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Old 07-19-2008, 03:20 AM
 
Location: Prepperland
13,732 posts, read 9,843,323 times
Reputation: 9846

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris19 View Post
I agree with your point, but using the same tracks would save on construction costs.
JG: Unfortunately, due to FRA rules and design parameters, using the heavy slow freight tracks would impose a severe performance penalty.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris19 View Post
Another idea would be with high speed passenger traffic would be to have high speed freight along with it to have additional business and revenue streams for the light rail. It would make it work while. Sometimes one has to throw out ideas, even though there are flaws and one of these crazy ideas may be a winner. There are inventors of common items that were considered crazy in their times.
JG: Agreed. I read somewhere that FedEx approached France's TGV to run "overnight" shipping service. They declined.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris19 View Post
Having the light rail follow interstates is the most logical route or lesser travelled roads with minimal intersections as short cuts.
JG: Quibble point - "Light Rail" is often used to refer to either streetcar / tram OR segregated multicar light passenger load heavy trainsets.

In essence, the old single powered car was a streetcar / tram, and served urban and interurban customers at speeds below 50 MPH.

Modern Light Rail tends to be multicar, heavier, and require segregation from traffic to reach high speeds. Light rail proposals are often based on an assumption that automobile volume would be ever growing. Which is why they stressed segregated rights of way, and minimal impact on automobiles. Ergo, these transit systems were very very overpriced.

With the petroleum crisis upon us, it's evident that private automobile use may drop as far as 90%. Even if all private automobiles were electrified, the cost to pave roads is going to skyrocket, too. We may have to realize that the electrified rail solution needs to scrap the decades of "light rail" planning based on a flawed assumption.

It may be of utmost importance to lay tracks in streets again, and have electric powered streetcars and trainsets. Rails are far more durable than paved roads. And in the interim, electrify the heavy slow freight tracks, and resume passenger service, albeit slow, until the high speed tracks are installed.



Excellent article on the major obstacles in the USA regarding the implementation of European / Asian high speed rail.
Passenger Rail for the Shasta Route: Table of Contents

His major points regarding America's rail future:
[] Regulatory abuse by Federal Railroad Administration (antiquated rules)
[] Private ownership and taxation of railroad tracks impede improved rights of way
[] Emphasis on slow, heavy cargo and low superelevation levels on curves exclude high speed rail
In America, the track specifications were tailored for low speed, heavy freight, which is wholly inadequate for high speed, light weight passenger service. {superelevation, radius of curvature, axle loading, tilting suspensions, safety regs, track geometry}

An example of FRA ruling that impedes high speed rail:
"In the USA, trains like the type 411 EMU are not allowed to operate. US regulations require a very high carbody strength for political reasons, which adds several tons of weight to a vehicle. If this mass is added to a European tilting EMU or DMU, it is no longer safe to operate at 11.8 inches of unbalanced superelevation, because the maximum safe axleload is exceeded.

The Acela Express is built to these strength standards. It is nearly double as heavy as European or Japanese tilting trains. Instead of restricting the axleload to 16 tons or less, the powercars weigh 25 tons per axle. No safety authority would allow values like those for the German 411 or 610 for this train, because the forces at the wheel-rail contact point would be too high for safe operation.
As a result, the "Acela Express" looses about half an hour between New York and Boston, compared to best practice in tilting train usage."

REMEDIES:
[] Reverse Regulatory abuse by Federal Railroad Administration
[] Change Private ownership to public ownership of tracks, but let private companies use them for a fee.
[] Build new rail tracks suitable for high speed rail [160+ MPH], and segregate slow, heavy cargo.
[] Rebuild urban rail / streetcars / trolleys / inter urban networks
[Dreams of PCC streetcars, gliding by...]
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Old 07-19-2008, 05:54 AM
 
9,807 posts, read 13,453,739 times
Reputation: 8158
Deadwood nailed it early on--------------COST

The light rail in Minneapolis cost a LOT of money and despite its useage that is greater than expected, the light rail does not pay for itself.

