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Old 06-22-2017, 02:47 PM
 
Location: Vinings
5,943 posts, read 2,913,549 times
Reputation: 3183

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattCW View Post
When you look at total trip time, with a top speed of 220mph, Washington is directly competitive between flights and trains. From a productivity time, rail beats air hands down.
Exactly.

The technology is there, so let's give ourselves the option. So we can at least contrast and compare the different modes, and let them compete for the better deal and better overall experience.

Like you said, that mid-range trip, maybe the 200-600 miles range, seems like HSR's potential sweet spot. You don't have to deal with airports and all that entails, but you get there almost as fast. And probably more comfortably, and probably a bit cheaper.

Whereas, only a rail enthusiast or someone on a leisurely long vacation, would want to take a train out to the west coast from Atlanta, even at 220 mph. Planes would win there for most people. But let us have all the options.

Cross-country trains going the same speed as cars, not counting all the stops- to me that's useless. UNLESS it's super super cheap. Which, Amtrak isn't. So, I don't get it. I don't see the point of Amtrak as it is now.

As far as Mega bus or Greyhound or whatever, meh, I'd rather just drive. I enjoy my music and my sunroof. And just the luxury and privacy of a car. And just the experience and joy of driving, especially out in the country between cities. Again it comes down to the alternative not giving any speed advantage over my car.
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Old 06-22-2017, 02:56 PM
 
28,148 posts, read 24,679,387 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by primaltech View Post
Like you said, that mid-range trip, maybe the 200-600 miles range, seems like HSR's potential sweet spot. You don't have to deal with airports and all that entails, but you get there almost as fast. And probably more comfortably, and probably a bit cheaper.

Whereas, only a rail enthusiast or someone on a leisurely long vacation, would want to take a train out to the west coast from Atlanta, even at 220 mph. Planes would win there for most people. But let us have all the options.

Cross-country trains going the same speed as cars, not counting all the stops- to me that's useless. UNLESS it's super super cheap. Which, Amtrak isn't. So, I don't get it. I don't see the point of Amtrak as it is now.

As far as Mega bus or Greyhound or whatever, meh, I'd rather just drive. I enjoy my music and my sunroof. And just the luxury and privacy of a car. And just the experience and joy of driving, especially out in the country between cities. Again it comes down to the alternative not giving any speed advantage over my car.
Completely agree with all of that, primaltech.
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Old 06-23-2017, 04:36 PM
 
3,408 posts, read 8,489,255 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by primaltech View Post
It would be so great to be able to pay a flat fare of let's say maybe, $100, and be able to head up to the northeast at 200 mph on a train. Arrive at DC in maybe 4 hours, or NY in 5 1/2.

Slower than flying there, but cheaper, maybe even half the price. And still fast enough that I could wake up early on a Saturday, and do a weekend trip in Manhattan, then Sunday evening catch the train back to Atlanta.

I can't stand flying, honestly. And all the hassle of it. But I would travel the heck out of a national bullet train system.

I'd also take it to New Orleans. Heck, depending on the fare, I'd do that trip multiple times a year, easy.
I live in Jacksonville now, and I'm going to have to take many trips to Atlanta and back in the next few months. It would be a waste of time and money to fly, but I'm tired of the 5-6 hour drive. It would be so nice if there was a bullet train service from JAX-Savannah-ATL.
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Old 06-23-2017, 04:51 PM
 
Location: Vinings
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SEAandATL View Post
I live in Jacksonville now, and I'm going to have to take many trips to Atlanta and back in the next few months. It would be a waste of time and money to fly, but I'm tired of the 5-6 hour drive. It would be so nice if there was a bullet train service from JAX-Savannah-ATL.
If the national network ever exists, you could do that, but you'd probably have to transfer trains in Savannah.

There'd probably be a Savannah -> Chicago line, via Atlanta, Chattanooga, Nashville, Louisville and Indianapolis. And there'd be a Miami -> Boston line paralleling I-95, via stops at all the major cities on that corridor, including Jacksonville and Savannah.

Anyway, yeah. That system would be so amazing. Everything flying at at least 200 mph at all times, and most of the stops are 100 miles from each other. Which would be average maybe 30 mins between stops.
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Old 06-23-2017, 05:29 PM
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna.
11,397 posts, read 6,806,747 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post
Is there a special kind of track (or method of manufacture or installation) being used?

That sounds interesting. Is this new track system available already or is it still being developed?

I'd like to read more about it if anyone has any links.

The problem with all advances in rail technology is that anyone not familiar with it tends to hear what he/she wants to hear. The railroad is extremely efficient in terms of energy expended, but the low coefficient of friction between steel wheel and steel rail also implies that it can't climb step grades, or negotiate sharp curves. And once in place, modifying rail lines is an extremely expensive proposition.

The high speeds of the French (TGV) and Japanese (shinkansen) are possible only because French law takes a sympathetic view of seizing private property for public use (eminent domain) and because much of urban Japan had been reduced to rubble by American B-29s. The French still faced problems finding a way into the city centers, just as California will, but the 165 miles of the initial phase of the project (Merced-Fresno-Bakersfield) involves land in the Central Valley which is still, for the most part, used for agriculture.

