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Old January 19th, 2007, 07:53 AM   #81
DonQui
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In other words, "we are poor give us more money"

If the states that don't want to cough up don't see the value of Amtrak, fine, let them pay with congestion and traffic. No need to have Amtrak begging them to provide services that they don't want.
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Old January 19th, 2007, 09:03 AM   #82
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The highway network is more than capable of connecting people across the country anyway.
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Old January 19th, 2007, 05:57 PM   #83
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But what happens is that one state is able to hold rail service hostage for the other states. All you need is one state that wants to promote it's highway building an dmaintenance industry and oil industry, and they can easilly stop the trains runnig through by destroying the infrastructure.
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Old January 19th, 2007, 11:17 PM   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloudship View Post
But what happens is that one state is able to hold rail service hostage for the other states. All you need is one state that wants to promote it's highway building an dmaintenance industry and oil industry, and they can easilly stop the trains runnig through by destroying the infrastructure.
That would only be a real problem in the Northeastern US, as further west the states are too geographically huge to have that concern, some border town cases aside (like Kansas City and St. Louis). No one is going to spend more than 4 hours on a train, which given the pathetic state of our railways would mean probably traveling at best, at best, 320 km/200 miles on average. In a lot of states further west, you could be on a route for 200 miles and still be in the same state.
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Old January 20th, 2007, 05:19 AM   #85
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amtrak should just focus on the NE and chicago seeing as that's its bread and butter.
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Old January 20th, 2007, 01:16 PM   #86
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The US is not Europe. Cities are far apart and the country is huge. The focus should be improving air travel and having regional hubs to develop comprehensive highway connections (which is already there with the Interstate).
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Old January 20th, 2007, 03:45 PM   #87
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Trains are a much better solution in respect to the environment. So I think the focus should be more on rail transportation in more densely populated areas in the US. In this way the dependence on fossil fuels and air pollution can be decreased.
It would be interesting if an efficient passenger rail service could be set up and promoted in a region such as California (for instance, a Sacramento-San Francisco-San José-Fresno-Bakersfield-Los Angeles train service). Of course this would go hand in hand with the construction of a commuter rail network.
In the long run there may be even longer distance trains which connect all mayor cities on the west coast, and the same goes for the east-coast. The maximum speeds of hs-trains are already above 500 km/h! However, I do think that intercoastal transport will probably always be most efficient by air.
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Old January 20th, 2007, 06:11 PM   #88
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Quote:
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No one is going to spend more than 4 hours on a train,
People easily spend 6+ hours to sit on a plane to go from the east coast to the west coast. And that's being stuck in a airline seat that is barely wide enough to fit in and you can't really get up and move around. Now compare that to something like an Acela coach, which has wider, comfortable seats, you can get up, walk around, go sit in a lounge car, watch the scenery passing by. It's a lot more pleasant place to spend your trip, and people would be willing to put up with longer journeys in trade for better comfort.

While that kind of distance may not work in a few western states, by and large your real rail states are going to be the area around the Great Lakes and Atlantic Seaboard, and the west coast. The vast open west isn't too friendly to rail OR air travel. Just not enough people except in certain cities.
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Old January 21st, 2007, 12:35 AM   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
The US is not Europe. Cities are far apart and the country is huge. The focus should be improving air travel and having regional hubs to develop comprehensive highway connections (which is already there with the Interstate).
not in the northeast and upper midwest but the rest of the country...yeah.
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Old January 21st, 2007, 06:27 PM   #90
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not in the northeast and upper midwest but the rest of the country...yeah.
Even in the Northeast, the Acela was supposed to show HSR works in the US, but due to technical faults, it has flopped quite badly. Competition from buses and the car is very intense, while the leisure traveler may not be willing to fork out the extra cash for Acela anyway. It's not a common mode of transport like Thalys, Eurostar, or TGV, etc.
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Old January 22nd, 2007, 05:26 AM   #91
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Ironically, the Acela does quite well, and has been proven with recent spate of problems they had where they weren't using the high-speed (supposedly) trainsets, that people still liked the trains as long as the level of service was up there. Unfortunately Air Travel is showing some of it's weaknesses, and most of those are in places such as the northeast and Atlantic and Pacific coast, where High Speed Trains would be most beneficial. As much as everyone talks about the sprawl of the west, a large part of hte country where transportation is needed has close enough density to warrant trains.
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Old January 22nd, 2007, 06:34 AM   #92
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Santa Fe Depot-SD,CA.

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Old January 22nd, 2007, 06:35 AM   #93
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oops sorry
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Old January 22nd, 2007, 07:07 AM   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Even in the Northeast, the Acela was supposed to show HSR works in the US, but due to technical faults, it has flopped quite badly. Competition from buses and the car is very intense, while the leisure traveler may not be willing to fork out the extra cash for Acela anyway. It's not a common mode of transport like Thalys, Eurostar, or TGV, etc.
So as opposed to trying to see what could be done differently, you condemn us to having to take buses?



A Boston-New York-DC service travening the ~800 km in between these three services in 4 hours would KILL the airline traffic in between both cities. This would not be an astronomically fast service, averaging 200 km/h (about 125 miles per hour), but that alone would be enough to ensure that highspeed works in the North East. Push the envelope and try to get that to three hours, then shuttles between the three cities would cease. Connect this high speed line to airports, and I tell you that this could be one of the most sucessful high speed lines in the world.

