Actual high speed rail (not here)

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Actual high speed rail (not here)
Posted by charlie hebdo on Tuesday, July 30, 2019 10:38 AM

https://www.midwesthsr.org/long-journeys-getting-shorter-even-faster-trains?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=9062f1fc-22e8-4552-8ccf-2765535978ca

"The fastest scheduled train on the planet is on China’s Beijing to Shanghai line. This line opened in 2011 and was designed for 380 km/h (236 mph) operation, but was limited to 300 km/h (186 mph) until late 2017, when trains began to be allowed to reach peaks of 350 km/h (217 mph).Trains G17 and G38 now cover the portion from Beijing to Nanjing—most of the way to Shanghai—at an average speed of 318 km/h (198 mph), which earns them the survey’s top spot. Beijing to Shanghai is 1,302 km, or 908 miles, roughly the equivalent of Chicago to New York. China’s fastest trains make this journey in 4 hours and 18 minutes. (Compare that to more than 20 hours on Amtrak.) That’s a trip time that’s very competitive with flying, when including the standard air travel time-wasters. More importantly, the high-speed train has a much lower carbon footprint than flying." 

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, July 30, 2019 10:47 AM

charlie hebdo
Trains G17 and G38 now cover the portion from Beijing to Nanjing—most of the way to Shanghai—at an average speed of 318 km/h (198 mph), which earns them the survey’s top spot.

Note how little time difference there is if you use trains designed to that 300kph standard ... and the original LGV and TVM from the Seventies would provide this as a day-in day-out sustainable speed.  

Do the Midwest Rail people mention how many stops are involved for these two trains?

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Tuesday, July 30, 2019 11:47 AM

No, but I believe these two stop in Nanjing only.  Electrified lines are the only way to have decent trains - ~150-180 mph top speed seems adequate - with rapid acceleration - along with limited stops and the 2-3 minute dwell time achieved by use of many automatic exit doors.

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Posted by Gramp on Tuesday, July 30, 2019 7:55 PM

It doesn't hurt that Beijing, Nanjing, and Shanghai have populations of 22mil, 8mil, and 24mil respectively.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Tuesday, July 30, 2019 9:23 PM

We have sufficient  population density in parts of the US.  Europe has cities linked with new HSR stretches with smaller populations than China or US.  Eg.,  Berlin to Munich. 

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Posted by zardoz on Wednesday, July 31, 2019 6:51 PM

charlie hebdo

We have sufficient  population density in parts of the US.  Europe has cities linked with new HSR stretches with smaller populations than China or US.  Eg.,  Berlin to Munich. 

However, China does not have (or at least they are afraid to speak out) NIMBY's, BANANA's, or EIS's to impede their 'progress'.

   23 17 46 11

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Wednesday, July 31, 2019 7:27 PM

zardoz

 

 
charlie hebdo

We have sufficient  population density in parts of the US.  Europe has cities linked with new HSR stretches with smaller populations than China or US.  Eg.,  Berlin to Munich. 

 

 

However, China does not have (or at least they are afraid to speak out) NIMBY's, BANANA's, or EIS's to impede their 'progress'.

 

 

True,  but Germany and France have very stringent land use and environmental laws.  They get it done well and at less cost. Perhaps our problem is crooked contractors who overcharge for inferior work with shoddy material, for example, roads in the Midwest. 

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, July 31, 2019 7:48 PM

charlie hebdo
 
zardoz 
charlie hebdo

We have sufficient  population density in parts of the US.  Europe has cities linked with new HSR stretches with smaller populations than China or US.  Eg.,  Berlin to Munich.  

However, China does not have (or at least they are afraid to speak out) NIMBY's, BANANA's, or EIS's to impede their 'progress'. 

True,  but Germany and France have very stringent land use and environmental laws.  They get it done well and at less cost. Perhaps our problem is crooked contractors who overcharge for inferior work with shoddy material, for example, roads in the Midwest. 

Corruption is not only in the contractors - when did you ever see a politician leave office poorer than when they got initially elected?

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Wednesday, July 31, 2019 8:23 PM

Of course.  Some states are worse than others.  IL and NJ invented "pay to play" especially in roads and construction.  The old syndicate is still involved too. You can't be involved with property development  (and casinos)  without friends in organized crime. 

