TX HSR Update

3065 views
50 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    September 2017
  • 2,935 posts
TX HSR Update
Posted by charlie hebdo on Friday, November 1, 2019 12:47 PM

https://therivardreport.com/


 240 miles,  Houston to Dallas via College Station,  87 minutes. 

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 10,415 posts
Posted by Overmod on Friday, November 1, 2019 4:37 PM

Not sure I like Reed's calling the 240-mile length 'right in the middle of the strike zone'!

It was amusing to see, in the comments, some mathematical maven calculating the required peak speed using a "15-minute" stop at College Station.  Perhaps he should smoke less and read more; if the actual dwell time there is more than about a minute, somebody has failed to learn the right lessons from both Europe and Asia.  

I'd expect to see some kind of Rt-128-style development, perhaps with incubators, build up at the College Station stop.  Note that there's more than just A&M there; the total number of students is above 40,000.  Quick and reliable access to the two endpoints, especially if 'yield pricing' or cheap standby is used, ought to be popular.

  • Member since
    June 2009
  • From: Dallas, TX
  • 4,483 posts
Posted by CMStPnP on Friday, November 1, 2019 9:07 PM

Originally the project was to start two years ago, now slated to start in 2020, completion by 2025 or 2026.    I am not an expert but I live in North Texas and have seen the same construction company build freeways here a LOT faster than that timeline.   To me that is a LONG construction schedule for a topography that is largely flat and only differs in plus or minus 500 feet in elevation.

In other articles I googled with a Sept 2019 date.   Texas Central states the $14 Billion project is signed but also admit they have no financing yet.    I am pretty confident that Dallas is not going to build anything Dallas to Fort Worth until the Dallas to Houston leg is a definite for completion and operation.   Initially they said if Dallas to Houston was built they would build a leg to Fort Worth.   I don't see any real concrete move forwards on the DFW portion either.

So everyone seems to be waiting on this company's ability to actually achieve financing beyond voluntary small donations for engineering whereas this becomes a real project and not just a pipe dream.

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: US
  • 2,472 posts
Posted by PNWRMNM on Saturday, November 2, 2019 9:05 AM

Overmod

It was amusing to see, in the comments, some mathematical maven calculating the required peak speed using a "15-minute" stop at College Station.  Perhaps he should smoke less and read more; if the actual dwell time there is more than about a minute, somebody has failed to learn the right lessons from both Europe and Asia.  

While a 15 minute stop in College Station is clearly excessive, a 15 minute delay to stop seems reasonable. Train must slow from XXX mph to stop, dwell, and accellerate back to XXX mph with delay clock running all the time. Without having real data, a 15 minute delay for a two minute stop seems reasonable.

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 10,415 posts
Posted by Overmod on Saturday, November 2, 2019 10:04 AM

PNWRMNM
Without having real data, a 15 minute delay for a two minute stop seems reasonable.

Keep in mind that the original maven was considering acceleration/braking ramp separately from the station dwell (this is clear from the language in his comment).

The 'numbers' are not as difficult as you expect because a worst-case can be calculated roughly as follows:  Determine the cost-effective braking and acceleration rate profile for the trains involved (in addition to not being continuous, they are probably not symmetrical for braking vs. acceleration) which will probably be expressed in fpsps but are easily converted to mphps.  Apply this with respect to the expected cruising speed, which will give you the time involved in braking reduction and subsequent acceleration without any complicated integration.  Technically you still have to integrate to get the distance, and you need the distance for the next part of the calculation (which is to subtract the time required to traverse the distance from braking to full speed recovery at nominal cruise speed, a part many critics of high-speed rail tend to forget), but you could estimate it roughly enough for the purpose with 'piecewise' averaging (say every 10mph delta with corresponding rough average for deceleration rate) and then summation of the corresponding piecewise distances.  (You can do much of this 'well enough' via graphing, as I did before I learned integral calculus.)

There's a bit of an operating quandary here, because to reduce the station dwell you may want to 'stage' the passengers near the doors while the train is still in the process of braking, and start the slower part of initial acceleration while passengers are still finding seats.

I personally think the 165mph published 'average speed' you get by simple division is reasonable for two accelerations, two braking runs, and European-style short dwell at College Station.  And I don't think that average is unachievable with 186mph HSR; I'm thinking that $14B estimate for construction indicates they're thinking of a higher running speed than that, and there may be a 'reality check' as they begin to firm up construction contracting.  

