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(Telegraph)   Japan unveils new maglev train capable of speeds in excess of 300mph. America's only high speed train capable of 1/3 that speed, but hey America is going to build a true high speed train any day now.....any day   (telegraph.co.uk) divider line 121
    More: Cool, magnetic levitation, Nagoya, high-speed trains, Japan  
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2046 clicks; posted to Geek » on 27 Nov 2012 at 4:49 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-27 01:01:11 AM  
None of Japan's HSR lines are self-sufficient. So someone tell me what program we should cut to support a 300 mph line. We can't even support regular rail speeds without a subsidy.

Republicans: we have to raise taxes for this. Democrats: we have to cut other services for this.

Americans: is this a good use of our money?
 
2012-11-27 01:09:32 AM  

Lsherm: Americans: is this a good use of our money?


I would be thrilled if they would fix the damned potholes and bumps on the roads, so that my 15 year-old car can last a little bit longer. The last thing I think we need right now is an overly expensive high-speed train that no one is going to use.

But that's just me.
 
2012-11-27 02:12:18 AM  

Fark Me To Tears: The last thing I think we need right now is an overly expensive high-speed train that no one is going to use.


If the economics ever make sense, it will get built, but they don't make sense yet. If you could take a train from DC to central Manhattan in an hour, it's hard to see why anyone of means would opt for the airport or the roads. The problem is one of insufficient capacity in the system to get prices to a level that could recoup investment, not demand. My guess is you could sell maglev tickets at 1.5 times airfare and still handily win the demand war. But that price point is probably still way too low.
 
2012-11-27 02:26:43 AM  

Triumph: Fark Me To Tears: The last thing I think we need right now is an overly expensive high-speed train that no one is going to use.

If the economics ever make sense, it will get built, but they don't make sense yet. If you could take a train from DC to central Manhattan in an hour, it's hard to see why anyone of means would opt for the airport or the roads. The problem is one of insufficient capacity in the system to get prices to a level that could recoup investment, not demand. My guess is you could sell maglev tickets at 1.5 times airfare and still handily win the demand war. But that price point is probably still way too low.


Like solar and wind energy, it won't really get going until gas hits $5 per gallon.
 
2012-11-27 03:24:40 AM  
Because Japan and America are exactly the same in geography and population density.
 
2012-11-27 04:53:37 AM  
When that happens you could fly your car to the train station
 
2012-11-27 04:57:22 AM  
we also don't have this.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjJ3g_wv8H0
when this happens we will build that.
 
2012-11-27 04:57:46 AM  
the state-of-the-art trains are scheduled to go into use in 2027

Know how I know Subby didn't read the article?
 
2012-11-27 05:18:34 AM  

ShawnDoc: Because Japan and America are exactly the same in geography and population density.


You're right. We have much better geography for it, and at least 4 possible routes with similar population.
 
2012-11-27 05:22:33 AM  
In before ICP

/farkin maglevs
 
2012-11-27 05:26:33 AM  

FishyFred:

Like solar and wind energy, it won't really get going until gas hits $5 per gallon.


Or enough people get sick of the TSA's shiat.
 
2012-11-27 05:27:12 AM  

Bob Down: When that happens you could fly your car to the train station


I tell you three times gay deceiver.
 
2012-11-27 05:29:05 AM  
JR Tokai points out that bullet train technology will be 60 years old by 2025, while maglev technology is less polluting than flights that presently link the cities.

I don't think so. No one flies from Tokyo to Nagoya. First, only Narita supports flights to Centrair. That's an hour train ride out of Tokyo to begin with. Then it's another half hour to get from the Centrair airport to downtown Nagoya. In this time you'd have already reached Nagoya by bullet train, not including actual flight time.

A faster high speed train between Tokyo and Nagoya would be nice but to think that it's alleviating pollution due to flights between the two cities is misguided at best.
 
2012-11-27 05:31:57 AM  
The reason I voted for Obama was because I wanted high speed rail. But America is so incredibly devoted to being ass backwards, I'm surprised we haven't ditched our cars for horses instead.
 
2012-11-27 05:44:35 AM  

BalugaJoe: Bob Down: When that happens you could fly your car to the train station

I tell you three times gay deceiver.


You don't know how freaky that is.
 
