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(The Atlantic Cities)   And the future of commuting is... cars on trains. This is going to be the worst demolition derby ever   (theatlanticcities.com) divider line 56
    More: Unlikely, public transports, commuters  
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4705 clicks; posted to Main » on 23 Jan 2013 at 1:29 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-23 12:39:09 PM  
mhmm
1) each/many stations would require massive work
2) most inner city stations are indoors/underground, so how would that work again??

this would require a number of other things to work at all
1) the cost of using this service would need to be lower than tolls/gas
2) the number of car slots would need to be huge, otherwise, the reduction in traffic would be tiny
3) what would the cost be to upgrade/double the train engines to move the additional mass

wouldnt it be much easier to:
1) reduce traffic: increase tolls/fees like london does, to greatly increase the cost of driving into the city
2) massive increase in cabs/iGo and zip cars near the main stations would allow more people to take the trains for the long part of the trip and drive/cab for the city part
 
2013-01-23 12:49:37 PM  
upload.wikimedia.org
Amtrak auto train. (DC to Orlando)
 
2013-01-23 01:30:32 PM  

BunkyBrewman: [upload.wikimedia.org image 632x519]
Amtrak auto train. (DC to Orlando)


Came to say this.
 
2013-01-23 01:31:02 PM  
I tried this once in Europe, it worked out fine. Not too sure it's going to work out with US infrastructure though... no one would use it until gas got super high, and by that point it would be too late to get started.
 
2013-01-23 01:33:19 PM  
By worst demolition derby ever, you mean best demolition derby ever.
 
2013-01-23 01:35:20 PM  

BunkyBrewman: [upload.wikimedia.org image 632x519]
Amtrak auto train. (DC to Orlando)


Never really saw the point in that. You'll miss Pedro and South of the Border and fireworks stands
 
2013-01-23 01:37:54 PM  
The modmins/judges would've also accepted "this is not a repeat from 1971"

Link
 
2013-01-23 01:38:22 PM  
Me and my homies used to play this game.
We called it AMTRAK but some called it "The Train".
We all would line up in a single-file line,
and take our turns at waxin' girls' behinds.
But every time it came to me, I was shiat outta luck.
'Cause I'd stick my dick in, and it would get stuck.
 
2013-01-23 01:39:44 PM  

drongozone: BunkyBrewman: [upload.wikimedia.org image 632x519]
Amtrak auto train. (DC to Orlando)

Never really saw the point in that. You'll miss Pedro and South of the Border and fireworks stands


If you like that dump so much, why don't you buy it? Last time I was there, the clerk was telling the customers - both of 'em - about it being for sale.
 
2013-01-23 01:40:12 PM  
I should add about a dozen years ago Amtrak was even looking into adding a West Coast AutoTrain to the Coast Starlight consist...
 
2013-01-23 01:40:24 PM  
The Auto Train is expensive as shiat. It's like $600+ extra dollars to lug your car to Florida.. fark that.. Might as well drive.
 
2013-01-23 01:41:15 PM  
Ok now I am going to copyright, "A Train That Carries Trains". Brilliant!!!

image.spreadshirt.com

www.maniacworld.com
 
2013-01-23 01:45:26 PM  

lilplatinum: I tried this once in Europe, it worked out fine. Not too sure it's going to work out with US infrastructure though... no one would use it until gas got super high, and by that point it would be too late to get started.


The people to market this to is old people. My grandparents used to live in Florida and when they came to visit us near Buffalo they took Amtrak's Auto Train to DC. They thought it great that they did not have to drive half the distance. And at their age that was a really good thing.

Unfortunately, if most people are unwilling to take trains any place this will never really get off the ground. If they did want to try, however, the best thing would be to see about getting Amtrak to expand their auto train service.
 
2013-01-23 01:47:08 PM  
www.ticketstofrance.com
The euro tunnel approves!
 
2013-01-23 01:48:04 PM  

Mock26: The people to market this to is old people. My grandparents used to live in Florida and when they came to visit us near Buffalo they took Amtrak's Auto Train to DC. They thought it great that they did not have to drive half the distance. And at their age that was a really good thing.

Unfortunately, if most people are unwilling to take trains any place this will never really get off the ground. If they did want to try, however, the best thing would be to see about getting Amtrak to expand their auto train service.


Yeah I understand why they have the DC to Florida lines, seems like a big appeal would be to snowbirds who want to split time between the north and south. Probably a public service to keep those blind, deaf, senile farks from driving on the highway as little as possible.
 
2013-01-23 01:49:29 PM  
satnavandcider.files.wordpress.com

Someone needs to tell him the French beat him to it.
 
