Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Never stopping Express trains

  [vote for,

Express trains lose lot of time while stopping at stations. Instead Make them run continuously, never-stopping. Regular (non-express) trains will stop all stations. Both trains will run on adjacent tracks. Whenever regular train encounters an express train going in same direction, it matches speed and thus both trains run adjacent to each other for 10 seconds. The doors of both trains open and small sky-way kind of structures are formed between all doors of both trains for 10 seconds rigidly connecting both trains. Both trains exchange passengers. Skyway-like structures are withdrawn. All this happens when both trains are still in motion. Regular train slows down for next station while express train marches ahead non-stop.

Express trains will stop only at first and last station. If it is a loop, then they will never stop.

I think average speed of express train can be easily more than doubled by this.

I am imagining there will be at last 4 tracks (one for express trains towards CBD and one for away from CBD, one for regular trains towards CBD and one for regular train away from CBD); This will not work for underground.

VJW, Dec 17 2010

Never-Stop Rail Transit System Proposed http://www.technove...ws.asp?NewsNum=1714
[Jinbish, Dec 17 2010]

Moving Platforms http://www.economis...spread-less-quickly
[Worldgineer, Jun 12 2013]

mail bag catcher https://www.youtube...edded&v=9qZV7sSz_iA
....circa 1903 [not_morrison_rm, Jun 12 2013]

Experiment and theory in physics http://scienceblogs...opular-imagination/
And do the trains run on time [4and20, Jun 15 2013]


       I had though of something similar, where you simply had two side tracks at each stop with two powered cars you sped up catch the main train and slowed down to drop off passengers. When it docked onto the back, passengers moved from it onto the main train and passengers on the train getting off at the next stop got on. Sort of like a horizontal elevator.   

       Besides turning out to be uber-super-mega baked, it's one of those "Nnnnnnnnaaa" ideas.
doctorremulac3, Dec 17 2010

       Of course there's always the "Indiana Jones" service, where you climb up onto the roof of the carriage and then leap onto an adjoining train, but the business with fighting off Nazi agents/knife-wielding Arabs/Ninja assassins/Hari Krishnas/Ticket collectors on the morning commute is something most travelers could probably do without.
8th of 7, Dec 17 2010

       Eh, what doesn't kill them makes them stronger. I could add this as exercise in my morning routine.
RayfordSteele, Dec 17 2010

       I think one approach would be train platforms that are large, circular, and rotate. Passengers would mount from a central well and step onto the relatively slow moving center of the platform. They make their way to the perimeter as their train nears. Relative to the moving outer edge of the platform the passing train would be stationary and passengers simply step on. Similar sorts of things are used for amusement park rides, which we all know are the incubators of innovation.
bungston, Dec 17 2010

       //platforms that are large, circular//   

       It will probably give 100 ms to go onboard.   

       Nice idea; But will need a separate clause in life insurance.
VJW, Dec 17 2010

       Re 100MS - this is where a page from the Tokyo subway playbook comes in - pushers, either human or mechaniszed insure that people do not miss their window of opportunity. This could be piloted in Japan where they have supertrains and where people like the pushers. Or maybe they are packers? Same principle.
bungston, Dec 17 2010

       Platforms mounted a few hundred yards high above the rails. As the train approaches the commuter hraps a trapeze handle and steps off the platform. At the bottom of the arc he or she is travelling level with the train and at the same speed. The train coul dhave an opening roof with cushions inside for the commuter to land in when they let go of the trapeze handle.   

       To disembark, the commuter grabs a trapeze handle hanging in the path of the train just before their desired stop.
pocmloc, Dec 17 2010

       Rather than moving laterally from one train to the other, it might work better if there was a sophisticated track switching system where the regular train can switch over to the express track and then catch up with the express train, thus linking to the trains from front to back. This would eliminate the 10 second time restraint giving more people the opportunity to switch trains. Like if they had a 60-90 second countdown before the trains disengaged and something unforeseen happens, the express train could stop or slow down without causing any kind of accident as a result of being linked laterally to the other train.
Jscotty, Dec 19 2010

       That might work.
VJW, Dec 19 2010

       Each passenger has roller skates, and a length of bungee cord with a grappling hook... nah, I've got nothing.   

       Some similar variants have been done before here.
spidermother, Dec 19 2010

       the tunnels loop around each other, like DNA strands... whichever train is on top can transfer passengers to the bottom one by the simple expedient of opening a trap door in the floor. Quick, effective.
FlyingToaster, Dec 19 2010

       Sorry to kick an old idea, but...   

       On an only slightly related topic, this concept has been considered - on a more extreme scale - for interplanetary travel-
The large transport ship is sent into space first, and slowly accelerated into a highly elliptical orbit via efficient but low-thrust ion engines or similar. This process may take months or years.
A much smaller crew capsule is then sent into orbit to dock with the transport ship. In order to match the orbits in a reasonable amount of time, more powerful (and almost certainly much less efficient) engines are required, but as these engines are only accelerating the crew capsule, not as much fuel is required.
Similarly, on arrival, a landing capsule can separate and aero-brake for atmospheric entry, while the transport ship either continues on a loop back to Earth, or slowly decelerate for orbital capture.

       For reasons of logistics and liability, I don't see this being applied to the railway system anytime soon, but I like the idea.
Freefall, Feb 03 2011

       Erm, something like the mailbag catching mechanism for trains, but with a lot more springs and dampers. C link.
not_morrison_rm, Jun 12 2013

       Maybe swap railroad carriages during the side by side rendezvous. Passengers can just sit and scream, instead of jumping the ten second gap and screaming.
popbottle, Jun 12 2013

       Hang on, wasn't most of that covered by EE Doc Smith in the "how to get between two spaceships which have the inertia suppressed" being lots of springs and dampers.
not_morrison_rm, Jun 14 2013

       I was surprised to read the passengers are expected to actually make the transfer. Instead, express passenger capsules could be loaded onto local carriages.   

       As for the rotation of the carriages and all that minutiae, I will resist the urge to spell it all out for two reasons; no one really cares, and someone else can figure it out. I only think if the big ideas. That's why I get the big bucks. (Those bean counters don't deserve the pay I get even though I can't be bothered to do their job. You know why? Because they are all interchangeable. Me? I am one of a kind. I just so happen to be the best at what I do, and my employer was simply luckier than the others to have found me.
fishboner, Jun 14 2013

       "Of course, there were also people like Pauli, who was so inept in the lab that an experimental failure was once attributed to the fact that Pauli had been changing trains in the same city as the lab when the apparatus broke…" [Link]
4and20, Jun 15 2013


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