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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%
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Old March 16th, 2011, 04:30 AM   #2361
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slipperydog View Post
It's definitely a good path to get oneself elected, but that spendthrift mentality is part of the reason our country is $14 trillion in the hole. It's always good to have voices of opposition when certain projects don't make sense and people are trying to sell something that stinks. As en vogue as the word is these days, it hardly means they're "ideological."
But what have we been spending money on the past decade, which saw record surpluses turn into record deficits? Not transportation, not social welfare, not education.

One word: DEFENSE. The annual defense budget has more than doubled in the last decade and that does not even include the TRILLIONS spent in Iraq and Afghanistan. Combine these massive boondoggles with a tax cutting binge that has tax revenues as a percentage of GDP at their lowest level in SIXTY years and you have your answers as to why the federal debt is so high.

Sure appears that CONSERVATIVE policies have wrecked this nation's fiscal integrity. Liberals sure didn't support tax cuts or two endless wars.
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Old March 16th, 2011, 04:41 AM   #2362
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But the simple fact is that HSR is perfect between Dallas and Houston but the problem is Congress right now and there's no reason for the left and the executive branch to do it Texas wont go democractic in 2012 or 2016 (maybe 2022) there's no political reason to do it.
That just isn't true. I don't know what else to say without repeating my response to your first post.

Texas has not done any legwork to allow construction to begin on a Dallas-Houston HSL should funds become available.

Illinois had. Florida had. Wisconsin had. California had. Texas DID NOT.
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Old March 16th, 2011, 04:49 AM   #2363
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I've been on it multiple times. It's only downtown. How does that system help ANYONE taking high speed rail into the DFW or Houston metroplex? CONNECTIONS. It's not a difficult concept to grasp.



This may be true, but is hardly sufficient reason in and of itself to invest billions in high speed rail when the vast majority of these people live in the suburbs like Plano, Frisco, Garland, etc.
Dallas has a population of 1.2 million and Houston has a population of 2.1 million in a metro area of 6.1 million.

Both cities are by far the largest in the region and should serve as the hub/terminus of any regional HSR line or network.

And like I have written earlier, please look at a map of the the Dallas light rail system. Both Plano and Garland, the largest suburbs, are connected to DT Dallas by light rail lines. Travelers could easily switch from an intercity to a light rail train at Dallas' Union Station.

Oh, and did I mention that Dallas has the LARGEST LIGHT RAIL SYSTEM IN THE COUNTRY!!!
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Old March 24th, 2011, 12:11 AM   #2364
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A great video in support of High Speed Rail:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R57Zw...layer_embedded
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Old March 24th, 2011, 12:18 AM   #2365
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High-speed rail plan to connect Chicago to St. Louis moves forward
March 23, 2011 @ Bailey McCann → 4 Comments and View Reactions
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Illinois will begin construction on a project that will connect Chicago to St. Louis through high-speed rail. The $685 million federally funded project is set to move forward now that the federal government and Union Pacific railroad have finalized the terms of their partnership agreement. The project is expected to create 6,200 direct and indirect jobs and make Illinois the high-speed rail hub for the Midwest.

Construction will begin on April 5 and is funded through $1.2 billion in federal grants awarded to Illinois to expand passenger rail. By starting construction now, the state will be able to create jobs through the summer construction season. Illinois is also providing more than $42 million in state funding. The high-speed rail network is expected to create an estimated $23.1 billion in economic activity over the next ten years.

Construction of the entire Chicago-to-St. Louis line is anticipated to ultimately create and retain 24,000 direct and indirect jobs throughout the state. The first phase of the line was launched in September. The first trains traveling at 110 mph on the Chicago-to-St. Louis line will make their debut between Dwight and Pontiac as early as next year.

The Illinois project is also important for being one of the first to move forward successfully and break ground in the Midwest. Governors in Ohio and Wisconsin have chosen to reject federal funding for high speed rail projects creating gaps in what could be a rail network between the Midwest and the Northeast Corridor.

“We are proud to be leaders on a project that will reduce congestion, benefit the environment and spark economic development,” Illinois Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig said. “We will see the returns on our efforts to develop the Chicago-to-St. Louis high-speed corridor for years to come.”

http://civsourceonline.com/2011/03/2...moves-forward/
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Old March 24th, 2011, 04:37 AM   #2366
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110 mph is not high speed, wrong thread, should go to United States | Railways. This is an upgrade to an existing line, not a high speed line. A mediocre upgrade, too, considering most line upgrades go to 120 mph/200kph.
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Old March 24th, 2011, 05:06 AM   #2367
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krulstaartje View Post
110 mph is not high speed, wrong thread, should go to United States | Railways. This is an upgrade to an existing line, not a high speed line. A mediocre upgrade, too, considering most line upgrades go to 120 mph/200kph.
Considering this is happening in the US, it's not a mediocre upgrade.
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Old March 24th, 2011, 05:59 AM   #2368
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Some of those upgrades don't even include electrification, which is worrisome. 120mph diesel trains are dangerous, a fast-running fuel bomb.

