[sclug] OT: convert rail tracks to tarmac for private coach network which saves billions and provides a better service!

Tom Carbert-Allen tom at randominter.net
Thu Sep 10 14:33:34 UTC 2009

Alex Butcher wrote:
> But as far as technical arguments go, I'm thinking of this in terms of
> (telecoms) networks.  The road network is suitable for cheap, 
> high-bandwidth
> bulk transfers, but with moderate speed and high average latency.  A
> separate rail network is high-speed, low latency with higher costs and 
> lower
> bandwidth.  Attempting to increase the bandwidth (i.e.  passenger/cargo
> numbers) of the rail network without changing the speed will result in
> increased latency (as services add systemic delay due to minor problems -
> doors, boarding, etc).
> Best Regards,
> Alex

I like your analogy but your argument miss's one important difference 
between tracks and rubber wheels. They can drive around each other. So 
if one service is delayed or breaks down, the rest just drive around it. 
So a rubber wheel system has less chance of an incident causing systemic 
problems. So I fail to see how increasing the bandwidth (by decreasing 
the minimum distance required between two vehicles going down the same 
lane/track) would increase latency.

More information about the Sclug mailing list