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Old 08-03-2010, 11:30 AM
 
551 posts, read 539,735 times
Reputation: 422
I like the Chinese idea that the OP posted. It would be great to have it if you have only a two lane roadway that is getting more congested. The unfortunate thing is that most Americans outside of places like NYC, Boston, Philly and the like hate public transit. They would be very upset if they saw the same type of bus the Chinese are using. I hope Obama will do something to get Americans out of their cars and move back into cities, then we can see more innovations such as the bus or rail that uses existing streets.
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Old 08-03-2010, 01:27 PM
 
7,316 posts, read 7,801,495 times
Reputation: 2865
Highways and roads aren't "profitable" either, their construction is paid for by the same taxpayer dollars that supports public transit. Suggesting that passenger railroads are not feasible ignores all the times and places where they were successful--such as the United States, until taxpayer-subsidized roads came along and drove privately owned streetcar and interurban companies and many privately owned railroads out of business.

Americans don't hate transit, but many Americans are simply unfamiliar with it. We have been sold a standard set of products (the suburban house and private car) for decades, and it was described as "freedom" without mentioning the massive subsidies that make them both possible. It's marketing, that's all.

Hybrids and plug-ins aren't an answer either--they assume that there will always be money and space for bigger, wider highways to run on, and they also assume that everyone can drive, and wants to. I call it the "Priuses for the Blind" fallacy.

We don't need "innovation" to have rail systems that use city streets--we just need to look at our own past.

That "giant bus" is actually a giant streetcar--it runs on tracks, "on" city streets. Basically, it's an "el" that takes its "elevated" section with it, instead of requiring a permanent superstructure.
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Old 08-03-2010, 01:43 PM
 
Location: On the Rails in Northern NJ
12,329 posts, read 12,798,295 times
Reputation: 4230
What Many Americans don't realize is that Passenger Railways can be profitable. We have a few here in the Northeast , some Freight companies are considering bringing back Passenger services as they lose business. China is building a massive Railway network , and i highly doubt that this will ever happen. China has some of the worst drivers in there world. As you can see form the Next few maps the Northeast Rail revolution is beginning as we rebuild what we tore up decades ago. Most of which has been preserved.

Northeast 2030





Proposed 2040 Intercity map



Pennsylvania 2035 plan



Philly 2030 plan



Connecticut 2030 plan



Proposed Brooklyn Streetcars - 2040



DC Streetcar & Metro plan - 2020





New Haven and Stamford Streetcars - 2015





Lackawanna Corridor - 2015



NJT 2030 wishlist



Proposed Light Rail network for Northeastern Jersey - all the Freight projects are now LRT




Providence Streetcar system -2020




Current and Future Boston system - 2025




Planned Philly restored Regional Rail - 2025



Virgina Intercity network -2030




Baltimore Whole System build out - 2030




Some other NE Projects.


Future Light Rail Projects

Washington DC
Boston
Northern NJ
New Brunswick,NJ
Baltimore
Pittsburgh
Philly
Binghamton
Syracuse
Rochester
Hartford
Lehigh Valley
Wyoming Valley
Buffalo
Urban Jersey
Springfield,MA


Future Streetcar systems

Providence
Stamford
New Haven
Boston
Worcester
Baltimore
Harrisburg
Reading,PA
Lancaster
Manchester,NH
Portland,ME
Washington DC
Springfield,MA
White Plains
Bridgeport
Norwalk
Fall River



Future Heavy Rail system expansions

New York
DC
NJ Gold Coast
Philly
Boston
Northern Virgina


Future Commuter Rail system expansions / restorations

Massachusetts
Connecticut
New Jersey
Harrisburg Metro
Northern Virgina
Providence / Fall River area
Restored lines in the Hudson River Valley


Future Bus Rapid Transit lines or systems

Hartford
Boston
Newark
Lehigh Valley
Albany Metro
Baltimore
DC
Philly
NYC
White Plains


Future Intercity Amtrak lines


Boston-Montreal HSL 130-150mph
Empire Corridor 110-140mph
Keystone Corridor Extension to Pittsburgh / Cleveland 110-160mph
Lehigh Corridor 90-130mph
Lackawanna Corridor 90-120mph
New Haven - Springfield Corridor 90-120mph
NYC-Montreal Corridor 120-200mph
I-81 Baltimore - Harrisburg Corridor 90-120mph
Downstate Delaware Corridor 80-110mph
Upgraded Northeast Corridor averages 170+ with tops of 190mph


Rail is far form dead here in the Northeast
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Old 08-03-2010, 03:34 PM
 
Location: Washington D.C. By way of Texas
13,275 posts, read 14,017,661 times
Reputation: 4907
Rail isn't dead anywhere in the US. It's just like one person said. We are unfamiliar with it. We have been fed car, car, car, highway, highway, highway for 60 years forgetting how Americans maneuvered themselves around prior to the car. Not to mention that rail does not get any help from the same politicians that are fine with paving their way out of problems. Especially in Houston. They would have a much greater rail system now but politics got in the way and now they are playing catchup.
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Old 08-03-2010, 08:13 PM
 
721 posts, read 1,659,274 times
Reputation: 195
There are plans to reconnect the Midwest rail corridors too.



