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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 June 1st, 2011, 05:01 AM   #2581
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Originally Posted by hoosier View Post
Not without amassing a bunch of debt in the process.

Your perception of the American "middle class" is warped. A family with the above mentioned possessions would be considered upper middle class if not wealthy.

Western Europe has comparable per capita income levels with much lower costs for healthcare and college education. The living standards in Europe are better than in America. This isn't 1979.
I don't want to fuel the off-topic debate, but while your assertions are in the right direction, you forget that taxes are much higher in Europe (the equivalent of sales taxes is around 15-23%, gas taxes are sky high) and that costs of many products and services are lower in US due to the presence, from food to transportation (2/3 of European families rely solely on car as their mean of commute and costs are much higher than in US), including all kinds of cool gadgets everyone loves.

So the math is not exactly that simples. It is certainly better to be poor in a rich Western European country (Belgium, UK, France, Germany, Sweden) than in US, because of safety nets, "free" health care, "cheap" higher education for your kids and so, but it is correct to say a middle class family on the upper 50% of income distribution can have access to much more stuff than their European counterparts. That the average built-up area (excluding lawns, porches and uncovered garages) of an UK residence is 78mē, 101mē in Netherlands, 113mē in France, 89mē in Italy and 241mē in US should tell something...

In the specific case of transportation and HSR, even for Europeans, a carpool of 3 or 4 will almost always be cheaper, and usually way cheaper, than travelling by train.
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Old June 1st, 2011, 05:27 AM   #2582
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Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
I don't want to fuel the off-topic debate, but while your assertions are in the right direction, you forget that taxes are much higher in Europe (the equivalent of sales taxes is around 15-23%, gas taxes are sky high) and that costs of many products and services are lower in US due to the presence, from food to transportation (2/3 of European families rely solely on car as their mean of commute and costs are much higher than in US), including all kinds of cool gadgets everyone loves.

So the math is not exactly that simples. It is certainly better to be poor in a rich Western European country (Belgium, UK, France, Germany, Sweden) than in US, because of safety nets, "free" health care, "cheap" higher education for your kids and so, but it is correct to say a middle class family on the upper 50% of income distribution can have access to much more stuff than their European counterparts. That the average built-up area (excluding lawns, porches and uncovered garages) of an UK residence is 78mē, 101mē in Netherlands, 113mē in France, 89mē in Italy and 241mē in US should tell something...

In the specific case of transportation and HSR, even for Europeans, a carpool of 3 or 4 will almost always be cheaper, and usually way cheaper, than travelling by train.
What do you mean by Americans having access to more stuff than European stuff? You do life is just more that materialistic belongings, right?
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Old June 1st, 2011, 06:17 AM   #2583
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Really sorry for slightly off topic posts but we are trying to figure out the need of high speed rail in USA so basic macroeconomics is somehow related to subject, IMHO (Oh by the way, I am 100% "for" for the high speed rail in USA for certain corridors)

There is no room for discussion at all for higher purchasing power (I am not using living standards term, some people turned out to be a little bit touchy... but still give or take they mean the same thing) of people in US compared to Europe.

1) Almost everything is considerable cheaper in USA.

2) For the same job (at least in my field for sure) people make more money in USA.

Merge 1) and 2); visit both places spend some time if you can and you will definitely see the difference easily. OR one can just check out PPP per capita and see the difference there. EU average is 2/3rd of USA. I believe this is more pronounced in middle class.

And, yes I am writing about materialistic stuff because I am trying to be objective. If you want to be unbiased you need to analyze measurable things.
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Old June 1st, 2011, 01:34 PM   #2584
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Originally Posted by LtBk View Post
What do you mean by Americans having access to more stuff than European stuff? You do life is just more that materialistic belongings, right?
Question is that "materialistic belongings" can be taxed, and taxes generate revenue to pay, among other stuff, for part of HSR costs - as no HSR projcto seems, as today, to be self-financing with private funds only.
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Old June 1st, 2011, 01:55 PM   #2585
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I'm so sick of this EU vs America crap on SSC its gotten to the point of being childish and annoying. Go start your own thread , if you want to compare the 2 countries.....

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Old June 1st, 2011, 03:31 PM   #2586
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Well the connection between the "America v Europe" debate and HSR is clear, and essentially the argument boils down to whether the American way, which is less taxed and less "serviced" is better than the European way, which is more taxed and more "serviced" (e.g. HSR). It's not totally off-topic, as the initial poll question was whether or not the U.S. needs HSR. The answer to that question depends on which side of this argument you fall, which depends on how you interpret the phrase "standard of living", which HSR, as with just about any public works project, is intended to improve.
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Old June 1st, 2011, 03:53 PM   #2587
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Originally Posted by Nexis View Post
I'm so sick of this EU vs America crap on SSC its gotten to the point of being childish and annoying. Go start your own thread , if you want to compare the 2 countries.....

