Actual high speed rail (not here)

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, August 5, 2019 1:42 AM

Fashions change.   America has had a love affair with personal transportation, but there are light rail systems whose success is beyond estimates, and most of their passengers are new to public transit.  Air lines have taken a large share of intercity transportation from the private automotible, and the NEC has taken much from both private autos and air travel.  The latter was done by the Metroliners and Turbotrain half a century ago, and all improvements since really have been a holding-on operation, in my opinion.   (Half a century ago, there was no Megabus, but air tavel had less hassle.)

If the Texas "higher-speed" scheme is successful, critics will be answered.   Brightline-Virgin in Flordia is married to real-estate value increase and cruises, and is somewhat relived of paying its way.

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Posted by JOHN PRIVARA on Tuesday, August 6, 2019 9:03 PM

charlie hebdo

"Consider the alternative(s)."



Yup,  as another cynic said:


Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.…


(Too many "government optimists" gloat over this statement, I think.   They ignore the word "worst", or get lost in the humor and think he really meant "not that bad".   I think the best you can have is an awful government, but at least with a democracy they can't kill ya for saying so...)


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Posted by Jim200 on Monday, August 12, 2019 4:24 PM

To answer a few questions on the 2012 HSR study, you need to understand that Transystems has been doing transportation planning for over 50 years and even consulted on the latest terminal renovations in Chicago. Although no study is perfect, they have engineers and architects with a lot of accumulated knowledge.

They made allowances for the average time for traveling to and from the railroad stations. For instance, HSR trip time between Chicago and Minneapolis was listed as 4.3 hours with 1.63 hours allowed for other "feeder" transportation. By car the trip time from the same starting point and destination point was 7.6 hours for a savings of 3.3 hours, which would highly favor going by HSR. On the other hand, the savings from Chicago to Milwaukee was only 6 minutes, which would suggest that a car trip is very competitive. 

On the monetary side, they set an HSR fare of $84 plus a "feeder" fare of $20 for going between Chicago and Minneapolis. The car fare was $202, probably based on mileage, which gave going by HSR a saving of $98. On the other hand, going from Chicago to Milwaukee with an HSR fare of $18 plus  "feeder" fare of $20 only resulted in an HSR saving of $5, which still leaves the car as a good choice.

That begs the question of why do about 800,000 people decide to leave their car at home and take the Amtrak Hiawatha Service between Chicago and Milwaukee. Transystems estimates that 2.7 million people will leave their cars at home when they find out that HSR takes 40 minutes station to station, with departures on the hour or half hour during morning or evening commute. Some of the reasons for choosing to ride the Hiawatha could be an easy walking distance to the station, convenient and inexpensive commuter connections, relaxing travel time not stressful driving, and dependable on time performance. Chicago is known for congestion and grid lock to the tune of about 300 million wasted hours. HSR will help to relieve some of that. It is said that double track HSR can move as much as 10 lanes of highway.

Two years after the completion of the Madrid to Seville HSR, (330 miles), it was found that the number of car drivers decreased from 60% to 34% and plane passengers decreased from 11% to 4%.

The same kind of scenarios with different numbers and percentages will play out on the other three routes to Detroit/Cleveland, Cincinnati, and St Louis. In part 6 of the study, Transystems analyzes every city on the four routes and even plots a possible path for HSR.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Monday, August 12, 2019 6:00 PM

Thanks for the examples. 

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Posted by Gramp on Monday, August 12, 2019 11:47 PM

I wonder if the study were extended to Nashville through Louisville what conclusion could be drawn?

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, August 13, 2019 7:49 AM

I wonder if the study were extended to Nashville through Louisville what conclusion could be drawn?

That no one in the study had ever actually gone from Louisville down to Nashville.  Even sustained 110mph would involve heroic earthmoving in a great number of places.

Not to say there isn't fast running in some places on the old L&N, but it's not going to be enough to make any approximation to HSR likely.

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Posted by Gramp on Tuesday, August 13, 2019 10:49 PM


Being built across the street from Nashville's former Union Station.  Many hi-tech jobs.  Music City metro has 1.75mil people now.  (Cincy - 2.1mil, Louisville - 1.25mil.)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – As Amazon announced its second headquarters... the e-commerce giant also announced it is investing $230 million in Nashville and adding 5,000 jobs at a new operations site. The new Amazon site will be located at Nashville Yards, located downtown.

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