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America, get with the high speed rail program!

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posted on May, 22 2014 @ 04:35 AM
Okay, this isn't just a bad situation anymore. This is what we call outright embarrassing. I mean, really historically, embarrassing. The US is currently in a blue funk of nostalgia to better times we'll never have again (and never honestly had all that good the first time around, truth be known).

Meanwhile...other nations like China are in the DOING phase to counter our lackluster 'dreaming of' phase.

The most glaring point at the moment?

China is considering plans to build a high-speed railway line to the US, the country's official media reported on Thursday.

The proposed line would begin in north-east China and run up through Siberia, pass through a tunnel underneath the Pacific Ocean then cut through Alaska and Canada to reach the continental US, according to a report in the state-run Beijing Times newspaper.

Crossing the Bering Strait in between Russia and Alaska would require about 200km (125 miles) of undersea tunnel, the paper said, citing Wang Mengshu, a railway expert at the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

Okay.. Just.. NO. It's not China who I am frustrated with. Good for them, I say with sincere feeling. I'm happy they are reaching for what isn't very possible...but still, reaching! It's better than bowing and bending over to..ahem...think of better times. Case in point, and an example to illustrate the problem.

Keep in mind, it wasn't THAT long ago America was a leader in the world for long distance rail and transcontinental rail crossing.

Here is China's rail system:

China's Current Rail Map

China's High Speed Rail Map

Now this whole China to the US via the Bering straight idea may be a bridge too far, quite literally, but the fact is...China is moving and shaking while we're kinda fumbling around and wondering why things aren't working. This is their network and plans

Since the earliest high-speed rail line - Qinhuangdao-Shenyang Passenger Transport Special Line was constructed in 1999, China has developed a widely-used railway network. By the end of 2011, the railway network with the speed of higher than 200km/h covered 10,000 km (about 6,214 mi). By the end of 2012, China had achieved the “Four North-South and Four East-West Network”. At the same time, the intercity high-speed railways also provide much convenience. The total length of such railway is expected to reach around 13,000 km (about 8,078 mi). According to the long-term extension plan, China will own 50,000 km (about 31,068 mi) high-speed railway by 2020.
China High Speed Rail
(The Source also lists individual lines with speeds averaged on each for emphasis of what high speed is there)

This is the U.S. high speed rail planning ...

Looks pretty Until you look closer and examine the dates for phases...which have no basis in reality at this point in time.

China, which has roughly the same land mass as we do, has many thousands of miles of high speed rail running in all directions. We? Well....We have miles of B.S. piling in all directions to convince ourselves of how many ways it cannot be done.

Making High-Speed Trains Work in the U.S.

So C'mon America, get with the program! Do we need to overlay topographic maps on China's rail network to show just how silly we're being to suggest WE cannot have some basic lines connecting our major cities? Imagine...

BEIJING -- China has opened the world's longest high-speed rail line, which more than halves the time required to travel from the country's capital in the north to Guangzhou, an economic hub in southern China.

Wednesday's opening of the 2,298 kilometer (1,428 mile)-line was commemorated by the 9 a.m. departure of a train from Beijing for Guangzhou. Another train left Guangzhou for Beijing an hour later.

That trip now takes a mere 8 hours, down from the quickest time of 20+ hours before that. An equal distance in America would be from Southern Missouri to the outskirts of Los Angeles.

A person could literally live in the Midwest and weekly commute to the West Coast if a job was good enough to justify the effort. That could be something moving our nation forward to feel good...not running on late trains to feel kinda ....late.

The choice is ours, I suppose...

posted on May, 22 2014 @ 05:25 AM
Peoplethere too used to driving or flying ( before the tsa molesters ) rail travel never really caught on in america like it did elsewhere..

Shame as its rather nice travelling by rail ..
edit on 22/5/14 by Expat888 because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 22 2014 @ 05:54 AM
When I lived and worked at Kirtland AFB back in the mid '80's A few people talked about the high speed maglev system that already runs in between military sites all over the USA, but I know it isn't that well known, and certainly it is violently opposed as to the existence of it, but it is a natural conclusion as to why no military industrial complex corporations have proposed such a thing, because they are told not to ever mention it.... I have heard it is in a vacuum and can really haul and that there is a pressure lock system to get to and from the inside of the vehicles. Other than this, all of what I have said is officially just conjecture on my part.. contradictions aside..

Just my 2 cents on it..

posted on May, 22 2014 @ 05:57 AM
a reply to: Wrabbit2000

One word. Taxes.

Second word. No.

I'm really not interested in a nationwide rail system at current moment. While its a wonderful idea we have other things we SHOULD be worrying about first. My two cents.

posted on May, 22 2014 @ 06:02 AM
There are some factors which make it more difficult for us than China to build a high speed network.

