Fast endless Bi-directional spiral with an ho scale train
August 17, 2015 8:15 AM   Subscribe

Mesmerizing (SLYT)
posted by numaner (47 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
 
welp I've definitely read way too much Junji Ito manga because I spent the time watching the video waiting for an enormous eye to open in the center and swallow me whole or something

seriously this is just weirdly unnerving and I can't figure out why
posted by griphus at 8:20 AM on August 17, 2015 [7 favorites]


I think it's a metaphor for Global Finance.
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:21 AM on August 17, 2015 [4 favorites]


It's like one of those hypno-spirals. I couldn't stop watching.
posted by Obscure Reference at 8:26 AM on August 17, 2015


Nobody remembers how or when we boarded. There are station announcements every few hours but the names are strangely garbled. There's supposed to be WiFi here but I can't get anything to connect. The dining car just has chips. Everyone has the same face. I hate this train
posted by theodolite at 8:28 AM on August 17, 2015 [54 favorites]


http://perpetual.pizza
posted by mistersquid at 8:29 AM on August 17, 2015 [2 favorites]




Getting the total track length to equal an integer multiple of car lengths must have been tricky.
posted by mondo dentro at 8:33 AM on August 17, 2015 [8 favorites]


Wilford: I believe it is easier for people to survive on this train if they have some level of insanity. As Gilliam well understood, you need to maintain a proper balance of anxiety and fear and chaos and horror in order to keep life going. And if we don't have that, we need to invent it. In that sense, the Great Curtis Revolution you invented was truly a masterpiece.
posted by numaner at 8:36 AM on August 17, 2015


Getting the total track length to equal an integer multiple of car lengths must have been tricky.

It just required the proper invocations to Yog-Sothoth. The cars will fit, the track will spiral endlessly, and let me tell ye suthin’—some day yew folks’ll hear a conductor a-callin’ the final stop that is All Stops at Once!”
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:37 AM on August 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


Incidentally, this is how an 8-Track cartridge works, too.
posted by AzraelBrown at 8:47 AM on August 17, 2015 [19 favorites]


That is more or less exactly what the inside of an 8-track looks like.

Edit: ARGH! Beaten by seconds.
posted by grumpybear69 at 8:48 AM on August 17, 2015 [6 favorites]




Getting the total track length to equal an integer multiple of car lengths must have been tricky.
There's a lot of slack in the couplers, as you see when they reverse. So that should be doable.
posted by Namlit at 8:50 AM on August 17, 2015


ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNOTRAIN
posted by Etrigan at 8:52 AM on August 17, 2015 [27 favorites]


waiting for an enormous eye to open in the center and swallow me whole or something

It's only because he has yet to work out the details. Mark my words, as his mad schemes develop in their complexity -- gestate, if you will -- soul-devouring will happen. It is inevitable.

Now then, hand me the .353, don your googles and bring the papyrii. We must pay a visit to Mr. Risner.
posted by aramaic at 8:55 AM on August 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm kinda amazed that the "bridge" from the outside of the spiral to the inside seems to go a decent distance without any supports over the bulk of the spiral itself. Impressive engineering!
posted by Inkoate at 9:09 AM on August 17, 2015


Now let's see 'em do a Möbius track!
posted by JoeZydeco at 9:13 AM on August 17, 2015


MetaFilter: inverted dogbone triple layer helix
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:30 AM on August 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


I wonder how long until somebody does this with real trains. Maybe some Australian mining oligarch unsatisfied with dinosaur ranches and pet political parties (bonus: those guys already own lots of rolling stock); or else a group of hobbyists on one of the UK's less popular preserved branch lines?
posted by acb at 9:31 AM on August 17, 2015


> I wonder how long until somebody does this with real trains.

The constant flange squeal on that would be glorious.
posted by Gev at 9:42 AM on August 17, 2015 [11 favorites]


Finding the engine is like looking for the queen bee.
posted by bondcliff at 9:47 AM on August 17, 2015


Constant Flange Squeal - wasn't that a Lou Reed protest album? Or am I thinking of Lady Constance Flange-Squeel, reputed to be Lady C______ from The Days And Nights Of A Lady At The Firebox?

I think the topology of this layout is similar to that on the Circle Line between Tower Hill and Aldgate. Flange squeal has been a companion to me for many, many years there.
posted by Devonian at 9:54 AM on August 17, 2015 [7 favorites]


I'm pretty sure Constant Flange Squeal was a Puritan Elder killed during King Philip's War. One of his descendants worked at Slater's mill, helping kick off the Industrial Revolution in North America, and bringing the engineering sense of the word "flange" to us. Strange, but true.

(For some value of true, as long as the range of "true" including "lies."
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:23 AM on August 17, 2015 [13 favorites]


Que loco!
posted by jontyjago at 10:42 AM on August 17, 2015


Seems like half a minute of that would've been sufficient. What made them keep filming for another five?
posted by rikschell at 10:55 AM on August 17, 2015


Still waiting for the 100 hour super-cut in 4K
posted by blue_beetle at 11:03 AM on August 17, 2015


Seems like half a minute of that would've been sufficient. What made them keep filming for another five?