2013-01-23 01:51:26 PM  

Warthog: [satnavandcider.files.wordpress.com image 800x591]

Someone needs to tell him the French beat him to it.


well he did say that he had the idea a long time ago ....
mhmm
 
2013-01-23 01:52:42 PM  
OK OK OK, let's just stop this talk about the Autotrain right now. Our  intrepid inventor is suggesting this for commuting. All those cars are going to have to be secured before the train can move and how long is that going to take?
 
2013-01-23 01:55:09 PM  

Warthog: [satnavandcider.files.wordpress.com image 800x591]

Someone needs to tell him the French beat him to it.


Mmmmmmm French Girls, the only redeeming quality of that country.
www.currencycalculators.org.uk
 
2013-01-23 01:55:37 PM  
If you read his actual patent application, it isn't for the general idea of loading cars on a train, but a stupidvery narrow way of doing it involving multi-level ramps and ramp trucks:

What is claimed is:

1. A commuter train ferry system comprising: a plurality of boxcars joinable to each other to form a train, each of said boxcars comprising a plurality of decks configured for transporting a plurality of vehicles and their occupants during a commuter trip; at least one ramp configured for loading and unloading said vehicles with their occupants from said boxcars, said at least one ramp comprising a plurality of driving surfaces for accessing said plurality of decks and at least one wheel configured for rolling on a ground surface; and at least one ramp truck comprising a plurality of wheels supporting a truck body having a truck side perpendicular to the ground surface, said truck side being joined only to a side of said at least one ramp where said truck side is substantially parallel to a portion of said plurality of driving surfaces, and said at least one ramp truck is operable for an operator in said ramptruck to turn and move said at least one ramp on the ground surface in a plurality of directions to dock with one of said boxcars.
 
2013-01-23 01:59:26 PM  
If it was cheap enough (and rail freight is supposed to be pretty cheap), I totally would drive onto a train for long distance travel.

Unfortunately, the train costs like a plane and is as slow as a bus for a lot of the country, although I hear it works great for the Northeast Corridor.
 
2013-01-23 02:03:27 PM  

namatad: 1) each/many stations would require massive work
2) most inner city stations are indoors/underground, so how would that work again??


This really only makes sense for intercity or cross-country travel. There used to be an auto train between New York and Florida for vacationers.
 
2013-01-23 02:04:01 PM  

Ashrams: Warthog: [satnavandcider.files.wordpress.com image 800x591]

Someone needs to tell him the French beat him to it.

Mmmmmmm French Girls, the only redeeming quality of that country.
[www.currencycalculators.org.uk image 850x647]


And the food, and the wine, and the architecture, and the wine, and the food, and the castles, and the food, and the wine.
 
2013-01-23 02:06:59 PM  

Goodluckfox: If it was cheap enough (and rail freight is supposed to be pretty cheap), I totally would drive onto a train for long distance travel.

Unfortunately, the train costs like a plane and is as slow as a bus for a lot of the country, although I hear it works great for the Northeast Corridor.


On the longer trips the cost of a room can be astronomically high!
 
2013-01-23 02:14:07 PM  
Stop the train, I gotta Piss!
 
2013-01-23 02:22:47 PM  
when the kids were young and the grandparents were a 15 hour drive away I looked high and low for this.

the drive was exhausting for everyone but the grandparents didn't have a car big enough to haul the family around so we were stuck driving. It would have been so nice to sleep (for more than 20 seconds at a time) or read or walk around instead of fighting traffic, non-stop pee breaks, 15 hours of little people/dora/MLP/Disney-princess-movie-du jour constantly streaming out of the speakers.
 
2013-01-23 02:26:33 PM  
It isn't that outlandish.

Pros:
1. You have your car with you (and can go anywhere). This is a good reason for many Americans to use a car for car for commuting.
2. You don't need that many stations (since you are driving from the station to wherever).
3. Stay in your car (no need for train/bus/subway car hate).
4. Wifi (queue trolls advocating texting and driving)
Cons:
1. Semi-big infrastructure for what is likely a small part of the trip.
2. You still have to park.
3. Since the cars weigh tons (maybe in the 3xxxlbs) you aren't likely going much faster than driving. People want public transport faster than they are. Combing 2&3 might give smart a reason to import cars into the US (other than Manhattan).

I'm surprised a developer hasn't latched on to this idea. Build in Harper's Ferry, WV and have a shuttle that stops at the Beltway (no idea how to get cars out of Union Station and into DC). I'm sure California has plenty more places that would work.
 
