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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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5716 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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2013-02-10 01:42:09 AM

moothemagiccow: poot_rootbeer: 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.

Ok either you win the thread or you just pointed out subby's strawman, I don't care which. And this is what DoT's across the country are considering.


The problem with his scenario is that it's almost impossible.  Let's look at the numbers.  New York City to Savannah, GA is about 800 miles.  At an average speed of 180 mpg (higher than the average speed of any route on the SF-LA line), that's 4.5 hours of travel...minimum.  Then you factor in that that train is not going to run straight from NYC to Savannah and the time starts adding up.  That train's going to stop in Newark, Philly, Baltimore, Washington, Richmond, Raleigh, Charleston, and maybe a few other places.  Once you factor in stoppage times (let's stay 8 stops at 15 minutes each - pretty generous), suddenly your 4.5 hour trip is 6.5 hours.  Just look at the London-Marseille trip.  It's 768 miles (shorter than NYC-Savannah), it's serviced entirely by HSR and yet it's still a 6.5 hour trip at $200 one-way.  Compare that to a London-Marseille flight (which is $150 round-trip and 3 hours).
 
2013-02-10 01:43:54 AM

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.


Yeah, it would. But because internet access (particularly high speed access) is entirely in the hands of private companies, it's restricted to areas that turn the most profit. So if you don't live in an area that makes somebody else rich, you're SOL -- even if you have an idea/product that could turn the economy around overnight.

Also, most of the comments in this thread seem to assume that "high speed rail" = "passenger service." I'm thinking that if high speed rail does take off (and it really could if done right), it'd be something like 80% cargo and 20% passengers. Maybe a double-decker car or something with cargo on the bottom and passengers on the top. Let the fast food joints vie for food service, etc. And for heaven's sake, put the rails over or under the road instead of across it to eliminate those "I can beat the train" fatalities we have in the US>
 
2013-02-10 01:46:00 AM

imgod2u: muck4doo: cameroncrazy1984: muck4doo: My question is how much would tickets cost after spending 200 billion to make it happen? Like others said, this isn't a high speed railway through France or Belgium.

Like others have said, why not? Why CAN'T it be like that? Nobody says you have to use the whole system all at once.

I'd like it to be like that. I have already said so. Next trip to NY or San Jose I would love to take the train. But face it, 200 billion is a lot of money to make it happen. You can bring up our interstate highways, fact is, they are already there. People can drive or fly as it is. Amtrack is too damn expensive for the time and travel. I would like to see high speed rail, but I just don't see how it will be cost efficient compared to what we have now. This isn't Europe or Japan with a bunch of large population centers close to each other.

As others have mentioned, Europe's population centers aren't *that* close to each other. That being said, high-speed rail will, in the long term, be more economical than flying as a means for travel. The initial 200B is a large investment and I'm on the fence as to whether this is the right time to spend that. But we will have to eventually move towards it.

That being said, we don't have to wait for the government to pass a bill. There's nothing stopping private companies from forming railway systems. Elon Musk (founder of Tesla, Solar City, Paypal, etc.) said that'd be his next big company.


Even a private company would require government help. You don't think all that rail line would be going through land already owned by the government, do you?
 
2013-02-10 02:01:48 AM

Lil' Max Meatboots: If they were to offer an option that left at 7am and got me there by noon I would pay $200(round trip) for it.


Not to be pedantic, but there is an option that leaves at any time from Charlotte to Atlanta and takes 4 hours (according to google maps). May even cost less than $200, but YMMV.

/and with a competently functional HSR link between the two, that 246 mile trip should only take 1.5-2 hours tops (theoretically 1 hour, even)
 
2013-02-10 02:03:15 AM

muck4doo: imgod2u: muck4doo: cameroncrazy1984: muck4doo: My question is how much would tickets cost after spending 200 billion to make it happen? Like others said, this isn't a high speed railway through France or Belgium.

Like others have said, why not? Why CAN'T it be like that? Nobody says you have to use the whole system all at once.

I'd like it to be like that. I have already said so. Next trip to NY or San Jose I would love to take the train. But face it, 200 billion is a lot of money to make it happen. You can bring up our interstate highways, fact is, they are already there. People can drive or fly as it is. Amtrack is too damn expensive for the time and travel. I would like to see high speed rail, but I just don't see how it will be cost efficient compared to what we have now. This isn't Europe or Japan with a bunch of large population centers close to each other.

