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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 7th, 2015, 12:22 AM   #5481
00Zy99
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The problems stated are less inherent to trains and more inherent to the level of service that we currently have.
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Old April 7th, 2015, 03:58 AM   #5482
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UNITED STATES | High Speed Rail

The levels of service being slow, slower, and delayed.

Note this comparison:
Tokyo – Nagoya (366km / 227 mi)

Fastest (every 6 min) : 99 min.
Slowest (12 stops - hourly ) : 170 min.
Price: ¥10,800 ( $100 )
Runs at a profit

Same distance as Acela's NYP–WAS

Very few do this trip by air , apart from those transferring to an international flight.

There is absolutely no reason The NEC can't invest in separate, dedicated HSR and the same applies to California.

Upgraded Amtrak just doesn't cut the mustard.
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Old April 7th, 2015, 09:11 AM   #5483
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Acela Express parked at New York Penn Station


Acela Express at New York Penn Station
by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr

Westbound / DC Bound Acela Express rolling through Harrison Station


Westbound Acela Express passing Harrison station
by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr


Westbound Acela Express passing Harrison station
by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr


Westbound Acela Express passing Harrison station
by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr


Westbound Acela Express passing Harrison station
by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr

New Catenary Poles in Sunnyside Yard


034
by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr

New Signal Bridge


Amtrak's Sunnyside Yard in Queens,New York
by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr


Amtrak's Sunnyside Yard in Queens,New York
by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr

Old Hell Gate Line Poles soon to be replaced


Amtrak's Hell Gate Line in Queens,New York
by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr
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Old April 7th, 2015, 05:50 PM   #5484
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluemeansgo View Post
The levels of service being slow, slower, and delayed.

Note this comparison:
Tokyo – Nagoya (366km / 227 mi)

Fastest (every 6 min) : 99 min.
Slowest (12 stops - hourly ) : 170 min.
Price: ¥10,800 ( $100 )
Runs at a profit

Same distance as Acela's NYP–WAS

Very few do this trip by air , apart from those transferring to an international flight.

There is absolutely no reason The NEC can't invest in separate, dedicated HSR and the same applies to California.

Upgraded Amtrak just doesn't cut the mustard.
The delays are largely due to deferred maintenance of the infrastructure, which is something that is FINALLY being rectified.

The track speeds along much of the NEC are being upgraded to 160 mph, which is not much less than the Tokaido Shinkansen, or the Kyushu Shinkansen. Combined with a few major infrastructure projects (Gateway Tunnels, B&P Tunnels, etc.), this will bring travel times down into the same range as noted above (roughly 2.5 hours). Then, the only obstacle will be track capacity, and there are plans in place to expand the NEC to up to six tracks through various chokepoints. This will effectively create the capacity and infrastructure neccessary for something comparable to the Tokaido Shinkansen, at least between New York and Washington.
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Old April 7th, 2015, 07:59 PM   #5485
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Yes though these are mostly plans, unless the Feds and/or the States and/or private enterprise or some mixture of two or three of the afore mentioned in the form a P3 come up with the money none of this will happen
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Old April 7th, 2015, 09:59 PM   #5486
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tower Dude View Post
Yes though these are mostly plans, unless the Feds and/or the States and/or private enterprise or some mixture of two or three of the afore mentioned in the form a P3 come up with the money none of this will happen
These plans ARE advancing. Six tracks in New Jersey is close to final design. The Susquehanna River Bridge is getting to the final selection (late this year/early next) and may be finished by 2025. The new bypasses at Harrison Interlocking are already under construction. Just because things haven't produced major visible results yet doesn't mean that work isn't underway.
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Old April 8th, 2015, 12:12 AM   #5487
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Uhh, The Tracks in NJ are well under construction, and I could notice a difference there between January, and March. The Acela should be running at 160 mph there in 2017
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Old April 8th, 2015, 05:05 AM   #5488
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It would appear that California will be getting a lot more money from their cap & trade auctions than they anticipated. They had planned on roughly $250 million a year for HSR but now it appears they will more likely be getting around $600 million a year. This would be in addition to the $16 billion already appropriated for construction.
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Old April 8th, 2015, 06:38 AM   #5489
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Well here's hoping the vamp up the process so the can spend the federal dough
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Old April 8th, 2015, 09:01 PM   #5490
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 00Zy99 View Post
The delays are largely due to deferred maintenance of the infrastructure, which is something that is FINALLY being rectified.

