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cteno4

Chinese floating bus/tram

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cteno4

The recent boom of more private investment in China of the last couple of decades has Lead to a lot of investment scams that get quite elaborate. Get rich quick schemes have found fertile ground. I think that's what the author was thinking of here. Use some public funding to cobble together something to raise a bunch of private cash then the whole thing collapses. It's the old Producers plot! But in this case I doubt the flop will be a hit!

 

Would work much better if they could elevate the rails so that the whole thing floated over the street high enough to go over the vehicles allowed (and the rails would be a physical standard for that). The the think could cruise over traffic and not effect it at all.mthe only time vehicles would sit under it would be at stations and not intersections. Would not tie up intersections as well. Cement piers at the sidewalk and center of the street could suspend the rail system (center piers could do both sides of the street). Could all be tensioned cast concrete or metal frame construction. Would require more infrastructure than the street running version but get rid of so many of the problems! Propulsion could be simpler, not having to be in a super skinny housing. No rails in the roadbed.

 

One drawback of the street one is also pedestrians. Looking at the street they will mainly see this 1' wide column coming up the street right along the sidewalk. This is something very easy to miss and hard to judge distance and speed (hard enough with a larger head on on coming vehicle where you get more perspective and detail to go by). It's sort of like a vertical guillotine coming down the edge of the sidewalk.

 

Jeff

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kvp

The trucks would need at least one lane and stops are meant to be suspended above side (turning) lanes with the same clearance as the middle ones, so the legs would be at least 2 lanes away from the sidewalks. (for a total of 4x2 lanes at least for the bus to work. (sidewalk,truck,turning car,leg,car,car,leg,leg,car,car,leg,turning car,truck,sidewalk) Most streets aren't that wide, even in China.

 

Any elevation has the problem of crossings as it has to be high enough to allow trucks under it. The portal bus/tram concept solves this with street level track, so crossings are clear of any height restrictions.

 

For an elevated railway/guideway, i have a great idea©: How about using center T colums like monorails but instead of one large girder, using 2 smaller longitudinal steel girders connected with spacer rods into a ladder structure. Two such ladders could be placed on each arm of the T colums. On top of these, conventional rails or steel guideways could be placed with power coming from overhead wires suspended on poles on top of the columns. The result is an elevated double track duorail structure that is more see through than conventional elevated ones, agt guide channel beams or even monorails, but allow conventional trams/trolleybuses to run on. (or even heavy rail or side steered bogie agt-s) Any required escape walkways could be built in the middle using steel mesh plates.

 

ps: i still think the chinese system could be made to work technically, just there isn't any political will to allow it as it's not as practical as it was first thought.

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cteno4

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katoftw

Not surprizing

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bikkuri bahn

There will be some teeth gnashing (or this outcome outright ignored) at "news" sites like Gizmodo where gadgetbahn tech is regularly hyped at the expense of "old 19th century tech" like rail transit, but then they will move on to the next magic bullet.

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velotrain

“The truth is the bus was a fake science investment scam"

 

Since we already have fake news, how long before we have global fake science?

 

Oh - I forgot that we already do:  it's called climate change denial . . . . .

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westfalen

According to this  it actually ran on rubber tires in grooves in the road. I don't think they could decide what it was.

https://jalopnik.com/is-the-chinese-traffic-straddling-bus-a-scam-it-looks-1784979121

 

The Autonomous Rapid Transit, the thing that looks like an articulated tram without tracks, (a bus?) mentioned in the Verge article is what we are going to get in Brisbane as a so called 'metro' system.

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kvp

The chinese idea was a portal crane based vehicle. It ran on rubber tires on concrete with steel wheels on steel rails used for guidance. A straight steel on steel system would have been more straightforward. It looks like it started as a not so good, but genuine idea but got the wrong investors or the inventor was not ready to give up in time. The biggest unsolved problem was the lack of space (a minimum of 8 lanes for bidirectional running) as the vehicle is huge and clumsy.

