The Petite Ceinture is a 17 mile railway circumscribing central Paris. It was built in 1852 to connect the Gares of Paris, became one of the world's first suburban transit systems, and fell into disuse during the 1930's as the Paris Metro succeeded it in efficiency. Today it is abandoned and little known, preserved by indecision over its future. It is a retreat from the city, and a home for underground culture. In places raised up, depressed or underground, it is an exceptional place to look back upon the city of Paris.
This is a rough journal of what I've found on the P.C. as well as during walks around Paris.

dimanche 20 juillet 2008

ARVs: Alternative Rail Vehicles

These images are from an article published by Heiko Hansen for the "Vehicles of Registration and Omniscient Observational Mechanics" workshop in Istanbul.

"Flying Carpet" - according to the article:

It runs along a single tram track, using it as a monorail, its wheels propelled by an electric motor. The cushion lies on top of a mechanical system that allows the driver to balance wh en seated in the Lotus position. This posture not only mimics the operation of a “real” flying carpet, but also links body posture to movement in a way that driver has to be Zen to operate …

The experience of driving Tapis Volant is semi-automated: The vehicle glides along the tracks, accelerated by the act of tilting forward and comes to a standstill when leaning back.

Cabin Taxi, Germany. As part of a movement to develop autonomous movement along a common rail system, Germany funded a project that involved pods that could be self controlled and would run along an elevated rail network.

Rail Velo, designed by artists Raphael Zarka and Vincent Lamaroux. This seems to be the neatest marriage between an ARV and the local taste for bicycles. I wonder how you could institute a system of public Rail Velos (like the Velib), without running into difficulties such as people biking at different speeds, or turning off the main track to park the bike.

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