It does not happen because people have the mentality that you are espousing, "well we tried a half-ass attempt at it and it sucks, let's get back on the highways."
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Old January 22nd, 2007, 09:55 AM   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nefast View Post
It would be interesting if an efficient passenger rail service could be set up and promoted in a region such as California (for instance, a Sacramento-San Francisco-San José-Fresno-Bakersfield-Los Angeles train service).
There is a proposed high speed rail system for California: http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/. It's been talked about for at least ten years now, and whether it will ever happen is anyone's guess.

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The maximum speeds of hs-trains are already above 500 km/h!
Not in regular passenger service. The normal maximum speed on most high speed systems ATM is 300 kph, and there is a 40 km section of the LGV Mediterranee between Aix-en-Provence and Avignon stations in southern France where 320 kph is currently being tested to determine its effect on trains and track. The results of this have given SNCF the confidence to allow 320 kph on the LGV Est, the new high speed line between Paris and (ultimately) Strasbourg in eastern France, which is due to open this year. They hope that the maximum speed can be increased to 350-360 kph eventually, not just on this line but on other existing high speed lines too. Where you mentioned the "above 500 km/h" speed you may be thinking of the world train speed record for steel wheels on steel rails, which stands at 515 kph, set by a TGV Atlantique train in May, 1990. Note that this unit was modified for the attempt, was comprised of only 3 carriages (plus the two power cars), and these modifications were reversed afterwards, before the train reverted to normal service.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloudship
People easily spend 6+ hours to sit on a plane to go from the east coast to the west coast.
Maybe but that's the fastest option available to them, so they endure it. BTW, does "6+ hours" include check-in, waiting to board and collecting luggage at arrival? I would think that a flight from east coast to west coast (or visa versa) would take about 4 hours. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline
Even in the Northeast, the Acela was supposed to show HSR works in the US, but due to technical faults, it has flopped quite badly.
Why did Amtrak decide to have a new train (admittedly based on the TGV) designed and built from scratch when they could have purchased off the shelf an existing, tried and proven high speed train, modified for local conditions if necessary? It probably would have been cheaper and could have been brought into service sooner. They even tested the Swedish X2000 tilt train and German ICE in the early 1990s. Were neither of these found suitable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQui
A Boston-New York-DC service travening the ~800 km in between these three services in 4 hours would KILL the airline traffic in between both cities. This would not be an astronomically fast service, averaging 200 km/h (about 125 miles per hour), but that alone would be enough to ensure that highspeed works in the North East. Push the envelope and try to get that to three hours, then shuttles between the three cities would cease. Connect this high speed line to airports, and I tell you that this could be one of the most sucessful high speed lines in the world.
This would still require trains to be sped up quite a bit, seeing that currently Washington DC to New York takes about 3 hours, and New York to Boston about the same or more (correct me if I'm wrong). How would this be done? Straightening out sections of track with tight curves, bypassing cities, improving signalling, general upgrading of track, or something else?

Last edited by Jean Luc; January 22nd, 2007 at 10:47 AM.
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Old January 22nd, 2007, 10:42 PM   #96
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Maybe but that's the fastest option available to them, so they endure it. BTW, does "6+ hours" include check-in, waiting to board and collecting luggage at arrival? I would think that a flight from east coast to west coast (or visa versa) would take about 4 hours. Correct me if I'm wrong.
Actual flight time varies according to the actual cities and direction (the jet stream has an effect), but 6 hours is a good approximation of flying time. In many cases though, that's a direct flight - many people make connections which add at least another two hours or more into the flight time. That time is air time, and doesn't include time spent checking in at the airport, getting your luggage, or driving to the airport. Most airports in the US are located fairly far from the city center, and take some time to get to the city.
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 01:18 PM   #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jean Luc View Post
There is a proposed high speed rail system for California: http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/.

Why did Amtrak decide to have a new train (admittedly based on the TGV) designed and built from scratch when they could have purchased off the shelf an existing, tried and proven high speed train, modified for local conditions if necessary? It probably would have been cheaper and could have been brought into service sooner. They even tested the Swedish X2000 tilt train and German ICE in the early 1990s. Were neither of these found suitable?
There are more stringent crash test because european trains don't face billion-tonne denser-than-the-center-of-the-sun freight locomtoives to possibly have a collission with, therefore any train had to be adapted.

Last edited by elfabyanos; January 23rd, 2007 at 01:46 PM.
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 01:46 PM   #98
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There are more stringent crash test because european trains don't face billion-tonne denser-than-the-center-of-the-sun freight locomtoives to possibly have a collission with, therefore any train had to be adapted.
That applies where freight and passenger trains share the same tracks. Do any freight trains operate on the Northeast Corridor, where the Acela train operates?

Therefore, if the U.S. ever bit the bullet and built high speed lines for use only by passenger trains i.e. not by freight trains, these regulations would not apply, I presume.
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 08:01 PM   #99
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Freight does operate on the Northest Corridor. As far as if the track were completely dedicated, well that is a bit of a question. Theoretically the FRA will issue waivers if traffic is seperated by space or time, but only up to a point. Even if they were totally separated, the regulations would still be more stringent.
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Old January 28th, 2007, 04:01 PM   #100
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The US is not Europe. Cities are far apart and the country is huge. The focus should be improving air travel and having regional hubs to develop comprehensive highway connections (which is already there with the Interstate).
In fact Europe and the US are approximately equal in area (I guess some people will debate what is and is not 'Europe") and have more or less equivalent populations.

My country has an equivalent area too, but not by any means an equivalent population. Europe is investing vastly in rail infrastructure: AMTRAK is struggling to stay alive. This has little to do with population density.

More significantly, "Radio National' here today reported that last Century's emissions would heat the world for one thousand years to come .... even if we turned off our pen-lights.

And God Created Cadillacs ...
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