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Old 05-05-2012, 08:21 PM
 
Location: SoCal
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Looking at Western Europe and Japan. Their HSTs are HIGHLY successful. One argument against HST in the USA is that the US is just too big to build a dedicated system. The cost would be too high. But, it is popular in the Northeast along the Northeast Corridor and California is trying to start a Highspeed Rail system as well.

The United States used to have the greatest and most luxurious passenger rail system on earth. By the late 60's it was dead. Amtrak has improved vastly over the years but constantly sharing track with the world's busiest railfreight network has left Amtrak service a lot to be desired. Only a DEDICATED system would seem to work. Is it possible?
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Old 05-05-2012, 09:21 PM
 
4,023 posts, read 3,275,602 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MB8abovetherim View Post
Looking at Western Europe and Japan. Their HSTs are HIGHLY successful. One argument against HST in the USA is that the US is just too big to build a dedicated system. The cost would be too high. But, it is popular in the Northeast along the Northeast Corridor and California is trying to start a Highspeed Rail system as well.

The United States used to have the greatest and most luxurious passenger rail system on earth. By the late 60's it was dead. Amtrak has improved vastly over the years but constantly sharing track with the world's busiest railfreight network has left Amtrak service a lot to be desired. Only a DEDICATED system would seem to work. Is it possible?

I'm sick of hearing that strawman argument. No one is proposing to build it on a coast to coast nationwide scale. But HSR would definitely work on a more regional basis where the population densities support it. Especially in dense population centers on the coasts.
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Old 05-06-2012, 12:26 AM
 
8,328 posts, read 14,596,096 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MB8abovetherim View Post
Looking at Western Europe and Japan. Their HSTs are HIGHLY successful. One argument against HST in the USA is that the US is just too big to build a dedicated system. The cost would be too high. But, it is popular in the Northeast along the Northeast Corridor and California is trying to start a Highspeed Rail system as well.

The United States used to have the greatest and most luxurious passenger rail system on earth. By the late 60's it was dead. Amtrak has improved vastly over the years but constantly sharing track with the world's busiest railfreight network has left Amtrak service a lot to be desired. Only a DEDICATED system would seem to work. Is it possible?
China also has successful high-speed rail, and is physically larger than the United States.

The United States had the best passenger rail system on Earth, until it decided it wanted to have the best highway system on Earth instead, and fund it with taxpayer dollars. This drove the passenger rail system, which was privately funded and highly regulated, to bankruptcy. The "railfreight" system used to carry both passengers and freight, but because the railroad companies are no longer in the passenger business they don't maintain their track to passenger standards anymore, so (with the exception of Acella, which is on dedicated passenger ROW) American long-distance passenger railroads can't manage the same top speeds that our trains did in the 1930s!

We also subsidize air travel, to the tune of $25 billion a year (not counting military aviation contracts, without which every major US aircraft company would go out of business overnight)--but that, like the funds spent on highways, isn't considered a subsidy by the "free market" crowd.
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Old 05-06-2012, 01:04 AM
 
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I don't think European-style HSR could ever be successfully implemented in the US given the toxic political environment. But most people don't realize the US already has HSR, or at least a slower version of it.

The Amtrak Acela serves a 450 plus mile route in the Northeast with a top speed of 150 mph. A very successful and profitable route. All you have to do is expand the Acela service to more parts of the country. 150 mph is plenty fast. But more importantly Acela is much cheaper and therefore much more politically feasible to implement, than trying to build a true Euro-style system that goes 300mph which I don't see ever happening given US politics.
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Old 05-06-2012, 02:04 AM
 
Location: SoCal
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The Acela Trainset is capable of speeds equal to Japans Shinkansen and the French TGV. The outdated track and catenaries on the Northeast Corridor limit the Acela to 150mph on a modest stretch through Connecticut and Rhode Island. Improving that infastructure would be a good start IMO.

