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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 2nd, 2010, 01:32 AM   #1561
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexis View Post
NIMBYism in the Northeast against Transit is strange , it works like this. If 1-2 Towns oppose it and the rest of the towns along the planned / proposed support it the nimby's are silence basically. As for High Speed Rail / Intercity there are a growing support for them in the Northeast , people are realizing we can't just build all these freeways. White / Black Flight is reserving and the Cities are becoming dense cores again. Like Newark or New Haven , which by the end of the decade will be the JCT for New lines. The Sprawl growth is starting to die and New Urbanism is happening more and more. Most College , singles and Couples without Children are moving to the Urban areas for a cheaper and simpler life. 60% of them use Mass Transit & 50% don't own cars. The Region is slowly become Europeanized , the New thing popping up in cities is Pedestrian plazas or Markets and reuse of industrial buildings. The Northeast is taking advantage of the many old and Abandoned Rail lines and restoring them for Light Rail , Commuter or Intercity purposes. The region seems to leaning away for the European type trains and for Asian type trains. We have alot of Asian Plants here like Rotem , Hyundai , Kawasaki ,& Siemens
Bombardier Transportation , GE Transportation , Alstom
have plants here aswell , and alot of those companies are building more plants to keep up with demand. The Majority of the Region's car Culture is starting to die , as new Transit lines and better connectivity opens up. The Political climate towards transit Republican or Democratic is also warmer and nicer.

A lot of wishful thinking there. Let's wait for 2010 US Census results before drawing such preemptive conclusions like "car culture is dying". Car ownership (per household, per 1.000 inhabitants, per 1.000 driving age adults) is on the rise or stabilized in all EU countries. There is not a single country where car ownership is going down. Don't take a handful of subsidized and over scrutinized "car-free", "new town" or ecovillages and take them as a rule for Europe.

As for the "Europeanized" say, I'm worry I need to tell you: in ALL EU-15 countries (the "old" Western Europe) car share as a % of total km-pax in motorized vehicle is OVER 78% in all of them (as high as 88% in some). The Europe you described is not the Europe that exists in the other side of the Atlantic (where I'm incidentally living by the way). Check yourself at EUROSTAT portal (the official, mostly free data portal for the EU). So this Europe doesn't exist. Taking a showcase example like inner London or Paris 1-4 and extrapolating it is as much representative of Europe as it would be for a European to think that New York City is a microcosm of America. No way.

With all the money European states waste on rail, it still doesn't transport a fraction of cars - and this "fraction" is shrinking in countries like Italy and Spain despite all the fuss.

I'd be glad do find a hard data showing that there is a massive movement in US - besides the ones on TV series - of singles, young couples and college students that rely only in transit and don't own and are not pursuing the ownership of a car.

So, a lot of wishful thinking.

I'd like to see HSR come to fruition, because HSR is a nice alternative to bring competition to short-haul flights.
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 01:49 AM   #1562
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexis View Post
NIMBYism in the Northeast against Transit is strange , it works like this. If 1-2 Towns oppose it and the rest of the towns along the planned / proposed support it the nimby's are silence basically. As for High Speed Rail / Intercity there are a growing support for them in the Northeast , people are realizing we can't just build all these freeways. White / Black Flight is reserving and the Cities are becoming dense cores again. Like Newark or New Haven , which by the end of the decade will be the JCT for New lines. The Sprawl growth is starting to die and New Urbanism is happening more and more. Most College , singles and Couples without Children are moving to the Urban areas for a cheaper and simpler life. 60% of them use Mass Transit & 50% don't own cars. The Region is slowly become Europeanized , the New thing popping up in cities is Pedestrian plazas or Markets and reuse of industrial buildings. The Northeast is taking advantage of the many old and Abandoned Rail lines and restoring them for Light Rail , Commuter or Intercity purposes. The region seems to leaning away for the European type trains and for Asian type trains. We have alot of Asian Plants here like Rotem , Hyundai , Kawasaki ,& Siemens
Bombardier Transportation , GE Transportation , Alstom
have plants here aswell , and alot of those companies are building more plants to keep up with demand. The Majority of the Region's car Culture is starting to die , as new Transit lines and better connectivity opens up. The Political climate towards transit Republican or Democratic is also warmer and nicer.
Where did you come with "urban life is cheaper" thingy It is most definitely not. It is couple of folds more expensive than living in country.

I love HSR by the way. I just wanted fix an error.
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 02:22 AM   #1563
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Depends on how you look at it. It's cheaper for infrastructure, because the densely populated urban cores will allow more infrastructure to be used at capacity, and the cost is split among more people. So in that sense, yes it is more affordable for the government.

