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Old February 11th, 2011, 07:20 AM   #2041
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Originally Posted by Nexis View Post
That list is flawed and based on bad facts and this is also the wrong thread...
are you saying that Portland, OR and Salt Lake City, UT are not better cities for public transportation than NY? How can you argue with "data" like this?

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Salt Lake City earns its No. 2 spot in large part because of its heavy investment in serving a large suburban and exurban population.
Also, I found this pic on the US DOT blog.



Does anyone know why in China their onboard electronic displays show the speed of the train in kph while Amtrak onboard electronic displays show useless crap?
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Old February 11th, 2011, 08:57 PM   #2042
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"Look, over there, is that a cow?
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Old February 11th, 2011, 09:43 PM   #2043
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"Look, over there, is that a cow?
NO, It's SuperMan
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Old February 12th, 2011, 04:11 AM   #2044
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[QUOTE=Woonsocket54;72417099]are you saying that Portland, OR and Salt Lake City, UT are not better cities for public transportation than NY? How can you argue with "data" like this?



Also, I found this pic on the US DOT blog.



[/QUOTE
It is a car, No!! it is a cow, No!!! its superman Obama.
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Old February 12th, 2011, 01:05 PM   #2045
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^ I have noticed in Korea the KTX display only shows the speed when it is over 250kp/h, so it can show off how fast it is. I would rather it was on all the time so I could see the acceleration.
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Old February 12th, 2011, 06:17 PM   #2046
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Old February 14th, 2011, 02:32 AM   #2047
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Wall Street Journal
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...193260526.html

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REVIEW & OUTLOOK
FEBRUARY 14, 2011

Runaway Trains
Obama's high-speed rail plan is a fiscal pipedream.

We suppose every President is entitled to a pipedream, but President Obama's vow in his State of the Union address that 80% of Americans should have access to high-speed rail in 25 years is a doozy. Vice President Joe Biden has followed up by proposing $53 billion in high-speed rail funding over the next six years. Seriously?

On recent evidence, this train is running in reverse. Though the Obama Administration has allocated more than $10 billion for high-speed rail projects the past two years, the new Republican governors of Wisconsin and Ohio, Scott Walker and John Kasich, have rejected the federal money. They don't want to put their taxpayers on the hook for projects destined for Insolvency Junction. Florida Governor Rick Scott is also reconsidering his state's proposed Orlando-Tampa line.

Even California, that famous incubator of pipedreams, is having second thoughts. The state has proposed an 800-mile high-speed rail plan from San Diego to San Francisco. Bay area residents are now protesting that the line will damage property values, while Central Valley farmers complain the line will ruin their land. The greater wonder is how the state will pay for a $43 billion train even as it's facing a $28 billion budget gap over the next 18 months and $20 billion annual deficits four years after that.

Two years ago California taxpayers approved a $9.95 billion bond initiative to fund the train, buying the pitch that it would create hundreds of thousands of jobs and attract 94 million riders. The state's high-speed rail authority told voters a one-way ticket from San Francisco to Los Angeles would cost $55—about the price of a Southwest flight. They said private equity firms were dying to invest, and that the train would operate without a public subsidy.

Studies by economists and financial consultants Alain Enthoven, William Grindley and William Warren have since debunked the rail authority's claims. Based on the costs of high-speed rail lines in Europe and Japan, the price tag likely will fall between $62 billion and $213 billion. A one-way ticket from San Francisco to Los Angeles will cost about $190, which means more people will choose to fly.

Because of uncertainty over costs and ridership forecasts, private equity firms say they won't invest without a revenue guarantee, i.e., an operating subsidy. Even if the state somehow manages to attract $10 billion in private equity, its business plan calls for another $5 billion in local grants and $15 billion more in federal funds. The $15 billion that they want from the feds would be nearly a third of Mr. Biden's $53 billion figure. Maybe high-speed rail is a back-door bailout for California.

Messrs. Obama and Biden argue that the U.S. has to invest in high-speed rail to stay competitive with the world. Only if we're competing in the Debt Bowl. Two high-speed railways in the world have broken even, and those are in densely populated areas of France and Japan where people drive less because gas prices are twice as high as in the U.S., and many foreign intercity highways levy tolls.

The only area of the United States where high-speed rail begins to make sense is along the high-traffic, high-population Northeast Corridor from Washington, D.C., to Boston. Amtrak's Acela peaks at 150 miles per hour but averages only about 70 miles per hour because it has to share tracks with other trains. A truly high-speed rail that runs on its own dedicated track could reach 220 mph and cut the travel time nearly in half.