As others have mentioned, Europe's population centers aren't *that* close to each other. That being said, high-speed rail will, in the long term, be more economical than flying as a means for travel. The initial 200B is a large investment and I'm on the fence as to whether this is the right time to spend that. But we will have to eventually move towards it.

That being said, we don't have to wait for the government to pass a bill. There's nothing stopping private companies from forming railway systems. Elon Musk (founder of Tesla, Solar City, Paypal, etc.) said that'd be his next big company.

Even a private company would require government help. You don't think all that rail line would be going through land already owned by the government, do you?


Government help is very different than government run. Tesla motors needed a seed loan from the DOE initially as well. The government can be very effective in providing capital and permits for futurist projects like that so long as it isn't run through the ~470 bickering idiots in the House and Senate. And there will be far less political and cultural pushback if it's done through funding private companies because of the culture of "omg socialism!!!"
 
2013-02-10 02:16:40 AM

muck4doo: You know who else really loved using his train systems?


Gomez Addams? The guy from Atlas Shrugged?
 
2013-02-10 02:34:36 AM

imgod2u: The initial 200B is a large investment and I'm on the fence as to whether this is the right time to spend that. But we will have to eventually move towards it.


It really isn't. If we cut all aid to just the nations that don't like us we would have it covered inside of 10 years.

For our nation, it's never going to be "the right time". There is always going to be a reason we can say we can't do it. And if things are good, I guarantee you before the project is finished being built we'll have some crisis that will have people screaming to cut the project as "unneeded".

We don't have the money isn't an answer when it comes to infrastructure. Settling for short term solutions... or only looking as far as the next fiscal quarter is another reason we are a nation in decline regarding all our infrastructure. From tech to travel to power and water. It's killing us in so many areas. And it carries with it a much higher economic cost long term.

HSR, fortunately, may be one issue where we can say "not today", it might be the dumb thing to say but we can say it.
But we are saying "not today" about an awful lot of things that we can't anymore. And instead of putting in place shiat we need we pay a much higher price trying to keep the status quo going. It's might seem off topic but it's a critical point in the discussion and I can't rant and rave about it enough.

Planning for next year, next decade? We can't plan for tomorrow morning. Short term planning is all we are anymore, and it must change or the plane is going to crash into the goddam mountain...

*ALARM*ALARM*PULL UP*PULL UP*ALARM*ALARM*
*beep

Co Pilot: "wow, good job fixing that problem, it sounded pretty bad there for a second"
Pilot: "fix it?! I just turned the damn alarm off!"

Budgets will only be able to be cut so far... the middle class can only get so close to a nation of lower-class before the legs fall out from under us... and THAT is when we will need these vital infrastructure projects to fall back on and get us back on our feet again. National rail infrastructure is a catalyst for real growth (that thing we used to have before we just lurched from bubble to bubble)

Just remember, the logic of people that tell you how impossible it is is the same logic that is fueling our status quo nationally. And we aren't doing so well lately. But then again, we seem to be in a theme of looking for solutions out of the very people that cause our problems to begin with :-/

And while we b.s. and tell ourselves now might not be the time to invest in our nation, meanwhile China is creeping up behind us and they are planning for 10, 20, 50 years from now.
 
2013-02-10 02:47:24 AM

DamnYankees: 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?


You may want to look at a map again and my post where I state that most of the runs are a couple hundred miles and can be cost competitive with flying.  Most of the high speed rail projects in Europe are in Western Europe.  Very few are in Eastern Europe.

upload.wikimedia.org
Of course the bigger issue, which has been brought up by others is that we have a massive deficit and all the libs here are in favor of adding to it.

Mind blown.
 
2013-02-10 02:51:04 AM

MurphyMurphy: HSR, fortunately, may be one issue where we can say "not today", it might be the dumb thing to say but we can say it.
But we are saying "not today" about an awful lot of things that we can't anymore. And instead of putting in place shiat we need we pay a much higher price trying to keep the status quo going. It's might seem off topic but it's a critical point in the discussion and I can't rant and rave about it enough.


I was specifically talking about HSR. I agree with your larger point of infrastructure spending. It's not at all automatically a "dumb thing to say". Any investment has to be weighed with opportunity cost. Like I said, long-term, barring some fantastical improvement in flight tech -- we're talking anti-gravity or some other such -- rail will be more efficient than flight.

