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Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:34 AM

This Future Map Of The United States Is Way Cooler Than Any Current Map Of The United States

America's economy could be growing more quickly if we just focused on the right things—like high speed rail, for example. It takes cars off the road, creates thousands of jobs, makes travel easier, etc. One artist decided to draw up his vision of one potential future. We hope people consider it.





This currently is just a designer's dream. It can become a reality though, if you sign the official White House petition. It needs 100,000 signatures in order to get an official response

where I found it:

http://www.upworthy.com/this-future-map-of-the-united-states-is-way-cooler-than-any-current-map-of-the-u?c=upw1

190 replies, 17177 views

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Reply This Future Map Of The United States Is Way Cooler Than Any Current Map Of The United States (Original post)
Mira Feb 2013 OP
longship Feb 2013 #1
kelliekat44 Feb 2013 #68
roguevalley Feb 2013 #137
NYC_SKP Feb 2013 #83
mcar Feb 2013 #100
Mira Feb 2013 #128
Rhiannon12866 Feb 2013 #138
kooljerk666 Feb 2013 #150
Ed Suspicious Feb 2013 #2
Mira Feb 2013 #6
Ed Suspicious Feb 2013 #8
zipplewrath Feb 2013 #55
CTyankee Feb 2013 #70
mikeysnot Feb 2013 #82
CTyankee Feb 2013 #87
mikeysnot Feb 2013 #93
CTyankee Feb 2013 #97
CrispyQ Feb 2013 #158
mikeysnot Feb 2013 #160
AlbertCat Feb 2013 #96
dotymed Feb 2013 #148
sad-cafe Feb 2013 #3
LeftofObama Feb 2013 #46
sad-cafe Feb 2013 #50
UnrepentantLiberal Feb 2013 #71
LineLineLineLineReply .
NYC_SKP Feb 2013 #84
UnrepentantLiberal Feb 2013 #89
xxqqqzme Feb 2013 #105
Auggie Feb 2013 #4
TDale313 Feb 2013 #177
libtodeath Feb 2013 #5
TomClash Feb 2013 #7
FarCenter Feb 2013 #9
TheProgressive Feb 2013 #11
FarCenter Feb 2013 #45
TheProgressive Feb 2013 #53
FarCenter Feb 2013 #60
amandabeech Feb 2013 #92
libtodeath Feb 2013 #118
amandabeech Feb 2013 #167
Major Nikon Feb 2013 #154
Mira Feb 2013 #12
FrodosPet Feb 2013 #22
siligut Feb 2013 #59
jeff47 Feb 2013 #35
FarCenter Feb 2013 #48
SheilaT Feb 2013 #41
Gore1FL Feb 2013 #75
FarCenter Feb 2013 #86
Gore1FL Feb 2013 #134
yardwork Feb 2013 #124
ColesCountyDem Feb 2013 #144
FarCenter Feb 2013 #163
ChisolmTrailDem Feb 2013 #175
csziggy Feb 2013 #164
FarCenter Feb 2013 #165
csziggy Feb 2013 #166
ChisolmTrailDem Feb 2013 #174
Sancho Feb 2013 #10
Lifelong Protester Feb 2013 #13
loudsue Feb 2013 #28
AndyTiedye Feb 2013 #51
Sancho Feb 2013 #95
hunter Feb 2013 #14
Recursion Feb 2013 #21
jeff47 Feb 2013 #36
amandabeech Feb 2013 #169
jeff47 Feb 2013 #183
DeadEyeDyck Feb 2013 #52
hunter Feb 2013 #98
DeadEyeDyck Feb 2013 #122
NYC_SKP Feb 2013 #102
Dreamer Tatum Feb 2013 #15
snappyturtle Feb 2013 #31
Lydia Leftcoast Feb 2013 #38
jeff47 Feb 2013 #40
ArtiChoke Feb 2013 #47
Dreamer Tatum Feb 2013 #49
ArtiChoke Feb 2013 #74
OnlinePoker Feb 2013 #147
noiretextatique Feb 2013 #117
FarCenter Feb 2013 #56
ArtiChoke Feb 2013 #78
FarCenter Feb 2013 #88
Motown_Johnny Feb 2013 #65
RudynJack Feb 2013 #107
Motown_Johnny Feb 2013 #108
RudynJack Feb 2013 #109
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #111
Motown_Johnny Feb 2013 #126
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #142
Motown_Johnny Feb 2013 #156
kooljerk666 Feb 2013 #189
Lydia Leftcoast Feb 2013 #113
Motown_Johnny Feb 2013 #127
amandabeech Feb 2013 #170
Motown_Johnny Feb 2013 #173
amandabeech Feb 2013 #179
uponit7771 Feb 2013 #140
Hugabear Feb 2013 #85
FarCenter Feb 2013 #90
Dreamer Tatum Feb 2013 #94
Sen. Walter Sobchak Feb 2013 #185
loudsue Feb 2013 #16
derby378 Feb 2013 #17
yellowcanine Feb 2013 #18
Johonny Feb 2013 #19
Fantastic Anarchist Feb 2013 #99
GreenStormCloud Feb 2013 #44
midnight Feb 2013 #20
Morning Dew Feb 2013 #23
colorado_ufo Feb 2013 #24
loudsue Feb 2013 #33
Lydia Leftcoast Feb 2013 #39
nadinbrzezinski Feb 2013 #25
GoCubsGo Feb 2013 #26
tinrobot Feb 2013 #27
Egalitarian Thug Feb 2013 #64
nc4bo Feb 2013 #29
RC Feb 2013 #30
snappyturtle Feb 2013 #32
lovuian Feb 2013 #34
No Vested Interest Feb 2013 #37
zeemike Feb 2013 #42
ewagner Feb 2013 #43
Johnny Noshoes Feb 2013 #54
Tien1985 Feb 2013 #61
NYC_SKP Feb 2013 #103
FarCenter Feb 2013 #116
shireen Feb 2013 #57
DFW Feb 2013 #58
tavalon Feb 2013 #62
Motown_Johnny Feb 2013 #63
amandabeech Feb 2013 #171
Motown_Johnny Feb 2013 #172
amandabeech Feb 2013 #178
Motown_Johnny Feb 2013 #180
amandabeech Feb 2013 #182
tavalon Feb 2013 #66
brooklynite Feb 2013 #67
1620rock Feb 2013 #69
FarCenter Feb 2013 #76
UnrepentantLiberal Feb 2013 #72
cbdo2007 Feb 2013 #73
Fuddnik Feb 2013 #77
nadinbrzezinski Feb 2013 #91
SmittynMo Feb 2013 #79
Lydia Leftcoast Feb 2013 #112
NYC_SKP Feb 2013 #80
Bake Feb 2013 #81
oldandhappy Feb 2013 #101
Hamlette Feb 2013 #104
Warpy Feb 2013 #106
DearHeart Feb 2013 #110
Buzz Clik Feb 2013 #114
JPZenger Feb 2013 #115
JVS Feb 2013 #136
kooljerk666 Feb 2013 #151
Marrah_G Feb 2013 #119
zentrum Feb 2013 #120
ghurley Feb 2013 #121
NoPasaran Feb 2013 #123
undeterred Feb 2013 #125
PeaceNikki Feb 2013 #146
patrice Feb 2013 #129
citizen blues Feb 2013 #130
phylny Feb 2013 #143
beac Feb 2013 #152
phylny Feb 2013 #181
beac Feb 2013 #187
RedCappedBandit Feb 2013 #131
rhett o rick Feb 2013 #132
apocalypsehow Feb 2013 #133
tridim Feb 2013 #135
alfredo Feb 2013 #139
YOHABLO Feb 2013 #141
Evasporque Feb 2013 #145
beac Feb 2013 #149
life long demo Feb 2013 #153
1-Old-Man Feb 2013 #155
WeRQ4U Feb 2013 #157
1-Old-Man Feb 2013 #162
CrispyQ Feb 2013 #159
CrispyQ Feb 2013 #161
Yavin4 Feb 2013 #168
liberal N proud Feb 2013 #176
Sen. Walter Sobchak Feb 2013 #184
Hayabusa Feb 2013 #186
beac Feb 2013 #188
beac Feb 2013 #190

Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:38 AM

1. Very cool.

R&K

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Response to longship (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:18 PM

68. The general population is aging, has money and time to make this a huge bonanza for the country!

I've been pushing this idea since i for more than 30 years...while i was still employed and with young children. I am now free to take advantage of such a system,,,

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Response to kelliekat44 (Reply #68)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 10:13 PM

137. poor alaska

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Response to longship (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:41 PM

83. ***** Link to Whitehouse Petition *****

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #83)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:44 PM

100. Done

Thanks!