While such a line might offer benefits for the region's commuters, Amtrak estimates the line would take 25 years to develop and cost $117 billion. According to a 2009 study by the Congressional Research Service, six to nine million riders would need to take the train each year to justify the costs of high-speed rail systems similar to those in other countries. The Acela carried 3.4 million people in 2008.

Until the proponents of high-speed rail solve the problem of runaway costs, we'll stick with the train in Disney's Fantasyland. Who knows, maybe 80% of the country has taken it for a ride by now.
Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...d=opinionsbox1

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High-speed rail is a fast track to government waste
By Robert J. Samuelson
Monday, February 14, 2011

Vice President Biden, an avowed friend of good government, is giving it a bad name. With great fanfare, he went to Philadelphia last week to announce that the Obama administration proposes spending $53 billion over six years to construct a "national high-speed rail system." Translation: The administration would pay states $53 billion to build rail networks that would then lose money - lots - thereby aggravating the budget squeezes of the states or federal government, depending on which covered the deficits.

There's something wildly irresponsible about the national government undermining states' already poor long-term budget prospects by plying them with grants that provide short-term jobs. Worse, the rail proposal casts doubt on the administration's commitment to reducing huge budget deficits. The president's 2012 budget is due Monday. How can it subdue deficits if it keeps proposing big spending programs?

High-speed rail would definitely be big. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has estimated the administration's ultimate goal - bringing high-speed rail to 80 percent of the population - could cost $500 billion over 25 years. For this stupendous sum, there would be scant public benefits. Precisely the opposite. Rail subsidies would threaten funding for more pressing public needs: schools, police, defense.

How can we know this? History, for starters.

Passenger rail service inspires wishful thinking. In 1970, when Congress created Amtrak to preserve intercity passenger trains, the idea was that the system would become profitable and self-sustaining after an initial infusion of federal money. This never happened. Amtrak has swallowed $35 billion in subsidies, and they're increasing by more than $1 billion annually.

Despite the subsidies, Amtrak does not provide low-cost transportation. Longtime critic Randal O'Toole of the Cato Institute recently planned a trip from Washington to New York. Noting that fares on Amtrak's high-speed Acela start at $139 one-way, he decided to take a private bus service. The roundtrip fare: $21.50. Nor does Amtrak do much to relieve congestion, cut oil use, reduce pollution or eliminate greenhouse gases. Its traffic volumes are simply too small to matter.

In 2010, Amtrak carried 29.1 million passengers for the entire year. That's about about 4 percent of annual air travel (2010 estimate: 725 million passengers). It's also roughly a quarter of daily automobile commuters (124 million in 2008). Measured by passenger-miles traveled, Amtrak represents one-tenth of 1 percent of the national total.

Rail buffs argue that subsidies for passenger service simply offset the huge government support of highways and airways. The subsidies "level the playing field." Wrong. In 2004, the Transportation Department evaluated federal transportation subsidies from 1990 to 2002. It found passenger rail service had the highest subsidy ($186.35 per thousand passenger-miles) followed by mass transit ($118.26 per thousand miles). By contrast, drivers received no net subsidy; their fuel taxes more than covered federal spending. Subsidies for airline passengers were about $5 per thousand miles traveled. (All figures are in inflation-adjusted year 2000 dollars.)

High-speed rail would transform Amtrak's small drain into a much larger drain. Once built, high-speed-rail systems would face a dilemma. To recoup initial capital costs - construction and train purchases - ticket prices would have to be set so high that few people would choose rail. But lower prices, even with favorable passenger loads, might not cover costs. Government would be stuck with huge subsidies. Even without recovering capital costs, high-speed-rail systems would probably run in the red. Most mass-transit systems, despite high ridership, routinely have deficits.

The reasons passenger rail service doesn't work in America are well-known: Interstate highways shorten many trip times; suburbanization has fragmented destination points; air travel is quicker and more flexible for long distances (if fewer people fly from Denver to Los Angeles and more go to Houston, flight schedules simply adjust). Against history and logic is the imagery of high-speed rail as "green" and a cutting-edge technology.

It's a triumph of fancy over fact. Even if ridership increased fifteenfold over Amtrak levels, the effects on congestion, national fuel consumption and emissions would still be trivial. Land-use patterns would change modestly, if at all; cutting 20 minutes off travel times between New York and Philadelphia wouldn't much alter real estate development in either. Nor is high-speed rail a technology where the United States would likely lead; European and Asian firms already dominate the market.

