Endless BELT TRAINS for Future Cities (Nov, 1932)

Endless BELT TRAINS for Future Cities

TRANSPORTATION of city inhabitants through subway or overhead tubes on endlessly moving belts, providing more speed and comfort than our present systems of passenger service, loom as a possibility, according to Norman W. Storer, engineer of the Westinghouse Electrical Co., who has developed the idea.

As described by Mr. Storer, the system is an arrangement of continuous trains or belts of cars, running on parallel tracks. There is a stationary loading platform along the entire course of the system.

Passengers board the first local train at any point, and it stops every 50 seconds for a period of 10 seconds. When the doors close, a gong sounds and the local platform starts moving. Now there is another signal and gates open for a second platform, or express, on which the passenger takes the major part of his trip. After ten seconds the gates close and the local slows down for another stop, while the express picks up to a 22 m.p.h. speed.

Noise of the system is at a minimum, and passengers are delivered at no more than 300 feet from their streets. All stations are controlled from one central point, all elements being so timed that there can be no hitches.

  1. David says: January 10, 20084:15 am

    Asimov’s beltways?

  2. mrchurchill109 says: January 10, 20085:34 am

    I was thinking of Heinlein’s rolling roads, though on a much smaller scale.

    Not seeing the win on this one. Looks to me like the tubes themselves would have some serious issues with wind – building-to-building variation in movelent is going to really ruin your whole day without serious expansion joints.

    There’s a reason they but subways underground – this way they don’t move!


  3. Dillo says: January 10, 200810:57 am

    I was thinking the same thing David. This sounds a lot like the transportation system depicted in “The Caves of Steel”.

  4. Donn says: January 10, 20084:58 pm

    Yeah, it has much of the aspects of Asimov’s beltways. Except of course, Asimov had several belts traveling at increasing speeds.

  5. Donn says: January 10, 20085:00 pm

    … And in the Caves of Steel, they were underground, so no wind problems, except for breeze from the faster passing travelers.

  6. Jay says: January 11, 20082:47 pm

    Every train network in the world has daily mechanical breakdowns and medical emergencies. As soon as any part or any passenger needs to be stopped the whole system grinds to a halt. All it takes is someone jamming the doors or a a bad bearing or something.

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