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NIMBYkiller
March 8th, 2007, 08:38 PM
I'd rather see some reform in DC and a boost in the rail budget, instead of spending the money on sticking needles in airports and juicing them up for additional flights in already crowded skies.

Dynamicdezzy
March 8th, 2007, 09:14 PM
I agree. The pipe dream of having Real Bullet trains between DC and Boston. While I'm at it.....yes, I'm taking it there - Maglev! I think most of us here wish we could have these luxuries. If the rest of the country wishes to keep expanding their highways and airports and continue to ignore the necessity of high speed rail, why should we suffer?

MikeW
March 9th, 2007, 10:56 AM
Given the size of the country, I think you overestimate the effect that high speed rail would have. It works in Europe because the cities are closer together. But even high speed rail would be too slow between most of the major city pairs in the US. NY Chicago is never going back to rail. NY-Miami, NY-Atlanta, and lots of others (actually most).

On the shorter roots, (Boston-NY-Washington), yes, it would work. But that's already covered to some extent.

Rail competes better with road than air.


I'd rather see some reform in DC and a boost in the rail budget, instead of spending the money on sticking needles in airports and juicing them up for additional flights in already crowded skies.

Dynamicdezzy
March 9th, 2007, 11:26 AM
I always thought it would work within Large metro areas like "Boswash," "SanSan," the midwest, Dallas/Fort Worth-San Antonio-Houston (even New Orleans) and Jacksonville-Orlando-Miami (maybe even atlanta). It makes sense.

ablarc
March 9th, 2007, 11:43 AM
Given the size of the country, I think you overestimate the effect that high speed rail would have. It works in Europe because the cities are closer together. But even high speed rail would be too slow between most of the major city pairs in the US. NY Chicago is never going back to rail. NY-Miami, NY-Atlanta, and lots of others (actually most).

On the shorter routes, (Boston-NY-Washington), yes, it would work. But that's already covered to some extent.

Rail competes better with road than air.
The US might be ideally suited to non-stop overnight hotel trains, scheduled to leave one city at 6pm, arriving (reliably) at the destination city at 7am. This would allow a business traveler to arrive refreshed after a good night's sleep and a hearty breakfast --perhaps preceded by a relaxing on-board dinner the previous evening and a few hours socializing in the club car.

Some possible routes: New York-Charlotte, Washington-Atlanta, Seattle-San Francisco, Denver-Las Vegas.

Speeds would not have to exceed 100 mph.

jarod213
March 9th, 2007, 12:23 PM
Don't overnight trains exist already?

NIMBYkiller
March 9th, 2007, 02:45 PM
Yes, such trains certainly do exist. Amtrak runs routes all over the country. The longest one, before Hurricane Katrina hit, was the Sunset Limited, from Orlando to LA. Unfortunately, b/c of the hurricane, the route has been cut back to New Orleans to LA. New York to Charlotte already exists on a number of lines, mostly the Silver Service(Silver Palm, Silver Meteor, and Palmetto). Washington to Atlanta is the Crescent(New York to New Orleans), Seattle to San Fran is the Coast Starlight I think. Las Vegas used to have service via the Desert Wind, but that route was cut in the 90s I think due to lack of gov't funding.

Some other overnight routes are Chicago to San Fran(California Zephyr), Chicago to Washington State(Empire Builder, which recently got a MAJOR upgrade, first class all the way now), Chicago to LA(Southwest Cheif), Chicago to New Orleans(City of New Orleans), New York/Boston to Chicago(Lake Shore Limited), New York to Florida(Silver Services), and over a dozen more routes. www.Amtrak.com BTW, don't expect trains to be on time outside of the Northeast Corridor. Freight railroads own those tracks and they don't care about Amtrak, so they'll put an Amtrak train into a siding to let their freight train pass. Delays of anywhere from 2 hours to 12 hours are the norm, not the exception.


I'd rather see investment in existing infrastructure than start building maglev lines.

MikeW, you definately undersestimate the possible value of high speed rail. New York to Chicago can EASILY be faster by rail. The distance between the two downtowns is roughly 790 miles. Flying time between the two cities is 3 hours 20 minutes. Add in about 3 hours(and that's being nice) for all the other airport crap, and you have a nearly 6 and a half hour journey from downtown to downtown. All you need is an average speed of 158 miles per hour(HARDLY high speed rail when compared to international standards) to blow that away(158MPH would give you 5 hrs travel time from downtown to downtown by rail). Even 124MPH, which is what the mark is for high speed rail in the US, would beat the overall travel time by flying.