2013-01-23 02:27:46 PM  
Why not just make couplers for cars and dedicate a lane of each major highway to a train of cars? I'm sure it'd be easier than Google's driverless cars. All those cars sharing acceleration and recuperative braking would probably be pretty efficient. Could probably go 100mph and get great fuel mileage with the reduced wind resistance. Maybe a horizontal tire on either side of the car to keep them in line in case of inclement weather, just run them straight down a chute made of k-rails. There would be some infrastructure cost, but you'd pass on a huge chunk of it to the users, as opposed to everyone. Be a lot cheaper if people supplied their own car, than the government or a private entity supplying enough train cars to fulfill demand. You reach your destination and can drive your car independently of the system. Looking at the 75 corridor, could have entrance/exit ramps at five major cities between Detroit and the Keys.
 
2013-01-23 02:33:40 PM  
I live in Kansas City, but most of my family is in Colorado.   I would LOVE to have a car train.  Driving across Kansas is really as bad as it gets.  Flat/ boring/ nothing to do. On top of that, every town cop or sheriff is running radar on I-70.
 
2013-01-23 02:36:55 PM  

yet_another_wumpus: It isn't that outlandish.


Think for a minute how long it would take to load and unload all these cars even if designed very very well. Imagine how long it takes to unload a parking garage when many people are leaving/coming at the same time. Unless the distance traveled in is the hundreds of miles, this really doesn't make sense.
 
2013-01-23 02:38:02 PM  
You ever been stuck at a red light with some annoying twit blasting his bass and begging for the light to change. Yeah, imagine that while stuck in your comfy car/train commute.
 
2013-01-23 02:39:20 PM  
It's an excellent idea. Amtrak AFAIK has exactly one of these trains.

/Amtrak needs to get better.
 
2013-01-23 02:40:46 PM  
3.bp.blogspot.com

approves?
 
2013-01-23 02:54:15 PM  
They could load the train cars into the back of a jet...
 
2013-01-23 03:01:22 PM  
What they failed to say was that cars can't ride every day in the week, they can only ride SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY.
 
2013-01-23 03:03:25 PM  
Amtrak transports cars and passengers in separate compartments. But Farooq's system envisions that you'd commute just as you do on a ferry, riding inside your car (as it rides the train).

Sounds like mass transit for sociopaths.

I haven't ridden all that many ferries (mainly the Staten Island [NY] and Vallejo [CA] ferries, which don't carry cars), but I've never taken one that requires passengers to stay in their vehicles. Plus, auto ferries, like the one from Bridgeport, CT to Port Jefferson, NY, are very expensive ($54-71 one-way).. Auto trains would have to be a lot cheaper to be a viable solution for most daily commuters.
 
2013-01-23 03:06:43 PM  
Meh. Did that back in the 70's through the Alps, in fact on one of them we just stayed in the car strapped to a flatbed train car...that long tunnel in Switzerland was freaky to me as a 10 year old.
 
2013-01-23 03:14:48 PM  
pciszek: "This really only makes sense for intercity or cross-country travel."

If for no other reason than cities don't have room for the commuters cars they *already* have.
Making it easier to get more cars into the city just exacerbates the problems they cause once they're there.
 
2013-01-23 03:15:45 PM  

namatad: wouldnt it be much easier to:
1) reduce traffic: increase tolls/fees like london does, to greatly increase the cost of driving into the city
2) massive increase in cabs/iGo and zip cars near the main stations would allow more people to take the trains for the long part of the trip and drive/cab for the city part


Other options I'd look at:
3) Put the drop off somewhere useful
4) Install more skywalks and even slideways such that a worker can reach, say, a 1 mile radius before driving is actually faster than walking from the station. In a city, 1 mile in radius is HUGE. Install subways or other transit tricks so that combined with the above system walking/taking the train is still faster/cheaper than driving.
5) In fairweather cities, have easy rental of bikes and such
 
2013-01-23 03:54:06 PM  
This has some valid applications, but on the flip side, why expend the energy move the cars? They car itself fundamentally represents the ability to go anywhere at will. As in if your place is not on a bus route or near a subway station, you're not SOL. For commuting why not just build a giant parking garage downtown, fill it up with Zipcars and have the train drop everyone off there. Some people can go get on the bus, some people can walk or bike, some people can go get on the subway, some people can get a car. End of the day, return your car, get on the train, go home. Your car is waiting for you at the suburban station where you got on the train.

Moving the vehicle only makes sense if that specific vehicle itself is important at the other end (like say moving your SUV and popup camper from Michigan to Texas so you can drive around to various national parks). Otherwise just make the car a commodity.

