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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 December 12th, 2007, 06:32 AM   #361
ADCS
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Call me crazy (and you probably will), but couldn't this be bundled as a part of a bunch of expressway improvements? Stick one in the middle of the Merritt and Wilbur Creek Parkways, improving the geometrics a bit (if possible). A spur would serve Bridgeport and New Haven for regional traffic. At I-91, take that up to Hartford for another major stop (being NYC, Hartford, Worcester and Boston). Transfer to I-84 and I-90 near Worcester, taking that all the way in to Boston after stopping in Worcester, shifting off into local infrastructure near the city.

Only problem is RI gets screwed, and that I don't know how expressway widenings would go over there (though it wouldn't be capacity enhancing, necessarily).
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Old December 12th, 2007, 07:06 AM   #362
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This proposal wouldn't work in a number of fronts:

There isn't enough of a commuter rail infrastructure in the first place to support HSR. In virtually every country that has HSR, there is ample local rail, inter-city rail, and express services as well. It is only then that HSR can be added to already successful services and then succeed financially. Putting in HSR into the US where there isn't anywhere near the kind of ridership for it, would be disaster, as people would still be taking airplanes or driving.

You need to get to HSR stations somehow. Without the necessary infrastructure to connect the stations to the cities, it's pointless. Yes I recognize that NYC has a great system, but outside of NYC, even the best of the other cities aren't THAT great with mass transit. The fact is, in basically every other country, there are amazing connections between HSR and virtually every other form of mass transit that goes everywhere.

If you only relied on downtown->downtown travel for your HSR, you'd be targeting a much, much smaller demographic than the airlines, and it would just not be economically feasible. So again, without a network in place, it's pointless.

HSR is not generally a commuter service. It's for long-distance travel which can compete with an airplane for shorter distances if implemented correctly with well placed stations and good connections. There is absolutely no way a maglev line would have enough capacity to allow 'bedroom communities' hundreds of miles away. It just doesn't work like that, the capacity and high price will definitely not be there to support that sort of proposal.
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Old December 12th, 2007, 12:24 PM   #363
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tri-ring View Post
Now we are moving from the realm of the improbable to the impossible.
Focus on the point in hand - you are confusing yourself with irrelevent information. You're arguing maglev can go round corners tighter and faster than conventional trains. Blithering on about the technical requirements for a hypothetical proposition that has no effect on the argument in hand is distracting and unhelpful.
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Originally Posted by Tri-ring View Post
Let's see now, centripetal force a object moving at 700Km in a curve with a radius of 4000m is a whopping 0.96G that's almost the full weight of the engine pushing on side of the rail.
Even if it was somehow able to manage that feat, E=mv^2/2 meaning the engine will have to be twice as strong at the same weight of a engine with a maximum limit of 500Km(without any consideration of air resistance).
There is also the consideration of loss in traction between rail and wheel with accumulated velocity.
700km with conventional train for passanger transit?
Yeah, dream on.
I haven't said that a train could be built that could go that fast, I haven't said that it would be possible for passengers to be transported at that speed using conventional rail. It was a hypothetical concentrating solely on cornering forces to illustrate the redundency of the technical abilities of maglev. I give up.

The proof will be in 50 years time when no maglev has been built that corners so tightly the passengers fall over.
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Old December 12th, 2007, 06:54 PM   #364
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Take this engineering disucssion elsewhere -- back on topic please!!
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Old December 12th, 2007, 08:01 PM   #365
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Originally Posted by aquablue View Post
Back on topic please -- which routes do you think could be doable through CT?
Looking at population densities, it would probably makes sense via Hartford. then from Hartford straight to Providence. It is less densely populated than the corridor hugging the Atlantic coast.
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Old December 12th, 2007, 08:02 PM   #366
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Originally Posted by aquablue View Post
Back on topic please -- which routes do you think could be doable through CT?
Looking at population densities, it would probably makes sense via Hartford. then from Hartford straight to Providence. It is less densely populated than the corridor hugging the Atlantic coast.

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Old December 12th, 2007, 09:07 PM   #367
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I think bypassing the coast and routing the line up through danbury to hartford would be even better...the route up to New Haven is too slow/congested and there is nowhere to build new tracks. It could follow the interstate up to hartford from NY
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Old December 12th, 2007, 11:28 PM   #368
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I suggest a route bypassing Connecticut altogether. Instead the track would use existing rights of way on Long Island from Long Island City Station to Greenport. This single track has a few curves that would need to be straightened and it must be made into double track, at least. Between Greenport and Westerly, Rhode Island a long bridge or tunnel must be constructed. At Westerly, the new track rejoins the existing NEC.

Advantages:
This track passes mostly through areas that are less built up, so land is less expensive and fewer people will be disturbed than if realigning the existing NEC in Connecticut. The track mostly exists already, so I imagine there are few legal issues. It is also a shorter, more direct route. There is also the possibility of more and faster local services to New York for residents along the track.
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Old December 13th, 2007, 02:55 AM   #369
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bridge/tunnel would be too expensive
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Old December 13th, 2007, 07:14 PM   #370
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oberoende View Post
I suggest a route bypassing Connecticut altogether. Instead the track would use existing rights of way on Long Island from Long Island City Station to Greenport. This single track has a few curves that would need to be straightened and it must be made into double track, at least. Between Greenport and Westerly, Rhode Island a long bridge or tunnel must be constructed. At Westerly, the new track rejoins the existing NEC.

