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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 November 29th, 2016, 11:24 AM   #6581
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Sorry guys im new to this particular thread. Where exactly is the california high speed rail going to stretch through. My first time hearing of the project (I realize im slow) was in the stadium threads when they spoke of a train from LA to vegas but it didnt seem high speed because they said it was a 5 hour ride which seems like thats a drive time? thanks in advance.
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Old November 29th, 2016, 12:04 PM   #6582
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Originally Posted by Jthurmo2 View Post
Sorry guys im new to this particular thread. Where exactly is the california high speed rail going to stretch through. My first time hearing of the project (I realize im slow) was in the stadium threads when they spoke of a train from LA to vegas but it didnt seem high speed because they said it was a 5 hour ride which seems like thats a drive time? thanks in advance.
I think you're thinking of XpressWest, which is meant to tie into the CAHSR via Victorville-Palmdale, initially relying on Metrolink to fill that gap.

You can get more info about the SF-LA project, here.

Interactive map

Construction progress
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Old November 30th, 2016, 05:36 AM   #6583
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CHSR construction progress







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Old November 30th, 2016, 06:31 AM   #6584
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ITS HAPPENING!!!!

We're actually starting to see things that look like actual construction!!!!

Oh MY GOD!!!!!
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Old November 30th, 2016, 07:38 AM   #6585
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Give it a couple months and we'll see construction outside Fresno!
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Old November 30th, 2016, 01:34 PM   #6586
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Originally Posted by 00Zy99 View Post
ITS HAPPENING!!!!

We're actually starting to see things that look like actual construction!!!!

Oh MY GOD!!!!!
It's been looking like real construction for like 6+ months...
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Old November 30th, 2016, 03:50 PM   #6587
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This is the first time we've had aerial photos that look like something you would see in Japan or Europe.
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Old December 6th, 2016, 12:25 PM   #6588
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Alstom to receive $30 million in NY funds for Amtrak train deal





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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo yesterday announced $30 million in state funds will be used to support Alstom Transportation Inc.'s expansion in Hornell, N.Y., to accommodate a new contract to build next-generation high-speed trains for Amtrak.

New York's state support for the project was an important factor in Alstom's winning bid for the Amtrak contract, according to a press release issued by Cuomo's office.

The 28 new trainsets will be part of Amtrak's $2.5 billion program to upgrade the Acela Express service in the Northeast Corridor.

Amtrak has ordered Alstom's "Avelia Liberty" train, the latest development of Alstom's high-speed train range Avelia. The new trains will operate at speeds up to 160 mph from the current 135 mph on the Acela line, but will be capable of speeds up to 186 mph.
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Old December 11th, 2016, 07:29 AM   #6589
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Video: Alstom North American President Jerome Wallut tells employees the first high-speed car will start next Thanksgiving, then two cars a month

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With what may be the final celebration of the $2.5 billion Amtrak contract now in the rear-view mirror following Gov. Andrew Cuomo's visit to Alstom on Wednesday, and the $30 million check from the state for facility expansion delivered, the company has work to do, a top official says.

"Today is a great day, and the continuation of a long process that started three years ago when we started to bid on this contract, now we are beginning to move to the implementation phase, so the support we're getting from New York state is huge," said Alstom senior vice president of North American Operations Jerome Wallut.
With cash in hand, and a vote of confidence from the state, Alstom will build facilities to accommodate the major contract.
"It will be a continuation of the current test track, extending the one along this building. It's quite complex because we have to test the train at higher speeds, so we have to extend the test track and build a bridge to go over the river," Wallut said.
However, the Amtrak contract isn't the end of the company's quest to aquire work for Hornell, according to Wallut.
"In ten years we will be creating jobs for your children," Wallut told employees.
Wallut said Alstom is approaching new contracts with the same vigor that won the Amtrak contract.
"In business you don't get surprised. When you start to engage in the contract process, it's to win. We've done everything possible, the right team, the right product, the right quality, the right, and this is what allows us to win," he said.

