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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 Simon_R » Wed 27 Feb 2019, 02:10:49

Awww … I had a reply about that EU trip already, but curse the time difference, you beat me to it.

First thing, there are no customs posts in Europe, if you are in a schenken country, so its seamless, except for 'our british friends'
Second, you can work on the train (I do every monday and friday) so no down time.

Yeah you gotta change at Barcelona (we have no tunnel through those pesky Pyrenees) but there several nice bars and restaurants there.

The change in paris (I do it all the time) is accomplished with a service called iDCabs, this is a service of SNCF, they have a lad, meet your train and chauffer you across town, all very cheap and swish (also internet and sometimes a desk in the car). As for Gare de Lyon, check out 'Le Train Bleu' ... nuff said
.

Not sure why you would bring your car ... just rent when you get there, you get a discount for travelling by rail.


As for Carbon, a lot of the rail companies buy huge amounts of Renewable Leccy, so theres that, before you start in on its not the actual electrons made by Wind/Solar/Hydro just know that the purchase of ROC's renewable credits is very tightly controlled and means that you are effectively paying to dump that renewable (or Alt. if youre really gonna get snarky) onto the grid, which means .... that somewhere an oil/coil/gas station is cycled down a notch (yes it can be done, not ideal for the operator, but they do it)


Now, I am sure Alstom would do you a deal .... go on go on go on


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Re: High Speed Rail: Pros and Cons

Unread postby Yonnipun » Wed 27 Feb 2019, 04:57:24

https://et.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rail_Baltic#/media/File:RBINFO.png

Here in Estonia we are going to have a high speed rail too. Most people are against it. Athough the money comes mostly from european union who is going to maintain it in the future? For me it means that the price of sand and gravel is going to rise a lot. That reminds me I need to backfill around my garage as soon as possible.
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Re: High Speed Rail: Pros and Cons

Unread postby Simon_R » Wed 27 Feb 2019, 05:51:02

Hi Yonnipun

That's pretty cool, how are they going handle the snow up there, I imagine the winters are pretty fierce ?

never thought about the gravel issue, guess I am not a big consumer.

I think this is part of a larger EU initiative, to connect us all together, which does actually raise a seemingly frivolous question.

What do we do about sleeping and eating on these trains, up until recently the TGV/AVE/ICE only had a buffet service, and this was explained to me (when I complained :) ) that the trains go so fast, there is no time for a decent meal, now if we are extending our network, at what point will we need to increase the food carrying, and maybe even sleeping capacity ?

btw, is this train gonna run to talinn to Riga ?

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Re: High Speed Rail: Pros and Cons

Unread postby Newfie » Wed 27 Feb 2019, 10:35:49

Come on now, you made a claim of Madrid to Moskva by HSR.

I asked for an itinerary with number of stops, number of train changes, total moles, total time and total cost.

You are not responding to that so I’m betting it’s bleak.

And yes, I admit that HSR is pretty nice and fancy. But that does not detract from my contention that it is a subsidy for the upper middle class.

HSR likely has a rational sweet spot elsewhere, not arguing that. The USA is a different animal, the logistics and demographics are totally different.
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Re: High Speed Rail: Pros and Cons

Unread postby Simon_R » Wed 27 Feb 2019, 11:03:34

Hi Newfie

Don't know the stops, not sure why that's relevant, I would have to actually do it, and it would also depend on time of day but the itinerary is either

1) Madrid - Barcelona - Paris - Dortmund - Berlin - Moscow
2) Madrid - Barcelona - Nice - Moscou

each name is a train change.

