The Black Rock Railroad

Which would be the best place to run the rail?

Along the Esplanade
14
27%
Along E from 2 to 10
22
42%
Gate to Walk-in-Camping
1
2%
Gate to the Man via Center Camp
6
12%
Within its own enclosure in deep playa
9
17%
 
Total votes : 52

Postby Major Krash » Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:46 am

...perhaps running from the Man out to the Temple and back on a closed loop track, off to one side of the main road. That would minimize potential impacts with MV's, etc. (although not entirely eliminate it, allowing for evaluation) and still provide a useful service with a ready pool of "volunteers" on both ends...
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Postby Mojojita » Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:19 pm

Unless your track is totally enclosed, art cars would not fare the worst - I can only imagine the bike wrecks it would cause - particularly in low visibility.
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Postby Savannah » Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:34 pm

It may be a wise decision to go smaller your first year as a trial run. I see running a loop track in the inner open playa where it does not cross a street and in such a way that it passes several art installations and perhaps the man portapotty bank. Then reevaluate and go big with experience the next year.


Agreed. Do it small but right and it would not only stand a greater chance of success ,but be easier to get permission to go bigger in subsequent years because your track record (ha!) is known. I know I would love to ride a train that crossed the Esplanade above the man from 10 to 2, or from 4 to 8. That might be even more valuable than a longer, more circuitous route. Just being on the side of the city you want saves you 20-30 minutes on foot.

I had a lot of fun riding Draka the Dragon when it was still available back in the day. It seemed to have 5 train cars(?) and the atmosphere was quite happy. Draka did the horseshoe-shaped circuit of the Esplanade.
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Postby C187 » Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:36 pm

I think a track running man to temple or man to big art thing or temple to big art thing would be more of a pain. Only because you'll have to close all or part of it for burn preps. Also I could see less use..

On another note, train cars the let you hitch a bike on would be lovely.
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Postby SurlyBDrinkin » Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:03 am

I'd be rad for the train to go from Esplanade & 2 to Esplanade & 10.
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:21 am

SurlyBDrinkin wrote:I'd be rad for the train to go from Esplanade & 2 to Esplanade & 10.


You mean bridging the ends of the "C" across open playa? Nice! It would make those forlorn camps a little more hip. :)

It would be a big bother to build a track; just make an MV and run a dedicated route.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:09 pm

Damn, Payphone. I had wondered why I'd not heard from you in a while. You've been busy planning.

I love this idea and have talked about something similar with a mutual DPW friend of ours some years ago. My obligations and the distance kept me from seriously entertaining it, plus I was worn out with The Contraption when we talked about it.

I 'll keep following along your thread, if I may, and at the very least offer advice on the fabbing/kinetic side of things. Makes me bummed that this might be a year off for me. I'd be honored to swing a hammer driving spikes.


It would be a big bother to build a track

All the more reason to build tracks!
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Postby clerkkent » Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:34 pm

Johnny Payphone wrote:
And here's the biggie...

This project would be used to gather email addresses from participants who answer yes to the following question:

"Would you buy a ticket if there was a train that ran from San Francisco to Gerlach?"

Significant positive response will result in a business plan to provide chartered rail service from SF to Gerlach in 2012, resulting in massive monetary and fuel savings for the participants. The carbon reduction of transporting bay-area attendees by rail would be mind-boggling. Note that this plan would a) have to include transportation from Gerlach to BRC and b) could pick up anyone in Sacramento, Reno, etc, and c) would include container and less-than-container shipments of camp supplies. I imagine the train ride itself would be much like the cross-canada rock'n'roll railroad trip from the 70s... "heyyy mannnn which way to the ping-pong car?"



This would be cool. Get "Hogwart's Express" and have secret 9 3/4 train platforms at each train station. Watch the wide eyes as you board. :)
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Trains to Burning Man.

Postby Marscrumbs » Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:51 pm

I've seen trains running up to the Black Rock Desert. Heck we have to cross those tracks. I've thought since the Green Man that it would be cool to get a freight train to delivery all our stuff from civilization to the Playa. Maybe Amtrack couch to the city then we could have that many fewer cars. I don't know who in hell to contact to rent a train. But those tracks aren't very busy.
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Re: Trains to Burning Man.

Postby unjonharley » Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:04 pm

Marscrumbs wrote:I've seen trains running up to the Black Rock Desert. Heck we have to cross those tracks. I've thought since the Green Man that it would be cool to get a freight train to delivery all our stuff from civilization to the Playa. Maybe Amtrack couch to the city then we could have that many fewer cars. I don't know who in hell to contact to rent a train. But those tracks aren't very busy.


There is a restored steam train in Portland.. People come from all over the world (some in vintage custom) to ride it.. It makes runs every few years.. There must be more around the country.. Steam Buffs meet Burners YAAA
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:17 pm

There was, one year, an Amtrak to Gerlach. Was it 2000? I forget.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:25 pm

The steam excursion through Gerlach was in '04 or '05, I think.
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Postby Johnny Payphone » Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:43 am

Through a strange set of circumstances we already have the locomotive, equipment (passenger and freight cars), and driver for a rental train from SF (more likely Emeryville) to Gerlach. We even have some private car owners who would surely be down for the ride.

