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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 10th, 2011, 06:57 AM   #1961
xerxesjc28
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Japan offers to fund part of US high-speed rail project
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp...6df8ae65f2.d81

(AFP)

WASHINGTON — Japan has offered to fund part of a project to build an ultra-fast train line between Washington and New York, which would revolutionize travel on the US east coast, a Japanese official said Friday.

In talks with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara proposed that the Japan Bank for International Cooperation would fund a portion of the first phase of a project to bring Maglev trains to the US, said Satoru Satoh, the Japanese embassy press attache.

The proposed first phase of the project would see a Maglev train, which can travel at speeds of up to 341 miles per hour (550 kilometers per hour), link Washington with Baltimore some 60 miles (100 kilometers) to the north and currently an hour's train ride away.

The Maglev line would eventually be extended to New York, more than 200 miles from Washington, putting the Big Apple and Baltimore closer to the capital in terms of travel time than many suburbs in Virginia and Maryland.

New York would be an hour away from Washington once the Maglev is up and running instead of the current four hours.

Baltimore, which is linked to Washington by a commuter train that takes an hour and 10 minutes, would be around a quarter of an hour away.

The proposal is still just that -- a proposal -- and has to be taken up with the US Department of Transportation, governors through whose states the trains would travel, and others.

Maehara's proposal is part of a renewed push for "economic diplomacy" by Japan, said Satoh.

Japan's Maglev and Shinkansen bullet trains are contenders for President Barack Obama's 13-billion-dollar project to develop high-speed rail travel in the United States, which at present is non-existent.

China, France and Germany are among other countries vying to sell their trains and technology to the Americans for the multi-billion-dollar project.

During a visit to Japan last year, US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood took a test ride on the ultra-fast magnetic levitation train, which hovers 10 centimeters (four inches) above the tracks and in 2003 reached a world record speed of 581 kilometers per hour (361 miles per hour) on a Japanese test track.
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Old January 10th, 2011, 07:31 AM   #1962
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Someone really needs to make this happen. Maglev between New York and Washington DC would be great. Sadly we're not China so it might take forever.
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Old January 10th, 2011, 09:05 AM   #1963
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Originally Posted by mgk920 View Post
I'm also kind of scratching my head as to using a routing roughly along CA 14, Palmdale and Tehachapi Pass, instead of a much shorter and more direct routing via the 'Grapevine' (I-5). Were the grades, amounts of needed tunneling and messing around with the San Andreas Fault too much all together to overcome going that way?

Mike

Grapevine would add another a few more billion dollars because of the tunnels and such. No existing rail line crosses it. It's much too steep.

And going around doesnt even add that much time. Going around also provides a potential connection to Las Vegas.

The only routing discussion left on the table is if the rail line should follow BNSF and UP through cities, or go around them. Bakersfield and Fresno will get rail through downtown for the stations, but for cities that get bypassed, the decision hasnt been made.
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Old January 10th, 2011, 10:00 AM   #1964
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...................................
Mika,
This is utter nonsense!
Now he'll come back..
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Old January 10th, 2011, 10:10 AM   #1965
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Maglev? Seriously? Why would anyone who wants to build out a nation-wide high speed train system opt for Maglev when existing rail infrastructure is already in place? Maglev, albeit very awesome technology, is completely incompatible with any existing rail systems and would remove all flexibility the system currently offers.

On the other hand, the US rail network isn't as advanced as our European networks are, so it leaves more room for growth where Maglev might actually be one of the driving forces behind re-thinking mobility inside the USA.

I hope that no matter what technology they choose, that they choose for the same technology throughout the nation. Either a full-on maglev HSR system, or a classic TGV-style HSR-system. But not different systems as that would make linking everything impossible.
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Old January 10th, 2011, 12:28 PM   #1966
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexNL View Post
Maglev? Seriously? Why would anyone who wants to build out a nation-wide high speed train system opt for Maglev when existing rail infrastructure is already in place? Maglev, albeit very awesome technology, is completely incompatible with any existing rail systems and would remove all flexibility the system currently offers.

On the other hand, the US rail network isn't as advanced as our European networks are, so it leaves more room for growth where Maglev might actually be one of the driving forces behind re-thinking mobility inside the USA.

I hope that no matter what technology they choose, that they choose for the same technology throughout the nation. Either a full-on maglev HSR system, or a classic TGV-style HSR-system. But not different systems as that would make linking everything impossible.
Well, even if solutions are different and incompatible, people can just make connections in stations that are serviced by 2 incompatible systems. Like those serving 1.435mm and 1.000mm gauge lines in Europe, for instance.