Wallut hopes that the Amtrak success can be parlayed into a culture of winning.
"You cannot set a strategy on only one project. Amtrak is a fantastic booster for us, but in order to stand strong on all legs, you need several activities. As you see today, we are doing four projects (currently in Hornell)," he said.
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Old December 15th, 2016, 06:12 AM   #6590
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Old December 18th, 2016, 02:53 AM   #6591
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http://www.citylab.com/commute/2016/...slowly/509954/

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There’s a long and distinguished conservative tradition of hating on passenger rail projects, mainly because of the massive federal expenses they tend to incur. Republicans vigorously fought President Obama’s $8 billion pledge to power high-speed intra-city lines back in 2009 (alongside Vice President “Amtrak Joe” Biden, of course), and blocked his plans to fund road, bridge, and rail projects with a $478 billion infrastructure bill in 2015. (A whittled-down, $305 billion version passed later that year.)

Will Donald Trump be more sympathetic to trains than the average Republican? Possibly. The President-elect has compared America’s railroads to those of third-world countries and made envious references to Chinese bullet trains: "They have trains that go 300 miles per hour," he said in March. "We have trains that go chug-chug-chug." As a New York City developer, he also knows how rail connections can anchor serious real estate investments. His much-touted $1 trillion infrastructure plan hinges on leveraging big chunks of private lucre with very small amounts of public cash—the sort of financing scheme that could actually work for a rail project along a dense, inter-city corridor with lots of development opportunities. (What does his nominated DOT secretary, Elaine Chao, think about rail? Who knows?)

Despite having long been left for dead, those sorts of rail improvements and connections are coming to life in the U.S.—corridor by corridor, at varying velocities. In the absence of much dedicated federal funding, private investments are paying the freight in some cases; others are getting state funding. If Trump wants to create jobs with splashy infrastructure upgrades, giving these existing high-speed rail projects a cash injection might be a good bet. (Especially now that the Federal Railroad Administration finally released updated safety standards for high-speed trains, which stands to speed up project approvals in the future.)

Here’s a roundup of America’s motley fleet of unfinished supertrains.

Florida’s model (private) train


Construction is underway in Miami for All Aboard Florida’s Miami-West Palm Beach connection. (Not seen: the train.) (Flickr/Phillip Pessar)
Florida knows anti-train vitriol first hand. Back in 2011, Governor Rick Scott rejected $2.4 billion in federal change (Ohio and Wisconsin governors John Kasich and Scott Walker also rejected their chunks of Obama’s $8 billion rail stimulus) for a high-speed line from Orlando to Tampa due to concerns of state cost overruns—a decision that most Florida representatives, including Republican Congressman John Mica, greeted with dismay. (Mica is also the guy who once called Amtrak a “Soviet-style operation,” but he was convinced that private investors would pick up the rest of Florida’s HSR tab.)

Then a private rail company, All Aboard Florida, stepped in with plans to build a ultra-sleek passenger rail line along Florida’s east coast, and moved quickly on building. Running between 79-125 mph, the train won’t exactly be “true” high-speed—but that’s still nearly as fast as the Northeast Corridor’s Acela service, the speediest in the country. AAF is betting that the Brightline, scheduled to start service between Miami and West Palm Beach in 2017 (!), will open up big real estate development opportunities. It’ll be this country’s first privately run and operated passenger rail system in a century (it was also mostly privately funded, though the feds and the state wound up kicking in funds—for which Scott was, of course, criticized). An extension to Orlando might happen depending on how popular the service is. Rail supporters around the country will be watching.

California’s slow ride toward true high-speed rail


People get ready: Supports for a 1,600-foot-viaduct to carry high-speed rail trains across the Fresno River, are under construction near Madera, California. (Rich Pedroncelli/AP)
With limited support from Uncle Sam, California’s $68 billion, 200 mph L.A.-to-S.F. rail connection—set to be the first and only true high-speed project in the country—has been inching along behind schedule since voters agreed to finance it 2008. Land disputes, engineering challenges, and relentless opposition from a few loud-spoken politicians have bogged down its progress and forced some significant planning changes. But construction is seriously underway, with viaducts, bridges, and a whole mess of berms and protective walls coming to life in the Central Valley. That’s infrastructure that would be hard to simply up and abandon at this point, despite some speculation along those lines.

