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Old June 26th, 2011, 01:51 AM   #2161
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarneGator View Post
^ Yeah, I would think it could be done in a little less than 4.5 hours, but I assumed 5 hour running because it's close to what I estimated as overall flight time between the two cities and because it also offered a very generous margin to work with in terms of either mileage or stops. Really, it will be less than 256 miles to work with because there will never be a straight route west from New York. Building stuff is expensive and to profit (or minimize loss) for any given mile of infrastructure, one would want the maximum number of patrons using it. In this case, Philadelphia is too great a market to ignore and is close to New York, so all train heading to Chicago will make their way through Philadelphia, ferrying passengers between those cities and picking new ones up, before heading west. Assuming an implausibly straight alignment between New York, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, we're already short 26 miles, added an extra stop and added several minutes versus the ideal of a straight New York to Pittsburgh run. We still then have 230 miles to play with in order to keep the average speed up, but with each mile taken and every stop added, we get closer and closer to the 5 hour mark. I can't be sure, but I will say with good conscience that up to 5 hours is competitive with flight-related trip times and that's of significant importance when you're deciding to spend those billions of dollars.
This is all in terms of conventional HSR, of course. Money aside, maglev trains with average speeds above 250 mph would make New York to Chicago an uncompetitive market for flying.
The terrain between Chicago and Cleveland is very flat, meaning a train could easily surpass 200 mph for most of this segment. East of Cleveland the terrain gets more hilly and almost all of Pennsylvania between Pittsburgh and Philly is mountainous. But if this country could blast a turnpike through this terrain over sixty years ago a HSL would be a piece of cake. The route from Harrisburgh to New York City is already fully grade separated and electrified.
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Old June 26th, 2011, 02:07 AM   #2162
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Shanghai to Beijing was going to be 4 hours before the recent political shenanigans, and that's slightly longer.
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Old June 26th, 2011, 06:30 AM   #2163
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^ Impressive, but not really comparable: that line is to be a non-stop run, essentially inconceivable for any country today that's not China. The expected slower speed would still have the 819 mile trip completed in 4 hours 48 minutes, a 172 mph average, but that's slower than the (very aggressive) Wuhan-Guangzhou North route's 194 mph average, an average speed I assumed for a worst-case alignment of 970 miles / 5 hour trip between New York and Chicago.
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Old June 26th, 2011, 06:44 AM   #2164
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnorian View Post
If US gets a HSR, won't TSA start checks there too?
Well, you can't steer a train into a building.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MarneGator View Post
^ Impressive, but not really comparable: that line is to be a non-stop run, essentially inconceivable for any country today that's not China. The expected slower speed would still have the 819 mile trip completed in 4 hours 48 minutes, a 172 mph average, but that's slower than the (very aggressive) Wuhan-Guangzhou North route's 194 mph average, an average speed I assumed for a worst-case alignment of 970 miles / 5 hour trip between New York and Chicago.
Is it really? There are 20-something stations between Beijing South and Shanghai Hongqiao.
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Old June 26th, 2011, 12:51 PM   #2165
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarneGator View Post
^ Impressive, but not really comparable: that line is to be a non-stop run, essentially inconceivable for any country today that's not China. The expected slower speed would still have the 819 mile trip completed in 4 hours 48 minutes, a 172 mph average, but that's slower than the (very aggressive) Wuhan-Guangzhou North route's 194 mph average, an average speed I assumed for a worst-case alignment of 970 miles / 5 hour trip between New York and Chicago.
The new time includes an extra stop at Nanjing on all services. Previously they would have had a 210 mph average speed. It may creep back up (maybe when Bombardier deliver the trains designed for this speed soon).

I checked and there are 107 flights from New York to Chicago tomorrow, using aircraft in the 150-180 seat class. These are non-stop. Capture that market and there is no reason that 30 non-stop trains each way per day won't be required. That's a half hourly schedule.

