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Publication numberUS1276115 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 20, 1918
Filing dateNov 2, 1917
Priority dateNov 2, 1917
Publication numberUS 1276115 A, US 1276115A, US-A-1276115, US1276115 A, US1276115A
InventorsChauncey E Richardson
Original AssigneeChauncey E Richardson
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
System of transportation.
US 1276115 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)



imam"w Patented Aug. 20, 1918.




Patented Aug. 20, 1918.

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Patented Aug. 20, 1918.



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Specification of Letters Patent.

Patented Aug. 20, 1918.

Application filed November 2, 1917. Serial No. 199,946.

To all whom it may concern:

Be it known that I, CHAUNOEY E, RICH- ARDSON, a citizen of the United States, residing at Chevy Chase, in the county of Montgomery and State of Maryland, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Systems of Transportation, of which the following is a specification.

This invention relates to an improved method for traversing waterways and land over which surface travel is inconvenient, expensive, slow or hazardous; and it involves an entirely new system of transportation. The invention consists of the matters hereinafter described and more particularly pointed out in the annexedclaims.

One object of the invention is to provide a safe means of navigating waters that are otherwise difiicult to cross and to obviate the delay and expense of dry-tunneling. Another is to provide means of water communication that is safe forsubmarine boats under certain conditions. A further object is to provide a subaqueous tunnel which need not be dry or waterproof. A still further object is to provide means for transporting bulk freight in large quantities without the usual traflic blockades. It is also designed to afford means for general transportation between distant points separated by land and water without the necessity for remov ing the natural obstructions to ordinary communication.

To these ends it is proposed to utilize tunnels and to operate through said tunnels submarine boats of suitable types and equipment. l

A tunnel such as is contemplated by this invention may be created by boring, but it is preferably formed of pipes, which can be made at factories anywhere and bolted or otherwise assembled when and where permanently laid, wherther on or in the bed of a waterway or other place of utilization. It may be used on land, either above or below the surface, or on trestles or aqueducts, or wholly submerged. Such a tunnel is intended preferably to accommodate traffic in one direction only, and they may be constructed in pairs or in groups, and as many such pipes, pairs or groups may be employed as the traflic requires, some for passengers and others for freight, according to the volume of business.

The tunnel, when consisting of may be of any required diameter,

a pipe but it should be large enough to permit the passage of boats of practical utility, as, for instance, a ten-foot pipe which would pass therethrough a boat approximately eight feet in diameter. This tunnel may be cheaply constructed from iron, steel'or any suitable material, and formed by the combination of such sections as may be most convenient to assemble in place. It may be the ordinary cylindrical tube or of any other desired form, and it may be either straight or curved. It is important, however, that the tube be strong enough to avoid buckling when suspended, as it may be in places, from natural or artificial supports.

It is obvious that the joints of the pipe tunnel for subaqueous use need not be watertight, because there its principal object 1s to serve as a guide for the passage of submarine boats, much as the torpedo-tube guides its projectile; and it might as well be a skeleton frame if that could exclude all possible obstructions. Such a pipe tunnel, when used in the ordinary waterway, may be laid in a trench, or merely on the bottom, as it is very apt to become buried by reason of its weight and by the aid of marine currents. Where further reinforcement of the tunnel is desired, this object may be attained by raising a mound of rock,

concrete riprap, sand or other materialover the same for portions of or for its entire length. 7

The submarine boats contemplated by this invention may be of any desired form, but preferably of a cross-section the same as the cross-section of the conduit which they are to traverse, as, for instance, the fore-and-aft projectiledike vehicle shown in the accompanying drawings, which permits the use of a plurality of screwqaropellers at each end without the danger of their damage by colliding.

Boats may be propelled by their own power, on the screw, siphon, trolley, traction or other method, or directed by wireless electricity, operated by gravity, by hydraulic o pneumatic pressure, by siphoning of the tubes, or by any one or combination of methods that may be'found most suitable for the purpose; and they may be operated singly or in trains, and either pushed or drawn. For illustrative purposes I have shown such a boat equipped with storage batteries and electric motors, as one of the abovementioned means... An endless chain unlimited opportunity for the movement of freight over limited distancesbetweenrelay stations. A siphon system, under certain circumstances, might be profitably employed, and 'the same water could be returned through the twin conduit. Boats may be provided with friction-pulleys, springfenders, or, other. means to facilitate their alinement with. the tunnel-sides and to equalize the resistance.

