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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 October 15th, 2009, 12:34 AM   #801
gincan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthieu View Post
The Talgo Class 102 which is ok of course, a pretty good system, it's based on a Bombardier systems (engines and stuffs) integrated to a Spanish chassis.
The Talgo 350 engine is based on the TRAXX family of locomotives, it was designed, developed and built in a collaboration between Talgo, Krauss-Maffei and Adtranz. The design of the engine was done by Krauss-Maffei with Adtranz providing technology from the development of the new DB engine.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DBAG_Class_145_and_146

So the only thing that is Bombardier about the Talgo 350 is that they bought Adtranz in 2001. In effect, the Talgo 350 is a German-Spanish collaboration and has nothing to do with Bombardier.

Now the Talgo 350 is not a cutting edge train in any way but it is a high performing HSR train with poor passenger capacity which is the main reason why no one will buy it except for Renfe. Actually the Talgo 350 completely outperform the Siemens Velaro E on the Madrid-Barcelona HSR line and has during testing achieved similar traveltimes going 30 km/h slower, IE 350km/h for the Velaro to achieved what the Talgo 350 can do with only 320km/h

Last edited by gincan; October 15th, 2009 at 01:01 AM.
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Old October 15th, 2009, 06:47 AM   #802
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Many thanks, but... this almost raises more questions than it answers. I mean, surely totally new railway stations have to be either underground or in the suburbs??? Otherwise, what are they going to do? Knock down 50,000 residential dwellings in order to create a new railway corridor into the heart of town? Or build 20 km of elevated tracks through each town, giving thousands of residents a HSR next to their bedroom window?
Actually, the HSR line will be using existing railroad rights of way, for example, the Caltrain peninsula line. Whether the owning railroads will be willing to let the HSR line use part of their ROW is another question- Union Pacific is reluctant in many instances, while BNSF seems to be more open to the idea (BNSF has always been more friendly with passenger rail BTW). Anyway, there is a battle heating up over areas where the HSR will run through wealthy suburbs (i.e. Palo Alto, Atherton, Menlo Park), though it must be said that the residents did purchase homes right next to a busy working railway, not some abandoned or undeveloped open space.
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Old October 15th, 2009, 07:01 AM   #803
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gincan View Post
The Talgo 350 engine is based on the TRAXX family of locomotives, it was designed, developed and built in a collaboration between Talgo, Krauss-Maffei and Adtranz. The design of the engine was done by Krauss-Maffei with Adtranz providing technology from the development of the new DB engine.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DBAG_Class_145_and_146

So the only thing that is Bombardier about the Talgo 350 is that they bought Adtranz in 2001. In effect, the Talgo 350 is a German-Spanish collaboration and has nothing to do with Bombardier.

Now the Talgo 350 is not a cutting edge train in any way but it is a high performing HSR train with poor passenger capacity which is the main reason why no one will buy it except for Renfe. Actually the Talgo 350 completely outperform the Siemens Velaro E on the Madrid-Barcelona HSR line and has during testing achieved similar traveltimes going 30 km/h slower, IE 350km/h for the Velaro to achieved what the Talgo 350 can do with only 320km/h
Surmising what trains will run on the new line is fun, but it is way too early to say which type or manufacturer is in the lead. First of all, many route alignments have yet to be determined specifically (for example in the central valley- will the UP RR cooperate or else go to the BNSF route?). Once the route is finalized, work will begin on building a 100 mile long test track in the central valley somewhere between Bakersfield and Merced. At this test track the various manufacturers will demonstrate their products, and "the best train will win", so to speak (barring political wheeler-dealing and shenanigans). Personally, I think the top three candidates are Siemens (Velaro), Alstom (AGV), and Hitachi/Kawasaki/JR Central (N700 variant), as these companies have the most proven products and/or experience building "in-house" rolling stock, as opposed to acquired technology (ahem, Bombardier).
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Old October 15th, 2009, 07:08 AM   #804
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Many thanks, but... this almost raises more questions than it answers. I mean, surely totally new railway stations have to be either underground or in the suburbs??? Otherwise, what are they going to do? Knock down 50,000 residential dwellings in order to create a new railway corridor into the heart of town? Or build 20 km of elevated tracks through each town, giving thousands of residents a HSR next to their bedroom window?
Don't really know, but doubt it.

In LA the lines will try and squeeze in along existing highway, power line, and rail corridors. To the north in Burbank there's a wide right of way next to a freight line with mostly industrial uses next to it, and almost serendipitously this track runs virtually in a straight line suitable for high speeds.

