Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02-14-2019, 01:41 PM
aceplace57 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: CentralArkansas
Posts: 25,136

California gives up High Speed Rail project, why is the US a failure and laughing stock?


This is just flat out embarrassing. 20 Countries world wide has high speed rail.

The US fails? WTH has happened to this country? We can't pull off a large scale engineering project anymore? Can we accept being 2nd rate losers?

I think about the massive construction projects our Grandparents completed. The TVA is still producing electricity. The Orville dam in Calif is 770 ft tall. Hoover dam is 726 ft. We created the Interstate system across the country.

LA Times headline
Bullet train went from peak California innovation to the project from hell
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.lat...outputType=amp

http://www.ushsr.com/hsr/hsrworldwide.html
Quote:
The global high speed rail network is one of the great feats of modern engineering, and proves to be the best form of transportation ever invented.  The global high speed rail network is rapidly expanding across continents world wide - delivering fast, efficient mobility to numerous nations every day.

HSR is currently in operation in more than 20 countries (including the UK, France, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Turkey, Japan, China, Korea, and Taiwan).  HSR is under construction in more than 10 countries (including China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, France, Spain, and Italy); and in development in another 14 countries (including Qatar, Morocco, Iran, Russia, Poland, Portugal, Bangladesh, South Africa, India, Argentina, Mexico, and Brazil).  HSR has been in operation in Japan for 50 years carrying more than 9 billion passengers without a single fatality. 

Last edited by aceplace57; 02-14-2019 at 01:45 PM.
  #2  
Old 02-14-2019, 01:42 PM
bobot's Avatar
bobot is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Chicago-ish
Posts: 7,382
It comes from the top. Hell, we can't even build a freaking wall.
  #3  
Old 02-14-2019, 01:54 PM
Darren Garrison's Avatar
Darren Garrison is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 9,776
Quote:
HSR has been in operation in Japan for 50 years carrying more than 9 billion passengers without a single fatality.

Wrong.
  #4  
Old 02-14-2019, 01:57 PM
aceplace57 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: CentralArkansas
Posts: 25,136
It wasn't that long ago JFK made the famous speech about space after we were humiliated by Sputnik.

High Speed Rail isn't even new tech and the US is to incompetent to build one.

Or nationwide infrastructure is crumbling around our ears and nothing gets done. The legacy we're passing on is very disturbing.
https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.bus...ure-a-d-2017-3

https://er.jsc.nasa.gov/seh/ricetalk.htm
Quote:
Those who came before us made certain that this country rode the first waves of the industrial revolutions, the first waves of modern invention, and the first wave of nuclear power, and this generation does not intend to founder in the backwash of the coming age of space. We mean to be a part of it--we mean to lead it. For the eyes of the world now look into space, to the moon and to the planets beyond, and we have vowed that we shall not see it governed by a hostile flag of conquest, but by a banner of freedom and peace. 

Last edited by aceplace57; 02-14-2019 at 02:01 PM.
  #5  
Old 02-14-2019, 02:04 PM
doorhinge is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 9,390
Quote:
Originally Posted by aceplace57 View Post
California gives up High Speed Rail project, why is the US a failure and laughing stock?

This is just flat out embarrassing. 20 Countries world wide has high speed rail.
How many of those 20 countries built their high speed rail on, or along, major earthquake fault lines?
  #6  
Old 02-14-2019, 02:05 PM
The Stainless Steel Rat's Avatar
The Stainless Steel Rat is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Close to the Saturn V
Posts: 10,417
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darren Garrison View Post
Well, in fairness, it appears from the article that it wasn't a passenger that was killed.

As to the OP, the U.S. (and it's especailly true in California, IMHO) populace (with no little propaganda from car manufacturers, pretty much gave up on medium-distance train travel (like LA-SF) in the 50's and 60's, and the advent of relatively cheap and abudant air travel did in the long-distance trains.

So besides costs, it becomes overcoming 40-50 years of...conditioning is the best word I have for it...while most other areas of the world never lost their passenger train network.

I will be interested in seeing China in about 20-30 years (albeit I'll be 85-95 years old then), as when I was there last year airline flights in and around the country were becoming more and more available and airports were expanding their capabilities.

