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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 26th, 2011, 06:58 AM   #2141
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
It doesn't serve the "HSR cause" to compare supplementary transportation to basic education. Why is so difficult to grasp this idea:

- government-funded: infrastructure
- private-funded, free market, mostly unregulated: vehicle operations

ALL other modes of transportation (air, road, water) are done this way. Why should rail be exempt from this logic? Imagine if airports were built only in connection with leasing of certain number or airplanes commissioned to operate ONLY on specific pairs of airports.

Indeed, the lack of a global, or eve national, standard for communication and train traffic control brings inefficiencies as it makes difficult to lease trains as if they were airplanes (provided a few specs are matched like runway length and load, ILS and so are met, they can fly everywhere).

This is a very very weak argument.

In rail transport, 90% of the cost is invested to build lines, stations and maintenance of this infrastructure. It is just not fair for private entities not to be responsible for any of this colossal risk then take up all the profit.

In air and marine transport, most of the money goes to vehicles. In other words, "vehicles" are the "infrastructure".

Moreover in both air and marine transport these "vehicles" pay money to use the infrastructure. Since infrastructure is relatively cheap this really does not affect their profit. If you want to apply same thing for trains, private companies' single biggest expenditure would have been the fees that they should pay to use the lines. This will eat up their profit unless government does not subsidize big time.

Also, if you look marine transport, nowadays, it is almost always private companies building the infrastructure too.

You can not compare highways to other transport forms since every individual can easily use them, it is only natural government is building them.

I mean, if private companies want to enter this; it is great but they need to take the risk and invest in infrastructure, too.
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Old February 26th, 2011, 03:11 PM   #2142
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Public security and national defenses are THE basic reasons for which any national government should exist, if no other was left.
I don't agree. The american public bears more arms than the armed forces of most countries around the world. Could easily be privatized (Pentagon does it anyway) as well.

BTW: Another 35 billion is going to the military to maintain the empire. Hurray for aerial fueling tankers, since it's way more important to get bombers all over the planet!
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Old February 26th, 2011, 05:30 PM   #2143
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BTW: Another 35 billion is going to the military to maintain the empire. Hurray for aerial fueling tankers, since it's way more important to get bombers all over the planet!
Geez, you don't want to rely on contractors should you ever need to set up an overnight bombing campaign!

Trains, OTOH, are not essential.
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Old February 26th, 2011, 08:29 PM   #2144
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Geez, you don't want to rely on contractors should you ever need to set up an overnight bombing campaign!

Trains, OTOH, are not essential.
Really? Then what happens when the freight railroads shut down? Wouldn't our cost for shipping increase? Wouldn't our economic efficiency decrease as well due to huge amounts of congestion in urban areas due to the influx?
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Old February 26th, 2011, 11:14 PM   #2145
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Really? Then what happens when the freight railroads shut down? Wouldn't our cost for shipping increase? Wouldn't our economic efficiency decrease as well due to huge amounts of congestion in urban areas due to the influx?
Surely, yes. However, in the specific case of High Speed Rail, the effects would be bearable. Freight railways are a different story but, then, a freight operator can't inflict direct harm and can be easily taken over if that is the case. I don't like the idea of having mercenaries armed with the latest offensive ground, naval and air technology and military toys.
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Old February 27th, 2011, 12:09 AM   #2146
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Geez, you don't want to rely on contractors should you ever need to set up an overnight bombing campaign!
I think that the point was that the amount of money some missguided politicians are saying they don't want to waste in high speed rail is tiny in comparison to the money wasted every year by the USA in the military. So you completely missed the point in this answer.

Let's go to real numbers here. $10 billion per year from the USA federal government would be more then enough for an agressive high speed rail building program. That's 0,3% of the USA budget.

Military expenditure in the USA was $663.7 billions in 2010 for the ministery of defense plus $52.5 billions for veteran affairs.

Quote:
Trains, OTOH, are not essential.
That's your oppinion. I, for one, think they are essential and I really prefer my income tax being applied in improved rail serve, as opposed to improved bombing of other countries.
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Old February 27th, 2011, 12:42 AM   #2147
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Originally Posted by sekelsenmat View Post
I think that the point was that the amount of money some missguided politicians are saying they don't want to waste in high speed rail is tiny in comparison to the money wasted every year by the USA in the military. So you completely missed the point in this answer.

Let's go to real numbers here. $10 billion per year from the USA federal government would be more then enough for an agressive high speed rail building program. That's 0,3% of the USA budget.

Military expenditure in the USA was $663.7 billions in 2010 for the ministery of defense plus $52.5 billions for veteran affairs.