That said, “If the feds said California was a priority, they could just write a check,” says Andy Kunz, the president and CEO of U.S. High Speed Rail Association. “We spend that much on defense in a month.” (Well, almost.) Trump might be unlikely to smile quite that much on deep-blue California, though, given that state leaders are vocally gearing up to oppose many of his key policy points. But California is a wealthy state, with a bench of HSR support among gubernatorial contenders (rail-champion Governor Jerry Brown is out in 2018). The first segment might not be complete until at least 2025, but it’s still looking likely than California traingoers will one day break the double ton.

The Northeast Corridor, stuck in a tunnel


The Hudson River tunnel is far from the only chokepoint along the Northeast corridor. (Mel Evans/AP Photo)
The rail service between Boston and Washington, D.C. is Amtrak’s most profitable, but it’s badly bottlenecked, thanks to the zillions of rail agencies offering service on the 457-mile Northeast Corridor. Service improvements along the NEC might also be the most viable and necessary in the country. Upgrades to the Acela line, which tops out at 150 mph, are happening little by little. In August, Amtrak announced nearly $2.5 billion worth of cutting-edge equipment capable of traveling 186 mph, and tracks and stations are seeing (utterly essential) piecemeal improvements.

But the new trains can’t get near their top speeds until they’re traveling on a fully upgraded set of rails. Amtrak has a $151 billion proposal to build separate high-speed tracks by 2030, but without dedicated federal commitment to the plan, the only kind of progress the NEC is likely to see is incremental. “Unless something radical happens, and people change their minds, the only place we’re going to see true high-speed rail is in California,” says Yonah Freemark, a transportation scholar and consultant.

The so-called “Gateway” project looks similarly iffy. That $24 billion plan proposes to make high-speed upgrades inside the Hudson River rail tunnels between New York City and New Jersey, which were badly damaged during Hurricane Sandy. But the project has descended into political and inter-agency bickering about who pays what. Without dedicated state leadership and dedicated federal funds, the Gateway is likely to remain hanging open—slowing down hundreds of thousands of daily riders and the nation’s largest urban economy.

The Midwest feels a need for speed


Chicago’s historic Union Station is undergoing a major renovation, as a higher-speed connection to St. Louis takes shape. (Flickr/Andrew Seaman)
Perhaps more than any other state, Illinois has demonstrated strong, bipartisan support for rail improvements in recent decades. And soon, it’ll have a major connection to show for it: $2 billion worth of improvements on tracks between Chicago and St. Louis are set to wrap up in summer 2017. New crossings, bridges, stations, and rail upgrades should push corridor speeds to 110 mph—again, not true high-speed, but a lot better than the current 79 mph service. (There’s a theme here; outside of California, the U.S. might never see 200-mph-and-up trains like those in Europe and Asia. You need new tracks to do that, and there’s just not enough federal money, or will, to build them.)

There’s good reason to expect that the state could keep funding rail improvements on spokes to other cities—namely, Detroit. Michigan is also supplementing a big hunk of federal change with tens of millions in state funds to improve rail connections within the state and to Chicago. Ohio and Wisconsin governors John Kasich and Scott Walker may have turned down federal high-speed rail funds for their states, but Illinois, Michigan, and Missouri seem to be starting the Midwest’s engine on a legitimate 21st-century rail network.

Texas gets ready


What’s the hold-up in Texas? (Adrees Latif/Reuters)
Texas Central Partners, a group of private investors backed by the Japanese government, wants to start construction on a $10 billion true high-speed rail line between Dallas and Houston as soon as 2017. Domain restrictions and disputes have meant this project hasn’t proceeded quite as smoothly as Florida’s private line (All Aboard Florida already owned most of the right-of-way), but given the serious potential for real-estate development in those Texas metros, this project seems likely to get built.

Other sparks of high-speed rail activity are crackling nationwide. The privately backed “XpressWest” proposal from Las Vegas to Southern California refuses to die. Virginia is making headway on plans for a higher-speed spoke between Washington, D.C. to Richmond, as is North Carolina for Raleigh’s connection to that corridor.

Then there are a pair of space-age wild cards: a Japanese maglev proposal between D.C. and Baltimore, and Elon Musk’s famous Hyperloop, which could revolutionize L.A. to San Francisco commutes in California, assuming people are willing to strap themselves into a windowless capsule that goes 760 mph inside a steel tube. Both would require enormous investments in new infrastructure, and the whole Hyperloop thing is still deeply unproven as a way of moving human beings around.

But in the meantime, a bonafide network of higher-speed passenger lines is slowly emerging in the U.S. anyway. And, strangest of all, it’s possible that the incoming GOP president might even help push it along, rather than try to derail it.
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Old December 19th, 2016, 05:58 PM   #6592
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Ok, I had no troubles believing the Apollo missions but this is just too much. Actual HSR construction which looks like actual HSR construction? Those pictures have to be fake!

jk, congratulations, it's happening. Maybe we'll really see some HSR ... in 20 or 30 years.
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Old December 19th, 2016, 09:33 PM   #6593
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CA bullet train authority green lights $3B bond financing deal


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Dive Brief:
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  • The California High Speed Rail Authority has approved a $3.2 billion bond sale to help fund construction of one stretch of its bullet train route and the electrification of another, according to the Mercury News.
  • The state spend, which will come from $10 billion in voter-approved financing, is necessary so that the rail project can continue to be eligible for matching federal funds.
  • Opponents have filed a lawsuit alleging that the conditions of the original high-speed rail bonds did not authorize money to be spent on electrification and that a state bill passed last year "materially changing" the bond is unconstitutional.
http://www.constructiondive.com/news...g-deal/432432/
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Old December 20th, 2016, 04:52 AM   #6594
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FRA recommends $120bn investment in Northeast Corridor




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A 30-year programme of route modernisation, including four-tracking and some new alignment, has been recommended by the Federal Railroad Administration under its proposal to develop the Northeast Corridor linking Boston, New York and Washington DC.


A four-year consultation and market testing exercise known as NEC Future was launched in 2012 to evaluate options for investment in the 735 km corridor, and in April 2013 FRA issued an initial list of 15 potential investment options. Now these have been whittled down to a single recommendation, intended to improve reliability on the route and address a ‘consensus’ among policymakers, business leaders and the rail industry that its ‘current capacity is vastly inadequate to meet the demands of today or tomorrow’.

In the short term, FRA suggests that expenditure should focus on renewal of the existing railway to bring it to ‘a state of good repair’. Subsequent enhancements would cover:
  • adding infrastructure to provide four tracks along most of the corridor, enabling the separation of premium inter-city and regional or local trains;
  • realignment of the railway around Philadelphia to serve a new station at Philadelphia Airport and avoid tight curves north of the city;
  • route upgrading to enable regular-interval inter-city services to Hartford (Connecticut) and Springfield (Massachusetts);
  • release of train paths to permit up to a doubling of regional passenger trains and a five-fold increase in inter-city services.
Other enhancements already being developed include the New York Gateway programme, which would alleviate the current bottleneck between Newark, New Jersey, and New York Penn Station, and provide a degree of redundancy for the ageing Hudson tubes. This is being co-ordinated by a four-way consortium including the federal government, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey and national passenger operator Amtrak.

Upon completion, significant journey time savings are envisaged, with Boston – New York journeys accelerated by 45 min to 2 h 45 min and New York – Washington DC journeys falling by 35 min to 2 h 10 min.

However, FRA stresses that ‘it would be up to states, cities and railroads to decide whether to move forward with any specific projects’. The total cost of the programme is expected to be approximately $120bn, of which around $40bn is needed to renew the existing infrastructure.