But that's very long term. I'm not going to argue that there isn't always going to be pushback but I'd have been far more easily sold in the idea during the late 90's when we had a surplus than now when there is a ~14 trillion debt.

Now, I'm not going to wave my hands in the air and go "we can't increase spending at all" but I don't think HSR would provide enough benefit to offset waiting 5-10 years until the national debt is lower. Yes yes, there's always biatching and moaning even with a surplus but we're talking what would work best here, not what is possible politically -- which HSR definitely is not.
 
2013-02-10 03:07:49 AM

imgod2u: muck4doo: imgod2u: muck4doo: cameroncrazy1984: muck4doo: My question is how much would tickets cost after spending 200 billion to make it happen? Like others said, this isn't a high speed railway through France or Belgium.

Like others have said, why not? Why CAN'T it be like that? Nobody says you have to use the whole system all at once.

I'd like it to be like that. I have already said so. Next trip to NY or San Jose I would love to take the train. But face it, 200 billion is a lot of money to make it happen. You can bring up our interstate highways, fact is, they are already there. People can drive or fly as it is. Amtrack is too damn expensive for the time and travel. I would like to see high speed rail, but I just don't see how it will be cost efficient compared to what we have now. This isn't Europe or Japan with a bunch of large population centers close to each other.

As others have mentioned, Europe's population centers aren't *that* close to each other. That being said, high-speed rail will, in the long term, be more economical than flying as a means for travel. The initial 200B is a large investment and I'm on the fence as to whether this is the right time to spend that. But we will have to eventually move towards it.

That being said, we don't have to wait for the government to pass a bill. There's nothing stopping private companies from forming railway systems. Elon Musk (founder of Tesla, Solar City, Paypal, etc.) said that'd be his next big company.

Even a private company would require government help. You don't think all that rail line would be going through land already owned by the government, do you?

Government help is very different than government run. Tesla motors needed a seed loan from the DOE initially as well. The government can be very effective in providing capital and permits for futurist projects like that so long as it isn't run through the ~470 bickering idiots in the House and Senate. And there will be far less political and cultur ...


It would take a large scale use of "Imminent Domain" to make it happen. This is not the 1800's where most land wasn't claimed by anybody. If you think $200 billion is all it is going to cost, I've got a bridge to sell to you. This will land in the trillions of dollars, and be tied up in courts for years.
 
2013-02-10 03:13:39 AM

slayer199: DamnYankees: 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?

You may want to look at a map again and my post where I state that most of the runs are a couple hundred miles and can be cost competitive with flying.  Most of the high speed rail projects in Europe are in Western Europe.  Very few are in Eastern Europe.

[upload.wikimedia.org image 800x600]
Of course the bigger issue, which has been brought up by others is that we have a massive deficit and all the libs here are in favor of adding to it.

Mind blown.


You know you are addressing the "Trying anything is better than trying nothing regardless the consequences" crowd, right?
 
2013-02-10 03:29:43 AM

muck4doo: It would take a large scale use of "Imminent Domain" to make it happen. This is not the 1800's where most land wasn't claimed by anybody. If you think $200 billion is all it is going to cost, I've got a bridge to sell to you. This will land in the trillions of dollars, and be tied up in courts for years.


The interstate highway system wasn't setup in the 1800's either but that worked fine. There's actually quite a bit of land when we're talking about traveling between major cities. Enough such that telecom and power companies have no trouble finding places to lay large fiber tracks or superconductive power lines. Those are also examples of government-assisted private companies.

$200 Billion for a government program to install HSR is a lowball. But as far as subsidy or even a loan to a privatized company...that's actually a huge amount of money. Especially if it's given to a tech company the likes of which Musk founds. I don't disagree with you that a lot of things can go wrong. I disagree with the throw-arms-up-in-the-air defeatist attitude.

That mantra has been said at just about every stage of human progression and it has never been true. In fact, I fully expect silicon valley's next big venture to be efficient, fast mass transit.
 
2013-02-10 03:35:46 AM

slayer199: Of course the bigger issue, which has been brought up by others is that we have a massive deficit and all the libs here are in favor of adding to it.


Well, congratulations on inadvertently admitting your real reason for being so against this, while simultaneously taking a hatchet to any chance you might have had of anybody taking you seriously.

/Don't know enough about this subject to be particularly for or against it.
//I still don't understand why railroads are suddenly liberal, though.
///Do they intend on building the tracks using organic steel and locally-sourced cruelty-free nails?
 
