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Obama Unveils High-Speed Rail Plan (April 16, 2009)

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posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 08:39 PM
Would anyone here call 100 MPH high speed? I think not.. The train between NYC and DC does 130, I think we need to do better.

posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 08:41 PM
reply to post by infolurker
and I am saying we need the light rail system to get to main station, where the limited trains stop. For example, Memphis to Fort Worth-Dallas? Do you now get my drift? We need a rail system for short trips, and one of limited stops. America is one of the few countries in the world that does not have what effective passenger train transportaion.

posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 08:47 PM

Originally posted by ravenshadow13
I'm thinking it will be like the Acela, probably. I've taken that train before, it's not that different from other Amtrak trains but it is faster and probably doesn't require an entire rebuilding of the tracks.

Acela trains run very slow, compared to what they actually can go because of the grade level crossings with cars/trucks. If you could get rid of all the at grade crossing Acela could be going about 2.5 X what they do now.

Also Amtrak does a piss poor job, they never rebuild anything unless it absolutely has to be done all they do is upgrade tracks rather than building new tracks optimized for highspeed trains. Acela trains are way slower than most trains in Europe, Japan or South Korea. Most tracks in Europe are blocked from people being able to come on them and dump crap and create problems whereas here you can basically walk onto the trains here once you get outside of major cities.

Amtrak has only about 20 sets of Acela's and their not that reliable since one train is a set that can not be taken apart each car is connected to the next so when one car fails the train does. So if its anything like Acela we would need basically the whole output of the company for about 2 years to get a decent size fleet of these trains.

posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 09:01 PM
There is not enough passenger traffic to support these trains. So you know what that means - heavy, heavy gov't subsidies. That, along with all the new bureaucracies which will be created to run these shows, you can look forward to digging deep into your wallets to pay for it, even though 99/100 of us will never ride on one of these.

But, in the meantime it will create some construction jobs which Obama can point to as 'fixing the broken economy that I inherited'.

[edit on 16-4-2009 by jsobecky]

posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 09:05 PM
reply to post by jsobecky

I wouldnt say 99/100 since the majority of the population is on the east and west coast and thats where most of the trains are. The coastal portions of the plan would get high used but the inland parts are a waste of money.

[edit on 16-4-2009 by jatsc]

posted on Apr, 17 2009 @ 10:03 PM
This isn't the first place that I've heard of the proposal. The plan calls for a high speed line to run between Chicago and Washignton, D.C. This line is supposed to have a completion time of at least ten years after the time the bills are passed and ratified by the government. From what I have been following on the railroad forums. The proposed route would come out of Chicago, turning south towards Cincinatti, and then turning east over former Baltimore & Ohio rights of way through Ohio and West Virginia. The problem is with the West Virginia part of the proposed route. That is, due to the grades that are experinced by even heavy freight and coal trains going over the mountains. These grades vary anywhere from .02% to a .5% the closer to Balitmore and Washington that you get.

Believe it or not, all the way up into the 1950s and into the 1960s.
The Virginian Railway rain a 120 mile long electrified mainline from Mullens, WV. to Roanoke, Virginia. This line went over some of the steepest terrain on the East Coast. When the Norfolk & Western took over in 1960, they were using power that they acquired from the 1959 merger of the N&W and the Virginian. Yet, the Virginian railway used some of the most powerful electric locomotives that had ever been used.

Then again, I may be completely wrong on the proposed route.

posted on Apr, 17 2009 @ 10:15 PM
Its faster to take a train from London to Paris than to fly.The simple reason is getting to the airports and the time to get in the air and landing.

posted on Apr, 20 2009 @ 07:27 PM
I could see the Chicago/Milwukee area receiving something like a high speed line. However, even though they are proposing a high speed line in Chicago. The Metro Rail Transportation Authority already has 70mph limits over their trackage and over certain Union Pacific and B.N.S.F. trackage in the area. Even though the average speed is down around 75 - 80mph, you can't blame it all on Amtrak though. One fault of the low average is due to the infrastructure on the Northeast Corridor. Most of the infrastructure along the line dates back to when the Pennsylvania Railroad owned the line between D.C. and New York City and the New York, New Haven, & Hartford owned the line from New York Central to Boston. However, if the Penn Central would have improved conditions on the line and if Amtrak were to have made more improvements. The line would have a higher average speed today.

There is one distinct problem that I see with having several high speed lines in service here. That is, no freight railroad would be willing enough to have to use trackage rights over one of these lines. On a passenger service only line, the freight movements take a back seat to the passenger trains. On the freight lines, it is a completely different story. The reason why the Japanese's Shinkansen service has been so successful since its debut in 1964/65 is due to where their population centers are located. Population centers over here are farther apart than those in Japan. With the long distances between population centers here in the U.S. It would be almost impossible to plan, build, and maintain a nationwide high speed network. For a network like this to be built would take tens of billions, perhaps hundreds of billions of dollars, that we just don't have right now.

posted on Apr, 21 2009 @ 06:19 AM
I think this idea would be great if they could pull it off, I mean for some of us that live in areas where there are no jobs and the only place for work is a big city like NY or Boston, getting on a train and only have to be on it for an hour or two would save so much gas.

posted on May, 13 2009 @ 12:17 AM
The only thing that I see wrong with this idea is that you need the infrastructure in place for the planning process to begin. Right now, railway infrastructure is not in the greatest of shapes. I mean it is at least once a month where I hear that some railroad bridge is down for maintenence. I've heard from some people around my area that some railroad bridges can't handle that much weight in particular situations. For example, one of the bridges that I know of can't handle two loaded trains on it at once. If they were to try it, the bridge would fall just because it would not be able to bear the load.

Not only that, but think of how many railroad crossings would have to be replaced in the process. The crossings would have to be replaced by either an overpass or an underpass so that traffic could avoid the railroad tracks all together. Think of it this way, when Amtrak raised the speed limits for one hundred and ten miles per hour to one twenty five. They had to convert every single railroad grade crossing to either an overpass or an underpass. That being if a passenger train travelling that fast were to hit a vehicle that had stalled at a crossing, the results would have been catastrophic. This is why you do not see any railroad grade crossings in European countries that have high speed services.

For a plan like this to be feasible, it would take decades to plan the route. Yet alone design the infrastructural needs of these lines.

posted on May, 13 2009 @ 12:28 AM
You know. If anyone is still keeping up with the Titor Project this High Speed nation wide rail system coincides exactly with what Titor spoke about in reguards to mass transit.

Just saying... I really do not find it suprising that Obama is doing this. Then again I am a Titorite so....

posted on May, 15 2009 @ 09:12 PM
You know, something tells me that this proposed project will not get passed the planning stages once it gets going. The way that passenger rail service in this country has been for the last thirty or so years is that the important population areas like New York City and Philadelphia have something like this. When you build something like this, you would expect it to be built in sections linking your population centers to the rest of the system. I think the most feasible solution to this would be to build seperate high speed lines to a central point. Use Chicago as the central point and build a high speed line to Los Angeles and one to Houston or New Orleans. I'll just say this when it comes to passenger service here in the United States. Ever since the federal government took control of passenger rail service. It has had its fair share of bumps in the long road that it has went down. For example, some railroads held out of going into this service up until almost 1978 and 1979 because these roads were actually turning a profit from passenger service.

However, seeing that it is the United States Government that is proposing this. It's not going to started on by the next year or even with in the next five years. It is going to take time for this plan to be drawn out and finished. That and the economy will have something to say about it also

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