 

  • Member since
    December 2018
  • 447 posts
Posted by JPS1 on Sunday, November 3, 2019 9:28 AM

Overmod
I'm thinking that $14B estimate for construction indicates they're thinking of a higher running speed than that....

The initial cost estimates for the project were $10 billion.  Now it is $14 billion for the construction.  Or is it $15 billion as reported in a May 14, 2019 article in the Austin Business Journal.  And how much will the project cost when the equipment is included?  

The total cost of the project, however, is not just $14 or $15 billion plus the equipment.  Debt servicing costs must also be included. 

The claim that the project will be built without public financing is not 100 percent accurate.  The promoters have indicated that they will apply for Railroad Rehabilitation & Improvement Financing (RRIF), which means that they can borrow substantial amounts of money for 35 years at the same interest rates as paid by the federal government.

Assuming the cost of the project is $14 billion, and it is financed using government backed money, the total cost could be as high as $19.3 billion before equipment, etc. 

Texas Central has not provided any financing schedules.  I took the average interest rate for the U.S. Treasury 10, 20, and 30-year bonds to allow for the fact that the project probably will be financed in increments as opposed to borrowing all the money up front. 

If I remember correctly, the initial cost estimate for the California High Speed Rail Project was $33.6 billion.  It morphed to as high as $98 billion before being scaled back to $68 billion. 

  • Member since
    September 2017
  • 2,935 posts
Posted by charlie hebdo on Sunday, November 3, 2019 9:46 AM

Being allowed to issue government-backed corporate bonds at lower interest rates is not government financed or funded,  unless they forfeit. It's the same as the land grant railroads got in the 1860s and later. 

  • Member since
    December 2018
  • 447 posts
Posted by JPS1 on Sunday, November 3, 2019 11:34 AM

charlie hebdo
 Being allowed to issue government-backed corporate bonds at lower interest rates is not government financed or funded,  unless they forfeit. It's the same as the land grant railroads got in the 1860s and later. 

It is using the government's credit rating to get a better rate than it could get in the competitive market.  It is using the government for leverage. 

As of Friday, November 1, 2019, the interest rate for the U.S. Treasury long-bond closed at 2.18 percent.  The rate for AAA corporate was 3.38 percent, while that for BBB was 5.53 percent.  Being able to use government backed financing for some or all of the project is a subsidy.  

The financing of the transcontinental railroads of the 1860s has nothing to do with financing of Texas Central Railway.   

  • Member since
    September 2017
  • 2,935 posts
Posted by charlie hebdo on Sunday, November 3, 2019 11:59 AM

I was mentioning one aspect of the land grant transcontinental plan, not the mileage subsidy and Credit Mobilier, the worst scandal until your TX Enron fiasco. I suggest you read some history. 

  • Member since
    December 2018
  • 447 posts
Posted by JPS1 on Sunday, November 3, 2019 12:06 PM

charlie hebdo

I was mentioning one aspect of the land grant transcontinental plan, not the mileage subsidy and Credit Mobilier, the worst scandal until your TX Enron fiasco. I suggest you read some history. 

I don't own Enron.  Save your lectures for someone that cares. 

BTW, had you taken the time to go back and look at my posting, before jumping on it, you would have noticed that I removed the reference to financial scandal.  

  • Member since
    December 2018
  • 447 posts
Posted by JPS1 on Sunday, November 3, 2019 12:31 PM
According to the Texas Department of Transportation Congestion Index, the average rating for I-45 between Dallas and Houston is 1.20.  The average for I-35 between Dallas and San Antonio is 1.25. 
 
Most of the congestion on I-45 is in north Houston.  On the other hand, I-35 is heavily congested near Hillsboro, where I-35 W and I-35 E merge, Austin, San Marcos and San Antonio. 
 
Assuming the justification for high speed rail between Dallas and Houston is to offer mostly motorists an alternative to driving, how come the railway is being built between these two cities as opposed to along the I-35 corridor between Dallas and San Antonio?  It has more congestion that I-45 between Dallas and Houston. 
  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 10,415 posts
Posted by Overmod on Sunday, November 3, 2019 2:22 PM

JPS1
The claim that the project will be built without public financing is not 100 percent accurate.  The promoters have indicated that they will apply for Railroad Rehabilitation & Improvement Financing (RRIF), which means that they can borrow substantial amounts of money for 35 years at the same interest rates as paid by the federal government.

