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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 July 7th, 2012, 03:54 AM   #3341
GodIsNotGreat
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My first reaction was elation; the Americans are finally embarking on a project that’s gonna prove it’s got its mojo back in terms of high-profile infrastructure construction. Then I read the comments and they all seem to be against the decision.

I’ve never been to the US but I have great admiration for that country. I’m a bit confused. Why the bitter dispute?
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Old July 7th, 2012, 04:14 AM   #3342
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First, consider that in any major news outlet (the ones whose readers are not only there to seek validation to their own weird/odd/extreme/niche ideas first place), 90% of online on-page comments will be from people who disagree with a proposal, new law, whatever is being communicated.

Second, there are some serious concerns about the approach chosen by CAHSR. I have my doubts, too - without the mountain passes issues solved, a central valley HSR is really a "train to nowhere".
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Old July 7th, 2012, 05:28 AM   #3343
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Second, there are some serious concerns about the approach chosen by CAHSR. I have my doubts, too - without the mountain passes issues solved, a central valley HSR is really a "train to nowhere".
Look at a map genius. Since when is a line that connects Fresno and Bakersfield, with a combined population of just under 2 MILLION, a "train to nowhere"?

You are a highway *****, surely you know that many freeways were built in sections and had limited utility when first opened. Subsequent extensions connected them to more population centers which improved their usefulness. It's no different with HSR.
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Old July 7th, 2012, 06:03 AM   #3344
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GodIsNotGreat View Post
My first reaction was elation; the Americans are finally embarking on a project that’s gonna prove it’s got its mojo back in terms of high-profile infrastructure construction. Then I read the comments and they all seem to be against the decision.

I’ve never been to the US but I have great admiration for that country. I’m a bit confused. Why the bitter dispute?

As someone who actually lives in California and actually voted for the HSR bonds, I suspect I actually understand the political situation better than the other commenters here.

Due mostly to the odd taxing structure of California, which depends to an unusual degree on the income tax and sales taxes, both of which are highly impacted by the global economic slowdown, California has had a series of difficult budgets since the HSR bond issue passed just at the beginning of the recession. In the latest budget, Gov. Brown balanced it by proposing yet more taxes which will be voted on in November.

People are saying to themselves, "The state needs more of my money yet they are spending billions on this project that won't benefit me for decades (when it finally reaches the main destination cities on the coast)? I don't think that's a good idea."

What they don't realize, of course, is that the bond money couldn't be used to balance the state's budget and they will be asked for the tax money regardless. They also are being short-sighted in that they are worrying only about the budget of today and forgetting the transportation gridlock of several decades from now without HSR. But this is fairly typical of too many voters. They just aren't very farsighted.

I haven't read through this entire thread and I assume the case has been presented why the state needs HSR. The north-south arterial highways are already jammed and the airports in the main cities are close to capacity while as much as 50% of traffic at some of them like San Francisco International consists of flights to southern California. By the time the HSR line is built, I think the need for it will be utterly obvious to everyone. This isn't a glamour project just for the glamour of it all.

As for why it's being built starting in the Central Valley, there are 2 obvious reasons: (1) the flat, inexpensive land means the maximum miles of track can be built for the funds currently available, (2) the rights of way close to the big cities have been tied up in court battles which the HSR authority will eventually win, but they are simply not yet "shovel ready". It has nothing to do with the "mountain passes" except that those are the most expensive parts of the route and for the $8.9 billion now available you simply couldn't complete those tunnels and certainly you couldn't build track through them connecting to anywhere that matters.
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Old July 7th, 2012, 09:05 AM   #3345
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Lets look at the various Mega Regions and the Projected Future Growth , the only regions without a HSR or Regional Intercity Plan are Arizona Sun Corridor and the Gulf Coast Region...



