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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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5715 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 06:23:16 PM
Those cost estimates are ludicrously small.  Hell the high speed rail project from San Diego through LA to Sacramento and San Francisco is estimated to cost 200 billion.  A nationwide network of that size would probably end up several trillion dollars at minimum.  Last time I checked we were having some bugetary difficulties so I don't see that happening any time soon even assuming there was a huge demand that would help pay for the costs of construction and operations and maintenance budget.

High speed rail can work among major ctiies in close proximity. There is no transeuropean high speed rail.  Just national systems that sometimes run a little over their borders.  With this in mind, the DC/Philly/NY/Boston corredor is suited to high speed rail  and would benefit from a more dedicated faster line than the 150mph system at present that is slowed at several spots.  The California High Speed rail is doomed to failure as the distances are too far, the demand to low, and the routing woefully done to promote legislative votes rather than economic realities.  National high speed rail would be upon similar lines and would end up an expensive legacy cost or abandoned boondoggle of epic proportions.
 
2013-02-09 06:24:31 PM

gimmegimme: As a Republican, I'd rather give that $200 billion to private contractors to liberate more Iraqis and find those WMDs.  Anyone who disagrees with me is clearly against nation building.


i47.tinypic.com

Well, speaking as member of the Stock Exchange, I would suck their brains out with a straw, sell the widows and orphans, and go into South American zinc.
 
2013-02-09 06:27:07 PM

Carth: 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.


Assuming that's what he meant (and I don't think it is), it contradicts nothing that I said.  I said many people will have to drive for hours to get to a high speed rail station.  Taking a slow, local train instead would take even longer than driving.
 
2013-02-09 06:28:36 PM

gas giant: Is there a chance the track could bend?

/actually thinks this is a decent idea, FWIW.


Tracks are made to bend.  How do you think they account for the expansion and contraction during hot and cold weather?
 
2013-02-09 06:33:01 PM

DamnYankees: slayer199: Shorter distances, more condensed population centers...or did you miss that point.

You keep saying this, but there's no evidence. Europe is larger than the United States, first of all. Second of all, while Europe does have a population density about twice as dense as us, that number includes Alaska, where there are no people. And if we just leave out the Northern Plains from our rail system, we're relatively close to their density to the point where the objection based on density needs much more empirical evidence than just saying the word.


Try looking at a freaking map.
 
2013-02-09 06:34:29 PM

jtown: Assuming that's what he meant (and I don't think it is), it contradicts nothing that I said. I said many people will have to drive for hours to get to a high speed rail station. Taking a slow, local train instead would take even longer than driving.


Actually, not all that many. Most of the population of this country lives in cities these days, small town America makes up a pretty small proportion of the population. Yes, people without many transportation options would continue to not have many transportation options. Boo-farking-hoo. Don't like it, move to a city with more conveniences.
 
2013-02-09 06:34:30 PM

Daedalus27: Those cost estimates are ludicrously small. Hell the high speed rail project from San Diego through LA to Sacramento and San Francisco is estimated to cost 200 billion


Actually, I thought Sacto said the rail from SF to Anaheim would be $55 billion.  Now, they are a bunch of liars, and I don't trust their numbers for a moment, but  whatever.

FloydA: [i105.photobucket.com image 638x149]


Seattle to NYC via HSR... you'd have to go from Seattle down to LA on the Coast Starlight line, through the SF Bay Area.  Then you'd have to get on the line to NYC... although it's probably more like Los Angeles to Chicago, Chicago to New York City, if you look at what Amtrak does cross-continental.

In any case, factoring in stops & transfers, 23 hours is probably fast compared to doing HSR from Seattle to NYC.

/we would use the Coast Starlight to visit folks in Seattle and SoCal, but it's EXPENSIVE and we don't have that much time to waste on the train.  Even if I had another week or two of vacation, it would be way too long to be on the train... and I love riding on the train! But it's kind of an East Coast thing. People really underestimate the geography of everything in the West.
 
2013-02-09 06:34:35 PM

Giltric: Thats alot of taxpayer money just so a couple of you druggies can travel with weed.


I wish we could all be smart like you and just have our drugs fedexed out ahead of us.
 
2013-02-09 06:36:36 PM

Cerebral Knievel: The My Little Pony Killer: Subby has obviously never had Amtrak food.

/taking a trip south on Amtrak in two days
//looking forward to eating a cheeseburger on the way

took Amtrak From Richmond Va to West Palm beach last year.

