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(Slate)   "In liberals' dreams, this Is what America's high-speed rail network looks like." Gee only 18 hours from NY to LA eating Amtrak food? Who wouldn't spend 200 billion for that?   (slate.com) divider line 373
    More: Interesting, Los Angeles, Amtrak, high-speed rail  
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5714 clicks; posted to Geek » on 09 Feb 2013 at 4:08 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-09 05:07:52 PM

violentsalvation: $200 billion sounds way low to me.


What's the California line going to cost? $70B - $100B?
$200B for L.A. to N.Y. seems waaaay optimistic.

I'd be more encouraged about the prospects if Amtrak could run a high speed line that was (a) high speed, and (b) cheap in comparison an airline ticket.  This thing would unfortunately end up as the boondoggle of all boondoggles.  Every State along the way (and even those not along the way) would want a bigger piece of the action and the train would end up stopping every 50 miles.  The 18 hour ride would quickly turn into a 36 hour ride.
 
2013-02-09 05:08:56 PM
Rail makes a lot more sense for short journeys than it does for really long ones, tbh - and I'm a European AND a liberal.

For example, from my town to the state capitol is about an hour by car.  It'd be awesome to be able to hop on a regular ol' 80mph local train that goes from here, stops at the mid-way town, and then a few stops up there.  From there to Chicago, high-speed rail would be awesome.  Right now, I have to either drive four hours, or drive one hour to the airport, get there roughly an hour and a half before my flight for long-term parking, security groping, and baggage loading time, fly 70 minutes, and fight my way out of the airport there, for a total of about three or three and a half hours.  A slow train to Indy at ~1 hour, then change to a 200mph fast train that gets me to downtown Chicago in about an hour and a half (185 miles by road right now) would be roughly the same speed as flying, but would get me closer to downtown, and I could leave my car at home completely.

On the other hand, if I'm going to LA for the week, it's 2000 miles, so HSR would take a minimum of 10 hours (realistically more like 12 with stops) to flying's 6, so unless it's a lot cheaper (and it won't be), screw it, I'll fly.

The whole DC/Baltimore/Philly/NYC/Boston corridor is just crying for some good HSR though.  It'd be so much quicker and easier for people than flying.
 
2013-02-09 05:09:28 PM
I got a Dogfish Head 60 minute IPA on my NYC->Boston train.

/in a glass bottle
//can't get that on a plane
 
2013-02-09 05:10:17 PM

Old enough to know better: I can think of dumber things we've spent 200 Billion on.


It's cheaper than the next war. If the choice is killing a bunch of brown people versus having gleaming new 200mph trains, I know which I'd rather have.
 
2013-02-09 05:10:21 PM
Not a big fan of Amofftrak, but 'train vs. Dreamliner'?

hmmmm....
 
2013-02-09 05:10:26 PM
Is there a chance the track could bend?

/actually thinks this is a decent idea, FWIW.
 
2013-02-09 05:12:42 PM

Lsherm: There isn't a single passenger rail system in the world that generates enough revenue to cover the costs. They are all subsidized. Europe, Japan, and China all have to funnel money each year into their passenger rail systems above and beyond what they take in via tickets.

I believe it's a worthy subsidy, but liberals need to stop pretending that passenger rail isn't a money loser long-term. Be honest about it: it's going to cost way more than it will ever bring in, but we do it for the same reason we keep the interstate system up and running - it's a public benefit.


Deutsche Bahn, the German rail company, receives some subsidy for the small regional routes, but it has been posting good profits in recent years.  In 2010, the operating profits were 1.9 Billion Euros (source: http://www.bahn.com/i/view/GBR/en/about/overview/company_profile.shtml ) on revenue of 38 Billion Euros, with expected increases in coming years.

