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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
    More: Interesting, Los Angeles, Amtrak, high-speed rail  
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5722 clicks; posted to Geek » on 09 Feb 2013 at 4:08 PM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



373 Comments     (+0 »)
 
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2013-02-09 12:09:29 PM  
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.
 
2013-02-09 12:15:39 PM  
Yeah, Subbass, let's keep doing it with 3 day busses and no food.
 
2013-02-09 12:30:08 PM  
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.
 
2013-02-09 12:34:28 PM  
"In liberals' dreams, this Is what America's high-speed rail network looks like."

This is why we can't have nice things
 
2013-02-09 12:36:32 PM  
i105.photobucket.com
 
2013-02-09 12:38:19 PM  

MisterTweak: White Plains, NY to New Orleans, LA


HPN - MSY, 5 hours.
 
2013-02-09 12:38:31 PM  
Yes, this would just SO terrible. Let's keep everything as shiatty as possible, and never try.
 
2013-02-09 12:43:13 PM  
Let's face it; the Interstate Highway System turned out to be a useless liberal boondoggle, and this will be no different.
 
2013-02-09 12:44:53 PM  

St_Francis_P: Let's face it; the Interstate Highway System turned out to be a useless liberal boondoggle, and this will be no different.


Damn that RINO Eisenhower!
 
2013-02-09 12:46:30 PM  

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.
 
2013-02-09 12:49:49 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.


And you can declare it as uneconomical without any knowledge of the cost of a high speed ticket, how?
 
2013-02-09 12:54:32 PM  
$200 billion sounds way low to me.
 
2013-02-09 12:54:46 PM  

GAT_00: And you can declare it as uneconomical without any knowledge of the cost of a high speed ticket, how?


Look at the existing costs.  It's already $218 to take a train to LA from NYC.  Are you even going to try and argue that it will be LESS expensive with $200billion dollars of new infrastructure?
 
2013-02-09 12:55:08 PM  
I prefer taking the train if it is going where I need to be.  I would be willing to spend 2 trillion on a high speed rail system if it was what it takes.

I hate driving and I hate flying.
 
2013-02-09 12:56:16 PM  

slayer199: 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


So high-speed rail is never used by anyone, anywhere?
 
2013-02-09 12:59:17 PM  
Who did the mayor of Cheyenne pay off to get not just a stop, but an out of the way stop?
 
2013-02-09 12:59:41 PM  
The plus side is no TSA agent groping your junk before you board.

The negative is no TSA agent groping your junk before you board.
 
2013-02-09 12:59:49 PM  
JFK to LAX right now STARTS at $328. Sounds to me like there's a price point in between $218 and $328 where High Speed Rail would fit just fine.
 
2013-02-09 12:59:56 PM  

slayer199: GAT_00: And you can declare it as uneconomical without any knowledge of the cost of a high speed ticket, how?

Look at the existing costs.  It's already $218 to take a train to LA from NYC.  Are you even going to try and argue that it will be LESS expensive with $200billion dollars of new infrastructure?


The cost of flying has substantially decreased over the years as infrastructure has increased.  The same thing with cars.  Why exactly are trains except from this?
 
2013-02-09 01:01:11 PM  
The irony is if the high speed rail gets built suddenly Ayn Rand's novel about a future dominated by rail travel becomes relevant again.
 
2013-02-09 01:01:28 PM  

slayer199: GAT_00: And you can declare it as uneconomical without any knowledge of the cost of a high speed ticket, how?

Look at the existing costs.  It's already $218 to take a train to LA from NYC.  Are you even going to try and argue that it will be LESS expensive with $200billion dollars of new infrastructure?


 It is like our pharmaceuticals.  We pay a lot for early users and the research costs are high.  It is not the overall cost that matters as much as the public good.   Money should not get in the way of doing what is right.
 
2013-02-09 01:04:46 PM  
Oh and according to that map I would be able to travel from Atlanta to Las Vegas without flying.   Very nice idea.  Even if the funds and collective political will were there today, I would still be a very old man before it could happen.
 
2013-02-09 01:04:47 PM  

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


Sure there is
 
2013-02-09 01:05:52 PM  

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.


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.

So I'm in after a libtard tries to lie about the economics of passenger rail systems.
 
2013-02-09 01:08:07 PM  

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.
 
2013-02-09 01:09:16 PM  
Nah too many wasteful stops in the middle. Up and down the coasts is fine, but crosscountry you need express from ny to chicago and maybe stop at denver then on to the left coast
 
2013-02-09 01:10:58 PM  

Ghastly: The plus side is no TSA agent groping your junk before you board.

The negative is no TSA agent groping your junk before you board.


For now.  Just wait.
 
2013-02-09 01:11:01 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.


And nobody in Europe ever uses the train, thus proving your point.

Oh wait.
 
2013-02-09 01:12:03 PM  

slayer199: Europe is smaller than the US in case you weren't aware.


Actually, you aren't aware. Europe is larger than the United States - even including Alaska.
 
2013-02-09 01:13:11 PM  

Dead for Tax Reasons: Nah too many wasteful stops in the middle. Up and down the coasts is fine, but crosscountry you need express from ny to chicago and maybe stop at denver then on to the left coast


Do you know how trains works? There are express lines and local lines. They run on the same tracks (basically). There's very little downside to including more local stops if there's sufficient demand. Once you build the express line the infrastructure is already in place other than the stations themselves, which aren't that expensive.
 
2013-02-09 01:20:55 PM  
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
 
2013-02-09 01:24:27 PM  

DamnYankees: Dead for Tax Reasons: Nah too many wasteful stops in the middle. Up and down the coasts is fine, but crosscountry you need express from ny to chicago and maybe stop at denver then on to the left coast

Do you know how trains works? There are express lines and local lines. They run on the same tracks (basically). There's very little downside to including more local stops if there's sufficient demand. Once you build the express line the infrastructure is already in place other than the stations themselves, which aren't that expensive.


"Next stop, west bumblefark, indiana"
 
2013-02-09 01:24:34 PM  
For those of us who have never been on a plane and have no desire to ever be on a plane, that sounds pretty awesome. Liberal or otherwise.
 
2013-02-09 01:26:39 PM  

slayer199: GAT_00: And you can declare it as uneconomical without any knowledge of the cost of a high speed ticket, how?

Look at the existing costs.  It's already $218 to take a train to LA from NYC.  Are you even going to try and argue that it will be LESS expensive with $200billion dollars of new infrastructure?


Too bad all travel is just from NYC to LA and that no one ever stops or simply needs to go from any point in between.
 
2013-02-09 01:27:09 PM  

slayer199: Europe is smaller than the US in case you weren't aware.


Lisbon to Bucharest is only about 20% shorter than San Francisco to DC.
 
2013-02-09 01:29:04 PM  

kronicfeld: slayer199: Europe is smaller than the US in case you weren't aware.

Lisbon to Bucharest is only about 20% shorter than San Francisco to DC.


And its much, much longer to Moscow, which is sort of a big transportation hub.
 
2013-02-09 01:31:05 PM  
Hey just guarding the rail line from terrorists will generate 25,000+ full time jobs. Another thousand high speed snow plow drivers. A few thousand track workers. Guys to wash off the high speed bug splatters and birds every 1,000 miles or so. It all adds up.
 
2013-02-09 01:35:00 PM  

DamnYankees: And its much, much longer to Moscow, which is sort of a big transportation hub.


I chose not to include Ukraine/Russia to avoid the inevitable Europe/Asia/Eurasia* argument.

*Blade/Laser/Blazer
 
2013-02-09 01:36:39 PM  

kronicfeld: DamnYankees: And its much, much longer to Moscow, which is sort of a big transportation hub.

I chose not to include Ukraine/Russia to avoid the inevitable Europe/Asia/Eurasia* argument.

*Blade/Laser/Blazer


Russia is not part of Europe.
 
2013-02-09 01:37:08 PM  

Lsherm: kronicfeld: DamnYankees: And its much, much longer to Moscow, which is sort of a big transportation hub.

I chose not to include Ukraine/Russia to avoid the inevitable Europe/Asia/Eurasia* argument.

*Blade/Laser/Blazer

Russia is not part of Europe.


hahahahahah
 
2013-02-09 01:40:07 PM  

Lsherm: kronicfeld: DamnYankees: And its much, much longer to Moscow, which is sort of a big transportation hub.

I chose not to include Ukraine/Russia to avoid the inevitable Europe/Asia/Eurasia* argument.

*Blade/Laser/Blazer

Russia is not part of Europe.


Look how stupid you are!
 
2013-02-09 01:48:45 PM  

Lsherm: kronicfeld: DamnYankees: And its much, much longer to Moscow, which is sort of a big transportation hub.