Inthedrawings,Eigure 1 is the longitudinal section ofapipetunnel laid'on the bottOIm-Qrbed of awaterway, with its accompanying entrance andexitFig; 2 is the perspectiy'e of a plurality of such tunnels protected; by a dike, and having. their termini in a common basin on harbor at Water-level at either, end;-Fig. 3 is the side view of one tunnel with a protecting dike reinforcement; Figs. 4 and 5 illustrate possible methods of pipeconstruction; Eigs. 6 and 7 are cross-sections indetail of 45. and 5; Fig. 8 is a broken side view of, a submarine boat in a tunnel;-Fig. 9 is the longitudinal sec tion'of such a; tunnel and a train of boats being towed therethrough; .Fig. 10 is the side view of a boat equipped Withfrictionpulleys, spring-fendersand asignal trolley; Figs. 11' and 12 are detail cross-sections showing passenger and luggage disposal in a submarine boat; Fig. 13 is the longitudinal section of' a subaqueous tunnel followin the natural contour of a- Water-bed; and Fig. 14 is thelongitudinal section of an overland tunnel, with means for maintaining the Water-balance therein by a Water tower and vent thereto connected, and, with a basinterminus erected to the required elevation and supported by masonry;

The numeral 1 represents a pipe-tunnel; 1 its flaring termini, 1 the Water-surface level, 2 the bed of a miterWay,-2 the basin 0r harbor, 3 the reinforcing dike, 1 sections of pipe, 5 and 6"pipe-fastenings, 6 a submarine boat, 7 screwpropellers, 8 bufi'ers, 9 storage batteries, 10 compressed-air tank, 11 oxygen tank, 12 electric motors, 13 port holes, 14 friction-pulleys, 15 towing-chains, 16 spring-fenders, 17 seats,,l8 luggage racks, 1 9 luggage, 2O spring signal trolley, 21 by dr0planes,'22 Water-pressure tower, 2-3 feedand-ventpipe, and24- a keel.

By the improved method herein outlined, it is possible to construct a system of trans portation infa fraction of the time and for asmall portion of the expense required in boring and. Waterproofing a tunnel. below Water-level; and, compared With arailroad or open canal, this method presents marked advantages over either,in points of utility and economy. Its operation and maintenance are inexpensive compared with other systems of transportation, and thepossibilities for rapid transit by this means are great.

Each boat may be equipped with one or moremotors and propellers, and as many of these maybe operated as occasion dictates varying according to Whetherrunning submerged or on the surface, and in proportion. to the. speed required. Obviously, one boat may propel others, and boats may be constructed Without motive power therein, to be pushed,' dr aivn or otherwise operated Boats may belprope led s osely together as cars in a train, for each is pro vided at how and stern itli'bufi rsfi, h c may be hydraulic, pneumati spring or, of any other type, and no severe impact is pos sible from, contact. Thesebufliers may: also be provided with interiorlyroperated coupling devices. The ater-cushion between theboat and the tunnel Wallsis equalizedby the friction-pulleys, or other similarequipment,,so that the resistance is balanced on all sides and the bOiLtis direction. is constantly centered; While it is in the conduit.

In operatiom boatsof the type indieated can be. loaded at any convenient. point. having Water communication, with a, tunnel entrance; audit is entirelyfeasible to con struct such a tunnel oyerland for anydistance and tomaintain a waterelevel at any required elevatioi'rwhereby grades are surmount d; and other transportation obstacles are overcome. In this Way lines couldube operated between London and.Paris, Without the necessity for changing at Dover and Calais. Similarly, tunnel and open- Water communication between Washington and New York ean be, made bythe shortest geographical distance. Whenever. such, boats are operated in open. water, they are of coursesusceptible of-surface navigation, and need not be closed until reaching theabasin 2 In enteringthe month of, a tunnelrl", the boat is automatically guided therewithin by the gradually tapering sides. thereof, and it becomes submerged Without other chanical process. Upon emergingfrom a t-unnel,boats will naturally riseto thesurface, and this is announced interiorlyeby va signal-givemby the spring trolley 2,0 ,as'it is released by the emergence of the boat from the tube. It is then possible, to, remove portio-nsof the decking and to proceed as a surface boat.

i'llhe electric lightsn'ith Whioha passenger boat is equipped, the facilities',-for.maintaining the quality of'the ,air -supply,,together Withthe smoothness of travehcomfortable accommodations andfgreat speed. pgs 'sible,

render this means free from the ordinary I discom forts, of. travel; Any ,rolling ,1 motion that might be objectionable is prevented by the hydroplanes. 2,1, the 1 keel. 245, .andfby disposition of ballast.

