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Trans-Atlantic Cable Cart

trans atlantic cable with highspeed bullet trains attached
  [vote for,

A trans atlantic cable with highspeed bullet trains attached to it as cable carts in the Alps.

You sink the line when it is not used (ships and ice can pass) and you let it float when such a 'train' approaches.

The train itself is a combination of a submarine and a floating ship. It's main characteristic is that it can cut through water at top speeds. Maybe even flies a little above the water. But when the line can't float (stormy sea, ship, whales or ice in the way) it goes under water just as easily.

The cable itself measures, records, films all kinds of things every mile or so. Valuable information for meteologists, oceonographers and those who study maritime life. Inside the cable there are many fiberoptic lines that partly pay for the construction of it.

You can also imagine a way to make the cable generate electricity using the movement caused by the seawaves (a.k.a. white charcoal). With this electricity it can power the train using the magnet train technology.

It should be build by UNINFRA, a yet to be established UN-organisation for infrastructural projects. Eventually it should be possible to take a train around the world in less than 80 hours.

rrr, Jan 15 2003

Trans-Oceanic Tunnel http://www.halfbake...ns-Oceanic_20Tunnel
inspired by the Trans-Oceanic Tunnel idea [rrr, Oct 17 2004]

Cable cart image http://www.soes.sot...ordoi-cablecart.jpg
[rrr, Oct 17 2004]

Bullet train image http://stjames.miss...no/travel/train.jpg
[rrr, Oct 17 2004]

Ocean wave image http://bell.mma.edu...hase/Rogue-Wave.jpg
[rrr, Oct 17 2004]

Magnetic train http://www.transrapid-usa.com/content.asp
website about the Transrapid magnetic train [rrr, Oct 17 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Cable ferry picture http://geoimages.be...AL400/CABFERRY.HTML
[rrr, Oct 17 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]


       This is how cable ferries operate, rather than any trains I know of. But if you have some kind of miracle boat that can cut through the water at high speed whether on the surface or submerged, what on earth do you need a cable for?   

DrCurry, Jan 15 2003

       Because the 'boat' doesn't have to be steered and it is powered from the cable. It pulls/pushes itself on the cable forward, where ships push themselves through the water. It can be long also, unlike a ship. As a water snake, it can crawl through the ocean.
rrr, Jan 15 2003

       A very high-speed tethered submarine conveyance is an interesting idea but the maximum speed is probably never going to exceed 50 knots, and aircraft go a lot faster ...... but as an unmanned fast freight transport it might have some uses.
8th of 7, Jan 15 2003

       Can you clarify the mechanism here? Is this a transoceanic clothesline to which you can simply clip containers or a fixed cable along which powered ships crawl?   

       Either way, some sort of remote control and/or autopilot is probably a much better solution if you (for some reason) want unmanned ships. You needn't stretch any (extraordinarily strong and complex) cables across the ocean that way, the ship can change course to avoid bad conditions, and it doesn't risk being left helpless by damage to the cable. It doesn't need to be a submarine, either, which saves a lot of fuel and expense and avoids a lot of risk. And it can call at more than two ports, which is important.   

       A cable also seems very likely to interfere with other traffic. This is apparently a common concern with cable ferries: The cable ahead of the ferry is held taut, obstructing the passage of other vessels. (How a 4000km cable would actually behave is another question.)   

       I don't know how useful the cable would be to scientists: How many times do oceanographers need to see the same narrow slash of ocean? This sort of purpose is probably better served by existing buoys, satellites, and other gear.
Monkfish, Jan 15 2003

       The towers would either need to be around 1000 km high, or have multiple towers buried down deep into the ocean bed. Both completely out of the question. The cables would be so thick that they'd weigh too much to even carry their own weight at span. May be a quarterbaked, but oh well...
RayfordSteele, Jan 15 2003

       Well, the cable part's not impossible, it's just not worthwhile. A cable this length would certainly snap (unless ridiculously tapered) if it had to support its weight, but it needn't. It can float. Its position could be maintained and its load spread by tethers to the ocean floor and secondary cables and/or by buoys capable of actively correcting their positions. There are probably ways to build the cable, there are just no reasons to.
Monkfish, Jan 16 2003


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