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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 August 23rd, 2015, 07:11 PM   #5881
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Originally Posted by CNB30 View Post
HSR is 125mph, not 150
125mph is outdated , 140-150mph is the new standard....then again this is the US where we do lag behind when it comes to Infrastructure.
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Old August 23rd, 2015, 07:55 PM   #5882
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125mph is outdated , 140-150mph is the new standard....then again this is the US where we do lag behind when it comes to Infrastructure.
I think we lag behind in MUCH more than infrastructure.
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Old August 23rd, 2015, 08:52 PM   #5883
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Originally Posted by k.k.jetcar View Post
It's not true high speed rail, "one" of the definitions being 150mph plus operating speeds, but rather euphemistically higher speed rail or high performance rail. The media is very cavalier in defining what is high speed rail and politicians/bureaucrats will label anything going faster than 79mph as hsr to score points for their political self-worth index. The line itself is being upgraded to max 110mph speeds. Admirable by N. American standards, ho hum elsewhere.

http://www.idothsr.org/
Thanks for the clarification. Baby steps I guess.
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Old August 24th, 2015, 03:02 AM   #5884
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If you follow international standards, then high speed is 200 km/h(125 mph) on upgraded lines. But it has to be 250 km/h, or 156.25 mph, on new lines.
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Old August 24th, 2015, 03:35 AM   #5885
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Thanks for clearing this up. I forget about the "new lines" stipulation. In my head if it's 124 mph, it's high speed. I've done 130 mph in my car only once in my life and it felt damn fast.
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Old August 24th, 2015, 02:46 PM   #5886
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Texas Inches Closer To Getting High-Speed Rail Lines

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For years, politicians and volunteers have been talking about building a high-speed rail line to and possibly through North Texas. That ‘dream’ has now inched closer to becoming reality.
On August 21, the Regional Transportation Council (RTC) approved $4.5 million for the planning, design, project development and preliminary engineering to build a high speed rail in the Dallas-Fort Worth to Houston corridor by 2021.
Officials say the regional bullet train would connect Fort Worth to Houston in 90 minutes.
The high-speed trains would link Fort Worth to Houston, other metropolitan areas in the state and eventually have another corridor stretching from Oklahoma to South Texas. Proponents say the trains would give travelers “a smooth, congestion-free ride between the state’s two largest metropolitan areas using technology popular in other parts of the world.”
The RTC plan sets aside $1.5 million to be spent each year, starting in 2016. The money will come from the Regional Toll Revenue funding account.
In a press releases statement, Bill Meadows, the chairman of the Commission for High-Speed Rail in the Dallas-Fort Worth region, said, “With population growth in Dallas-Fort Worth and throughout Texas showing no signs of slowing down, innovation is necessary and will ensure the transportation system continues to provide safe, efficient service to all. With this decision, the RTC has reaffirmed its commitment to high speed rail in the region.”
source : http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2015/08/21/n...ed-rail-lines/
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Old August 24th, 2015, 03:03 PM   #5887
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Would it really only take 6 years to build?
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Old August 24th, 2015, 03:08 PM   #5888
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexis View Post
Would it really only take 6 years to build?
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...approved $4.5 million for the planning, design, project development and preliminary engineering to build a high speed rail in the Dallas-Fort Worth to Houston corridor by 2021.
(...)
The RTC plan sets aside $1.5 million to be spent each year, starting in 2016.
No, this is for the planning and designing phase. It would be wonderful, though, if it could be built in 6 years and cost just $4.5 mil.
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Old August 25th, 2015, 04:36 AM   #5889
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No, this is for the planning and designing phase. It would be wonderful, though, if it could be built in 6 years and cost just $4.5 mil.
No I think when it says by 2021 it means the line itself not the design phase [that shouldn't take 6 years] and I've read before that they hope for the line to be open by 2021.
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Old August 25th, 2015, 04:38 AM   #5890
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Originally Posted by fskobic View Post
No, this is for the planning and designing phase. It would be wonderful, though, if it could be built in 6 years and cost just $4.5 mil.
No I think when it says by 2021 it means the line itself not the design phase [that shouldn't take 6 years] and I've read before that they hope for the line to be open by 2021. Also it says in the article how much it is estimated to cost so I think if he read the article he would know $4.5 mil wasn't the cost of the actual project.


