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High Speed Rail: Pros and Cons

How to save energy through both societal and individual actions.

Re: High Speed Rail: Pros and Cons

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 24 Feb 2019, 16:01:12

Yonnipun,

Where is here?
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Re: High Speed Rail: Pros and Cons

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 24 Feb 2019, 16:16:54

Here is an interesting article looking at where and why HSR does make sense.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2017 ... -asia/amp/
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Re: High Speed Rail: Pros and Cons

Unread postby Yonnipun » Sun 24 Feb 2019, 16:23:02

Estonia. The transport is actually free within the county/province but the party who pushed it through wants to make it free all over the country. I am all for it but of course people who have cars are getting angry that their tax money goes to public transport.
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Re: High Speed Rail: Pros and Cons

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 24 Feb 2019, 17:29:44

Thanks.

I’d be interested to know how long the free system has been in use and how it’s working out.
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Re: High Speed Rail: Pros and Cons

Unread postby Zarquon » Mon 25 Feb 2019, 00:26:48

I just found an ancient bookmark from 2012 (do you often bookmark interesting things and then never read them?):

https://slate.com/business/2012/09/l-a- ... -city.html

"L.A.’s Transit Revolution
How a ballot initiative, a visionary mayor, and a quest for growth are turning Los Angeles into America’s next great mass-transit city.

...
Los Angeles has made this remarkable and underappreciated shift because it has never stopped growing. The core Los Angeles municipality never experienced the kind of postwar population crash that afflicted Northern cities.

In 1940, there were 1.5 million people in the city. Twenty years later, it was almost 2.5 million. By 1990 it was close to 3.5 million. Today it’s 3.8 million and still climbing. The larger metropolitan area has ballooned to 13 million residents, leaving Chicago in the dust as America’s second city. And even though the area is built in a sprawling sunbelt format, the geography of surrounding mountains, ocean, and national forests physically constrains L.A.’s growth. Because of that, the average population density throughout the urban area is actually the highest in America even though the core is much less dense than an Eastern city like New York or Boston. The result was legendary traffic jams, combined with a practical inability to widen the arterial freeways that form the backbone of the city’s transportation infrastructure.

The usual response to too much traffic in the United States is to strangle growth. New development would mean more cars would mean more traffic, so cities adopt rules to block new development.

That’s how San Mateo County between San Francisco and Silicon Valley managed to muster a measly 1.6 percent population growth in the past decade despite enviable access to two of the highest-wage labor markets in America. Over the past 20 years, however, L.A. has chosen the bolder path of investing in the kind of infrastructure that can support continued population growth, and shifting land use to encourage more housing and more people.
..."

The article is seven years old, and a lot of ambitious public transport projects were still in the making then. Would be interesting to find a 2019 update.
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Re: High Speed Rail: Pros and Cons

Unread postby Yonnipun » Mon 25 Feb 2019, 02:38:03

I’d be interested to know how long the free system has been in use and how it’s working out.


In Tallinn( capital city) it has been free since 2013. In other country since 2018. The bad thing is it free when you have a registration in the county you use the transportation but they want to make it so that it does not depend on it. You have a card and have to validate it every time you ride. I myself have used it only a couple of times. I think it is great. No need to stress about some pennies for a ticket. Very convinient. Some bus drives maybe were not that happy because they simply put thouse pennies in their pocket and did not give a ticket.
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Re: High Speed Rail: Pros and Cons

Unread postby Newfie » Mon 25 Feb 2019, 07:50:07

Zarquon,

Found this, lowest ridership in 10 years.

https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la- ... story.html
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Re: High Speed Rail: Pros and Cons

Unread postby Simon_R » Tue 26 Feb 2019, 09:59:17

Gotta Chime in on this, I use the rail system in france regularly.

Both High and low speed, high speed runs about anywhere between 300 and 330kph, obviously slower in cities and towns.

Low speed is about 130-160kph (estimate)

both are comfortable and reliable and you have internet and power, so you can work on board.
There is (on a few routes) a road train that picks up your car, and you meet it at your destination
They also offer a service to pick up your luggage and it will be waiting for you on the other end.
Low speed trains, offer an office area, a play area (for kids .. duh) and trolley service.

the trains are run as a service (ie. not for profit) and transport up to 2k people at a go.

go on go on go on … buy a few any doubts check this out

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOdATLzRGHc

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Re: High Speed Rail: Pros and Cons

Unread postby Cog » Tue 26 Feb 2019, 10:28:15

People will eventually realize that the USA is not one those micro-countries in Europe. Not the people on this board of course, who think you can drive across the US in an afternoon like you can German or France.

