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  #41  
Old Posted Sep 26, 2008, 12:15 AM
puerco puerco is offline
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Coast Starlight

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Originally Posted by alexjon View Post
Yeah, ridership on Amtrak Cascades is near zero.
The same can't be said about the Coast Starlight. I'm having to book about a month in advance in order to get a seat to Seattle and back. This country desparately needs high speed rail. Especially between SF and LA and SF and the PNW.
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  #42  
Old Posted Sep 26, 2008, 12:55 AM
bvpcvm bvpcvm is online now
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uh... i think alexjon was being sarcastic.

given the state of our economy, i can't see any HSR happening here for 20 years. have you seen the news? we're fucked. the dollar is doomed and unless we can manufacture the necessary construction materials here in the US, we won't be able to afford to import the materials. i'm not saying it's not needed, but we are just not going to have the resources to do this stuff (here in "the world's last superpower" - how ironic).
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  #43  
Old Posted Sep 26, 2008, 1:53 AM
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Originally Posted by JordanL View Post
Becuase it's rail. Any politician is going to be heistant to pay hundreds of billions for infrastructure that most people don't even know exists, let alone register as a travel option when planning trips.
True, a nationwide plan will cost hundreds of Billions.
But, for particular city pairs where higher speeds are desired, it'll cost around $10-15 million per mile to upgrade the track, and around $5-10 million per grade separation.

Take for example, Chicago to Milwaukee. That's a distance of approximately 85 miles. So, the brand new tracks will cost around $850 million. There's approximately 90 at grade highway intersections, to upgrade all would cost an addition $900 million. Most of the at grade intersections are in rural areas, so the expense building the grade separation will be much less than in more urban areas. Total including train sets would be around $1.8 billion.
That initially sounds like a lot of cash, but it's not considering how much is spent building commuter rail lines. The stations already exist on this line, the problem will be choosing which ones to pass by.
Amtrak presently runs 14 Hiawatha trains along this route every day, plus two Empire Builder trains a day. Presently it take an hour and a half, averaging around 60 mph, it could be completed in just more than one hour.
The tracks along this route are already in pretty good shape because the Hiawatha makes 5 stops and still averages 60 mph. So, it's probably not necessary to spend much money on new tracks. Half the route is already double tracked. But imagine how eliminating the at grade intersections, and using faster train sets would help speed this route up. Probably for less than one billion dollars.
Other city pairs could be upgraded cheaply too. You also will get more for your tax money investing on tracks with many passenger trains a day already running on them, like the Chicago to Milwaukee corridor. As you complete upgrading city pairs, one by one, you also speed up the longer distance cross country hotel trains piecemeal too. But one has to start somewhere.
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  #44  
Old Posted Sep 26, 2008, 2:07 AM
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Originally Posted by puerco View Post
The same can't be said about the Coast Starlight. I'm having to book about a month in advance in order to get a seat to Seattle and back. This country desparately needs high speed rail. Especially between SF and LA and SF and the PNW.
The Coast Starlight route is a problem. I can see spending the money to upgrade the tracks between Portland and Vancouver, and between Sacramento and San Jose, and between Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, because more than two passenger trains a day presently run on them.

But that leaves hundreds of miles that have just the two Coast Starlight trains a day. I don't think it's a good investment to spend billions of dollars upgrading relatively unused tracks when there's so many other tracks Amtrak runs far more service on.

Let's upgrade the most use tracks first. Even with upgrades to parts of a long distance Amtrak route, like the Coast Starlight route, significant savings in time can be acheived.
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  #45  
Old Posted Sep 26, 2008, 11:19 PM
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How many miles of HSR does $700B buy?
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  #46  
Old Posted Sep 27, 2008, 12:30 AM
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Maybe we can get some high speed rail as a New Deal type project to help the stimulate the economy.
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  #47  
Old Posted Sep 27, 2008, 3:47 AM
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How many miles of HSR does $700B buy?
Per http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/fa...nd-payment.htm
The cost to build the 800-mile system is estimated to be about $40 billion.
800 M/$40 Billion x $700 Billion= 14,000 miles.

Amtrak operates passenger service on 21,000 miles (34,000 km) of track primarily owned by freight railroads connecting 500 destinations in 46 states.

Therefore, 66% of all Amtrak routes could be converted to 220 mph HSR corridors with the $700 Billion bailout.

