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(SFGate)   Amtrak rolls out 70 new high speed, computer controlled locomotives with crumple zones. Yes, that's the joke   (sfgate.com) divider line 80
    More: Cool, crumple zones, Amtrak, rail transport  
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3033 clicks; posted to Business » on 13 May 2013 at 11:01 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-05-13 10:53:07 AM  
Heh. Siemens Rail Systems.
 
2013-05-13 11:12:51 AM  
What is the joke, exactly? People can actually die when trains hit each other, and crumple zones can prevent that.

You can read all about it if you want.
 
2013-05-13 11:18:22 AM  
I imagine the crumple zone is somewhere between the back of your seat and that fold-down tray on that one in front..
 
2013-05-13 11:28:30 AM  
Wish we had AMtrak here in OKlahoma. I think there is a train from OKC to  Fort Worth, but I live in Tulsa, A train connecting Tulsa and OKC with another going up to springfield, MO would be great.

I'm not asking for much.

Now, I'm asking for much below.

Highspeed rail between Tulsa and OKC should be a no-brainer given the fact there shouldn't be a single stop along the way.

/not gonna happen
 
2013-05-13 11:37:35 AM  
and a braking system capable of generating 100 percent of the energy it uses back to the electric grid

Hmm, it has been a while since I learned Physics doesn't that break one of the laws of thermodynamics?

/cue Homer with Lisa
 
2013-05-13 11:39:32 AM  
They also feature crumple zones, which are basically cages built onto the front end of the train that can absorb impact from a collision. The new models will be the first in North America to use them, in compliance with new federal safety guidelines, Cahill said.


wow subby
they meet regulations and you think there is something wrong
LOL

/NEW CARS have FANCY SEATBELTS! news at 11
 
2013-05-13 11:44:09 AM  
So our trains will look outdated for another 30 years, or is that our American style?
 
2013-05-13 11:49:17 AM  

Makh: So our trains will look outdated for another 30 years, or is that our American style?


Well they do have the logo that looks like Bank of America's new logo.
 
2013-05-13 11:52:19 AM  
Actually, these new locomotives are, for once, current technology.  They're based on the successful Siemens Sprinter series, though the propulsion is the newer Vectron system, which means no cool startup noises.

They're going to be VERY quiet, like NJT's ALP-46s are

FWIW, the 64 in ACS 64 is the power, 6400kW, or 8600HP.  They'll be the most powerful 4 axle locomotives in North America.  Actually, they'll be the most powerful locomotives in North America, period, though their tractive effort's somewhat low, on account of their light weight (needed to go 125mph anyway).

Rumor has it they'll be limited to 5000kW on Amtrak's 25hz system, i.e. below NYC.

Why didn't Amtrak buy American?  The last US built electric locomotives, GE's E-60, ended up in a ditch not once, but twice during testing on Amtrak.  They nonetheless got stuck with the units, which were given an 80mph speed restriction (on a 125mph railroad)  They weren't reliable and they killed track.  IIRC, Metro-North slapped them with a blanket 35mph limit, which is why they never ran above New York after '83.  Amtrak pushed a few to NJ Transit where they were notoriously flaky units.
 
2013-05-13 11:57:38 AM  

PsychoPhil: Why didn't Amtrak buy American?  The last US built electric locomotives, GE's E-60, ended up in a ditch not once, but twice during testing on Amtrak.


If the entire nation didn't have less catenary than many German states, we'd probably get better at it.  As it is, electric locos are such a niche market in the US it's better to let companies who build them year-in-and-year-out do the refinements.
 
2013-05-13 12:07:27 PM  
High speed rails need to be the norm, I would rather use the railroad rather than flying after our experience in Europe. Better service, free Wi-Fi, and a bar car!
 
2013-05-13 12:13:29 PM  
Cue the Koch-suckers whose job it is to belittle mass transit, because it is communism,
 
2013-05-13 12:21:11 PM  

JolobinSmokin: Highspeed rail between Tulsa and OKC should be a no-brainer given the fact there shouldn't be a single stop along the way.


Get a 100 billion and hop right on that.
 
2013-05-13 12:30:36 PM  
The Northeast corridor is a case study in how rail can effectively compete with air travel. City center to city center at a comparable price of a plane ticket (usually less, to be honest) is a pretty easy sell when you realize you don't have to drag your ass to the airport, sit on the tarmac for hours, etc.

/ Most (not all, but most) of the Amtrak horror stories aren't in the northeast
// I'd love true HSR, though
/// Acela is only high-speed-ish
 
2013-05-13 12:46:24 PM  

xria: and a braking system capable of generating 100 percent of the energy it uses back to the electric grid

Hmm, it has been a while since I learned Physics doesn't that break one of the laws of thermodynamics?

/cue Homer with Lisa


I think the phrasing is awkward. 100% of the energy it captures goes back to the grid, not that it catches 100% of all energy
 
2013-05-13 12:46:36 PM  

xsarien: The Northeast corridor is a case study in how rail can effectively compete with air travel. City center to city center at a comparable price of a plane ticket (usually less, to be honest) is a pretty easy sell when you realize you don't have to drag your ass to the airport, sit on the tarmac for hours, etc.

/ Most (not all, but most) of the Amtrak horror stories aren't in the northeast
// I'd love true HSR, though
/// Acela is only high-speed-ish


The problem is the morons who seem to think that rail is the answer EVERYWHERE.  In the NE Corridor, rail travel is a great way to get around.  Baltimore to NYC?  NYC to Boston?  DC to Philly?  Great system.  Why?  Because the NE Corridor is built up a lot like Europe.  Big cities whose suburbs run almost until you hit the next big city.  Get out of that area, and trains make a hell of a lot less sense.  The wife and I are moving right in between Baltimore and DC, and I'm looking forward to using the train a lot.  If I have to go to San Francisco though, I'll probably still catch a plane out of BWI, not a train, even if that train COULD go 175mph, non stop.
 
