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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%
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Old April 2nd, 2015, 02:44 AM   #5461
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No construction of new Susquehanna River bridge likely until 2020s, Amtrak says

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/mar...401-story.html
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Old April 2nd, 2015, 03:55 AM   #5462
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California's High Speed Rail -Bullet Train

Already under construction, due to be completed in 2030.




Last edited by Kenni; April 2nd, 2015 at 04:01 AM.
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Old April 2nd, 2015, 06:36 AM   #5463
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Not straight enough. Too many stops. They're gonna take the H out of HSR
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Old April 2nd, 2015, 07:11 AM   #5464
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That video is 5 years old now...

It predicts carrying 100 million passengers by 2030. I would be astounded if any of the major urban centers were even connected by 2030.

How is that construction going on the CHSR? I haven't heard anything about it for the longest of time. There should be a test track section under construction from Bakersfield to Fresno which started in January. That section is scheduled to be up and running by 2022.

2022. China will have built another 5000 km of HSR by then.
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Old April 2nd, 2015, 08:06 AM   #5465
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At this point they should just do speed increases on existing railroad. I took Amtrak once and it was painfully slow. Modernized all existing trunk lines to 120Mph peak, 80Mph average will get it at least competitive with freeway system and intercity buses and make overnight sleepers between major cities possible. One thing I really liked about traveling in China is that I can book overnight sleeper and travel halfway around the country without wasting time and save a night of hotel fair. (For example D trains service from Beijing and Guangzhou is perfect for business trips. Leaving at 8pm and arriving at 6:30am, most of that time comfortably asleep. Flying that trip would waste a entire day on traveling cramped in miserable seats and would have cost more.) Even without speed increases, such service would be possible between San Francisco and LA, New York and Washington DC. A minor speed increase would make it possible between New York and Chicago, New York and Orlando. Just something to think about.
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Old April 2nd, 2015, 01:57 PM   #5466
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NergiZed View Post
That video is 5 years old now...

It predicts carrying 100 million passengers by 2030. I would be astounded if any of the major urban centers were even connected by 2030.

How is that construction going on the CHSR? I haven't heard anything about it for the longest of time. There should be a test track section under construction from Bakersfield to Fresno which started in January. That section is scheduled to be up and running by 2022.

2022. China will have built another 5000 km of HSR by then.
Semantics: construction did not begin, only works (testing of pylons, demolition). The actual construction on CP-1 should begin sometime in the summer.

To be honest, from what I can tell the authority never even wanted a groundbreaking, because they had the optics to see it would be confusing; but of course, we know why they had to have one.

In any case, it's a design-build contract, meaning the Authority does the planning, gets environmental clearance, and financing while the contractor designs, then builds their awarded segment. It saves on costs by letting them award each Construction Package individually; however, it takes additional time as the contractor needs to figure out just how to meet the specifications and guidelines.

Anyways, the timeframe is wholly dependent on funding: once they can secure more financing (which they will), they can advance the various segments simultaneously, instead of waiting to enter revenue service and borrow against that. We're already seeing this happening with the "Golden Spike" of Palmdale....I expect the IOS to be completed well before 2022 (and the fully built system, well before 2030), and sooner depending on how quickly the EIS and land acquisition happens for the rest of the ROW.

Quote:
Originally Posted by luhai View Post
At this point they should just do speed increases on existing railroad. I took Amtrak once and it was painfully slow. Modernized all existing trunk lines to 120Mph peak, 80Mph average will get it at least competitive with freeway system and intercity buses and make overnight sleepers between major cities possible. One thing I really liked about traveling in China is that I can book overnight sleeper and travel halfway around the country without wasting time and save a night of hotel fair. (For example D trains service from Beijing and Guangzhou is perfect for business trips. Leaving at 8pm and arriving at 6:30am, most of that time comfortably asleep. Flying that trip would waste a entire day on traveling cramped in miserable seats and would have cost more.) Even without speed increases, such service would be possible between San Francisco and LA, New York and Washington DC. A minor speed increase would make it possible between New York and Chicago, New York and Orlando. Just something to think about.
Most of those ROWs are owned and maintained (barely) by Freight RRs (BNSF and UP in the case of the San Joaquin). Not much can honestly be done to improve the service short of building dedicated trunk lines...especially since they haven't been able to continue the service on to LA after Bakersfield on that ROW for ages...

China has an intact passenger RR, and significantly less freight volume, I would suspect.
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Old April 3rd, 2015, 04:19 AM   #5467
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NergiZed View Post
That video is 5 years old now...

It predicts carrying 100 million passengers by 2030. I would be astounded if any of the major urban centers were even connected by 2030.

How is that construction going on the CHSR? I haven't heard anything about it for the longest of time. There should be a test track section under construction from Bakersfield to Fresno which started in January. That section is scheduled to be up and running by 2022.

2022. China will have built another 5000 km of HSR by then.
Yes, the video is old, but I put it up because construction just started.



