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Old May 18th, 2005, 07:00 AM   #21
alexs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3tmk
well I don't see this nor a highspeed rail in the near future.
I would want to, but it's not feasible IMO.
I know that Russia signed a deal with Siemens to upgrade its rail network and to buy ICE's that would originally run between Moscow and St Pete, St Pete and Finland and later on some more directions such as to Black Sea, Ukraine and to the west.
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Old January 7th, 2006, 11:39 AM   #22
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nice one
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Old January 7th, 2006, 05:10 PM   #23
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Unfortunately the deal with Siemens to deliver 60 ICEs was cut down to only 6 lately.
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 07:30 AM   #24
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Maglev could be truly revolutionary in my opinion

What do you all think?

Maglev could (at the cost of several billion dollars) provide LA with very good public transportation- although due to demand the prices might be initially very high.

Further, it could connect regions (SD-LA-SF) much more efficiently than air travel, which is very inefficient at these close distances and more appropriate for much longer distances.

A trip from Milwaukee (Wisconsin) to Chicago in Maglev would take just 20 minutes; a trip from Madison (Wisconsin) to Milwaukee even shorter. Minneapolis would be too far away and wouldn't provide enough ridership to justify the costs, though.

The "future" discourse that would encompass Maglev would make it certain that ridership is not a problem...

Boston-NYC-Philly-DC/Baltimore could be great too. What do you think? I wish I could do something to push forward Maglev technology.
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 08:35 AM   #25
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I think Maglev is better served for taking you from the city and suburbs to the airport. It's really sad when it takes 30 minutes to get to the airport for a 30 minute flight.
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 09:42 AM   #26
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it would work very well between Edmonton and Calgary - in Alberta Canada
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 12:08 PM   #27
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I also think that connecting chicago to milwaukee via maglev would be quite interesting.
Theses to cities would generate one big mega city.....

But the problem is the same as it has been with maglev for about 20 years now:

Its too expansive.
Look at the china maglev....more than 30mio€ per km construction cost....thats way to much, who sould pay for it....
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 02:51 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FM 2258
I think Maglev is better served for taking you from the city and suburbs to the airport. It's really sad when it takes 30 minutes to get to the airport for a 30 minute flight.
I hate it when people say the only use for Maglev is airport-bound travel. This is its worst use IMO. A monorail to the airport? Sure (works fabulously in Tokyo). A traditional express? Lots of cities do it, works well. Why switch to maglev for going to the airport when it has the potential to travel faster than aircraft a few times over (in a vacuum). Even outside a vacuum, why bother transferring to a 800km/h 737 flight when you are already travelling at 550km/h on the train and avoid the hassles with baggage carrousels and check-in counters and security which will all ensure that you lose at least an hour (if you're lucky) at both the airport you board and the airport you disembark? Don't forget the time lost taxiing around the stupid runway network, there goes half an hour at each airport as well, 3 hours extra time. The maglev technology should not go to the airport, but should replace the aircraft. It also has great potential for mass transit as its maintenance costs are nearly non-existant at low speeds (super-high speed maintenance costs might be high).
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 06:13 PM   #29
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Germany Refuses Maglev Tech Transfer to China

Germany rejects China tech transfer demands for Maglev train: report

SHANGHAI, June 2, 2006 (AFP) - German officials have rejected China's demands for access to sensitive technology in exchange for building a 4.3 billion dollar high-tech rail link between Shanghai and Hangzhou, the Financial Times said Friday.

The newspaper said Berlin officials refused to give in to Chinese pressure to sign off on an agreement on the magnetic levitation (Maglev) train prior to German Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to China last month.

Chinese officials approved the building of a new 170-kilometre (105-mile) track in March but discussions with the companies have been going slowly as Beijing is looking for significant technology transfers and funding as the price of admission.

At a meeting in Beijing last week, German Transport Minister Wolfgang Tiefensee rejected requests from the head of China's National Maglev Transportation Technology Research Center for German government funding, the newspaper said.

It also quoted a Berlin official as dismissing suggestions in the Chinese media last week that the German side had agreed to transfer "core aspects" of the Maglev technology to China to secure the contract.

"We want to stick to conditions agreed for the (Shanghai) airport track. Levitation and engine technologies will remain in German hands," one person close to the companies said.

Beijing has been in talks for years with Transrapid International, a joint venture between engineering giants Siemens and ThyssenKrupp, over building the world's second commercial high-speed maglev track.

Shanghai operates the world's only commercial Maglev system on a 30-kilometre (19-mile) run between Shanghai's financial district and its Pudong airport.

Germany provided 10 percent of the one billion dollar budget for the Shanghai airport link.

