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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 August 14th, 2012, 05:00 PM   #3441
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Swordsman View Post
I personally see no difference between 100,000 human-driven cars stuck on a freeway during rush hour and 100,000 computer-operated cars stuck on a freeway during rush hour.

Interstate freeways are approaching/already past capacity and new infrastructure is needed.


EDIT: That Americans think that this is a viable solution for the future (30+ years ahead) is saddening.
Well, there is a difference, but for such densely populated areas as NE and etc. even perfected automated systems wouldn't be enough, I suppose.
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Old August 14th, 2012, 10:03 PM   #3442
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Such fail-safe automatic vehicular operation (as linked 2 posts up) won't occur in our lifetime or those of the next couple of generations'.
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Old August 15th, 2012, 01:05 AM   #3443
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You are biased. You often mock driverless train systems as well and criticize automated subways.
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Old August 15th, 2012, 03:19 PM   #3444
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You are biased.
LOL look who's talking.

JK. I'm sorry, I just couldn't resist that jab. We all have biases.
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Old August 15th, 2012, 09:21 PM   #3445
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Like most others, burpanist, you skim-read whatever I write. Fail-safe: having such automation is no way possible this century; the most meddlesome factor prohibiting such a system would be inclimate weather, e.g., gusts of wind, black ice, etc. ...

And, yes, I've little faith (if any) in automated rail, especially when it comes to safety, e.g., trespassers, etc. ... although I don't see how mocking could ever be lumped at inorganic objects

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Old August 15th, 2012, 10:23 PM   #3446
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So I guess the car in my garage that has cut my petrol usage by 90% is a figment of my imagination then

We don't need some wonder battery to make massive savings today. A modest battery and small engine to take the car past 50 miles means 98% of journeys can be electric with no compromise on range.
And where is the energy going to come from? To power all cars with electricity would require a 33% increase in the electrical production. Maybe burn some oil or coal for electricity?
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Old August 15th, 2012, 10:28 PM   #3447
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I'm curious as to what the status of research and development must be per inducing and maintaining temperatures of less than minus 200 degrees Celcius in batteries, for I understand overcoming that hurdle would bring about long-term, industrial battery power supply ...
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Old August 15th, 2012, 11:57 PM   #3448
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And where is the energy going to come from? To power all cars with electricity would require a 33% increase in the electrical production. Maybe burn some oil or coal for electricity?
If we wholesale replaced every existing car with EVs, we would use less energy not more

Certainly in the UK case all 31 million cars, averaging 16,000 km per year, could be recharged in the night time off-peak with no new infrastructure. There is more than adequate grid capacity, we just have to use it smartly.

Additionally, it takes more energy to refine oil into a litre of petrol than it does to power an EV the distance that litre of petrol takes an old-fashioned car. Oil refineries are one of the biggest consumers of electricity. You're already using more than me every time you fill your tank.

Just like an electric train produces much lower emissions per seat than an equivalent diesel one because most countries' typical generation mixes produce lower emissions per kWh than an internal combustion engine - and are cheaper to run because electricity generated in large power stations driving electric motors is more efficient than an internal combustion engine - so the same is true of cars.

Besides, I charge from solar at work and a typical single garage here will produce enough energy for 20,000 km per year. There are a lot of suitable garage roofs in the world. My next upgrade will be to add batteries at home to store solar energy in the day and recharge from it at night.
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Old August 16th, 2012, 07:40 AM   #3449
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Interesting article in the NY Times about how Amtrak is able to attract business travelers away from the airlines along the Northeast Corridor.

Quote:
NY Times: Frustrations of Air Travel Push Passengers to Amtrak



By RON NIXON
Published: August 15, 2012

WASHINGTON — Long a punch line for harried Northeast travelers, Amtrak has come to dominate commercial travel in the corridor connecting Washington, New York and Boston, and this summer its trains are packed.
A decade ago, Delta and US Airways shuttles were the preferred mode of travel between the cities. But high fares, slow airport security and frequent flight delays — along with Amtrak’s high-speed Acela trains, online ticketing and workstation amenities — have eaten away at the airlines’ share of passengers.

Between New York and Washington, Amtrak said, 75 percent of travelers go by train, a huge share that has been building steadily since the Acela was introduced in 2000 and airport security was tightened after 2001. Before that, Amtrak had just over a third of the business between New York and Washington.

In the same period, Amtrak said, its market share between New York and Boston grew to 54 percent from 20 percent.

Nationally, Amtrak ridership is at a record 30 million people; the Northeast accounts for more than a third of that and is virtually the only portion of Amtrak’s system that makes money.

“On the train, you’ve got power outlets and Wi-Fi, you can talk on the phone — it’s usable time,” said George Hamlin, an aviation writer and airline consultant who frequently rides Amtrak between Washington and New York. “Even I’m guilty of it,” he said of taking the train.

By 2040, given the trends, Amtrak said traffic in the corridor could reach 43.5 million passengers, almost four times the level today.

But success is taking a toll. Most days, trains in the Northeast are full. Several locomotives and railcars are 30 years old or more. Aging rails, bridges and tunnels hold down top speeds and limit expansion of the network.

Last month, Amtrak unveiled an ambitious $151 billion proposal to speed up trains and upgrade bridges and tracks.

But the plan is opposed by conservatives in Congress who say the government-subsidized railroad has been a failure and should be privatized. Amtrak gets about $1.3 billion a year from the government, but still loses money — $1.2 billion last year.