‘In order to keep moving forward, we need a new vision for the Northeast Corridor’, said FRA Administrator Sarah Feinberg. ‘We need a corridor that provides more options and more trains for commuters. One that allows for seamless travel between the nation’s capital and New York, and New York and Providence and Boston. A corridor that provides streamlined connections between a city’s airports and its cities. And a corridor that can efficiently and reliably serve a population that is growing quickly.’
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Old December 20th, 2016, 06:21 AM   #6595
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In 1970, the Metroliner was scheduled for 2:30 from NY to Washington. Of course, that round trip only made one stop, northbound, at Baltimore and the southbound trip was nonstop. A more accurate comparison might be the train stopping at Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Newark with a 2:40 run time.

What bugs me are some of the alignment options. The proposed Philadelphia route would be a MASSIVE Big Dig-class tunnel under the whole city. However, the sharpest curves (the one where the derailment happened) could be obviated with a simple cutoff, the land for which was purchased back in the 1920s (and I think Amtrak still has it). Build the Frankford Cutoff and a few other small projects and you've probably saved a fair chunk of time off the trip, equivalent to that whole new tunnel.
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Old December 20th, 2016, 07:41 PM   #6596
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In 1970, the Metroliner was scheduled for 2:30 from NY to Washington. Of course, that round trip only made one stop, northbound, at Baltimore and the southbound trip was nonstop. A more accurate comparison might be the train stopping at Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Newark with a 2:40 run time.

What bugs me are some of the alignment options. The proposed Philadelphia route would be a MASSIVE Big Dig-class tunnel under the whole city. However, the sharpest curves (the one where the derailment happened) could be obviated with a simple cutoff, the land for which was purchased back in the 1920s (and I think Amtrak still has it). Build the Frankford Cutoff and a few other small projects and you've probably saved a fair chunk of time off the trip, equivalent to that whole new tunnel.
It is the main issue I have with this $150 billion bloating boondoggle. If you were to cut the expensive tunnels and correct curves let alone banish freight in Baltimore let alone the ridiculous station sizes that are being asked for, it would likely be much cheaper and provide the same results. Correct the Zoo Interchange and it fixes a huge bottleneck in Philly for many trains. Fixing the curves and getting the catenary up to modern standards (in progress in NJ) will do quite a bit.
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Old December 20th, 2016, 08:01 PM   #6597
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Pretty much. I feel like that entire plan is a big joke and will poison the long term support and potential for successfully modernizing the northeast corridor.

The actual needs for modernizing the NEC are well-known. The choke points are the hudson river tunnels, tunnels around Baltimore, some severe curves in various places, and a couple of old drawbridges.
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Old December 21st, 2016, 06:56 AM   #6598
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To be fair, I would include a fairly significant bypass in Connecticut as part of those "severe curves".

But with ZOO, there's really not much that can be done without hugely expensive and disruptive projects that won't deliver much bang for the buck. ZOO is right near 30th Street, so trains are slowing down anyways for the approach.
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Old December 21st, 2016, 09:25 PM   #6599
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To be fair, I would include a fairly significant bypass in Connecticut as part of those "severe curves".

But with ZOO, there's really not much that can be done without hugely expensive and disruptive projects that won't deliver much bang for the buck. ZOO is right near 30th Street, so trains are slowing down anyways for the approach.
I don't disagree with the Connecticut portion but I am curious if you have read the blog Pedestrian Observations that has mentioned these tunnels are absolutely nuts. https://pedestrianobservations.wordp...sr-90-cheaper/ This was even pointed out 4 years ago how you could do this monstrosity 90% cheaper with similar benefits.
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Old December 22nd, 2016, 12:13 AM   #6600
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I agree with most, but not all, of the things posted there.

Western Connecticut needs more curve straightening, and more capacity than he recommends. His plan, as far as I can tell, would cut into the commuter rail capacity when the need is to have a major increase in commuter capacity.
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