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amphibious train

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(+5, -1)
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We've got amphibious cars and trucks, seaplanes, flying boats, hovercrafts and flying cars (yay!), so why not amphibious trains? This would reduce the need to build long rail bridges across water and look cool.

The way I see it working is for the locomotive, upon entering the water, to extend extend outriggers into the water on either side with propellors on and drive the propellors instead of the wheels. The carriages would all need watertight doors and may need outriggers too, for stability. Engaging with the tracks on the other side of the water could be tricky, but some design which 'channelled' the wheels into the tracks should work.
hippo, Feb 23 2007

Spirited Away http://www.bfi.org....dsound/review/1237/
A Japanese animated fantasy film featuring an amphibious train. [angel, Feb 23 2007]

Here it is http://neatorama.ca...-portland-flood.jpg
[fridge duck, Mar 04 2007]

Tickets please. http://www.stumblin...tions/shiptrain.gif
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Mar 04 2007]

[link]






       They would be delayed because of seaweed on the line.
angel, Feb 23 2007
  

       Ok, flight of fancy time. Let's say that you forget about the tracks altogether. When the train takes to the water and your outriggers deploy, they interlock; the coupling between the cars becomes rigid and essentially the train becomes one "solid" vessel, like a ship. Bring back cabooses in order to use them for a propellor/engine room and away you go!   

       Alternatively, the couplings remain swively, there are no outriggers, and the train uses a serpentine motion to propel itself, like a sea snake.
Noexit, Feb 23 2007
  

       I'm reminded of Riven. I never could finish that game...
Aq_Bi, Feb 23 2007
  

       Don't worry about getting back on the tracks. Polar Express clearly shows that it's a lot easier than we think...   

       Umm, so here's a bun, because my Dad would love this.
ye_river_xiv, Feb 23 2007
  

       I doubt this would really reduce the need to look cool.
Ian Tindale, Feb 23 2007
  

       To fix the track re-engaging problem. just make the train submersible. Then you just run the tracks along the river bottom (or even seafloor). Plus I think this would be even more awesome.
5th Earth, Feb 24 2007
  

       Keeping the whole business afloat might be difficult, I like 5th's idea, as long as you came up with a way to attach the train to the tracks, as I don't think there would be enough friction underwater to propel the train. But underwater might actually work pretty good, as the advantage of drafting would be even more pronounced in the water.   

       The serpentine motion of the train would undoubtedly make a vast majority of the passengers ill. I don't like that thought.
Agamemnon, Feb 24 2007
  

       An "Aquatran" ....Catchy! I like it! [+] We then could consider a nuclear submarrine to be an aquabus, right!?   

       What happens if the train gets attacked by a giant octopus? I know it can only go in 2 different directions, back and forth, so what is it supposed to do? (Personally, I think it should launch a torpedo.)
quantum_flux, Feb 24 2007
  

       Just saw that film, [Angel] - it's quite something.
wagster, Feb 24 2007
  

       Mind the Gar
placid_turmoil, Feb 25 2007
  

       Awesome link [fridge duck].   

       //Spirited Away// In that film, the train's wheels appear to remain on the tracks at all times; the tracks and wheels are submerged in shallow water.
spidermother, Mar 05 2007
  

       At witch point is it a boat that can be shifted by rail and wouldn't frate trains sink! I mean its bearly a train as its not on rails in the water! Why not use an aquabus it could do the same thing :-( Way not baked!
Flying Doom Squid, Aug 22 2007
  
      
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