G Scale Model Train Forum banner

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

5692 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)
1 - 3 of 44 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.
I have to go with Vic on this one - and since he is apparently some species of civil engineer, his view carries a bit of weight.

Right now, in all too many big cities, you have a massive bottlenecking commute with private cars from the burbs to the city center or what passes for such each morning...and a repeat in the other direction each evening. Plus lunch hour headaches. Putting all or even most of those people in little individualized railcars would seem to simply transfer those bottlenecks to the rails. Plus, with the sheer number of cars that would be called for, I don't really see a net energy savings, though with electric rigs, you would benefit pollution wise.

That said, I do see some very serious potential in recreating a updated version of the old trolly car network, or an extensive light rail system featuring actual trains instead of personalized cars.

The way things are getting...well, I wouldn't be surprised if we end up staring gasoline rationing or worse in five or six years anyhow, making it difficult or impossible for many or most folks to commute to work via private gasoline auto. I see this as a serious enough possibility to where serious planning and prep work should be underway *now* but I don't really see personalized rail transport as being a practical solution.
See less See more
So perhaps we ultimately disagree on the solution, but we at least agree that we have very serious problem looming in our future with respect to fuel.
Yep, we agree there. As of now, I figure we are about half a dozen years, give or take a couple depending on just exactly how things play out, from what amounts to catastrophe.

Your solution seems to be a system that does not service people door-to-door, but instead is just "more traditional public transportation".

Planning, building, and working the bugs out of the PRT system - *IF* it actually is doable - would take decades, probably something on the order of half a century. The way I see it, there are going to be a great many civilian gasoline powered personal auto's going nowhere in less than a decade - gasoline will either be rationed, or it will be too expensive for most people to afford on a regular basis. When that realization hits, the options are either

1) Anarchy - riots, martial law, Road Warrior type stuff, or

2) cobble together some sort of mass transit system in a hurry. Maybe integrate the school bus system with regular mass transit somehow.

Once the realization hits that the good old days of the internal combustion powered personal rigs ain't coming back, and once it becomes apparent the electrical grid can't support all that many electric cars being plugged in every night, people will start wanting to 'move up' from the improvised mass transit system to something else. In big dense urban areas, something like the PRT might be chosen. But for the rest it will almost certainly be some combination of busses and light rail.

As time goes by, I see a gradual emptying out of suburbia, especially those parts of suburbia which are not connected to the rest of civilization by some sort of reliable mass transit. Energy costs - electric and home heating will also force a lot of people to move out of the suburbs. A few decades down the trail, except for gated and/or 'green' communities, most suburbs will be the haunt of drug dealers, squatters, criminals, religious fanatics, and 'hicks', for want of a better term. Most folks will live in urban areas, close to where they work, shop, and go to school; mostly in apartments or townhouse deals.
See less See more
1 - 3 of 44 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.