I chose not to include Ukraine/Russia to avoid the inevitable Europe/Asia/Eurasia* argument.

*Blade/Laser/Blazer

Russia is not part of Europe.


www.troll.me
 
2013-02-09 01:57:07 PM  
Make it affordable and I'm all for train travel. I've flown and have ridden on Greyhound buses across this country numerous times. Both ways sucked. I would have preferred train, but it was too expensive. 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.
 
2013-02-09 01:59:41 PM  

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.
 
2013-02-09 02:02:29 PM  
I guess the Interstate system is a huge money sink because nobody drives from NY to LA, either.
 
2013-02-09 02:04:55 PM  
What if it was a bunch of linking regional systems? Maybe not a straight shot from NY to LA but you can go from the northeast to Chicago area to the west? Divide the US into 6 regions so that you can get the benefits of high speed rail in the region but still be able to take the train cross country.

/highspeed to Atlanta would be sweet
//or to Florida to visit the folks
///Florida needs a good rail system, driving from Tampa to Orlando or Miami sucks
 
2013-02-09 02:09:30 PM  

SarahDiddle: What if it was a bunch of linking regional systems? Maybe not a straight shot from NY to LA but you can go from the northeast to Chicago area to the west? Divide the US into 6 regions so that you can get the benefits of high speed rail in the region but still be able to take the train cross country.


If you look at the map, that's exactly what it is. Heck, that's exactly what the Interstate system is.
 
2013-02-09 02:17:51 PM  

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.

While I despise making everything a partisan issue, the author of the article fired the first shot.
 
2013-02-09 02:18:11 PM  

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.
 
2013-02-09 02:18:37 PM  
So which one would give the US the best return over time? Several times this amount of money spent on Iraq or high speed rail infrastructure in the US?

Yes, we chose so wisely.
 
2013-02-09 02:19:37 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.

While I despise making everything a partisan issue, the author of the article fired the first shot.


Money doesn't grow on trees. We don't live in Jerry Jones world.
 
2013-02-09 02:23:24 PM  

WorldCitizen: So which one would give the US the best return over time? Several times this amount of money spent on Iraq or high speed rail infrastructure in the US?

Yes, we chose so wisely.


Yes we did!.  The Iraq war paid for itself and, conversely, people would ride the train for free!
 
2013-02-09 02:24:30 PM  

muck4doo: 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.

While I despise making everything a partisan issue, the author of the article fired the first shot.

Money doesn't grow on trees. We don't live in Jerry Jones world.


DoD spends over 500 every year, with far less to show for it.
 
2013-02-09 02:25:26 PM  
Hmmmm.  Wait a minute.  The artist left off the Mexico City spur.
 
2013-02-09 02:26:23 PM  
The multilayered cluelessness inherent in this headline is staggering.
 
2013-02-09 02:26:24 PM  

doyner: WorldCitizen: So which one would give the US the best return over time? Several times this amount of money spent on Iraq or high speed rail infrastructure in the US?

Yes, we chose so wisely.

Yes we did!.  The Iraq war paid for itself and, conversely, people would ride the train for free!


Yes, too bad we can't do Iraq all over again.

/ That is neither here nor there. It's done. It's history. We can't save money on that now to build train tracks.
 
2013-02-09 02:27:34 PM  

muck4doo: Money doesn't grow on trees.


Exactly.  Money is technically a fungus.
 
2013-02-09 02:27:59 PM  

ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha: muck4doo: 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.

While I despise making everything a partisan issue, the author of the article fired the first shot.

Money doesn't grow on trees. We don't live in Jerry Jones world.

DoD spends over 500 every year, with far less to show for it.


DoD employs too many people. The money isn't going to come from there.
 
2013-02-09 02:28:40 PM  

thamike: muck4doo: Money doesn't grow on trees.

Exactly.  Money is technically a fungus.


LOL!
 
2013-02-09 02:30:21 PM  

muck4doo: ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha: muck4doo: 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.

While I despise making everything a partisan issue, the author of the article fired the first shot.

Money doesn't grow on trees. We don't live in Jerry Jones world.

DoD spends over 500 every year, with far less to show for it.
n
DoD employs too many people. The money isn't going to come from there.


We just need to sell it is a military/industrial necessity as Eisenhower did with the interstate system. Then have the military/industrial complex build it. Problem solved.
 
2013-02-09 02:36:14 PM  

WorldCitizen: muck4doo: ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha: muck4doo: 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.

While I despise making everything a partisan issue, the author of the article fired the first shot.

Money doesn't grow on trees. We don't live in Jerry Jones world.

DoD spends over 500 every year, with far less to show for it.
n
DoD employs too many people. The money isn't going to come from there.

We just need to sell it is a military/industrial necessity as Eisenhower did with the interstate system. Then have the military/industrial complex build it. Problem solved.


We already have a railway system. What you mean to say is that we need to sell a "high speed" railway system as a necessity to the military. They won't buy that. They already have planes to do the high speed stuff.
 
2013-02-09 02:38:19 PM  

muck4doo: ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha: muck4doo: 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.

While I despise making everything a partisan issue, the author of the article fired the first shot.

Money doesn't grow on trees. We don't live in Jerry Jones world.

DoD spends over 500 every year, with far less to show for it.

DoD employs too many people. The money isn't going to come from there.


Trust me, I'm aware of how many people the DoD employs, but let's not pretend that this just about how much money it will cost.
 
2013-02-09 02:39:31 PM  

muck4doo: Money doesn't grow on trees.


Money is paper. It literally does grow on trees. I've never understood this expression.
 
2013-02-09 02:41:19 PM  

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

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


That is why you vote Democrat.
 
2013-02-09 02:41:46 PM  

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.


Yes, and the interstate system just magically appeared overnight. And the westward expansion didn't really cost a dime. And the moon, nah...moon shot was just some stuff lying around.

And here I thought Conservatives like the can do
 
2013-02-09 02:42:18 PM  

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

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

That is why you vote Democrat.


I vote for Democrats because I understand monetary economics, yes. That is one reason why I tend to vote for them.

Or was that supposed to be an insult or something?
 
2013-02-09 02:43:16 PM  
$200 billion came right out of submitter's ass. The price could be 50 times that or 1/2 of that. Just don't use the headline as the authoritative source of the costs.
 
2013-02-09 02:47:03 PM  
BTW Japan would gladly sell the US it's latest shinkansen trains, Germany would gladly sell ICE trains, the French would gladly sell the TGV. So as far as rolling stock goes, there's no need to spend money on R&D and such. Which actually greatly simplifies things. Just have to decide which rolling stock to go with and place an order.
 
2013-02-09 02:47:19 PM  

muck4doo: 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.

While I despise making everything a partisan issue, the author of the article fired the first shot.

Money doesn't grow on trees. We don't live in Jerry Jones world.


We are one if the wealthiest countries in the world. And yet we don't have the money to improve our society.

Why is that?

Why are conservatives such cowards?
 
2013-02-09 02:47:22 PM  

ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha: muck4doo: ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha: muck4doo: 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.

While I despise making everything a partisan issue, the author of the article fired the first shot.

Money doesn't grow on trees. We don't live in Jerry Jones world.

DoD spends over 500 every year, with far less to show for it.

DoD employs too many people. The money isn't going to come from there.

Trust me, I'm aware of how many people the DoD employs, but let's not pretend that this just about how much money it will cost.


It is about money. They say 200 billion now, how much do you think it will really cost(cough cough Boston Big Dig)? How many riders per year for how many years would it take to make up for that? You're not even counting now how much it would cost to keep it operating once it starts.
 
2013-02-09 02:47:32 PM  

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.
 
2013-02-09 02:48:33 PM  
This thread will be wasted on the geek tab.
 
2013-02-09 02:48:51 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.


So plants, not paper. I stand corrected.
 
2013-02-09 02:49:11 PM  

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

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

That is why you vote Democrat.

I vote for Democrats because I understand monetary economics, yes. That is one reason why I tend to vote for them.

Or was that supposed to be an insult or something?


You dug that insult yourself. I just helped you along with it. :p
 
2013-02-09 02:49:43 PM  

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

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


If we're getting literal about it, paper money is made of cotton and linen, neither of which grow on trees.
 
2013-02-09 02:50:24 PM  

DamnYankees: 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.

So plants, not paper. I stand corrected.


Meh.  Most of our money is imaginary anyway.
 
2013-02-09 02:50:32 PM  
Sorry for the redundancy.
 
2013-02-09 02:51:07 PM  

thamike: Sorry for the redundancy.


Did I jut get laid off?
 
