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by Daniel Gloade on August 13, 2012

I last spoke of land trains. I discussed how they can be maneuverable and fuel-efficient.

Another advantage is the land train’s flexibility. Street car rails can be added to the road-going land bus. The land bus can have a retractable pole to receive electricity from overhead wires. The land train’s route could therefore be part rail and part road. The city can use the same system while slowing converting to electric rail travel.

Subways need complete rail routes before they can be used. This means investors need to spend a great deal of capital and wait for years before he or she breaks even. With land trains, however, the routes can be added gradually. The rail route can be used (and create revenue) immediately.

As city populations grow, the city can install land train stations. The stations will have platforms that will be level with the train’s doors. This will make entering and exiting more efficient.

In order for people to use land trains, however, it has to be as least as fast as regular road traffic.
For smaller cities, the land bus could have a sensor that changes traffic lights. The city can impose a by-law so that drivers must always yield to buses on four-way stops. For busier intersections, the city may have to resort to roundabouts.

Stopped buses do not need to impede traffic if each bus stop has its own “nook” for the bus to drive into. Although these designated bus stops are expensive to build and encroach on existing property, it is still cheaper than subway stations. Each nook can have a gate that reads the bus’s designated signal. This will prevent individuals from illegally parking in the designated nook.

Railroads already use pick-up trucks can can ride on rails. A land train can be adapted similarly.
The rail wheels can be identical to the gauge of railroad tracks used in conventional trains. Land trains can drive off the highway and onto the train tracks. This will reduce traffic congestion and will save fuel. The cargo containers do not have to be transferred from train to truck. Once a land train reaches a train terminal, it can simply drive off the track and to the side or directly onto the road.

What does this have to do with Kitchener small business? A great deal, actually. The City of Kitchener is completing its Transportation Master Plan. It is essential that the city planners get it right. The Transportation Master Plan affects whether customers can reach us, the cost of goods and services and our taxes.

Although modern land trains are relatively unknown, it would be nice if Kitchener designed its transportation plan on the use of land trains so that we do not have to make major changes in the future.

Just in case you are wondering, I have no financial interest land trains.

So, what do you think? Please let me know,


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