2013-05-13 12:53:03 PM  

Apik0r0s: Cue the Koch-suckers whose job it is to belittle mass transit, because it is communism,


Why are so many anti-conservative slurs also so homophobic?
 
2013-05-13 12:54:32 PM  

bopis: Apik0r0s: Cue the Koch-suckers whose job it is to belittle mass transit, because it is communism,

Why are so many anti-conservative slurs also so homophobic?


He learned it by watching you.

/technically it should be "Koch whore"
 
2013-05-13 01:00:12 PM  

anfrind: bopis: Apik0r0s: Cue the Koch-suckers whose job it is to belittle mass transit, because it is communism,

Why are so many anti-conservative slurs also so homophobic?

He learned it by watching you.

/technically it should be "Koch whore"


Are you saying I'm homophobic?
 
2013-05-13 01:06:03 PM  

Lost Thought 00: xria: and a braking system capable of generating 100 percent of the energy it uses back to the electric grid

Hmm, it has been a while since I learned Physics doesn't that break one of the laws of thermodynamics?

/cue Homer with Lisa

I think the phrasing is awkward. 100% of the energy it captures goes back to the grid, not that it catches 100% of all energy


It could also be a matter of scale.  The brakes probably don't require that much energy to close around the wheels and slow forward momentum; however, the energy generated by all that momentum can probably be harnessed to some extent so that the energy used for braking is made up for by the electricity generation.  So it's not saying all the energy is recovered, just that the energy required for braking is recovered.  You still lose everything that accelerates the train and maintains the its speed.

That's how I read it, anyway.  It doesn't sound very impressive that way, though.
 
2013-05-13 01:07:05 PM  

xsarien: The Northeast corridor is a case study in how rail can effectively compete with air travel. City center to city center at a comparable price of a plane ticket (usually less, to be honest) is a pretty easy sell when you realize you don't have to drag your ass to the airport, sit on the tarmac for hours, etc.

/ Most (not all, but most) of the Amtrak horror stories aren't in the northeast
// I'd love true HSR, though
/// Acela is only high-speed-ish


The Acela is actually pretty amazing considering it has to use the existing 100 year old infrastructure. It is the best we can hope because if if unlimited funds were available to build a true high speed line the Northeast Corridor could not be out of service for 2 years to build it.  The reason rail works in the Northeast is the reason no modern highspeed will be put in the Northeast, it is too built up to build a new line and they can't take the old line out of service.  Besides Downtown DC to New York Penn Station in less than 3 hours with wifi and a bar is pretty good way to travel.
 
2013-05-13 01:19:36 PM  

Makh: So our trains will look outdated for another 30 years, or is that our American style?


they look like shiny GG1s with crumple zones
 
2013-05-13 01:19:59 PM  
I'm curious how they did it in europe?

Tom_Slick: xsarien: The Northeast corridor is a case study in how rail can effectively compete with air travel. City center to city center at a comparable price of a plane ticket (usually less, to be honest) is a pretty easy sell when you realize you don't have to drag your ass to the airport, sit on the tarmac for hours, etc.

/ Most (not all, but most) of the Amtrak horror stories aren't in the northeast
// I'd love true HSR, though
/// Acela is only high-speed-ish

The Acela is actually pretty amazing considering it has to use the existing 100 year old infrastructure. It is the best we can hope because if if unlimited funds were available to build a true high speed line the Northeast Corridor could not be out of service for 2 years to build it.  The reason rail works in the Northeast is the reason no modern highspeed will be put in the Northeast, it is too built up to build a new line and they can't take the old line out of service.  Besides Downtown DC to New York Penn Station in less than 3 hours with wifi and a bar is pretty good way to travel.


How'd they do it in europe then? just curious.
 
2013-05-13 01:24:11 PM  

devildog123: xsarien: The Northeast corridor is a case study in how rail can effectively compete with air travel. City center to city center at a comparable price of a plane ticket (usually less, to be honest) is a pretty easy sell when you realize you don't have to drag your ass to the airport, sit on the tarmac for hours, etc.

/ Most (not all, but most) of the Amtrak horror stories aren't in the northeast
// I'd love true HSR, though
/// Acela is only high-speed-ish

The problem is the morons who seem to think that rail is the answer EVERYWHERE.  In the NE Corridor, rail travel is a great way to get around.  Baltimore to NYC?  NYC to Boston?  DC to Philly?  Great system.  Why?  Because the NE Corridor is built up a lot like Europe.  Big cities whose suburbs run almost until you hit the next big city.  Get out of that area, and trains make a hell of a lot less sense.  The wife and I are moving right in between Baltimore and DC, and I'm looking forward to using the train a lot.  If I have to go to San Francisco though, I'll probably still catch a plane out of BWI, not a train, even if that train COULD go 175mph, non stop.


I think it's the answer for travel between major cities that are within reasonable distance of each other, or between major cities where people just attempt to drive instead of taking a plane.

LA <-> SF is a great example, I'd imagine there are lots of midwestern cities that could benefit from a direct, short-haul HSR link as well.
 
2013-05-13 01:25:44 PM  

bopis: How'd they do it in europe then? just curious.


WWII is how they did it in Europe, most of the rail lines were destroyed, rebuilding started in the 1950s when high speed trains were starting to be possible.  The Northeast corridor was built starting in the late 1800s when 50 mph was high speed.
 
2013-05-13 01:27:32 PM  

bopis: anfrind: bopis: Apik0r0s: Cue the Koch-suckers whose job it is to belittle mass transit, because it is communism,

Why are so many anti-conservative slurs also so homophobic?

He learned it by watching you.

