Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Off-road trains

For taking in the more scenic bits
  [vote for,

Put simply, some knobbly, wide steel wheels for trains, so they can off-road. Ditto snow wheels.

Because as the petrol runs out, mass transportation will come back, and what could be more sociable than going off-road with three or four hundred like-minded souls?

Almost certainly end in spectacular success, or multiple fatalities.

not_morrison_rm, Apr 12 2013

TC-497 Overland Train http://justacarguy....c-497-overland.html
The problem is, the commies would laugh when they saw it coming. [DIYMatt, Apr 12 2013]

Choo Choo http://www.mymodels...t---Ash-Mini-10.jpg
[skinflaps, Apr 12 2013]

On-road train in Weymouth http://www.bbc.co.u...and-dorset-13295450
[pocmloc, Apr 15 2013]


       It's baked, but I won't MFD because they only made one and never used it.
DIYMatt, Apr 12 2013

       skinflaps, I was thinking of something a little larger.   

       Wonders how the buffet car would cope on some of the steeper slopes of the Matterhorn?
not_morrison_rm, Apr 12 2013

       // they only made one //   

       Three, actually; two slightly smaller prototypes preceded the 497.   

       I also give this a bun for concept, though it needs considerable innovation from its current form. For instance, steel wheels, no matter how knobbly, would fail spectactularly in off-road settings. Better to use caterpillar tracks or hub-driven monster truck tires.   

       It is somewhat original, since the TC-497 wasn't designed for broken ground, just relatively flat and smooth tundras and snowfields (apparently it also excelled in loose sand).
Alterother, Apr 12 2013

       It only carried 150 tons of freight. That's less than what can be carried by 4 18-wheelers, although they lack the off-road capability.   

       I suppose it's more efficient than stringing together 150 heavy-duty 4WD pickup trucks.
whlanteigne, Apr 12 2013

       But not as practical as 15 5-ton trucks with tundra tires, which is why the project was abandoned.
Alterother, Apr 12 2013

       Your 5-ton trucks would have to make 2 trips each to equal 150 tons.
whlanteigne, Apr 12 2013

       Military trucks are always rated at half of their max. capacity because the army knows that soldiers will overload them. My deuce-anna-half, for example, actually has a 10,000 lb. load cap.
Alterother, Apr 12 2013

       So, 15 5-ton trucks carrying 10 tons apiece.   

       Or call FedEx and specify 2-day priority delivery and let them fuss about the details.
whlanteigne, Apr 12 2013

       Nope, trains it is. Big Spikey wheels it is, when necessary. And the eternal question of do the sherpas get to sit in the first class dining car on the Himalayas route?   

       You know how chef goes into a complete tizzy when the yak butter tea gets confused with the consomme.
not_morrison_rm, Apr 12 2013

       Put the loaded 5-ton trucks on a C-5A and airdrop them. That solves the first-class dining question.
whlanteigne, Apr 12 2013

       What you really want here would be a bunch of 6- to 8- seat rock buggies linked end to end with really rugged U- joints. Give them 60-degree articulation 4-link suspension with about 15" of travel, DANA 45s with full hydraulic steering front and rear, 36"x10.5"R16 BFG Mud Terrains... since they won't be going very fast and they'll all be sort of helping each other along, they wouldn't need very big engines; a Rotax or a Subaru boxer geared really low would do it. Then design some kind of fly-by-wire system so they'll play follow the leader, stick a driver up front and a minibar in each passenger car, and enjoy the ride. Please keep your 4-point seatbelts fastened at all times.
Alterother, Apr 12 2013

       Use the rock buggies as bogies for cargo containers suspended between them.
whlanteigne, Apr 12 2013


not_morrison_rm, Apr 12 2013

       // cargo containers suspended between them. //   

       Not a half-bad idea, though the containers couldn't be too big or they'd get hung up on the terrain. No larger than 2'Hx2'Wx3'L, assuming articulation points at app. 4' above ground level. Make each one your battery box/fuel tank, maybe.   

       Most of your cargo would be on roof racks, or you could run a dedicated cargo pod. Now that I think about it, you'd already need one for parts, tools, and consumables, so just add another for passenger luggage.
Alterother, Apr 12 2013

       It's probably helpful to note that when somebody uses the words "off-road" around here, I automatically started designing something that could tackle Moab. It takes me a little while to remember that people have many different ideas of what constitutes rough terrain.
Alterother, Apr 12 2013

       Depends of the wheelbase of the rock buggies. I was thinking something with a short wheelbase, like a Jeep CJ or Land Rover, having a 10 or 15-ft cargo box suspended between the wheeled parts. The articulation points would be above the axles on the bogies. Each cargo box could carry a couple tons of stuff.   

       "Rough terrain" means Upper Michigan (the "U.P.") to me.
whlanteigne, Apr 12 2013

       "off road" in the UK usually means parking illegally on the pavement.
pocmloc, Apr 13 2013

       //"off road" in the UK usually means parking illegally on the pavement.   

       Erm, I think it refers to having a drive in estate agents particulars, out in the country it does actually mean going off tarmac.   