2012-11-27 05:48:57 AM  
Hey, you know what would be really cool? A high-speed horse-and-buggy. Trains are for olden times, when there weren't many places to go. Who cares about a really fast train? It's still a train. You still have to go to a station, wait until one happens to be going in the general direction you want to go, and ride it with a bunch of losers who also can't afford cars. It's barbaric. Trains, used for their intended purpose of hauling cargo, are fast enough already. Focus on making better cars, dammit. Fark trains.
 
2012-11-27 05:58:42 AM  

Lsherm: Americans: is this a good use of our money?


If you adapt it to also handle freight as well as passengers, the answer will be "yes."

Rail is very efficient compared to long-haul trucking and is less expensive already, but it's slower so the extra cost of trucking makes economic sense. Speed up freight rail, trucking becomes a local affair and everybody (except the long haul truckers, I guess) wins.
=Smidge=
 
2012-11-27 06:01:39 AM  

untaken_name: Hey, you know what would be really cool? A high-speed horse-and-buggy. Trains are for olden times, when there weren't many places to go. Who cares about a really fast train? It's still a train. You still have to go to a station, wait until one happens to be going in the general direction you want to go, and ride it with a bunch of losers who also can't afford cars. It's barbaric. Trains, used for their intended purpose of hauling cargo, are fast enough already. Focus on making better cars, dammit. Fark trains.


In Japan, they have a high-speed running-man-and-buggy. But it is a little more expensive than the Shinkansen.
 
2012-11-27 06:18:07 AM  
What is it with all this distance traveling, anyway? Why can't people just live within walking distance of necessities?
 
2012-11-27 06:29:12 AM  

Bob Down: I tell you three times gay deceiver.

You don't know how freaky that is.


You think that's freaky? I've got a Number of the Beast birthmark on my head.
 
2012-11-27 06:29:25 AM  

Lsherm: So someone tell me what program we should cut to support a 300 mph line.


It would come out of the DOT budget -- less money for highways. We've got commuters jamming 6-lane highways in rush hour, all going in the same direction. That's way too much money going toward a particularly inefficient mode of transportation. The problem with high speed rail isn't the viability so much as the scale. You can't dink-n'-dunk a project like this. It's controversial, but high-speed rail should really go straight through the hearts of major urban areas, be implemented on a massive scale and (here's the hard part) politically supported at the expense of other transportation programs, not compete with them. Any piecemeal, short-term approach is doomed to fail, which suits the politicians just fine. They can shiat all over the project and then blame the public for not buying in.

ShawnDoc: Because Japan and America are exactly the same in geography and population density.


It's actually harder to build high-speed rail in Japan because the whole country is mountainous. The Shinkansen goes through an awful lot of tunnels because the rail needs to be relatively straight so just going around a mountainside and blasting it level isn't an option. The #1 reason why America can't build high-speed rail is actually corruption. The auto industry's a dinosaur, but they've still got the public by the balls so there's no political pressure to clean up the transportation department. Even here in Boston where the T is heavily relied on by commuters, the MBTA is a dumping ground of unelected croneys and bad debt.
 
2012-11-27 06:30:08 AM  

Larva Lump: What is it with all this distance traveling, anyway? Why can't people just live within walking distance of necessities?


I do now, but I had to travel 8000 miles to get here.
 
2012-11-27 06:45:24 AM  

dragonchild: It's controversial, but high-speed rail should really go straight through the hearts of major urban areas, be implemented on a massive scale and (here's the hard part) politically supported at the expense of other transportation programs, not compete with them.


Or, we could do it at the expense of something else. Personally, I'd rather spend tax dollars on high speed rail than on bombs.
 
2012-11-27 06:45:36 AM  
Europe has ~200 MPH trains (Eurostar in the UK, Thalys in France, ICE in Germany come to mind) that appear to use standard heavy rail infrastructure. I'm sure maintenance is higher than for a standard train, but it's got to be only a fraction of the cost of maglev.

Anyone know if the European high speed lines are near self-sufficient?
 
2012-11-27 06:53:06 AM  

Baryogenesis: dragonchild: It's controversial, but high-speed rail should really go straight through the hearts of major urban areas, be implemented on a massive scale and (here's the hard part) politically supported at the expense of other transportation programs, not compete with them.

