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Old January 6th, 2014, 04:14 PM   #4481
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The Chinese just went on the biggest infrastructure spending spree in history. They are running a maglev already. Capital wasn't a problem, yet they still rejected the technology for bigger projects once they got experience of running one. Why?

Transrapid has twice been rejected in its home country on cost grounds.

Maglev may have no direct friction with the track, but that doesn't mean there aren't forces acting on it. In addition you have a huge amount of power electronics to maintain and in the case of the Japanese system, superconductor cooling systems.

I'm not convinced maglev can follow the claimed tight curves any more than conventional HSL. Look at the huge sweeping concrete viaducts in Shanghai.

As for noise - Transrapid had acoustic data on their site but at 300 km/h+ it is not quiet. There is a large aerodynamic noise component. See:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ySMdKXUuFI
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Old January 6th, 2014, 04:15 PM   #4482
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Originally Posted by SamuraiBlue View Post
One interesting point of Maglev is that the tunnel diameter will be smaller compared to wheel on rail conventional trains since it has no boogies or over head wiring which reflex directly to construction cost.
Except that the faster the trains is travelling, the larger the diameter of the tunnel has to be.
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Old January 6th, 2014, 04:47 PM   #4483
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Originally Posted by 33Hz View Post
The Chinese just went on the biggest infrastructure spending spree in history. They are running a maglev already. Capital wasn't a problem, yet they still rejected the technology for bigger projects once they got experience of running one. Why?

Transrapid has twice been rejected in its home country on cost grounds.

Maglev may have no direct friction with the track, but that doesn't mean there aren't forces acting on it. In addition you have a huge amount of power electronics to maintain and in the case of the Japanese system, superconductor cooling systems.

I'm not convinced maglev can follow the claimed tight curves any more than conventional HSL. Look at the huge sweeping concrete viaducts in Shanghai.

As for noise - Transrapid had acoustic data on their site but at 300 km/h+ it is not quiet. There is a large aerodynamic noise component. See:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ySMdKXUuFI
One reason for PRC rejecting Transrapid was because they were not able to replicate the technology so they weren't able to make clones like the HSR although I hear they still use Hitachi made electric motors for they home made HSR trainsets.
Second, direct contact of fast moving objects will always have higher wear and tear rate then non contact objects.
Third Transrapid's polarity switching is much higher then JR Maglev resulting to higher surface electric resistance. On the other hand, JRC type is the same as HSR at around 60Hz at 500Km/h.
Forth, at same speed Maglev requires less curve radius but since Maglev travels at much higher speed then HSR it level out to about the same. It's the same as HSR requiring larger curve radius as speed increases.
Lastly, comparing Maglev with HSR noise pollution will always be smaller then conventional wheel on rail HSR since it has no contact surface during operation. With conventional wheel on rail HSR not only will it generate aerodynamic noise but the rail and overhead wiring will resonate vibration due to contact with a high speed object.

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Originally Posted by 33Hz View Post
Except that the faster the trains is travelling, the larger the diameter of the tunnel has to be.
Yes but the relation is not proportional with speed. the total height also reflects to loading gauge clearance. JRC type maglev is testing a single large tunnel concept for construction because of these advantages.

==Edit==

One more thing I forgot to mention, wheel on rail conventional HSR trainsets will always be heavier compared to Maglev since HSR requires all the heavy electrical components such as trans, AC-DC converters, electric motor, etc. as well as pantograph and boogies to run the train.

Last edited by SamuraiBlue; January 6th, 2014 at 05:21 PM.
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Old January 6th, 2014, 04:58 PM   #4484
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One interesting point of Maglev is that the tunnel diameter will be smaller compared to wheel on rail conventional trains since it has no boogies or over head wiring which reflex directly to construction cost.
The Terminals would have to be deep and that drives up cost along with the wet -clay like Baltimore soil. The Amtrak plan is a good plan and should be built , build the Maglev in the Midwest....
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Old January 6th, 2014, 05:30 PM   #4485
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maglev has high seed capital costs, but very low maintenance and operation costs.
Yes, however the problem is that the cost savings in maintenance and operations have not been demonstrably great enough to justify the greater capital expenditure on the technology.