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #83)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 08:19 PM

128. Thanks for doing this.

I was gone most of the day, and this thread took on a life of its own.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #83)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:46 PM

138. Done!!!

Thank you!

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Response to Rhiannon12866 (Reply #138)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 08:23 AM

150. Another rail petition I stumbled on searching for passwords & such........

 

It appears to be same thing, sign them both.

Also read steelinterstate.org

and this diary has ton of cool train facts & fun, http://www.dailykos.com/blog/SundayTrain/

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/fund-high-speed-rail-system-runs-coast-coast-and-connects-all-metropolitan-areas/2KwWYNSb

Most of the truck traffic in the country is from LA to NE USA. I live near Philly which means these truck are on PA turnpike, I-78, I-95, i-81 -I-83 & Rt 30. I live near all of these & traffic & air quality is pretty bad.

Electric freight will demolish over the road trucking, truckers like it cause they would rather be home every night.

Steel Interstate sight has lots on solar & wind going into the train s ystem & train elec system used to carry power for people all across amerika.


oops same petition

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:41 AM

2. I would travel the country on that system. Man that would be sweet! nt

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Response to Ed Suspicious (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:44 AM

6. Would you believe I had JUST said to someone

who asked me if I rent a car when I go to Germany to visit:
"WHY"? - I can go anywhere by train. Any time.
Easier, cheaper, safer.

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Response to Mira (Reply #6)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:49 AM

8. I believe it. I'm a bit of a public transportation nut, however. I'm constantly proselytizing

awesome city bus system.

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Response to Mira (Reply #6)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:45 PM

55. Try it

I've been to Europe alot. I've used the trains, the planes, and I've rented automobiles. Going from high density to many places is typcially easy by train. Going from low to high can be a bit more difficult. Going from "low to low" density can take all day, for a trip I can drive is a few hours. Trains are great, when you're going where large number of other people travel regularly, these kinds of mass transit are great. Even busses though tend to be "slow" in the sense that they tend to wander on broad routes, and make alot of stops. Driving ones self can often save you the better part of whole days.

Those train routes are notional, and interesting. But the reality may be significantly less interesting when actual times and frequencies are established.

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Response to Mira (Reply #6)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:21 PM

70. I did exactly that on a trip to Belgium last October...

I based myself in Brussels and trained out to Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp. I'd love to do the same out of Madrid and go to Seville and Toledo...

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #70)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:40 PM

82. I love Bruge

been there twice I liked it so much.

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Response to mikeysnot (Reply #82)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:46 PM

87. It has gotten a little "touristy" but I was expecting that.

Did you go see that Beguinage? It was fascinating and beautiful...

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #87)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:03 PM

93. I think I saw one that

was converted to a museum. It was 1999 and 2000 so my memory is a little blurry.

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Response to mikeysnot (Reply #93)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:27 PM

97. There are some Roman Catholic nuns at the one I saw. It looks like a college campus.

Quite nice, peaceful. The Beguines were interesting as they were widows who went into the Beguinage and while they were a religious community I don't think they had to follow all the rules of the normal orders of nuns.

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Response to mikeysnot (Reply #82)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 11:00 AM

158. "In Bruges" -- one of the quirkiest movies ever.

I'd love to visit there, someday.

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Response to CrispyQ (Reply #158)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 11:12 AM

160. Do it.

If you like beer, Beertje is the place to go....

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Response to Ed Suspicious (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:25 PM

96. I would travel the country on that system. Man that would be sweet!

Imagine "Land Cruises"... where you take a "cruise" all over the country in an "Orient Express" like train with a dining car, bar car, sleepers, etc...all very chic up to the minute. That'd be awesome. You know people would sign up!

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Response to AlbertCat (Reply #96)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 07:41 AM

148. I would love it.

Especially if it was owned and operated by and for the people. It would generate a lot of revenue and should pay a living wage to its' employees. Of course it would be another thing to fight the wealthy against privatizing.....

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:43 AM

3. how many signatures does it have now

 

that would be awesome

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Response to sad-cafe (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:25 PM

46. Here's what the website says...


Signatures needed by March 07, 2013 to reach goal of 100,000
68,258


Total signatures on this petition
31,742


I tried to log on to sign, but it said the site was temporarily down for maintenance. I'll try again later.

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Response to LeftofObama (Reply #46)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:35 PM

50. thank you

 

will do what I can to promote awareness

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Response to LeftofObama (Reply #46)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:24 PM

71. Do you have link to the petition?

 

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #84)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:52 PM

89. Thanks.

 

BTW, I just had a post hidden for calling you a big shot in high school. Of course I was totally serious.

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Response to LeftofObama (Reply #46)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 04:48 PM

105. It tool me to information on sharing the site.

But then I think I signed this last week.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:44 AM

4. I love the idea of national high-speed rail,

but I think local public transportation should take priority. In the San Francisco Bay Area we have a great system in BART, but it needs money to update and expand. We also need state and local government to plan community growth more wisely so the efficiencies of public transit easily utilized.

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Response to Auggie (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 04:32 PM

177. It'd be nice...

If BART came down to the South Bay. I am looking forward to the proposed High Speed rail that will connect Northern and Southern Cal. Getting to LA in 2 to 3 hours would be fantastic.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:44 AM

5. Love this and should have been done years ago.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:48 AM

7. Best US map ever nt

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:50 AM

9. Travel at 220 mph is only possible on roadbeds designed for high-speed passenger service

Freight rail moves at about 45 mph on roadbeds that have a very low grade, since a mile or more of very heavy bulk freight cars have to be towed by a few engines with traction wheels. Therefore, they have numerous curves of fairly tight radius in order to follow the terrain, often along meandering river valleys.

In contrast, high-speed rail cannot have tight curves, but it can have moderately steeper grades since the traction wheels are distributed among the several cars in a train set.

So the map shows the building of completely new roadbeds in some very uneconomical areas, both because the terrain is unfavorable and because the ridership is minimal in those areas. Examples include the stretch from Portland to Sacramento and from Talahassee to Houston. The first involves punching a new railroad through mountainous area and the second involves bridging numerous bayous and rivers with shipping channels that would require high elevations.

The map is a pipe dream.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #9)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:04 PM

11. It might be a pipe dream...

Last edited Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:31 PM - Edit history (1)

Funny thing about humans and Americans - we have and will always build the impossible.

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Response to TheProgressive (Reply #11)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:24 PM

45. By definition, we have never built the impossible -- but we have built the uneconomic

The military industrial complex and the space program are good examples of the uneconomic.

The US is not alone in building the uneconomic -- the pyramids of Egypt and the great cathedrals of Europe are other examples of societies building stuff that is uneconomic.

However, if you are advocating the uneconomic, be honest about it -- don't try to sell it as having ecomic benefits or environmental benefits. If you account for all the energy used in construction and operation of high-speed rail, it is no more green than air travel.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #45)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:38 PM

53. I have to disagree with your statements...

It was once 'impossible' to go to the moon. Yet we did it.

Building the 'uneconomic' as you say, yes I agree. The Hoover Dam was uneconomical for a private
corporation to build so We The People built it. And in retrospect, it was way worth it.

