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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 January 28th, 2012, 05:25 AM   #2961
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FM 2258 View Post
It's funny how this U.S. High Speed Rail thread has so many pages yet we don't "really" have high speed rail in this country.
Acela comes pretty close though, they just need to upgrade their tracks and canterary system to handle higher speeds.
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Old January 28th, 2012, 06:15 AM   #2962
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Not exactly. Some of the curves are too tight to allow for higher speeds, or the tracks are too close together to permit tilting. To support true high speed rail, there needs to be some newly built infrastructure. However, I do believe that there are many areas of the NEC in which upgrading the catenaries will allow around a 30 mph increase.
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Old January 28th, 2012, 05:58 PM   #2963
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Originally Posted by Silver Swordsman View Post
Not exactly. Some of the curves are too tight to allow for higher speeds, or the tracks are too close together to permit tilting. To support true high speed rail, there needs to be some newly built infrastructure. However, I do believe that there are many areas of the NEC in which upgrading the catenaries will allow around a 30 mph increase.
Those curves will be straightened by 2030 , along with the wires....meaning the NEC will be able to handle at least 170mph its entire length... Only the CT section prevents tilting...
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Old January 29th, 2012, 10:40 AM   #2964
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I highly doubt the upgraded line can handle 170mph for its entire length, certain sections yes, but to allow the entire line to be 170mph rated there got to be a lot of new build tracks.
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Old January 29th, 2012, 02:48 PM   #2965
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FM 2258 View Post
It's funny how this U.S. High Speed Rail thread has so many pages yet we don't "really" have high speed rail in this country.
It's because high speed rail's so politicized in the US, and there is much room for discussion. In fact, AFTER the HSR system is built, conversation topics usually die down into mundane discussions about timetables and operational jargon. In many cases, the thread just dies until something else happens that worthy of notice. Cherish this thread while it lasts...

(I guess it'll be like this for quite awhile)
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Old January 30th, 2012, 05:47 AM   #2966
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Swordsman View Post
It's because high speed rail's so politicized in the US, and there is much room for discussion. In fact, AFTER the HSR system is built, conversation topics usually die down into mundane discussions about timetables and operational jargon. In many cases, the thread just dies until something else happens that worthy of notice. Cherish this thread while it lasts...

(I guess it'll be like this for quite awhile)
Why would I cherish a tread full of boring arguments about HSR? There is no debate in my mind at all about whether HSR is a good idea or not, so this kind of pro/cons argument is an absolute bore because nothing is getting done politically in the real world because of the ridiculous government divisions and a president who is powerless. Really, when you look at what the rest of the world is doing, and then you see Americans debating the issue, it boggles the mind. Japan has already moved onto maglev and Europe/China are creating a massive cross continent HSR network, while we are reduced to this. Heck, even Turkey, Poland, Morocco are starting to get into the game.

No thanks, i'll stay away and follow the Euro threads which is far less frustrating. Wake me up when this country gets some sense.

Also, 170mph by 2040 is a lame target, better than nothing though. However, it just shows how far this country has dropped in terms of doing 'big things'. The bar is set rather low. Isn't the new UK system supposed to reach 250mph or so?

Last edited by aquablue; January 30th, 2012 at 05:54 AM.
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Old January 30th, 2012, 07:02 AM   #2967
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquablue View Post
Why would I cherish a tread full of boring arguments about HSR? There is no debate in my mind at all about whether HSR is a good idea or not, so this kind of pro/cons argument is an absolute bore because nothing is getting done politically in the real world because of the ridiculous government divisions and a president who is powerless. Really, when you look at what the rest of the world is doing, and then you see Americans debating the issue, it boggles the mind. Japan has already moved onto maglev and Europe/China are creating a massive cross continent HSR network, while we are reduced to this. Heck, even Turkey, Poland, Morocco are starting to get into the game.

No thanks, i'll stay away and follow the Euro threads which is far less frustrating. Wake me up when this country gets some sense.

