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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 October 27th, 2013, 07:22 PM   #4341
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Based on the Tsinghua University/UCLA study on how HSR affects human work-migration patterns, this is my own documentary on how HSR can positively affect a region.
"Matthew Kahn, a Professor of Economics at UCLA, published a paper earlier this year that examined the economic impacts of China's high-speed trains (bullet trains) on second tier cities.

The video below* (5 minutes in length) summarizes his research paper which he co-published with a Chinese researcher from Tsinghua University (Beijing)."

It's a very compelling study. Spain has also observed this as well...it's not a given necessarily, but if planned well in key areas, it really makes a lot more sense than people seem to realize. It's for this reason that I find it painful to watch all these people in the Central Valley rallying against something that's going to have significantly greater implications for economic growth in their communities than they seem to realize (or want to accept).
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Old October 27th, 2013, 08:15 PM   #4342
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It's interesting, the idea of High Seed commuting, however I don't know if it's an affordable option for a daily commute or not. In other countries it's a relatively small part of the HSR demand, and also a pricey means of transport.
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Old October 29th, 2013, 12:52 AM   #4343
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It's interesting, the idea of High Seed commuting, however I don't know if it's an affordable option for a daily commute or not. In other countries it's a relatively small part of the HSR demand, and also a pricey means of transport.
There's a LOT of research looking into this. The consensus is hinting that it's not a given, but in many places it does happen (albeit to varying degrees, on varying timelines). Given how the population in this country is distributed, I do see California's initiative spreading as it becomes clear to have beneficial impacts.

Depends, I guess. If you're familiar with China, I'd say look at cities like Shijiazhuang, Tianjin, etc in relation to Beijing. Or, Baltimore and DC, SF and San Jose, etc. By design, even though certain communities will be farther from LA or SF by distance, they won't necessarily be in terms of time. True, very few people will be commuting from LA to SF; however, it's conceivable that non-express service can be viable for commuters from Fresno (and that general area of the Peninsula) to SF or the lower end of the Central Valley to LA. his holds true for the NEC as well. In the long-term, it may be possible to subsidize non-express service with business or leisure travel (passengers taking the express trains).

It's also only fair to note that that shift happens in both directions - over time. That is to say, not just moving workers out of those cities in others, but moving commercial activities out of those larger cities and into others.

Actually, the only thing I've been concerned with in regards to the project is fares. I really wish they'd made that more of a priority (i.e. ways to reduce maintenance and operation costs). I've wondering, given California's economy, if they couldn't use these trains to ship parcels and certain types of cargo (maybe produce, packages, etc). I don't profess to know much about the possibility of that, however. T
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Old October 29th, 2013, 05:31 AM   #4344
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Well, guessing from the lack of high speed freight service around the world, it's probably better overall if they stuck to pure passenger service. Then again, there is that TGV La Poste service running, so maybe it could work for particular types of cargo. Of course, because adding on speed only makes a train more expensive run, and because cargo will only ship at lower costs than can be charged to individual passengers, seems like it'd only hurt the CAHSRA's finances overall.

On the other hand, freeing up traditional rails by replacing standard passenger service with HSR could help freight companies' operations. Anyone know if there's been support by the freight industry in California for this project? I feel as if I've heard that there was for another HSR project somewhere else....
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Old October 29th, 2013, 05:46 AM   #4345
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HSR is not good for bulk freight as the weight is bad for the infrastructure and accelerates wear. I recall that the freight policy for most HSR systems is limited to small parcels (like mail), which can be placed in a small box that takes up no more space than a passenger seat.
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Old October 29th, 2013, 09:29 AM   #4346
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Swordsman View Post
HSR is not good for bulk freight as the weight is bad for the infrastructure and accelerates wear. I recall that the freight policy for most HSR systems is limited to small parcels (like mail), which can be placed in a small box that takes up no more space than a passenger seat.
In Germany, high-speed lines are shared between ICE, international high speed trains, regional trains and freight trains. Freight trains usually run at night.
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Old October 29th, 2013, 09:52 AM   #4347
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In fact, a 100 km/h freight train despite being much heavier puts less stress on the infrastructure then a 300 km/h HST would. The only thing to look out for is the running gear quality of the trains. Flat spots and locked axles can wreak havoc on track alignment.
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Old October 29th, 2013, 02:54 PM   #4348
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Any source that documents this fact?
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Old October 29th, 2013, 04:29 PM   #4349
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In fact, a 100 km/h freight train despite being much heavier puts less stress on the infrastructure then a 300 km/h HST would. The only thing to look out for is the running gear quality of the trains. Flat spots and locked axles can wreak havoc on track alignment.
Nope.

French LGV lines expressly forbid freight because the heavy axle loads can distort the delicate track geometry. Not to mention that most HSR lines have gradients that are far too steep for normal freight trains to use (2%-3% compared to the 0.2%-0.3%)
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Old November 1st, 2013, 09:34 AM   #4350
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That's because the LGVs were never designed for any other traffic but HSTs. Most German NBSses were and thus are also used by passenger and freight trains.

However in this case (NA HST) we do have to take into account that the axle load on HSTs around the world is around 16-17t, on other European trains 22,5t maximum and on NA trains up to 32,5t. Even a NA passenger locomotive (like the MPXpress and the ALP45DP) reach that axle weight. Thus if lines will be constructed for for any form of mixed traffic the line will automatically be able to handle heavy freight trains.
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Old November 18th, 2013, 08:31 PM   #4351
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Japan Pitches Americans on Its Maglev Train

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Next year, Japan plans to begin full-scale construction of its first intercity maglev line, which uses a technology called magnetic levitation, linking Tokyo with Nagoya and, eventually, Osaka

By ERIC PFANNER
Published: November 18, 2013

TSURU, Japan — As the world’s fastest train raced through the mountains of central Japan, former Gov. George E. Pataki of New York hoisted his 6-foot-5 frame into the aisle, lifted his hands from his seat and marveled at the smoothness of the ride.“In the subway I’d need a strap, at least,” Mr. Pataki said as the speedometer hit 314 miles per hour and fleeting glimpses of Mount Fuji appeared through the porthole-like windows. “This is amazing. The future.”