Anything within 1000 miles of each other can EASILY beat flying, and that's just at US high speed levels. Go European style(which would require a LOT more money to do) and you could have 3 times that.


If anyone really wants, I wrote an entire essay on this, barely 9 pages. If you want, I can email it to you. It basically calls for a balance of funding between high speed rail, slower intercity rail, and airlines.

Dynamicdezzy
March 9th, 2007, 02:59 PM
i guess the question is, why should we settle for such low speeds. I guess the lack of space makes it increasingly difficult. And any existing rail would have to be upgraded. Plus, no freight allowed. If there was ever a place to experiment, wouldn't it be wise to start here? (Bos-NY-Was)

ablarc
March 9th, 2007, 03:11 PM
Yes, such trains certainly do exist. Amtrak runs routes all over the country. The longest one, before Hurricane Katrina hit, was the Sunset Limited, from Orlando to LA. Unfortunately, b/c of the hurricane, the route has been cut back to New Orleans to LA. New York to Charlotte already exists on a number of lines, mostly the Silver Service(Silver Palm, Silver Meteor, and Palmetto).
I'm aware of these, but they're not quite what I'm talking about. These are:
http://www.kron4.com/Global/story.asp?S=684359&nav=menu130_13_20_1.

These trains don't stop once underway, just like an airline flight, so there's no midnight banging around in the corridors. There are also no conventional seats, only luxurious little cabins with tiny private baths. The trains also feature high-quality sit-down meals with tablecloths, a bar car and lounge --and most important of all they arrive when scheduled so they're reliable for business travel. No missed appointments due to late trains.

At 13 hours, such trips are ideally suited to destinations about 800 miles apart at a fairly leisurely 60mph. If the train arrives early you don't have to get off until you've had breakfast.

Civilized travel.

Fahzee
March 9th, 2007, 04:04 PM
what a cool idea- have you ever taken this train?

ablarc
March 9th, 2007, 05:29 PM
Venice-Simplon-Orient Express used to operate this way and had nice sleeping cars. Left Paris early evening, arrived Venice at breakfast time. A pleasant trip.

Don't know if that one still runs, but there are more than enough new hotel trains throughout Europe. The idea is rapidly gaining popularity.

NIMBYkiller
March 9th, 2007, 11:17 PM
They are experimenting with here. Unfortunately, Acela, in my opinion, has failed miserably. Also, I think it'll end up being too expensive to seperate freight and passenger tracks all over the country.

ablarc, I don't think those would have a chance in the US, especially for business travel. First of all, Europe is more laid back. They're also far more accustomed to rail than we are. The train in Europe is the plane in the US. Also, running on time just isn't possible without major investments, and if you're going to invest so heavily in additional capacity so trains can run on time, then why waste it on such slow trains? Also, direct? Sorry, but no way in hell, especially not at such slow speeds. I just don't see it working here. The comfort can certainly be incorporated into existing intercity services, IE what has been done with the Empire Builder, but it'll have to make intermediate stops.

TonyO
March 11th, 2007, 09:42 AM
Unfortunately, Acela, in my opinion, has failed miserably.

How so?

NIMBYkiller
March 11th, 2007, 02:42 PM
It's WAY overpriced for the service it provides. Then again, it does get riders, so there are people willing to pay. But honestly, if that's supposed to be the model for intercity rail in our country, then we need to step our game up, big time

ablarc
March 11th, 2007, 02:45 PM
^ MUCH nicer than the Chinatown bus. :p

NIMBYkiller
March 11th, 2007, 02:48 PM
Hahaha, Fung Wah, Dragon, and New Century are out for me, but I'm still loyal to Double Happiness. Sometimes I'll go Greyhound if I have the time to get all the way up to Philly first. Amtrak is just so damn expensive, and there's only one train a day from my school

MikeW
March 11th, 2007, 03:12 PM
No.

A quick check of expedia showed the flying time LGA to ORD to be 2:30. Also, if high speed intercity trains were deployed, you don't think they'd have all ths same security issues that airports would have? I don't think the curbside (or subway stop) to boarding time would be any less than at an airport. That leave transport to and from the airport / train station. A train directly to city center station does have an advantage - if you're original departure point / final destination is in the city center.

The money would be better spent on inproving transportation to/from the airports. You get much better flexibility. It would cost vastly less to build a high speed line from GCT or Penn to JFK, than it would to do so to Chicago. Once it's quick and easy to get to JFK, you can fly literally anywhere. If you build a high speed line to Chicago, you can only go to Chicago.