“Money has always been an issue, and it will be,” said Joseph H. Boardman, president and chief executive of Amtrak. “But we realize we can’t stand still. We have a plan in place and we have to keep moving forward.”

Part of Amtrak’s success reflects the inconvenience of air travel, experts say, which does not easily allow travelers to work as they move.

Even if the air shuttles worked perfectly, there is still the cost and time of traveling to the airport, waiting at the gate, sitting on the taxiway and finally getting into the air.

......click here to read more.....


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Old August 16th, 2012, 09:13 AM   #3452
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**** I hate his ADD style of hosting a show.

Nonetheless, it was nice to get somewhat of a behind the scenes look at Acela.

Last edited by Silly_Walks; August 16th, 2012 at 09:48 AM.
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Old August 16th, 2012, 11:17 AM   #3453
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Given Amtrak success in the NEC, it should break itself up in two, and stop bleeding money in long-distance overnight routes, and then use private financing schemes to pay for modernization of NEC.
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Old August 16th, 2012, 01:52 PM   #3454
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silly_Walks View Post
**** I hate his ADD style of hosting a show.

Nonetheless, it was nice to get somewhat of a behind the scenes look at Acela.
my thoughts exactly
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Old August 16th, 2012, 06:48 PM   #3455
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicagoago View Post
It would work in select regions, but the US is far too large and the population centered in certain areas to go blanket the country like Europe has.

From New York to Chicago it would work with tens of millions of people in the area. The distance is roughly the same as it is going from London to Rome or Berlin to Rome.

From Chicago over to San Fran/Los Angeles though is around 3,400KM and not many people at all. That's like taking a train from Madrid to St. Petersburg, Russia and having it go through low population areas of deserts and high mountains. People would much rather just fly.

I talk to Europeans sometimes and I feel like many don't realize just how large the USA really is.

Miami to Seattle is 5,300KM - like going from Paris to Tehran.

New York to Los Angeles is 4,500KM - like going from Gibraltar to Moscow.
Depends though. High speed rail only stops at big cities every few hundred miles though, so it would not matter what the landscape was like in between. For example a line going east to west stopping in countless Rustbelt towns, St Louis, Kansas City, Denver, Salt lake city, Reno,m and then California would be reasonable. If you lived in a place like ST Louis, and wanted to go to Denver, you could just sit back on the train for a few hours instead Of Taking a whole Day (12 hours) of driving through nowhere.
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Old August 16th, 2012, 11:13 PM   #3456
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Quote:
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I agree. I've seen a lot of Americans dismissing HSR out of hand, imaginging that people are advocating building a direct link from Miami to Seattle or from San Diego to Anchorage or something like that. There is obviously no point in this, just as in Europe we don't run direct HSR services from Malaga to Arkhangelsk.
There are few long distance HSR in Europe. Almost all HSR's are up to 700km and they are not international with some exceptions: London-Paris ,Paris-Frankfurt

Some of the fastest 300km/h HSR are:

Hamburg-Munich
Milan-Rome
Paris-Montpellier

These ones are probably equivalent to the Acela line on the US east coast.

On the other hand the USA has more of longer direct slower train-routes like:

Chicago-Seattle
Chicago-Los Angeles
New York-Orlando

In Europe the international routes are shorter, if you don't count Russia which has a slower old fashioned railway-system more comparable with the american railways.

Copenhagen-Basel, Paris-Madrid, Berlin-Paris, Munich-Rome are the longest routes and they are far from HSR. (Don't know if Moscow-Nice still is in service)

So if you want to travel long distance trains with no changes, USA & Russia have the best options.

The reason: A big country has more long distance traintravel passengers because people usually have relatives living in other distant parts of the country. In Russia many soldiers and others employed by the army use the train for distant destinations.

Europe is divided by cultural borders and people don't travel that much long distance because relatives live closer in the same small country. Most long distance passengers travel for vacation. Business-travelers wont sit in a train for more than 4-5 hours so the basis for long trainroutes is weaker.
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Old August 17th, 2012, 03:58 AM   #3457
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if mitt romney gets elected, never
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Old August 17th, 2012, 09:07 AM   #3458
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Romeny is all talks. I doubt he'd do anything to hurt HSR movement.

and no Chicago and NYC is too far apart for HSR to work. NYC Charlotte is a good idea though.
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Old August 17th, 2012, 09:34 AM   #3459
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and no Chicago and NYC is too far apart for HSR to work.
no, there is detroit, cleveland, pittsburg, washington and philadelphia in between, and the distances between those would make the line work
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Old August 17th, 2012, 09:43 AM   #3460
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Depends though. High speed rail only stops at big cities every few hundred miles though, so it would not matter what the landscape was like in between. For example a line going east to west stopping in countless Rustbelt towns, St Louis, Kansas City, Denver, Salt lake city, Reno,m and then California would be reasonable. If you lived in a place like ST Louis, and wanted to go to Denver, you could just sit back on the train for a few hours instead Of Taking a whole Day (12 hours) of driving through nowhere.
Building a high-speed rail between Denver and Salt Lake City would cost at least US$ 50 billions if the line goes through a longer but gentler route via Wyoming. Building HST through the Rockies west of Denver is totally non-sense except if you conceive a sequence of 30, 50, 70km tunnels in a row up to Utah Basin.

In any case: the major market between Denver and SLC, let alone between both cities and Las Vegas or West Coast, is flying, not driving.
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