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Thread: US high-speed trains on track again?

  1. Top | #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    The viability of high speed rail is a function of passenger volume. Very few places in the US have the sort of passenger volume to support it.
    Sure there are, in the Midwest, Northwest, West Coast, Southeast. Planes don't fly to all the intermediate destinations, the go to hubs. In the midwest, Cleveland, Toledo, South Bend, Chicago. Four stops. West coast, Seattle, Portland, Sacramento, etc... You don't need a lot of stops. You are connecting only the cities, not doing an Amtrak.

    And there are plenty of people that could use high speed rail. Volume isn't the problem.

    Property is. The US owns virtually no railway, so means building it from scratch. The Northeast and West are very expensive! Cutting a high speed rail swath through the Northeast from Boston to DC?! Connecticut is a nuts! The Acela needed special designs because of all of the curves that track has. And forget the run from NYC to DC where space isn't... you'd need to bury a lot of the track probably. The Midwest is a bit better as there isn't as much value in property between the cities. But ultimately, I think it is property... and hubbing in the city. The advantage of trains is arriving in the city, not an hour outside of it. Generally, these hubs are also hubs for subways and buses. But you need to be able to have the track get into the city hubs.

  2. Top | #22
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    President-elect Joe Biden got the name "Amtrak Joe" for his championing of the US's national passenger railroad system, a system whose trains he frequently rides.

    Biden Is Good News for High-Speed Rail – Streetsblog California

    Sam Mintz on Twitter: "Joe Biden's infrastructure plan says he wants to "spark the second great rail revolution."

    Here's what that might look like in a post-Covid world.

    Comments from top Biden transportation adviser John Porcari today https://t.co/EZUOVXgGbf" / Twitter

    One of the ways we can build back better clearly is with passenger rail. Amtrak has done remarkably well with the limited resources it has had.

    If you're in a small or medium sized city and you're looking at air service right now, the likelihood is that you're losing air service.

    Serving some of those city pairs through passenger rail is an economic lifeline for cities throughout the country, in the longer term in particular.

    Those are the kinds of discussions we should have if we're talking about a need for connectivity 2 or 3 or 400 miles apart.

    We should reserve the really expensive and precious runway capacity for transcontinental flights, flights to hubs and international flights.

  3. Top | #23
    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    USHSR releases five-point, high-speed rail plan with project list | Mass Transit
    • Create a new high-speed rail development authority within the U.S. Department of Transportation
    • Select the nation's top five high-speed rail priority projects
    • Select the second-tier projects
    • Coordinate closely on Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) planning with local cities and jurisdictions
    • Work with the airlines and airports to replace short-haul flights with high speed rail

    The top five:
    • California HSR - $60B
    • Texas HSR - $20B
    • Northeast Corridor upgrade, NYC tunnels - $50B
    • Pacific NW (Cascadia) HSR - $40B
    • Florida (Tampa - Orlando) HSR - $2.5B

    Next ones:
    • Chicago - Milwaukee HSR - $8B
    • Atlanta - Charlotte HSR - $18B
    • Louisville - Nashville HSR - $15B
    • Denver - Albuquerque HSR - $40B
    • Chicago - St. Louis HSR - $18B
    • Tulsa - Oklahoma City HSR - $30B
    • Chicago - Detroit HSR - $30B
    • Nashville - Memphis HSR - $15B
    • Kansas City - St. Louis HSR - $19B
    • Chicago - Indianapolis HSR - $17B

  4. Top | #24
    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Do you think Hyperloop will kill High-Speed Rail? : highspeedrail - That's Elon Musk's recently-proposed vactrain system.

    That Reddit post has a poll, with these votes:
    • 7 - 4.4% - Hyperloop will effectively replace High-Speed Rail both in existing and planned lines
    • 5 - 3.1% - Hyperloop will be constructed in countries where there is no High-Speed Rail e.g. India, South Africa, Brazil
    • 63 - 39.4% - Hyperloop will only be constructed in handful of lines, never actually proving its potential e.g. UAE
    • 85 - 53.1% - Hyperloop will fail hard, never leaving test tracks

    Like the voters in that poll, the thread's OP author was very skeptical about it.

    Virgin Hyperloop Has Invented The World's Crappiest High-Speed Rail | Defector
    Shocking news! In an incredible breakthrough for American mass-transit engineering, the transportation technology company Virgin Hyperloop this past weekend successfully moved two people 500 meters across the barren Las Vegas desert at a top speed of just over 100 mph, setting a new world record for the absolute most pitiful thing anyone not named “Elon Musk” has ever tried to pass off as “high-speed rail.”

  5. Top | #25
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    Brightline is not quite high-speed rail, but it's the first non-Amtrak start in US intercity passenger rail in a long time. It already runs Miami - West Palm Beach in SE Florida.

    Brightline looks to have Tampa-Orlando high-speed rail route complete by 2025 | Blogs - Construction should start in 2022.

    Railroad Construction | Brightline
    Construction is underway on the 170-mile Orlando extension between West Palm Beach and Orlando, which will connect train service from South Florida to Central Florida. Construction includes road, rail and bridge work as well as railroad crossing upgrades and improvements.

    ...
    In preparation for train service, Brightline will upgrade and improve a total of 28 bridges and 155 at-grade railroad crossings along the corridor between West Palm Beach and Cocoa, which parallels the existing Florida East Coast Railway. During these temporary closures, at-grade crossings will be closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic and watercraft may experience temporary delays at bridges.
    Brightline’s track construction pushes train tunnel under Orlando’s Goldenrod Road - Orlando Sentinel


    Looking in another Sun Belt state, Construction of Texas high-speed line due to start in 2021 | International Railway Journal - a Houston - Dallas line

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