--------------2000 - 2025 - 2050 Population

Greats Lakes : 54.1 - 64.7 - 71.6 Million

Northeastern Megapolis : 49.5 - 58.1 - 75.8 Million
Southern California : 24.9 - 34.8 - 39.3 Million
Texas Triangle : 16.5 - 26.8 - 38.1 Million
Florida : 14.7 - 21.4 - 31.5 Million
Piedmont Atlantic : 14.9 - 20.5 - 31.9 Million
Northern California : 12.7 - 17.3 - 21.1 Million
Gulf Coast : 11.7 - 15.8 - 23.6 Million
Cascadia : 10.2 - 14.5 - 24.6 Million
Arizona Sun Corridor : 5.7 - 7.4 - 12.3 Million
Front Range : 4.7 - 6.8 - 10.5 Million


United States Population in 2000 : 281.4 Million
Urbanized Suburban and Urban Population in 2000 : 219 Million
Public Transit Usage in 2000 : 15 Million


United States Population in 2010 : 308.7 Million
Urbanized Suburban and Urban Population in 2010 : 250 Million
Public Transit Usage in 2010 : 34 Million


United States Population by 2025 : 340 Million
Urbanized Suburban and Urban Population by 2025 : 286.5 Million
Public Transit Usage by 2025 : 68 Million


United States Population by 2050 : 440 Million
Urbanized Suburban and Urban Population by 2050 : 380 Million
Public Transit Usage by 2050 : 280 Million
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Last edited by Nexis; July 7th, 2012 at 09:22 AM.
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Old July 7th, 2012, 09:50 AM   #3346
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexis View Post
Lets look at the various Mega Regions and the Projected Future Growth , the only regions without a HSR or Regional Intercity Plan are Arizona Sun Corridor and the Gulf Coast Region...
I'm not sure what you have in mind, but there is a plan for rail between Tucson and Phoenix, what appears to be what your map calls the "Arizona Sun Corredor". It isn't "high speed" but the distances don't really require that--it's about a 2 hour drive and probably something like that on a train not obstructed by freight traffic.

Quote:
ADOT studies 6 rail routes for Tucson-to-Phoenix line


Arizona Daily Star

Six conceptual routes for a rail line connecting Tucson and Phoenix are under consideration by the Arizona Department of Transportation.



ADOT's $6.3 million Passenger Rail Corridor Study has been under way for a year. It will include a feasibility study and an environmental impact study, and it will be available to the public and policymakers next year.

As part of the study, nearly 3,000 people, including Tucsonans, participated in a survey last fall about their interest in intercity rail.

The study currently includes six corridor concepts that link downtown Tucson and downtown Phoenix and 38 potential station locations.

When looking at where to put a new rail line, ADOT favors placing tracks next to existing tracks and roads, said Chris Lopez, ADOT rail planner.

He presented an early preview of the six options on Wednesday at a Regional Transportation Authority committee meeting. They will be presented to the public later this year.

Tucson station options include the University of Arizona, the Tucson Convention Center and the historic depot in downtown.

All six routes would go north from downtown Tucson next to Interstate 10 corridor or the Union Pacific freight rail tracks. Some routes include a proposed connection to Oro Valley and a potential extension to the Tucson International Airport.

From the Picacho area, the routes begin to differ in how they get to the Phoenix metro area.

One idea is to continue along I-10 to Chandler.

Three of the ideas would put tracks next to Arizona 87, to link to Coolidge and Queen Creek, or to link to Casa Grande and Chandler, or to link to Florence and the planned Superstition Vistas corridor.

Another idea is to put tracks next to Arizona 238, the Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway.

The study will allow the state to apply for federal funds to turn the concepts into possible projects in the future. The State Rail Plan says building an intercity rail between Tucson and Phoenix would cost an estimated $15 million per mile, not including the cost of operations and maintenance . . . .
http://azstarnet.com/news/local/govt...2ef76184b.html

