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View Poll Results: Should the US build or improve it's HSR network?
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Old January 21st, 2014, 10:48 AM   #4521
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Who would have thought that Texas might be the salvation of High Speed Rail in the United States!
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Old January 21st, 2014, 01:40 PM   #4522
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The NEC is already considered high speed rail and despite it's shortcommings has already demonstrated the benefits of high(er) speed rail in the USA. Yet up to now there has been a lot of talk, but up to now no actual action.
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Old January 21st, 2014, 04:21 PM   #4523
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The NEC is already considered high speed rail and despite it's shortcommings has already demonstrated the benefits of high(er) speed rail in the USA. Yet up to now there has been a lot of talk, but up to now no actual action.
I thought they just recently introduced a plan
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Old January 22nd, 2014, 05:46 AM   #4524
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I think one of the first American HSR projects that could start construction fairly soon is the Texas Central Railway project, which will initially link Houston with the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Here's why it could happen pretty fast once the approval is given:

1. A major partner in this project is the Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central), the company that operates the Tokaidō Shinkansen between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka stations. JR Central proposes a modified N700A trainset in an 8- to 10-car trainset configuration, with a top speed of 330 km/h (205 mph), the so-called N700-I trainset. This means huge savings, because we don't have to develop a new trainset design from scratch and the companies in Japan that are building the N700A trainsets now (Hitachi and Nippon Sharyo) could start building the N700-I almost immediately for the TCR project.

2. The topography of the land between Dallas and Houston is relatively flat, which means rail line construction costs will be fairly reasonable, since the rail line does not need long mountain tunnels or earthquake effect mitigation like the California HSR system requires.
If implemented with the aim of allowing trains to travel at 205 miles per hour, I am absolutely for it..if however the aim is to convince people to support "high speed rail" at only 110 mph like the current nonsense between Chicago-St Louis..just stop with the hype!
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Old January 22nd, 2014, 05:53 AM   #4525
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The NEC is already considered high speed rail and despite it's shortcommings has already demonstrated the benefits of high(er) speed rail in the USA. Yet up to now there has been a lot of talk, but up to now no actual action.
High Speed being in excess of 124 mph however the Federal Rail Administration defines HSR as..... in excess of 79 mph which to me is nonsense. At least in the NEC, Amtrak has some projects underway to raise the speed in NJ from 135 mph to 160 for a stretch of 24 miles or so near Princeton Junction. Amtrak really has to get going on replacing those decrepit tunnels with the curves in Baltimore to be able to really raise the speed; as well as replace the Perryville Bridge in Maryland. The inland route in Connecticut is unrealistic: Very expensive and Connecticut, for all its hype as a progressive state seems to be throwing roadblocks up in assisting Amtrak in building its new right of way from Danbury through Hartford to Boston.
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Old January 22nd, 2014, 06:28 AM   #4526
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High Speed being in excess of 124 mph however the Federal Rail Administration defines HSR as..... in excess of 79 mph which to me is nonsense. At least in the NEC, Amtrak has some projects underway to raise the speed in NJ from 135 mph to 160 for a stretch of 24 miles or so near Princeton Junction. Amtrak really has to get going on replacing those decrepit tunnels with the curves in Baltimore to be able to really raise the speed; as well as replace the Perryville Bridge in Maryland. The inland route in Connecticut is unrealistic: Very expensive and Connecticut, for all its hype as a progressive state seems to be throwing roadblocks up in assisting Amtrak in building its new right of way from Danbury through Hartford to Boston.
The FRA route while more expensive would service Long Island , Knowledge Corridor of CT and Worcester/Metro West which has a population of almost 10.2 Million vs the Amtrak route which services a population of only 2 million. The underwater Tunnel under the sound could be sold to Long Islanders and Connecticut residents if you offer a car shuttle similar to the Euro Tunnel. Freight access via Freight Rail would greatly boost the dying island economy. A lot of Long Islanders like to travel across the sound in the Fall and Winter to Vacation , some for business reasons and others to visit family. They have trying to get a bridge built for decades but NIMBYS have feared it scaring the landscape...a Tunnel would be an easy sell. On Long Island and in Connecticut the line would use existing or abandoned Railroads , so the cost would be cheaper , these lines are which a few excepts straight. Only the Tunnels & the I-84/Central sections would be new and built from scratch. I-84 would be cheap and easy to build on. Leaving the Tunnel as the only real obstacle.
