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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 January 28th, 2010, 07:47 AM   #1161
I-275westcoastfl
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You guys are wrong Florida was chosen because our HSR Plan is the same one from the early 00's which was about to begin construction until funding was taken away and the project killed. The ROW and studies already exist and this project is basically ready to start with a few things to work out here and there.
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Old January 28th, 2010, 08:31 AM   #1162
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Obama did say that Floriday's plan was "Shovel-Ready". I think that supports your argument.

California is also expected to get at least $2 billion.

As far as Amtrak Cascades, don't expect any significant upgrades. There hasn't been any push for true HSR in Washington State. We're busy building a light rail network at the moment.
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Old January 28th, 2010, 11:04 AM   #1163
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to us here in the US, the BBC is seen as a pretty left leaning organization, especially with regard to it's environmental reporting.
Funny, as the right here agree with the left on that issue, I get the feeling the only 'right' that doesn't is the right in the USA. The BBC, whilst it might appear left, is just reporting things that are justifiable. They wouldn't get away with doing otherwise. Channel 4 got punished for showing a documentary debunking climate change, that on closer analysis was shown to be scientifally nonsense. And Channel 4 only showed the doc to maintain balance on not appear biased one way or the other, which is ironic. But still, whichever side's view they are reporting, they tend to have to check it isn't utter nonsense.

I'm not saying the UK or Europe's news reporting is perfect, and I only have direct contact with americans with a point of view on transport on SSC. As someone with a genuine interest in all infrastructure I would love to be able to come on the US threads and actually learn something about the railway infrastructure and what is happening, and tbh I'm slightly frustrated at level of hyperbole. I don't understand why everything is a left or right issue. Can't something just be an issue? I'm not interested in politics, apart from how it affects infrastructure projects (ie I'm not really all that fussed who is in power, but I want to know if they are helping/hindering certain projects). There's a huge amount of false-binary arguments.

Rail, high speed rail, urban mass-transit, planes and cars are all perfectly valid forms of transport. Arguing about the benefits of the car when someone mentions high speed rail is like arguing about the length of a spin-cycle on a washing machine when someone mentions they like eggs for breakfast.

I'm glad there is actually some news and it would be great for the Florida central belt to get the first big announcement. Is this inteneded to be true high speed (150mph +) or an enhanced conventional (110-125 mph)? I would imagine that as the route is not particularly long the enhance conventional would suffice, though of course I would like to see higher speeds, especially if it is intended to continue eventually down to Miami.

Does anyone have any idea how much detail is likely to be presented with the announcements?
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Old January 28th, 2010, 12:01 PM   #1164
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its going to be like the British HST , that run Diesel or Gas and not Electric like the Midwest or NE expansions .....ugh....

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The HSTs have been hugely successful in the UK...35 years old and still the best diesel trains in the world!
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Old January 28th, 2010, 12:11 PM   #1165
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So the Florida HSR system will only go from Orlando to Tampa? Wouldn't sending it to Miami be a smarter move? Miami's a huge city, I expect it would be more deserving of HSR than Tampa. Can someone explain the thinking behind the line only linking Orlando and Tampa with the possibility of Miami?
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Old January 28th, 2010, 01:17 PM   #1166
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Funny, as the right here agree with the left on that issue, I get the feeling the only 'right' that doesn't is the right in the USA. The BBC, whilst it might appear left, is just reporting things that are justifiable. They wouldn't get away with doing otherwise. Channel 4 got punished for showing a documentary debunking climate change, that on closer analysis was shown to be scientifally nonsense. And Channel 4 only showed the doc to maintain balance on not appear biased one way or the other, which is ironic. But still, whichever side's view they are reporting, they tend to have to check it isn't utter nonsense.
There is IMO a stronger sense of corporatism in Europe (even the U.K.) than in most of the western hemisphere - and this is also reflected in the (self)views of the press. Television channels, and to a lesser extent newspapers, are expected to fulfil a modicum of public interest obligations, otherwise they get shouted at. I remember some years ago The Times writing a few articles that were seen as in the commercial interest of its owner, Rupert Murdoch. They really got hammered - right, left and centre. (That said, newspapers of course have editorial lines beloning to different parts of the political spectre.) In the United States I understand this to be a bit different? Owners are, in the name of free speech, free to do whatever they like with their news media? Certainly when one watches Fox News and CNN report from Afghanistan one would get the impression they are covering two different wars.

