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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 3rd, 2013, 12:55 AM   #3761
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I guess realistically if we are willing to relax crashworthiness standards then separate right of way will have to be adopted first. That way the confidence in the public for their crash avoidance measures will be increased significantly, otherwise there won't be sufficient public support.
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Old January 3rd, 2013, 08:42 AM   #3762
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Originally Posted by XAN_ View Post
China Hand, but what if current crisis caused not only by some rampant economists and bankers, but also by high oil prices and slowdown of oil extraction?
Then that would have happened in 1973 and 1979. That hurt, but it did not cause the credit bubble crisis which is what we will be in for a long time. It's complex and an explanation would be too lengthy and beyond this forum's scope.

Aquaticko is a Keynesian.

Originally this meant save surplus when times are good to spend it when times are bad. Now it means to never save and go into debt constantly. MMT is the means by which the Keynesians have distorted it so that no one needs to save money and can borrow to infinity for all eternity.

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Originally Posted by aquaticko View Post
The strange thing about you, China Hand, and others who follow Austrian economics, is that in fact what you say follows logically from your premises, but when the evidence contradicts your premises, you simply try to discredit it and consequently refuse to change your views. You stop using logic whenever it doesn't tell you what you want. Dogmatism at its finest.

I'm not going to attempt to have a discussion with someone like that. And I highly recommend that, at least on macroeconomics, others refrain from engaging as well..
They are not used to being challenged, any interview on TV featuring Paul Krugman reveals this, and he instead does that which he suggests I have done - he spontaneously rejects anything that does not conform to his MMT and Kenynesian dogmas.

Never mind that he has multiple blind spots amongst which are that easing has broken the market function of pricing risk and asset, spending money that is borrowed is wasted on non-productive uses like unemployment, the society wide moral hazard that happens when you ease and money is cheap, that those cheap money rates destroy capital formation (savings) because rates are near -0- on your savings account, pushing monies into risky asset classes, that this cheap money causes inflation and that inflation was a source of the Arab Spring uprisings due to rising food prices, and many more.

That Aquaticko must invoke Appeal to Authority upon himself, repeatedly, and declare by fiat that this post should be removed and that no one should engage in a discussion with me - that is the arrogance that is typical of a Keynesian.

Regardless, the world will find out whether he is right, I am right, or a mix of the two is right.

I always marvel at how someone can be educated beyond their intellect, to the point where 'Do not spend more than you earn' becomes a statement that, to them, no longer makes sense or has no bearing upon reality.

Enough Econ. Back to the rails...
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Old January 3rd, 2013, 04:48 PM   #3763
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http://www.railjournal.com/index.php...ml?channel=542
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Old January 4th, 2013, 06:26 PM   #3764
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hmmwv View Post
I guess realistically if we are willing to relax crashworthiness standards then separate right of way will have to be adopted first. That way the confidence in the public for their crash avoidance measures will be increased significantly, otherwise there won't be sufficient public support.

This is very true. It surprises me that the Acela train still has grade crossings with roads. Trains don't crash with other trains as much as they do with cars. Unless a person is really drunk or just really stoopid I don't see how it's possible to not see a train coming while in your car. There's probably more to it but road and rail especially at high speed doesn't mix.
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Old January 5th, 2013, 01:32 AM   #3765
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For the same reasons people crash at stationary objects, lose control of cars on parking lots, rollover on straight perfect roads etc... distracted/impatient driv
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Old January 5th, 2013, 05:16 AM   #3766
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Now this is gonna get interesting. So far FRA regulations have been ridiculous regarding weight.
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Old January 5th, 2013, 08:03 AM   #3767
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FM 2258 View Post
This is very true. It surprises me that the Acela train still has grade crossings with roads. Trains don't crash with other trains as much as they do with cars. Unless a person is really drunk or just really stoopid I don't see how it's possible to not see a train coming while in your car. There's probably more to it but road and rail especially at high speed doesn't mix.
I recall that there were several incidents in which cars either rolled onto the railroad crossing without the driver's knowledge, stalled on the tracks, or got blocked by a traffic light/trapped on the tracks. All of these scenarios listed above have happened before, with tragic consequences.

In short: Trains don't just kill stupid people; they'll kill anyone unfortunate enough to be in their way.

That being said, unless we're talking about trains hitting heavy trucks, I don't see how having weight regulations will help with safety. You're just making the battering ram much, much more deadly and difficult to stop. Even in the event of a heavy vehicle/lightweight passenger train collision, it's still relatively safe for the train passengers. Around half a year ago in Taiwan, a Taroko Express (lightweight tilting train), travelling at around 170km/h, struck a dump truck at a grade crossing. Being on a curve, there was simply no time to apply the emergency brakes: the driver was killed instantly, with a few passengers critically injured. The train pushed the truck for another 200 meters forward, into the nearby Puxin railway station, where it jammed and finally stopped.