As posters are stating, if busses are --CUTTING-- routes in South Dakota ( and other states) what makes one think the ridership of rail will be high?

I think we all would love to see it built so we could use it ONCE IN AWHILE.
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Old 07-19-2008, 11:56 AM
 
Location: South Dakota
1,961 posts, read 6,174,416 times
Reputation: 983
Quote:
Originally Posted by jetgraphics View Post
JG: Unfortunately, due to FRA rules and design parameters, using the heavy slow freight tracks would impose a severe performance penalty.




JG: Agreed. I read somewhere that FedEx approached France's TGV to run "overnight" shipping service. They declined.




JG: Quibble point - "Light Rail" is often used to refer to either streetcar / tram OR segregated multicar light passenger load heavy trainsets.

In essence, the old single powered car was a streetcar / tram, and served urban and interurban customers at speeds below 50 MPH.

Modern Light Rail tends to be multicar, heavier, and require segregation from traffic to reach high speeds. Light rail proposals are often based on an assumption that automobile volume would be ever growing. Which is why they stressed segregated rights of way, and minimal impact on automobiles. Ergo, these transit systems were very very overpriced.

With the petroleum crisis upon us, it's evident that private automobile use may drop as far as 90%. Even if all private automobiles were electrified, the cost to pave roads is going to skyrocket, too. We may have to realize that the electrified rail solution needs to scrap the decades of "light rail" planning based on a flawed assumption.

It may be of utmost importance to lay tracks in streets again, and have electric powered streetcars and trainsets. Rails are far more durable than paved roads. And in the interim, electrify the heavy slow freight tracks, and resume passenger service, albeit slow, until the high speed tracks are installed.



Excellent article on the major obstacles in the USA regarding the implementation of European / Asian high speed rail.
Passenger Rail for the Shasta Route: Table of Contents

His major points regarding America's rail future:
[] Regulatory abuse by Federal Railroad Administration (antiquated rules)
[] Private ownership and taxation of railroad tracks impede improved rights of way
[] Emphasis on slow, heavy cargo and low superelevation levels on curves exclude high speed rail
In America, the track specifications were tailored for low speed, heavy freight, which is wholly inadequate for high speed, light weight passenger service. {superelevation, radius of curvature, axle loading, tilting suspensions, safety regs, track geometry}

An example of FRA ruling that impedes high speed rail:
"In the USA, trains like the type 411 EMU are not allowed to operate. US regulations require a very high carbody strength for political reasons, which adds several tons of weight to a vehicle. If this mass is added to a European tilting EMU or DMU, it is no longer safe to operate at 11.8 inches of unbalanced superelevation, because the maximum safe axleload is exceeded.
The Acela Express is built to these strength standards. It is nearly double as heavy as European or Japanese tilting trains. Instead of restricting the axleload to 16 tons or less, the powercars weigh 25 tons per axle. No safety authority would allow values like those for the German 411 or 610 for this train, because the forces at the wheel-rail contact point would be too high for safe operation.
As a result, the "Acela Express" looses about half an hour between New York and Boston, compared to best practice in tilting train usage."

REMEDIES:
[] Reverse Regulatory abuse by Federal Railroad Administration
[] Change Private ownership to public ownership of tracks, but let private companies use them for a fee.
[] Build new rail tracks suitable for high speed rail [160+ MPH], and segregate slow, heavy cargo.
[] Rebuild urban rail / streetcars / trolleys / inter urban networks
[Dreams of PCC streetcars, gliding by...]
You brought up good points in your post. With the passenger rail going from one large city to another and going through open areas such as South Dakota and Nebraska, one would about have to run it next an interstate or in the median or even along another rail route to make it work. Yes, access should be limited and running it next to an interstate would be probably the best option, since the access to interstates is already limited. The problem would be having to deal with exiting businesses and homes.

Despite the problems and costs, the passenger rail and improved rail service should be explore and in places like South Dakota there would be perhaps three or four good routes that would be around, too much more would be viable unless if people limited their use of the automobile to short distance trips and used trains for cross state and cross country travels and rent a car once they get to their final destination.