2013-02-09 02:54:41 PM  
I'd happily subsidize this and use it.

Flying sucks balls.  I'd rather have a bigger seat and a dining car.  Private sleeper cars would be awesome, too.

Also, Amtrak is far less evil than any of the major airlines.  The airlines lie about bad weather when it's really something else and are always looking to screw you for an extra fee.
 
2013-02-09 02:56:31 PM  
I don't see how an NY-LA train trip would be more viable than flying, unless it was much cheaper than I think it would be. But NY-Chicago? Other trips along those lines? That could work.
 
2013-02-09 02:56:51 PM  

doyner: thamike: Sorry for the redundancy.

Did I jut get laid off?


Welcome to 0bama's America.

*flees thread*
 
2013-02-09 02:58:33 PM  

flucto: This thread will be wasted on the geek tab.


If going to main this would be filled with penis jokes.
 
2013-02-09 03:05:26 PM  

muck4doo: flucto: This thread will be wasted on the geek tab.

If going to main this would be filled with penis jokes.


Well you are offering stiff resistance to the idea. Backers have thrusted forward with great arguments. But I think your issued your counter proposals prematurely.
 
2013-02-09 03:05:56 PM  
Can we get a 268 mph maglev? Because that would be rad.
 
2013-02-09 03:08:53 PM  

JerseyTim: Can we get a 268 mph maglev? Because that would be rad.


I've been on that and it was awesome. I'm not sure I want to hit a cow in the middle on Indiana going 430kph though.
 
2013-02-09 03:09:18 PM  

muck4doo: cough cough Boston Big Dig)


The Big Dig would've cost less if it hadn't been awarded to the lowest bidder. The price was so low that there was no way the contractor could've met the budget even if everything was how they were expecting and they got away with cutting corners. That last thing by itself added a bunch to the final cost. Then there was the matter of things not going how they planned because of things they found they weren't expecting. Get someone who isn't out to cut corners and sure the initial price might look higher, but you're not going to run into cost overruns when the corner cutting catches up with them, which it always does. Also part of the issue was waiting so long, it should've been done ages ago, when just by virtue of inflation it would've cost less. Sitting around waiting to do something for 20 years is now way to keep costs down.
 
2013-02-09 03:11:21 PM  

JerseyTim: Can we get a 268 mph maglev? Because that would be rad.


A French TGV could do that in theory and so could a Japanese shinkansen. While neither currently runs that fast, both are capable of it.
 
2013-02-09 03:15:47 PM  

WhyteRaven74: muck4doo: cough cough Boston Big Dig)

The Big Dig would've cost less if it hadn't been awarded to the lowest bidder. The price was so low that there was no way the contractor could've met the budget even if everything was how they were expecting and they got away with cutting corners. That last thing by itself added a bunch to the final cost. Then there was the matter of things not going how they planned because of things they found they weren't expecting. Get someone who isn't out to cut corners and sure the initial price might look higher, but you're not going to run into cost overruns when the corner cutting catches up with them, which it always does. Also part of the issue was waiting so long, it should've been done ages ago, when just by virtue of inflation it would've cost less. Sitting around waiting to do something for 20 years is now way to keep costs down.


Indeed, and why do you think this time it will be different? Also, how many riders per year are going to be needed to make up the costs, and also pay for costs of running this?

/Look, I like the idea, but think it is not fiscally responsible. Maybe you can prove to me otherwise.
 
2013-02-09 03:19:09 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.

While I despise making everything a partisan issue, the author of the article fired the first shot.


People like us don't usually read well balanced and non-partison white papers unless it is part of the job.    But you do make a good point about conservatives seeing through green colored glasses.   I thought the part of religious conservatism was not supposed to be so worldly and selfish.

Trains just shift the costs from the people to the government.   If trains are not making a profit then that means there is no money wasted on middle men.  If people did not buy cars and gas and insurance for those cars, each person may save $10,000 or more per year in driving related costs.  Not to mention all the reduction in traffic deaths which have no monetary value.   Even those who own cars will still save money in the long term.  At some point while our population keeps growing even air travel will become so congested that the ticket price will become so high only the wealthy can fly.
 
2013-02-09 03:24:11 PM  

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


Money funds things. Without money you don't have nice things like fire and police. And 911 call centers.

While I like the idea of high speed rail, (hell I enjoyed low speed when I took it) will it be able to be self sufficient?
 
2013-02-09 03:25:42 PM  

muck4doo: why do you think this time it will be different?


Well if people decide to do it right, and skip on the nonsense of awarding things to lowest bidders, it'll work better. Also we can get help from those who've built high speed rail already.

Also why is it people will go off about how much a high speed train would cost yet aren't going utterly apeshiat about the F-35 program doubling in cost and turning out to be the bad idea many people said it would be? Lockheed-Martin is basically demanding the government pay for its own fark ups and delays saying it's not their fault. Yet don't hear people gnashing their teeth about the program the way they do whenever someone mentions things like expanded public transit, high speed rail and so on.
 
2013-02-09 03:26:36 PM  

Dancin_In_Anson: will it be able to be self sufficient?


As long as you can cover operational costs, you've got no problems.
 
2013-02-09 03:27:54 PM  

muck4doo: /Look, I like the idea, but think it is not fiscally responsible. Maybe you can prove to me otherwise.


How is improving our infrastructure, which is crumbling at this point, NOT fiscally responsible?
 
2013-02-09 03:29:42 PM  

WhyteRaven74: As long as you can cover operational costs, you've got no problems.


Think it can be done without pulling funds from elsewhere to do it?
 
2013-02-09 03:35:25 PM  

Dancin_In_Anson: Think it can be done without pulling funds from elsewhere to do it?


If we can pull funds from elsewhere to build a new class of ships for the Navy, why not do it for the public good? Either no one does it, period, or everyone gets to, you can't have some people be allowed to do it and others not.
 
2013-02-09 03:41:09 PM  
Continent-spanning high speed rail for the cost of 4 months of The War Against Terror in Afghanistan?

Hey Congress, spend my money!
 
2013-02-09 03:42:26 PM  

Lsherm: 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.

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.

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


please point out where i said it would generate "enough revenue to cover costs."

you can't, because i didn't. now who's lying again?

i was referring to things like hotels, restaurants, shopping, etc. near stations. i lived in europe for many years. every train station is a hive of activity, far more than just getting on and off the train.
 
2013-02-09 03:43:03 PM  

WhyteRaven74: If we can pull funds from elsewhere to build a new class of ships for the Navy, why not do it for the public good?


So, no, it can't be self sufficient.
 
2013-02-09 03:44:08 PM  

WhyteRaven74: muck4doo: why do you think this time it will be different?

Well if people decide to do it right, and skip on the nonsense of awarding things to lowest bidders, it'll work better. Also we can get help from those who've built high speed rail already.

Also why is it people will go off about how much a high speed train would cost yet aren't going utterly apeshiat about the F-35 program doubling in cost and turning out to be the bad idea many people said it would be? Lockheed-Martin is basically demanding the government pay for its own fark ups and delays saying it's not their fault. Yet don't hear people gnashing their teeth about the program the way they do whenever someone mentions things like expanded public transit, high speed rail and so on.


IF people decide to do it right? I think right there is where you and me disagree, as well as operating costs. I like the idea of better mass transportation. As a matter of fact, I believe when i met you here in Austin 4 or 5 years ago I told you one of my biggest pet peeves was seeing teen age girls wasting gas riding big trucks to haul their hides around to the next party. I'm looking at the big picture here of it all, and wondering if this will work. What are the costs going to be to build this? What will the operations costs be like per year? How many riders will it take per year to make this cost efficient? Why will people use this instead of their own cars or taking a plane ride?

cameroncrazy1984: muck4doo: /Look, I like the idea, but think it is not fiscally responsible. Maybe you can prove to me otherwise.

How is improving our infrastructure, which is crumbling at this point, NOT fiscally responsible?


How was building the bridge to nowhere in Alaska fiscally responsible?
 
2013-02-09 03:46:49 PM  
Did you know that you can bring booze on an Amtrak train.


Think about it.
 
2013-02-09 03:49:35 PM  

Dancin_In_Anson: So, no, it can't be self sufficient.


As far as day to day operations? It could be. Funding the construction is another matter.
 
2013-02-09 03:55:10 PM  
Cost aside, I see security as the weak link. I don't know how we'd keep cattle and elk off the track. Or deranged madmen from taking a stolen excavator to the track just as a 220mph bullet train carrying 500 people gets there.

And that concern aside, I think it makes more sense to build high speed rail with a regional mentality before constructing a coast to coast straight shot. Regional rail would eliminate the need for business air shuttle flights, and get a lot of cars off the road.
 