The bigger hindrances to rail catching on in the US are cultural, I think.  We get much less vacation time every year than most Europeans, we generally have an attitude of getting everything done quickly/instant gratification, and if people aren't flying they generally prefer to drive.  Trains would have the advantage of not being delayed or canceled due to weather quite as easily as flights (blizzards like the current one being exceptions, of course)
  I think some rail lines would definitely help some business travel, especially if the trains all have wi-fi, but it will be a hard sell until gas prices really go up. Certain trips, like NYC to LA will still be dominated by air travel because of the distance, but for something like Minneapolis to Chicago, or Denver to Phoenix, train could be better.  I could also see it being used more by college students heading between campus and home in summer and winter break.  I've always been surprised that Madison doesn't have a rail station, considering all the students that would likely be heading towards Milwaukee, Minneapolis or Chicago.
 
2013-02-09 05:15:54 PM

DemonEater: The whole DC/Baltimore/Philly/NYC/Boston corridor is just crying for some good HSR though.


Let's try this again...

/is this thing on?
 
2013-02-09 05:15:59 PM

slayer199: FlashHarry: in before some conservatard divides the cost by the number of jobs created to come up with: "IT COSTS $300,000 PER JERB!!!!" forgetting, of course, that we also receive a shiny new piece of infrastructure that will generate revenue, facilitate commerce and make life easier for the public for a century afterwards.

That isn't the point.  Unless it's substantially cheaper than flying, it won't be used....so it will be nothing but a government sinkhole.  The fastest bullet trains in the world travel around 150mph.  A trip from New York to LA would take 18 hours of travel time (non-stop and not accounting for time changes).  A flight is 5 hours and 45 minutes.  Just looking it up, a one-way non-stop flight to LAX from NYC is $328.

Even now, a one-way trip on Amtrak from New York to LA costs $218 and it takes 5 days (3 stops).

It's simple math.  There's no way to make that affordable and self-sustaining to the point it will be a viable alternative to flying.


Could we stop subsidizing airfare and make them pay their carbon costs?
 
2013-02-09 05:16:42 PM
The line from NY to Cali is of course stupidly long and expensive.. but thats an  outlier, the lines along the major lines of cities are magnitudes more economic. Thats like saying planes are shiat because it takes 2 days to get from the UK to New Zealand. defining the value of something by its worst possible case is crap.
 
2013-02-09 05:17:15 PM

67 Beetle: I'd be more encouraged about the prospects if Amtrak could run a high speed line that was (a) high speed, and (b) cheap in comparison an airline ticket.  This thing would unfortunately end up as the boondoggle of all boondoggles.  Every State along the way (and even those not along the way) would want a bigger piece of the action and the train would end up stopping every 50 miles.  The 18 hour ride would quickly turn into a 36 hour ride


Property and easement rights combined with local taxation has already chewed through many rail companies.
If this were to ever happen it would have to be done on the federal level.
 
2013-02-09 05:17:56 PM

gaspode: The line from NY to Cali is of course stupidly long and expensive


I don't understand this complaint. It's like a subway line - you don't build it for the purpose of letting people actually travel from one end to the other. It's about moving in between all the stops in the middle.
 
2013-02-09 05:18:57 PM

gimmegimme: DamnYankees: gimmegimme: I refuse to travel by plane because it saddens me to be confronted so strongly with our loss of freedom and how little anyone else cares about the Constitution.

What the hell are you talking about.

In order to get on the plane, you must submit to unreasonable search and seizure.  Right?  Was all of that repealed and I missed it?


I wear a suit when i fly and I have never been searched or seized and they never take my Zippo away.  Usually they stop me from removing my shoes and wave me past.  In order to get on a plane, all I have to do is pretend not to notice the farce that pretends to be airline security.  You don't need to be a jedi to get on an airplane without inconvenience.
 
2013-02-09 05:19:57 PM
Yep, as several people have alluded to here, high-speed rail isn't - and never was - intended to compete over long-distance travel.

The fact that people keep dreaming of a nationwide system, IMO, actually hurts the cause by diverting attention away from HSR's true niche - the short-  to medium-distance corridors.
 
2013-02-09 05:20:29 PM
Well the conservative idea is to throw away 10 trillion in a dust hole thousands of miles away on a people that hate us.
 