But in the context of HS railways: I've been mightily amused to see how the business conservative press in the United Kingdom (e.g. Financial Times, The Economist...) have come around to support modern railways. This is a total u-turn relative to their editorial line 10-15 years ago. When SNCF (accompanied by great Gallic fanfare, I must admit...) opened their HS line from Valences to Marseille The Economist "celebrated" the event with a photo of a TGV on the impressive bridge next to Avignon with the caption "... but the French love it." These days both newspapers apparently support a HS line from London to the North West. What happened? One thing is that the railway privatisation in Britain (or the initial privatisation, at least) is widely seen as having been a monumental flop. Even strongly conservative constituencies have been heard clamouring for "Getting our railway system to work. Now! Even if it means throwing in public money!" Another factor was probably the popularity of the link between London and Folkstone. Prior to construction conservative Britain scoffed and fumed at the thought of "turning Eastern Kent into a moon landscape in order to save 20 minutes!" Now, most people love it. The power of examples...
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Old January 28th, 2010, 02:09 PM   #1167
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Originally Posted by city_thing View Post
So the Florida HSR system will only go from Orlando to Tampa? Wouldn't sending it to Miami be a smarter move? Miami's a huge city, I expect it would be more deserving of HSR than Tampa. Can someone explain the thinking behind the line only linking Orlando and Tampa with the possibility of Miami?
Because Miami is quite a lot further away and would be a bigger project from the outset to link it to anywhere at all. Its a different project entirely.
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Old January 28th, 2010, 03:04 PM   #1168
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Because Miami is quite a lot further away and would be a bigger project from the outset to link it to anywhere at all. Its a different project entirely.
Also because the Tampa - Orlando thing has been discussed forever and the planning is already done. I lived in Tampa from 90 to 96 and remember it being talked about even then. This is probably one of the few HSR proposed corridors where construction could actuially start in a reasonable length of time.

As to the type of HSR I do not know.
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Old January 28th, 2010, 03:12 PM   #1169
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Another factor was probably the popularity of the link between London and Folkstone. Prior to construction conservative Britain scoffed and fumed at the thought of "turning Eastern Kent into a moon landscape in order to save 20 minutes!" Now, most people love it. The power of examples...
How true. People tend to fear what they don't know (in the U.S. not only HSR, but public health care). I bet 98% of Americans when asked to paint a picture in their minds about a passenger train, think of the once a day Amtrak train that stops (often late) in their town, and averages 30mph on its route. And that's if they actually have a passenger train in their town. Otherwise it's a long lumbering freight train that blocks their drive home, or, even worse, some conservative talking point that HSR doesn't make a profit anywhere and is a "boondoggle". Chew on this figure- only 2% of Americans have ever ridden a passenger train....
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Old January 28th, 2010, 04:40 PM   #1170
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How true. People tend to fear what they don't know (in the U.S. not only HSR, but public health care). I bet 98% of Americans when asked to paint a picture in their minds about a passenger train, think of the once a day Amtrak train that stops (often late) in their town, and averages 30mph on its route. And that's if they actually have a passenger train in their town. Otherwise it's a long lumbering freight train that blocks their drive home, or, even worse, some conservative talking point that HSR doesn't make a profit anywhere and is a "boondoggle". Chew on this figure- only 2% of Americans have ever ridden a passenger train....
I don't think it is fear as much as ambivalence. HSR is not on the radar of very many people here. Even in Florida where it may actually happen I would bet that a big segment will hear of it and say... "why do we need that. If I am in Tampa and want to get to Orlando I just jump on the interstate and in 90 minutes I am there. Why drive to a train station, park my car, take the train, and then worry about transportation to wherever I am going once I get there"...

In the end, on that route, from point to point it isn't faster than driving no matter how fast the train goes, unless you live within three or so miles of the station and are going somewhere within walking distance of the station on the other end.


I really fear we will spend billions of dollars and end up with really fast, really pretty and really empty trains. I hope this works, I really do. I am a train buff but I just don't think it will work here in the short term.


Health care? A whole different animal and discussion. And one where, with respect, no opinion outside the US is valid. You folks don't know our Government well enough to even know what those of us who are scared are actually scared of.
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Old January 28th, 2010, 06:32 PM   #1171
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Here's the list of lines getting funding, more in the article. Looks like California sweept the board.

California: $2.25 billion for HSR, $99 million for smaller conventional rail projects

Chicago-St. Louis corridor: $1.1 billion

Chicago-Detroit corridor: $244 million

Milwaukee-Madison corridor: $810 million

Cleveland-Cincinnati corridor: $400 million

Tampa-Orlando corridor: $1.25 billion

Raleigh-Charlotte corridor: $520 million

Washington State: $590 million


http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/new...F?OpenDocument
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Old January 28th, 2010, 10:01 PM   #1172
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Hmm, the one place you could argue that we actually need the damn thing and the one place we KNOW it will be ridden enough to cash flow, the North East Corridor, doesn't get any money to build it.


Ya gotsta love the US Government
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Old January 28th, 2010, 10:08 PM   #1173
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Hmm, the one place you could argue that we actually need the damn thing and the one place we KNOW it will be ridden enough to cash flow, the North East Corridor, doesn't get any money to build it.


Ya gotsta love the US Government
I agree, neither did Texas where the cities are almost all larger than the one's on the list. I wonder if a certain set of voters are being snubbed here?