Funny how the train systems in Europe and China and Japan and elsewhere are hugely popular
and provide a great benefit to the people.

Transportation is infrastructure. There would be nothing wrong for us to build high speed rail
throughout America and not necessarily 'turn a profit'. Some benefits are not measured in dollars.

I see you are against high speed rail - how come?

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Response to TheProgressive (Reply #53)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:56 PM

60. I'm not totally against high-speed rail -- it should be built where economic

Improve and extend the Northeast Corridor -- maybe connect to Richmond, St Petersburg, Raleigh, Winston-Salem, Charlotte, Spartenburg, Greenville and Atlanta. Maybe extend to Portland, ME.

Improve the lines hubbed off of Chicago.

Improve San Antonio to Dallas, San Diego to San Francisco, and Portland to Seattle.

But transcontinental service across the Great Plains and Rockies is not remotely economic.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #60)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:02 PM

92. Yes, expanding our currently heavily-used lines would be the way to start.

A lot of folks would like the Acela to be a bit speedier in addition to expanding service on the NE corridor.

Right now, it seems that rail works between good-size hubs about 5 or so hours apart by car.

If we could put those people on trains, particularly people traveling alone, our roads may take much less a beating for shorter trips.

I'm also a big fan of container freight rail that takes the containers fairly close to their ultimate destination where a large crane takes the container off the train and puts it on a tractor trailer. That saves lots of diesel and a lot of roadbed.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #60)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 06:25 PM

118. You make good points so hope this isnt seen as an argument but at one time rural electrification was

not economic.
Today many suffer because high speed internet is not.
There are times a government needs to step in and move us beyond it and eventually it pays dividends.

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Response to libtodeath (Reply #118)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 02:48 PM

167. One of FDR's great programs set up Rural Electric Co-ops.

Folks from a certain area, like a county, would form a co-op and apply for a loan from the Rural Electrification Board ( or whatever it was called).

If they were approved for the loan, they'd go out and either hire folks to put up the poles and wires or do it themselves with consultation. They'd hire someone to build the transformers and contract for the electricity itself from larger producers. Later on, they built their own generating plants.

I grew up with electricity supplied by my county co-op, as did both my parents. Now, the county coops in western and parts of northern Michigan have joined into one electrical coop--Consumers Energy.

High speed internet is moving into rural areas, but it is wireless. There are more and more cell-type towers that offer the service. Verizon is a big provider.

Perhaps in some places, the populations want rail service and would be willing to finance their section of track. Of course, they would get the profits attributable to those sections.

Once the economy really gets going, who knows?

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #45)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 09:48 AM

154. It's more of an investment than a pipe dream

The examples you gave were uneconomic because they don't support other industries to any large degree. Investing in transportation is almost always a good long term investment. Investing in water navigation created most of our largest cities. Investment in railroads created many more cities. Investment in the interstate highway system fueled post WWII economic expansion.

Air travel can and should be maintained, but high speed rail can and should augment that system. That's why the rest of the advanced world is investing in high speed rail. So should we. That doesn't mean we should be building rail between Billings and Seattle, but along the Eastern seaboard makes a lot of sense if you consider the long term impact.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #9)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:06 PM

12. I'm impressed with your detailed knowledge of building high speed rail

Unfortunately without a commitment to making it possible the entire concept remains a pipe dream.
I bet we could hire those who have done it in Europe and Asia to show us how.

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Response to Mira (Reply #12)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:26 PM

22. Hopefully not these people. though

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/10/22/121022fa_fact_osnos?currentPage=all

~ snip ~

When the passengers for D301 reached the platform, they encountered a vehicle that looked less like a train than a wingless jet: a tube of aluminum alloy, a quarter of a mile from end to end, containing sixteen carriages, painted in high-gloss white with blue racing stripes. The guests were ushered aboard by female attendants in Pan Am-style pillbox hats and pencil skirts; each attendant, according to regulations, had to be at least five feet five inches tall, and was trained to smile with exactly eight teeth visible. A twenty-year-old college student named Zhu Ping took her seat, then texted her roommate that she was about to “fly” home on the rails. “Even my laptop is running faster than usual,” she wrote.

~ snip ~

The driver of D301, Pan Yiheng, was a thirty-eight-year-old railway man with a broad nose and wide-set eyes. In the final seconds, Pan pulled a hand-operated emergency brake. His train was high atop a slender viaduct across a flat valley, and immediately ahead of him was train D3115, moving so slowly that it might as well have been a wall.

The collision impaled Pan on the brake handle, and it hurled Henry Cao into the air. His body tensed for impact. None came. Instead, he was falling—for how long he couldn’t tell. “I heard my mother’s voice shouting,” he told me later. “And then everything went black.” His carriage and two others peeled off the tracks, tumbling sixty-five feet to a field below. A fourth car, filled with passengers and spewing sparks, was left dangling vertically from the edge of the viaduct. Henry awoke in a hospital, where doctors removed his spleen and a kidney. He had shattered an ankle, broken his ribs, and suffered a brain injury. When he was alert enough to understand, he learned that his parents were dead. In the chaos of the rescue and recovery, his mother’s ten thousand dollars had also disappeared.

The Wenzhou crash killed forty people and injured a hundred and ninety-two. For reasons both practical and symbolic, the government was desperate to get trains running again, and within twenty-four hours it declared the line back in business. The Department of Propaganda ordered editors to give the crash as little attention as possible. “Do not question, do not elaborate,” it warned, on an internal notice. When newspapers came out the next morning, China’s first high-speed train wreck was not on the front page.

~ snip ~

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Response to FrodosPet (Reply #22)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:54 PM

59. Thank you for the article and link. nt

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #9)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:42 PM

35. We'd want new rail lines anyway

Aside from the curves and grades you mention, we'd also want separate high-speed rail lines so that the trains can be lighter - The Acelas have to worry about running into freight trains and thus have to be heavier than necessary.

Is it is indeed going to be extremely expensive, and take a very long time. But it's still a good idea.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #35)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:30 PM

48. Correct, passenger only roadbeds reduce the end-to-end crush resistance requirements

Another reason why new roadbeds have to be built is that the new roadbed must be grade separated from highways and other rail lines if speeds are over 90 mph. No grade level highway and street crossings or rail frogs can be permitted.

Most of the canceled "high-speed rail" projects were modest improvements to increase maximum running speeds to 90 mph. They were not really high-speed rail by the usual global meaning of high-speed.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #9)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:06 PM

41. You make an important point about the need

for a totally new infrastructure for this kind of service. But it should be done. Start in the places where there is already a clear demand, and go from there.

We spend enormous amounts of money on the highway infrastructure in this country, even if significant numbers of people never drive on it. We should be doing the same for rail.

It is important, in looking at this dream map, to keep in mind how very much larger this country is than all of western Europe. Or Japan.

But I would love to see it done.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #9)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:27 PM

75. Actually, depending on the specific speed restriction Freight travels closer to 70. Amtrak at 80.

You are correct in turn and grade considerations, but much of the Frieght rail systems means that criteria. It will need new track and beds as well as power lines, because even the 70-80 rated rails can't handle the speed in question, and lack overhead wires. The right-of-way is likely usable in large amounts--including tunnels.

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Response to Gore1FL (Reply #75)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:44 PM

86. 70 mph would be for container and refrigerated freight trains on the best quality track.

Unit coal trains move at 40 to 55 mph on most subdivisions.

Due to property tax policies of state and local governments, a lot of double track roadbed was converted to single track, so freight (and passenger trains) have trouble moving much faster than the slower freights.

Some of the class 1s have been putting back double track on certain routes to expedite container and perishable goods.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #86)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 08:58 PM

134. Yes, the speeds I mentioned were for hotshots.

My point was, the right-of-way can handle decent speeds in and of itself. New tracks will be required, to be sure.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #9)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 07:56 PM

124. They said that about the interstate highway system, but they built it.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #9)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 06:54 AM

144. I'm a railroad buff, and I'm not quite as certain about the 'pipe dream' aspect

Construction would require new roadbeds, obviously; however, when one examines the map, one cannot help but notice that the metropolitan areas are already linked by interstate highways. This being true, the 'right of ways' would not need to be acquired anew, and much of the infrastructure (bridges, etc.) is already in situ. Further, few interstate highways have steep grades or tight-radius curves.

