than what they may become. This price crap is gonna force those places to shift from home improvement centers to just Centers for......../DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/whistling.gif;)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,976 Posts
Joe,

Isn't there an abandonded rail bed in your back yard? Why not advocate light rail along that? Then, you wouldn't have to walk 5 blocks, and you could also build your own shelter, possibly even covered walkway from your back door! Subsidize it by charging your neighbors a toll to cross your property under cover!


As far as that system goes, it would be fine for an individual commuting to work. What about families? I don't see that as a good mode for a mom with a kid and all the stuff she's likely to have (stroller, diaper bag, kid carrier, purse!). Just seems that it would only work for a specific type of traveler. Plus, all those rails in the ground, how are we going to get our road bikes through that? I would assume the vehicles would be smart type and would stop when pedestrians crossed the tracks, but removing that kind of human control would really scare me. I guess I prefer the risk of having a human behind the controls.

Mark
 
G

·
all those rails in the ground, how are we going to get our road bikes through that?


maybe like we did as kids? by crossing at an angle and by basicly look out for ourselves?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,297 Posts
And just who's gonna pay to rip up the streets and lay track? Better chance of outlawing gas cars in leiu of electric cars than this ever flying.

This is a complete boondoggle intended to seperate investors from their bank accounts IMHO.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,746 Posts
Posted By cmjdisanto on 05/21/2008 6:00 AM

Here's an Orwellian thought.....That picture of the Home Depot? In the future their sign is just four letters "less" than what they may become. This price crap is gonna force those places to shift from home improvement centers to just Centers for......../DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/whistling.gif" border=0>;)" border=0>




For the scoops to make drop offs for Soylent Green production?
 
G

·
For the scoops to make drop offs for Soylent Green production?

soylent green can be only a very temporary solution.
if once the water is extracted from the "rawmaterial", there are about 40 to 60 pound of material left.
that feeds one human for about a month.
so population would shrink to less than one tenth within a year.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,510 Posts
Posted By kormsen on 05/21/2008 8:59 PM
For the scoops to make drop offs for Soylent Green production?

soylent green can be only a very temporary solution.
if once the water is extracted from the "rawmaterial", there are about 40 to 60 pound of material left.
that feeds one human for about a month.
so population would shrink to less than one tenth within a year.




It is a bit faster than that...

The present population of the earth RIGHT NOW is...

6,669,207,116 people.

according to: http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/popclockworld.html at the moment I checked (It goes up about 15 every 5 seconds.)

So for the next month 1/2 of them are food for the other half, leaving 3,334,603,559 people with full tummys.

Half of that 3,334,603,558 feeds the other half in the 2nd month.

Half of the remaining 1,667,301,779 feed the other half in the 3rd month.

Half of the remaining 833,650,889 feed the other half in the 4th month.
(The population has shrunk by about 10 percent of the original about here.)
Half of the remaining 416,825,444 feed the other half in the 5th month.

Half of the remaining 208,412,722 feed the other half in the 6th month.

Half of the remaining 104,206,361 feed the other half in the 7th month.
(The population has shrunk to about 10 percent of the original about here.)
Half of the remaining 52,103,180 feed the other half in the 8th month.

Half of the remaining 26,051,590 feed the other half in the 9th month.

Half of the remaining 13,025,795 feed the other half in the 10th month.

Half of the remaining 6,512,897 feed the other half in the 11th month.

Half of the remaining 3,256,448 feed other half in the 12 month.

At the end of 1 year the population of the earth would be 1,628,224 (of the original 6,669,207,117) which is 0.024 percent.

Of course that assumes their are no more births.

If we assume the present birth rate then the following table results:

Month Population
1--- 6,669,213,017 (I re-checked the number!)
2--- 3,360,958,509
3--- 1,680,479,254
4--- 840,239,627
5--- 420,119,814
6--- 210,059,907
7--- 105,029,953
8--- 52,514,977
9--- 26,257,488
10-- 13,128,744
11-- 6,564,372
12-- 3,282,186
13-- 1,641,093
14-- 820,547
15-- 410,273
16-- 205,137
17-- 102,568
18-- 51,284
19-- 25,642
20-- 12,821
21-- 6,411
22-- 3,205
23-- 1,603
24-- 801
25-- 401
26-- 200
27-- 100
28-- 50
29-- 25
30-- 13
31-- 6
32-- 3
33-- 2
34-- I'm hungry!
 
G

·
your math is way out over my head.
but lets say, in the 33rd, you and i will turn vegetarian?
running trains all alone, without anybody, to show off to, would be boring.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,510 Posts
I don't remember who said this, but I think it will apply here...

"I am not a vegetarian because I love animals... I am a vegetarian because I hate vegetables!"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Interesting discussion! I particularly like it since it's my website that Matthew found via google. I'd like to respond to some of the comments...