19 hours.

the club car isn't...... TERRIBLE.. but it's all pretty much convenience store stuff they shove into a microwave. the booze isn't that expensive, at least compared to airplane booze.

no wifi on the southern bound trains.wifi on the trains is based off of cell service anyways. I was able to tether my phone to my lap top for a good deal of the trip, but a good data connection was spotty. and completely went out for hours at a time as I was out of range of any towers, anywhere near the rail line.

bring a good book, or three, and load up the laptop or whatever with some movies.. bring snacks. there will not be anytime to get a good meal, unless you are on a good train. Like the Auto train express from DC to Orlando is first class service, other wise.. its a long haul commuter like a step above taking the bus.

good thing though! each set of seats has a 120volt outlet, so you can at least keep powered up.


otherwise,  it wasn't all that bad traveling by rail really. kinda relaxing.


The amount of space that you get to yourself, and I'm just counting a regular couch seat, is far greater than the space you pay for when you board a plane.  That alone is worth it.

Best of all, all of the real jackasses insist on flying, which means that with the short trips I end up taking, I usually have the car to myself.
 
2013-02-09 06:38:39 PM

jonny_q: However, I just want to say that Amtrak food is the worst thing I've ever been presented as "food". Worse than any hospital, public school, or airplane.


Airplane food in business class or first class is usually pretty decent.  Airplane food in economy is virtually non-existent, "for purchase," and crappy. And I don't know who comes up with these "snack boxes" they sell on planes, but whoever they are, they think foods I like go really well with foods I hate.  I'd take Amtrak food any day over that stuff.
 
2013-02-09 06:44:52 PM

cptjeff: jtown: Assuming that's what he meant (and I don't think it is), it contradicts nothing that I said. I said many people will have to drive for hours to get to a high speed rail station. Taking a slow, local train instead would take even longer than driving.

Actually, not all that many. Most of the population of this country lives in cities these days, small town America makes up a pretty small proportion of the population. Yes, people without many transportation options would continue to not have many transportation options. Boo-farking-hoo. Don't like it, move to a city with more conveniences.


So why should we spend $200,000,000,000 on something that will not provide any kind of advantage for travelers?  It's not cheaper, it's not faster, and it's not more convenient.
 
2013-02-09 06:45:38 PM

slayer199: cameroncrazy1984: So high-speed rail is never used by anyone, anywhere?

Look where they're being used.  Most make runs in Europe that are a couple hundred miles.  Europe is smaller than the US in case you weren't aware.

For example, Eurostar train from Brussels to London is $200 round-trip.  To fly to London from Brussels is $187 round-trip.

The time via train is 2 hours and 20 minutes.  To fly is an hour and 10 minutes.  When you calculate the time spent at the airport (check-in, security, etc) it's more efficient to take the train.


At the same, time, there are some routes where it does make sense.  East Coast from Boston down to Atlanta through Charlotte would be a huge money maker.  That would eliminate about 1/3 of my 100-odd segments i fly each year, and I would take it every damned time over a plane.
 
2013-02-09 06:49:03 PM

mjones73: 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.


thanks for the ups previously.. but from VA to Florida is also rated at 19 hours for regular rail. it comes out closer to 20+ hours factoring in stops and incidentals... like my last rip was delayed an hour about 20 minutes after leaving the Richmond stop.

AutoTrain is express and first class from DC to Orlando.. it does not stop at all between here or there unless crap is happening with the train itself, or you have to give right of way to freight. but you are paying to transport the car, and travel first class, with no stops

one of the things we like to brag about here in Richmond Va is that we are pretty much exactly 24 hours from the furthest point north on the east coast, and 24 hours south . 2 hours from the beach, 2 hours from the mountains, and 2 hours from DC... to hell with the rest of the south right? okay.. 2 hours to the outer banks.. hows that?
 
2013-02-09 06:54:48 PM
rugman11:
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.

Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland would disagree with you.  We would love to have a high speed regional rail to connect the 3 C's.  Add Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Chicago, Memphis,  St. Louis, Louisville, Nashville and you would have a great regional rail system.  Heck, you could even include Detroit for old times sake.
 
2013-02-09 06:56:33 PM

The My Little Pony Killer: Cerebral Knievel: The My Little Pony Killer: Subby has obviously never had Amtrak food.

/taking a trip south on Amtrak in two days
//looking forward to eating a cheeseburger on the way

took Amtrak From Richmond Va to West Palm beach last year.