Can you show me where RRIF loans directly involve taxpayer-supplied funds?  Because that is what's implied by 'public financing' in this context.  Being 'able to get the same interest rates' doesn't imply any sort of opportunity cost to the government, either.

Now, had they, or you, said 'without government assistance is not 100 percent accurate' I would agree with you.  But I don't think that's what they have said in the first place.

  • Member since
    September 2017
  • 2,935 posts
Posted by charlie hebdo on Sunday, November 3, 2019 3:14 PM

JPS1

 

 
charlie hebdo

I was mentioning one aspect of the land grant transcontinental plan, not the mileage subsidy and Credit Mobilier, the worst scandal until your TX Enron fiasco. I suggest you read some history. 

 

I don't own Enron.  Save your lectures for someone that cares. 

BTW, had you taken the time to go back and look at my posting, before jumping on it, you would have noticed that I removed the reference to financial scandal.  

 

My post was constructed and posted before you edited the original.  And as another member points out, your erroneous post is misleading at best.

You live in TX where Enron operated a criminal shell game. 

  • Member since
    September 2017
  • 2,935 posts
Posted by charlie hebdo on Sunday, November 3, 2019 3:31 PM

Houston is the 2nd largest metro area in TX,  almost 7 million as of 2018, while San Antonio metro area has only 2.5 million.  Perhaps a spur can connect? 

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 10,415 posts
Posted by Overmod on Sunday, November 3, 2019 3:54 PM

charlie hebdo
You live in TX where Enron operated a criminal shell game. 

Hey, you can't blame him for that!  I live in Tennessee and you can't blame me for the outcome of the Scopes trial!

  • Member since
    September 2017
  • 2,935 posts
Posted by charlie hebdo on Sunday, November 3, 2019 5:54 PM

I don't blame him but unless you are truly ancient,  unlike JPS and Enron, you weren't contemporaneous with Scopes

  • Member since
    December 2018
  • 447 posts
Posted by JPS1 on Sunday, November 3, 2019 8:52 PM

Overmod
 Can you show me where RRIF loans directly involve taxpayer-supplied funds?  Because that is what's implied by 'public financing' in this context.  Being 'able to get the same interest rates' doesn't imply any sort of opportunity cost to the government, either. Now, had they, or you, said 'without government assistance is not 100 percent accurate' I would agree with you.  But I don't think that's what they have said in the first place. 

This is what I said:  The claim that the project will be built without public financing is not 100 percent accurate.  The promoters have indicated that they will apply for Railroad Rehabilitation & Improvement Financing (RRIF), which means that they can borrow substantial amounts of money for 35 years at the same interest rates as paid by the federal government.

If you can borrow money at the U.S. Treasury long-bond rate, you have an advantage that does not accrue to borrowers that have to borrow at market rates.  Call it what you want, at the end of the day, the promotors of Texas Central Railway are getting a one-up if they borrow under the RRIF program.  They are riding on the backs of the U.S. Government.

  • Member since
    December 2018
  • 447 posts
Posted by JPS1 on Sunday, November 3, 2019 8:58 PM

charlie hebdo
 Houston is the 2nd largest metro area in TX,  almost 7 million as of 2018, while San Antonio metro area has only 2.5 million.  Perhaps a spur can connect? 

Clearly, you have no idea of traffic on I-45 between Dallas and Houston.  Anymore than you have any idea of traffic on I-35!  Or for that matter any idea of Texas's transportation challenges.  But nothing stops you for opining on what you don't know.  

The key point in my post was that the estimated cost of the project has been creeping upward since it was first announced.  Moreover, the full cost of the project includes the cost of debt service irrespective of the source of funds.  

If the promoters are able to use U.S. Treasury rates to borrow some or all of the monies for the project, the ultime cost of the project will be less than what it whould be if they had to go to the market.  Call it whatever you want, RRIF monies mean at least indirect government support for the project. 

  • Member since
    June 2009
  • From: Dallas, TX
  • 4,483 posts
Posted by CMStPnP on Sunday, November 3, 2019 9:10 PM

charlie hebdo
Houston is the 2nd largest metro area in TX,  almost 7 million as of 2018, while San Antonio metro area has only 2.5 million.  Perhaps a spur can connect? 

