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(Some victorians)   How Victorian London was nearly surrounded by a giant Crystal Railway   ( ianvisits.co.uk) divider line
    More: Interesting, Victorian London, Crystal Railway, London Bridge, whales, railroads, crystals, clockwise  
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5158 clicks; posted to Geek » on 06 Nov 2012 at 12:01 PM (5 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2012-11-06 05:25:46 PM  
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phyrkrakr: I wonder why more municipalities don't look at elevated railways these days to solve mass transit problems. Everybody wants to put tubes underground, but tunneling seems like it would be more expensive than elevated rail. Is it a noise thing?

It just seems like putting elevated tracks on existing right of way clears up so many problems related to eminent domain, traffic integration, and construction cost. If somebody wants to explain the downsides, I'd be happy to hear it.

Seems like noise wouldn't be a big deal with electric trains, other than track noise, and there are ways to mitigate that. It shouldn't be any worse than the noise of the traffic if you made the tracks aligned with existing streets. I think the main problems are:

1) Aesthetics, if it wasn't done properly an elevated railway could be a huge eyesore.

2) Where do you put the switching yards, stations and siderails? If your tracks are running parallel to city streets, you don't exactly have a lot of room for maneuver on that one, so you would have to clear a lot of land in potentially very valuable real estate. You could perhaps construct these facilities underground, but then you have the issue of moving trains down a potential 50-100 foot grade over a short distance, which poses safety concerns.

3) Unauthorized access by hitchhikers, vandals, saboteurs and would-be daredevils. It's relatively easy to secure subway tunnels because there are a limited number of above-ground access points, and nearly all of them are manned stations. With an elevated railway it's much harder to prevent idiots and criminals from climbing onto the tracks and injuring themselves or harming passengers and property, because the entire track is exposed and it isn't practical to have security guards monitoring every inch of rail.
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