IMHO as always. YMMV.
  #7  
Old 02-14-2019, 02:10 PM
aceplace57 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: CentralArkansas
Posts: 25,136
Quote:
Originally Posted by doorhinge View Post
How many of those 20 countries built their high speed rail on, or along, major earthquake fault lines?
I agree, California wasn't the best choice to attempt the first high speed rail in the US. They should have considered earthquakes before attempting the project and wasting money.

Isn't there plans for high speed rail along the East coast into D.C.? Or has that been abandoned too?

Last edited by aceplace57; 02-14-2019 at 02:14 PM.
  #8  
Old 02-14-2019, 02:16 PM
carnivorousplant is online now
KB not found. Press any key
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Central Arkansas
Posts: 58,148
Quote:
Originally Posted by doorhinge View Post
How many of those 20 countries built their high speed rail on, or along, major earthquake fault lines?
There are rail lines in California. Is an earthquake more dangerous to high speed trains than the trains that run there now?
  #9  
Old 02-14-2019, 02:20 PM
Voyager's Avatar
Voyager is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Deep Space
Posts: 45,102
Quote:
Originally Posted by doorhinge View Post
How many of those 20 countries built their high speed rail on, or along, major earthquake fault lines?
I'm sure glad there aren't any earthquakes in Japan.
Most of the California line was to go inland away from the faults. Since the major cities are on fault lines, kind of hard to avoid them entirely.
  #10  
Old 02-14-2019, 02:22 PM
zimaane is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: washington, dc
Posts: 751
Quote:
Isn't there plans for high speed rail along the East coast into D.C.? Or has that been abandoned too?
Parts of the Amtrak Acela route between Boston and Washington can run at 150 mph (210 km/h), which qualifies as high speed rail. Or at least reasonably quick rail.
  #11  
Old 02-14-2019, 02:22 PM
kenobi 65's Avatar
kenobi 65 is online now
Corellian Nerfherder
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Brookfield, IL
Posts: 14,010
Quote:
Originally Posted by aceplace57 View Post
Isn't there plans for high speed rail along the East coast into D.C.? Or has that been abandoned too?
Amtrak has been operating the Acela Express on the Northeast Corridor (Washington - Baltimore - Philadelphia - New York - Boston) since 2000. It reaches a top speed of 150mph, though it can't go that fast on the entire route, as it shares tracks with freight and commuter trains. It averages 70 mph over its entire route (including stops).

There are plans underway to upgrade to even faster trains, which are closer in design to the French TGV, on the Northeast Corridor route over the next few years. There are also plans to build / convert to dedicated tracks in the Corridor, to provide true HSR, though those plans are still a decade or more away.

Last edited by kenobi 65; 02-14-2019 at 02:26 PM.
  #12  
Old 02-14-2019, 02:23 PM
Skywatcher's Avatar
Skywatcher is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Somewhere in the Potomac
Posts: 34,023
Quote:
Originally Posted by aceplace57 View Post
High Speed Rail isn't even new tech and the US is to incompetent to build one.
We kinda did.
  #13  
Old 02-14-2019, 02:24 PM
Voyager's Avatar
Voyager is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Deep Space
Posts: 45,102
Quote:
Originally Posted by aceplace57 View Post
It wasn't that long ago JFK made the famous speech about space after we were humiliated by Sputnik.

High Speed Rail isn't even new tech and the US is to incompetent to build one.

Or nationwide infrastructure is crumbling around our ears and nothing gets done. The legacy we're passing on is very disturbing.
That's just the point. If we don't want to pay for infrastructure repairs, which we certainly are able to do, it is not surprising that we don't want to pay for new stuff.
The incompetence is purely political, not technical. While some people think America's fairly low tax rates are very very high relative to the world, of course there is no money for it.
California at least voted for a gas tax increase, the first in ages, to pay for infrastructure repair.
  #14  
Old 02-14-2019, 02:30 PM
puddleglum's Avatar
puddleglum is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: a van down by the river
Posts: 6,303
The US is particularly ill suited for High Speed Rail in that it is a big country with long distances between metro areas. The exception is the Northeast which is too built up for new HSR lines. The US uses rail for freight and has the best freight rail system in the world. Luckily, the airliner has been invented rendering HSR pointless for passengers.