Generally, rail needs to be fast enough to reach the destination within a reasonable time frame, not "as fast as possible." It's similar to the reason airlines don't fly above a certain threshold as drag would negate the attempted savings in time by requiring them to burn more fuel, which would require far larger tanks to store the fuel in, which means either larger planes (i.e. would require more power/lift to move) or less space for passengers (i.e less revenue per flight).

To put this in perspective, let's say that one wants to determine which technology to use for a connection from DC to Atlanta (an extremely busy transportation hub), one option is a maglev line that can achieve, if we're generous, 550kph while the other is a traditional line that only achieves, generously, 380kph. The end result is a 1 hour time savings, which - admittedly - does sound like a lot.

However, in terms of rail, the problem remains that, until scale is met (with countries rapidly adopting the technology and supply chains being established), the capital costs of maglev don't seem likely to really justify it at all. That is, you won't recoup the investment as quickly as you could with a traditional system, which means paying more (subsidies) over the life of the system to keep it going, which means higher total price. It's more advantageous to construct a system that's cheaper to build than it is to operate than vice versa (at this point in time, anyways).

When that changes, either though a significant reduction in maintenance, operations, and even energy, then the case for maglev may be far stronger. However, those advancements would still apply to traditional rail.

As I see it, we'd do far better to look at ways to get traditional rail to cost parity (maintenance and operations) with maglev: possibly by finding alternative materials for wheels and tracks - that withstand wear for a greater deal of time - , finding ways to automate more processes, and technologies that can use train operations to actually generate energy to go back in the grid from which they originally took it.

Some of those things may not be possible, but I'm just not at all convinced maglev is really an attractive option. Maybe short distances where one needs to connect an airport to a city center where the capital costs are low enough to be matched by operations and maintenance savings, but not an entire regional corridor.

To me, this is Japan seeking a market for their technology. Nothing wrong with that, but they really chose to do the wrong thing here. Hell, there are plans (and in some cases, actual projects) already underway that could use an injection of investment.
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Old January 6th, 2014, 11:29 PM   #4486
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Yes, however the problem is that the cost savings in maintenance and operations have not been demonstrably great enough to justify the greater capital expenditure on the technology.

Generally, rail needs to be fast enough to reach the destination within a reasonable time frame, not "as fast as possible." It's similar to the reason airlines don't fly above a certain threshold as drag would negate the attempted savings in time by requiring them to burn more fuel, which would require far larger tanks to store the fuel in, which means either larger planes (i.e. would require more power/lift to move) or less space for passengers (i.e less revenue per flight).

To put this in perspective, let's say that one wants to determine which technology to use for a connection from DC to Atlanta (an extremely busy transportation hub), one option is a maglev line that can achieve, if we're generous, 550kph while the other is a traditional line that only achieves, generously, 380kph. The end result is a 1 hour time savings, which - admittedly - does sound like a lot.

However, in terms of rail, the problem remains that, until scale is met (with countries rapidly adopting the technology and supply chains being established), the capital costs of maglev don't seem likely to really justify it at all. That is, you won't recoup the investment as quickly as you could with a traditional system, which means paying more (subsidies) over the life of the system to keep it going, which means higher total price. It's more advantageous to construct a system that's cheaper to build than it is to operate than vice versa (at this point in time, anyways).

When that changes, either though a significant reduction in maintenance, operations, and even energy, then the case for maglev may be far stronger. However, those advancements would still apply to traditional rail.

As I see it, we'd do far better to look at ways to get traditional rail to cost parity (maintenance and operations) with maglev: possibly by finding alternative materials for wheels and tracks - that withstand wear for a greater deal of time - , finding ways to automate more processes, and technologies that can use train operations to actually generate energy to go back in the grid from which they originally took it.

