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(CityLab)   Texas company to replicate Japanese transportation system with 200-mph bullet train line connecting Dallas and Houston in hassle-free 90-minute trip   (citylab.com) divider line 117
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1864 clicks; posted to Geek » on 20 Jun 2014 at 7:50 AM (12 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-06-20 02:06:09 PM

cirby: No - the first question for a publicly funded project is usually "what political benefits do the politicians get out of this?"


But Navy! NASA!

SovietCanuckistan: LOL. Noice.

Orbital Bootstraps, away!


See what I mean?
 
2014-06-20 02:28:06 PM

StopLurkListen: AMonkey'sUncle: Will the summer Texas heat mess up the rails, or whatever it will run on? If tunnels, then never mind.

...Useful info...


Thanks.
 
2014-06-20 02:49:16 PM

Trance750: Ore you can just hop on Southwest Airlines and beat the train by 45 minutes


Will you have to take off your shoes and submit to a genital grope before getting on the train?

/I suspect so.
 
2014-06-20 02:55:24 PM

flondrix: Trance750: Ore you can just hop on Southwest Airlines and beat the train by 45 minutes

Will you have to take off your shoes and submit to a genital grope before getting on the train?

/I suspect so.


One of the original selling points for California's high-speed rail project was that one could travel quickly between San Francisco and Los Angeles without being subjected to a Freedom Grope(tm) or any of the other time-consuming hassles of getting through an airport, thereby making the trip at least as fast as flying.

/should have ignored the Atherton NIMBY's and built the first stretch along the San Francisco peninsula
 
2014-06-20 04:14:08 PM
Quick math. I live 26mi away from IAH. Most Houstonians probably live further than this but I am inside the loop 610. It takes me on average 60-90 mins in rush-hour to get to IAH with parking considered. On the conservative side, I would estimate checking in for the train + departure would take 30 mins. I would also wager than once I arrived at my destination, I would have a 30 minute departure time and the time it takes to get a cab/rent a car. If the train ride takes 90 minutes, there is a 30 minute check-in/departure, 90 minute travel, and 30 minute arrival - that's 4 hours. It takes me about 4 hours as it is to drive to Dallas, and once I arrive I am at my ACTUAL destination with mobility. So, really outside of being a luxury of not having to do the grueling drive, it doesn't save me any or much time. Even on the BEST case it only took me 30 minutes to get to the station, 15 through check-in, 90 min travel, and 30 min to final destination/departure, that is almost 3 hours only saving me an hour in the car.

I would assume that it would actually be even worse going to Austin or San Antonio since both of those commutes by car are far less. I would still have the same amount of time tied up going to the station etc.

As posters above have mentioned, mass-transit is never approached correctly here and absolutely sucks. Any sort of rail system put in or bus system by-and-large goes unused and adds a shiat ton to folks commutes - or do not have the available routes. They need to fix all of that shiat, before they start looking at putting in rail.
 
2014-06-20 04:37:37 PM
TuteTibiImperes:
I think you're more than a bit jaded, many politicians do want to serve the community they represent and aren't in it purely for personal gain.

Great. Name five at the national level who support Federally-funded high speed rail. Heck, name two, and I'll give you Jerry Brown as a freebie.

You're also underestimating the number of people such a system could be useful for. I had the opportunity to spend an extended period of time in London, and in addition to the Underground (which is awesome) the entire country has a great light rail system that makes it easy to get from city to city affordably, easily, and quickly.

So now you're talking light rail instead of high speed rail? I guess you gave up on that aspect, since you changed the subject. You might note, however, that I live in a city that just started up a multi-billion-dollar light rail system - that carries a total of about 4000 passengers a day. During limited hours. And not on weekends. They're praying for a huge increase in the price of oil to try and get more riders.

Whenever people start talking about rail travel, they always bring up Europe and Japan. What they never seem to realize is that those places rely on much, much higher population densities and lower car ownership levels than the US. They also had existing passenger train rights-of-way to install those HSR and light rail systems.

The part that gets ugly is when you get much past 350 miles. At that distance, airplanes start to gain in popularity due to shorter travel times (yes, even including security), and the cost per passenger-mile starts improving. Most people don't realize it, but modern airliners are pretty energy-efficient, and they allow for much more flexible scheduling and routing.

There's no reason why we couldn't have similar systems here in the US. People would use it, and it would be good for the economy by encouraging more travel and tourism spending.

There is one HUGE reason. We don't have that many places where HSR makes sense. There's the big metropolitan area along the East Coast (BosNyWash), there are a few others (Dallas/Houston, Orlando/Miami), and a helluva lot of places where there just isn't a demand worth spending multiple billions of dollars to allow someone to travel by train instead of by air or car or bus. The US is just too spread out. Light rail? Every city I go to with a light rail system is very proud of their (usually empty and always money-losing) system.

Everywhere you find a "successful" passenger rail system, it's in one sort of place: connecting large, multi-million-population cities. And usually losing money.
 
2014-06-20 04:46:51 PM
the money is in the banana stand:
Even on the BEST case it only took me 30 minutes to get to the station, 15 through check-in, 90 min travel, and 30 min to final destination/departure, that is almost 3 hours only saving me an hour in the car.