The 3 or 4 routes that could work include (stops mentioned are in South Dakota and would link up with rail in other states):
Following I-90 and stopping in Sioux Falls, Mitchell, Chamberlain, Vivian Jct. or Murdo, Wall, Rapid City, Sturgis, and Spearfish. If it veered to the south towards Casper and Denver, it would stop in Hot Springs. This allows people to reach Chicago and points east along with places in the the western part of the nation.

Following I-29 from Sioux City and Omaha and would stop in North Sioux City, Elk Point/Vermillion Exit, Sioux Falls, Brookings, Watertown, Summit/Aberdeen exit, and Sisseton. Other cities outside of South Datota that would be on the route would be Winnepeg, Omaha, Kansas City, Joplin, Fayetteville, AR, and Shreveport, LA. The route would link SD well with Canada and points further south and eventually east.

Going at a diagonal direction from Minneapolis to Denver and stopping in Sioux Falls, Vermillion, and Yankton. This helps with travel to the Southwest and enough people in Sioux Falls travel to Minneapolis or Denver for business and leisure.

Going from Minneapolis to Billings, MT and stopping in in the I-29 area, Aberdeen, Mobridge, and Lemmon. There is more business connections for Northern SD with Minneapolis.

Other ideas that are thrown out is following US 14 and stopping in Brookings, Huron, Miller, Pierre, Wall, and Rapid City. Following 281 to Aberdeen and stopping in Redfield and then veering to SD 37 eventually to SD 50 and stopping in Huron, Mitchell, and going towards Yankton and stopping in Tyndall and Yankton. The Black Hills would be more challenging to run a train through. Any more routes would be iffy.

It is interesting to think about how it works. Yes, my idea of passenger and improved rail has challenges and kinks and I appreciate that others such as the prior post, ElkHunter, etc. have valid points and insight into the issues. I know the idea can work, but would require different perspectives such as safety, cost, etc. to make the system the best that it can be.
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Old 07-19-2008, 12:26 PM
 
Location: Limestone,TN/Bucerias, Mexico
1,452 posts, read 2,816,241 times
Reputation: 488
Writing from Tennessee, this is an important and exciting discussion that should be moved to the national portion of this website! (I just accidentally came across it) I think it would provoke a great deal of interest and commentary nationwide!
(Personally, I have always loved rail travel. As a teenager and young adult, I grew up frequently going from CT to NYC by rail - it was a normal, accepted way to travel - and still is for those folks in the Northeast).

The idea of building a rail system on the medians of highways is one my family and I have talked about often.This idea should see the light of day, especially because, as someone here said, we need huge amounts of oil to construct and repair highways!

I hope this thread finds its way to the *big* forum!
Thanks for the opportunity to weigh in...

We badly need to have this debate..
Can someone here facilitate that?
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Old 07-19-2008, 12:34 PM
 
Location: So. Dak.
13,495 posts, read 34,060,708 times
Reputation: 15063
All the posts are so interesting. Marmac, I'm glad you posted that because that is a very good point. Up to this point, many people don't seem interested in mass transit and that's unfortunate.

Could I get some input about moving this thread? It started out as a local issue, but it's also a national issue.

What do you guys think? IMHO Sarah has a good suggestion. If you would like to see it moved to the "General U.S." forum, I'd be happy to do that.
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Old 07-19-2008, 12:45 PM
 
Location: South Dakota
1,961 posts, read 6,174,416 times
Reputation: 983
Jammie, it would be good to be moved to a national forum. This is an issue that should be discussed nationally and it was interesting to get a South Dakota perspective.

I would like rail due to finding air travel inconvenient anymore and not having to put the wear and tear on the car when travelling longer distances. The high speed rail would be a faster way to go as opposed to a car if stops are limited to the important cities.

Long distance rail travel would work for the Upper Midwest (trips from Sioux Falls to Denver, Minneapolis, Chicago, KC, LA, NY, etc.) but short distance rail travel is not economical in this part of the country due to the sparsity. Very interesting topic and is one I am passionate about.

