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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 28th, 2014, 11:38 PM   #4561
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k.k.jetcar View Post
So many of these proclamations are more grounded in hype than actual potential to serve a market (where are the preliminary business plans that would pass initial muster with a financial institution??- they never seem to appear). Most proposals are, sorry to say, in the same league as previous plans for HSR in Laos or, for godsakes, Sudan(!).
Absolutely.

US is a rich and populous country though and most connections in the appropriate "HS rail distance" could be made to work.
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Old January 29th, 2014, 10:35 PM   #4562
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Originally Posted by aquaticko View Post
CNB30: "Is it A or B?" phoenixboi08: "Yes."
He asked if it was B rather than A.
Which could be answered in a "yes/no" form.
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Old January 30th, 2014, 02:53 AM   #4563
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Originally Posted by CNB30 View Post
So is that technically high speed rail instead of higher speed rail?
Yes haha. > 125 mph = HSR
90-125 mph = HrSR
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Old January 30th, 2014, 03:08 AM   #4564
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenixboi08 View Post
He asked if it was B rather than A.
Which could be answered in a "yes/no" form.
I know, it just sounded funny
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Old January 30th, 2014, 03:17 AM   #4565
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquaticko View Post
CNB30: "Is it A or B?"

phoenixboi08: "Yes."

It does seem like it'll increase average rail speeds, but as it says in the press release (and is currently the situation on most lines across the country), the limiting factor to passenger rail speeds in the U.S. isn't rolling stock, but track condition and layout.

New, faster-accelerating trains can use more of their performance envelope, but until the average travel speed is at least >100mph, it's higher-speed rail, not high speed rail.
I believe trains already travel that speed, and the only thing keeping the route slower is the time element from all of the stations.
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Old January 30th, 2014, 04:25 AM   #4566
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High Speed Rail will become popular in this county if we could get more advertising for it. The airlines advertise obsessively and the car companies advertise for the highways. If only Amtrak would make their services known more, more people would think of them as an option. A key thing would be to add free wi-fi and electrical outlets to as many trains as possible. The key thing that is making trains have a comeback is that people would give just about anything to be able to work on their laptops or text the entire time they are travelling. If the trains accommodated that, and Amtrak or any other operator advertised that they do, many more people would prefer a train over driving, so much so that they might take the train and then rent a car at the destination. People do that regularly at airports, and the short distance intercity flight market is embarrassingly huge, mostly for lack of alternatives. If the train line went to the same places, most people would immediately forgo being felt-up by TSA officers and take the train. The key is convenience! The train has to run at the same or higher frequency than planes.

1. Advertise the rail services to the people who don't know about them.
2. Include Wi-fi and electrical outlets in all standard train fares.
3. Run the trains at a high frequency. The Acelas run at about one every 2 hours, in the busiest intercity travel corridor in the country, lined with dense cities.
4. Grind the fact that the High Speed trains are effectively Electric cars on steroids without the pesky need to pay attention to the road into everyone's minds! Just about anyone who would want an electric car would want to take the train instead!

The key is government support, which is nearly impossible in a country where certain people believe that Obama carried out 9/11 to get Bush out of office and become president! A small group was holding signs about that today. I wish my camera had a longer battery life...
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Old January 30th, 2014, 05:44 AM   #4567
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CNB30 View Post
I believe trains already travel that speed, and the only thing keeping the route slower is the time element from all of the stations.
Note that I specified "average at least 100mph". As far as I know, the only service which comes close is the Acela, and that's still 20mph off.

I know a lot of trains now reach that speed--heck, the one I take from Boston to Cleveland to return to school hits 110mph west of Albany, but it only maintains that speed until Schenectady, the next stop over. Other places, it probably hits 80, through the Empire Corridor in New York, but there are lots of spots, especially on the MA-NY border, where we can't be doing much more than 30mph.

Top speeds mean little other than press coverage; increasing average speeds is the key to improving rail service.
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Old January 30th, 2014, 06:11 AM   #4568
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My point is that I'm saying it is unfair to state that the trains are going 80 mph when they travel at 120-130 mph, I don't think standing still at a station makes since as part of the average speed, rather I think it would be fairer to compare the speed of the Acela between two stations rather than the entire route. Also, If you look at Amtrak's track a train occasionally, (especially in mid day) Acela trains and all trains are given their current speed, and unless one is in a station, or on the Connecticut coast, they tend to be doing about 120 mph. In this case it would be accurate to say the US has HSR service between Phili and NYC, but not Boston and NYC, while it does between Providence and Boston

http://www.amtrak.com/train-routes

http://www.amtrak.com/train-routes
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Old January 30th, 2014, 07:47 AM   #4569
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I think Monterrey to Dallas is profitable (with a terminus in San Antonio I'm less sure)

I could see this:
Terminus: Monterrey, Nuevo Leon
-Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas
-Laredo, Texas
-Pearsall, Texas
-San Antonio, Texas (another rail line connects with Houston)
-San Marcos, Texas
-Austin, Texas
-Georgetown, Texas
-Temple, Texas
-Waco, Texas
-Dallas, Texas
Terminus: McKinney, Texas
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Old January 30th, 2014, 04:30 PM   #4570
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CNB30 View Post
My point is that I'm saying it is unfair to state that the trains are going 80 mph when they travel at 120-130 mph, I don't think standing still at a station makes since as part of the average speed, rather I think it would be fairer to compare the speed of the Acela between two stations rather than the entire route. Also, If you look at Amtrak's track a train occasionally, (especially in mid day) Acela trains and all trains are given their current speed, and unless one is in a station, or on the Connecticut coast, they tend to be doing about 120 mph. In this case it would be accurate to say the US has HSR service between Phili and NYC, but not Boston and NYC, while it does between Providence and Boston

http://www.amtrak.com/train-routes

http://www.amtrak.com/train-routes
I suppose; it's definitely true that some sections of a corridor are faster than others. But one of the things that differentiates air travel from train travel is that air travel is much more point-to-point: you don't typically have trains stopping for half an hour at a station then going in non-linear direction to the next stop, but rather they move quickly from one station continuing to the next along a line. Trains stop much more frequently, as well, so even on a section of the NEC on which an Acela hits 120mph, it won't maintain that speed for very long over a short distance (Philly is only ~80mi from NYC).

