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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 July 16th, 2009, 02:35 AM   #621
Basincreek
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Heh, I think it's funny that with only $8 billion available California, never-the-less, went out and requested $22 billion from the federal government. Granted, if they got it, that money, along with $10 billion California voters approved last fall, would substantially complete the trunk system of the SF to LA line and provide for ROW preparations for the branch lines. Which would give the US the first true HSR system to use as a prototype to experiment and learn from for all the other lines that will be coming online in the following years.


I think it's neat that so many cities and states, even small places like Caspar, Wyoming, are excited about trying to build HSR rail links.
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Old July 16th, 2009, 05:36 AM   #622
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Originally Posted by ADCS View Post
Oh, and for philvia - who the hell do you think feeds you? No importance, my ass. Oh, and last time I checked, the west coast is just as car-dependent as the central part of the country, and rail service in the Northeast is piss-poor by European standards - old trains, old infrastructure, expensive and low frequencies.
A victim of decades of underinvestment and neglect, as well as NIMBYism.

If the priorities of this country were straightened out years ago, this region would have the rail infrastructure to compare well with Europe.

This is where possibly the majority of the rail riders in the country live. The New York area alone is home to 1/3rd the total for the entire country. The only area with a rail system that would compare well with here is Chicago. I am going to somewhat agree with philvia and Flyfish here...if there is a place where HSR could work in this country, it will be in this region where there is massive demand for it. All these other HSR plans are great and I hope for the best for them, but the NEC can not be neglected.
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Old July 17th, 2009, 03:04 AM   #623
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Originally Posted by Xusein View Post
A victim of decades of underinvestment and neglect, as well as NIMBYism.

If the priorities of this country were straightened out years ago, this region would have the rail infrastructure to compare well with Europe.

This is where possibly the majority of the rail riders in the country live. The New York area alone is home to 1/3rd the total for the entire country. The only area with a rail system that would compare well with here is Chicago. I am going to somewhat agree with philvia and Flyfish here...if there is a place where HSR could work in this country, it will be in this region where there is massive demand for it. All these other HSR plans are great and I hope for the best for them, but the NEC can not be neglected.
I agree completely. That being said, I wasn't objecting to the Northeast being a target for HSR investment; the population density makes its own case. It was more the smug attitude that has no place on a board where people from all over the world come to compare ideas.

Of course the most important places for HSR are the Northeast and Midwest, centered on Chicago. That being said, it doesn't make anywhere else in the country less important, just less densely populated.

It doesn't do anything to advance the discussion by just making blatantly ignorant comments.
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Old July 17th, 2009, 06:34 AM   #624
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Originally Posted by FM 2258 View Post
We have American Airlines, Continental, United, Delta, U.S. Airways, Southwest and JetBlue for that.
But at a higher cost, more hassle, and a far less enjoyable traveling experience. Plus, airlines do not provide the concrete link between cities which is so important. Also, the HSR line would connect many smaller communities to New York and Chicago as well as with one another.

And why are you against CHOICE in travel options? Airlines are only able to exist as a result of hundreds of billions of public funds used to build the airport and the highways serving them. Not to mention the FAA provided air traffic control personnel and TSA provided security personnel, courtesy of the taxpayer.

Why even have an interstate connecting Chicago to New York if you can just fly between the two cities, right?
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Old July 17th, 2009, 06:35 AM   #625
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Originally Posted by lostknight View Post



Ahh. Another open-minded liberal.
Well, what they said was RIGHT. You may not like it, but too bad.
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Last edited by hoosier; July 19th, 2009 at 06:01 AM.
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Old July 17th, 2009, 06:50 PM   #626
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again, a fast train between NYC and Chicago wouldn't(at least shouldn't) connect to those small cities. again, it would negate every benefit to HSR
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Old July 19th, 2009, 06:02 AM   #627
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again, a fast train between NYC and Chicago wouldn't(at least shouldn't) connect to those small cities. again, it would negate every benefit to HSR
No, a fast. express service from Chicago to New York and vice versa wouldn't stop at every city. But there would be other services that would make those stops and provide crucial rail service from the smaller cities to the bigger ones and vice versa. That is how the main Shinkansen line in Japan, from Tokyo to Osaka, works.
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Old July 19th, 2009, 06:31 AM   #628
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A US high speed rail network would be a major engineering feat. Good luck.