Who is in charge of maintaining the mainline tracks on the north east corridor?
I have seen a few videos and the tracks seem fairly lumpy, with quite a lot of lateral movement of the carriages, especially the Acela when passing Kingston RI
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Old June 1st, 2011, 04:39 PM   #2588
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Originally Posted by aquaticko View Post
Well the connection between the "America v Europe" debate and HSR is clear, and essentially the argument boils down to whether the American way, which is less taxed and less "serviced" is better than the European way, which is more taxed and more "serviced" (e.g. HSR). It's not totally off-topic, as the initial poll question was whether or not the U.S. needs HSR. The answer to that question depends on which side of this argument you fall, which depends on how you interpret the phrase "standard of living", which HSR, as with just about any public works project, is intended to improve.
Not really that relevant as the US government want you to believe.
If they adjust the breakdown in federal spending budget by cutting military spending they would have more to spend in public infrastructure .
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Old June 1st, 2011, 05:02 PM   #2589
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I think there is something else we shouldnt forget,not just infrastructure and mobility of the country,but the know how of the hsr.If USA keep on ignoring the HSR,which needs generation of expert to develop and maintain competitve advantage of the techology,maybe in ten or twenty years,bullet trains can reach speed like 800mph,and USA will have to buy them from EU,all the jobs and projects of such will have nothing to do with USA,USA is remarkable,because things like APPLE,Microsoft,Boeing and many high tech brands that lead the market. If government and politicians cannot convince the country to emphasis on High tech like they used to be,USA wont hold on to their position in the value chain.Is more to do with the can do spirit rather than anything else.
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Old June 1st, 2011, 05:16 PM   #2590
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If USA keep on ignoring the HSR,which needs generation of expert to develop and maintain competitve advantage of the techology,maybe in ten or twenty years,bullet trains can reach speed like 800mph,and USA will have to buy them from EU,
Unfortunately, the U.S. has already lost the knowhow it once had(back in the 50's and 60's) in railcar building- it goes without saying that current technology will be imported, not to mention advanced technologies like maglev. BTW, steel wheel on rail technology will max out at 300mph or so (maybe less). Above that it will be maglev. Also, Boeing has marvelous aircraft, but the trains they made were crap.
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Old June 1st, 2011, 05:58 PM   #2591
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Originally Posted by SamuraiBlue View Post
Not really that relevant as the US government want you to believe.
If they adjust the breakdown in federal spending budget by cutting military spending they would have more to spend in public infrastructure .
Sure, but either way, it'd be something of an ideological shift; whether more taxes or a smaller military budget, it's not what the U.S. has done historically, and I think that that's what I was getting at before.
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Old June 1st, 2011, 06:00 PM   #2592
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Originally Posted by Sopomon View Post
Who is in charge of maintaining the mainline tracks on the north east corridor?
I have seen a few videos and the tracks seem fairly lumpy, with quite a lot of lateral movement of the carriages, especially the Acela when passing Kingston RI
Amtrak , Metro North , MBTA & NJT , there not lumpy its zoomed in so appears lumpy. Its in good condition except the construction areas....
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Old June 1st, 2011, 06:01 PM   #2593
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Originally Posted by k.k.jetcar View Post
Unfortunately, the U.S. has already lost the knowhow it once had(back in the 50's and 60's) in railcar building- it goes without saying that current technology will be imported, not to mention advanced technologies like maglev. BTW, steel wheel on rail technology will max out at 300mph or so (maybe less). Above that it will be maglev. Also, Boeing has marvelous aircraft, but the trains they made were crap.
IMHO, the biggest impediment to increased rail use, both passenger and freight, here in North America (*NOT* just the USA) is the ownership structure of the rail system itself. I have no doubt that if NA's train operations were owned separately from the track infrastructure, there would be an overwhelming interest in the private sector to offer a wide variety of very innovative new and expanded services. As it stands now, 'market entry' is nearly impossible as the legacy operating companies will flatly refuse to allow anyone else onto their track, even if that legacy owner is completely uninterested in providing any improved services, and just try to build a new rail line by yourself - it's infinitely easier to just offer that new and improved service by road (trucks, buses) or even air (cargo and passenger airplanes).



