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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 11th, 2006, 04:17 PM   #81
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It's not like the regional services of the Northeast and Great Lakes cannot be interconnected though. A line from Chicago to Cleveland is certainly feasibile, and Pittsburgh is not much further, and Philly not much further than that. That connection is certainly doable, not everyone on that line will go between Chicago and NY.
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Old January 11th, 2006, 04:22 PM   #82
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I dont see the point. Airplanes are more efficient and convenient for a long trip. A Philly-Manhatten High speed would be cool!
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Old January 11th, 2006, 05:05 PM   #83
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I think Chcago-Ny would make more sense.
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Old January 12th, 2006, 04:19 AM   #84
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Neither make any sense. The Shinkansen still competes with airlines for the Tokyo-Osaka route, and that's only around 450 km. New York to Chicago is 1500 km (if following the old New York Central route via Albany), or 1150 km as the crow flies. Philadelphia to Chicago is still 1000 km. There is NO way any kind of high speed rail can compete with airlines for that route. 5 hours from Philly to Chicago? That's an average speed of 200 kph! Also, the cities between Chicago and the east coast aren't exactly large.
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Old January 12th, 2006, 11:44 AM   #85
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Tokyo-Osaka is 515km away apart and the rail/air share is 81/19. The most importand factor is travel time , and real life experience shows that for trips up to 4 hours rail can capture a share of 50%. For the distance Philadelpia-Chicago a 400km/h train service could make the trip in 3 hours . A market share between 50-65% is very possible if not sure (of course depending of the quality of service ex. punctuality).
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Old January 12th, 2006, 06:18 PM   #86
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Well, when you figure the hour and a half to get to the airport and check in, and the hour to deplane, gather luggage, and get out of the airport, plus the flight time and time taxying around the airport, it takes several hours to fly even between two airports like Philadelphia and Chicago. Sure people absolutely crushed for time will prefer air, but those who are looking for a more comfortable trip will very likely like the train.

As far as big cities - Pittsburg, cleveland, columbus, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, South Bend... There's quite a bit of intermediate destinations, too.
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Old January 12th, 2006, 10:04 PM   #87
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^How many stops vs how much time will be a deciding factor in whether it'd be successful or not. Does Tokyo-Osaka have (m)any stops?
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Old January 13th, 2006, 06:25 AM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomarandlee
Why Philly-Chicago and not NYC-Chicago?
There isn't really a direct link that goes from NYC to Chicago. The NYC-Chicago line goes up to Albany, through the upstate cities of Utica, Troy, Syracuse, Rochester, and Buffalo, and straight to Cleveland, Indiana, and into Chicago.

The Phila to Chicago line just goes through Pittsburgh with intermediate stops in Lancaster, Harrisburg, Altoona, and Johnstown, through Youngstown, and into Cleveland. The travel time would be cut from 3 to 4 hours rather than traveling around NYS. Actually, the plan includes NYC from Penn Station, but it also includes 30th St Station in Phila.
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Old January 13th, 2006, 01:32 PM   #89
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it would be nice, if all really big cities (in the usa) were connented with such an high speed line. like NY , chicago, LA, san fran, houston...
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Old January 13th, 2006, 02:22 PM   #90
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It will be enough only by plane to connect Chicago to the other big US cities.
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Old January 14th, 2006, 12:32 AM   #91
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It would be nice, but the major cities aren't all that close to each other. San Diego to Seattle would make sense, as would Chicago and the Midwest and the BosWash corridor, but linking these regions doesn't really make sense.
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Old January 14th, 2006, 09:47 PM   #92
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The big city to big city travel isn't all that great. More travel is from a medium sized city to a big city, or the other way around. Satellite offices, headquarters, etc.

There are a ton of medium size cities in the US that people seem to forget about. And most people aren't looking to travel clear across country. That's one of Amtrak's problems - they focus purely on the longer routes. Much of air traffic is shorter flights, an the same would be held for train travel as well.
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Old January 15th, 2006, 02:27 PM   #93
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The Nozomi Shinkansen (fastest with fewest stops) can go from Tokyo to Osaka in 2.5 hours, a distance of 550 km. It stops in Shin-Yokohama, Nagoya, and Kyoto. That's an average speed of 220 kph on one of the world's most advanced bullet train systems. There is no way the US can build a train from Philly to Chicago (1000km as the crow flies) with a travel time of 3 hours (333 kph average). I seriously doubt it'll even be possible in 5 hours (200 kph average) unless they tunnel under the entire Appalachian chain at prohibitively high cost.

