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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 28th, 2012, 07:51 AM   #3401
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Well they were shifting through different proposals...for LA union Station.
Gotcha. I've been trying to locate some, but no luck.
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Old July 28th, 2012, 09:22 PM   #3402
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Not Exactly HIGH speed rail, but relevant enough

This is also on the other US threads, but I thought I'd share it here too in case some people don't visit those threads. This is the finalized CAD drawing for the new Siemens Amtrak Cities Sprinter 125 mph (135 mph design) locomotive that will be rolling down the NEC for the foreseeable future starting in 2 years or so:

I think it looks very atypical, but that's my opinion.
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Old July 29th, 2012, 12:42 AM   #3403
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More New DC Union pictures..





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Old July 30th, 2012, 04:31 PM   #3404
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Originally Posted by Fan Railer View Post
This is also on the other US threads, but I thought I'd share it here too in case some people don't visit those threads. This is the finalized CAD drawing for the new Siemens Amtrak Cities Sprinter 125 mph (135 mph design) locomotive that will be rolling down the NEC for the foreseeable future starting in 2 years or so:

I think it looks very atypical, but that's my opinion.
I think it looks good myself.
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Old August 1st, 2012, 01:02 AM   #3405
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America is about efficient capital. The minute it becomes cost effective to spend hundreds of billions, if not trillions on HSR, it will get done and get done quickly. And probably more by private companies that can sell debt in the global markets than by governments which lack public support for their spending programs.
I honestly disagree with this statement. There will always be important factors that the free market cannot foresee and can never prepare for. The free market maximizes economic power because it allows entities to best adjust to its surroundings, not change it.

That's why the the government and other public groups come under fire for proposing different and radical changes such as high speed rail; it destroys the nice niche that various companies have settled into comfortably (cough GM cough). Under laissez-faire, high speed rail will never be built.

Lastly, especially for high speed rail and other infrastructure projects, the main logistics problem is the prohibitive upfront cost. Even IF high speed rail was in high demand, very few private companies would be able to fund it. The government has the advantage of seeing the "bigger picture" and a much larger pool of funds at its disposal. It's just how the government chooses to appropriate those funds that makes the difference.
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Old August 1st, 2012, 01:32 AM   #3406
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Funny how you mention GM and laissez faire considering that US government bailed them out with tax payers money.

Maybe if these companies invested in to different technologies they wouldnt be in a mess they were in before.
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Old August 1st, 2012, 02:05 AM   #3407
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Funny how you mention GM and laissez faire considering that US government bailed them out with tax payers money.

Maybe if these companies invested in to different technologies they wouldnt be in a mess they were in before.
Slightly OT, but I agree a lot with that. They continued to have a range of large thirsty SUVs because 'that is what American customers want'. Without any foresight that rising fuel prices would increase demand for smaller and hybrid cars.
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Old August 1st, 2012, 03:28 PM   #3408
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Mentioning any of the US auto makers in the same sentence as laissez faire shows a basic lack of understanding of how markets work.

Last edited by Don31; August 10th, 2012 at 11:12 PM.
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Old August 1st, 2012, 05:10 PM   #3409
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Lastly, especially for high speed rail and other infrastructure projects, the main logistics problem is the prohibitive upfront cost. Even IF high speed rail was in high demand, very few private companies would be able to fund it. The government has the advantage of seeing the "bigger picture" and a much larger pool of funds at its disposal. It's just how the government chooses to appropriate those funds that makes the difference.
I strongly agree with this. Let me add that the only lines in Europe (I'm aware of 2 or, at most, 3) where purely private investment would have been feasible were those where there was already a vibrant market for rail transport, and the existing lines had become saturated. (Britain is moving toward this point too on the London-Birmingham-Manchester line.) There, the need to build new tracks was obvious, and the only question was whether to spend additional cash on obtaining HS.

However, the fact that the public purse has to subsidise HSL does not equal a waste of resources. Consider the French city of Tours: the HSL to Paris (you can now travel between the two cities in just over an hour) has given its economy a massive shot in the arm. Jobs have been created, urban areas have been developed - and industries that might otherwise have choked the capital have relocated. Many of the beneficiaries of these developments have never been in a highspeed train. It is because of these "externalities" - benefits to others than the direct train users - that the use of public funds is justified.
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Old August 10th, 2012, 02:04 AM   #3410
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Will the US Ever have high speed rail?

I Had gone to NYC From Richmond this past spring by train, and the journey took around 7 hours of the Day. More Recently though, I had been in Europe, and taken The Euro star from Paris to London. I did some researching online for how much a ticket would cost for A Trip on the Euro star from London to Paris, which is around $150 US Dollars, and takes 2.5 hours to travel. Next I also found how much It was to fly from Dulles I DC to LaGuardia NYC (about the same distance to travel from London to Paris). The Price for one ticket was over 500 US dollars, and only shaved off about 45 minutes(and plus, you would be stuck in a cramped seat all the way by plane. I thought about this. You would be spending a few hundred dollars less, In a much roomier environment, conserving much more fuel (jets use a lot of fuel compared to trains), and You could get up and walk around the Cabin on a High speed Train. The only cost would be that It would take an extra 40-45 minutes.

I know that this discussion has been going on for years, but I think that the rising price of peak oil will hopefully convince people to build high speed rail. Lastly, To get the rail complete, It would only cost the equivalent of about two or three Plane tickets per person living in a metropolis near a high speed rail line in the northeast, and It could probably become payed off and profitable due to the fact that the northeast is so dense.

Lastly. I think that the main Impediment to the construction of this would be the Airplane, Oil, and car companies, who would obviously (selfishly) lobby against it due to the fact that there profits made on unsustainability would fall. I feel that If we could convince people of the benefits to high speed rail, they could help lobby for it.