This was with a lightweight express train. If this was America, with a schoolbus full of children and a massive TANK of a train, God knows what would have happened.
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Old January 5th, 2013, 12:15 PM   #3768
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Originally Posted by elfabyanos View Post
Europe will have a network from Denmark to Portugal, it will be highly used and very profitable, but the amount of services that run from Denmark to Portugal will be precisely zero, because that is a ridiculously long journey to do by rail - even hsr. Just because the network goes somewhere doesn't mean there will be a service that traverses it's entirety. You can drive from Cape Town to Beijing, but I'm sure not too many have had the need to do it.
Supporters of HSR for the USA won't ever listen to reason.
You won't accept the experiences and opinions of those who live in the USA who repeatedly tell you, have told you, that it won't work in the USA and here are the reasons. 1, 2, 3, 4...

So I won't waste any electrons.

I have changed my mind and now support your idea for HSR in the USA.

Build it. And watch it fail. Perhaps then when I can point to a California HSR that no one uses because no one in the USA wants to use it, maybe then you will understand.

Then again you will likely continue to be in denial and make excuses.
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Old January 5th, 2013, 12:35 PM   #3769
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hmmwv View Post
I guess realistically if we are willing to relax crashworthiness standards then separate right of way will have to be adopted first. That way the confidence in the public for their crash avoidance measures will be increased significantly, otherwise there won't be sufficient public support.
It's actually not necessary to _relax_ the crash worthiness standards. What needs to be done is redefine them.
Currently they are defined solely in terms of body strength. What is needed is more modern thinking, which starts with the premise that the vehicle can be sacrificed to protect the passengers, and use controlled deformation to absorb the crash energies. Modern modelling and computing techniques make that possible for any competent engineering team. The end result is a train that probably would have a higher probability of being a write off in case of a collision, but that also would protect it's passengers better. Even on the US network with it's heavy freight trains.
Car manufacturers have been doing this for quite some time, as have European and Japanese train producers.
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Old January 5th, 2013, 03:14 PM   #3770
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Quote:
Originally Posted by China Hand View Post
Supporters of HSR for the USA won't ever listen to reason.
You won't accept the experiences and opinions of those who live in the USA who repeatedly tell you, have told you, that it won't work in the USA and here are the reasons. 1, 2, 3, 4...

So I won't waste any electrons.

I have changed my mind and now support your idea for HSR in the USA.

Build it. And watch it fail. Perhaps then when I can point to a California HSR that no one uses because no one in the USA wants to use it, maybe then you will understand.

Then again you will likely continue to be in denial and make excuses.
You have a serious attitude problem.
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Old January 5th, 2013, 06:11 PM   #3771
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Quote:
Originally Posted by China Hand View Post
Numbers Lie and the US Gov has been moving the numbers around for 10 years or more. The labour force participation rate is lower than it has been since 1960 or so and I hear nothing but bad news.

Real UE is more like 18% when those who have given up, early retired, take SSDI and other cohorts are added in.

Median income has dropped 5 years running. Yes, people have jobs. Part time jobs that pay $10 an hour 19 to 23 hours a week with no benefits when they used to have a job that paid $60k a year with full medical.



All economies that borrow like this eventually have a day of reckoning.

You believe that monetary easing can avoid hardship.

I know this is folly.

Standards of living will drop. It's just a matter of how.

It does not matter if you enact austerity (EU), avoid reality (USA), ease and intervene for 23 years (JCB), inflate it away, or take your medicine and get through the pain (Iceland).

The pain must be felt, assets written down, standards of living contract.

The excess amount above the curve/trend-line, must always be balanced by an amount under the curve/trend-line. The areas, when a credit bubble (not a Recession due to over capacity) occurs, must balance.

Or you get what we have today.

Iceland would be best. Tell the banks to book the losses, take the stimulus money and set up a dozen new USA chartered banks to keep the money and credit supply growing, jail everyone and make sure this does not happen again. Or until we forget this lesson the next time as we did in 2001-2008 when everyone from 1929 was dead or too old and, just like you, we all thought we knew better now, have more tools at our disposal, can financially innovate, etc. Pain? You betcha. But after wards the economy will be on much stronger footing, free of crippling debt payments.

You cannot spend more than you make. Eventually you must live within your means.

Your education indoctrinated you that this idea is outdated.

Reality is going to show you that your education was wrong.



