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View Diary: Night Train: Losing HSR Battles while Winning the Transport War (49 comments)

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  •  Exactly, it can't be done today (0+ / 0-)

    But, the individual corridors can be built today. And, aligning them in expectation of a future national network doesn't really distort the individual corridors that much. Plus, if they the local corridors are aligned to accommodate a national network, that makes a national network more attractive. For each segment, let it get built for passengers or for freight, but then use it for both.

    And, the point of a national network is economic development. Most of the benefit comes from moving freight. A good enough network would compete with air freight on cost, and with trucks on cross-country speed. Aligning a national frieght network with either new HSR rights of way, or with the old ROWs opened up by HSR, reduces the cost of both the HSR and the freight lines, and helps get them access to the busy city centers.

    Why is there a Confederate Flag flying in Afghanistan?

    by chimpy on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 06:26:40 PM PST

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    •  But the freight corridors ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ... need to be designed to be long, to attract long haul truck traffic despite marshalling overheads at both ends. And the passenger trips of that length are a very small share of the main passenger rail market.

      Its as if you are treating the map at the front of the piece of corridors that are presently qualified for transport funding as HSR corridors as if its a target system map, rather than as the nucleus of corridors from which a national network will grow.

      And one substantial benefit of that approach is the whack a mole problem that it presents to opponents. Your proposed approach means that they only need to kill a small handful of massively expensive projects in order to kill all HSR projects. Under the existing system, however, they put a lot of effort into killing them all, and are only going to succeed in taking out a maximum of three. And one of the three looks like its going to leave a deep bruise on the Governor-elect that pulled the plug.

      And this is their best opportunity to kill corridors, before we actually have any examples running yet. It gets harder for them once these trains start running at times as fast or faster than driving.

      End 2010 with Lesbian Creative Works from ALC Publishing on your Holiday list.

      by BruceMcF on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 07:25:22 PM PST

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      •  I would not start with long-haul (0+ / 0-)

        I think we have the same target systems in mind, and similar choices for early nuclei. The distinction I am trying to make, is that a preference can safely be given to local hub systems that would eventually help promote that target. It's my opinion that any distortion caused by these preferences would be small, because many settlements already fall along good choices for long-haul routes.

        Like you say, once some local corridors or triangles are running, it's almost irresistible to want to connect them. For example, consider Ohio: Losing Ohio puts a big dent in the eventual long-haul conversion plan. But once there are profitable networks near both Chicago/Indianapolis and Albany/DC, both West Virginia and Ontario would be jumping at the chance to make that connection.

        Why is there a Confederate Flag flying in Afghanistan?

        by chimpy on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 07:40:03 PM PST

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        •  But Ohio is not lost for long haul energy ... (0+ / 0-)

          ... independent freight, since the propaganda sticking point was the operating subsidies required until the corridor could be upgraded to 110mph ... and the Steel Interstates require no operating subsidies.

          And indeed, Ohio is only certainly lost for passenger rail for a four year Governor's term. If there is 110mph Rapid Rail HSR from Chicago to Detroit, including service to Ann Arbor, sooner or later Columbus is going to insist on its own 110mph corridor to some damn place.

          And if you can swing Central Ohio, you can swing the State.

          End 2010 with Lesbian Creative Works from ALC Publishing on your Holiday list.

          by BruceMcF on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 07:53:06 PM PST

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