2013-02-09 05:22:11 PM
Ottawa to Washington is a one hour direct flight (just enough time to drink your cup of tea or coffee), but you have to be at the airport three hours early. Then when you arrive at Dulles (Reagan if you're lucky) you have a couple more hours picking up luggage, going through customs, and in a taxi.

Trains used to run right downtown. I've seen The Railroader with Buster Keaton, a comic short in which he crosses Canada on a hand-cart. The Conference Centre was a train station and the Chateau Laurier Hotel had its own spur so travellers didn't have to get a taxi to cross the street.

Decent railways compete easily on short trips because of these advantages: you can walk around a train, spend the trip in the bar, get some work done, have a private compartment, even attach a private rail car. You don't have to spend hours at the station on either end or in the middle of the trip, and you can get there faster, real travel time being the most important element in travel besides physical comfort.

A train is still competitive with a bus because crossing North America in Bus Hell is for the poorest travellers--nobody does it for fun or business. It is cramped and you have no mobility to exercise or work. With fast enough trains, the train can be competitive with all but giant airplanes with cabins and lots of room for first class passengers to work and lay around sipping champagne. It is much easier to hold a business meeting on a train than on a bus.

When I book airplane flights, I find it almost impossible to book a direct flight within the Gubbermint budget in North America. A flght from Ottawa to New York, which is an hour as the crow flies, has to go through Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia, or if you are lucky, Boston. It HAS to. There is no cheap flight direct or even through Montreal or Toronto unless you book months ahead and pay more. Only the rich (and possibly Cabinet Ministers) can direct fly from Ottawa to Washington with less than eight weeks advance purchase for less than thousands. You'll pay several hundred dollars for each hour you cut off of flying time and airport time. You'll pay through the nose for each week and then each day that you delay booking.

This ideal train network would take about a century to complete--bits of it are more or less in place, however, and the most profitable lines could be upgraded in our life times. It's basically what Europe has now. True, the American and Canadian West are emptier than the plains of Russia, but that's the biggest obstacle to a trans-continental ground-based mass transportation system that works. And basically, even getting to one of the bigger airports is good enough. If you can get to a hub, you can fly from there--for a price, a hefty, time-consuming price.
 
2013-02-09 05:22:15 PM

pinchpoint: Let's try this again...

/is this thing on?


Given the circumstances it was born into, the Acela has done an admirable job of increasing ridership on the Northeast Corridor - but it's nowhere close to a true high-speed train.
 
2013-02-09 05:22:32 PM
I have paid to ride Japan's bullet trains, and would pay to have that experience here.

Get to L.A., San Francisco or even Santa Barbara, where a car is a liability, without having to do the driving or pay to park?

Yes, I do want that. What the hell is taking so long?

This isn't a liberal thing.

This helps businesses and is a constructive use of our resources to make the country a better place.

Calling everything that threatens to create jobs and/or reduce car exhausts "liberal" gets tiring after a while.

You think Japan is a liberal country? What percentage of workers there are businessmen? 80%? Ask a Japanese banker if he thinks high speed rail was a poor investment.
Likewise the Chinese that authorized their Mag-Lev trains; you think they thought it was Mao's last dream?
These things are business smart. The biggest problem we have in the States is that not enough of us have gone overseas and seen other ways of looking at the world than our own.

And for God's sake, turn off Fox News before you kill yourself to make some political point.
 
2013-02-09 05:22:54 PM
I take the train from Memphis to New Orleans all the time. Spacious seats. Nice meal, on plates with silverware. A bar. Scenery.  I love trains.
 
2013-02-09 05:23:12 PM
I have a cunning plan to get this through - all we have to do is convince someone at Fox News that a conservative came up with this idea first.
 
2013-02-09 05:23:17 PM
www.wired.com

Ha ha!
 
2013-02-09 05:30:14 PM
Hartford CT? Surely not. New Haven would be far more direct.
 