/technically it should be "Koch whore"

Are you saying I'm homophobic?


I didn't think it would be obscure.
 
2013-05-13 01:29:05 PM  
The most amazing part of this story is that things are still manufactured in California.
 
2013-05-13 01:31:31 PM  

xsarien: / Most (not all, but most) of the Amtrak horror stories aren't in the northeast


Yep.  Primarily due to right-of-way issues.  You just sit there while a 10,000-car freight train lumbers along at 7 m.p.h.

/would take an I-70ism midwest train - even with said delays
 
2013-05-13 01:40:15 PM  

bopis: How'd they do it in europe then? just curious


The US spent all its money on car infrastructure and freeways instead of on mass rail transit like those European Socialists

spectrumculture.com
 
2013-05-13 01:46:04 PM  

JolobinSmokin: Highspeed rail between Tulsa and OKC should be a no-brainer given the fact there shouldn't be a single stop along the way.


How much people traffic moves between Tulsa and OKC on a daily basis?

2011 Census says 396k or so in Tulsa, 590k in OKC.
The distance is 107 miles

Is there really a demand for it? At 100mph, it's still an hour on the train for a commute, plus travel time to/from the stations. Doesn't sound particularly viable from the outside. If you have better information, I'm all for it.
 
2013-05-13 01:51:25 PM  

Lsherm: Get a 100 billion and hop right on that.


Even at a cost of 10 million per mile, you could cover the 107 mile distance for 1.07 billion.
 
2013-05-13 02:03:16 PM  

Carousel Beast: JolobinSmokin: Highspeed rail between Tulsa and OKC should be a no-brainer given the fact there shouldn't be a single stop along the way.

How much people traffic moves between Tulsa and OKC on a daily basis?

2011 Census says 396k or so in Tulsa, 590k in OKC.
The distance is 107 miles

Is there really a demand for it? At 100mph, it's still an hour on the train for a commute, plus travel time to/from the stations. Doesn't sound particularly viable from the outside. If you have better information, I'm all for it.


Tulsa MSA is just under 900K and OKC's is just over 1.2mil.   Tulsa's CSA is about 1mil with okc's being about 1.5-1.7 mil.  There is a lot of travel between the two and on the Tulsa side we have already built a double decker bridge with High Speed capability.   And with all the oil companies in both towns the increase in traffic with that option would be more than even I would give it credit.  My brother in-law works for a oil company here and they get on the corporate jet and fly to OKC on a regular basis.
 
2013-05-13 02:30:46 PM  

JolobinSmokin: Tulsa MSA is just under 900K and OKC's is just over 1.2mil.   Tulsa's CSA is about 1mil with okc's being about 1.5-1.7 mil.  There is a lot of travel between the two and on the Tulsa side we have already built a double decker bridge with High Speed capability.   And with all the oil companies in both towns the increase in traffic with that option would be more than even I would give it credit.  My brother in-law works for a oil company here and they get on the corporate jet and fly to OKC on a regular basis.


The main problem is that very few people are going from 'downtown core' OKC to 'downtown core' Tulsa (as much as either term is even meaningful).   You've got people in one apartment or business park in Broken Arrow going to some other apartment or business park in Moore.  By the time they drive from their burb to the "Tulsa station", park, get on a train, get to "the OKC station", presumably grab a Zipcar or something, and drive to the other burb?  Might as well have driven yourself.

If there was much 'downtown to downtown, don't need a car at the other end' traffic, there'd be more market for a 'premium class of bus' between the two. At 75mph speed limit on the Pike, you're already faster than most Amtrak routes.  There isn't much demand on the few buses that go that way.
 
2013-05-13 02:38:02 PM  
I'm posting this on an Amtrak train so I'm getting a kick
 
2013-05-13 02:43:11 PM  

Lawnchair: JolobinSmokin: Tulsa MSA is just under 900K and OKC's is just over 1.2mil.   Tulsa's CSA is about 1mil with okc's being about 1.5-1.7 mil.  There is a lot of travel between the two and on the Tulsa side we have already built a double decker bridge with High Speed capability.   And with all the oil companies in both towns the increase in traffic with that option would be more than even I would give it credit.  My brother in-law works for a oil company here and they get on the corporate jet and fly to OKC on a regular basis.

The main problem is that very few people are going from 'downtown core' OKC to 'downtown core' Tulsa (as much as either term is even meaningful).   You've got people in one apartment or business park in Broken Arrow going to some other apartment or business park in Moore.  By the time they drive from their burb to the "Tulsa station", park, get on a train, get to "the OKC station", presumably grab a Zipcar or something, and drive to the other burb?  Might as well have driven yourself.

If there was much 'downtown to downtown, don't need a car at the other end' traffic, there'd be more market for a 'premium class of bus' between the two. At 75mph speed limit on the Pike, you're already faster than most Amtrak routes.  There isn't much demand on the few buses that go that way.


I'm not disagreeing or arguing with you, but your assessment of travel from downtown to downtown may be a bit off. it may be spot on, but increasing travel opportunities between the two cities will only increase economic activity.

good bye
 
2013-05-13 02:46:53 PM  
There should be three tiers to travel; bus, train, plane. Each serving a different distance of needed travel.

At least that what the engineer in me says. Use buses for the less than 100 and getting from minor or rural to the majors, trains for major city to major city, airplanes if you need to hop more than a two major cities or a thousand miles.

The problem is classism. If you can afford soap you don't want to sit next to the filth on the bus to get from your minor town to the major town. Once you're driving from the minor to the major you might as well be driving to the airport where you know you can get parking and won't be sitting next to the unwashed for hours on end.

