LABIS High Speed Train - Frequently Asked
How do you safely board/debark passengers without
A shuttle vehicle picks up passengers in city A, waits
on a side-track until the train goes by, switches onto the
mainline, overtakes and docks with the train, discharges
passengers from city A, takes off passengers for city B, then
uncouples from the train and proceeds into city B.
What makes LABIS safer than other systems?
Wheels on other systems are set relatively close
together under a wide, high, heavy body resulting in a high
center of gravity over a narrow support system and very poor
lateral stability. In even low speed collisions or
derailments the cars tend to roll onto their side tossing
passengers about the interior. This rolling action is
responsible for most injuries in these cases.
The LABIS vehicle is built wide and low with the wheels
out to the sides and this design very greatly reduces the
tendency to roll. A scale model has been de-railed hundreds
of times and has never rolled.
LABIS runs on a dedicated, elevated guideway above
random surface hazards and which makes it practically an
The elevated guideway enables the use of an electronic
hazard detecting and guideway condition warning system that
looks miles ahead of the train and warns of dangerous
situations in time to stop the train.
These features will make LABIS safer than most other
forms of transportation.
Nearly all passenger carrying systems are subsidized.
Why will LABIS be profitable and self-sufficient?
LABIS's wide-body design provides for much higher
seating density than is possible in other systems. Being
built using the light, strong monocoque construction
techniques employed in modern aircraft fabrication, it will
be light. The higher seating density coupled with it's
lighter weight will provide a vehicle-to-payload weight ratio
of about two-to-one. That may be compared to the about
forty-to-one ratio of an average AMTRAK train carrying it's
Operated in conjunction with its Metro People Moving
mode, it can provide nation-wide door-to-door service cheaper
than the cost of operating an automobile and much, much
faster! For example, from home in suburban Chicago to an
appointment in downtown St Louis should take about two hours
and cost, perhaps, $65.
It will be possible to adjust the trains size to match
expected loads without stopping it.
The increased speed, safety and convenience represented
by these things, along with the low fares, will result in the
high ridership that will make LABIS profitable.
Do you really expect to run on two hundred mph
Yes. The wide, low profile of the vehicles is a proven
high speed design. As powered it will be capable of much
higher speeds but considerations of wheel/rail wear
underlines the advisability of the more conservative two
hundred mph operation. Also, at 200 mph, some thirty-five to
forty miles of track will be required between stations to
safely accomplish the docking necessary to the passenger
boarding/debarking procedures. As speed is increased, so is
the distance between stations, thus reducing the number of
stations that can be served.
Will LABIS use existing rails?
No. The narrow gauge, or distance apart (56.5 inches) of
the rails on existing tracks constitutes a substantial
barrier to the design/development of safe, high-speed
passenger transport. The extremely poor lateral stability
associated with vehicles twelve to sixteen feet high and ten
feet wide weighing 50 to 200 tons tottering along on wheels
set 4 feet 8 1/2 inches apart is abundantly obvious. The poor
lateral stability caused by the relatively narrow gauge will
continue to impose limits to the safe operation of passenger
vehicles on these lines into the foreseeable future.
The obvious solution is simply to put the rails farther
The cost to build appropriately wide gauge guideways may
be brought into perspective by considering the cost of
attempting to up-grade existing track to safely support 200
mph service or to build guideways for some of the 'new'
technology's being proposed. It is highly probable that the
LABIS guideway will be considerably less expensive to build
than improving existing lines to safely support 100 mph
To start on 4%+ and run over 6%+ grades sounds pretty
ambitious. How can this be done?
The performance on specified grades depends on the force
available to move the vehicle and the ability to exert that
force through steel wheels on steel rails. It's called
The formula for tractive effort shows it directly
dependent upon both bearing pressure and bearing area. In
past rail designs bearing pressure has been emphasized and
enhanced by building heavier engines. We will increase
tractive effort by furnishing driving wheels on every car ,
thus greatly increasing total bearing area. Preliminary
calculations indicate that the 4% and 6% grade performance,
without traction enhancement (sanding) are conservative for
How will the Metro People-Mover (MPM) work?
Small (15 to 20) passenger vehicles will be tracked by
locators which will continuously report their position, load
and next destination by radio to a central computer. The
customer dials access to the computer, and enters his/her
present location and destination. The computer dispatches
nearest vehicle with the required seating space to the
pick-up for delivery to nearest LABIS station.
Won't LABIS require extensive research to make it
We already have the skills and knowledge to do
everything that's required. As with any existing or
experimental system that has the slightest chance of
providing the features and performance we claim, some
development effort will be required. But we suggest that the
effort required will be less with the LABIS concept than that
required to produce a real-world compatible system through
any other known approach.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Call Raymond Lashley at (970)
243-1849 or write to him at: 2874 C1/2 Road, Grand Junction,
CO. 81501; E -Mail:
Last modified: November 20, 1998