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, July 31, 2019 10:25 PM

No comment.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Thursday, August 01, 2019 7:57 PM

There are many locations on the PRR NEC that will not be able  to ever meet HSR speeds.  These locations do not really have enough distance between them.  So a plan to upgrade most places where financially able to 160 MAS will allow a 4 -5 stop NYP <> WASH Acela scheduled under 2 hours.

  Will not even address NYP - BOS.

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Posted by daveklepper on Friday, August 02, 2019 2:38 AM

Wasn't the LIRR originally planned as part of a NY-Boston route?

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Posted by creepycrank on Friday, August 02, 2019 4:55 AM

blue streak 1
Will not even address NYP - BOS.

                               As I recall the tracks around the Cross Sound Ferry terminal in New London is a very tight turn requiring about 10 mph.

Revision 1: Adds this new piece Revision 2: Improves it Revision 3: Makes it just right Revision 4: Removes it.
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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Friday, August 02, 2019 6:49 AM

daveklepper

Wasn't the LIRR originally planned as part of a NY-Boston route?

 
Indeed it was, with a ferry connection to Connecticut at the east end of the island.  It actually worked that way for a few years until what is now the NEC route to Boston was built.
The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by daveklepper on Saturday, August 03, 2019 1:59 PM

Again, Greenpoint, L. I., Bridgeport, Willamantic, Readville, Boston

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Posted by MidlandMike on Saturday, August 03, 2019 8:39 PM

daveklepper

Again, Greenpoint, L. I., Bridgeport, Willamantic, Readville, Boston

 

Greenport to Bridgeport would require a lot of backtracking.  Bridgeport is across the L.I. Sound from Port Jefferson.

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Posted by daveklepper on Saturday, August 03, 2019 8:55 PM

Stand corrected; should have looked at a map! 

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, August 03, 2019 9:16 PM

Greenport is the Orient Point Bridge route, along the row of islands and then with no more curve than a 220mph route could safely tolerate; it's interesting to see the range of places the route could 'come ashore' since the ROW all the way to near Boston has to have the curve and grade limitations of that speed, too.  That is not the insurmountable problem a lower-speed route would be, since neither maximum steep grade nor a considerable portion of the route built elevated over surface terrain are problems here (any more than they have been in China new construction) but you'd best believe the rich folks in, say, Watch Hill and Fisher's Island will want little to do with a Second Spine over their heads.  Remember the joke on Staten Island about shaking hands with the pilots in holding patterns? you could almost DO this with HSR trains...

The problem with the Hartford route is that big left turn out of NYP to get up to Bridgeport.  Then there's another Big Right Turn to get back eastbound.  Either of these is a big time-hole; the two together add cumulatively.  These are less of an issue for 150mph trains, but no one is going to the capital expense of the Long Island solution ... any of them ... just to get that slow a speed.

Meanwhile, at least the tacit assumption is that at least two lanes of road traffic in each direction be carried along with the HSR, probably with road access highly constrained near the shore communities.  Those two facilities together justify what neither of them alone might command.  While this applies to the further-west solutions, too, the primary road route that 'makes sense' is the continuation of 287, not a toll tunnel between Port Jeff and Bridgeport.

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Posted by Jim200 on Sunday, August 04, 2019 7:14 AM

charlie hebdo

 Trains G17 and G38 now cover the portion from Beijing to Nanjing—most of the way to Shanghai—at an average speed of 318 km/h (198 mph), which earns them the survey’s top spot. Beijing to Shanghai is 1,302 km, or 908 miles, roughly the equivalent of Chicago to New York. China’s fastest trains make this journey in 4 hours and 18 minutes.

 

Math check! The people at Midwest HSR need to double check their figures. At 200 mph average speed it will take 4 hours and 30 min to go 900 miles. The problem seems to stem from 1302 km actually equals 809 miles, which is closer to Chicago to Albany at 818 miles. Chicago to New York City is 959 miles. At 4 hours and 18 minutes, Beijing to Shanghai has a slower average speed of 188 mph, which is still very fast.

However, the folks at Midwest HSR have done a lot of work in preparation for implementation of HSR from Chicago. In the 2012 study, they show times of 2:40 Chicago to Minneapolis, 2:00 Chicago to St Louis, 2:00 Chicago to Cincinnati, 3:00 Chicago to Pittsburgh, 2:20 Chicago to Cleveland, and 2:00 Chicago to Detroit.

