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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 April 21st, 2009, 06:44 AM   #521
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Originally Posted by FlyFish View Post
Agreed, the only trouble in a City like LA is that there is no longer really a city center. LA from a businessperson's perspective, is extremely large. If this thing was to be built there and made to be viable you would need a huge infrastructure module around it. You would need every service that the airport has; rental car, taxi, food, etc etc. That gets prohibitive in the CIty Centers. It's a challenge here in the US. Folks above me have read me wrong. I'm a train buff. I couldn't wait to ride Acela and seeing HSR would be an awesome thing. But, as one of those evil conservatives I would want to see tax money spent for highest and best use. In this regard there are very few corridors where HSR is the best use of infrastructure dollars.

Boston to DC, absolutely, SFC to LA and LV, probably, but the sprawl of those cities makes it a challenge. If you have to stop ten times in LA then it is hardly high speed no matter how fast the train goes. It will work in the US, but not as pictured in that map above. That map represents the potential waste of hundreds of billions of dollars just so Congressman X can say that his/her district got some. If you want to spend infrastructure dollars between Omaha and Denver in reality just add a lane to the interstate within 75 miles of each city. That would ease congestion in that regard.
Quite the contrary ... LA has teh right infraestructure already built ... all it needs is a HUB connection between:

Los Angeles International and Irvine (route to San Diego) , Ontario (routes to Las Vegas/Nevada and Arizona) , Burbank (routes to S.Francisco) , and other such things ...

... then what remains is to build those 125mph/200mph routes along the densely packed american countryside.


Sidenotice: LA urban area is what ??? bigger than 100miles east-west ???
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Old April 21st, 2009, 07:02 AM   #522
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Originally Posted by sarflonlad View Post
Hamburg to Sevilla - that's what, 33 hours in total on at least 5 trains? Most people would fly that route.

HSR becomes viable, competitive and a very attractive form of transport when journey times are 2-3 hours city centre to city centre. For example, whilst it's still much quicker to fly to Brussels from London, the train wins on total journey time (1h50mins) because there's no need to get to the airport, check-in, wait for your flight, go through security, inevitable delays etc. Hamburg to Sevilla however - 2 hours versus 33 hours... hmmmm.

For HSR to work in Eastern US, the vision needs to be realistic, and the benefits need to be communicated properly.
Thats preciselly the point ...


Hamburg and Seville are connected to their neighbouring towns by HSR ... in distances acceptable ... So are Cordoba , Barcelona , Marseille , Lyon , Frankfurt and many other big cities ... it's the sum of all this that adds to a HUGE HSR network.


I find amusing to hear/read some people claim that the USA should stick with the NEC.


A 4 track route from Ontario(LA eastern suburbs) to Palm Springs (100km = 25 minutes) , Yuma (320km = 1h) , Phoenix (570km = 1h50) , Tucson (740km = 2h30) ... 2 tracks for freight + 2 tracks for "true" HSR (let's say 360km/h perfectly isolated/segregated from either freight trains and everything else) ...


The easier way to do this right is just to connect the Airports of those same cities with one another .. .add some other smaller airports along the way and you have a hugelly dense network ... and remember that the HSR could also serve to link the airports with their respective downtown areas ... and the outer suburbs.
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Last edited by sotavento; April 21st, 2009 at 07:13 AM.
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Old April 21st, 2009, 11:30 PM   #523
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50 years ago?? You have to be kidding me! Since when are any of the people that worked on the railroad 50 years ago still on the job? And since when were those rails electrified, with trains traveling at 150mph? State's don't have that kind of experience, look how long it's taken California to even get to a planning stage! They started their committee to look into high-speed rail in the 1990s! And that was when things were good! How long do you think it's going to take an ordinary state to get together such a proposal? Much of the money for roads comes from cities and states, which are almost all cash-strapped right now.

Ummm expect we don't have goo gobs of money to spend anymore. Did the 10 trillion+ budget deficit just vanish or something? It could be 50 years before the federal government has sufficient money to give for high-speed rail! Furthermore, it doesn’t make any sense to go out of our way to build one when we already have perfectly capable system in place. This isn't 1960, you’re going to have to have some patience if you want rail to make a comback. We don't even have companies to build high-speed rail components and trains in the US! I don't know what idiot decided to throwaway rail travel. But that rail sure wasn't high-speed, either. There hasn't been a major rail project in the US in decades. And high-speed rail has to have it's own system, or it doesn’t work. Just like Amtrack is finding out with Acela.