And some SSB time. I had an interview with Schlumberger in Shreveport back when I lived in Tyler, TX. Their travel coordinator managed to get tickets for me to take an American Eagle flight to DFW in the morning, sit for eight hours, and fly an equally small airplane to Shreveport. It was 100 miles on the dot from my driveway to the Harrah's Casino. So I was the only person at the interview with a car and a knowledge of the locale. Still didn't get the job.
 
2013-05-13 03:00:07 PM  

Tom_Slick: bopis: How'd they do it in europe then? just curious.

WWII is how they did it in Europe, most of the rail lines were destroyed, rebuilding started in the 1950s when high speed trains were starting to be possible.  The Northeast corridor was built starting in the late 1800s when 50 mph was high speed.


Also, major European cities are a lot closer than they are in the US.  You could squeeze Germany and all of the UK into Texas, with plenty of room to spare.
 
2013-05-13 03:05:52 PM  
Zombies ride traaaaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnsssssssssssss
 
2013-05-13 03:38:55 PM  

CokeBear: Zombies ride traaaaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnsssssssssssss


everyone say traaaaaainnnnnnnsssss
 
2013-05-13 03:40:25 PM  
Tom_Slick:

WWII is how they did it in Europe, most of the rail lines were destroyed, rebuilding started in the 1950s when high speed trains were starting to be possible.  The Northeast corridor was built starting in the late 1800s when 50 mph was high speed.

Guess how I can tell you've never been on a European train or taken Amtrak on the NEC....

Hint: The NEC below NYC is pretty much dead straight through New Jersey.
Hint: Most European HSTs tilt and run 9 or more inches cant deficiency.

Also:  Most European locomotives couldn't break 160km/h until the 70's, and even then, they were generally restricted to 160 km/h.   Germany didn't break 160km/h anywhere until LZB was proven out, and even today, you don't break 160km/h unless the line has LZB, which only the trunk lines do.  The backwater stuff has PZB, and is limited to 160km/h as a result.
 
2013-05-13 03:46:29 PM  

WhyteRaven74: Lsherm: Get a 100 billion and hop right on that.

Even at a cost of 10 million per mile, you could cover the 107 mile distance for 1.07 billion.


I was just pulling a number out of my ass.  My point was it's a no-brainer as long as you don't count the money involved.

I love me some high speed rail, but I want it on the Northeast Corridor before they connect Tulsa and OKC, for purely selfish reasons.  But financially, it makes sense to start there.  Acela is nice, but it could be so much more.
 
2013-05-13 03:54:44 PM  
Does this mean no more F40PH Friday?
 
2013-05-13 04:12:41 PM  

Tax Boy: bopis: How'd they do it in europe then? just curious

The US spent all its money on car infrastructure and freeways instead of on mass rail transit like those European Socialists

[spectrumculture.com image 620x350]


No, it's because the Continental United States (not counting Alaska and Hawaii) is about  3.1 million square miles, with about 310 million people living in it.  All of Europe from Moscow to Portugal, including England and the Scandinavian countries is only about 3.9 million, with almost 750 million people living there.  So you have just about double the population density, in an area that pretty much got to completely rebuild after 1945 (with massive American loans).  Also, the REALLY high speed stuff is mostly west of Berlin, so half of Europe is still pretty much not going a hell of a lot faster than Amtrak.  When we were building the infrastructure, we had tons of space and cheap gas.  It made sense to build roads.
 
2013-05-13 04:18:21 PM  
Thread needs MOAR Joe Biden

24.media.tumblr.com

25.media.tumblr.com

25.media.tumblr.com

graphics8.nytimes.com
 
2013-05-13 04:30:19 PM  
Blaine is a pain.
 
2013-05-13 04:33:13 PM  
The joke?
It's e-lectrik.

Bwah-hahahahahahaha.
That's a commie socialist train!
 
2013-05-13 04:48:28 PM  

bopis: Apik0r0s: Cue the Koch-suckers whose job it is to belittle mass transit, because it is communism,

Why are so many anti-conservative slurs also so homophobic?


The anti-conservative slurs aren't always homophobic. They're frequently also racist.
 
2013-05-13 05:00:08 PM  

Contrabulous Flabtraption: The most amazing part of this story is that things are still manufactured in California.


So one of you is going to know the answer to this, but how do they get the trains from California to the East seeing as there's no electric rail infrastructure between here and there? I've also wondered the same thing about the light rail trains they make there too.
 
2013-05-13 05:02:28 PM  

GaperKiller: Contrabulous Flabtraption: The most amazing part of this story is that things are still manufactured in California.

So one of you is going to know the answer to this, but how do they get the trains from California to the East seeing as there's no electric rail infrastructure between here and there? I've also wondered the same thing about the light rail trains they make there too.


Throw it in neutral and hook it up to a diesel engine.  Fundamentally, it's just another train car.
 
2013-05-13 05:12:56 PM  

Lsherm: GaperKiller: Contrabulous Flabtraption: The most amazing part of this story is that things are still manufactured in California.

So one of you is going to know the answer to this, but how do they get the trains from California to the East seeing as there's no electric rail infrastructure between here and there? I've also wondered the same thing about the light rail trains they make there too.

Throw it in neutral and hook it up to a diesel engine.  Fundamentally, it's just another train car.


Living a few miles away from Truckee CA and the Donner Pass rails, that's a train I'd like to see go by. Truckee is a whole lot busier now that they completed the double-tracking for double stacked containers over the summit. Reno built the train trench, thank god, and now theres a ton more traffic.
 
2013-05-13 05:15:15 PM  

WhyteRaven74: Lsherm: Get a 100 billion and hop right on that.

Even at a cost of 10 million per mile, you could cover the 107 mile distance for 1.07 billion.


Except it will cost about oh say 90 to 150 million dollars per mile in urban areas.