They estimate that the hours saved by those auto drivers who will switch to HSR at 19..8 million for the Minneapolis corridor and 19.1 million for the Detroit/Cleveland corridor. Additionally, in all four corridors ex-auto drivers will monetarily save $1.6 billion, and prevent the death of about 43 and injury to about 2,615 individuals. Avoided auto emissions are 3.0 million metric tons of equivalent CO2. 

Each of these four HSR corridors would have 25 round trips with train sets holding 500 people for a total of 43.7  million passengers. About 76% of the passengers will be ex-auto. They did not analyze Chicago to Pittsburgh, Detroit to Cleveland/Pittsburgh, nor Cleveland to Columbus/Dayton/Cincinnati.

https://www.midwesthsr.org/studies

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Posted by JPS1 on Sunday, August 04, 2019 9:05 AM
Theoretical studies frequently overlook personal preferences, which can oftentimes trump cost considerations.   
 
As long as they can afford it, people oftentimes will choose a more expensive option for convenience, comfort, privacy, etc.
 
Whether any of the proposed high-speed rail lines would pull people out of their cars is problematic.  Are Americans going to give up the comfort, convenience, privacy, dependability, etc. of a personal vehicle to ride a train?  Or are they going to demand better roadways coupled with improved automotive technologies to help improve the personal vehicle throughput rate?
 
China's high-speed rail system has two things going for it.  It was built by a command and control government.  And in a country with a relatively low personal vehicle rate.  According to Wikipedia, China has 179 motor vehicles per 1,000 population.  In the U.S. the number is 811.  China and the U.S. are different cultures.  What works in one would not necessarily work in the other. 
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Posted by rdamon on Sunday, August 04, 2019 10:15 AM

And there is still the last mile issue.   If the local trip to the final destination takes as long as the HSR ride the value is reduced.

 

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, August 04, 2019 11:06 AM

Jim200
Math check!

It's actually a bit more of a reading-comprehension check: the 198mph figure applies to the part of the trip terminating a few miles shy of Shanghai itself, I suspect much as many of the early TGV services stopped operating on LGV well outside destination cities and then operated at more restricted speed on conventional track structure and geometry from there.  Accounting for this reconciles the 'mistakes' you noted (and gives us at least an approximation of achieved average speed on the remaining portion of the run into Shanghai ... some of which may be slated for higher-speed conversion in the near future.

The problem with the 'advantages' you cite is that many of them won't be perceived as direct benefits justifying high construction expense and long lead times to completion for HSR.  It's a bit analogous to why Ricardian equivalence fails to work very effectively in political economies that have become addicted to debt financing.

Let's look at the "$1.6 billion saving" -- how was this calculated?  I'll bet through a pro-rata allocation of the various costs of driving to the number of miles 'foregone' by taking the train: the problem being that many of them aren't proportional to mileage either as 'imposed' or perceived.  Many of the costs are only indirectly related to mileage, or are one-time charges not dependent on mileage.  Now, it's quite possible for political entities to change this in a variety of ways -- they're now doing it explicitly in places like Chicago as ubiquitous cheap RFID tolling becomes pervasive -- but the driving response to this will not be to treat riding the HSR as a 'savings' nearly as much as complaining about Government soaking. 

Accident reduction is a good social statistic, but won't sway anyone very much in deciding whether to ride rather than drive.  Again, an organized propaganda campaign might increase the perceived value of the lower injury and death statistics, but I suspect not much more than seeing the signs about road deaths that are periodically flashed over Interstates to lead people to ride buses to keep from becoming statistics themselves.

The 3 million metric tons of CO2 have no monetary incentive value at all, at least not to the prospective motorists, and it can be argued that saving them have little practical influence on actual progress of AGW.  I personally have little doubt we won't see this 'monetized' (probably in place of the dramatic increase in fuel taxes per se needed to maintain the Highway Trust Fund at sensible levels as actual road fuel burn goes down) sometime in the next few Administrations, and when it is, it may follow British practice (in requiring assessment per mile run rather than per gallon burned, to get BEVs into the tax base fairly of course) so again this could be converted into high awareness.  But absent that, its functional value as an incentive to ride HSR is much more limited.

