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Old 11-18-2017, 04:59 AM
 
10,847 posts, read 11,260,811 times
Reputation: 7586

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China built 22,000 km (14,000 miles) of high speed rail in about 8 years, accounting for 65% of the world total, vastly transforming the rail transportation in the country. The US so far has built none, and one argument is that it is too expensive.

Admittedly it is much cheaper to build HSR in China than in the US. For China's case, it cost about $340 billion.

According to the world bank, it is 1/3 cheaper to build HSR in China than in developed countries. Let's say US cost is even higher and is three times as much. To build the same network it would cost US taxpayers $1 trillion.

Cost of High Speed Rail in China One Third Lower than in Other Countries

Sounds expensive? Not really. During the same time China was building HSR, the US spent $2.4 trillion in the Afghanistan and Iraq war alone, enough to build the Chinese network 2.5 times.

Yet people still think it is too expensive to build high speed rail in the US, even in the densely populated coastal areas.

It is just unbelievable that there is not an outcry over such wasteful taxpayers money on foreign wars while not investing in the outdated infrastructure. For those who think "we have cars and planes, and we don't need the damn high speed rail", come on. That's just provincial because you have never taken a high speed rail.
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Old 11-18-2017, 05:49 AM
 
Location: Just over the horizon
8,106 posts, read 2,778,320 times
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If the people wanted high speed rail the cost wouldn't be insurmountable.

But they don't......

We're too married to our cars and the freedom and independence they bring to care about high speed rail.
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Old 11-18-2017, 06:04 AM
 
Location: Austin
29,546 posts, read 16,484,701 times
Reputation: 8087
Quote:
Originally Posted by FatBob96 View Post
If the people wanted high speed rail the cost wouldn't be insurmountable.

But they don't......

We're too married to our cars and the freedom and independence they bring to care about high speed rail.
This is true. Rail is a 20th century solution. For developed countries, the cost far outweighs the benefit for new construction. And it's a very inflexible solution. Trains only go where the rails go, not necessarily where people want to go. And once the rails are built, you cannot change where they go.

Rail fits China nicely for many reasons. Their entire country is centrally controlled so the government can do whatever it wants to do. Freedom of citizens is never an issue. So eminent domain is the norm and they don't ever have to fight to take the land needed for rail because the GOVERNMENT owns all of the land.

Extremely cheap labor is also a factor. They have almost a billion people living on $5 per day or less. Those people will gladly work for almost nothing.

The USA should forget about rail construction and focus on the future which is driverless vehicles.
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Old 11-18-2017, 06:05 AM
 
Location: Great Britain
11,620 posts, read 3,978,642 times
Reputation: 7205
Amtrak carried out a study in 2012 in relation to upgrading the Acela Express East Coast Line between Washington DC - NYC - Boston the cost then was $151 Billion.

Amtrak's $151 billion high-speed rail plan: Are there cheaper options? - The Washington Post

A much more effective way of increasing train times, increasing capacity and reducing jorney times and delays is investment in trains and rolling stick, better power supplies and overhead cabelling, modern signalling including wifi and ensuring the track is direct as possible by reducing curves and corners which slow journeys. Improving signalling alone means more trains can be run closer together and at high speed, and the sensible cheaper option is to get more out of the existing infrastructure where possible.

Last edited by Brave New World; 11-18-2017 at 06:41 AM..
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Old 11-18-2017, 06:10 AM
 
Location: NE Ohio
30,193 posts, read 16,626,600 times
Reputation: 8850
Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
China built 22,000 km (14,000 miles) of high speed rail in about 8 years, accounting for 65% of the world total, vastly transforming the rail transportation in the country. The US so far has built none, and one argument is that it is too expensive.

Admittedly it is much cheaper to build HSR in China than in the US. For China's case, it cost about $340 billion.

According to the world bank, it is 1/3 cheaper to build HSR in China than in developed countries. Let's say US cost is even higher and is three times as much. To build the same network it would cost US taxpayers $1 trillion.

Cost of High Speed Rail in China One Third Lower than in Other Countries

Sounds expensive? Not really. During the same time China was building HSR, the US spent $2.4 trillion in the Afghanistan and Iraq war alone, enough to build the Chinese network 2.5 times.

Yet people still think it is too expensive to build high speed rail in the US, even in the densely populated coastal areas.

It is just unbelievable that there is not an outcry over such wasteful taxpayers money on foreign wars while not investing in the outdated infrastructure. For those who think "we have cars and planes, and we don't need the damn high speed rail", come on. That's just provincial because you have never taken a high speed rail.
The main reason passenger rail service declined and eventually went out of business was because of air travel, which was faster and offered better service.

Why do we need high speed rail? What will make it competitive with air travel? Even Amtrak must be subsidized by the U.S. Government. What will make high speed rail better?
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Old 11-18-2017, 06:14 AM
 
6,742 posts, read 6,550,322 times
Reputation: 5059
I've always seen high speed rail service as an un-needed redundancy to airplanes.
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Old 11-18-2017, 06:33 AM
 
7,315 posts, read 3,771,676 times
Reputation: 3792
Quote:
Originally Posted by nononsenseguy View Post
The main reason passenger rail service declined and eventually went out of business was because of air travel, which was faster and offered better service.

Why do we need high speed rail? What will make it competitive with air travel? Even Amtrak must be subsidized by the U.S. Government. What will make high speed rail better?
One high speed rail line carries as many people as a 12 lane highway for starters.
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Old 11-18-2017, 06:36 AM
 
29,741 posts, read 16,436,124 times
Reputation: 13818
Does anyone really believe the same types who run the post office, Amtrak and your local DMV, could efficiently build, run and maintain a high speed rail system? When pigs fly
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Old 11-18-2017, 06:37 AM
Status: "Elect a clown? Expect a circus!" (set 29 days ago)
 
Location: By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea
58,182 posts, read 40,987,158 times
Reputation: 29918
Quote:
Originally Posted by FatBob96 View Post
If the people wanted high speed rail the cost wouldn't be insurmountable.

But they don't......

We're too married to our cars and the freedom and independence they bring to care about high speed rail.

If the military wanted HSR as transportation for people/materiel, the $$$ would be found in an instant.
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Old 11-18-2017, 06:39 AM
 
78,990 posts, read 33,560,179 times
Reputation: 15817
It's not that it is too expensive. It's that we prefer perpetual wars. Not that we are willing to pay for those either.
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