The interstate highway system was originally built to shuttle around the military. If the government wants to take money out of the defense budget to a build a national electric rail network, with the intention to shuttle the troops around the country, then fine. The Pentagon has plenty of money.
There are plenty of companies that make HSR vehicles- Bombardier, Alstom, Siemens, and Tagon just to name a few.

They would gladly build production facilities in America in exchange for the contracts to produce high speed trains for use there.

You don't think that America can't hire engineers and operations specialists from France or Japan to oversee the construction and implementation of a domestic HSR network? GIVE ME A BREAK!! ******* Nazi scientists were brought over from Germany after WWII to work for NASA.

And you completely eliminate any credibility you have by saying first that the federal government has these huge deficits and can't afford to build a HSR network and then later state that the military has plenty of money!

Doofus, the military is funded with TAXPAYER DOLLARS.

The government can find $700 billion to give to big banks and over ONE TRILLION DOLLARS for wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Money can be found for HSR by eliminating TARP and cutting defense spending in half.

Raise income taxes to pre-Reagan levels, eliminate corporate tax loopholes, start enforcing the tax code and revenues to the government will increase significantly.
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Old April 21st, 2009, 11:46 PM   #524
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I really hope it's actually built between Miami & Orlando. With all the tourists that go between the two cities/regions all year long, it's a no-brainer. Besides, they've been building the Miami Intermodal Center near MIA Airport to accommodate HSR as well. I know I'd use the line if it were built.
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Old April 21st, 2009, 11:51 PM   #525
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onn View Post

The interstate highway system was originally built to shuttle around the military. If the government wants to take money out of the defense budget to a build a national electric rail network, with the intention to shuttle the troops around the country, then fine. The Pentagon has plenty of money.
no it wasn't, it was built with the military in mind, and could you explain again how highway building money links to defense spending? ( although that is hideously bloated anyway).
Hey perhaps we could have more money to HSR if we stopped spending 80% of transport money on highway building as a federal mandate??
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Old April 22nd, 2009, 12:03 AM   #526
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Originally Posted by FM 2258 View Post
I think the U.S. should just focus on getting a Japanese style high speed train going from Washington D.C. to Boston through Philadephia, New York, New Haven and Providence.
I dont know if am i right, but i heard that California will have the japaneses style hst.
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Old April 22nd, 2009, 12:08 AM   #527
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Originally Posted by -Corey- View Post
I dont know if am i right, but i heard that California will have the japaneses style hst.
japanese if you like, or european, or korean, or chinese.. basically what the rest of the world calls 'true' HSR travelling at 300kph or 186mph.
By the way, HSR is competitive on travel times under 4 hours and it get majority market share under 3 hours. People will use the best mode available. Arguing that americans aren't 'ready' to use HSR is nonsensical.
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Old April 26th, 2009, 03:57 AM   #528
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Good plan!
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Old April 26th, 2009, 10:12 AM   #529
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Originally Posted by -Corey- View Post
I dont know if am i right, but i heard that California will have the japaneses style hst.
There's no definite decision yet since rolling stock could change within the next 5 years with the development of the Fastech 360, the AGV, and the Zefiro. We will not know until construction starts.
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Old April 26th, 2009, 10:21 AM   #530
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Originally Posted by -Corey- View Post
I dont know if am i right, but i heard that California will have the japaneses style hst.
I know you're wrong
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Old April 26th, 2009, 11:20 AM   #531
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such nieve and narrow minded comment?
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Old April 27th, 2009, 06:33 AM   #532
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I'm just thinking why the high speed rail in america are not like in other country like europe, china, and japan with vast network of high speed railline and train and mostly of high speed are only in the west part of america like the "ACELA" and mostly of the high speed service in east part are using diesel power locomotive and not EMU.
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Old April 27th, 2009, 07:38 AM   #533
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such nieve and narrow minded comment?
keep your comments, that's only the truth.
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Old April 27th, 2009, 09:03 AM   #534
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Originally Posted by Metropolitan View Post
We often hear people saying that the US is too large and its population density too low to make an HSR network viable.