By the way sorry if what I said sounds stupid i'm not the smartest person in this subject.
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Old August 25th, 2015, 10:56 AM   #5891
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The 4.5mil is the design cost, and 6 years is the projected construction time frame. Of course that time frame is just a wide a** guess which doesn't correlate to reality.
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Old August 25th, 2015, 02:26 PM   #5892
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Originally Posted by hmmwv View Post
...and 6 years is the projected construction time frame. Of course that time frame is just a wide a** guess which doesn't correlate to reality.
Yeah, I've always rolled my eyes at that.

Money isn't really the issue, it's property owners and the weird legal precedent we have when it comes to "Takings."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexis View Post
Would it really only take 6 years to build?
To be fair, I guess actual construction could wrap up within that time frame. I just have serious doubts that they'll finish all of the studies, secure financing, etc with enough time to spare for a 2021 completion date...the way rural opposition is beginning to mount, I have a feeling they're going to be spending a lot of time trying to bifurcate as few properties as possible, which probably means quite a bit more time studying alternatives.
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Old August 25th, 2015, 04:57 PM   #5893
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Might be, but it's very optimistic to have it done by 2021, if they JUST approved the planning, design and project development, and approved $4.5 mil, with only $1.5 mil coming in every year (that's $4.5 mil by 2018). That means they've only just started to gather people with the know-how, to get things going. Not to mention all the EIRs and other studies, possible protests etc. It's a 250 mile high speed rail, building it from scratch. Also, this tiny budget was approved by the Regional Transportation Council, which doesn't mean much.

I'm not going to say it's impossible, I just think it's very unlikely.

In comparison, take High Speed 2 (Phase 1) in the UK, for example. It's a 120 mile stretch (so, half the lenght, but a more complex setting), in a country where rail transit is of high importance and usage, with political support from all the major parties. It's a second major high speed rail line in the UK (so, not a completely new concept). Its cost is estimated between 10 and 20 billion pounds. They've been planning it since 2010, with construction projected to begin in 2017 or 2018, and possible completion date estimated at 2025 or 2026.

Kudos to Texas if they manage to get this done by 2021. I'm just saying it's waaay too optimistic.
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Old August 26th, 2015, 07:47 AM   #5894
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Alright guys, I had to clear some things up here, from someone who's been following this project for awhile on our Houston Architecture forum.

The above mentioned article is NOT by Texas Central Railway. About a year ago, when this whole Texas HSR talk began picking up steam, various government agencies wanted TCR to extend the HSR line from Dallas to Ft.Worth, which they deemed not financially beneficial. Instead, these lines will be studied, financed, and constructed by TX HSR government agencies, of which TCR has nothing to do with. Whatever costs or projected timelines associated with that are NOT referencing the HSR project across the entire state.

However, TCR just received $75 million in financing, as well as a new CEO for further design and engineering of the project, which can be read here;

TCR has stated, and really it should be pretty obvious, that $75 is no where close to being the amount of money that is required for the construction of this project. This initial round of funding, however, came from Texas investors and was significantly more than TCR asked for. Funding for the major portion of the line will come from Japan Bank for International Cooperation, which funds projects that will benefit Japan's economy. The justification for this is the fact that TCR is JR Central's first, and therefore most important, export to the US.

One of the most crucial first steps in building a private passenger railway is gaining federal approval...which was just given to TCR today! Federal Authorities have just given approval to the final route narrowed down by TCR called the "Utility Corridor."

I've seen a few comments from people on relation to projected timelines and route option's. Most of those comments are unaware of how far along this project actually is. One frustrating aspect of this entire project is TCR's reluctance to provide continual updates. To their credit, the only update they could've given the past year was "we're still waiting on the Federal Review" but now that it has passed, we should see some very exciting developments within this coming year.