Expensive, certainly, but not 'pipe dream' expensive.

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Response to ColesCountyDem (Reply #144)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 11:22 AM

163. Interstates have minimum radius of 1500 feet and max grades of 4-6%

High speed rail has minimum curve radius of over 10,000 feet and max grades of 3.5% if passenger trains only. Max grades are about 1.5% if mixed passenger and freight is designed for.

Bridge height standards for the interstates do not have enough clearance for high-speed trainsets with overhead catenaries.

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Response to ColesCountyDem (Reply #144)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 04:22 PM

175. When on long road trips I have often envisioned both renewable energy infrastructure

including both solar arrays and wind turbines and high-speed rail incorporated into the interstate highway system.

It can be done.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #9)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 11:39 AM

164. Amtrak's Sunset Limited was popular - Miami to Los Angeles

But after the barge hit the bridge and dropped a passenger train in a bayou the service was never restored. http://www.railroad.net/articles/topics/the-1993-alabama-train-crash.php

I'd planned to take a train trip starting in Tallahassee, going to New Orleans, then north to Chicago, west to Seattle, and back via Canada Rail to Toronto, then down the East Coast. Not going to happen in my lifetime, apparently. If I want to take a train I have to drive at least 4-5 hours to Jacksonville, Orlando or Tampa to catch one.

The western Florida route shown on the OP map seems to follow US 19/98/27. There is still a railroad graded right of way that nearly parallels those highways. It's too remote for the Rails to Trails program that has converted many RR right of way to bike and hiking trails, but the rails have been removed and there has been no maintenance in years. It could be used as the backbone of that route.

To avoid the coastal swamps and bayous, a new rail system could go further inland, from Tallahassee to Bainbridge, GA, west to Dothan and across Mississippi and Louisiana to Waco rather than Houston - basically follow US 84. That route is between interstates 10 and 20 so it hits areas that badly need transportation access and an economic boost.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #164)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 11:49 AM

165. The more practical route across the south would be from Atlanta to Dallas along I-20

<img src="http://www.snavi.com/en//tips/images/tips/railway/class1_rail_company%20(TIPS).bmp">

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #165)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 11:56 AM

166. That route would be much more expensive

It's already well populated and developed.

Putting a new system through less developed areas would be cheaper for purchasing right of way. And it would have the added advantage of economically stimulating areas that need better transportation.

Think of how the interstate system originally bypassed population systems and existing highways and how they have stimulated development in places that had little or no business before the internet passed through.

There could be connections via new short run high speed or existing Amtrak rail to connect major cities with new rail systems.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #9)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 04:17 PM

174. Things we gained as a nation with the CCC works program were a pipe dream too.

We need this sort of project to put people to work and we need to add renewable energy and distribution grid projects too.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:01 PM

10. Our stupid governor (worst ever) vetoed high speed rail after the citizens voted for it...

so unless we get rid of the gop roadblocks, it won't happen.

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Response to Sancho (Reply #10)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:13 PM

13. And of course, he joins our stupid governor

who turned back fed funds to help build WI's portion of the Chicago to St. Paul line.

As one who is getting older, and a part of that demographic everyone seems to love to hate, I think most citizens are going to want us off the road-sooner rather than later, and air travel is just a non-starter for me. I would LOVE to see this high speed rail come to fruition. I take Amtrak whenever possible, and love trains.

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Response to Lifelong Protester (Reply #13)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:30 PM

28. I'm with you.

And I know what you mean about the hate for the elderly around here. It's getting worse!

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Response to Sancho (Reply #10)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:35 PM

51. We in California Thank Your Stupid Governor for the Extra High Speed Rail Funds

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Response to AndyTiedye (Reply #51)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:25 PM

95. yea...you're welcome (sort of)...

I've lived in three states and voted for about a dozen governors...Rick Scott is so bad that even the repubs hate him. Giving away the high speed rail even pissed off the tea party faithful who live in the "villages" (a big conservative retirement community that was in the path of the train).

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:13 PM

14. It would be powered by electricity, not oil. That's a big deal.

We could reduce our oil imports.

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Response to hunter (Reply #14)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:24 PM

21. And increase our coal use

It's a trade-off

(EDIT: I know the trains don't burn coal, I mean the electricity is generated with coal)

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Response to Recursion (Reply #21)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:44 PM

36. Probably not

We haven't been building new coal plants for quite a while. We have been building wind, solar and natural gas plants.

The point is using electricity lets us use whatever for power, instead of diesel.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #36)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 02:58 PM

169. Check the EIA. Coal is still King. n/t

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Response to amandabeech (Reply #169)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 10:46 PM

183. Only because it was king before

No new coal plants have been built for about 20 years.

Lots of new natural gas, wind and solar have been built in that time.

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Response to hunter (Reply #14)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:36 PM

52. all trains, other than locomotives are electric.

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Response to DeadEyeDyck (Reply #52)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:40 PM

98. I was thinking the overhead line sort, not gas turbine- or diesel-electric.

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Response to hunter (Reply #98)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 07:52 PM

122. I get you

and the advantage of external electricity is the fuel weight.

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Response to hunter (Reply #14)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:51 PM

102. Exactly. Electricity, the ultimate "flex fuel"...

And, no, it won't increase our coal use.

But it does point to a very interesting dilemma/opportunity:

Electric generation used to be pretty much separate from transportation, which is largely petro-based.

As we roll out more electric trains and EVs and hybrids, the Grid people are going to have to talk to the people in transportation.

Here in California we can't meet our greenhouse gas goals AND our 30% by 2020 renewable energy generation goals without shifting transportation away from petrol and to electrical power, which magnifies the generation goals.

A fun problem to solve, but we are working on it!

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:14 PM

15. I hate to be a spoilsport, but this is a silly idea on its face.


It would be a money pit, first of all, since the only place in the US where high speed rail is remotely economic is between
DC and Boston. Any other major metro areas are more economically served by air travel, with the possible exceptions of Houston/Dallas, LA/San Diego/Phoenix/Vegas, and a spoke network from Chicago as far as Indy and St Louis. MAYBE.

No, the European model isn't applicable, since a huge chunk of Europe fits in Texas. No one other than a few very patient tourists is going to take a train from LA to NYC. With stops, it would still take a calendar day to go that far.

Sorry. Not practical.

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #15)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:32 PM

31. Thank goodness President Eisenhower didn't feel this way. Just sayin'.....

the country has a growing population and an aging one. Not all of us are in a hurry and quite frankly I hate flying anymore. imho

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #15)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:52 PM

38. Air travel is oil intensive, and for trips of less than 600 miles, rail is more economical

I'd gladly ride the train to Chicago instead of going out to MSP, going through security, sitting around forever, being strapped into a cramped seat and bossed around by stressed-out crew, being given a tiny drink and a bag of pretzels, and having to figure out how to get from ORD to downtown Chicago.

On a high-speed train (such as they have in most other industrialized countries now), your station is in the middle of town, you can take your luggage with you, the seats are spacious and comfortable, you see the scenery roll by, you can get up and walk around whenever you want to, and everyone seems more talkative and friendly than on a plane.

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #15)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:58 PM

40. Depends on a whole lot of factors

Traveling from LA to NYC via air doesn't take a calendar day....only on paper.

Add in all the other time sinks for air travel (get to airport 2 hours early, probably have a 2+ hour layover, the hassles when you get to NYC) and you've burned an entire day.

If the actual travel is more pleasant, which would be really damn easy to do, then it would get a lot of riders. If it's cheaper than air travel, which also should be easy to do, then it would get even more riders.