MikeW, you definately undersestimate the possible value of high speed rail. New York to Chicago can EASILY be faster by rail. The distance between the two downtowns is roughly 790 miles. Flying time between the two cities is 3 hours 20 minutes. Add in about 3 hours(and that's being nice) for all the other airport crap, and you have a nearly 6 and a half hour journey from downtown to downtown. All you need is an average speed of 158 miles per hour(HARDLY high speed rail when compared to international standards) to blow that away(158MPH would give you 5 hrs travel time from downtown to downtown by rail). Even 124MPH, which is what the mark is for high speed rail in the US, would beat the overall travel time by flying.

Anything within 1000 miles of each other can EASILY beat flying, and that's just at US high speed levels. Go European style(which would require a LOT more money to do) and you could have 3 times that.


If anyone really wants, I wrote an entire essay on this, barely 9 pages. If you want, I can email it to you. It basically calls for a balance of funding between high speed rail, slower intercity rail, and airlines.

TonyO
March 11th, 2007, 06:20 PM
It's WAY overpriced for the service it provides. Then again, it does get riders, so there are people willing to pay. But honestly, if that's supposed to be the model for intercity rail in our country, then we need to step our game up, big time

Acela is priced for business travelers between Boston-NYC-DC. It's not priced for everyday, leisure travelers. I've taken it for business and it's much better than flying in my opinion. No security hassles, lots of room, you can use your phone on the train, talk business in a group.

All that and it makes money. I've even seen Acela television commercials.

NIMBYkiller
March 12th, 2007, 01:33 AM
MikeW, no, I honestly don't think that railroads would start having the same security BS as the airlines. The issue is that planes are in the sky and can be put into practically anything. The worst someone can do to a train is blow it up or derail it. Europe doesn't have airport style security measures for their trains. I don't see any reason for the US to.

And having origin/destination for the train in the city center is still better than the airport, regardless of where you're FINAL destination is. There are far more transit options in the city center than there are at the airport, so unless the airport is actually closer to your home,(which isn't true for everyone), city center still beats the airport on the outskirts.

And the money would definately NOT be better spent on improving airport transit. First of all, you'd have to have the equivalent of city center transportation going to the airport, which is a MASSIVE undertaking, even if doing it only at international airports. And plus, you've got the future to look out for. What are the two biggest issues right now? Fuel and the environment. High speed trains run off electricity, planes run on oil. Trains have no or little emissions. Planes, well, you get the picture.

And a high speed network wont be as expensive as you're probably thinking it will be. The general ROW is already there. You could achieve great things just by upgrading ROWs, not even straightening them out.

A high speed line to Chicago will not just go to Chicago. You're confusing my posts with ablarc's now. If you do it along existing Amtrak lines, you've got Philly, Pittsburg, Cleaveland, Toledo, and some other stops probably. That's why I said AVERAGE speed, meaning some sections would have to be higher speeds.

BTW, even with 2hrs and 30 mins flight time, you can figure atleast 5 hours for all the other BS. That means an average speed of 158, which I believe is right around what Acela achieves on a short section. And that's still being generous to the flight times. Sorry, but high speed rail is gonna be one of the very few options left in the future. Better start preparin now.

TonyO, that's why I said I meant b/c it's not a model for TRUE high speed rail.

nick-taylor
March 12th, 2007, 04:55 AM
Venice-Simplon-Orient Express used to operate this way and had nice sleeping cars. Left Paris early evening, arrived Venice at breakfast time. A pleasant trip.

Don't know if that one still runs, but there are more than enough new hotel trains throughout Europe. The idea is rapidly gaining popularity.Antique rail services are a big thing, especially in Britain where dozens of historical routes are operated throughout the year. One of the most popular services is the Cathedral Express which tours the cathedral cities of Britain.

The Venice-Simplon Orient Express still operates, you can travel from London Victoria to Rome via the Channel Tunnel.

ZippyTheChimp
March 12th, 2007, 08:21 AM
The preceding posts were moved from the New Airport May be Due (http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?p=153137&posted=1#post153137) thread.

Although the topic is more broad-based than the NY Metro forum, I want to keep it out of the "world" forums. Given the size of the country and the extensive highway network, the problem is particular to the U.S.

MikeW
March 12th, 2007, 03:31 PM
MikeW, no, I honestly don't think that railroads would start having the same security BS as the airlines. The issue is that planes are in the sky and can be put into practically anything. The worst someone can do to a train is blow it up or derail it. Europe doesn't have airport style security measures for their trains. I don't see any reason for the US to.


And the Spanish paid the price. I guarantee youi that if a new high speed point to point rail system is built, it would be too juicy a target not to get full airport style security.