I very much doubt they'd take the 970 mile water level route of the 20th Century Limited. Tunnelling technology and train horsepower have improved a bit since then :-)
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Old June 26th, 2011, 06:01 PM   #2166
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Well, you can't steer a train into a building.
Well, you just need to try harder - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tr...nasse_1895.jpg

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Old June 26th, 2011, 06:42 PM   #2167
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I checked and there are 107 flights from New York to Chicago tomorrow, using aircraft in the 150-180 seat class. These are non-stop. Capture that market and there is no reason that 30 non-stop trains each way per day won't be required. That's a half hourly schedule.
You are assuming all passengers on those flights are travelling only between two cities, when many are connecting, as both cities are major North American hubs. If you have further fast trains connections, the same principle can work for HSR (ex: capturing part of the New York - Milwaukee market). Other way to make it work is to extend HSR service straight into airports, like some European airports have. That allows a smooth integration of HSR and air offers that increases competitiveness for both rail companies and airlines.

But without both, a Chicago Union - Penn. Station service will not capture all of that air market, not even maybe half of that market. And nothing guarantees airlines will not play hard, slash prices below the cost for the route and make it up with higher prices for other air routes, giving HSR a run for the money.
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Old June 26th, 2011, 06:44 PM   #2168
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Originally Posted by hoosier View Post
The terrain between Chicago and Cleveland is very flat, meaning a train could easily surpass 200 mph for most of this segment. East of Cleveland the terrain gets more hilly and almost all of Pennsylvania between Pittsburgh and Philly is mountainous. But if this country could blast a turnpike through this terrain over sixty years ago a HSL would be a piece of cake. The route from Harrisburgh to New York City is already fully grade separated and electrified.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike has curve radii as low as 600 yards and grades as high as 7,1%. You can't run a HSR under those parameters. Sure, you can blast a turnpike, but it will require lots of long tunnels and high viaducts if you want to retain high-speeds.
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Old June 26th, 2011, 06:47 PM   #2169
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Updated from the Amtrak Crash=> Authorities: 6 die in truck-train crash in Nevada

(CNN) -- Six people were killed when a tractor-trailer truck slammed into a Chicago-to-California Amtrak passenger train at a railroad crossing east of Reno, Nevada, authorities said late Saturday.

The death toll was released just as federal authorities said they were trying to account for passengers missing from the passenger train that was struck Friday at a railroad crossing near Lovelock, Nevada.

"No names are being released pending positive identification and notification of families," the Churchill County, Nevada, sheriff's department said in a written statement.

The National Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating, is trying to account for passengers listed on the manifest but not located after the crash, Earl Weener of the NTSB told reporters during a news conference late Saturday night in Sparks, Nevada.

In some cases, it is believed people got off the train earlier or bought a ticket but did not take the train, he said.

"There are a number of reasons that the manifest and that number don't jibe," Weener said.

The 10-car train, which was on its way to Emeryville, California, was carrying 204 passengers and 14 crew members, Amtrak said in a statement released Friday.

It was not immediately clear how many people were injured. Amtrak said that numerous people aboard the train had been taken to area hospitals for treatment.

Amateur video taken after the crash showed huge plumes of black smoke billowing from the train as a fire burned. Passengers and crew members stood outside.

One voice on the video can be heard telling people to get away from the smoke. Another tells a woman, out of view, to "hang and jump." A third voice asks someone, "Are you OK?"

"Next thing I know, we get hit by something. A big ball of fire comes in. I jumped out the window," passenger Justin Rhine told CNN affiliate KOLO-TV in Reno. "I saw people flying on the other side of the train."

Skid marks show the driver of the truck slammed on his brakes, sliding more than 300 feet before hitting the train, sparking a fire, Weener said. The fire burned the truck and two train cars, he said.

The initial investigation found the signal light and crossing guard arms were working, and that there was good visibility of the train tracks from the road, he said.

The truck was the lead in a three-truck convoy as it approached the train tracks, Weener said.

The two following saw the train signal and slowed to stop, "waiting for him to come to stop," he said.

Though the driver of the truck has not been identified, Weener said the truck belonged to John Davies Trucking of Battle Mountain, Nevada.

The trucking company, which advertises itself as family-owned business that hauls concrete, did not immediately respond to a CNN request for comment.

