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One of my recurring dreams is of being on a Ferris
that breaks away from its axle and goes for a little
in the countryside... with predictably disastrous results.
However, it would be possible to set up a Ferris Wheel to
run along a set of train tracks, reasonably easily.
would necessitate the removal of rail overpass
bridges and the heightening of rail tunnels. It would also
require careful redesign of bridges, corners and, of
To explain, the engine and carriages would be inside the
outer (Ferris) wheel, on a pair of massive ring gears,
which sit directly upon the rails and are cross-linked to
each other at close intervals, with a little play available
hinged joints to allow turning and to cope with uneven
heights of the track surfaces.
The engine and the carriages run along the two ring
with the engine driving along the inside of the gears on
sprocket teeth inside the outer wheels. The engine
constantly pulls the inner train up along the inside of the
outer wheels, causing them to roll forward on the rails.
Momentum allows the big wheels to run over small
bumps and slight grades
relatively easily. The size of the wheels would also
slipping on wet tracks.
Braking is a matter of slowing the train, so it runs less
quickly along the sprockets on the gears.
Ferris Wheel on a Roll
A not entirely dissimilar idea [hippo, May 09 2012]
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||This would allow empty carriages to be rotated to
the platform as the fuller ones get too crowded. Bun
for posting a dream idea.
||love it! when do tickets go on sale? [+]
||.... or you could just mount a ferris wheel on a train and time its spin to match the speed as though it were rolling and get the same effect
||one problem you'd face is precession forces on turns, as the ferris wheel is spinning
||Even with redesign, I'm not sure how well this would take curves.
||Precession can be overcome by an off-set lateral ballance which throws the weight off kilter just prior to banking and then reverses to snap the flywheel back to vertical at the end of a turn.
||//One of my recurring dreams...// Yeah, some of
the meds'll do that to you.
||Unless we are proposing track-wheels that are miles in
diameter, this would severely limit the length of trains,
which is one of their advantages.
||The tracks would still be usable by normal trains,
even long ones, [Alter].
||I don't know that I'd like to be on it when it
exceeded 120mph around a curve, .
||//I wonder if it might be able to roll faster than normal trains//?
||We'll give you a helmet, if you think it will help,
||Do the passengers' cabins ride on the giant ring gears,
before/behind/above the engine, or do they go around
the central axle as in a regular Ferris Wheel?
||If the cabins roll on the ring gears, then each cabin is a
fixed angle relative to the engine, and a fixed height
above the ground -- which is not very Ferris Wheelish...
you basically have a dicycle on railroad tracks. A really
huge dicycle, but still...
||On the other hand, if the cabins' centers don't move
relative to the ring gear, the idea is much more
interesting (each cabin moves along a cardioid path)...
but as hippo pointed out, rather similar to the Ferris
Wheel on a Roll idea.
||The only way I can see to do something truly novel, and
which is sufficiently insufficiently baked for the
halfbakery, is to combine and halfway reverse the two
||Namely, have the engine hanging from (and applying
torque to) the Ferris Wheel Train's axis (as in the Ferris
Wheel on a Roll), and at the same time, have a pair of
ring gears (like in your idea), with a train (or ring?) of
passenger cabins rolling along the ring gears, but
moving in the opposite direction from the direction
which the vehicle is rolling (or perhaps in the same
direction, but faster).
||Croissants are served in the dining car. [+]