Cisco kid is right that the coasts would be the only feasible places to put a highspeed system. I'm thinking Los Angeles to San Francisco (perhaps extending to Seattle and San Diego someday...) and yes the NEC is great and is Amtraks highest used route.

Maybe the best we can hope for is state run systems? IE California's project...if it does in fact go through. I can see Texas doing it between their population centers. And Florida would seem like a good place as well.
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Old 05-06-2012, 04:44 AM
 
48,516 posts, read 84,124,097 times
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Not without huge gobernamnt subsidy payments.Even the bus system are endager in the future because of this if not priavte and solely fare depdend like airlkines. That is what is happenig to a lcoal city. Its public system cost 4.3 million last eyar. Fares amiounted to 300K .The extra is eqaul shared by local and federal governamnt. the Federal aprt is goig to shrink substantially ;os they are workig on how to redcue it.So no the cost verus what is i the future makes it impractical unless a private system paying for itelf. Perhaps their might be some modrate system that would work betwee very large cities as even arilines proices increase but that would depend on investors see that.There are much easier systems of highway control to make them work liken never seen at lower cost and in fact supported by highway funding from taxes on fuel.
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Old 05-06-2012, 08:21 AM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,900 posts, read 7,678,122 times
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Quote:
The coasts would be the only feasible places to put a highspeed system.
Why do I see this so often whenever HSR is discussed on this site? Why wouldn't it also work in the great lakes/midwest region? Ohio's 3C corridor would have connected more than 6 million people. From Cleveland, we could have then made a connection to Toledo and Detroit, for 4 million people. Then, connect to Youngstown and Pittsburgh, adding another 3 million more people. Or, if we're just talking about connecting the biggest dots first, how about Minneapolis, Chicago and Detroit?
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:44 AM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 11,128,007 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JR_C View Post
Why do I see this so often whenever HSR is discussed on this site? Why wouldn't it also work in the great lakes/midwest region? Ohio's 3C corridor would have connected more than 6 million people. From Cleveland, we could have then made a connection to Toledo and Detroit, for 4 million people. Then, connect to Youngstown and Pittsburgh, adding another 3 million more people. Or, if we're just talking about connecting the biggest dots first, how about Minneapolis, Chicago and Detroit?
I think it would work to connect those midwest cities you mention, but most coasters' idea of the midwest is a giant question mark ... I know mine is, for the most part.

I think that the NE corridor (profitable) would have high speed rail by now if Amtrak did not have to maintain service on its other lines (all unprofitable, and some remarkably so).

I know Amtrak was designed to save passenger rail, but now that interest in intercity rail travel has been rekindled due to higher fuel prices, congestion, and the modern added inconvenience of long security lines and crowded and air terminals, it would seem that some private interest would be interested in acquiring the NE corridor and upgrading it to HSR.
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Old 05-06-2012, 10:15 AM
 
4,023 posts, read 3,275,602 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JR_C View Post
Why do I see this so often whenever HSR is discussed on this site? Why wouldn't it also work in the great lakes/midwest region? Ohio's 3C corridor would have connected more than 6 million people. From Cleveland, we could have then made a connection to Toledo and Detroit, for 4 million people. Then, connect to Youngstown and Pittsburgh, adding another 3 million more people. Or, if we're just talking about connecting the biggest dots first, how about Minneapolis, Chicago and Detroit?

Good luck trying to bring HSR to the conservative midwest. They love their big cars and trucks too much. And their fast food drive-thrus. Because you can eat without leaving the comfort of your personal land yacht. To them trains are un-American.
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Old 05-06-2012, 11:01 AM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 11,128,007 times
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Originally Posted by cisco kid View Post
Good luck trying to bring HSR to the conservative midwest. They love their big cars and trucks too much. And their fast food drive-thrus. Because you can eat without leaving the comfort of your personal land yacht. To them trains are un-American.
You've described a mentality not exclusive to the midwest.
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