San Diego to Seattle is also a bit far. San Diego to San Francisco via LA and the central valley would be more reasonable... lots of flat land, high demand, and not-very-expensive right of way for most of it.
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Old January 15th, 2006, 06:59 PM   #94
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Nozomi services run by series 700 & 500 shinkansen, between Tokyo-Osaka. There the trains reach a maximum speed of 270km/h but with many speed restrictions to 250km/h because of the curves with 2500m radius. With a 400km/h service it' possible to cover 1000km in 3 hours or less but this depends on many things. This high speed line between Philly-Chicago is official (there is a study) or just an idea , because noone refers to a source.
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Old July 14th, 2006, 08:53 PM   #95
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HSR in the US?

I saw the article in the news this morning, but I have doubts about the possibility and other factors. In addition, the article discusses freight rail (so i'm assuming its sharing tracks) and off to the side in project facts it says the train would ultimately reach 110 mph (thats not hsr, is it?)


http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs...WS01/607140397

COLUMBUS - State officials are promoting - and already planning for - a $3.2 billion high-speed passenger rail line linking Cincinnati to Dayton, Columbus and Cleveland.

"The day the first high-speed passenger trains ... roll into town is not the time to unlock the old depot or break ground for a new train station," said the Ohio Rail Development Commission.

The rail commission, an independent branch of the state Department of Transportation, is hosting a Columbus-area conference today about the proposal for public officials and planners from five states.

It will examine such issues as where to put rail stations, what kind of retail development cities could expect, how rail passenger systems work in New England and elsewhere, and how to do it in the Midwest.

"The No. 1 operative question for the user is: 'Can I get there quicker and more cost-effectively than if I drive?' " said commission spokesman Stu Nicholson.

Nicholson insists that skyrocketing gasoline prices and shifting public attitudes about mass transit are giving his group some steam.

A 2004 study by Transportation Economics & Management Systems Inc. estimated that one-way rail fares between Cincinnati and Columbus would average $50. It would cost $95 one-way between Cincinnati and Cleveland.

Frequent rail users, students, senior citizens and weekend travelers would likely be offered lower fares.

Rail passengers' commuting time can be spent more productively than people traveling across the state by car or air, Nicholson said. They can read, safely make calls or work on laptop computers, he said.

Working against the train enthusiasts: A growing federal budget deficit, competing spending priorities and rising freight train traffic, which would have to share the rail lines.

Is their project pie-in-the-sky?

"That's exactly the question I ask," said Mark Policinski, executive director of the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments, the area planning agency. "The only way this happens is with a massive federal investment."

If successful, the rail network could extend into West Virginia, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, even Canada.

Nicholson said Ohioans could ride passenger trains on the so-called 3-C corridor - 258 miles of track named after Ohio's three largest cities - within two years of federal funding.

To gain momentum, the state commission has joined a 28-state group working to make passenger rail service a reality. In addition to actively lobbying Congress for money, Nicholson said a federal environmental impact study is planned next year to set the project in motion.

Amtrak figures show only 12,407 people got on and off Amtrak trains in 2005 in Cincinnati - fewer people than used Amtrak in Newton, Kan., or Tukwila, Wash.

But Nicholson suggested more people would use it if it came through town more than twice a week at odd hours.

More freight is carried by rail than ever before, but on fewer miles of track.



Project facts

Capital cost for startup of the Ohio Hub high-speed rail project is estimated at $500 million.

The initial phase calls for two trains a day running in each direction between Cincinnati and Cleveland via Columbus, at 79 mph.

Ultimately the train could run up to 110 mph.

Total cost for the multi-state project is estimated at $3.2 billion, with 80 percent of it funded by the federal government and 20 percent by states.
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Old July 15th, 2006, 04:31 AM   #96
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Well, Florida ended up nuking its HSR plans 2 years ago. Public sentiment was already souring once the cost estimates for the Tampa-Disney segment became publicly known... and Disney's shameless attempt to make Florida's taxpayers its personal bitch (by forcing Orlando's station to be literally at Disney) was the final straw that broke the camel's back.