The freeway to Houston goes through the middle of nowhere after Dallas and the next time you really see civilization is Houston.    By contrast the Freeway to Austin serves fairly large cities such as Waco, Temple, Fort Hood, Austin's Northern and Southern Suburbs, San Antonio's Northern Suburbs, and then San Antonio.   So the Freeway to San Antonio is much slower moving.    It's also a double decker freeway through parts of Austin due to space limitations of the Hill Country region and urbanization, which also makes for slower travel.    Freeway to Houston has none of that.....straight shot through country that is flat as an ironing board.    True it is a difference between the two freeways of a 100-200 miles.   The freeway to Houston is before the challenging topography.    Freeway to Austin skirts it on the edge in most places but also cuts right through it in other places.

Texas is not all flat. especically the Hill Country which looks like the terrain you see around the Wisconsin Dells or Missisippi River with the limestone bluffs and what not.   The rail lines that traverse that topography have quite a few curves.  I would imagine one or two tunnels as well......though I never rode the rail line to Austin and San Antonio.    

The Heartland Flyer to OKC from Fort Worth goes through similar terrain as the Texas Hill Country as it encounters what Oklahomians call the Arbuckle Mountain region.    It is not a flat as a pancake route either.

  • Member since
    December 2018
  • 447 posts
Posted by JPS1 on Sunday, November 3, 2019 9:42 PM

charlie hebdo
 I don't blame him but unless you are truly ancient,  unlike JPS and Enron, you weren't contemporaneous with Scopes 

The financial scandals associated with the building of the UP and CP had at least an indirect impact on the U.S. taxpayers.  Some of the monies allocated for the building of the railroads were diverted into the pockets of construction company officials, politicians, etc.
 
Enron was a massive accounting fraud.  It along with several others led to several significant regulatory enhancements that have reduced the probability of a repeat performance. 
 
The Enron bankruptcy resulted in shareholders losses of approximately $74 billion.  In addition, the company’s employees lost billions in pension benefits. 
 
Enron filed fraudulent federal tax returns, which had an impact on the U.S. Treasury.  In addition, the Treasury could have been impacted by the losses suffered by Enron’s individual shareholders, although the impact would be very difficult to measure. 
 
The scandals associated with the building of the UP and SP are different than the Enron scandal. 
  • Member since
    October 2014
  • 374 posts
Posted by Gramp on Sunday, November 3, 2019 10:05 PM

I just drove I35 from Waco to San Antonio with a stop in downtown Austin.  What a nightmare trying to get on 35 from the Austin downtown street grid. 

I see TC as creating a new “universe“ tapping a large community of interest between the two metropolises more than trying to solve a congestion problem to try to make it go away. Two different orientations. 

  • Member since
    December 2018
  • 447 posts
Posted by JPS1 on Sunday, November 3, 2019 10:13 PM

CMStPnP
 The freeway to Houston goes through the middle of nowhere after Dallas and the next time you really see civilization is Houston.    By contrast the Freeway to Austin serves fairly large cities such as Waco, Temple, Fort Hood, Austin's Northern and Southern Suburbs, San Antonio's Northern Suburbs, and then San Antonio. 

As you point out, I-45 between Dallas and Houston is mostly 239 miles of nothing.  Once you get beyond the I-30 intersection, which is just south of downtown Dallas, it is usually clear sailing all the way to the Woodlands, which is 29 miles north of Houston's CBD, where you may have to slow down during morning rush hour.  If you are going through Houston, you can take TX 99 around the city.

Congestion on I-35, once you are out of the Metroplex, picks-up significantly at Hillsboro, where I-35E and I-35W merge.  Traffic usually flows through this check point without slowing, but south of Hillsboro it is bumper to bumper at 75 to 80 mph.  

As you noted, getting through Austin, thanks in no small part to the decked highway, is a challenge anytime of the day.  It is the Austin traffic on I-35 that led in part to the state building TX 130, which runs to the east of Austin, and provides a good alternative to going through Austin.  I-35 from Austin to San Marcos, according to TXDOT, is highly congested.  

It is 274 miles from DFW to San Antonio. Waco, Temple, Austin, and San Marcos, which have significant populations, are too close together or to DFW and San Antonio to make air travel practicable.  Improve train and bus service between DFW and San Antonio, with stops at these in-between cities, would be a good option to driving.

So why is the Texas Central Railway to be built between Dallas and Houston?  One of the reasons, I suspect, is because it better lends itself to the Japanese high-speed train footprint.  My argument, however, is the greater need is along the I-35 corridor, which is the more congested of the two and is likely to remain so going forward.

As an aside, I drive through Houston twice a month from October through May.  I am usually headed to Galveston to go on a cruise.  Over the last six years I have only been in a serious traffic jam in Houston once.  OTOH, I drive to Dallas from central or south Texas at least monthly.  It is unusual not to be snared a traffic jam in San Antonio, Austin, and south Dallas. 

