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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 3rd, 2011, 03:33 AM   #2601
desertpunk
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So far, Texas is bickering too much to get their plans in shape:

Ft. Worth Star Telegram

Quote:
Dispute may derail arrival of high-speed trains in D-FW
Posted Wednesday, May. 11, 2011

By Gordon Dickson

[email protected]

ARLINGTON -- Just as the effort to bring high-speed rail to Texas is gaining steam, a dispute over what kind of service to bring to the state and where to build the stations threatens to derail the project.

Tarrant County Commissioner Gary Fickes is among those who favors 200-mph trains on elevated tracks -- possibly on right of way along Texas 360 in Arlington -- to one station at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport. From there, a passenger could hop on a train and be in Houston in about 80 minutes, stopping only a few times to pick up passengers along the 250-mile journey.

Such a system would cost much more than other proposals but could be privately funded, and would be better for the state long term, Fickes argues. A Japanese company has already moved to Texas to put together a bullet-train proposal. "I don't want to spend $5 billion to $10 billion for something that will fail, when we could do something better that could last us 100 years," Fickes said. He is chairman of the Texas High Speed Rail and Transportation Corp., which for several years has tried to align political and business forces to get a bullet-style train system built in the state.

But other North Texas officials favor improving existing freight rail lines so they could serve not only D/FW Airport, but also the downtowns of Fort Worth and Dallas, and foster new development in the city centers. Today, passenger trains in the populated areas can go no more than 79 mph in freight corridors, but with several billion dollars of improvements, supporters believe that they could achieve speeds of up to 150 mph.

The downtown-centric plan is favored by officials in Fort Worth and Dallas and endorsed by the Regional Transportation Council, the region's official planning body, which will discuss the issue today in Arlington. Either type of train service could meet the definition of high-speed rail. "Our previous mayor, the current mayor and the next mayor has made a decision that we want this rail coming to Union Station [in downtown Dallas], and I believe Fort Worth is in a similar situation," said Dallas Councilman Ron Natinsky, regional council chairman and a Dallas mayoral candidate.

Recent progress

Texas is many years behind other states in developing high-speed rail, but it has made progress in recent months. The Texas Department of Transportation created a rail division and is pursuing a broad plan to eventually connect North Texas to Austin, Houston, San Antonio and cities in neighboring states such as Oklahoma City and Little Rock.

On Monday, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced that $15 million had been awarded to Texas for design of a high-speed rail line connecting Dallas-Fort Worth to Houston. It was part of a $2 billion program that included the redistribution of money initially awarded to Florida for development of a high-speed-rail line from Tampa to Orlando.

In Texas, the Transportation Department has initiated a study of high-speed rail from Oklahoma City to South Texas, following the route used by Amtrak's Heartland Flyer and Texas Eagle, both of which stop each day in Fort Worth. The agency received a $5.8 million high-speed-rail grant last year and is taking the initial steps toward modeling ridership and analyzing the impact of such a project.

Ruffled feathers

Last month the regional council approved its Mobility 2035 plan that called for high-speed-rail stations to be built in downtown Fort Worth and Dallas, meaning that at least temporarily, the plan for bullet-style trains serving a single station at D/FW Airport won't be pursued.

That ruffled the feathers of Fickes and others who think that council members acted hastily, without giving them a chance to explain the benefits of the other option. A Japanese company, JR Central Railway, has set up shop in Texas and plans to submit a proposal to build the high-speed-rail line from D/FW to Houston with private-sector funding, said Fickes, who added that he has met with the group several times.

Lone Star High Speed Rail believes that the D/FW-to-Houston line can be built without federal or state funding, although the cooperation of government agencies would be needed for planning, environmental review and any right of way crossing public property. The idea would be to build a rail service that is paid for by passengers, said Robert Eckels, a former Harris County judge and president of Lone Star High Speed Rail.

But regional council members noted during a high-speed rail committee meeting last week that, although they've heard rumors for several years about the private sector's interest in a D/FW-to-Houston line, they've never actually seen a document spelling out the details and commitments. "Our plan is to welcome whoever rings our doorbell," said Michael Morris, North Central Texas Council of Governments transportation director.