Governing ought to be about making wise choices. What's disheartening about the Obama administration's embrace of high-speed rail is that it ignores history, evidence and logic. The case against it is overwhelming. The case in favor rests on fashionable platitudes. High-speed rail is not an "investment in the future"; it's mostly a waste of money. Good government can't solve all our problems, but it can at least not make them worse.
Worcester (MA) Telegram
http://www.telegram.com/article/2011...102130456/1020

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Sunday, February 13, 2011

High-speed illusion
$53B for train network is wrong bet

Among the promises President Obama made in his recent State of the Union address was one to make high-speed rail available to 80 percent of Americans within 25 years. To that end, the administration this past week unveiled plans to spend $53 billion over six years to further construct and upgrade the nation’s rail infrastructure.

But there are good reasons to sound the warning horn and flash the stop signals on massive expansion of the nation’s high-speed rail systems. All commuter rail is heavily subsidized, and while such systems have their place, they continue to serve only a very small percentage of the nation’s commuters.

If government is to play a large role in building further rail infrastructure, it would be far better to spend a fraction of that $53 billion on helping states and regions expand existing commuter-rail service to and between mid-sized cities such as Worcester, Springfield and Providence, as well as extending service to heavily populated suburban bedroom communities.

Bringing high-speed rail up to the truly high speeds envisioned by Mr. Obama would require investments on a scale that would saddle taxpayers with billions of dollars for infrastructure upgrades and annual operating costs, for only modest gains in commuting time and environmental benefits.

Commuter rail does move millions of commuters in highly congested areas, such as the Northeast Corridor. Amtrak’s decade-old Acela service, which operates between Boston and Washington, offers many commuters and business travelers a viable alternative to short-hop air shuttles.

But those benefits come at great cost. Commuter rail remains far and away the most expensive form of mass transit in terms of public subsidies per passenger mile. According to a recent U.S. Department of Transportation study, combined state and federal subsidies amounted to $237.53 per 1,000 passenger miles for Amtrak service, while comparable subsidies for commercial aviation and intercity buses were just $4.23 and $1.50, respectively.

The facts speak for themselves. Each year, commercial aviation carries 100 times the number of passengers as Amtrak, while the nation’s highway network transports 800 times as many people as do trains.

This nation’s size, population distribution, and politics make a nationwide high-speed rail network a practical and economic impossibility. It makes almost no sense to expend billions more dollars to cut commutes between Boston and New York by an hour, while bypassing the needs of places like Worcester. It is unfair, to boot. Most business travelers on the Acela line are relatively affluent, yet enjoy lavish taxpayer subsidies for a service that serves a tiny minority of commuters.

It would be wonderful indeed if more Americans, at all economic levels, could commute more quickly, at less expense, and with less impact on the environment. That can happen when politicians such as Sen. John F. Kerry, a key proponent of high-speed rail, understand that it is not the answer to the needs of most people.

Much more can be achieved — and at far less cost — by strengthening existing road, rail and air links among our small and medium-sized cities and suburbs, and creating new links where possible and warranted. That approach would open our gateway cities wider to the world, allowing people, along with innovation and opportunity, to flow in all directions.
Odessa (TX) American
http://www.oaoa.com/opinion/spending...cits-many.html
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Put brakes on bullet trains
February 13, 2011 6:00 AM

In many states spending deficits are in the billions. In Washington, spending deficits run into the trillions. It’s utterly incredible that plans are moving forward – both in individual states and Washington – to spend billions more on an unnecessary, extravagant high-speed rail system whose potential ridership is more a figment of imagination than result of consumer demand.

California’s high-speed rail project, authorized by an unwise 2008 voter approval to sell $9.9 billion in bonds, is emblematic of what has brought that state and Washington to the brink of fiscal catastrophe.

Now, apparently blind to the harmful effects of runaway government spending, President Barack Obama this week vowed to provide $8 billion more for high-speed rail construction, a large portion of which is expected to be earmarked for California. That is, if Congress gives its blessing.

Reason may yet prevail. Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., chairman of the House transportation committee, is skeptical about California’s proposed 520-mile train route linking San Francisco and San Diego.

“It may be able to achieve high speed, but the problem is it may be lacking in ridership and will have to be subsidized for some time,” Mr. Mica said of California’s proposal. “That’s not the best model.”

It’s not even a reasonable model. Ridership on a train traversing our sprawling state is unlikely to ever be high enough to be profitable without heavy, ongoing taxpayer subsidies.
The first leg of California’s route authorized by the state High-Speed Rail Authority underscored this reality. It would connect the sparsely populated Central Valley town of Borden with tiny Corcoran, where the most prominent industry is a state prison. Critics understandably call it the “train to nowhere.”