Fascinating lack of knowledge of geography on display in this thread.
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Re: High Speed Rail: Pros and Cons

Unread postby Simon_R » Tue 26 Feb 2019, 10:51:28

Madrid to Warsaw = 3000km (ish)
New York to San-Fransisco = 4600km (ish)

only a 50% increase, and you can also go high speed to moscow and plans are afoot to get you to beijing, so the argument for distance does not really hold water
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Re: High Speed Rail: Pros and Cons

Unread postby evilgenius » Tue 26 Feb 2019, 13:01:17

I still think that electric car recharging is going to be a problem, the solving of which could tie people's local spaces to the rest of the system. It takes hours to recharge a lithium ion powered electric car. In most highly developed places, there isn't enough room, nor electrical infrastructure, to do this. Houses broken up into separate units and large apartment buildings will be recharging bottlenecks. Beyond those, single family houses where multiple generations reside will also be a problem. I know of several neighborhoods in my city where there are so many cars parked in front of most houses that there isn't room to park on any given day.

This problem will probably be addressed, initially, by attempting to build out the electrical infrastructure to those places. Largely, this will put the onus upon those who own those properties. It will be easy to wire a house that only needs to plug one or two cars into an outlet in the back of the garage. It will be much harder to charge four cars at the same time, when there isn't even room enough for those cars to park in the first place. Apartment buildings will probably try to introduce a small number of charging stations, which the residents will all have to share. They'll need to be able to charge each person for what they use, just as those at a house with a large number of cars may have to. Charging stations will probably pop up like parking meters, everywhere. There still wouldn't be enough room, though it would come closer. It would come even closer if the fleet model, providing on demand transportation, worked alongside individual car ownership. We could do that. It might cause us to miss out on an opportunity.

An inadequate number of places to charge electric vehicles will mark the beginning stages of any all electric transportation scheme. That's why I say a rail solution may be in the cards. If that is the choice, then such a solution could tie car carrying trains into both the intermediate system, where it is used to get around local traffic bottlenecks, and the long range system, where people go from city to city. The key is vehicle autonomy. If a car can drop you off where you live and then drive itself to the rail station, where it will get taken to a large lot where it makes sense to build a mass scale charging system, then car carrying high speed rail has a chance of succeeding. If it does succeed, then it not only solves the charging problem, but also the need for the highly extensive public transport infrastructure extending away from the rail heads. You only need that for people who don't own cars and wouldn't call a ride, like regular commuters without cars. Everybody else would use their own car to get them around, once they've traveled to a destination upon the rail network.
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Re: High Speed Rail: Pros and Cons

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Tue 26 Feb 2019, 13:16:50

The cost of a charging station being much less then the EV itself I see no problem matching the number of charging stations to the number of EVs sold. There are already multiple installed at interstate rest areas most sitting unused at present.
Urban parking problems will remain as always difficult, but there is no reason charging stations can't become as ubiquitous as parking meters are now and technologies like self driving Uber cars (EV of course) may dramatically reduce demand for urban parking of all types.
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Re: High Speed Rail: Pros and Cons

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Tue 26 Feb 2019, 15:32:22

I don't think you people are grasping the differences yet. The USA is a very large country with cheap land, a huge middle class, and the invention of mass produced ICE vehicles in conjunction with dirt cheap gasoline were all basic differences from Europe. The solution to modernized personal transport is also going to be different.

Commmuter trains make sense in cities. I am two miles from the light rail, but I am seeing private homes being replaced with medium-density and even high rise apartments, steps from the light rail. Traffic reached the critical mass and gridlock is forcing change. The cost of fuel is not a large motivator, in a time when comfortable 40mpg vehicles are common. Carbon taxes in any amounts that won't also break the economy simply will do nothing either.

The USA has suburbs in low/middle/upper-middle class flavors, unlike other countries. BEVs for road use are bound to play a larger role than any form of train, in this country.

