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Old July 18th, 2008, 10:03 PM   #541
Slartibartfas
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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
The US is a huge country. Rail isn't so feasible except in the heavily populated areas where cities are close to each other such as the Northeast's Washington - New York - Philly - Boston corridor. Once the distance is over 1000km (or perhaps even half of that), then the cost of high-speed rail would be absolutely ridiculous. Air is the best way to connect everyone.
Thats the usual lame excuse. No one asks for a nation wide gap free network. There are several large regions in the US with sufficient density. They all lack appropriate High speed service.

The highspeed corridor map, urbanimpact posted above, shows how the network could already look today. The lack of density argument simply does not work there.
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Old July 18th, 2008, 10:06 PM   #542
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You can be proud at your rail system for goods actually. However your passenger rail system is indeed pathetic for a wealthy country as the US is one.

Why MUST we have a very well developed rail system? It's pathetic because it hasn't been developed. God forbid we don't do everything like Europe.

We designed our system around cars for close travels, and our enormous air travel system for longer trips. It worked fine for us for decades, and is now coming under pressure because of rising oil prices.

Yes it needs to be addressed and we're currently in trouble, but so many people are acting like since we didn't use the high speed rail scenario when we developed transportation in the country that we're BASTARDS.

We developed air and auto over train. We chose to do it and even though it has its problems, that's what we settled on decades ago. SORRY. I'd love to have a local high speed rail system in place, but I'm a little annoyed at all the high and mighty people who just wander through these threads bashing and yelling at the Americans now that our transportation needs to be addressed.
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Old July 18th, 2008, 10:07 PM   #543
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I'm sure Big Oil, Big Car, Big Toll, etc have a lot of lobby power within the government. They wouldn't be happy.
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Old July 18th, 2008, 10:08 PM   #544
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New Orleans - Atlanta are 663 km away from each other, even if the actual high speed track should be a bit longer, its still within feasible HSL distance. Paris - Marseille is also beyond 700 km and works within an attractive time scheme. The size of the cities seems somewhat large enough as well.
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Old July 18th, 2008, 10:10 PM   #545
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Atlanta - NO is what? 700 Kms? Would take two hours by train, city to city. Getting to an airport and checking in takes about as long. After that a one hour flight, getting your luggage back, explain that your toothpaste is not a bomb, finding a cab to get from the airport to the city...
This is the one area I don't agree with about from HSR enthusiast (in which I count myself). People talk about how in HSR lines there is not the security hastel of airports. Well yes, but it is not a question of if but when such an open target would be attacked in order to create many causalities on a train going 150-200mph would allow. Not to mention it is much harder to defend against sabotage of thousands of miles of rail compared to planes which are relative sabotage free (unless if one gets into a cockpit as we have found).

The first bomb or couple that would go off though on a train you will see airportesque type security for trains as well, its inevitable. From a security standpoint there is hardly any advantage.
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Old July 18th, 2008, 10:20 PM   #546
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Why MUST we have a very well developed rail system? It's pathetic because it hasn't been developed. God forbid we don't do everything like Europe.
Because it would be reasonable to have one. Its not like only Europe has HSL, pretty much every developed country has, except for some small exceptions and the US. (yeah I know you have Acela ) But not enough of that, also quite some developing countries are starting to get them as well.

The US does start to rethink as well, but it might be left behind a global trend if it does not act soon.

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We designed our system around cars for close travels, and our enormous air travel system for longer trips. It worked fine for us for decades, and is now coming under pressure because of rising oil prices.

Yes it needs to be addressed and we're currently in trouble, but so many people are acting like since we didn't use the high speed rail scenario when we developed transportation in the country that we're BASTARDS.
Thats what you say, not me.
I think the state subsidized absolute car centrism and taking away the chance for people to choose up to date alternatives was a big error. You will start to feel the consequences now. The air is getting congested by planes, and the fuel price rises which hardly came by surprise. The totally car centric culture will become unsustainable and pure wealth wasting luxury.

You can't build a good HSL and rail network overnight, so its high time to start now.

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We developed air and auto over train. We chose to do it and even though it has its problems, that's what we settled on decades ago. SORRY. I'd love to have a local high speed rail system in place, but I'm a little annoyed at all the high and mighty people who just wander through these threads bashing and yelling at the Americans now that our transportation needs to be addressed.
You don't have to be sorry, its in first line your problem. In second line you pollute however the same world that also we happen to inhabit. So you do have a certain responsability as well. Even though it looked like you gave shit about that for a long time.

