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This entire diary is based upon a show on the Science Channel and therefore will be "link bereft" but the ideas, the facts and the reasons why it can never happen here will be explored.

We already know about the high speed train service blistering through France and to London at 300 Kilometers per hour (about 200 mph give or take).  And, we already know the simple "way too good an idea" which precludes a similar system in the NE cooridor.  Yes, we do have some "express" trains that go fast, but fast relative to a coal train or regular Amtrack.

But the Euros aren't done yet; no - the system has worked WAY to well to leave enough alone.  Follow me over the genetically altered orange potato and read their stupidendously common sense plan.

They are expanding on a good idea!  The nerve!

Yes, the Euros, albeit the same ones talking "austerity", are at least visionary enough to invest in infrastructure - did I mention it is full of common sense?

They are expanding their high speed rail beyond France and London and creating a network that would stretch from Berlin to Gibraltor, from London to Rome and every reasonable stop in between.

It would make sense enough to use the sytem they already have.  One that propels passengers at 200 mph (give or take) on the same amount of power that it takes to run a small town.  Very small.  But wait!  They want to make it better, too - also as Palin would say if she knew about fast trains.

They are already in the testing stages of a new propulsion system that would exceed 300 MILES per hour.   Yes, 300 "murican" miles per hour.  Lets put our imaginery thinking caps on and dream about what that would look like here.  NYC Grand Central Station to DC express in a little over an hour.  DC to Atlanta in, what? - 2 hours - 2:15?  NYC to Chicago in less than little over 3 hrs.  I haven't done the math - obviously, but the point is HOW MUCH DAMN SENSE IT MAKES.  Imagine a line up and down the west coast.  A grid from Chicago to Houston and connected at some good points between and a similar one all over the East Coast?

Now the bad news.  Why it CAN'T happen here.  We all know our Congress is a wholly owned sibsidiary of any company within sight of the Dow index.  So, who will pay to prevent this idea?  Well, Boeing - duh.  And, since those airplanes that Boeing makes run on a lot of gas (a lot!) that brings our friends at the oil companies in to put a cash brick wall on the idea.  Who else?  Umm, well, thats probably enough but I am sure there are way more that can be pointed out in the comments - if there are any on such a good idea.

In America, we are willing to build a damn pipeline for an increasingly obsolete and dangerous fuel from Alaska to Texas, but a system that would put people to work, save money, decrease highway congestion and just make people overall happier - That. Can't. Happen.

"Only in America" used to be a term of pride.  Increasingly it seems to be a term of derision.  America is where good ideas that threaten big money go to die.  How can our society not follow?

Poll

HIgh Speed Rail will come to the US

25%9 votes
5%2 votes
22%8 votes
47%17 votes

| 36 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (8+ / 0-)

    "How can the United States be the Greatest Nation ever if it is the only modern nation where citizens hold bake sales to pay for life saving medical care?" Single payer is coming but how many people will die before it becomes the only solution?

    by 4CasandChlo on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 11:06:50 AM PDT

  •  One small step we can take right now (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4CasandChlo, Railfan, adrianrf

    As I diaried on Tuesday, California legislators must vote by July 1 to release state bond funds for the CA high speed rail line in order to qualify for federal funding.

    CA residents should contact their state legislators at once to urge this action.

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    This will not be an ultra-high speed train, but it will be the best we have yet and is a step to better things.
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    For the first time in human history, we possess both the means for destroying all life on Earth or realizing a paradise on the planet--Michio Kaku.

    by psyched on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 11:16:30 AM PDT

  •  I meant the poll to be "Mars" Walk on MARS (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    psyched

    And here I am criticizing American thinking and I can't write a sentence.

    American Education!!!!  Damn it!

    "How can the United States be the Greatest Nation ever if it is the only modern nation where citizens hold bake sales to pay for life saving medical care?" Single payer is coming but how many people will die before it becomes the only solution?

    by 4CasandChlo on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 11:22:50 AM PDT

  •  And No X-Ray Of My Balls? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4CasandChlo, leu2500, psyched, adrianrf

    No TSA rent-a-cop picking through my shit with a fine toothed comb?

    But seriously, this is our technology being refined and sold back to us.  My dad worked for NASA then DOT in Cambridge after Nixon hosed it as punishment for not carrying him.  They were working on the electrical pickup for high speed trains and were in the process of building a test track outside of Phoenix in the Carter years before everything was killed by you know who along with every other energy independence initiative.

  •  I remember pulling out of the Gare de Lyon on one (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4CasandChlo, psyched, adrianrf, PeterHug

    We were up to speed pretty quickly after clearing the suburbs. 180 mph, no seat belts, and a pretty darn good vegetable terrine and Chablis.  A very pleasant way to travel.