2013-02-09 04:05:13 PM  

violentsalvation: I don't know how we'd keep cattle and elk off the track.


France and Germany have no problem keeping cattle off their high speed tracks.
 
2013-02-09 04:14:01 PM  

Ghastly: The plus side is no TSA agent groping your junk before you board.

The negative is no TSA agent groping your junk before you board.


YET.
 
2013-02-09 04:21:24 PM  

Darth_Lukecash: muck4doo: 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.

While I despise making everything a partisan issue, the author of the article fired the first shot.

Money doesn't grow on trees. We don't live in Jerry Jones world.

We are one if the wealthiest countries in the world. And yet we don't have the money to improve our society.

Why is that?

Why are conservatives such cowards?


Because they favor corporate welfare for the oil and gas industry, and have an irrational fear of choo-choo trains.
 
2013-02-09 04:23:37 PM  
I'm about to spend 44 hours on the Empire Builder ... and I know that the food isn't the best.  I'm trying to figure out the best options for carry-along snacks (and yes, there will be a hip flask).
 
2013-02-09 04:25:29 PM  

HighZoolander: Darth_Lukecash: muck4doo: 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.

While I despise making everything a partisan issue, the author of the article fired the first shot.

Money doesn't grow on trees. We don't live in Jerry Jones world.

We are one if the wealthiest countries in the world. And yet we don't have the money to improve our society.

Why is that?

Why are conservatives such cowards?

Because they favor corporate welfare for the oil and gas industry, and have an irrational fear of choo-choo trains.


That's the retard perspective of it. You got that nailed down.
 
2013-02-09 04:28:52 PM  
Who wouldn't do it?

An idiot. Or a conservative.

But I repeat myself.

/ gotta save money to shoot brown people in other countries somewhere, and there's not much more meat we can hack of public ed's bones at this point
 
2013-02-09 04:29:32 PM  
I'm not sure if cross-country trips would be easier than flying, but if you set up high speed train networks linking up major cities on each coast and priced it lower than flying, I think it would be incredibly popular among people looking for an inexpensive, spur-of-the-moment weekend getaway.

I was thinking you could link up these cities:
West coast: LA, San Diego, San Francisco, Vegas, Phoenix
East coast: NYC, Boston, Atlantic City, Philadelphia, DC

I mean, if you lived in Phoenix, how awesome would a 2-hour, $100 train ride to Vegas be?
 
2013-02-09 04:31:41 PM  
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.
 
2013-02-09 04:33:07 PM  

Mr. Chainsaw: I mean, if you lived in Phoenix, how awesome would a 2-hour, $100 train ride to Vegas be?


Bullet trains can make that in closer to an hour.
 
2013-02-09 04:33:27 PM  
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.
 
2013-02-09 04:33:46 PM  

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


And no one is advocating building trains for the primary purpose of riding 2400 miles in one sitting.
 
2013-02-09 04:34:41 PM  

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

And no one is advocating building trains for the primary purpose of riding 2400 miles in one sitting.


Plenty of conservatives are using that exact straw man argument.
 
2013-02-09 04:35:38 PM  

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

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


I thought money was made from cotton and linen.  Linen's made from flax.  So bushes and flowers, nu?
 
2013-02-09 04:35:55 PM  

muck4doo: That's the retard perspective of it. You got that nailed down.


Aside from the sarcasm, what part is wrong? Conservatives have historically fought tooth and nail to defend unnecessary subsidies to the extraordinarily profitable oil and gas industries (and, until more recently, coal). They also fight tooth and nail to defend excess military spending even when it means going head to head with actual military leaders over what the military thinks it needs to be buying.

They also traditionally hate any sort of public infrastructure project that isn't part of their own district. They fight against high speed rail, they fight against light rail, they fight against improving urban bus systems.

I'll agree on one point, though. It's not that they're afraid of trains.

It's that they're vile little pants-sniffing scumbags who don't think we shouldn't ever do anything unless what we do benefits people who are already rich.
 
2013-02-09 04:37:17 PM  

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

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

I thought money was made from cotton and linen.  Linen's made from flax.  So bushes and flowers, nu?


I don't know about you, but I carve my nickels from solid oak.
 
2013-02-09 04:39:04 PM  

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.
 
2013-02-09 04:39:11 PM  

Vegan Meat Popsicle: don't think we shouldn't


Stupid double-negative-typing fingers...
 
2013-02-09 04:39:50 PM  

slayer199: Europe is smaller than the US in case you weren't aware.


China is exactly the same size as the US, and they are doing great things with high speed rail.

But yeah, herp derp derp.
 
2013-02-09 04:41:33 PM  
I wish that this had been the idea of conservatives. But sine the liberals were the ones with the idea, they HAD to oppose it.
 
2013-02-09 04:41:56 PM  

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]
 
2013-02-09 04:42:14 PM  
I don't have huge opinions on high-speed rail and the proposed private and public options.

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.
 
2013-02-09 04:42:17 PM  

Vegan Meat Popsicle: muck4doo: That's the retard perspective of it. You got that nailed down.

Aside from the sarcasm, what part is wrong? Conservatives have historically fought tooth and nail to defend unnecessary subsidies to the extraordinarily profitable oil and gas industries (and, until more recently, coal). They also fight tooth and nail to defend excess military spending even when it means going head to head with actual military leaders over what the military thinks it needs to be buying.

They also traditionally hate any sort of public infrastructure project that isn't part of their own district. They fight against high speed rail, they fight against light rail, they fight against improving urban bus systems.

I'll agree on one point, though. It's not that they're afraid of trains.

It's that they're vile little pants-sniffing scumbags who don't think we shouldn't ever do anything unless what we do benefits people who are already rich.


So in other words you have no argument as to how this makes any monetary sense other than you can stick it to the evil gas and coal conservatives.
 
2013-02-09 04:42:20 PM  

Vegan Meat Popsicle: muck4doo: That's the retard perspective of it. You got that nailed down.

Aside from the sarcasm, what part is wrong? Conservatives have historically fought tooth and nail to defend unnecessary subsidies to the extraordinarily profitable oil and gas industries (and, until more recently, coal). They also fight tooth and nail to defend excess military spending even when it means going head to head with actual military leaders over what the military thinks it needs to be buying.

They also traditionally hate any sort of public infrastructure project that isn't part of their own district. They fight against high speed rail, they fight against light rail, they fight against improving urban bus systems.

I'll agree on one point, though. It's not that they're afraid of trains.

It's that they're vile little pants-sniffing scumbags who don't think we shouldn't ever do anything unless what we do benefits people who are already rich.


Why do you hate the job creators?!?!?!  If the men who run the oil companies aren't unfathomably rich, they won't feel like working anymore and they'll just shut the companies down.  Then we'll have no oil at all!
 
2013-02-09 04:42:34 PM  

serpent_sky: For those of us who have never been on a plane and have no desire to ever be on a plane, that sounds pretty awesome. Liberal or otherwise.


For all the griping about the TSA, planes aren't that scary. You really shouldn't criticize what you don't know, flying is about as safe a mode of transport as you can get, not ridiculously uncomfortable, and you can get drunk if you so please.

It's just stupid to insist that you have no desire to ever experience something without any knowledge of exactly what you'd be experiencing.
 
2013-02-09 04:42:41 PM  

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.
 
2013-02-09 04:43:43 PM  

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"
 
2013-02-09 04:45:07 PM  
Thats alot of taxpayer money just so a couple of you druggies can travel with weed.
 
2013-02-09 04:47:57 PM  

Vegan Meat Popsicle: muck4doo: That's the retard perspective of it. You got that nailed down.

Aside from the sarcasm, what part is wrong? Conservatives have historically fought tooth and nail to defend unnecessary subsidies to the extraordinarily profitable oil and gas industries (and, until more recently, coal). They also fight tooth and nail to defend excess military spending even when it means going head to head with actual military leaders over what the military thinks it needs to be buying.

They also traditionally hate any sort of public infrastructure project that isn't part of their own district. They fight against high speed rail, they fight against light rail, they fight against improving urban bus systems.

I'll agree on one point, though. It's not that they're afraid of trains.

It's that they're vile little pants-sniffing scumbags who don't think we shouldn't ever do anything unless what we do benefits people who are already rich.


Life must be so easy when you dismiss your political opponents as evil genius retards.
Taking that a priori makes sure you never have any thoughts that, if harbored for any length of time, would lead to ouster from the tribe.
 
2013-02-09 04:48:07 PM  

cptjeff: serpent_sky: For those of us who have never been on a plane and have no desire to ever be on a plane, that sounds pretty awesome. Liberal or otherwise.