With current airline schedules, I can only do 1-night business trips to the Eastern 1/3rd of the country (fly out one afternoon, have meeting the next day, fly back next evening). The western 2/3rds of the country requires 2 nights because the airlines can not get me back via afternoon/evening flights. So your hypothetical rail situation would make me lose exactly nothing.

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #15)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:26 PM

47. Not this canard again...

"...the European model isn't applicable, since a huge chunk of Europe fits in Texas."

Nope. Berlin to Seville ~1700 miles. Or Glasgow to Naples. Nearly the same as Boston to Dallas. That's Boston MA not Boston TX.

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Response to ArtiChoke (Reply #47)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:30 PM

49. The point has eluded you.

Yes, we can build a train that goes from coast to coast. Is it worth it? Over 500 miles or so, almost certainly not.

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #49)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:26 PM

74. How do the Europeans afford it then? n/t

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Response to ArtiChoke (Reply #74)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 07:26 AM

147. They run deficits

When I left Germany in 1994, the rail system was the equivalent of $36 Billion in debt. I read some time later, that they reorganized the system and cut a lot of lines to try and trim that debt, but I don't know how it turned out. I know there was a big push on as well to expand the western German high speed system into the much more depressed eastern German region, but the costs were astronomical because they had to upgrade every single kilometer of track to meet the demands of the faster moving trains. I took a trip on France's TGV from Strasbourg to Leon which was supposed to be extremely fast, but the week I chose for my trip, farmers invaded the rail lines for the entire distance, dumping crops on the tracks in protest against the French government. After averaging 35 miles an hour, they finally offloaded us in Mulhouse and bussed us the rest of the way. One of the main issues people in France have with the TGV (at least during construction) was how much land had to be expropriated to build it. This would be the same in the U.S. Unless the route goes along right-of-ways of formerly running railroads, land would have to be purchased to build the single purpose system (no freight allowed). These costs would be exorbitant and in an era of cutbacks, it is highly doubtful a majority of voters would support it (you can't pay for the programs you already have).

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #49)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 06:25 PM

117. yes...it is worth it

california is moving ahead with high speed rail. it's too bad it didn't happen sooner.

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Response to ArtiChoke (Reply #47)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:48 PM

56. Belin to Seville is about 1400 miles, while Boston to Dallas is 1570 -- And Spain is uneconomic

Mileages from http://www.worldatlas.com/travelaids/flight_distance.htm

For one thing, you can't actually get from Berlin to Seville on high-speed trains. There is no high-speed from Montpelier to Perpignan.

Whither Spain’s high-speed trains?

On January 9, the day after the inauguration of the AVE high-speed railway line between Barcelona and the Catalan town of Figueres, engine drivers Manuel Niño and José Luis Herguido boarded an AVE train in Madrid. Theirs would be a historic trip: they were traveling in the first passenger train that would cross the border into France on a wide-gauge European line, ending more than 160 years of isolation and finally making it possible to travel from the Spanish capital, via Barcelona, to Paris. What the two men noticed as they traveled the 131-kilometer stretch between Figueres and the French border was that the 30 tunnels and 60 bridges they passed through and over prevented the train from coming close to reaching its top speed of 300 km/h. The line cost 3.7 billion euros, and will never make a profit, according to recent studies.

....

So far, there are no independent studies of Spain's high-speed plans that suggest they will ever be anything other than a money pit. When asked by EL PAÍS if it knew of any economist or transport and infrastructure expert who supports the investment in the AVE network, the Public Works Ministry was unable to supply a name.

....

The facts speak for themselves: the Madrid-Seville route attracts around 14,000 annual passengers per kilometer, more than Madrid-Barcelona, but way off the 59,000 for the train between Paris and Lyon each year, or the 51,000 on the Cologne-Frankfurt line. This is not to mention the 235,000 annual passengers per kilometer who use the Tokyo-Osaka bullet train. Just to cover its operational costs, high-speed trains need a constituency of between 6.5 million and eight million passengers a year; none of Spain's routes come close.

Spain's planners seem to have forgotten that the country has closed high-speed routes for these reasons - the Toledo-Cuenca line was used by just a few dozen passengers most of the time. There are days when nobody boards the AVE at Guadalajara or Tardienta in Huesca. Tardienta has a population of just 1,000 people, but yet it has a high-speed train station. Is this the model that will connect up Spain and make it prosperous?


http://elpais.com/elpais/2013/01/15/inenglish/1358253198_135607.html

Boondoggles like this are part of the reason that Spain is near economic collapse.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #56)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:37 PM

78. Texas is still not 1400 miles across...

...and one can still travel by rail from the cities I mentioned. The EU's economic woes were not caused by rail development.

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Response to ArtiChoke (Reply #78)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:49 PM

88. Port Arthur to El Paso is 833 miles -- mostly nothing between San Antonio and El Paso.

Even Houston to San Antonio is essentially unpopulated by European standards of density.

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #15)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:10 PM

65. Nobody would go from NYC to LA.

But from Cleveland to Omaha.. or Denver to St. Louis.


Considering the time it takes to get through security at an airport, this could be just as fast and more affordable.

There is also the possibility of shipping cargo at higher speeds than is now being done with conventional rail. The Mississippi River is effectively shut down due to low water levels. Additional shipping options is never a bad idea.


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Response to Motown_Johnny (Reply #65)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 04:56 PM

107. I would!

But that would be on vacation, the purpose of which would be to take the train cross-country. That would be a dream vacation!

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Response to RudynJack (Reply #107)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 05:00 PM

108. ever spent a couple of days on a train?

I have and it wasn't that much fun.


If there were stops where you could rent a car and take a day or two to explore the city then it would be fun. Just sitting on a train for days isn't fun.

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Response to Motown_Johnny (Reply #108)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 05:01 PM

109. It wouldn't be straight through.

I'd get off at every city for a day or two.

I spent for days in a car driving cross-country once. I'd prefer a train any day.

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Response to Motown_Johnny (Reply #108)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 05:20 PM

111. at 220 mph, la-nyc = 13 hours.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #111)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 08:09 PM

126. No stops? None?

Possible, in theory, but it seems unlikely.

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Response to Motown_Johnny (Reply #126)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 05:00 AM

142. You can go from Tokyo to Fukuoka (680 miles) in 5 hours, including stops.

 

That's 136 mph including stops, which means the same speed NYC to LA would get you there in 21 hours, less than one day.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #142)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 10:21 AM

156. Reasonable, but you need to add in time for going over the Rockies.

I don't see any train going 136 mph uphill like that.


1 day still isn't that bad. Better than I expected.

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Response to Motown_Johnny (Reply #108)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 06:04 AM

189. Travel with a rail pass gives ya time you need.....

 

....to get some bed rest in a hotel & shower or rent a car & go camping.




USA Rail Passes
15-day, 30-day and 45-day rail travel options throughout the United States.
California Rail Pass
Get 7 days of travel in a 21-day period for $159.


The 15 day pass is about $420 and would allow you to circle the philly>chicago>la>portland>chicago>nyc>Florida>back to philly.

What is a Travel Segment?

Amtrak considers a travel segment any time you get on and then get off a vehicle (train, bus, ferry or other allowable leg) regardless of length..

To travel from Spokane, WA to Portland OR, you could ride the Empire Builder train directly to Portland using one segment or you could ride the Empire Builder train to Seattle (segment 1) and then ride the Amtrak Cascades train from Seattle to Portland (segment 2). Both journeys take you to Portland but use a different number of your allowable segments.

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Response to Motown_Johnny (Reply #65)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 05:29 PM

113. But NYC to Cleveland? Cleveland to Chicago? Chicago to St. Louis?

St. Louis to Denver? Denver to Salt Lake City? Salt Lake City to San Francisco?

Definitely!

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #113)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 08:11 PM

127. My point exactly.

Any trip where you can have breakfast at home, lunch on the train and dinner at your destination is viable.

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Response to Motown_Johnny (Reply #127)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 03:08 PM

170. Better service between Detroit and Chicago would be nice.

It'd take some of the traffic off I-94.