You can, if you have a rail-legal passenger car, hitch to Amtrak for about $1.25 a mile.
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Postby Johnny Payphone » Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:47 am

Mojojita wrote:Unless your track is totally enclosed, art cars would not fare the worst - I can only imagine the bike wrecks it would cause - particularly in low visibility.


Have you seen the track design, at non.primate.net/brrr/ ? It is recessed and flush like a street crossing in the city. The tracks will be invisible.
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Postby Johnny Payphone » Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:03 am

Some quick math:

Rail efficiency over riding in cars: 25% savings

Round trip: 650 mi

Avg MPG: 15?

Price per gallon: $3.10

2010 Population: 51,454

Average gas price paid per participant to attend from the Bay: $134.33

If 50% lived in the Bay and took the train rather than driving:

Total gas price of 1/2 of burners to drive from SF = (51k/2) * (650/15) *$3.10 = $3,455,907.91

If they took the train= $863,976.00 saved

Gasoline saved 278,702 gallons
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Postby BBadger » Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:31 am

A people-powered train: great.

A people-powered train on tracks: not great.

Materials and cost: It's great that you have the cars and all that, but how are you going to source 3 miles of steel track and ties? The cost alone would probably eat up the entire BM grant budget. Then you'll practically need a real train to haul all that into the playa, even if you're using amusement park-class rails.

Engineering and planning: setting up rail lines requires a lot of forethought and engineering. The tracks must be level, have a minimum radius of curvature, and be properly spaced, seated, and bound to the ties to prevent sinking into the ground. You would probably be required to get a proper permit for this kind of endeavor, as well as the proper safety certification to ensure your rig doesn't tip over. How are you even going to lift those trains onto the rail?

Construction and time: I don't think even Nazis with their slave labor were able to construct rails for their artillery in the amount of time you'd need to get a working system up for people to actually enjoy the people-powered train. How many people do you think you can even get to work a week to lay rail, and then stay another week to remove it? Great, you have artists who have good experience with MOOP, but you're talking about a major construction undertaking here, the kind that involves hundreds of workers. Don't expect many volunteers; though there may be quite a few willing to help out laying rail, far fewer will stay after to participate in the tear-up cleanup. Then there is maintenance: you have to keep the rails clean all the time, especially if they're inset into the playa, keep them well-marked so that people don't fall into them with their bikes, provide crossing points, a station, etc.

Unappreciated effort: People are going to love your train and its awesome people power concept. What people are not going to appreciate is the train track. It just sits in the ground serving as infrastructure, much like the signs at each corner of the city, only even less visible. Rails are made for the sole purpose of transporting large quantities of (heavy) goods efficiently, and any mutant vehicle that can move itself via people power is not a good qualifier for that. Why go through all that effort laying rails when they're unnecessary, and their novelty factor won't even be appreciated?

Better uses of resources: Rather than spend the time and money on laying rail, why not invest in the main attraction of your idea: the people powered vehicle. You could even make it look like a trolley of some sort by adding poles and an EL-wire line above the train that the trolley is supposed to follow (but doesn't use for power). The power from moving the "train" could even power the wire with a bit of effort. A decorative track could even be made for guidance without having to deal with the actual labor of laying real tracks. You could even make better looking stations.
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Postby Johnny Payphone » Sun Jan 30, 2011 10:15 am

It's amazing to me how little people have contributed to this idea, and how much people have just stopped by to shit on it.

>>

Materials and cost: It's great that you have the cars and all that, but how are you going to source 3 miles of steel track and ties? The cost alone would probably eat up the entire BM grant budget.

Not by a long shot.


Then you'll practically need a real train to haul all that into the playa, even if you're using amusement park-class rails.


Not by a long shot.


>
Engineering and planning: setting up rail lines requires a lot of forethought and engineering. The tracks must be level, have a minimum radius of curvature, and be properly spaced, seated, and bound to the ties to prevent sinking into the ground. You would probably be required to get a proper permit for this kind of endeavor, as well as the proper safety certification to ensure your rig doesn't tip over. How are you even going to lift those trains onto the rail?

Did you even look at the website? You don't sound smart just by shitting on an idea, you know. You just sound like an asshole without a solid grasp on the concept.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Sun Jan 30, 2011 10:19 am

Looking at the rail plans, it appears that the rails are pieces of 1/4â€
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Postby LeChatNoir » Sun Jan 30, 2011 10:21 am

Delete mulitple post
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Postby LeChatNoir » Sun Jan 30, 2011 10:21 am

Delete mulitple post
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Postby LeChatNoir » Sun Jan 30, 2011 10:22 am

Delete mulitple post

Dang... the internet belched or something.
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Postby Johnny Payphone » Sun Jan 30, 2011 10:49 am

[quote="LeChatNoir"]Looking at the rail plans, it appears that the rails are pieces of 1/4â€
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Postby unjonharley » Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:37 am

JP,,

I can not find a picture of the rail car/s you talking about..