Read more: http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/05...#ixzz1OAU9lCos
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 04:32 AM   #2602
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Downtown obsession again. Let those already jammed and overpopulated areas behind as they are and use HSR as an opportunity to open new areas to development, you know, those without any existing populations but couple ranchers to oppose plans for new developments way out of downtowns.
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 05:38 AM   #2603
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Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Downtown obsession again. Let those already jammed and overpopulated areas behind as they are and use HSR as an opportunity to open new areas to development, you know, those without any existing populations but couple ranchers to oppose plans for new developments way out of downtowns.
While I agree that reducing initial outlay is helpful to getting these projects going, I wouldn't agree that these areas are jammed or overpopulated; it's true that most cities in Texas (or, really, outside of the northeast) are really not very densely populated, certainly not in comparison to the world's largest cities. Although I'm guessing it's not to your taste to increase density, encouraging it has benefits on many levels, and I'm sure it's not necessary here to go through what those are. Of course, one benefit of density is that it encourages skyscraper construction, and really, isn't that what we're all here for?
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 02:05 PM   #2604
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Originally Posted by aquaticko View Post
While I agree that reducing initial outlay is helpful to getting these projects going, I wouldn't agree that these areas are jammed or overpopulated; it's true that most cities in Texas (or, really, outside of the northeast) are really not very densely populated, certainly not in comparison to the world's largest cities. Although I'm guessing it's not to your taste to increase density, encouraging it has benefits on many levels, and I'm sure it's not necessary here to go through what those are. Of course, one benefit of density is that it encourages skyscraper construction, and really, isn't that what we're all here for?
I like some specific, contained areas of high-rises like Manhattan or the CBDs of places like Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago... If you are spending money to build a HSR system, it appears to make sense to open a HS station in the middle of a cattle ranch and plan a new subdivision like many that pop every year (bit less after the crisis) around US, but one meant for large and high buildings with easy HS access and airport connections.
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 02:11 PM   #2605
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Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
I like some specific, contained areas of high-rises like Manhattan or the CBDs of places like Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago... If you are spending money to build a HSR system, it appears to make sense to open a HS station in the middle of a cattle ranch and plan a new subdivision like many that pop every year (bit less after the crisis) around US, but one meant for large and high buildings with easy HS access and airport connections.
Source? Where....?
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 03:11 PM   #2606
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I like some specific, contained areas of high-rises like Manhattan or the CBDs of places like Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago... If you are spending money to build a HSR system, it appears to make sense to open a HS station in the middle of a cattle ranch and plan a new subdivision like many that pop every year (bit less after the crisis) around US, but one meant for large and high buildings with easy HS access and airport connections.
But again, it sounds to me here like you're saying they should plan on building an entirely new city around the HSR station/system, which seems like a situation that couldn't possibly succeed, particularly considering how the real estate market is in much of the country, unless this is only in reference to the Texas plans, where the situation could be different, I don't know.

Quote:
Source? Where....?
All it takes is to look outside your window on an airplane to see the numerous subdivisions (I call them idiot abodes) sprawling out across the vast majority of the country; it's anecdotal, I know, but even in the worst years of the crisis, there were three subdivision projects begun and completed within five miles of where I live.
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 05:37 PM   #2607
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kayanathera View Post
thats wrong, if you want to be unbiased you have to take in consideration all the factors.
Have you really spend any time in USA?

I was obviously talking about the price of the same product, it has absolutely nothing to do with quality. And, almost all US States have sales tax.. tax has nothing to do with it. Check the prices for anything. go to bestbuy.com (or go to newegg.com to make things even more fun and compare prices to your local electronic store in Europe.

To be honest, there is really nothing to discuss; I just want to prevent misinformation. Figures are in front of us. You can believe otherwise but really are just fooling yourself.



Rank Country Intl. $
1 Qatar 88,559
2 Luxembourg 81,383
3 Singapore 52,839
4 Norway 52,013
5 Brunei 48,892
6 United Arab Emirates 48,821
7 United States 47,284
— Hong Kong 45,736
8 Switzerland 41,663
9 Netherlands 40,765
10 Australia 39,699
11 Austria 39,634
12 Canada 39,057
13 Ireland 38,550
14 Sweden 38,031
15 Kuwait 37,849
16 Iceland 36,621
17 Denmark 36,450
18 Belgium 36,100
19 Germany 36,033
20 Republic of China (Taiwan) 35,227
21 United Kingdom 34,920
22 Finland 34,585
23 France 34,07

France, UK, Germany all around 35K vs USA's 47K.
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 07:22 PM   #2608
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxmulder View Post
Have you really spend any time in USA?

I was obviously talking about the price of the same product, it has absolutely nothing to do with quality. And, almost all US States have sales tax.. tax has nothing to do with it. Check the prices for anything. go to bestbuy.com (or go to newegg.com to make things even more fun and compare prices to your local electronic store in Europe.