The newspaper cited a Transrapid International spokesman as saying that talks were ongoing over the second rail line that China is keen to finish ahead of the 2010 World Expo to be held in Shanghai.
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 06:45 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRZ
...it has the potential to travel faster than aircraft a few times over (in a vacuum)...The maglev technology should not go to the airport, but should replace the aircraft.
Great Point! It would be the best if ALL the mainland air travel can be replaced by maglev between the major cities, especially in North America.

BTW, I don't really like to take a plane. Nothing to see except the clouds!
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 06:47 PM   #31
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Who will pay for the extraordinary construction costs?
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 06:58 PM   #32
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At the moment Maglev is not a feasible option in most cases due to its high costs, in fact on short routes it wont allow you to save much time compared to say a bullet train and moreover on long routes aeroplane would always be the best option.Unless they find a way to make Maglev technology cheaper its future will remain a question mark.
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 07:45 PM   #33
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There's one big problem with maglev (and rail in general) that was always a problem, but nobody really thought about until 9/11... rail (and maglev) is robust, but brittle. If a jet falls out of the sky, the other 24,000 jets generally keep flying, and 99.999% of the transport system continues as normal. And while every death is a tragedy, even the worst conceivable single air disaster never involves more than ~400 people. Compare that to a train wreck, which could easily kill a thousand or more... many, in gruesome ways that could leave the victims barely-alive and suffering horribly for minutes, or hours. And until the mess gets cleaned up, and the damage to the tracks repaired, NO OTHER TRAINS are going to get by.

The last one is a particularly big problem with maglev. Because maglev tracks are so prohibitively expensive to build, any system built during the next few decades isn't likely to have much redundancy or alternate routing capabilities. If it rapidly replaced air travel as the preferred mode of travel between cities served by it, even a minor disruption to service would be catastrophic.

Let's take one possible economically-viable route in the US... New York to Washington, DC, in a deep, bored tunnel to protect it from terrorists, minimize right-of-way costs, and enable it to run at supersonic speeds in a vacuum. I think it's safe to say that the day it opens, it'll probably be single-tracked most of the way, with a double-tracked area (in a second tunnel) near the middle to allow trains to pass without stopping. With computer scheduling and control, they might add one or two more double-track sections to each end, until the system can have trains leaving every 20 minutes from each end, adjusting speeds so that they all end up in double sections right on schedule and pass each other smoothly. I think you can see the obvious vulnerability to complete breakdown... if ANYTHING blocks one of the single-track sections, no train in either direction is going to get past, and the whole system breaks down.

OK, let's assume it was built by a private firm and has to at least try to not lose money, if not actually make a profit. The first part is now running at close to capacity, but market studies indicate that it already is serving 90% of the potential New York to DC market, and would have to lower fares and increase capacity to get more. Cutting fares AND double-tracking all the way would tip the balance from "not hemmorhaging cash badly/occasionally making a small profit" to "burning through cash like a dotcom on crack". SO... they do what any sane business would do: skip the double-tracking, and instead extend the line to Boston, where they have an entirely new market to tap at full, premium fares, for about the same cost as "finishing off" and double-tracking the New York-DC line.

Wow, they're actually making a profit now. They're running at close to capacity, but once again, to significantly pick up more marketshare, they'd have to cut fares. The company is ready to make its next big expansion... do you think it's going to double-track the existing Boston-DC line (burning through a lot of cash to pick up a few more passengers at lower fares), or go for the gold and extend the line from DC to Atlanta, Orlando, and Miami. And raise fares, because it'll make it possible for uber-wealthy people to actually live in Florida and commute to their office in Manhattan in less time than it takes some of their poor co-workers to drive or take the LIRR from New York's exurbs. Mostly single-tracked, though, because it's more profitable to run the system with full trains at 100% capacity and super-premium fares.

Then, one day, Shit Happens™. For whatever reason, a breakdown or disaster occurs somewhere between New York and Washington. Now, this is a system that was running full, long trains carrying up to 2,000 passengers per train nonstop between Miami, Orlando, Atlanta, Charlotte, DC, Manhattan, and Boston, plus dozens more trains filling in the gaps between those cities to serve smaller towns along the way. All intricately scheduled to run along what's mostly single-track with double-track sections near stations at nearly 100% capacity.

For hours, or days, or maybe even weeks, fast & casual travel among big east-coast cities basically halts. The only way to get from New York to Washington is by flying through Cincinnati, Detroit, Dallas, or some other city far from the maglev line.

The maglev company sighs, and goes to Congress asking for a low-interest loan to pay for double-tracking the whole line. They get it... in fact, they get awarded a trillion-dollar loan to not only double-track the original line, but also a mandate to extend it (double-tracked) from Atlanta to L.A. (generally following I-10), from Houston to Chicago, and from Chicago to New York (generally following I-70 or I-80 through Cleveland, Pittsburgh, etc).

