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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 July 6th, 2009, 02:12 AM   #581
davsot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philvia View Post
i dont even know what you're trying to say
I got confused with your message, though I understand it know.

One thing I think is urgent, is the transportation bill be less in favor of roads. I'm not sure if there is more roads or rail in this country, but we should start letting the people decide which means to travel with, rather than politicians who love their cars...
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Old July 6th, 2009, 02:19 AM   #582
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Originally Posted by hoosier View Post
Another anti-HSR idiot talking out their ass. Tell me, is the $15 BILLION expansion of O'Hare airport a wise use of money? The entire Midwest HSR network would only cost $10 billion and link all major cities with 110 mph rail.
Hard to say, are there realistic projections that 110mph Midwest rail would eventually cater to an extra 50 million travlers which is the eventual capacity increase in OMP?
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Old July 6th, 2009, 08:50 AM   #583
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For $15 billion, that'd cover one true HSR line in the Midwest. I wonder how many commuter flights go out of Chicago to cities like Minneanapolis, St. Louis, Kansas City, Detroit, or Indianapolis. It'd help reduce demand on O'Hare and open up some valuable spaces for other flights.
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Old July 6th, 2009, 09:07 PM   #584
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is it u/c or proposed
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Old July 6th, 2009, 09:35 PM   #585
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Usually there are a few dozen flights per day between Chicago and cities.


http://www.publicpurpose.com/ic-air500passr.htm

U.S. Air passengers by route

U.S. Route Rank Route Miles pass. per/day per/y
19 CHICAGO, IL - MINNEAPOLIS, MN 345 3,447 (1,258,155 year)
23 CHICAGO, IL - DETROIT, MI 233 3,310 (1,208,150 year)
42 CHICAGO, IL - ST. LOUIS, MO 251 2,399 (875,635 year)
46 CHICAGO, IL - CLEVELAND, OH 307 2,312 (843,880 year)
269 CHICAGO, IL - INDIANAPOLIS, IN 162 808 (294,920 year)
325 CHICAGO, IL -CINCINNATI, OH 263 690 (253,675 year)

Really kind of surprised that the Chicago-Cinny route doesn't get more passengers.

I'm assuming these are for round trip flights. So Chicago-St.Louis gets roughly 700,000-1 million per year flying between the two per year. Not a very large market to siphon off from for HSR. Certainly not the 50 million per year extra capacity that O'Hare is expanding 10 billion for.

If HSR could be had put at two-two and half hours between Chi-St. Louis and if tickets were say 30-50% (rather optimistic number) lower of what air fare is between the two cities could the route pick up a good share of those who currently fly between the two cities now and pick up perhaps a latent few million who otherwise don't travel to St. Louis-Chicago do to economic or logistical hassles? That is the question.

The Chicago-St.Louis route even if a HUGE successes will never ever come anywhere near close to serving the need or capacity that the O'Hare modernization will do though so it it is better to throw that argument right out the window.
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Last edited by nomarandlee; July 7th, 2009 at 02:35 AM.
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Old July 7th, 2009, 01:44 AM   #586
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoosier View Post
People only drive because that is their only option and human physical development is tailored towards automobile use. Americans flocked to trains prior to the massive federal investment in the interstate highway system.

These anti-HSR idiots are completely historically illiterate. There was no evidence that the interstate highway system would be a success, but so much money was put into it at the expense of rail travel that people started using it.

If American cities are linked by HSR, there will be a demand for mass transit to complement it, just as the interstate highway system produced large surface streets, malls, and parking lots.
the cars and surface streets came long before the interstate. why are you even comparing the two anyways? the interstate system was built primarily for military and offers much more mobility than tracks. i'm not advocating for roads, but it is absolutely ridiculous to invest in HSR for cities that do not have an incredible mass transit system. you're thinking bout it completely irrationally, just showing blind support for a HSR in your region.