And having origin/destination for the train in the city center is still better than the airport, regardless of where you're FINAL destination is. There are far more transit options in the city center than there are at the airport, so unless the airport is actually closer to your home,(which isn't true for everyone), city center still beats the airport on the outskirts.


That would be true only for people living in Manhattan. For people in Brooklyn and southern queens, it's easier to get to JFK. For Nothern Queens and the Bronx, LGA, The rest of the Island can take it's pick (and can also include MacArthur). For most of Jersey EWR is easier.



And the money would definately NOT be better spent on improving airport transit. First of all, you'd have to have the equivalent of city center transportation going to the airport, which is a MASSIVE undertaking, even if doing it only at international airports.


The end point infrastructure would be same for an airport link or an inter city link.



And plus, you've got the future to look out for. What are the two biggest issues right now? Fuel and the environment. High speed trains run off electricity, planes run on oil. Trains have no or little emissions. Planes, well, you get the picture.


Um, where do yo think the electricity comes from? Also, I think the oil problems have been a bit overblown by the media. At $60+ a barrel, the oil companies will find plenty to dig or suck out of the ground.



And a high speed network wont be as expensive as you're probably thinking it will be. The general ROW is already there. You could achieve great things just by upgrading ROWs, not even straightening them out.


High speed ROWs are different from conventional railway ROWs. They have to be straighter, flatter, and smoother, and the track is much more expensive. There would likely have to be signficant land seizures along the root, and significant infrastructure to deal with obsticles along the new routing.



A high speed line to Chicago will not just go to Chicago. You're confusing my posts with ablarc's now. If you do it along existing Amtrak lines, you've got Philly, Pittsburg, Cleaveland, Toledo, and some other stops probably. That's why I said AVERAGE speed, meaning some sections would have to be higher speeds.


If you making stops along the way, you're not so high speed any more. The only way these lines could hope to compete with air travel is if they're point to point.



BTW, even with 2hrs and 30 mins flight time, you can figure atleast 5 hours for all the other BS. That means an average speed of 158, which I believe is right around what Acela achieves on a short section. And that's still being generous to the flight times. Sorry, but high speed rail is gonna be one of the very few options left in the future. Better start preparin now.


I follow Boeing. They are essentially sold out on their production capacity for the next several years (on some of their models) These planes cost $100 million and up a pop. There are alot of people who's job it is to know the business that are betting you're wrong.

ZippyTheChimp
March 12th, 2007, 03:51 PM
And the Spanish paid the price. I guarantee youi that if a new high speed point to point rail system is built, it would be too juicy a target not to get full airport style security.The NYC subway would be just as juicy a target as a NY-Cleveland rail link. Spain was the target for a political reason, not because they have the rail link.


That would be true only for people living in Manhattan. For people in Brooklyn and southern queens, it's easier to get to JFK. For Nothern Queens and the Bronx, LGA, The rest of the Island can take it's pick (and can also include MacArthur). For most of Jersey EWR is easier.
The idea is not to eliminate airports. A high percentage of intercity travel is business-center to business-center.


Um, where do yo think the electricity comes from? Also, I think the oil problems have been a bit overblown by the media. At $60+ a barrel, the oil companies will find plenty to dig or suck out of the ground.Trains are more efficient than airplanes. Why do you think most overland freight is shipped by rail, not air?


High speed ROWs are different from conventional railway ROWs. They have to be straighter, flatter, and smoother, and the track is much more expensive. There would likely have to be signficant land seizures along the root, and significant infrastructure to deal with obsticles along the new routing.The same problems were confronted when the interstate highway system is built. And land acquisition is ongoing, as highways are expanded to accommodate more traffic.


I follow Boeing. They are essentially sold out on their production capacity for the next several years (on some of their models) These planes cost $100 million and up a pop. There are alot of people who's job it is to know the business that are betting you're wrong.The Big Three automakers felt the same way in the 50s, when they ignored advice to make fuel efficient cars.

NIMBYkiller
March 12th, 2007, 04:49 PM
Mike, those were commuter trains that were bombed. And that is ONE incident. If terrorists are looking to bomb stuff in the US, then perhaps you should stay off every single commuter train, subway, and bus in the country. After all, there was a biological attack on a subway in Japan a long time ago, maybe we should start requiring bag checks to ride NYC subway. It's rediculous to think that the trains would become so much of a target that security would become like how it is at airports. It just wont happen and this has been proved all around the world. Yes, there have been a few incidents(Madrid bombings, attack on the friendship express in India), but all the security in the world isn't going to prevent shit like this from happening.