 

The ART is an articulated bus. You can build nice bus rapid transit systems out of it, but its 3 cars are comparable to one and a half cars of heavy metro. Imho getting less tram looking multi articulated buses would achive the same capacity and people would not mistake them as trams.

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Suica

The ART is an articulated bus. You can build nice bus rapid transit systems out of it, but its 3 cars are comparable to one and a half cars of heavy metro. Imho getting less tram looking multi articulated buses would achive the same capacity and people would not mistake them as trams.

Probably still the next scam though. Shamed be he who thinks evil of it.

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kvp

The straddling bus tracks have been removed and filled in.

So this is it for this self propelled tunnel system. Maybe next time someone would build a self propelled (and properly trackless) low bridge, also very popular with truck drivers. I can already see it: take the basic structure from this vehicle, make it steerable and articulated, with two trolley poles on top for overhead power and try to navigate above a traffic jam.  :)

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kvp

Probably still the next scam though. Shamed be he who thinks evil of it.

Actually it's really just a bus. It has a driver and a steering wheel and in one of the videos, an undecorated image show a basic low floor bus under the covers.

 

I've seen in operation a heavy metro grade bus rapid transit system that was temporarly in place between the tearing up the old tram tracks and building the actual metro line. Construction took 42 years from 1973 until 2014. For all these years, the bus rabid transit line 'red 7' was used as 'temporary' replacement. The metro line uses relatively short trains of 4 x 20 meter cars at 2 minute intervals replacing trams with 3 x 12 meter cars running in a one minute timetable. The bus replacement service used articulated (16m) and even double articulated (22m) buses arriving at 1 minute intervals. From the standard articulated buses, you would needed 2.25 at 1 minutes for providing the same capacity, it was a 12% capacity problem for the whole 42 years during rush hours, resulting in crush loads every day once the double articulated bus type were deemed too slow to acclerate from a stop or red light and got removed. For good replacement of a single 4 car metro train running at 2 minutes, you will need 5 articulated buses. Either running together (which needs long stops) or at 30 second intervals, which is not usable or running at 24 second intervals, which is also not really feasable with non dedicated routes. The other alternative is to run 2 buses tailgating together every 40 to 60 seconds with crush loads.

 

Imho a BRT system is feasible as long as there are not a lot of people who actually want to travel on it or you can actually extend the length of the bus to 3 or 6 articulated sections. It actually makes sense. Now if they don't run on their own right of way, that might be an interesting challange to avoid gridlocks.

Edited by kvp

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cteno4

The system would work if it were a gantry crane design running on raised rails from supports on either side of the roadway. Then could be high enough to let trucks under and not have any road level obstructions. Not as massive structure over roadways as rails are supported directly on either side and only some spacer girders needed now and then to check rail spacing. Power could come thru the rails on each side of the road. Could wiz over traffic and thru intersections.

 

Jeff

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Suica

The system would work if it were a gantry crane design running on raised rails from supports on either side of the roadway. Then could be high enough to let trucks under and not have any road level obstructions. Not as massive structure over roadways as rails are supported directly on either side and only some spacer girders needed now and then to check rail spacing. Power could come thru the rails on each side of the road. Could wiz over traffic and thru intersections.

 

Jeff

Pretty sure the old Aerobus concept could do all of this better and less costly. But even this still failed.

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Densha

Maybe just built a proper suspended monorail in that case, if going underground for a metro system is prohibitive.

 

But seriously, was there actually anyone who took this project seriously?

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cteno4

Basically same idea but gantry crane concept allows it to do the large interior, large volume, and to allow larger volumes of people to go in and out fast, plus very mimial structure above the streets. Just riser foundations with a continuous girder and rail on either side of the streets and minimal cross girders above the streets above traffic height. The city grids these are to work on are pretty level and straight.

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kvp

The main problem would be crossings. The chinese ground running crane (aka. mobile tunnel) has the rails on the ground, which allows high trucks to go over it. If you elevate the rails, then you have to go high to fit the largest trucks below the rails. This means the whole thing has to be elevated, which could easily cost more than cut and cover subway construction using a concrete trench and a concrete slab cover under the road surface.

