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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 September 30th, 2010, 08:55 AM   #1901
dumbfword
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geography View Post
How the heck is it projected to cost $117 billion? China's entire HSR network by 2020, which has 16,000 km of track and dozens of new stations, is projected to cost just over twice that amount, $300 billion. Is Amtrack going to build new stations?
Labor, building materials, etc cost more stateside.
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Old September 30th, 2010, 11:19 PM   #1902
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Originally Posted by Xusein View Post


Investing in our woefully underutilized rail system which already has most of the infrastructure already is around means less oil-dependency, a diversification of nodes, and alternatives.

Aren't most, if not all of the rail lines in the US privately owned. Also, I wouldn't say the rail network is under utilized, it is just geared more towards freight service than passenger service because freight service, unlike passenger service, can actually turn a profit.


Also, back on the idea of air taxis, I see your points; I was really basing most of my idea off of my experiance when I took one run by LocAir from Beckley to BWI. It was actually a lot more conveniant than I expected; I didn't have to go through security and it was fairly cheap.
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Old October 1st, 2010, 12:22 AM   #1903
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The biggest mistake one could make is to say that the US rail system is inefficient. US has one of the highest shares of rail freight transport among developed countries. US railroads, private, unsubsidized and tax-paying, are a commercial and financial success after a painful reorganization that last 35 years.
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Old October 1st, 2010, 01:59 AM   #1904
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Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
The biggest mistake one could make is to say that the US rail system is inefficient. US has one of the highest shares of rail freight transport among developed countries. US railroads, private, unsubsidized and tax-paying, are a commercial and financial success after a painful reorganization that last 35 years.
With your own twisted way of looking at things, of course it is. How EFFICIENT is that when the rail travel time from Washington, DC to Pittsburgh is nine hours and delays of four or five hours are so common?
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Old October 1st, 2010, 07:48 AM   #1905
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Originally Posted by mattec View Post
Aren't most, if not all of the rail lines in the US privately owned. Also, I wouldn't say the rail network is under utilized, it is just geared more towards freight service than passenger service because freight service, unlike passenger service, can actually turn a profit.
Not this corridor (NEC), it is either owned by Amtrak outright or by state transportation authorities. Freight lines however do have trackage rights but most freight transport is done by truck on the East Coast. The NEC is actually over-utilized though perhaps because of the fact that hundreds of trains use it per day. Majority of the US's passenger rail travel is on or branches from the Northeast Corridor.
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Old October 1st, 2010, 08:29 AM   #1906
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Originally Posted by Xusein View Post
Not this corridor (NEC), it is either owned by Amtrak outright or by state transportation authorities. Freight lines however do have trackage rights but most freight transport is done by truck on the East Coast. The NEC is actually over-utilized though perhaps because of the fact that hundreds of trains use it per day. Majority of the US's passenger rail travel is on or branches from the Northeast Corridor.
There is a paralleling freight line along the NEC at least in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, that CSX line is only single track. There is an active proposal to build a new cross-harbor freight railroad tunnel between the Middletown, NJ area and NYC (Brooklyn) that would take a LOT of trucks off of the roads in the northeast, but I am unaware of its likely construction schedule, if any has even been set. Right now, the southernmost place where a standard-sized North American railroad freight car can cross the Hudson River is the CSX bridge that is along side of the NYSThruway Berkshire Extension bridge just south of Albany, NY.

Also, in addition to the NEC, Amtrak outright owns its line between northwest Indiana and Grand Rapids, MI.

It would be very interesting, indeed, if a way could be found to convert North America's railroads to an 'open access' system where the track infrastructure and the trains are owned, operated and maintained separately from each other and anyone who is qualified, their equipment meets minimum technical standards and they are willing and able to pay the necessary fees and tolls can operate wherever they want to (much like with the highways, airports, sea ports, etc), similar to what is now found in places like the UK and Germany. I firmly believe that conversion to such a scheme would take additional freight traffic off of the highways as quickly as track capacity could be expanded.

Mike
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Old October 4th, 2010, 01:41 AM   #1907
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I don't know what's most distressing- the fact they plan to get this done in 30 years, the unlikeliness of this ever being done, how much this will cost, or how outdated this will be by the time it's finished. Heck, Somalia will have a longer HSR by the time this is done. (you have no idea how enterprising the Somalis are until you look in the Somalia picture thread!)
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Old October 4th, 2010, 03:03 AM   #1908
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With all due respect, you can compare setting up some cell phone towers and building a transportation network.
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Old October 4th, 2010, 03:03 AM   #1909
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With all due respect, you can compare setting up some cell phone towers and building a transportation network.
???
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Old October 4th, 2010, 04:23 AM   #1910
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back to the topic.. why does it take so long to build this thing? is this just a concept study? forgive me but 30 years to build a hsr system just sounds so ridiculous. it didn't take japan, france, germany, south korea, or taiwan nearly as long to build their hsr systems...
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Old October 4th, 2010, 04:39 AM   #1911
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back to the topic.. why does it take so long to build this thing? is this just a concept study? forgive me but 30 years to build a hsr system just sounds so ridiculous. it didn't take japan, france, germany, south korea, or taiwan nearly as long to build their hsr systems...
NIMBYs, bureaucracy, corruption, more NIMBYs, people who are like "I want HSR in MY town!", environmentalists, traditionalists, preservationists, lobbyists, particulaly the automobile lobby, the oil lobby, the asphalt lobby (it exists), the airlines, people concerned about the holocaust, people whose homes will have to be torn down, even more NIMBYs...
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Old October 4th, 2010, 04:43 AM   #1912
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Environmentalists? Dont they know rail traveling is the most environmentally friendly way to travel?
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Old October 4th, 2010, 04:55 AM   #1913
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Environmentalists? Dont they know rail traveling is the most environmentally friendly way to travel?
But think of all the tress that would have to be town down; the habitats cleaved into two... I suppose conservationists would be better here.
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Old October 4th, 2010, 05:00 AM   #1914
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I would rather see us upgrade local airports and promote air taxis; you wouldn't really need to worry about NIBYs and the cost would most likely be signifigantly lower.
The whole point of developing HSR in the US is exactly to avoid having to expand and upgrade airports and further clog the already congested air corridors in the Northeast. That approach costs many extra billions and involves so many lawsuits and environmental impact fights from NIMBYs that a simple runway in the US can cost as much as an entire major airport does in China.