Too many stops? Take the "H" out? Its speed will be 200 miles per hour (320 km/h)
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Old April 3rd, 2015, 07:51 AM   #5468
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Some NEC progress taken from yesterday

High Speed Crossovers


High Speed Crossovers
by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr

New Poles


014
by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr

New Pole Pieces


015
by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr


016
by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr

More Concrete track segments


017
by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr

on the PA side


Northeast Corridor in Levittown,PA
by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr


Northeast Corridor in Levittown,PA
by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr
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Old April 3rd, 2015, 08:11 AM   #5469
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silly_Walks View Post
Not straight enough. Too many stops. They're gonna take the H out of HSR
The idea is that there will be local trains that stop at most or all stations, with express trains stopping only at major stations. The only thing in question at this point is whether these express trains will be able to pass through city centers at speed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by luhai View Post
At this point they should just do speed increases on existing railroad. I took Amtrak once and it was painfully slow. Modernized all existing trunk lines to 120Mph peak, 80Mph average will get it at least competitive with freeway system and intercity buses and make overnight sleepers between major cities possible. One thing I really liked about traveling in China is that I can book overnight sleeper and travel halfway around the country without wasting time and save a night of hotel fair. (For example D trains service from Beijing and Guangzhou is perfect for business trips. Leaving at 8pm and arriving at 6:30am, most of that time comfortably asleep. Flying that trip would waste a entire day on traveling cramped in miserable seats and would have cost more.) Even without speed increases, such service would be possible between San Francisco and LA, New York and Washington DC. A minor speed increase would make it possible between New York and Chicago, New York and Orlando. Just something to think about.
As said above, most Amtrak services run on ROW owned by freight companies. The needs and infrastructure design of freight railways is very different from passenger trains. As long as Amtrak does not have its own dedicated railway, upgrading the tracks to 120mph would still not solve the main issue: slow, lumbering freight trains that force Amtrak trains to stop and wait.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenixboi08 View Post



Most of those ROWs are owned and maintained (barely) by Freight RRs (BNSF and UP in the case of the San Joaquin). Not much can honestly be done to improve the service short of building dedicated trunk lines...especially since they haven't been able to continue the service on to LA after Bakersfield on that ROW for ages...

China has an intact passenger RR, and significantly less freight volume, I would suspect.
Actually, one main reason why China is building the HSR system is because it is trying to free up capacity on the old trunk lines for freight.
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Old April 3rd, 2015, 08:30 AM   #5470
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Some Acela photos from Yesterday at Trenton

Eastbound towards NY/Boston


Eastbound Acela Express passing Trenton Transit Center
by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr



Eastbound Acela Express passing Trenton
by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr



Eastbound Acela Express passing Trenton
by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr
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Old April 3rd, 2015, 09:27 AM   #5471
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Dumb Pedestrian at Croydon...he crossed in between Express trains...


Dumb Pedestrian at Croydon Station
by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr
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Old April 3rd, 2015, 02:14 PM   #5472
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Swordsman View Post

Actually, one main reason why China is building the HSR system is because it is trying to free up capacity on the old trunk lines for freight.
I know that, but that isn't my point.
As of now, passenger rail does not get priority on the vast majority of the rail network: it does in most other countries that have a maintained ROW.
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Old April 3rd, 2015, 06:27 PM   #5473
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silly_Walks View Post
Not straight enough. Too many stops. They're gonna take the H out of HSR
Why? The tracks could as well be used by InterCity trains running at speeds up to 200 km/h and stops at every bigger city. Those are very important for the railway system in its entirety.
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Old April 4th, 2015, 10:30 AM   #5474
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Northeast Corridor viewed from the SilverLiner V rear window in PA

1.

Northeast Corridor in Torresdale,PA
by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr

2.

Northeast Corridor somewhere in PA
by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr

3.

Northeast Corridor somewhere in PA
by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr

4.

Northeast Corridor somewhere in PA
by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr

5.

Amtrak Silver Meteor #97 Rocketing down the NEC in PA
by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr

6.

Northeast Corridor in Croydon,PA
by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr

Croydon Station

7.

Northeast Corridor in Croydon,PA
by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr

8.

Northeast Corridor in Croydon,PA
by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr

9.

Norfolk Southern in Croydon,PA
by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr

10.

Northeast Corridor in Bristol,PA
by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr

11.

Northeast Corridor in Morrisville,PA
by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr

12.

Northeast Corridor in Morrisville,PA
by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr

13.

Northeast Corridor in Morrisville,PA
by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr


Trenton Cut

14.

Northeast Corridor in Trenton,NJ
by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr

15.

Northeast Corridor in Trenton,NJ
by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr
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Old April 4th, 2015, 03:52 PM   #5475
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NergiZed View Post
That video is 5 years old now...

It predicts carrying 100 million passengers by 2030. I would be astounded if any of the major urban centers were even connected by 2030.