Only by driving in Texas does one have an appreciation of traffic conditions in the Lone Star state.   

  • Member since
    September 2011
  • 4,521 posts
Posted by MidlandMike on Sunday, November 3, 2019 11:04 PM

It seems to me that the Houston HSR project wanted to capture some of the air traffic.  Maybe the did not think they would get much of the auto traffic off all those intermediate cities on the San A. corridor.

  • Member since
    June 2009
  • From: Dallas, TX
  • 4,483 posts
Posted by CMStPnP on Monday, November 4, 2019 5:25 AM

JPS1
Enron was a massive accounting fraud.  It along with several others led to several significant regulatory enhancements that have reduced the probability of a repeat performance.    The Enron bankruptcy resulted in shareholders losses of approximately $74 billion.  In addition, the company’s employees lost billions in pension benefits.   

I was there at a subsidiary shell company Enron setup as an IBM IT Consultant and believe it or not Enron Accounting Department was raising issues ethically.   The primary culprit in that circus was Arthur Anderson which acted as enabler of the fraud and would tell the Enron Accountants that raised the issues there was nothing to worry about, they were in compliance with all laws.   Anderson Consulting was running wild and many of their consultants were in executive positions of a lot of those shell companies earning big bucks, some as young as 22-23 years old.   AA saw Enron as a large client to be coveted and this new business model as a cash cow to be milked.    So I feel badly for a lot of the Accountants in Enron that were ethical to the end and raising issues as they were taught to do.   Only a very few in high places were corrupt.   Unfortunately, the few along with Arthur Andersons enabling help were carrying the argument of the day that what they were doing was compliant with all accounting rules.

Thats what I observed.

  • Member since
    June 2009
  • From: Dallas, TX
  • 4,483 posts
Posted by CMStPnP on Monday, November 4, 2019 5:42 AM

MidlandMike

It seems to me that the Houston HSR project wanted to capture some of the air traffic.  Maybe the did not think they would get much of the auto traffic off all those intermediate cities on the San A. corridor.

Yes and No.   I believe they can compete against American Airlines and potentially Delta.   They can't compete against Southwest who has had this route since the 1960's.   Southwest out of Love Field is an incredible operation to watch and should be a blueprint for other airlines to follow.    Especially if you fly out in early morning they have the next flight's plane staged behind the one loading at the gate.  As soon as the first flight out is backed away from the gate, the empty 737 behind it is slid into the now empty gate to load.    I have seen no other airport in the United States operate that way except for Dallas Love Field.    Not only that but if you check your bags on a returning flight its sooooo cool.   Right when you get to the baggage claim your bag comes out on a belt and approx 85-90% of the time there is no waiting.   Just in time delivery of checked bags.     

What is even more incredible is Southwest is not satisfied with it's highly efficient operation, it wants to make the loading of planes (faster than American) even faster and is looking at ways to do so.    The loading of the plane is pretty efficient despite there being no assigned seats.    In comparison American is a CF operation at DFW Airport rife with delays and waiting and gates switched at the last minutes prior to boarding.   American you wait a min of 20-30 min for your checked bags once you deplane.   Flight attendents on American are mostly old hags with a dour personality to match vs Southwest which has very friendly and personable flight attendents.    More than once on Southwest on nearly full flights I have seen the flight attendents work to keep the seat next to me empty because I am so tall and look crammed into their coach seating.......what other airline do you see do that?   Never seen that on Delta or American.

So I don't think that HSR system will compete with a Southwest flight out of Dallas Love Field.    Southwest runs like a well oiled machine.   I do think they will net some of the passengers traveling out of DFW International airport though.

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 10,415 posts
Posted by Overmod on Monday, November 4, 2019 5:48 AM

Texans can comment on this far better than I can, but my understanding was that the San Antonio 'corridor' was dense enough that it could be effectively served with 125mph 'diesel' service at far less capital cost and only a few minutes' additional trip time net of all the required "regional" stops.  Something like Brightline, perhaps; PRIIA-compliant stuff with by-now-well-proven reliability (and potential resale value if the service 'fails to thrive' for some reason)

  • Member since
    December 2018
  • 447 posts
Posted by JPS1 on Monday, November 4, 2019 8:07 AM

CMStPnP
 I was there at a subsidiary shell company Enron setup as an IBM IT Consultant and believe it or not Enron Accounting Department was raising issues ethically.   The primary culprit in that circus was Arthur Anderson.