Matthew: "Somehow it tends to set off the George Orwell alarm in me"

I fully understand. Clearly it's a technology with potential for abuse...just like nuclear energy, the internet, and so on. The website intentionally focuses on the engineering aspects rather than the social ones. PRT or not, we clearly need to vote wisely and improve democracy if we are to avoid Orwell's scenario.

ThinkerT: "It is also a complete flop."

So far. But that doesn't prove it can't work. Technology has changed radically since the first PRT proposals. And new factors are in play...climate change, energy shortages, gridlock, are requiring us to rethink transportation. My PRT premise differs from past proposals in that the goal is the REPLACE the automobile, not coexist. It takes over the roadways rather than building costly elevated skyways. It's a very radical idea, but we live in radical times. Besides...does anyone on this blog really think humans will still be in the drivers seat 500 years from now? What about 100 years? My contention is that the technology is such that we can do it now.

Semper: "No "private" vehicles???? NO WAY "I" could use the vehicle just exited by someone that decided to have a smoke while riding... or the one some kid (or drunk adult) just barfed (or worse) in."

That's an easy one. Just like a city bus, no smoking would be allowed. And obviously if a vehicle is taken out of service due to barf, another one would replace it.

Josef: "Do they make steam powered versions?"

Glad you ask. The vehicles are entirely electric...much more efficient than ANY combustion system. The vehicles would use an electrified 3rd rail, with a small battery for getting past unelectrified sections. The electricity would most likely come from a variety of sources, but I suspect mostly nuclear. If you don't like nuclear, think of it this way...iit's whatever energy source makes the most sense, as long as it can produce electricity.

cmjdisanto: "Personally I have difficulty walking and it would be impossible to carry groceries/whatever the 5 blocks from a rail/trolley stop to the house"

As I said this system would replace the automobile, so it would pick you up in front of your house. This includes children, elderly, and handicapped people since they don't drive the vehicles.

mark: "As far as that system goes, it would be fine for an individual commuting to work. What about families? I don't see that as a good mode for a mom with a kid and all the stuff she's likely to have (stroller, diaper bag, kid carrier, purse!)."

Actually it's perfect for mom & kids. Mom can easily bring along the stroller, etc. And mom won't be distracted by the kids. And later on mom can send the kids to soccer practice by themselves if she likes.

Plus, all those rails in the ground, how are we going to get our road bikes through that?

For several engineering reasons the rails are NOT embedded into the ground, so bicycles would cross at key points where the surrounding surface is raised to track level for easy crossing.

"removing that kind of human control would really scare me."

The safety of a computer controlled system only increases. Human drivers on the other hand continue to drive drunk, get distracted by cell phones, kids, etc. So even if you don't believe computers are not as reliable as us, our days of superiority must surely be numbered.

vsmith: "And just who's gonna pay to rip up the streets and lay track?"

The cost of maintaining the existing asphalt roadways is gigantic. A rail system requires much less maintenance. And just to be clear, the tracks are mounted atop the road surfaces, so you don't rip up the streets. This is detailed on the website.

gary
http://www.prtproject.com
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4 Posts
Gary,

I just read your entire web site, and I must say it is nicely done. I was doing OK with the idea until I got to the words "intelligent legislation" the bells rang and the whistle blew...

Well thought out but the theroy has a lot of holes in it.

It all boiles down to "They will get my car when they pry the keys from my cold dead hand".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Posted By paceway on 05/23/2008 8:45 PM
Gary,
I just read your entire web site, and I must say it is nicely done. I was doing OK with the idea until I got to the words "intelligent legislation" the bells rang and the whistle blew...

As I mentioned above, my focus is on the engineering aspects, not the political ones. The latter are far too complicated...





Well thought out but the theroy has a lot of holes in it.

Like what?





It all boiles down to "They will get my car when they pry the keys from my cold dead hand".


I've certainly heard that one before. I like to drive as well, but not in traffic or even in town. But a drive in the country would be something we wouldn't want to lose. And coincidentially that's where public transportation doesn't work well anyway.

I suspect people a mere hundred years back said things like "They will get my horse when they pry the saddle out of my cold dead hands."



gary
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4 Posts
Gary,


As you said the idea is well thought out, from an engineering standpoint. From a social stand point I have a few problems. First of all our government, though it is by far the best in the world, is not known for being able to operate anything without screwing it up. They are so busy keeping there asses in office they are not paying attention to what is good for the American people, or what the people want.

Can you imagine what will happen when one government authority controls your transportation needs. Your freedom will be gone. One of the great ideas of a free democracy is that you can go where when you want.

A few holes in the engineering... There four million trucks in this country delivering the goods we use daily, what about them? What is going to happen to the system when you load forty thousand pounds of freight on it, or have to deliver a hundred thousand pound piece of bridge to a construction site?