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Old January 28th, 2010, 10:10 PM   #1174
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How much of its High speed? the article mentions California-San Fransico 220mph, but then other line raised above 79mph or another raised TO 90mph?
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Old January 28th, 2010, 10:35 PM   #1175
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How much of its High speed? the article mentions California-San Fransico 220mph, but then other line raised above 79mph or another raised TO 90mph?
Well according to this article, the other two 1 billion dollar projects will support 110 mph lines. The rest of the money is for regular rail improvements, yes.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35123528...s-white_house/
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Old January 28th, 2010, 10:47 PM   #1176
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When i lived in FL in the 90's the Tampa - Orlando thing was looked at as a Euro or Japanese-styled bullet concept. I don't know what they mean to do now. I only know that the money they allocate to FLA is less than half what they need to build it sooooooooooooo, where's the rest come from? I also know that the reaction of non-politicians was "eh whatever". Not a lot of passion from those you'd hope would be your paying customers.

I'd love to be a fly on the wall when the first smart politician asks his Congressional rep, "uh hey, I was uh, just thinking and uh, who do you expect is going to uh subsidize the operation of this thing?"

State of Florida, congratulations on the receipt of your latest unfunded mandate.
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Old January 28th, 2010, 10:50 PM   #1177
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I agree, neither did Texas where the cities are almost all larger than the one's on the list. I wonder if a certain set of voters are being snubbed here?

Nah, that would never happen. I am sure the White House only granted this money to the most deserving applicants. Politics would never infringe on something like this.

{heavy sarcasm intended}
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Old January 28th, 2010, 10:51 PM   #1178
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyFish View Post
I don't think it is fear as much as ambivalence. HSR is not on the radar of very many people here. Even in Florida where it may actually happen I would bet that a big segment will hear of it and say... "why do we need that. If I am in Tampa and want to get to Orlando I just jump on the interstate and in 90 minutes I am there. Why drive to a train station, park my car, take the train, and then worry about transportation to wherever I am going once I get there"...

In the end, on that route, from point to point it isn't faster than driving no matter how fast the train goes, unless you live within three or so miles of the station and are going somewhere within walking distance of the station on the other end.


I really fear we will spend billions of dollars and end up with really fast, really pretty and really empty trains. I hope this works, I really do. I am a train buff but I just don't think it will work here in the short term.


Health care? A whole different animal and discussion. And one where, with respect, no opinion outside the US is valid. You folks don't know our Government well enough to even know what those of us who are scared are actually scared of.
I totally agree. I've ridden on a couple trains in New York and Chicago but never used Amtrak and I think the majority of Americans don't care too much about trains. So far America really hasn't had a problem with everybody owning a car and driving everywhere, but that doesn't mean that the balance can't change to allow a bit more train travel. They will certainly need to try and make HSR somewhat affordable and competitive with airline rates if they want it to succeed. I also totally agree with the Healthcare comment quoted above.
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Old January 28th, 2010, 10:56 PM   #1179
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Originally Posted by FlyFish View Post
When i lived in FL in the 90's the Tampa - Orlando thing was looked at as a Euro or Japanese-styled bullet concept. I don't know what they mean to do now. I only know that the money they allocate to FLA is less than half what they need to build it sooooooooooooo, where's the rest come from? I also know that the reaction of non-politicians was "eh whatever". Not a lot of passion from those you'd hope would be your paying customers.

I'd love to be a fly on the wall when the first smart politician asks his Congressional rep, "uh hey, I was uh, just thinking and uh, who do you expect is going to uh subsidize the operation of this thing?"

State of Florida, congratulations on the receipt of your latest unfunded mandate.
They should have given the money out in 2 or 3 big packages, as the experts suggested. Two for blue states, one for a red. I think that would have been fair at least. I agree, much of this is probably putting a new coat of paint on an old station. Obama seems to have botched up the stimulus package big time, including no major worthwhile projects in it (Hoover Dam, anyone?)
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Old January 28th, 2010, 11:12 PM   #1180
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Originally Posted by FlyFish View Post
When i lived in FL in the 90's the Tampa - Orlando thing was looked at as a Euro or Japanese-styled bullet concept. I don't know what they mean to do now. I only know that the money they allocate to FLA is less than half what they need to build it sooooooooooooo, where's the rest come from? I also know that the reaction of non-politicians was "eh whatever". Not a lot of passion from those you'd hope would be your paying customers.
Yeah, but... sorry FlyFish conservative America cannot have it both ways. Either budgetary prudence is an absolute value or it is not. Please consider this: in every war since Mr. Madison governments have raised taxes to pay for the whole thing. This applies to the Civil War, WW2, Korea, Vietnam...

There is one recent exception. When G.W.Bush declared War on Terror and sent troops into, first, Afganistan and, second, Iraq he actually cut taxes. No... I mean, really, no... don't argue with me. The President of the United States went to war and, at the same time, slashed the Treasury's income. To me (I'm a political economist) this is incredibly daring. But, apparently, middle America approved wholeheartedly.

So... what is, now, the fundamental objection to the Federal Governemtn underwriting an undertaking to invest in public transport just because the money is not there?
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