Some of those things may not be possible, but I'm just not at all convinced maglev is really an attractive option. Maybe short distances where one needs to connect an airport to a city center where the capital costs are low enough to be matched by operations and maintenance savings, but not an entire regional corridor.

To me, this is Japan seeking a market for their technology. Nothing wrong with that, but they really chose to do the wrong thing here. Hell, there are plans (and in some cases, actual projects) already underway that could use an injection of investment.
One thing you are forgetting which is total capacity, with overall higher speed reducing travel time equate to more capacity within a set time slot which means at the end more revenue as long as there is enough ridership.

It's not Japan seeking technology for technology sake, it's a private company seeking more income while reducing cost as much as possible to gain maximum profit while maintaining the same customer satisfaction level at present level.
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Old January 6th, 2014, 11:33 PM   #4487
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One thing you are forgetting which is total capacity, with overall higher speed reducing travel time equate to more capacity within a set time slot which means at the end more revenue as long as there is enough ridership.

It's not Japan seeking technology for technology sake, it's a private company seeking more income while reducing cost as much as possible to gain maximum profit while maintaining the same customer satisfaction level at present level.
The delegation is government led...It wasn't the railway company that announced this, but Abe.

Anyways, my point is that it doesn't scale: even if it's an hour saved, that doesn't necessarily mean you'll get another time slot. Demand isn't that affected by time (not on such a small variation).
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Old January 7th, 2014, 12:03 AM   #4488
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Anyways, my point is that it doesn't scale: even if it's an hour saved, that doesn't necessarily mean you'll get another time slot.
What are you talking about, yes you do gain another time slot. Think about it. If one train complete a round trip in one hour while another takes two. At the end of the day comparing the amount of passengers the two carried you'll see the advantage.
Remember you can only have a certain amount of train sets within a certain route so the faster the travel time equates to higher capacity within that certain route.
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Old January 7th, 2014, 12:50 AM   #4489
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They did ask for Govt loans and other incentives , which leads me to believe the project isn't as profitable as they claim... They didn't ask for anything for the Texas project , why this region?
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Old January 7th, 2014, 01:52 AM   #4490
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They did ask for Govt loans and other incentives , which leads me to believe the project isn't as profitable as they claim... They didn't ask for anything for the Texas project , why this region?
That is because the Texas plan is a JRC intiative in which JRC will be acting as a private operator while the DC plan will be government operated in which the government(s) will be the key operator(s).(Both federal and states)
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Old January 7th, 2014, 02:26 AM   #4491
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What are you talking about, yes you do gain another time slot. Think about it. If one train complete a round trip in one hour while another takes two. At the end of the day comparing the amount of passengers the two carried you'll see the advantage.
Remember you can only have a certain amount of train sets within a certain route so the faster the travel time equates to higher capacity within that certain route.
Oh no, I understand that I guess...
I just don't know how strong an inducement time is for demand/ridership. Especially when we're talking about DC - Baltimore when it would be minutes, not hours. In that vein, it just doesn't seem that a savings in time necessarily results in more service (i.e. it doesn't "scale"). A better way to express my thinking, is that there is some kind of "diminishing return," in which - after a certain point - any increase in speed yields an increasingly lower return in ridership. I mean, if there's service from DC to Baltimore for the airport, for me to commute into the city for work, etc, am I really going to be any more drawn if it's 15 minutes instead of 30? In that instance, I'm just not convinced that 50% savings in time will mean more ridership is all.

Maybe I'm just not conveying my concern very well is all. I'm just hesitant to see maglev go in unless it's going to be part of the greater regional system. As it stands, I'm a bit worried that's not what this investment will be. It seems more about demonstration, no?