Of course, California probably has underpriced the costs significantly. So let's just say 50% of all Amtrak routes could be upgraded to 220 mph HSR corridors with the $700 Billion bailout.

Now my question, which half would you upgrade, and which half you would not upgrade?
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  #48  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2008, 5:50 AM
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^the east coast...no doubt the strongest corridor. There should be enough left over to get an LA to Seattle link in there, and one west coast to east coast line....for starters anyway.
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  #49  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2008, 7:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electricron View Post
Per http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/fa...nd-payment.htm
The cost to build the 800-mile system is estimated to be about $40 billion.
800 M/$40 Billion x $700 Billion= 14,000 miles.

Amtrak operates passenger service on 21,000 miles (34,000 km) of track primarily owned by freight railroads connecting 500 destinations in 46 states.

Therefore, 66% of all Amtrak routes could be converted to 220 mph HSR corridors with the $700 Billion bailout.

Of course, California probably has underpriced the costs significantly. So let's just say 50% of all Amtrak routes could be upgraded to 220 mph HSR corridors with the $700 Billion bailout.

Now my question, which half would you upgrade, and which half you would not upgrade?
Just throwing this out there...

It'll be REALLY hard, realistically, to get any sort of HSR system in place via government funding... partly because the airline industry will see it as a $700 subsidy for direct competition. I expect that the lobbying would be tremendous.
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  #50  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2008, 8:40 AM
IanofCascadia IanofCascadia is offline
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Lobbying wise, getting funding for high speed rail will be difficult but may very well get a MASSIVE bump in just a few months. Let us all remember that Biden is perhaps the biggest advocate for rail in Congress today, and I think that we have all learned that the role of mere beauty modeling for the VP has come to an end. I agree with pdxf that perhaps the best way to get a comprehensive HSR package is to market it as a New Deal type initiative. It has been shown over and over again that putting money into infrastructure is probably the absolute best way to stimulate the economy.
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  #51  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2008, 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by IanofCascadia View Post
Lobbying wise, getting funding for high speed rail will be difficult but may very well get a MASSIVE bump in just a few months. Let us all remember that Biden is perhaps the biggest advocate for rail in Congress today, and I think that we have all learned that the role of mere beauty modeling for the VP has come to an end. I agree with pdxf that perhaps the best way to get a comprehensive HSR package is to market it as a New Deal type initiative. It has been shown over and over again that putting money into infrastructure is probably the absolute best way to stimulate the economy.
Sen. Biden rides on the NE Corridor twice every day, from Delaware to D.C. He knows the value of transit.

My only worry, is that he'll spend mostly on NE rail Corridor, were the ROW is already owned by Amtrak; the US Government; vs spending that much on privately owned freight ROW.
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  #52  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2008, 3:05 PM
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$10Billion high speed rail bill passed in California.

This will link SF to LA.


Can't find speeds yet, but the trip is supposed to be 2.5hours point to point.

Very exciting step in the right direction, even if it isn't perfect.
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  #53  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2008, 10:24 PM
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^ cahsr would reach speeds of up to 220 mph
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  #54  
Old Posted Nov 7, 2008, 2:45 AM
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cool, 200mph and up is real high speed rail in my opinion.

At least we aren't look at 90mph amtrak speeds!

Go Cali
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  #55  
Old Posted Nov 7, 2008, 3:25 AM
zilfondel zilfondel is offline
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Heck, 186 mph is high speed! 220 is... going to be one of the fastest lines in the world! And in our lifetimes, too. This is incredible!
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  #56  
Old Posted Nov 7, 2008, 3:38 AM
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Whoo hooo for us Californians (but Portland natives)! When it's built, I'll be able to walk to the subway, take it to downtown LA, hop the HSR, and get off in San Francisco. That will be cool.
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  #57  
Old Posted Nov 10, 2008, 1:28 PM
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This 10 Billion in bond money approved by the voters builds the first leg, from Anaheim and Disneyland Resort to LA Union Station, and then up the San Joaquin Valley to San Jose and San Fran's Transbay Terminal downtown. This will be the main trunk line for the system, and will get it started.

Further bond requests would add in the feeder lines and extensions from Anaheim to Irvine, from LA to Riverside and San Diego, and from San Jose to Oakland and Sacramento.

