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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 January 9th, 2017, 04:55 PM   #6661
00Zy99
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Originally Posted by aquaticko View Post
All that makes the kind of expansion Penn Station needs sound essentially impossible. I cannot fathom an entire block being leveled for what basically amounts to transit expansion--in any major world city within densely built-up areas, much less in some of New York's most valuable area.
I know it sounds absurdly difficult, but they are apparently at least reasonably serious about this. Serious enough to start looking at the needs and to get the local opposition muttering about the historic church.

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At the same time, the kind of transportation hub which NYC serves as for the entire metropolitan (and megalopolitan) area necessitates some infrastructure which is truly massive in scale. Has anyone ever proposed an inter regional rail transit hub outside of Midtown to supplement the existing hubs? Anywhere on Manhattan would be a massive endeavor, but then, it'd be that much more worth it, too.
Building a new intercity hub would mean digging two river tunnels with long approaches under cities, carving out a huge new terminal, and making connections to many subway lines. The best contender would actually be the WTC location (roughly). That's where PATH terminates, and makes a connection to Newark Penn Station. Anywhere else would be a little trickier in terms of subway connections.

Doing this would mean billions of dollars and would require dodging the enormous amount of underground infrastructure. It would probably be considerably more expensive overall.

There was a proposal from a private advocacy for a new Hudson tunnel stretching from Hoboken Terminal to a terminal on the far west side of the island by the Hudson. However, this ignored the considerable difficulties associated with connecting the NEC to Hoboken Terminal, disrupting Hoboken Terminal, and then dealing with the fact that a far West Side terminal wouldn't have good subway connections or be in a particularly desirable location.

In terms of intra-regional projects, the East Side Access is currently under construction connecting the LIRR to Grand Central Terminal. This is a HUGE multi-billion dollar effort that involves using a lower level of a subway tunnel under the East River dug in the 1970s as a provision for just such a plan. This tunnel is now being connected to the LIRR at Sunnyside Yard (which means boring new tunnels through tricky railroad facilities) and to Grand Central Terminal, which means boring from 63rd and Lexington way down to Grand Central at 42nd and Madison, with tail tracks extending several blocks further south. It also means blasting out huge underground caverns to serve as a station facility deep below the existing GCT facilities and carving out access tunnels to the surface and the rest of the station. As of now, tunneling and blasting are complete, with fitting-out scheduled to last until 2023 (as of now with no further delays). However, this will only serve commuter trains coming from Long Island and terminating in Manhattan. It will slightly relieve the burden on PSNY, but the LIRR wants to take the chance to simply add more of its own trains into the existing facility.

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Originally Posted by zaphod View Post
But they will still replace the critically old tunnels, right?
The new Hudson River Tubes and Portal Bridge are very much the Five-Alarm Fire and Galloping Gertie of American infrastructure. They MUST be replaced yesterday. Almost everybody agrees on it, but the states have been passing the buck on funding, and the GOP in Congress is in denial. That's the only reason construction isn't already underway.

And I should note that its not really "replacement" of the existing tunnels. Once the new tunnels are open, the old ones can be shut down one at a time for their VERY needed rehabilitation. Once that is done, however, they will be reopened for service to provide the needed capacity.

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Expanding Penn Station itself seems like a big unfeasible mess given the way large public projects are handled in NYC.
That's a serious bureaucratic issue. But sometimes, you just have to bite the bullet and build what needs building, as with this and the Third Water Tunnel.

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Maybe capacity could be increased by improving train turnaround time?
Believe me, as far as I can tell they are trying their best with what they have, given the confines of the situation.

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I think it is more a question of operating processes. With 22 tracks (19 through and 3 stub), Brussels manages 1200 trains per day. How many there ?
I believe that it is less, but you have to understand that Brussels has a relatively unconfined approach layout and better flexibility. Penn Station was designed for much more long-distance and much less commuter trains that it sees today, and for much lighter traffic overall. It has to deal with an amazingly complex and haphazard layout-quite possibly the most difficult in the world today. There are significant physical obstacles to doing something incredibly simple like having through-running trains from NJ Transit to LIRR. Leaving aside the different electrical systems, the two systems are on opposite sides of the station, to the degree that they almost might as well be in separate facilities. A train from New Jersey trying to go through to Long Island would either have to stop on the Amtrak NEC platforms and tie up that space, or it would have to cross every single approach track for west-bound trains. I strongly advise you to go examine LIRR Today and read its Penn Station articles. They are quite fascinating, and explain why the station is so complicated and operates the way it does. The operating processes are very much dictated by the incredibly tight confines and immense complexity of the physical layout. It simply can't put through more than it does without an immense reconstruction that would basically amount to total demolition, and require blasting out more space under neighboring blocks anyways.
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Old January 9th, 2017, 06:42 PM   #6662
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Just to follow up, I though we were talking about leveling the block between 6th, 7th, 31st and 32nd, which would've been insanity.
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Old January 9th, 2017, 07:00 PM   #6663
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????

No. It's the block diagonally across the intersection of 7th and 31st.

7th Avenue to 8th Avenue

30th Street to 31st Street

The block with St. John the Baptist Church.

Its still pretty damn tough, but its not COMPLETELY insane. Sadly, we are still talking about a lot of very big, very beautiful, very historic buildings having to come down. I very much don't want to have to do it, especially given the martyrdom of the original Penn Station, but it does appear to be a tragic necessity in the long run. I do wish that it was possible to have some of the more historic buildings stand (a few of them of modernist junk and easily clearable), but I don't think it can happen.

Amazingly, a few of the buildings are only 2-3 stories tall! That's what they mean when you hear talk about that part of Manhattan being underdeveloped. I very much doubt any replacements will be nearly so short.
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Old January 11th, 2017, 07:47 AM   #6664
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There are a number of places in Manhattan where the buildings are only a few stories tall on average (Harlem, parts of the West Villiage, and some of the East Villiage. But yeah, Hudson Yards was for a long time where all the rail yards and dirty industry was meaning that everything but low density industrial development tended to avoid that area. I mean for goodness sakes, there are EMPTY LOTS let alone 2-3 story buildings around the area.
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Old January 11th, 2017, 08:59 AM   #6665
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Is Elon Musk's hyperloop more likely to be built by a Trump administration?





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Old January 11th, 2017, 09:54 AM   #6666
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prageethSL View Post
Is Elon Musk's hyperloop more likely to be built by a Trump administration?





Oh God No. Can we stop wasting time on this literal pipe dream.

Also this is some good news about gateway funding

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PANYNJ releases $32 billion 10-year capital plan
The draft Capital Plan includes a total of $2.7 billion toward the payment of debt service for the critical Trans-Hudson rail tunnel link between New York and New Jersey. That includes an already approved $302 million toward debt service on the Gateway Development Program's Portal Bridge North project.
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Old January 11th, 2017, 04:53 PM   #6667
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Originally Posted by CNB30 View Post
There are a number of places in Manhattan where the buildings are only a few stories tall on average (Harlem, parts of the West Villiage, and some of the East Villiage. But yeah, Hudson Yards was for a long time where all the rail yards and dirty industry was meaning that everything but low density industrial development tended to avoid that area. I mean for goodness sakes, there are EMPTY LOTS let alone 2-3 story buildings around the area.
Its one thing for there to be 2-3 story buildings several blocks over. Its another to have them right across the street from Penn Station!!
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Old January 12th, 2017, 04:06 AM   #6668
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Its one thing for there to be 2-3 story buildings several blocks over. Its another to have them right across the street from Penn Station!!
If you know the layout of NYC, it's really not as surprising as you would think. Believe it or not, the Chrysler building Shared blocks with 3/4 story walk-ups, and the Empire State building STILL shares the same block as some 3/4 story walkups. In fact, midtown used to be FULL of civil War era rowhouses, and prior to the 50s and 60s, most of the world class art deco Skyscrapers in midtown actually shared blocks with 3 story row houses Even in Downtown, you have places like Peck Slip with a bunch of 4 story brick warehouses that are literally across the street from 60 story skyscrapers.

Plus, this photo of Old Penn Station right after completion might be of interest to you

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Old January 12th, 2017, 04:40 AM   #6669
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First look: New Florida higher-speed train unveiled



















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WEST PALM BEACH — After years of failed attempts to bring higher-speed rail service to the Sunshine State, officials with Brightline relished a historic moment Wednesday, showing off the first train set delivered to their operations center in this South Florida city.
The two locomotives and four passenger coaches, collectively dubbed "BrightBlue," arrived in West Palm Beach last month and were put on public display for the first time Wednesday. The set will soon be followed by four more - BrightOrange, BrightPink, BrightRed and BrightGreen - with the hopes of starting regular service by this summer.
If all goes according to plan, it will be the first privately run and operated rail service launched in the United States in over 100 years. And for passengers, it will mark the culmination of years of efforts to create a higher-speed rail option between the tourist havens of Orlando and Miami.
Brightline president Mike Reininger said he expects about 3 million passengers a year in the first phase of operations, which will run between stations in West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami. By the time rail lines and stations are completed to Orlando, possibly by 2018, Reininger said they hope to lure up to 5.5 million passengers per year.
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Last edited by prageethSL; January 13th, 2017 at 03:10 AM.
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Old January 12th, 2017, 06:33 AM   #6670
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Am I the only one who saw this and thought "Go, Go, Brightline Rangers!"?

When they all gather together they form the FlaglaZord!
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Old January 12th, 2017, 07:01 AM   #6671
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Great news if it becomes a success.
But at a maximum of 80mph (actually 79 according to the article), is it common for a HSR through urban areas?
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Old January 12th, 2017, 06:24 PM   #6672
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WOW 3tmk, Great 60,000 Dollar Question Our SSC Friendly Family Friend and World Moderator and My SSC Friend to Everyone Here,
at 80 MPH ( 79 MPH ), would probably be between Miami and West Palm Beach at it's fastest there in the over 6 Million Metro areas population of the 3 Tri Counties it's running through by early next year, 2018 For sure !!,
But from West Palm Beach to the Orlando International Airport and Orlando Intermodal Station for trains, Light Rails and Airport People movers to the Planes and Car Parking garages AREAS, IT'S max speed WOULD BE over 125 mph TO MAKE IT THERE TO Orlando international AirPort " O.I.A. " BY 3 hours EACH TRAIN FROM Downtown MiamiCentral Trains Station AS predicted 5 years AGO ??
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Great news if it becomes a success.
But at a maximum of 80mph (actually 79 according to the article), is it common for a HSR through urban areas?
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Old January 12th, 2017, 09:22 PM   #6673
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CSM's being pessimistic. All indications are that service will open to West Palm Beach by years' end.
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Old January 13th, 2017, 10:18 AM   #6674
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79mph due to grade crossings with conventional gates. If you add four quadrant gates with presence detectors, the speed goes up to 95mph. Any speeds above that need grade separation.
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Old January 13th, 2017, 09:39 PM   #6675
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I thought that 110 was permitted with quad-gates. At least I've seen them doing that in Michigan and New York. And that's the goal in Illinois.
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Old January 16th, 2017, 03:41 PM   #6676
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^That is correct.
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Old January 18th, 2017, 07:34 PM   #6677
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CA bullet train officials deny reports of potential $3.6B cost overrun

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Dive Brief:
  • The California High Speed Rail Authority has disputed a report in the Los Angeles Times that alleged its $64 billion bullet train project was headed toward a $3.6 billion cost overrun, according to the Silicon Valley Business Journal.
  • The initial 118-mile segment through northern California (Merced to Shafter) could end up costing as much as $10 billion — more than 50% over its original budget of $6.4 billion — even though the CHSRA relocated the inaugural route there to save money, according to the Times report.
  • The Times said it based its story on a "confidential Federal Railroad Administration risk analysis," but both CHSRA and FRA authorities said the report in question was prepared for discussion purposes, was populated with hypothetical situations and did not accurately reflect the current state of the high-speed rail project.
http://www.constructiondive.com/news...verrun/434083/
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Old January 21st, 2017, 04:21 PM   #6678
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That "Bright Blue" looks nice, is it possible that US trains are slowly arriving in the presence? Still, it looks like it is still affected by that tank-train regulation, what a pity as it makes train service so much less efficient and is just a huge waste of energy without much gain (if any) in safety.

The whole Brightline project sounds good to me as they really bring intercity rail stations right to the core of these downtown areas and the speed seems apropriate. It will bring West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Downtown Miami much closer together, also for tourists.

PS: What is the status of Phase 2 now? Has it been pushed way back or is it still going to come anytime soon?
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Old January 21st, 2017, 07:15 PM   #6679
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Brightline complies with all current safety regulations, and does so while simultaneously working comparably to European stock-the coaches are copied from the Austrian Railjet.

Phase 2 is moving forward, with the Orlando station under construction, and the funding for the new track being locked down.
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Old January 22nd, 2017, 05:09 PM   #6680
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First run in South Florida.

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