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Old January 22nd, 2014, 01:52 PM   #4527
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I thought they just recently introduced a plan
As far as I can tell planned trains over planned infrastructures have never moved any real life passengers before...
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Old January 22nd, 2014, 03:00 PM   #4528
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The FRA route while more expensive would service Long Island , Knowledge Corridor of CT and Worcester/Metro West which has a population of almost 10.2 Million vs the Amtrak route which services a population of only 2 million. The underwater Tunnel under the sound could be sold to Long Islanders and Connecticut residents if you offer a car shuttle similar to the Euro Tunnel. Freight access via Freight Rail would greatly boost the dying island economy. A lot of Long Islanders like to travel across the sound in the Fall and Winter to Vacation , some for business reasons and others to visit family. They have trying to get a bridge built for decades but NIMBYS have feared it scaring the landscape...a Tunnel would be an easy sell. On Long Island and in Connecticut the line would use existing or abandoned Railroads , so the cost would be cheaper , these lines are which a few excepts straight. Only the Tunnels & the I-84/Central sections would be new and built from scratch. I-84 would be cheap and easy to build on. Leaving the Tunnel as the only real obstacle.
The Long Island route from that University of Pennsylvania proposal is the least realistic of any of the options presented. I used to live on Long Island. The LIRR is the busiest commuter rail line in the country and already at capacity, even with the double tracking project on the main line. In addition, officials cant even get a bridge across the LI sound built, never mind a cost prohibitive tunnel. I think the Connecticut option will be the route, if it is even implemented.
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Old January 22nd, 2014, 03:04 PM   #4529
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The Long Island route from that University of Pennsylvania proposal is the least realistic of any of the options presented. I used to live on Long Island. The LIRR is the busiest commuter rail line in the country and already at capacity, even with the double tracking project on the main line. In addition, officials cant even get a bridge across the LI sound built, never mind a cost prohibitive tunnel. I think the Connecticut option will be the route, if it is even implemented.
In addition, the LIRR will not allow catenary to be put up on the main line either.
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Old January 22nd, 2014, 05:31 PM   #4530
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The Long Island route from that University of Pennsylvania proposal is the least realistic of any of the options presented. I used to live on Long Island. The LIRR is the busiest commuter rail line in the country and already at capacity, even with the double tracking project on the main line. In addition, officials cant even get a bridge across the LI sound built, never mind a cost prohibitive tunnel. I think the Connecticut option will be the route, if it is even implemented.
The route in question uses the lighter used and abandoned LIRR lines , not the busy sections. A Tunnel is less likely to get NIMByd due to the fact you can't see it. FRA supports these route along with some LI officials...
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Old January 22nd, 2014, 06:20 PM   #4531
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Originally Posted by M-NL View Post
As far as I can tell planned trains over planned infrastructures have never moved any real life passengers before...
What about upgraded infrastructures? It sounded like this project would take quite a long time, so I wonder If traffic will simply be able to continue?
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Old January 23rd, 2014, 06:12 AM   #4532
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The route in question uses the lighter used and abandoned LIRR lines , not the busy sections. A Tunnel is less likely to get NIMByd due to the fact you can't see it. FRA supports these route along with some LI officials...