Went to Kidsteam.. Got one flash of a adult size car.. Could not find truck size any where.. Can not find car size any where..

People ansewering this thread are posting in the blind.. The information you have provided is very weak..

You you con not expect people to jump on just your train of thought..

You may call me as shitting on your idea.. But for now I see you as trying to blow steam up my ass..
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Postby Johnny Payphone » Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:37 am

http://www.humancar.com/synchguideway.htm

Humancar has a real-world-compatible human-powered light rail implementation.
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Postby unjonharley » Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:51 am

Johnny Payphone wrote:http://www.humancar.com/synchguideway.htm

Humancar has a real-world-compatible human-powered light rail implementation.


What has that got to do witha row of beans??

I asked for the dementions of a (rail) car and the dementions of the trucks that fit the car?rail..

Is your project still in the dream stage??? Suggest you move it to the thought area..
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Postby unjonharley » Sun Jan 30, 2011 12:06 pm

That human car wheel setup will not work on your subsurface rails..
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Postby BBadger » Sun Jan 30, 2011 12:31 pm

Okay, I apologize. I did not read over your site as much as I should have, and some of the figures on the railroad sites seemed very expensive and labor intensive. Your post is also a lot more convincing and fleshed out than your website, or any of your previous posts. Maybe my shitting served some purpose, even if not intended.
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Postby motskyroonmatick » Sun Jan 30, 2011 12:43 pm

[quote="Johnny
Image[/quote]

I think that filling in many hundreds of feet of track trench after the event has concluded will be a monumental task requiring more man hours than the excavation and installation of track. Filling in shallow excavation on the playa from what I have seen is very challenging and seldom done in a way that there is no trace. If you don't excavate the playa surface then you will not need to patch up as much playa than if you did.

I propose that you set the entire tie and track sections on the playa surface and that you provide track crossings every 500 feet along the length of the track to allow for bike and light mutant vehicle crossing. I think heavy mutant vehicles would need to avoid the track all together unless the crossings were extremely well constructed.

Crossings could be made much like the platform in the left of the picture with sloped approaches for a smooth transition.
I am assuming your track design is similar to the track in the picture but possibly with half as many "ties."

I think that the project should be planned with ease of tear down and playa restoration as the number 1 concern. It seems like there always are way more people willing to set something up than to take it down so I see minimizing tear down labor and playa restoration as a necessity.
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Postby mdmf007 » Sun Jan 30, 2011 2:53 pm

Johnny Payphone wrote:Some quick math:

Rail efficiency over riding in cars: 25% savings

Round trip: 650 mi

Avg MPG: 15?

Price per gallon: $3.10

2010 Population: 51,454

Average gas price paid per participant to attend from the Bay: $134.33

If 50% lived in the Bay and took the train rather than driving:

Total gas price of 1/2 of burners to drive from SF = (51k/2) * (650/15) *$3.10 = $3,455,907.91

If they took the train= $863,976.00 saved

Gasoline saved 278,702 gallons


Savings of using rail over cars is a lot more than 25% - Freight trains are almost at the 500 mile / per ton / per gallon of diesel mark.

no - you cant move one ton for that rate, but you can move 5000 tons.
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Postby fbcota » Sun Jan 30, 2011 4:15 pm

I think this is an interesting idea with one massive hurdle. The Tracks.

I know everyone else has stated it, but with the amount of digging you will need to do to trench the tracks you will need special permission from the org. I am not sure their permit from the BLM allows for much more playa disturbances then are already in place. Yes, there is existing trenching being done but adding a 3.2 mile rail way worth of trenching is a large addition.

Crossings would need to be frequent and heavy duty. With the ability to withstand the largest, most crowd filled art cars. And once again you are faced with a restriction. The LEO "require" free access along the streets. Once again, you may be faced with permitting issues outside of the org's control.

Before moving much further forward I would start a dialog with the artery and see if it would even be allowed to happen. It would be a shame if you invested allot of time and money to find that you can't install it.

Fencing it is really not an option. People need to cross the track unless it travels around the trash fence. Plus fencing is pretty lame at Burning Man. I don't care if some people do it out there or not, fencing sucks.

Ohh, and grow some thicker skin. You yourself said you are doing something awesome, well your going to get blowback when you try to swim upriver. Take the feedback for what it is, Feedback! If people wanted to shit on the project they would a:Ignore it. b: tell you it sucks. Neither has happened.

I think this could be a really cool piece. And I think allot of the other people who have posted agree. But allot of people think you have an achilless heel. I have no doubt you can build the track. I have no doubt you can transport it. I have no doubt you can dig a giant hole. I have doubt that the powers at be will let you install it. I have doubt that the rail will be unobtrusive.

Ohh, and Mondo Spider will be your arch enemy!

Ohh, and best of luck, I'm rooting for you :)
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