SarahSal, I like your quote and it is very interesting.
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Old 07-19-2008, 03:30 PM
 
Location: Prepperland
13,732 posts, read 9,843,323 times
Reputation: 9846
Quote:
Originally Posted by marmac View Post
Deadwood nailed it early on--------------COST

The light rail in Minneapolis cost a LOT of money and despite its useage that is greater than expected, the light rail does not pay for itself.
JG: If you tally up all costs, no transportation "pays" for itself. There is always a loss.

One of the reasons why rail lost out was the larger subsidy given to its competitors, and the greater penalty levied on it.

If you eliminated ALL subsidies, roll back the clock, rail would have been the winner, for delivery of transportation services at the lowest cost in power, personnel, surface area needed and resources consumed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by marmac View Post
As posters are stating, if busses are --CUTTING-- routes in South Dakota ( and other states) what makes one think the ridership of rail will be high?
JG: Buses, like automobiles, are dependent on petroleum. Bus operators balance their rising costs versus their fixed gains. Bean counters can always justify a cut "to save costs". Though it is suicidal, and drives down ridership.

And let us not forget that asphalt pavement requires petroleum. When that is factored in, repavement projects are going to be slashed, too.

Expensive fuel + poor roads = bye bye automobile.

Quote:
Originally Posted by marmac View Post
I think we all would love to see it built so we could use it ONCE IN AWHILE.
JG: A mass transit system should serve the people, not the political powers. Unfortunately, throughout the 20th century, politics gained power over private transportation. Using the excuse that it needed "public support", the gubmint first taxed and regulated to death the private companies, and then mismanaged them when they were public entities.

The Laws of Physics still point to the electrified rail based transit system as the most efficient on land. Dwindling supply and rising demand for petroleum is driving up costs for operating autos and buses, as well as asphalt. Which does not bode well for the future of the automobile (electric or not) or any other non-rail based land transport.
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Old 07-19-2008, 03:35 PM
 
Location: Prepperland
13,732 posts, read 9,843,323 times
Reputation: 9846
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris19 View Post
You brought up good points in your post. With the passenger rail going from one large city to another and going through open areas such as South Dakota and Nebraska, one would about have to run it next an interstate or in the median or even along another rail route to make it work.
JG: There is another synergetic option - combine the new rail rights of way with the infrastructure necessary for power transmission from windfarms.

As certain billionaire wind turbine investors are reminding us, we need to connect the network of wind turbines with the "grid". Unfortunately, most folks do not like high tension lines overhead.

Solution - map out new high speed rail corridors AND electrical power transmission together.
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Old 07-19-2008, 03:48 PM
 
Location: Prepperland
13,732 posts, read 9,843,323 times
Reputation: 9846
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris19 View Post
Jammie, it would be good to be moved to a national forum.
Already there:
http://www.city-data.com/forum/gener...-electric.html
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Old 07-21-2008, 04:01 AM
 
Location: Prepperland
13,732 posts, read 9,843,323 times
Reputation: 9846
Default How to fund re-railing america

HOW TO FUND RE-RAILING AMERICA

DO NOT USE PUBLIC FUNDS FOR MASS TRANSIT!
(repeat 1000 times)

Support private mass transit by NOT TAXING IT TO DEATH.
(Don't give it money - stop taking money from it)

Support a permanent tax exemption for electrified rail mass transit, and tax exemption for transit workers.

Think about it...

The risk for investment in building a rail infrastructure is offset by a permanent tax exemption. Other benefits: No reward for wasteful spending, eliminates bizarre tax based accounting, and reduces wasteful administrative overhead.

Investors seeking to get rich and not pay Uncle Sam will move their money from "Secret Unnamed Countries" into American RAIL. (Uncounted billions, perhaps?)

Workers would flock to railway companies for permanent tax exemption, no matter what the wage.

Sure beats begging Government for public funding. No more wasted time funding "Studies" and holding up progress. No partisan bickering. No legal maneuvering.
(-Expletive Deleted- GREAT !)

(applause, applause)
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