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Old July 29th, 2008, 03:49 AM   #621
eMKay
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Well America has spent nearly $700 BILLION in Iraq and there are plenty of politicians supporting that ******* war so your argument is shit.
That's different, that money is an investment that ensures a steady supply of oil, which is vital to the survival of our economy.
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Old July 29th, 2008, 04:14 AM   #622
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I hope theres some sarcasm in that statement. Last I checked this war has cost us $1 trillion already, except we didn't spend the money we borrowed, so now China and Japan and the like own a good portion of our equity. Last I heard one of the hallmark Republican issues is fiscal responsibility, is it just me or is going trillions of dollars in debt and turning large surpluses into massive shortfalls fiscally irresponsible? This is the first time in history that the government has cut taxes well fighting a war, and I'd say it hasn't gone to well.
You know what else you can do for a trillion dollars? How about repair and replace almost every bit of infrastructure in the country, or fix and replace the ones that really need it and pay for education and health care, or cut down the deficit substantially.

Petroleum reserves will dry up before to long anyway. I don't know why were not switching to electric and hydrogen fuel cell cars. If a Tesla roadster can 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds and hit 160 mph with a glorified laptop battery then why can't we do everything electric?
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Old July 29th, 2008, 05:05 AM   #623
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I'm sure it's been mentioned (but I've only read half the thread due to tiredness)

but a distant American relative once told me long distance HSR in America was hampered by the fact that a large proportion of the Amtrak's funding comes from the state level. This would in turn put off sparsely populated mid western states funding any such scheme because Due to their large size they would have to spend a greater amount on infrastructure yet would receive a much smaller revenue from it than more densely populated states.

Is that part of it?

P.S that Californian HSR looked incredible.
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Old July 29th, 2008, 09:25 AM   #624
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I don't know why were not switching to electric and hydrogen fuel cell cars. If a Tesla roadster can 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds and hit 160 mph with a glorified laptop battery then why can't we do everything electric?
Because a normal consumer could buy a Porsche AND enough gas to drive it for 5 years for less than what a Tesla Roadster costs to buy?

There's a reason why cars don't use lithium-polymer batteries. If you want to see why, try puncturing one with a screwdriver sometime (or watch some videos of people doing it on Youtube). Gas CAN ignite in a major, catastrophic wreck... but there's a reason why it usually makes the lead story on the evening news when it actually happens -- it's really a pretty rare event. Most accidents DON'T end with an explosively-burning car. Now, ask yourself... if you had 9 cubic feet of lithium-polymer battery in your car, do you REALLY want to be within 100 feet of that car when it finally gets rear-ended by someone?
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Old July 29th, 2008, 11:41 AM   #625
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It is always unfair to use direct comparisons between brand new technology and old technology like normal cars.

Re the economic discussion and the ability of the Bush administration to find funding - from teh UK Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008...selections2008
Quote:
The economy has now supplanted Iraq as the dominant campaign issue. The summit coincided with an expected announcement from the Bush administration that the US budget deficit is set to rise to a record $482bn (£241bn) next year, compared with the $407bn Bush predicted in February. The rise is mainly a result of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars but also a consequence of an expected drop in tax revenue as a result of the looming recession.
So within 6 months an extra $75bn has just disappeared from the USA's balance sheet. Frankly I'm not surprised they can't fund anything useful, mainly because Chevron and Halliburton don't do anything useful apart from oil and oil related gun-running. As these companies don't do railroads there's little hope of serious government funding IMO.
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Old July 30th, 2008, 06:18 AM   #626
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eMKay View Post
That's different, that money is an investment that ensures a steady supply of oil, which is vital to the survival of our economy.
you are bamboozled man. we cannot help you...
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Old July 30th, 2008, 10:38 AM   #627
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http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=224249

Durbin pushes trains, not planes

With airlines cutting flights and jobs, travelers need a Plan B using ground transportation, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin says.

The downstate Democrat introduced legislation Tuesday intended to encourage rail travel. It is aimed at replacing Amtrak's older train cars and revitalizing their manufacture in the United States.

The Train CARS Act seeks to encourage foreign train car builders to set up shop domestically and offers tax incentives to American companies to open manufacturing centers here. It also would provide grants to Amtrak to buy new equipment.