2013-02-10 04:13:10 AM

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


i560.photobucket.com
 
2013-02-10 04:53:58 AM

WordyGrrl: 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.

Yeah, it would. But because internet access (particularly high speed access) is entirely in the hands of private companies, it's restricted to areas that turn the most profit. So if you don't live in an area that makes somebody else rich, you're SOL -- even if you have an idea/product that could turn the economy around overnight.

Also, most of the comments in this thread seem to assume that "high speed rail" = "passenger service." I'm thinking that if high speed rail does take off (and it really could if done right), it'd be something like 80% cargo and 20% passengers. Maybe a double-decker car or something with cargo on the bottom and passengers on the top. Let the fast food joints vie for food service, etc. And for heaven's sake, put the rails over or under the road instead of across it to eliminate those "I can beat the train" fatalities we have in the US>


It doesn't work that way.  Your forgetting about mass and what consequences that brings.  If you add tons and tons of weight, you decrease the overall top speed that can be achieved.  Furthermore you greatly increase the energy costs involved with achieving the top speed.  Additionally your going to dramatically increase the required acceleration and more importantly deacceleration times involved so trains would be spending much less time at their peak speed increasing the time it takes to travel times.  Adding cargo generates huge problems and safety concerns while decreasing the primary benefit that high speed rail has, chiefly, the high speed part.

There is only one high speed "cargo" train in the world in france that carries mail. I am sure there are serious restrictions on that specially built train regarding weight involved. On top of the physics based issues, there are logistics ones.  How are you going to on and offload the cargo and maintain schedules.  Cargo and passenger rail cargo typically go to very different locations for processing and delivery.
 
2013-02-10 05:11:16 AM

muck4doo: Sure, build a bridge to nowhere and people will flock there, right? There's a bridge to Isleton CA, and I don't see tons of people moving there.


Gosh. It's almost as if there is more than one variable.
You saw the question mark on the end of my question?
And I said building infrastructure "often" creates demand....
 
2013-02-10 05:44:08 AM

0Icky0: muck4doo: Sure, build a bridge to nowhere and people will flock there, right? There's a bridge to Isleton CA, and I don't see tons of people moving there.

Gosh. It's almost as if there is more than one variable.
You saw the question mark on the end of my question?
And I said building infrastructure "often" creates demand....


The point in question was the bridge to nowhere in Alaska. You made the point of that if they build it, people will come. My point was that not all infrastructure spending is good. Spend our money wisely.

imgod2u: muck4doo: It would take a large scale use of "Imminent Domain" to make it happen. This is not the 1800's where most land wasn't claimed by anybody. If you think $200 billion is all it is going to cost, I've got a bridge to sell to you. This will land in the trillions of dollars, and be tied up in courts for years.

The interstate highway system wasn't setup in the 1800's either but that worked fine. There's actually quite a bit of land when we're talking about traveling between major cities. Enough such that telecom and power companies have no trouble finding places to lay large fiber tracks or superconductive power lines. Those are also examples of government-assisted private companies.

$200 Billion for a government program to install HSR is a lowball. But as far as subsidy or even a loan to a privatized company...that's actually a huge amount of money. Especially if it's given to a tech company the likes of which Musk founds. I don't disagree with you that a lot of things can go wrong. I disagree with the throw-arms-up-in-the-air defeatist attitude.

That mantra has been said at just about every stage of human progression and it has never been true. In fact, I fully expect silicon valley's next big venture to be efficient, fast mass transit.


There's a big difference in convincing people to let a government monopoly set up a few poles across their land, and letting them set up railways.
 
2013-02-10 05:56:00 AM
The attitude of "The land belongs to us to do what we want with to improve America!" is the same attitude that destroyed most of the Native Americans. It's funny and sad to see the fark lefties using that same thinking to plow ahead with their stupid ideas. Imminent Domain is your right and heritage, fark lefties.
 
2013-02-10 06:14:10 AM

slayer199: The fastest bullet trains in the world travel around 150mph.


Top operating speed, 236 MPH. (Top speed in tests, 319 MPH)
upload.wikimedia.org
All electric to boot.
=Smidge=
 
2013-02-10 06:34:35 AM
The problem with rail is that there's almost no way to run it, except as a monopoly. Despite the fact that the channel tunnel rail link was built with billions of pounds of public money and rail doesn't pay the fuel duties that it should, there's little to compare the price of rail and air on the London to Paris route.
 