I am not bashing America for this, or where have I?
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Old July 18th, 2008, 10:23 PM   #547
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Yeah, a national network isn't going to be feasible given current technology but a series of regional networks should be. I think that map posted might be a bit too ambitious initially but I can see some of those routes being worthwhile as long as there are connections within the cities to get people to where they want to end up.

Boston-Washington (possibly Montreal as a start point)

Miami-Tampa/Orlando

A network feeding into Chicago (including from Toronto) which could be connected to the Bo-Wash-Mon line if it proved successful.

Sacramento-San Diego

San Antonio-Dallas

Portland-Vancouver

These should all be possible I would think if the will was there.

Don't forget that replacing regional flights will also free up slots at busy airports for longer distance travel so it will save money on airport expansions over time.

However resources are always going to be limited and you have to balance the cost of these routes against improving commuter rail/trams/buses, local freeways etc Just because it looks nice to have something on paper doesn't mean it's always the best way to spend scarce money when you also consider the alternatives.
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Old July 18th, 2008, 10:24 PM   #548
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This is the one area I don't agree with about from HSR enthusiast (in which I count myself). People talk about how in HSR lines there is not the security hastel of airports. Well yes, but it is not a question of if but when such an open target would be attacked in order to create many causalities on a train going 150-200mph would allow. Not to mention it is much harder to defend against sabotage of thousands of miles of rail compared to planes which are relative sabotage free (unless if one gets into a cockpit as we have found).

The first bomb or couple that would go off though on a train you will see airportesque type security for trains as well, its inevitable. From a security standpoint there is hardly any advantage.
The good old terrorist argument. Nuclear power plants are a far larger risk btw, even if they are guarded.

With the same argument you can oppose public squares, cinemas, shopping malls etc etc Not to forget that the entire NYC metro should be closed down due to it as well. If you let terrorism rob you important services of your life, I guess you have already surrenderd to them.
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Old July 18th, 2008, 10:43 PM   #549
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Originally Posted by nomarandlee View Post
This is the one area I don't agree with about from HSR enthusiast (in which I count myself). People talk about how in HSR lines there is not the security hastel of airports. Well yes, but it is not a question of if but when such an open target would be attacked in order to create many causalities on a train going 150-200mph would allow. Not to mention it is much harder to defend against sabotage of thousands of miles of rail compared to planes which are relative sabotage free (unless if one gets into a cockpit as we have found).

The first bomb or couple that would go off though on a train you will see airportesque type security for trains as well, its inevitable. From a security standpoint there is hardly any advantage.
This is a good point in some ways but a bomb in a train will probably leave survivors, in other carriages at least, rail accidents tend to have a lower fatlity ratio than planes. If a plane gets blown up at 10,000m you are dead unless a miracle happens.

However I think that airports are at the moment going for overkill in security compared to trains, most high speed trains in europe have virtually no checks before boarding, even the London-Paris Eurostar which does have checks simply scans your bag and checks ID, it's recommended that you arrrive no later than 30 mins before departure.

Heathrow airport however recommends arriving 1 hour before take-off for UK/Ireland flights, 2 hours for European flights, 3 hours for long-haul flights and if you're flying El-Al, 3.5 hours!! Maybe a London-Tel-Aviv HSR might work

In any case both HSR and planes are the safest forms of transport that exist, I think i'm right in saying that there hasn't been a single fatality on the French TGV network since it started in the early 1980s, compare that to the number of road deaths in that period!!
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Old July 18th, 2008, 10:52 PM   #550
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Originally Posted by Slartibartfas View Post
The good old terrorist argument. Nuclear power plants are a far larger risk btw, even if they are guarded.

With the same argument you can oppose public squares, cinemas, shopping malls etc etc Not to forget that the entire NYC metro should be closed down due to it as well. If you let terrorism rob you important services of your life, I guess you have already surrenderd to them.
It is not an argument for the sake of an argument, its complete common sense. Why would you think that trains would be less vulnerable to an attack and once that attack happens why would authorities be more nonchalant about allaying public fears with the steps to ensuring "the public safety" then they do currently with airports?

Your point about nuclear power plants has much to do about nothing. Such an attack could very well be a bigger potential danger and need better protection yet the public doesn't chose to go buy a ticket to a nuclear plant routinely and more importantly there yet been a successful detrimental attack on a plant yet. If there is at all what is perceived to be a successful attack on a nuclear power plant then you better beleive there will be calls for more robust defenses.