The track speeds along much of the NEC are being upgraded to 160 mph, which is not much less than the Tokaido Shinkansen, or the Kyushu Shinkansen. Combined with a few major infrastructure projects (Gateway Tunnels, B&P Tunnels, etc.), this will bring travel times down into the same range as noted above (roughly 2.5 hours). Then, the only obstacle will be track capacity, and there are plans in place to expand the NEC to up to six tracks through various chokepoints. This will effectively create the capacity and infrastructure neccessary for something comparable to the Tokaido Shinkansen, at least between New York and Washington.
That's good to hear.
160 mph = 257 mph max track speed.

Note that the Tokaido is limited by running in urban areas and noise restrictions in addition to tracks that were laid initially to max out at 200km/h ( 125 mph ).They have a minimum 2500m curve track radius and a max speed (just upgraded) of 285 km/h (177 mph).

On paper that does sound like promising and close in speed, but I'd be curious to know how that translates into real world application. According to this article, for example, the new trainsets take 8 minutes to get up to 125 mph (200 km/h ). While that may be an improvement over what it was, it still is quite far off an N700 which is able to accelerate to 270km/h in 3 minutes.
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Old April 9th, 2015, 02:26 AM   #5491
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Well, Acela sets are of a much older design than N700's, and they're locomotive sets, not EMU's, so slower acceleration isn't terribly surprising. Besides, Amtrak is working on acquiring newer sets within a decade or so, so although things are moving at a typically-slow, U.S. infrastructure development pace, they are improving.
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Old April 9th, 2015, 03:23 AM   #5492
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquaticko View Post
Well, Acela sets are of a much older design than N700's, and they're locomotive sets, not EMU's, so slower acceleration isn't terribly surprising. Besides, Amtrak is working on acquiring newer sets within a decade or so, so although things are moving at a typically-slow, U.S. infrastructure development pace, they are improving.

That is all true. It isn't a fair comparison. Fwiw, that 8 minute number was the speed of the new locomotives Amtrak is ordering.

Of note, the Tokaido is the oldest track in the network dating back to the sixties. I should check out the Sanyo line times for an equivalent segment.

What I was illustrating is that top speed doesn't necessarily translate into much time savings. It is easy to go fast. Just get a straight line and give yourself enough time. It is hard to improve actual service (quality).

What would it take for Acela to come close to a 2 hour trip time?
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Old April 9th, 2015, 04:31 AM   #5493
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluemeansgo View Post
Note this comparison:
Tokyo – Nagoya (366km / 227 mi)
Fastest (every 6 min) : 99 min.
Slowest (12 stops - hourly ) : 170 min.
Price: ¥10,800 ( $100 )
Runs at a profit
It may be one of the few lines that cover it's operational expenses, but does it generate enough profits to repay the capital costs?

I'm a strong supporter of HSR where it makes sense, but it's important to be upfront that it will involve heavy subsidies (as do many highways and airports).
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Old April 9th, 2015, 07:50 AM   #5494
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amexpat View Post
It may be one of the few lines that cover it's operational expenses, but does it generate enough profits to repay the capital costs?

I'm a strong supporter of HSR where it makes sense, but it's important to be upfront that it will involve heavy subsidies (as do many highways and airports).
It already has. Without the then JNR law, the Tokaido Shinkansen generated enough profit to pay up capital cost within 10 years if I remember correectly.
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Old April 9th, 2015, 08:08 AM   #5495
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluemeansgo View Post
That is all true. It isn't a fair comparison. Fwiw, that 8 minute number was the speed of the new locomotives Amtrak is ordering.

