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Staged Moving Walkway

Greased lightning
  [vote for,

The speed of moving walkways are limited by the maximum safe boarding and exit speed. Otherwise, they would cause a complete pile up.

Unlike escalators, most moving walkways use a rubberised track. This means the track transition can be very abrupt.

For very long distance transport, I propose a series of 3 tracks (slow, fast, slow) that have a slow boarding section, that feeds a faster track that feeds a slower exit track. The slower track would be long enough to allow passengers to safely spread out and transition to the stationary section.

At the interface of each track would be a flat steel plate 6 inches wide with small rollers on top. The hand rail would have a wider gap that would provide additional warning of the transition.

FloridaManatee, Jun 19 2003

(?) Walking Highways http://www.halfbake.../walking_20highways
A similar notion, but with parallel tracks of differing speeds, rather than consecutive. [friendlyfire, Oct 17 2004]

Fast Walkway in the Paris Metro http://news.bbc.co..../europe/3001182.stm
This has acceleration and deceleration rollers at either end. [Gordon Comstock, Oct 17 2004]

Fast moving walkway in Toronto with slowed entrance and exit https://www.youtube...watch?v=V9yUrur6N8Q
[pashute, Nov 05 2014]

Short overview of accelerated walkways http://helixator.wo...ng-moving-walkways/
Including the Loderway Moving Walkway described in WP as being installed in the 1990s [pashute, Nov 05 2014]

Japanese study of the Toronto like accelerated walkway http://www.jfe-stee...ho/84/pdf/84_10.pdf
[pashute, Nov 05 2014]

Old NY moving sidewalk http://www.citylab....ing-sidewalks/2301/
[pashute, Nov 05 2014]

Alfred Speer's invention http://www.smithson...ns-17484942/?no-ist
[pashute, Nov 05 2014]


       This could also be done with one, elastic track. Made with steel ribbing like escalator steps, but with a deeper interface, the sections would slide farther apart as they accelerate and then come closer as they slow down towards the end.
FarmerJohn, Jun 19 2003

       The three tracks are end-to-end-to-end, right, not parallel? I was confused when reading this at first but maybe thats just me.
krelnik, Jun 19 2003

       If they are running parallel, I think Bradbury baked this in one of his robot series books.   

       that'll be azimov, 2fries.
pjd, Jun 19 2003

       "The Roads must Roll" wasn't this here before?
Zimmy, Jun 21 2003

       oops, I stand corrected. (crawls back under rock)   

       See link - implemented in Paris. It uses tiny rollers to speed you up and slow you down. To my mind it doesn't go fast enough. Presumably though, you could have more than one acceleration/deceleration zone.
Gordon Comstock, Jul 08 2003

       Zimmy, I think "The Roads Must Roll" was the first fictional use of multi-speed walkways, but they were parallel - you step onto the slow track, then move over to faster ones as desired. Sounds practical, except for the lack of handrails. But I don't think Heinlein ever mentioned what happens if you stay on the fast track till the end - presumably you don't just hit a brick wall - so the serial speed-up/slow-down sections seem like a useful thing even in a parallel system.
hob, Jul 08 2003

       A pair merry-go-rounds could work as the speed up and slow down area with a stationary staircase or walless elevator at the center of each Go-round.   

       The outside of the wheel traveling as fast as the walkway. The inner part not moving at all. Would allow persons with walkers, many kids or shopping carts to use the walkway safely.   

       Getting off:A padded wall/guide could get folks out of the way those following.   

       Getting on: If you don't manage to get on your first attempt, just go round again.
popbottle, Nov 05 2014

       Baked in Toronto (see link)   

       In 2004 I learned that side by side lanes allowed enormous speeds to be achieved, somewhere in the world (I don't remember where) but that somebody falling, breaking bones and suing stopped that from becoming widespread.   

       Now I found out that its a 19'th century patented invention! See the 'Speer' link (Smithsonian Institute)
pashute, Nov 05 2014


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