Thats what I observed. 

You are correct.  It was two woman in Internal Audit that blew the whistle on the accounting shenanigans.  I knew one of them professionally.  
  • Member since
    December 2018
  • 447 posts
Posted by JPS1 on Monday, November 4, 2019 8:24 AM

Overmod
 Texans can comment on this far better than I can, but my understanding was that the San Antonio 'corridor' was dense enough that it could be effectively served with 125mph 'diesel' service at far less capital cost and only a few minutes' additional trip time net of all the required "regional" stops.  

One of the arguments for the long-distance trains is the service provided to intermediate stations.  The same argument applies to the DFW to San Antonio corridor.

To make frequent, reliable, economical service viable between DFW and San Antonio, double tracking, station enhancements, and better parking would be necessary. 

In addition, a better routing between DFW and Temple would be on the UP (former MKT), which runs through downtown Waco, as opposed to the BNSF route through McGregor, which is approximately 18 miles west of Waco.  

The upgrading of the rail route along the I-35 corridor probably could be made for a lot less than the projected cost for the Texas Central Railway project.  Unfortunately, it would not be as sexy. 

Nor would it serve the Japanese goal to inject its high speed rail technology into North America, which is a potentially vast market for it.

There is one thing I overlooked in my comments about traffic on I-35.  It is the major route for trucks coming from Mexico.  I drive I-35 nearly every day.  I see heaps of trucks that are headquartered in Laredo.  

  • Member since
    September 2017
  • 2,935 posts
Posted by charlie hebdo on Monday, November 4, 2019 9:07 AM

1. Why is this being reframed as a dichotomy?  Why not build both corridors or link? 

2. A lot of the congestion on SA-Austin-DFW is trucks. 

3. The fact remains that as an endpoint,  Houston has a much larger population of potential passengers. 

4. With an endpoint to endpoint running time of ~90 minutes,  that TX Central service would beat downtown to downtown times of even Southwest, which is 80 minutes airport to airport. 

5. Our TX accountancy professional's remarks notwithstanding,  Texas Central is not receiving Federal or State grants or loans.  We don't know what financing arrangements would be made for an SA route,  since no serious proposal exists.  Debt servicing schedules would exist for both,  so that is simply another red herring.  

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 10,415 posts
Posted by Overmod on Monday, November 4, 2019 9:25 PM

charlie hebdo
1. Why is this being reframed as a dichotomy?  Why not build both corridors or link?

If I were involved in this project with 'fiduciary responsibility' I would answer that the two 'corridors' seem to call for very different technical build-out, with the equipment for one not very suitable for the other.

The line via College Station has both the expected clientele and the profile to make proper use of very-high speed, obligatorily electrified plant.  On the other hand, the greater number of stops 'the other way' makes most of the advantages of the higher speed far less important, if indeed not unimportant in the same sense Joe noted about the new Avelia Liberty sets.  So there it would make better sense to build both the initial improvements and the motive power arrangements optimized for 125mph peak speed, with any 'savings' put into better amenities at the corresponding time profiles.

While I understand the potential attractiveness of massive Japanese-subsidized financing for an 'electrified high speed' solution, I also have to wonder whether Japanese firms might use the same 'domestically-created' capacity they would use to "build high-speed trainsets American" to make PRIIA-compliant equipment.  A whole lot more of it for the same investment.

There's not going to be a wild investment market for true HSR in this country.  It will be built on a case-by-case basis, and I suspect more attempts will fail than will eke out success (more from associated real-estate plays than from anything directly associated with incremental speed over, say, 150mph peak equipment operation could provide).  I understand the attractiveness of using OPM, and OPM in a different global banking structure to boot, for these kinds of project, but where success is manifestly improved by using "slower" but better trains, I support the idea of doing so.

I would add that there are relatively smooth ways to "electrify" the slower service at any time that becomes either politically desirable or relatively cost-effective net of all capital and financing cost.  Might comparatively easily be progressively 'rolled out' putting provisions for my beloved dual-mode-lite in the original locomotive specs.  But I see little reason to require full electrification to 'let the HSR sets' from the TC HSR corridor operate through' to give the perception of a high-speed one-seat ride ... with many more trainsets needed to 'cover', and arguably much more wear and tear on all the ones that are run through.

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Search the Community

Newsletter Sign-Up

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine.Please view our privacy policy