I guess you think that we have "let the terrorist win" because we do security checks at airports that we shouldn't be doing just becuase they can attack malls or buses but I find that just to be rhetoric. The reality is that much of the public or politicans will expect security to be beefed up at choke points like train terminals where experiance has shown there is intention to attack. Rails are no differant then planes in this regard. Most indivuals don't prefer getting didmembered a dozen ways over a pair of tracks anymore then they care for falling rapidly 30k feet into the sky.
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Old July 18th, 2008, 11:00 PM   #551
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This is a good point in some ways but a bomb in a train will probably leave survivors, in other carriages at least, rail accidents tend to have a lower fatlity ratio than planes. If a plane gets blown up at 10,000m you are dead unless a miracle happens.

However I think that airports are at the moment going for overkill in security compared to trains, most high speed trains in europe have virtually no checks before boarding, even the London-Paris Eurostar which does have checks simply scans your bag and checks ID, it's recommended that you arrrive no later than 30 mins before departure.

Heathrow airport however recommends arriving 1 hour before take-off for UK/Ireland flights, 2 hours for European flights, 3 hours for long-haul flights and if you're flying El-Al, 3.5 hours!! Maybe a London-Tel-Aviv HSR might work

In any case both HSR and planes are the safest forms of transport that exist, I think i'm right in saying that there hasn't been a single fatality on the French TGV network since it started in the early 1980s, compare that to the number of road deaths in that period!!
Miraculously man plane accidents leave survivors as well. If you put any train going 200mph and get it thrown of its tracks there will be a crap load of deaths, yes there will be survivors but who is to say you will be one?

Yes, there haven't been any accidents on a TGV network but if I was into explosives and wanted to cause damages and fatalities would I like to take my chances sabotaging a TGV line or trying to get on a commercial flight? Its a morbid topic which I don't like to discuss but for me the one option would be obvious and I think its inevitable. We have already seen it happen in India a few times I think yet without the fast speed of HSR.
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Old July 19th, 2008, 12:40 AM   #552
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You should suggest it.

They could do with some new ideas 99% of their bombers in the west seem to be incompetent

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Old July 19th, 2008, 01:09 AM   #553
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Actually, trains are faster than planes in some cases:

Remember that a journey is not just the time it takes from when the airplane pulls away from the gate until touchdown... it is the WHOLE journey door to door. (ie: your home to the office of the client in a neighbouring city who you have a business meeting with)

So by plane, your journey is like this:

1) Drive to the airport which may be many many miles away. Be sure that you arrive with plenty of time to allow for check in. 2) Proceed through the security checks and wait in the lounge for the boarding calls 3) Get on the plane 4) Fly to destination 5) Get off plane and wait for bags off carousel if applicable (because that stylus on your blackberry might be used as a weapon ) 6) Get cab from remote airport into downtown clients office.

Now by train, the equation might be a little different:

1) Drive to train station, if European cities are anything to go by, they are usually relatively centralised locations, not many miles out of town 2) Buy ticket 3) Get on next available train 4) Ride train to destination 5) Get off train at destination, complete with your blackberry 6) Catch a cab to nearby office (if it isn't quicker to walk)

For longer distance travel, I would suggest plane is still going to be much much faster obviously, but for travel to relatively adjacent cities, eg: Kansas City to St Louis, or Chicago to Cleveland etc, then a decent rail network would actually work out faster and more convenient.