Saw a Gartner Group study years ago.. pretty much said you can take any govt project cost and multiply it by 1.8 something to get the real cost. (averaged)
 
2013-05-13 05:21:15 PM  

HotIgneous Intruder: The joke?
It's e-lectrik.

Bwah-hahahahahahaha.
That's a commie socialist train!


I don't get the joke.  Is there supposed to be a joke there?

First mainline AC electrification in the world:  New Haven RR in 1907.
First multisystem electric locomotive:  New Haven RR in 1905.
First rectifier locomotives:  PRR in the early 1950's.
First rectifier MUs:  New Haven RR in the mid 1950's.

The New Haven was running multisystem locomotives 50 years before the French were.  They were running multisystem MUs 60 years before the French were.  The autotransformer design that the New Haven ultimately adopted is *the* standard today for mainline electrification (albeit at commercial frequencies).  Pretty much every problem of electrification that existed was solved first on the New Haven RR.

Oh yeah, and electric?  I'd rather an 7000 - 8600HP electric pulling my train than a wimpy diesel.  Even a P-42 isn't getting much more than 3000hp to the rails, sometimes.  An ALP-46 will put 7100HP to the rails all day, even with a 1MVA head end power load.  The ACS-64 is rated 8600HP.  The current AEM-7s are 5300 (original) or 7000 (rebuilt).  That's continuous all day HP, even with HEP.
 
2013-05-13 05:23:15 PM  
Took Amtrak for first time last month.  Took kids from San Diego to Santa Barbara;  they had a blast and it was reasonably priced and a lot easier than driving.
 
2013-05-13 05:30:04 PM  

GaperKiller: So one of you is going to know the answer to this, but how do they get the trains from California to the East seeing as there's no electric rail infrastructure between here and there? I've also wondered the same thing about the light rail trains they make there too.


Light rail cars otoh, even those on standard gauge and which have the couplers to be pulled on freight lines, aren't.  They're craned onto a flatbed.  They don't have the hookups for brake vacuum, signal lines, etc that even the simplest grain hopper car has.
 
2013-05-13 06:52:14 PM  

JolobinSmokin: Wish we had AMtrak here in OKlahoma. I think there is a train from OKC to  Fort Worth, but I live in Tulsa, A train connecting Tulsa and OKC with another going up to springfield, MO would be great.

I'm not asking for much.

Now, I'm asking for much below.

Highspeed rail between Tulsa and OKC should be a no-brainer given the fact there shouldn't be a single stop along the way.

/not gonna happen


Because modern infrastructure is socailisms.
 
2013-05-13 06:59:18 PM  

Lawnchair: GaperKiller: So one of you is going to know the answer to this, but how do they get the trains from California to the East seeing as there's no electric rail infrastructure between here and there? I've also wondered the same thing about the light rail trains they make there too.

Light rail cars otoh, even those on standard gauge and which have the couplers to be pulled on freight lines, aren't.  They're craned onto a flatbed.  They don't have the hookups for brake vacuum, signal lines, etc that even the simplest grain hopper car has.


NYC MTA used to (still does?) have a heavy overhaul shop in Pennsylvania.  Seeing a subway car on a flatbed truck going down I-80 is quite odd.

The most WTFBBQ delivery method is when they fly railcars and locomotives.

www.ruslanint.com

www.ruslanint.com

http://www.ruslanint.com/GALLERY?ID=28
 
2013-05-13 07:13:28 PM  
clear_prop:
NYC MTA used to (still does?) have a heavy overhaul shop in Pennsylvania.  Seeing a subway car on a flatbed truck going down I-80 is quite odd.

I believe southern tier of NY, they get to it via PA.  The MTA is pretty dickish about giving railcar overhaul contracts *only* to NY state located firms.  Hence why Kawasaki (Yonkers), Alstom (Hornell) and Bombardier (Plattsburgh?) get the orders.

This backfired a few years ago when some jerkoff (Prendergast, IIRC) at the LIRR insisted on the LIRR ordering EMD locomotives, instead of the proven P-32ACDMs, so EMD ended up building a facility in upstate to build them.  End result was the DE/DM-30, which is a royal piece of shiat.

/Can't wait for those turds to get scrapped.
//Should have electrified Port Jeff and Oyster Bay like everyone wanted in the first place.
 
2013-05-13 07:20:09 PM  
By 'high speed', they mean almost as fast as a 10 year old Honda Civic going the speed limit, and of approximate efficiency as that same car with 2 people in it.
 
2013-05-13 07:23:31 PM  

PsychoPhil: clear_prop:
NYC MTA used to (still does?) have a heavy overhaul shop in Pennsylvania.  Seeing a subway car on a flatbed truck going down I-80 is quite odd.

I believe southern tier of NY, they get to it via PA.  The MTA is pretty dickish about giving railcar overhaul contracts *only* to NY state located firms.  Hence why Kawasaki (Yonkers), Alstom (Hornell) and Bombardier (Plattsburgh?) get the orders.


I'm sure you are correct.  I just recall seeing them on the road near the NJ/PA border and someone mentioning the shop was in Pennsylvania.   To someone in NYC, Southern Tier and Pennsylvania are both far away imaginary lands.
 
2013-05-13 07:34:31 PM  

PsychoPhil: Why didn't Amtrak buy American?


FTFA:...built by Siemens in Sacramento, Calif.

Damn them for outsourcing American jobs to California!
 
jvl
2013-05-13 07:50:26 PM  

xsarien: LA <-> SF is a great example, I'd imagine there are lots of midwestern cities that could benefit from a direct, short-haul HSR link as well.


That's a pretty terrible example because of California's mountainous geography. They plan to take the HSR up the Tehachapi pass which is a damn steep 4000' climb. Then they travel around the desert until they get to San Bernardino where there's finally a hole in the ring of mountains around LA.