Quote:
Originally Posted by hoosier View Post
Another anti-HSR idiot talking out their ass. Tell me, is the $15 BILLION expansion of O'Hare airport a wise use of money? The entire Midwest HSR network would only cost $10 billion and link all major cities with 110 mph rail.
i'm a proponent for HSR, but only when it makes sense.

Last edited by philvia; July 7th, 2009 at 01:52 AM.
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Old July 7th, 2009, 04:13 PM   #587
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Originally Posted by hoosier View Post
Tolerance does NOT mean acceptance or non-criticism. Open-mindedness does NOT mean agreeing.

As for you jab that under the Obama administration, everything is financially feasible, I kindly suggest you pull your head out of your ass. We are talking about $8 billion, a paltry sum. And considering that it was Bush that launched the trillion dollar debacle known as Iraq despite the existence of a budget deficit after Congress approved his two surplus destroying tax cuts, you have no right to criticize. And the conservative icon Ronald Reagan TRIPLED the amount of federal government debt with his tax cuts for the rich and arms race with the Soviet Union so the modern GOP has ZERO credibility when it comes to "fiscal responsibility."

My gosh you're funny. Are you a college student or an under 30 lawyer? I don't think this is a political forum so we'll not delve into your classic defense of your guy. No defense at all, just bash the other guys. You'll notice I never said the current admin should act those other two you mentioned, so why bring them into it? These forums are great places to discuss ideas, but I have to tell you you'll get far better discussion if you show a little respect for differing viewpoints.


Maybe you should stop calling people names and read what they write. You are bashing folks who aren't necessarily dis-agreeing with you. I'm all for HSR investment where it makes sense. Where it makes sense is in crowded transportation corridors. Where it doesn't make sense is the middle of the Country. You can bash the interstate system all you want but the cold hard fact is that it is there, it is the current accepted method of travel between cities, it works, and it isn't going anywhere. Where it is used far under it's capacity there is no present urgent need to supliment it. Where it is inadequate, over-crowded, and no longer a desirable mode then it needs aid.


You are correct, Mr Bush wanted to pull the plug om Amtrak. Why, because it is hopelessly un-profitable. Did I agree with that? Sort-of, however I spent five years riding the NE corridor trains from Wilmingtoin DE, to DC and back and they were a Godsend for me and thousands of other folks. The NE corridor and some other corridors are exceptions to the general non-profitability. Those few busy corridors are the places that HSR should be explored.


As for the 8 billion, if my 20 years of experience with the federal gov't count for anything I'll tell you that very little or nothing will get built with that money. Consultants will get rich, environmental lawyers will get rich, lawyers defending those whom the environmental lawyers end up sueing will get rich. Pretty reports will be issued but not much will get built.


The main difference we have is that I am not in favor of a build it and hope they will come mentality for this. Build it first where you know they will come, in the corridors where they already show up day after day.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 03:11 AM   #588
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Hi all! I´m from Spain. Let me talk you about what HSR has changed here. Before 1992 (when Madrid-Sevilla line opened), there wasn´t great demand for rail between both cities, because car took less time and fast travellers got the plane. And it even wasn´t the most "urgent" corridor in Spain to benefit from HS, because a Madrid-Barcelona line was more appealing. You know what?? It has been a GREAT success. Everybody uses it now. Airlink services disappeared (planes with fast check-in and boarding), and that´s also about to happen in the future between Madrid and Barcelona. If people need to drive further away once in their destination, they will rent a car or follow the journey by other public transport, and I think people in the US will do the same, mainly because train stops near town centers. And don´t only think about business, because it will also boost tourism and people will use train for other purposes.

The thing is, even in a car-minded culture, HSR will also be a great success in the US. It´s obvious that some corridors must have preference, but in the end people will change their habits and travel by train if train is faster and environmentally friendlier.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 05:50 AM   #589
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyFish View Post




You are correct, Mr Bush wanted to pull the plug om Amtrak. Why, because it is hopelessly un-profitable. Did I agree with that? Sort-of, however I spent five years riding the NE corridor trains from Wilmingtoin DE, to DC and back and they were a Godsend for me and thousands of other folks. The NE corridor and some other corridors are exceptions to the general non-profitability. Those few busy corridors are the places that HSR should be explored.