2013-02-09 05:32:29 PM
I posted this article in TFA's comments, but it's worth reposting here:

The full cost of high-speed rail: an engineering approach

"The paper concludes that high-speed rail is significantly more
costly than expanding existing air service, and marginally more expensive
than auto travel. This suggests that high-speed rail is better positioned to
serve shorter distance markets where it competes with auto travel than
longer distance markets where it substitutes for air."


HSR makes no sense in the Midwest, especially with a spectacular interstate highway system already in place and decent airport hubs.  From Boston to DC?  Sure, that's justified.  San Francisco to San Diego?  It would probably work.  Hell, an LA to Vegas express train would probably be a gold mine.  But trying to connect the dozen or so cities in the Midwest that would even be worth it is just foolish.
 
2013-02-09 05:34:22 PM

Solid Muldoon: I take the train from Memphis to New Orleans all the time. Spacious seats. Nice meal, on plates with silverware. A bar. Scenery.  I love trains.


must be nice.. is that an express train with first class service? becuase for me on the east coast, and not a major connector, for that type of servicec, I would be taking the Auto train from DC to Orlando, where, in addition to my first class ticket, I would also be paying a freight charge for my car as well. all other train service for the same route is regular class, or first class which only really accommodates sleeper cars.

DC to further points north you have more options with high speed and express,  but if you are traveling south from the north east corridor, you are pretty much switching to a regular train once you get to DC to travel further south.
 
2013-02-09 05:34:28 PM
This is really starting to annoy me about the Right. If its for bettering the country we cant do it. We cant do anything. Oh but we are the greatest country in the world! But we cant do a damn thing to show it because it might make a Democrat look good.

Todays GOP would have let the Soviets win the space race, Cut funding on the hoover dam and told the french to keep that statue of liberty! Too many tax dollars to assemble that thing and screw you frenchy!!

But if its to spend spend spend on the military, the war in Iraq or gut the surplus for a tax cuts for the rich they are gung ho about it


We do need to rebuild our infrastructure. Republicans just want it to crumble. Rail lines would ease traffic, cut down fuel consumption, cleaner environment .You know..things the GOP hates
 
2013-02-09 05:36:55 PM
So... Why is this a "HURR LIBERALS" topic again? Wasn't it the development of the Transcontinental Railroad that opened up large swaths of America that were previously empty and really started the USA's push towards being a modern industrialised nation? What the hell does "LIBERALS ARE BAD" have to do with anything?
 
2013-02-09 05:37:06 PM

Foundling: I have paid to ride Japan's bullet trains, and would pay to have that experience here.

Get to L.A., San Francisco or even Santa Barbara, where a car is a liability, without having to do the driving or pay to park?

Yes, I do want that. What the hell is taking so long?

This isn't a liberal thing.

This helps businesses and is a constructive use of our resources to make the country a better place.

Calling everything that threatens to create jobs and/or reduce car exhausts "liberal" gets tiring after a while.

You think Japan is a liberal country? What percentage of workers there are businessmen? 80%? Ask a Japanese banker if he thinks high speed rail was a poor investment.
Likewise the Chinese that authorized their Mag-Lev trains; you think they thought it was Mao's last dream?
These things are business smart. The biggest problem we have in the States is that not enough of us have gone overseas and seen other ways of looking at the world than our own.

And for God's sake, turn off Fox News before you kill yourself to make some political point.


Japan is roughly the size of Montana, there's a lot more miles to cover in this country...
 
2013-02-09 05:37:30 PM
The maker of that map apparently doesn't know where Tulsa is. Unless he intended the train to stop in Ponca City and mislabeled it. Which I doubt.
 
2013-02-09 05:37:45 PM
US: 3,794,000 square miles
Europe: 3,930,000 square miles
 
2013-02-09 05:38:46 PM

doyner: DamnYankees: muck4doo: Money doesn't grow on trees.

Money is paper. It literally does grow on trees. I've never understood this expression.

Actually, US currency is made from cotton and linen....or electrons really.


and smells to high heaven. What do they do to make it smell so strongly?

Last time I went to get money changed, I knew the moment the woman had opened the drawer with the US currency.
 