No, what you are doing is attempting to convince me that MMT and Keynesianism are sound policies, and they are not.

Keynesianism was supposed to be based upon:

1) Save surplus when the times are good to
2) Spend them down and stimulate the economy when the times are bad.

China does this. This is very good and why China is doing ok.

The USA just skipped over the 'save the surplus' part and went directly to 'spend' and debt and print and inflate. This is bad.

I get it. You majored in Econ and you think you know what's going on because you went to a school that supported Keynesianism and MMT.

You are about to get a brutal education in the real world that will reveal to you that your education was vastly over priced and, to put it bluntly, wrong.

Back to trains...
Hayek and Keynes.

Two of the best economic theorists in the 20th. century. Both did not realized the influence of the economic theory they made. Now, everyone follows their theory. Whatever the case is, no one even cares in combining the two to provide to provide another economic theory or evolution that will solve what's going on right now.

For example,
Before the 2008 Great Recession. There are several factors that needs to be brought with.

1. Deregulation that leads to unending borrowing of banks and financial companies to the unqualified consumers that resulted to a humongous credit bubble burst and gargantuan subprime mess.

2. Interest rate was never been so low even in a an economic positive growth. They should have made it higher in order to lessen the borrowing. Alan Greenspan knows about it but why did he not raise it? Somebody ask him.

3. Reagan Economics persuaded first by the Corporate Bankers and later by the Bush Administration that lead to the transfer of investment from New Economy or Digital Economy to the Old Economy (Oil, Gold and other commodities). That lead to a first financial crisis in the 21st. Century, which is the Tech Bubble Burst. That financial crisis was never fixed or cured. Another big financial crisis (2008) was its final downfall.

4. Stock manipulation especially on the commodities specifically 'Oil' (Brent Crude and WTI Crude) lead to a upward/downward spiral of the commodities market and later by the Stock market. It also brought pessimism and lost confidence to the stock market and the US Economy as a 'whole'.

5. Fear of investing to the Technology sector lead to the slowdown of innovation and lead to the end of innovation dominance by United States. Other countries was able to compete and keep up and eventually surpass United States in terms of innovation.


What we experienced on the last decade was called "The Lost Decade". After the success we made in the 90s, everything just went down. What's more is the 9/11 tragedy made us more protectionist, pessimistic and afraid of another same tragedy or even more. We are not the same Americans who got big confidence and optimism during the 90s. What's more is the divided government is just making it worst.

Combined theory or Hayek and Keynesian, I believe, is still the best way to solve the issue of this country. With the abundant of Energy resources now, we should be able to survive and thrive in the next 2 years. We just need to improve the technology sector, which is right now, not doing abundantly well. And of course, we have to improve this too but it may take awhile. "Distribution of Money".

Good Economy lead to surplus and wealth to pay off the debt.
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Old January 6th, 2013, 04:40 AM   #3772
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One of the problems with the so called American "conservatives" like China Hand is the firm belief in American exceptionalsm. Whatever works well overseas wouldn't work in the US because Americans are somehow very special compared to everybody else, and we have to do things our way or else Americans wouldn't like it or something. I'm generalizing, but this something I noticed in recent years.
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Old January 6th, 2013, 07:49 AM   #3773
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I'm sure many people would love to use a HSL train that takes them from downtown to downtown without having to be molested by a TSA agent and board a crammed winged bus.
I used such trains in France and Spain and was very positively impressed.
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Old January 6th, 2013, 03:35 PM   #3774
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Or, get this, sell them the same thing we've been selling for the last 60+ years: you can live in City A (let's say Atlanta) and commute to work in City B (Charlotte). I think they can relate to that.
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Old January 6th, 2013, 11:03 PM   #3775
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
For the same reasons people crash at stationary objects, lose control of cars on parking lots, rollover on straight perfect roads etc... distracted/impatient driv
I see your point...people just screw up sometimes. I cross railroad tracks at least 4 times a day when going to work so it's always on my mind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Swordsman View Post
I recall that there were several incidents in which cars either rolled onto the railroad crossing without the driver's knowledge, stalled on the tracks, or got blocked by a traffic light/trapped on the tracks. All of these scenarios listed above have happened before, with tragic consequences.

In short: Trains don't just kill stupid people; they'll kill anyone unfortunate enough to be in their way.