This next Pic shows how the midwest rail plans feed into the ohio rail network.



Rail makes sense as long as it is fast, convenient, and affordable. People argue that the proposed rail from Minneapolis to Duluth doesn't make sense since Duluth is at the "end of the line" and what would you do without a car once you get there? That's the dumbest question as if there woudn't be rental cars, cabs, and hotel shuttles, and buses right there when you got off the train.

Other arguements are against the cost of repairing and replacing track for high speed. Well, you have to repair and rebuild roads repeatedly and they are only partially paid for by gas taxes.

One city counciolr in Duluth actually said, "Why are we investing in 100 year old technology?" Hello, as if the technology for trains stopped in 1900. Isn't the car 100 year old technology along with the phone? This guy would have been a lobbyist for the typewriter companies and Horse and Buggy companies.

Doesn't it make sense to connect the larger metro areas and promote competition?
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Old 08-03-2010, 08:30 PM
 
551 posts, read 539,735 times
Reputation: 422
It would have been better if Obama wanted to use American Maglev instead of high speed rail. It would have been cheaper at around $20 million per mile, enough to be built without government subsidies and it would go faster at about 300 mph.


YouTube - American Maglev Train Technology

High speed rail is going to make people very angry that it will raise their taxes.

@newcastle
I think that is the reason why urban planners want to force people into TOD densepacks. When you get off the rail, it would be better if everything was close in together so you don't have to go far especially when you arrive without a car. If many places were like Manhattan, trains would be even more ideal than they would be. But even a moderate increase in density around the train station would be beneficial.
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Old 08-03-2010, 08:31 PM
 
7,316 posts, read 7,801,495 times
Reputation: 2865
I'm thinking about that Chinese super streetcar...how exactly would you turn something that big? It's huge and the suspension looks pretty static, you'd have to carefully inch it around very wide curves, far wider than highway curves and way beyond being able to turn around a streetcorner. You couldn't just put it on wheels, not at that size and close tolerances, it would have to run on a fixed path.

Essentially it seems like this "superbus" would run in a straight line, then use a transfer table, turntable or very, very broad switchback (taking up considerable real estate) to move to the other side of the street, reverse direction, and go back the way it came, in a straight line.

How would such a vehicle function? Something with that much mass wouldn't start and stop on a dime--would it be used like a streetcar or bus, with starts and stops every couple of blocks? Or would it be used in a primarily point-to-point role between large depots at either end of that very long, straight street?
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Old 08-03-2010, 09:49 PM
 
Location: North Metro Atlanta
4,624 posts, read 5,419,459 times
Reputation: 3647
One of the big problem of getting people out of there car is the 'last' mile. If i have to drive 5 miles to pickup a train and im in the car away, How much longer is it going to take me to drive the whole way? vs. Drive to station, Park, go thru weather to platform, wait for train, ride train as it stops at every station, maybe have to connect, want for next train, ride that train, get off, then walk? take bus? to work. On way home 'repeat' witch way is time shorter/costs less/less stressfull?
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Old 08-04-2010, 03:14 AM
 
Location: On the Rails in Northern NJ
12,329 posts, read 12,798,295 times
Reputation: 4230
Quote:
Originally Posted by JKFire108 View Post
It would have been better if Obama wanted to use American Maglev instead of high speed rail. It would have been cheaper at around $20 million per mile, enough to be built without government subsidies and it would go faster at about 300 mph.


YouTube - American Maglev Train Technology

High speed rail is going to make people very angry that it will raise their taxes.

@newcastle
I think that is the reason why urban planners want to force people into TOD densepacks. When you get off the rail, it would be better if everything was close in together so you don't have to go far especially when you arrive without a car. If many places were like Manhattan, trains would be even more ideal than they would be. But even a moderate increase in density around the train station would be beneficial.
The Maglev is still to expensive and has problems with operating at very high speeds. Hench why China is not building anymore lines , and has only built 1. Conventional Rail is cheap and very popular.
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Old 08-04-2010, 07:35 AM
 
474 posts, read 730,490 times
Reputation: 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by jambo101 View Post
Americans arent going to be taking trains anywhere while its cheaper and more convenient to take the car,Big cities like Boston and NYC are the exception as their public transit makes commuting much more convenient than trying to battle the rush hours every day, smaller cities where every one lives an hours drive out in the suburbs will not benefit from increased public transit systems until the price of gas gets near $10 a gallon.
What's more convenient about driving a car? I find hopping a train, relaxing & reading much more convenient. And that hour's time of commuting to suburbs of smaller cities seems like a wasted hour to me. All you can do - if you drive legeally - is watch traffic as you crawl to and from work.
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