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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 June 28th, 2014, 04:58 PM   #4721
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rantanamo View Post
I would suspect downtown dallas will have a stop at some point just because the studied route to Fort Worth is actually down the large median of I-30 between the two cities.
I think you meant the light rail?

If you mean the TX Central project, they are building their stations downtown. Don't confuse this project with the one Dallas-Fort Worth link, which is being studied by TXDOT/Dallas. The idea is for the two projects to coordinate so they could essentially run to the same specifications; however, they are two separate projects.
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Old June 28th, 2014, 05:17 PM   #4722
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If they were smart, they'd be working with other agencies (namely, Amtrak) to allow them to operate on the system as well, potentially serving intermediate stops that the main, express service will not.
They are being smart not working with the likes of Amtrak. Running a high speed rail system with stellar reliability and punctuality (which JR Central does in Japan) is incompatible with the operating philosophy (i.e. arriving within 30 minutes of the published schedule is counted as "on time"*) and real world performance of Amtrak.

*otoh, the average delay on the Tokaido Shinkansen over one year (counting weather-related disruptions like snow or typhoons) is 36 seconds.

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Old June 29th, 2014, 12:18 AM   #4723
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k.k.jetcar View Post
They are being smart not working with the likes of Amtrak. Running a high speed rail system with stellar reliability and punctuality (which JR Central does in Japan) is incompatible with the operating philosophy (i.e. arriving within 30 minutes of the published schedule is counted as "on time"*) and real world performance of Amtrak.

*otoh, the average delay on the Tokaido Shinkansen over one year (counting weather-related disruptions like snow or typhoons) is 36 seconds.
Oh, give me a break. They would do better to allow other operators to use the infrastructure to run other services. The reliability and punctuality of Amtrak has everything to do with the shitty infrastructure they're forced to use.

In any event, because it is not a mixed-traffic system, any other operator using the line would be operating similar rolling stock. The point at hand is allowing other agencies to serve other areas. As an initial system, it's nice, but I do think serving the intermediate areas would be far more beneficial for their bottom line in the long term. That's where other operators come in (e.g. the pseudo-bidding system used in London/UK: TX Central earns extra revenue, commuters get greater service, and the operator doesn't have to pay the intensive capital costs or much for maintenance.
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Old June 29th, 2014, 12:38 AM   #4724
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Honestly, If Republican Texas can do this, I think it will send a message to the rest of the country that HSR can work everywhere.
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Old June 29th, 2014, 05:28 AM   #4725
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Originally Posted by CNB30 View Post
Honestly, If Republican Texas can do this, I think it will send a message to the rest of the country that HSR can work everywhere.
What is helping move this project forward the most is that it is private sector investment into the infrastructure. If they can show their is serious reward with private investment, I do believe other firms would be willing to build HSR infrastructure. I think our planning process however is too bogged down in regulations. It takes 8 years from feasibility to construction start.

The private capital is a huge help since public funded megaprojects have received ridiculous amounts of scrutiny. I feel it is why we cannot have world class infrastructure. We need to target items that are holding us back from making progress.
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Old June 29th, 2014, 05:58 AM   #4726
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If not California, then Texas. It doesn't matter much.

All it takes is for the first HSR line to operate and most people would want one for their state.
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Old June 29th, 2014, 10:19 AM   #4727
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenixboi08 View Post
I think you meant the light rail?

If you mean the TX Central project, they are building their stations downtown. Don't confuse this project with the one Dallas-Fort Worth link, which is being studied by TXDOT/Dallas. The idea is for the two projects to coordinate so they could essentially run to the same specifications; however, they are two separate projects.

I understand that TxCentral is studying a Dallas to Houston route, but they have been very vague on station location. The DDOJSIOC(my nickname for NCTCOG's rail study group) sort of glanced over the idea that North Houston burbs and South Dallas were the to be studied stops in 2012. The first real mention of DT Dallas station by either organization was by the DDOJSIOC this year. Though they make it unclear whether TxCentral is now studying downtown Dallas after realizing they pretty much have an easy access, pretty much unchallenged clear route to DT Dallas from the south OR if as part of their HSR extension to FW(DDOJSIOC) that they would indeed be building the extension from south Dallas to DT Dallas, then onto DTFW down the median of I-30(DDOJSIOC's latest study pitted three routes from DTD to DTFW and found I-30's HOV complex and easy geometry to be most cost effective in building a 19 minute trip extension of the HSR. The DDOJSIOC is very clear this would be an extension of the TxCentral line and would be an extension and not a change to different type of train) But again, which organization is planning on building to DTD. Its is very unclear until the EIS comes out or until Tx Central says something.
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Old June 29th, 2014, 04:09 PM   #4728
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G5man View Post
What is helping move this project forward the most is that it is private sector investment into the infrastructure. If they can show their is serious reward with private investment, I do believe other firms would be willing to build HSR infrastructure. I think our planning process however is too bogged down in regulations. It takes 8 years from feasibility to construction start.

The private capital is a huge help since public funded megaprojects have received ridiculous amounts of scrutiny. I feel it is why we cannot have world class infrastructure. We need to target items that are holding us back from making progress.
What's helping the project move forward is the perception by the public that they aren't being asked to pay for it...
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Old June 29th, 2014, 04:13 PM   #4729
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GodIsNotGreat View Post
If not California, then Texas. It doesn't matter much.

