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Old 02-25-2016, 08:48 PM
 
Location: "Silicon Valley" (part of San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA)
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A truly high speed train would be a maglev train. There is no friction on the wheels; there is only friction against the air. So it can go as fast as an airplane can go. If you put it in a vacuum tube, there would not even be air resistance, so it could, in theory, go 99% of the speed of light (no material object can be accelerated to 100% of the speed of light).

Right now maglev trains are very expensive because they need liquid nitrogen to cool the superconductors. What would change that is the discovery of a material that acts as a superconductor at temperatures normally found on the surface of the Earth. They say that carbon nanotubes can act as superconductors at all temperatures. If they could make wire from that, you might see maglev trains that go 800 MPH.
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Old 02-25-2016, 08:50 PM
 
Location: "Silicon Valley" (part of San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
Connecting major, already intertwined metros makes sense. But it'd be hard to justify national HSR when airlines already work. Air travel is far from perfect, but what would rail offer that would justify the cost?
A backup system for times when airplanes can't operate. HSR in theory could still run in a heavy snowstorm, if the track was covered, for example.

In my opinion all new track should always be grade separated, and if elevated, it should be surrounded by a tube that protects it from the weather.
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Old 02-25-2016, 08:52 PM
 
Location: "Silicon Valley" (part of San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA)
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btw...I would be against an HSR stop in Gilroy. It should only connect the 10 largest cities in California. Maybe the 20 largest but nothing below that. Gillroy and Morgan Hill are too small for HSR.

Besides which, you already have Caltrain that connects Gilroy to Palo Alto. So if you work in Palo Alto, join the many other people who take Caltrain from Gilroy and Morgan Hill!
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Old 02-25-2016, 11:44 PM
 
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neutrino78x View Post
A backup system for times when airplanes can't operate. HSR in theory could still run in a heavy snowstorm, if the track was covered, for example.
I donít believe that is correct. Deep snow can stop any type of train, or just a little bit of ice on the over head power lines will shut it down too. So any type of storm that disrupts air travel will likely disrupt HSR as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by neutrino78x View Post
In my opinion all new track should always be grade separated, and if elevated, it should be surrounded by a tube that protects it from the weather.
That would be the final nail in the coffin for HSR. You just took the already unaffordable cost of HSR and multiplied it by 10. No where in the world do they put HSR in elevated tubes, to protect it from the weather. That might not even be technologically possible.
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Old 02-26-2016, 12:25 AM
 
Location: "Silicon Valley" (part of San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KaaBoom View Post
That would be the final nail in the coffin for HSR. You just took the already unaffordable cost of HSR and multiplied it by 10. No where in the world do they put HSR in elevated tubes, to protect it from the weather. That might not even be technologically possible.
Why wouldn't it be technologically possible?

The future of train travel is the SUPER-MAGLEV, says China | Daily Mail Online

The main reason for the tube would be to create a near vacuum so it can go faster than an airplane, but it would have the added benefit of allowing the system to operate in bad weather (in theory).

This is an idea that Elon Musk has been talking about with HyperLoop, but maglev trains in evacuated tubes is an idea that has been around for decades.
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Old 02-26-2016, 07:32 AM
 
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neutrino78x View Post
Why wouldn't it be technologically possible?

The future of train travel is the SUPER-MAGLEV, says China | Daily Mail Online

The main reason for the tube would be to create a near vacuum so it can go faster than an airplane, but it would have the added benefit of allowing the system to operate in bad weather (in theory).

This is an idea that Elon Musk has been talking about with HyperLoop, but maglev trains in evacuated tubes is an idea that has been around for decades.
Oh look, someone created a 12 meter long toy train prototype to prove it will work.

I guess that proves that it might be possible. But Iíd still have to see a video of it actually operating, before I believe it. When I Googled videos for ďsuper maglev", all I came up with are YouTube videos that use those same three still pictures from that article. Which makes me think itís vaporware, from some guy who wants money to develop it. Cold fusion anybody?

Anyway, even if it is technologically possible, itís still not cost effective. I seriously doubt the US will ever get a regular maglev train, let alone a super maglev running in elevated tubes.
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Old 02-26-2016, 10:33 AM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,008,041 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neutrino78x View Post
A backup system for times when airplanes can't operate. HSR in theory could still run in a heavy snowstorm, if the track was covered, for example.

In my opinion all new track should always be grade separated, and if elevated, it should be surrounded by a tube that protects it from the weather.
I'm not saying there aren't arguments to be made, as there clearly are. I'm asking if those arguments are so great as to justify the cost of such a system: return on investment vs. alternatives.

To your point, specifically, if the weather is truly bad, then it is unlikely HSR would be running, either.
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Old 02-26-2016, 10:47 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
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I can't take "high speed rail" seriously in the US till there is a true high speed line between DC and at least NYC, but preferably Boston.
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Old 02-28-2016, 04:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
I can't take "high speed rail" seriously in the US till there is a true high speed line between DC and at least NYC, but preferably Boston.
Even that is somewhat unrealistic, Acela-like high-speed trains (max 150mph) is probably the best we can do. For example when the FRA detailed a plan to speed up the Current NE corridor (coastline route) they put the line straight through Old Lyme Village in CT. The Town Selectman essentially said "No way, not happening" because there is a 100 ft ROW plowing through a 300 year old village with the commercial and population center of town. It straightens a curve that was there because there was a town in the way. That's the truth with most curves along the CT Coastline. They curve around seaside towns, they didn't make a curvy track for fun in 1850.
The English System is one to imitate. They use their old tracks and ROWs but trains go 120-130mph on most lines, that is the sort of Rail that is possible in America.
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Old 02-29-2016, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btownboss4 View Post
Even that is somewhat unrealistic, Acela-like high-speed trains (max 150mph) is probably the best we can do. For example when the FRA detailed a plan to speed up the Current NE corridor (coastline route) they put the line straight through Old Lyme Village in CT. The Town Selectman essentially said "No way, not happening" because there is a 100 ft ROW plowing through a 300 year old village with the commercial and population center of town. It straightens a curve that was there because there was a town in the way. That's the truth with most curves along the CT Coastline. They curve around seaside towns, they didn't make a curvy track for fun in 1850.
The English System is one to imitate. They use their old tracks and ROWs but trains go 120-130mph on most lines, that is the sort of Rail that is possible in America.
I find it interesting that Old Lyme Village apparently had no issues when they constructed I-95 through the area. Apparently a 500 ft wide ROW for a six lane wide freeway plowing right through the middle of a 300 year old village is good, but a 100 ft wide ROW for a rail line is bad.
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