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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 September 3rd, 2011, 10:22 PM   #2741
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Old September 4th, 2011, 10:38 PM   #2742
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Not as fast as these fly-through's, still neat!
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Old September 6th, 2011, 02:24 AM   #2743
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAnalyst View Post
Put down the crack pipe. Amtrak is heavily subsidized. They are not "profitable."
Put down the teabags.

Amtrak gets a whopping $1-$2 billion a year.

That is a pittance to the tens of billions of dollars that highways receive annually.

Get your god damn facts straight.
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Old September 6th, 2011, 11:38 AM   #2744
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoosier View Post
Put down the teabags.

Amtrak gets a whopping $1-$2 billion a year.

That is a pittance to the tens of billions of dollars that highways receive annually.

Get your god damn facts straight.
Absolute comparisons don't make any sense. It's better, for instance, to compare the difference between what road expenses get via gas taxes and tolls and what is spent on then, on a per passenger*mile bases, accounted already for the share of expenses allocated to road freight, and do the same with Amtrak.
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Old September 24th, 2011, 12:01 AM   #2745
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I hear Congress only passed $110m for intercity development instead of the $8bn Obama asked for. Thats gotta put a dampener on progress? The previously approved $10bn has been almost completley spent.
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Old September 24th, 2011, 12:08 AM   #2746
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Infrastructurist

Quote:
Are Lawsuits the Final Nail in the Coffin for California High-Speed Rail?

Posted on Wednesday September 21st by Melissa Lafsky

California’s high-speed rail project is fast becoming the “Waiting for Godot” of modern transportation. There’ve been the fights over planned routes, the disputes over the actual costs, the hubbub over the ridership estimates, and even charges that the body running it all – the California High Speed Rail Authority — is unfit to run the entire operation. In fact, now there are calls to go back to the drawing board and reconsider where construction should start. All after fifteen years and millions of dollars spent since California first passed the law creating a high-speed rail program.

But the proverbial seal on the coffin for this multi-billion-dollar project could be the lawsuits. Here’s a brief rundown of what’s happening in the courts these days:

Quote:
In the Bay Area, cities and nonprofits are suing over issues with the route and environmental studies. In Southern California, the city of Palmdale (Los Angeles County) has gone to court over fears that rail officials will abandon a planned Antelope Valley line through the city and reroute the tracks up Interstate 5 instead.

Perhaps the hardest-fought battle is yet to come in the Central Valley, where Kings County officials and residents say they’ll do everything in their power to stop a 100-mile stretch of track from wiping out thousands of acres of prime farmland between Fresno and Bakersfield.
This situation was pretty inevitable — when you plan to build a 220-mph train through the center of one of the country’s most populous states, it’s going to tick off a sizable number of people. And with our less-than-speedy legal system involved, we’re looking at another few years of potential delays to get all the disputes figured out. Meanwhile the clock is ticking – a federal stipulation on the almost $3.5 billion in stimulus cash given for the project says that construction must begin in the valley, and if rail officials can’t get this battle with Kings County sorted and the money distributed by September 2017, the government could divert it elsewhere.

[..]
Texas could have 1,000 miles of HSR before California gets its first inch. That's the state of things in the Golden State.
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Old September 24th, 2011, 12:32 AM   #2747
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For me, the most bizarre are lawsuits from places that would be left out of the route, without any impact from the project, should an alternative be chosen.
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Old September 24th, 2011, 12:59 AM   #2748
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hey what ever happened to that Japanese company that wanted to build an HSR line between Dallas and Houston.
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Old September 24th, 2011, 01:04 AM   #2749
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertpunk View Post
Infrastructurist



Texas could have 1,000 miles of HSR before California gets its first inch. That's the state of things in the Golden State.
I think the Northeast will have a HSR network before California or Texas....
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Old September 24th, 2011, 01:18 AM   #2750
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweet-d View Post
hey what ever happened to that Japanese company that wanted to build an HSR line between Dallas and Houston.
It's still kicking around:

Quote:
From: http://www.houstontomorrow.org/

Houston-Dallas HSR could be running in 2020
Trip would take 90 minutes


David Crossley, Sep 02, 11

A trip from Houston to Dallas could take travelers 90 minutes if former Harris County Judge Robert Eckels, president of Lone Star High Speed Rail, is successful in connecting the state’s two largest urban regions with a high-speed rail, according to a story in Community Impact Newspaper:

Quote:
"Eckels spoke to members of the Cy-Fair Houston Chamber of Commerce mobility committee Sept. 1 about the plausibility of constructing a high-speed rail between the two regions, which have a combined population of nearly 12 million.

