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Thread: Maglev Trains: the Future?

  1. #16

    Default Maglev Trains

    The comparison is flawed - the (South) Bronx hit the bottom at the beginning of the 80's and its was far lower than Philly's. Since then it has bounced back in a major way, although much of its stock of apartment buildings in some areas was destroyed and replaced with tacky suburban dwellings. This - the destruction of an urban fabric - saddens and enrages me much more than the loss of a few Beaux Arts landmarks in Manhattan.

  2. #17

    Default Maglev Trains

    Yeah, from what I've seen DC looks like its doing well now. But with that law restricting all buildings to be smaller than the capital dome I doubt DC will be the topic of discussion even in Beyond the City. Too bad. However, a maglev would help both Baltimore and DC out. In addition to that maybe itd cause the growth of more skyscrapers in baltimore. Does anyone know if Baltimore has strict zoning laws? I know they have some 30 story buildings but is that their limit?

  3. #18
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    Default Maglev Trains

    DC's height limit allows for the construction of buildings that don't challenge the Capitol rotunda's supremacy. *There are plenty of noteworthy midrise buildings, church spires, and domes which are prominent amongst the myriad groundscrapers, and the Old Post Office Tower and the Washington Monument are both substantially taller than the Capitol. *With the symmetrical grid plan, the dominance of particularly ornate lowrise buildings, and the prominence of monuments and towers on the skyline, Washington has a distinctly European air to it.

    Baltimore, as far as I'm concerned, doesn't have a height limit; but they still seem content with building low. *The tallest building is a 41-story, 70's-era office tower that barely surpasses 530 feet. *Given that Baltimore isn't the most prosperous of American cities, I doubt that there's much demand for supertalls. *However, there's been somewhat of an interest in residential construction.

  4. #19

    Default Maglev Trains

    Thanks TLOZ. By the way, did u know that Baltimore is home to the worlds tallest 5 sided building? It's called the Baltimore World Trade Center, Im just not sure of if thats its official name. I believe it is about 30 stories.

    (Edited by Freedom Tower at 10:06 pm on July 29, 2003)

  5. #20
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    Default Maglev Trains

    Yup. *I've certainly heard of it. *It's not necessarily the tallest 5-sided building, but rather the tallest building with a symmetric, pentagonal floorplan. *The 75-story JP Morgan Building in Houston is a five-sided building, but isn't necessarily pentagonal in shape.

  6. #21

    Default Maglev Trains

    Ahhh, you're right. Sorry, my mistake.

  7. #22

  8. #23

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    From the Metropolis article:
    "I'm not a big fan of trains in North America in general, and even if they did make economic sense, maglev is bound to be extremely expensive," says James E. Moore, professor of public policy and civil engineering at University of Southern California. "We won't defeat the economic forces of decentralization by building rail systems and underfunding roads."
    Spoken like a Californian.

  9. #24

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    Spoken like a Southern Californian, Zippy. A resident of the Bay Area would have sung a different tune.

  10. #25

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    Yup. I've certainly heard of it. It's not necessarily the tallest 5-sided building, but rather the tallest building with a symmetric, pentagonal floorplan. The 75-story JP Morgan Building in Houston is a five-sided building, but isn't necessarily pentagonal in shape.
    What a statistic!

    "Welcome to Baltimore; home of the world's tallest building with a symmetric, pentagonal floorplan."

    If China builds a taller building with a symmetric, pentagonal floorplan....

    "Welcome to Baltimore; home of the world's tallest limestone building with a symmetric, pentagonal floorplan."

  11. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by ablarc
    Spoken like a Southern Californian, Zippy. A resident of the Bay Area would have sung a different tune.
    Oops! You're right.

  12. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stern
    Yup. I've certainly heard of it. It's not necessarily the tallest 5-sided building, but rather the tallest building with a symmetric, pentagonal floorplan. The 75-story JP Morgan Building in Houston is a five-sided building, but isn't necessarily pentagonal in shape.
    What a statistic!

    "Welcome to Baltimore; home of the world's tallest building with a symmetric, pentagonal floorplan."

    If China builds a taller building with a symmetric, pentagonal floorplan....

    "Welcome to Baltimore; home of the world's tallest limestone building with a symmetric, pentagonal floorplan."
    :lol:

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stern
    Yup. I've certainly heard of it. It's not necessarily the tallest 5-sided building, but rather the tallest building with a symmetric, pentagonal floorplan. The 75-story JP Morgan Building in Houston is a five-sided building, but isn't necessarily pentagonal in shape.
    What a statistic!

    "Welcome to Baltimore; home of the world's tallest building with a symmetric, pentagonal floorplan."

    If China builds a taller building with a symmetric, pentagonal floorplan....

    "Welcome to Baltimore; home of the world's tallest limestone building with a symmetric, pentagonal floorplan."
    Quiet, you. :P

  14. #29

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    April 22, 2004

    SHANGHAI JOURNAL

    All Aboard! But Don't Relax. Your Trip Is Already Over.

    By HOWARD W. FRENCH


    On Shanghai's magnetic levitation train, the world's first in commercial service, it takes just eight minutes to get to the airport in a burst of speed that transforms the outside world into a blur of streaking geometric abstractions.


    On an average day there are reportedly 4,000 riders, less than one-sixth of capacity.