That being said, unless we're talking about trains hitting heavy trucks, I don't see how having weight regulations will help with safety. You're just making the battering ram much, much more deadly and difficult to stop. Even in the event of a heavy vehicle/lightweight passenger train collision, it's still relatively safe for the train passengers. Around half a year ago in Taiwan, a Taroko Express (lightweight tilting train), travelling at around 170km/h, struck a dump truck at a grade crossing. Being on a curve, there was simply no time to apply the emergency brakes: the driver was killed instantly, with a few passengers critically injured. The train pushed the truck for another 200 meters forward, into the nearby Puxin railway station, where it jammed and finally stopped.

This was with a lightweight express train. If this was America, with a schoolbus full of children and a massive TANK of a train, God knows what would have happened.
I don't get the weight requirements either. Maybe there was some old study done that doesn't apply anymore. I think the main idea is that all high speed rail should be separated from roads. Maybe HSR and rr crossings are more common than I think. If I were a train engineer/driver this would be my biggest fear as I blast the horn before a RR crossing.
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Old January 7th, 2013, 11:26 AM   #3776
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FRA regulations regarding train weight doesn't take automobile/train collisions into account. It is primarily an issue of train vs. train collisions (as passenger trains share tracks with freight). The line of reasoning is that if you make the passenger trains heavy enough, they'll be rigid and protect the things inside from being crushed. This ideology makes sense when the passenger carriages at the time were still made out of wood, but makes little sense when you're running mile-long freight trains against a few carriages made of stainless-steel.

The telescoping effect during the Chatsworth collision proves my point; the only way to make trains safe in the US is to use single-direction operation (dual tracks).
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Old January 7th, 2013, 03:29 PM   #3777
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Both schools are little more than theory and neither perfectly reflect the real world, as it's just too complex.

China Hand simply has a hatecrush on the US for some reason and tries to justify it with shoddy economic theory.
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Old January 8th, 2013, 09:27 PM   #3778
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Outbound Acela Express meets an Inbound Keystone Express @ Secaucus JCT by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr

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Outbound Acela Express @ Secaucus JCT by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr

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Outbound Acela Express @ Secaucus JCT by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr

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Outbound Acela Express @ Secaucus JCT by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr
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Old January 9th, 2013, 12:24 AM   #3779
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Nice pics!
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Old January 11th, 2013, 03:42 PM   #3780
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Amtrak plans significant infrastructure projects for 2013

"Amtrak continues to advance and invest in projects that provide both near-term benefits and long-term improvements for the effective delivery and reliability of intercity passenger rail service," said President and CEO Joe Boardman.

Boardman says the 2013 agenda builds on the successes from 2012, which saw record ridership, the best-ever system-wide on-time performance, the national launch of eTicketing and the start of new Northeast Regional service to Norfolk, Va., the extension of Downeaster service to Freeport and Brunswick, Maine and the beginning of 110 mph operations on the Lincoln Service in Illinois and on the Wolverine and Blue Water services in Michigan.

Infrastructure projects include:

Advancing Gateway Program

In 2013, Amtrak intends to continue planning and other pre-construction activities on its Gateway Program to provide additional capacity into Manhattan for Amtrak intercity and New Jersey Transit commuter services, including the proposed next-generation high-speed rail system. The project includes building two additional tunnels under the Hudson River to access expanded terminal facilities serving New York Penn Station and the future Moynihan Station. It also will replace and expand the century old Portal Bridge over the Hackensack River and increase from two to four tracks between Newark and New York. Amtrak is also seeking funding this year to specifically advance design and early construction elements of the Gateway Program to preserve a pathway for the two new Hudson River tunnels to New York Penn Station.

160 mph high-speed rail upgrades in New Jersey

In 2013, Amtrak will further advance design, engineering and other pre-construction activities for a $450 million project funded by the federal high-speed rail program that will boost top train speeds from 135 mph to 160 mph along a 24-mile section of the NEC between Trenton and New Brunswick, N.J. The project includes upgrading track, electrical power, signal systems and overhead catenary wires to permit the faster speeds and also reconfigures track switches at the western entrance to New York Penn Station to mitigate congestion issues. The full project is to be completed in 2017.

Niantic River movable bridge replacement

In May 2013, Amtrak expects to complete construction on this $140-million multi-year project to replace the Niantic River Movable Bridge, originally built in 1907 and located between East Lyme and Waterford, Conn. Partially funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the new bridge is now in operation and will enable Amtrak to increase speeds and minimize traffic and delays. The project involves constructing a new two-track, electrified railroad bascule bridge just south of its present position, new track alignments on both approaches to the bridge and expansion of the navigation channel beneath the bridge and an increase in the vertical under-clearance above the water for the benefit of river traffic. Also, sections of the Niantic Bay Overlook boardwalk will be reconstructed and the public beach replenished.
http://www.rtands.com/index.php/pass...ml?channel=279

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