That's your oppinion. I, for one, think they are essential and I really prefer my income tax being applied in improved rail serve, as opposed to improved bombing of other countries.
Of course !!! We need it !
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Old February 27th, 2011, 12:58 AM   #2148
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
It doesn't serve the "HSR cause" to compare supplementary transportation to basic education. Why is so difficult to grasp this idea:

- government-funded: infrastructure
- private-funded, free market, mostly unregulated: vehicle operations
).
Are you really this stupid or choose to blatantly ignore the TRILLIONS in public funds spent to make a car more than just a hunk of metal? Who builds and maintains roads?
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Old February 27th, 2011, 03:24 AM   #2149
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Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Indeed, the lack of a global, or eve national, standard for communication and train traffic control brings inefficiencies as it makes difficult to lease trains as if they were airplanes (provided a few specs are matched like runway length and load, ILS and so are met, they can fly everywhere).
This is actually being worked on by the European union... it's a system called ERTMS. While it's had its share of problems in the beginning, the version currently in use on the Betuweroute, HSL-Zuid, various high speed lines throughout Europe seems to be pretty stable. In fact, Switzerland is busy equipping most if not all of its rail network with ERTMS.

And the interest in ERTMS is growing outside of Europe, too. As I mentioned before, Switzerland (not a EU member!), but a derivant of ERTMS is also in use in China on high speed lines, New Zealand is deploying it, Libya, Algeria, the list goes on.

I think it would be a wise choice if ERTMS were to become a global reference standard. Countries could then opt to develop a country specific version because it better suits their needs (see China), the basis would still be ERTMS so any supplier can deliver for it.

The majority of newly built or upgraded rail lines are equipped with overhead lines powered with 25 kV AC. This could be considered a European standard as well, but this too is being used more and more outside the EU - see China, once again.

25 kV AC and ERTMS seems to be a pretty solid combination for high speed lines. Newly built LGVs in France are also being equipped with this combination, just like the HSL-Zuid, Betuweroute, the Figueras - Perpignan high speed line, and other new lines.

Rail projects throughout the world should opt for this combination, and suppliers to the rail industry (Alstom, Bombardier, Siemens, GE, Stadler, Thales, you name it) should always recommend this exact combination when asked about their advice.

I urge the people involved with California HSR to build this line with ERTMS and 25 kV, and go around the world to try out some of the already existing implementations. Take a Thalys train from Amsterdam to Paris (TGV, Alstom), go to Spain or Germany (Velaro, Siemens) or China (CHR, Bombardier and Siemens). Compare the trains, their comfort levels. Ask the railway companies and infrastructure companies about their experiences with the trains and technologies.

Don't re-invent the wheel. Go with what has proven itself the past few years: ERTMS.

When the whole world is using ERTMS with 25 kV AC, leasing companies will arise that will not only offer locomotives (already in place today) but that will also have high speed trainsets. Based in a specific country, but worldwide availability and maintenance. There might be some logistics involved, of course, but it will be possible. Another thing which would need to be done is harmonization of regulation, like crash norms. The EU's TSI's are a good basis for this, this could be leveraged like ERTMS can be. Once all these things are in place, I see a good future for HSR outside of Europe.
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Old February 27th, 2011, 03:26 AM   #2150
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Cross-posted form the US HSR thread...

Construction on our New Intercity line has official started.....phase 1 will restore a critical part that has been abandoned for decades. It will branch off the Morristown line and connect to another Rail line in PA. Once in PA phase 2 will carry it form the Del Water Gap to Scranton / Binghamton.... Electrification is planned if Ridership goes above 25,000....here's some of the Major stations the line will use...in the Express Train format...the line will be Called Lackawanna...Phase 1 opens in 2013 and the Full build in 2025.

Heading Westbound
Hoboken Terminal - Transfer Available to PATH trains , Ferrys , Buses and Light Rail...(the old Ferry docks reopen later this year)

image hosted on flickr

DSCN0582 by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr

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DSCN0583 by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr

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DSC02570 by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr

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Hoboken Terminal June-13-2009 by dgianna, on Flickr

Newark Board Street > Transfer Available to Newark Light Rail , NJT Buses

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DSC01732 by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr

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DSC01731 by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr

Summit > Transfer Available to Gladstone Branch and NJT Buses



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PICT2552 by Roadgeek Adam, on Flickr

Morristown > Transfer Available to NJT Buses

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Morristown Station in The Dawn by droute, on Flickr

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PICT1398 by Roadgeek Adam, on Flickr

Dover > Transfer Available to NJT Buses and Boonton line

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PICT0242 by Roadgeek Adam, on Flickr



The Lackawanna line....