In the central valley I'd assume the line will bypass towns the way the highways do, with stations on the edge of town. Again no clearance of neighborhoods will be necessary.

Approaching San Jose I'm not sure the details but yeah...

On the SF Peninsula, just pull up Google Earth. There are some tight spots which might require some properties to be bought out. Downtown San Mateo will be interesting and may require a tunnel. But its funny in that the communities which are complaining the most(Palo Alto) that the line runs along a busy 4 lane road and through a litter strewn brushy no man's land where the current Cal Train diesel expresses roar by every 30 minutes.

Sickeningly though, I guarantee it will be the rich folks to get a billion dollar underground tunnel for purely aesthetic reasons...you know homeowners and small businesses in places that actually need a tunnel to prevent any eminent domain takings will probably get screwed. I guess "important interests" run things, even professional planners who must kowtow to attorneys and city councils.
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Old October 15th, 2009, 07:14 AM   #805
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Sickeningly though, I guarantee it will be the rich folks to get a billion dollar underground tunnel for purely aesthetic reasons
They are free to demand a tunnel through their town. Of course they will have to pay for it out of their pockets (through taxation). Tunnels are tremendously expensive, plus in PA's case the tunnel must accomodate big lumbering UP freight trains pulled by smoking diesel locomtives...

Interestingly, when the Southern Pacific railroad built their line through Palo Alto more than 100 years ago (before most of these towns even existed), the right of way was built to accomodate a future four-track high speed railway- history does come full circle.
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Old October 15th, 2009, 08:07 AM   #806
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Old October 15th, 2009, 11:58 AM   #807
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Those are certainly fine words. I'm not kidding: I'm very impressed with Obama's retorics and his greater visions (though perhaps less with his ability to get his stuff through Congress...). That said, somebody ought perhaps to send the West Wing a copy of one of the latest, triumphant postings on the Spanish HSL thread? According to a posting by gincan, the Spaniards are planning the following for 2010: "The Spanish railway investments for the year 2010 have now been published and amount to 10,2 billion euros, of this 5,4 billion will be allocated to HSR investments".

I'm not saying this to point fingers at the USofA. By any standard in the world - other than perhaps China - this is mind boggling. A sum of 5.4 billion euros - that's 8 billion USD - allocated to building HS lines in one... single... year. Spain is a county of 40 million inhabitants so it would correspond to an annual highspeed budget in God's Own Country of 60 billion USD. (And THIS, let's not forget, in a country with an average household income at 2/3 of North American levels...) Methinks Mr. Obama needs to rethink the 8 billion USD he plans to throw at highspeed rail.
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Old October 15th, 2009, 12:02 PM   #808
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obama's all yup-yup-yup but he hasn't delivered a single campaing promise in 9 months

and i say this as a person who would strike limbaugh on site
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Old October 16th, 2009, 02:52 AM   #809
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Are these new HS trains gonna just be house size locatmoves pulling unpainded metle boxes? I sure hope not. Its s shame as it gives such a negative view of the USA when it comes to transport etc. In someples they are really making an effort but you never hear about that tho...like the bus servies in Santa Monica etc
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Old October 16th, 2009, 02:53 AM   #810
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k.k.jetcar View Post
Actually, the HSR line will be using existing railroad rights of way, for example, the Caltrain peninsula line. Whether the owning railroads will be willing to let the HSR line use part of their ROW is another question- Union Pacific is reluctant in many instances, while BNSF seems to be more open to the idea (BNSF has always been more friendly with passenger rail BTW). Anyway, there is a battle heating up over areas where the HSR will run through wealthy suburbs (i.e. Palo Alto, Atherton, Menlo Park), though it must be said that the residents did purchase homes right next to a busy working railway, not some abandoned or undeveloped open space.
Long tunnels under built up areas have been done. the HS1 line in England thru London is a good example of this...
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Old October 16th, 2009, 04:02 AM   #811
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Just curious, why don't some forumers here don't consider The Acela to be high speed?

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Old October 16th, 2009, 04:11 AM   #812
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^ It only reaches 150mph (240kph), and that is only for a very short amount of time. IIRC, it averages about 79mph (127kph).
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Old October 16th, 2009, 04:17 AM   #813
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^ It only reaches 150mph (240kph), and that is only for a very short amount of time. IIRC, it averages about 79mph (127kph).
Yeah its a shame really. The train itself is actually really quite good. Just its full potential has never been used...