And again, I said transit wise. FAR more options in city center than at the airport. You can get to more points in NJ from Penn Station than from Newark. You can get to more points in Queens and Brooklyn from Penn Station. And BTW, what about business travelers? City center is FAR better than the airport for them as well.

"The end point infrastructure would be same for an airport link or an inter city link."
What does this mean?

The oil problem is certainly being a bit exagerated by the media, but it still is a VERY serious issue. Oil isn't lasting forever. And where does the electricity come from? The same damn place it comes from now.

No shit Boeing is maxed out on orders! The airline industry is still expanding. Why? Because this ****ing country refuses to look at high speed rail. Europe has it right. And I bet a lot of those planes are going to be used on LONG DISTANCE flights. I'm not trying to eliminate cross country/transcontinental flights. Only flights under 1000 miles. CUT DOWN on the use of oil and the pollution, but you obviously can't eliminate it. And rail travel will never be fast enough for New York to San Fran or Chicago to Florida. It works though for New York to Chicago, or DC to Boston.

I know about the ROWs needing to be straight. That's why we can never have REAL high speed rail like in Europe. There are plenty of stretches of land however that have more than enough space for straighter ROWs all over the country. And I already acknowledged the need to upgrade the tracks.

Point to point is NOT the only chance they have. Look at Europe. Those lines aren't point to point. Again, that's why I said AVERAGE speed. And think about this, even if you're not doing New York to Chicago faster than a plane, you're still doing New York to Pittsburg faster, you're still doing Harrisburg to Chicago faster. You can't look at just the origin and destination. You have to look at everywhere in between. That's why long distances with high speed rail will work(IE, the entire line from Boston to Florida). It's not for end to end travel, it's about serving everywhere in between. It's a simple concept.

MikeW
March 13th, 2007, 05:43 PM
Mike, those were commuter trains that were bombed. And that is ONE incident. If terrorists are looking to bomb stuff in the US, then perhaps you should stay off every single commuter train, subway, and bus in the country. After all, there was a biological attack on a subway in Japan a long time ago, maybe we should start requiring bag checks to ride NYC subway. It's rediculous to think that the trains would become so much of a target that security would become like how it is at airports. It just wont happen and this has been proved all around the world. Yes, there have been a few incidents(Madrid bombings, attack on the friendship express in India), but all the security in the world isn't going to prevent shit like this from happening.


Ridiculous? I don't think so, since it happened. The question is, will it happen again and where? If they're going to build a new and juicy target, I think they'd take steps to protect it. And the air travel security system seems to be working well enough (I admit it isn't perfect).

I have to thing that if a new intercity rail system were built, the TSA would be running security, and it would be comparable to airport level security.



And again, I said transit wise. FAR more options in city center than at the airport. You can get to more points in NJ from Penn Station than from Newark. You can get to more points in Queens and Brooklyn from Penn Station. And BTW, what about business travelers? City center is FAR better than the airport for them as well.


We're talking about different ends of the trip. Once you're in the city center, you have many more local transport options (at least in NYC, but this is far from universal).

What I'm talking about is that once you get to an airport, you can fly pretty much anywhere. If you get to a train station, you can only go where they've laid track (in this case, special high speed track).



"The end point infrastructure would be same for an airport link or an inter city link."
What does this mean?


You need a station and track running out of the city center. That track can go to an airport, or to another city, but what you have at the end of the track is the same.



The oil problem is certainly being a bit exagerated by the media, but it still is a VERY serious issue. Oil isn't lasting forever. And where does the electricity come from? The same damn place it comes from now.


Based on everything I'm hearing, they'll be plenty of oil for at least the planning spectrum of these investments (say 50 years). If they get the biofuel thing working, we can just grow our fuel (btw, jet engines are pretty good with dealing with strange fuel. I don't think it would be to difficult to get a plane to fly on something like biodiesel, but that's supposition on my part).



No shit Boeing is maxed out on orders! The airline industry is still expanding. Why? Because this ****ing country refuses to look at high speed rail. Europe has it right. And I bet a lot of those planes are going to be used on LONG DISTANCE flights. I'm not trying to eliminate cross country/transcontinental flights. Only flights under 1000 miles. CUT DOWN on the use of oil and the pollution, but you obviously can't eliminate it. And rail travel will never be fast enough for New York to San Fran or Chicago to Florida. It works though for New York to Chicago, or DC to Boston.


Actually, most of that business is overseas. Lots to Asia, but Europe has a burgeoning inter city discount air market (Ryanair, Easyjet, etc.). The latter accounts for much of the smaller narrowbody market (737/A320).