LSHSR is affiliated with U.S.-Japan High-Speed Rail and its partner, Central Japan Railway Company, which created the N700-I Bullet train that travels at 200 mph and will take passengers between Dallas and Houston when the rail is complete, which could be by 2020.

The corridor between Houston and Dallas was selected for the first high-speed rail line because nearly 93 percent of the land in between the two cities is rural and flat, and there are few stops in between, Eckels said.

LSHSR is studying several routes between Dallas and Houston for where the rail line will go, but the selection will come down to where there is right-of-way, land already granted for transportation purposes."
---
And a little more from last year:

Quote:
Houston-Dallas HSR could be in service by 2020
JR has U.S. partner


Jon Boyd, Sep 24, 10.


Japan rail chair says Houston-Dallas is a great candidate for high-speed rail and Texas high speed rail chair Eckels said service could begin by 2020, according to an article in Culture Map according to an article in Culture Map.

The article is partly based on a report first published by Houston Tomorrow about the visit to Houston of Yoshiyuki Kasai, the Chairman of Central Japan Railways (JR). Chairman Kasai told the Greater Houston Partnership on Monday that his company is exploring a possible high-speed passenger rail line from Houston to Dallas. The JR operates the Tokaido Shinkansen bullet trains between Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka, according to information published online from Kasai’s presentation to the Partnership.

Tokyo lies 320 miles from Osaka, and the Shinkansen completes the journey in a scant two hours and twenty-five minutes. The distance between the two cities is about 81 miles longer than the distance between Houston and Dallas.

Culture Map reported on a trip Eckels and other took to see the Japanese train:

Quote:
"JR Central showcased its trains to representatives from United States high-speed rail groups and embassies in November 2009, during which its N700 model accelerated to 205 mph within minutes of leaving a station in western Japan.
“It was probably the smoothest high-speed train I’ve been on,” Robert Eckels, chairman of nonprofit Texas High Speed Rail & Transportation, told Bloomberg News as he stood on the platform after the midnight run. Eckels’ group aims to link San Antonio, Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston by 2020.

“The service is pretty amazing,” agrees METRO board member Christof Spieler, who also experienced the N700 firsthand last year. “You don’t even have to look at a timetable, the trains are so constant,” Spieler tells CultureMap.

Having attended Monday’s meeting with Kasai, Spieler notes, “I was amazed at how committed they are to Texas. They see it as the best place in the US for high speed rail, and they’re putting a lot of energy into this project.”
As the emissions of jet airplanes comes under growing scrutiny, the efficiency of high speed rail is surfacing as a significant benefit. While a jet burns most of its fuel and releases most of its emissions during takeoff, passenger rail can carry the same number of travelers on short trips in a more economical and environmentally-friendly way. Kasai also noted that the Shinkansen emits about 50 pounds of carbon during its journey between Tokyo and Osaka, compared to a jet’s 178 pounds of carbon during the same trip

---

http://www.houstontomorrow.org/livab...allas-for-hsr/
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Last edited by desertpunk; September 24th, 2011 at 01:24 AM.
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Old September 24th, 2011, 05:42 PM   #2751
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This is the second instance this month, coming across a HSR proposal between N American places currently not linked by passenger rail.
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Old September 26th, 2011, 10:50 PM   #2752
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexis View Post
I think the Northeast will have a HSR network before California or Texas....
I think Libya will have a HSR network before California or Texas or the Northeast.....
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Old October 2nd, 2011, 07:15 PM   #2753
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Absolute comparisons don't make any sense. It's better, for instance, to compare the difference between what road expenses get via gas taxes and tolls and what is spent on then, on a per passenger*mile bases, accounted already for the share of expenses allocated to road freight, and do the same with Amtrak.
No, that would be wrong as well. Trips made using rail are generally much shorter than those made by car, which skews per passenger mile subsidy figures. Negative externalities of car use are not factored into their costs- externalities that do not exist with mass transit or intercity rail which supports greater subsidization of those modes of transports.