    SHANGHAI, April 16 - There was something almost prosaic about the way the sleek white train pulled out of the city terminal: no whoosh, jolt or roar as it progressed gently through a long, lazy curve, passing the station's flowered gardens, farmers' plots and then a jumble of factories.

    The effect changed quickly, however, as the train seemed almost magically to gather speed. This fact is evidenced not by any sense of barreling down the tracks, for there is none, but by the display in every car, its red digits blinking nervously past one century mark after another - 100 kilometers per hour, 200, 300 and so on.

    A gaggle of international passengers speaking English, Italian, Chinese and Japanese was awestruck. "It's so quiet," said one. "It's so clean," said another. "The engineering is amazing," said one man in a German accent - somewhat immodestly, because the technology for Shanghai's new magnetic levitation train, the world's first in commercial service, comes from his country.

    Their digital cameras were flashing furiously now, and passengers began calling friends on their cellphones, eager to share the thrill. With a glance out of the big bay windows came an impression of art to accompany the technological awe. Mondrian and Dali came to mind as the farmers' plots were reduced to streaking geometrical abstractions, and time seemed to bend, with the thick traffic on the parallel highway down below zooming in reverse.

    For a brief instant, the car's friendly display read 432 kilometers per hour (268 m.p.h.), the train's peak speed, and just then a passenger cried out: "Slow down, this is way too fast. Whoa, where are the brakes?" Faster-than-a-bullet-train technology is a marvel to be sure, the man's cry seemed to say, but in an eight-minute train ride to the airport there is no time to read, or scarcely even time to think.

    And this could be one reason the Shanghai maglev has yet to catch on since the eight-minute service was begun in January. On an average day there are reportedly only 4,000 riders, less than one-sixth of capacity.

    Surely there are other causes, from the nearly $10 a one-way ticket cost originally - reduced to $6 this week in an effort to lift ridership - to the five-minute hike from the terminus to the airport, to the train's once abbreviated, somewhat irregular schedule in the early months after it began operation.

    Then there is the lack of prominent signs inside the airport, which looks like a futuristic Steven Spielberg set. "I wanted to take the new train, but I couldn't find it," said one befuddled Shanghai resident as he jumped into a taxi for the heavily trafficked 20-mile ride to the city. "I was looking all over for it. How does one ride it?"

    Yet in a city with a knack for accumulating superlatives, from China's biggest, wealthiest population to the country's tallest building and the world's highest hotel lobby (54th floor) - and now its fastest commuter train - might the lack of interest also be due to a feeling of exhaustion with breakneck change; or at least a desire to pause to catch one's breath?

    "It may take me longer, but the taxi is more convenient," said Jin Ri, a smart-suited businessman who puffed on a cigarette anxiously as he waited in an airport taxi line. In fact, almost everyone in the line was either smoking a cigarette or talking on a mobile phone, or both.

    "Sometimes I feel like a two-week vacation is too much," Mr. Jin, a 28 year old corporate manager said, nodding vigorously when asked if life in Shanghai was already hectic enough. "I like a fast rhythm, but it is still a lot more comfortable to sit in a cab that will take me all the way to my door."

    One taxi fare after another reprised the thought. "I don't want to change cars again, even if it's faster," said Jing Minzhang. "Once you get to the train station, I'd have to get into a taxi there, and I don't want to do that."

    The mere idea of taking a train can conjure notions of relaxation, dreams, rumination or renewal. The great blues musician Muddy Waters captured the feeling with a lyric about being so tired and lonely he "took a freight train to be my friend."

    But built for speed far more than comfort, Shanghai's maglev leaves little time for daydreaming. The train, suspended above the track and propelled forward by the repulsive and attractive forces of magnetism, travels much faster than an ordinary train because of the lack of friction. Its seats are thickly cushioned. Their backs have little indentations, where a little table might fold out. But the tables are lacking, as if to say, "Who has the time for refreshments on an eight minute ride?"

    A few minutes into the high-velocity excursion, a voice came over the loudspeaker to announce that the next stop will be Long Yang Road Station, an oddly superfluous declaration for a train that makes no other stops. At the city terminus, the light load of passengers filed out of the station, past a forlorn vendor of bottled sodas and Maglev postcards.

    If only it could find more passengers like Zhou Hao, however, the maglev service would be assured of a brilliant future. And surely in a business-crazed population of 1.3 billion Chinese, about 14 million of whom live in Shanghai, there must be hope.

    On this day, however, the 26-year-old businessman, who flew to Shanghai just to make a bank deposit in person on a Saturday before the close of business, stood all alone on the maglev platform. Rail-thin and dressed in a black suit, he shifted nervously from one foot to the other, as if he could not bear the wait for the train. "I can save about 30 minutes and the cost is about the same as the taxi," he said, explaining his choice of the train.

    But isn't life hectic enough without so much rushing? "I'm very young," he answered. "I'm in a hurry to make money."

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

  15. #30

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    Our max speed was only 301kph, as we rode it off peak hours.



    Quote Originally Posted by Kris View Post
    April 22, 2004

    SHANGHAI JOURNAL

    All Aboard! But Don't Relax. Your Trip Is Already Over.

    By HOWARD W. FRENCH


    On Shanghai's magnetic levitation train, the world's first in commercial service, it takes just eight minutes to get to the airport in a burst of speed that transforms the outside world into a blur of streaking geometric abstractions.

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company
    Last edited by asg; April 19th, 2009 at 12:30 AM.

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