A solution to India’s transportation nightmare
India has so many people, and so little space, at least in the metros. One block in Pune has as much humanity and action as a linear mile does in Los Angeles. It takes less time to go one mile in Los Angeles as it does to get through the one block obstacle course in Deccan Gymkhana! Road taxes, custom buses and walkways are solutions discussed in another blog. But, what about something really far out and fun?
The snake train
This idea is the coolest idea I have ever had. Its ridiculously expensive and probably not even buildable. But, people would love it! The snake train is a train that goes really slowly and smoothly. It is designed to move on a curvy track that resembles the shape of a long snake. The cars would be wide and there would be no stations. You can jump on the train anywhere and get off anywhere. The tracks are snakelike to allow more getting on and off points.
What would the train be like?
The train would be a mile long to ensure that you would be able to jump on or off without waiting long for the train. Trains would have some space between them, but the point is to have a system where there is minimal or no waiting for getting on and off at any of the non-stations.
There would be no stations. You could go down a stairway wherever there are entrances and just run and jump on the slow moving train where you like. Although the voyage would be slower than a normal train, there would be little or no waiting time, and once on the train there would be plenty to do.
The point of the train is to have multi-tasking. Each car would have its own theme. One car could be an office supply store. Get your paper and toner on the way to the office. That way you are killing two birds with one stone as the Americans say. Get to work while you are getting your shopping done. And don’t worry about parking to go shopping. You are on a train, your car is out of the picture. Another car could have a cafe, an internet parlor, art gallery, Japanese lessons, a gym, TV room, or anything else that would be popular. You could walk down the corridors of the mile-long train to find a car that had an activity appealing to you during your 45-minute commute.
What about the cost?
Dont’ even ask. This would cost a mint, but it would make transportation fun. The snake would be the new craze that would make the automobile obsolete. “Oh, you still drive? You’re so old fashioned” would be the phrase you would hear most.
Where would you put this monstrocity?
This type of transportation needs space to build and caters towards the upper-middle class. It might be possible or practical to build something like this in Bangalore. A city too small would not make sense to build something this expensive. A city with distances too large would only be able to use such a system in a limited part of the city with high population density. The train moves too slow to go more than ten miles in any direction.
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