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Old June 26th, 2011, 06:51 PM   #2170
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Strange accident. Signs were working, and the truck slammed itself into the train, not the other way.

Yet, the strong crashworthiness requirements from FRA proved once again valuable: the train card didn't roll over, and the train remained more or less impact if not by the fire, allowing more people to escape.
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Old June 26th, 2011, 07:13 PM   #2171
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
You are assuming all passengers on those flights are travelling only between two cities, when many are connecting, as both cities are major North American hubs. If you have further fast trains connections, the same principle can work for HSR (ex: capturing part of the New York - Milwaukee market). Other way to make it work is to extend HSR service straight into airports, like some European airports have. That allows a smooth integration of HSR and air offers that increases competitiveness for both rail companies and airlines.

But without both, a Chicago Union - Penn. Station service will not capture all of that air market, not even maybe half of that market. And nothing guarantees airlines will not play hard, slash prices below the cost for the route and make it up with higher prices for other air routes, giving HSR a run for the money.
On the Chicago-NY Penn route as you pointed out that passengers taking flights between these two cities are often travelling/connecting from other cities thereby making it uncompetitve vis-vis airlines. However all high speed train between these cities will not be non-stop trains. There are several cities like toledo, cleveland, pittsburgh, philadelphia which can be served by these trains this routes. Additionally many trains need not run the whole distance. The high speed trains can still be competitive on this sector even if they cannot capture all the airline passengers.
Coming to the airlines, they are probably being stretched now even without competition from other modes. Did we forget the extra baggage fee and a few days ago a "boarding pass fee". So even if the airlines fought back with lower fares on competitive routes and higher ones on non competitive ones, it is possible the math would not work in their favor. And if it did work there would be an public uproar in the non-competitive areas where they would be having monopolies/market domination.
However I agree that there has to be smooth integration for both HSR and airlines. The major international/hub airports should be a part of the HSR network (assuming a network is being built in their vicinity) and the airlines should be made partners in running the train services (connecting or otherwise)
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Old June 26th, 2011, 08:38 PM   #2172
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAnalyst View Post
Is it really? There are 20-something stations between Beijing South and Shanghai Hongqiao.
Oops! I misread a bit regarding that line: I took one of the supposed scheduled nonstop trains as representative for all trains. All said and done, the average running speed for the Shanghai-Beijing route is only 8% faster than the Wuhan-Guangzhou North so the initial basic premise we've batting around wouldn't substantially change; another station allowed, a cheaper (longer) route or so, but if it couldn't be achieved at an average of 194 mph, it probably couldn't be achieved at 210 mph.

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I checked and there are 107 flights from New York to Chicago tomorrow, using aircraft in the 150-180 seat class. These are non-stop. Capture that market and there is no reason that 30 non-stop trains each way per day won't be required. That's a half hourly schedule.

I very much doubt they'd take the 970 mile water level route of the 20th Century Limited. Tunnelling technology and train horsepower have improved a bit since then :-)
More or less what Suburbanist said, but also that if you were building this route, it's competing with existing airlines and that needs to be taken into account. New York to Chicago is on the long side of conventional HSR reach (again assuming ~200 mph average) so to just begin justifying that level of expenditure against an established mode of transport one needs to maximize patronage, hence utilizing a NY to Philly route before hitting a major spot like Pittsburgh on the way to the Windy City. Plenty of people with go nonstop, but the intermediary passengers will be of significant importance.
Are we derailing this thread? Should we move the discussion to the US HSR thread?
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Old June 27th, 2011, 01:50 AM   #2173
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More or less what Suburbanist said, but also that if you were building this route, it's competing with existing airlines and that needs to be taken into account. New York to Chicago is on the long side of conventional HSR reach (again assuming ~200 mph average) so to just begin justifying that level of expenditure against an established mode of transport one needs to maximize patronage, hence utilizing a NY to Philly route before hitting a major spot like Pittsburgh on the way to the Windy City. Plenty of people with go nonstop, but the intermediary passengers will be of significant importance.
Are we derailing this thread? Should we move the discussion to the US HSR thread?
I am curious to know how many days has Chicago had average delays of more than an hour or two? Sure while the air trip would beat the train most days, when thunderstorms force planes to divert, having an HSR system could allow a reasonable diversion and get passengers to their destinations from other airports. I see it as a redundancy incase of severe storms since lightning does not effect HSR trains. (AFAIK) I do wonder about how much of the traffic is O&D and how much is connecting. I do know there are many shuttle flights with 100 seat aircraft from NYC-Chicago during the weekdays so it can attract buisness customers. I think it is a wait and see of how viable Chicago-NYC via HSR will be since you would need a high-speed connection and the most direct route to Pittsburg, a Pittsburg-Harrisburg high-speed line, the a new branch from Harrisburg-NYC. Is it really worth it? At this point, who knows? Realistically, we need more information.
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Old June 27th, 2011, 05:06 PM   #2174
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Strange accident. Signs were working, and the truck slammed itself into the train, not the other way.