“If the state sold all of the $9.95 billion in high-speed rail bonds that have been authorized,” observed Assemblyman Curt Hagman, R-Diamond Bar, “it would consume $676 million per year for 30 years, all paid from the state’s general fund.” That doesn’t include likely ongoing operating subsidies.

President Obama apparently learned little from previous failed attempts to jump-start the economy with government spending. He contends high-speed rail construction will provide countless jobs.

It’s more likely that bullet trains will provide countless cost overruns. California’s project was estimated in 2008 to cost $32 billion but $42 billion in 2009, “suggesting a certain lack of precision,” as columnist Michael Barone charitably put it.

Not every government is addicted to wasting tax money. Governors in Wisconsin and Ohio rejected $616 million in federal funds for high-speed rail. Unsurprisingly, California volunteered to take what they turned down.

We urge Congress to reject the president’s unwise plan to spend even more.
Pittsburgh (PA) Tribune-Review
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_722499.html

Quote:
No way to run a ...
Sunday, February 13, 2011

If America spends the $53 billion on high-speed rail that Vice President Joe Biden is advocating, it won't get its money's worth.

His plan is like previous federal high-speed rail grants, which U.S. Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., House Transportation Committee chairman, rightly calls failures producing "snail speed trains to nowhere." In fact, the vice president would spend only $8 billion on truly high-speed -- 125 mph-plus -- corridors.

Only two high-speed rail corridors worldwide -- in France and Japan -- cover their costs, according to Ken Button, director of George Mason University's Center for Transportation Policy. U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Blair County, the Railroads Subcommittee chairman, reminds that rail projects must be economically sound.

The best bet for economically sound high-speed rail is the Northeast, America's most congested region, where Rep. Shuster supports expansion. But Mr. Biden's plan isn't the way to go.

It's a piecemeal approach lacking the necessary commitment in terms of resources and technology -- and its benefits wouldn't justify its costs. In short, the Biden plan -- no way to build and run a truly extensive, truly cost-effective, truly high-speed railroad -- would squander $53 billion when Washington must cut spending.
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Old February 14th, 2011, 04:23 AM   #2048
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Based on the costs of high-speed rail lines in Europe and Japan, the price tag likely will fall between $62 billion and $213 billion. A one-way ticket from San Francisco to Los Angeles will cost about $190, which means more people will choose to fly.
How many km between 2 cities ?

This is a comparaison of HSL costs in Morocco, France and Europe.

The High-Speed Rail Project in Morocco, Pros and Cons

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Les coûts de réalisation des LGV hors matériel roulant


LGV Tanger - Kénitra | 200 km | 1,409 milliards € | 7 M€/km


LGV Rhin-Rhône | 148 km | 2,312 milliards € | 15,62 M€/km

LGV Est européenne | 300 km | 4,193 milliards € | 13,79 M€/km

LGV Méditerranée | 250 km | 4,334 milliards € | 17,336 M€/km

LGV Sud Europe Atlantique | 300 km | 7 milliards € | 23,333 M€/km

LGV Bretagne-Pays de la Loire | 182 km | 4 milliards € | 21,978 M€/km

LGV PACA | 180 km | 7 milliards € | 38,888 M€/km

LGV Bordeaux-Toulouse | 200 km | 3 milliards € | 15 M€/km

LGV Normandie | 450 km | 10 milliards € | 22,222 M€/km

LGV Paris-Orléans-Clermont-Lyon | 410 km | 12 milliards € | 29,268 M€/km



LGV 1 (Belgique) | 88 km | 1,42 milliards € | 16,136 M€/km

LGV Perpignan-Figueras (France-Espagne) | 44,4 km | 1,1 milliards € | 24,774 M€/km

LGV Hanovre - Wurtzbourg (Allemagne) | 327 km | 280 km/h | 6,1 milliards € | 18,654 M€/km

LGV Hanovre - Berlin (Allemagne) | 258 km | 250 km/h | 2,6 milliards € | 10,077 M€/km

LGV Lyon - Turin (France-Italie) | 291 km | 11,8 milliards € | 40,5498 M€/km

LGV High Speed 1 (tunnel sous la manche) (Royaume-Uni) | 108 km | 6.278 milliards € | 58,129 M€/km

Le coût moyen de ces 15 LGV équivaux à ~24,38 M€/km

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Old February 14th, 2011, 10:17 AM   #2049
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LGV High Speed 1 (tunnel sous la manche) (Royaume-Uni) | 108 km | 6.278 milliards € | 58,129 M€/km
teh ****? what's up with that? What makes the cost skyrocket that much?
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Old February 14th, 2011, 10:34 AM   #2050
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I imagine it has something to do with the chunnel...