2013-02-10 06:42:42 AM
not so sure if that white line is really worth it... i mean, Memphis? Little Rock? Charlotte? Birmingham?

i do like the route they chose for Cyan, since there's already rails between Nashville-Chattanooga-Atlanta, they'd just have to be upgraded
 
2013-02-10 06:46:55 AM

MurphyMurphy: 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 t ...


Well said.
 
2013-02-10 09:11:08 AM

slayer199: Unless it's substantially cheaper than flying, it won't be used....


Not true. It only has to be EQUAL to flying, or in Japan's case, slightly more expensive. Lots of people hate flying, hate the TSA, and like to bring their own beer.


It's easier to build a rail stations, so they're in more convenient locations. Super small footprint. Airports are like an hour out of town regardless. So go ahead and tack on 2 hours to any flight.

Coast to coast? Better to fly. But really how many people really go coast to coast. Over mid-range distances, like Pittsburgh to New York (actually the same as Tokyo to Osaka) you reach a point where the trains are faster. Not to mention more people travel shorted hops than full on odysseys from the coasts.

By investing in trains NOW, soon you can go directly to hotspots like Nawlins without connections, delays, or drink limits. It's great. And, as long as you're going direct, you'll be there faster than a plane anyway.
 
2013-02-10 09:11:24 AM
Morons.Before you blow billions on new rail from LA to NY, you might want to ask how ACELA competes with air for the D.C. to Boston route. Answer: it doesn't. Most people fly. I do. Why take 3 or 4 times longer.
 
2013-02-10 09:17:06 AM

jtown: If the trains stopped at every little podunk station, it would take forever to travel a significant distance.


It's like you don't even know how local and express trains work.

You walk or ride a bus to your local station, take the train out to catch the express, let it carry you to the nearest big city, and then you get on the high speed rail. Just like everywhere else in the world.
 
2013-02-10 09:49:03 AM

Animatronik: Morons.Before you blow billions on new rail from LA to NY, you might want to ask how ACELA competes with air for the D.C. to Boston route. Answer: it doesn't. Most people fly. I do. Why take 3 or 4 times longer.


Funniest part of this is that we already have coast to coast train tracks. You don't see any of these punks using it, but they will tell you we should spend trillions more dollars to expand it because at least they are doing something.
 
2013-02-10 10:01:34 AM

muck4doo: Animatronik: Morons.Before you blow billions on new rail from LA to NY, you might want to ask how ACELA competes with air for the D.C. to Boston route. Answer: it doesn't. Most people fly. I do. Why take 3 or 4 times longer.

Funniest part of this is that we already have coast to coast train tracks. You don't see any of these punks using it, but they will tell you we should spend trillions more dollars to expand it because at least they are doing something.


Right. I take the train when it makes sense. Baltimore to NYC MAKES SENSE.

DC to Boston DOESN'T. There are very few routes in the US, all a couple hundred miles, where this should even be considered.

High speed rail across the US makes no sense at all. Its a litmus test for stupid liberals the have been voting in the last couple of elections. I wish they'd stick to watering their gardens with bongwater.
 
2013-02-10 10:07:58 AM

imgod2u: Giltric: MurphyMurphy: The planes vs trains discussion is repeated in this thread several times. We all know the status quo is the preferred and easier travel option. It's why they call it the status quo. But no one wants to have a substantial discussion about the whys behind that being the case.

If we'd spent the last 50 years focusing on rail travel the way we have automobile and air you could replicate this discussion switching every instance of plane with train (and vice versa).. it's pointless. Your not discussing why HSR is a bad idea, your just repeating the obvious regarding our current culture and status quo. It's not even an argument, in either direction.


True...given enough times trains will be able to travel as fast as planes do currently, but by that time planes will be crossing the continent in under an hour.

Judging by how much faster planes are today than they were 50 years ago, I'd doubt that. You can improve high-speed rails far more easily than you can a jet.


The barrier right now is noise pollution from sonic booms. Planes can travel faster than they currently do but noone designs a commercial plane capable of mach 2 because you would not be able to fly it anywhere due to the noise.
 
2013-02-10 10:20:27 AM
When all planes were grounded in 2001, some people suddenly had reason to be grateful that rail still existed.  It would be nice to have an alternative to air travel, but apparently the TSA thinks they have the right to harass rail passengers as well.  Even passengers getting off of a train.

I think you could drum up support for a nationwide high speed rail system by making it TSA-free.  After all, what the hell can you do with a hijacked train?
 
