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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 August 2nd, 2009, 09:59 AM   #681
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TedStriker View Post
As for high speed trains in America, assuming that it will be the Europeans who get the contracts to build the things, do you reckon they'll be built to the wider North American loading gauge, or simply be clones of the trains running in Europe?
That's really not a problem: Siemens already made its first Velaro clone for a broad-gauge network (Russia). Others will follow.

The question is, is it necessary in the United States? It IS necessary in Russia, and Germany and France (but not Spain) because the HS trains often borrow ordinary tracks to cover part of the distance. This is typially the case with "line prolongations" like for example when French SNCF decide that three of their daily trains to Rennes should be carried through to Brest. But as far as I have heard a big problem for HS in the United States is that the incumbent railway operators will NOT share their existing tracks with the new HS rolling stock - apparently because proper HS service implies that you "kick away" all slow freight trains to make place for the fasties. That's hardly a problem in EU where we have so few freight trains. In the US on the other hand..

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If they are European clones, do you think they'll have to opt for 2+1 seating plans, because the larger size (width) of the average American?
He, he, he... that's a new one! I've heard some American tourists complain to the theatre owners in West End that their seats are too narrow. It was such a hoot... it didn't occur to these people to apologise for beeing disgustingly fat - it was all the theatre's fault. Maybe we'll soon be having the same discussion here on the railway boards?
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Old August 2nd, 2009, 12:20 PM   #682
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Another sad message, The Third Railway Survey and Design Institute Group Corporation of China created Los Angles HSR project section. Chinese are highly experienced HSR infra constructors, mileage of HSR lines they built one year, is longer than mileage of Franch HSR!
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Old August 3rd, 2009, 12:31 AM   #683
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Originally Posted by octopusop View Post
Another sad message, The Third Railway Survey and Design Institute Group Corporation of China created Los Angles HSR project section. Chinese are highly experienced HSR infra constructors, mileage of HSR lines they built one year, is longer than mileage of Franch HSR!
Quantity doesn't say anything about quality. The Chinese may have built more toys than the rest of the world but a lot of them still contain lead.
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Old August 3rd, 2009, 12:45 AM   #684
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Quote:
Originally Posted by octopusop View Post
Another sad message, The Third Railway Survey and Design Institute Group Corporation of China created Los Angles HSR project section. Chinese are highly experienced HSR infra constructors, mileage of HSR lines they built one year, is longer than mileage of Franch HSR!
What a bunch of bullshit, the chinese wouldn't be able to build their way out of their own as if they tried. All the knowhow, project planning, execution of construction, technical installations, etc have they bought and brought from Europe and Japan. Project managers and construction site formen are flown in from europe and USA since the chinese lack the experience to handle it on their own!
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Old August 3rd, 2009, 06:03 AM   #685
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Okay, but there's a difference between proposed "HSR" at 110MPH than 220 MPH HSR. 110MPH "HSR" should be done now. If there's an "HSR" in the Midwest let 'em have it.
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Old August 4th, 2009, 03:03 AM   #686
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davsot View Post
Okay, but there's a difference between proposed "HSR" at 110MPH than 220 MPH HSR. 110MPH "HSR" should be done now. If there's an "HSR" in the Midwest let 'em have it.
And to think that that slower 'high speed' was used in the USA nearly a century ago. In the 1910s, the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad (now part of Union Pacific) built a well-engineered true 'high speed' passenger railroad on a new ROW running much of the way between Chicago and Minneapolis/Saint Paul via Milwaukee. That line, their 'Air Line' and 'Adams' lines is still in use today and among the other freight that uses it now it hosts UP's high-priority intermodal trains that run between MStP and Chicagoland. UP is also now doing major track upgrades to that line - but, alas, it will remain freight only.

