Tubing our way to better travel

March 1, 2012
This article was published more than 2 years ago.
Est. Reading Time: 3 minutes

Severe exhaustion is just one of the many side-effects of having to utilize our legs for strenuous travel.

Mark Friesen

The Silhouette


The average temperature in Hamilton during the months of January and February is five degrees below freezing. The average number of snowy days in each month is ten. After some hefty calculations, one finds that this means that a third of the month is snowy. This makes walking, driving and really any sort of physical motion difficult, apart from falling down and crashing your car of course.

Why has nobody thought of a solution for this yet? The answer, of course, is money; everybody wants it before they start thinking. Not me! I have a solution to the problem of transportation in poor weather, and I am willing to give it to all, free of charge. What is this solution? Why, it is a series of tubes.

Tube transport is most likely expensive, and you are probably wondering about the implementation of the infrastructure necessary for the tubes, so lets just think about the McMaster campus. Who has not had to walk from one end to the other in a blizzard or rainstorm? My guess is about half of the student population here has had to partake in this walk, maybe even in terrible conditions. A series of tubes would solve this problem. The tubes I am talking about would be pneumatic tubes, as opposed to hydraulic tubes, which would no doubt cause the number of drowning deaths in the area to increase significantly.

To simplify things, imagine just two tubes; one starting at the South edge of campus and ending at the North, and one travelling East to West. The tube-traveler would step into the tube that goes to where they want to go, and through the magic of air pressure and a large turbine to move the amounts of air necessary, would be whisked to the other end of the tube where they would get out, dry as a bone, and warm. If you have seen the TV show Futurama, you will understand what I am saying.

We will take it one step further, and actually build it in real life. These tubes would travel above ground, above all of the buildings, and would allow for quick, easy travel. After a while, more tubes could be added to go from building to building, or food service provider to food service provider. The student centre could act as the main tube terminal, and McMaster would be seen as the greatest innovation ever.

Now, back to the infrastructure. As has been mentioned, a large turbine or power provider would be needed, as massive amounts of air would need to be moved. This would no doubt emit some sort of droning noise and could be housed underground, under the large common area in front of the Burke Science Building where it would bother nobody, or near the music department where it would fit in with the bagpipe players and other annoying instruments.

But who would build this? Well, McMaster has a very fine engineering school, and the designing, testing and implementation of this Tube Transport Apparatus could certainly be incorporated into the curriculum in some way. As for money, think of all the money that could be saved by not purchasing salt for the parking lots and roads, and instead collecting salt packets from McDonalds and other fast food locations. We could offer scenic boat cruises of the campus after it rains. We could pass it off as a research project and get money for it that way. Once the world sees it is possible, the money will start flowing in like the water into the basements of some of the buildings on campus after a large rainstorm.

Tube transportation has been used to various degrees, but nothing of this scale has ever been done. It would make travelling easier, safer and more fun, and would show the world that McMaster, as well as Canada, can be a great innovator. So hurry up and get on it. Before somebody else does it first. My legs are tired from all of this old-fashioned 20th-century walking. I want my 21st-century series of tubes.

Subscribe to our Mailing List

© 2022 The Silhouette. All Rights Reserved. McMaster University's Student Newspaper.