Or, we could do it at the expense of something else. Personally, I'd rather spend tax dollars on high speed rail than on bombs.


Same here. Also, more commuter trains. I love JR in Tokyo. I can go from one end of the city to the other and never see a red light. The only thing I wish they'd change is stopping the train for suicides. Someone dies legit? Stop the train, get some EMTs or something. See if we can save 'em. But if someone jumps on purpose? Spray him off to the side and get him off the tracks after rush hour. People wouldn't keep jumping in front of trains if we disrespected their poor judgement more appropriately.
 
2012-11-27 06:53:43 AM  
To follow up on my own post, it looks like European high speed rail operates with a very slight profit (~$35M last year), if the UK's service is anything to go by.

Source
 
2012-11-27 06:54:08 AM  

Triumph: Fark Me To Tears: The last thing I think we need right now is an overly expensive high-speed train that no one is going to use.

If the economics ever make sense, it will get built, but they don't make sense yet. If you could take a train from DC to central Manhattan in an hour, it's hard to see why anyone of means would opt for the airport or the roads. The problem is one of insufficient capacity in the system to get prices to a level that could recoup investment, not demand. My guess is you could sell maglev tickets at 1.5 times airfare and still handily win the demand war. But that price point is probably still way too low.


The TSA would make it take 4 hours.
 
2012-11-27 07:04:46 AM  

digistil: To follow up on my own post, it looks like European high speed rail operates with a very slight profit (~$35M last year), if the UK's service is anything to go by.

Source


Profit isn't measured best in straight dollars. Go to Europe or Japan, ride the trains, tell me you wouldn't fire the whole TSA and pay your back taxes to get that going in your town.

So much better than car travel. Just sit back, crack a bottle of wine or a beer... It's great.
 
2012-11-27 07:10:05 AM  
Lower population density to some point is an issue in the US but it is made 100 times worse by politicians getting in the way. One of the proposed routes was Buffalo to New York, which would actually be really popular if it existed. You could rail into the city, spend the day doing whatever and head home at night. The trip is 380 miles, and a high speed rail should get you there at a conservative 2.5 hours. The issue was that the planned time was nearly 5 for the 'high speed' rail because the train was going to stop in every hamlet between Buffalo and New York. Local politics forces additional stops, then you have all the people complaining against noise, and the endangered dwarf 2 toed red eared frog from in a creek the tracks will cross.

The Northeast Megalopolis is probably the place that would stand the most to benefit from a high speed rail network. However you'd need to look at a market and then build a network to serve the demand, not every politicians self interested motives. Keeping in mind the lower travel times increase the demand and lower times decrease it. Ideally you would want a system that could handle smaller trains in higher quantity to better fit demand. Fit the train size to demand and then run direct as much as possible to reduce travel times. Rather than a 12 car train with 3 stops, run 3 different 4 car trains direct.
 
2012-11-27 07:13:29 AM  
Driving sucks.

If anyone has ever lived in a large city with good public transit, cars suck.
 
2012-11-27 07:14:45 AM  

Triumph: Fark Me To Tears: The last thing I think we need right now is an overly expensive high-speed train that no one is going to use.

If the economics ever make sense, it will get built, but they don't make sense yet. If you could take a train from DC to central Manhattan in an hour, it's hard to see why anyone of means would opt for the airport or the roads. The problem is one of insufficient capacity in the system to get prices to a level that could recoup investment, not demand. My guess is you could sell maglev tickets at 1.5 times airfare and still handily win the demand war. But that price point is probably still way too low.


Or the problem is we don't have actual socialist governments, as most of northern europe and japan, who just invest in things like this for the betterment of the public and the common good. Sure they give a sweetheart deal to vendors who deliver it, but thats true of building more roads or putting in another runway at the airports, too.

The main reason we are so ass backward in America is we're full of right wing idiots and we let them set the agenda for progress.

America lost its way around 1980 on this one, and has never looked at fixing it, not yet.

The Northeast Corridor already has population base equal or greater to what Japan had when it installed its original bullet trains. Somehow doing that didn't hurt Japan's auto industry. But lordy be, you try that stuff here, you got lobbyist screaming and derp media screaming.
 