Likewise the airlines are already competitive in terms of cost per passenger seat with trains. There just is little justification for HSR.
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Re: High Speed Rail: Pros and Cons

Unread postby Cog » Tue 26 Feb 2019, 16:15:27

You will get the Euros and wanna-be Euros upset with this fact based argument KJ. Its easier just to wave at them and give them a condescending smile the way you would a small child.
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Re: High Speed Rail: Pros and Cons

Unread postby Newfie » Tue 26 Feb 2019, 16:41:58

Simon_R wrote:Madrid to Warsaw = 3000km (ish)
New York to San-Fransisco = 4600km (ish)

only a 50% increase, and you can also go high speed to moscow and plans are afoot to get you to beijing, so the argument for distance does not really hold water


You make it sound like you are going Madrid to Warsaw direct. I doubt that is the case. Since you brought it up how about you come up with the itinerary, cost, and time to do that trip. My bet is there are over 20 stops and at least 4 carriage changes with layovers.
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Re: High Speed Rail: Pros and Cons

Unread postby Newfie » Tue 26 Feb 2019, 16:44:47

Simon_R wrote:Gotta Chime in on this, I use the rail system in france regularly.

Both High and low speed, high speed runs about anywhere between 300 and 330kph, obviously slower in cities and towns.

Low speed is about 130-160kph (estimate)

both are comfortable and reliable and you have internet and power, so you can work on board.
There is (on a few routes) a road train that picks up your car, and you meet it at your destination
They also offer a service to pick up your luggage and it will be waiting for you on the other end.
Low speed trains, offer an office area, a play area (for kids .. duh) and trolley service.

the trains are run as a service (ie. not for profit) and transport up to 2k people at a go.


go on go on go on … buy a few any doubts check this out

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOdATLzRGHc

Simon


No doubt any of this is true.

Would it work in the USA?

How much carbon does it save? Especially if you are lugging your car with you?
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Re: High Speed Rail: Pros and Cons

Unread postby jedrider » Tue 26 Feb 2019, 23:09:16

I don't know why we need HSR if I can't even find a convenient bus route for a student who lives with us to get to her school only seven miles away. That's basically the problem. HSR can only be part of the solution to traffic congestion and the need to get around without everyone requiring an environmental doomsday machine to be at the disposal of their whim. Uber and Lyft have helped though, but only in a crunch.

I'm all for HSR, but it has to be integrated into a usable system.
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Re: High Speed Rail: Pros and Cons

Unread postby lpetrich » Wed 27 Feb 2019, 00:27:52

I think that we ought to start a separate thread on urban transit, if someone has not already done so.

Back to high-speed rail, European nations have built some impressive combined lengths of high-speed trackage, though China likely beats them there.

For instance, Málaga, Spain - Amsterdam, Netherlands. All HSR except for Perpignan - Montpellier in southern France. The great-circle distance is 1,200 mi / 1,900 km, and the highway distance for an approximation to the high-speed-rail routing is 1,800 mi / 2,850 km.

I found an itinerary with the help of raileurope.com and it was necessary to change trains a few times:

Málaga - Madrid - Barcelona - Paris - Amsterdam

In Paris, it is necessary to go from the Gare de Lyon to the Gare du Nord, though one can get around that by doing

Málaga - Madrid - Barcelona - Nîmes - Lille - Amsterdam

By US standards, that great-circle distance is roughly the NYC - Wichita KS GCD and the LA - Dallas GCD.
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Re: High Speed Rail: Pros and Cons

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Wed 27 Feb 2019, 01:08:01

Again, different solutions for different countries. The USA is one large country with a Federal Aviation Administration, and the travel niche that HSR occupies in Europe or Asia is occupied by Business Class air travel here. We can do so because there are no border crossings, customs, medical exams, etc.

I do not dispute that HSR, commuter trains, etc. play a role in European and Asian countries. The requirements are different here, and the solution will be different. BEVs, self-driving vehicles, etc. are developing rapidly and as needed.
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Re: High Speed Rail: Pros and Cons

Unread postby Zarquon » Wed 27 Feb 2019, 01:40:55

KaiserJeep wrote:We can do so because there are no border crossings, customs, medical exams, etc.


How many customs officers do you think you're going to see on the route Málaga - Madrid - Barcelona - Nîmes - Lille - Amsterdam? Or Amsterdam - Berlin - Warsaw?
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