2013-02-10 10:20:56 AM

Animatronik: muck4doo: Animatronik: Morons.Before you blow billions on new rail from LA to NY, you might want to ask how ACELA competes with air for the D.C. to Boston route. Answer: it doesn't. Most people fly. I do. Why take 3 or 4 times longer.

Funniest part of this is that we already have coast to coast train tracks. You don't see any of these punks using it, but they will tell you we should spend trillions more dollars to expand it because at least they are doing something.

Right. I take the train when it makes sense. Baltimore to NYC MAKES SENSE.

DC to Boston DOESN'T. There are very few routes in the US, all a couple hundred miles, where this should even be considered.

High speed rail across the US makes no sense at all. Its a litmus test for stupid liberals the have been voting in the last couple of elections. I wish they'd stick to watering their gardens with bongwater.


Fact: You should never water your garden with bong water, especially if you have plants from the tomato/tobacco family. Diseases from those plants spread easily, even with bong water.
 
2013-02-10 10:23:07 AM

pciszek: When all planes were grounded in 2001, some people suddenly had reason to be grateful that rail still existed.  It would be nice to have an alternative to air travel, but apparently the TSA thinks they have the right to harass rail passengers as well.  Even passengers getting off of a train.

I think you could drum up support for a nationwide high speed rail system by making it TSA-free.  After all, what the hell can you do with a hijacked train?


Look at this from the terrorist perspective. What method of transportation could be easier to destroy than train tracks?
 
2013-02-10 10:24:26 AM
Meh, all this thread has done for me is make me want to take Amtrak from FL to Boston just for the experience.

And then fly home.
 
2013-02-10 10:25:14 AM

pciszek: After all, what the hell can you do with a hijacked train?


Nothing compared to what you can do with some shaped charges and about ten minutes without even going near the tracks until the very end.

Take out the tracks before the train can stop while it's at top speed and it's not gonna be pretty. TSA can't do jack about that because you don't have to be on the train to do it.
 
2013-02-10 11:15:42 AM

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.


Unless, you know, gasoline got scarce and expensive or something.

"Shale" is the boondoggle.
 
2013-02-10 11:21:17 AM

FlashHarry: irving47: $200 Billion? So... One fiscal quarter's worth of Obama deficit spending? Go for it.

[www.investors.com image 600x369]


Do you even know what that chart says? You don't, do you?

It says that under the first three years of Obama, the deficit increased the MOST, SECOND MOST, and FOURTH MOST it ever had. The basis for each year's comparison is three year's earlier. That means in his fourth year it decreased since you are comparing it to his first year. Congratulations Obama, you ballooned the deficit by SO MUCH your first year that you couldn't help but have it be less in your fourth! $1.4 trillion to $1.1 trillion! We're basically in the black, right?!?!?

I love when idiots/trolls post the information themselves needed to prove they are idiots/trolls.
 
2013-02-10 11:24:24 AM

doglover: jtown: If the trains stopped at every little podunk station, it would take forever to travel a significant distance.

It's like you don't even know how local and express trains work.

You walk or ride a bus to your local station, take the train out to catch the express, let it carry you to the nearest big city, and then you get on the high speed rail. Just like everywhere else in the world.


It's like you don't even comprehend the difference between 10s of miles and hundreds of miles for that local-to-express jaunt.  "Everywhere else in the world" generally fits inside Texas.  Trains work great in small areas.

In order to be a reasonable alternative to flying, it needs to be  cheaperfaster, or  more efficient.  High speed rail is none of those things once the origin and destination are more than a few hundred miles apart.  The European model doesn't scale.
 
2013-02-10 11:25:52 AM

Smidge204: slayer199: The fastest bullet trains in the world travel around 150mph.

Top operating speed, 236 MPH. (Top speed in tests, 319 MPH)
[upload.wikimedia.org image 423x280]
All electric to boot.
=Smidge=


Serious question: Every time you sign your name at the end of a post (even though it says it at the top of your post), do you simultaneously smell your own fart? Or would that be too much self-gratification at once?
 
2013-02-10 11:34:11 AM
That map looked suspiciously like the Boston MBTA map, right down to the colors. I ride the T every day, every goddam day. Take my word for it, you don't want a national rail system run like the MBTA.
 
2013-02-10 11:36:45 AM

BolshyGreatYarblocks: 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.

Unless, you know, gasoline got scarce and expensive or something.