Part of why California is in debt is because of their spread-out development. The ability of their infrastructure to efficiently serve residents is undermined, and the per capita cost of maintaining that infrastructure in LA is perhaps higher than, say, New York.
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 03:36 AM   #1564
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zaphod View Post
normally I don't agree with your posts but I agree with that one(sort of)
Many US cites don't have real train stations anymore, and it would complicated, expensive, and politically challenging to build a line directly into a city center when the majority of a metropolitan area's population is not concentrated there.
As for urban transit investment, I am a realist and would like to point out the comments made by current Federal Transit Administration chair, Peter Rogoff
Most U.S. cities at least have shell of stations that one could refurbish or upgrade. Also the HSR in most cases could use current tracks (if upgraded and grade separated in places) that they use now or once used.
Even though our we have sprawled ourselves I can't think of a major U.S. city where the traditional downtown, even the most hard fallen, aren't still the primary commercial node in their metro area.
Talking about setting up what are essential suburban HSR stations (as the primary stations) makes little sense. There is little difference between airports and airport commercial complexes that littered across this country already if you do that. You would still have to rent a car (a major incentive for using HSR over flying) or if you drive instead of taking rail you would still have to pay for parking/gas.

HAWC1506 is correct, we have to prioritize nodal densities and transit in our metros before we get serious about HSR or at least if we are being honest about the reasons we support HSR. The long effects of living in auto centric metros will also be far more detrimental environmental and living impact on far more people then trains replacing planes on select air routes will.

I would like to see higher speed rail in the U.S. as well but give me the choice of spending 300 billion on inter-city rail or 300 billion on local transit I would easily pick the latter given that I think most of our metros don't have 21rst century local transit systems they need to really change our housing patterns. It is insane for instance that even metros like Dallas, Houston, and Phoenix grow at a super high clip that none of them have a state of the art heavy rail transit line. We as Americans know that is where our people are moving and yet we don't even put in transit lines to give newcomers to the region the option of choosing a transit lifestyle. I say this as a Chicagoan BTW so I have no vested interest in sunbelt cities getting undeserved funding but I feel I am being pragmatic.
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 07:09 AM   #1565
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http://www.caltrain.com/news_2010_05...rnization.html
http://www.mercurynews.com/peninsula...nclick_check=1

Quote:
Electric train plan granted key waiver

By Mike Rosenberg
San Mateo County Times
Posted: 05/27/2010 08:14:57 PM PDT
Updated: 05/27/2010 11:24:14 PM PDT

Caltrain officials have convinced federal safety authorities to allow quick European-style electric trains to zip from San Francisco to San Jose, a national first that paves the way for fast electric commuter and high-speed trains in the Bay Area and around the country.

The waiver allows all passenger trains, whether diesel or electric, to run on the same tracks. Freight locomotives can continue to operate in the wee hours while passenger trains are parked.
With this development, Euro-regulation compliant high-speed train models could be introduced on US railways.

Prospect for the US introduction of Shinkansen and China Sifang's version of CRH380A based on Shinkansen E2 doesn't look good.
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 07:32 AM   #1566
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I get the impression that most modern euro trains are pretty safe and don't crumple like the old ones so the federal rail administration should have nothing to worry about.
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 07:46 AM   #1567
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Well, it would be futile to restart the discussion again. Some people think of suburbs as degenerations of cities, some (me including) think of them as the ultimate realization of post-industrial democratic Western individualism, allowing people to have mode discretion about where, when and with whom they want to interact.
Interestingly in Europe young people are moving back to the inner cities from the suburbs they grew up in. Why? Because they want to have more discretion about when and with whom they interact.
And the fact that you don't need a car there is considered a big plus. Cars have one big disadvantage: You have to drive them yourself.
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 08:44 AM   #1568
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I'd say I fit into that category. I'm young and I do want a more social lifestyle that comes with convenience, so the city is definitely for me. However, as much as I love public transportation, I would still like to have a car. Reason being I'm a car enthusiast as well.

Some might think it's a conflict of interest, but I see cars as something recreational. I enjoy scenic driving and travelling to places that public transportation can't take you.

But as for daily commutes, rapid transit is still the way to go. I'd do anything to give up having to drive for my commute. It takes all the fun away.
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 09:01 AM   #1569
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Another issue when we talk about the genesis of the Interstate network really is: Where did America come up with the money at that time? Remember that during Eisenhower's presidency, America had just come out of a global-scale depression and a global-scale war (as well as a lesser regional-scale conflict), so, since the Government's effectively had to issue debt constantly since 1932, the argument we see today against greater funding for the current issues at hand (we have too much debt! We'll go broke! The iceman cometh!) would have certainly been as valid then as now, if not more so. So...the question is...how did Eisenhower pay for the Interstate Highway network? We should be able to adapt the answer to this question into a viable scheme to help pay for American HSR (and quite possibly for our chronically underfunded underserviced mass transit networks).