The larger reasons that the US can no longer build massive infrastructure projects are federalism and environmentalism.
Federalism means that any project will have to go through multiple layers of approval and people at all of the levels will cause delays and have their hand out.
Environmentalism because every project needs to do an environmental impact statement. This will then have a public review time. Then the regulators will review and approve the plan. Then professional environmental groups will sue to have the approval overturned. This will go through a long court case. After the case is won there may be a need for an updated plan because so much time has passed facts on the ground have changed. There could be a setback at any one of these steps that could either delay or kill the project. So any project must have at least a decade of paying high priced consultants, lawyers, and regulatory compliance people before one shovel of dirt is overturned. Once all that is done the people doing the actual work will know that the government is pot committed and gouge like crazy. There is actually a law that says it is illegal to try to get a good deal on labor for government projects.

An example is the Southeastern High Speed Rail Corridor, which despite its name is not actually high speed rail. It was proposed in 1992 and the last bit of progress was the release of the Tier 2 Draft Environmental Impact Statement by the Department of Transportation in 2017.

Last edited by puddleglum; 02-14-2019 at 02:31 PM.
  #15  
Old 02-14-2019, 02:31 PM
aceplace57 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: CentralArkansas
Posts: 25,136
I understand it's about leadership and setting aside the money for infrastructure.

HSR could eventually become much cheaper than air travel. Saving fuel and creating less emissions.

Our leaders need to commit to it. Imho

Cutting through all the bureaucracy and regulations is daunting.

Last edited by aceplace57; 02-14-2019 at 02:33 PM.
  #16  
Old 02-14-2019, 02:33 PM
Balthisar is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Southeast Michigan, USA
Posts: 10,957
Quote:
Originally Posted by aceplace57 View Post
I agree, California wasn't the best choice to attempt the first high speed rail in the US. They should have considered earthquakes before attempting the project and wasting money.
California probably isn't the right place, but not because of earthquakes, but horrible bloated bureaucracy. China gets things done because they're authoritarian.

Given all of the problems with this train over the years, I find it less embarrassing that they finally canned it rather than proceed. What a waste of money.
  #17  
Old 02-14-2019, 02:36 PM
Corry El is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 3,510
High speed rail lines are really not the kind of thing to build because other countries have them. If that's a good reason for any public project, which one might argue, it's not for this.

The lines should be built if they make economic sense in US conditions, with room for consideration of externalities (unpriced impact of GHC's*, etc). It's always seemed to me quite unlikely that's the case. And now even a quite liberal Democrat in California, once he's actually governor and responsible for following through with it, realizes it. I'd credit him for that. And that's how I'd basically take this news, rather than some international competition.

Secondarily though, it might be worth looking at the specific aspects of the US legal system, particularly, that might make this kind of project more expensive here. As in acquiring land and permits. And public contracting practices viewed as positive for social welfare but which fairly seriously inflate the costs of public construction projects. General technological incompetence, not so much the issue I don't think.

*but assuming some price for carbon you could reasonably apply to the whole economy and not have a collapse, not just whatever high price you want to, or have to, use to justify the highly questionable idea that rail could beat air on a route like the originally contemplate SF>LA>SD. The answer for that route, rather than the US being a failure and laughing stock, is probably that airplanes make more sense.
  #18  
Old 02-14-2019, 02:39 PM
scr4 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Alabama
Posts: 15,427
Quote:
Originally Posted by doorhinge View Post
How many of those 20 countries built their high speed rail on, or along, major earthquake fault lines?
Fault line map of Japan

Seismic hazard map of Japan

High-speed rail network map of Japan
  #19  
Old 02-14-2019, 02:44 PM
doorhinge is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 9,390
Quote:
Originally Posted by carnivorousplant View Post
There are rail lines in California. Is an earthquake more dangerous to high speed trains than the trains that run there now?
It would take more time, and take a longer distance, to stop a high speed train than it would take to stop a normal/average/current speed train.
  #20  
Old 02-14-2019, 02:44 PM
aceplace57 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: CentralArkansas
Posts: 25,136
It's not so much a competition with other countries.