I think you're underestimating the attention span of your typical model railroader.
posted by bondcliff at 11:15 AM on August 17, 2015 [7 favorites]


if you tried to use one of the engines as a spot to follow for a complete cycle, it takes about 2 minutes, and he only went in one full cycle once in all the back and forth.
posted by numaner at 11:18 AM on August 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


Getting the total track length to equal an integer multiple of car lengths must have been tricky.

I dunno, for a model railroading enthusiast with some basic tools I think it was probably not so difficult. The hardest part might be figuring out the smallest radius of the innermost ring that would not routinely derail the cars and engines. (I like that they left a couple pieces of shim and spare track casually sitting over on one side.)

What would be cool would be to integrate this somehow into the natural landscape of a large layout and freak out the tourists and kids.
posted by aught at 11:22 AM on August 17, 2015


Still waiting for the 100 hour super-cut in 4K

I imagine Norwegian Slow TV will be commissioning this soon.
posted by aught at 11:25 AM on August 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


... and he only went in one full cycle once in all the back and forth.

This made me suspect there's some sort of accumulating error or instability, and that if he tried to run it more in one direction than that very small amount, it would have locked up, or derailed.

But if so, he should have shown that; it would only have made it more interesting.
posted by jamjam at 11:28 AM on August 17, 2015


constant flange squeal

Think when we talk of flanges, that you see them
Printing their proud... errr... maybe not.
posted by flabdablet at 11:50 AM on August 17, 2015




I wonder how long until somebody does this with real trains

Closest thing I know of is the Tehachapi Loop

posted by mmrtnt at 11:58 AM on August 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


Very cool. The double helix model in the related videos is also great.

On the double helix, it would be amusing to see one with passing sidings, and several locomotives running in opposite directions. As I recall, controllers these days use some sort of track frequency to individually control locomotives, and if so it must be possible to combine that with track detectors to vary the speed of the locomotives slightly so they always meet at passing sidings. The turnouts can always shunt to the right in both directions, the exiting locomotive will push aside the "wrong" direction one...I think.

Hm. Infinite double helix with four levels, and a passing siding every 90 degrees...that's 26 places to pass, eh? 52 total locomotives? Might want a generator and don't touch the rail.
posted by maxwelton at 12:06 PM on August 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Seems like half a minute of that would've been sufficient. What made them keep filming for another five?

If you're asking the question, you won't understand the answer. It's like "Why climb that mountain?" Because it's there. The only thing that could be more satisfying than n minutes of this is n+1 minutes.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:14 PM on August 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Cool!

The Danish Pavilion in Shanghai is an endless loop like this, but you can ride a bike in it!

Fun fact: there’s a pool in the middle where you could see the Little Mermaid statue, which they borrowed from Copenhagen Harbor. (This would be sort of like letting Sydney or London borrow the Statue of Liberty.)
posted by subliminable at 12:16 PM on August 17, 2015 [1 favorite]




I'm wanting some kind of chronometical or astronomical connection here. A stone henge thing, something like that. Or Rubik's cube, where they all line up, and will only do so again on the equinox, or some such. To make it more than just a bunch of hypnotic trains running around.

(I would also want a smaller scale. Something you can carry around. For Show and Tell.)
posted by BWA at 4:21 PM on August 17, 2015


Finding the engine is like looking for the queen bee.

It looked to me like there were multiple engines, which would also explain the snappy directional response.
posted by kinnakeet at 4:33 PM on August 17, 2015


Bobby Bacala would approve.
posted by Rhomboid at 9:33 PM on August 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


I wanted to see it go impossibly fast -- like the continuous loop would prevent a derail, until it started to melt into a big gray glob. Or started the floor on fire. Or something.
posted by wallabear at 10:01 PM on August 17, 2015


I'm completely flabbergasted that a train nerd would write ho instead of h0.

Maybe going for that street cred?
posted by dominik at 12:09 AM on August 18, 2015


I'm completely flabbergasted that a train nerd would write ho instead of h0.

Why would they write it as h0? HO stands for "Half O", meaning half the size of O scale. O scale, although originally 0 (zero) scale, is now written with the letter O, not the number 0.

I can already tell this is going to turn into the biggest argument Metafilter has ever seen, rivaling the Great Sodastream War of 2012, and by this time next year any model train thread will be deleted with the reason "Metafilter doesn't do train threads very well."
posted by bondcliff at 7:04 AM on August 18, 2015


HO stands for "Half O", meaning half the size of O scale. O scale, although originally 0 (zero) scale, is now written with the letter O, not the number 0.

HO was also originally H0 -- as you note, "Half 0". It evolved into HO in the same way that 0 evolved to O. In Germany, it's still "hah-null". But I don't know any (American) train nerds who still say H-zero.
posted by Etrigan at 7:11 AM on August 18, 2015


Mods?
posted by bondcliff at 7:15 AM on August 18, 2015


Oh, right, sorry. I forgot.

HO was also originally H0, you blatherskite.
posted by Etrigan at 7:23 AM on August 18, 2015 [4 favorites]


Haytch-nought?
posted by blue_beetle at 12:07 PM on August 18, 2015


« Older That's intelligent design, not Intelligent Design.   |   Minor-League Baseball Player Finds a Better Way to... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments