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View Poll Results: Should the US build or improve it's HSR network?
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Old July 28th, 2015, 11:22 PM   #5841
hammersklavier
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Originally Posted by bluemeansgo View Post
The Japanese ARE building it themselves. It is under construction.
  • Building between Tokyo and Nagoya ~300 km.
  • Will be 88% tunnelled ( and therefore will be expensive )
  • Is forecast to be profitable within a year ( obviously talking about operating cost )
  • Will travel at 500km/h
  • Will be faster than flying ( 40m trip - end to end )
  • Will cost 700₯ extra per ticket ( in today's dollars ) ( ~$6 ). Currently, the trip costs ₯11,290 ( $92 )
  • Will start operation in 2027
  • Is called the Chuo Shinkansen
  • Is being financed 100% by a profitable private company ( JR Central ) with no government funding
  • Will not need to compensate landowners if more than 40m below ground.

That last point is important. They enacted the DEEP TUNNEL legislation, which is key to getting the train to run into congested cities like Tokyo at lower costs, which is where most of the deep tunnelling will be. It means the train won't be held up by landowners who want to extort the ROW 40m under their property.

That's really deep, by the way.

A Japanese company would like be NOT too successful building a line in the US without a local company/government agency. These things need deep and complete cooperation to build out. What incentive what the local politicians and transportation agencies have to help a foreign company build a line in the USA?

Also, this is essentially public infrastructure that will be used for a century or longer.
Keep in mind that JR Central is a profitable company in part because they've shoved every train they possibly can down the infrastructure they've already got. And it's still crowded! So the only real way to increase capacity is to build new infrastructure.

This is very very different from Hogan's toy. The Northeast Corridor isn't really at capacity or anywhere close to it (compared to the throughput the PRR historically achieved). It desperately needs modernization -- primarily upgrading of century-old signal and catenary systems as well as dealing with the B&P bottleneck in Baltimore (think North River Tunnels but on a smaller scale). There are large gaps in its service portfolio that allow intercity buses to thrive despite having per-journey incomes 10x less than a train's ... IOW, there's a lot you can do with what you've already got before building a vanity project.

Frankly, I think buying pallets of $100 bills and setting them on fire would be a better use of funds than Hogan's pet maglev.
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Old July 29th, 2015, 06:28 AM   #5842
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Is being financed 100% by a profitable private company ( JR Central ) with no government funding
Could someone clarify this? I thought I read somewhere that they actually will be seeking some federal funds for the project...ie the "100% financing" actually relates to the required matching funds, not the total project cost.
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Old July 29th, 2015, 08:56 AM   #5843
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Could someone clarify this? I thought I read somewhere that they actually will be seeking some federal funds for the project...ie the "100% financing" actually relates to the required matching funds, not the total project cost.
One of the tricks of JR Central is building the line to Nagoya only, hoping that the state foots the bill for the Nagoya-Osaka part. Plus the fact that privatized JR companies can use their profits on Shinkansen lines by financing construction of new lines, and not pay taxes on it.
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Old July 29th, 2015, 10:39 AM   #5844
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One of the tricks of JR Central is building the line to Nagoya only, hoping that the state foots the bill for the Nagoya-Osaka part. Plus the fact that privatized JR companies can use their profits on Shinkansen lines by financing construction of new lines, and not pay taxes on it.
Japanese corporate taxes are placed on profit and amount of asset the corporate owns. If JR Tokai was to invest in construction of the line then the construction cost is tax deductible but all property including the train sets obtained will be accounted as asset which is taxed.
There really is no easy way out.
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Old July 30th, 2015, 09:54 PM   #5845
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Originally Posted by SSCreader View Post
One of the tricks of JR Central is building the line to Nagoya only, hoping that the state foots the bill for the Nagoya-Osaka part. Plus the fact that privatized JR companies can use their profits on Shinkansen lines by financing construction of new lines, and not pay taxes on it.
I don't think they're trying to get the state to foot the bill, but I do think that they want the government to have their back if they run into high costs. The Nagoya - Osaka section has less tunneling required.
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Old July 30th, 2015, 10:26 PM   #5846
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Originally Posted by hammersklavier View Post
Keep in mind that JR Central is a profitable company in part because they've shoved every train they possibly can down the infrastructure they've already got. And it's still crowded! So the only real way to increase capacity is to build new infrastructure.
It's also expensive to drive and bullet trains are efficient and convenient. When you have a train running every 6 minutes, why would you fly? Why would you drive?

Quote:
This is very very different from Hogan's toy. The Northeast Corridor isn't really at capacity or anywhere close to it (compared to the throughput the PRR historically achieved). It desperately needs modernization -- primarily upgrading of century-old signal and catenary systems as well as dealing with the B&P bottleneck in Baltimore (think North River Tunnels but on a smaller scale). There are large gaps in its service portfolio that allow intercity buses to thrive despite having per-journey incomes 10x less than a train's ... IOW, there's a lot you can do with what you've already got before building a vanity project.
Yep, there's work to be done on the existing ROW, but it will always be limited. The NEC is a perfect corridor for an alternative to flying. Faster Trains will take a few cars off the road. 500km/h trains will start to relieve airport congestion.

Consider this:
The Tokyo - Nagoya Maglev line will take 40 minutes.
Nagoya - Nagoya Centrair Airport is 45 minutes by train.
Shinagawa - Tokyo Haneda Airport is 39 minutes.

It will be faster to get to Tokyo than to the local airport!
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Old July 30th, 2015, 10:49 PM   #5847
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From experience in other countries HSR doesn't affect road traffic all that much (commuter rail does). For intercity travel it's mostly an alternative to flying. It doesn't have to be 500 km/h (totally unrealistic), but 230 km/h average on this corridor would give Boston-Washington DC 3 1/2 h travel time. Assuming prices aren't sky high there would be very few customers left airlines except transfers.
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Old July 30th, 2015, 11:02 PM   #5848
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The NEC also carries commuter rail , which is more important then HSR...which is why we need to upgrade it...
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Old July 31st, 2015, 01:41 AM   #5849
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Originally Posted by Sunfuns View Post
From experience in other countries HSR doesn't affect road traffic all that much (commuter rail does). For intercity travel it's mostly an alternative to flying. It doesn't have to be 500 km/h (totally unrealistic), but 230 km/h average on this corridor would give Boston-Washington DC 3 1/2 h travel time. Assuming prices aren't sky high there would be very few customers left airlines except transfers.
3½ hours would make a dent in air travel, for sure. However, to achieve that speed you will need 360km/h trains.

BOS - NYC - DC is 700 km.

By comparison, Tokyo – [Nagoya] – [Osaka] – Okayama is 650 km. That route takes 4½ hours now ( fastest ). Japanese regularly fly the Tokyo – Okayama route, especially with the new discount carriers coming on board.

Fewer people fly Tokyo – Osaka but there are still plenty of flights daily.

The Chuo Shinkansen Line will be about 450km long. The current Tokaido line is about 500km as it goes around the Southern Alps but the new line will tunnel under them.

It will cruise at top speed 500km in 67 minutes. That means an average of 400km/h.

Given a similar stopping pattern ( major cities only ), even a Maglev travelling at maximum speed 505km/h would take 1:45 between Boston and DC. The chances of HSR along the existing NEC corridor doing it in 3½ hours are pretty slim without MAJOR changes, a lot of tunnelling and grade-separation... and at this point, a greenfield Maglev solution starts to make more sense.

I know it seems pie-in-the-sky, but remember that most of the cost of Mag-lev is NOT the technology. It's just the fact that you're building new tracks. And at higher speeds, ANY technology will need to be in a tunnel along key parts of the corridor.
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Old July 31st, 2015, 02:48 AM   #5850
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunfuns View Post
From experience in other countries HSR doesn't affect road traffic all that much (commuter rail does). For intercity travel it's mostly an alternative to flying. It doesn't have to be 500 km/h (totally unrealistic), but 230 km/h average on this corridor would give Boston-Washington DC 3 1/2 h travel time. Assuming prices aren't sky high there would be very few customers left airlines except transfers.
It does put a small dent from what I have seen. Very slim percentage points but that small difference has a far wide ranging effect. If you can utilize the steel on wheel infrastructure for city transit as well, then it could help.

I would compare costs for a 350 km/h traditional HSR vs MagLev. We can easily figure out alignments from New York-DC but Boston-New York is a bit different.
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Old July 31st, 2015, 06:45 AM   #5851
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Originally Posted by bluemeansgo View Post
It's also expensive to drive and bullet trains are efficient and convenient. When you have a train running every 6 minutes, why would you fly? Why would you drive?
Most of the costs of driving in the US are hidden in ways they aren't in Japan.

Also the market for plane traffic between NYC and DC is inconsequentially small.

Also also you're setting up a straw man. Hogan's pet maglev doesn't extend along the entire NEC, it only extends along the section between DC and BWI. Which isn't the highest-use part of the corridor.
Quote:
Yep, there's work to be done on the existing ROW, but it will always be limited. The NEC is a perfect corridor for an alternative to flying. Faster Trains will take a few cars off the road. 500km/h trains will start to relieve airport congestion.

Consider this:
The Tokyo - Nagoya Maglev line will take 40 minutes.
Nagoya - Nagoya Centrair Airport is 45 minutes by train.
Shinagawa - Tokyo Haneda Airport is 39 minutes.

It will be faster to get to Tokyo than to the local airport!
You've completely missed my point.

My point is that the Chuo maglev makes sense for JR Central precisely because they've squeezed every iota of performance they can out of the existing Shinkansen (and whatever other classic lines they own/run). New railroad investment is ungodly expensive -- and only gets exponentially more expensive as your top speed gets faster -- and so generally a need for it, an unmet demand, has to show.

This, by the way, is why HSR services are built on the chassis of good regional service. Yes, even in Japan in their own way. By contrast, the US has unbuilt most of its regional passenger network, which means that the spectacularly unsexy task of rebuilding that network awaits, especially in the Midwest where it's needed badly (and the whole 110 mph (~175 kph) charade is mainly optics to build a regional network under HSR aegis).

The NEC has regional service, but it still isn't the best. There's quite a bit of Organisation and Elektronik that can go in before you get to the Beton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluemeansgo View Post
3½ hours would make a dent in air travel, for sure. However, to achieve that speed you will need 360km/h trains.

BOS - NYC - DC is 700 km.

By comparison, Tokyo – [Nagoya] – [Osaka] – Okayama is 650 km. That route takes 4½ hours now ( fastest ). Japanese regularly fly the Tokyo – Okayama route, especially with the new discount carriers coming on board.

Fewer people fly Tokyo – Osaka but there are still plenty of flights daily.

The Chuo Shinkansen Line will be about 450km long. The current Tokaido line is about 500km as it goes around the Southern Alps but the new line will tunnel under them.

It will cruise at top speed 500km in 67 minutes. That means an average of 400km/h.

Given a similar stopping pattern ( major cities only ), even a Maglev travelling at maximum speed 505km/h would take 1:45 between Boston and DC. The chances of HSR along the existing NEC corridor doing it in 3½ hours are pretty slim without MAJOR changes, a lot of tunnelling and grade-separation... and at this point, a greenfield Maglev solution starts to make more sense.

I know it seems pie-in-the-sky, but remember that most of the cost of Mag-lev is NOT the technology. It's just the fact that you're building new tracks. And at higher speeds, ANY technology will need to be in a tunnel along key parts of the corridor.
Except -- the NEC's three major travel markets are:

- NYP - WSH
- NYP - PHI
- NYP - BOS

Note what is missing.

The NEC does not behave like the Tokaido corridor, where the primary ridership generator -- the Tokyo market -- sits at one end. Instead, the NEC's primary ridership generator -- New York -- sits almost exactly in the middle. So the NEC's end-to-end market (i.e. WSH - BOS) is already a secondary market relative to the Tokaido's (Tokyo - Okayama) and therefore a smaller size to begin with.