To be honest, there is really nothing to discuss; I just want to prevent misinformation. Figures are in front of us. You can believe otherwise but really are just fooling yourself.
Rank Country Intl. $
1 Qatar 88,559
2 Luxembourg 81,383
3 Singapore 52,839
4 Norway 52,013
5 Brunei 48,892
6 United Arab Emirates 48,821
7 United States 47,284
— Hong Kong 45,736
8 Switzerland 41,663
9 Netherlands 40,765
10 Australia 39,699
11 Austria 39,634
12 Canada 39,057
13 Ireland 38,550
14 Sweden 38,031
15 Kuwait 37,849
16 Iceland 36,621
17 Denmark 36,450
18 Belgium 36,100
19 Germany 36,033
20 Republic of China (Taiwan) 35,227
21 United Kingdom 34,920
22 Finland 34,585
23 France 34,07

France, UK, Germany all around 35K vs USA's 47K.
Are you just being intentionally obtuse now? I don't imagine that you think GDP per capita is the only adequate indicator for standard of living, particularly when there are so many other indices used to determine that, including ones specifically dealing with standards of living. The most famous ones are the Mercer and Economist surveys, and the most comprehensive one is the UN HDI report. In none of these surveys does the U.S. place first. Frankly, even if it placed first in all of them, it'd still prove the point we're trying to make, as higher-income countries such as Qatar, the UAE, and Singapore all have higher PPP-adjusted per-capita GDP figures would the correspondingly be lower down on the list.

I'm getting tired of this conversation considering how tangential it really is to the issue of HSR development, but the point is that your point is false. Even if standards of living and per-capita GDP correlated perfectly, correlation does not equal causation.
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 08:45 PM   #2609
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wow... I thought I was pretty clear. I know GDP per capita is not the sole criteria but it demonstrates purchasing power very clear. My point was middle class in USA is wealthier compared to that of Europe hence their living standards are higher. This is pretty obvious once you see both places. That's rather an obvious point but some cannot see it, I guess. My last post on the topic. have a nice day...

P.S.

Just for fun here is the UN HDI report, too:

Tell me what is written under the living standards.



4. USA 0.902
10. Germany 0.885
14. France 0.872
26. UK 0.849
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 10:20 PM   #2610
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Why over half of posts in this thread are Europe that Europe this?

This is about USA high speed rail.

I guess my home continent is full of attention whores.
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 11:30 PM   #2611
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxmulder View Post
wow... I thought I was pretty clear. I know GDP per capita is not the sole criteria but it demonstrates purchasing power very clear. My point was middle class in USA is wealthier compared to that of Europe hence their living standards are higher. This is pretty obvious once you see both places. That's rather an obvious point but some cannot see it, I guess. My last post on the topic. have a nice day...

P.S.

Just for fun here is the UN HDI report, too:

Tell me what is written under the living standards.



4. USA 0.902
10. Germany 0.885
14. France 0.872
26. UK 0.849
Ugh, fine, you got me there, but then there's a reason why that's part of the end statistic, not the end statistic itself. And having been to both Europe and the U.S., I don't see why the difference should be "obvious"; I have to say I didn't really see one at all. Not to mention that considering the Gini coefficient in the U.S. compared to most of western Europe, it's obvious yet again that simple GDP per capita isn't sufficient for determining living standards for the middle class (or any class). Now that I understand that you understand, I have to ask what exactly the point of bringing up purchasing power was in the first place
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 11:59 PM   #2612
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxmulder View Post
wow... I thought I was pretty clear. I know GDP per capita is not the sole criteria but it demonstrates purchasing power very clear. My point was middle class in USA is wealthier compared to that of Europe hence their living standards are higher. This is pretty obvious once you see both places. That's rather an obvious point but some cannot see it, I guess. My last post on the topic. have a nice day...

P.S.

Just for fun here is the UN HDI report, too:

Tell me what is written under the living standards.

4. USA 0.902
10. Germany 0.885
14. France 0.872
26. UK 0.849
Look at the inequality adjusted HDI (iHDI) and the USA drops below western europe, scandinavia and japan. which means the purchasing power is more inequitable in the USA than those countries i.e. rich are earning more and the poor are earning less (i don't mean to start a class war here)
Again does more wealth always correspond to better living standards?
.
.
.

I am also not sure how all this related to this thread topic.
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Old June 4th, 2011, 07:38 AM   #2613
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@Foxmulder - I'm sorry but I can not pass on the BS you have written here..

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Originally Posted by foxmulder View Post
I dont know any figures but it is obvious for me life standards in US especially for middle class is much higher than the ones in Europe. A middle class family in USA can have a two floor 300m2 house with three cars. This is almost impossible for European mid class family.