Advantages:
This track passes mostly through areas that are less built up, so land is less expensive and fewer people will be disturbed than if realigning the existing NEC in Connecticut. The track mostly exists already, so I imagine there are few legal issues. It is also a shorter, more direct route. There is also the possibility of more and faster local services to New York for residents along the track.
Connecticut is an integral part of the NEC, and there is much synergy and traffic between suburban headquarters in Connecticut and the heart of Manhattan. You simply cannot just cut it off.
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Old December 13th, 2007, 10:07 PM   #371
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miamicanes View Post
Low speeds on the NEC are due to curve radii and political infighting.
...
I maintain, bring on the 110mph trains in the US, and the market for HSR will arrive on its own, eventually.
I agree with the second point but for the first I have a good exemple that shows curve radii are not the only problem.

I have a very little experience of the train in the US, one example was an Ann Arbor-Chicago trip. The line is not straight but the main problem is the total lack
-maintenance, we had to slow down for technical reasons and do a couple of mile at 15mph.
-of investment in comfortable trains. It wasn't bad but trains can be made much, much more comfortable than car or plane. Ours was noisy and honking all the time. What should be a seeling argment became the opposite.
-investment in upgraded tracks. This (this is a very personal opinion) should be partly payed for by the states like the roads. Of course you can't go faster than 60 mph if you have no electric barriers and no bridge for crossing and old rails, bad signalling and unsufficient overtaking spots. And the line was not electrified but that's a minor point.

Last edited by Grygry; December 13th, 2007 at 10:24 PM.
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Old December 13th, 2007, 10:35 PM   #372
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elfabyanos View Post
I would suggest a deeply entrenched relationship with oil at every level from car consumer up to oil-rich government over the past 100 years has left a stubborn infrastructural and social blind-spot with public transport.
I think it is also cultural. Simply because americans take more seldom the train I guess they see less the interest in investing in it.
And besides of course, the republicans hate Amtrack! (I am not 100% sure but it seems true given their lack of support).

Quote:
Originally Posted by elfabyanos View Post
There is also no need to increment rail speeds up slowly - take Spain. Their railways up until the 80s were basically rubbish. Now they're building one of the largest HSR networks in the world, and what has opened so far has been a runaway success.
Yes but Spain had to build new tracks since they were wide gauge, ie 1.54m instead of 1.44 (not sure about the figures though).

But Spain is a Mountainous country : If they can do it all the HSR projects int the plains in the us are much more easily doable.
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Old December 14th, 2007, 04:01 PM   #373
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Maybe the EU should fund HSR in the US? That would be funny!
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Old December 14th, 2007, 06:42 PM   #374
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The reason why there isn't HSR in the USA is because of its very low population density and the size of the country. The big cities are dotted all over the place... it just doesn't make sense apart from the north east of the country between Washington, New York and Boston.
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Old December 14th, 2007, 07:14 PM   #375
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Maybe but it's not Mongolia. It's too simple to say the population density isn't high enough - it does after all have 100-lane wide motorways all over the place, to me that's indicitive of a need for HSR. I can think of four areas; NEC, Detoit-Chicago area, Texas, and California.

Detroit and Chicago are as far apart as Paris - Lyon. Toronto is the same distance east of Detroit. In fact Chicago - Detroit - Toronto is the same distance as Paris - Lyon -Marseille, about 450 miles.
San Diego - LA - San Francisco is a little bit further, but still prime HSR distances, with the population density to support it.

I would say it's as much, if not more to do with poor supporting infrastructure (ie connecting railways/bus routes etc), lack of political will, general fear of railways (the last one may not be true!), and that Americans don't (yet) want to get out of their automobiles.
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Old December 14th, 2007, 09:45 PM   #376
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Don't think of the US being low density - think of the US in terms of coridors and states. NJ is dense, as dense or denser than a small euro country. Texas is growing, and will have nearly 50 million by 2050. California will have 50million people by 2040. California is perfect place for HSR - with its growing population and its large areas of low flat farm land in between the population centers.
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Old December 14th, 2007, 09:48 PM   #377
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Other areas include the midwest hub - chicago (9 million) - st louis - detroit - minn. - Indy. Florida, which is growing at a fast pace - Miami - Orlando - Tampa.

So, density is no argument against HSR. You can't look at the entire country density - you must look at certain corridor density.
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Old December 17th, 2007, 12:48 AM   #378
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dom View Post
The reason why there isn't HSR in the USA is because of its very low population density and the size of the country. The big cities are dotted all over the place... it just doesn't make sense apart from the north east of the country between Washington, New York and Boston.
No. There's no HSR in the US because of insufficient funding and political will.
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Old December 17th, 2007, 01:58 AM   #379
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No. There's no HSR in the US because of insufficient funding and political will.
Isn't it also about how american cities is constructed (New York and mabye other cities not included) - A wery small central business district and an enormous sprawl surrounding it, i.e. a structure not suitable for public transport and particular rail. Why build HSR between CBD's when people want's to go from "arbitrary" sprawl area 1 to "arbitrary" sprawl area 2. Where are people going to park their cars downtown?! The airport position within the sprawl is as good as the CBD, offer plenty of parking, and the plane goes 900 km/h.

This is about opposite paradigms, the car/plane won in the US and is now inherit US cities and regions. Changing this will cost, and mabye it's not worth it?
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Old December 17th, 2007, 02:06 AM   #380
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^ Yes many cities were designed with dense cores and outside of that it gets less dense, and outside of the city limits it gets suburban style.
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