Durbin is the #2 senate Democrat for what it is/isn't worth.
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Old July 30th, 2008, 04:03 PM   #628
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Thats basically it. I think the California HSR proposal follows this concept - I can't see how it could possibly be viable unless everything is entirely separated. It doesn't mean that the HSR couldn't share stations and some existing corridors, but that it would have to have segregated tracks. However thats not really that hard. London to Paris HSR is effectively on segregated tracks - even the approaches to Paris which are shared with local traffic has been remodelled for the TGV and it can be seen from google earth that the TGV tracks remain pretty much separate. There are a few links here and there, but these aren't fundemental to the operation of the railway, and the route could quite easily have been concieved as entirely segregated.
Mmmwell, Elfa, but you miss one essential point: one reason that 30 years ago the French government plumped for the TGV technology - rather than, for example, MagLev with which they had also experimented - was the interoperability with the existing rail network. You know as well as I do that a lot of the French highspeed trains serve to connect smallish provincial towns with Paris. Some 25-50% of the trip on conventional lines, then onto the HSL and whoooosh, off it goes toward the big city. If the Californians have to limit themselves to one dedicated track between two cities (plus obviously the towns en route) because the highspeed trains are not approved for mixed lines then they are going to lose a lot of options and a lot of flexibility.

Last edited by hans280; July 31st, 2008 at 10:31 AM.
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Old July 31st, 2008, 02:28 AM   #629
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Exactly. Which is why California SHOULD be trying to round up support for reforming the FRA regulations that make HSR an "all or nothing" proposition.

Imagine how much cheaper, and more importantly... how much more USEFUL.. the line would be if they were allowed to build an all-HSR corridor from LA to San Francisco (maybe continuing to San Diego and/or Sacramento someday), but were ALSO allowed to run the same trains at 80mph (hell, even 60mph) on mixed tracks between the HSR mainline and cities like Burbank or Palm Springs. Cities that would easily generate plenty of new business if they had transfer-free convenience and local stations, but would NEVER (this century) generate enough revenue to justify a brand-new HSR corridor just for them. It would make the cost of the HSR mainline more palatable by generating a lot more viable use cases and opportunities to spread the cost around more daily trains.
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Old July 31st, 2008, 02:29 AM   #630
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well i think the federal government should step in, and pay a part of the cost of regional or national rail systems...it is very hard for states or cities to fund a large rail system project.
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Old July 31st, 2008, 12:50 PM   #631
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hans280 View Post
Mmmwell, Elfa, but you miss one essential point: one reason that 30 years ago the French government plumped for the TGV technology - rather than, for example, MagLev with which they had also experimented - was the interoperability with the existing rail network. You know as well as I do that a lot of the French highspeed trains serve to connect smallish provincial towns with Paris. Some 25-50% of the trip on conventional lines, then onto the HSL and whoooosh, off it goes toward the big city. If the Californians have to limit themselves to one dedicated track between two cities (plus obviously the towns en route) because the highspeed trains are not approved for mixed lines then they are going to lose a lot of options and a lot of flexibility.
Dude I'm really not missing any point. They may not have a choice for the reasons I stated. Not my decision, I'm just stating a fact. The reason I stated that it isn't viable is not because that wouldn't be the best thing to do, which it would as I have advocated loads on other threads, but because of the regulations which are the reality on the ground for this project. Also, there's hardly an existing network that compares with France's in the 70s anyway, none of it is electrified, so its not as big a loss anyway.

Last edited by elfabyanos; July 31st, 2008 at 01:18 PM.
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 09:32 AM   #632
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They might want to talk to the California High Speed Rail authority and using the Siemens trains that are used throughout the world and can do around 220 mph. This might be an opportunity to promote the use of rails and revitalize the rail network. Say, why not give some of that subsidy to California so that they can start building their HSR?
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 11:34 PM   #633
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They might want to talk to the California High Speed Rail authority and using the Siemens trains that are used throughout the world and can do around 220 mph. This might be an opportunity to promote the use of rails and revitalize the rail network. Say, why not give some of that subsidy to California so that they can start building their HSR?
That would seem sensible. Only two problems though:

1) Most of the US rail network isn't electrified

2) The Velaro wouldn't meet the Federal Railroad Administration's crash standards for use on existing lines. (It might though be a possibility for HSR in California which will be completely separate from existing tracks.)
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Old August 3rd, 2008, 02:09 AM   #634
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California High Speed Rail Authority was planning on building its own set of tracks and rebuilding some of the existing rail infrastructure to grade separated while building its own lines. That way, with its own dedicated track, there are only delays if their track goes down and will not be dependent on freight network rails which is one of the issues of the U.S. rail network and Canada.
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Old August 8th, 2008, 11:23 PM   #635
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http://abclocal.go.com/wtvd/story?se...cal&id=6305905


Tuesday, August 05, 2008 | 7:45 AM
By Tim Nelson

RALEIGH, NC (WTVD) -- There's a good chance you've lived in Raleigh for years and noticed the Amtrak station.

