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Old 11-13-2010, 02:08 PM
 
Location: Tower of Heaven
4,023 posts, read 6,434,616 times
Reputation: 1439

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According to many economists, including the well-respected Robert J. Samuelson, the federal government's effort to fund high-speed rail lines is like trying to fit a round peg into a square hole. If one really breaks down the numbers, the Obama administration's goals of reducing green house gas emissions, traffic congestion, and oil consumption with these rail lines are idealistic to say the least, and this idealism may cost states more than their budgets can handle right now.
The administration wants to build rail lines in 13 urban corridors throughout the nation, 12 of which span distances of less than 500 miles. High-speed rail in these areas would compete with car and air travel, but statistics indicate that this would not save a significant amount on energy costs. Assuming daily air passengers, about 52,934 people in the 12 corridors in 2007, switched to high-speed rail, the result would amount to only a 2.5% drop in air passenger totals. Driving is even less likely to decrease seeing as 85% of the 140 million Americans drive to work each day. If you take the example of the Northeast corridor with 45 million commuters, only 28,500 of which take Amtrak, high-speed rail will not divert enough drivers to cut the amount of energy costs that the administration claims it will.


HSR Just Doesn't Fit | Newgeography.com

Pretty just I guess.
Maybe all this money should go to electric cars (Tax credits, subsidies, R&D..)
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Old 11-13-2010, 05:34 PM
 
Location: Jersey City
6,488 posts, read 16,148,250 times
Reputation: 5632
Quote:
Originally Posted by RenaudFR View Post
Americans drive to work each day. If you take the example of the Northeast corridor with 45 million commuters, only 28,500 of which take Amtrak, high-speed rail will not divert enough drivers to cut the amount of energy costs that the administration claims it will.
That's a pretty silly op-ed piece. High speed rail isn't trying to be an alternative for everyday commuting for most people. It's an intercity travel option. Using the Northeast Corridor as an example again, Amtrak has a 41 percent share of the market for travel between NYC and Boston. That is significant. But to say high speed rail isn't practical because most people don't need to travel hundreds of miles everyday is silly. Compared to air travel, trains are "cleaner" on a per passenger basis, so if rail can take a large share of the travelers that would otherwise go by air, there could be a real benefit there. Acela is an example of where such a "mode shift" is happening. HSR isn't the silver bullet to reduce emissions across all modes and all trip types. It's only one strategy for one type of travel market.
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Old 12-06-2010, 11:47 AM
 
Location: The City
22,331 posts, read 32,143,293 times
Reputation: 7737
Well here is a pretty cool video but one thing about HSR is even bad weather it still runs pretty efficiently


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwAJCuOafXs
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Old 12-06-2010, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Dallas, Texas
1,807 posts, read 2,164,075 times
Reputation: 970
All I know is that I would have loved to have had a high speed rail option when I was going to school in Austin. Being able to quickly travel between Dallas and Austin would have saved me countless traffic-related headaches. I'm sure there are plenty of other similar situations around the country.
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Old 12-09-2010, 12:29 AM
 
Location: Carrboro and Concord, NC
964 posts, read 2,045,759 times
Reputation: 1230
I don't know - it's expensive, and even within the 13 selected corridors, I imagine there are places where it will work more logically than in others.

BUT: I take Amtrak city-to-city between Charlotte and Raleigh often. The service is easy. Everytime I take the trip, there are more people riding - the trains are pretty full, and the trend seems to be more people, not less. NC and VA have been gradually, but steadily upgrading track from Charlotte to Washington for more than a decade now, and the results show. My LONE complaint is the expensive, school-cafeteria quality food, but hey - bring your own. Compared to the overcrowded and/or dilapidated interstates in central NC, it's a breeze.

NC and VA are well on the way of turning the Boston-Washington high speed route into a well-functioning Boston-Washington-Charlotte route, so the outlay of cash from here on out might not be as steep as it will be in some of the other areas. And this east coast route should have been a Boston-Atlanta route, but back in the Bush years, when it was left a bit more up to the states, SC and GA wanted to have nothing to do with it, and now that they are interested (they see that it seems to be working in the two states to the north), costs have gone up.
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Old 12-09-2010, 12:57 AM
 
Location: Orlando Metro Area
3,593 posts, read 5,840,331 times
Reputation: 2340
Here's a link to a post where I discuss some of the shortcomings of the Orlando Tampa HSR:http://www.city-data.com/forum/16929688-post32.html
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