Will it really be privately viable without subsidies from the government? Major line costs with tickets competing with airline industry.

I don't think its worth wasting money just to have the pride of having high speed rail. Perhaps when trains get a lot faster it would make more sense. Wasting money now on unused railway lines and then not being able to use newer technology due to wasteful existing lines would be a shame.
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Old July 19th, 2009, 06:46 AM   #629
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A US high speed rail network would be a major engineering feat. Good luck.

Will it really be privately viable without subsidies from the government? Major line costs with tickets competing with airline industry.

.
Airports and highways are major engineering feats as well. High speed rail is no more difficult to build than those forms of transportation. If Western Europe and East Asia can do it, then why can't the U.S.?

Why is there a demand that high speed rail be privately viable? Roads aren't. And airlines have many services provided for them courtesy of the taxpayer, like security and air traffic control.
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Old July 19th, 2009, 06:51 AM   #630
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Originally Posted by ghost101 View Post

I don't think its worth wasting money just to have the pride of having high speed rail.
Well that is a baseless concern because no one is advocating for high speed rail just for the sake of pride. And besides, it wasn't necessary for America to go to the moon, but it spent billions sending people there for the sake of national pride.

High speed rail is well established in many countries and many others are building or trying to build their own systems as well, because IT WORKS.

Rail was the backbone of American infrastructure and mobility for over a hundred years and only fell off after the government spent BILLIONS to construct freeways and airports. Rail travel is more comfortable and environmentally friendly than driving or flying and reduces congestion on roads and at airports. Plus, it can revitalize inner cities and provide smaller markets with poor air service much needed connections to larger cities.
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Old July 19th, 2009, 06:59 AM   #631
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoosier View Post
Airports and highways are major engineering feats as well. High speed rail is no more difficult to build than those forms of transportation. If Western Europe and East Asia can do it, then why can't the U.S.?

Why is there a demand that high speed rail be privately viable? Roads aren't. And airlines have many services provided for them courtesy of the taxpayer, like security and air traffic control.
Of course the US could build one if they wanted. My comment wasn't abut not being able to construct one but the time and effort required at a great cost to connect two metropolitan areas. In the same distance in Europe several nations can be connected.

I presume there are airport taxes and road taxes which cover government spending, or at least attempt to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hoosier View Post
Well that is a baseless concern because no one is advocating for high speed rail just for the sake of pride. And besides, it wasn't necessary for America to go to the moon, but it spent billions sending people there for the sake of national pride.

High speed rail is well established in many countries and many others are building or trying to build their own systems as well, because IT WORKS.

Rail was the backbone of American infrastructure and mobility for over a hundred years and only fell off after the government spent BILLIONS to construct freeways and airports. Rail travel is more comfortable and environmentally friendly than driving or flying and reduces congestion on roads and at airports. Plus, it can revitalize inner cities and provide smaller markets with poor air service much needed connections to larger cities.
Again, aeroplanes are much faster than railways. Aeroplane travel will always be the method of travel demanded more until railways can offer comparable times. 300mph+(with increasing speeds) compared to 200mph trains is simply a different service.

The only thing going for high speed rail is really environmental concerns. A better way of tackling that would be increasing the cost of travel of aeroplanes and possibly road travel. If then you see train companies with some help from the government proposing high speed rail will it be worth it. The US obviously seems to still believe that global warming is made up or hates any form of taxation in general.

As I said before, it would probably be better to wait for better rail technology where the benefits are clear cut.
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Old July 19th, 2009, 09:17 PM   #632
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As much as any government initiative the reason why air and road travel took off was because of distinct advantages over rail. With air it was a time advantage and with road it was comfort (privacy is considered by most a major comfort) and accessibility. Even though I lament the overdependance on auto's we have now I sometimes feel that planners and industrialist get a bad rap for making past decisions that for good reasons seemed rather rationale at the time.

I would also argue that rail is more comfortable then environmentally friendly the flying. For short distances yes but most people would gladly give up a few inches of leg room to get some place in half the time. However I disagree that rail is decidedly more environmentally friendly.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/bl...r-t-2009-06-08
A large aircraft emits about three times the greenhouse gases per passenger kilometer traveled than a train during operation. But if you consider the infrastructure that supports train and light rail travel, it effectively increases greenhouse gas emissions by a factor of 155 percent. A similar calculation for jets only increases the effective greenhouse gas emissions by 31 percent.