Also, 170mph by 2040 is a lame target, better than nothing though. However, it just shows how far this country has dropped in terms of doing 'big things'. The bar is set rather low. Isn't the new UK system supposed to reach 250mph or so?
It may be boring for you, but I find such discussions quite lively and entertaining. Of course I agree with you that HSR does work, and that it should be built, but it's kind of funny to watch people bicker over the small things instead of the bigger picture. American politics seems to have this sort of tendency, and sometimes it's just nice to sit back and laugh (or cry) at how silly politics can get.

(That is, unless you're living in the US. No offense to any Americans.)

Oh, by the way, I was meaning, before the HSR is built, discussions talk about routing ideas, rolling stock choice, track designs... all that stuff drops from conversation after it is built.
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Old January 30th, 2012, 07:34 AM   #2968
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Unfortunately, in the U.S. anything to do with passenger railways as well as rail transit in general is highly politicized and polarizing, when in most other countries it's mainly treated as another system to be maintained and expanded as needed, like any infrastructure. Don't expect much movement on HSR until the end of the next presidential election; I surmise the HSR suppliers, for one, are taking a "wait and see" approach before committing any resources to promote their product beyond what they have already done. Remember, businesses and investors hate uncertainty, and the idiots in Congress as well as some in the statehouses are creating that environment. Some are hedging their bets by going aggressively after the transit and conventional speed (commuter) market in the meantime.
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Old January 30th, 2012, 08:02 AM   #2969
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I agree with you on that. Our infrastructure is falling apart, and we still have politicians and special interest groups arguing over subsidies and other stupid shit.
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Old January 30th, 2012, 08:14 AM   #2970
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HSR by 2030???? WTF

It should be built this decade, this is ridiculous, freaking ridiculous.
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Old January 30th, 2012, 09:37 AM   #2971
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay View Post
HSR by 2030???? WTF

It should be built this decade, this is ridiculous, freaking ridiculous.
Well theres a backlog of regional Rail and Intercity Rail projects in this region...most will be done by 2030....and the upgraded NEC aswell...
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Old January 30th, 2012, 04:28 PM   #2972
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To be honest, I don't see it getting built anytime soon...I mean, the problem is no one is willing to risk their political career to spend on large projects now as that is unpopular...

If it's going to happen, it'll be if the incumbent is re-elected. If it's the opposition, it won't happen because they are dead set not to spend...

And I don't think any country is incapable of spending money to build something...rather, rail transport is just NOT POPULAR in the US to date. I've seen data that said the modal ratio (the percentage used of one form of transport out of the total available modes) for rail in the US in 2010 was like 0.3%.*

The problem is that consumer habit is in automobiles first, than air travel, and rail last...People aren't concerned about HSR because they don't regularly use a train. They don't care if they could take a fast train from Atlanta to LA, they could just fly. If we got serious, we should first raise taxes (which should - will - happen regardless because of the economy), and slowly reduce the subsidies on gasoline. While simultaneously reasserting the existing rail services and guiding consumer habit to that. Once it's been adopted, we can start talking about HSR. Until then, I can only envision it being viable in the NEC.

A one way ticket on AmTrack from Birmingham to NYC is about $230...I can fly round trip for about $190.

*"EU Transport in Figures; Statistical Pocketbook". European Commission Directorate-General for Energy and Transport; Eurostat. 2007.

Last edited by phoenixboi08; January 30th, 2012 at 04:34 PM.
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Old January 30th, 2012, 05:52 PM   #2973
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Swordsman View Post
Speaking of CHSR, I wonder how they're going to navigate out of LA. I read it was a pain to get out of there.
The current plan is to head east through San Bernardino and then over Cajon and Tehachapi passes.

Mike
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Old January 30th, 2012, 05:54 PM   #2974
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taking a train has its advantages to flying though, no hassle in an airport, less wait, plus the trip can be more pleasant.

The fact that it is unpopular shows just how much Americans don't know what's good for them, the people will ruin their own country.
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Old January 30th, 2012, 06:18 PM   #2975
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Swordsman View Post
It may be boring for you, but I find such discussions quite lively and entertaining. Of course I agree with you that HSR does work, and that it should be built, but it's kind of funny to watch people bicker over the small things instead of the bigger picture. American politics seems to have this sort of tendency, and sometimes it's just nice to sit back and laugh (or cry) at how silly politics can get.