Are those cost adjusted for inflation btw?
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Old February 15th, 2011, 11:05 AM   #2051
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teh ****? what's up with that? What makes the cost skyrocket that much?
The fact that it was build in the UK.
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Old February 15th, 2011, 12:05 PM   #2052
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no seriously, why is that? I mean, the eurotunnel is already in place and i doubt that it has anything to do with hs1.

Even the Lyon-Turin project is cheaper although they actually have to build a huge base tunnel. I just don't get it
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Old February 15th, 2011, 03:58 PM   #2053
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A one-way ticket from San Francisco to Los Angeles will cost about $190, which means more people will choose to fly.
These mediots never consider that the price of oil will go up over time (unless the oil companies find another shallow ginormous oil field quick). I bet airline tickets will be way more expensive in the future, coz planes don't run on electricity (which can be generated from a variety of non-oil sources) like HSR.
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Old February 15th, 2011, 04:39 PM   #2054
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These mediots never consider that the price of oil will go up over time (unless the oil companies find another shallow ginormous oil field quick). I bet airline tickets will be way more expensive in the future, coz planes don't run on electricity (which can be generated from a variety of non-oil sources) like HSR.
good point
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Old February 16th, 2011, 08:44 AM   #2055
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It is extremely iritating what spin the media places. There are way too many gross assumptions and until it is built and operating, we really do not know. I am not sure how they were able to accomplish a $213 billion dollar figure. The 50% overbudget figure could make sense though, even though the cost is adjusted into 2020 dollars. Who knows what could happen to the market from here? It is why people get into the stock market, they think they will know what will happen. It is a matter of making sure the project is a) managed well and b) engineered to a design specification that is not changed midway through the project.
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Old February 16th, 2011, 02:30 PM   #2056
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It is a matter of making sure the project is a) managed well and b) engineered to a design specification that is not changed midway through the project.
What about costs? Just deal with them as they appear? Like it were a matter or survival in war or some uncharted-waters program like Apolo?
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Old February 16th, 2011, 03:47 PM   #2057
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no seriously, why is that? I mean, the eurotunnel is already in place and i doubt that it has anything to do with hs1.

Even the Lyon-Turin project is cheaper although they actually have to build a huge base tunnel. I just don't get it
Don't forget that HS1 runs through Kent, a region filled with above average income nimby's...
RFF doesn't usually build LGV's through areas that densely populated, because France isn't the UK. France is actually rather empty between it's big cities.
The UK also requires impact studies for about any affected group imaginable, and even a few unimaginable. In the time the UK needs to compile an "equality impact report" they build the railway in France.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 01:51 PM   #2058
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Yes HS1 was overly expensive for a number of reasons. A significant proportion is that construction costs are higher in the UK than anywhere else it seems, this is the cause of much debate all across the UK section of this site, not just for transport. But also the particular route was rather difficult.

There is a 2km tunnel through Ashford town centre, a 2km North Downs tunnel, a 1.2km viaduct over the Medway valley, a 2.5km tunnel under the Thames, a 10km tunnel under the outskirts of London, a 7.5km tunnel into the centre of London, and two stations that are twice the size that is strictly necessary as they have duplicate domestic and international platforms and amenities. Plus the regeneration of St Pancras station is included in the quoted price.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 01:59 PM   #2059
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It must be added that, in case of HS1, some of those stations were build with duplicate facilities as they were meant for once-planned extended services over HS1 to Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds... services that never saw the daylight as Ryanair and Easyjet were coming to the market by time the Chunnel opened.

If I am not wrong, the trainsets were resold to Canada.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 08:20 PM   #2060
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It must be added that, in case of HS1, some of those stations were build with duplicate facilities as they were meant for once-planned extended services over HS1 to Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds... services that never saw the daylight as Ryanair and Easyjet were coming to the market by time the Chunnel opened.
No, the reason is different. HS1 is also used by commuter trains, as well as Eurostar. (another example of 200 and 300 kph trains coexisting...). The security theatre HM Government has inflicted on Eurostar however requires different facilities for both services.

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If I am not wrong, the trainsets were resold to Canada.
You are wrong. The regional eurostar sets run in France.

It's the night star cars that were sold to Canada.
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