Nobody would put a Los Angeles - New York service in place anyway, it's way too far for any non-air service.
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Last edited by Suburbanist; January 10th, 2011 at 11:22 PM.
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Old January 10th, 2011, 01:43 PM   #1967
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Originally Posted by AlexNL View Post
Maglev? Seriously? Why would anyone who wants to build out a nation-wide high speed train system opt for Maglev when existing rail infrastructure is already in place? Maglev, albeit very awesome technology, is completely incompatible with any existing rail systems and would remove all flexibility the system currently offers.

On the other hand, the US rail network isn't as advanced as our European networks are, so it leaves more room for growth where Maglev might actually be one of the driving forces behind re-thinking mobility inside the USA.

I hope that no matter what technology they choose, that they choose for the same technology throughout the nation. Either a full-on maglev HSR system, or a classic TGV-style HSR-system. But not different systems as that would make linking everything impossible.
Not that I think it will be built, but the US on theory is probably as good a case for a country to build maglev. Not only are some of the distances between important cities long to make conventional HSR doubtful, but also current rail infrastructures is a complete shame. Interoperability isn't and will never be much of a concern if a HSR system is built.
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Old January 11th, 2011, 05:03 AM   #1968
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With our budgetary constrains, maglev has the least bang for the buck, and the vast distance between cities made it almost impossible to construct a nation wide maglev HSR network. That's also part of the reason why China went to conventional rail. It's great that Japan is willing to fund the project, but I'd rather they fund a cheaper and more mature Shinkansen train (E2, N700).
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Old January 11th, 2011, 05:32 AM   #1969
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From what I understand china went conventional rail only because maglev is really untested technology. They built one test line from an airport near Shanghai I think, just to see how it went. IMO if Japan wants to fund a maglev line in the USA let them no reason not to.
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Originally Posted by aceflamingo23:http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpo...postcount=1108
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Old January 11th, 2011, 05:07 PM   #1970
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesinclair View Post
Grapevine would add another a few more billion dollars because of the tunnels and such. No existing rail line crosses it. It's much too steep.

And going around doesnt even add that much time. Going around also provides a potential connection to Las Vegas.
Palmdale Airport, too.

Quote:
The only routing discussion left on the table is if the rail line should follow BNSF and UP through cities, or go around them. Bakersfield and Fresno will get rail through downtown for the stations, but for cities that get bypassed, the decision hasnt been made.
What I don't understand is why the link between LA and Bakersfield wasn't chosen is the first segment, to allow interim service throughout the entire LA to SF corridor. Or am I missing something?
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Old January 12th, 2011, 04:47 AM   #1971
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Quote:
What I don't understand is why the link between LA and Bakersfield wasn't chosen is the first segment, to allow interim service throughout the entire LA to SF corridor. Or am I missing something?
The Valley Corridor was chosen because:
1. It's the cheapest in terms of real estate and engineering challenges.
2. There is a need for a "test track" to trail run trainset candidates. Usually straight line alignments are used for this.
3. The San Joaquin Valley has been extremely hard hit by the recession, with double digit unemployment figures- the HSR project is seen as a good employment generator.
4. The heavy maintenance facility for HSR will be located in the Valley.
5. Fewer NIMBY problems (hopefully).
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Old January 12th, 2011, 05:06 AM   #1972
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Kinda , sorta same reason the Tampa to Orlando route was chosen first in Florida before what would have probably been the more heavily used Orlando-Miami segment. It is cheaper, faster to build, and land already is government owned.
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Originally Posted by aceflamingo23:http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpo...postcount=1108
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Old January 12th, 2011, 07:12 AM   #1973
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Originally Posted by LHCHL View Post
At this point the issue is very much if the line will be built at all, all the projects planned so far assumed a larger scale network to be built later, and that is very much a big question mark. Without the the large scale networks, the initial regional lines are really just bridges to nowhere.
Depends on what you are talking about... a nation-wide network is not really the point, with the distances you have in America, the city-to-city connections will have to be the core, planes will be superior to long journeys on an interconnected railway network. So the California High Speed Rail will have to make its money with the LA-Bay Area connection, further connections (like the Desert Xpress from Palmdale to Vegas) might be nice, but eg for Bay Area-Vegas journeys, planes will most likely still be superior to using trains.