That's similar to the reason the Orlando/Tampa HSR system got canceled. By the time you got to the station, rode the train to the other end, and found your way to your actual destination, it was going to take more time than driving - and cost much more, even for a single person in a car. The HSR folks tried to justify the route - by pretending that about ten to twenty times as many people would travel from Orlando to Tampa each day than currently do. For what? The same in California - they believe that the same sort of increase in travel from LA to SF will happen - when neither city has the lodging or transit systems to support that increase.

Once you considered multiple riders, It was literally adding up to "cheaper for the state to pay to rent everyone a car than to build the train."
 
2014-06-20 04:47:23 PM

the money is in the banana stand: Any sort of rail system put in or bus system by-and-large goes unused and adds a shiat ton to folks commutes - or do not have the available routes


IMO Houston blew a great opportunity on the Katy corridor.
 
2014-06-20 05:06:35 PM

cirby: The problem with the California system is that they took two big cities without a lot of traffic between them - LA and SF


Clearly you have never lived in California because that is bullshiat. You can argue all you want about private vs public transportation projects, but LA to San Francisco is the second busiest air route in the US (6,306,638 boardings in 2009) and in the top ten worldwide.

We're talking about a route between the primary cities of a state that, if it were a country, would have one of the largest economies in the world. It is extremely well traveled and there are dozens of flights a day between the bay area and greater LA, not to mention all the people who drive between the two cities.
 
2014-06-20 05:17:57 PM

Dancin_In_Anson: the money is in the banana stand: Any sort of rail system put in or bus system by-and-large goes unused and adds a shiat ton to folks commutes - or do not have the available routes

IMO Houston blew a great opportunity on the Katy corridor.


I don't know if it was the city, metro or txdot that foo'd that pooch
 
2014-06-20 05:43:55 PM
Mitt Romneys Tax Return:
Clearly you have never lived in California because that is bullshiat. You can argue all you want about private vs public transportation projects, but LA to San Francisco is the second busiest air route in the US (6,306,638 boardings in 2009) and in the top ten worldwide.

...except that route is a "through route" for most passengers That means they're boarding connecting flights from LAX to SFO, often for international flights. Your own cite (the 2009 data) is "outbound plus inbound, including connecting passengers." Not that many people actually fly just from LAX to SFO or the reverse. The number's been dropping, too - from 1999 to 2009, that route shrank 10%...

For direct, LAX/SFO-only travel, you're looking at a fraction of that number. Instead of 6.3 million passengers, you're looking at about 1.6 million at most. Probably a lot less.

Actual numbers? Just under 4400 actual LAX-SFO air travelers a day (at most), many of which are discount tickets or connecting to other places.

The California HSR ridership estimates rely on about 50,000 passengers a day to break even, for a trip that won't be cheaper, and will take two to four times as long. That means another 45,000 or so extra people PER DAY are going to decide to travel from one of those cities to the other for reasons that don't exist right now. That's not going to happen.
 
2014-06-20 07:01:17 PM
static.tvtropes.org
Why take the train when you can drive?
 
2014-06-20 07:22:04 PM
I've seen this movie before. We were supposed to get the Train of Grand Vitesse back in the '90s.
The only way to get it done is to give Southwest the concession to run it. Otherwise, it's D-O-A.
 
2014-06-20 07:51:32 PM

loonatic112358: Mentat: What's wrong with just driving from Dallas to Houston?

hahahaha  yeah, ok, I'm trolling.

bucee's creates traffic jams at Madisonville


God in Heaven isn't that just the tackiest damn place ever?! I would give up the adrenaline rush of blowing down Highway 21 at 80mph for a train if it meant avoiding Bucees.
 
2014-06-21 03:06:38 PM

ShutYerBeak: God in Heaven isn't that just the tackiest damn place ever?! I would give up the adrenaline rush of blowing down Highway 21 at 80mph for a train if it meant avoiding Bucees.


It's the best little crap house in texas and the coffee ain't bad, but I avoid it like the plague when it's tourist season
 
2014-06-21 05:23:20 PM
If anyone else has NHK World channel on their cable or satellite systems, or has been to Japan in the past 20 years, they will see how well developed their rail systems are. Inter and intra-city rail, subways and high speed rail, trolleys and single car trains that run the length of the country, as well as ferries everywhere. Just last moth I saw a documentary that had a gaijin who traveled from the furthest point north in the island chain to the most southern point just on trains and ferries. All his in an area just slightly smaller than California.

The first thought I have when watching this channel and I see how they deal with transit, then look at the crap we have in this country, even in large metro areas like NYC and DC, is "why don't we have nice sh*t like this"?

Then I realize where I live, and the mindset of the people here.
 
2014-06-21 05:30:44 PM

loonatic112358: ShutYerBeak: God in Heaven isn't that just the tackiest damn place ever?! I would give up the adrenaline rush of blowing down Highway 21 at 80mph for a train if it meant avoiding Bucees.

It's the best little crap house in texas and the coffee ain't bad, but I avoid it like the plague when it's tourist season


Admittedly, they do have clean rest rooms.
 
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