2013-02-09 05:39:08 PM

ItchyMcDoogle: This is really starting to annoy me about the Right. If its for bettering the country we cant do it. We cant do anything. Oh but we are the greatest country in the world! But we cant do a damn thing to show it because it might make a Democrat look good.

Todays GOP would have let the Soviets win the space race, Cut funding on the hoover dam and told the french to keep that statue of liberty! Too many tax dollars to assemble that thing and screw you frenchy!!

But if its to spend spend spend on the military, the war in Iraq or gut the surplus for a tax cuts for the rich they are gung ho about it


We do need to rebuild our infrastructure. Republicans just want it to crumble. Rail lines would ease traffic, cut down fuel consumption, cleaner environment .You know..things the GOP hates


It's not better for our country to have high speed rail from the east to west coast, it would be a waste of money in the long run unless they could get the ticket costs down to compete with air travel...
 
2013-02-09 05:42:08 PM

rugman11: I posted this article in TFA's comments, but it's worth reposting here:

The full cost of high-speed rail: an engineering approach

"The paper concludes that high-speed rail is significantly more
costly than expanding existing air service, and marginally more expensive
than auto travel. This suggests that high-speed rail is better positioned to
serve shorter distance markets where it competes with auto travel than
longer distance markets where it substitutes for air."

HSR makes no sense in the Midwest, especially with a spectacular interstate highway system already in place and decent airport hubs.  From Boston to DC?  Sure, that's justified.  San Francisco to San Diego?  It would probably work.  Hell, an LA to Vegas express train would probably be a gold mine.  But trying to connect the dozen or so cities in the Midwest that would even be worth it is just foolish.


Well said
 
2013-02-09 05:45:13 PM

jtown: MisterTweak: Have you looked at how long it takes to get there *now*? Probably won't gain you time from major coastal hubs, but try getting from White Plains, NY to New Orleans, LA - if you only have to change planes once each way. Pick somwhere a little further from a major airport pair and it gets a lot more interesting having the rail option.

Air travel is a great subsidy for a few big cities.

You didn't look at The Map, did you?

[www.slate.com image 568x367]

There ya go.  The mythical high speed trains only stop in a few big cities.  If the trains stopped at every little podunk station, it would take forever to travel a significant distance.  (Kinda like how it is now.)  So, just like air travel, many people will have to drive for hours to get to a station then pay more money to spend 3x as long as flying travelling to the next big city.


Oh dear. Do you actually understand how trains work? Probably not, so I'll explain.

"The train now leaving Podunk is the local train to Wensleydale, Buttock, Fishpaste and Grover's Mills. Change at Fishpaste for the express to Chicago."
"The train now leaving Fishpaste is the express to Chicago. The High Speed train to Los Angeles will leave from Chicago track 27".
They all use the same basic infrastructure, and can do so without getting in each other's way.

This isn't fiction or speculation: many non-US countries are currently running very efficient rail networks.
 
2013-02-09 05:46:21 PM

Foundling: I have paid to ride Japan's bullet trains, and would pay to have that experience here.

Get to L.A., San Francisco or even Santa Barbara, where a car is a liability, without having to do the driving or pay to park?

Yes, I do want that. What the hell is taking so long?

This isn't a liberal thing.

This helps businesses and is a constructive use of our resources to make the country a better place.

Calling everything that threatens to create jobs and/or reduce car exhausts "liberal" gets tiring after a while.

You think Japan is a liberal country? What percentage of workers there are businessmen? 80%? Ask a Japanese banker if he thinks high speed rail was a poor investment.
Likewise the Chinese that authorized their Mag-Lev trains; you think they thought it was Mao's last dream?
These things are business smart. The biggest problem we have in the States is that not enough of us have gone overseas and seen other ways of looking at the world than our own.

And for God's sake, turn off Fox News before you kill yourself to make some political point.


Japan is roughly the size of California, our most heavily populated state (and 11th in population density), yet it has 3.5 times more people.  It also has 19 cities with a higher population density than the most densely populated city in California.  Under that scenario, HSR makes a lot of sense.
 
