This is a proposal to, literally, turn Mass Transit sideways. It is meant for the limited application of when you need to get tons of people, expeditiously, from one place to another. The original application is an area, in northern New Jersey, consisting of a main train station, and, about seven miles away, a sports complex and a shopping mall. Currently, it can take half an hour to get from one side to the other, not including all the time wasted waiting for the train. If we can cut that to ten minutes, we can use each rail car three times as much.
Early railroads had a locomotive in front, followed by a tender (to carry its fuel and water), a baggage van, several passenger coaches, and finally a caboose, all arrange linearly on a track. A multi-man crew was needed to run it, especially the propulsion system (locomotive), so you needed to carry many passengers on one train to effectively utilize the crew. Because it was on a track, at each station the passengers had to enter in the sides of each vehicle.
Things are very different now. We have computers to run things, and we no longer need a multi-person crew. We do not need trains. We can have individual passenger vehicles that are self-propelled and run by computer. When passengers enter from the side, it slows down passenger loading and unloading. When you need to fill a football stadium as quickly as possible, you need high throughput.
Loading passengers becomes a lot faster if they can enter the “rear” end of vehicle, and take their seats starting in the “front”, and not be climbing over each other. After the vehicle travels to its destination, the passengers leave by the “front” door, with those sitting in “front” leaving first. The vehicle returns by reversing direction, the “rear” becoming the “front”, and the “front” becoming the “rear”.
Each vehicle travels from a Gate in one Depot, to another Gate in another Depot. Each depot has many Gates. An automatic system tells passengers which Gate to go to. There may be several Depots for one facility, called a “Terminal Area”. A stadium might have two Depots, one for each side. A multi-level train station may have one for each level.
This could be implemented using conventional rail, without Magnetic Levitation (MagLev), but it would not be as efficient, and might need more people to run it.
On a larger scale, suppose that there are three Terminal Areas, NYC’s two airports (JFK and LGA) and Manhattan. This would provide very rapid transit between the heart of New York City and both airports, and also between the airports. Other lines could run between Manhattan and Stewart Airport in Newburgh (north), and also to MacArthur field (east) in Islip, LI. This will greatly increase the airport capacity available to NYC. This is just one example.
[This is an application of MagLev transportation from last-year’s entry (https://contest.techbriefs.com/2019/entries/automotive-transportation/9404).]