Of course, since it's now built with federal dollars, Davis-Bacon comes into force (which basically requires that it be built at the highest possible cost, using the most expensive labor available), so all the company's original cost estimates go out the window, and it ends up costing that much just to double-track the original line, and build the segment between Atlanta and Dallas. The company realizes it's running out of cash, so it spends the last bit on the segment between Houston and Dallas via Austin since it figures it can make more money off that line than any other segment it could afford to build with the remaining cash.

Unfortunately, they forgot about politics, and Congress is furious that Texas got most of the benefits... so Congress sets out to build the remainder of the network itself, doing things its way. It turns into the biggest, fat-dripping pork-barrel project in American history... a maglev network so breathtakingly expensive, going to so many places with absolutely zero economic justification, with spurs to small towns in the middle of cornfields, even its biggest supporters in Congress are ashamed. What's worse, most of those off-the-beaten-path spurs see almost no service, anyway, because nobody is interested in running trains to those cities because the tarriffs they'd have to pay to the government for use of the tracks in those areas are prohibitively expensive relative to the amount of money they'd make. So Congress screws with it again, and raises tarriffs on popular segments to subsidize the other ones.

Soon, service along the east coast is now a shadow of its former self. It's gone from fast, luxury service to cheap, nasty public transportation. The fares are a little lower, but now the trains are crowded, dirty, abused, and increasingly late. The original line's owners have long-since thrown in the towel and retired in disgust, because a complex web of tarriff rules designed to cross-subsidize unprofitable segments have perversely made it more profitable to expand service between Montana and South Dakota (which earns outright bonuses of $740/passenger from some government agency) than to increase capacity along the eastern corridor (where every $240 ticket has $180 in federal taxes to subsidize those Montana passengers, and occasionally results in LOSSES per passenger despite the fact that the actual direct cost of providing the service is only $60-70).

The moral: maglev is cool, but the moment the government gets involved and tries to expand it beyond the bounds of economic sanity, the whole system will go down the toilet.
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Old June 4th, 2006, 02:02 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRZ
Why switch to maglev for going to the airport when it has the potential to travel faster than aircraft a few times over (in a vacuum).
yeah and the USA also has the potential to run a balanced budget. sorry buddy but you seem like a hopeless romantic. I doubt that even my grandkids will see a vacuum maglev.
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Old June 4th, 2006, 03:59 AM   #35
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So are they still gonna continue on with the Shanghai Hanghzou link with the Maglev?
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Old June 4th, 2006, 04:01 AM   #36
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I thought the Chinese already mastered the Maglev technology? I remember seeing something like that in this forum. Anyways transfer or not the Chinese will achieve its goal of producing top quality maglev technology, I mean its not impossible its a matter of time the entire train is already in Chinese hands all they have to do is reverse engineer it.
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Old June 4th, 2006, 05:23 AM   #37
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I think the Chinese have done a lot of its own research on MagLev trains, but still, it is not mature enough to deploy a whole system.
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Old June 4th, 2006, 05:46 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miamicanes
And while every death is a tragedy, even the worst conceivable single air disaster never involves more than ~400 people.
I'm sorry, the World Trade Center tragedy illed how many? Teh reason wwhy Airliners are such a big threat is that they can easilly be turned into a flying missle. It would take a lot more than just hyjacking a train to crash it into a skyscraper.

I think MagLev holds a lot of potential. But right now it is still a little too early in development for a really big deployment. Japan is doing good getting some things going with it, as is China. Get the small lines up and running to work out the bugs and get the costs under control, THEN you might see some larger scale lines.
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Old June 4th, 2006, 11:10 AM   #39
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last week a high siemens representative said something like "building a railway car body, that looks like a high-speed maglev is one thing, building a low speed maglev that runs 160 km/h is another thing, but making a maglev, that hovers only 10 mm above a concrete track at 450 km/h is, concerning the know-how needed for the electronic controle technicque , still another story.
Therefore, he thinks, that the chinese will need at least 5 more years to make a maglev train completely on their own, that can rund 450 or 500, like the german one, in everyday service.( in case they dont copy the german one)

I dont know if he`s right with that statement, future will show, but as his firm needed some 20 years 1970-1990 to devlop that thing, i assume he knows what hes talking about.
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Old June 4th, 2006, 11:18 AM   #40
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I don't understand though. Maglev looks like it is absolutely dead in Germany as a viable transport alternative. Would it not make sense to try to make a buck or two selling the technology to China?

Or at least licensing it or however these things work?

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