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Why doesn't the US have a high speed rail system

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posted on Feb, 16 2019 @ 08:17 PM
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I put this in US political madness because it appears it is politics that is keeping it from happening.

I've watched some documentaries on China and India and I see that even though they are third world countries, they are putting money,
lots of money into transportation. Why on earth isn't the US following suit?

I think about Chicago and their L, and amtrak. It's like it was started, but then just halted, and progress just stopped.
I do not think that trains will replace cars or trains. I think it is a good way to supplement them.

Can you imagine a bullet train that goes from Chicago to California, or New York to Texas?
Florida to Las Vegas?




posted on Feb, 16 2019 @ 08:22 PM
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a reply to: JAGStorm

A few factors also might be social and corporate.

We grew as an automobile culture, not just for transportation but for pleasure.

Also, throughout the 20th century the automotive industry was a huge part of our industry that was not only domestically consumed but exported as well.

You just couldn't "sell" other transit methods, especially in rural areas.

We even shifted a good deal of goods transportation to OTR semi's. Where I'm at, they converted most of the railways to jogging/biking trails. We went the other way, now without steady funding and improvements over decades we are really in a poor spot to catch up.
edit on 16-2-2019 by MisterSpock because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 16 2019 @ 08:22 PM
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It's sad to think about all the money wasted on pet projects when a bullet train or bullet trains can be built.
Yes, air travel is fine and fast, but when people see that trains are "cool", hopefully America will have them.
During holidays when airlines are over booked, trains also are over booked. And this is in Asia.



posted on Feb, 16 2019 @ 08:26 PM
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NIMBY



posted on Feb, 16 2019 @ 08:32 PM
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a reply to: JAGStorm

I think the reality is that it would not be a profitable venture, therefore it would require a ridiculous amount of Federal subsidies, relative to the actual percentage of citizens who would use it.

Our culture is not the same as theirs.



posted on Feb, 16 2019 @ 08:33 PM
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I am heading to Guangzhou in a few months for some sightseeing and plan on riding their “bullet train”. While it terrifies me that my body is going to be whisked around at 200+ miles an hour, I am excited about being able to make day trips that would otherwise not be possible. America needs to step it up and unite to get this accomplished!



posted on Feb, 16 2019 @ 08:35 PM
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originally posted by: Mach2
a reply to: JAGStorm

I think the reality is that it would not be a profitable venture, therefore it would require a ridiculous amount of Federal subsidies, relative to the actual percentage of citizens who would use it.

Our culture is not the same as theirs.


There was a time they didn't think people would use portable phones either. (I know I worked in the industry)
I think it would be very profitable and widely used, if put in the right places. Chicago to California etc.

edit on 16-2-2019 by JAGStorm because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 16 2019 @ 08:35 PM
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because it's stupid



posted on Feb, 16 2019 @ 08:35 PM
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originally posted by: JAGStorm
I put this in US political madness because it appears it is politics that is keeping it from happening.

I've watched some documentaries on China and India and I see that even though they are third world countries, they are putting money,
lots of money into transportation. Why on earth isn't the US following suit?

I think about Chicago and their L, and amtrak. It's like it was started, but then just halted, and progress just stopped.
I do not think that trains will replace cars or trains. I think it is a good way to supplement them.

Can you imagine a bullet train that goes from Chicago to California, or New York to Texas?
Florida to Las Vegas?


Clearly you visualize people moving from A to B with at most two choices. What you OP includes is moving A to Z while also the best other letters in the alphabet but on top of that, "for how long and how much?"



posted on Feb, 16 2019 @ 08:39 PM
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a reply to: JAGStorm

Because Air travel is cheaper and those who want even cheaper than air travel already use greyhound busses.

Why invest trillions of dollars for passenger transportation when we already have it at a reasonable prices?


The Only people who really push for high speed rail are the corrupt construction firms who want taxpayer money to build it at 20 times the quoted costs.

seattletransitblog.com...

Washington State DOT (WSDOT) released a study about the possibility of HSR in the Pacific Northwest.
How High are Construction Costs?
The study says that the capital cost range is $24-42 billion in 2017 dollars, or about $80-140 million per mile.

www.businessinsider.com...




That's $82 million per mile for true high-speed rail (partly because the California project goes through some mountains) and only $2.4 million for moderate-speed rail. All else being equal, high-speed rail will cost 10 to 12 times more than moderate-speed rail. A true, national high-speed rail network would cost more than half a trillion dollars.


According to the Department of Energy, the average Amtrak train uses about 2,700 British thermal units (BTUs) of energy per passenger mile. This is a little better than cars (about 3,400 BTUs per passenger mile) or airplanes (about 3,300 BTUs per passenger mile). But auto and airline fuel efficiencies are improving by 2 percent to 3 percent per year (for example, a Toyota Prius uses less than 1,700 BTUs per passenger mile).