For all the griping about the TSA, planes aren't that scary. You really shouldn't criticize what you don't know, flying is about as safe a mode of transport as you can get, not ridiculously uncomfortable, and you can get drunk if you so please.

It's just stupid to insist that you have no desire to ever experience something without any knowledge of exactly what you'd be experiencing.


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.

Best of all, the same minimum-wage morons who are entitled to touch your genitals and take naked pictures of you get to hassle you like crazy if you protest.

www.wired.com
 
2013-02-09 04:49:03 PM  

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.
 
2013-02-09 04:49:52 PM  

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.
 
2013-02-09 04:50:32 PM  

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?
 
2013-02-09 04:52:00 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?


It's not a search and seizure. Getting on a plane is a completely voluntary activity. There's absolutely no obligation on your part to do it. You might think its overly invasive and therefore decide to not fly on planes, but the idea that its unconstitutional is ridiculous.
 
2013-02-09 04:52:05 PM  
If it's going to be so profitable why can't we let the companies that intend to be carriers raise funds to pay for it?  Just like professional football teams and stadiums.
 
2013-02-09 04:53:49 PM  

violentsalvation: $200 billion sounds way low to me.


http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/president-obama-vice-pres id ent-biden-announce-8-billion-high-speed-rail-projects-ac

'member when so many people got all boner-fied over the $8billion for high speed rail?

It really moved us right along.
 
2013-02-09 04:54:27 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?


The derp is strong in this one.
 
2013-02-09 04:55:36 PM  
It's kinda appropriate that the only thing on that map that makes no sense is the goofy clusterfark going on in Florida.
 
2013-02-09 04:56:10 PM  

DamnYankees: 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?

It's not a search and seizure. Getting on a plane is a completely voluntary activity. There's absolutely no obligation on your part to do it. You might think its overly invasive and therefore decide to not fly on planes, but the idea that its unconstitutional is ridiculous.


Well, then I suppose that Jeffrey Rosen, a guy who's written a bunch of great books about law and who teaches law at Georgetown is ridiculous.  Link: WaPo
 
2013-02-09 04:57:15 PM  

gimmegimme: DamnYankees: 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?

It's not a search and seizure. Getting on a plane is a completely voluntary activity. There's absolutely no obligation on your part to do it. You might think its overly invasive and therefore decide to not fly on planes, but the idea that its unconstitutional is ridiculous.

Well, then I suppose that Jeffrey Rosen, a guy who's written a bunch of great books about law and who teaches law at Georgetown is ridiculous.  Link: WaPo


Holy crap - you cited an opinion article of a guy who agrees with you. Well done.
 
2013-02-09 04:58:19 PM  

muck4doo: 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?

The derp is strong in this one.


Come on, now.  I like having my genitals fondled as much as you do.  Just not by government mandate and not by a stranger.  (You know...unless I get to pick the stranger.)
 
2013-02-09 04:58:32 PM  
We've already got a high speed train in America, and people like it. I'm ok with paying to build more.
 
2013-02-09 04:58:44 PM  
Amtrak isnt all bad. They do serve Dogfish head on board.
 
2013-02-09 04:59:47 PM  
Rick Scott is a farking asshole. Everyone voted for it, it was all in the federal budget and he nixed it because he's a farking teabagger.
 
2013-02-09 05:00:13 PM  

DamnYankees: gimmegimme: DamnYankees: 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?

It's not a search and seizure. Getting on a plane is a completely voluntary activity. There's absolutely no obligation on your part to do it. You might think its overly invasive and therefore decide to not fly on planes, but the idea that its unconstitutional is ridiculous.

Well, then I suppose that Jeffrey Rosen, a guy who's written a bunch of great books about law and who teaches law at Georgetown is ridiculous.  Link: WaPo

Holy crap - you cited an opinion article of a guy who agrees with you. Well done.


No...a famous and well-respected professor of law.  I think we usually agree on things.  I wonder what is keeping us apart on this.
 
2013-02-09 05:02:38 PM  

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

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.
 
2013-02-09 05:02:51 PM  
I can think of dumber things we've spent 200 Billion on.
 
2013-02-09 05:05:42 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.


That's the worst part of going Greyhound.  It wouldn't be so bad if it were express from, say, New York to Cleveland.  But you have to get off the Interstate and drive 50 miles to some one-streetlight town and then drive 40 miles in the other direction to a Wal-Mart parking lot to pick up one guy and then drive another 35 miles until you get back on the Interstate at the original exit.
 
2013-02-09 05:06:10 PM  

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.


Deregulation
 
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
 
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.
 
2013-02-09 09:23:43 PM  
It seems to me that the only people in this thread who believe HSR is doomed to spectacular failure think two things: HSR will only be used to link New York to Los Angeles, and HSR will make every stop at every po dunk town on the line thus negating any benefit of HSR.

To prevent those failures from being realized, they need regional HSR systems set up that serve as hub and spoke systems across the country with long distance travel coordinated between hub cities. Secondly, they need tiered service so you can take the express train from New York to Chicago with stops in only Pittsburgh and Cleveland instead of hitting Buttfark PA, State College PA, and Shifferbrains PA as well.
 
2013-02-09 09:27:30 PM  
Butbutbut profitable! Socialism! My tax dollars!
And then you point to airlines as a model of what you would prefer? What in the actual f*ck.
 
2013-02-09 09:29:25 PM  

Giltric: 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?


Doing the right thing is rarely the easy thing.

I'm not really interested in what is easier.

That's how we got in this boat to begin with, we let rich farkwads sell our nation out from under us because it was easier to hand over all control and responsibility for our nation's future than to tend it responsibly ourselves.

Not that I expect much better out of our morbidly obese nation.

Constantly looking for the easiest way to duck out of our problems. As long as our fat asses are comfortable, consequences can be damned, right?
 
2013-02-09 09:34:19 PM  

gas giant: Butbutbut profitable! Socialism! My tax dollars!
And then you point to airlines as a model of what you would prefer? What in the actual f*ck.


I think people are trying to point out that it would cost the same and be quicker to fly to most areas. Train travel in this country right now isn't much cheaper then flying, you think it's going to go down after all the money needed to build out and maintain this HSR infrastructure is spent?
 
2013-02-09 09:34:24 PM  
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.
 
2013-02-09 09:36:38 PM  

DamnYankees: Who did the mayor of Cheyenne pay off to get not just a stop, but an out of the way stop?


Not like theres any important defense sites in the area that the DoD might want alternative transportation to and from in case of something...
 
2013-02-09 09:36:51 PM  

TwistedFark: 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.


That didn't work out so hot for Obamacare.
 
2013-02-09 09:37:24 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.


I'd love to see the north east corridor replaced with high speed rail, it's another area that makes sense to put it in.
 
2013-02-09 09:37:47 PM  

St_Francis_P: Let's face it; the Interstate Highway System turned out to be a useless liberal boondoggle, and this will be no different.


The Interstate Highway System is a huge success because it allows trade to flow very quickly at all times of day.  Our comprehensive rail system does the same, as does our network of airports, and even allows for passenger traffic just like the highway system.  The high speed rail networks being proposed are just for moving people, and transit that only moves people is only affordable on certain routes with a certain time efficiency.  The high speed rail from LA to SF probably won't be high speed at all, because it will have a dozen stops along the way and spend half the time in areas with at grade crossings, noise ordinances, etc.
 
2013-02-09 09:38:03 PM  

MurphyMurphy: Constantly looking for the easiest way to duck out of our problems. As long as our fat asses are comfortable, consequences can be damned, right?


LOL we're talking about HSR, not energy independence.

HSR will never be as fast or faster than flying, and when people have a limited amount of time for vacation I doubt they would pick the 20 hour rail trip over the 6 hour flight.

The TSA does not add extra time only to flying, the TSA will be involved in HSR security. You will have the same hassle, you will not avoid the hassle.
 
2013-02-09 09:38:31 PM  
Amtrak from Charlotte to Atlanta is 112 bucks round trip, the train only runs both ways in the middle of the night and takes 5 and 1/2 hours. Flights from Charlotte to Atlanta cost around 130 dollars, you can catch a flight anytime of the day, and takes not even 1 and 1/2 hours(not including all the check in time, waiting for luggage that may or may not be there, etc).

At Amtrak I can show up 5-10 minutes before boarding time and park for free, when I get to Atlanta I walk off the train with my bags and 5 minutes later I am inside a van taking me to my hotel(usually a 15 minute ride tops). Flying, actually takes about the same amount of time when you add it up; checking in, boarding, waiting to land, actually getting out of the airport, time spent getting back to the center of town(yes, the train station is actually in Atlanta).

