Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
With moderate power, comes moderate responsibility.

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.



Helpful Train Breath

Trains -> wind -> cyclists
  [vote for,

This is a proposal I put forward when I was a student, but it's sufficiently loopy that Ithought you lot might appreciate it.

Years ago, I came across a book - more a catalogue, really - of photos of the cunning vents which the London Underground system uses to ventilate its tunnels. They're big structures - all those trains zooming around are effectively acting as pistons, so there's a lot of air to get rid of, and the vents have to be disguised as buildings, because that's how big they are. One of my favourites was a complete, fake terrace house, minus the roof.

Now I was a student in London, and I used to cycle around a lot. Mostly into head winds, because that's Sod's Law and Things Are Arranged That Way. So I got to thinking about all that moving air. And the result is this:

Whenever a cycle path comes near to one of these big Tube vents, it can duck through a short bit of subway tunnel. This subway tunnel is cunningly connected to the vent so that each passing train causes a following breeze for the cyclists (obviously each tunnel would have to be one-way). Such a subtle effect might not be noticed, you might argue; believe me, a tired cyclist will be marvellously grateful for every little bit of help (s)he can get. A following wind of five miles an hour might reduce your relative speed, on a bike, by something like 25% - that's something you'll feel.


moomintroll, Aug 22 2006

(?) tube vents http://www.antipode...ondon/battersea.jpg
one of the many vents dotted around London. This one is of the larger ones. [xenzag, Aug 22 2006]

BLDGBLOG - subterranean London http://bldgblog.blo...on-topological.html
Doesn't say much about the vents, but alludes to them... [moomintroll, Aug 22 2006]

another larger vent http://www.freefoto.../13_52_10_thumb.jpg
notice fetid air belching from busy Northern Line [xenzag, Aug 22 2006]

(?) Jubilee line vent http://www.copperco...asp?rid=14&langid=9
A modern one. [moomintroll, Aug 22 2006]

23/24 Leinster Gardens, Paddington, London W2 http://www.urban75....ondon/leinster.html
Cool! I had no idea. [jutta, Aug 22 2006]

Please log in.
If you're not logged in, you can see what this page looks like, but you will not be able to add anything.


       I've not heard of these vents before...<scurries off to investigate>
zen_tom, Aug 22 2006

       Oh crikey... <scurries off to fake evidence of vents>
moomintroll, Aug 22 2006

       A broad sail and rollerskates..weee...
skinflaps, Aug 22 2006

       All I ask is a tall ship, and a Tube-generated wind tunnel to sail her by.   

       I like it.   

       By the way, that first link to the vent pics is a photograph of Battersea Power Station. I'm willing to be proved wrong on this, of course, but if I know my London geography and history, I'm pretty sure that it was still producing power until its closure in the early 80s. Thus making it a fairly unlikely candidate for a Tube vent.   

       If it's there as a joke, of course, I knew all along.
neuro, Aug 22 2006

       <nudges [neuro]>   

       Ahh yes, well spotted [xenzag] now I know what we're talking about!
zen_tom, Aug 22 2006

       I didn't realize Drax was on the Northern Line. It's clearly a lot more Northern than I thought. Thanks [xen]!
moomintroll, Aug 22 2006

       yep - well identified [ml] it's Drax Cross - not marked on tourist maps for obvious reasons
xenzag, Aug 22 2006

       No, I've not been through that way - looks nice and green round there - must be in Zone 2.
zen_tom, Aug 22 2006

       [+] for this, having both canceled journeys due to head winds and tacked my way via strong tail and crosswinds on a bicycle.
normzone, Aug 22 2006

       Sorry [neuro] it was not a power station but made just for Pink Floyd to take a picture of. They are like that you now, think big, spend a lot and have big tax advantages.
zeno, Aug 22 2006

       Do you get a funny feeling up your back?
baconbrain, Aug 22 2006

       //well identified [ml] it's Drax Cross//
Really?! Yay! Amazing. Do I get a prize?
...a visit from some nice men in suits and sunglasses, probably.
moomintroll, Aug 22 2006

       Surely these vents must "suck" equally as often as they "blow". The proposed bicycle tunnels would need to have a current wind direction arrow shown on them.
Texticle, Aug 22 2006

       Nah, we'll stick some big butterfly valves in. The blow/suck thing would happen too fast anyway - the wind direction would be changing every couple of minutes. We'll need to keep the direction constant. Therefore, valves.
moomintroll, Aug 23 2006

       What about arranging for the wind to come out on the correct side of the road according to its direction?
nineteenthly, Aug 23 2006

       Nice link jutta, I had no idea either, will have to go and have a look.
skinflaps, Aug 23 2006

       You found one! Thanks, [jutta], brilliant.
moomintroll, Aug 23 2006

       From [jutta]'s link: //There's a long tradition of [wagsters] sending pizza deliveries, taxi cabs and religious representatives to this address!//   

       Who would have thought it?!
zen_tom, Aug 23 2006

       Heh, that'll explain that every time I speak to [Wags]I can hear trains.
skinflaps, Aug 23 2006

       [+] smart.   

       Of course cyclists should start buying up the use of these vents before the cabbies and bus drivers get hold of them and start using them as weapons to knock the hated cyclist of his bike..... :-)
monojohnny, Aug 23 2006

       The vents actually date back to when the tube used steam trains and needed to vent the smoke. I believe they have very little to do with wind as the trains always travel the same way down the tunnels so there is always wind in the direction or the train, which you can feel when you stand at the station.
marklar, Aug 23 2006

       In that case, why don't they close them and sell the real estate? Eh?
moomintroll, Aug 23 2006

       Ah, but so has most of the rest of London (including, annoyingly, the Festival Hall). Given that a kennel in central London is probably worth more than the Rolls Royce parked next to it, it'd be worth something. to someone. Possibly a trainspotter.   

       Anyway, that is so not the point. The point is, the phenomenonneonmeohnrdglih of the moving air exists, so let's exploit it.
moomintroll, Aug 23 2006

       I'm surprised no-one has suggested a turbine yet. Free energy, man. Might as well hang turbines off the sides of the bikes, too.
Texticle, Aug 23 2006

       Tube vent live Doom games...
RayfordSteele, Aug 24 2006


back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle