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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 June 16th, 2017, 10:24 PM   #6841
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Polman View Post
of course it doesn't really show any details. However, the shift to private companies was ongoing already with the increasing number of turnpikes and also the Texas HST plan. It is good on one side as it finally enables parts of the USA to good transport options, with which I mean different than by car, but regulation is also important to prevent the projects to become only for the rich.
However, PPPs don't necessarily require the transfer of public assets - which is what the supposed White House plan is proposing. For example, take CAHSR: they will effectively be operating a PPP in which a private operator puts in some equity into the project in exchange for the privilege of operating service; they will not own the assets/infrastructure, though. The public will retain ownership of the assets (save rolling stock, potentially)...

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Originally Posted by rantanamo View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by SSMEX View Post
As someone who's pretty familiar with CAHSR but only has a passing knowledge of the Texas Central system, I have a few questions I haven't been able to figure out:
  • As a private company, how is Texas Central able to exercise eminent domain to complete the corridor?
  • How is Texas Central able to get electrified HSR-compatible tracks to downtown Dallas and Houston? CAHSR is partnering with Caltrain and Metrolink in SF and LA to share tracks into LA Union and the Transbay Terminal. Is Texas Central going to build a new alignmemt through downtown into new stations, or are they going to "blend" with existing commuter rail tracks and use existing stations?
  • To what extent is JR involved in the project? It seems to me that Texas Central is in charge of administration whereas JR will supply the trainsets and wayside equipment and provide a bulk of the engineering services. Is that a fair statement? Is JR making financial commitments to the project beyond simply as a supplier?
  • The quoted $15B total buildout cost seems quite low compared to the CAHSR amount. Is this simply because the corridor is flat and rural?
  • Of all places, I wouldn't expect Texas to be one of the first to have a true privately-funded HSR system. Is there any other example of a fully private system being built like this (not a private operator utilizing public tracks/trains)?
My 2¢:

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Originally Posted by rantanamo View Post
They aren't using eminent domain at this point, but rather doing private deals.
They are using eminent domain. The state has the power to transfer its ability to condemn property over to private utilities for expressly this purpose. This is what the entire argument over whether TCR can be defined as a RR hinges upon: How can they use eminent domain if they aren't technically a RR?

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Originally Posted by rantanamo View Post
JR is financing the project. TCR is basically a political arm/consultant to negotiate and navigate the logistics of making it happens. They've been purchasing the infrastructure and basically in Texas trying to keep the state out of things as much as possible. Delicate dance in Texas. As small as the rural population has become compared to the urban population, the rural population still has a ton of power and many things at the state level bow to their interests. TCR has to basically work around that.
Isn't it the other way around? JR has a stake in the venture but the controlling entity is TCR, no? JR could hardly extend financing for the entirety of the project: I believe their main interest is in securing rights to supply rolling stock, wayside equipment, etc (see: "About JRC").

In other words, TCR is doing exactly what CAHSR is doing, except, they're not holding a competitive bidding process to determine who their private partner/operator will be: They're designing the system specifically with JR in mind. As far as I know, TCR is still looking for additional partners/financing.

The BoJ has demonstrated interest in supporting the export of HSR expertise (see: Northeast Maglev), but I haven't heard any movement on extending financing for TCR.

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Originally Posted by rantanamo View Post
Infrastructure in Texas is cheap because of cheaper, flatter land, lower labor costs and easy proximity to cheap, raw materials.
The main difference in costs are probably 1) TXCentral is emphatic that it will eschew bringing their services into the respective DT cores of either Houston or Dallas, 2) a significant amount of tunneling will be required in CA, 3) CAHSR is a much larger, comprehensive network. The per km figure for CA ($56M per km) is only about 70% higher than the projected per km figure for TCR ($40M per km, using the $15B figure). That's a fairly negligible difference and is easily accounted for by geography and the difference in the efficiencies of having a private partner who's interested in exporting their technology than getting a direct ROI from the infrastructure itself (e.g. JR is looking for their return via service operations).

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With all of that, you have two of the 3 largest air carriers in North America headquartered in DFW and a fourth that merged with United in Houston. They have stopped competitors before. Prediction: Good luck with that.
Lastly, the airlines seem to have moved on since the repeal of the Wright Amendment. HSR is hardly the existential threat to them - especially, Southwest - that it appeared to be in the past. In fact, they've pretty much refrained from commenting on the project.
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Old June 17th, 2017, 07:47 AM   #6842
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yes, JR is financing. They are not financing 100%, but they are the main entity.