19 hours.

the club car isn't...... TERRIBLE.. but it's all pretty much convenience store stuff they shove into a microwave. the booze isn't that expensive, at least compared to airplane booze.

no wifi on the southern bound trains.wifi on the trains is based off of cell service anyways. I was able to tether my phone to my lap top for a good deal of the trip, but a good data connection was spotty. and completely went out for hours at a time as I was out of range of any towers, anywhere near the rail line.

bring a good book, or three, and load up the laptop or whatever with some movies.. bring snacks. there will not be anytime to get a good meal, unless you are on a good train. Like the Auto train express from DC to Orlando is first class service, other wise.. its a long haul commuter like a step above taking the bus.

good thing though! each set of seats has a 120volt outlet, so you can at least keep powered up.


otherwise,  it wasn't all that bad traveling by rail really. kinda relaxing.

The amount of space that you get to yourself, and I'm just counting a regular couch seat, is far greater than the space you pay for when you board a plane.  That alone is worth it.

Best of all, all of the real jackasses insist on flying, which means that with the short trips I end up taking, I usually have the car to myself.


that's another thing, the seats are bigger as a matter of practice, planes try to jam as much crap on there as possible, with trains, usually, unless it's a high volume travel weekend, that bench seat you got, you will usually have it for the duration of the trip, and if you DO have to share a seat, your fellow travelor is most likely on  a short leg, and you will get your space back.

my last trip, I was complety spread out on the trip down, and only had to share for about 3 hours on the return 19 hour trip.
 
2013-02-09 07:04:02 PM

MasterAdkins: rugman11:
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.

Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland would disagree with you.  We would love to have a high speed regional rail to connect the 3 C's.  Add Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Chicago, Memphis,  St. Louis, Louisville, Nashville and you would have a great regional rail system.  Heck, you could even include Detroit for old times sake.


Wouldn't you have to worry about infection if you connected Detroit?
 
2013-02-09 07:04:16 PM
Was that supposed to look bad? Sounds pretty cool to me.
 
2013-02-09 07:07:16 PM

slayer199: DamnYankees: slayer199: Shorter distances, more condensed population centers...or did you miss that point.

You keep saying this, but there's no evidence. Europe is larger than the United States, first of all. Second of all, while Europe does have a population density about twice as dense as us, that number includes Alaska, where there are no people. And if we just leave out the Northern Plains from our rail system, we're relatively close to their density to the point where the objection based on density needs much more empirical evidence than just saying the word.

Try looking at a freaking map.


So, even though Europe is over 10 million sq kilometers, and the USA is under that, I'm supposed to look at a map and magically forget math?
 
2013-02-09 07:15:53 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.


Nurse! Thorazine 200mg. Stet!
In the meantime, do try to keep up.
 
2013-02-09 07:23:39 PM
I actually enjoy traveling by train. Unfortunately, these days it seems pretty expensive to do so.
 
2013-02-09 07:24:13 PM

muck4doo: MrEricSir: slayer199: GAT_00: And nobody in Europe ever uses the train, thus proving your point.

Oh wait.

Shorter distances, more condensed population centers...or did you miss that point.

[citation needed]

Google "map"


If you look at a population density map, the places where HSR tracks are proposed in the US are places that have about the same population density as Europe. Unless a lot of Americans suddenly get up and move to say, Idaho, what's being proposed seems pretty sensible when you compare it to European rail.

Besides, when you consider none of this will be finished for at least a decade and a half, you need to start looking at population projections. The US is not shrinking.
 
2013-02-09 07:25:07 PM
As others have pointed out, with typical layovers 18 hours wouldn't be uncommon for cross-country flights, and a  reliable 18 hours during which you could actually turn sideways and take a real nap would in fact be a significant improvement for regular travelers, as it's the unpredictability of air travel that really gets you most of the time.
 
2013-02-09 07:34:04 PM
If we ever get to the point where we have ultra-cheap electricity and prohibitively expensive fossil fuels something like this might be feasible, especially if battery technology doesn't get much better than we currently have.

If I was presented with a working cold fusion reactor and a blank slate of a continent, say, if the FSM magically moved Antarctica into the middle of the Pacific Ocean--and I was tasked with designing the rail infrastructure of the place--I'd build a grid of high-speed rails at 300 mile intervals. That way you're never farther than ±150-200 miles from a rail station. We can get that kind of range with electric cars today. You want to go somewhere? Drive it to the station and plug it in and go. You can rent a car at your destination or pay to have your car ferried.