The Feds still need to chip in their share to the tune of another 10 Billion, and the stations are going to need to involve private investment. In Anaheim the Orange County Transit Authority has already drafted a proposal, blessed by President Bush's Secretary of Transportation during her visit this past summer, for a inter-modal station called ARTIC. Currently the Anaheim station near Disneyland is very busy with several dozen passenger trains per day from the Amtrak Surfliners and the Metrolink commuter trains. The ARTIC station would beef up the Amtrak and Metrolink facilities, be a major hub for the CaHighSpeed trains, and also link in with a proposed monorail extension from Disneyland. The Anaheim and Orange County proposal developed over the past few years under the assumption that High Speed Rail would eventually get built in SoCal, is being used as a model for other cities and counties who now have to come up with station proposals for the high speed trains.

http://www.octa.net/artic.aspx
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  #58  
Old Posted Dec 29, 2008, 5:48 PM
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High-speed rail would be ultimate efficient addition to Northwest transportation system
by Brad Perkins, Guest opinion
Sunday December 28, 2008, 5:55 PM Oregonian



Developing a high-speed rail transit line between Eugene and Vancouver B.C. has now, more than ever, the potential to become a reality in Oregon. The Governors and Congressional delegations of Oregon and Washington need to take a more proactive stance in supporting the kind of high-speed rail projects that are increasingly gaining support nationwide.

In a November 30, 2008 issue of Parade magazine, people were asked if they preferred cash rebates to repairing our nation's infrastructure. 67% percent of Americans preferred focusing on infrastructure improvements that emphasized building faster and better trains, which would help to not only reduce road congestion, pollution, and green house gases but to create much-needed jobs as well.

On November 18, 2008, Senators John Kerry and Arlan Spector introduced a bill that would allow bonds to be issued to raise more than $23 billion for high-speed rail projects in the United States. These funds are a beginning, although it will take substantial funding and collaboration nationwide similar to the efforts expended to build our interstate freeway system that was initiated during the Eisenhower Administration for Defense purposes.

Lifestyle changes dependent on transit would increase our security and comfort level without fear of unpredictable gas price hikes. Less dependence on foreign intervention to preserve our "vital oil interests" will cause greater security at home and thus less justification for the 750 billion to a trillion dollars we spend annually on defense and foreign wars.

With our recent elections, economic crisis and misdirected broken down American auto industry, we are ready for a change that is transformational. We should look beyond spending billions of dollars per year to repair existing roads and bridges. The Honorable Chairman of the Transportation Subcommittee, Congressman Peter DeFazio, understands the fundamental transportation systems changes needed and will work hard in leading Congress to challenge 'big oil' interests and fund alternative transportation needs. Congress needs to allocate funding that will help reduce our dependence on foreign oil and, at the same time, will make domestic oil more economical to produce.

Governor Ted Kulongoski recently released his "Jobs and Transportation Act for 2009." For the sake of our children's future, the Act should at least contain partial funding for planning and developing separated freight and high speed passenger rail service between Eugene and Seattle by 2019. Maximum travel time of four hours should be the goal. A new high-speed train station built on the east bank of the Willamette River across from the Coliseum would act as the main transportation and tourism hub in the region with great connectivity to bikeways, streetcars and light rail. This same high-speed double track rail system could double as a commuter line from Portland's new station to a new station in Vancouver. A ten-minute non-stop rail commute between Vancouver and Portland could give a new perspective to Columbia River Crossing.

As a part of a larger transportation system, high speed and commute rail would be the ultimate in fuel efficiency and speed, and add to our greener lifestyle goals.
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  #59  
Old Posted Dec 29, 2008, 11:23 PM
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if and when we get high speed rail, we will probably get a new train station out of it that will be built on the east side of the river which would definitely free up the current train station building.

I so want to see high speed rail in this country...we have squandered the last 20 years with outdated technology on how to run a country and the Bush Administration has kindly pushed us back to pre 1974 ideals on how to run a country...no wonder why the rest of the world looks at us like we are idiots. I am so hoping for alot of movements forward over the next 8 years cause we have alot to catch up on.
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  #60  
Old Posted Dec 30, 2008, 2:56 AM
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I wonder if the potential for profitability could get private investment on board like what's happened overseas. If the California HSR works out this could be boosted by the experiences and economies of scale related to that project.

Anyways, hopefully the first link would the Seattle-Portland leg. Not too long and hopefully doable.
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