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The return of narrow gauge.... on your street?

5693 Views 43 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  gdstark
Went looking for streetside photos of small railroad depots for a project I'm working on for the Slate Creek.

Google got a bit confused ....

What it came up with was this:


Somehow it tends to set off the George Orwell alarm in me, but it's an interesting approach nonetheless!

Matthew (OV)
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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.
What happens when someone in a wheelchair wants to cross the road, or go down the sidewalk thats now crisscut with rails?

I completely fail to see how this would be any better than keeping the existing road system and simply switching to smaller and lighter weight all-electric or high effeciency hybrid cars and using a more traditional trolley car system integrated along major routes?, you would have to track every street in your average city and what happens when I want to go where there are no tracks?, might be less expensive to build that bridge between Alaska and Siberia.
Ohh Kayyy, So... I have to ride to the edge of the system to get my car? Do you have any idea how big an urban area LA is ???

...and WHICH direction should I park it, east, what if I want to go west? rent a car? last time I rented a car it took 2 hours and cost a fortune, Why on earth would I want to do this?

Also this notion of putting track right on top of the roadway is an accident lawyers dream, there would be hundreds of trip/fall claims within the first 100 days, if it happens with imbedded track which is much safer, putting it above grade would be legal suicide. What happens when I want to ride my bike or motorcycle down the road? What happens to truck traffic? Ever driven San Francisco?

I just see more negatives than positves, there may be some real uses for a system like this as a general people-mover on its own dedicated right-of-ways, as a replacement for the auto, on the roadway, sorry but I need more convincing aurguments.

Also for a system the size of LA how would you control it? You would need a supercomputer the size of Manhattan, to control up to 3-4 million vehicles trying to get from A to B? One punk vandal with a rock in a switch point and Kableuwi, that whole section goes down till its repaired.

As I said above, for a city the size of LA this would be a horrendously complicated track system prone to massive failures. How is it better than re-establishing a Red Car trolley car/commuter system similar in scope to the Pacific Electric to handle major commuter corridors, using a larger electric/hybrid bus fleet system on collectors along secondary routes and tertiary routes and using electric/hybridc cars for remaining personal trasportation for those whose work or homes are not accessable by the trolley/bus system?
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I'm not a civil engineer, but I have been in the archictural end of the construction business since the 1980's, even did a stint as a building inspector, so I've been around the block a few times with building codes, ADA laws, DOT regulations, legal liabilities, on and on, so I can see the potential shortcomings and liabilites with this proposal as stated.

I can see potential as a standalone urban people mover, where the tracks are elevated above walkways and roadways. It could be accessable from the buildings served and with elevated tracks, you get in, enter your destination and the cars could go alond a route thru a city grid switching at intersections and dropping people off at the specified stop, there is potential here, but as a replacement for the personal automobile, it simply isnt gonna happen, remember the trolleys were going to be the end all transit system that would replace the horse and buggy, it didnt happen, simply because people still preferred the horse and buggy that allowed greater mobility, trolleys found there nitch in the commuter sevice. It took the automobile to replace the horse and buggy entirely all they did was remove the horse from the equation with a smelly gas motor bolted under the buggy. We've been driving the "horseless buggy" ever since.

Even in the future, the car will be with us in one form or another until they invent instant transporter booths on every corner on every city on every nation, even then some kind of car device will still be used to get to the places outside of the transporter booths. Even if we in the end the cars we are driving are solar powered, or those compressed air powered Indian cars, or pedal powered jitney's, the "car" persay will always be with us. the freedom of movement the car allows is too great a motivator to ever go away.

If you want to see an example of what I'm describing for urban use, rent "Minority Report" which features a much higher tech version of these tranporter trains, namely the mag-lev people movers depicted in the film, you get in, state your destination, the car then moves out onto a continous mag-lev plate, which BTW is seperated from pedestrian and road routes, computers control the speed and slotting of the cars which move across the plate depending on their ultimate desitination, even moving up and down the sides of buildings to get the passengers to their destinations...but even in Minority Report, there were STILL cars...check out the Lexus depicted in the movie. Sweet!

All I'm saying is that there are a great deal of real world issues that need to be delt with, some of which I'm afraid to say are going to be deal killers as designed, seriously, this need more thought as to how it would work in the real, very code regulated, and very prone to lawsuites, world.
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