I would also like to suggest that the philosophy of Dreaming Big Dreams has a psychological value, too: it doesn't matter if the date at the bottom of the map says "2030" or "2050" or even "2100", so long as the map represents the Dream--so long as the powers that be can keep the dream there. And by investing in the psychology of the Dream, we can also invest in people so swayed by the Dream they're willing to make the effort to find the solutions to the problems needed to be overcome before any real progress can be seen.
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 02:09 PM   #1570
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The Interstate System was planned in a completely different economic outlook. First of all, debt was high but rapidly declining. The US had a mammoth trade surplus, and American manufacturing accounted for ~45% of worldwide manufacturing (= huge exports, huge inflow of money to US).

Then, the conditions to the system to flourish were already there. Construction was cheap, land was easy to buy or preempt by eminent domain, and NIMBY's, thank God, were nuts. Astutely, most interstate design in urban areas was set through plagued, blighted and decaying neighborhoods to avoid political controversy, doing those neighborhoods a favor to many of them by dismantling them as "communities" with no future anyway but crime and chronic poverty.

Then, you had a self-sustaining financing mechanism, the Highway Trust Fund... Had the trust fund been managed properly, it could still be used as the main source of finance for highway projects if:

- gas/tire/engine oil taxes were kept up-to-date
- its funds were used ONLY to highway projects (construction, maintenance, restoration), not to pork projects like sidewalks, touristic signaling, trails that now eats up to 1/3 of the annual funding

The HSR, conversely, will rely on fares and will "bundle" infrastructure (tracks, stations) with vehicle operations (train sets), something that would be the equivalent of having individual state airlines constructing airports and not allowing anyone else to fly there, or state car rental companies building their own roads and not allowing any other vehicle use them.

The original route core of the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System was completed only in 1997 with the elimination of a grade-crossing in Idaho and a final excavation and paving of a stretch of I-40 in NC. So it took 40 years.
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 02:15 PM   #1571
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K_ View Post
Interestingly in Europe young people are moving back to the inner cities from the suburbs they grew up in. Why? Because they want to have more discretion about when and with whom they interact.
And the fact that you don't need a car there is considered a big plus. Cars have one big disadvantage: You have to drive them yourself.
K., once and for all, this is your vision, probably the vision of your friends, and I respect that. However, EUROSTAT contradicts what you see as a massive trend.

Society is now far more fragmented than in the 50's and 60's when white flight or Great Black Migration were truly monolithic and large-scale movements.

Car ownership, car use and modal share in Europe just doesn't hold this vision of happy Europeans reaching age 26 without driver's license. It might be your reality, it is certainly not mine, but let's stick to facts.

It is the same discussion I was having with the other forummite couple dozen pages ago in this thread: people pretty much self-select them in terms of social connections, particularly when people are single and have an income. If you move to a inner city and start meeting like-minded people, you will soon have an impression that everybody is ditching their cars.

Then, you go to your national/regional MVD (or the equivalent) and check that license rates are not going down, neither in US (and Canada, for that matter) nor in Europe.

It is ok to have preferences. If I was in charge, money unconstrained, I'd choose to build as much freeways as possible and dismantle most crappy bus systems in the process too, and I'd happily build a massive interchange next to my house so I could watch the progress right by my eyes. But this will not happen.

Likewise, understanding the political and economic realities of TODAY is paramount for people who want HSR not to become frustrated the pace of such projects in America. Saying "Europe has done it" will not expedite them too much, as there are different (though not THAT different) patterns over here.

The best scenario would be private enterprise stepping in at least to operate vehicles, with government authorities building and maintaining tracks and charging track fees from whoever want to run trains there.
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 07:30 PM   #1572
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@Suburbanist: As they say - "there's, truth, there're lies, and there's statistics".

I'm always happy to fight your statistical manipulations. So here goes:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Car ownership (per household, per 1.000 inhabitants, per 1.000 driving age adults) is on the rise or stabilized in all EU countries. There is not a single country where car ownership is going down.
So what?
Car is a fine thing to have. It's useful for occasional trips to places with no public transport. Or for a holiday with all your family and their luggage. Etc. etc.
I mean, buying a car does not mean you have to use it every day and for all your transportation needs. You can use it when it's convenient. As the next statistics shows.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
As for the "Europeanized" say, I'm worry I need to tell you: in ALL EU-15 countries (the "old" Western Europe) car share as a % of total km-pax in motorized vehicle is OVER 78% in all of them (as high as 88% in some).
Yeah, isn't it high? But let's compare it to the modal share in the U.S. The comparable data are hard to find, the best I could find is this report of 1996: http://www.census.gov/svsd/tasann/view/NAThighli.pdf On page 16 there's a table on modal share. When you transform it by excluding air travel and combining intercity rail with transit rail, you get the following:
- personal road vehicles: 94.7%
- rail: 0.7%

Comparing to EU-15 in 1996:
- personal road vehicles: 84.4%
- rail: 6.6%
(the rest are buses). source: http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/por...ta/main_tables

There is a difference, no?


