Maybe HSR is a marvelous opportunity for PRT?

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Jerry Schneider

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Jan 28, 2011, 1:00:28 PM1/28/11
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Given that there is great interest in and substantial funding
available for HSR, perhaps it offers a good opportunity for PRT
feeder/distributor systems to help overcome some of the deficiencies
of this technology. I investigated this opportunity in 1994 in the
context of FRA's National Maglev Initiative and provided lots of
examples of how PRT could be integrated with HSR (in this case
maglev) for different ideas about where the HSR stations should be located.

Of course the range of PRT-type technologies was pretty limited 17
years ago but the basic integration concepts are still valid as are
the station location concepts. As part of the study, I spent some
time in France and Germany looking at their HSR stations and their
feeder/distributor systems and their land use development plans for
the station areas. For those interested, a summary of my report is
available at:
http://faculty.washington.edu/jbs/itrans/fraexsum.htm

I tend to agree with the conclusions of the National Maglev
Initiative that there are very few locations in the US where HSR
makes cost-effective sense, the most promising one being Boston-to-Washington.

- Jerry Schneider -
Innovative Transportation Technologies
http://faculty.washington.edu/jbs/itrans


eph

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Jan 28, 2011, 2:12:52 PM1/28/11
to transport-innovators
If PRT works with HSR, it would work even better with smaller maglev
vehicles (even bus sized). This would provide a continuous flow of
passengers instead of big train-loads and passengers would not have to
wait as long for trains to arrive.

Magnemotion's system is targeted to 18 passenger, 100 mph vehicles,
12,000 pphpd
http://hamptonroads.com/2010/06/odu-sell-unused-material-keep-maglev-research-track
http://www.magnemotion.com/products/maglev/pdf/M3Maglev08.pdf

I don't think magnemotion has a passive switch designed for this
vehicle though. Active switches with greater gaps can work of
course. You leave a larger gap where switching is needed and maybe
group vehicles to maximize throughput (when needed).

F.

Jerry Schneider

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Jan 28, 2011, 3:03:18 PM1/28/11
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At 11:12 AM 1/28/2011, you wrote:
>If PRT works with HSR, it would work even better with smaller maglev
>vehicles (even bus sized). This would provide a continuous flow of
>passengers instead of big train-loads and passengers would not have to
>wait as long for trains to arrive.

I wonder how frequent the service is for the Japanese bullet train or
the French TGV
or the German ICE system. I believe that the transfer penalty is an
overblown problem
that can be mitigated largely by proper interface design and scheduling.

I assume you are suggesting that bus size maglev vehicles on the main
(high capacity) routes
would be superior to high capacity trainsets - which might be true. Regardless,
you still have to provide some feeder/distribution service at the few
station locations
on the high capacity line. Some form of PRT might be useful for such
service, depending
on the composition of the land use pattern in the vicinity of the stations.

Of course, a small vehicle system operating on a robust network might
be able to do the whole job as
well or better too. It could be a dualmode system using some type of
robocar too.

There might well be some locations where 18 passenger vehicles would
be appropriate
for a feeder/distribution/circulator service.

>I don't think magnemotion has a passive switch designed for this
>vehicle though. Active switches with greater gaps can work of
>course. You leave a larger gap where switching is needed and maybe
>group vehicles to maximize throughput (when needed).

As I recall, they do have a concept for a suspended vehicle system
that includes
an in-vehicle switch. But, so far as I know, they are not currently working
on it.

WALTER BREWER

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Jan 28, 2011, 3:31:37 PM1/28/11
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Jerry,

I agree PersonalRapidTransit fits in with transportation modes long distance
enough not to be in personal vehicles, It can supply convenient "first and
last mile" service. That at least would apply to both HSR and airlines.
(And that presents a combination beneficial to a HSR terminal coincident
with an airport such as San Diego wants to do, and to which I have
objected.)

Also doing this for mass transit such as LRT, commuter rail, etc, is
beneficial, and also useful to PRT development interest. But long term that
application prolongs the use, and causes overinvestment in a less desirable
mode. PRT could do the job itself. However if the mass transit commettment
is already made, there is overall gain.

We have discussed it before, and LA to/from San Diego areas is an example of
where both approches could work, but considering the thousands of
origin/destination pairs visited each day, mostly by auto, HSR augmented by
PRT seems the hard way to go. Especially because considerable of the
currently planned HSR route is distant from many locations of interest.

For LA/SD I'd prefer PRT rise to full height, demostarate it is an area not
linear issue, and propose a different form of high speed transportation.
Measured doorstep to doorstep.

At this point Brad will say: Robocars can do as well or better.

Walt Brewer

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Jerry Schneider

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Jan 28, 2011, 4:43:36 PM1/28/11
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At 12:31 PM 1/28/2011, you wrote:
>Jerry,
>
>I agree PersonalRapidTransit fits in with transportation modes long
>distance enough not to be in personal vehicles, It can supply
>convenient "first and last mile" service. That at least would apply
>to both HSR and airlines. (And that presents a combination
>beneficial to a HSR terminal coincident with an airport such as San
>Diego wants to do, and to which I have objected.)
>
>Also doing this for mass transit such as LRT, commuter rail, etc, is
>beneficial, and also useful to PRT development interest. But long
>term that application prolongs the use, and causes overinvestment in
>a less desirable mode. PRT could do the job itself. However if the
>mass transit commettment is already made, there is overall gain.

A lot of it has been built so far - it's a sunk cost - and needs to
be made more productive with a feeder/distributor in some locations.

>We have discussed it before, and LA to/from San Diego areas is an
>example of where both approches could work, but considering the
>thousands of origin/destination pairs visited each day, mostly by
>auto, HSR augmented by PRT seems the hard way to go. Especially
>because considerable of the currently planned HSR route is distant
>from many locations of interest.

Yes, the O/D pattern is likely to be very dispersed, but with a few
clusters widely spaced - but without having some decent O/D data and
forecasts, it would be hard to design a system that would serve the
clusters well, leaving the rest to conventional autos and robocars.

The HSR advocates are likely to get something built and perhaps PRT
could tag along given a few crumbs.

>For LA/SD I'd prefer PRT rise to full height, demostarate it is an
>area not linear issue, and propose a different form of high speed
>transportation. Measured doorstep to doorstep.

Yes, but who would finance the necessary studies to make the case and
stop the HSR advocates from getting all the money?

>At this point Brad will say: Robocars can do as well or better.

Certainly a possibility - given the millions of advocates they are
likely to have - especially in California.

eph

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Jan 28, 2011, 5:28:06 PM1/28/11
to transport-innovators
Using Magnemotions's numbers for maglev, it would take 18 lanes of
single passenger vehicles per direction to offer the same throughput.
This is not practical yet.

So an APM type of system (Like magnemotion's ODU project) that can
move larger crowds at high speeds might be a good combination with
PRT. I would like to see a PRT lane alongside the APM for direct to
destination trips though. This single lane could also be used as a
collector to intermediate stations.

It would be good if the gov't put a bit more $ into magnemotion's
technology. The suspended PRT version is also VERY interesting. Wish
they could put a bunch of people at work on both those projects
pronto. Instead, the professor has to organize to have pieces of
track sold to fund research. What a crazy world. They are ready to
blow Billions on HSR, but can't fund $68,000 for research into
innovative technology that could bring export opportunities.

F.
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