Also commodity cars would be easier to handle, rather than needed a car loading train and car loading stations at every stop, just one big parking garage next to the station and fill it full of some fuel efficient car you purchased in bulk. If you want to be fancy have it be one of those garages that automatically fetches the cars for people. People could have standing reservations that they could edit via a smartphone app if they find themselves coming into work at a different time.

/plus for this type of application a pure electric car would work well due to the limited range you'd need to cover
 
2013-01-23 04:02:00 PM  

dofus: drong


A little late, but where is your BS detector?
 
2013-01-23 06:17:29 PM  

ha-ha-guy: Otherwise just make the car a commodity.


How about a PRT network? Light elevated electric rail, 25-30 mph but nonstop, 2-4 people capacity per individually powered and guided pod?

My goal is to make the alternative transit system both faster and cheaper than cars, at least in the highest developed parts of the city. Succeed at that, and you'll see non-special purpose cars die.
 
2013-01-23 06:59:24 PM  
This how GM shipped Chevy Vega's from the factory.

images.hemmings.com
 
2013-01-23 07:08:29 PM  

pciszek: namatad: 1) each/many stations would require massive work
2) most inner city stations are indoors/underground, so how would that work again??

This really only makes sense for intercity or cross-country travel. There used to be an auto train between New York and Florida for vacationers.


Also used to be one between (of all places) Louisville and Florida--partly because at the time there was still a fair amount of L&N infrastructure in place.

Pretty much went away when Louisville lost Amtrak the first time, and a lot of the other L&N routes lost Amtrak as well.

(Yes, Louisville has lost Amtrak twice--the second time being a rather short-lived overnighter branch of the Cardinal line that had to traverse shiatty K&I infrastructure that hasn't been upgraded since the early 20s (not joking on this, either--there are still manual switches in parts of the line between Louisville and Indy and much of the line is restricted to 20mph due to horrible track conditions), and even shipping UPS freight overnight to Chicago along the line couldn't save it. Frankly, I'm HOPING the plans for a high-speed (in this case, merely "faster than cars and definitely faster than 20mph") line from Indy to Louisville come into being someday (the K&I line HAS been targeted for high-speed rail money); rather liked Amtrak the last time I rode it, and rather miss having options other than driving, Southwest (or a mess of Embraer- and CanadaJet-loving regional airlines), Greyhound (if I want to take my life into my hands) or Megabus (if I either want to get to where I'm going late at night or get up at ass-thirty AM to catch it).)
 
2013-01-23 07:16:31 PM  
Live closer to work, idiot!
 
2013-01-23 07:25:10 PM  
I think an auto train along the west coast would be awesome. Link Vancouver BC, Seattle, Portland, Sacramento (or Vallejo), San Bernardino, and San Diego. I wouldn't have it pull right into Los Angeles as there's really no more room but San Bernardino is close enough. Vallejo might be the better option as it opens up the whole Bay Area (including the wine country). No need to stop anywhere between Portland and the Bay Area/Sacramento, there's not enough people who'd want to get on/get off in that region. I'd also skip the rest of the central valley. My idea is that it would be used for the trips that are 5+ hours for the most part. If you make it a high speed train, even better. It would be slower than a plane, but overall cheaper as you wouldn't have to rent a car at your destination.
 
2013-01-23 07:45:38 PM  
They need to have a way to transport your car from Chicago to Albuquerque, St. Louis to Denver, Atlanta to Los Angeles or any other combination of those big cities. It is also nice to be able to have a train that can move over night while you sleep.

If it is about $50, it would get used.
 
2013-01-23 10:46:56 PM  

BunkyBrewman: Amtrak auto train. (DC to Orlando)


$1,000+ for a family of four, screw that noise I can fly and rent a car for that and be there in 2 hours instead of 18 hours.
 
2013-01-23 11:06:13 PM  
rengav I think an auto train along the west coast would be awesome.

AFAIK, it never went beyond market research, the I-5 isn't like I-95, the thing woulsd have 2 stop in LA, San Jose/ Oakland or Sacto

Ashrams Mmmmmmm French Girls, the only redeeming quality of that country.

You were suppsed to post Alizee, the Official Hot French Chick of Fark...
Link
 
2013-01-23 11:50:32 PM  

Old_Chief_Scott: Our intrepid inventor is suggesting this for commuting.


This is exactly why this is a stupid idea. Long distance travel by train? Sure, makes sense. Short distance commuting? Oh hells naw. I'd hate to see the traffic jams at the end of the line when everybody is trying to get out onto already packed downtown streets.

/walkable, pedestrian oriented stations and appropriately scaled nearby development is the way to go
 
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