I know about the ROWs needing to be straight. That's why we can never have REAL high speed rail like in Europe. There are plenty of stretches of land however that have more than enough space for straighter ROWs all over the country. And I already acknowledged the need to upgrade the tracks.

Point to point is NOT the only chance they have. Look at Europe. Those lines aren't point to point. Again, that's why I said AVERAGE speed. And think about this, even if you're not doing New York to Chicago faster than a plane, you're still doing New York to Pittsburg faster, you're still doing Harrisburg to Chicago faster. You can't look at just the origin and destination. You have to look at everywhere in between. That's why long distances with high speed rail will work(IE, the entire line from Boston to Florida). It's not for end to end travel, it's about serving everywhere in between. It's a simple concept.

That's why it WON'T work. If you stop every fifty-sixty miles at every medium sized city along the way, it just isn't going to be able to compete with flying directly there.

I did a quick spin through Amwreck's website. They have a NYC to Chicago service. It takes 18 hours makes lots of stops, and loops all the way north to Syracuse, before huggin the shore of lake Ontario down to Cleveland. If they, or anyone else was serious, they'd need to build a new line, straight west to Cleveland (maybe they could find a ROW, maybe not), maybe making one stop there, and then shooting down the existing ROW from Cleveland to Chicago.

Deimos
March 13th, 2007, 05:46 PM
Acela is a great tool for business travel... they just need to fix the deficiencies in the rail network that prevent the trains from operating at peak speed throughout the length of the BosWash corridor. When traveling to DC or Philly, Acela is always my first thought, but easily 20 minutes can be knocked off the Philly travel time and 60-75 minutes from the DC time with proper track upgrades, which would (in the DC case at least) completely eliminate the need to ever fly from NYC (or Philly) to DC, when the total time of travel is taken into account (security checkpoint and travel time to airports not located in the city center).

Boston is a different animal, and i have to admit that plane is my first thought in that direction, as Acela is just too damned long of a journey.

jarod213
March 13th, 2007, 07:19 PM
In terms of the "peak oil" thing: you're both right that oil is finite and "running out," but at higher prices different forms of extraction become viable...therefore throwing the peak oil curve off (it is not accurate). Believe me, I would love it if Hubbert was right with his peak; we'd be able to get off f*ing oil soon enough. With a carbon tax, which WILL be implemented with the next president (or maybe even under bush), air travel prices will likely climb. Because rail is electrically driven, prices will likely remain the same (as utilities learn to switch from coal to cleaner natural gas and then to nuclear, which is seeing a resurgence; and then to carbon sequestration coal plants); electricity prices will eventually stabilize. High speed rail is the ONLY option for the future....flying will be TOOO expensive for the average person. Driving will become too expensive as well.

NIMBYkiller
March 13th, 2007, 09:33 PM
Good for you Mike, but I respectfully disagree and I have evidence to back it up. NO WHERE in the world is this being done. And once again, those were COMMUTER trains that were blown up in Spain. Sorry, but that TSA crap wont be happening on trains. If it was going to, it already would've happened on the Northeast corridor.

Stop changing the subject. OK, once at your destination, city center has more transit options than the airport and it will always be that way. No place is making the airport a hub for public transportation.

Now, intercity travel, airport versus city center. Rail goes far more places than planes go first of all, high speed or conventional and it will always be that way. And the purpose of high speed rail is to cover regional journeys that can be done in either less time than flying or equivalent time of flying.
It doesn't really matter that at the airport, you can have both(regional and long distance) flights. It's the issue of which is CHEAPER to construct, which is CHEAPER to fund, which is gonna use less oil, and which is gonna cause less pollution. With the exception of the first one(since the necesary infrastructure is there for the most part), all those are rail by a long shot. And if you do a balance between the two like I said before(rail for under 1000 miles, air for anything else) you will cut down BIG TIME on funding for something far less efficient, as well as delays at the airport(get rid of regional flights and I guarantee that you will not see so many monsterous delays).


The biofuel thing is great and it definately could be a solution to the oil issue. The problem remains, however, funding. The airline industry is a money looser all around except for a few select airlines(jetBlue, Southwest, and I think NorthAmerican). Cut down on the regional stuff(which I believe are the biggest money loosers for the airlines) and you'll see a big drop in losses. Rail will still loose money(it's very difficult to make money in ANY passenger business, whether it be bus, rail, plane, or ferry), trains are far more efficient than planes(not just fuel wise, but equipment wise as well) and so will loose less money than planes.