Which abandoned lines? Port Jefferson?(Not really abandoned but no other lines inactive or other wise nearby) The line used to extend to Wading River but the railroad abandoned that in the early 20th Century and now private homes abut the LIPA(Now PSE&G) ROW which the tracks used to occupy. Power lines now stretch on that portion out east towards Rocky Point. You would have an uproar there if any government agency tried to condemn those homes( and there are alot of them) through eminent domain. The Ronkonkoma line between Hickville and Ronkonkoma was the line I was referring to yesterday. It is already at capacity(too many traffic conflicts) and a whole new ROW would have to be built from that line towards the Sound for any proposed tunnel. If you think a tunnel can be built out east on the north fork(practical for your plan) without any litigation, think again. The environmentalists as well as the North fork wineries would oppose it, as in their view this plan would disrupt the bucolic nature of the area which those interest groups are fighting very hard to preserve. These are the same activist type groups that were able to prevent the Shoreham Nuclear Power plant from getting approval to operate. I understand what you are trying to say but growing up there and seeing how mega plans have been brought to a stand still over the years by these same civic groups would only frustrate such plans AND make them cost prohibitive.

Last edited by scrat437; January 23rd, 2014 at 06:47 AM.
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Old January 23rd, 2014, 06:17 AM   #4533
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The route in question uses the lighter used and abandoned LIRR lines , not the busy sections. A Tunnel is less likely to get NIMByd due to the fact you can't see it. FRA supports these route along with some LI officials...
And just to address the lighter used lines, Amtrak would have to travel through the busy sections to get to the lightly used line still in place..east of Ronkonkoma(Ronkonkoma-Greenport). Ronkonkoma is the terminus for the electric line to provide a one seat ride into penn station for LIRR commuters.
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Old January 23rd, 2014, 07:02 AM   #4534
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If implemented with the aim of allowing trains to travel at 205 miles per hour, I am absolutely for it..if however the aim is to convince people to support "high speed rail" at only 110 mph like the current nonsense between Chicago-St Louis..just stop with the hype!
The Texas Central Railway plan is for a dedicated line--built like the Shinkansen lines in Japan so it is fully grade separated--with speeds as high as 330 km/h (205 mph). The trains won't be travelling on lines shared by other trains like the Amtrak Acela trains does.
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Old January 23rd, 2014, 07:23 AM   #4535
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Which abandoned lines? Port Jefferson?(Not really abandoned but no other lines inactive or other wise nearby) The line used to extend to Wading River but the railroad abandoned that in the early 20th Century and now private homes abut the LIPA(Now PSE&G) ROW which the tracks used to occupy. Power lines now stretch on that portion out east towards Rocky Point. You would have an uproar there if any government agency tried to condemn those homes( and there are alot of them) through eminent domain. The Ronkonkoma line between Hickville and Ronkonkoma was the line I was referring to yesterday. It is already at capacity(too many traffic conflicts) and a whole new ROW would have to be built from that line towards the Sound for any proposed tunnel. If you think a tunnel can be built out east on the north fork(practical for your plan) without any litigation, think again. The environmentalists as well as the North fork wineries would oppose it, as in their view this plan would disrupt the bucolic nature of the area which those interest groups are fighting very hard to preserve. These are the same activist type groups that were able to prevent the Shoreham Nuclear Power plant from getting approval to operate. I understand what you are trying to say but growing up there and seeing how mega plans have been brought to a stand still over the years by these same civic groups would only frustrate such plans AND make them cost prohibitive.
No , did you even look at the plans? It would use the Central Branch which is abandoned , part of the lesser used Ronkonkoma line , the Hempstead line which only sees 1 train per hour , and Moutuak Branch in Queens which is only used for rush hour service. Doubling tracking plans which should start soon between Ronkonkoma and Hicksville will be enough for the New line to run through without causing capacity issues. The FRA version does not use the Main line at all , the Penn version uses part of it. The Tunnel could win over everybody if you educate people and tell them the benefits.... Long Islanders hate being trapped on the Island with only a few ways off via NyC and Ferries , so a New Faster Tunnel with a car shuttle would be a huge boon for them... If you added Freight which takes trucks off the highways , the environmentalists would on your side aswell. I don't see why the wineries would be opposed to a tunnel which opens up a larger market aka New England. A Nuclear Power Plant is something completely different from a Railway tunnel. The current LIRR upgrades and expansions have strong support from environmentalists and the Business communities , I don't think this line would be any different.
