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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 December 2nd, 2011, 12:46 AM   #2821
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
You need to consider the income (gas taxes) that is earmarked for that purpose!

In any case, a 30:1 "subsidization" rate would be more than justified because for each passenger-mile transported by Amtrak, the Interstate system certainly transport more than 30, as Amtrak carries only 0,4% of all American mile-passengers.



How is oil subsidized, and please don't come with the "40% of military expenses are used to protect oil sources" brouhaha.
Right except the gas tax doesn't generate enough revenue and has to be bailed out by people who don't drive, like me. The US DOT 2004 annual report showed that highway user revenue (gas taxes) generated over $100B that year, of that $21 was diverted to mass transit. However, an additional $39B of local taxes, like property taxes were used on roads and highways that year. So 39-21=$18B subsidy for 2004 alone.

To put $18B in perspective, the Feds spent $30B on Amtrak between 1971 and 2001.

That says nothing about the historical subsidies for highways/airports and taxes levied on rail users. For example, between 1942-1962 a 10% tax was levied on rail tickets, which amounted to $2B, freight lines paid a total $3.1B in taxes over the same period, and the money was at least partially diverted to expand highways and airports, not rail. Or, through mid 1988, the Feds subsidized air travel to the tune of at least $33B in 1988 dollars. Etc, etc...

My overall point is that rail has yet to be given a real chance to succeed in this country given, well everything I just outlined. I am skeptical as to how well it may work outside of the North East Corridor (which is currently the only profiting section of Amtrak) and Californias network, for a number of different reasons.

I also appreciate the point on the last page I believe, about how much some states receive in federal spending vs. how much each state generate in federal tax revenue. As a New Yorker, it really infuriates me to hear people from other parts of the country, say, 'Why should my tax revenue pay for a train in the North East?' For at least 30 years my state, NY, has subsidized states who chose to have lower taxes. Why should 30 years of my tax revenue subsidize Alabama's low taxes, and general inability to pay for its own most basic obligations? If they can't pay for it, that's not my problem, they should have to balance their own books like everyone else.
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Old December 2nd, 2011, 11:32 AM   #2822
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I was reading some about the Desert Xpress project. Apparently, they are trying to catch money that would to to CAHSR.

Some aspects of the project look nice. However I'm a bit skeptical of a high-speed train Las Vegas - LA that stops in Palmdale or else beyond the mountain passes. To get out of LA metro is the biggest challenging when driving. Also, commuter train is a lackluster option to get to Palmdale (+ 1h50, which is more than the high-speed train journey itself).

Let's see how this unfold.
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Old December 2nd, 2011, 04:36 PM   #2823
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That's my biggest concern with HSR projects across the country. Our metro areas may generally be pretty spread out, but commuter rail, or even an efficient bus system, can make those areas manageable. We need to be giving more money both to HSR and transit projects generally.
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Old December 22nd, 2011, 01:17 AM   #2824
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VIA Rail Canada is coming out with new schedules next month. Now Toronto-Ottawa (446 km) fastest train will be 3h57m (average 112.91 km/hr).

http://www.progressiverailroading.co...service--29266

Fastest Acela btw Boston South Station and NY Penn Station is 3h25m (Train 2155) but the length is only 366.8 km.

The result is that Toronto-Ottawa average speed on fastest train is 112.91 km/hr, while Boston South Station-NY Penn average speed on fastest train is 107.36 km/hr.

Thus, in Canada trains that are not even branded high-speed (!) run faster than Acela.

(Caveat: the Toronto-Ottawa train is non-stop, whereas Acela has no non-stop trains btw NY and Boston, but still, this is absurd).
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Old December 22nd, 2011, 02:11 AM   #2825
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That 3hr57min service is yet another reintroduction of VIA Rail's. Anyhow, two-thirds of the trains in the Quebec-Windsor corridor are late, delayed by freight traffic with which they share the corridor.
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Old December 22nd, 2011, 08:14 AM   #2826
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Is VIA legitimately used for business travel between Toronto and the capital, or is it primarily designed as transit for elderly and students?

