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Minitube

Cut costs by decreasing the diameter of the tube
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Digging tunnels is obviously more expensive when your tube diameter is larger. The idea is to shrink the tube diameter to a mere 3ft. How will people travel? Lying down, of course! The train comes into the station (the largest part of the system), it is composed of a series of pods 2ft10inches wide and 7 ft long. As the train comes in, the pods all orient themselves via a system of hydraulic arms so that the length becomes the depth (they are now 7ft high instead of 7ft long). Half the pod slides away, giving just enough room inside for an adult to stan comfortably. Passengers exit the train, then others get onboard in a standing position. The doors close, the pods re-orient themselvces so everyone is lying on their backs (Note: You have to get in the right way, otherwise you'll be lying face down). Then the train stars off again. Not only is the tunnel cost greatly reduced, but because each pod can turn individually the turning radius can be much greater. All trips are in private, tubes can leave the ground and go right into office buildings or go alongside elevated railways if necessary.
Cats Whiskers, Oct 06 2003

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       Claustrophobics need not apply. The "EL" version of this was sort of half-baked on 'Futurama'.
krelnik, Oct 06 2003
  

       Well, digging a bigger tunnel requires a larger boring machine. We wouldn't have human labour (unless we employ midgits and hobbits) and (I think) a smaller tube is structurally stronger than a larger one; less materials. This one won't really suck you up at request then slam you into a wall causing some arrogant dork to contemptiously say "Tourist"
Cats Whiskers, Oct 06 2003
  

       //Claustrophobics need not apply//
Crawling along on one's back, from pod to pod in an emergency, will shirley cure one's claustrophobia. Or cause it.
  

       //otherwise you'll be lying face down//
I was actually hoping to be face down, in the pose of a flying super hero.
Amos Kito, Oct 06 2003
  

       We should add a sign, "Note: No beverages allowed."
Cats Whiskers, Oct 07 2003
  

       Reminds me of a programme on TV here recently about undertakers. The chief undertaker was talking about a recently deceased man who was taller than average and completely unselfconsciously referred to him as being "quite long".
hippo, Oct 07 2003
  

       Power failure - How do you walk out ?   

       Fan failure - How do you breathe ?   

       Earthquake - How do you extract the remains ?   

       Same problems with existing "tube", but more margin for error.
popbottle, Aug 12 2014
  
      
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