Mr. Pataki and a group of other retired American politicians and public figures were in Japan on Saturday for a special test ride of the train, which uses a technology called magnetic levitation, or maglev, to cruise at more than twice the 150 m.p.h. top speed of Amtrak’s Acela, the fastest train in the United States. They are trying to bring the technology to the United States, to speed up travel times and ease congestion in the crowded northeast corridor between New York and Washington.

And to sweeten the deal, the Japanese have offered to foot the bill for part of the construction — an amount that could reach billions.

Since Japan opened the first bullet train line in 1964, it has been a pioneer in high-speed rail. Next year, as the bullet train, or Shinkansen, celebrates a half century in service, Japan plans to begin full-scale construction of its first intercity maglev line, linking Tokyo with Nagoya and, eventually, Osaka.

Now that China has built a nearly 6,000-mile high-speed rail system that surpasses the Shinkansen in scale and rivals it in speed, the maglev line would be a way for Japan to reassert its technological leadership.

So would a prominent showcase overseas. That is where Mr. Pataki and the other dignitaries riding the train Saturday, including former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, former Gov. Edward G. Rendell of Pennsylvania and former Transportation Secretary Mary Peters, enter the picture.

Along with former Gov. Christine Todd Whitman of New Jersey, who could not make the trip, they are members of the advisory board of the Northeast Maglev, a privately held, Washington-based company that wants to build a line from Washington to New York using the Japanese technology.

Trains would cover the 230-mile distance in one hour, compared with 2 hours and 45 minutes for the Acela. Additional stations would be included at Newark Liberty International Airport; Philadelphia; Philadelphia International Airport; Wilmington, Del.; Baltimore; and Baltimore Washington International Airport.

Promoters of the plan say the faster travel time would increase the productivity of workers in the Northeast, as well as relieve pressure on crowded airports and crumbling highways.

Yet in the American Northeast, maglev trains are only the latest in a series of proposals to upgrade service linking Washington, New York and, in some cases, Boston. Few of these plans have left the station.
read the rest here

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/19/bu...al/index.jsonp

I didn't even know Northeast Maglev existed. Well hopefully they can get the money for this.
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Old November 19th, 2013, 05:40 AM   #4352
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It's nice of Japan to offer to pay for some of it, but we could just as well use the funding to pay for a traditional high-speed line; i.e., unless Japan is offering to pay for the maglev line to the extent that the cost of it to the U.S. is lower than the cost of a traditional high-speed line without aid from Japan, it's nothing but a different version of the current proposals with a different but equally-large set of issues in implementation.

Nevermind that this doesn't cover the whole NE megalopolis, and air traffic from Boston to NY is heavier than DC-NY.
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Old November 19th, 2013, 07:04 AM   #4353
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sopomon View Post

It's interesting, the idea of High Seed commuting, however I don't know if it's an affordable option for a daily commute or not. In other countries it's a relatively small part of the HSR demand, and also a pricey means of transport.
It is not about daily commuting, it is about being more connected.
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Old November 19th, 2013, 06:04 PM   #4354
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And furthermore, let's be real: the obstacle to this isn't financing, it's local opposition. Think about all the land they'd need to put in such a large piece of infrastructure...
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Old November 19th, 2013, 08:09 PM   #4355
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Doesn't the US have some of the toughest property protection laws around?
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Old November 20th, 2013, 03:52 AM   #4356
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Doesn't the US have some of the toughest property protection laws around?
Yes, though not tops in the world. Actually Japan has equally strong property rights (note opposition to airport expansion at Narita).

http://www.internationalpropertyrightsindex.org/ranking

I reckon a good portion of the proposed route will be in underground tunnel, both to avoid disputes and the fact that anything that goes fast prefers to do it in a straight line.
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Old November 20th, 2013, 09:48 PM   #4357
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Is there any HSR currently in use or under construction in the US ???
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Old November 21st, 2013, 06:44 AM   #4358
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Is there any HSR currently in use or under construction in the US ???
No.

Construction on the California line is supposed to start soon, but the project has been so mismanaged and is a huge boondoggle. Hopefully it gets scrapped before tens of billions of taxpayer dollars go down the toilet.
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Old November 21st, 2013, 06:46 AM   #4359
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Depends on what classifies as "HSR". Acela services on the Northeast Corridor briefly hit 125-150mph on short stretches, but are limited by poor infrastructure on most of the route and have an average speed of 80 mph.

In Illinois, upgraded tracks allow diesel Amtrak services to reach 110 mph (up from 79mph); while this is usually considered faster than normal "conventional rail", internationally, it does not classify as true "HSR" (which has a designated operating speed of around 160mph, or 270kmh).
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Old November 21st, 2013, 05:24 PM   #4360
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No.

Construction on the California line is supposed to start soon, but the project has been so mismanaged and is a huge boondoggle. Hopefully it gets scrapped before tens of billions of taxpayer dollars go down the toilet.
Alright, could one of you guys saying the California project is a huge mess PLEASE clarify? Because, as far as I can tell, with the exception of compromised services on the SF peninsula, what is wrong with it??
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