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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 January 15th, 2012, 03:42 PM   #2901
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K.K.'s probably more right than I am in the definition, but y'all need to look up the term Anglosphere on wikipedia or something. It isn't just a linguistic thing; there's cultural bits that go with it. I'm well aware that the U.S. isn't a strictly white, English-speaking and English-descended country, but it was founded by a group of men who were mostly from the British Isles by heritage, and at present English is the de facto official language; there were also some similarities in economic development, and that has historically included transportation development too, if not in form than in function.

In truth, it's not a really meaningful descriptor, but it's a valid one nonetheless. I'll put my lot in the K.K.'s definition and leave it at that.

Yay off topic!
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Old January 15th, 2012, 03:56 PM   #2902
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquaticko

There is indeed such a thing as an Anglo-Saxon country--any country which was founded by a primarily English or British Isles population, or possibly one whose primary spoken language is English. The U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand (and obviously the United Kingdom) are all Anglo-Saxon countries. You can be a white person of European descent and not from England or the British Isles, but still be Ango-Saxon; it's mostly heritage that determines that sorts of descriptor, not location.

My mention of high speed rail development was intended to point out that compared to most high-income developed economies, such countries have a passenger rail system that is far less advanced than in other, non-Anglo-Saxon countries, especially France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, and Spain.
I think it also has to do with the fact that most of those countries employed HSR as a component to further spur development....that is to say, they were able to take advantage of employing it very early on in modernization (Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and more China for sure....not certain about Spain it Germany) while most other countries have to upgrade our replace existing rail.

Maybe there's more friction because we're not necessarily starting from scratch? I honestly don't know, I've been trying to figure out out myself...
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Old January 15th, 2012, 09:08 PM   #2903
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Originally Posted by phoenixboi08 View Post
I think it also has to do with the fact that most of those countries employed HSR as a component to further spur development....that is to say, they were able to take advantage of employing it very early on in modernization (Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and more China for sure....not certain about Spain it Germany) while most other countries have to upgrade our replace existing rail.

Maybe there's more friction because we're not necessarily starting from scratch? I honestly don't know, I've been trying to figure out out myself...
That's the one argument against high speed rail in the U.S. that makes sense to me. So many of our cities are clearly designed for cars, so redesigning them in order to make high speed rail and other forms of public transportation useful is a big job, never even mind that our society is still by-and-large hooked on driving everywhere, for no reason that I can comprehend.

I'll keep my fingers crossed for now, but I'm not holding my breath anymore.
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Old January 15th, 2012, 09:56 PM   #2904
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Well why didn't we go for upgraded conventional lines in the first place? Going straight to brand new dedicated HSR sounds inspiring but not financially practical or politically feasible for the US. We already have an established rail infrastructure, with almost all major cities connected. Running 125-150mph bullet trains on upgraded conventional lines between SF and LA is almost as good as dedicated trains while being much cheaper and quicker to build. At that speed level we don't even have to buy foreign trains, I'm sure GE is capable of getting us a DMU.

Citing China's example, they didn't go directly to dedicated HSR initially, starting in 1997 they increased their railway speed six times over the years and finally brought over 6000km of railway to 200km/h standard in 2007. Mixed passenger and freight use is not an issue neither because our railway is not nearly as busy as China's, and they managed to get decent HSR service on existing lines.
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Old January 15th, 2012, 10:25 PM   #2905
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hmmwv View Post
Well why didn't we go for upgraded conventional lines in the first place? Going straight to brand new dedicated HSR sounds inspiring but not financially practical or politically feasible for the US. We already have an established rail infrastructure, with almost all major cities connected. Running 125-150mph bullet trains on upgraded conventional lines between SF and LA is almost as good as dedicated trains while being much cheaper and quicker to build. At that speed level we don't even have to buy foreign trains, I'm sure GE is capable of getting us a DMU.

Citing China's example, they didn't go directly to dedicated HSR initially, starting in 1997 they increased their railway speed six times over the years and finally brought over 6000km of railway to 200km/h standard in 2007. Mixed passenger and freight use is not an issue neither because our railway is not nearly as busy as China's, and they managed to get decent HSR service on existing lines.
I'm not exactly sure, but it might have something to do with the extremely heavy nature of America's freight trains. Someone else probably knows whether this makes any sense.
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Old January 15th, 2012, 11:28 PM   #2906
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Mind you, the NEC is an example of an upgraded line (thrice now ... fourth time a-coming, no?), isn't it?


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125mph+ is.....
I have a feeling the threshold stands at 140MPH (225KPH) by now
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Old January 16th, 2012, 12:19 AM   #2907
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Specific definitions by the European Union include 200 km/h (124 mph) for upgraded track and 250 km/h (155 mph) or faster for new track.

the U.S. Department of Transportation defines it as "reasonably expected to reach sustained speeds of more than 125 mph (201 km/h),[2] " although the Federal Railroad Administration uses a definition of above 110 mph (177 km/h).

