Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Travel the world in your sleep
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At the end of a pleasant evening you check over and upload your schedule for the next day on the computer. You do your ablutions. You place your personal gear - tomorrow's clothes, a book, your work papers - at the foot of your bed, climb in, pull up the covers and close a lightweight lid over the bed. Soon after, a van pulls up outside your house. A steel door is opened, on the outside wall next to your bedroom.Your entire bed unit slides out on rails and is slotted by the van's mechanical arms into a space in the loading area, alongside 10 other identical standard-sized bed units.

The van drives to the edge of town where there is an interchange hub, bustling with vans, long distance trucks, and railway trains. While some of the bed-container-units are automatically transferred to a large truck heading for the airport, yours is loaded onto a railway carriage, which has spaces for over 50 units.

The train travels overnight, and in the early morning reaches the destination city. Your bed unit is slid out and inserted into the accommodation block.

Your alarm rings at your usual time. You push open the cover and sit up, to find your usual breakfast waiting for you in a small but pleasant bedroom. You use the shower cubicle, dress, and open the room door. The passageway is clearly signed towards the main lobby, which contains all amenities and from where you can set off on all your errands for the day in the city.

pocmloc, Oct 26 2009

Caledonian Sleeper http://www.seat61.c...edonianSleepers.htm
Courtesy of the Man in Seat 61 [pocmloc, Oct 27 2009]

physical internet physical_20internet
Could be adapted ? [8th of 7, Oct 27 2009]


       Sleepin' pills!
DrWorm, Oct 26 2009

MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 26 2009

       Overnight sleeper trains in the UK used to be advertised in pretty much these terms. (The advertisement showed a man checking into a hotel, and the receptionist said "... and where would you like to wake up?") I suppose the innovation here is that you don't have to get to the station.
pertinax, Oct 27 2009

       Yes, I will travel to London and back from my home in Scotland in a months time, using the sleeper train. That's what gave me this idea. However my idea would be much more flexible, allowing a greater range of destinations and also allowing shorter journeys to be done overnight (e.g. 4 hours). And as you say, I would not have to get to the station 5 miles away at midnight.
pocmloc, Oct 27 2009

       If the bed unit was enclosed, with extremely effecient shock absorption and sound proofing, this just might work. It would be very expensive though, since the volume to be transported would be considerably bigger than the bed, let alone the narrow bunks of a sleeper train or the reclining seats of a first-class airfare.
MechE, Oct 27 2009

       Cool idea. Personally the journey is the adventure so I'll pass.
bdag, Oct 27 2009

       //the journey is the adventure// so you have not travelled cross country between British provincial towns then? Or perhaps you have...
pocmloc, Oct 27 2009

       Have driven around the States and a bit of Southern Europe. All beautiful, if you know what to look for. Then again, beauty may be everywhere except where you live.
bdag, Oct 28 2009

       You are right [bdag], but overnight travel on a sleeper train is also a very romantic and exciting adventure, in a different way. More exciting still is a 3-day non-stop rail journey halfway across the continent...   

       My original thought was coffin-sized bed units, more like a sleeper train. I also sometimes imagine automatic motor-cars, which would naturally have the passenger cabin in a vis-a-vis arrangement with a little table between the seats - and why not allow the to convert into bunks like in a small caravan or campervan? However I am digressing somewhat.   

       With this idea I was wanting to emphasise the efficiencies of mass-transit. Perhaps we need to scale up and have the standardised units not small-bed-(coffin)-sized, but small-room-(compartment)-sized . That way you could have a window, armchair, table, stove, convert it to a bed, have your desk and chair, etc.
pocmloc, Oct 28 2009


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