    •  Better than packed in like sardines (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      psyched

      And not being able to bring your bottle of diet coke through security?

      That alone would be sufficient support.

      "How can the United States be the Greatest Nation ever if it is the only modern nation where citizens hold bake sales to pay for life saving medical care?" Single payer is coming but how many people will die before it becomes the only solution?

      by 4CasandChlo on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 11:37:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  300 mph? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4CasandChlo, psyched

       I am a huge supporter of high speed rail in this country, and always read Bruce McFarlane's superb weekly diary Sunday Train. Having said that, I must say that I am dubious about some of the claims in this article. Yes, the Europeans are indeed expanding the network of high speed trains with the plan of creating a continental network. But this is not projected to be completed until many years from now, perhaps 2040. Most high speed lines are a hybrid...for example, TGV trains leaving Paris travel on the old lines, then switch over to the new high speed ones for part--but not usually all of the journey. So there are few trips which can be made entirely at Eurostar speed (186 mph outisde the Channel Tunnel) or LGV-Est speed (220 mph). But 300 mph? Yes, experiments have shown such a speed is theoretically possible. But the cost in upgraded track and the energy cost of running at such high speed, to say nothing of the cost of transforming these trains from experiments to practical realities means that they will appear--if at all--only in the second half of this century. If we could build the "Steel Interstate" and create a network of 110 mph trains over the next decade, it would be a tremendous accomplishment that would lay the foundation of true high speed rail in the years to follow. But I do not expect to live long enough to see 300 mph trains running anywhere on Earth.

    •  It has been successfully tested: (0+ / 0-)

      I realize that a diary without links is inherently less trustworthy.  It is not ready for use, it has simply been tested for viability.  And there was no word on whether it would be viable in all areas.

      Regardless, I appreciate your input and interest.  Peace.

      "How can the United States be the Greatest Nation ever if it is the only modern nation where citizens hold bake sales to pay for life saving medical care?" Single payer is coming but how many people will die before it becomes the only solution?

      by 4CasandChlo on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 12:05:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The diary may have some flaws, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      4CasandChlo, adrianrf

      but I think its main point is valid: We will not see really fast trains even in the second half of this century unless we change our mindset now.

      And whether or not we ourselves will see this in our lifetimes should not be our main concern. We should focus on the welfare of our children's children and beyond, and the welfare of planet Earth, which are way bigger than our personal welfare.

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      For the first time in human history, we possess both the means for destroying all life on Earth or realizing a paradise on the planet--Michio Kaku.

      by psyched on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 12:15:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I would be thrilled... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4CasandChlo, psyched

    ...just to see the full utilization of the system we have in place. Current tracks and rolling stock can handle 80-90 mph, higher in some areas.  modest upgrades could bump that up to at least 100mph - not a high speed Euro style train but still faster and cheaper than thousands of  automobiles on the interstate.  It's also not as fast as air travel - so what.  Few travelers have to get somewhere that fast and train travel is much more comfortable.One problem with passenger trains is that freight traffic has priority over them which causes long, inconvenant  delays, a problem that a national rail traffic control system could remedy.

    "if you don't make peaceful revolution possible, you make violent revolution inevitable." ….JFK. .......{- 8.25 / -5.64}

    by carver on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 12:10:27 PM PDT

  •  Warm beer, Citroens, soccer, FKK (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    psyched

    Ultra high speed trains make sense in Europe because gas is $8 a gallon and taxpayers don't subsidize airports.

    How would US voters react if our gas went to $8 a gallon?  

    How would many voters including many Kossacks react if we stopped subsidizing rural airports?

    I love fast trains, warm beer, Citroens, soccer and FKK.  But that makes me a minority in the US.

    Don't look up FKK at work or on a computer that children use.

    •  You said: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Utahrd
      I love fast trains, warm beer, Citroens, soccer and FKK.  But that makes me a minority in the US.
      I belong to your minority too, but minorities and majorities can change rather rapidly depending on economic conditions.
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      For the first time in human history, we possess both the means for destroying all life on Earth or realizing a paradise on the planet--Michio Kaku.

      by psyched on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 03:27:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Makes a whole lot more sense than (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    psyched

    cash for clunkers

  •  2011 European High Speed Rail Map (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    psyched

    2011 European High Speed Rail Map

    I tried to embed image, but dailykos doesn't let you link to wiki images...

    A mind like a book, has to be open to function properly.

    by falconer520 on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 01:39:08 PM PDT

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