All it takes is for the first HSR line to operate and most people would want one for their state.
That's my opinion as well. Obviously provided that the first system is built to a high standard and with usable stations.
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Old June 29th, 2014, 11:27 PM   #4730
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Good news for Texas, but do you guys think it be ready by 2021?
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Old June 30th, 2014, 12:37 AM   #4731
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
With very fast high-speed rail service on these distance ranges (where trip time length is competitive with flying), last-mile problems can be easily solved same way airports do: taxis, rental car counters, easy access to the nearby freeway etc.
Of course they "could be". And, as a regular train traveller, I've long thought they "should be". But they haven't been. And I'm not sure taxis and rental car counters are actually an answer anyway. The advantage of HSR is that it serves the city center, not some far-flung exurban airport. Given the problems of driving in the center of a city you don't know, I'm not sure that's much of an answer. And taxis are, let's face it, expensive if you are going to do much moving around the destination city.

So I am left with what I said: HSR will work best when the cities it links have decent public transportation and that may be a weakness in Texas; not prohibitive, but an issue.
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Old June 30th, 2014, 12:43 AM   #4732
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom 958 View Post
There are these things called "taxis" that would be perfect for that situation.
Once again: Travelling exclusively by taxi is expensive, especially in cities where it isn't extremely common like New York forcing rates down.

Actually, there are better stop-gap solutions: Things you may not have heard of called Uber, Lyft and Zipcar.

These are all things I know, being carless in a major city (are there any carless Texans . . . or Georgians?).
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Old July 1st, 2014, 04:51 AM   #4733
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cal_Escapee View Post
Even though I am no fan of much about Texas, I agree if there's a political will to do this, it's a good place. Not only is the Dallas-Houston route potentially one that could have decent ridership but building in Texas, with flat, open terrain, should be relatively cheap and easy.

One problem I foresee: In order to ride HSR or any rail on a regular basis, as opposed to driving, you need good transportation options at the end of the trip. Intercity rail will work best between cities that have good public transportation--so you can hop onto a bus or rail transit to get around the destination city rather than having to rent a car (there often aren't car rental agencies near train stations, at least not yet). I'm not sure either Dallas or Houston meets this test.

Another: You say "they can get this built quickly with stations near the heart of the cities." I can't speak for Dallas, but I have travelled through Houston many times on AMTRAK and the train creeps on a giant loop through the city--the antithesis of "high speed". Are they planning some different route and to eliminate all the grade crossings and other issues that slow down any train?
I remember reading an article a while back about that. It commented on how while rail in Houston was largely confined to the city loop DART, apparently the largest ligh rail operator in the USA (whatever that means), constructed a system that leads into many of its suburbs, reaching Plano, Carrollton, Garland, Richardson, Rowlett, Lewisville, Denton, and Irving, the largest suburbs of the area.
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Old July 3rd, 2014, 07:53 AM   #4734
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I found this article about the next generation Acela trainsets.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonrab...ty-and-speeds/

Quote:
Amtrak Looking To Boost Acela Express Capacity, Speeds

Amtrak’s Acela Express service may not be true high-speed rail, but as ridership hits new records and trains consistently packed, Amtrak is looking to prepare for the future by replacing its current rolling stock.
On Wednesday afternoon, Amtrak said it has issued a request for proposal to “acquire new trainsets to supplement and eventually replace its aging Acela Express.” Acela Express, which runs exclusively along the Northeast Corridor (NEC), is currently operating near capacity and frequently sells out before and after major holidays.

An Amtrak spokesman tells Railway Age that responses to the RFP are due by October 1, 2014. Once the proposals are in, we should have a better idea of what the next generation of Acela will look like.
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Old July 3rd, 2014, 05:49 PM   #4735
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From Rail Journal:

Quote:
http://www.railjournal.com/index.php...ml?channel=542

Amtrak issues RFP for Acela fleet replacement
Thursday, July 03, 2014



AMTRAK has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for 28 high-speed trains, which will replace the Acela Express fleet on the Washington DC – New York – Boston Northeast Corridor (NEC).

According to the specification the new trains will need to be "capable of meeting or exceeding current Acela trip-times on the existing NEC infrastructure," and provide a 40% increase in seating capacity.

The tender will only be open to bidders who have already supplied trains capable of operating at more than 257km/h to other operators. The closing date for expressions of interest is October 1.

Amtrak had previously planned to tender the contract jointly with California High-Speed Rail Authority, which requires up to 70 high-speed trains over a 15-year period, but the two parties decided last month to launch separate tenders due to significant differences in the specifications for the two fleets.

The Acela Express fleet is struggling to cope with rapidly rising demand. Amtrak says Acela Express ridership has increased by 7% in the last year and trains are often fully-booked, particularly at peak times. Daily ridership has exceeded 14,000 passengers 25 times in the current financial year, which started on October 1, compared with five times in the whole of the 2013 financial year
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Old July 3rd, 2014, 08:57 PM   #4736
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dimlys1994 View Post
From Rail Journal:
I hope they can get trains which could quickly maneuver all of those curvy tracks in New England
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Old July 3rd, 2014, 09:16 PM   #4737
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Well, Acela already have active tilt, not sure if any more speed can be won. Lighter trains may help a bit, though.
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Old July 3rd, 2014, 09:47 PM   #4738
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CNB30 View Post
I hope they can get trains which could quickly maneuver all of those curvy tracks in New England


I just took a serious look at the track on a map going through Conneciticut, it looks impossible to straighten the track without demolishing some neighborhoods. So much that I feel they're lucky to even have a decent speed railroad going through southern Connecticut.
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Old July 3rd, 2014, 09:56 PM   #4739
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Speaking of the Acela



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Old July 4th, 2014, 02:19 AM   #4740
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Quote:
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I just took a serious look at the track on a map going through Conneciticut, it looks impossible to straighten the track without demolishing some neighborhoods. So much that I feel they're lucky to even have a decent speed railroad going through southern Connecticut.
Yes, I know, but what I mean is to design them so they can actually maneuver the turns at at least 100mph.
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