I take the train, the only pain in the ass is the time of the train, but it does get me there early in the morning. 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.

I take the train, and if they added a day trip for $200 I would gladly pay it.
 
2013-02-09 09:39:55 PM  

mjones73: gas giant: Butbutbut profitable! Socialism! My tax dollars!
And then you point to airlines as a model of what you would prefer? What in the actual f*ck.

I think people are trying to point out that it would cost the same and be quicker to fly to most areas. Train travel in this country right now isn't much cheaper then flying, you think it's going to go down after all the money needed to build out and maintain this HSR infrastructure is spent?


Do you know why it's cheaper to fly?
Do you understand the concept of an investment?

We get what they are trying to point out.

I just try not to get my directions from people that can't see 2ft past their own noses.
 
2013-02-09 09:43:39 PM  

Giltric: MurphyMurphy: Constantly looking for the easiest way to duck out of our problems. As long as our fat asses are comfortable, consequences can be damned, right?

LOL we're talking about HSR, not energy independence.

HSR will never be as fast or faster than flying, and when people have a limited amount of time for vacation I doubt they would pick the 20 hour rail trip over the 6 hour flight.

The TSA does not add extra time only to flying, the TSA will be involved in HSR security. You will have the same hassle, you will not avoid the hassle.


Did you mean to respond to someone else?

When did I say anything about the TSA? Did I say trains are faster than planes somewhere? What the flying fark are you on about?
 
2013-02-09 09:51:17 PM  

MurphyMurphy: Giltric: MurphyMurphy: Constantly looking for the easiest way to duck out of our problems. As long as our fat asses are comfortable, consequences can be damned, right?

LOL we're talking about HSR, not energy independence.



HSR will never be as fast or faster than flying, and when people have a limited amount of time for vacation I doubt they would pick the 20 hour rail trip over the 6 hour flight.

The TSA does not add extra time only to flying, the TSA will be involved in HSR security. You will have the same hassle, you will not avoid the hassle.

Did you mean to respond to someone else?

When did I say anything about the TSA? Did I say trains are faster than planes somewhere? What the flying fark are you on about?



The bolded part is what you said and my response. The rest is a response to the rest of the posters in case you didn't have time to read the thread in your fury to show everyone, while using the doll, where Haliburton touched you.

HSR is a convienence to a very small number of people. It is a pipe dream in the US.
 
2013-02-09 09:53:48 PM  

MurphyMurphy: mjones73: gas giant: Butbutbut profitable! Socialism! My tax dollars!
And then you point to airlines as a model of what you would prefer? What in the actual f*ck.

I think people are trying to point out that it would cost the same and be quicker to fly to most areas. Train travel in this country right now isn't much cheaper then flying, you think it's going to go down after all the money needed to build out and maintain this HSR infrastructure is spent?

Do you know why it's cheaper to fly?

Pretty much the same reason Amtrak is only $1 billion in the hole every year, government money.
Do you understand the concept of an investment? Yep, given my previous point that Amtrak can't turn a profit even with government backing now, how do you expect them to do the same once this HSR is built? The investment is only going to pay off if enough people use HSR once it's built. Short of giving away train tickets, grounding airlines or taxing airfare to the point it's undesirable, I don't see that happening anytime soon.

We get what they are trying to point out.

I just try not to get my directions from people that can't see 2ft past their own noses.
 
2013-02-09 09:56:20 PM  

muck4doo: HighZoolander: Darth_Lukecash: muck4doo: 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.

While I despise making everything a partisan issue, the author of the article fired the first shot.

Money doesn't grow on trees. We don't live in Jerry Jones world.

We are one if the wealthiest countries in the world. And yet we don't have the money to improve our society.

Why is that?

Why are conservatives such cowards?

Because they favor corporate welfare for the oil and gas industry, and have an irrational fear of choo-choo trains.

That's the retard perspective of it. You got that nailed down.


You're right, I'm sorry. That was pretty high-brow for your average conservative. In the future I'll try to say things as if I'm speaking to Peter or a creationist.
 
2013-02-09 10:01:29 PM  
I bet if we invaded Iran, you could get from NY to LA in like, two minutes. And they'd pay you to do it.
 
2013-02-09 10:03:57 PM  
$200 Billion? So... One fiscal quarter's worth of Obama deficit spending? Go for it.
 
2013-02-09 10:07:15 PM  

Giltric: The bolded part is what you said and my response. The rest is a response to the rest of the posters in case you didn't have time to read the thread in your fury to show everyone, while using the doll, where Haliburton touched you.

HSR is a convienence to a very small number of people. It is a pipe dream in the US.


Just because it's convenient for you to separate the HSR issue from it's obvious realm of infrastructure investments doesn't make it so.

And this is ultimately what this discussion is about, not energy independence or just the HSR, but the entire logic behind the b.s. argument of why this along with every other proposed domestic spending project, isn't possible. Keep repeating it's a pipe dream over and over, your only convincing yourself.

The only fury I have is aimed at people so miserably stupid they can't even realize they aren't discussing the issue, they are obfuscating it.

Case in point: The HSR is a convenience to only a very small number of people?
Huh, who knew?
Wow, that changes everything entirely!
Except for it being a completely made-up pile of steaming shiat.


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.
 
2013-02-09 10:11:06 PM  

muck4doo: How was building the bridge to nowhere in Alaska fiscally responsible?


Perhaps it was "nowhere" because there was no bridge?
Infrastructure often creates demand that didn't exist when it was built.
 
2013-02-09 10:23:41 PM  

mjones73: Do you know why it's cheaper to fly? Pretty much the same reason Amtrak is only $1 billion in the hole every year, government money.
Do you understand the concept of an investment? Yep, given my previous point that Amtrak can't turn a profit even with government backing now, how do you expect them to do the same once this HSR is built? The investment is only going to pay off if enough people use HSR once it's built. Short of giving away train tickets, grounding airlines or taxing airfare to the point it's undesirable, I don't see that happening anytime soon.


And this is the discussion worth having.

It's hard to even produce solid numbers regarding how much (and in how many ways) the various elements of both industries are subsidized by the Federal Government.

You say it wouldn't be used enough to pay off long term. It may very well be the case. I think, as has been mentioned many times, that the coastal portions of a HSR system would be used greatly but it's hard for either of us to know 100%, either way unless we give it a fair shot somewhere.

I would go so far as to say it's nearly impossible to write a comprehensive cost/benefit analysis comparing HSR to the current air and road, nationwide.

What we do know is that at the basics, rail as a mode of transportation is less resource intensive and has proved much more economically viable (provided consumer demand/use) when compared dollar to dollar against other forms of travel. This has been proven to be true internationally (and historically) especially for areas with populations and distances that we see in coastal US and European nations.

Can the same be said of HSR as traditional rail? I don't have the numbers but I'd love to see them from nations that have been using HSR for years.

The yea's saying to do it because we believe it to be a good idea, and the nays saying not because it's impossible or unrealistic can talk past each other (as we have). I support the former because I think we won't know until we try and there is a lot worse we can do (we DO do) with our money than try new infrastructure projects that if they pay off at all could pay off in a really really big way for our economy.
 
2013-02-09 10:24:06 PM  

CujoQuarrel: 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.


How much is spent per year maintaining all those roads?
 
2013-02-09 10:34:19 PM  
Are airlines subsidized or given tax breaks currently?
 
2013-02-09 10:36:15 PM  
Everyone is focusing on this for passenger transport, high speed rail for freight would be a HUGE time saver, can't ship most of it via plane, cuts down on inventory because shipments are faster, even more of an impetus to bring manufacturing back to places on the line, and could even give it a military impetus, large shipments of military hardware across country more quickly.
 
2013-02-09 10:39:26 PM  

MurphyMurphy: 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.


This is absolutely true, and absolutely not an argument in favor of HSR.  Had we spent the last 50 years investing in rail travel, it would make sense to expand that to include HSR.  But we've spent so much money on automobile and air infrastructure that it makes more sense to invest the $1 trillion+ that you would spend on national and regional rail systems (much of which would duplicate what we already have) on technologies to expand and more efficiently use the infrastructure we already have.  Let's invest in driveless cars.  In new battery technologies.  In renewable energy sources.  Things that will let us move our cars and planes faster and further than they can go now.

Our interstate highway system is amazing at moving people around cities and through the less populated areas and remains an incredibly cheap method of transportation (show me another means of travel that can move 7 people from NYC to St. Louis for $100).  Air travel is capable of getting people across the country in 1/4 of the time of HSR.  Let's spend money making these technologies faster, better, and cheaper rather than throwing trillions of dollars reinventing the wheel.
 