Meanwhile, the practical time savings question has a joker in it: how much of the time 'lost' becomes less significant or even an advantage when autonomous vehicles on highways become common?  The marginal utility of putting the capital involved in even low-level HrSR into making autonomous vehicles safe and effective in those corridors where the train service would run will likely be perceived by most of a democracy as money much better spent, and whether or not you like and advocate true HSR (as I do) that's a subject you'll have to address well before the timeframe any true HSR in the target corridors is ready for passengers.

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Posted by JOHN PRIVARA on Sunday, August 04, 2019 11:18 AM

As is usually the case with HSR, the argument keeps breaking down into:

1) People won't "give up their cars" to take the train.

2) "The last mile".

3) Planes are faster.

HSR isn't supposed to REPLACE anything. Europeans drive as much as we do and "aren't giving up their cars", AND (amazingly) the "last mile" also exists in Europe, AND (even more amazingly) the Europeans have airplanes (gasp). AND (AND!!) to top all those amazing things off: France and Spain have about the same density as the eastern US.

HSR only makes sense in ONE situation: It's more convenient than the car or airplane. And, convenient can be (roughly) measured as: URBAN density * (URBAN congestion / ability to increase URBAN road capacity).

If there's two URBAN areas THAT can be conveniently linked with HSR due to the INABILITY to increase road capacity then HSR will be more convenient and people will use it.

The only "unknown" variable in the equation is the "ability to increase URBAN road capacity". Destroying peasant hovels will always be the preferred route (this IS the US after all), which means HSR is usually the last choice. But, even the peasants can sometimes fight back. And, when they do (for long enough periods of time) the cost of road and airports goes up, the construction is delayed or cancelled, AND that's when HSR comes in.

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, August 04, 2019 11:29 AM

JOHN PRIVARA
HSR isn't supposed to REPLACE anything. Europeans drive as much as we do and "aren't giving up their cars", AND (amazingly) the "last mile" also exists in Europe, AND (even more amazingly) the Europeans have airplanes (gasp). AND (AND!!) to top all those amazing things off: France and Spain have about the same density as the eastern US.

I think you're leaving out the important criterion: European countries are willing to allocate the funds necessary to provide true HSR, at whatever scale, and to take the steps necessary to realize it. 

We aren't really doing this anywhere, nor are we likely to try; in fact, what we see is largely either chronically unfunded (see Gateway) or fobbed off extensively on the state governments reaping the chief 'benefits' from corridors.  You start to get into Hoosier-State-style squabbling over cost allocations precisely as the service lengths that justify true HSR speed come into consideration, especially for states with long mileage of 'trunk' with few actual station points to use the service screaming past over that mileage.  In this connection we should also remember all the local politicians whose districts suffer the Chinese walls and other penalties of HSR while only indirectly, if in fact at all, realizing any real benefit from the faster trains.  Most of those peasants vote.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Sunday, August 04, 2019 11:33 AM

In service of the concept of parsimony in language,  "It's not a dichotomy. HSR and fast convenient HrSR are part of the transportation matrix, along with cars, buses and planes."

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, August 04, 2019 11:45 AM

charlie hebdo
In service of the concept of parsimony in language,  "It's not a dichotomy. HSR and fast convenient HrSR are part of the transportation matrix, along with cars, buses and planes."

Thank you, and well said.

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Posted by JOHN PRIVARA on Sunday, August 04, 2019 12:41 PM

Overmod

We aren't really doing this anywhere...

Most of those peasants vote.

 

 

Totally agree.

We've got the government we deserve.

And, as that great cynic said:

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Sunday, August 04, 2019 3:11 PM

JOHN PRIVARA

 

 
Overmod

We aren't really doing this anywhere...

Most of those peasants vote.

 

 

 

 

Totally agree.

We've got the government we deserve.

And, as that great cynic said:

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

 

"Consider the alternative(s)."

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Posted by JPS1 on Sunday, August 04, 2019 5:26 PM

What do Americans want in passenger rail?  And what are they willing to pay for it?  These are the key questions.

Outside of the NEC, Americans have not shown strong support for fast passenger trains.

It appears the California High Speed Rail Project is dead.  At least for now! Whether the Texas Central Railway is funded and built is problematic. 

Virgin Trains USA, as well as some of the states, appear to have a better plan to improve passenger rail in the U.S. without breaking the piggybank. 

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Sunday, August 04, 2019 6:48 PM

"Build it and they will come." 

"Make no small dreams."

"Pennywise and pound foolish."

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