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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 May 20th, 2011, 05:07 PM   #2541
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Attus View Post
In Europe the basic experience with HSR is that a majority(!) of air passangers did change to train while only a slight minority of car drivers changed to train.
But we must consider the fact that HSR is basically a right choice for distances where people usually do not choose the car so that people that take a car surely have some special reason for it and will probably not change to any public vehicle any way.
LA - SF is about 400 miles which is basically a very good choice for a HSR. A train having 4-5 stops could take this distance in 3-4 hours which is almost equal related to flight (if you check city to city travels, including transfers from and to the airport/train station and check in time). I assume this line could easily maintain 1-2 trains per hour whole day and hourly 1-2 additional trains in rush hours.
Your reasoning is generally right, but you forget that you need to account for door-to-door travel times. In case of US, where 92% of all passenger*mile traffic goes by car, that means driving/taking a cab to your local HS station, and renting a car/taking a cab on your arrival station. So while travel times to/from departure points (airports or train stations) are generally lower for train travel, they are not negligible at all.
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Old May 20th, 2011, 07:44 PM   #2542
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Originally Posted by FlyFish View Post
As to what I quoted above. Someone do some labor and tell us just how many people fly between these cities every day. Not some consultant's projections, those are about as usefull as the poll numbers. I'm curious about what the pool of end to end potential customers is as of right now. Drivers from end to end really won't be reduced much IMO. if you can't afford to fly you won't be able to afford the train either.
According to America 2050: http://www.america2050.org/pdf/HSR-i...-Southwest.pdf

LA-SF: 3 mio/year
LA-SJ: 1 mio/year
LA-Sacramento: 1 mio/year

2009 numbers based on FAA data, according to the source (yes, the study is pro-rail, but if you want something from a neutral source, look yourself ).

Inland Empire is seperate, I'm not sure what they did with Oakland (probably included in the SF or SJ numbers)

LA-SF is by far the most-frequented short distant connection in the US according to them, otherwise, LA-Phoenix, LA-Vegas and Miami-Atlanta are all between 1.5 and 2 mio, the others 1.3 mio and lower.

As to drivers: HSR usually takes a small percentage there as well, though most will indeed stay in cars. And, just like with newly build highways, some people will use it that didn't travel before.

As a comparison, Acela Express' annual ridership is ~3 mio, and it's profitable.
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Old May 21st, 2011, 01:03 PM   #2543
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Your reasoning is generally right, but you forget that you need to account for door-to-door travel times. In case of US, where 92% of all passenger*mile traffic goes by car, that means driving/taking a cab to your local HS station, and renting a car/taking a cab on your arrival station. So while travel times to/from departure points (airports or train stations) are generally lower for train travel, they are not negligible at all.
Then thats where the argument that comes in is that a train station is acceptable to have in the middle of a densely populated area while airports are pushed as far out of town as is practical (Look at Union station in DC vs Dulles airport, Union station in Denver vs DIA, or a more relevant example; Union station in LA vs LAX). It's reasonable to expect that the train station would be a much shorter door to door trip than the airport. And also as been argued many times, as public transportation networks expand and spawn better connections, the need to take a car from the train station is greatly diminished (but then again, most new transit networks include the airport too, so the same can be said there as well).
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Old May 21st, 2011, 01:18 PM   #2544
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Then thats where the argument that comes in is that a train station is acceptable to have in the middle of a densely populated area while airports are pushed as far out of town as is practical (Look at Union station in DC vs Dulles airport, Union station in Denver vs DIA, or a more relevant example; Union station in LA vs LAX). It's reasonable to expect that the train station would be a much shorter door to door trip than the airport. And also as been argued many times, as public transportation networks expand and spawn better connections, the need to take a car from the train station is greatly diminished (but then again, most new transit networks include the airport too, so the same can be said there as well).
Sure, you are right.

Airports are a more massive structure and they need not only flat space but nearby clearance.

Having more flexibility, I think HSR_CA should also add a handful (2/3) massive, really massive P+R stations optimized to the car-to-rail traveler. Some places near major highway junctions with 40.000+ parking spaces, rental car facilities etc. That way, on top of the city-to-city demand, you can easily tap into the suburb-to-suburb/edge city market. Given the not-so-favorable location of LAX within the greater LA Metro Area, that could be a boon. SFO is more hart do compete with, considering it is better placed near the rich SF suburbs and Bay Area.
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Old May 21st, 2011, 05:50 PM   #2545
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Just to be a smarty pants, no real reason. That's always the left's solution to Government financial shortfalls.
Well, that is because the left is knowledgable about the actual drivers of the budget deficit - tax cuts for the rich and two unfunded wars to go along with a greatly increased military budget.