I know people looking to make a buck are taking some big risks with the new discount airline market. I wish them good luck, and they may very well get lucky like jetBlue and Southwest. However, what are the distances of most of those flights? Like I said, over 1000 isn't working for rail(some parts of Europe have as high as 300MPH trains, but I don't know how extensive that system is).

And you keep ignoring to the fact that I said AVERAGE speed as 158MPH. Average because the train will have to make stops. I know the Lake Shore Limited is currently scheduled to take 18 hours(and it usually takes a LOT more than that, as much as 24 hours because of delays), but that's because it's a slow train on slow tracks with many stops and operating on single track lines owned by freight railroads who don't give a shit about Amtrak. You can't use Amtrak as an example of the future of high speed rail. You need to look at ALL the existing lines, including lines that only have freight service.

I'm saying that these lines would need to be double tracked and owned by the passenger lines. BTW, Amtrak used to have another route to Chicago that operated via Philly called the Three Rivers. It was eliminated not too long ago. That route would definately be less time. Unfortunately, I don't know of anything running similar to I-80, which probably doesn't mean much since that would leave Scranton and College Town as the only major potential draws between New York and Cleaveland. Via Philly you can get Philly, Harrisburg, and Pittsburg.

Stops can definately be made. It's not like trains take a long time to get up to speed. Having stops at Philly, Harrisburg, Pittsburg, Cleaveland, and Toledo is DEFINATELY doable. Even if that brings average speed down to 124MPH, it'd be fairly competitive.

And like I explained before, even if having those stops kills New York to Chicago, atleast the train is still faster than flying for New York to as far as Cleaveland, and for Chicago to as far as Philly.

Deimos, how is Acela too long to Boston? Even the local Greyhound is faster than flying. Acela is about 3 hrs I think. You can't do that flying. 3 hours and your plane is just barely getting airborne.

nick-taylor
March 21st, 2007, 04:17 PM
The Venice-Simplon Orient Express still operates, you can travel from London Victoria to Rome via the Channel Tunnel.I think I saw the Orient Express for the first time yesterday while I was waiting for my connecting train. I can safely say that it looked lovely (it wasn't going at any speed because everyone was eating), the exterior was divine and what I could see from the interiors was jaw dropping. Not quite sure what it was on the Cambridge - London Liverpool Street line though!

Edit: Looks like it was on a trip to Ely and Cambridge (cathedral trip with a 4 course meal on the train back to London Victoria)

http://orient-express.lbwa.verio.net/bp/images/wideimages/bp_524x250_platform14.jpg

ablarc
March 21st, 2007, 05:03 PM
^ Was it steam-hauled?

TimmyG
April 3rd, 2007, 10:02 AM
I think the US could use some of these.

French train breaks speed record

POSTED: 9:27 a.m. EDT, April 3, 2007
PARIS, France (AP) -- A French train with a 25,000-horsepower engine and special wheels broke the world speed record Tuesday for conventional rail trains, reaching 357.2 mph (574.8 kph) as it zipped through the countryside to the applause of spectators.
Roaring like a jet plane, with sparks flying overhead and kicking up a long trail of dust, the black and chrome V150 with three double-decker cars surpassed the record of 320.2 mph (515.3 kph) set in 1990 by another French train.
It fell short, however, of beating the ultimate record set by Japan's magnetically levitated train, which hit 361 mph (580.9 kph) in 2003. (Watch the train speed through the French countryside (http://javascript%3Cb%3E%3C/b%3E:cnnVideo%28%27play%27,%27/video/world/2007/04/03/bittermann.france.tgv.record.ap%27,%272007/04/17%27%29;) http://i.a.cnn.net/cnn/.element/img/1.5/main/icon_video.gif (http://javascript%3Cb%3E%3C/b%3E:cnnVideo%28%27play%27,%27javascript%3Cb%3E%3C/b%3E:cnnVideo%28%27play%27,%27/video/world/2007/04/03/bittermann.france.tgv.record.ap%27,%272007/04/17%27%29;%27,%272007/04/03%27%29;))
The French TGV, or "train a grande vitesse," as the country's bullet train is called, had two engines on either side of the three double-decker cars for the record run, some 125 miles (201 kilometers) east of the capital on a new track linking Paris with Strasbourg.
The demonstration was meant to showcase technology that France is trying to sell to overseas markets such as China. Hours before the run, Transport Minister Dominique Perben received a delegation from California, which is studying prospects for a high-speed line from Sacramento to San Diego, via San Francisco and Los Angeles.
As the V150 sped through the countryside, people lined bridges and clapped and cheered when it roared beneath them.
"We saw the countryside go by a little faster than we did during the tests," said Eric Pieczac, who operated the train. "I'm proud to have fulfilled the mission."
"Everything went very well," he added.
Technicians on the train had "French excellence" emblazoned on the backs of their T-shirts.
Philippe Mellier, president of Alstom Transports, the builder, had said before the test that the train would try to break the record held by the Japanese maglev train.
The V150 was equipped with larger wheels than the usual TGV to cover more ground with each rotation and a stronger, 25,000-horsepower engine, said Alain Cuccaroni, in charge of the technical aspects of testing.
Adjustments also were made to the new track, which opens June 10, notably the banking on turns. Rails were also treated so the wheels had good contact, Cuccaroni said. The electrical tension in the overhead cable was increased from 25,000 volts to 31,000.
It was the first time that double-decker cars were used at such a high speed, according to officials of Alstom, which makes TGVs and crawled back a year ago from the edge of bankruptcy.
The double-decker cars were transformed into a laboratory for the event so that technicians from the state-run rail company SNCF and Alstom could gather data during the run.
The goal was more than "simply breaking a record," Cuccaroni said, adding that data from the test should help improve the security and comfort of passengers.
The record gilds France's image in the expanding market for high-speed technology as countries turn to bullet trains. France competes with neighboring Germany and with Japan for contracts.
China, the biggest potential market, was to start building a high-speed line this year between Beijing and Shanghai to cut travel time from nine hours to five.
Copyright 2007 The Associated Press (http://www.cnn.com/interactive_legal.html#AP). All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