As far as I know, they're working with TNEM group.
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Old January 7th, 2014, 09:32 AM   #4492
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One reason for PRC rejecting Transrapid was because they were not able to replicate the technology so they weren't able to make clones like the HSR although I hear they still use Hitachi made electric motors for they home made HSR trainsets.
Second, direct contact of fast moving objects will always have higher wear and tear rate then non contact objects.
Third Transrapid's polarity switching is much higher then JR Maglev resulting to higher surface electric resistance. On the other hand, JRC type is the same as HSR at around 60Hz at 500Km/h.
Forth, at same speed Maglev requires less curve radius but since Maglev travels at much higher speed then HSR it level out to about the same. It's the same as HSR requiring larger curve radius as speed increases.
Lastly, comparing Maglev with HSR noise pollution will always be smaller then conventional wheel on rail HSR since it has no contact surface during operation. With conventional wheel on rail HSR not only will it generate aerodynamic noise but the rail and overhead wiring will resonate vibration due to contact with a high speed object.



Yes but the relation is not proportional with speed. the total height also reflects to loading gauge clearance. JRC type maglev is testing a single large tunnel concept for construction because of these advantages.

==Edit==

One more thing I forgot to mention, wheel on rail conventional HSR trainsets will always be heavier compared to Maglev since HSR requires all the heavy electrical components such as trans, AC-DC converters, electric motor, etc. as well as pantograph and boogies to run the train.
The reason it was rejected was mainly because of some of maglev's natural disadvantages: Huge initial investment (Chinese government wants to deploy a large scale network and it simply cannot afford that); Network integration problem (maglev lines cannot be linked with traditional lines, they plan to run most of the high speed train in conjunction with normal speed and even freight trains); Inflexible trainset (you can't easily scale up a maglev trainset to 16 cars like a normal HSR trainset); Lack of suppliers (the Germans are the sole suppliers and China doesn't like the idea of putting all the eggs in one basket). They started the effort to duplicate the Transrapid technology quite early on, and with some Siemens support too. The Shanghai Maglev line has been running domestic trains since 2010.

I'm not sure a maglev will have significantly lower maintenance cost compare to traditional HSR, from what I've heard the electromagnets need frequent calibrations, I'm sure the Japanese superconductor is not exactly maintenance free. A modern ballastless track and mature HSR trains are already very efficient and maintenance friendly.

I agree though a maglev should be quieter and smoother due to the lack of physical contact. OTOH I don't know how can they make the original Transrapid train in Shanghai so damn noisy and bumpy compare to any other traditional Chinese HSR trains.
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Old January 7th, 2014, 02:19 PM   #4493
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The reason it was rejected was mainly because of some of maglev's natural disadvantages: Huge initial investment (Chinese government wants to deploy a large scale network and it simply cannot afford that); Network integration problem (maglev lines cannot be linked with traditional lines, they plan to run most of the high speed train in conjunction with normal speed and even freight trains)
Well we really won't know the real reason and can only speculate.

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Inflexible trainset (you can't easily scale up a maglev trainset to 16 cars like a normal HSR trainset); Lack of suppliers (the Germans are the sole suppliers and China doesn't like the idea of putting all the eggs in one basket).
In other words they were not able to develop clones.


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I'm not sure a maglev will have significantly lower maintenance cost compare to traditional HSR, from what I've heard the electromagnets need frequent calibrations
Of course conventional wheel on rail HSR will require more maintenance due to wear and tear from friction. As for calibration?
Where did you get that idea?
The Transrapid system is a permanent magnet/electro magnet hybrid. You don't need to calibrate permanent magnets and the electromagnets are easily done through software adjusting the amount of electricity.

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A modern ballastless track and mature HSR trains are already very efficient and maintenance friendly.
You must be kidding, no matter how you cut it physical contact of high speed rotating object against an equally hard object is going to grind each other. It's like grinding a knife against a rotating a grinder.

