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  #1441  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2019, 9:17 PM
plutonicpanda plutonicpanda is offline
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Originally Posted by jtown,man View Post
Good points. But my overall point is that HSR isn't the same as the MTA or CTA. It serves a different purpose and population(roughly speaking). If we are going to run something without a profit(which is fine) then it better not be to subsidize people who have other options. Running a system to get hundreds of thousands or millions of people to work every day is different(to me) than giving people the option of a train over air travel to travel to different cities for pleasure, business, or whatever.
That is true. Hmmm didn't think about that. It gets really tricky in this area.
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  #1442  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2019, 10:57 PM
SFBruin SFBruin is offline
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Originally Posted by urbanview View Post
"Representatives from state-owned operator Renfe have repeatedly said that AVE trains do sell enough tickets to cover operating costs without requiring a government subsidy. In March this year, the company announced that it had achieved a net profit of €70macross its services in 2017"
Wow, I did not know that.
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  #1443  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2019, 12:24 AM
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Originally Posted by urbanview View Post
You're either trolling or clueless.. Nobody here is talking cross country trains, EVER. I don't understand why you keep repeating the same old story. Do you think we're all 5 years old and we don't know American geography? Just stop.
No, I am not going to stop! You missed my pointy entirely.
Everywhere, except China, that has invested heavily into HSR can get passengers from one side of the country to another. - actually do a cross country rail journey in a reasonable amount of time.
The reason why America hasn't is because you can't take a cross country journey in a trains in a reasonable amount of time. That's why America has invested heavily into airways, airports, airlines, and aircraft manufacturing instead.
Whereas there are potential profitable HSR corridors in America, private enterprise is going to have to build it. Everywhere government has tried to do it in America has ended in utter failure.
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  #1444  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2019, 12:50 AM
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Originally Posted by jmecklenborg View Post
Upgrading Wash > Boston to true HSR will only have incremental benefits, since the existing service is very good. This is the argument against HS2 in England - the existing services it would replace are already B/B+ quality, and the cost of upgrading to A+ is astronomical and won't win many riders.

Meanwhile, HSR makes sense in the areas of the U.S. that have virtually zero passenger rail, like California and the Great Lakes region.

Somehow lost in the intercity rail conversation is the fact that the midwest is mostly flat and will require zero major works of engineering between cities. By comparison, CAHSR will have multiple 10+ mile tunnels and proposed improvements to the Washington-Boston corridor include several large tunnels.
Somehow lost is the amount of money spent on the St. Louis to Chicago rail corridor and the Detroit to Chicago rail corridor within the last 15 years, without a single mph increase in average train speed resulting from the large expenditure.
US contribution: $1.6 billion in Illinois, $640 million in Michigan.
Illinois contribution $400 million.
Michigan contribution $150 million
Subtotal for the midwest = $2.790 billion.

I repeat, not even one mph increase in average speeds of the trains.
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  #1445  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2019, 1:02 AM
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Originally Posted by electricron View Post
Somehow lost is the amount of money spent on the St. Louis to Chicago rail corridor and the Detroit to Chicago rail corridor within the last 15 years, without a single mph increase in average train speed resulting from the large expenditure.
US contribution: $1.6 billion in Illinois, $640 million in Michigan.
Illinois contribution $400 million.
Michigan contribution $150 million
Subtotal for the midwest = $2.790 billion.

I repeat, not even one mph increase in average speeds of the trains.
Why didn't trains become faster? Did it just increase freight capacity?
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  #1446  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2019, 1:54 AM
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I mean correct me if I’m wrong but I thought there were pretty significant decreases in travel time on those routes over the last few years?
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  #1447  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2019, 3:33 AM
jmecklenborg jmecklenborg is offline
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The trains in Michigan are now the fastest in the United States outside the Northeast Corridor. A 100~ mile section now operates at 110mph:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfQXuQ9SMk4
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  #1448  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2019, 4:12 AM
SFBruin SFBruin is offline
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Originally Posted by electricron View Post
Somehow lost is the amount of money spent on the St. Louis to Chicago rail corridor
Okay, but even the staunchest conservative has to admit that Chicago - St. Louis is a good higher-speed rail corridor.