And to this point they haven't been determined a RR, so no they aren't using ED at this point. This has been one of the points of debate local and state legislators have been pushing( that the infrastructure needs to be able to use other rolling stock to be considered a RR)

.TCR and TCP was formed just to facilitate this project. It's "their" project because they were formed out of thin air to create it and take care of the project by using local people.

I used to be optimistic on this too, but the wind is blowing and its not the right way. If this is done, it will take a long time. I hope I'm wrong, but the campaign to 'derail' this is pretty strong and whether they are putting out false numbers or not, they are putting out numbers that aren't favorable. TCR's website paints a rosy picture, but what's happening on the ground is not in their favor. To their credit, they are pushing forward, but this will be a tough one.

And don't mistake silence for lack of political action. The airlines don't have to say anything publicly.

Oh, and TCR won't be bringing anything to downtown Houston. That's bridge under the water. Their location is set for I-610 @ 290. And my statement was about infrastructure overall. Its not that hard to do in Texas.

Don't overthink this. Strong politicos, strong localities.
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Old June 18th, 2017, 01:48 AM   #6843
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rantanamo View Post
Don't overthink this. Strong politicos, strong localities.
I'm not overthinking anything...some of your points seemed off.

Ex. I insinuated some differences in cost are due to specific decisions (incorrectly placing stations being one of them).

Anyways, TCR is the entity that will own the assets and either operate or chose an operator of services, not JR. The latter is an investor/adviser and probably a major partner (i.e. they own a large, maybe even majority, equity stake in the venture). It's still TCR's, for all legal purposes. JR's only interest is in propping up a project that serves to expand market share for Japanese, rail technology and expertise.

The eminent domain issue is semantics: they are employing an option program to entice landowners to promise to sell their property in the fiture at some predetermined price.

In the end, TCR will still be relying on eminent domain to get those parcels which owners refuse to sell...whether they have already condemned those parcels or not doesn't mean they have or haven't used eminent domain. Unless we're to expect 0% of property owners will refuse, TCR is relying on eminent domain; else, they wouldn't be bothered by the prospect of losing the right to condemn property. This is the purpose of EIR/S and alternatives analysis.

Furthermore, I'm not bullish on the TCR project: The same exact oppositionional forces that have coalesced around fighting CAHSR have formed against TCR...

However, Texas has a poor constituency for this project - it appears to disproportionately benefit business travelers and will not make a huge dent in creating anything resembling a comprehensive, statewide network (unlike in CA).

Conservatives, farmers, political opportunists exist in both CA and TX, but there are far more stakeholders in CA who stand to benefit compared to those fighting it (unlike in TX). This is the benefit for CA of developing a statewide, comprehensive network: It's more expensive but also more beneficial.

Lastly, I don't really see why the airlines - particularly, Southwest - would care to fight this. They are not as dependent upon the Dallas-Houston market as they were whenever the last HSR plan was floated. If they were against it, we'd know by now. This conspiracy that they're fighting it quietly requires us to suspend all belief: It's not how these types of campaigns operate(since they have to sway public opinion), and it isn't how they behaved in the past. They don't really seem to care either way tbh.
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Old June 28th, 2017, 12:45 AM   #6844
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Emanuel, Musk discuss high-speed rail from O'Hare to downtown
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Old June 28th, 2017, 12:48 AM   #6845
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Full speed ahead for a Texas bullet train? Lawmakers let the market decide — for now
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Old July 13th, 2017, 04:06 PM   #6846
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AP: Feds release high-speed rail plan, rethinking 2 states

https://apnews.com/f88671bbaaab471498eb73b919839edc

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Federal officials are rethinking a plan to build new high-speed railroad tracks through parts of Connecticut and Rhode Island after complaints that the project would devastate neighborhoods, marshlands and tourist attractions.

The Federal Railroad Administration dropped the proposed bypass Wednesday as it moves forward with a $120 billion to $150 billion plan for rebuilding the congested Northeast Corridor, between Boston and Washington, D.C., over the next 30 years.

Instead, the agency said it will continue to study options for more track capacity and faster service in the 100-mile stretch from New Haven, Connecticut, to Providence, Rhode Island, and that it’s seeking public input.

None of the tracks, stations or other infrastructure detailed in the FRA’s plan for the 500-mile corridor will be built without the support and agreement of state leaders, project manager Rebecca Reyes-Alicea said.

U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, a Democrat, credited local opposition for forcing the FRA to retreat on the Connecticut and Rhode Island bypass. He called the notion of tracks running through historic Old Lyme and other communities along Connecticut’s southeastern shore “misguided,” poorly conceived” and “untethered from reality.”

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who declared the project “dead on arrival” when it was proposed last December, called the FRA’s reversal a “victory for common sense.” The Connecticut Democrat disputed the need for further study. He called the bypass a “non-starter” and said “not a single penny nor minute of effort” should be spent on it.

Kim Coulter, an owner of the family-run Stoney Hill Cattle Farm in Charlestown, Rhode Island, said she’s glad the FRA heeded residents’ concerns that the now-shelved project would cut across conservation lands and sacred tribal burial grounds.

“They heard us,” Coulter said. “They knew that we were concerned. They knew that we weren’t happy.”

The FRA’s plan calls for enhancing capacity, performance and reliability on the corridor, which handles about 2,200 trains and 750,000 passengers each day on commuter and intercity trains. It includes plans for updating infrastructure, adding more trains to accommodate an expected ridership surge and building new tracks allowing speeds of up to 220 mph in some places.

The next steps will be deciding how the plan will be implemented and how it will be funded, all while making sure construction doesn’t hamper day-to-day operations, Reyes-Alicea said.

“That’s one of the greatest challenges,” she said.

The FRA estimates rebuilding the Northeast Corridor would cut travel times between Washington and New York by 35 minutes, to about 2 hours and 10 minutes, on the fastest trains and save 45 minutes to an hour on trips between Boston and New York, which now take close to 4 hours.

Work has already begun on some projects incorporated into the FRA’s plan. They include a project to build new, expanded tunnels under the Hudson River between New York and New Jersey, so far pegged to cost $12.9 billion, and a project to replace a 143-year-old tunnel in Baltimore.

___

Associated Press writer Susan Haigh in Hartford, Connecticut, contributed to this report.
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Old July 18th, 2017, 09:35 AM   #6847
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prageethSL View Post
May Construction updates.


I love seeing the construction I live off the 99 and see what a life changing thing this will be for the central Valley of CA it connects all major parts of CA through the Central Valley
I was reading research on similar size city stops and the economy grew 120%

I hope texas and ny get on the ball

What I hear when I see the work going on

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuAZTWGfQTs
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Old July 18th, 2017, 03:30 PM   #6848
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The easy thing for California comes up in here: the struggle in the Northeast, all these people living there spread everywhere and the different states make real HSR even harder. Then California has an easy job especially in the central valley. And so are other single-state lines trough the countryside, but also private companies rather than public as they are less dependent on public funds like those semi's in Florida (still need approval though).
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Old July 18th, 2017, 08:33 PM   #6849
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The easy thing for California comes up in here: the struggle in the Northeast, all these people living there spread everywhere and the different states make real HSR even harder. Then California has an easy job especially in the central valley. And so are other single-state lines trough the countryside, but also private companies rather than public as they are less dependent on public funds like those semi's in Florida (still need approval though).
The HSR still wont reach all parts of CA or Central Valley 2 big Sites Lake Tahoe and Yosemite Redwoods are still hours from any HSR stop in CA which are Huge pardon my trump, visitor areas. The 99 and 5 corridors really need a break through the Central Valley. The 99 should just become a logistical freeway because its 2 lanes for almost 400 miles
But you have to start somewhere..
where in the Northeast are you?
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Old July 21st, 2017, 08:30 AM   #6850
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Old July 22nd, 2017, 04:20 AM   #6851
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Elon Musk says he has ‘verbal govt approval’ for D.C.-to-New York Hyperloop




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Transportation pioneer Elon Musk has been known to talk big and sometimes overpromise.
But the Tesla chief and rocket builder took it up a notch Thursday, offering a tantalizing but so-far-undocumented announcement that his tunnel-boring company had received a verbal government green light to build a super-high-speed pod-and-tube transportation system, which he calls Hyperloop, for travel between Washington and New York.
“Just received verbal govt approval for The Boring Company to build an underground NY-Phil-Balt-DC Hyperloop. NY-DC in 29 mins,” he wrote on Twitter.
Questioners on Twitter asked one of the obvious ones: Who gave the permission? Musk did not offer details.
But the Trump administration did not knock the notion down.
Asked if it had given Musk verbal approval, a White House spokesman said, “We have had promising conversations to date, are committed to transformative infrastructure projects, and believe our greatest solutions have often come from the ingenuity and drive of the private sector.”
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Old July 22nd, 2017, 04:50 AM   #6852
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Verbal approval? I verbally approve any notion to have the Republican party disbanded and made illegal. That means it's real, right?