What do all of you think?
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Old August 10th, 2012, 05:41 AM   #3411
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Mods, please move here:

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showth...73655&page=162
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Old August 10th, 2012, 10:58 PM   #3412
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More New DC Union pictures..







Can they at least make it look good next to union station?
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Old August 10th, 2012, 10:58 PM   #3413
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I Had gone to NYC From Richmond this past spring by train, and the journey took around 7 hours of the Day. More Recently though, I had been in Europe, and taken The Euro star from Paris to London. I did some researching online for how much a ticket would cost for A Trip on the Euro star from London to Paris, which is around $150 US Dollars, and takes 2.5 hours to travel. Next I also found how much It was to fly from Dulles I DC to LaGuardia NYC (about the same distance to travel from London to Paris). The Price for one ticket was over 500 US dollars, and only shaved off about 45 minutes(and plus, you would be stuck in a cramped seat all the way by plane. I thought about this. You would be spending a few hundred dollars less, In a much roomier environment, conserving much more fuel (jets use a lot of fuel compared to trains), and You could get up and walk around the Cabin on a High speed Train. The only cost would be that It would take an extra 40-45 minutes.
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Old August 11th, 2012, 01:22 AM   #3414
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$500 is not the regular ticket price for a NYC-WAS flight. The average traveler on that route pays much less than that, especially if you isolate those who make advance purchase.
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Old August 11th, 2012, 01:36 AM   #3415
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$500 is not the regular ticket price for a NYC-WAS flight. The average traveler on that route pays much less than that, especially if you isolate those who make advance purchase.
It sais so on a flight from Dulles to Laguardia from orbits.

All were over 500.
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Old August 11th, 2012, 06:05 AM   #3416
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$500 is not the regular ticket price for a NYC-WAS flight. The average traveler on that route pays much less than that, especially if you isolate those who make advance purchase.
That's what happens when the government massively subsidizes oil consumption. It's the only reason why Americans still have incentives to drive and why rail can never seem to get on its feet. Just look at what happened when the prices hit $4 per gallon--people went nuts and acted as if the world was ending. That's what happens when there are no alternatives.

In the rest of the world, oil prices aren't subsidized that much, which elevates the cost of driving/flying. Naturally, trains (electric) step in to fill in that role. When the government here in Taiwan decided to reduce oil subsidization (i.e. raise gas prices), people carped for awhile, then took to the trains.
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Old August 11th, 2012, 09:47 AM   #3417
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That's what happens when the government massively subsidizes oil consumption. It's the only reason why Americans still have incentives to drive and why rail can never seem to get on its feet. Just look at what happened when the prices hit $4 per gallon--people went nuts and acted as if the world was ending. That's what happens when there are no alternatives.

In the rest of the world, oil prices aren't subsidized that much, which elevates the cost of driving/flying. Naturally, trains (electric) step in to fill in that role. When the government here in Taiwan decided to reduce oil subsidization (i.e. raise gas prices), people carped for awhile, then took to the trains.
What has also left us in a rut are bureacracies that encourage sprawl orientation and continue to permit such without making the developers pay for impacts. Until that changes and city living becomes better on a certain chunk of American's bottom lines to where it is easy to be without a car fulltime, then you will see more transit and rail orientation. However, development must provide that.

Back to HSR and DC Union Station. The station as planned could easily be downsized. I am surprised that no one would consider giving private garage owners an opportunity to keep their garages open by having bus transportation to them to Union Station. That would give better transit connectivity, maybe end up livening up areas of the DC area. Union station might not need so many platforms if station dwell times for all trains. Reducing that would eliminate the need for so many platforms. In terms of circulation, permitting platform waiting by providing another passage to the platforms would end the crowding in the main terminal hall. I would like to see wider platforms over more narrow ones so people can fit on them while waiting.
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Old August 11th, 2012, 02:00 PM   #3418
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Slightly OT, but I agree a lot with that. They continued to have a range of large thirsty SUVs because 'that is what American customers want'. Without any foresight that rising fuel prices would increase demand for smaller and hybrid cars.
Except they also developed and built the Volt - which I own - and I can honestly say it's the best all-round car I've ever driven.
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Old August 11th, 2012, 02:57 PM   #3419
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What has also left us in a rut are bureacracies that encourage sprawl orientation and continue to permit such without making the developers pay for impacts. Until Once that changes and city living becomes better on a certain chunk of American's bottom lines to where it is easy to be without a car fulltime, then you will see more transit and rail orientation. However, development must provide that.
+1

One key aspect of an advanced society is its ability to successfully undertake initiatives that will be of benefit to all of its members, but for which costs are great and benefits are diffuse. The perspective that the only projects worth undertaking are those that can be implemented by private entities which fund them based of their own potential profit is corrosive, and will make the US a bit more backward every day.

Whether cost allocation is done through a Rube Goldberg-esque system like Romney/Obamacare (OK, healthcare isn't transportation, but the principle is the same) or through the French approach of having the government just do it (build the TGV network) and worrying about cost allocation later isn't terribly relevant. The important thing is that the work gets done.
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Old August 11th, 2012, 04:48 PM   #3420
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Except they also developed and built the Volt - which I own - and I can honestly say it's the best all-round car I've ever driven.
Sure but they also withdrew a fully capable electric car allegedly to satiate oil companies. I think the Volt was introduced after repeated bailouts and a bankprutcy proceeding followed by an uproar about GMs style of functioning and its product line. The fact that the govt held a major stake in the company also played its part since the govt was for insisting on making more environmentally friendly cars.

Now back on the Rails!!
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