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Hello, fellow philo-moochers, I am now blogging from the Amtrak Cascade liner, en route from beautiful Portland (aka Stumptown, Bridge City, Rip City, Food Cart Nation) to Seattle (aka Home Town of Cartoon Peril).  

I highly recommend train travel.  Nice comfortable cars, lovely September scenery here in Cascadia, the gentle herds of Sasquatch grazing in the fields, and no metal detectors or other tools of the devil to have to bother with.

What's needed however on this route is a dedicated transportation line of the French TGV syle.  Or at least the track and bridge could be upgraded so the train could run faster than 79 miles per hour.  Of course for a fully dedicated track and HSR to work out economically, there must be sufficient population.  There's about 9 million people in western Oregon and Washington, most of these folks would be close to a 467 mile HSR route that would run from Eugene to Vancouver BC.  

The Obama administration has supported the idea (see the PDF link):

The long-term vision for the corridor is to have a dedicated high-speed track, where trains will operate at up to 150mph, with 13 daily round trips between Seattle and Portland. The region is taking a cost-effective, step-by-step approach towards achievingthis vision, by focusing investments on projects that have immediate benefits, but which also lay the groundwork for the future.
We might have to build one or two fewer aircraft carriers, but the possibility of a 4 hour HSR connection from Eugene to Vancouver BC would be a great economic improvement here.  This region needs modern travel, and when I say modern, I exclude the freeway, which was conceived back in the 1920s and IMHO is highly inadequate for the modern age (too dangerous, too expensive, too dependent on private vehicles).

Poll

Should our country make a serious effort to develop high speed rail?

86%13 votes
13%2 votes

| 15 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (9+ / 0-)

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Tue Sep 18, 2012 at 09:48:01 AM PDT

  •  it takes longer (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    confitesprit, slksfca, Cartoon Peril

    to go from portland to seattle by train than from paris to london.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Tue Sep 18, 2012 at 09:50:24 AM PDT

  •  We Only Have Pretend-Trains Hereabouts (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cartoon Peril, confitesprit

    Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
    A scenic railway with some limited utility transporting bicycles and shoppers for a few tourist neighborhoods.

    I have taken train travel cross country back in the mid 60's and I'm all in favor. Here in rust belt Ohio we're crisscrossed with old tracks that are being torn up for bike & hike trails, and there are still many freight lines around. I only have to go half a mile to find a location with working rails that once had a passenger stop.

    Count me in.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Sep 18, 2012 at 09:57:24 AM PDT

  •  Getting people hooked on cages with (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    confitesprit, Cartoon Peril

    wheels was a major achievement.  Talk about double duty.  The authorities got to keep people in confined spaces and restricted to predictable routes and the occupants of the cages got to think they were exercising their mobility.  Of all the human attributes which most defines liberty and which has to be most severely restricted for that reason, it's our mobility.  Got to keep people from just walking off on their own two feet, if they're to be controlled.
    So, we constructed a society in which people moved from container to container in rolling containers and got so used to it that being outside felt scary.  And, come to think of it, it is scary to be walking around all by oneself in an urban area like San Diego while there's millions of people rushing around in cars.

    But, it turns out that busing school children was a big mistake.  It got them used to being chauffered around and to use public transportation.  So, that's what they're demanding.

    We organize governments to provide benefits and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Tue Sep 18, 2012 at 09:59:39 AM PDT

  •  Problem with the Cascades (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cartoon Peril

    is that AMTRAK is at the mercy of Burlington Northern.

    Last time I took the train northbound, the Wifi conked out about 30 minutes out of Portland.

  •  I live in Seattle (have since '65), and grew up in (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cartoon Peril

    Eugene.  Last took the train down to Portland (aka Rose City) 2 years ago.  Lovely trip, too.  Haven't gone all the way to Eugene on rails since my childhood, but would love the trip through the beautiful Willamette Valley.  Spend a good amount of time out around McMinville in Pinot Noir country, and that would be a great ride.  I've also taken the TGV from Paris to Lyon, and something similar over here would be fantastic.  As you say, just need a dedicated line to separate it from the major freight trains we have and Europe doesn't, at least to my knowledge.

    Beautiful day here in the Emerald City.  Enjoy your journey.

  •  Doc Brown couldn't use the Cascades (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cartoon Peril

    79 F'n MpH.  How sad.  You're right it's trapped on freight lines.  It's triple track main from Everett to Seattle, but it follows the coastline and makes hundreds of curves.  Cost is nice between $32 and $58.  It looks entirely inland Portland to Seattle. So that should help speed, but......

    Wow, 3 1/2 hrs to cover 180 miles, you could drive it in 3 hrs.  Even worse, Horizon has flights leaving every half hour or hour, takes about an hour and costs $180

    So, it looks like the sweet spot for HSR is 1 1/2 - 2 hrs (7 stops?) and cost around $100.  Wonder if it could work?

    “that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” Thomas Jefferson

    by markdd on Tue Sep 18, 2012 at 10:26:08 AM PDT

    •  I've taken planes, trains, and freeway numerous (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      markdd

      times.  Planes got too expensive and too much hassle.  I must have driven the route 100 times.  It's a headache after a while, particularly if like me you tend to get tired while driving a car.  The train doesn't have the best of schedules, but if you can work it out, it's a good way to go.

      You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

      by Cartoon Peril on Tue Sep 18, 2012 at 10:58:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Is philo-moocher the new socialist fuckstick? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cartoon Peril

    has anyone figured out what it's supposed to mean yet? what good is it to insult someone if they don't get the insult?

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Tue Sep 18, 2012 at 10:40:55 AM PDT

  •  Here's an interesting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cartoon Peril

    History of the way we used to do it

    In 1905, the Willamette Valley Traction Company was organized to build an electric interurban railroad from Portland south to Salem. Planned branches included Hillsboro, Forest Grove, Newberg, McMinnville and Dallas. When it opened, it was christened the Oregon Electric Railway.
    ~
    Service from Portland to Eugene began October 15, 1912

    White-collar conservatives flashing down the street, pointing their plastic finger at me..

    by BOHICA on Tue Sep 18, 2012 at 10:48:27 AM PDT

    •  There's a long history of the Oregon Electric (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BOHICA

      and several nice little books about it, I think published by Arcadia, those little pocket local histories.

      You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

      by Cartoon Peril on Tue Sep 18, 2012 at 10:53:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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