Personally, I'd like to see more service on the GR to Chicago line or a new line Muskegon-GR-Lansing-suburban Detroit and downtown Detroit.

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Response to amandabeech (Reply #170)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 04:04 PM

173. Detroit's new light rail system could be expanded to the high speed rail station

and that could be used to service downtown and some of the suburban area

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Response to Motown_Johnny (Reply #173)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 04:50 PM

179. Perhaps that light rail could connect with another route going NW.

I'm from the other side of the state (which I suppose you've guessed).

Over there, we like both Detroit and Chicago, although we mostly root for Detroit teams. There are lots of folks who follow both the AL Tigers and the NL Cubs. Not much hope of seeing those two teams in the World Series. There are also a few GB football fans, but that happened as the Lions went through their absolutely hopeless years. If the Lions continue to improve, I expect that many of the GB fans will "come home" to the Lions. Both the Pistons and the Red Wings are popular, too. There's really no interest in the Bulls or the Blackhawks.

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Response to Motown_Johnny (Reply #65)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 12:50 AM

140. I would take my whole family and they would most likely have fun...America is beutiful

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #15)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:44 PM

85. Faster than driving, and cheaper than air

Air travel is still pretty pricey, and isn't going to be getting any cheaper. I would imagine that high-speed rail would cost a fraction of what it would to fly.

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Response to Hugabear (Reply #85)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:57 PM

90. Currently, air is a little cheaper

For a round trip 2/27 to 3/6, Newark to Logan is $194 and NY Penn to Boston South Station via Acela is $214.

For cheap, the Fung Wah bus is $15 each way.

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Response to Hugabear (Reply #85)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:11 PM

94. Except for the piddling hundreds of billions it would cost to build. nt

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Response to Hugabear (Reply #85)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 11:07 PM

185. I fly in Europe constantly,

and flying is virtually always cheaper and often spectacularly so.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:15 PM

16. Great idea!

Looks like all roads lead to Texas and the northeast. Florida cities are covered, Texas cities are covered, and California cities are easy because they're all pretty much in a straight line up the coast.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:16 PM

17. Mag-Lev or Bust

It's about darn time America got its act together with regard to high-speed rail.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:17 PM

18. Pneumatic tubes would be faster.

I think we should skip the rail and go right to the tubes.

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Response to yellowcanine (Reply #18)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:20 PM

19. High speed rail is not a truck

it is a series of tubes

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Response to Johonny (Reply #19)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:42 PM

99. I thought that was the internets. ;)

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Response to yellowcanine (Reply #18)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:20 PM

44. Yes. Faster, cheaper, safer.

Only drawback is that you can't see the scenery.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:22 PM

20. K&R

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:27 PM

23. It needs the Empire Builder leg from Seattle to Minneapolis and

a leg from Minneapolis to Kansas City via Des Moines or possibly Omaha.

A direct Seattle to Denver wouldn't hurt either.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:28 PM

24. Better yet, monorail.

No weather delays, snow buildup, rock slides, collisions with cars or animals, and on and on. On time, all the time.

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Response to colorado_ufo (Reply #24)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:37 PM

33. exactly the right idea.

And this is the right time for it.

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Response to colorado_ufo (Reply #24)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:55 PM

39. Not any cheaper than what Japan does in snowy regions

and Japan's Joetsu Shinkansen from Tokyo to Niigata runs through places with serious snowfall. (I know someone who used to have a summer home in that region. One winter they decided to spend New Year's at their cabin, but when they arrived, they found snow so deep that it covered the windows, so they turned around and went home.)

The Joetsu Shinkansen has heated tracks.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:30 PM

25. I could travel by rail...that be cool

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:30 PM

26. Really cool, but...

It would be really neat to see The City of New Orleans as a high-speed train. Wish they'd add that leg between Memphis and New Orleans.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:30 PM

27. High speed rail stops being easier between 500-1000 miles.

I can easily see it in high density corridors, such as the eastern seaboard or California. This is where the speed of the train is equivalent to air travel.

Crossing the deserts and the Rockies using high speed rail, however, would not be easier. The trips would be much longer than airplanes, and the cost of installing all that rail would be very expensive, keeping overall prices higher.

Let's start with the coasts and high density corridors where it is needed.

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Response to tinrobot (Reply #27)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:03 PM

64. That's the problem, the "deciders" always opt for the plan that dooms the idea.

 

California is the latest example. Their plan to connect LA and San Francisco is the worst option, being done in the worst way. And surprise, surprise, when they shut the thing down after sinking billions into it after a decade, it'll be another reason why "It can't work".

A high speed rail from LA to Las Vegas would cost less and be profitable right away, as well as saving hundreds of the lives lost every year on the 15. But we can't have that, it might give people the idea that we can do things well and make decisions based on reality.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:30 PM

29. This would be a great New New Deal project, it'd be grand!!

I also love the idea of being able to travel by high speed rail, across the country!

Dream to reality, please and yes, I'm signing that petition.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:31 PM

30. There needs to be a link between Kansas City, Des Moines and Minneapolis.

 

No one in the right mind wants to go through Chicago, if they don't have to,

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:33 PM

32. Thanks for posting....signed the petition...easy to do...hope many will.

Still needs 60K+ signatures!

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:39 PM

34. Awesome

when do they start

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:51 PM

37. Gov. Kasich of Ohio opted out

Of the funds projected for Ohio early in his term.

I believe Ohio's money was given to California.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:09 PM

42. I think that would be great. but what if.

that was not a high speed rail system but a high speed pneumatic system...that could not derail and would not be effected by weather or conditions and would cost less to operate than a rail system?
Such a system was possible 40 years ago when it was first proposed and now it is even more possible due to technology advances...

But what the hell, it is hard enough to talk people into a high speed rail system...

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:18 PM

43. Don't know if it's true nationally...

but there are Department of Transportation programs that finance 80% of the deficit (loss) for cab and bus routes in some areas...

Imagine if they did that for nationwide passenger-rail service instead.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:40 PM

54. If I read the map right...

if I read the map right - the red line is interstate 80, the blue line along the East coast is I95. The others probably follow other Interstate Highway routes. We built the Intersate - we can build this - what happened to the America that dreamed big dreams and did big things. What happened to the America that wasn't afraid to try the America that wasn't afraid of everything?

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Response to Johnny Noshoes (Reply #54)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:57 PM

61. That America

Can't afford to pay its bills. New America really wants to look at the economical impact thoroughly before it starts an enormous project. (I'm poking fun here.)

I'm actually in favor of mass transit options. I think it would create jobs and help to increase people's mobility (helping them to get to jobs). But, I would really like to see someone come up with a detailed plan first. Dream big, plans lots, build better. I'm a fan of calculated risks. Not afriad, but informed.

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Response to Johnny Noshoes (Reply #54)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 04:18 PM

103. Yes, using and expanding existing rights of way is the way to do this.

To think that the Interstate system was done from scratch, yet people say that rail can't be done.

Bull!

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #103)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 06:23 PM

116. The Interstate system right of ways have curves too sharp and grades too steep

They are not generally usable for high-speed rail.

High-speed rail routing would require fairly severe use of eminent domain to condem property in order to achieve the right curvature and grade.

Just getting a route for Amtrak from Sunnyside Yards through Queens, over Hells Gate and through the Bronx to allow speeds > 90 mph would be quite a challenge.

Since the presumed advantage is direct high-speed rail from city center to city center, this would be a recapitulation of the fights over freeway routing through cities.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:51 PM

57. great idea

This could open up whole new sectors for manufacturing and transport.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:51 PM

58. I already live in a place like that

It's called "Europe."

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:57 PM

62. That would be so cool

It's about time Biden got his chance. This is his baby.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:03 PM

63. The problem I have with all the plans like this that I see

is the dependence on the Chicago Hub.

What happens in a blizzard? Or a power outage, or some other problem that effects that hub?

