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View Poll Results: Should the US build or improve it's HSR network?
Yes 249 89.57%
No 29 10.43%
Voters: 278. You may not vote on this poll

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Old February 17th, 2011, 07:31 AM   #2081
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Using federal money to fund a high speed train does not equal progress.
Then I suppose same said federal monies when applied to highways and airports are also "not conducive to progress". Yeah, let the airlines pay to build the airports, and have toll roads with congestion pricing: sounds like "progress" of the intellectually honest type to me...
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Old February 17th, 2011, 07:59 AM   #2082
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Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
A lower tolerance for failure in US than in Europe. If fatal accidents happen in rail transport (other than suicides, vehicles running through closed gates), some people here have a very fatalist attitude: "meh, that happens, we just suck it and move on".
If the US has a "lower tolerance for failure", then why do the data not show this? In most European countries, in most years, the number of fatalities where a failure by the railway is the cause is exactly zero. For example: In Belgium there have been exactly 8 train collisions with fatalities in the last hundred years. The last time passengers got killed in a train accident in the Netherlands was 1992. And I can go on. Serious railway accidents in Europe are so extremely rare that no meaningful trends can be gotten from the data.

Seeing how the US builds road and rail vehicles in a way that causes the vehicle to sacrifice the occupants in order to save itself in a collision I would say that the US has a much higher tolerance for carnage in transport than the rest of the world.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 08:02 AM   #2083
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Originally Posted by BoulderGrad View Post
If I ruled the US with the iron fist I sometimes wish I could wield, it'd be the biggest cities first. LA to Bay Area, DC to NY, and the Chicago Spiderweb. If a governor got in my way, I'd build the tracks straight through their state's capitol building .
In your position however I'd first investigate why upgrading an existing line so it can have a modest diesel light rail service run over it costs 15 million $ per mile in the US, a price that buys you a state of the art High Speed Railway in Spain or France...
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Old February 17th, 2011, 12:02 PM   #2084
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Originally Posted by Xusein View Post
Florida’s Governor Rejects Tampa-Orlando High-Speed Rail Line
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/17/us/17rail.html
Funny, You spend over 250 billion a year to play around in someone else country for oil, and yet you can't pay for a decent health system and good transport facilities in your own country.

Good luck America in surviving the next century. We'll be laughing when you pay $20 the gallon at the petrol station.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 01:34 PM   #2085
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Yeah it'll be great when those same Republican senators who held back the country's progress start blaming the rest of the world for their mistakes and start calling on the president to invade the entire rest of the world.

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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
Seeing how the US builds road and rail vehicles in a way that causes the vehicle to sacrifice the occupants in order to save itself in a collision I would say that the US has a much higher tolerance for carnage in transport than the rest of the world.
Going back to the tilting at speeds on corners (where no tilting is required in Europe) would suggest a laxer tolerance on the the actual track geometry - if one is not certain that the cant of the track is precisely what it is supposed to be then the obvious answer is lower the speed accordingly, add in using tilt and you're only back up to the original speed. However I would say that the UK has slightly stricter speeds on curves on conventional lines like the NEC, and so does France though not as strict, but both countries allow higher speeds on curves on dedicated HSLs. I can only imagine that is because the track geometry is assumed to be (or is known to be) better?
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Old February 17th, 2011, 01:40 PM   #2086
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Originally Posted by Maarten Otto View Post
Funny, You spend over 250 billion a year to play around in someone else country for oil, and yet you can't pay for a decent health system and good transport facilities in your own country.

Good luck America in surviving the next century. We'll be laughing when you pay $20 the gallon at the petrol station.
Electric car will solve those problems in the medium term. US has got plenty of coal and uranium anyway.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 05:06 PM   #2087
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Wider highways? Ha! More traffic congestion, definitely! This backwards state can't do anything right, highways are terrible, mass transit barely exists, it goes on and on. The governor is a crook and I can't believe how stupid the people here were to elect him.
Agreed.

What really gets me though is this guy didn't even wait for what he said he was going to wait for (studies, private companies, etc), he based everything on what the Tea Party was telling him to do. He is a true moron and I heavily regret voting for him.

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Originally Posted by makita09 View Post
Yeah it'll be great when those same Republican senators who held back the country's progress start blaming the rest of the world for their mistakes and start calling on the president to invade the entire rest of the world.
I'm willing to bet this will happen after 2012, when the US has an all-GOP government & president again.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 05:08 PM   #2088
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Electric car will solve those problems in the medium term. US has got plenty of coal and uranium anyway.
And that would make electricity prices skyrocket for everyone. But it is pretty clear that in your vision cars are so indispensable that no side effect of them matters.
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Last edited by sekelsenmat; February 17th, 2011 at 05:22 PM.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 06:26 PM   #2089
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I thought the Florida scheme didn't sound that good anyhow. Time savings were minimal because the trains did just 250 kph and public transport on both sides is abysmal so you would have to transfer to a car or very slow buses.

