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Tube Express

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,329
Points
31
Tranplanner (and others with subject-matter knowledge):

I was browsing the Texas Transportation Institute web site and noticed an interesting article. The article was about a proposal to ship small container-loads of freight from city-to-city, using underground concrete pipe.

I searched a related-link (Google search for "tube express") and found a site with a container-load of details.

Underground piping, similar in size to common major-size water piping used in cities. Containers would hold 3-6 normal size pallets of goods and be moved by air power.

Obvious benefits include a reduction in the cost of moving freight (labor, semi-trucks, etc.), less wear-and-tear on the nation's interstates (Canada's "King's Highways, heh heh),
reduction in pollutants and energy-reduction.

Obvious "nay-sayers" would be Teamsters, etc.

My questions, if anybody has done any research or thinking about this proposal:

Would each concrete pipe just connect one (1) city one (1) city, requiring a container that is going "downstream" a bunch of cities away to be constantly taken off-line then re-inserted?

OR.....would this system operate similar to a UPS or RPS, with hubs? For instance, Columbus, Ohio could be a hub and spokes would go to all major cities in Ohio, Michigan, Kenctucky, Indiana. Freight would go from these cities to the hub, then.....Columbus would have a long-long pipeline to other hubs, for instance Harrisburg, PA.

This is an intriguing proposal, especially if you look at the tremendous increase in goods being shipped from city to city.

Bear
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,329
Points
31
Opening a real old, had no activity, thread. Obvious reason: The increase in energy prices since this thread was first started may get some responses. It remains an interesting idea.

Bear
 

safege

Cyburbian
Messages
716
Points
20
There doesn't seem to be anything new since the original article. I remember that a discussion occured on the monorail society forum at that time.

Except for the remote control innovations for railroad, which started in Canada twenty years ago, nothing seems to be dragging the freight industry into the current century.
 

DetroitPlanner

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
6,241
Points
27
During one of our plan adoptions several years ago we had some guy showing up demanding the we look at pnuematic tube technology as a way to move people around the state. He firgured we could get from Detroit to Traverse City or Mackinaw City in 15 minutes, eliminating the need to expand any roadways outside of city boundaries. ony problem was that it would cost billions and billions to even build a small model version of this.
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
Messages
7,918
Points
37
Sorry I never replied to your original post BUN, I don't recall seeing it. I haven't heard of anything like this before - my first questions would be how would the required infrastructure be built, and how reliable would it be. I know that there were a few patents taken out waaaaaay back when subways were first being developed for a pneumatically operated system (wasn't New York's first subway section supposed to be operated this way?) but I guess it never caught on.
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,329
Points
31
Tranplanner said:
Sorry I never replied to your original post BUN, I don't recall seeing it. I haven't heard of anything like this before - my first questions would be how would the required infrastructure be built, and how reliable would it be. I know that there were a few patents taken out waaaaaay back when subways were first being developed for a pneumatically operated system (wasn't New York's first subway section supposed to be operated this way?) but I guess it never caught on.
To see a containerload of information on this topic go to the US Department of Transportation website. From there navigate to the National Transportation Library. From that pointe, go to Tube Freight Transportation.

Includes proposals, pros and cons, drawings, technologies involved, etc.

Bear
 
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