As for the 8 billion, if my 20 years of experience with the federal gov't count for anything I'll tell you that very little or nothing will get built with that money. Consultants will get rich, environmental lawyers will get rich, lawyers defending those whom the environmental lawyers end up sueing will get rich. Pretty reports will be issued but not much will get built.


The main difference we have is that I am not in favor of a build it and hope they will come mentality for this. Build it first where you know they will come, in the corridors where they already show up day after day.
The $8 billion WILL be spent on track upgrades. That is for what the funds are specifically targeted.

Also, you can't base the attractiveness of a potential HSR route based on ridership of the existing line. More people use the NEC because it is in FAR better shape than any other track that Amtrak uses. The NEC is electrified, has at least two tracks for its entire length, and is owned by Amtrak, meaning passenger trains do not have to wait for long, slow freight trains.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 06:54 AM   #590
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so basically as long as Oklahoma and Arkansas workout a HSR between Norman and Hot Springs... and they have a solid plan!!! they should receive federal funding? since we cant judge them or compare them on anything but speculation. i guess your logic makes sense..........
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Old July 8th, 2009, 03:28 PM   #591
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoosier View Post
The $8 billion WILL be spent on track upgrades. That is for what the funds are specifically targeted.
Wanna bet


I'm not pushing the NEC because of attractiveness. I'm pushing it because the ridership is already there. In some areas of the US it is wanted, in the NEC it is NEEDED.


If there are no huge improvements to service between Chicago and St. Louis it won't really hurt anyone. It will annoy some folks but it won't hurt. If Boston to DC isn't improved it will hurt. Now I may be wrong but I'm doubting that too many people ride from Chicago to St Louis on 10 car trains and have to stand because there aren't any seats. That happens every business day on trains leaving DC. That line is currently beyond it's capacity. So two things can happen. Bigger trains with huge bills to lengthien stations or more trains going faster. HSR there is a perfect fit.


I'm just saying, build it first where the bulk of the riders are.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 04:41 PM   #592
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Question is... what trains ?

Something European ?
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Old July 12th, 2009, 06:56 AM   #593
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Wyoming rail study hinges on Colorado's decisions on high speed rail approach
10 July 2009

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Wyoming transportation officials are waiting for Colorado to determine what kind of trains it intends to run on its planned high-speed rail lines before Wyoming can finish a feasibility study about the prospect of extending the rail service north to Cheyenne.

Colorado, New Mexico and Texas are seeking $5 million in federal funds to study whether a high-speed rail system from El Paso north to Denver would be viable.

The Wyoming Legislature two years ago funded a quarter-million-dollar study looking into whether such a high-speed rail system could extend as far north as Casper.

Sen. Michael Von Flatern, R-Gillette, said Thursday that the Wyoming study already has determined that extending service as far north as Cheyenne would make sense, but as a practical matter, it couldn't go farther north.

Von Flatern, chairman of the Senate Transportation, Highways and Military Affairs Committee, said the terrain north of Cheyenne is too difficult and coal train traffic on existing lines is too heavy to allow high speed passenger service as far north as Casper. He said construction of new lines would be necessary but the cost can't be justified.

"With under $10-a-gallon gasoline, with these economics, this population, it just doesn't make sense," Von Flatern said.

Dan Kline, supervisor of the Systems Planning and Railroad Unit at the Wyoming Department of Transportation, said he expects the Wyoming study will be completed by late this summer. He said the state needs to hear from Colorado whether it intends to run electric trains and other details before it can complete its study.

"Right now, we're sort of watching the Rocky Mountain Rail Authority, and waiting for them to finalize their decisions on technology and equipment," Kline said.

"We basically don't step ahead on ridership estimates or technology assumptions without them going first," Kline said. "They're obviously the big dog in this thing."

Kline said the state's consultant has been working on other aspects of the study, so work hasn't stopped in the meantime.