As an aside; any comment on rural opposition should note the two bills that were submitted in this latest Texas Legislature failed to gain any steam, and that because of Texas politics, the next Legislative Session won't be until 2017, which means TCR will be underway with construction by that point. Another point I'd like to make is that TCR does have Eminent Domain authority. However, as a private company, it is more likely than not that they will go through with paying much more than market value of land, so that they avoid any cost issues with court cases. I say this because, and this is where none of you have to believe me because it's the internet, but because I sat down and discussed this entire project with the TCR President Robert Eckels. We discussed where the project was at, the finances of the project, and how they would go about acquiring land for the project. Mr. Eckels was actually the former Harris County Judge, who oversaw the Reliant Stadium, Minute Maid Park, and BBVA Compass Stadium, as well as, and this is key, the I-10 Katy Freeway project. As some of you may know, this is literally the world's "widest freeway" (which can be debated but whatever), and thus required enormous amounts of land. Because of his time spent on that project, he argues that it's cheaper to pay above market price than it is to pay market price, and end up going to court because a landowner is unhappy.

It honestly makes sense; if a strip of land that TCR needs is worth $200,000, TCR would theoretically offer $400,000. However, if they offered $200,000 and the landowner sued and brought them to court, TCR would end up paying an extra $150,000 in court fees, and the increased price to the property value deemed by a judge.

Some of you are quite right in your ideas on rural opposition; it is a much better option to provide an offer that will make the landowners much happier than it is to fight in court and create a bitter relationship.


In fact, by the time this line is built, it will be taxed (I believe it's by mile) on the land that it occupies, which means some of the rural counties between Dallas and Houston now have an incredibly high tax payer; Texas Central Railway.
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Old August 26th, 2015, 12:03 PM   #5895
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Feds agree with developer on Dallas-Houston high-speed rail route

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The Federal Railroad Administration announced this month that the general route preferred by the project developer of a high-speed rail line between Dallas and Houston is indeed the best choice.

Known as the “utility corridor,” it runs somewhat along high-voltage electrical transmission lines and capitalizes on relatively straight, existing easements.

“It’s of interest to us because it provides a source of power for our system, is straighter for a larger portion and therefore more suitable for the engineering,” said Tim Keith, chief executive of Texas Central Partners, the developer.

The utility easement runs only to about Palmer in Ellis County. Between Dallas’ Union Station and the Trinity River, the path follows a railroad corridor.

The federal report issued Aug. 10 does not outline a specific route but a broad path with many possible alignments. Corridor choices were wide swaths. Elements of each could still make it into the final plan.

“There’s not a whole lot of clarity even with the declaration of the corridor,” said Kyle Workman, president of Texans Against High Speed Rail.

But Texas Central Partners says it’s enough of a definition to host open houses in towns along the line.

“As we identify that final alignment, we will know which parcels are effective and which landowners we will engage with,” Keith said.

The label of “utility corridor” doesn’t ease rural landowners’ concerns about the project, Workman said.

“Utilities don’t run the whole length,” he said. “From our standpoint, it’s a prime farm and ranchland corridor.”

Two other corridors studied were tied to existing rail lines.
Read more :http://www.dallasnews.com/news/trans...rail-route.ece
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Old August 26th, 2015, 10:36 PM   #5896
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Yeezus2, that was a great first post. Welcome to the forum.
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Old August 27th, 2015, 03:23 AM   #5897
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Thanks guys; I'd be more than happy to answer any questions any of you guys may have on the project. I'll answer to the best of my abilities as an outsider with a bit more inside information than most.

I've been following the project since 2011, so it's something I'm very passionate about and something I believe will propel Texas forward into a mid 21st century state. I'm excited to see other HSR initiatives pick up steam, and look forward to seeing how they stand up to this project.
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Old August 27th, 2015, 03:27 AM   #5898
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Will the Houston Station be near the old Multi Modal Transit hub proposal site?
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Old August 27th, 2015, 07:02 AM   #5899
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Fresno River Viaduct construction(8/26)






source :https://www.facebook.com/CaliforniaH...type=1&theater
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Old August 27th, 2015, 07:59 AM   #5900
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Will the Houston Station be near the old Multi Modal Transit hub proposal site?
Man that entire complex would've been amazing; unfortunately, it was a doomed recession era project that never gained too much steam. The project was cancelled, and I do not know if there are any plans to pick that up anytime soon.