Yet, the strong crashworthiness requirements from FRA proved once again valuable: the train card didn't roll over, and the train remained more or less impact if not by the fire, allowing more people to escape.
Rather, a reason for more grade separation.
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Old June 27th, 2011, 10:51 PM   #2175
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Research commissioned by Caltrain favours modern European trainsets with crumple zones over the more rigid FRA-compliant rolling stock. An FRA-compliant passenger car failed a computer simulation of a European crash test because of its inadequate crumple zone.
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Old June 28th, 2011, 02:49 AM   #2176
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Research commissioned by Caltrain favours modern European trainsets with crumple zones over the more rigid FRA-compliant rolling stock. An FRA-compliant passenger car failed a computer simulation of a European crash test because of its inadequate crumple zone.
Well, I believe rolling stock are not designed to resist powerful strikes from sides. 99% accidents come from the rear or front of car, so I suppose they are the zones actually protected by train design.

According to above, I assume European car wouldn't be better in a such situation.

Correct me, if I'm wrong.
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Old August 13th, 2011, 06:42 PM   #2177
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Old August 14th, 2011, 10:01 PM   #2178
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The Pennsylvania Turnpike has curve radii as low as 600 yards and grades as high as 7,1%. You can't run a HSR under those parameters. Sure, you can blast a turnpike, but it will require lots of long tunnels and high viaducts if you want to retain high-speeds.
The turnpike requires lots of tunnels moron. I've driven it many times. Try learning about something before pontificating with your warped road ***** ideology.
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Old August 14th, 2011, 10:21 PM   #2179
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The turnpike requires lots of tunnels moron. I've driven it many times. Try learning about something before pontificating with your warped road ***** ideology.
First, there is no reason for personal insults.

Second, I'm discussing engineering, not ideology. Any road, by design, can cope with much tighter curves and higher grades because of the inherent technical characteristics of road vehicles (power, traction etc. etc).

Sure PA Turnpike and many roads have tunnels, but they are usually further apart and fewer than a similar design speed railroad.

That has nothing to do with ideology, or the convenience of lack thereof to build railways. It is just an explanation for hilly/mountainous terrain is usually more "road friendly" than "rail friendly" for construction in terms of costs. It says nothing about whether mountainous railways should be built or not.

Some places have high-performance railroad despite mountains, others don't. This is especially concerning regional systems in areas like the Appalachians, where old alignments were originally designed for no more than 30mph in many sectors. To improve such sector to be able to carry rail traffic at 50mph, for instance, it might take a lot of money, not usually feasible in a context of less populated areas.
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Old August 14th, 2011, 10:22 PM   #2180
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Just a short little aside, and maybe to address MarneGator's concern, I'd agree with the general implication that a Chicago-NYC HSR route seems obvious, if a bit on the long side using conventional technology, but before we could really even consider such a service, we'd have to get people comfortable with using passenger rail service on less ambitious (and economically-crucial) routes. Therefore, it makes more sense to focus on regional improvements rather than new interregional trains at present.

...Was that a good segue to the general railways topic?
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