I am sure you know this, but are too much of a shameless road/oil ***** to admit it.
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Old October 2nd, 2011, 08:31 PM   #2754
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Originally Posted by hoosier View Post
No, that would be wrong as well. Trips made using rail are generally much shorter than those made by car, which skews per passenger mile subsidy figures. Negative externalities of car use are not factored into their costs- externalities that do not exist with mass transit or intercity rail which supports greater subsidization of those modes of transports.

I am sure you know this, but are too much of a shameless road/oil ***** to admit it.
You can count an externality if you can't measure it or mitigate objectively. "Externatlity" has become the word of choice of people who, faced with hard, heartless, cold numbers, want to throw something else to negate financial calculations. It's like the architect trying to justify a woefully expensive gazebo for a social housing project saying it will "bring a sense of place" to a high-rise, without further corroboration or metric to prove that.

In any case, high-speed rail trips will always have a much longer average length than those made by car. The percentage of passenger using cars to drive 300, 400 miles (the range in which high-speed rail is most competitive) is rather low. Actually, the majority of car trips is far, far shorter than those of Amtrak. Almost no one takes Amtrak for a 22-mile or shorter journey, the upper fifth cut-off for car mobility in US.

Anyway, if there is to be an honest discussion about high-speed rail (or any rail, road, air project) as TRANSPORTATION, you must take origin/destination matrices for granted, and not assume some social engineering scheme to reduce (instead of increasing) mobility needs because of new infrastructure. The more a person is mobile, the farther places one can reach - regardless of how - within a giving set of time and money, the better one is. That should be the criteria used to evaluate projects: how can I maximize the area a folk on Fresno can reach with $ 10 and 2 hours?
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Old October 3rd, 2011, 05:08 AM   #2755
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Why are are you back to rehashing old points that we've already discredited? Let's not start this again.
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Old October 3rd, 2011, 05:31 PM   #2756
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K-Star Express
Kawasaki’s new locomotive hauled single deck coaches that operate either in push pull or pull only mode
[*」Most suitable as USDOT high speed rail network coaches and Amtrak’s next generation coaches
Full conformance to CFR TIER-I and ADA requirements
Fully utilize Maryland MARC-III proven technologies for conformance to rules and regulations and high speed running stability in USA

This train will develop along together of the efset high speed train, but the "k star express" wiil be the first introduce and for production.
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Old October 12th, 2011, 09:01 PM   #2757
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Infrastructurist

Quote:
Can High Speed Rail Be Saved?

Posted on Thursday October 6th by The Infrastructurist



This is a guest post by Anthony Flint, a fellow at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, a think tank in Cambridge, MA. He is a contributor to “The Boston Globe” and the author of “Wrestling with Moses: How Jane Jacobs Took on New York’s Master Builder and Transformed the American City.”

This is a tough time to be discussing investments in infrastructure, and the future of high-speed rail in particular. The president’s $10 billion program has become almost a caricature of an administration initiative that has had to be pulled back – right alongside doing something about climate change. Congress has voted to strip virtually all future funding for high-speed rail. When the dialogue is centered on government shutdowns, not raising the debt ceiling, and cutting trillions in spending, how can anybody think about bullet trains with billion-dollar pricetags?

But as counterintuitive as it may seem, now is exactly the time to do the planning and get the right policies and governance structures in place to make model inter-city projects in the U.S. a success, says Petra Todorovich, lead author of High-Speed Rail: International Lessons for U.S. Policy Makers, published by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.

It’s important to remember the context, says Todorovich, who is director of America 2050, created jointly by the Lincoln Institute and the Regional Plan Association.

As you know if you’re a regular Infrastructurist reader, Japan, France, Germany and the U.K. have all been in this game for years; China is laying 4,000 miles of track, and the trip from Shanghai to Beijing, about the distance between New York and Chicago, will take four hours. The U.S. bid began in late 2008 with the passage of the Passenger Rail Investment Improvement Act, actually signed into law by President George W. Bush. President Obama’s initiative was broad-based, attempting to build a network all around the country, and governors in Wisconsin and Florida famously returned the money they had been allocated.