We do need to keep up with new technology. A lot can be learned by implementing major construction projects.

It's invaluable experience for our engineers and work force. People get better and smarter when their skills are challenged.

Last edited by aceplace57; 02-14-2019 at 02:46 PM.
  #21  
Old 02-14-2019, 02:46 PM
silenus's Avatar
silenus is offline
Isaiah 1:15/Screw the NRA
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: SoCal
Posts: 50,771
High Speed Rail in the US is a stupid idea from the get-go. We are too far apart and nobody wants to take 4 hours to get someplace that you can fly in 1. At the same price, I might add.
  #22  
Old 02-14-2019, 02:48 PM
aceplace57 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: CentralArkansas
Posts: 25,136
How cheap is HSR in Japan?

I agree a train trip has to be much cheaper than Air travel in order to have any chance of succeeding.
  #23  
Old 02-14-2019, 02:53 PM
Ludovic is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: America's Wing
Posts: 29,430
Quote:
Originally Posted by silenus View Post
High Speed Rail in the US is a stupid idea from the get-go. We are too far apart and nobody wants to take 4 hours to get someplace that you can fly in 1. At the same price, I might add.
Depends on if it will need the same kind of security as airports, and how much luggage you can bring, and the comfortability and amenties offered on the actual trip, and the individual person's proximity to all four terminals (since it can take a half hour or more just to get to a terminal within a metro area.)

ETA: I'd still rather drive the vast majority of places that are within 4 hours since I still do not like having to depend on someone else's timetable, but I'm sure as heck not going to fly anywhere closer than 1000 or so miles.

Last edited by Ludovic; 02-14-2019 at 02:54 PM.
  #24  
Old 02-14-2019, 02:57 PM
scr4 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Alabama
Posts: 15,427
Quote:
Originally Posted by aceplace57 View Post
How cheap is HSR in Japan?

I agree a train trip has to be much cheaper than Air travel in order to have any chance of succeeding.
About the same as air travel. But it is far more reliable, it's far more comfortable, you don't have to book tickets in advance, it's far more frequent (Nozomi super-express leaves every 10 minutes from 6am to 9:30pm), you don't have to go through security, you don't have to arrive at the station an hour before departure, and it takes you right to the middle of downtown of the destination city.

High speed rail is not the low-cost option. It's the comfortable and convenient option. If you are on a tight budget, you take the overnight bus.

Last edited by scr4; 02-14-2019 at 02:59 PM.
  #25  
Old 02-14-2019, 02:57 PM
Alpha Twit's Avatar
Alpha Twit is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Somewhere south of normal
Posts: 1,987
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ludovic View Post
I'm sure as heck not going to fly anywhere closer than 1000 or so miles.
I don't know about 1,000 miles but in general, I completely agree. Give me a choice between an 8 or 10 hour drive or a ninety minute fight, I'll drive every time.
__________________
"A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in."
  #26  
Old 02-14-2019, 02:58 PM
doorhinge is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 9,390
Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
I'm sure glad there aren't any earthquakes in Japan.
Most of the California line was to go inland away from the faults. Since the major cities are on fault lines, kind of hard to avoid them entirely.
Is the added expense of making high-speed rail less susceptible to earthquake damage the reason that the governor abandoned the project?

California Governor Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday in his “State of the State” address at the California State Capitol in Sacramento that he would abandon the state’s high-speed rail system because it was too expensive.