Then finally you get to LA... and you have to rent a car to get anywhere.  Also, there is no major city on the route between San Jose and LA. (Sorry Bakersfield: can we still be friends?).

The Midwest is better for density and flat routes, with Chicago as the hub.
 
2013-05-13 07:53:50 PM  

hp6sa: You could squeeze Germany and all of the UK into Texas, with plenty of room to spare.


That argument is a cop out. The Europeans are stringing together cities in different countries with high speed rail these days. The whole distance between cities argument is just a way of saying "I have absolutely no idea of the possible benefits of this technology and I'm not about to learn anything".
 
2013-05-13 07:54:43 PM  

lohphat: JolobinSmokin: Wish we had AMtrak here in OKlahoma. I think there is a train from OKC to  Fort Worth, but I live in Tulsa, A train connecting Tulsa and OKC with another going up to springfield, MO would be great.

I'm not asking for much.

Now, I'm asking for much below.

Highspeed rail between Tulsa and OKC should be a no-brainer given the fact there shouldn't be a single stop along the way.

/not gonna happen

Because modern infrastructure is socailisms.


Nah, it's because driving is an order of magnitude faster than walking at least and it's WAY, WAY easier to drive an hour and a half from Tulsa Burb to OKC Burb than it is to drive to downtown Tulsa to the station, pay for parking, wait for the train, ride the train to downtown OKC and then somehow get from OKC downtown to your destination (Bus, taxi, rental Car?.  Unless you're within a mile of the train station, I'm definitely not walking).   If you're going downtown to downtown it's great, and if you're going burb to burb it sucks, and since most of the traffic is burb to burb, they don't bother.

Even if you're going infinitely fast on the train, you still have added some inconvenience, tied me to your schedule instead of my own, cost WAY more, increased congestion in the downtowns (since I'm being funneled through 2 separate downtowns instead of 0), artificially limited the amount of stuff I can bring, and not really saved all that much time.

/My back-home equivalent would be going to see Grandma.  Yeah, Detroit to Toledo or Detroit to Chicago rail is trivial, but that doesn't do me a whole lot of good going Farmington to Sylvania or Farmington to 5 miles outside of Covert.
//Now, it's worth asking why the US, unlike Europe, has a history of the middle-class living in large houses in the sprawling burbs instead of tiny little apartments in the cities.
///Or why every midsized city hasn't spent billions and billions of dollars getting fast mass transit centered on the downtown area that stops often enough to be useful (and "fast" and "stops often enough" is a contradiction given that an urban area's radius can easily be 30 miles) throughout their entire urban area, because that would solve the "last mile problem".
////Ok, that last was kinda sarcastic.
 
2013-05-13 08:25:50 PM  

meyerkev: Nah, it's because driving is an order of magnitude faster than walking at least and it's WAY, WAY easier to drive an hour and a half from Tulsa Burb to OKC Burb than it is to drive to downtown Tulsa to the station, pay for parking, wait for the train, ride the train to downtown OKC and then somehow get from OKC downtown to your destination (Bus, taxi, rental Car?.  Unless you're within a mile of the train station, I'm definitely not walking).   If you're going downtown to downtown it's great, and if you're going burb to burb it sucks, and since most of the traffic is burb to burb, they don't bother.


What about infrastructure for people who cannot or should not drive (underage, elderly, handicapped)?

This is why quality of life is better in most EU countries -- they provide for transportation for all walks of life, not just those who can afford it. In general it makes things safer for the rest of us who do drive not having to deal with grandpa in the fastlane.
 
2013-05-13 08:30:05 PM  

xria: and a braking system capable of generating 100 percent of the energy it uses back to the electric grid

Hmm, it has been a while since I learned Physics doesn't that break one of the laws of thermodynamics?

/cue Homer with Lisa


cdn.3news.co.nz

Well, it's solar powered so it actually can put 150% back into the system.... unless there's a solar eclipse.
 
2013-05-13 08:48:54 PM  

JolobinSmokin: Wish we had AMtrak here in OKlahoma. I think there is a train from OKC to  Fort Worth, but I live in Tulsa, A train connecting Tulsa and OKC with another going up to springfield, MO would be great.

I'm not asking for much.

Now, I'm asking for much below.

Highspeed rail between Tulsa and OKC should be a no-brainer given the fact there shouldn't be a single stop along the way.

/not gonna happen


You know Stroud is going to biatch and moan for a stop.

/Tulsa farker
//OKC won't let it happen anyways.
 
2013-05-13 08:52:06 PM  

xsarien: devildog123: xsarien: The Northeast corridor is a case study in how rail can effectively compete with air travel. City center to city center at a comparable price of a plane ticket (usually less, to be honest) is a pretty easy sell when you realize you don't have to drag your ass to the airport, sit on the tarmac for hours, etc.

/ Most (not all, but most) of the Amtrak horror stories aren't in the northeast
// I'd love true HSR, though
/// Acela is only high-speed-ish

The problem is the morons who seem to think that rail is the answer EVERYWHERE.  In the NE Corridor, rail travel is a great way to get around.  Baltimore to NYC?  NYC to Boston?  DC to Philly?  Great system.  Why?  Because the NE Corridor is built up a lot like Europe.  Big cities whose suburbs run almost until you hit the next big city.  Get out of that area, and trains make a hell of a lot less sense.  The wife and I are moving right in between Baltimore and DC, and I'm looking forward to using the train a lot.  If I have to go to San Francisco though, I'll probably still catch a plane out of BWI, not a train, even if that train COULD go 175mph, non stop.

I think it's the answer for travel between major cities that are within reasonable distance of each other, or between major cities where people just attempt to drive instead of taking a plane.

LA <-> SF is a great example, I'd imagine there are lots of midwestern cities that could benefit from a direct, short-haul HSR link as well.