 

So far the long multiple articulated buses seem to be the cheapest solution if the operator doesn't have to pay for road maintenance. In that case, there is no need to modify anything.

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katoftw

Maybe just built a proper suspended monorail in that case, if going underground for a metro system is prohibitive.

 

But seriously, was there actually anyone who took this project seriously?

i said that way early in the piece.

 

And yeah i didnt take it serious as better proven options were already out there.

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cteno4

Crossing and tunnel would not be an issue with an elevated gantry crane on suspended rails. But yes a monorail off T columns in the center of the road would be much more standard. Gantry crane idea was only to keep their large cab that could hold large amounts of people that would not have to file on and off thru narrower isles of standard width trains and busses.

 

Btw this is the type of elevated gantry crane I was referring to that's used in structures a lot with rails running the length of a structure suspended up high by walls or supports.

 

http://www.crane-tec.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/crane-tec22.jpg

 

Sorry gantry cranes term covers a wide variety of cranes.

 

Cheers

 

Jeff

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kvp

Yes, that's the type i was referring to as a crossing problem as you have to raise the rails so high to allow tall trucks to fit under it. If you do that, then you loose the cost advantage of not needing support columns. Imho the whole idea was to only need 4 support columns and integrate them into the vehicle itself, so ground rails could be used for guidance.

 

The idea itself failed at proper lane separation and the sheer road width (8 lanes, with only 6 usable at stations) required to fit the truck lanes, turning lanes and single lane passenger side platforms into the picture with a bidirectional line. A shared lane bus rapid transit system is much cheaper and fits into narrower streets. If you wanted something that fits into something smaller, then a self balancing monorail train balancing on the end of long columns (like an upside down L) would be more viable. But that would be near impossible to keep in stable. A narrower, taller, single lane variant with platform height way above the truck tops would need less space (a single lane) but would be extremly unstable and the crossing points between the under the line fast lanes and the rest of the road network would still create lots of problems.

 

A similar road arrangement using road lanes only with two fast lanes with minimal crossings and two slow lanes with street corners was built in the 1930-ies in Budapest, called the airport expressway, but the two opposing lanes in the narrow concrete walled channel at under and overpasses are dangerous and many double decker buses lost their top floor when straying into the cars and single deck buses only fast lane by accident. (taking the wrong turn at the rare entry/exit level crossings) The concept does not work for roads, even without trams on stilts running above. The chinese system expanded the single lanes to double lanes, lowered the height limit and made the normally static walls (the vehicle legs) move at high speeds. The basic concept (with steel on steel or a concrete guideway) would work fine if all cars moving under the vehicle were fully automatic or themselves on a guideway. (the working model shown on some of the videos actually utilised this solution)

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cteno4

thats my point you cant have your cake and eat it too. if you want to not have issues with legs at at crossings and other things at traffic level you need to elevate the system like the rails on a elevated gantry crane like that. at least its less needed and less intrusive than a full el system with tracks suspended over the roadway. it was just an idea of how you could get the large elevated "room" they had to function above the traffic w/o impacting anything at traffic level. elevated monorails or train cars work its just not the high volume load/unload concept and having really long stations for higher volume trains. it is an interesting idea to shorten stations by widening the cars by a lot and potentially having a lot more door space to move folks on and off.

 

elevated bus legs are just going to wreak havoc with traffic in many ways with human drivers and if really grid locked then any cars blocking the track at a red light at an intersection cause the bus to be stuck until the cars clear. lots of driving issues that may be even forbidden will happen and quickly muck up the system. there is one thing for sure when traffic starts to slow down and pile up, human nature is to start doing some stupid things that further muck things up.

 

but all these are not really practical and get expensive fast. this is an issue facing many places and no magic bullets unless there is uber preplanning and freedom to engineer things from the start. brt systems like curitiba can work, but they take room for dedicated lanes and stations that are not always available in an already crowded environment. usually the problem we have with brt going in here in the states.