The history of railroading in California doesn't parallel that of most of the nation; let it suffice to say that rival companies actually traded trackage, or used each other's lines by an arrangement called "trackage rights", and that new trackage (the Lancaster-Colton "cutoff' of Southern Pacific, which used the already congested Cajon Pass) was completed as recently as the mid-1960's.

So to return to the main point, those 165 miles of new 200 MPH dream railroad will provide a considerable "shot in the arm" to the concept, but that last stretch from Bakersfield to Newhall, via Tehachapi, is going to be a challenge, This line is Union Pacific property and has some tight curves, including one in which the line loops over itself to gain altitude. Back around 1925, then-owner Southern Pacific flatly refused trackage rights for proposed Los Angeles-Bay Area passenger trains of rival Santa Fe, so Santa Fe built a bus hub, serving the entire Southland, at Bakersfield -- so successful that even when the service wasn't originally included in Amtrak, it was reinstated some three years later, and has since increased in frequency.

Thus, once the new Central Valley line is completed, it wouldn't surprise me to see Warren Buffet, or his successors, push for a new, and completely dedicated line between Bakersfield and a Metrolink connection at Lancaster -- with a parallel line for freight traffic on Buffet's Burlington Northern Santa Fe.

Last edited by 2nd trick op; 06-23-2017 at 06:23 PM..
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Old 06-23-2017, 05:37 PM
 
Location: Decatur, GA
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I don't think a Chicago line would terminate in Savannah, more likely, it'd continue on to Miami from Atlanta via Macon and Jacksonville. Jacksonville would be a split point.
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Old 06-23-2017, 05:52 PM
 
Location: Vinings
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If there was ever an Atlanta -> Savannah HSR, Uber would make a killing shuttling people to Hilton Head and Tybee.
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Old 06-23-2017, 06:19 PM
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna.
11,397 posts, read 6,806,747 times
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Now as to the point of a new Washington-Atlanta HSR Corridor, I would suggest that a Charlotte-Atlanta service would be a better starting point -- particularly if "exurban" commuter services could be established by MARTA between Atlanta and intermediate-distance communities such as Augusta, Macon and Columbus -- all within the state but therefore, all eligible for partial Federal (Section 403-b) funding. And there are a number of parallel, but lightly-used rail lines that could be used, with freight traffic diverted

Washington-Atlanta is about a 650-mile haul, or almost as long as that of a proposed expansion of the Northeast Corridor between Portland, ME and Norfolk; and it would would include the notorious White Oak mountain grades of "Wreck of the Old 97" lore -- heavy curve and grade reductions needed here. So it would seem more sensible to connect Charlotte (which has recognized the need for an eventual commuter network) via Spartanburg and Greenville, which are also growing and in fairly level territory; even Athens could be incorporated via an abandoned line from Gainesville (Gainesville Midland) which can be rehabilitated.

And as previously pointed out, all of this should be driven by the hard reality of increasing congestion rather than political pork-barreling -- which will come about, but not until a decade or two down the road.
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Old 06-23-2017, 08:29 PM
 
Location: Georgia
4,946 posts, read 3,997,094 times
Reputation: 2750
Quote:
Originally Posted by SEAandATL View Post
I live in Jacksonville now, and I'm going to have to take many trips to Atlanta and back in the next few months. It would be a waste of time and money to fly, but I'm tired of the 5-6 hour drive. It would be so nice if there was a bullet train service from JAX-Savannah-ATL.
Quote:
Originally Posted by primaltech View Post
If the national network ever exists, you could do that, but you'd probably have to transfer trains in Savannah.

There'd probably be a Savannah -> Chicago line, via Atlanta, Chattanooga, Nashville, Louisville and Indianapolis. And there'd be a Miami -> Boston line paralleling I-95, via stops at all the major cities on that corridor, including Jacksonville and Savannah.

Anyway, yeah. That system would be so amazing. Everything flying at at least 200 mph at all times, and most of the stops are 100 miles from each other. Which would be average maybe 30 mins between stops.
Getting Florida adequately online is going to be tricky. It's a fairly narrow state, but the major metro areas don't line up in a nice, straight line. I think a Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-Orlando-Jacksonville-Savannah- line makes sense, but how to bring Tampa Bay online? Maybe have the second line be Tampa-Orlando-Jacksonville-Macon-Atlanta-Chattanooga-?
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Old 06-23-2017, 08:40 PM
 
Location: Decatur, GA
4,909 posts, read 3,712,042 times
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Having branches isn't a bad thing. The Northeast Corridor has both the Harrisburg line in Pennsylvania and the Empire service to Albany, NY. I would think Florida HSR would serve an intRAstate connection as much as being part of an intERstate network. So you'd have "local" service Miami-Orlando-Tampa, Miami-Jacksonville, and Tampa-Orland-Jacksonville. Except Miami-Tampa, any of these could be extensions of interstate services. Given the importance of the Space Coast, I actually think a more viable route would be to have Cocoa be the "midpoint" station so trains would run Tampa-Orlando-Cocoa-(JAX/MIA). [New Orleans-]Pensacola-Tallahassee-Jacksonville could also be another viable corridor to be worked into the overall scheme, though I think that'd be more designed/confined to local traffic rather than a large interstate market. In other words, it can terminate at Jacksonville.
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