Itīs taken from Wikipedia.org

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-speed_rail
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Old January 16th, 2012, 01:12 AM   #2908
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Originally Posted by trainrover View Post
Mind you, the NEC is an example of an upgraded line (thrice now ... fourth time a-coming, no?), isn't it?



I have a feeling the threshold stands at 140MPH (225KPH) by now
The Northeast has it at 125mph+ for Electric , 110mph+ for Diesel....
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Old January 16th, 2012, 03:31 AM   #2909
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hmmwv View Post
Well why didn't we go for upgraded conventional lines in the first place? Going straight to brand new dedicated HSR sounds inspiring but not financially practical or politically feasible for the US. We already have an established rail infrastructure, with almost all major cities connected. Running 125-150mph bullet trains on upgraded conventional lines between SF and LA is almost as good as dedicated trains while being much cheaper and quicker to build. At that speed level we don't even have to buy foreign trains, I'm sure GE is capable of getting us a DMU.

Citing China's example, they didn't go directly to dedicated HSR initially, starting in 1997 they increased their railway speed six times over the years and finally brought over 6000km of railway to 200km/h standard in 2007. Mixed passenger and freight use is not an issue neither because our railway is not nearly as busy as China's, and they managed to get decent HSR service on existing lines.
Actually, from what I remember, the freight rail lines in America are used more heavily than in any other country in the world, hence why freight rail companies often form part of the opposition to simply using upgraded rail lines for passenger transport; there's certainly an argument from a logistics point of view that makes simply upgrading current rail lines less appealing over the long run than building new ones.

That aside, I agree that just using upgraded tracks is probably a better way to begin the shift back to passenger rail. But the inspirational qualities of dedicated high-speed PDL's are an important part of getting this country interested in passenger rail transport again, so there's some sense in focusing on those for now, despite the fact that you can't disagree that the way the Chicago hub is undergoing improvements is more immediately productive than trying to get a California-style HSR system going.

At this point, I'm happy to hear of any kind of passenger rail developments in this country, even minor speed increases.
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Old January 16th, 2012, 08:17 AM   #2910
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquaticko View Post
Actually, from what I remember, the freight rail lines in America are used more heavily than in any other country in the world, hence why freight rail companies often form part of the opposition to simply using upgraded rail lines for passenger transport; there's certainly an argument from a logistics point of view that makes simply upgrading current rail lines less appealing over the long run than building new ones.

That aside, I agree that just using upgraded tracks is probably a better way to begin the shift back to passenger rail. But the inspirational qualities of dedicated high-speed PDL's are an important part of getting this country interested in passenger rail transport again, so there's some sense in focusing on those for now, despite the fact that you can't disagree that the way the Chicago hub is undergoing improvements is more immediately productive than trying to get a California-style HSR system going.

At this point, I'm happy to hear of any kind of passenger rail developments in this country, even minor speed increases.
No doubt the US has one of the best freight rail system in the world, we still have more rail mileage, more locomotives, and more freight cars than anybody else in the world. But that doesn't necessarily translate to a busy railway. For example, in 2009 US railway generated a total of 1.53 trillion revenue ton-miles. During the same period China generated 2.07 trillion ton-miles, they did it with way less railway mileage so naturally the lines there are busier. Let along the fact that they also run heavy freight trains (double stack container, 20000 ton ore train, etc) like we do here, while sharing the track with conventional passenger trains. Talking to my friends in China, their aw-inspiring moment came when they witness CRH trains roll into stations all over the country in 2007, despite the fact that most of them run on upgraded lines and limited to 200km/h. I truly believe it's the same case here, bullet trains on existing lines is a lot more inspiring than one that only exist on paper.

Here in the States our railway operating environment is way less hazardous because we have less trains on the road, less population along side the track, and less frequent stations needed. I believe the true reason is what's stated in the Economist article, namely the freight rail companies will be asked to partially fund the upgrade cost because they own the lines, and also their freight trains will have to operate at a higher standard if they would to travel on a line shared with passenger rail.
http://www.economist.com/node/16636101
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Old January 16th, 2012, 11:15 AM   #2911
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hmmwv View Post
Well why didn't we go for upgraded conventional lines in the first place? Going straight to brand new dedicated HSR sounds inspiring but not financially practical or politically feasible for the US. We already have an established rail infrastructure, with almost all major cities connected. Running 125-150mph bullet trains on upgraded conventional lines between SF and LA is almost as good as dedicated trains while being much cheaper and quicker to build. At that speed level we don't even have to buy foreign trains, I'm sure GE is capable of getting us a DMU.

Citing China's example...
Well, first there is a big major difference: All but a few American rail tracks are property of the freight railways, who have no financial interest in upgrading them because they can't simple charge fees that will pay their investment - plus, it would oblige them to change their business model which is hugely successful in terms of % of ton-miles carried by rail in US x in Europe.