Problem is: you're still going to need roads, because you can't run rails to everyone's house. Seems needlessly complicated. With automated cars just around the bend might it not be better to just design highways with a lane that powers the electric motor in your car? The you could have buses and trucks and cars that drive together in packs to draft each other. Sure, you probably lose the mag/lev option when you do it like that, but you also don't have to waste space and time and upkeep on a system that only railcars can use, especially when you're going to (presumably) need roads anyway. Of course, flying electric cars would be better. Roads are for earthbound types, damn Neanderthals.
 
2013-02-09 07:39:20 PM

mrlewish: gas giant: Is there a chance the track could bend?

/actually thinks this is a decent idea, FWIW.

Tracks are made to bend.  How do you think they account for the expansion and contraction during hot and cold weather?


Lol.
I'm so sorry, the answer we were looking for was, "Not on your life, my Hindu friend."
 
2013-02-09 07:40:04 PM
And yes, I know what I just said doesn't really apply to the article or what is best for the US. I'm dreaming, not pretending to redesign the US rail system.
 
2013-02-09 07:48:37 PM

DamnYankees: 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.


That's kind of my point.. people talk like a network is represented by the longest, least economic journey possible on the network, in order to falsely portray the whole thing as a boondoggle.
 
2013-02-09 07:53:06 PM

jtown: . I said many people will have to drive for hours to get to a high speed rail station


the people of Germany would like a word with you, once they get over how breathtakingly clueless you are
 
2013-02-09 07:56:14 PM
ItchyMcDoogle: 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.


Just in case anyone missed that.

Because it's goddam true. They are completely regressive repressive assholes whose entire political philosophy has been distilled down to: Stop anyone from doing anything good, because the moment people realize how nice shiat can be without us they are going to throw us out on our asses.

Every goal they have politically rotates around benefiting the very privileged few at the cost of the many.

They hate the concept of progress. They admit this openly.
They hate the concept of modern society preferring instead for each man to be an island.

And it works. They kick and scream and throw around bullshiat so when we discuss something like building better rail lines... a task that should be EASY AS CAKE for the richest most powerful nation on earth by-the-way... all you hear is line after line of bullshiat about how it's impossible. (much like many people in this thread are regurgitating)

It's a farking train, not a space elevator.

How can any of you honestly sit there and think you're being reasonable listing all the reasons this just isn't feasible or possible? Your either trolling or you drank the koolaid. You are already convinced this nation can't do shiat about shiat because you ate the big steaming pile these pathologically lying obstructionist basterds served you with their wide smile troll face.

Your shining pinnacle of logic? Air travel is just cheaper.

Yes, air travel. The one industry that has been so plagued with trying to remain profitable that even with the litany of government windfalls they enjoy they continue to throw seats and meals and any other creature comfort off a plane to try and make it just that much closer to cost-effective. They are farking considering STANDING ROOM ONLY flights ffs.... yeah, we should probably just launch ourselves into the air with jet fuel for the rest of time to solve our travel needs... seems legit and smart to me! farking idiots.

Back to the Republican assholes... These are assholes who would GLADLY watch this dollar amount tagged to this rail system get pissed away as long as one of their campaign donors were profiting from it. They'd spend 10x this amount on a defense project they know damn well would never work or see the light of day. They are in the business of stealing tax dollars, not in using them for building and operating the infrastructure of our nation.

Nothing new. It's viewing and imagining problems vs viewing and imagining solutions.

When confronted with a new idea most can only come up with reason after reason not to consider it or accept it. The only questions they are able to ask are 'Why?' never being satisfied with any answer they receive. Nothing but ingrained resistance to change and lack of intelligence to realize there is always a better way. You know, the base logic behind your average neocon.

It's only the visionary and atypically intelligent that can weight the concept against the status quo fairly and say "why not?"
 
2013-02-09 08:02:16 PM

WhyteRaven74: jtown: . I said many people will have to drive for hours to get to a high speed rail station

the people of Germany would like a word with you, once they get over how breathtakingly clueless you are


Who (besides you) is talking about Germany?  We're talking about a high speed rail system covering the continental United States.  Try to keep up.
 
2013-02-09 08:03:27 PM

jtown: Who (besides you) is talking about Germany? We're talking about a high speed rail system covering the continental United States. Try to keep up.


And Germany's way of handling it, indeed France's too, provide a nice example of how the US could do it.
 
2013-02-09 08:05:46 PM
This thread has go this far and no other chummers have pointed out how wiz that typeface is?
 
2013-02-09 08:07:09 PM

ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha: DoD spends over 500 every year, with far less to show for it.

 
2013-02-09 08:08:15 PM

gaspode: DamnYankees: 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.