2013-02-09 10:43:58 PM  
Yeah, I still want a glass tube through the sky to ride my bike on.
 
2013-02-09 10:59:30 PM  

0Icky0: muck4doo: How was building the bridge to nowhere in Alaska fiscally responsible?

Perhaps it was "nowhere" because there was no bridge?
Infrastructure often creates demand that didn't exist when it was built.


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.
 
2013-02-09 11:01:16 PM  

rugman11: Our interstate highway system is amazing at moving people around cities and through the less populated areas and remains an incredibly cheap method of transportation (show me another means of travel that can move 7 people from NYC to St. Louis for $100).


again, that's the tricky part of this is identifying true cost. The analysis is almost impossibly complex.

The cost to move those 7 people from NYC to St Louis is so much more than $100 (even if that were all the gas it cost). Everything from DMVs to the highway system maintenance to State Police/Highway Patrol must be factored in.

And I won't even try to argue which is, short term, cheaper for the nation. I don't think that's a question here. But sometimes spending more today can save us magnitudes more in the future.

And if we move away from economics for a second and into more subjective fields we might ask "what is better?" in many other respects. Safety comes to mind, as we love to turn a blind eye in this nation to just how hazardous our auto and highway culture has become. And speaking of the incredible number of auto accidents in our nation... viola... in these subjective discussions we can find even more costs we probably didn't include in our original equation.
 
2013-02-09 11:13:46 PM  

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.
 
2013-02-09 11:23:57 PM  
Because, you know, we've never ever subsidized airline travel or its infrastructure in any way, ever, period, full stop, end, fin.
 
2013-02-09 11:54:21 PM  

Eatin' Queer Fetuses for Jesus: 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.  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.

Kind of like those epic boondoggles of the Interstate Highway System and Rural Electrification? Let's not forget about Seward's Folly - Alaska state income taxes are horrendous!


The Interstate Highway System had a massive demand as the existing system failed to provide all weather transport links between major population centers allowing for redeployment of military and evacuation of civilians in the case of nuclear war.  Rural Electrification is a bit more debatable in terms of overall demand and benefit per costs but it certainly does allow areas outside population centers to develop more effectively.  Seward's Folly really was a folly until technology uncovered minerals and oil so sometimes you get lucky.

Tell me what benfit high speed rail will provide?.  What demand it is serving that isn't already better served by the highway system, air traffic, freight rail (which high speed rail cannot service).  It is an extremely expensive method to move individuals around that isn't as effective as other technolgy both at short range and long.  It is only in rare areas where it can make some sense where demand provides sufficient economic incentives to justify the huge investment costs.  Why is the California High Speed rail construction commencing from Madera to Merced (south bumfark central valley to more northern slightly less podunk central valley) beyond political considerations when an actual market from San Francisco to San Jose would have a much larger demand and a potential market. High speed rail is a gimmick utilizing an older technology to do a job that is better done by other techniques which are faster and cheaper in the short and medium term.
 
2013-02-09 11:55:05 PM  

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


well, it's not like it's at george w. bush levels, so why not?
 
2013-02-09 11:56:30 PM  

uksocal: Everyone is focusing on this for passenger transport, high speed rail for freight would be a HUGE time saver, can't ship most of it via plane, cuts down on inventory because shipments are faster, even more of an impetus to bring manufacturing back to places on the line, and could even give it a military impetus, large shipments of military hardware across country more quickly.


High speed rail can't do freight.  It is only designed for passenger loads.  If you want to move massive quantiies of raw materials, finshed goods and the like, you have to use the heavy duty freight locamotives to get the heavy loads started and stopped.  High speed rail is a cheetah, not a draft horse.
 
2013-02-09 11:57:10 PM  

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


www.investors.com
 
2013-02-09 11:57:50 PM  

flucto: Hey just guarding the rail line from terrorists will generate 25,000+ full time jobs. Another thousand high speed snow plow drivers. A few thousand track workers. Guys to wash off the high speed bug splatters and birds every 1,000 miles or so. It all adds up.


Plus that guy that films every high speed snowplow and posts it to youtube.com.  good comment +1
 
2013-02-10 12:11:13 AM  
People will use fast trains to travel to nearby cities but when the train ride starts getting upwards of six hours or so, mostly only the puslilanimous cowards who won't fly will still ride the trains for longer trips than that.  Plus the occasional adventurer and some people who want to save a little money.

Given the expense of high speed rail, and the fact that I don't care to set policy based on a few pusilanimous cowards who don't want to fly, I'd say just build them between close cities and forget about cross-country.

You know, most people who live in England are probably still going to fly down to Greece even though Europe has a good rail infrastructure.
 
2013-02-10 12:13:16 AM  
It actually be nice if it is the trains that you can drive on like the Eurotunnel trains. Imagine putting a 100 trucks that have to travel cross country on one train and they able to travel 4x the normal speed. It will also allow people to travel faster and take their cars with them.
 
2013-02-10 12:23:58 AM  
That would work out to about $100 per taxpayer per year, if they build this at Apollo-mission speeds.

Yeah, I'd be okay with that. Hell, at that price I'll take two.
 
2013-02-10 12:25:15 AM  
The CA to FL rail is just I-10. That's farking lazy.

The Texas routes look stupid. No one's going to take a train from Dallas to Houston via Austin. Ya think maybe the most populous cities in the state might be connected directly?

Also I would totally be on board with this shiat. There's not much reason in connecting the major lines, but yanno how you can fly into Newark and take a train to NYC? It'd be nice if the rest of the country worked like that instead of this hub/spoke multiple feelup nonsense. Overseas travel from a spoke city plain old sucks.
 
2013-02-10 12:26:58 AM  
You know who else really loved using his train systems?
 
2013-02-10 12:27:14 AM  

aerojockey: pusilanimous cowards


Ok, first off: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/pusilanimous and secondly, you know you're saying COWARDLY COWARDS, right?
 
2013-02-10 12:35:18 AM  

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.
 
2013-02-10 12:45:54 AM  

Lsherm: 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.

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.

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


Actually, long haul high speed rail is a definite "loser" to long haul air traffic. Think for a second though, all those "spoke" airports that feed the "hub" airports. Those could easily be fed through rail in most of the country, for less than it is to run a plane there on what? 3 hour (or less) lengths? Use rail spoke to feed the hubs and you've lost nothing as a passenger. The regionals wouldn't like it, but the majors would love it. The trick is putting in enough rails for multiple trains to feed into the airport efficiently.
 
2013-02-10 12:48:20 AM  
Given the statistics currently available, it would seem that regional improvements and high speed rail additions might prove more worthwhile than longer routes such as cross-country lines: Visualizing How Poorly Amtrak's Route Network Serves Most of the U.S.
 
2013-02-10 12:53:26 AM  

Lsherm: 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.

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.

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


When it comes to public spending, "generating revenue" isn't solely limited to money taken in by the program itself. Otherwise, you could say that public schools, the defense advanced research department, NASA, etc. etc. etc. never "generated revenue". Most public programs are public specifically because commercially, it may not be viable but that having such a system greatly benefits the economy as a whole. Think of how much commerce has been created because of the interstate highway or educated adults or the goddamn internet (another "non-revenue-generating" waste of public money?).

A national high-speed railway system would have the same benefit; it provides a link between giant economic hubs that is, in the long run, less costly than flight and has far greater capacity.
 
2013-02-10 01:14:22 AM  
America isn't Europe.

/more at 11
 
2013-02-10 01:15:23 AM  

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.
 
2013-02-10 01:25:53 AM  

doyner: DamnYankees: 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.

So plants, not paper. I stand corrected.

Meh.  Most of our money is imaginary anyway.


*all* of money is imaginary; it only has value in that people believe it has value.
 
2013-02-10 01:28:55 AM  

moothemagiccow: aerojockey: pusilanimous cowards

Ok, first off: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/pusilanimous and secondly, you know you're saying COWARDLY COWARDS, right?


www.aerojockey.com

Sometimes people write more than one word in a row with the same meaning for emphasis.
 
2013-02-10 01:31:10 AM  

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.
 
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?
 
2013-02-10 04:58:56 PM  

GF named my left testicle thundercles: high speed rail from LA to NY is dumb as shiat for sure. flying will always be faster and better for that route.


No doubt. But that's a reason not to  take the train from LA to NY, not a reason for the train not to  run from LA to NY.

Every individual link in the chain that goes NYC → Pittsburgh → Cleveland → Chicago → Omaha → Denver → SLC → Las Vegas → LA makes sense, so it makes infinitely more sense to link them all together. That would be true even if only a tiny, tiny fraction of passengers crossed from one side of Omaha (for example) to the other.
 
