A RAILWAY that FALLS Down Hill (Feb, 1933)

A RAILWAY that FALLS Down Hill

GERMAN engineers have recently proposed the building of novel “roller coaster” railways for use on short runs between cities and suburbs. The ingenious yet simple construction of this railway, which literally gets its power from falling down hill, is well shown in the accompanying drawing.

Each waiting station is elevated forty or more feet in the air, and passengers are lifted to the platform in an elevator. The train, consisting of two or three cars, awaits them on a level stretch of track beside the station. An endless chain drive, traveling underneath the track, engages the bottom of the leading car and pulls it past the station far enough to start rolling down the incline under its own momentum, exactly like the cars in a roller coaster. Sufficient speed will be generated to carry the train to the next station, where the chain drive lifts it to the top ready to repeat the performance.

The main advantage of the system is that no locomotive or power car is required in the train, eliminating the need for much heavy equipment.

3 comments
  1. Nick Moffitt says: May 12, 20083:51 am

    The Central Line in the London Underground system is built somewhat like this: gentle inclines at stations make the platforms less of a trek to get to, and they give you a bit of free deceleration and acceleration when approaching/leaving the station.

  2. Rick Auricchio says: May 12, 20082:06 pm

    Of course, with that truck stopped on one of the tracks, it brings up the question: What if the train needs to stop for an emergency? How long will it take to dispatch a locomotive to pull the train to the next station?

    Also, if the terrain has any hills, the stations will be at different elevations. Some will have to be built very high, to allow the train to descend and climb up to the higher station.

  3. John Chippy says: May 14, 200812:53 am

    Moscow underground is also built similarly.

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