I travel regularly by HST 800km first class for 100 euro, and if I did this really early it would be even cheaper

Large families are subsidised, as are student and pensioners, train in the EU (except our british friends) are run as a service

dunno what moles are

Cost, is gonna be a big deal for me to find out .... but between 700 and 1500 euro depending, I know the Moscow nice one is about 1.5 days or thereabout.
As we were talking about, our network is expanding and we have a disparate set of services, so there is not yet a single train to take you from one end of the EU to another
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Re: High Speed Rail: Pros and Cons

Unread postby Simon_R » Wed 27 Feb 2019, 11:59:30

Pstarr … yep, that sounds accurate, we (in the EU) are actually beginning to find that problem as well, as the demand grows, older stations cannot cope, a good example is Montpellier, they have had to build a spanking new station out of town and connect it to the older one with a tram, not ideal but doable.
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Re: High Speed Rail: Pros and Cons

Unread postby Newfie » Wed 27 Feb 2019, 14:08:44

pstarr wrote:Newfie, its not the logistics and demographics that are totally different. It's our love affair with cars, fear of race mixing, and the lack of right-of-ways. We were still a relatively young country when we embraced the auto revolution. We have peppered our geography with suburbs whereas Europe and the rest of the world had already committed to a railroad infrastructure.

It is too late to drill rail lines through suburbia. Yes there are still cable right of ways etc, but those are not wide enough for multiple rail track beds, associated power system, maintenance roads and crossings. We made our auto nest and must sleep and die in it. Even though train travel is far superior in many ways.


This is pretty much what I summed up as “logistics and demographics.” I’ve no beef with what you write here.
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Re: High Speed Rail: Pros and Cons

Unread postby Newfie » Wed 27 Feb 2019, 14:13:10

I asked for an itinerary with number of stops, number of train changes, total moles, total time and total cost.
.

“Moles” should read “miles”, or km or distance.

Cost, is gonna be a big deal for me to find out .... but between 700 and 1500 euro depending, I know the Moscow nice one is about 1.5 days or thereabout.
As we were talking about, our network is expanding and we have a disparate set of services, so there is not yet a single train to take you from one end of the EU to another


Air: about 8 hours with one stop under $200.

Look, I’m not against HSR per se. When it fits and is the best solution, I’m all for it. I’m against plunging ahead with ANY technology simply because it’s the darling of the moment.

We need to put our thinking caps on, and turn the “On” and revie each project to clearly identify the need and best solution.
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Re: High Speed Rail: Pros and Cons

Unread postby lpetrich » Wed 27 Feb 2019, 14:43:47

KaiserJeep wrote: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.

American provincialism. As if the Schengen zone does not exist.

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.

As if all the United States's inhabited parts are like certain people's favorite neighborhoods. As if the US has no big cities. As if the US's population distribution is not very patchy.

I fully concede that much of the US is not very well-suited for HSR development, like most of the area west of I-35. But much of it is, especially the Acela Corridor (Northeast Megalopolis, Bos-Wash Corridor), after the US's closest approximation to the high-speed trains of elsewhere in the world. Of the area west of I-35, California and the Pacific Northwest are also good for HSR development.
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Re: High Speed Rail: Pros and Cons

Unread postby Newfie » Wed 27 Feb 2019, 16:35:03

Thousands of transit professionals have been trying to fumigate out HSR for the NEC for about 30 years. Elon Musks proposal is probably the best, a continuous tunnel for the whole route.

Ha! Googled it and found some new news. Pitifully lacking in details like scope/schedule/budget.

https://www.dezeen.com/2018/02/20/elon- ... op-tunnel/

https://bigthink.com/news/ready-for-hyp ... hicagoland
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Re: High Speed Rail: Pros and Cons

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Wed 27 Feb 2019, 17:46:19

lpetrich wrote:-snip-

I fully concede that much of the US is not very well-suited for HSR development, like most of the area west of I-35. But much of it is, especially the Acela Corridor (Northeast Megalopolis, Bos-Wash Corridor), after the US's closest approximation to the high-speed trains of elsewhere in the world. Of the area west of I-35, California and the Pacific Northwest are also good for HSR development.