I live in Nebraska. If you could put an HSR line in with stops in North Platte, Grand Island, Lincoln, and Omaha, it would be a money maker. Extend the line to Denver, KC, and Chicago, and it would be ever better. I'd never take a plane again, except to Phoenix once per year.
 
2013-05-13 08:54:54 PM  

Lawnchair: JolobinSmokin: Tulsa MSA is just under 900K and OKC's is just over 1.2mil.   Tulsa's CSA is about 1mil with okc's being about 1.5-1.7 mil.  There is a lot of travel between the two and on the Tulsa side we have already built a double decker bridge with High Speed capability.   And with all the oil companies in both towns the increase in traffic with that option would be more than even I would give it credit.  My brother in-law works for a oil company here and they get on the corporate jet and fly to OKC on a regular basis.

The main problem is that very few people are going from 'downtown core' OKC to 'downtown core' Tulsa (as much as either term is even meaningful).   You've got people in one apartment or business park in Broken Arrow going to some other apartment or business park in Moore.  By the time they drive from their burb to the "Tulsa station", park, get on a train, get to "the OKC station", presumably grab a Zipcar or something, and drive to the other burb?  Might as well have driven yourself.

If there was much 'downtown to downtown, don't need a car at the other end' traffic, there'd be more market for a 'premium class of bus' between the two. At 75mph speed limit on the Pike, you're already faster than most Amtrak routes.  There isn't much demand on the few buses that go that way.


Tulsa has a VERYlong term plan to link all of the suburbs to the downtown core via light rail.  If that were in place, a transfer at a central downtown Tulsa Station would drive traffic higher.

Plus, its not always about total time.  Sure, it may take 15-30 min longer in total time to get from point A to point B on the train, but the time on the train can be spent working and being productive while the time in thee car is wasted.  There are a lot of local firms with offices in Tulsa and OKC and a lot of oil traffic moving back and forth.  If you have to be in one of the other cities in person, I know a lot of  employers would rather you had 3 productive hours round trip in a train than 3 wasted in a car.
 
2013-05-13 09:23:26 PM  

clear_prop: The most WTFBBQ delivery method is when they fly railcars and locomotives.


What I find to be more WTF is when I see a 737 fuselage on a rail car out here in WA.
imageshack.us
 
2013-05-13 09:34:18 PM  

jvl: The Midwest is better for density and flat routes, with Chicago as the hub.


And even then, you have the straight-line problem.

It's a 4.5 hour drive from Detroit to Cincy.  Can I go home -> train -> Chicago -> transfer -> Cincy -> [last mile problem here] in less than 6 hours (Giving them some minor doubt because I can work on the train and can't in a car)?  Are you running often enough that I'm not rejiggering my entire schedule to make the 3 trains every day (roads don't scale, mass transit requires scale)?

Do you plan to run lines between every single city (expensive), or do the hub and spoke(slower, needs a transfer)?  How are you going to do the last mile, given that the midwest (with the exception of Chicago) is basically an all-car suburban sprawl culture (albeit usually to a lesser extent than Detroit, which is less a city than a donut of suburbs around a gutted shell)?

You're competing with a 500 MPH inconvenient plane on long trips, and a 65(Illinois) - 85 MPH(Michigan de facto) incredibly convenient car.   There is a niche for a (not-quite-as) inconvenient 150 MPH (average speed counting stops, braking, local speed limits in major cities, etc) train, there's just not a big enough niche outside of certain corridors (NE, NW, possibly CA, some other shorter local corridors) to justify the expense at this time, especially given the current last mile problem.

I'm not saying it's impossible, I'm just saying it's currently really, really hard, especially since the midwest by and large currently lacks the local mass transit that makes the hub to hub really viable and the density to really support the local mass transit in the first place (and in all honesty, the midwestern suburbs lack the massive traffic problems that forced the local mass transit on the East and West Coast, and make the hub to hub transit really work.  Boston to NYC wasn't useful.  Boston T Orange line from my apartment to the Back Bay station to NYC Penn Station taking the 2 up to Harlem (where my family was renting a house for a vacation) WAS).

/With that said, I did Ann Arbor to Chicago and back via Amtrak for a couple interviews.  Taking the evening train both ways worked really well with an all-day interview, my class schedule, and them paying for my ticket. I didn't get back until 1:00 (and used a taxi to avoid an hour hike at night back to my dorm), but it kinda worked.
 
2013-05-13 09:37:59 PM  

meyerkev: jvl: The Midwest is better for density and flat routes, with Chicago as the hub.

And even then, you have the straight-line problem.

It's a 4.5 hour drive from Detroit to Cincy.  Can I go home -> train -> Chicago -> transfer -> Cincy -> [last mile problem here] in less than 6 hours (Giving them some minor doubt because I can work on the train and can't in a car)?  Are you running often enough that I'm not rejiggering my entire schedule to make the 3 trains every day (roads don't scale, mass transit requires scale)?

Do you plan to run lines between every single city (expensive), or do the hub and spoke(slower, needs a transfer)?  How are you going to do the last mile, given that the midwest (with the exception of Chicago) is basically an all-car suburban sprawl culture (albeit usually to a lesser extent than Detroit, which is less a city than a donut of suburbs around a gutted shell)?

You're competing with a 500 MPH inconvenient plane on long trips, and a 65(Illinois) - 85 MPH(Michigan de facto) incredibly convenient car.   There is a niche for a (not-quite-as) inconvenient 150 MPH (average speed counting stops, braking, local speed limits in major cities, etc) train, there's just not a big enough niche outside of certain corridors (NE, NW, possibly CA, some other shorter local corridors) to justify the expense at this time, especially given the current last mile problem.