This means that, in some analyses (such as the one you're promulgating here), the NEC is better thought of not as a single unitary high-speed corridor but rather two distinct ones linked together. The closest Japanese analog to such an arrangement would be Osaka - Tokyo - Sendai (if there was a connecting link through Tokyo, of course). Once you understand that's how the NEC works, in terms of ridership, that changes the calculus.
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Last edited by hammersklavier; July 31st, 2015 at 06:57 AM.
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Old July 31st, 2015, 11:07 AM   #5852
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Originally Posted by bluemeansgo View Post
3½ hours would make a dent in air travel, for sure. However, to achieve that speed you will need 360km/h trains.

BOS - NYC - DC is 700 km.

By comparison, Tokyo – [Nagoya] – [Osaka] – Okayama is 650 km. That route takes 4½ hours now ( fastest ). Japanese regularly fly the Tokyo – Okayama route, especially with the new discount carriers coming on board.

Fewer people fly Tokyo – Osaka but there are still plenty of flights daily.
Your route is rather old so the average speeds aren't optimal by today's standards. A much newer Madrid-Barcelona (620 km) takes only 2 1/2 h. The top speed there is only 320 km/h, mostly less than that. In any case Boston-DC is not the top market, NYC-DC, NYC-Philadelphia and NYC-Boston are. There is a big difference in traveler choice between 4 1/2 and 3 1/2 train journey. Also unless the train goes directly to the airport flying still makes sense if you are transferring to another flight afterwards.

Maglev is nice, but I can't see Americans ever agreeing on that kind expenditure. Boston-DC in 3 1/2 h is unlikely as well of course. The most likely positive outcome is gradual upgrade. It will give DC-Boston 4 1/2-5 h and most people still flying, but routes from NYC in both directions would be mostly by train.
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Old July 31st, 2015, 01:00 PM   #5853
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Your route is rather old so the average speeds aren't optimal by today's standards. A much newer Madrid-Barcelona (620 km) takes only 2 1/2 h. The top speed there is only 320 km/h, mostly less than that.
A distance of 620 Km with an average speed of 250Km/h requires not many stops and a right of way that is straighter then an arrow. If that can be achieved then Maglev would be more faster.
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Old August 1st, 2015, 12:41 AM   #5854
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Old August 1st, 2015, 12:56 AM   #5855
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Is there any construction related to high-speed rail in the Los Angeles basin at the moment? Or just in the Central Valley?
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Old August 1st, 2015, 06:04 AM   #5856
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Is there any construction related to high-speed rail in the Los Angeles basin at the moment? Or just in the Central Valley?
At this point, construction is largely confined to the central valley.
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Old August 4th, 2015, 11:11 PM   #5857
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FIU Students Trying to Build Bullet Train to Miami Beach

http://miami.curbed.com/archives/201...iami-beach.php

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfhPOMI4i5c
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Old August 5th, 2015, 01:01 AM   #5858
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This is really gadgetbahn territory. What are the advantages to having maglev in this corridor? It would be far more cost-effective to have light rail or monorail here. I'm reminded of Shanghai and Old Dominion University.
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Old August 5th, 2015, 02:12 AM   #5859
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Fresno County’s Measure C may aid land purchase for high-speed rail maintenance site

Fresno County leaders and the California High-Speed Rail Authority are forging ahead with plans for facilities to support the state’s bullet-train line through the central San Joaquin Valley, with some important steps toward developing passenger stations and a major maintenance station potentially being taken by the end of this year.

For more than five years, county leaders have cast covetous glances at about 510 acres at Fresno’s southern edge, along Cedar Avenue between Malaga and Adams avenues, as a proposed site for a heavy maintenance facility. Such a facility, which would serve as a central work site for assembling, testing and maintaining electric train sets for the statewide high-speed rail system, is coveted by Valley communities as an economic golden goose because of the estimated 1,500 jobs it would provide and its effect in attracting rail-related support industries to the region.



http://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/...e29816752.html

http://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/...e29894194.html
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Old August 7th, 2015, 07:17 AM   #5860
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Does anybody have current pictures of the CA HSR construction? I would think that by now they have at least constructed one column on the viaduct north of Fresno.
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