2012-11-27 07:16:14 AM  
One big problem is that the Amtrak system only borrows track, they don't "own" it. They
play second fiddle to the freight train traffic on most of the lines. There would almost need
to be a new right of way set aside just for Amtrak traffic.The cost of that would be pretty outstanding
to do all at once..It would do the U.S. a lot of good, and the world at large as well, to get away from
truck transport and use rail more. But again, the U.S. in general needs to just slow down.
Not everything needs to be 24/7/365 and not every delivery needs to be overnight..Some things
need faster transport, by truck, such as perishables. We don't need to keep shipping cheap plastic
Chinese tchotchkies (sp) across the country that way.
 
2012-11-27 07:16:45 AM  

Coelacanth: The reason I voted for Obama was because I wanted high speed rail. But America is so incredibly devoted to being ass backwards, I'm surprised we haven't ditched our cars for horses instead.


Teabaggers don't want the competition from any other sources of horsesh*t.
 
2012-11-27 07:21:00 AM  

doglover: digistil: To follow up on my own post, it looks like European high speed rail operates with a very slight profit (~$35M last year), if the UK's service is anything to go by.

Source

Profit isn't measured best in straight dollars. Go to Europe or Japan, ride the trains, tell me you wouldn't fire the whole TSA and pay your back taxes to get that going in your town.

So much better than car travel. Just sit back, crack a bottle of wine or a beer... It's great.


Could not agree more. You provide much better reasons than profit to pull the trigger. My point was that the thing isn't even a money sink. It's profitable. So what's the hold up??
 
2012-11-27 07:23:55 AM  

Lsherm: None of Japan's HSR lines are self-sufficient. So someone tell me what program we should cut to support a 300 mph line.


We could cut subsidies to oil companies and airlines.
 
2012-11-27 07:26:50 AM  
Let's just send the money to Africa, subby.
 
2012-11-27 07:29:03 AM  
i3.kym-cdn.com
 
2012-11-27 07:30:22 AM  

Lsherm: None of Japan's HSR lines are self-sufficient.


I haven't found any evidence of that
 
2012-11-27 07:32:06 AM  

digistil: Europe has ~200 MPH trains (Eurostar in the UK, Thalys in France, ICE in Germany come to mind) that appear to use standard heavy rail infrastructure. I'm sure maintenance is higher than for a standard train, but it's got to be only a fraction of the cost of maglev.


The new ICE tracks were (all?) laid specifically for high speed trains. Quite some impressive overpasses and a shiatload of tunnels in the hilly countryside around here.

However, when I have the choice of taking the car or the train and I am looking at roughly the same time due to the autobahn, I am still driving, even when fuel is at $10/gallon around here. Sitting on a train is nice and all and lot of people prefer to be able to do something in the travel time, but I still prefer the positive stress from a jaunt down the autobahn.

However, on my upcoming visit to Japan, I will extensively travel by rail. Highspeed rail is nothing new to me, but damnit, it looks more efficient there (and cleaner and more space in the trains)
 
2012-11-27 07:33:37 AM  
Forgot to add that cargo trains do not use the rail lines from the high speed trains. We have those in addition to the old railways.
 
2012-11-27 07:35:56 AM  

Old enough to know better: Or enough people get sick of the TSA's shiat


Any high speed train would get TSA screeners. The government finds a way to make anything burdensome.
 
2012-11-27 07:36:07 AM  

digistil: Anyone know if the European high speed lines are near self-sufficient?


I don't understand why self-sufficiency is a requirement of rail. The auto infrastructure isn't self-sufficient. The auto industry is dependent on the government to build and maintain roads and give huge subsidies to the oil companies. Don't forget a good chunk of our military is deployed to defend the flow of oil from around the world. Airlines aren't self-sufficient either, most carriers have been bailed out by the government a couple times in the last 25 years. They also get huge tax breaks and a lot of tax dollars.

Since auto and air travel aren't self- sufficient, why is it a requirement for rail travel to be self- sufficient?
 
2012-11-27 07:37:18 AM  

Lt_Ryan: The issue was that the planned time was nearly 5 for the 'high speed' rail because the train was going to stop in every hamlet between Buffalo and New York.


Mr. Shabooboo: One big problem is that the Amtrak system only borrows track, they don't "own" it. They play second fiddle to the freight train traffic on most of the lines. There would almost need to be a new right of way set aside just for Amtrak traffic.