Later on, CNW started their '400' passenger trains in 1935 - advertising a trip between their stations in Chicago and Minneapolis on that route in 400 minutes (6:40) - believed to be the fastest schedule in the World for that distance at that time. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twin_Cities_400



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Old August 4th, 2009, 07:22 AM   #687
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They should seriously consider talking to Bombardier about that JetTrain prototype they have shelved for Minneapolis-Chicago and the other midwest routes.
For those unfamiliar its turbine powered train with a small standard diesel motor for use under to 25 mph and then a turboshaft (similar to those on turboprop aircraft) engine for higher speeds. The turboshaft in question is a very light weight engine (about 1/20 the weight of a diesel with similar power output) that accelerates quickly that is quieter and uses less fuel than a conventional diesel at speed (however is very inefficient at lower spends, hence the small secondary engine). The idea was toyed around with in France and England in the 60s and 70s, but electrified lines made the concept rather obsolete on that side of the pond.

We could have 150 mph service speed and wouldn't need to electrify the line (which unfortunately no one is ever likely pay for). They (besides the powerplant) are basically Acela Express trainsets (tilting, intended for mixed traffic, ect) in all other respects and were designed for the North American market in the first place. They would need to upgrade some portions of the tracks beyond what is being done at the moment, but it shouldn't be too bad, and they could probably cut down the time between Minneapolis to Chicago to around 4 hours (currently about 7 hours on a good day) just makes all the sense in the world to me at any rate.
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Old August 5th, 2009, 06:37 AM   #688
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No, that goes against 21rst century rail. Just because it's cheap doesn't mean it makes sense. Or does it?

One of the benefits of rail is that it doesn't pollute if you manage your power sources correctly.

Are you willing to sacrifice rail argument in favor of a smaller price tag? What about the future?

In all fairness, a train will always be more efficient than the private automobile. Also, diesel pollutes less than gasoline. Then again, it is a fossil fuel, another key to the rail debate, which also goes nowhere.

Am I honestly debating with myself?
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Old August 5th, 2009, 05:06 PM   #689
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I think you and Hoosier acting a bit reactionary in this thread.

Actually it could be a good interim solution. Is it ideal to permanently run diesel in perpetuity? No, but electrification is a long term, time intensive, and expensive proposition especially over long distances. For some of our cross country routes that are very long and don't have many runs per day the cost of electrification may not be feasible.

Heck, even in the UK given their much smaller distances they still have depended on diesel trains on a variety of routes.
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Last edited by nomarandlee; August 6th, 2009 at 05:40 AM.
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Old August 5th, 2009, 11:50 PM   #690
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davsot View Post
No, that goes against 21rst century rail. Just because it's cheap doesn't mean it makes sense. Or does it?

One of the benefits of rail is that it doesn't pollute if you manage your power sources correctly.

Are you willing to sacrifice rail argument in favor of a smaller price tag? What about the future?

In all fairness, a train will always be more efficient than the private automobile. Also, diesel pollutes less than gasoline. Then again, it is a fossil fuel, another key to the rail debate, which also goes nowhere.

Am I honestly debating with myself?

Well If you can talk Federal and State governments into electrifying these lines more power to you, but I am not that optimistic, especially here in the midwest. It would be several billion dollars to get the lines between Minneapolis and Chicago electrified, much less have total ROW seperated lines strait enough to run and ICE or a TGV on, which would be ideal, but I don't see anyone paying for that sort of thing in the next 20 years. If you really want to get idealistic we should be putting in Maglevs that just hit the more major population areas and do 300 mph in service, but that sure isn't happening around here either.

I know using something like JetTrain is a less effective long term solution and ideally I would like to see an ICE type of system here, but realistically I don't see it happening soon. With the JetTrain idea they would need to upgrade rails in spots and buy new rolling stock, it could be operational in a couple of years if the funds came together. This seems a whole lot more likely to happen than proper HSR, even if it is less effective.
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Old August 6th, 2009, 05:26 AM   #691
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Yeah, you're right. It would get done much faster.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nomarandlee View Post
I think you and Hoosier arting as a bit of a reactionary in this thread.
It's called healthy debate. It tends to happen when you're in forums!
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Old August 16th, 2009, 11:00 PM   #692
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Glad I found this thread that discuss about US HSR plan. I support USA HSR network.

I am wondering what do you guys think about having entire country high speed rail system? Or you guys prefer having HSR to service to larger/denser population centers only (e.i. Vancouver-Eugene or California or East Coast) than serve to rural towns too? Why or why not?
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Old August 17th, 2009, 05:38 AM   #693
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That's an interesting point.