2013-02-09 05:47:48 PM

thisone: What do they do to make it smell so strongly?


Addictive pheromones.
 
2013-02-09 05:48:18 PM

thisone: and smells to high heaven. What do they do to make it smell so strongly?


It's a preventative measure. Saudi riyals aren't made to smell one way or another.  Guess what they smell like within a week of circulation?
 
2013-02-09 05:53:32 PM
Let's also keep in mind though with all the Amtrak Horror stories..

they rent track time on regional freight lines, and freight comes first. A Amtrak train WILL be put on a siding to accommodate a passing freight train. there are also rail speed limit areas put in place once you enter into urban areas. so even if the train isn't actually stopping, it must slow down to accomodate local rail traffic and conditions.. also  HSR cannot go over any street grades. you can't run the risk of having Joe Bob out in the sticks trying to drunkenly beat the gates when you have a loco tearing ass down the rails at 220 mph.

Joe Bob aint going to survive the situation, and we wont worry about that, fark Joe bob any ways. but you better believe that "incident" is going to cause sever damage to the train and mostly derail it in the process. so any HSR is going to have to be purposely built, and most likely elevated when going through urban areas, and avoiding all road grades in rural areas.

the line doesn't need to be double tracked, a send and return line, the whole way, but there will have to be very, very, very long sidings for passing all along the way.

I love rail, don't get me wrong, my dream is more light rail and trolly systems in the cities, high speed inter-connetions between nearby local cities. transportation hubs for train freight to overland truck... really.. there is absolutely no reason for a shipping container that's dropped on the west coast, be put on the back of a truck to travel to the east coast.
 
2013-02-09 05:54:56 PM

slayer199: FlashHarry: in before some conservatard divides the cost by the number of jobs created to come up with: "IT COSTS $300,000 PER JERB!!!!" forgetting, of course, that we also receive a shiny new piece of infrastructure that will generate revenue, facilitate commerce and make life easier for the public for a century afterwards.

That isn't the point.  Unless it's substantially cheaper than flying, it won't be used....so it will be nothing but a government sinkhole.  The fastest bullet trains in the world travel around 150mph.  A trip from New York to LA would take 18 hours of travel time (non-stop and not accounting for time changes).  A flight is 5 hours and 45 minutes.  Just looking it up, a one-way non-stop flight to LAX from NYC is $328.

Even now, a one-way trip on Amtrak from New York to LA costs $218 and it takes 5 days (3 stops).

It's simple math.  There's no way to make that affordable and self-sustaining to the point it will be a viable alternative to flying.


A city subway would not be fast enough to get from New York to Los Angeles, so that means we shouldn't build one.

/NY to LA might not work, but NY to Chicago could
//Chicago to LA could work as well
 
2013-02-09 05:55:45 PM

Cerebral Knievel: Let's also keep in mind though with all the Amtrak Horror stories..

they rent track time on regional freight lines, and freight comes first. A Amtrak train WILL be put on a siding to accommodate a passing freight train. there are also rail speed limit areas put in place once you enter into urban areas. so even if the train isn't actually stopping, it must slow down to accomodate local rail traffic and conditions.. also  HSR cannot go over any street grades. you can't run the risk of having Joe Bob out in the sticks trying to drunkenly beat the gates when you have a loco tearing ass down the rails at 220 mph.

Joe Bob aint going to survive the situation, and we wont worry about that, fark Joe bob any ways. but you better believe that "incident" is going to cause sever damage to the train and mostly derail it in the process. so any HSR is going to have to be purposely built, and most likely elevated when going through urban areas, and avoiding all road grades in rural areas.

the line doesn't need to be double tracked, a send and return line, the whole way, but there will have to be very, very, very long sidings for passing all along the way.

I love rail, don't get me wrong, my dream is more light rail and trolly systems in the cities, high speed inter-connetions between nearby local cities. transportation hubs for train freight to overland truck... really.. there is absolutely no reason for a shipping container that's dropped on the west coast, be put on the back of a truck to travel to the east coast.