(That is, unless you're living in the US. No offense to any Americans.)

Oh, by the way, I was meaning, before the HSR is built, discussions talk about routing ideas, rolling stock choice, track designs... all that stuff drops from conversation after it is built.
Ugh, of course I'm living here. Did you really think I'd be interested in this farce if I was from Asia or Europe (or Africa - i'd be focused on europe then), enjoying my nice HSR networks? Sounds like your don't live in the US. Must be fun watching from a distance.

The point I was trying to make was that it is a bore to read about this crap for years and years and nothing ever gets done, that is why I stopped reading for good because it was making me too frustrated.

I now follow global HSR network developments, which is far more interested and exciting than having this silly debate with conservatives about building at all, an argument that never ends and may never end. Those conservatives are also the ones happy with our disgusting airport terminals (boring in design compared to beautiful terminals overseas). They are just people who say they are patriotic, but really, is patriotism letting our infrastructure look all dowdy and old compared to our competitors in Europe and Asia (S. American now too)?

The HSR network in Europe is interesting. The US network plan is a farce. 30+ more years for speeds that were reached in Europe in the 80's or so? Don't make me laugh.

Last edited by aquablue; January 30th, 2012 at 06:25 PM.
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Old January 30th, 2012, 08:46 PM   #2976
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Well, unless you think transportation in this country is just a lost cause, which I know I sometimes do, you've got to show some interest and enthusiasm even for whispers of change and development. I don't think anyone will defend the idea that the American passenger rail system is currently globally competitive, but if it's ever going to be, you've got to keep a positive attitude. I'm sure I get just as frustrated by the short-sightedness that's evident in far too many aspects of U.S. politics, but things like have changed in the past, and will do so again.
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Old January 30th, 2012, 10:52 PM   #2977
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquablue View Post
it is a bore to read about this crap for years and years and nothing ever gets done
This happens to be the other reason why I seldom bother copying news reports into the fora around here, let alone any extract of them ... heck, oftentimes I don't even read the ones that I hyperlink
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Old January 30th, 2012, 10:53 PM   #2978
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay
taking a train has its advantages to flying though, no hassle in an airport, less wait, plus the trip can be more pleasant.

The fact that it is unpopular shows just how much Americans don't know what's good for them, the people will ruin their own country.
Is not this a bit condescending? I mean: what of most people just don't want to rid trains? Not sayig this is true, but you must consider the possibility.
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Old January 31st, 2012, 12:49 AM   #2979
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I don't believe that, I think the problem is that people are naturally lazy so they don't want change, change introduces uncertainty, and you have to work to adapt it. Most Americans have gotten comfortable with a transportation system designed around automobiles, train ride will break the convenient door to door journey.
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Old January 31st, 2012, 12:50 AM   #2980
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenixboi08 View Post
To be honest, I don't see it getting built anytime soon...I mean, the problem is no one is willing to risk their political career to spend on large projects now as that is unpopular...

If it's going to happen, it'll be if the incumbent is re-elected. If it's the opposition, it won't happen because they are dead set not to spend...

And I don't think any country is incapable of spending money to build something...rather, rail transport is just NOT POPULAR in the US to date. I've seen data that said the modal ratio (the percentage used of one form of transport out of the total available modes) for rail in the US in 2010 was like 0.3%.*

The problem is that consumer habit is in automobiles first, than air travel, and rail last...People aren't concerned about HSR because they don't regularly use a train. They don't care if they could take a fast train from Atlanta to LA, they could just fly. If we got serious, we should first raise taxes (which should - will - happen regardless because of the economy), and slowly reduce the subsidies on gasoline. While simultaneously reasserting the existing rail services and guiding consumer habit to that. Once it's been adopted, we can start talking about HSR. Until then, I can only envision it being viable in the NEC.

A one way ticket on AmTrack from Birmingham to NYC is about $230...I can fly round trip for about $190.

*"EU Transport in Figures; Statistical Pocketbook". European Commission Directorate-General for Energy and Transport; Eurostat. 2007.
Actually if you book ahead you can get as low as 30$ for Amtrak fares....what airline can you fly for 190 roundtrip? Sounds stretched , but does the airline drop you off in the Downtown?
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