The trouble with this, though, is that neither terminal city has very good public transportation (Phoenix's may be better than Tucson's) so if you took the train from one city to the other you'd be kind of stuck at the train station. Phoenix has a small light rail system and Tucson is building a single "modern streetcar" line. Both have rudimentary bus systems.
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Old July 7th, 2012, 12:00 PM   #3347
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Well, lets hope the public transport situation doesn't remain static. Infrastructure development is long term after all (20~30 year time frames) In the meantime, there are taxis/shuttles, having your co-worker/family pick you up/drop you off, or car rental, just like at airports.
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Old July 7th, 2012, 12:04 PM   #3348
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Phoenix-Tucson always seemed like a no-brainer to me
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Old July 7th, 2012, 08:24 PM   #3349
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gramercy View Post
Phoenix-Tucson always seemed like a no-brainer to me
Except for the proportion of voters in both cities with no brains. They are really a car culture. Phoenix actually desires to emulate LA as a place with freeways covering everything. In Tucson they plan to do it (cover everything) with surface streets.
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Old July 7th, 2012, 09:08 PM   #3350
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What about Flagstaff then?
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Old July 7th, 2012, 09:47 PM   #3351
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cal_Escapee View Post
Except for the proportion of voters in both cities with no brains. They are really a car culture. Phoenix actually desires to emulate LA as a place with freeways covering everything. In Tucson they plan to do it (cover everything) with surface streets.
indeed, THE fundamental problem with HSR in the US is the lack of supporting PT in the cities, without which you still have to use a car at both ends
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Old July 7th, 2012, 11:02 PM   #3352
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gramercy View Post
indeed, THE fundamental problem with HSR in the US is the lack of supporting PT in the cities, without which you still have to use a car at both ends
Airports have to deal with the very same issue and the extra handicap of being far from every city center and still LA - SF is one of the busiest air corridors worldwide.
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Old July 7th, 2012, 11:19 PM   #3353
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Airports have to deal with the very same issue and the extra handicap of being far from every city center and still LA - SF is one of the busiest air corridors worldwide.
which is why on some routes even in the PT-lacking US HSR would work

unfortunately it is the same reason why a single bus line in a random European town carries more people than Acela...
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Old July 9th, 2012, 09:06 PM   #3354
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexis View Post
New Cars for the Acelas
Do the new cars signify replacements or additions (longer trains)?

Also, do you know if there be any plan to loosen all those tight curves revealed in many of the images shared in your earlier posting?
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Old July 9th, 2012, 10:10 PM   #3355
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California vote approves high speed funding

08 July 2012

USA: Following a highly-charged debate, California’s state legislature voted on July 6 to allocate the funding needed to start construction of the state’s planned high speed line between Los Angeles and San Francisco, which is currently costed at $68bn.

The senate voted 21-16 to approve a bill authorising the state to raise $4·5bn by selling bonds as part of the $10bn Proposition 1A package previously backed by voters in 2008. Of the initial $4·5bn tranche, $2·6bn has been allocated to construction of the 210 km pilot section between Madera and Bakersfield in the Central Valley, releasing a further $3·2bn of federal funding already promised under the government’s high speed rail programme.

California High Speed Rail Authority Chairman Dan Richard welcomed the vote, noting that the federal support could have been lost if the Senate had failed to pass the measure before its summer recess. He emphasised that the remaining $1·9bn would help to modernise the Caltrain and Metrolink networks in northern and southern California connecting with the high speed line.

Governor Jerry Brown said the legislature’s ‘bold action’ would ‘get Californians back to work and put California out in front once again’. Federal Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said that 'with highways between California cities congested and airspace at a premium, Californians desperately need an alternative’, adding that ‘no economy can grow faster than its transportation network allows.’

Tenders have already been called for the first of five contracts to build the pilot section, and a groundbreaking ceremony is expected in September.

Source: Railway gazette
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Old July 10th, 2012, 05:41 PM   #3356
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Amtrak's NextGen high speed rail



http://transportationnation.org/2012...d-rail-vision/
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Old July 10th, 2012, 08:39 PM   #3357
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Looks like German ICE train.

Guess the next order is coming from the Siemens.
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Old July 10th, 2012, 10:39 PM   #3358
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Looks like they are looking at some variant of the Zefiro.
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Old July 10th, 2012, 10:48 PM   #3359
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That would be awesome! Of course, that won't happen,
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Old July 10th, 2012, 11:38 PM   #3360
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^It might, in 2040. By then even Iraq will have its own HSR running. -_______-
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