New Bridges have been built over the ROW , instead of infill making restoration easier....



A Few Viaducts will have to be restored and overhauled...



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Old February 27th, 2011, 03:28 AM   #2151
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoosier View Post
Are you really this stupid or choose to blatantly ignore the TRILLIONS in public funds spent to make a car more than just a hunk of metal? Who builds and maintains roads?
Hes not paying for them and i don't think he cares..... Most Americans are tired of the lack of transit and railways.....in this country and want them to be built or restored again....
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Old February 27th, 2011, 03:45 AM   #2152
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Great pictures, Nexis! Can you share some technical information on the US railway infrastructure? I see overhead lines, but what voltage are they powered with, AC/DC, 50/60 Hz? What about the signalling and safety systems.. who builds and maintains them, and how adequate are they?
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Old February 27th, 2011, 04:08 AM   #2153
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Are you really this stupid or choose to blatantly ignore the TRILLIONS in public funds spent to make a car more than just a hunk of metal? Who builds and maintains roads?
Did you actually READ my post. I think infrastructure (highways, waterways, runways + airport terminals, rail TRACK) should be developed by the government in a way or other. I CLEARLY wrote that. I just don't agree with governments mingling with operation of vehicles over any transportation infrastructure, e.g., a government-owned bus company, a govt. owned airline, a govt. owned rail rolling stock operator.

You are criticizing me when I said I agree with government building (sensible and rational) rail tracks and stations, as long as it doesn't get into operation of trains itself, freight or passengers. Exactly like it does in regard of air transport: they build new airport, billionaire runways, but don't get involved in setting up a "Washington, DC Airline Corp".
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Old February 27th, 2011, 06:05 AM   #2154
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Originally Posted by AlexNL View Post
Great pictures, Nexis! Can you share some technical information on the US railway infrastructure? I see overhead lines, but what voltage are they powered with, AC/DC, 50/60 Hz? What about the signalling and safety systems.. who builds and maintains them, and how adequate are they?
These lines , and others in the Northeast are the remnants of the many private companies that used to roam the region.....and the Govt unfairly killed off. But most of those abandoned or lightly used lines are preserved like you see in the Lackawanna corridor. They also serve medium- high density corridors , so restoring them isn't a waste of $$$ as they would add 10,000s.... My state uses overhead for Electrification , the 2 other NY RR's use third rail. The Northeast Corridor uses 12.5kV/25Hz and so does a part of the North Jersey Coast line , the Gladstone , Montclair - Boonton and Morristown line use 25kV/60Hz , eventually the whole state will use 25kV/60Hz after the NEC is overhauled. NJT overhauled the wires back in the 80s , Amtrak hasn't yet..... My state plans on added another 346 miles of Electrified lines (5 lines) , there are also plans for another 254 miles of Diesel lines (5 lines) , and 133 miles of Intercity lines (2 lines).... Ridership on the Electrified lines is 20-60,000 and makes up 70% of my states ridership....

Future NJT lines

Rural / Low Density Commute Corridor : 500-3,000 Rail Commuters
Low Commute Corridor : 3-15,000 daily Rail Commuters
Medium Commute Corridor : 15-30,000 daily Rail Commuters
High Commute Corridor : 30-80,000 daily Rail Commuters
High Density Commute Corridor : 85,000+ Rail Commuters


Future Electrified lines

West Shore line - High Commute Corridor
MOM network (2 lines) - High Density Commute Corridor
Rest of the North Jersey Coast line - medium commute corridor
Boonton / rerouter line - Low Density Commute Corridor


Future Intercity lines

Lackawanna Corridor - Medium Commute Corridor
Lehigh Corridor - Medium Commute Corridor


Future Diesel lines

Pompton line - low commute corridor
Sparta line - low commute Corridor
Flemington line - low commute corridor
West Trenton line - Medium Commute Corridor
Cape May line - low commute corridor


This is the Montclair / Boonton line

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Upper Montclair Tracks by johnleesandiego, on Flickr

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IMG_3637.jpg by kc2hmv, on Flickr

North Jersey Coast line....

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PICT0211 by Roadgeek Adam, on Flickr

Gladstone Branch


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Murray Hill station, July 2010 by Roadgeek Adam, on Flickr

Northeast Corridor

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IMG_3755.jpg by kc2hmv, on Flickr

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Untitled by kc2hmv, on Flickr

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IMG_4023.jpg by kc2hmv, on Flickr

Princeton Dinky...