It was a good idea in general, but a really, really outrageously bad plan and execution... mostly because the original amendment's wording left absolutely no room for compromise, regardless of how insane the cost-benefit analysis might have been

For example, the amendment required a high-speed line with 120+mph capabilities to St. Petersburg. The problem is, that meant a bridge. A big bridge. A big, expensive bridge. Under the law's wording, it had to be physically capable of 120mph operation every last inch of the way, so sharing an existing rail bridge and spending 6 minutes crossing the bay at 79mph instead of 4 minutes crossing it at 120mph wasn't even a legal option.

Or, the debacle over the last hundred miles from West Palm Beach to Miami. To meet the letter of the law, it would have had to be almost entirely elevated, at a cost of more than $100 million per mile. Ironically, the train would have never averaged more than 100mph over the length, because the stations in West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami were all inline, so every train had to stop at every station. Turnouts capable of handling 120mph are very, VERY expensive. But under the stupid law, using turnouts rated for ~100mph (so trains would have to slow down, but could at least go around trains stopped at the station instead of slowing down to ZERO and waiting for them to leave) would have been illegal. Remember... 120+mph every single inch of the way...

Fortunately, the bad HSR law got repealed, and FDOT seems to have come back to its senses and is moving forward with a revised version of its original (pre-FOX) plan to roll out fast, frequent intercity rail service that's cheap enough for people to actually use and likely to cover its own construction and operating expenses, if not actually turn a profit for the state.

It's right here: http://www.dot.state.fl.us/rail/Publ...ponentFull.pdf

The basic theme is to acquire easement rights along existing railroads and upgrade them to good, modern continuous-rail concrete-tie track suitable for 79mph sustained and 100-120mph peak speeds between major cities that are farther than people really want to drive, but not far enough to be worth the cost and infinite security grief of flying (read: travel between Miami and Tampa & Orlando). The initial goal is reliable 4-hour end-to-end times, dropping to 3 hours once the double-tracking is complete. For comparison, it takes about 4-5 hours to drive from Miami to Orlando, and 5-8 hours to drive to Tampa (depending upon which city you end up hitting rush hour traffic in... at 6pm, just getting out of Dade County can kill an hour or two... and I-75 between Naples and Venice has some of the worst gridlock in the state).

Personally, if I could get from Miami to Orlando or Tampa in 3 hours for $99 each way (first class, single seat on one side of the aisle, with table big enough to hold both a laptop AND mouse) with onboard wireless internet access and at least one train leaving sometime between 6:30pm and 8pm & arriving sometime before midnight... well, let's just say I'd be going to Tampa and Orlando a lot more often than I do now. And just about everyone I work with said the same thing... reasonably fast, reasonably cheap, schedule that allows enough time for stress-free drive to the station after work, and onboard internet access = "winner"

The only real addition I'd make to the wishlist is for there to be rental cars available at the station, and rental car agents physically onboard the trains (with laptops, wireless cards, and a briefcase full of keys) so I could book the car online, do the paperwork on the train at some point along the way, and walk off the train straight to the parking lot in Tampa or Orlando and drive away in the rental car without further ceremony

Last edited by miamicanes; July 15th, 2006 at 04:54 AM.
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Old July 16th, 2006, 02:00 PM   #97
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Let's hope that these proposals come to fruition. It seems that train services like these will be increasingly needed in the future, due to rising traffic volumes and declining oil supplies. I assume that the trains will be diesel powered, not electric?
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Old July 16th, 2006, 06:56 PM   #98
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Il assume that they will be diesel (unfortunately), especially with this; "and rising freight train traffic, which would have to share the rail lines." If this means what i think it would, where no new lines would be built and freight companies still owning the rails.

With line sharing, I kind of have doubts about how 110 mph could be achieved, but if it is possible, I would definately take it. I was thinking of having dedicated rails and everything when I first saw the article, but apparently it did not
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Old July 17th, 2006, 03:49 AM   #99
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IMHO, at this stage, electrification would be wildly premature. There's no engineering need for it until you try to run faster than 125mph, and no economic justification for it unless there are literally trains passing by every 5-10 minutes.

In the beginning, at least, if I were in charge, I'd probably start out with DMUs from Colorado Railcar flanked by an unpowered coach on both ends (a DMU is basically an engine and coach combined). I'd make the rear coach for Tampa-bound passengers, and use the front coach + DMU for Orlando-bound. As soon as we reached the line to Orlando, I'd drop the Tampa-bound coach and continue to Orlando, then have a Tampa-bound DMU + coach from Jacksonville via Orlando pick it up and push it to Tampa.