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Old January 23rd, 2014, 07:56 AM   #4536
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No , did you even look at the plans? It would use the Central Branch which is abandoned , part of the lesser used Ronkonkoma line , the Hempstead line which only sees 1 train per hour , and Moutuak Branch in Queens which is only used for rush hour service. Doubling tracking plans which should start soon between Ronkonkoma and Hicksville will be enough for the New line to run through without causing capacity issues. The FRA version does not use the Main line at all , the Penn version uses part of it. The Tunnel could win over everybody if you educate people and tell them the benefits.... Long Islanders hate being trapped on the Island with only a few ways off via NyC and Ferries , so a New Faster Tunnel with a car shuttle would be a huge boon for them... If you added Freight which takes trucks off the highways , the environmentalists would on your side aswell. I don't see why the wineries would be opposed to a tunnel which opens up a larger market aka New England. A Nuclear Power Plant is something completely different from a Railway tunnel. The current LIRR upgrades and expansions have strong support from environmentalists and the Business communities , I don't think this line would be any different.
The abandoned Central Branch? The one by Roosevelt field Mall in Garden City? It ends by the Meadowbrook Parkway in Nassau, Eisenhower Park is east of that and more private homes east of that. Planners would have the impossible task of designing a whole new row east of where the Central currently ends. As for the double tracking between Hicksville and Ronkonkoma, there still wouldn't be enough slots for Amtrak to run their trains from 8am through 6 pm, that line is the 2nd busiest after the Babylon branch. There is no way the LIRR gives up time slots for amtrak without it impeding the commuter line and if you add freight to convince the environmentalists, that leaves even less slots for Amtrak. The NY and Atlantic runs primarily overnight to avoid conflict with the commuter rail operation. The LIRR determines the restrictions. To get to the lesser used Ronkonkoma portion, LIRR Trains have to leave Penn Station and travel east through Jamaica and 50 miles east of that, if that is the line you are referring to, that is the Main line. There are no other lines lightly used or abandoned that can access east of Ronkonkoma. Trains have to go through "Divide" Tower at Hicksville through Bethpage, Farmingdale, Pinelawn cemetery, Wyandanch, Deer Park, Brentwood, Central Islip(I used to catch the train to NYC from there) and finally Ronkonkoma. East of KO is Holtsville, Holbrook, Medford Yapahank on out to Greenport which is the "Lightly used" portion of the line; there are no other rights of way that feed into that portion.
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Old January 23rd, 2014, 08:19 AM   #4537
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Train to Mexico seems nice but hell, we need a network to connect Texas cities first.

It's very possible that the Mexico portion of the line will be completed in 2018 while the U.S. side is bogged down in route studies, environmental studies, and political bullcrap.
I agree FM 2258, while I love the idea of a high speed rail traveling from San Antonio to Monterrey. I would like to see our Texas cities connected as well. If we're going to break it down into phases. I would like to see a Austin and San Antonio line or a Dallas and Houston line first.
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Old January 23rd, 2014, 11:43 AM   #4538
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I agree FM 2258, while I love the idea of a high speed rail traveling from San Antonio to Monterrey. I would like to see our Texas cities connected as well. If we're going to break it down into phases. I would like to see a Austin and San Antonio line or a Dallas and Houston line first.
Exactly. I would bet money that these two lines would make money and would not be a boondoggle like the SH 130 tollway south of Austin. If they build it I hope for a Chinese style railway with many bridges.
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Old January 24th, 2014, 02:07 AM   #4539
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If they build it I hope for a Chinese style railway with many bridges.
Unlikely. Sparser population, almost pancake flat terrain, higher labor costs, and extremely cheap real estate will guarantee an entirely at-grade alignment.

It will be supremely ironic if Texas completes its triangle using true high speed rail when California still continues with its half-proposal.
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Old January 24th, 2014, 07:04 AM   #4540
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Cali does have much more difficult terrian, and its cities are much more difficult to cut through because of their higher densities..
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