Vacuum Tube-Train Proposal by the Rand Corp., 1972

General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

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Vacuum Tube-Train Proposal by the Rand Corp., 1972

Post by lpetrich » Wed Jul 17, 2013 11:39 pm

Yonah Freemark (The Transport Politic) tweeted a link to a proposed map: hyperreal cartography & the unrealized city - 1972 Rand Corporation map of potential Very High...

I found the original: The Very High Speed Transit System | RAND, by R.M. Salter, with a free PDF of the study. I read it, and it seemed rather sketchy.

It lacked any discussion of the expense of tunneling projects, or at least hard-rock ones, though its author stated that tunneling technology was rapidly changing back then (PDF page 12). He mentioned the necessity of developing "continuous or semi-continuous excavating machines", suggesting that tunnel boring machines were not very common back in 1972. However, its author was correct in noting the necessity of avoiding curves.

Its map (PDF page 5) seemed rather amateurish, though its author stated that "A search for an optimal routing would present an interesting and challenging problem, requiring an extensive database of physiographic information." (PDF page 4). I suspect that the US Geological Survey now has computerized versions of much of the necessary info.

The main route in that map is New York City - Chicago - Amarillo TX - Los Angeles, with branches to various other cities. Amarillo??? It's not nearly as populous as either Denver or Dallas, two other cities almost halfway between Chicago and LA. The map does not include St. Louis as an intermediate stop, despite it being close to the main route, and the map also lacks some plausible cities like Miami.

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Re: Vacuum Tube-Train Proposal by the Rand Corp., 1972

Post by virtualchuck » Thu Jul 18, 2013 10:32 am

I actually came across this article the other day. I don't know if it's what prompted your post, but interesting none the less. ... -transport" onclick=";return false;


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