Of note, the Tokaido is the oldest track in the network dating back to the sixties. I should check out the Sanyo line times for an equivalent segment.

What I was illustrating is that top speed doesn't necessarily translate into much time savings. It is easy to go fast. Just get a straight line and give yourself enough time. It is hard to improve actual service (quality).

What would it take for Acela to come close to a 2 hour trip time?
Track upgrades, pure and simple. Modern catenary, larger curve radii, modern bridges that can take the stress of trains going >125mph, etc. You're absolutely right; average speed is more important, but it's a much bigger challenge, and it's what's needed to cut down trip times.
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Old April 9th, 2015, 01:06 PM   #5496
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquaticko View Post
Track upgrades, pure and simple. Modern catenary, larger curve radii, modern bridges that can take the stress of trains going >125mph, etc. You're absolutely right; average speed is more important, but it's a much bigger challenge, and it's what's needed to cut down trip times.

Has there been talk of what those trip times will be improved by?

It will be interesting to see Japan's maglev come more clearly into focus in the coming decade. It seems that kind of solution is an ideal for congested regions like the NEC.

Yes the cost is high but the impact is relatively low. It's mostly underground. Yet potentially disruptive enough to make it worthwhile for larger urban conglomerations. In fact I wonder if in the long run it ends up being cheaper than trying to upgrade regular HSR.
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Old April 9th, 2015, 01:59 PM   #5497
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Quote:
Originally Posted by makita09 View Post
Not really though is it? The automobile has shaped transport in nearly all countries - western Europe is no exception.

And no, chicken and the egg is not the case - it was the egg that came first (obvious as the egg becomes a chicken but a chicken does not become an egg), and in the case of railways, it was the railways that came first and then people used them.

Build it and they will come.

Have a bit of vision and build it.

And don't get sucked into poor reality-twisting narratives that are politically based rather than practically based.
Was reading thru this thread coz of its OT amusement value and this is the line which made me LOL.

Point is that Chicken does become an egg by laying it - where else does egg come from?? I hope the poster was kidding here ..
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Old April 9th, 2015, 04:25 PM   #5498
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluemeansgo View Post
Has there been talk of what those trip times will be improved by?
I've seen things as optimistic as 3 hours from Boston to D.C., which although actually totally feasible, would require a dedicated HSL and new, much straighter ROW. So, feasible, but unlikely considering everything.

Quote:
It will be interesting to see Japan's maglev come more clearly into focus in the coming decade. It seems that kind of solution is an ideal for congested regions like the NEC.

Yes the cost is high but the impact is relatively low. It's mostly underground. Yet potentially disruptive enough to make it worthwhile for larger urban conglomerations. In fact I wonder if in the long run it ends up being cheaper than trying to upgrade regular HSR.
That, right there, is enough to say that it won't happen. If we can't get $100 billion for a proper HSL, why could we get $100 billion for a maglev? I suppose people might buy it more due to the futuristic, super-high-speed image of the maglev, but it wouldn't happen without generous support from the Japanese government, and at least at present, I don't think that investing in overseas infrastructure is a big part of Abe's plans to rejuvenate the economy. But, who knows.
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Old April 9th, 2015, 04:57 PM   #5499
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I seem to recall JR Central offering to pay 50% of the cost of a maglev for DC-NYC, or something similar.
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Old April 10th, 2015, 01:11 AM   #5500
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I seem to recall JR Central offering to pay 50% of the cost of a maglev for DC-NYC, or something similar.
I highly doubt that they'll pay for 50%....more like 20 or 30....and stick the rest with taxpayers. The Routing for the Maglev goes from the outskirts or Baltimore to the outskirts of DC...not Downtown to Downtown like Amtrak or FRA proposals.
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