What about an emergency vehicle, how do they get around traffic? Are they going to have to wait in line on the track for the line to clear?

I think you have under estimated the volume of traffic during rush hours. Example, one million people need to get to work by nine A.M. If they car pool and ride two to a car that's half a million trips to town. If the trip is fifteen miles @ forty-five MPH that's .33 hrs each trip times half a million trips… that’ kind of scary. Then there is the problem of what are you going to do with half a million cars during the day when they are not in use.

The dept. of transportation once tried to stop all trucks from running overnight. The plan never got going because they couldn’t figure out where to park four million trucks.
Our freedoms in this country are under assault today like never before, in my opinion, and the government is going toward fascism more and more. Weed less government not more. They will just screw it up anyways.

I think your plan has many merits and should be considered for small-dedicated communities or villages. If done on a community-by-community basis it could work. People would have a choice to opt out of the program by relocating somewhere else.

My opinion is obviously more politically then technology based but remember that the best technology in the world that is not acceptable to the user will not be sold…
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Posted By paceway on 05/24/2008 7:52 AM
Gary,
As you said the idea is well thought out, from an engineering standpoint. From a social stand point I have a few problems. First of all our government, though it is by far the best in the world, is not known for being able to operate anything without screwing it up. They are so busy keeping there asses in office they are not paying attention to what is good for the American people, or what the people want.
Can you imagine what will happen when one government authority controls your transportation needs. Your freedom will be gone. One of the great ideas of a free democracy is that you can go where when you want.
A few holes in the engineering... There four million trucks in this country delivering the goods we use daily, what about them? What is going to happen to the system when you load forty thousand pounds of freight on it, or have to deliver a hundred thousand pound piece of bridge to a construction site?
What about an emergency vehicle, how do they get around traffic? Are they going to have to wait in line on the track for the line to clear?
I think you have under estimated the volume of traffic during rush hours. Example, one million people need to get to work by nine A.M. If they car pool and ride two to a car that's half a million trips to town. If the trip is fifteen miles @ forty-five MPH that's .33 hrs each trip times half a million trips… that’ kind of scary. Then there is the problem of what are you going to do with half a million cars during the day when they are not in use.
The dept. of transportation once tried to stop all trucks from running overnight. The plan never got going because they couldn’t figure out where to park four million trucks.
Our freedoms in this country are under assault today like never before, in my opinion, and the government is going toward fascism more and more. Weed less government not more. They will just screw it up anyways.
I think your plan has many merits and should be considered for small-dedicated communities or villages. If done on a community-by-community basis it could work. People would have a choice to opt out of the program by relocating somewhere else.
My opinion is obviously more politically then technology based but remember that the best technology in the world that is not acceptable to the user will not be sold…


Bob,

I share much of your concerns about freedom in this country. Not only are our freedoms at risk, but our technological edge as well. I can easily imagine that future transportations systems (whatever their form) will be started elsewhere. Very sad. Ultimately we need smarter voters in this country. btw, here's my website for helping in that area: www.ExpertVoter.org

So back to the technological issues. My own engineering background (programming & general engineering) tells me that control of the vehicles is well within what can be accomplished already. Controling a single vehicle is certainly not nearly as complex as the vehicle Nasa is landing on Mars tomorrow. So the only real issue is that of scaling the system. That's accomplished by distributing the processing. The vehicle itself is fairly autonomous, very similar to what's already been developed recently for the unmanned vehicle races you've probably heard about. On top of that there's a central control system that handles all the routing. Either system is capable of bringing a vehicle to a halt in the event of safety concerns, proving a great failsafe mechanism.

As I said, the system only has enough vehicles to support peak traffic. So not even half as many PRT vehicles as automobiles. And during off peak hours, vehicles can simply stop where they are or rerout to a maintenance facility for routine cleanups, etc. Based on usage history vehicles would tend to rest where they are likely needed next. If you typically leave for work every morning at 6:30am, most likely the system would anticipate this and be waiting nearby.

(One note on privacy...most cities have installed cameras at every intersection. And your license plate can be read, thus tracking your every movements. So your privacy worries, as well founded as they are, aren't necessarily that different with an automated system. It's all about smarter voting.)

You mentioned trucking, specifically unusually heavy loads. The PRT vehicles only require a fraction of the existing road surfaces. It doesn't leave enough to keep driving automobiles, but it does leave enough for a maintenance road that could handle unusually large operations. I work for a construction company and believe me, we DO have some large vehicles. But normal freight will move about on the rails fairly easily. Rails are very strong and don't form potholes from truck traffic like asphalt.

You mentioned emergency vehicles...that's where this sort of system really shines. When an emergency vehicles is needed across town, all other traffic would automatically know this and instantly reroute out of the way. No sirens needed. And the very concept of rubbernecking disappears from our vocabulary.

gary
 
1 - 20 of 44 Posts
Top