What exacly do you mean by "good for HSR development"? The California HSR system was taking a half-mile wide swath of California's Central Valley and turning this valuable farmland into scrub brush behind a fence. Doesn't sound like much, and I appreciate the need for security as much as anyone. But then think about a piece of land a half mile wide and 800 miles long. That is 400 square miles of farmland which ought to be used for growing food for people. That is a huge and ongoing cost nobody is putting a price on.
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Re: High Speed Rail: Pros and Cons

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Wed 27 Feb 2019, 19:40:40

Why would any rail road right of way need to be a half mile (2640 feet) wide??
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Re: High Speed Rail: Pros and Cons

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Thu 28 Feb 2019, 00:27:47

vtsnowedin wrote:Why would any rail road right of way need to be a half mile (2640 feet) wide??


They claimed it was for security and for first responders. There is a 500 ft cleared space, then a road on each side for the use of emergency services and maintenance crews, then a space to the high fencing yhat keeps out large animals. The entire length of the ROW is also monitored via satellite for sabotage. This is not unlike other HSR systems. It doesn't take much to kill people on a 200mph train.
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Re: High Speed Rail: Pros and Cons

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Thu 28 Feb 2019, 06:09:03

That's ridiculous. A show stopper right there.
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Re: High Speed Rail: Pros and Cons

Unread postby Cog » Thu 28 Feb 2019, 07:23:01

Most freight train row is 100 feet more or less. Variable to account for sidings and stocked equipment. 500 foot row is ridiculous waste of space.
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Re: High Speed Rail: Pros and Cons

Unread postby Newfie » Thu 28 Feb 2019, 07:37:00

HSR is like not like freight. Freight has high axel loadings but because it is slower the rail die not need to be as precisely aligned. HSR ROW is typically NOT built on old freight lines. It needs much more substructure to absorb the shocks without impact on track geometry. The curves need to be vastly longer. The switch points are so long they need 2 or 3 motors to drive them over. Doing maintenance on the line really mucks with the schedule, and since schedule is the whole reason for being they try to build it so that it stays in alignment. All of that makes the ROW wider. But yes, what was proposed sounds like vast overkill. I had not realized that.

California has a couple of other natural issues. Mountains, which mean tunnels to maintains speed; earthquakes so some monitoring system will need to be in place to shut it down proactively; subsidence which will mean constant monitoring of the track and adjustment/maintenance if it goes through areas prone to that.
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Re: High Speed Rail: Pros and Cons

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Thu 28 Feb 2019, 08:56:09

The strength of a railroad bed comes from the thickness of the base course which is called ballast not the width of the ballast. The thickness needed varies with the strength of the underling soil. When filling over a swamp the organic material must be excavated out for its full depth and backfilled with blasted rock or granular material with two horizontal to one vertical slopes so that the ROW must increase in width beyond the minimum by four feet for each foot of depth of the swamp. ( A 100 ft ROW crossing a 20 foot deep swamp would need 180 ft. of ROW) The ROW follows the curves so no additional width is needed but often whole irregular shaped properties are purchased or obtained by eminent domain and the odd unneeded sections maybe sold off after the rail line is complete if they are accessible by other means then the ROW.
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Re: High Speed Rail: Pros and Cons

Unread postby Newfie » Thu 28 Feb 2019, 11:51:02

Yes, except HSR needs stronger and thicker beds. So what we are accustomed to just gets bigger than a standard freight line. If we are dealing with Federal safety mandates then the cars must be about 50% heavier than in Europe (crash worthiness) so our ROW needs to be thicker, more substantial than a European HSR line of the same speed. Need to stabilize the track geometry to very high standards.
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Re: High Speed Rail: Pros and Cons

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Thu 28 Feb 2019, 12:04:49

Newfie wrote:Yes, except HSR needs stronger and thicker beds. So everything just gets bigger than a standard freight line. If we are dealing with Federal safety mandates then the cars must be about 50% heavier than in Europe (crash worthiness) so our ROW needs to be thicker, more substantial than a European HSR line of the same speed.

They will still be a lot lighter then freight cars carting 100 tons of cargo each.
They might need 200 feet for fencing and service roads etc. but certainly not 500 feet or a half mile. Whoever put that figure out there is trying to poison pill the project.
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