Here's a map showing both Eastern US and Western Europe at the same scale. In red, you can see European HSR network. As you can see, a system as extensive as the one currently existing in Europe would be already far enough to serve most of US HSR needs.




In looking at that map, I realized how much we actually underestimate European distances compared to US distances. For instance, we imagine Boston and Miami to be incredibly far away, but Boston is actually closer to Miami than Hamburg is to Sevilla ! Both European cities being actually served with high speed rail...

I think that if we don't realize that European distances aren't that small, it's because of two major problems: First, half of the US is empty (all the Rockies and desert states) and can thus be ignored here. Second, Europe has a very weird shape with tons of islands and peninsulas. As such, there are tons of water in Europe (North sea, Med sea, Adriatic sea, Baltic sea), which are of course not counted in land area but which don't put Helsinki, Palermo or Edinburgh any closer.
Yeah just ignore an entire coast and the only state, California, that has advanced plans for TRUE HSR
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Old April 27th, 2009, 08:20 PM   #535
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he wasnt ignoring california, read the GD post...
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 07:05 PM   #536
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US transportation secretary praises Spain's bullet train system as model to follow
30 May 2009

MADRID (AP) - Spain's bullet train system is a model to follow as America plans how to spend the money the government is injecting to stimulate the economy, the U.S. transportation secretary said Saturday.

Ray LaHood said the $8 billion allocated for high-speed railways in the United States will spur economic growth and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

President Barack Obama has cited Spain, France and Japan as countries with systems worth emulating.

The Spanish network is likely to interest the U.S. government because its specially designed, electrified tracks -- first devised for the French TGV system -- are not as expensive to lay and run as some German or Japanese alternatives.

And Spanish state-of-the-art tunneling technology has proved successful in boring efficiently through mountain ranges to reach the cities of Valladolid and Malaga.

LaHood met with Spain's Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero to discuss how investing in such a train system could stimulate job creation in the U.S.

"Yesterday I traveled on a train at close to 350 kilometers (215 miles) per hour, the fastest I've ever ridden on a high-speed train," LaHood said. He said he had enjoyed a conversation and beverage aboard and found the experience very civilized.

"Our leaders have made the decision that America will have high speed rail," LaHood said.

Of $787 billion approved in Obama's stimulus bill, $48 billion is destined to improving overall transport infrastructure, with rail receiving for the first time an important share, LaHood said.

He said that by the end of the summer there will be American people working in well-paying jobs building high speed rail links in the U.S.

The U.S. transportation secretary also met with Spanish Development Minister Jose Blanco. The two discussed how rail can be tailored to provide "intermodal links" with other forms of transport such as road, air and sea, as well as issues relating to safety on a high speed network.

The secretary said he was scheduled to meet with Vice President Joe Biden next week in Washington D.C. to decide how best to spend the $8 billion allotted to high speed rail. He said there would be "an early infusion of money to get things going."

Spain's high-speed train system began operating in 1992 between Madrid and Seville in the southwest. Since then the network has been extended by nearly 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles) to link central Valladolid and Segovia to southern Malaga and northeastern Barcelona.

By 2014 bullet trains are expected to travel from Portugal's capital, Lisbon, to Madrid in under three hours.

High-speed lines will eventually stretch from Portugal's Atlantic coast, through France to Britain and Belgium, providing Europe with fast passenger transport to rival air travel.
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 07:58 PM   #537
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
US transportation secretary praises Spain's bullet train system as model to follow
30 May 2009

MADRID (AP) - Spain's bullet train system is a model to follow as America plans how to spend the money the government is injecting to stimulate the economy, the U.S. transportation secretary said Saturday.

Ray LaHood said the $8 billion allocated for high-speed railways in the United States will spur economic growth and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

President Barack Obama has cited Spain, France and Japan as countries with systems worth emulating.

The Spanish network is likely to interest the U.S. government because its specially designed, electrified tracks -- first devised for the French TGV system -- are not as expensive to lay and run as some German or Japanese alternatives.

And Spanish state-of-the-art tunneling technology has proved successful in boring efficiently through mountain ranges to reach the cities of Valladolid and Malaga.