The big limiting factor is as someone pointed out earlier, the US doesn't have a good rail network right now and it would cost insane amounts to buy land in the denser areas to built stations and tracks.
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Old July 19th, 2008, 03:57 AM   #554
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I also see this hypocricy/carelessness with rail security . If rail/hsr rail is not entirely separated from the outside world with guards , fences with cameras and sensors on them it is very accessible . And just trying to derail something does not need complicated science skills and the material needed for it can basically be found for free without anyone ever missing it or even noticing it. Hsr makes this worse. Remember the German ice incident with the sheep. Everyone knows it , I can live with it am not avoiding rail because of it. Public transit is entirely unprotected and there have been several incidents. Why is it People historically have been so fixated on airplane security? Planes being able to be steered everything when hijacked? How serious were nucear incidents with hijacked planes considered 20/30 years ago??? Notorious political hijackings in the 70s? The different mentalities to rail and airplane security looks totally arbitary to me...
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Old July 19th, 2008, 05:58 AM   #555
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I also see this hypocricy/carelessness with rail security . If rail/hsr rail is not entirely separated from the outside world with guards , fences with cameras and sensors on them it is very accessible . And just trying to derail something does not need complicated science skills and the material needed for it can basically be found for free without anyone ever missing it or even noticing it. Hsr makes this worse. Remember the German ice incident with the sheep. Everyone knows it , I can live with it am not avoiding rail because of it. Public transit is entirely unprotected and there have been several incidents. Why is it People historically have been so fixated on airplane security? Planes being able to be steered everything when hijacked? How serious were nucear incidents with hijacked planes considered 20/30 years ago??? Notorious political hijackings in the 70s? The different mentalities to rail and airplane security looks totally arbitary to me...
The principle difference is, a train is on a rather fixed path as compared to a plane.
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Old July 19th, 2008, 06:03 AM   #556
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Thats the usual lame excuse. No one asks for a nation wide gap free network. There are several large regions in the US with sufficient density. They all lack appropriate High speed service.

The highspeed corridor map, urbanimpact posted above, shows how the network could already look today. The lack of density argument simply does not work there.
So the density is worth a $15 billion * 2 = 30 billion cost based on the THSR actuals?
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Old July 19th, 2008, 08:51 AM   #557
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Miraculously man plane accidents leave survivors as well. If you put any train going 200mph and get it thrown of its tracks there will be a crap load of deaths, yes there will be survivors but who is to say you will be one?

Yes, there haven't been any accidents on a TGV network but if I was into explosives and wanted to cause damages and fatalities would I like to take my chances sabotaging a TGV line or trying to get on a commercial flight? Its a morbid topic which I don't like to discuss but for me the one option would be obvious and I think its inevitable. We have already seen it happen in India a few times I think yet without the fast speed of HSR.
If you were really determined you could also blow up a highway, that's going to cause deaths as well. Are you saying that that possibility makes car travel unfeasible in your country?
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Old July 19th, 2008, 08:57 AM   #558
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So the density is worth a $15 billion * 2 = 30 billion cost based on the THSR actuals?
Beats me - it's not my country, it's theirs. I'm just pointing out that there are many routes in the US that are perfectly comparable to Europe's/Japan's/etc.'s successful high speed routes, and that the US, as a country, can hardly be called poor.
How much good transport is worth to them is their choice to make, not mine.
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Old July 19th, 2008, 02:10 PM   #559
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So the density is worth a $15 billion * 2 = 30 billion cost based on the THSR actuals?
Whats the THSR? Taiwan high speed rail?
Yes the density along at least most of those corridors above is worth to spend the money that is needed for that task. If the numbers you quoted above are representative in that context is beyond my knowledge.

Alone in the last few years billions of dollars have been wasted for tasks that brought little to no benefit for the US. Moreover was the Highway system not built for free either.

But I have to agree to a certain extend to Koen Acacia. Its the Americans choice in first place. The point is only that its not that they have no suitable corridors but in the opposite they lack simply the will to built such system. Still it seems many (not all though) dont want to stand straight for that lack of will and make lame excuses that the US is, what a pitty, not suitable for it at all.
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Old July 19th, 2008, 06:31 PM   #560
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Whats the THSR? Taiwan high speed rail?
Yes the density along at least most of those corridors above is worth to spend the money that is needed for that task. If the numbers you quoted above are representative in that context is beyond my knowledge.

Alone in the last few years billions of dollars have been wasted for tasks that brought little to no benefit for the US. Moreover was the Highway system not built for free either.

But I have to agree to a certain extend to Koen Acacia. Its the Americans choice in first place. The point is only that its not that they have no suitable corridors but in the opposite they lack simply the will to built such system. Still it seems many (not all though) dont want to stand straight for that lack of will and make lame excuses that the US is, what a pitty, not suitable for it at all.
Yes, THSR is the Taiwanese high speed rail project. Korea's KTX also had significant cost overruns, which is why I am doubtful 2 non-primary American cities would be in line for such a multi-billion dollar investment. Considering past government support for such big projects such as Boston's Big Dig was not a very pleasant experience, I highly doubt politicians would want their names behind anything supporting such a huge expenditure. 30 billion dollars is a lot of money.
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