When taxes on rich people were higher, military spending was roughly $300 billion a year, and the economy was growing, America had record budget surpluses. Then Bush came in, pushed through two rounds of unnecessary tax cuts, jacked up military spending to a ridiculous level, and launched a useless invasion of Iraq that is going to end up costing over a TRILLION dollars.

And still, conservatives cannot accept reality. Transportation spending in this country is too low and our lack of infrastructure investment is placing the nation at a competitive disadvantage.

Conservatives prefer to bitch about earmarks and the National Endowment for the Arts. When your worldview is a Randian delusion, tax cuts can never cause budget deficits and social welfare spending is the root of all evil.
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Old May 21st, 2011, 06:04 PM   #2546
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The LA- San Fran HSL was routed through Palmdale to avoid the difficult Tejon Pass and Service a growing population in northern LA County. It also is the best route to use if a line to Las Vegas is ever built.

The route to Palmdale has an existing rail corridor that the HSL can parallel and avoids a seismically active area yet slippery dog thinks this is absurd.
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 02:55 PM   #2547
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Originally Posted by hoosier View Post
Well, that is because the left is knowledgable about the actual drivers of the budget deficit - tax cuts for the rich and two unfunded wars to go along with a greatly increased military budget.

When taxes on rich people were higher, military spending was roughly $300 billion a year, and the economy was growing, America had record budget surpluses. Then Bush came in, pushed through two rounds of unnecessary tax cuts, jacked up military spending to a ridiculous level, and launched a useless invasion of Iraq that is going to end up costing over a TRILLION dollars.

And still, conservatives cannot accept reality. Transportation spending in this country is too low and our lack of infrastructure investment is placing the nation at a competitive disadvantage.

Conservatives prefer to bitch about earmarks and the National Endowment for the Arts. When your worldview is a Randian delusion, tax cuts can never cause budget deficits and social welfare spending is the root of all evil.
LOL, right on schedule.

I do agree with you that the infrastructure spending in the US is far too low. I'm sure we'd disagree on what infrastructure we'd like to see built or improved but we can agree that what we have is falling apart.
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 03:08 PM   #2548
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I was reading some specialist proposing a cheaper and more direct route, but I have doubts whether it would be workable: to build a high-speed line bypassing all the major cities in the valley, parallel to I-5. West of I5 there are few, if any, developments, and I-5 acts effectively as the farm limit on the valley, for most of it. Government already owns the ROW.

The idea would be not to build HSR all the way from SF, but to begin the HS alignment on the Caltrain terminus, Gilroy the crossing the mountains and following I-5 on direction SE up to Bakersfield, where the rout would cross south of the city, and then following an alignment close (but much more straight) of the current railway up to Lancaster or Palmdale, where it would use Metrolink rails to reach Los Angeles.

Whole idea would be to resemble the French, that avoided a lot of extra construction costs by not upgrading the final sectors until HSR was well consolidated. But it would left Modesto, Merced and other cities without HS service. However, HS could recoup part of the costs amassing land and building new suburbs along I-5 and future HSR stations on the corridor
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 08:32 PM   #2549
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Old May 30th, 2011, 04:28 PM   #2550
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Originally Posted by Railfan View Post
I have to agree with what someone said much earlier on this thread. Don't shoot for 400mph vacuum tube trains when we have a negligible amount of passenger rail service as it is. Living in New Hampshire, I'd be ecstatic just to see a 110mph service from Concord-Manchester-Nashua-Boston, with further connection to an Accela that actually runs 150mph down to NYC.
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Old May 30th, 2011, 05:52 PM   #2551
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Originally Posted by aquaticko View Post
I have to agree with what someone said much earlier on this thread. Don't shoot for 400mph vacuum tube trains when we have a negligible amount of passenger rail service as it is. Living in New Hampshire, I'd be ecstatic just to see a 110mph service from Concord-Manchester-Nashua-Boston, with further connection to an Accela that actually runs 150mph down to NYC.
Lets lower that to 90mph and the MBTA service....
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Old May 30th, 2011, 06:20 PM   #2552
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Lets lower that to 90mph and the MBTA service....
Hence the "ecstatic"; 90mph would be perfectly fine too, but then I have to wonder how many people would be willing to pay a good deal more money to travel only about 20mph faster than they would by car, ignoring the likely time savings from avoiding I95. You've got to find the right balance between speed and price to make trains or any other method of travel the one to take as opposed to others, a point I'm sure we're all well-aware of.