Mate you really need to get out more... in reality the largest per capita home areal is found in northern Europe - #1 spot belongs to my nation..

Living entire families in houses creating the need for 2 floors and several cars is nothing to brag about - by that time such a need comes in the US in Northern Europe the kids will already have left the "nest" and gotten their own home and car elsewhere - not stuck home at mommy and daddy..

If you were to actually look at the figures you admit to not knowing you'd find that some nations - like my own - have wages more than twice that of the US so for your own sake let's not get into that argument...

And if you were to spend a little time using Google Maps you'd see that the world around you is just as suburban and sprawly as in the US - different is that in places like here, we can afford to have yards around the homes and individual designs rather than cookiecutter huts..

Not to mention afford bricks and propper materials rather than wood and drywall, but that's another topic..


( there's no bragging rights in leasing a car or paying morgage to the bank - every smock can indebt themselves and rent - there is bragging right in owning a house and a car! )

Quote:
Originally Posted by foxmulder View Post
Have you really spend any time in USA?
I have - and unless you want to talk trailer parks, beggers and barred up homes I don't think that's a debate you want to get into..

Google Streetview is free and available to you - I suggest you use it...

Quote:
Originally Posted by foxmulder View Post
I was obviously talking about the price of the same product, it has absolutely nothing to do with quality. And, almost all US States have sales tax.. tax has nothing to do with it. Check the prices for anything. go to bestbuy.com (or go to newegg.com to make things even more fun and compare prices to your local electronic store in Europe.
Actually tax has everything to do with it as VAT is added in the price where US sales tax is not listed..

So if you were to compare prices without taxes you'd find the prices in Europe to be cheaper than stateside in most cases..


As for quality it does differ as many nations like my own have significantly higher standards than many others so what they might be able to sell in India or the US would never make it to market here ( like US beef or transfat acid etc )

Quote:
Originally Posted by foxmulder View Post
wow... I thought I was pretty clear. I know GDP per capita is not the sole criteria but it demonstrates purchasing power very clear.
GDP PPP has nothing to do with real purchasing power - it's GDP based and calculated using a very narrow basket in a fictive currency.. and does not even keep in mind such factors as tax payed benefits in some nations that is user payed in others.. it's 100% useless!

If you want to compare purchasing power you need to compare real wages not GDP that has nothing to do with wages or what people have available..

If you want to compare at a national scale you need to look at Norminal per capita though do not it says nothing about wages, inceom or wealth what so ever as it is GDP

Quote:
Originally Posted by foxmulder View Post
My point was middle class in USA is wealthier compared to that of Europe hence their living standards are higher.


Mate first of all you need to be more specific in what countries you are talking about ( there's 50 nations in Europe ) as it very much differs from nation to nation..

Though overall you'll find a lot more poverty and dispear in the US than in just about every European nation bar a few of the Eastern European ones like Romania..



Anywhoo enough time wasted on you - if you want to live in a dream world of "US is #1" by all means mate - sooner or later reality will dawn on you..
I suggest you look into the matter before embarrasing yourself further..
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Last edited by FREKI; June 4th, 2011 at 08:20 AM. Reason: off topic - no point..
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Old June 4th, 2011, 10:03 AM   #2614
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you guys are annoying with this usa v.s. europe thing
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Old June 4th, 2011, 12:18 PM   #2615
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Originally Posted by sweet-d View Post
you guys are annoying with this usa v.s. europe thing
I was trying to say same thing few posts earlier.

I find US vs EU interesting but this is not right place.

Europeans try get attention. It is pathetic. Americans aren't interesting anything outside their country and it is ok.

This is thread is about USA how hard it is to understand.
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Old June 4th, 2011, 01:12 PM   #2616
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The issue is that some differences on rail transport potential in US and Europe are directly explainable by different housing and urban transportation patterns in both continents. But that hasn't or should not have, anything to do with health care, "which side of the Atlantic is better" etc.

After a certain point, it becomes a recursive, circular argument: US should have high-speed Europe because Europe has => US is better than Europe, needs are different => HSR will make US look more like Europe, because Europe is better indeed.... and so on.
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Old June 4th, 2011, 03:45 PM   #2617
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Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
The issue is that some differences on rail transport potential in US and Europe are directly explainable by different housing and urban transportation patterns in both continents. But that hasn't or should not have, anything to do with health care, "which side of the Atlantic is better" etc.