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I agree though a maglev should be quieter and smoother due to the lack of physical contact. OTOH I don't know how can they make the original Transrapid train in Shanghai so damn noisy and bumpy compare to any other traditional Chinese HSR trains.
There are various theories to this which we will not really hear the truth, one is due to poor maintenance of the frequency inverters and is acting up.
Yes this needs calibration but it is a matter of synchronizing quartz clocks to create a perfect sine curve when changing segments.
Another possibility would be miss alignment of the concrete base but this really has nothing to do with the maglev technology and would probably affect any and all structure with low tolerance for distortion.
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Old January 7th, 2014, 02:27 PM   #4494
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However, due to scale and maturity, there are a great potential for lower costs on maglev maintenance, whereas we're far ahead on the learning curve of standard rrail.
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Old January 7th, 2014, 03:27 PM   #4495
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This is a better articulated than my other post.

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Originally Posted by Alan Kandel
“A recent study of a proposed maglev line between LAX Airport and Ontario Airport, via downtown Los Angeles, demonstrated very few advantages of a potential magnetic line over a traditional one — it would be only about 10% faster, would attract only 10% more customers, but would cost an eye-popping 60% more to build. Worse, the maglev corridor would have no direct connections with the planned (and partially funded!) California High-Speed Rail project,” Freemark wrote.
That's pretty much what I meant when I said that it doesn't "scale."
Of course I understand efficiency vs. capacity. I just think utilizing this technology now, may not be the most attractive option.

That's why I see this as an effort by Japan to find a market to which they can export the technology; they're trying to recoup the cost they've beared in research and installation.

It's why the Japan-Nagoya line is so critical to watch, as most of the other commercial endeavors (Germany, and Shanghai's included), eventually fell to the wayside. I don't see that happening in Japan, but I want to know if it's due to the advantages of this particular technology or just willpower.
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Old January 8th, 2014, 07:19 PM   #4496
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Japan offers to lend US half the cost of 'Super Maglev' train between Washington and Baltimore
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Old January 10th, 2014, 04:45 AM   #4497
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It is also more silent, though I'm not sure how much noisy would be air displacement alone at speeds approaching 400 km/h.
According to studies conducted on the TGV an other HSLs, there are three primary sources of sound from HSR.

1. Mechanical: Braking, Motor activation, Air conditioning, etc.
2. Frictional: Steel wheel on steel rail contact, contact with catenary wire.
3. Aerodynamic: High speed displacement of air creates eddy currents and vortices that generate sound. Tunnel boom also fits in this category.


According to the study, Mechanical noise is primarily heard at low speeds (near stations), usually below 50km/h. Frictional noise is primarily heard at higher speeds, usually between 50km/h and 170km/h. Aerodynamic noise is a relatively new phenomenon observed only on high speed lines, usually when the train is travelling in excess of 200km/h.

Unless the maglev is travelling in a vacuum, the a maglev travelling at 400-500km/h, despite having virtually no physical contact with the track, will still generate significant sound pollution due to aerodynamic noise. On the flip side, due to the higher standard of quality needed for high speed operation, conventional HSR is virtually invisible accoustically when travelling at lower speeds (below 200km/h).
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Old January 10th, 2014, 06:08 AM   #4498
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According to studies conducted on the TGV an other HSLs, there are three primary sources of sound from HSR.

1. Mechanical: Braking, Motor activation, Air conditioning, etc.
2. Frictional: Steel wheel on steel rail contact, contact with catenary wire.
3. Aerodynamic: High speed displacement of air creates eddy currents and vortices that generate sound. Tunnel boom also fits in this category.


According to the study, Mechanical noise is primarily heard at low speeds (near stations), usually below 50km/h. Frictional noise is primarily heard at higher speeds, usually between 50km/h and 170km/h. Aerodynamic noise is a relatively new phenomenon observed only on high speed lines, usually when the train is travelling in excess of 200km/h.