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2...take-too-long/
  #27  
Old 02-14-2019, 03:01 PM
blondebear is online now
Shouting Grasshopper
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Meridian/280
Posts: 13,815
Frankly, I wonder about the chances of any project of this scope getting completed in today's political/social climate.
  #28  
Old 02-14-2019, 03:05 PM
Wheelz is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 5,418
The public is certainly not clamoring for it. You can fly from SF to LA for about 60 bucks. Who needs a train?
  #29  
Old 02-14-2019, 03:08 PM
carnivorousplant is online now
KB not found. Press any key
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Central Arkansas
Posts: 58,148
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ludovic View Post
Depends on if it will need the same kind of security as airports, and how much luggage you can bring, and the comfortability and amenties offered on the actual trip, and the individual person's proximity to all four terminals (since it can take a half hour or more just to get to a terminal within a metro area.)
Isn't airport security in place because of flight between countries?
  #30  
Old 02-14-2019, 03:12 PM
Musicat is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Sturgeon Bay, WI USA
Posts: 20,921
I would like to see -- perhaps graphically -- a comparison between Japan's rail lines and the areas served vs. central California with a proposed rail. It's all about population density. We know that in very dense areas, rail (above or below ground) works pretty well. We also know that across, say, Kansas or Montana, it makes no rational sense at all, cost-wise.

So is California dense enough to support this at a cost comparable to Japan? I doubt it.
  #31  
Old 02-14-2019, 03:13 PM
scr4 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Alabama
Posts: 15,427
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ludovic View Post
ETA: I'd still rather drive the vast majority of places that are within 4 hours since I still do not like having to depend on someone else's timetable...
That's the advantage of high-speed rail. Once the infrastructure is in place, the marginal cost of each train is low, so they can run trains frequently. High-speed trains leave Tokyo every 5 minutes or so bound for Osaka & beyond, and half of them are the fastest kind.
  #32  
Old 02-14-2019, 03:31 PM
scr4 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Alabama
Posts: 15,427
Quote:
Originally Posted by Musicat View Post
I would like to see -- perhaps graphically -- a comparison between Japan's rail lines and the areas served vs. central California with a proposed rail. It's all about population density. We know that in very dense areas, rail (above or below ground) works pretty well. We also know that across, say, Kansas or Montana, it makes no rational sense at all, cost-wise.

So is California dense enough to support this at a cost comparable to Japan? I doubt it.
I don't have anything graphical, but the newest high-speed rail completed in Japan is the Hokkaido line. It basically links Tokyo area to the Tohoku and Hokkaido area. The whole of Hokkaido has a population of 5.7 million, and Tohoku region population is 9 million. Distance is about 700 miles.

San Francisco metro area population is about 8.8 million, and Sacramento area is 2.5 million. Distance is around 400 miles. So as a function of population / distance, it's in the same ballpark.

Of course if you compare the other end of each line, LA metro area is only 13.3 million while the greater Tokyo metro area is more like 38 million. But I'd argue the population of the other end is more indicative of how much the rail line gets used.
  #33  
Old 02-14-2019, 03:38 PM
DrDeth is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: San Jose
Posts: 39,407
Quote:
Originally Posted by aceplace57 View Post
I agree, California wasn't the best choice to attempt the first high speed rail in the US. They should have considered earthquakes before attempting the project and wasting money.

It wasnt earthquakes.

It was NIMBY.

Look, when Japan wants to build a high speed rail, they build it. They pay anyone a fair price then move on.

In CA, every county, City and property owner lined up to sue. The line from SJ to SF was supposed to be the best starter line, but many cities along the route sued and screamed. Property owners too.

In addition, America is really spread out compared to Japan. HS rail makes more sense there. The big Shinkansen is Tokyo to Osaka, a distance of 300miles/500Km. LA To SF, just in CA, not crossing any state lines is over 400 miles. And crosses many County and cities. However, we already have two nice freeways connecting the two.

So NIMBY is the big reason, but distance is another. It isnt the tech.
  #34  
Old 02-14-2019, 03:40 PM
DrDeth is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: San Jose
Posts: 39,407
Quote:
Originally Posted by puddleglum View Post
The US is particularly ill suited for High Speed Rail in that it is a big country with long distances between metro areas. The exception is the Northeast which is too built up for new HSR lines. The US uses rail for freight and has the best freight rail system in the world. Luckily, the airliner has been invented rendering HSR pointless for passengers.

