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Old 08-20-2019, 10:01 AM   #61 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Ecky View Post
How about we make the highways for these trucks out of metal rails, which won't be destroyed by their weight? We could even put metal wheels on them to reduce rolling resistance then, since they wouldn't be traveling over rough and unpredictable surfaces.
From what I remember, people whined when they had to go to the remote receiver facility to get their stuff, and don't want to pay for a closer one.

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Old 08-20-2019, 12:06 PM   #62 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Ecky View Post
How about we make the highways for these trucks out of metal rails, which won't be destroyed by their weight? We could even put metal wheels on them to reduce rolling resistance then, since they wouldn't be traveling over rough and unpredictable surfaces.
I definitely think that could work. The rails could be embedded into the concrete and even with the surface so the lane could be used for normal traffic as well. The trucks would be locked into that one lane along with specific off ramps and transfer stations where they could shift the cargo into local regular tired trucks and trailers.
The rails could also be used for high mpg passenger cars as well using the lower RR and lower speeds of the "truck lane".

That would make autonomous cars and trucks much easier to implement as well
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Old 08-20-2019, 12:38 PM   #63 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Hersbird View Post
I definitely think that could work. The rails could be embedded into the concrete and even with the surface so the lane could be used for normal traffic as well. The trucks would be locked into that one lane along with specific off ramps and transfer stations where they could shift the cargo into local regular tired trucks and trailers.
The rails could also be used for high mpg passenger cars as well using the lower RR and lower speeds of the "truck lane".

That would make autonomous cars and trucks much easier to implement as well
This is actually an excellent idea. The only issue I see is that regular car traffic could wear the road surface unevenly with the rails (whichever way that would go, I'm uncertain.) Maybe it would be worthwhile to even make these trucks with drop-down wheel sets, metal wheels for the rails whenever possible, and rubber tires for the final leg of delivery in-town, at low speeds which damage the roadway less.

Aside from the roads lasting longer (and thus saving tax dollars), this would actually bring about huge savings for the shipping companies as well, as the rubber tires would last exponentially longer.
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Old 08-20-2019, 01:02 PM   #64 (permalink)
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Ecky is talking about trains, in case anyone missed that.

My favorite idea is truck platooning with automation coordinating everything.
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Old 08-20-2019, 01:57 PM   #65 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by redpoint5 View Post
Ecky is talking about trains, in case anyone missed that.

My favorite idea is truck platooning with automation coordinating everything.
But more like light rail or even very light rail. Things like the existing road beds and bridges would already be strong enough to support the same weights being carried now.

Also you could electrify the rail as well making battery range anxiety on electic cars and trucks meaningless. Go the bulk of the journey without battery usage, then just use the battery for the "last mile".
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Old 08-20-2019, 02:25 PM   #66 (permalink)
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But more like light rail or even very light rail. Things like the existing road beds and bridges would already be strong enough to support the same weights being carried now.

Also you could electrify the rail as well making battery range anxiety on electic cars and trucks meaningless. Go the bulk of the journey without battery usage, then just use the battery for the "last mile".
How feasible is that over long distances though? I know there are subways that run for 10's of miles, but if I leave the town I work in and head to the state capital (the nearest town of more than 1,000 that direction) it's about 100 miles of nothing in between, and I'm on the more populated side of the state. There are places west of Bismarck that are quite literally unoccupied for 50 miles any direction, especially away from the interstate. Without period power stations to keep the line voltage up I don't see such a system being feasible up here. Add in cold and snow, as well as wildlife crossing the road, and it gets uglier.

However, simply adding steel rail to the road bed for truck traffic (and frankly regular cars too) could be a huge positive in a lot of ways. Probably a pipe dream though.
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Old 08-20-2019, 08:11 PM   #67 (permalink)
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How feasible is that over long distances though? I know there are subways that run for 10's of miles, but if I leave the town I work in and head to the state capital (the nearest town of more than 1,000 that direction) it's about 100 miles of nothing in between, and I'm on the more populated side of the state. There are places west of Bismarck that are quite literally unoccupied for 50 miles any direction, especially away from the interstate. Without period power stations to keep the line voltage up I don't see such a system being feasible up here. Add in cold and snow, as well as wildlife crossing the road, and it gets uglier.

However, simply adding steel rail to the road bed for truck traffic (and frankly regular cars too) could be a huge positive in a lot of ways. Probably a pipe dream though.
The article I posted above talked about the old electric railroad we had here in Western MT, and it was long before we had the bustling metro cities of 50,000 we have now LOL! Seriously though, this would first be more feasible on say the flat, straight, very highly truck trafficked, say I80 or I5. There would also be problems with snow and ice but there are already problems with snow and ice in the current designs.

You know what might work well for ND and WY would be to line the interstates with windmills. Direct power from one mill to the next for the cars covering the distance on that little section. Basically no added electric grid needed... until the wind stops which is only once every 15 years I hear.
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Old 08-27-2019, 12:14 AM   #68 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by slowmover View Post
Diesel tech, like gasser tech was fine circa MY 2000. Should have been left alone. The price is far too high and the lifespan is shorter. Makes no sense.
Gasser tech has evolved more noticeably than Diesel tech in the meantime, considering the common-rail system became mainstream around '00 while most gassers had their fuel systems evolving at a slower pace. When it comes to cost, reliability and life span, the issue is mostly related to some aftertreatment devices that are not only a PITA to service but also have compatibility issues with some alternate fuels. Even biodiesel at higher concentrations might be troublesome in a vehicle fitted with DPF, for example.

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