Is this specific project in Ill. for diesel or electric tracks?
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Old March 24th, 2011, 06:03 AM   #2369
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Those speeds were S.O.P. on many major passenger routes in the USA before WWII - and it was all steam powered back then, too.

I agree, what Illinois is now doing with the old GMO mainline along I-55 is not 'true' high-speed.

Mike
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Old March 24th, 2011, 06:06 AM   #2370
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Originally Posted by mgk920 View Post

Those speeds were S.O.P. on many major passenger routes in the USA before WWII - and it was all steam powered back then, too.

I agree, what Illinois is now doing with the old GMO mainline along I-55 is not 'true' high-speed.

Mike
However, AFAIK, there were many accidents in that era, because signaling was poor and the approach was rather one of a "need for speed" with railways competing for the "faster service" crown. Then FHA imposed the famous 79mph limit...

Do you think the improvements in Illinois will exert pressure on people living in Indiana and Michigan to have similar services?
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Old March 24th, 2011, 06:45 AM   #2371
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http://www.thetransportpolitic.com/sncf/Midwest.pdf



SNCF's +200 page analysis report for Midwest HSR.
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Old March 24th, 2011, 06:54 AM   #2372
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Some of those upgrades don't even include electrification, which is worrisome. 120mph diesel trains are dangerous, a fast-running fuel bomb.

Is this specific project in Ill. for diesel or electric tracks?
They do it in parts of Europe , i guess we Americans aren't aloud to do it.... BTW Amtrak already runs to 110-120 in parts of the Northeast on Diesel...
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Old March 24th, 2011, 12:30 PM   #2373
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Some of those upgrades don't even include electrification, which is worrisome. 120mph diesel trains are dangerous, a fast-running fuel bomb.

Is this specific project in Ill. for diesel or electric tracks?
Um, have you not heard of the British HST trains? Those diesel sets have been running at 125 mph for around 30 years and seem to be doing ok...
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Old March 24th, 2011, 02:11 PM   #2374
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Um, have you not heard of the British HST trains? Those diesel sets have been running at 125 mph for around 30 years and seem to be doing ok...
Yes, I know. But now that electrification on WCML has been completed, it might be the case that diesel trains are bound to safer speeds, like 90mph maximum.

FHA should take a look on the marginal risks imposed by the massive accumulation of fuel in diesel trains vis-a-vis electrical ones and issue regulations accordingly.
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Old March 24th, 2011, 05:27 PM   #2375
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Yes, I know. But now that electrification on WCML has been completed, it might be the case that diesel trains are bound to safer speeds, like 90mph maximum.

FHA should take a look on the marginal risks imposed by the massive accumulation of fuel in diesel trains vis-a-vis electrical ones and issue regulations accordingly.
Apparently it works fine in alot of Euro countries so why wouldn't it work here? We already run up to 115mph on some Diesel lines. You seem to be giving the US an unfair time.....and it needs to stop.
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Old March 24th, 2011, 05:32 PM   #2376
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
However, AFAIK, there were many accidents in that era, because signaling was poor and the approach was rather one of a "need for speed" with railways competing for the "faster service" crown. Then FHA imposed the famous 79mph limit...
That does not discount the fact that they did regularly operate at those scheduled speeds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Do you think the improvements in Illinois will exert pressure on people living in Indiana and Michigan to have similar services?
We shall see. A lot depends on the availability of public treasure to build such lines, too.

Also, regarding the proposed Chicago-Saint Louis service, I also STR that the discussed speed is as fast as they can economically go on that line - any faster and they would, under FRA rules, have to eliminate every at-grade public road and street crossing along the way. Think: "$$$$$"

Mike
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Old March 24th, 2011, 05:39 PM   #2377
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Yes, I know. But now that electrification on WCML has been completed, it might be the case that diesel trains are bound to safer speeds, like 90mph maximum.
The GWR will still be running diesel HSTs and the Hitachis that will be replacing them for many years. Also train I can't remember the last time I saw a fire resulting from a train crash. If carrying around large tanks of flammable liquid at high speed was so dangerous cars would be banned.

However electrification would be good, with fuel prices as they are.
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Old March 24th, 2011, 05:51 PM   #2378
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The GWR will still be running diesel HSTs and the Hitachis that will be replacing them for many years. Also train I can't remember the last time I saw a fire resulting from a train crash. If carrying around large tanks of flammable liquid at high speed was so dangerous cars would be banned.