David Simpson, a Minnesota consultant, has been directing the Wyoming study. He said the Colorado planning effort is not only looking at north-south service, but is also considering the prospect of rail service along the east-west Interstate 70 corridor that could take people from Denver west to ski areas.

If Colorado decides to use electric trains because of the steeper grades involved in an east-west route, Simpson said it would use the same type of trains in any north-south service that could reach Cheyenne. He said Wyoming can't finish its feasibility study until that decision is made.

Simpson said he sees a reasonable probability that dedicated passenger rail service could be constructed between Cheyenne and Fort Collins, Colo., within the next 10 years.

A nonprofit group called Front Range Commuter Rail has been pushing for development of better passenger rail service in Colorado.

Bob Briggs of the Front Range group said Thursday he expects the Rocky Mountain Rail Authority will announce at a hearing July 24 what sort of trains it intends to use.

"The bottom-line is that we need to connect Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico, and we also need to connect east-west," Briggs said.
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Old July 12th, 2009, 06:57 AM   #594
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Groups blasts high-speed rail plans
10 July 2009

CHICAGO (AP) - A Chicago-based conservative group is blasting plans to spend federal stimulus money on high-speed rail in Illinois and elsewhere around the country.

Some $8 billion is set aside in the federal stimulus bill to pay for high-speed rail. Illinois wants a slice of that to develop high-speed service on several routes, including between St. Louis and Chicago.

But an Illinois Policy Institute report argues the federal effort to construct high-speed networks will end up costing at least $90 billion. Over the long term, it says the costs will run into the hundreds of billions.

It says Illinois should focus instead on incremental improvements, including upgrading railroad crossings.

Advocates say high-speed rail will reduce pollution and road congestion.
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Old July 12th, 2009, 08:38 AM   #595
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I wonder if this group ever studied how much it would cost to upgrade the freeways and airports? We don't even have a high-speed rail network to begin with so where to start? Don't they realize Europe is pouring that much money into high speed connections?

90 billion for HSR, all I got to ask is why not?
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Old July 12th, 2009, 11:10 AM   #596
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Quote:
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I wonder if this group ever studied how much it would cost to upgrade the freeways and airports? We don't even have a high-speed rail network to begin with so where to start? Don't they realize Europe is pouring that much money into high speed connections?
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90 billion for HSR, all I got to ask is why not?


I'm optimistic a high speed rail network in the US will begin growing - eventually.

Probably what's necessary is a fully operational 'showcase' line - it doesn't matter how many high speed lines there are in Europe, nothing will have the same impact on many Americans (and therefore American politicians) as a 'stars-and-stripes' train.

Then perhaps the network will take-off in earnest. However everyone on this thread may be much older by the time it does, or even have gone to meet our maker...
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Old July 12th, 2009, 12:17 PM   #597
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Why not link New York to Chicago?
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Old July 12th, 2009, 06:23 PM   #598
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Why not link New York to Chicago?
The two cities are much too far apart. It would be easier and faster to just take a plane. I don't think even high-speed rail is going to be very effective bridging that gap.
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Old July 12th, 2009, 07:13 PM   #599
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I think HSR will only succeed up to about 1000km, so it's really the Acela corridor that will link up several cities to make it work.
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Old July 12th, 2009, 10:27 PM   #600
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The regional routes should be a priority but a NYC-Chicago route should be considered as the first inter-regional route if connecting the regional rails is given priority.

The distance from Chicago to NYC is roughly 800 miles so. The Chicago-NYC air route is the 3rd most popular in the nation (with NYC to Florida as the top two) and is even more popular then NYC-Boston and is twice as traveled as the S.F.-L.A. route.

True modern HSR at appox. 200mph would take between 4-5 hours. Flying from takeoff to touchdown between airports take 2 and half hours. Downtown to downtown air travel would figure roughly equivalent if only marginally faster and perhaps even slower then 200mph rail.

I think it could potentially be popular with the business traveler market for those that would like to sleep overnight instead of waking up at 4am and taking the 6am early bird flights. Cleveland and Toledo would also be included along the route and perhaps also Pittsburgh.
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