Let's hope the money is transferred to the California project (who applied for $2bn more than they actually got).
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Old February 17th, 2011, 07:25 PM   #2090
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I heard this HSR money that went to Florida to build one might have go to few another states including my home state, Washington. If that happens, thank you Florida for giving us some HSR money so we can build HSR sooner than expected.

http://seattletransitblog.com/2011/0...to-washington/
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Old February 17th, 2011, 08:13 PM   #2091
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Originally Posted by krulstaartje View Post
I thought the Florida scheme didn't sound that good anyhow. Time savings were minimal because the trains did just 250 kph and public transport on both sides is abysmal so you would have to transfer to a car or very slow buses.

Let's hope the money is transferred to the California project (who applied for $2bn more than they actually got).
That is true, In Tampa, the incompetent suburb/unincorporated county voters shot down a penny tax increase that would have brought improved bus service and light rail. In Orlando, they are planning a commuter rail system, but our governor may cancel that too.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 10:09 PM   #2092
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I love the electric cars versus HSR comparison. Electric cars don't solve traffic congestion problem, especially in range of 50 miles radius centered around a major city. A more valid comparison is bus/subway versus electric cars. In addition, there is a good chance lithium, a vital componenet of electric car battery, is mostly found in Bolivia. A country that is not too keen on getting cozy with the USA. It is same problem all over again, USA's energy supply is control by another country.
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Old February 18th, 2011, 04:48 AM   #2093
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Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Electric car will solve those problems in the medium term. US has got plenty of coal and uranium anyway.
So you would support large scale government incentives to purchase electric cars? More subsidies for the automobile, but I thought the free market selected the car as man's preferred source of transportation?

And coal is a HORRIFIC source of power, from the way it is extracted to the byproducts of its combustion (mercury, sulfur dioxide, C02).
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Old February 18th, 2011, 04:55 AM   #2094
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time to redirect the money to california where they'll actually have an effective hsr system
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Old February 18th, 2011, 08:31 AM   #2095
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So you would support large scale government incentives to purchase electric cars? More subsidies for the automobile, but I thought the free market selected the car as man's preferred source of transportation?
Maybe some tax breaks, temporary, to make them attractive. Most if not all PT systems in US are money-losing because they can't charge higher fares without losing ridership (though I think they should promote a reality shock instantly increasing the prices to cover at least the operational costs of running the vehicles).

Quote:
And coal is a HORRIFIC source of power, from the way it is extracted to the byproducts of its combustion (mercury, sulfur dioxide, C02).
Sure. It is kinda toxic, at least until underground CO2 storage becomes reality. But the point I was making is that is much of a US-sourced fuel, no needs to deal with unstable governments abroad to guarantee the supply of coal.
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Old February 18th, 2011, 09:43 AM   #2096
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Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Maybe some tax breaks, temporary, to make them attractive. Most if not all PT systems in US are money-losing because they can't charge higher fares without losing ridership (though I think they should promote a reality shock instantly increasing the prices to cover at least the operational costs of running the vehicles).



Sure. It is kinda toxic, at least until underground CO2 storage becomes reality. But the point I was making is that is much of a US-sourced fuel, no needs to deal with unstable governments abroad to guarantee the supply of coal.
OMFG , so are roads you moron....nothing runs on profit except tolls and freight..... Hows your cheap transit going? Seems to be doing well....stop critizing my country and worry about your own...you nosy European....
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Old February 18th, 2011, 12:40 PM   #2097
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Maybe some tax breaks, temporary, to make them attractive. Most if not all PT systems in US are money-losing because they can't charge higher fares without losing ridership (though I think they should promote a reality shock instantly increasing the prices to cover at least the operational costs of running the vehicles)
That's ridiculous, public transport in the USA is already ridiculously expensive. I often hear of single tickets costing around $2 USD and commuter rail lines that can cost up to $10 from one edge to the other.

In Poland I pay $300 USD for a full year of 24-hours a day access to public transport, including 20+ light rail lines, bus/light rail corridors in virtual all avenues, night buses to virtually everywhere and even express buses. That's how transit should be: sign a subscription and you get a full transport service whenever you want to wherever you want.

That people that don't use the system also pay part of the price is just fair considering that I also have to pay for the pollution and climate change that car users created in the first place. Plus, my transport money goes fully to local jobs, instead of to some oil rich dictator like Hugo Chaves.