However electrification would be good, with fuel prices as they are.
Although off-topic for this thread, I'm wondering if we will soon (if not already) be seeing one or more North American 'Class I' railroads seriously studying wholesale electrification of their systems with the latest crude oil price spike. There was a LOT of chatter in midwestern railfan circles that at least one Class I was doing that during the last spike in 2008.

Advantages:
-Ability to draw tractive energy from whatever source is most economical at any given time and in any given location.
-With far fewer moving parts, locomotives are much simpler and less expensive to maintain and live far longer service lives than diesels.

Disadvantages:
-Startup costs (buying/refitting locomotives to use catenary, cost of stringing wires and building power support facilities, etc).
-Cost of maintaining catenary wires.
-NIMBY along some lines (those *UNSIGHTLY* wires!).

Mike
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Old March 25th, 2011, 05:27 AM   #2379
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Most of the 2020 Projects below are funded by the Feds or the states...or by Revenue....

Amtrak Northeastern Division

Projects to be completed by 2020

Gateway Tunnel / Moynihan Station
New Haven - Springfield Corridor
Lackawanna line
Lehigh line
Norfolk line
Concord line
DMU trains > Downeaster , Vermonter
Electrification of the Empire line & Lackawanna line
Re-routed Vermont trains
Cape Cod service
New Shops
Overhaul of the Northeast Corridor
Newer Amfleet Cars
City Sprinter locos
Overhaul of Bridgeport , Stamford , Baltimore , Philly , Newark Stations
Added Capacity to South Station , DC Union , NY Penn station , Springfield station , Hartford , Providence , Harrisburg
Overhaul and Replacement of NEC wires , Bridges , Tunnels
LED Signal Bulbs
Concrete Ties on all lines
LED Departure Boards @ All stations
Connecticut River Bridge replacements
Baltimore Tunnel Replacements
Added Capacity along the NEC in NJ , CT , RI , MA
Grade Separations @ Raritan Valley line , Jersey Avenue ,New Rochelle / New Haven line , Waterbury merge , Danbury line merge


Large Scale Rail Projects

Project : Lackawanna line (Regional Rail / Intercity Rail)
Number of lines : 1
Stations : 5/6 (Intercity)
Projected Ridership : 12,000
Status : Under Construction in NJ

Project : Lehigh line (Regional Rail / Intercity Rail)
Number of lines : 1
Stations : 7 (Intercity)
Projected Ridership : 15,000
Status : Awaiting Funding

Project : Concord line (Regional Rail / Intercity Rail)
Number of lines : 1
Stations : 3
Projected Ridership : 2,000
Status : Awaiting Funding

Project : Cape Cod line (Regional Rail / Intercity Rail)
Number of lines : 1
Stations : 7
Projected Ridership : 14,000 (seasonal)
Status : Awaiting Funding

Project : Norfolk line
Number of lines : 1
Stations : 8
Projected Ridership : 5,000
Status : Under Construction

Project : New Haven - Springfield line (Regional Rail / Intercity Rail)
Number of lines : 1
Stations : 3 (Intercity)
Projected Ridership : 9,000
Status : Under Construction


Current Amtrak NE System

Line : Northeast Regional (Regional Rail / Intercity Rail)
Length : 664 mi
Stations : 42
Ridership : 25,000 > Projected 2020 Ridership : 45,000

Line : Acela Express (Regional Rail / Intercity Rail)
Length : 456 mi
Stations : 14
Ridership : 9,400 > Projected 2020 Ridership : 16,000

Line : Downeaster (Regional Rail / Intercity Rail)
Length : 116 mi
Stations : 10
Ridership : 1,300 > Projected 2020 Ridership : 6,300

Line : Vermonter
Length : 611 mi
Stations : 27
Ridership : 240 > Projected 2020 Ridership : 3,000

Line : Keystone (Regional Rail / Intercity Rail)
Length : 195 mi
Stations : 19
Ridership : 3,500 > Projected 2020 Ridership : 8,000

Line : Pennsylvanian
Length : 444 mi
Stations : 17
Ridership : 557 > Projected 2020 Ridership : 5,000

Line : Empire
Length : 460 mi
Stations : 15
Ridership : 2,500 > Projected 2020 Ridership : 5,800

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Old March 25th, 2011, 12:17 PM   #2380
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Yes, I know. But now that electrification on WCML has been completed, it might be the case that diesel trains are bound to safer speeds, like 90mph maximum.
Dude You draw some very peculiar conclusions dude from incorrect information.

Electrification of the WCML was completed in the 1960s!

The recent upgrade allows the few diesel trains that use the line to INCREASE in speed from 110mph to 125mph.

The great west mainline remains a purely diesel 125mph railway, and the ECML also has a large number of 125mph diesel trains.

Saying that, it isn't good when they crash. Both the Ladbroke Grove and the Southall disasters would have benefitted from not being a fireball. I look forward to the day diesel is consigned to the odd branch line.
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