Any idiot who believes that an primarily underground tunnel is a cost-efficient means to "transform" transportation in the NEC hasn't looked at a cost analysis of the Chuo Shinkansen. If this happens (I just want to say "it won't", but then, who is our nominal president?), it'll be another Faraday Future Industries disaster--tossing government money at private industry vaporware, which would've been infinitely better spent on actual improvements to transportation systems which actually exist.
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Old July 22nd, 2017, 06:08 PM   #6853
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If he spends his personal money doing this, good luck to him.

If not, you are 100% right.
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Old July 27th, 2017, 05:06 PM   #6854
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This guys seems full of hot air. I wouldn't get my hopes up.. but there will be no conventional HSR in the NEC either so that's the only option I suppose

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Old July 27th, 2017, 11:38 PM   #6855
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This guys seems full of hot air. I wouldn't get my hopes up.. but there will be no conventional HSR in the NEC either so that's the only option I suppose
Why is there no HSR in the NEC? It may take more than 20 years for the full buildout but curve by curve, tunnel by tunnel, the NEC will move towards HSR.
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Old July 29th, 2017, 02:29 AM   #6856
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Why is there no HSR in the NEC? It may take more than 20 years for the full buildout but curve by curve, tunnel by tunnel, the NEC will move towards HSR.
You need a dedicated line for true HSR. Where is that happening in the NEC? I doubt it will happen using current lines and tracks. I'd trust Musk more than Amtrak to deliver to be honest.
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Old August 2nd, 2017, 04:14 PM   #6857
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The HSR still wont reach all parts of CA or Central Valley 2 big Sites Lake Tahoe and Yosemite Redwoods are still hours from any HSR stop in CA which are Huge pardon my trump, visitor areas. The 99 and 5 corridors really need a break through the Central Valley. The 99 should just become a logistical freeway because its 2 lanes for almost 400 miles
But you have to start somewhere..
where in the Northeast are you?


You might have guessed, but I'm going to the USA in a few months for a few weeks, mostly in the Northeast. Very excited to try out the infrastructure for myself. But I read about Amtrak's vision for a completely dedicated HSR: in the hundreds of billions of dollars just for BosWash. (I'm going to and in between both ends of the NE-corridor)


So I can imagine that that won't work in the Northeast. However, California still has the space for large portions (not all of it but much of it saving costs).
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And prohibit the use of agricultural land for new dwellings!
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Old August 3rd, 2017, 05:31 AM   #6858
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I'd trust Musk more than Amtrak to deliver to be honest.
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Old August 7th, 2017, 07:21 PM   #6859
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Verbal approval? I verbally approve any notion to have the Republican party disbanded and made illegal. That means it's real, right?

Any idiot who believes that an primarily underground tunnel is a cost-efficient means to "transform" transportation in the NEC hasn't looked at a cost analysis of the Chuo Shinkansen. If this happens (I just want to say "it won't", but then, who is our nominal president?), it'll be another Faraday Future Industries disaster--tossing government money at private industry vaporware, which would've been infinitely better spent on actual improvements to transportation systems which actually exist.


Tunnelling used to be extremely expensive, but a lot has changed. It adds to a project's cost but not as much as people think.

The reality is that upgrading the existing infrastructure is going to be costly if you want to increase the speeds to proper high speed. In addition, you have problems because those speeds generate a lot of noise. The net cost in loss of land and in land devaluation should also be accounted for. It's not 0.
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Old August 7th, 2017, 10:49 PM   #6860
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Tunnelling used to be extremely expensive, but a lot has changed. It adds to a project's cost but not as much as people think.

The reality is that upgrading the existing infrastructure is going to be costly if you want to increase the speeds to proper high speed. In addition, you have problems because those speeds generate a lot of noise. The net cost in loss of land and in land devaluation should also be accounted for. It's not 0.
Honestly, my problem with the attention paid to the Hyperloop is that there's all this fanfare around a technology without any existing real-world applications, when there currently exists technology being used daily, on a huge scale, the world over, to do the same thing.

People so sickeningly fetishize private enterprise that we'd rather trust what would likely be billions of our own dollars to a person with minimal experience building infrastructure (Musk's Supercharger network primarily piggybacks onto the pre-existing grid) peddling an untested technology, when there's no reason for us to take that kind of risk.

I just can't get over the blindspot that people seem to have for entrepreneurial exploitation when, if we simply had enough faith in our democratic system to make it work, it would. Democracy and public endeavors don't work unless we think they do; most private entities couldn't give a sh*t about the public unless they think it'll make them money.

That's how they work, and I'm so done with people thinking that that mindset works out if we all behave in the same manner.

/Rant.
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