Our rail infrastructure is among the oldest and most heavily utilized in the world. You cannot upgrade some of these routes without significant disruption to the rail network or using imminent domain on large swaths of private property in the more densely populated areas.

The Chinese are basically building much of this from scratch which is much easier than anything we can do with any semblance of reasonable cost here.

posted on May, 22 2014 @ 06:35 AM
Am all for high speed rail. Hell... I am for regular rail. Big time train person here ('tis the basis for my moniker).

Sarcastically love how we can find money right away for wars and foreign aid but mention infrastructure and we are just too broke...

posted on May, 22 2014 @ 06:59 AM
Who is going to use it?

Honest question. I don't know anyone who would. Even now with commuter rail connecting cities with the burbs they arent exactly keeping their heads above water relying on people from CT riding into NYC or people from NH riding into Boston.

I don't know anyone who has ever had a reason to just hop on a train and ride unless it was just for the pleasure of riding a train and a modern high-speed train would nullify the leisure or pleasure of riding in the first place.

The US isnt Japan. There is a lot of space. A lot of empty space. And there are very few reasons to ever travel across that space. Certainly not enough reasons to justify the infrastructure expense. Our highways arent even viable and should be torn up.

With worldwide communications being the way they are it seems we should all be traveling large distances much much less.

posted on May, 22 2014 @ 07:08 AM
a reply to: thisguyrighthere

I think plenty would use an effective passenger network that actually worked. What we have now in Amtrak is a bastardized compromise between Government concepts of a railway, profitable reality of a railway and the need to meet public perception of a railway, exclusive of the first two agendas.

So..We have "bullet trains" that are laughing stocks to even suggest the term for in speed or performance. We have/had transcontinental rail that is SO low class for service and quality, it is a hard sell, even as a one time experience. Why take a week or more at HIGH cost to get across the nation when you can do it in 3 days by cramped car with screaming kids? I mean, it's really a better bargain with the road trip and kids, I agree.

If you could make New York to Los Angeles in 16-18 hours tho? Well... I'd LOVE the scenery to skip the B.S. of the airlines and who needs the whining road trip? Heck yeah I'd use a train ...IF it was a pleasure, not something to dread in using. If it was made with travel in mind, not a rolling stock car with nicer seating and feed bags.

posted on May, 22 2014 @ 07:13 AM
a reply to: thisguyrighthere

With worldwide communications being the way they are it seems we should all be traveling large distances much much less. - See more at:

Say's you. All these statements about rail and yours about travelling less, ignore the fact that we are dealing with humans. As someone said, the US is huge, lots of places for a truck to be in the way of a train I should think. I also think most people simply don't like taking long train rides. As for traveling less, people want to go places and leave where they are, that is normal (even if its supposedly work related.)


posted on May, 22 2014 @ 07:18 AM
a reply to: Wrabbit2000

You'd love it but how often would you do it?

Seems like quite a gamble.

From my own experience at my job we often survey out proposed programs to get a feel for potential usage. The reality is that even when surveys return with loads of "definitely attend / use" responses nobody shows up.

And what we do is fairly cheap.

Imagine dumping billions on a novelty that everybody expresses such interest in only to find out it gets 50% or 20% of the projected use.

We know the TSA will be involved so it's not a way to escape the airline stress. It'll just be rail stress. We know to maximize profit they will cram as many people as they can into the cars just as they do with the planes. If ridership is low the seats may be comfortable and spacious but to make up for lack of volume the prices will be higher.

It's hard for me to imagine anything other than a bastard child of commercial flight and Amtrack / Metro North and nothing about that seems attractive.

posted on May, 22 2014 @ 07:23 AM

originally posted by: Variable

As for traveling less, people want to go places and leave where they are, that is normal (even if its supposedly work related.)

Haha, says you. Maybe I just don't roll with jet-setting circles but even the two people I know who claim to love to travel do nothing but complain about packing, traveling, staying someplace new, then they come back home and complain some more.

Everybody else who is honest about their dislike of travel is very happy.

The ones who claim a love of travel are also the ones who go to be with family for the holidays and get stressed and angry and cry and scream then come back and say they'll never do it again only to do it again the next holiday.

I'm convinced given what I've seen and experienced that these people who claim a love of travel are just running from something because they never seem to be happy and keep putting themselves in situations that make them uncomfortable or angry.

To each his own I guess.

posted on May, 22 2014 @ 07:30 AM
When you have a old car that is falling apart, it would be unwise to invest in repairs, parts, and upgrades. Drive it till it breaks then recycle it.