NIMBYkiller
April 3rd, 2007, 01:29 PM
And yet, we struggle to do 100mph...absolutely pathetic

Eugenious
April 3rd, 2007, 08:42 PM
I think the US could use some of these.

French train breaks speed record

POSTED: 9:27 a.m. EDT, April 3, 2007
PARIS, France (AP) -- A French train with a 25,000-horsepower engine and special wheels broke the world speed record Tuesday for conventional rail trains, reaching 357.2 mph (574.8 kph) as it zipped through the countryside to the applause of spectators.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpeivd9zp90
Here's the video turn up the sound

Whole thing her

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8skXT5NQzCg




absolutely sick

JCMAN320
April 4th, 2007, 01:20 AM
PORT AUTHORITY AUTHORIZES INSTALLATION OF NEW ARRESTOR BEDS AT JFK, NEWARK LIBERTY AND TETERBORO AIRPORTS

Date: March 29, 2007
Press Release Number: 27-2007

The Port Authority Board of Commissioners today authorized the design and construction of beds made of aerated cement blocks that crumble under the weight of an aircraft to stop it safely and quickly in the event it overruns a runway. The arrestor beds will be installed at John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International and Teterboro airports.

The technology, known as an Engineered Materials Arresting System (EMAS), was pioneered by the Port Authority with support from the Federal Aviation Administration, and has proven effective at JFK, where the world’s first EMAS was installed in 1996 and has safely stopped three aircraft, and at Teterboro Airport, where an EMAS was installed in 2006 and has already safely stopped one aircraft.

“The Port Authority has the nation’s most aggressive program to install arrestor beds,” said Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia. “Today’s authorization brings our total number of arrestor beds to seven, far more than any other airport operator in the country.”

Port Authority Executive Director Anthony E. Shorris said, “This technology saves lives, which is why we pioneered arrestor bed development more than a decade ago. Including today’s action, our investment in arrestor beds is more than $115 million, and we are planning to install two additional systems in the near future. I’m sure the dozens of people whose planes were rescued by these beds at JFK and Teterboro would agree that this is money well spent.”

The Board’s action authorizes installation of EMAS systems at the ends of Runway 22L at JFK, Runway 29 at Newark and Runway 19 at Teterboro. Currently, JFK has one arrestor bed, LaGuardia has two and Teterboro has one. The system installed at Newark will be its first. The estimated cost for installation of the new systems is $19 million at JFK, $14.9 million at Newark and $40.7 million at Teterboro. The higher cost for the EMAS at Teterboro is due to the need to relocate a local street in order to complete construction.

The systems’ effect has been compared to driving a vehicle into gradually deepening snow. The collapsible aerated cement blocks rise gradually from the ground to approximately 30 inches and can safely stop an aircraft traveling at up to 80 mph.

ablarc
April 4th, 2007, 07:15 AM
And yet, we struggle to do 100mph...absolutely pathetic
100mph ... Ha! Have you been on a train lately?

NIMBYkiller
April 4th, 2007, 08:16 PM
I live on LI, so that should answer your question.

Overall, intercity rail, ASIDE from the NEC, barely gets over 100MPH.

Would you be happier if I said 150?