"Shale" is the boondoggle.


Ooooh! Good idea! Let's make gas scarce, and force the people to realize our dreams
 
2013-02-10 12:35:47 PM

Animatronik: Morons.Before you blow billions on new rail from LA to NY, you might want to ask how ACELA competes with air for the D.C. to Boston route. Answer: it doesn't. Most people fly. I do. Why take 3 or 4 times longer.


DC to New York, on the other hand... 75% go by train, they said last August.  Not sure about New York to Boston, but again it seems almost silly to fly.

/took trains from NJ to NY to Boston a couple years ago when I was showing my wife the area
//flew back BOS-PHL for some crazy cheap price on USAir.
 
2013-02-10 12:59:56 PM

muck4doo: pciszek: When all planes were grounded in 2001, some people suddenly had reason to be grateful that rail still existed.  It would be nice to have an alternative to air travel, but apparently the TSA thinks they have the right to harass rail passengers as well.  Even passengers getting off of a train.

I think you could drum up support for a nationwide high speed rail system by making it TSA-free.  After all, what the hell can you do with a hijacked train?

Look at this from the terrorist perspective. What method of transportation could be easier to destroy than train tracks?


And having TSA agents in the train stations molesting children as they get on or off the train will prevent this, how, exactly?

All you need to sabotage rail is a beat up pickup truck (for camoflage purposes), some explosives, and map of a rural area outside a major city.
 
2013-02-10 01:29:54 PM

muck4doo: BolshyGreatYarblocks: 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.

Unless, you know, gasoline got scarce and expensive or something.

"Shale" is the boondoggle.

Ooooh! Good idea! Let's make gas scarce, and force the people to realize our dreams


Everyone is making it scarce by using it up, Randbat: no one is creating, or can create, an artificial scarcity.  Even OPEC found that its members get too much from short-term cheating on production caps.  But now, even all-out production from Saudi Arabia can't meet demand, and production is dropping everywhere.  Only recession is keeping prices from being much higher than they otherwise would be.
 
2013-02-10 02:31:30 PM

Animatronik: Right. I take the train when it makes sense. Baltimore to NYC MAKES SENSE.

DC to Boston DOESN'T. There are very few routes in the US, all a couple hundred miles, where this should even be considered.


A 6 hour route from Boston to Atlanta, hitting Philly, Baltimore, DC, Richmond, Charlotte along the way would be exceedingly well traveled.  A similar route on the west cost from Seattle, Portland, SF, LA, SD would do similarly well.

It's not that everybody would choose end to end routes (although I know I would do the Boston/Atlanta route), it's the traffic in between that would be extremely heavy.  Some of those air routes are very expensive, and you'd take a lot of traffic off 95.
 
2013-02-10 02:43:27 PM
Let me ask a question.

What problem does this solve?
 
2013-02-10 03:32:17 PM

Babwa Wawa: A 6 hour route from Boston to Atlanta, hitting Philly, Baltimore, DC, Richmond, Charlotte along the way would be exceedingly well traveled. A similar route on the west cost from Seattle, Portland, SF, LA, SD would do similarly well.


Time is a problem.  Do they stop just once in each city?  Do they have at grade crossings everywhere like they are in CA?  Are they sharing track?  The problem with trains is that every city that's impacted wants a benefit from it.  If it runs through Ventura and doesn't stop there, that's a big inconvenience for them as they get all the negatives of having a train without any of the positives.  So, then, they add stops, and the train efficiency slows down, and you end up with Metrolink, which takes longer to traverse the LA metro area than it takes to fly to San Fran, Phoenix, or Vegas from LA
 
2013-02-10 04:13:23 PM
Lsherm:
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.

So I'm in after a libtard tries to lie about the economics of passenger rail systems.


What is it about conservatives that makes it impossible for them to understand that the future may be different from the past?

When we got around cities by horse-drawn carriage, pre internal combustion engines, the only feasible method of longhaul passenger transport was via rail.  Believe it or not baggers, there will come a time, fairly soon, when oil is too precious to burn in cars, and we will need methods of passenger transport that are more efficient than airplanes.
 
2013-02-10 04:16:04 PM

slayer199: Let me ask a question.

What problem does this solve?


Highly inefficient commuter air routes.  Give you an example:  I used to go down to DC from my home in Hartford for work.  A quick hour long flight, but at the right time it's a 5 1/2 hour drive.  I would drive more often than fly.  The commuter routes were expensive, infrequent, and security lines in conjunction with travel time to the airport made it a wash.  Rail was simply not an option, but should have been given the distance between the cities.