This is the state of the United. After the great war, the phoenix will rise out of the ashes. Dont worry, the rebuilding of America will give it such a boost that it will be the dawn of a new age.
edit on 22-5-2014 by Shadow Herder because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 22 2014 @ 07:35 AM
a reply to: Shadow Herder

On this, you may be right. We do have a society that has given up on doing anything great or even aspiring to be more than they are today...simply because no tangible and direct personal benefit exists. Worse, sometimes, it just doesn't exist quickly enough and so worthy change never comes as a result of the extreme short term outlook.

The same short term outlook likely to insure your other point is or will soon enough become a phase we cannot avoid going through any longer.

posted on May, 22 2014 @ 07:41 AM

originally posted by: thisguyrighthere
a reply to: Wrabbit2000
You'd love it but how often would you do it? Seems like quite a gamble.
You know trains haul freight too, right? Ever see a semi on the highway? Can you follow this?

Maybe the demise of rail has more to do with selling gas/diesel?
edit on 22-5-2014 by JohnnyCanuck because: ...just because!

posted on May, 22 2014 @ 07:42 AM
a reply to: Wrabbit2000

I noticed that this proposal has the tracks basically running along the ring of fire. The Aleutian islands are very tetonicaly active. I think building a tunnel is a bridge to far as well.

posted on May, 22 2014 @ 07:43 AM
a reply to: JohnnyCanuck

Sure they do. Very efficiently too.

Hauling freight is different than hauling passengers. Freight is predictable. Freight doesnt bitch about screaming kids, flat softdrinks and dirty bathrooms. Freight won't promise to ride in droves then stop riding when the novelty wears off.

Freight also doesnt demand high-speed rail.

posted on May, 22 2014 @ 07:56 AM
a reply to: TDawgRex

China is like a kid with a new toy as they're coming into their own as a world power. It'd be fun to watch if the loaded guns weren't on the table along with everything else.

The Rail to the US is one idea. (with a monster of a tech problem in that tunnel part)

They're also in actual process with Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua for what would amount to the Panama Canal II, running through that nation instead of Panama.

They already have the construction underway, if not done by now on their commercial/naval facilities at Gwadar, Pakistan near the Iranian border. That's the southern anchor to the high speed rail line they definitely are building to run largely UNDER Kashmir and then out into the relative flat lands of Pakistan to the coast from there.

They're also looking at reopening their border crossing after decades, with Afghanistan (they have a real small piece, leading to a narrow strip that leads to greater Afghanistan beyond) while looking to Rail the other direction across into Europe.

I think it's fair to actually say China is looking to change Geography in the long term and make their fortunes in being the ones to create and control the new points of flowing commerce into the future.

OH...they also ..and they're serious about this...want to complete an underwater tunnel closing the rail loop around the bay east of Beijing, with rail tunnel to North Korea, near the DMZ for easy access to both sides. (thoughtful as well as downright capitalist of them).

It's almost amusing..but then, not really for the consequence, to see how completely ignored and underestimated China has managed to remain for the latter years of all their building.

posted on May, 22 2014 @ 08:03 AM
a reply to: Wrabbit2000

Beware of strangers bringing gifts.

Actually bridging the straights has been talked about for decades between the US and Russia. It just never went anywhere due to some technical shortcomings and politics.

What I find concerning is China.

China and Taiwan have been at each others throats since the end of WWII. China has taken the position that should Taiwan declare itself and independent nation China would respond with the force. The issue with that threat is China's inability to project force. The fact China is limited in ways of air and naval assets has kept the peace between the 2.

China recently approached Taiwan and proposed a tunnel to be built from mainland China to Taiwan. China also stated they would cover the complete cost for it. Taiwan turned it down and with good reason. The tunnel can act as a means to deploy lots of troops.

I find it.... interesting... that with the issues between the US / China / Russia that this idea would be floated. A bridge linking Russia to the US can be used for the exact same purposes a tunnel to Taiwan could be used for.

While I am not opposed to these types of projects, I just find it difficult to accept the schizophrenic mentality of Russia and China.

edit on 22-5-2014 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 22 2014 @ 08:05 AM

originally posted by: thisguyrighthere
Freight also doesnt demand high-speed rail.
You might wanna tell Fedex.

posted on May, 22 2014 @ 08:08 AM

originally posted by: JohnnyCanuck

originally posted by: thisguyrighthere
Freight also doesnt demand high-speed rail.
You might wanna tell Fedex.

If you owned a delivery or freight company that had to compete with other delivery or freight companies and some politicians came around asking if you'd be in favor of faster, more competitive, transportation of said freight at no cost to you what would you say?

It's nothing you need but why would you refuse?
edit on 22-5-2014 by thisguyrighthere because: (no reason given)

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