But obviously, a Fresno-Bakersfield line won't be viable on its own...
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Old January 12th, 2011, 07:27 AM   #1974
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I'm also kind of scratching my head as to using a routing roughly along CA 14, Palmdale and Tehachapi Pass, instead of a much shorter and more direct routing via the 'Grapevine' (I-5). Were the grades, amounts of needed tunneling and messing around with the San Andreas Fault too much all together to overcome going that way?
i actually just got to drive my 18-wheeled office through the grapevine for the first time ever couple days ago, thats quite an incline. It will be a large project to get HSR through there...i could suggest following the 101 north along the coast until it gets north of the Santa Monica Hills.
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Old January 12th, 2011, 09:01 AM   #1975
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Originally Posted by xerxesjc28 View Post
From what I understand china went conventional rail only because maglev is really untested technology. They built one test line from an airport near Shanghai I think, just to see how it went. IMO if Japan wants to fund a maglev line in the USA let them no reason not to.
My point is it all depends on usage, if they can build one that actually serve passengers' needs well, and can be used as a demonstration of the future of HSR here, that'd be great. But I have reservation for that because if any of the current maglev's problem surface on that line, it may kill the political will that we have to build HSR, ever. We might as well go for the conventional HSR from the get go.

From my personally experience the Shanghai maglev is technically pretty successful, I have used it multiple times to travel from the airport to downtown subway station (20+ miles in 8 minutes). It ran every 15 minutes, the ticket is cheap too, $6 one way. However it never made a profit because not many airline passengers use it, because first there is already a way cheaper subway line to the airport so people not in hurry don't have to catch maglev, second people will lots of luggage will opt for taxi cabs.
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Old January 12th, 2011, 09:13 AM   #1976
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If they wanna build Maglevs, go right ahead. Don't look for government handouts, though. (At least I hope not.) I would love to see the technology proved--but I wouldn't want to see the Maglev proposal conflated with the need to provide a (conventional) HSR line through the Northeast.
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Old January 13th, 2011, 02:45 AM   #1977
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From my personally experience the Shanghai maglev is technically pretty successful, I have used it multiple times to travel from the airport to downtown subway station (20+ miles in 8 minutes). It ran every 15 minutes, the ticket is cheap too, $6 one way. However it never made a profit because not many airline passengers use it, because first there is already a way cheaper subway line to the airport so people not in hurry don't have to catch maglev, second people will lots of luggage will opt for taxi cabs.
Just to quickly point out, the maglev line was not built going through many heavily used places, and I think is kinda short (do not remember) this is due to it just being a test line. It was done on purpose because they did not want a train going at very fast speeds though very heavily populated areas while being tested.

I think maglev due to this and its smaller test site in Germany has proven themselves to be safe and use sable.
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Originally Posted by aceflamingo23:http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpo...postcount=1108
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Old January 13th, 2011, 05:46 AM   #1978
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The problem is that in the Midwest there isn't a relatively long linear line like the Cali, NEC, and Pac-NW.

The Chicago metro is nearly four times the size of St.Louis though so as many as four times those from a given city will be more likely to travel to Chicago then St.Louis from around the region. In term of serving as a hub Chicago presents itself as a rather ideal wheel hub even given its 15 miltes north from the tip of Lake Michigan.

Also Chicago is a good bit closer to other major Midwest cities like Detroit and Minneapolis. To the West and South the major gateways of St.Louis are Kansas City and Memphis. Not exactley big destination.

If one were go with your thinking I could see perhaps a Columbus but I don't really see it in St.Louis.
Old post, but I had a bit of fun with this, an alternative to Chicago Hub in Midwest:



changes to the proposed Hub:

Chicago-Indianapolis via Kokomo instead of Lafayette
Chicago-Detroit via Gary and Fort Wayne, not South Bend and/or Kalamazoo.
-> With just 50-60 additional miles of rail between Fort Wayne and Kokomo, we get a direct connection from Detroit-Indianapolis
And I connected St Lois with Indianapolis instead of Chicago.

advantages:
+ more/better connections for Detroit, Ohio and Indianapolis
+ you can put up a relatively straight direct connection between almost every pair of cities in the network if there's demand instead of depending on a hub or having to construct a new line.
disadvantages:
- Chicago-everyone else are probably the most viable connections. Detroit-Indianapolis or St.Paul-Cincinnatti are much more risky/less interesting. And the Chicago-connections are clearly worse (esp St.Paul, not sure if there's much of a difference for Chicago-Indianapolis)

In the end, I believe St.Louis-Chicago is a better idea than St.Louis-Indianapolis, despite the better connection to Detroit and Ohio. But I kind of like my triangle in Indiana... might be worth considering.
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Old January 13th, 2011, 11:31 AM   #1979
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Old January 16th, 2011, 01:51 AM   #1980
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“We’ll put up half the money for California HSR” says Japan’s Ambassador to the United States

http://www.cahsrblog.com/2011/01/%E2...united-states/
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