Be careful using common sense on fark.. :D

Good point though.
 
2013-02-09 05:56:11 PM

thisone: doyner: DamnYankees: muck4doo: Money doesn't grow on trees.

Money is paper. It literally does grow on trees. I've never understood this expression.

Actually, US currency is made from cotton and linen....or electrons really.

and smells to high heaven. What do they do to make it smell so strongly?

Last time I went to get money changed, I knew the moment the woman had opened the drawer with the US currency.


two words...


Ass Pennies.
 
2013-02-09 05:56:32 PM

Electrify: slayer199: FlashHarry: in before some conservatard divides the cost by the number of jobs created to come up with: "IT COSTS $300,000 PER JERB!!!!" forgetting, of course, that we also receive a shiny new piece of infrastructure that will generate revenue, facilitate commerce and make life easier for the public for a century afterwards.

That isn't the point.  Unless it's substantially cheaper than flying, it won't be used....so it will be nothing but a government sinkhole.  The fastest bullet trains in the world travel around 150mph.  A trip from New York to LA would take 18 hours of travel time (non-stop and not accounting for time changes).  A flight is 5 hours and 45 minutes.  Just looking it up, a one-way non-stop flight to LAX from NYC is $328.

Even now, a one-way trip on Amtrak from New York to LA costs $218 and it takes 5 days (3 stops).

It's simple math.  There's no way to make that affordable and self-sustaining to the point it will be a viable alternative to flying.

A city subway would not be fast enough to get from New York to Los Angeles, so that means we shouldn't build one.

/NY to LA might not work, but NY to Chicago could
//Chicago to LA could work as well


Unless it's significantly cheaper then flying, no it wouldn't.
 
2013-02-09 06:00:53 PM

Tillmaster: jtown: MisterTweak: Have you looked at how long it takes to get there *now*? Probably won't gain you time from major coastal hubs, but try getting from White Plains, NY to New Orleans, LA - if you only have to change planes once each way. Pick somwhere a little further from a major airport pair and it gets a lot more interesting having the rail option.

Air travel is a great subsidy for a few big cities.

You didn't look at The Map, did you?

[www.slate.com image 568x367]

There ya go.  The mythical high speed trains only stop in a few big cities.  If the trains stopped at every little podunk station, it would take forever to travel a significant distance.  (Kinda like how it is now.)  So, just like air travel, many people will have to drive for hours to get to a station then pay more money to spend 3x as long as flying travelling to the next big city.

Oh dear. Do you actually understand how trains work? Probably not, so I'll explain.

"The train now leaving Podunk is the local train to Wensleydale, Buttock, Fishpaste and Grover's Mills. Change at Fishpaste for the express to Chicago."
"The train now leaving Fishpaste is the express to Chicago. The High Speed train to Los Angeles will leave from Chicago track 27".
They all use the same basic infrastructure, and can do so without getting in each other's way.

This isn't fiction or speculation: many non-US countries are currently running very efficient rail networks.


What the fark are you babbling about?  What does anything you said have to do with anything I said?  I think someone slipped chicklets into your meds.
 
2013-02-09 06:05:03 PM

mjones73: Electrify: slayer199: FlashHarry: in before some conservatard divides the cost by the number of jobs created to come up with: "IT COSTS $300,000 PER JERB!!!!" forgetting, of course, that we also receive a shiny new piece of infrastructure that will generate revenue, facilitate commerce and make life easier for the public for a century afterwards.

That isn't the point.  Unless it's substantially cheaper than flying, it won't be used....so it will be nothing but a government sinkhole.  The fastest bullet trains in the world travel around 150mph.  A trip from New York to LA would take 18 hours of travel time (non-stop and not accounting for time changes).  A flight is 5 hours and 45 minutes.  Just looking it up, a one-way non-stop flight to LAX from NYC is $328.

Even now, a one-way trip on Amtrak from New York to LA costs $218 and it takes 5 days (3 stops).

It's simple math.  There's no way to make that affordable and self-sustaining to the point it will be a viable alternative to flying.