For the return trip, I'd have a train with Orlando-Jacksonville-bound DMU + coach with Miami-bound coach leave Tampa, and pull a similar stunt. It would drop the Miami-bound coach and continue east, and a few minutes later, a DMU + coach from Orlando would grab it and push it the rest of the way to Miami.

The main idea is that every train from MIA-FLL-WPB would send its tail end to Tampa and continue to Orlando (envisioning MIA-FLL-WPB-ORL as the major traffic route and Tampa as a slightly lesser route). The major cross-action would be JAX-ORL-TPA, pushing and pulling the Miami-bound train between Winter Haven/Lakeland and Tampa.

My general prediction is that most of the people taking the train between Orlando and Tampa would actually be going between Tampa and Jacksonville (Orlando is almost too close to Tampa for anyone with a car to bother with, but Tampa is almost the perfect distance from Jacksonville to be worth the ride). Since Jacksonville to Miami would be a 6+ hour trip, I don't think it would be popular enough to merit nonstop service... so a train-change in Orlando would be necessary.

Eventually, I'd add service from Tallahassee to Jacksonville, but wouldn't really expect it to get lots of riders since even at 80mph, Orlando-Tallahassee would be a long ride, and Tampa-Tallahassee would be right on the borderline between "fly" vs "train".

I wouldn't bother with Pensacola. Let's be honest... there really aren't that many people who want to go between Pensacola and Jacksonville, and everything south of that point is far enough to justify flying. I'd bribe Amtrak to have twice-daily service from Jacksonville to New Orleans (with Tallahassee and Pensacola along the way), and be satisfied

If the trip from Tallahassee to Miami could be made in 8 hours or less, it might then be viable to buy a few sleeper cars from Amtrak, refurbish them, and launch twice-daily service between Miami and Tallahassee... with a schedule something like:
(times apply for both AM and PM)
9:00 -- passengers allowed to begin boarding. Passengers from previous trip reminded that they'll be charged $25 if they're not gone by 9:30
9:55 -- passengers from previous trip have 5 minutes to get off or they'll be charged $100 and forcibly removed from train.
10:30 -- train departs
11:15 -- train from Miami briefly pauses in WPB to pick up Tally-bound cars from their siding in WPB.
~5:30 -- tail end of southbound train gets maneuvered into special siding in WPB, unhitched (with a few staff members left behind), and train departs for Miami.
6:30-7 -- train arrives, parks at special siding. Passengers left alone.
8:30 -- conductor goes door-to-door, knocking until he/she gets verbal response from passenger after warning them that they have a half hour to leave.

Each room would have its own complete bathroom, satellite TV from Dish or DirecTV, comfy chair & desk (plus the usual onboard internet), and basically be a mobile hotel room. One variant might be an option to pay ~twice as much from Miami or WPB to get a room in a car that would stay in Tallahassee all day and return that evening with you in it (so you'd have the room to go back to whenever you finished doing whatever it was that you had to do in Tallahassee). But I don't know whether this would be profitable, because Tallahassee is DEFINITELY in the "fly" category as far as MIA & WPB are concerned, and a trip that included all-day cabin in Tally would probably have to cost $799 or more to fully cover all of its costs and turn a profit... probably $499-599 for round trip without all-day cabin. At those prices, it'd be pretty hard to justify the service, because you could fly round trip AND spend the night at the most expensive hotel in Tallahassee for that kind of money.

Last edited by miamicanes; July 17th, 2006 at 04:03 AM.
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Old July 17th, 2006, 11:45 AM   #100
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Until I looked at the map on the website you mentioned in your first post I didn't realise how big Florida is. How far is it from Miami to Pensacola, and how long does it take to drive between the two?

As for electrification I agree with you. Unless speeds and service frequency are planned to be significantly increased there's no real need for it. In the U.K. their diesel-powered high speed passenger trains, the Intercity125s, have been a great success in getting travellers back on the train, and are the backbone of intercity travel on non-electricifed lines, with a top speed of 125 m.p.h., hence the name. Here in Australia (New South Wales to be exact), we have our own train, the XPT, which is based on the British one, as you can tell by looking at it. However, long-distance train travel here has generally been declining for some time, due to cars and more recently cheap air fares. Both trains are coming to the end of their working lives and will have to be replaced in the foreseeable future, although ours has had a recent refurbishment so it will probably be around for while yet.

Having said that, as oil supplies decline electrification may become necessary in the future.

Last edited by Jean Luc; July 17th, 2006 at 12:06 PM.
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