Last edited by SFBruin; Aug 14, 2019 at 4:30 AM.
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  #1449  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2019, 1:22 PM
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Originally Posted by jmecklenborg View Post
The trains in Michigan are now the fastest in the United States outside the Northeast Corridor. A 100~ mile section now operates at 110mph:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfQXuQ9SMk4
So the original comment is BS about no speed improvements.
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  #1450  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2019, 1:37 PM
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Originally Posted by jmecklenborg View Post
The trains in Michigan are now the fastest in the United States outside the Northeast Corridor. A 100~ mile section now operates at 110mph:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfQXuQ9SMk4
The trains are going 110 mph in Michigan. They can now travel the corridor 20 minutes faster than they did before. Whatever time they have saved going slightly faster has been lost waiting on more freight trains with congestion near Chicago. End result, no decrease in elapse time, no increase in average speed.

As reported by shlustig in the latest on time performance thread for July
DETROIT CORRIDOR
(W) - 5% - 57"
(E) - 8% - 59"

The trains in Illinois meanwhile are still going a max of 79 mph, and they have also seen more delays with more freight train congestion.
ST. LOUIS CORRIDOR
(W) - 48% - 40"
(E) - 50% - 1' 18"

At least the trains on the St. Louis corridor are on time about half the time and not running an hour late almost all of the time.

There you are, $3 billion spent and not much time saved, nor average speed increase seen.
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  #1451  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2019, 1:43 PM
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Originally Posted by electricron View Post
No, I am not going to stop! You missed my pointy entirely.
Everywhere, except China, that has invested heavily into HSR can get passengers from one side of the country to another. - actually do a cross country rail journey in a reasonable amount of time.
No. HSR has nothing to do with cross-country rail travel, it's about high-demand corridors. There is no reason that HSR can't work in the U.S., in certain corridors.
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Originally Posted by electricron View Post
Whereas there are potential profitable HSR corridors in America, private enterprise is going to have to build it. Everywhere government has tried to do it in America has ended in utter failure.
What are you talking about? The only semi-HSR corridor in the U.S. is extremely successful (and profitable). HSR is a public service, and profitability isn't the goal.
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  #1452  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2019, 1:55 PM
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Originally Posted by electricron View Post
Somehow lost is the amount of money spent on the St. Louis to Chicago rail corridor and the Detroit to Chicago rail corridor within the last 15 years, without a single mph increase in average train speed resulting from the large expenditure.
US contribution: $1.6 billion in Illinois, $640 million in Michigan.
Illinois contribution $400 million.
Michigan contribution $150 million
Subtotal for the midwest = $2.790 billion.

I repeat, not even one mph increase in average speeds of the trains.
Amtrak can't raise speed on the Chicago - St. Louis run until Union Pacific finishes installing and turning up PTC on the route. The vast majority of the infrastructure work needed to physically accommodate the trains is done. What the work has helped do so far is dramatically increase the reliability of the route, which is not nothing.
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  #1453  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2019, 2:02 PM
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Originally Posted by electricron View Post
No, I am not going to stop! You missed my pointy entirely.
Everywhere, except China, that has invested heavily into HSR can get passengers from one side of the country to another. - actually do a cross country rail journey in a reasonable amount of time.
The reason why America hasn't is because you can't take a cross country journey in a trains in a reasonable amount of time. That's why America has invested heavily into airways, airports, airlines, and aircraft manufacturing instead.
Whereas there are potential profitable HSR corridors in America, private enterprise is going to have to build it. Everywhere government has tried to do it in America has ended in utter failure.
This doesn't make any sense whatsoever. We invest even more heavily in highways and they are slower than HSR. Only a small percentage of people are going cross country on a given trip. There are a number of corridors in America that are obviously worthy of HSR investment.
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  #1454  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2019, 2:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electricron View Post
No, I am not going to stop! You missed my pointy entirely.
Everywhere, except China, that has invested heavily into HSR can get passengers from one side of the country to another. - actually do a cross country rail journey in a reasonable amount of time.
The reason why America hasn't is because you can't take a cross country journey in a trains in a reasonable amount of time. That's why America has invested heavily into airways, airports, airlines, and aircraft manufacturing instead.
Whereas there are potential profitable HSR corridors in America, private enterprise is going to have to build it. Everywhere government has tried to do it in America has ended in utter failure.
Other than California, please tell us where government has tried to invest in high speed rail. There have been some incremental improvements in the Northeast Corridor but I don't think anyone would argue that Acela is high speed rail, nor were the Chicago - Saint Louis improvements pitched as high-speed rail.
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  #1455  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2019, 3:52 PM
plutonicpanda plutonicpanda is offline
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Not so sure about the NEC anymore being profitable and certainly not if the costs of 22b to bring it up to par are proven true.