However, that being said, it would behoove TCP to consider a similar design; something that connects LRT, Bus, and HSR in one roof (think Denver's Union Station). The question remains then, where would it be? As surprising as it may be to some, Houston has quite a bit of extra space lying in downtown (joking). Most of these empty lots are surface lots, and wouldn't be ideal for a downtown hub.

Over at the Houston forum, we've narrowed it down to what we believe are the only two viable options (exluding a tunnel'd option, which I'd be surprised because of Houston's proximity to sea level). The first is the Hardy Yards, directly north of Buffalo Bayou, which is currently undergoing the first signs of devleopment in years, thanks to newly paved roads, a refurbished tunnel, and signs of mixed use development popping up in the area. It's unlikely that the station could go here, as TCR would most likely need to supply land for a station and the surrounding mixed-use work/live/play areas that would benefit it greatly.

The other option is the soon-to-be former Lair of Satan himself, the Post Office! This sprawling monolith to the crumbling decay of a once (apparently) great company that can't seem to deliver a goddamn package from Houston to Denver without losing it for two months.

But I digress...this site was recently purchased by Lovett Commercial, who are responsible for the redevelopment of a portion of the Sawyer Yards complex; an area within a few miles of the site that was home to warehouses for decades, but are now being converted to mixed use, artist studio's, and retail centers for a more, young and cultured demographic (as in, rich hipsters? It's a great redevelopment regardless)

The second option would have to be my favorite option, simply because I can see TCR and Lovett doing great work together.

HOWEVER, there has been no word on the two companies partnering in this kind of development, but we should know within the next few months.



Another important thing I'd like to add is something that was mentioned to me by Judge Eckels; the demand for a downtown station may not be fully realized until an established station is already up and operating, meaning an extension directly to downtown Houston could come after the line is open. This has not been mentioned at all since the discussion in articles or interviews, so it could have absolutely no merit to it. Do not take my word as absolute.

If, however, we are to believe that to be true, then the initial "end terminus" of the route will almost certainly be at the Northwest Mall site; an outdated monarch of 80's Houston's suburban mall carnage. The site is up for sale, and has absolutely enormous potential for not only HSR, but for commuter rail and/or light rail as well. This site is just minutes from the famous (or infamous, depending on time of day and traffic) Galleria. To make a long story short; The Galleria should have had light rail transit years ago but was blocked by one congressmen. Instead, traffic along this sector is literally the worst in Texas, BUT, by having a very valuable HSR terminus nearby, it would kick-start discussion for light rail extensions. I believe I've heard mention that TCR has been looking intently at this location for their "610 Station"

If you read that correctly, you'd understand the differintiation I just made; TCR has planned multiple station's at either end of the corridor. TCR has made it known they are heavily considering, at the Houston end, a downtown station, the Northwest mall station, and somewhere between Beltway 8 & The Grand Parkway (god I love Houston's freeway naming schemes), which would not only act as a catalyst for urban development around the station's, but has a little known consequence for Houston commuters.

It is no secret Houston's driving is the fking worst. We waste millions of hours a year, for bigger freeways that become overcroweded within a year due to population increases. Bigger freeways and increased transit option's are not the miracle solution's many of us (including me) would like them to be. This has required extensive research and design into engineering arguably some of the best roadway systems in the world, regardless of the fact that they are constantly crowded (blame the drivers). Due to the HSR's alignment from Loop 610 all the way to Hempstead (or Highway 6), the track will have to be elevated above an existing freight rail line. TCR plans to of course have a double track line from Houston to Dallas, but is considering adding a second line below their line, parallel to the existing freight line; acting as a commuter line extension from downtown (or close by) into the ballooning Cypress suburb (Fun fact; Cypress is the home of the under construction Daikan facility, which will set a world record for a single tilt wall building encompassing over 4 million sqft).

This commuter line extension is planned already by METRO but has gone nowhere because of a lack of funding and shitty politics. If METRO decides not to help fund a second line below the HSR lines, TCR has offered to allow METRO usage of their rail lines for a commuter service line. But, because the track is specifically designed for HSR use, METRO can't use their light rail trams already in place. This...unfortunate...setback would require METRO to purchase their own set of Shinkansen train sets for commuter service.

I don't know about you guys, but operating a HSR train set as a regular commuter train for a city is pretty badass.
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