It's in a great location, just blocks from the heart of downtown Raleigh, but it's lightly used and largely unnoticed. But city leaders say the future for Raleigh rail is on a much different, much faster track.

"We are all very excited about high-speed," says Raleigh City Planning Director Mitchell Silver.

He's talking about high-speed as in as in high-speed rail -- like they have already connecting cities like Boston, New York and Philadelphia.


Amtrak wants to build a line that would zoom back and forth between Washington, D.C.; Richmond, Va.; Raleigh, Charlotte and Atlanta.

"It will open up Raleigh as a hub on the East Coast, along with some of the other major hubs and really provide an alternative to taking the plane or driving, so it's really attractive to the city of Raleigh," Silver says.

It's an attractive idea, but one with its share of challenges. A very preliminary study by the state and federal governments suggests closing several key downtown intersections to make way for high speed rail. Those intersections include, but are not limited to, Jones Street at West Street and North Street at Harrington Street.

Amtrak wants to eliminate crossing arms and create places where cars would cross a high-speed rail line, preferring a so-called "sealed corridor" for the line.

Some worry that might cut downtown off from Glenwood South -- not a good thing, according to the mayor. "The character of areas needs to be kept, particularly in Glenwood South, which is developing into not only a nightspot and commercial corridor but also residential corridor, so we need to be sure that area has walkability, not too much noise and it all fits in together," Mayor Charles Meeker says.

There is confidence that compromises between Amtrak and the city can be worked out in the years to come, and the hope is to have high-speed rail running through the Capital City by 2017.

Tuesday the city council will review a letter from Mayor Meeker to the NCDOT and Amtrak, voicing his concerns about their preliminary study.
(Copyright ©2008 WTVD-TV/DT. All Rights
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Old August 8th, 2008, 11:26 PM   #636
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Couldn't they bypass the tracks with a few overpasses and create a grade separated intersection or have the roads go under the tracks?
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Old August 11th, 2008, 08:39 AM   #637
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Couldn't they bypass the tracks with a few overpasses and create a grade separated intersection or have the roads go under the tracks?
That would require public funds being spent, and in this era of conservative government when tax revenues are slashed via tax cuts and the remaining funds are spent on unholy wars, it is of no coincidence that the government claims there is not enough money for such a project. Of course that argument is bullshit, it is just that conservates are loathe to spend tax dollars for the public good, because it doesn't enrich their crony campaign contributors.
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Old August 11th, 2008, 10:41 PM   #638
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As always as I have seen, when any solution to a problem comes up, the most money needs to be spent and the stupidest solution to it as well.
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Old August 30th, 2008, 02:04 AM   #639
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Originally Posted by hoosier View Post
That would require public funds being spent, and in this era of conservative government when tax revenues are slashed via tax cuts and the remaining funds are spent on unholy wars, it is of no coincidence that the government claims there is not enough money for such a project. Of course that argument is bullshit, it is just that conservates are loathe to spend tax dollars for the public good, because it doesn't enrich their crony campaign contributors.
You are generalizing quite a bit, there. "Conservative" can encompass quite a lot, and there have got to be a lot of rational conservatives who realize that the future of transportation is not by automobile.
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Old September 12th, 2008, 08:21 PM   #640
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Amtrak supporters urge completion of funding bill held up by senator despite broad support
10 September 2008

WASHINGTON (AP) - Supporters of Amtrak in Congress are urging their colleagues to complete a key piece of legislation for the railroad.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., who sponsored the bill to authorize $1.9 billion per year for Amtrak for six years, joined several colleagues and business leaders at a news conference Wednesday at Washington's Union Station.

Versions of the bill have passed in both the House and the Senate by veto-proof margins. The two chambers now need to hammer out a compromise bill, but Oklahoma Republican Tom Coburn has blocked the appointment of negotiators in the Senate.

Coburn spokesman Don Tatro says Coburn doesn't believe taxpayers should subsidize what he regards as Amtrak's inefficiency.

Lautenberg says supporting Amtrak is essential to help people cope with congestion and high gas prices.
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