A city subway would not be fast enough to get from New York to Los Angeles, so that means we shouldn't build one.

/NY to LA might not work, but NY to Chicago could
//Chicago to LA could work as well

Unless it's significantly cheaper then flying, no it wouldn't.


Oh and don't get me wrong, I'd love some alternatives to flying.. trains for long trips aren't cost effective. Hell I've priced taking the train to Florida from Maryland and it's $940 round trip for the wife, two kids and me. The ride is 19 hours in each direction. I can drive there on 2 1/2 tanks of gas in about 15-16 hours. I've looked into the auto train too, figured it would be nice not to put 600+ miles on my car, it's even more expensive and still takes 16 hours to get from Virginia to Florida.
 
2013-02-09 06:05:28 PM

Di Atribe: rev. dave: Money should not get in the way of doing what is right.

With conservatives, it all comes back to money. That's all that matters to them.


...except when it's their pet project, then empty the pocketbooks and fill up the credit cards. Oink, oink, baby; bring on the pork!
 
2013-02-09 06:06:36 PM
The sweet spot for HSR travel is where it is twice as fast as a car trip but somewhat slower than a plane trip, at half the price of air travel.  What this does is open up recreational and business travel over a much greater range. It makes it practical to take the train from St. Louis to Chicago or Milwaukee, shop or attend a concert or something, and get back home in the same day, where a car would require an overnight stay plus the stress of driving itself. The point of having HSR is not IMO just about only traveling from the most extreme ends of the network lines, but in making many trips a year across the shorter distances that were impractical by car and expensive for flying.
 
2013-02-09 06:13:06 PM

jtown: Tillmaster: jtown: MisterTweak: Have you looked at how long it takes to get there *now*? Probably won't gain you time from major coastal hubs, but try getting from White Plains, NY to New Orleans, LA - if you only have to change planes once each way. Pick somwhere a little further from a major airport pair and it gets a lot more interesting having the rail option.

Air travel is a great subsidy for a few big cities.

You didn't look at The Map, did you?

[www.slate.com image 568x367]

There ya go.  The mythical high speed trains only stop in a few big cities.  If the trains stopped at every little podunk station, it would take forever to travel a significant distance.  (Kinda like how it is now.)  So, just like air travel, many people will have to drive for hours to get to a station then pay more money to spend 3x as long as flying travelling to the next big city.

Oh dear. Do you actually understand how trains work? Probably not, so I'll explain.

"The train now leaving Podunk is the local train to Wensleydale, Buttock, Fishpaste and Grover's Mills. Change at Fishpaste for the express to Chicago."
"The train now leaving Fishpaste is the express to Chicago. The High Speed train to Los Angeles will leave from Chicago track 27".
They all use the same basic infrastructure, and can do so without getting in each other's way.

This isn't fiction or speculation: many non-US countries are currently running very efficient rail networks.

What the fark are you babbling about?  What does anything you said have to do with anything I said?  I think someone slipped chicklets into your meds.


He is saying that you take high the high speed rail to larger cities and then connect to smaller ones via commuter rail. Although I wouldn't call "Portsmouth NH, population 20,000" a very large city.
 
2013-02-09 06:16:50 PM

slayer199: It's simple math.  There's no way to make that affordable and self-sustaining to the point it will be a viable alternative to flying.


That's what taxes are for. If a country's infrastructure can't be maintained by private companies, the government should do it instead.

/ditto healthcare
//and retirement funds
///and utilities
 
2013-02-09 06:18:03 PM

Lsherm: Russia is not part of Europe.


Part of Russia is part of Europe.
 
2013-02-09 06:20:28 PM
Why is everyone comparing this to Air Transportation??

Show me a ground vehicle that can do it that fast.
 
2013-02-09 06:20:52 PM
...IIRC, the $200B cost is predicated on being able to use a great deal of existing right-of-way - which is...umm...optimistic.

/Thinks this would be an incredible idea but under our current system and priorities would be an unmitigated disaster
 
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