I would like to see more secondary hubs so that Chicago could be bypassed if needed.

I would not run all the way across Michigan and instead connect Detroit to Toledo. I would also eliminate the line from Chicago to Quincy and instead connect Louisville to St. Louis to Quincy to Des Moines. I would also like to see a line from Minneapolis St. Paul running east into Michigan's Upper Peninsula and then south through Michigan to Detroit and another from Minneapolis St. Paul running south to Des Moines (or though Sioux Falls to Omaha).

These changes would create a loop around Chicago so that the hub could be bypassed if needed. They could also be used to reduce congestion at the hub if this system ever gets so much usage that congestion is a problem (which I hope it would).


OK, that's my 2 cents.

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Response to Motown_Johnny (Reply #63)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 03:14 PM

171. That loop through the UP of Michigan and down through northern lower Michigan

is going to be extremely snowy.

I don't know that it would be any better than going through Chicago.

Plus, you'd have to build another bridge across the Straights of Mackinac or arrange ferry service once again between St. Ignace and Mackinac City. You might even need Icebreaker Mackinac to stand by. The straights are a real choke point once sub-freezing weather sets in.

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Response to amandabeech (Reply #171)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 04:02 PM

172. a rail bridge wouldn't be that big a deal, and it would be a boom for tourism

to the entire area

The ability to travel by rail from say, Cleveland or Atlanta, to the U.P. in a few hours would be great for all concerned.

I agree that it is possible that a storm might effect both Chicago and northern Michigan, but it also might not. There are also other problems that might just cause problems at the Chicago hub. The argument about relieving congestion by allowing alternate routes is also still valid.


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Response to Motown_Johnny (Reply #172)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 04:46 PM

178. It would be great for UP tourism, although it is so beautiful in northern lower Michigan

Last edited Tue Feb 12, 2013, 05:24 PM - Edit history (1)

and the UP, I don't think that a high speed rail line through there would necessarily be the best idea!

There has always been rail congestion around Chicago, and now, of course, vehicle traffic on that spaghetti of interstates is hellacious, too.

In the late 1800s and early to mid 1900s, a system of railroads car ferries carried railroad cars, people, and then regular autos across Lake Michigan. Starting with Chicago and moving clockwise, Chicago, Milwaukee, Sheboygan (WI), Kewaunee (WI), Green Bay (most service went through Kewaunee--you can see why on a map), Escanaba, Manistique, Frankfurt, Manistee, Ludington, Muskegon, Saugatuck and I think South Haven ( all in Michigan).

The most modern of the ferries carried 30 railroad cars. Nowadays, trains consist of at least 90 trains. Many of the harbors on the Michigan side of Lake Michigan cannot take deep draft vessels (Muskegon is by far the best harbor), so even today, it would take multiple vessels to carry one train of cars, if anyone was interested in restarting the service.

Today, only one of the old railroad car ferries still plies Lake Michigan. It is the Badger, which sails out of Ludington to Kewaunee twice a day from late April or May through September or early October. Ludington is a really nice beach town these days, because, unfortunately, most of the manufacturing is gone.

Badger is so large despite its relatively shallow draft that it can carry at least one tractor trailer and a bunch of Winnebagos in addition to the usual SUVs, cars and bicycles. A big highlight of the day in Ludington is to go down to the ferry dock and watch Badger come in, unload, load up, and steam back out of the harbor and across the Lake.

Unfortunately, Badger is a coal-fired piston driven ship. It belches coal smoke, and there are people, mostly out of town and in the thrall of its competitor, a high speed catamaran ferry that runs from Muskegon to Milwaukee. Right now, Badger has an EPA exception as an historical vessel. I hope that it continues to run.

On edit: I'm not so sure about how easy it would be to build a railroad bridge across the Straights of Mackinac. I read a book about building the current bridge in the 1950s. For those of you readers who have never seen it, it is a double tower suspension bridge over the spot where Lakes Michigan and Huron meet at the tip of the Michigan mitten. It's longer than the Golden Gate, and is very attractive, especially in the summer when it is lit.

Anyway, several lives were lost building the Mackinac bridge and it took quite a bit of time. The weather is atrocious for 8 months out of the year, and the waters beneath the bridge are very cold and turbulent. Ice flows are a problem in most winters.

Any railroad bridge would have to be built at one of the less desirable locations, which would make it longer, and the bridge would have to be made much stronger for rail traffic.

I'm sure it could be done and would not be as dangerous to build as the original bridge. However, I think that it would still be difficult and very expensive.

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Response to amandabeech (Reply #178)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 06:11 PM

180. one or two rail lines would not really impact that expanse of wilderness

and the bridge could be a drawbridge, which would be much easier than the suspension bridge that now exists.


Tunnels are also an option although I don't know enough about what that would take to comment on it.


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Response to Motown_Johnny (Reply #180)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 07:55 PM

182. What I wanted to say was that the area is so beautiful that passengers might want the

train to slow down so that they could appreciate the scenery.

I've been to the Straights many times. It was one of my Dad's favorite spots.

Counting the approach bridges, the Mackinac Bridge is over 5 miles long. 5 miles. The main part of the current bridge is a dual tower suspension type because that is the only type of bridge that can cross such a long distance.

That's just too long for a drawbridge with the deep wide shipping channel through there. If a drawbridge was possible, I'm sure that it would have been built instead of the suspension bridge that has stood there now for 60 or so years.

I have never heard any discussion of a tunnel. Maybe that would be the answer.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:15 PM

66. There have been 3000 signatures since midnight

Keep up the momentum and we can hit the required amount.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:17 PM

67. Okay - as a professional transportation planner, let me say this map is misleading.

It conflates two things: an expanded passenger rail network (which I support BUT acknowledge the lack of public demand for), and HIGH SPEED RAIL. If you go beyond a 5-6 hour trip (equivalent to a flight across country), the demand is going to drop substantially. That means that, if you hit optimal speeds (which would be difficult, not because of constrction costs but because of the ability to rights of way for maintained high speeds in the intermediate built up areas) you MIGHT get in a line from NYC to Chicago or Washington to Miami. Routes to the Midwest will be too long and too low-density to be effective.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:20 PM

69. This is a great idea...

...coupled with more intercity bus service to include the scores of cities not served by rail. Greyhound eliminated over 2000 cities served in the last few years.

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Response to 1620rock (Reply #69)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:33 PM

76. Intercity Bus and Rail Ridership Up as Car and Air Travel Remains Flat

The continued growth of discount services like BoltBus and Megabus pushed intercity bus travel up 7.5 percent last year, making it the nation's fastest growing intercity transportation segment. By comparison, passenger rail service was up 3.5 percent, car and air travel up only 1 percent.

A U.S. bus-transportation boom that began seven years ago is accelerating as travelers ditch their cars and avoid airport security lines to buy cheap tickets on Wi-Fi equipped motorcoaches.


No doubt the improved amenities and lower prices of these discount bus lines are major draws, but don't underestimate how much the increasingly-crappy air travel experience drives travelers to seek alternatives. Between the hassle, inconvenience and indignities of TSA, the nickel-and-diming of consumers via baggage/seat/food fees, and the generally awful customer service that has become the industry norm, air travel has grown ever more stressful, uncomfortable, and expensive over the past decade or so.


http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2013/01/07/intercity-bus-and-rail-ridership-up-as-car-and-air-travel-remains-flat

While Greyhound service may have declined, intercity bus service by the "curbside" bus companies is growing well. The use of smartphones to check schedules, reserve seats, and make payments is obsoleting bus terminals and the companies that use them.

Note that Bolt Bus is a joint venture between Greyhound and Peter Pan.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:25 PM

72. You should put a link to the White House petition in the OP.

 

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:26 PM

73. Regional high speed rail MIGHT be possible but it'll never replace cross country transportation...

The cost/time calculations and behaviors of American's aren't enough to get people to use high speed rail over airplanes for longer distances and probably won't even cause families to use it for short distances.

