"I went [to the top of] Vehicle Assembly Building and looked down, and tears burst from my eyes. The size of this cathedral where the Rockets take off to go to the moon is so amazing."
- Ray Bradbury
||Single Vehicle Tunnel
||A small diameter tunnel that accepts a single vehicle to a single destination.
|The taxi lifted straight up. Gaal stared out the curved, transparent window, marvelling at the sensation of airflight within an enclosed structure and clutching instinctively at the back of the driver's seat. The vastness contracted and the people became ants in random distribution. The scene contracted further and began to slide backward.
There was a wall ahead. It began high in the air and extended upward out of sight. It was riddled with holes that were the mouths of tunnels. Gaal's taxi moved toward one, then plunged into it. For a moment, Gaal wondered idly how his driver could pick out one among so many.
There was now only blackness, with nothing but the past-flashing of a colored signal light to relieve the gloom. The air was full of a rushing sound.
Gaal leaned forward against deceleration then and the taxi popped out of the tunnel and descended to ground-level once more.
by Isaac Asimov.
Published by Doubleday in 1951
Additional resources -
Asimov gives you a few more details about this idea. In his 1988 novel Prelude to Foundation, he writes:
What appeared before them now looked like a cliff patterned with cave openings, much like a checkerboard. Hummin maneuvered toward the D-7 opening, avoiding other air-taxis that were heading for other tunnels.
"You could crash easily," said Seldon, clearing his throat.
"So I probably would if everything depended on my senses and reactions, but this taxi is computerized and the computer can overrule me without trouble. The same is true for the other taxis. --Here we go."
They slid into D-7 as if they had been sucked in and the bright light of the open plaza mellowed, turning a warmer yellow hue. Hummin released the controls and sat back. He drew a deep breath and said, "Well, that's one stage successfully carried through. We might have been stopped at the station. In here, we're fairly safe."
The ride was smooth and the walls of the tunnel slipped by rapidly. There was almost no sound, just a steady velvety whirr as the taxi sped along.
"How fast are we going?" asked Seldon.
Hummin cast an eye briefly at the controls. "Three hundred and fifty kilometers an hour."
"Yes. You have it on Helicon, I imagine."
"Yes. One line. I've never been on it myself, though I always meant to. I don't think it's anything like this." v
"I'm sure it isn't. Trantor has many thousands of kilometers of these tunnels honeycombing the land subsurface and a number that snake under the shallower extensions of the ocean. It's the chief method of long-distance travel."
Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |
and Technology from Foundation
and Technology by Isaac Asimov
Tech news articles related to Foundation
Tech news articles related to works by Isaac Asimov
Single Vehicle Tunnel-related
- Asimov and Musk - Boring Company Tunnel vs. Street Race
Articles related to Transportation
Want to Contribute an
Get the name of the item, a
quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add
A Floating Cosmodrome
'...a single perfectly level platform, which rose so high above the water that it was not splashed by the waves.'
More SF in the
More Beyond Technovelgy