The two modes of transport are basically neck-and-neck, but on the U.S. east coast, where fossil fuels provide electricity for rail travel, trains end up being bigger greenhouse gas emitters than planes.

Trains also fared worse off when the study authors considered airborne pollutants like sulfur dioxide, which causes acid rain. The Boston Light Rail, for instance, emits more than seven times the amount of sulfur dioxide per passenger kilometer traveled than a typical large aircraft. That’s because today’s airplane fuels are low in sulfur, and power plants now dominate sulfur dioxide emissions.

The take-home message, says lead author Mikhail Chester at University of California, Berkeley, is not that eco-conscious travelers should shun rail lines in favor of planes. Instead, he says we should be looking at ways of reducing emissions in our infrastructure, by using, for instance, low carbon dioxide cement.
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Old July 19th, 2009, 09:36 PM   #633
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghost101 View Post
The only thing going for high speed rail is really environmental concerns. A better way of tackling that would be increasing the cost of travel of aeroplanes and possibly road travel. If then you see train companies with some help from the government proposing high speed rail will it be worth it. The US obviously seems to still believe that global warming is made up or hates any form of taxation in general.

As I said before, it would probably be better to wait for better rail technology where the benefits are clear cut.
Or perhaps bringing a FEW aspects of regulation back into the airline industry. Why we as a society need +50 flights ever twenty minutes during the day from NYC-Chicago or flights every half-hour from Dallas-Houston I am not sure. I would like to see some jumbos fly on the most popular routes like they do in Japan even if it means cutting into some frequency. I would think it would be more economical and environmentally sound.
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Old July 19th, 2009, 10:47 PM   #634
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoosier View Post
Well that is a baseless concern because no one is advocating for high speed rail just for the sake of pride. And besides, it wasn't necessary for America to go to the moon, but it spent billions sending people there for the sake of national pride.

High speed rail is well established in many countries and many others are building or trying to build their own systems as well, because IT WORKS.

Rail was the backbone of American infrastructure and mobility for over a hundred years and only fell off after the government spent BILLIONS to construct freeways and airports. Rail travel is more comfortable and environmentally friendly than driving or flying and reduces congestion on roads and at airports. Plus, it can revitalize inner cities and provide smaller markets with poor air service much needed connections to larger cities.
You nailed it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghost101 View Post
Again, aeroplanes are much faster than railways. Aeroplane travel will always be the method of travel demanded more until railways can offer comparable times. 300mph+(with increasing speeds) compared to 200mph trains is simply a different service.
This is debatable. It's not exactly a solid fact here in the US with our extreme border protection and security to the max, you could be spending more combined time at a terminal and in the air then taking a train from point A to point B.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nomarandlee View Post
As much as any government initiative the reason why air and road travel took off was because of distinct advantages over rail. With air it was a time advantage and with road it was comfort (privacy is considered by most a major comfort) and accessibility. Even though I lament the overdependance on auto's we have now I sometimes feel that planners and industrialist get a bad rap for making past decisions that for good reasons seemed rather rationale at the time.

I would also argue that rail is more comfortable then environmentally friendly the flying. For short distances yes but most people would gladly give up a few inches of leg room to get some place in half the time. However I disagree that rail is decidedly more environmentally friendly.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/bl...r-t-2009-06-08
A large aircraft emits about three times the greenhouse gases per passenger kilometer traveled than a train during operation. But if you consider the infrastructure that supports train and light rail travel, it effectively increases greenhouse gas emissions by a factor of 155 percent. A similar calculation for jets only increases the effective greenhouse gas emissions by 31 percent.

The two modes of transport are basically neck-and-neck, but on the U.S. east coast, where fossil fuels provide electricity for rail travel, trains end up being bigger greenhouse gas emitters than planes.

Trains also fared worse off when the study authors considered airborne pollutants like sulfur dioxide, which causes acid rain. The Boston Light Rail, for instance, emits more than seven times the amount of sulfur dioxide per passenger kilometer traveled than a typical large aircraft. That’s because today’s airplane fuels are low in sulfur, and power plants now dominate sulfur dioxide emissions.