2013-02-10 05:39:19 PM  

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


Thomas the Train?
 
2013-02-10 06:16:53 PM  

Babwa Wawa: 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.


That makes more sense than a cross-country route...much like Europe (especially western Europe).  Cleveland-Detroit-Chicago would make sense as well.

Basically, if you're looking at the time to get to an airport, check-in, security, etc...you're looking at 2 hours added on each way.  A high-speed train to Chicago from Detroit would take under 2 hours.  A flight is 1 hour but add 2 hours to that time and it takes more time to fly.
 
2013-02-10 06:45:51 PM  

slayer199: Babwa Wawa: 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.

That makes more sense than a cross-country route...much like Europe (especially western Europe).  Cleveland-Detroit-Chicago would make sense as well.

Basically, if you're looking at the time to get to an airport, check-in, security, etc...you're looking at 2 hours added on each way.  A high-speed train to Chicago from Detroit would take under 2 hours.  A flight is 1 hour but add 2 hours to that time and it takes more time to fly.


I think that's the key. PEople, particularly conservatives, will latch onto the entire length of track, and talk about how infeasible and uncompetitive long range HSR is. But HSR is about multiple 100-300 mile routes chained together. New Orleans to Houston to Dallas. SF to LA to SD. Boston to NYC to philly to DC. Rail will never compete with flight for 1200 mile plus routes and to act as if that's the only realistic use case is disingenuous.
 
2013-02-10 07:03:06 PM  

jtown: 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.


You must be trolling, because I cannot believe you're that dumb.

/most of the population lives in cities
//therefore investing in transportation to connect them will not provide any advantage
///your deductive logic saddens me
 
2013-02-10 07:07:30 PM  

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.


But nothing gets blown up!
 
2013-02-10 07:13:12 PM  
The big problem is that High Speed rail needs dedicated lines, specifically made for high-speed trains.

Our rail is optimized for moving freight, and you'd be talking some epic scale eminent domain and costs to buy up the needed land for high speed rail lines. I don't know how this could ever be done in any area that's substantially built up like Chicago or New York. The costs just for land and right of ways would be astronomical.

Airports exist for a reason.
 
2013-02-10 08:07:11 PM  
With the singularity coming, this is all moot anyway.
 
2013-02-10 08:29:56 PM  

Babwa Wawa: 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.


And there are no 15-60 minute periods where you can't turn on your laptop.
 
2013-02-10 08:38:16 PM  

Dommo: The big problem is that High Speed rail needs dedicated lines, specifically made for high-speed trains.

Our rail is optimized for moving freight, and you'd be talking some epic scale eminent domain and costs to buy up the needed land for high speed rail lines. I don't know how this could ever be done in any area that's substantially built up like Chicago or New York. The costs just for land and right of ways would be astronomical.

Airports exist for a reason.


And airports must be huge and miles outside population centers. Ever notice there is no convenient airport to NYC? You can't even just slap on chains and start the plane in a snowstorm. Everything has its drawbacks.
 
2013-02-10 09:56:49 PM  

moothemagiccow: And airports must be huge and miles outside population centers. Ever notice there is no convenient airport to NYC? You can't even just slap on chains and start the plane in a snowstorm. Everything has its drawbacks.


NYC is one city.  LAX, LGB, ONT, BUR, and SNA are all in the major population centers in LA. For every NYC there is an LA
 
2013-02-10 11:03:27 PM  

bhcompy: LAX, LGB, ONT, BUR, and SNA are all in the major population centers in LA.


And yet we fly to whatever one is cheapest, then spend hours stuck in LA traffic to get to where we actually want to go. ;)
 
2013-02-11 01:08:42 AM  

imgod2u: doyner: DamnYankees: 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.

So plants, not paper. I stand corrected.

Meh.  Most of our money is imaginary anyway.

*all* of money is imaginary; it only has value in that people believe it has value.




Lmao...let me guess...you went to a public school, you're a lib, and you think you're smart.....
 
2013-02-11 02:35:15 AM  

slayer199: GAT_00: And you can declare it as uneconomical without any knowledge of the cost of a high speed ticket, how?

Look at the existing costs.  It's already $218 to take a train to LA from NYC.  Are you even going to try and argue that it will be LESS expensive with $200billion dollars of new infrastructure?


probably be much better for regional as opposed to cross country. Think detroit to DC or Boston to richmond, stuff that's far enough that driving is inconvenient and close enough that trains can compete with airplanes (unless you live in a land where you can fly everything with 0 stop overs.

Also trains are by far the least energy intensive per passenger mile.
 
2013-02-11 02:36:00 AM  
http://costofwar.com/

Frankly, I'd be astonished to find that an inter-continental high speed rail would only cost $200 billion, but even at ten times that cost, it's still a bargain.  Especially considering our other boondoggles.

It would also be damn cool to be able to explore the country without the necessity of a car.

Why are conservatives so against repairing our infrastructure?  You'd think, given their leanings toward all things nostalgic, that an inter-continental train would be right up their alley.  We could even get the Chinese to build it!
 
2013-02-11 02:40:40 AM  

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.


the east and west coast corridors do rival europe in population density, that's why the whole philly-DC-NYC-Boston route always gets mentioned same as LA-to seattle.  high speed rail on the coasts make sense.  Once those projects are in place, you can start linking other cities as demand dictates.
 
2013-02-11 05:30:47 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.

Mind blown.


We have a struggling economy and slow job recovery, but the only thing folks like you can think about is the deficit even though borrowing money is dirt cheap right now.  Maybe high speed rail is a good project, maybe it's not, but we do need to boost our economy and infrastructure is a great way to do that.  How about investing in solar, wind and improving our electric grid?
 
2013-02-11 09:00:07 AM  

Dead for Tax Reasons: DamnYankees: Dead for Tax Reasons: Nah too many wasteful stops in the middle. Up and down the coasts is fine, but crosscountry you need express from ny to chicago and maybe stop at denver then on to the left coast

Do you know how trains works? There are express lines and local lines. They run on the same tracks (basically). There's very little downside to including more local stops if there's sufficient demand. Once you build the express line the infrastructure is already in place other than the stations themselves, which aren't that expensive.

"Next stop, west bumblefark, indiana"


They're putting a stop in Terre Haute? Sweet. Cthulu knows we already have the infrastruture.
 
2013-02-11 10:14:17 AM  
Trains are too fast and they pollute and divide up the land.  Wagon trails are the way to go.
 
2013-02-11 10:29:54 AM  

Baryogenesis: but the only thing folks like you can think about is the deficit even though borrowing money is dirt cheap right now.


Incorrect. Five- to ten-year bonds are at negative real rates, so it's more correct to say that it's dirt cheap to lock your money away in the Treasury's vaults.

Of course, that doesn't exactly undermine your larger point.
 
2013-02-11 11:10:45 AM  

Baryogenesis: We have a struggling economy and slow job recovery, but the only thing folks like you can think about is the deficit even though borrowing money is dirt cheap right now. Maybe high speed rail is a good project, maybe it's not, but we do need to boost our economy and infrastructure is a great way to do that. How about investing in solar, wind and improving our electric grid?


And the debt doesn't matter?
 
2013-02-11 12:54:46 PM  

slayer199: And the debt doesn't matter?


Negative real interest means it matters as little as it possibly can, and less than it would under any normal circumstances. Remember, thrift is a tool, not a virtue. If you don't know where your next meal is coming from, but you have a free ticket to an all-you-can-eat buffet, that's a good time to have seconds and thirds. It doesn't mean you're embracing gluttony as a lifestyle or denying that any bad thing can ever come from pigging out. (And it also doesn't mean you should have fourths and fifths, because there comes a point at which the long-term gain is offset by short-term consequences.)

Trains would be a cool way to spend that better-than-free money. Hospitals and schools would also be nice. We're never going to run out of good things to spend it on. We're just going to run out of time in which to borrow it at better-than-free rates.
 
2013-02-11 05:22:37 PM  

slayer199: Baryogenesis: We have a struggling economy and slow job recovery, but the only thing folks like you can think about is the deficit even though borrowing money is dirt cheap right now. Maybe high speed rail is a good project, maybe it's not, but we do need to boost our economy and infrastructure is a great way to do that. How about investing in solar, wind and improving our electric grid?

And the debt doesn't matter?


It doesn't matter in the short term and it matters much, much less than getting our economy strong again.  A strong economy generates more tax revenue, has fewer people drawing on social programs and it hurts less when you make cuts.

It's pretty funny to see people complain that the deficit and/or debt is going to kill the economy at some unknown future date when we have a shaky economy right now.  Hey, let's fix the economy now instead of worrying about what might happen in 25 years.
 
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