I'm not saying it's impossible, I'm just saying it's currently really, really hard, especially since the midwest by and large currently lacks the local mass transit that makes the hub to hub really viable and the density to really support the local mass transit in the first place (and in all honesty, the midwestern suburbs lack the massive traffic problems that forced the local mass transit on the East and West Coast, and make the hub to hub transit really work.  Boston to NYC wasn't useful.  Boston T Orange line from my apartment to the Back Bay station to NYC Penn Station taking ...


use vehicle carrying train cars with passenger compartments above
 
2013-05-14 12:04:02 AM  
That locomotive design does not make me think high-speed. Ugh.
 
2013-05-14 11:40:14 AM  

lohphat: This is why quality of life is better in most EU countries -- they provide for transportation for all walks of life,


two disparate statements you are trying to connect....education and low student loan rates may be a better qualifier
 
2013-05-14 12:28:08 PM  

johnny_vegas: lohphat: This is why quality of life is better in most EU countries -- they provide for transportation for all walks of life,

two disparate statements you are trying to connect....education and low student loan rates may be a better qualifier


Sorry, I left out "...one reason of many...."
 
2013-05-14 01:36:06 PM  

WhyteRaven74: hp6sa: You could squeeze Germany and all of the UK into Texas, with plenty of room to spare.

That argument is a cop out. The Europeans are stringing together cities in different countries with high speed rail these days. The whole distance between cities argument is just a way of saying "I have absolutely no idea of the possible benefits of this technology and I'm not about to learn anything".


It's not a copout, it's an objective reality.  Costs increase with distance, and the ticket prices need to go up to cover the infrastructure building costs.  When ticket prices go up, airfare looks more attractive, and rail ticket prices have to go up more to compensate when travellers choose air travel.
 
2013-05-14 03:00:38 PM  

GaperKiller:Living a few miles away from Truckee CA and the Donner Pass rails, that's a train I'd like to see go by.

It's probably be pretty boring actually.  They'd probably have it hooked up next to the other locomotives(even if it's not pushing, they might want it's braking systems) in a standard train.

On the other hand, if you're a train watcher it would indeed be something to see.

loonatic112358: use vehicle carrying train cars with passenger compartments above


Even more expensive; you only save a fraction of the fuel in that case since you're hauling so much more mass.

Personally, I'd like to see PRT run all over.  Preferably one of the systems that can break 55mph, but in non-stop use with enough track for more or less "square the hypotenuse" distances, even 25 mph can often slaughter cars in 35-45 mph zones that have to worry about traffic signals.

That solves the 'last mile' problem, even if you chose to go with heavy/light rail between city centers.  Just take a pod to the rail station, ride to the next city, then take another pod to your final destination.
 
2013-05-14 08:04:52 PM  

Firethorn: GaperKiller:Living a few miles away from Truckee CA and the Donner Pass rails, that's a train I'd like to see go by.

It's probably be pretty boring actually.  They'd probably have it hooked up next to the other locomotives(even if it's not pushing, they might want it's braking systems) in a standard train.

On the other hand, if you're a train watcher it would indeed be something to see.

loonatic112358: use vehicle carrying train cars with passenger compartments above

Even more expensive; you only save a fraction of the fuel in that case since you're hauling so much more mass.

Personally, I'd like to see PRT run all over.  Preferably one of the systems that can break 55mph, but in non-stop use with enough track for more or less "square the hypotenuse" distances, even 25 mph can often slaughter cars in 35-45 mph zones that have to worry about traffic signals.

That solves the 'last mile' problem, even if you chose to go with heavy/light rail between city centers.  Just take a pod to the rail station, ride to the next city, then take another pod to your final destination.


Actually, a fleet of self-driving cars could also solve the "last mile" problem, possibly with a much smaller investment in new infrastructure.  If a transit agency were to use self-driving cars to get people from their homes and offices to transit hubs and back, instead of requiring people to walk long distances or drive their own cars to a "park and ride" facility, that might encourage the use of buses and trains without forcing people to change their habits so drastically.

You could also use cleaner-burning fuels like natural gas for at least part of the driverless car fleet, since many transit agencies already have the infrastructure to refuel CNG-powered buses.
 
2013-05-14 08:14:07 PM  

lohphat: johnny_vegas: lohphat: This is why quality of life is better in most EU countries -- they provide for transportation for all walks of life,

two disparate statements you are trying to connect....education and low student loan rates may be a better qualifier

Sorry, I left out "...one reason of many...."


Well, here's how you can do something about it.
 
2013-05-14 08:33:03 PM  

devildog123: lohphat: johnny_vegas: lohphat: This is why quality of life is better in most EU countries -- they provide for transportation for all walks of life,

two disparate statements you are trying to connect....education and low student loan rates may be a better qualifier

Sorry, I left out "...one reason of many...."

Well, here's how you can do something about it.


Easier said than done.

I would move away in an instant if I could swing it. I'm tired of living in a country where 50% of the population thinks the 1870s was a great time to be alive.
 
2013-05-14 09:31:21 PM  

lohphat: devildog123: lohphat: johnny_vegas: lohphat: This is why quality of life is better in most EU countries -- they provide for transportation for all walks of life,

two disparate statements you are trying to connect....education and low student loan rates may be a better qualifier

Sorry, I left out "...one reason of many...."

Well, here's how you can do something about it.

Easier said than done.

I would move away in an instant if I could swing it. I'm tired of living in a country where 50% of the population thinks the 1870s was a great time to be alive.


Pretty simple really.  Fly to Europe, go to a US Consulate, and say you no longer want to be a citizen.  I'm sure those friendly Europeans will take you right in.  There's a flight from SFO to Paris for under $1500.  You being a Farker, I'm sure you have 6 months salary in cash saved up, plus investments, so I'm sure you can swing that.  After you renounce your citizenship, you'll be free to never come back here again.
 
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