I also noticed the Ottawa station is not actually in downtown Ottawa, so perhaps the comparison to the Acela is not apt.
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Old December 22nd, 2011, 08:22 PM   #2827
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Yes, Ottawa factors into the corridor ... here's an image of the whole corridor:

clickable


There's nothing Acelaesque about any trunk of the corridor ... for example, the following image reveals approximately Milepost 2¼ out of Montreal's Central Station on the way to either Ottawa or Toronto:
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Old December 23rd, 2011, 01:19 AM   #2828
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is it safe to say that none of the railroads in Canada are electrified (With the exception of HR and LR in the cities)?
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Old December 24th, 2011, 04:52 AM   #2829
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Safe? pah!
Quote:
Originally Posted by trainrover View Post
Attempts are being made to revert the country's lone electrified line to diesel-electric traction (actually, it's to be electric-diesel-electric) ... VIA Rail used to run its Montreal-Quebec City trains through in the 70s and 80s (I think):
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Originally Posted by trainrover View Post
The Mount Royal tunnel was a topic on yesterday morning's radio (somewhat going on about how the city's fire chief's come to
badgering the Amt), but not podcast, so I'm throwing in the following link instead:
"... Historical note: in 1946, two deadheading sleeping cars caught fire upon leaving Central Station,
resulting in 4 deaths. It took 10 hours for the firefighters to extinguish the fire – and no flammable
diesel was involved back then. ..."



clickable...
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Last edited by trainrover; December 29th, 2011 at 01:32 AM. Reason: strikethrough removed, because Webpage's back from having 'gone remote' for some while
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Old December 24th, 2011, 10:15 AM   #2830
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woonsocket54 View Post
is it safe to say that none of the railroads in Canada are electrified (With the exception of HR and LR in the cities)?
Very little parts of Montreal Commuter line is electrified.
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Old December 24th, 2011, 07:29 PM   #2831
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Quote:
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parts
Only one
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Old December 27th, 2011, 08:24 AM   #2832
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woonsocket54 View Post
VIA Rail Canada is coming out with new schedules next month. Now Toronto-Ottawa (446 km) fastest train will be 3h57m (average 112.91 km/hr).

http://www.progressiverailroading.co...service--29266

Fastest Acela btw Boston South Station and NY Penn Station is 3h25m (Train 2155) but the length is only 366.8 km.

The result is that Toronto-Ottawa average speed on fastest train is 112.91 km/hr, while Boston South Station-NY Penn average speed on fastest train is 107.36 km/hr.

Thus, in Canada trains that are not even branded high-speed (!) run faster than Acela.

(Caveat: the Toronto-Ottawa train is non-stop, whereas Acela has no non-stop trains btw NY and Boston, but still, this is absurd).
I know Acela is not true HSR but that's surprisingly slow. Our Pacific Northwest's extremely laid back Amtrak Cascade can do Portland to Seattle (300 km) in 3.5 hrs, and that's with six stops in between.
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Old December 27th, 2011, 04:34 PM   #2833
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I'd assume the slowness is due to the expense of speeding the train up, although I can't think of any other corridor in the coutry that's more worthy of the investment. I wish they'd push through that $117 billion proposal.
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Old December 27th, 2011, 09:05 PM   #2834
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Acela also has a lot of stops compared to the Cascades. For example, after NY Penn station, Newark is the next stop and that isnt even 10 miles away.
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Old December 27th, 2011, 11:19 PM   #2835
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That's what regional trains should be for. I wonder what made Amtrak take the decision to have two stops so close to each other.
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Old December 27th, 2011, 11:52 PM   #2836
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Similarly the Cascade has two 10 mile stops, Seattle-Tukwila and Portland-Vancouver, WA.
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Old December 28th, 2011, 10:38 PM   #2837
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cassini83 View Post
That's what regional trains should be for. I wonder what made Amtrak take the decision to have two stops so close to each other.
possibly because Newark is a hub for NJT, so that NJT passengers on some non-NEC lines don't have to go to NYP to board Acela DC-bound. It might also be more convenient for Acela users beginning their trip in Jersey City to take PATH to Newark instead of to 33 St/6 Av. Newark is also a quasi-important business center with HQ of Prudential, a federal courthouse and some other good stuff.
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Old December 29th, 2011, 01:29 AM   #2838
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquaticko View Post
I'd assume the slowness is due to the
ir wannabe on-board tour guides, forever piling it on over the wagon PA speakers...in time
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Old December 29th, 2011, 10:08 PM   #2839
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hmmwv View Post
Similarly the Cascade has two 10 mile stops, Seattle-Tukwila and Portland-Vancouver, WA.
Not as nearly as much as Acela though.

Acela stops that are bunched together:

Boston South Station
Back Bay Station
Route 128 (little over 10 miles away)

New York Penn Station
Newark

Baltimore
Baltimore Airport
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Old December 30th, 2011, 02:24 AM   #2840
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You are right, I was to point out the mere fact that we are comparing a normal regional rail to the crown jewel of the US HSR network, is quite sad. Hopefully CAHSR will turn out okay and redeem us in front of our Asian and European rail fans.
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