Worrying about increasing the top speed of a train when it may not have an opportunity to exploit that higher speed seems like a waste of resources. With trains accelerating and decelerating much less quickly than planes, a lot of time is spent speeding up and slowing down, especially when track conditions are as variable as they along most lines in the U.S., including the NEC; in that way, it seems to make more sense to make sure that quicker, rather than faster, trains are purchased (much though that often, maybe always, means the same thing).
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Old February 5th, 2014, 12:55 AM   #4571
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manitopiaaa View Post
I think Monterrey to Dallas is profitable (with a terminus in San Antonio I'm less sure)

I could see this:
Terminus: Monterrey, Nuevo Leon
-Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas
-Laredo, Texas
-Pearsall, Texas
-San Antonio, Texas (another rail line connects with Houston)
-San Marcos, Texas
-Austin, Texas
-Georgetown, Texas
-Temple, Texas
-Waco, Texas
-Dallas, Texas
Terminus: McKinney, Texas
I'd probably add New Braunfels to the list.
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Old February 5th, 2014, 08:11 AM   #4572
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Does anyone have exact information abou CA HSR?such as what kind of track,ballastless or ballast track? what is the size of curve radius?design sketch of bridges and others.
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Old February 5th, 2014, 06:30 PM   #4573
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ACS-64 600 is to debut in revenue service on Friday, February 8th, on train 171 from BOS to WAS. Keep your eyes open.
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Old February 5th, 2014, 07:37 PM   #4574
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I've read that these locomotives can run up to 125mph. Where will these trains run consistently at "High Speed", I thought the Acela was the only train in the U.S. to run at 125mph or higher.
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Old February 7th, 2014, 10:38 PM   #4575
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k.k.jetcar View Post
+1
So many of these proclamations are more grounded in hype than actual potential to serve a market (where are the preliminary business plans that would pass initial muster with a financial institution??- they never seem to appear). Most proposals are, sorry to say, in the same league as previous plans for HSR in Laos or, for godsakes, Sudan(!).
Oh fellow poster, if only you knew. Laos' HSR is already under construction. That's right: Laos will have true HSR before America does.
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Old February 10th, 2014, 02:43 AM   #4576
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I came up on an info kiosk in the Baltimore Penn Station on the future of high speed rail in America, now to make it a reality!!!
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Old February 10th, 2014, 03:12 AM   #4577
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Originally Posted by Yamauchi View Post
Oh fellow poster, if only you knew. Laos' HSR is already under construction. That's right: Laos will have true HSR before America does.
I'll believe it when I see it. FYI, the cost of the HSR line is equivalent of 80% of Laos' whole national budget, and is entirely dependent on Chinese loans, which are likely to never be repaid (who is going to ride the train and provide decent farebox recovery?- certainly not your average Laotian, who isn't exactly rich, or even middle class). Better hope that there are lots of foreigners who will ride the train, coz your peasant who lives below the viaducts can't.
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Old February 10th, 2014, 02:11 PM   #4578
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k.k.jetcar View Post
I'll believe it when I see it. FYI, the cost of the HSR line is equivalent of 80% of Laos' whole national budget, and is entirely dependent on Chinese loans, which are likely to never be repaid (who is going to ride the train and provide decent farebox recovery?- certainly not your average Laotian, who isn't exactly rich, or even middle class). Better hope that there are lots of foreigners who will ride the train, coz your peasant who lives below the viaducts can't.
Actually you just highlighted one of the problems of US thinking about HSR. There are other values of HSR then just passenger income. A railway with China will increase growth and in Laos meaning that it might even be feasible to subsidise trips. In the US it seems that only thing that matters is if the numbers are in black at the end line of the company rather then the society at large.
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Old February 10th, 2014, 04:21 PM   #4579
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I think his main point was that the Laotian HSR wouldn't be possible without Chinese funding, whereas the US has no such benefactors. I agree; there are a lot of positive externalities that aren't counted by simple a simple income v. expenditure formula, but as you say, the U.S. is no longer the kind of country that cares about things like that.
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Old February 10th, 2014, 04:31 PM   #4580
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquaticko View Post
I think his main point was that the Laotian HSR wouldn't be possible without Chinese funding, whereas the US has no such benefactors. I agree; there are a lot of positive externalities that aren't counted by simple a simple income v. expenditure formula, but as you say, the U.S. is no longer the kind of country that cares about things like that.
The endpoint is that there's no lack of funding - there's plenty of it.
Our problem is the structure we have for infrastructure: states are responsible for doing it but are really dependent upon federal funds to do it.

What has to change is HSR to become a national priority. This administration tried...but until there's some consensus in Congress, who actually decide on the budget, we won't get anything.

It really comes down to constituents looking at their representatives and asking, "when are we getting rail."
Unfortunately, many seem to be okay with the status quo, which is why we need to charge user/access fees for road infrastructure (tolls, a proportional gasoline tax, etc).
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