Unless the maglev is travelling in a vacuum, the a maglev travelling at 400-500km/h, despite having virtually no physical contact with the track, will still generate significant sound pollution due to aerodynamic noise. On the flip side, due to the higher standard of quality needed for high speed operation, conventional HSR is virtually invisible accoustically when travelling at lower speeds (below 200km/h).
There is no doubt that Maglev even if there is no friction will make considerable aerodynamic noise. On the flop side conventional wheel on rail HSR makes a large amount of aerodynamic noise on top of friction noise and ground viberation which also resonates through rail and overhead wiring.
Try sleeping under a viaduct of any HSR, you'll definetly wake-up before the train reaches above you no matter how deep you are at sleep.
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Old January 16th, 2014, 01:09 AM   #4499
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Bullet Train Crawling Forward

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If you think a court-ordered shutdown of bond funds is going to stop California's bullet train progress, think again. "There will be a ground breaking in the next couple of months. Work is proceeding," a top official for the High-Speed Rail Authority said this week. The estimate for completion of the line from SF to LA is now 2027, plenty of time for new lawsuits and hurdles. See Below:
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A California court delivered a blow to the state’s bullet train plans, but it was hardly a knockout, according to a top official who said today that the $68 billion project “continues to move forward.”

“The court did not do anything to limit the project from moving forward,” said Ben Tripousis, the northern regional director for the California High-Speed Rail Authority. The court ruling last November did not issue a restraining order on planning, he said. “There will be a ground breaking in the next couple of months. Work is proceeding.”

Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny on Nov. 25 rejected a request from the High-Speed Rail Authority to sell $8 billion of the $10 billion in bonds approved by voters in 2008. Kenny said state bullet train planners were wrong to determine it was “necessary and desirable” to start selling the bonds.

In a separate ruling, Kenny ordered the bullet train planners to rewrite their $68 billion funding plan before continuing construction.

A lawsuit filed by Central Valley farmers claimed that the project’s current financial plan no longer complies with what voters were promised, and Kenny agreed.

While those rulings may affect the timeline of the project, Tripousis said in a Rotary Club speech that, “I want to stress (the bullet train) is a going concern. Work is underway” to prepare for ground breaking in the Central Valley, which is where the first section of track is expected to be laid.

http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfranci...peed-rail.html

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Old January 17th, 2014, 07:20 PM   #4500
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Next-Generation Border Crossing: First-Ever High Speed Train To Connect U.S. And Mexico By 2018

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U.S. and Mexican officials held a high level meeting on Thursday to discuss a plan to build the first-ever high speed passenger railroad line connecting both countries by 2018.

The proposed high-speed train would take passengers from San Antonio, Texas, to Monterrey, Mexico through the U.S. border city of Laredo in less than two hours.

San Antonio and Monterrey are about 300 miles apart, roughly 5 hours' driving distance. Under the proposed plan, passengers would be able to travel quickly between both nations thanks to pre-clearance immigration and customs checks, so the train wouldn't have to stop at the border.

U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar, a Texas Democrat, and Texas Department of Transportation Commissioner Jeff Austin, as well as Mexican officials, presented the plan to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx on Thursday in Washington D.C..

"Secretary Foxx and his team are interested," Cuellar said. “A high-speed rail between San Antonio and Monterrey through Laredo would revolutionize trade and travel between the United States and Mexico.”

The project is planned as a joint effort by both nations. But the timeline remains somewhat murky. Both countries are optimistic the project will get done, but the effort seems to be taking a more immediate priority south of the border.

Mexican officials told Fox News Latino they have already received the go-ahead and funding is lined up from the federal government and the state of Nuevo Leon. Mexico estimates its share of the cost for the project will be around $1.5 billion, with construction slated to begin as early the first half of 2015 and completed by 2018.

Both Rep. Cuellar and Mexican officials expect the project to be mostly privately funded.
read the rest here http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/mon...onnect-us-and/

It seems like a decent idea I wonder what the estimates are for the number of riders per year are.
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