That's kind of my point.. people talk like a network is represented by the longest, least economic journey possible on the network, in order to falsely portray the whole thing as a boondoggle.


What if you want to go from Seattle to Dallas?  Or San Francisco to Orlando?  Or Denver to Detroit?  It might not be a total boondoggle, but it's also not a panacea. Travel in the United States is complicated.

As it is now, is there a direct Amtrak from LA to NYC? I think it goes LA to Chicago, Chicago to NYC. That makes more sense. 18 hours, without stops?  Boondoggle is an exaggeration, but so is the 18 hour trip idea.

Just the California to Chicago piece... so the SF Bay Area & Silicon Valley would have to go down to LA, then go over to Chicago?  That's hardly a win for actual progressives in California.  There's tons of direct flights from SF to Chicago, SF to NYC, etc.  There are many other people besides those living in Los Angeles & New York City, and what's the benefit to them?

And I take commuter rail all the time. Someone else said that there's no complications with rail?  Hardly.  Suicidal maniacs "trespassing on the track", mechanical issues (track & train), weather issues (excessive precipitation is a problem, no matter the mode of transport)... a long-distance train has at least as many issues as an airplane trip.

 /Europe is a tough comparison because it's not the same as here. The Acela makes great sense for our East Coast, but expanding this idea to a run from LA to NYC is apples & oranges.
/B-b-but Republicans! We might not be able to afford our budget as it is, but HSR is progress or something!
 
2013-02-09 08:09:56 PM
Yeah, conservatives, the last thing we want is a more robust and efficient transportation infrastructure.
 
2013-02-09 08:12:01 PM

WhyteRaven74: jtown: Who (besides you) is talking about Germany? We're talking about a high speed rail system covering the continental United States. Try to keep up.

And Germany's way of handling it, indeed France's too, provide a nice example of how the US could do it.


So the US can shrink down to the physical size of Germany or France.  Good to know.
 
2013-02-09 08:17:58 PM

jtown: So the US can shrink down to the physical size of Germany or France. Good to know.


the US can build up it's commuter rail and regional rail to feed high speed rail just like Germany and France.
 
2013-02-09 08:22:09 PM
Sounds great if the ticket price is right. Why do conservatives hate all forms of progress? Should we just ban all forms of infrastructure improvements until we can teleport people?
 
2013-02-09 08:22:48 PM

Jim_Callahan: As others have pointed out, with typical layovers 18 hours wouldn't be uncommon for cross-country flights


For me the typical layover on a cross-country flight is no layover at all.  Non-stop flights between New York City and Los Angeles -- the route described in the headline -- already take off several times every day on multiple airlines, and can be had dirt cheap (under $0.10/mile is easily achievable).  Even including time for traveling to and from the airports and waiting in checkin and security lines, that trip is going to take maybe 10 hours.  The trains will still be almost twice as long.

So, that's not the transportation option that high-speed rail is going to replace.  Think regional instead.

A flight from NYC to Savannah, GA might take five hours, including all the airport bullshiat.  If a high-speed train route can get me there in six, for about the same price, it's well worth considering.

NYC to DC is four hours by car (in light traffic).  If the train can get me there in two, that's farking great!
 
2013-02-09 08:23:54 PM

GoldSpider: Yeah, conservatives, the last thing we want is a more robust and efficient transportation infrastructure.


But greasy poor people could get from Detroit to the Hamptons too easily.
 
2013-02-09 08:25:17 PM

SacriliciousBeerSwiller: Sounds great if the ticket price is right. Why do conservatives hate all forms of progress? Should we just ban all forms of infrastructure improvements until we can teleport people?


Look at current train travel pricing, add in the money to build this system all over the US, I don't see it being any cheaper then flying... Would be great if it was, as long as it's similarly priced to flying, guess what option most people are going to take.

I agree with others that it would make sense in certain areas, connecting the whole country by high speed rail just wouldn't be profitable.
 
2013-02-09 08:28:29 PM

WhyteRaven74: jtown: So the US can shrink down to the physical size of Germany or France. Good to know.

the US can build up it's commuter rail and regional rail to feed high speed rail just like Germany and France.


What about the stretches of hundreds of miles of nothing that this high speed rail has to traverse to cover the entire country (United States)?  Pro-rail people try to pretend that it's all about management and if we just do things like densely populated Europe, it'll be just like densely populated Europe.

It's just not the same thing at all.  No amount of wishing will make it the same.  I could see high speed rail working in the northeast where density is similar to Europe but crossing the midwest is a whole different animal.  It doesn't scale.
 