The take-home message, says lead author Mikhail Chester at University of California, Berkeley, is not that eco-conscious travelers should shun rail lines in favor of planes. Instead, he says we should be looking at ways of reducing emissions in our infrastructure, by using, for instance, low carbon dioxide cement.
That study was debunked. Because everything is debatable!. For instance, if that study takes in to account electrification and renewable energy resources, which is ideal and what Obama is supporting then things aren't so bad. California doesn't have coal plants.

About 1% of the electricity used in California is produced by coal.
California does not produce coal.
California has no coal-fired power plants.


http://www.teachcoal.org/aboutcoal/a...states/ca.html

So does the CHSR rank worse than a flight from LA-SF??
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Old July 21st, 2009, 05:02 AM   #635
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Within 500 miles, high speed rail is time competitive with air travel. There is basically no air service between Paris and Lyon and Paris and Brussels because of high speed rail. The same is true between Madrid and Barcelona.

High speed rail doesn't get delayed by weather or overcrowding, common occurrences at airports. Nor are there the lengthy security checks.

As for financing, ticket prices cover a large chunk of operational costs. More so than the gas tax covers the maintenance needs of a road. It's not like people will be riding the train for free!
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Old July 21st, 2009, 07:36 PM   #636
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Just a question... the US HSRL is planned at about 110 mph only ? is it competitive?

In Europe they are running at 210 mph (350 kmh) and that's why it is competitive.

Is it true?
Why?

500-600 miles at 110 mph it's not like Madrid-Barcelona (210 mph) ... train will need the double of time to arrive it's destination.
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Old July 21st, 2009, 08:40 PM   #637
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Some of the lines in the US will be 350+ kmh. The California system is being designed for that speed and so will the Front Range and Texas systems.
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 03:13 AM   #638
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoosier View Post
Within 500 miles, high speed rail is time competitive with air travel. There is basically no air service between Paris and Lyon and Paris and Brussels because of high speed rail. The same is true between Madrid and Barcelona.

High speed rail doesn't get delayed by weather or overcrowding, common occurrences at airports. Nor are there the lengthy security checks.

As for financing, ticket prices cover a large chunk of operational costs. More so than the gas tax covers the maintenance needs of a road. It's not like people will be riding the train for free!
The plane had a really big market share in Madrid - Barcelona before the HSL was opened... Think the same will happen in the Us
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 04:18 AM   #639
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There's a high speed train from Amsterdam to Marseille, a distance of 800 miles, from next year almost completely on dedicated high speed tracks. That is comparable with NYC - Chicago, which has an HUGE potential. In less than five hours from Penn Station Manhattan to Union Station in Chicago. That should be competitive to air travel, if you consider how much time you loose with going to the airport, checking in, security checks, waiting for boarding, taxiing, flying, again taxiing, deboarding, leaving the airport and going to the city center. Not to speak of bad wheather conditions and other airport delays.

It would take ten years of construction and billions of dollars to construct a high speed line from New York City to Chicago. But these dollars aren't lost, as they are invested in the US economy. It might sound very ambitious, but it isn't impossible. The main challenge is not technical nor financial; it's to get the American mindset ready for 21st century railroad technology.
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 09:37 AM   #640
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Quote:
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There's a high speed train from Amsterdam to Marseille, a distance of 800 miles, from next year almost completely on dedicated high speed tracks. That is comparable with NYC - Chicago, which has an HUGE potential. In less than five hours from Penn Station Manhattan to Union Station in Chicago. That should be competitive to air travel, if you consider how much time you loose with going to the airport, checking in, security checks, waiting for boarding, taxiing, flying, again taxiing, deboarding, leaving the airport and going to the city center. Not to speak of bad wheather conditions and other airport delays.

It would take ten years of construction and billions of dollars to construct a high speed line from New York City to Chicago. But these dollars aren't lost, as they are invested in the US economy. It might sound very ambitious, but it isn't impossible. The main challenge is not technical nor financial; it's to get the American mindset ready for 21st century railroad technology.
Of course you also have to deal with the Republicans whose solution to every problem in the history of everything is tax breaks for the rich. That makes funding things harder.
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