A train route is different.  A route with stops in Boston>Hartford>NYC>Philly>Baltimore>DC route will have an overwhelming number of passengers doing between 1-3 hops, and would be simultaneously competitive on a time basis for relatively long haul passengers.  Remember that business travelers can count train travel time as productive time what with cell and internet access.   Capacity is easier and cheaper to add with trains rather than planes.

Nowadays I travel a lot to Atlanta, Charlotte, Philly, and NYC, DC, Chicago, Dallas, SoCal, and NoCal.  For NYC and Philly, I either Amtrak or drive it.  It takes far longer to take the train, but I'm productive - I can be on email, do designs, etc.  What intrigues me is a potential 8 hour train  trip to Atlanta.   I may or may not take HSR to Atlanta, but I'm sure that DC folks would take a 3 hour HSR route to Atlanta. I can fly to Atlanta in about 3 hours direct, but I have to pad about 3 hours on that for various crap around the fact of flying. HSR would reduce my total flights about 20%, and would reduce my car travel by about 80%.

HSR up and down the east coast would introduce a lot more efficiency into our economy.  It would add at least 200 miles to every person's potential coverage area.
 
2013-02-10 04:31:32 PM

slayer199: Let me ask a question.

What problem does this solve?


I realize I'm posting two answers, but in the event of TL;DR:

These cross-country routes are a red herring.  The question is not "how often would you take the train from Boston to San Diego?"  It's "how much of a boon to the economy would a 3 hour Boston>NYC>DCroute with nearly infinite scalefrom Boston to NYC to DC be?"  Each leg of those routes are typically traveled by car today.

bhcompy: Time is a problem.  Do they stop just once in each city?  Do they have at grade crossings everywhere like they are in CA?  Are they sharing track?  The problem with trains is that every city that's impacted wants a benefit from it.  If it runs through Ventura and doesn't stop there, that's a big inconvenience for them as they get all the negatives of having a train without any of the positives.  So, then, they add stops, and the train efficiency slows down, and you end up with Metrolink, which takes longer to traverse the LA metro area than it takes to fly to San Fran, Phoenix, or Vegas from LA


That's a fair point, but it's also easiest problem to solve.  HSRs would simply do not stop, or stop less frequently at stations without enough ridership.  Areas without ridership necessary to support are serviced by regionals.  Borderline stations are stopped at by every other, or third, fourth, or fifth HSR train such that HSR trains stop no less than Y miles so they can maintain an average speed of Z MPH.

It's a simple enough scheduling algorithm.
 
2013-02-10 04:45:59 PM

slayer199: What problem does this solve?


Insofar as it's physically possible to get from any remotely populated place in the US to any other remotely populated place via mass transit of one kind or another, given arbitrary amounts of time and money and accepting arbitrary restrictions on baggage, schedules, terminal points, and so forth... there's no problem.

However, that's been true in this country since the transcontinental railroad was completed in the 1860s. It doesn't mean we've been wrong to come up with incrementally better "solutions" since then.

Significantly badass trains would improve the transportation experience of people who never used them, in much the same way that the internet is better for having massively better bandwidth and infrastructure even for people who are using a 14.4K modem to get on it.

And of course it's not just long-haul passenger trains. There are only a handful of cities with a meaningfully useful light rail/subway infrastructure in the US. Our crazy-quilt of bus lines is  beggingfor someone to nuke it (either via regulation, mass private consolidation, or both) and start from scratch. Air route maps are likewise a preposterous mess from the standpoint of the traveler, although at least that situation is workable at the moment (and would be goosed into better order by competition from other modalities, like high-speed rail). And yes, for a country that is absolutely obsessed with private car travel, we're sure good at deferring maintenance on 70-year-old major bridges that represent major choke points when they finally collapse.

TL;DR: it helps solve the problem of our transportation system not being remotely as useful and reliable as it could be.
 
2013-02-10 04:47:44 PM

GF named my left testicle thundercles: i would really like to see high speed rail someday but they would have to start with routes that would makes sense. phoenix - LA - Vegas triangle would be a good start. on those routes, the train could compete because it would be faster and cheaper than flying or driving. high speed rail from LA to NY is dumb as shiat for sure. flying will always be faster and better for that route.


Yep, because jet fuel will always be cheap, right?
 
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