Unless that was just a roundabout way of saying a passenger service in NH isn't worth it, which i'd hesitate to disagree with, but still.
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Old May 30th, 2011, 06:58 PM   #2553
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It costs far less to built a highway capable of handling 80nph traffic than a railway capable of handling trains at 80mph in a place with terrain like NH.
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Old May 30th, 2011, 07:16 PM   #2554
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It costs far less to built a highway capable of handling 80nph traffic than a railway capable of handling trains at 80mph in a place with terrain like NH.
That, the relatively low population density, the lack of population growth, and NH's libertarian streak all conspire against passenger rail service. Well, I suppose it doesn't matter much to me anyway, I don't plan on living here much longer.
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Old May 30th, 2011, 11:33 PM   #2555
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It costs far less to built a highway capable of handling 80nph traffic than a railway capable of handling trains at 80mph in a place with terrain like NH.
The Tracks and ROW are already there like most of New England , the $$$ to rebuild the stations , upgrade the line isn't...but the growing demand is there and support from the people.
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Old May 31st, 2011, 01:24 AM   #2556
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Isn't the part of NH with any meaningful population really a part of the Greater Boston megalopolis?
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Old May 31st, 2011, 07:58 AM   #2557
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Isn't the part of NH with any meaningful population really a part of the Greater Boston megalopolis?
Yes, and that is the only reasonable justification I or anyone else could give for constructing a line through what they're calling the NH Capital Corridor. However, even if you combine the population of the 3 "cities" that would be served, I'd wager it's only about 300,000 people, if not less.

The only thing that gets me personally flustered is that I can take a the Noreaster train (from Portland ME down to Boston) from my university, in a town of not more than 20,000, while Manchester, a city of 100,000 doesn't have its own passenger service, Again, not sure it'd be justified, but I'd like to have the option, and would certainly go down to Boston more frequently if it didn't entail driving and finding parking in the city; I'm sure I'm not alone on at least that part.

But as I said, I don't plan on staying in this whacked-up state past graduation anyway. Frankly, I can't conceive of living in a country that is so behind most of the rest of the developed world on this ultimately highly efficient method of transit. It's either going to be in one of the most-likely-to-happen rail corridors (California, Boston-NYC, or Chicago), or elsewhere.
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Old May 31st, 2011, 02:44 PM   #2558
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Don't worry, there are Europeans willing to move to US where gas is cheap and houses are 2.5 the size and half the price

========

In regard of smaller cities having train services while others don't, it is just a matter of happen to be located in a main line. It happens here in Europe also, albeit to a lower extent. But you do have villages with some regional train service and bigger cities without any train service.
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Old May 31st, 2011, 04:04 PM   #2559
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Don't worry, there are Europeans willing to move to US where gas is cheap and houses are 2.5 the size and half the price
They'll figure out soon enough that it's not all it's cracked up to be.

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In regard of smaller cities having train services while others don't, it is just a matter of happen to be located in a main line. It happens here in Europe also, albeit to a lower extent. But you do have villages with some regional train service and bigger cities without any train service.
That I understand, but it seems odd that so much emphasis is put on further improvements on the Portland-Boston line; I just can't imagine it being a highly trafficked route considering where it's going through, and in the cases of both the NH Capital corridor and the coastal region, buses are slightly cheaper and much more frequently go between NH and Boston, so it hardly seems like the attention to that part of the railroad is warranted.
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Old May 31st, 2011, 04:25 PM   #2560
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Don't worry, there are Europeans willing to move to US where gas is cheap and houses are 2.5 the size and half the price
paraplegic Europeans maybe...

people able to walk prefer living in historical centers, that's why prices are 3, 4,10, or 20 times more expensive in downtowns than in suburbs in Europe (and suburbs are much more reliable there thanks to trains, tram-trains, buses, PLUS freeways).


repeating something like a dogma doesn't turn it a truth
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