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

5695 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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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.
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!
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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!"
Posted By gdstark on 05/23/2008 12:10 AM
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...


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.

No smoking would be allowed??? Just like bank robbery is not allowed? For a person that is VIOLENTLY "allergic" to tobacco the self-centered individual that says, "It won't hurt if I smoke while I am alone in this public car", it is no different than the person that says, "It won't hurt if I point my Uzi at that man and empty several clips."

As for providing a second vehicle if one has to be pulled from service... Well, you got called for Jury Duty and are to arrive at 8:00 AM and it takes 15 minutes of travel time, so the vehicle is ordered for 7:30 AM to give plenty of time. It arrives on-time, but is totally gunked up and must be sent back to the barn for cleaning. Another one is ordered... but none will be available for 15 minutes and the travel time TO your point of departure is another 15 minutes. Add your travel time of 15 minutes and YOU are LATE by 15 minutes or more... (Judges don't like that!) What are you going to do when you have to order yet another one because the second one is just as gunked up as the first.

Have you seen the state a subway car can be in? Have you been in a public bus recently? They have a driver that can't seem to keep people from cutting seat cushions, removing screws from the seats, or smearing fecal matter all over the place!
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Posted By gdstark on 05/27/2008 1:55 PM
Posted By vsmith on 05/27/2008 12:03 PM
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?

I suspect most people would rent a vehicle rather than maintain their own, so which direction you want to travel wouldn't matter. The idea of keeping your old vehicle on standby would probably be more of a transitional need while the system is being built. Just curious...when you do make these trips out of town, where do you typically go?
If you're concern about accidents with the above ground track is because people would trip over it, I'm just not seeing it. People just need to cross at the crosswalks. If you're concerned about people being hit by the vehicles, that's the job of the vehicles to sense the obstruction and respond accordingly. And that's a problem that already exists with automobiles. So even if you aren't convinced computers can do this better, wouldn't you agree that time is on the side of technology? It would be easy for me to descriabe the track as completely embedded, but my hunch is that this would cause even more technical (and maintenance) problems than not doing so.
Yes, I've been to SF as recently as last week. And I will be there next Tuesday. Not sure of your point.
Truck traffic would use the same rail system.
> "dedicated right-of-ways"
Dedicated right-of-ways is a doomed concept. Too few people will ever live near these dedicated right-of-ways. One single system will be more efficient than trying to integrate multiple systems (automobile & public transportation).
> Also for a system the size of LA how would you control it?
As a programmer I would say this is simply not a problem. The central system is really doing nothing but routing. Modern videogames move huge numbers of objects around in a 3D works with no problem. And don't forget...the processing is distributed...the vehicles themselves must have the onboard logic to move about, pickup passengers, and avoid objects. That fact allows the system to scale very nicely. No supercomputer is necessary.

Today the railroads put up fences to keep people off the right-of-ways and build overhead crosswalks to get to the other side... and ADULTS cut holes in the fences so CHILDREN can cut across the tracks to get to places where they should not be. "Cross at crosswalks"... NOBODY does it now (and there are laws already on the books that say WE should/must!) why would a set of electrified rails in the middle of the street deter someone from crossing over them in their own conceited convenience.

As for Low Voltages... Very, VERY, power wastefull. The power required is the product of Volts times Amps to get Watts (which is related to Horsepower). At low Voltages the Current required is quite high and the resistance of the rails is relatively high to the flow of Current. At high Voltages the resistance is relatively low... this is why electric power is transmitted via VERY high voltage (high tension) lines. The current is low so the resistance is of less impact to the flow of "POWER". High Voltage at low Current can be the same "Power" as low Voltage at high Currrent, but Resistance affects the flow of Current so if you use a low Voltage system you have more power loss due to resistance. Amusement parks get away with it because the distances involved (a few hundred feet) don't add up to much resistance, but in the system proposed, the distances would be many MILES and the resistance would be quite high meaning large losses of power.

One could break the proposed system down into short sections, each fed from a separate power system that supplies low voltage but is fed from a high Voltage system. Now you have the logistics of supplying the power in a grid that runs along side of the rail system in some manner.

If this proposed system were to be built INTO a NEW city where these logistics could be worked ahead of time to be the most effecient, then there might be some merit to it... this would also provide the time to work out the safety precautions (grade crossing and security of electrical systems) and auxilary travel systems (where to put the real "privately owned" cars are stowed and how to get from a residence to the closest rail system if it is not directly in front of the residence) and a system of living quarters vis-a-vis "business districts" and service area routes. It won't be easily integrated into New York City or Chicago or Los Angeles nor any other already constructed metropolis that has been constructed around, and compromised with, the general terrain of the Earth.

Utopia does not, and will never, exist.
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