And cost is a big factor in why this plan will take so long to implement. Assuming that the deficit gets under control after 2015, there will still be a lot of resistance to spending these sums until either the economy recovers fully or the situation on the interstates and in the air corridors gets so much worse. The rights of way generally exist already but there's objections from the freights as to sharing any rail -and it's far better to separate the passengers from the freights, so doing that, as well as eliminating crossings, will account for much of the cost. Utilities will also need upgrading. Either way, this plan will get done because the ridership is there, the will is there, and the alternatives could actually cost more.
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Old October 4th, 2010, 06:07 AM   #1915
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The whole point of developing HSR in the US is exactly to avoid having to expand and upgrade airports and further clog the already congested air corridors in the Northeast. That approach costs many extra billions and involves so many lawsuits and environmental impact fights from NIMBYs that a simple runway in the US can cost as much as an entire major airport does in China.
Exactly.

Even the airports and airlines want high speed rail because that means that they don't have to invest as much money in commuter aircraft to serve smaller/mid sized cities and instead just have the airline codeshare with the rail company. Amtrak already has a codesharing agreement with Continental Airlines in the Northeast Corridor.

American Airlines and Continental Airlines are even backing construction of a high speed rail line in Texas.
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Old October 4th, 2010, 09:19 AM   #1916
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Exactly.

Even the airports and airlines want high speed rail because that means that they don't have to invest as much money in commuter aircraft to serve smaller/mid sized cities and instead just have the airline codeshare with the rail company. Amtrak already has a codesharing agreement with Continental Airlines in the Northeast Corridor.

American Airlines and Continental Airlines are even backing construction of a high speed rail line in Texas.
IIRC, it was intensive lobbying by Southwest Airlines that put the kibosh on a planned Houston/San Antonio/DFW Texas triangle HSR proposal back in the 1980s and/or early 1990s.

Mike
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Old October 4th, 2010, 03:23 PM   #1917
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IIRC, it was intensive lobbying by Southwest Airlines that put the kibosh on a planned Houston/San Antonio/DFW Texas triangle HSR proposal back in the 1980s and/or early 1990s.

Mike
True, Southwest played a huge role in shooting down the Texas HSR. Now however since Southwest's business model has changed in the last 10-20 years (ie flying more long distance routes, less point to point service) they are likely to face less opposition compared with before.
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Old October 4th, 2010, 04:07 PM   #1918
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In any case, I think airlines in US wouldn't watch, passively, HSR systems take their short-haul market, especially because it is so more important to them it was for European airlines on the onset of HSR in Spain, France and Italy.

As long as those HSR services are not subsidized on its operation, and have a segregation of infra-structure (government) and rolling stock (private), it would be nice to see the market forces operating full-throttle.
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Old October 4th, 2010, 04:25 PM   #1919
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Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
In any case, I think airlines in US wouldn't watch, passively, HSR systems take their short-haul market, especially because it is so more important to them it was for European airlines on the onset of HSR in Spain, France and Italy.

As long as those HSR services are not subsidized on its operation, and have a segregation of infra-structure (government) and rolling stock (private), it would be nice to see the market forces operating full-throttle.
Oh shut up you ,Highways and Airports are subsided and you don't have a problem with that. You are the weirdest poster on this site , you don't seem to know what your views are. Heres a tip stay out of the US , we don't want non-Progressive thinking ppl. As Rail becomes more popular here and cities start building systems that would limit it you to a few cities.
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Old October 4th, 2010, 08:15 PM   #1920
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I actually agree and also would like to see the rails in North America treated just like the roads, airports and so forth - with separate ownership of the track infrastructure and operations - where anyone can operate anywhere as long as their crews are properly qualified, their equipment meets minimum technical standards and they are willing and able to pay the necessary fees and tolls.

If that could be done here, once the transition is complete and everything settles in, I fully expect a new 'Golden Age' of railroading to emerge and the track infrastructure authorities/owners will have to start expanding capacity, laying new track along existing lines, opening new and reopening abandoned routes and so forth and FAST.

The big problem is getting from where we are now to that ideal (addressing the existing railroad companies' property rights issues, etc).

Mike
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