And look at the railway slice of the European modal split over last 10 years. It's stable, or even growing (EU-15: from 6.6% in 1996 to 7.1% in 2007). At the same time, the passenger cars were stable (in 1996 84.4% of pax-km, in 2007 84.1%).

So, the increasing car ownership in Europe does not mean that Europeans stop using rail and shift to cars. Statistics you've used is irrelevant.
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Old June 3rd, 2010, 02:17 AM   #1573
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Well Suburbanist, I actually bothered to look at eurostat, and I see something different. First, the modal share statistic is misleading. It only shows the total pkm and trips in all categories, this skews the data in favour of cars. Trips by bus, bike and walking are usually shorter trips and are thus underrepresented, if represented at all. And by lumping together all different trips into one, ie shopping, commuter, recreational etc, it also skews in favour of cars. But most damning of all is that it lumps together both rural areas and urban areas, which gives a completely wrong impression of the situation.

But even if we consider the data useful, I observe different things. For example the modal share of cars is showing a marginal downward trend in the EU-15.

Uploaded with ImageShack.us

Whereas at the same time, I am spotting an significant upward trend in rail transport in the EU-15.

Uploaded with ImageShack.us

Not to mention, that even though poorer and newer countries do show a large decline in modal shift, which IMO is to be expected, the richer countries show a large upward trend. And Spain and Italy are not showing an decline in modal shift, but are fluctuating with an upward trend.

But this is all to be expected. The current car dominated society is, for better or worse, the result of spatial planning decisions made in the past. Only in relatively recent terms can one see a new trend in urban planning (transit oriented development, new urbanism etc) and it will take some time for this to have effect.
Still, the tide is changing. Society seems to be abandoning suburbs at the first chance it has. (about Holland, Dutch only). Not suprisingly, as city centres and urban areas become some of the most desirable places to live (again, about Holland and Dutch only). And when we add that cities are refocusing on their urban districts for future office building contruction (Dutch articles). So in the future we will see an strenghtening trend against the car. Even the most second most pro car party argueing that new office buildings should be build near stations.
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Old June 3rd, 2010, 06:23 AM   #1574
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First ALP 46A's in Service , the propulsion sounds sexy I think the second one is going to the yard.



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Old June 3rd, 2010, 07:05 AM   #1575
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That was cool. I like the enthusiasm of the cameraman
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Old June 3rd, 2010, 08:48 AM   #1576
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Car ownership, car use and modal share in Europe just doesn't hold this vision of happy Europeans reaching age 26 without driver's license. It might be your reality, it is certainly not mine, but let's stick to facts.
Anecdotes are usefull, but indeed let's stick to the facts...

The Zürich Public Transport community (ZVV) celebrates it's 20ieth aniversary this month.
in these 20 years the number of people using public transport has almost tripled, whereas car use has remained constant. This is a fact.
Fact is also that public transport now has the majority share in transport to the downtown area, both for business and leisure travel. And that in a country where owning and operating a car is actually relatively cheap.
The stats also show that public transport use is on the rise for suburb to suburb transport.
What all this shows is that if you provide a useful public transport system the people (surprise!) actually do use it.
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Old June 3rd, 2010, 10:30 AM   #1577
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
As for the "Europeanized" say, I'm worry I need to tell you: in ALL EU-15 countries (the "old" Western Europe) car share as a % of total km-pax in motorized vehicle is OVER 78% in all of them (as high as 88% in some).
Yup, that's for motorized vehicles. And as you should very well know, with you living here and all that, the vast majority of all transit isn't done by motorized vehicles, but either on foot or by bike.
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Old June 3rd, 2010, 01:49 PM   #1578
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why would they have 2 locos at one end, and not 1 at each end!?
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Old June 3rd, 2010, 01:53 PM   #1579
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Old June 3rd, 2010, 02:05 PM   #1580
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why would they have 2 locos at one end, and not 1 at each end!?
As the other poster said: One is probably on the way to the yard. A consist of that length doesn't need two locomotives.
It's not uncommon for railways to avoid having to run a light engine by tacking one on to a train that goes in the right direction.
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