http://www.trainsandtravel.com/2016/...ains-magazine/
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  #1456  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2019, 4:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
No. HSR has nothing to do with cross-country rail travel, it's about high-demand corridors. There is no reason that HSR can't work in the U.S., in certain corridors.

What are you talking about? The only semi-HSR corridor in the U.S. is extremely successful (and profitable). HSR is a public service, and profitability isn't the goal.
I disagree the only semi-HSR corridor in the USA is profitable.
Many bridges, tunnels, and miles of catenaries need replacing, the latest from Amtrak to get the NEC into a state of good repair is $28 billion in additional to the $500 million per year for regular maintenance.
http://www.nec-commission.com/capita.../restoring_nec

Yes, that's $28 billion of deferred maintenance sneaking up on them.

I am in favor of private enterprise building and operating HSR lines for market driven city pairs. I have not been impress with Amtrak's ability to maintain the semi-HSR line they already have, much less build and operate another. California HSR is in such a mess it's present democrat governor wants to get out of. What CHSR needs is a private corporation to take control of it using private finances to finish it. For that to happen, the California government needs to step down its oversight and let private enterprise move in. That will probably never happen, and that is why it will never be completed in your's or my lifetimes.
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  #1457  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2019, 10:57 AM
Crawford Crawford is offline
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Originally Posted by electricron View Post
I disagree the only semi-HSR corridor in the USA is profitable.
You have every right to reject reality, but it doesn't change the fact that it's profitable.

The NE Corridor is a cash cow for the rest of Amtrak. Acela charges sky-high fares and is typically sold out. It's the closest thing to "HSR" in the U.S. and an unabashed success, dominating the regional market.
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  #1458  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2019, 1:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
You have every right to reject reality, but it doesn't change the fact that it's profitable.

The NE Corridor is a cash cow for the rest of Amtrak. Acela charges sky-high fares and is typically sold out. It's the closest thing to "HSR" in the U.S. and an unabashed success, dominating the regional market.
And Acela is not responsible to help fund that $28 billion repair bill?
If it was a privately ran operation, it would be.
I'm not the one rejecting reality, you are.
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  #1459  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2019, 2:34 PM
jmecklenborg jmecklenborg is offline
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Originally Posted by electricron View Post
Yes, that's $28 billion of deferred maintenance sneaking up on them.
That is the cost of the full replacement of many major 100+ year-old bridges and tunnels along the route, none of which are in critical states of disrepair. Also, many of them are used by other railroad operations like MARC, Metro North, NJ Transit, and freight, so Amtrak should not be expected to bear the full cost.


A true HSR line only carries HSR passenger traffic. The TGV in France has a post office train but that is being phased out if it isn't gone already. Other HSR lines around the world might carry light freight of that kind as well, but overwhelmingly, the primary use of a HSR rail line is intercity HSR trains. That's not what the Northeast Corridor is, and it's a big argument against building true HSR in the Northeast, aside from the fact that the quality of the service is already very good and very competitive with jet travel so improving it to world-class modern HSR won't attract many new riders.

California's situation is a totally different situation.
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  #1460  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2019, 2:37 PM
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Originally Posted by electricron View Post
And Acela is not responsible to help fund that $28 billion repair bill?
If it was a privately ran operation, it would be.
I'm not the one rejecting reality, you are.
The figure is inflated and numerous commuter services also use the NEC so the idea that Amtrak is solely responsible for covering the long term infra costs doesn’t seem reasonable and why it’s a good candidate for various federal grants. It’s not a private asset or used like one so that argument is pointless.

Cost for all the bridge replacements which are the big ticket items plus the Baltimore tunnel prob in the $15B range. None of that is “sneaking up” on anybody since Amtrak has listed these needs for decades.
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