High speed trains generally run between closely-spaced big cities and like to cater to business travelers. But I never got this, in the Northeast for example there are way better options than Amtrak-you can take a bus that is cheaper or fly from a smaller airport on a low-fare airline.

Yet, your right, when you think about it, trips originating from a smaller city would probably have the most time advantage over flying, and being able to string a chain of regional towns together would create economic benefits. Fast trains can win over planes when the stations are more local, and the total time it takes to get from driveway to station parking lot and taxi to final destination will obviously be much less than trying to get to a major airport in another city. They also have better turn-around time and are not direct but stop by stop and not point to point. There's also the point of real-world schedules, I'm sure everyone's flown somewhere and spent more time total waiting for connecting flights than in the air. Rather than catching the infrequent puddle jumper at 7 am and waiting at the hub airport, hopping on the hourly bullet train as it passes through carrying riders going other places would make sense.

Last edited by zaphod; August 17th, 2009 at 05:55 AM.
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Old August 18th, 2009, 05:41 AM   #694
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zaphod View Post

That's an interesting point.

High speed trains generally run between closely-spaced big cities and like to cater to business travelers. But I never got this, in the Northeast for example there are way better options than Amtrak-you can take a bus that is cheaper or fly from a smaller airport on a low-fare airline.
Considering just how congested and delay prone NYC's airports are, and how long it takes to get from them to the city center, Amtrak is a much more convenient way to go. The only reason why the Acela express is so expensive is because Amtrak is mandated by federal law to maximize revenue, not ridership.

And the Acela isn't even real HSR. It only averages 68 mph from Washington to Boston and only goes 150 mph for a couple of short stretches in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
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Old August 18th, 2009, 05:58 AM   #695
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They are severely limited by freight traffic, or else those thick red lines would be longer.

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Old August 18th, 2009, 03:33 PM   #696
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TedStriker View Post
As for high speed trains in America, assuming that it will be the Europeans who get the contracts to build the things, do you reckon they'll be built to the wider North American loading gauge, or simply be clones of the trains running in Europe?
This continent has it's own high speed rail manufacturer, Bombardier. It may go to the Europeans, but I wouldn't count Bombardier out. They may be known as the 3rd largest civil aircraft manufacturer, but they're also the world's largest train company. Not sure about the rest of the continent, but in Canada, high speed rail contracts are Bombardier's to lose.
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Old August 18th, 2009, 08:21 PM   #697
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post
This continent has it's own high speed rail manufacturer, Bombardier. It may go to the Europeans, but I wouldn't count Bombardier out. They may be known as the 3rd largest civil aircraft manufacturer, but they're also the world's largest train company. Not sure about the rest of the continent, but in Canada, high speed rail contracts are Bombardier's to lose.
Im not sure Bombardier has much experience making HSR networks on par with those in Europe and Asia. Thats usually Hitachi/Kawasaki and Alstom. Maybe they can do a joint venture with Alstom like they did on Acela Express.
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Old August 18th, 2009, 10:29 PM   #698
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I had a neat idea

What if incorporated in conventional rail line were linear-induction strips that catapulted the train to speed from station stops? The train could make a ton of stops, then take off like a drag racer and never really lose time. Likewise it could be set in reverse to slow trains down from speed as they approach stations.

I know metro systems use something similar, but this would be a high-speed version.
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Old August 19th, 2009, 07:47 PM   #699
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Great idea, apart from cost. You'd need two separate propulsion systems.
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Old August 30th, 2009, 07:59 AM   #700
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Wash. seeking $1B in federal stimulus for rail
29 August 2009

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - Washington state is going after another $1 billion in federal stimulus money to pay for high-speed rail projects.

The state Department of Transportation applied earlier this week for $435 million to pay for 20 rail projects along the "high-speed" corridor between Eugene, Ore. and Vancouver, B.C. State officials say the projects will add additional daily Amtrak passenger trains between Seattle and Portland, as well as reduce rail congestion and improve on-time reliability.

The project list includes upgrades to tracks and facilities in Blaine, Everett, Tacoma, Seattle and Vancouver.

The News Tribune of Tacoma reports that the state plans to go more federal money for rail projects by October.
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