The larger reasons that the US can no longer build massive infrastructure projects are federalism and environmentalism.
Federalism means that any project will have to go through multiple layers of approval and people at all of the levels will cause delays and have their hand out.
Environmentalism because every project needs to do an environmental impact statement. ....
Well said!
  #35  
Old 02-14-2019, 03:41 PM
Dewey Finn is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 27,467
Quote:
Originally Posted by carnivorousplant View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ludovic View Post
Depends on if it will need the same kind of security as airports, and how much luggage you can bring, and the comfortability and amenties offered on the actual trip, and the individual person's proximity to all four terminals (since it can take a half hour or more just to get to a terminal within a metro area.)
Isn't airport security in place because of flight between countries?
In my experience, there's no difference between domestic and international flights in terms of the TSA security checkpoint hassle. Both suck equally. (On the bright side, I'm in the process of getting approved for Global Entry, which includes TSA PreCheck.)
  #36  
Old 02-14-2019, 03:47 PM
scr4 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Alabama
Posts: 15,427
Quote:
Originally Posted by silenus View Post
High Speed Rail in the US is a stupid idea from the get-go. We are too far apart and nobody wants to take 4 hours to get someplace that you can fly in 1. At the same price, I might add.
Tokyo to Osaka is 320 miles. Tokyo to Hakata (high speed rail line opened in 1972) is 660 miles. LA to San Francisco is 380 miles. San Diego to San Francisco is 500 miles.

And you can't fly anywhere in 1 hour. First you have to get to the airport (which is usually not in city center), and get there at least an hour before departure. Also, you can't just show up at the airport and be on a flight immediately, which you can with a train.
  #37  
Old 02-14-2019, 03:52 PM
Ravenman is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 25,428
My main issue is that the capital projects that we do manage to proceed on are just kind of... shitty. Here in DC, there was a long-awaited extension of our subway to Dulles International Airport, which is basically halfway between DC and West Virginia. (Exaggeration of course.)

So it takes 20 years to get this project moving, and when it finally opens in relateively near future, it will take maybe an hour with transfer time to get from downtown DC to the airport, because there's like 800 stops.

Meanwhile, go to most European cities with a distant airport, and you have some kind of express train that makes similar trip in like 20 minutes. So we here in the US spend all this time and effort, and end up with a kind of crappy service that nobody will want to use.
  #38  
Old 02-14-2019, 03:58 PM
bump is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 17,046
FWIW, there's a private high speed rail line between Houston and Dallas (~300 miles) slated to begin construction later this year, or maybe next year.

The main impediment is the dumb-asses out in the boonies who are fighting this thing tooth and nail.
  #39  
Old 02-14-2019, 04:04 PM
HurricaneDitka is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 12,639
Aside from the practical objections, I can't shake the feeling that trains are transportation for commies.
  #40  
Old 02-14-2019, 04:09 PM
Alley Dweller's Avatar
Alley Dweller is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 4,201
Quote:
Originally Posted by scr4 View Post
Also, you can't just show up at the airport and be on a flight immediately, which you can with a train.
I just checked the Amtrak schedule and if I wanted to take a train to Los Angeles and had a magic machine that would make me instantly materialize at the train station, I would still have to wait around 21 hours.
  #41  
Old 02-14-2019, 04:14 PM
scr4 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Alabama
Posts: 15,427
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alley Dweller View Post
I just checked the Amtrak schedule and if I wanted to take a train to Los Angeles and had a magic machine that would make me instantly materialize at the train station, I would still have to wait around 21 hours.
This thread is a discussion of high speed rail. Amtrak is not "High Speed Rail" by any stretch of the imagination. Even the Acela does not meet the definition of High Speed Rail in other countries.
  #42  
Old 02-14-2019, 04:53 PM
kunilou's Avatar
kunilou is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Posts: 24,902
There's a big difference between "incapable" and "not worth it."

The Concorde first flew passengers in 1976 and the TU-144 in 1977. Boeing certainly had the technology and resources to build an American supersonic transport, (and Lockheed and McDonnell-Douglas almost certainly could have produced one jointly) but never chose to. The Concorde was a bust and the Tu-144 only few for a few months.

Meanwhile, the U.S. built a space shuttle, but the Soviets gave up their program after one (successful) test flight.