Also the average speed of 79Mph is really bad as the WCML in England has an average speed of 90Mph for the whole route and 118Mph London-Birmingham and 112Mph average London-York on the ECML, the top speed is only 125Mph...

If England can do it on victorian rail routes then I'm sure the USA can
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Last edited by poshbakerloo; October 16th, 2009 at 04:25 AM.
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Old October 16th, 2009, 05:18 AM   #814
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I wish there was more effort to upgrade the NEC before spending money elsewhere. It's the one part of Amtrak that actually makes money.

rebuilding the catenary wires to high tension ones, a new tunnel under Baltimore, some flyovers, whatever. It might end up being expensive but turning the DC-New York segment into something world class wouldn't be impossible.

Last edited by zaphod; October 16th, 2009 at 05:24 AM.
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Old October 16th, 2009, 05:47 AM   #815
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Long tunnels under built up areas have been done. the HS1 line in England thru London is a good example of this...
Well, the long tunnels on the HS1 line is a fact, but I'm in two minds about whether to call this example "good". It made the line so unbelievably expensive (by far the highest cost per km anywhere in Europe...) that many of us were afraid it would put the Brits off HS rail forever.

But, then again... I doubt if - even considering the extremely dense urbanisation of nothern and eastern London - this cost could have been justified by anything other than plans of a future HS2 line? That tunnel comes in from east London on an almost straight east-west trajectory and only in the very last moment swings south toward St Pancras. It cries to high heavens that, one day, there will be a continuation toward the north-west.
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Old October 16th, 2009, 05:47 AM   #816
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I wish there was more effort to upgrade the NEC before spending money elsewhere. It's the one part of Amtrak that actually makes money.

rebuilding the catenary wires to high tension ones, a new tunnel under Baltimore, some flyovers, whatever. It might end up being expensive but turning the DC-New York segment into something world class wouldn't be impossible.
Yeah, thats what I think. Finish what has been started before moving on, otherwise they will just end up with a load of 'ok' rail lines...
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Old October 16th, 2009, 03:24 PM   #817
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The Acela averages 130 mph on a Good Day 79 mph on a bad day.

South of NYC its 130 mph
NYC-CT its 100mph max due to Metro North Rules about speed and old bridges
Rhode Island-Mass its 130-155mph

so its not always 79, except during Rush Hour.
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Old October 16th, 2009, 06:54 PM   #818
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One of the big problems with speed on Amtrak's Acela is that the NEC ('NorthEast Corridor') between NYC and Boston, especially through Connecticut, is rife with tight curves (it literally hugs the Long Island Sound/Atlantic Ocean coastline) and that to eliminate them would cost billions of dollars just for ROW acquisition alone and that such a straightened route would have to pass through an area of populated by people with the money and willingness to spend it to fight such projects off - it is a NIMBY area on steroids.



<sigh...>

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Old October 17th, 2009, 02:54 PM   #819
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The Acela averages 130 mph on a Good Day 79 mph on a bad day.

South of NYC its 130 mph
NYC-CT its 100mph max due to Metro North Rules about speed and old bridges
Rhode Island-Mass its 130-155mph

so its not always 79, except during Rush Hour.
Not so. A typical Acela service from Washington to New York (e.g the 12:00 from Washington) takes 2 hours 47 minutes to travel the approximately 225 miles, thats an average of 81 MPH (approximately) - so in accordance with the previously stated 79 MPH.

If the train had an average of 130MPH it would only take 1 hour 43 minutes DC - NY, knocking a whole hour off the current timetable.

The train itself may hit 130 MPH along the way, but commercially this is irrelevant.
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Old October 17th, 2009, 03:35 PM   #820
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One of the big problems with speed on Amtrak's Acela is that the NEC ('NorthEast Corridor') between NYC and Boston, especially through Connecticut, is rife with tight curves (it literally hugs the Long Island Sound/Atlantic Ocean coastline) and that to eliminate them would cost billions of dollars just for ROW acquisition alone and that such a straightened route would have to pass through an area of populated by people with the money and willingness to spend it to fight such projects off - it is a NIMBY area on steroids.
Yeah, but... this is a bit frustrating. The "French" solution to this problem would be to tell the NIMBIES of Connecticut that, "fine, then we draw a straight line from New Haven to Boston. You won't be bothered, but you won't be serviced by the new train either". (I don't need to speak in the subjunctive here: we have precisely that discussion about Marseille-Nice which might follow the Mediterrenean coast... or not.) I now understand that there USED to be a direct link from New Haven to Boston but that, some years ago, it was scrapped???
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