Like I said, you can't dink n' dunk this sort of thing. The solution is to have regular lines running the same routes for local traffic, express lines doing their thing, and then super-express lines all running in parallel. That's a minimum of SIX NEW parallel tracks. The result:
High-speed rail passbys
. . . Mind you, that train was well under full speed to safely pass through the station.
 
2012-11-27 07:45:01 AM  
After living in Europe these past two years, I would fully support a high speed rail system, especially cross country. Even at the expense of the interstate budget.

It's more efficient, faster, and a lot easier. I can sleep, read, play around online, and less of a TSA worry to deal with.
 
2012-11-27 07:46:43 AM  

Triumph: Fark Me To Tears: The last thing I think we need right now is an overly expensive high-speed train that no one is going to use.

If the economics ever make sense, it will get built, but they don't make sense yet. If you could take a train from DC to central Manhattan in an hour, it's hard to see why anyone of means would opt for the airport or the roads. The problem is one of insufficient capacity in the system to get prices to a level that could recoup investment, not demand. My guess is you could sell maglev tickets at 1.5 times airfare and still handily win the demand war. But that price point is probably still way too low.


It would still take three hours because it would stop twenty times. I love the acela, but it's not much faster than the normal train.
 
2012-11-27 07:47:19 AM  

dragonchild: Lsherm: So someone tell me what program we should cut to support a 300 mph line.

It would come out of the DOT budget -- less money for highways. We've got commuters jamming 6-lane highways in rush hour, all going in the same direction. That's way too much money going toward a particularly inefficient mode of transportation. The problem with high speed rail isn't the viability so much as the scale. You can't dink-n'-dunk a project like this. It's controversial, but high-speed rail should really go straight through the hearts of major urban areas, be implemented on a massive scale and (here's the hard part) politically supported at the expense of other transportation programs, not compete with them. Any piecemeal, short-term approach is doomed to fail, which suits the politicians just fine. They can shiat all over the project and then blame the public for not buying in.

ShawnDoc: Because Japan and America are exactly the same in geography and population density.

It's actually harder to build high-speed rail in Japan because the whole country is mountainous. The Shinkansen goes through an awful lot of tunnels because the rail needs to be relatively straight so just going around a mountainside and blasting it level isn't an option. The #1 reason why America can't build high-speed rail is actually corruption. The auto industry's a dinosaur, but they've still got the public by the balls so there's no political pressure to clean up the transportation department. Even here in Boston where the T is heavily relied on by commuters, the MBTA is a dumping ground of unelected croneys and bad debt.


If you're going to write a post supporting massive gov't funded transportation projects, the one word you must avoid using in your post is "Boston".
 
2012-11-27 07:51:00 AM  

Mrbogey: Old enough to know better: Or enough people get sick of the TSA's shiat

Any high speed train would get TSA screeners. The government finds a way to make anything burdensome.


I would imagine it would be a hell of a lot less of a worry, though. It's not like you're going to hijack a train and crash it into a building. At worst, the people on the train are at risk, but since there isn't a worry of using the train itself as a weapon like a jumbo jet full of fuel has with it.
 
2012-11-27 07:57:52 AM  

foo monkey: It would still take three hours because it would stop twenty times. I love the acela, but it's not much faster than the normal train.


Stops between Detroit and Chicago add about an hour to the trip compared to driving. I think there are 12 stops. The additional hour for travel is FAR less of an inconvenience than driving in Chicago and paying for parking. I wish there were a line that went east out of Detroit.
 
2012-11-27 08:08:44 AM  

Lsherm: None of Japan's HSR lines are self-sufficient.


As opposed to .... America's entire "private" airline industry? Guess we got to get rid of air travel.

Pssst ... not everything has to turn a profit to be a valuable service to it's citizens . Pass it on.
 
2012-11-27 08:11:13 AM  

Lsherm: None of Japan's HSR lines are self-sufficient. So someone tell me what program we should cut to support a 300 mph line. We can't even support regular rail speeds without a subsidy.

Republicans: we have to raise taxes for this. Democrats: we have to cut other services for this.

Americans: is this a good use of our money?


Are the roads you drive on self-supporting? The highway system? The municipal snow plows?
 
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