Plus, Transit is a tiny fraction of the USA federal budget. ALL of transportation is only 0,6% of the federal budget. That's ridiculously low. Really, it must be a record low, I've never seen a country which invests so little in transportation as a % of the budget. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_...federal_budget & http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Di...pt_-_2010E.png
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Old February 18th, 2011, 01:41 PM   #2098
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OMFG , so are roads you moron....nothing runs on profit except tolls and freight..... Hows your cheap transit going? Seems to be doing well....stop critizing my country and worry about your own...you nosy European....
Firstly, there is no need for personal insults here. I never personally insulted anyone in this forum and I DO expect the same from others. You don't have to agree with me, but, please, watch your words for the sake of civility.

Secondly, I wrote specifically about the costs to operate VEHICLES. I always wrote here that I support public construction and maintenance of the WAYS (highWAYS, railWAYS, runWAYS, waterWAYS) as public infrastructure and natural monopolies whereas TRAFFIC (VEHICLES) operations (airplanes, train sets, cars/buses, ships/barges) should be self-financing and able to pay for its direct operational and financial costs.

Is that so difficult to understand? The reason FL HSR and that other project in WI were cancelled is that even if the feds paid for construction, they couldn't run without making YEARLY losses on the 8-to-9-digit size, to be paid by strapped state budgets. Because gas and airfares are cheap, higher HSR fares would mean lower ridership, thus putting the projects in deeper financial trouble, unless they were truly comprehensive and with features like stations around MASSIVE (10.000 vehicles+) airport-style parking lots near highways, office parks and major shopping malls.

Last time I checked, airlines were not receiving subsidy to buy aviation gas, cars were taxed and so was gas they use, and CSX and other rail operators paid for their own vehicles and also for infrastructure. Greyhound is an entirely private business that collects money from fares and runs, as other road vehicles, in public highways. That is what I'd support for trains: gov't building tracks as public investments, but NEVER stepping into operating trains, acquiring rolling stock etc. Leave that to private entities, who could charge as much as they want, run whatever schedule they want, and be obligated only to abide by rules of rail traffic. Like an airline has to abide to FAA rules or Greyhound to FHWA norms.
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Old February 18th, 2011, 01:45 PM   #2099
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Originally Posted by Nexis View Post
OMFG , so are roads you moron....nothing runs on profit except tolls and freight..... Hows your cheap transit going? Seems to be doing well....stop critizing my country and worry about your own...you nosy European....
Though I don't agree with his philosophies or ideology, in this case he isn't just being openly belligerent. Please watch how you talk to him and simply argue with him about fact. Just a warning.

On the flip side, Suburbanist, not everyone wants to engage in ideological debates on every single thread regarding public transport and its associated infrastructure. You have to understand that you may be met with hostility.
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Old February 18th, 2011, 01:50 PM   #2100
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That's ridiculous, public transport in the USA is already ridiculously expensive. I often hear of single tickets costing around $2 USD and commuter rail lines that can cost up to $10 from one edge to the other.
And that is often more than the marginal immediate cost of a car ride if parking is free at both ends and there is no major bridge/tunnel toll.

Quote:
In Poland I pay $300 USD for a full year of 24-hours a day access to public transport, including 20+ light rail lines, bus/light rail corridors in virtual all avenues, night buses to virtually everywhere and even express buses. That's how transit should be: sign a subscription and you get a full transport service whenever you want to wherever you want.
That can only happens in heavily taxation countries where there is centralized control of transportation budget and management at the federal level and where there is political will to expend billions to subsidy such types of subscriptions. And Poland is a middle-income ex-communist country where old habits die hard. Similar passes in more developed countries cost way more. In Germany, the equivalent of US$ 6.730/year (Bahn 100 1st class), but yet not including optional seat reservations. In Netherlands, such plan cost US$ 3.900. Switzerland have such yearly subscription and it costs a lot also. I need to check the value.

Annual subscriptions work on the principle of sunk costs (you paid for it, now you are prone to use it instead of resorting to a car or a plane).

US is a HUGE country. Many US states are bigger than most European countries. There is NO WAY such scheme would ever be feasible in US on state level, let alone national level. If not for geography, because of the structure of public transit agencies and the way they are financed. Many US PT systems don't even have route subscriptions as they reduce revenue, of if they do, savings are minimal.

Quote:
That people that don't use the system also pay part of the price is just fair considering that I also have to pay for the pollution and climate change that car users created in the first place. Plus, my transport money goes fully to local jobs, instead of to some oil rich dictator like Hugo Chaves.
Most train services in US, regional ones (I"m not talking about HSR) run on diesel..

Plus, Transit is a tiny fraction of the USA federal budget. ALL of transportation is only 0,6% of the federal budget. That's ridiculously low. Really, it must be a record low, I've never seen a country which invests so little in transportation as a % of the budget. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_...federal_budget & http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Di...pt_-_2010E.png[/QUOTE]
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