       It would be very difficult to clamp a train parked on the pavement? Also, quite awkward to tow away, I would have thought.   

       //Put the loaded 5-ton trucks on a C-5A and airdrop them. That solves the first-class dining question   

       Come, come now, what about the sediment in the Chateau Latif, you can't go around shaking it.
not_morrison_rm, Apr 13 2013

       // a 10 or 15-ft cargo box suspended between the wheeled parts //   

       I've never off-roaded in Mishigan, but that would be far too long and cumbersome for my backyard. Boxes that size would severely hamper the turning radius, scrape along the ground in gullies, and get hung up on sharp ridges and protruding obstacles.
Alterother, Apr 13 2013

       I've done some serious off-roading in a 4wd Chevy Suburban. They work okay in most situations. If the Chevy can't go there, I don't need to.   

       That's the kind of wheelbase I'm talking about.
whlanteigne, Apr 13 2013

       I see. I'm into highly modified light 4x4s, the kind that aren't about huge horsepower or looking badass but can drive over a Prius without difficulty. Real off-roading (IMO) is about suspension and power management; in the hands of a skilled technical driver a stock Suburban can run rings around your average dumbass in a 1-ton with 40" Boggers. A Suburban cannot, however, make it up some of the mountain trails around here, so therein methinks lies the difference in philosophy.
Alterother, Apr 13 2013

       They actually drive on "rail-roads."
whlanteigne, Apr 13 2013

       Which in the industry are simply called 'roads' (both the railroad companies and the tracks themselves).
Alterother, Apr 14 2013

       Erm, some trains do ride on the road, but then they are called trams, whereas train line tend to be separate to roads, but can tend to be parallel to earlier systems such as old roads and canal routes.   

       But anyway, plans with the full electrification of the Himalayas routes have fallen foul of environmentalists, so it's plan old coal bunkering at intervals of 5000 ft.
not_morrison_rm, Apr 14 2013

       Why did you go off the tracks, you could have killed us? Well there was a rabbit on the tracks. So? You should have run over the rabbit rather than endanger 400 people's lives. I tried to, but it ran off the tracks.
pashute, Apr 15 2013

       Yeah, that's pretty much it. In the industry 'railway' and 'railroad' are exchangable and neither is prevalent. The actual track is typically called 'the line' but sometimes 'the road'. The railroad companies are called 'roads'. Whatever the terminology, the salient point is that conventional trains run on roads. The earthworks supporting the tracks are called the 'road bed', a change in elevation is called a 'road grade', etc.
Alterother, Apr 15 2013

       //Northern Line   

       Erm, that is a route. Never figured out why it's not the Northern Southern line as obviously the trains must return to where they came from.   

       In the manner of "all the rivers run into the sea, but yet the sea is never full, and so the water returns from whence the river came" etc.
not_morrison_rm, Apr 15 2013

       I do not understand...forgive my small brain.   

       Ok, Cunard Line, it's called a Line, but it's not a route. Like the Plimsoll line, but let's not get into that right now.   

       The Northern Line, is a line. Whatever the owning company may be called, it's still the Northern Line, even though it should be "The Northern Line (but you can go to southwards on it as well)".
not_morrison_rm, Apr 15 2013

       On a recent drive through the Southern Indiana countryside, I happened to notice a very old, not- well-traveled railway crossing, the kind with the crossed-bar sign, flashing lights and warning bell but no barriers: the sign distinctly says "Railroad Crossing."
whlanteigne, Apr 15 2013

       "Old" as in dating probably from 50 years ago. In this part of the world, those ribbons of steel are still referred to as "railroad tracks."
whlanteigne, Apr 15 2013

       "Chemin de fer", or in Arabic "al sikket al hadeed" (from memory) which both mean "road of iron".
not_morrison_rm, Apr 16 2013

       [21], why are you still arguing this? As of 2008, which is when I left the railroad, the terms 'railroad', 'road', 'roadbed', 'road grade', 'road crew', 'exempt road', and 'key road' were all still in common usage. Common usage within 5 years certainly constitutes modern vernacular. Can we please agree that a road is, as stated (in part) by the OED:   


       a wide way leading from one place to another, especially one with a specially prepared surface that vehicles can use.   

       the part of a road intended for vehicles, especially in contrast to a shoulder or sidewalk.   

       [with modifier] historical a regular trade route for a particular commodity: the Silk Road across Asia to the West   

       (Mining) an underground passage or gallery in a mine.   

       (Railroads) a railroad.   

       (British) a railroad track, especially as clear (or otherwise) for a train to proceed: they waited for a clear road at Hellifield Junction   

Alterother, Apr 16 2013

Alterother, Apr 16 2013

       I'm still working on my excuse.   

       Still wondering at the ticketing options. On the east Asian route, it's proving tricky to get the ticketing machine to accept the cowry shells.
not_morrison_rm, Apr 18 2013

       You don't need an excuse, [n_m_r]. That's one of the advantages of being right.
Alterother, Apr 18 2013


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