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IMG_4162.jpg by kc2hmv, on Flickr
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Old March 1st, 2011, 09:18 AM   #2155
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To digress, Norfolk VA is just finishing up a light rail project. It's about 40% over budget for construction and when it opens I will guarantee we here will be reading in the paper about the shock and surprise of the City fathers that there just don't seem to be the number of riders the City counted on. So, then we'll read about the need to pass a 1% sales tax on everyone to keep this system running. Same old, same old.....
According to what I've read, it's simply not true that light rail systems fail to meet ridership projections, not the recently built lines. At least according to wikipedia articles (usually with sources), LYNX in Charlotte, the River Line in Camden, NJ, Hiawatha line in Minneapolis, METRO Light Rail in Phoenix all exceeded projections by a wide margin. It looks to me that at least in recent projects, they understated ridership in order to get some good press after the project started, and not overstate it to get it built in the first place.

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HSR in Florida as presented makes no economic sence. The stations on either end require you to drive to get to them. The two cities are close enough together that this thing will never be as fast as driving unless your origination point AND your destination are within 10 minutes of the station. There really aren't that many people traveling between those two cities to make it work. Hell you, your wife and two kiddies can rent a nice mini-van for a week and have freedom of movement in Orlando or vice versa way cheaper than buying four round trip tickets on the train which leaves you immobile at your desination end. I ask the same question I asked earlier, who do they think is going to ride this train?
As I understand it, the initial Florida line would be to a large extent an airport feeder for Orlando, taking visitors from the airport to the convention center and Disneyworld and travelers from Tampa and Lakeland to the airport - at least before the extension to Miami would get built. I do agree that it doesn't look ideal for HSR, but ideal HSR lines usually operate with a pretty large profit margin, so I wouldn't dismiss the notion that the thing will cover its operating cost as long as noone actually points out which ridiculous assumptions they made in their ridership study (though that is something I would take a closer look at if I lived in Florida).

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Your Euro nations are alot smarter than us in one big respect. Not one of your Countries would even be sniffing a Tampa to Orlando train. Orlando to Miami? Maybe someday, but not right away. You'd be doing the smart thing, acquiring the right of way between Boston and DC.
Maybe, maybe not... Spain built Madrid-Sevilla first instead of Madrid-Barcelona, which would have made more sense under ridership aspects... But the bigger point is that the US is a) far larger and b) far less centralized than most European nations. I don't think it's defendable for a federal gouvernment to simply pick one or two projects and dismiss everything else out of hand, which brings me to:

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HSR is a great thing, but talking about building it anywhere in the US except the NorthEast corridor and the California coast is just ridiculous. If it cannot be operated at break-even without Government subsidization IT SHOULD NOT BE BUILT!
I doubt very much that's true. I would be very surprised if most of the Chicago Hub legs, the Texas Triangle (or T-Bone) and Portland-Seattle(-Vancouver) could not be operated at profit, I'd expect that the other HSR corridors could break even as well, though it's probably a bit more dicey in regions with little or no existing rail traffic and/or short distance aviation.

I'd also like to mention that while I agree that a HSR line that cannot be operated at break even should not be built, I don't believe that the "infrastructure-subsidized/vehicle operations-no subsidies" thing should be a dogma... commuter transit systems (be it heavy rail, light rail or bus) are almost impossible to operate without subsidies, but I believe their benefits to city planning, mobility, ecology and tourism warrant some expense.
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 05:56 PM   #2156
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Now the Chinese is investigating their HSR corruption case. One has to wonder the potential safety problem they have. I still think if USA want to do this, it is better to do it with the Japanese, German or the French.
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 08:47 PM   #2157
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Now the Chinese is investigating their HSR corruption case. One has to wonder the potential safety problem they have. I still think if USA want to do this, it is better to do it with the Japanese, German or the French.
China has been running HSR for almost four years now without incidents, what are the safety problems you speak of? Having said that, I don't care who does it in the US, as long as it gets done, so far both Chinese and Japanese are willing to provide partial funding, which may turn out to be the deciding factor.
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 11:56 PM   #2158
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Now the Chinese is investigating their HSR corruption case. One has to wonder the potential safety problem they have. I still think if USA want to do this, it is better to do it with the Japanese, German or the French.
The railway minister is not being outed for corruption. He's being thrown under the bus by Party bureaucrats he has offended, under the guise of a corruption investigation. That's how things roll.
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Old March 4th, 2011, 05:26 PM   #2159
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Florida HSR is DEAD.......FINAL RULING BY THE FL SUPREME COURT

I hope NY, IL, & CA enjoy the additional $ they'll get from Florida.

http://www.baynews9.com/article/news...igh-speed-rail
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Old March 4th, 2011, 06:59 PM   #2160
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Good , a waste of a HSR project just like WI.....and OH
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