 

http://www.reimaginerpe.org/node/344

 

cheers

 

jeff

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Takahama Trainwatcher

 

elevated bus legs are just going to wreak havoc with traffic in many ways with human drivers and if really grid locked then any cars blocking the track at a red light at an intersection cause the bus to be stuck until the cars clear. lots of driving issues that may be even forbidden will happen and quickly muck up the system. there is one thing for sure when traffic starts to slow down and pile up, human nature is to start doing some stupid things that further muck things up.

 

but all these are not really practical and get expensive fast. this is an issue facing many places and no magic bullets unless there is uber preplanning and freedom to engineer things from the start. brt systems like curitiba can work, but they take room for dedicated lanes and stations that are not always available in an already crowded environment. usually the problem we have with brt going in here in the states.

 

http://www.reimaginerpe.org/node/344

 

cheers

 

jeff

 

 

 

I've seen in operation a heavy metro grade bus rapid transit system that was temporarly in place between the tearing up the old tram tracks and building the actual metro line. Construction took 42 years from 1973 until 2014. For all these years, the bus rabid transit line 'red 7' was used as 'temporary' replacement. The metro line uses relatively short trains of 4 x 20 meter cars at 2 minute intervals replacing trams with 3 x 12 meter cars running in a one minute timetable. The bus replacement service used articulated (16m) and even double articulated (22m) buses arriving at 1 minute intervals. From the standard articulated buses, you would needed 2.25 at 1 minutes for providing the same capacity, it was a 12% capacity problem for the whole 42 years during rush hours, resulting in crush loads every day once the double articulated bus type were deemed too slow to acclerate from a stop or red light and got removed. For good replacement of a single 4 car metro train running at 2 minutes, you will need 5 articulated buses. Either running together (which needs long stops) or at 30 second intervals, which is not usable or running at 24 second intervals, which is also not really feasable with non dedicated routes. The other alternative is to run 2 buses tailgating together every 40 to 60 seconds with crush loads.

 

Imho a BRT system is feasible as long as there are not a lot of people who actually want to travel on it or you can actually extend the length of the bus to 3 or 6 articulated sections. It actually makes sense. Now if they don't run on their own right of way, that might be an interesting challange to avoid gridlocks.

 

Speaking of gridlock, human behaviour and buses vs trams, things are interesting here in Sydney. The main street through the CBD (George St) has had numerous bus routes using it. People complained that the buses were causing traffic jams. The congestion around there was so bad that when lights turned green, there was never enough space at some intersections for a bus to traverse the intersection and fully clear it. The bus would still need to run, so the bus drivers would go across the intersection and then partially block it. Then the light would turn red. Then the traffic in front of the bus would move so the bus could continue, but the bus would not move, still blocking the intersection. Why? The bus drivers could, apparently, be booked for moving on the red light (the back end of the bus being the offending part of the vehicle), so they had to sit there causing gridlock.

 

The solution to buses causing gridlock is to replace them with trams light rail. There is debate about whether the trams light rail vehicles will actually be an improvement. KVP would surely enjoy calculating it all out if reliable data were available. The lines are currently being laid. How exciting.

 

http://www.sydneylightrail.transport.nsw.gov.au/  (supposedly one service every 4 minutes during peak... how many buses does that equal?)

 

And if line conversions and lack of foresight float your boat, check this out:

http://www.news.com.au/finance/work/at-work/one-of-sydneys-newest-rail-lines-will-close-for-at-least-seven-months-just-a-few-years-after-it-opened/news-story/00a0c72cd72887774055d3439b8dd37d  :)

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Takahama Trainwatcher

The Sydney tram light rail project has, according to recent media reports, descended further into farce. The company building it are demanding an extra $1 billion plus, and are taking the government to court. The project is, apparently, a year late.

 

2 interesting news articles about the trams we used to have and what is happening now:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-12/sydneys-original-tram-network-what-happened-curious-sydney/9610328

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-13/sydney-cbds-light-rail-woes-predicted-six-years-ago/9651672

Edited by Takahama Trainwatcher

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