After a certain point, it becomes a recursive, circular argument: US should have high-speed Europe because Europe has => US is better than Europe, needs are different => HSR will make US look more like Europe, because Europe is better indeed.... and so on.
The thing is that the implication has been made that these different forms of housing and urban development are a result or indicative of the U.S. having a higher "standard of living", when in fact the only thing that it necessarily tells you about is the differing patterns of land use and development. I also don't think the idea of "Europe is better, Europe has it, therefore we should too" has really entered the conversation. On the contrary, I feel like I've been having to defend Europe against the claim that because it is "poorer" than the U.S., it must have a lower standard of living; the take away from that argument would then be because the U.S. is richer, it doesn't need HSR.

All this is just stemming from the original argument of whether or not the U.S. needs HSR. Because of the size of this sort of project, it's natural that the argument should be equally broad. With there being so much disagreement on the external factors affecting the usefulness of HSR to the U.S., it seems like reaching an agreement on the final question is going to be difficult
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Old June 4th, 2011, 06:58 PM   #2618
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Originally Posted by aquaticko View Post
to defend Europe against the claim that because it is "poorer" than the U.S.
Hmph, I'd bet no London banker would dare allege US being wealthier than Europe; the USA's guts=credit, would certainly be more of what that creed of financier would point out.
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Old June 4th, 2011, 10:20 PM   #2619
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What about going back to discussing concrete HSR projects?

Quote:
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lano...grapevine.html

Palmdale to pursue legal action if high-speed rail authority considers bypassing Antelope Valley
June 3, 2011 | 6:15 pm

Palmdale officials warned the state's bullet train project Friday that they would take legal action if the rail authority considers bypassing the Antelope Valley in favor of a shorter route to Bakersfield that follows Interstate 5 over the Grapevine.

City officials object to a decision last month by the California High Speed Rail Authority to spend $700,000 on a conceptual study of the Grapevine alternative, a previously rejected route that might save billions of dollars in construction costs, reduce earthquake risks and eliminate a sweeping dog leg through Los Angeles County’s high desert cities.

MAPPING L.A.: Palmdale demographics, crime, schools

The reversal came after years of planning focused on a circuitous path south of Bakersfield that crosses the Tehachapi Mountains to serve Palmdale and Lancaster. It has drawn fire from elected officials in the Antelope Valley and Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, whose district includes the valley.

In a letter to the rail authority, the Palmdale city attorney asserted that the federal economic stimulus funds to be used for the study are not authorized for that purpose, which could expose the project to potential legal action and the loss of federal assistance.
He noted that the Palmdale-to-Bakersfield section is one of seven segments that are part of the project’s environmental review, not the Grapevine route along Interstate 5. The city also claims that revisiting the Grapevine route will waste millions in taxpayer dollars and hurt cities in the Antelope Valley that have made significant investments to serve the area with high-speed trains, based on the original plan.

The Antelope Valley route, Palmdale officials say, is described in Proposition 1A, the $9-billion bond measure for high-speed rail approved by voters in 2008.

"If the authority chooses to proceed with its current course of action, please be advised that the city will take all appropriate legal action," wrote Palmdale City Atty. William Matthew Ditzhazy.
Looks like the "only in my backyard" group is attacking =D

Someone in one of the hundreds of pages of this thread said that the direct route without Palmdale would go through a geologically unstable area. Is that true? Is the Palmdale route really safer?
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Old June 4th, 2011, 10:47 PM   #2620
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The governor of the US state of Illinois Pat Quinn has set up a partnership to study the feasibility of a 220mph passenger rail service between Chicago, Urbana-Champaign and beyond.


The partnership between the University of Illinois, the Illinois Department of Transportation and a special advisory group will carry out the US$1.25m (£765,000) study. It is due to report late next year and is designed to complement the ongoing construction of a regional 110-mph network that will connect Chicago to 40 cities in the Midwest.

“Illinois is leading the nation with our work to expand high-speed and passenger rail,” said Quinn. “This study will provide greater insight into how we can make a 220mph rail service a reality.”

The study will explore the potential costs and benefits of establishing a 220mph service between O’Hare International Airport, downtown Chicago, McCormick Place, and Champaign-Urbana. It will also look at extending the corridor in the region to cities south of Champaign-Urbana, including St Louis and Indianapolis.

In addition to offering route recommendations, the study will produce estimated passenger projections, economic impacts, construction costs and financing options. An advisory group composed of transportation experts, rail advocates, union leaders, and regional planners will provide input during the course of the study.

http://www.theconstructionindex.co.u...inois-rail.jpg
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True Democracy for Android - A realistic political simulation game where you are the premier/president and guides your country competing against other political parties =)

My blog about trains, politics and urbanism.
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