Now it’s time for a reset, Todorovich says – to focus, first of all, on two areas where high-speed rail is most likely to be a success: the Northeast corridor, from Boston to Washington, and California. These are connections between major cities that are too short to fly, and too long to drive, and could potentially open up labor markets in much the same way it works between cities in Europe. The projects are ambitious, face alignment challenges, and are not cheap – $50 billion for California (approved by citizens in a ballot question) and potentially $100 billion for a Northeast corridor replacement of the Acela, using new tracks in Connecticut and Massachusetts. But they promise a return on investment, as the international experience shows, and would create lots of jobs – 450,000 jobs through 2035 in California, according to that state’s HSR Authority, and 44,000 jobs annually over 25 years plus 120,000 permanent jobs for the Northeast corridor, according to Amtrak.

Skeptics might say that we still can’t afford to invest that kind of money right now, and they have a point, in terms of authorizations from Congress. Transportation funding is a complete mess — there’s just no way around it. At the same time, some serious consideration must be given to new pathways in financing, providing alternatives to the whims of Congress year to year – an infrastructure bank, expanded credit assistance programs, a portion of the gas tax, an upstream oil tax, and ticket surcharges are among the possibilities. Former Interior secretary and Arizona governor Bruce Babbitt has proposed that a gasoline tax surcharge in the Northeast Corridor states could pay for high-speed rail in that region. This alternative has the advantage of explicitly linking the revenue sources to beneficiaries of the system.

Todorovich and her co-authors, Dan Schned and Robert Lane, also suggest making full use of public private partnerships and new, accountable rail management structures, and urge cities and regions to fully leverage rail investments for economic development by encouraging land development around center-city station areas.

High-speed rail, with its promises of energy efficiency, environmental and economic benefits, is a generational investment, not unlike the interstate highway system – which, Todorovich points out, required more than a decade to actually get started after it was first proposed. Some setbacks are to be expected, she said, but she takes that as a cue to clarify goals, strategies, and benefits — not give up entirely.

---
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Last edited by desertpunk; October 28th, 2011 at 08:17 AM.
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Old October 12th, 2011, 10:23 PM   #2758
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Ouch! lousy map-making causes me to reckon its proposal mere perpetuity ... an alternate/bypass serving Danbury and Waterbury?!?
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Old October 13th, 2011, 06:33 AM   #2759
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It's a pipe dream on steroids--see how there is a Penn Station bypass in Baltimore? 30th St. in Philly? Ain't. Gonna. Happen. I spoke at length for some time about how much of a boondoggle a bypass of 30th Street would be some time ago...I suggested then that the cost of that bypass would likely be around a tenth of the total projected budget.

The map truly is lousy. It makes the Inland Route (which is actually straighter) look twistier than the (actually very twisty) Along the Shore Line. It's got too many lines and is altogether riddled with bad cartographic decisions.
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Old October 19th, 2011, 09:37 AM   #2760
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Quote:
California Bullet Train Suffering, Vegas Chugging Along



Monday, October 17, 2011, by James Brasuell

The news cycle of late has been kind to the proposed DesertXpress high-speed train from Las Vegas to Victorville, but hard on the California High-Speed Rail, for which construction on a Central Valley portion is supposed to start next year. According to the Wall Street Journal, the main problem with the California plan is a lack of funding--sufficient federal funding has not materialized, the cost of the project has been underestimated, and private developers want to see more progress before ponying up the big bucks. Roelof van Ark, CEO of the California High-Speed Rail Authority even told the WSJ that "Investors want to see a link to San Francisco or Los Angeles closer to completion before they put in billions."

Out in the desert, however, political support seems to be gathering for the 185-mile DesertXpress. An environmental review of the project was finished this past summer, and now Andrew Mack, chief operating officer of DesertXpress Enterprises, is saying that the company feels pretty good about its chances for receiving a federal loan in the next year. According to the Las Vegas Tribune, "If the project is approved for funding, construction would begin in late 2012 with 80-minute service between the two cities to begin in late 2016." Gov. Brian Sandoval, chairman of the Nevada Department of Transportation Board, said that while financing remains an issue (the project is expected to cost more than $6 billion), the project appears to be moving forward.

Of course, the fortunes of the two train lines are wrapped up in each other--DesertXpress is supposed to one day hit Palmdale, where there's supposed to one day be a CAHSR station (even if the line gets built, that station might not happen). And how useful can a Vegas train be if it doesn't somehow link up to Los Angeles?

[...]
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