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Old June 1st, 2011, 06:16 PM   #2594
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Originally Posted by k.k.jetcar View Post
Unfortunately, the U.S. has already lost the knowhow it once had(back in the 50's and 60's) in railcar building- it goes without saying that current technology will be imported, not to mention advanced technologies like maglev. BTW, steel wheel on rail technology will max out at 300mph or so (maybe less). Above that it will be maglev. Also, Boeing has marvelous aircraft, but the trains they made were crap.
Absolutely! Anyone who buys crom Colorado Railcar (now US railcar) for examlple, is really buting something from 20 years ago with very little technological advancement.
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Old June 1st, 2011, 08:02 PM   #2595
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Absolutely! Anyone who buys crom Colorado Railcar (now US railcar) for examlple, is really buting something from 20 years ago with very little technological advancement.
NJT orders from Germany and Spain , MBTA gets there Diesel and cars from Montana and Quebec , NYC /NY gets there cars from Quebec , and Upstate by Bombardier , Septa gets there cars from Rotem , CT gets there cars from Kawasaki , MARC gets there cars from Kawasaki , Amtrak is getting there cars from Talgo , Alstom , the New Locos are from Siemens , most of the rolling stock is made by foreign companies. NJT refused to buy from US Railcar due to higher costs in production and shipping and of course there DMU's are backwards.
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 12:03 AM   #2596
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Originally Posted by Nexis View Post
NJT orders from Germany and Spain , MBTA gets there Diesel and cars from Montana and Quebec , NYC /NY gets there cars from Quebec , and Upstate by Bombardier , Septa gets there cars from Rotem , CT gets there cars from Kawasaki , MARC gets there cars from Kawasaki , Amtrak is getting there cars from Talgo , Alstom , the New Locos are from Siemens , most of the rolling stock is made by foreign companies. NJT refused to buy from US Railcar due to higher costs in production and shipping and of course there DMU's are backwards.
Oh I didn't mean to imply there were that many that did, sorry
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 01:11 AM   #2597
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Originally Posted by foxmulder View Post
Really sorry for slightly off topic posts but we are trying to figure out the need of high speed rail in USA so basic macroeconomics is somehow related to subject, IMHO (Oh by the way, I am 100% "for" for the high speed rail in USA for certain corridors)

There is no room for discussion at all for higher purchasing power (I am not using living standards term, some people turned out to be a little bit touchy... but still give or take they mean the same thing) of people in US compared to Europe.

1) Almost everything is considerable cheaper in USA. because US doesnt have a VAT and quality is non-existent starting with food for exemple(or what the americans call food)

2) For the same job (at least in my field for sure) people make more money in USA.No they dont, they have the impression that they have more money but they have to pay themselves for things that in Europe are taken for granted

Merge 1) and 2); visit both places spend some time if you can and you will definitely see the difference easily. OR one can just check out PPP per capita and see the difference there. EU average is 2/3rd of USA. I believe this is more pronounced in middle class.

And, yes I am writing about materialistic stuff because I am trying to be objective. If you want to be unbiased you need to analyze measurable things.
thats wrong, if you want to be unbiased you have to take in consideration all the factors.
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 05:56 PM   #2598
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Would Grapevine Bullet Train Route Make Bakersfield an LA Suburb?
Tuesday, May 31, 2011, by Neal Broverman



The California High-Speed Rail Authority, which was recently told it has to break ground next year, is once again looking into getting trains from Bakersfield to Los Angeles via the steep Grapevine route. As mentioned, that route was previously discarded, but now the option has been revived as it could shave about nine minutes off travel times from LA to SF and save about a billion dollars in construction costs. According to California Watch, one initial worry about the Grapevine route was that it could turn Bakersfield into a commuter city of LA, with travel times of less than 50 minutes between the two cities (the current drive between the two downtowns is about two hours without major traffic). A route that diverts around the Grapevine and hits Palmdale was enticing to some in Bakersfield because it would add a stop and more time on the train between their city and LA, discouraging locals from working and spending money in LA. “I think [the worry] had to do with becoming a bedroom community out of Los Angeles and losing some identity and issues like that,” Ron Brummett, executive director of Kern Council of Governments, told California Watch. The High-Speed Rail Authority's feasibility report on the Grapevine route should be ready in about four months.
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 01:48 AM   #2599
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Promoting a route just because it takes longer?!?
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 03:14 AM   #2600
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http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,2330947.story

Illinois to study 220 mph bullet trains

By Jon Hilkevitch

Tribune reporter

4:32 p.m. CDT, June 2, 2011
The University of Illinois will lead a study examining the options to build tracks exclusively for 220 mph bullet trains operating initially between Chicago and Urbana-Champaign and eventually carrying passengers the length of the state in about two hours.

Gov. Pat Quinn announced the $1.25 million state-funded study today at a meeting in Chicago of the U.S. High Speed Rail Association, whose leaders have questioned the benefits of the federal government and numerous states, including Illinois, investing in train service that tops out at 110 mph...........

The study, led by U. of I. railroad engineering professor Christopher Barkan with help from Steve Schlickman, director of the Urban Transportation Center at the U. of I. at Chicago, is expected to be completed in late 2012, officials said............
...
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