Boat maybelaslong, as h curve of h tunnel will permit; and, because little space is required for machinery and crew, much capacity is available for passengers and freight. As the batteries with which boats may be equipped are recharged from the shore at terminal points, boats are not required to carry motive power for this purpose. In an emergency, a boat may be propelled by the next; and as telephone corninunication may be constant between boats and with the termini, cooperation is always possible. Frequent inspection of the tunnels interior is possible from smaller submarine boats equipped and illuminated for that purpose, and sand or other substances may be removed by sweeping, dragging or other suitable means.

As a means for continental transportation, this method afliords freedom from many of the engineering difliculties ordinarily encountered in railroad and open canal construction. As the soil-surface is restored after the laying of a tunnel, the cost of right-of-way is materially lessened; no

" roadbed has to be graded, no crossings guarded, no snow-fences built, no bridges constructed, no expensive terminals maintained, and few men employed, much of the loss and damage of railroading is avoided. Converging lines can be accommodated at convenient points, where a basin or Waterfront of moderate dimensions will bear much traflic, and this can be despatched with little or no interruption, continually and continuously. In the transportation of grain, ore, cotton, coal, and other bulk commodities, more than the ordinary speed is possible; for the discharging of such cargo with the aid or mechanical or magnetic hoists by which a boat is dumped, is the work of minutes.

I Vherever natural waterways are available for the purpose, it is of course feasible to employ them in conjunction with the tunnels herein described; and, wherever open canals may properly serve a purpose in this connection, their use is also contemplated. l he use of interval relay stations is obviously necessary for local trailic, but express tunnels may be longer if desired. Upper levels are necessary in transcontinental trailic, and may be maintained by locks at suitable stations, in the usual way. The despatching of boats, by directing them into their respective tubes, like the chuting of (Jopies of this patent may logs in a mill-pond, afiords much economy of time and labor, as well as of money.

Further details and other safety measures suggest themselves, and it is obvious that various modifications may be made in the construction shown and described, without departing from the spirit and scope of my invention.

I claim:

1. In a system of transportation, the combination with a conduit containing a liquid, of asubmarine boat in said conduit, and arranged to be propelled therethrough between distant points.

2. In a system of transportation, the combination with a liquid-filled conduit submerged in a body of water, of a submarine boat in said conduit and arranged to be propelled therethrough between distant points.

3. In a system of transportation, the combination with a liquid-filled conduit submerged in a body of water and having entrance and exitopenings adjacent to the surface of the said water, with its inter mediate portions submerged at a greater depth than its entrance and eXit portions, of a submarine boat in said conduit and arranged to be propelled therethrough between distant points.

4. In a system of transportation, the combination with a liquid-filled conduit, of a submarine boat of cross-section substantially the same as the cross-section of the conduit and arranged to fit loosely therein, and means for propelling said boat therethrough between distant points.

5. In a system of transportation, the combination with a liquid-filled conduit having means for maintaining a water-balance in said conduit when it extends over varied elevations, of a submarine boat in said conduit and arranged to be propelled therethrough between distant points.

6. In a system. of transportation, the combination with a liquid-filled conduit submerged in a body of water, or laid upon, or buried under or supported by the dry land, of a submarine boat in said conduit, and arranged to be propelled therethrough between distant points.

In testimony whereof I have affixed my signature.


be obtained for five cents each, by addressing the Commissioner of Zatentg,

Washington, D. Q.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3670658 *Jul 9, 1970Jun 20, 1972Mogens StellingTransportation system
US3848536 *Aug 23, 1973Nov 19, 1974Chukhanov ZMethod of conveying goods in containers along a tube line
US4192499 *Jan 17, 1978Mar 11, 1980Groves Kenneth L JrLooped slide
U.S. Classification104/71, 104/138.1
Cooperative ClassificationA63G3/06