How is that construction going on the CHSR? I haven't heard anything about it for the longest of time. There should be a test track section under construction from Bakersfield to Fresno which started in January. That section is scheduled to be up and running by 2022.

2022. China will have built another 5000 km of HSR by then.
They built around 4000 kms last year alone. post 2015 expect an increase in the amount of HSR being built per year by the Chinese.
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Old April 4th, 2015, 03:57 PM   #5476
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Swordsman View Post
The idea is that there will be local trains that stop at most or all stations, with express trains stopping only at major stations. The only thing in question at this point is whether these express trains will be able to pass through city centers at speed.



As said above, most Amtrak services run on ROW owned by freight companies. The needs and infrastructure design of freight railways is very different from passenger trains. As long as Amtrak does not have its own dedicated railway, upgrading the tracks to 120mph would still not solve the main issue: slow, lumbering freight trains that force Amtrak trains to stop and wait.



Actually, one main reason why China is building the HSR system is because it is trying to free up capacity on the old trunk lines for freight.
Exactly
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Old April 5th, 2015, 08:22 PM   #5477
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luhai View Post
At this point they should just do speed increases on existing railroad. I took Amtrak once and it was painfully slow.
It was painfully slow because you can't modernize that track to run much faster.


Quote:
Modernized all existing trunk lines to 120Mph peak, 80Mph average will get it at least competitive with freeway system and intercity buses and make overnight sleepers between major cities possible.
80mph will not get it competitive with the interstate and even if it can rival the speed on the car there is little impetus for this kind of service.

Why take the train when you can drive and have the convenience of having your own car?

Intercity trains must compete effectively with short haul flights. 60–90 minute flights are the sweet spot.

5–6 hour drive. 300–400 miles.

That will attract the business passenger. Otherwise, Amtrak is just a fancy more spacious highway bus.


Quote:
One thing I really liked about traveling in China is that I can book overnight sleeper and travel halfway around the country without wasting time and save a night of hotel fair. (For example D trains service from Beijing and Guangzhou is perfect for business trips. Leaving at 8pm and arriving at 6:30am, most of that time comfortably asleep. Flying that trip would waste a entire day on traveling cramped in miserable seats and would have cost more.) Even without speed increases, such service would be possible between San Francisco and LA, New York and Washington DC. A minor speed increase would make it possible between New York and Chicago, New York and Orlando. Just something to think about.

Although that sounds good in principle sleeper trains in practice are most often used by either travellers or those without vehicles. Why? Because the sleeper service that would attract business travelers is expensive to run and takes up a lot of space.

In China there are several classes of sleeper. Hard bunk, room, in your seat... Sleeping in a seat isn't a great way to wake up refreshed, but a suite is expensive due to the room it takes up.

In Japan sleeper services are rapidly being discontinued as Shinkansen services start up. They're not economical. Additionally there is a lower sense of security on a train. On a plane you can fall asleep with relative ease that someone isn't going to take off with your laptop or phone. They've got nowhere to go. On a train otoh, there are plenty of opportunities.

Also, there is a reason red eye flights are usually cheaper.

A high speed train that starts services at 6am should be sufficient. It would arrive in the next major city between 8 and 9 and compete adequately with flying. Which is what it has to do to be viable.
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Old April 5th, 2015, 11:03 PM   #5478
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When I was doing a lot of business travel - that was a long time ago - I always took a
flight the day before, plus a hotel night, so as to come fresh for my first meeting at 9AM.
When the destination offered the possibility of night train travel, I always used that
option. It was much less expensive that flight+hotel ; I came as fresh ; and with a single
sleeping car cabin, security was not an issue. Why should this not be a marketable
alternative still today ?
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Old April 6th, 2015, 07:29 PM   #5479
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluemeansgo View Post
Why take the train when you can drive and have the convenience of having your own car?
Well, mostly because you can work/watch movies on the train, while driving means hours lost...driving. Whenever I had business meetings I attended and went for by trains (back when I traveled for my work), I would often prepare the meeting on the train, thus saving myself the need to put in extra effort at the office.
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Old April 6th, 2015, 09:50 PM   #5480
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UNITED STATES | High Speed Rail

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robi_damian View Post
Well, mostly because you can work/watch movies on the train, while driving means hours lost...driving. Whenever I had business meetings I attended and went for by trains (back when I traveled for my work), I would often prepare the meeting on the train, thus saving myself the need to put in extra effort at the office.

Yeah I get that it is more convenient. In the eastern seaboard it still makes sense. However the trade offs are considerably less flexibility at your destination and additional time spent getting to your destination, not to mention working travel around a train schedule that is competing with freight.

For trains to compete, there has to be considerable time savings.

This is why trains need to be competitive with short-haul flights. Because flights are extremely inconvenient all a train needs to offer is reasonable to savings. They have a much better chance fighting with planes than cars. Things that planes do poorly, trains can do really well.

That includes:
- more frequent "flights"
- greater comfort
- fewer security hassles
- better locations for stations
- flexible rebooking
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