By contrast, Amtrak's fuel efficiency has increased by just one-tenth of 1 percent per year in the past 10 years.

This means, over the lifetime of an investment in moderate-speed trains, the trains won't save any energy at all. In fact, to achieve higher speeds, moderate-speed trains will require even more energy than conventional trains and probably much more than the average car or airplane 10 or 20 years from now.


edit on 16-2-2019 by infolurker because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 16 2019 @ 08:40 PM
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a reply to: JAGStorm

Well, there are many reasons.

One we don't have any spare money for it, a lot of the reason for that is defense spending, and our spending on heathcare which costs double what every other industrialized nation pays.

Second, China is going into extreme debt to build out their country, they are in real trouble once their growth rate starts to drop which is starting to happen. They have made it a priority to build out their infrastructure, and it can't be repo'd so it's not the worst thing in the world to go into debt for if you are going to do it.

Third, at this point we have bigger needs. Our water supply, electric grid, existing railways roads and bridges, levis all need a lot of repairs first.

Forth, as California has recently proven buying the land is damn expensive today. I have a feeling it is really easy for china's government to buy/take land real cheap by comparison.

Fifth, I really think people at this point are waiting for flying cars.

But Elon Musk claims he is going to solve this problem for us with his boring company by drilling holes way cheaper. I don't doubt him when he puts his mind to it, so in the long run we may end up with the best system of anyone.



posted on Feb, 16 2019 @ 08:51 PM
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Because they are not economically feasible for much of the country.
Amtrak has some lines on both coasts where the population is condensed into small areas.


There is a plan being pushed here in Indiana to get high speed rail to Chicago thru Fort Wayne and the cost is extremely high for the revenue generated.

They also say that it will take two plus hours to run the distance and I can drive it in about three hours. That and they want $60 to do it... Try that with a family of four...

It's just not practical.



posted on Feb, 16 2019 @ 08:56 PM
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It's not economical.
The costs outweigh any benefit over long distance.
Besides, Air travel is faster.



posted on Feb, 16 2019 @ 08:57 PM
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a reply to: JAGStorm

I always wondered that myself. Many people don't like flying so the alternative is taking a train. Except our trains can take 2 or 3 days to get to a lengthy destination.

I went to college out-of-state back in the early 80's. Taking the trip by car took 7 1/2 hours. I would sometimes have to take the train and the same trip would almost take almost 14 hours!!! This included all the 20 minute stops to pick up passengers. Talk about the U.S. being behind the times. There are so many cities only an hour away from each other. High speed rail would certainly attract a lot of travelers who just want to spend the day dining and shopping in the big cities.



posted on Feb, 16 2019 @ 09:07 PM
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a reply to: JAGStorm

Because as far as boondoggles go, the military industrial complex sucks up every last penny.



posted on Feb, 16 2019 @ 09:09 PM
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a reply to: WeRpeons




Talk about the U.S. being behind the times


I grew up in Europe, and have to say I miss the train system there.
It was cheap, efficient and went just about everywhere.



posted on Feb, 16 2019 @ 09:12 PM
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a reply to: JAGStorm

Plain rail is fun to ride in Europe. High speed is even better.

That being said, it will be very hard to create a nationwide high speed rail system in America. People love their cars and the cost of such a rail system would be insanely expensive.

I can see high speed rail for short stretches in the north east and in California. Everywhere else it would be cost prohibitive considering how Americans have been conditioned to drive individually and not use mass transit. There isn't a huge pent up demand that isn't being met by airlines already.



posted on Feb, 16 2019 @ 09:17 PM
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originally posted by: JAGStorm
a reply to: WeRpeons





Having lived in both places, how would you compare the US to europe, both in geographics, and in population proximities?
Talk about the U.S. being behind the times


I grew up in Europe, and have to say I miss the train system there.
It was cheap, efficient and went just about everywhere.



Having lived in both areas, how would you compare the US in both geographics, and population densities?
Are the two very similar?
edit on 2 16 2019 by caterpillage because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 16 2019 @ 09:23 PM
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Because we have like 200 Japans worth of land in America



posted on Feb, 16 2019 @ 09:25 PM
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originally posted by: caterpillage

originally posted by: JAGStorm
a reply to: WeRpeons





Having lived in both places, how would you compare the US to europe, both in geographics, and in population proximities?
Talk about the U.S. being behind the times


I grew up in Europe, and have to say I miss the train system there.
It was cheap, efficient and went just about everywhere.



Having lived in both areas, how would you compare the US in both geographics, and population densities?
Are the two very similar?


Some countries in Europe like France, Germany, Belgium etc reminded me more of individual states as far as size, like living in the midwest.

I would compare the US more to China in regard to overall size and speed rail.




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