LaHood met with Spain's Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero to discuss how investing in such a train system could stimulate job creation in the U.S.

"Yesterday I traveled on a train at close to 350 kilometers (215 miles) per hour, the fastest I've ever ridden on a high-speed train," LaHood said. He said he had enjoyed a conversation and beverage aboard and found the experience very civilized.

"Our leaders have made the decision that America will have high speed rail," LaHood said.

Of $787 billion approved in Obama's stimulus bill, $48 billion is destined to improving overall transport infrastructure, with rail receiving for the first time an important share, LaHood said.

He said that by the end of the summer there will be American people working in well-paying jobs building high speed rail links in the U.S.

The U.S. transportation secretary also met with Spanish Development Minister Jose Blanco. The two discussed how rail can be tailored to provide "intermodal links" with other forms of transport such as road, air and sea, as well as issues relating to safety on a high speed network.

The secretary said he was scheduled to meet with Vice President Joe Biden next week in Washington D.C. to decide how best to spend the $8 billion allotted to high speed rail. He said there would be "an early infusion of money to get things going."

Spain's high-speed train system began operating in 1992 between Madrid and Seville in the southwest. Since then the network has been extended by nearly 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles) to link central Valladolid and Segovia to southern Malaga and northeastern Barcelona.

By 2014 bullet trains are expected to travel from Portugal's capital, Lisbon, to Madrid in under three hours.

High-speed lines will eventually stretch from Portugal's Atlantic coast, through France to Britain and Belgium, providing Europe with fast passenger transport to rival air travel.
Wisconsin's governor and others from the Midwest visited Spain back in Feb. to tour their system. There are a bunch of photos from the trip on one of the websites.
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Old June 23rd, 2009, 07:26 AM   #538
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Lahood went to France and Germany too

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Old June 23rd, 2009, 01:36 PM   #539
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Originally Posted by LAmarODom420 View Post
Yeah just ignore an entire coast and the only state, California, that has advanced plans for TRUE HSR
His point for the eastern part is valid however. The population at the west coast is pretty concentrated in California as well and large enough to justify a intra californian island HSR solution. That does not in anyawy make his point any weaker.


[quote]US transportation secretary praises Spain's bullet train system as model to follow [quote]

The Spanish HSR system is brand new, fast, very convenient and simply great and still rapidly expanding. Just the tickets should be bought online in advance, buying them at the railwaystation is quite an undertaking that can under circumstances take as long as the rail journey itself.

If the US would follow Spains model, it would be not only ambitious but also making a good decision.

Thats a minor aspect though that can be easily tackled.
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Old June 23rd, 2009, 01:53 PM   #540
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Originally Posted by sarflonlad View Post
Hamburg to Sevilla - that's what, 33 hours in total on at least 5 trains? Most people would fly that route.
I have tried out the route: Vienna - Madrid by train.

2 night trains and spending the day in between in Zürich on my way to Spain and in Bern on my way home. So actually I hardly spent any time awake in a train without preparing for the sleep / for the day or with my breakfeast in front of me.
Additionally I had take the high speed train from Barcelona to Madrid. That was 2 and a half hours more maybe? But if I'd understood Spanish a seeing a recent block buster would have been included in that journey. (1st class also a meal would be included). I'd prefer this way of travelling anytime over flying as long as its somewhat affordable.

True, night trains don't need HSRs but I think one should think about them. Is there btw the chance of a high speed night train? With the growing European network it should be possible to really go as far as ~ 3000-4000 km in one night. Why aren't there any plans in this regard. Are there technical limitations or are the companies just not creative enough?

Quote:
HSR becomes viable, competitive and a very attractive form of transport when journey times are 2-3 hours city centre to city centre. For example, whilst it's still much quicker to fly to Brussels from London, the train wins on total journey time (1h50mins) because there's no need to get to the airport, check-in, wait for your flight, go through security, inevitable delays etc. Hamburg to Sevilla however - 2 hours versus 33 hours... hmmmm.

For HSR to work in Eastern US, the vision needs to be realistic, and the benefits need to be communicated properly.
I'd say that up to 3 hours it is highly competitive but its up to 4 hours feasible. Many people would prefer the train even if it takes as long or a bit longer than the flight for various reasons. Comfort might be among them.
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