HSR just isn't worth it in the U.S.
  #43  
Old 02-14-2019, 04:53 PM
Alley Dweller's Avatar
Alley Dweller is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 4,201
Quote:
Originally Posted by scr4 View Post
This thread is a discussion of high speed rail. Amtrak is not "High Speed Rail" by any stretch of the imagination. Even the Acela does not meet the definition of High Speed Rail in other countries.
So you're saying that in places there are high speed rail you can just show up any time you want and be whisked away? Really? High speed also means high frequency?
  #44  
Old 02-14-2019, 04:59 PM
Dale Sams is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 4,516
Maintaining a military empire and building massive infrastructures arn't compatible unless you are hard evil as opposed to soft evil like the US.
  #45  
Old 02-14-2019, 05:01 PM
enalzi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 7,527
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alley Dweller View Post
So you're saying that in places there are high speed rail you can just show up any time you want and be whisked away? Really? High speed also means high frequency?
You cut out the first part of his post, which makes it's clear he's talking about the fact that you can't just show up to the airport and hop on your flight, which you can with a train:

Quote:
And you can't fly anywhere in 1 hour. First you have to get to the airport (which is usually not in city center), and get there at least an hour before departure.
  #46  
Old 02-14-2019, 05:02 PM
HMS Irruncible is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,743
I wish the US visionaries could drop their collective boner about high speed rail and get excited about inter-city express rail. We don't need maglev or any of that fancy shit. If I could have a 100mph train with only like 5 stops to cut in half the distance between (insert your most hated 12 hour road trip), we would be solid gold.

We don't even need to start with a national network. Connect 2 medium to big cities here, a few more there. People see the benefit, ridiculous commutes become realistic, labor and capital get more mobile, everyone wins.

And commuter transit. If we get more commuters off the roads, we can have more freight trucks on the roads. If we have more freight trucks on the roads, we can have fewer freight trains on the tracks. If we have fewer freight trains on the tracks, now regular speed passenger rail starts looking really good in a lot of directions.
  #47  
Old 02-14-2019, 05:03 PM
Dale Sams is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 4,516
Monorail!! Monorail!!
  #48  
Old 02-14-2019, 05:20 PM
don't mind me is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: somewhere over there
Posts: 1,186
Quote:
Originally Posted by silenus View Post
High Speed Rail in the US is a stupid idea from the get-go. We are too far apart and nobody wants to take 4 hours to get someplace that you can fly in 1. At the same price, I might add.
Being far apart is a feature, not a bug. A huge impediment to using Acela's potential is that it goes through a high-density regions on the same tracks with the same at-grade crossings as Amtrak and rail. Denver to El Paso can be built on sparsely populated desert and prairies. Build overpasses for existing roads, and HS trains can run full-throttle from the edge of one town to another.

Coast-to-Coast HSR is doesn't make sense over air travel, but intermediate distances will reduce the near-capacity use of existing air facilities.

EDIT: Aaanndd HMS Irruncible's makes more sense.

Last edited by don't mind me; 02-14-2019 at 05:24 PM.
  #49  
Old 02-14-2019, 05:20 PM
snowthx's Avatar
snowthx is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Sacratomato area
Posts: 3,413
Note that the project is not cancelled. They are still planning to complete the section that was started, with the idea that in some future time, additional sections could be added. (LOL).

IMHO, the failure of the project is not due to any innate weakness in the US' ability to tackle big projects. It comes down to cost. The initial cost was $33B, but current estimates for completion with the current scope was 2X that, and likely even more. The Governor was right to scale this thing back and stop the boondoggle. Sure,with unlimited funds and a monolithic governing body like China, we can have anything we want, but we do not have unlimited funds, and we have many competing interests.

The proponents of this project also over-promised and under-delivered at every stage. There was no way the advertised benefits were ever going to materialize. If they were able to complete the project on budget, people would be willing to some extent look the other way on the paltry benefits, but the budget for this thing was like a runaway train (pun intended). People started feeling the pain of the budget more than any other constraint - that is what forced the change in scope.
  #50  
Old 02-14-2019, 05:20 PM
HMS Irruncible is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,743
Quote:
Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka View Post
Aside from the practical objections, I can't shake the feeling that trains are transportation for commies.
What does that even mean? Was the US transportation system communist prior to Nixon kneecapping passenger rail?
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:35 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017