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Old 11-09-2011, 06:53 PM
551 posts, read 997,124 times
Reputation: 455


Do you think that most people hate and detest elevated train lines?

I sometimes see in movies and video games the concept of trains that run over and on top of streets, like in the game Deus Ex: Human Revolution. However we have the technology now to make a 33 foot high elevated rail line, or maglev line, that would take minimal space and would be simply a single column supporting the whole train track. No more massive ones like the Chicago EL, but rather a small and narrow footprint for a fast maglev train to go through.

Look at the photo on this page:
AMT - Clean, Green, Sustainable Mass Transit - A Sustainable Solution (http://american-maglev.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=38&Itemi d=103 - broken link)

Do you see the track and how it is a single column? I think for an American city that doesn't have the money to build a subway, they can build it in the middle of a highway median (and cars like police cruisers can still "U-turn" on highways through the middle to get to other side) or a large city street without the use of eminent domain to clear the path of anything that stands in the way of the train.

Street cars have the problem of having to go through traffic, and the same with buses. That is why an elevated line would be good since it would have its own right of way, and if it like the website above it can allow a city to build it without eminent domain because the support beams would be so small it could fit in between a two to four lane road.

But if you had an elevated line like this, would you be very angry about it and do you think it would ruin the property value of your house tremendously? Or if this type of narrow footprint elevated line was built, would you like it alot even if some may consider it a horrible eyesore worse than a multilane highway?

I think small cities or even places like LA could benefit tremendously from this since it'd be more efficient than an at grade streetcar or bus, and less expensive than a subway. It also could be done without tearing down a neighborhood for a line to go through like the highways were built during Robert Moses time. Nobody likes eminent domain and a big reason I see why any new rail lines, high speed or low speed, would have trouble is because of that. Another big problem people would have is that it could obstruct views and light and from what I know people hate elevated lines. Apparently the "Skyway" or something of a similar name in a Canadian city has one but everything around it is trashy and filled with graffiti and crime I heard (I don't know if this is true but that is what C-D members said).

I even saw some crazy idea someone had of a personal rapid transit, that would take an even smaller column and allow single passengers to fly at speeds of 150 mph to their destination. I don't know the website for it but apparently they said it is doable with our technology now however it looks quite scary. If such an idea did work, it would be great but highly unlikely and unrealistic.

EDIT: Oh I found the website for the personal rapid transit. It would be an "elevated line" but different in that is it is thin. Look at here:
http://www.skytran.net/phpsite/home/home.html (broken link)
Would this SkyTran thing as the site said bother you too much and you'd be horrified to have it in your neighborhood? Or would you be ok with it provided it offers you convenience even if it is something that rises high and obstructs some view and light?

Last edited by JKFire108; 11-09-2011 at 07:02 PM..
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Old 11-09-2011, 08:02 PM
12,300 posts, read 15,202,635 times
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I am sure the Skytrain is almost as noisy as a conventional railroad. It is also too visible, so it wouldn't be popular in residential areas. Yes, I know that rubber wheels, as on Montreal's Metro, are much quieter. I would prefer them to run underground or in a trench. PRT exists only in Morgantown WV, as far as I know.

Last edited by pvande55; 11-09-2011 at 08:03 PM.. Reason: Note on PRV
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Old 11-09-2011, 09:07 PM
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
17,886 posts, read 54,194,416 times
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I used to enjoy the Myrtle Ave. El, but the technology doesn't fit today. This is something that would:

Chickpea Soup: High speed passenger rail
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Old 11-09-2011, 09:54 PM
8,287 posts, read 11,837,530 times
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WHy would they? Miami's Metrorail which is 25 miles long is completely elevated and most people don't seem to have a problem with it.
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Old 11-10-2011, 05:41 AM
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 11,105,609 times
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It's a lot quicker to access the Baltimore Metro's elevated stations than to plummet into the depths of hades to reach some of its deeper underground stations. From a customer's perspective, it's annoying to ride on 3 extra-long escalators each way, especially when riding maybe only one stop.

New York's elevated lines allow for some great views.
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Old 11-10-2011, 09:19 AM
Location: The City
22,331 posts, read 32,171,331 times
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whatever works best and is least intrusive. Dedicated ROW is beneficial whether above or below ground
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Old 11-10-2011, 12:59 PM
Location: Washington D.C. By way of Texas
18,638 posts, read 27,069,277 times
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Originally Posted by kidphilly View Post
whatever works best and is least intrusive. Dedicated ROW is beneficial whether above or below ground
Or even at grade. Chicago does a great job of all three.
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Old 11-12-2011, 02:32 PM
Location: Los Angeles, CA
2,923 posts, read 3,637,880 times
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Above grade lines create more noise, block sunlight, take away traffic lanes after construction and severely impact traffic during construction. And in urban areas like LA they aren't all that much cheaper than below grade. Maybe 20% less.

LA's philosophy of having a light rail based system that runs mostly at grade, but above and below grade as necessary seems to give us the most bang for the buck. LA doesn't have a centralized commute pattern like DC, Chicago, and NYC, so LA needs as many lines as possible to serve as many destinations as possible. Aside from a few key corridors (like Wilshire) LA doesn't really need the capacity that those systems are built for although in some cases LA will be able to achieve similar ridership because commutes will be bi-directional. The Expo line for example could get 6k riders per mile because riders will be headed to both Santa Monica and downtown.
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Old 11-14-2011, 03:18 PM
Location: Boston
1,082 posts, read 2,491,331 times
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I have nothing against elevated trains. Although I just missed living in Boston during the last years of the old Main Line El., I recall quite fondly the short stretch of the Green Line that used the Causeway Street El. The area near Boston Garden has never seemed quite as interesting since the conversion to subway.
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Old 11-03-2013, 11:29 AM
32,089 posts, read 32,994,562 times
Reputation: 14956
I think people that live near elevated rail tracks dislike them. But I much prefer to ride an elevated train with a view rather than an underground train.
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