2013-02-09 08:29:43 PM

tricycleracer: New York to Los Angeles (straight-line distance)-  ~2400 miles.

Let's see what 2400 miles gets you in Europe/Asia-

Lisbon to Moscow
Paris to Baghdad
Liverpool to Jerusalem

Guess how Europeans travel between these cities. THEY farkING FLY.

No one is talking about riding a train 2400 miles in one sitting.


Sure they are.  Not to mention that people do it here in America all the time and over many more days.

UK-Moscow
Paris-Syria (Obviously the route ends there at the moment, but Baghdad was a connection)
Liverpool-Jerusalem

And my personal favourite London to India overland by train

The train to Moscow is quite heavily used.  The other three are more esoteric.
 
2013-02-09 08:44:12 PM
How about we start with getting high-speed broadband to every part of the US first?  I'd think that would be a bigger boost to the nation's economy for far less cost than high speed rail.
 
2013-02-09 08:56:03 PM

SacriliciousBeerSwiller: Sounds great if the ticket price is right. Why do conservatives hate all forms of progress? Should we just ban all forms of infrastructure improvements until we can teleport people?


I'm all for this as long as none of my money is involved (and that includes tax money)

This is just a boondoggle. Money pissed away on something not needed.

We have a good air travel infrastructure already for long distance travel. We have a good road travel infrastructure for short distance travel. We don't need this. It's just a waste.
 
2013-02-09 09:06:45 PM

Close2TheEdge: How about we start with getting high-speed broadband to every part of the US first?  I'd think that would be a bigger boost to the nation's economy for far less cost than high speed rail.

 

Throw it on the list.

While your at it add dams, urban water works, a complete power grid revamp, a few off-coast wind farms large enough to be visible from space and about 1000 other things we need very badly if we want our next generations to live in a nation described as "first world" and "economic superpower"

We'll make it the biggest infrastructure investment act in the history of the nation since the New Deal.

I even coined a term for it!  We'll call it 'Nation Building'
 
2013-02-09 09:07:49 PM

MurphyMurphy: While you're at it add dams,


*godamitsomuch
 
2013-02-09 09:07:54 PM
I see the One Laptop Per Child group here still thinks Everything Can Be Done Free if only those mean Republicans (and rich people) would just become Socialist.


/This is NOT what Krokus meant when they sang "Eat The Rich".
//Despite what you all think.
///OLPC: Another Great Socialist Idea. What ever happened?
 
2013-02-09 09:16:27 PM

Lee451: I see the One Laptop Per Child group here still thinks Everything Can Be Done Free if only those mean Republicans (and rich people) would just become Socialist.


/This is NOT what Krokus meant when they sang "Eat The Rich".
//Despite what you all think.
///OLPC: Another Great Socialist Idea. What ever happened?


our entire society is built on socialism, your argument is retarded and manufactured

It's spending neutral, I promise.

See, we take the following 2 trillion dollar project seen here:

www.google.com

And turn it into a 2 trillion dollar project here:

www.google.com

You can call it socialist if it makes you feel better about being so so terribly wrong.
Other words you could use to describe it would be patriotic and American.

Keep espousing the noble tenets of the treasonous war profiteers in the military industrial complex and the global oil conglomerates. Those who tell Americans we can't use their tax money for their own nation while simultaneously grinding the nation to a halt if we don't let them build another 5k tanks or a few dozen muti-billion dollar aircraft that will never see combat (and wouldn't work if they did)

... sorry, no infrastructure for you America... but do listen to this idea I have about invading Yemen.

I'm sure history will show you to have served the more noble of the 2 goals.
 
2013-02-09 09:17:20 PM
Wouldn't it be easier for you guys to move to the countires that give you a 30 hour work week with 8 months vacation, HSR from where you are to where you want to go, and free health care?

Sort of like how teatards are told to move to Somalia?
 
2013-02-09 09:17:56 PM

Lee451: I see the One Laptop Per Child group here still thinks Everything Can Be Done Free if only those mean Republicans (and rich people) would just become Socialist.


/This is NOT what Krokus meant when they sang "Eat The Rich".
//Despite what you all think.
///OLPC: Another Great Socialist Idea. What ever happened?


How about instead of flushing billions of dollars into foreign entanglements and bloated military contracts, we instead use the money on useful shiat here in the US?  That would be far easier than asking Republicans to be Socialist.  Oh wait, that never happened anyway so your argument is just plain stupid.
 
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