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View Diary: China Builds Sucessful High Speed Rail While U.S. Flails under Austerity (118 comments)

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  •  HSR would be faster than air travel (6+ / 0-)

    from downtown to downtown on the east coast corridor. Ground traffic and security delays make air travel inefficient for routes under 300 miles. The quantum jump in speed and quality that HSR would bring would change public perception and travelling habits almost overnight.

    PS

    U.S. rail ridership is up with our present slow system that is subject to delays because of shared tracks with freight. Passenger rail needs dedicated tracks, not shared tracks that have frequent long delays.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

    by FishOutofWater on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 05:55:09 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  We already have HSR there (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenearth

      Google Acela

      Passenger rail doesn't need dedicated tracks, they did it for well over  century without them. That included speeds up to 110 mph and that was behind steam engines.  Passenger rail can indeed share tracks with freight, its doing it now and always has. Passenger rail can---and has in the past---served every community along its route where HSR will not.
      take where I live: Oregon, Willamette valley. HSR is a dream here---its not going to happen and there's no real need for it. Nobody here is clamoring for HSR..
      but what COULD happen is a great expansion of passenger rail and subsidiary transportation like Buses and light rail, in conjunction with stepping up of passenger trains on existing rail.
      So why not spend that money now and crank those up? That's putting money into the infrastructure and spread out a LOT better than HSR will. that's puts money, jobs and material into most of western OR. You WILL need those with HSR anyway. The skeleton of the infrastructure is still there to do this. Its shovel ready now where HSR will not be for years, maybe decades, if ever
      Rail ridership IS up here. we have 3 trains a day already doing what  I'm suggesting---the CAscades, running from Eugene to all the way through Portland, Tacoma, Seattle to Everett WA . the Amtrak Starlight also runs, making 4 trains each way over this route. Why not crank these up before getting to HSR? Extend them south to Medford, run tourist trains to Coos BAy, Newport, Tillamook and Seaside----they did this before for a long long time. The tracks are still there. they could make money doing this, start slow and work up and its shovel ready and waiting to be done now!
      HSR will NEVER get to these places, so why don't we improve what we have already and go back to making it work? hat public money will serve FAR more people than HSR ever will.

      Happy just to be alive

      by exlrrp on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 06:40:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not dedicated tracks, but right-of-way (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greenearth, nchristine

        The reason that the trains take longer to run from coast to coast now than they did in the 1950s is that the tracks are almost entirely owned by the freight companies, who let the passenger trains run only when they are not busy.

        In the 1950s a passenger train would never have been held for a freight, meaning that it spent more time moving forward and far less time sitting around waiting for clearance.

        The North-East corridor works well because it is multi-track and because over much of the route Amtrak actually has precedence over the freight.

        Mag-lev HSR is always going to need dedicated track (unless we get 200mph freight trains), which not only provides better speed but an absence of the delays that stretch the trip out.

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