Morevoer, there are major choke points in mountainous areas, and there are two of them between SF and LA. Both are clogged with freight traffic as they are major access rails out of Long Beach and Oakland ports.

So there is:
- no financial incentive for the owner of the tracks
- expensive mountain ascent/descent that need to be negotiated with expensive engineering works for new track
- it is impossible to upgrade certain sectors to 125mph
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Old January 16th, 2012, 01:00 PM   #2912
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Quote:
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So there is:
- no financial incentive for the owner of the tracks
- expensive mountain ascent/descent that need to be negotiated with expensive engineering works for new track
- it is impossible to upgrade certain sectors to 125mph
- Well if they build dedicated HSR it's gonna be more expensive anyway, why not pay the likes of UP or BNSF to upgrade tracks, for the same amount of money a lot more tracks can be upgraded than new lines. But I agree this is something they have to work to resolve, as I have acknowledged in my previous post with the quoted Economist article.
- Geographical limitation can be solved by engineering, the upgrade process including ways to eliminate such obstacles, again it's gonna cost money, but less than build a new line.
- You don't have to upgrade the whole line to 125mph standard. Most HSR train running on upgraded conventional tracks run with an 100mph average speed. Sections with favorable conditions may be upgraded to 150+mph, while more difficult sections will be limited to a slower speed.
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Old January 16th, 2012, 03:25 PM   #2913
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hmmwv View Post
- Well if they build dedicated HSR it's gonna be more expensive anyway, why not pay the likes of UP or BNSF to upgrade tracks, for the same amount of money a lot more tracks can be upgraded than new lines. But I agree this is something they have to work to resolve, as I have acknowledged in my previous post with the quoted Economist article.
It is not only about tracks. The way BNSF and UP (and CSX, CN etc.) use their networks, totally optimized for freight, make it very unlikely passenger trains can be accommodate in a serious manner (like 30-50 trains per day per track section). They are just incompatible. Mile-long trains, long reversible loops etc. is all incompatible with tracks where trains are making to tilt at high(er) speeds.
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Old January 16th, 2012, 08:28 PM   #2914
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That's also an important issue: how these projects are approved/funded...if I'm not mistaken, I don't think one can simply invest (as private entity). That's to say, the governor of California can't just bus out such a project to a Chinese firm, say...is this correct?
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Old January 16th, 2012, 09:30 PM   #2915
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The Northeast has it at 125mph+ for Electric , 110mph+ for Diesel....
By Northeast, do you mean NEC? If so, what with a long enough corridor, then why diesel, for surely it couldn't be that much a bother to trade locos after the electrified segment, no? BTW, what locos pull the Keystone Service; is that line not fully electric?
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Old January 16th, 2012, 10:25 PM   #2916
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By Northeast, do you mean NEC? If so, what with a long enough corridor, then why diesel, for surely it couldn't be that much a bother to trade locos after the electrified segment, no? BTW, what locos pull the Keystone Service; is that line not fully electric?
We have different standards then the rest of the US. The Keystone corridor is fully electrified , there are reserves to Electrify the New Haven - Springfield - Brattleboro line (Vermonter - Springfield Northeast Regional). The Future Lackawanna Corridor ,and Empire Corridor might become electrified.
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Old January 17th, 2012, 03:02 AM   #2917
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I still refuse to believe that those companies cannot operate their freight line as efficiently as an entity as corrupt as the Chinese MOR. From my observation the two systems are quite similar in terms of hardware and track network, what's the fundamental difference that made our network haul less cargo yet still can't handle the added passenger trains?
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Old January 17th, 2012, 04:11 AM   #2918
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Originally Posted by aquaticko View Post
There is indeed such a thing as an Anglo-Saxon country--any country which was founded by a primarily English or British Isles population, or possibly one whose primary spoken language is English. The U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand (and obviously the United Kingdom) are all Anglo-Saxon countries. You can be a white person of European descent and not from England or the British Isles, but still be Ango-Saxon; it's mostly heritage that determines that sorts of descriptor, not location.

My mention of high speed rail development was intended to point out that compared to most high-income developed economies, such countries have a passenger rail system that is far less advanced than in other, non-Anglo-Saxon countries, especially France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, and Spain.
sorry im northern european celtic.and about your other comment about your mention of high speed rail that is understood.some high income countries are dragging the ball and chain on a high speed rail system.
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Old January 17th, 2012, 09:36 PM   #2919
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I hear you ... I trust aquaticko was tackling the issue altogether along its predominantly-speaking aspect, that's all.
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Old January 18th, 2012, 02:31 AM   #2920
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It will definitely have to start out as small corridors before we can even begin to think if establishing a network....and maybe that's the back door.

Find several key areas (california, midwest, east cost, and south) designate a hub and encourage states to develop corridors in their states, then eventually connect them to the hub. Finally, connect those hubs in national network.

Then again, I guess that's already the plan lol...seems simple enough...
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