I honestly think the only places it could work are in the Northeast and the Southwest. I live in Kansas City and there is no chance of my family and I taking high speed rail anywhere. It's too easy to just jump in the car and drive to Chicago or Minneapolis or Dallas and get there in about 7 hours for about $100 gas for our whole family. Even going farther, say to Washington D.C. It's more fun to drive and save $500 over airfare or high speed rail and the journey is part of the trip.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:35 PM

77. Who would want to go to Cleveland anyway?

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Response to Fuddnik (Reply #77)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:59 PM

91. me, family lives there

worst, given how much we may get for retirement, Calfornia living will not be it. Cleveland probably.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:37 PM

79. This is all cool in theory, but

how much would it cost, and who is going to pay for this? Is it really worth it? Currently, our modes of transportation are auto, air and train. A typical 3 hour air flight takes 2 days by train/auto. So what would a 220 mph train gain us? You might get that 3 hour air flight down to a day, especially with all the stops. In the end will a job at the USHSRS (United States High Speed Rail System) pay the good money that we are all looking for? I don't know, but i would say unlikely. There are sure a lot of unanswered questions.

Ya know, someone a lot smarter than me once said. In every day life, there are 3 stages involved with everything you do. Gather your facts, Analyze the facts, Make a decision. Sometimes theses decisions take seconds, others may take weeks, months, etc. I'd say we're still in the gather your facts stage.

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Response to SmittynMo (Reply #79)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 05:27 PM

112. How much would it cost? A LOT less than the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, and

we'd have something to show for it at the end.

Are you aware that there were naysayers saying exactly the same things that American naysayers say now in Japan fifty years ago?

Nobody will ride it, it's too expensive, it doesn't stop at enough towns, highways and planes are the wave of the future. They heard this even from the World Bank.

Now demand is so great that trains run literally ever five to ten minutes in all directions out of Tokyo. The Shinkansen trains carry 1/3 of all traffic between the two major business centers of Tokyo and Osaka, offering downtown-to-downtown service in slightly less than three hours with comfort, speed, and scenery.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:39 PM

80. Wow, I was just showing that map to a professor friend, and here it is on DU!

Awesome!

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:39 PM

81. Looks like they ran a line through Louisville!

Great!

Now, just let it happen. Oh wait, the rich fucks don't want to pay taxes for that. Nevermind.

Bake

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:50 PM

101. Wonderful idea.

I would use it. Governor of Florida will not want government funding in his state so we may need a bypass around Florida, smile.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 04:43 PM

104. I would so much rather take the train than fly

I could be in LA in 4 hours by high speed train. It takes me nearly that long to fly! (get to airport one hour early etc.)

And yes, I'm part of the aging population so I've got the time. In fact, I'm so old I remember when flying was fun. It sucks now, hurry up, worry about getting there in time, then wait for long periods of time.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 04:51 PM

106. See that lonely line from El Paso to southern Wyoming?

The only reason it's there is because NM already built the first 120 miles of it in the middle of the state. The governors of CO and TX have called for extending it, but neither has done a thing about funding it.

If you build it they will come. Eventually. When they're plumb out of other alternatives.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 05:05 PM

110. Would Love this! But, I would also love to have BUSES running in my area!

We have such a need for more public transportation of all kinds, especially local runs. Imagine all the jobs that even adding new bus routes would bring!

Outside of Chicago, you get to a certain point and the train routes dead end...would be nice to get to the western suburbs or down to Champaign/Urbana, and Bloomington/Normal areas on a train, instead of by car.

I'm a dreamer!

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 05:41 PM

114. Ah. Rail travel. Excellent.

I thought this was a global-warming skeptics thread. My knuckles were already taped.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 06:20 PM

115. The rail link east of Pittsburgh is about to be shut down

Pittsburgh is served by two rail lines. The one that connects it with Philadelphia is about to be shut down. Congress passed a law requiring that, in many cases. states must subsidize passenger rail lines that run deficits.

So far, Pennsylvania is refusing to cover the cost. As a result, rail service will not exist from Pittsburgh east to Harrisburg. To go from Philadelphia to Chicago, you will have to go to upstate New York or down to DC. With those extra hours of travel, no one will use it.

As far as high speed rail, I'd love some medium speed rail service. A year ago, I took Amtrak through Indiana to Chicago and the train was going 5 mph for a full hour because of a slow freight train in front of it. This was an Amtrak train with several hundred passengers on board.

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Response to JPZenger (Reply #115)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 10:11 PM

136. Philadelphia to Washington DC, then to Chicago via Pittsburgh

Capitol Ltd overnight.

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Response to JPZenger (Reply #115)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 08:42 AM

151. The trip Philly to Chicago is not changed much....

 

The Pennsylvanian train is 17 hours with a 4 hour layover in Pittsburgh.

Traveling via Washington DC or NYC is about 2-3 hour more train time but 3 hours less on a lay over/transfer.

Corbett is the most hated gov PA has ever had & the folk who like him live in the NO AMTRAK FOR YOU zone. This ought to help him be loved even more.

Overall Amtrak is fine (not hurt real bad by this) but people who live in Lewistown PA, Huntington PA, Tyrone PA, Altoona PA, Johnstown PA, Latrobe PA & Greensburg PA are screwed & so is anyone trying to get to these areas.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 06:28 PM

119. That would be so awesome

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 07:16 PM

120. Gotta also have a direct

....link between the tech center of the SF Bay Area and New York to make this work. And Seattle seems kind of isolated. Need more lines!

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 07:29 PM

121. I'd like to see more focus on regional high speed rail

While maps like this are nice, I think it would be more beneficial to focus on connecting regional cities that have high interstate / highway traffic.

As far as the europe remarks I'm seeing on here... I don't know a whole lot of European's, but when I do meet some, I almost always ask about their high speed rail. The response I always find is Europeans use rail for shorter trips and air for longer trips. It's the tourists that will travel the longer distances on rail.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 07:52 PM

123. "It can become a reality though, if you sign the official White House petition."

It will be next in line after they build the Death Star.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 08:06 PM

125. Is Scott Walker's dead body under the part that goes through Wisconsin?

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Response to undeterred (Reply #125)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 06:56 AM

146. A girl can dream....

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 08:25 PM

129. KICK

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 08:28 PM

130. There is a HUGE GAP in this!!!!!

Why does the Pacific NW get no service? Seattle and Portland are economic power houses for technology and green jobs!

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Response to citizen blues (Reply #130)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 06:30 AM

143. Nothing through my part of Virginia south, either.

Blech.

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Response to phylny (Reply #143)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 08:51 AM

152. I see pale gray lines on the map going through VA.

Hoping those are "Phase Two" of the plan.

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Response to beac (Reply #152)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 06:16 PM

181. Well, you are right!

That would be great.

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Response to phylny (Reply #181)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 09:43 AM

187. It would.

I'd love to spend less time on I-81, that's for sure.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 08:29 PM

131. I would travel all over the damn place. Sigh. nt

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 08:46 PM

132. This will never happen because there isnt enough easy money in it

for the ruling elite to get all-a-board. They have figured out that they can "harvest" struggling companies or blackmail us into bailing them out for trillions.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 08:49 PM

133. That *would be* cool. Like the map, too. Kick, Rec.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 09:45 PM

135. Connect Kansas City to Denver and you got a deal.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 12:16 AM

139. done

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 02:33 AM

141. With the House still in a Republican majority, forget about it. We'd better get that ..

squared away before we come up with any fantastic job creating ideas. They will just obstruct anything progressives put forward to make this country a great place. I'm all for it, and I like traveling by train. I do like seeing the country side and would love to disembark right in the middle of a city center of one of our great Metropolises. The routes could be negotiated later, we just have to find the funding. I don't think Americans know how wonderful train travel can be. We're still in such a hurry to get to our destination. It would take some really savvy persuasion.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 06:56 AM

145. Scott Walker killed the line from MKE to MSP...nt

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 08:17 AM

149. K&R and signed the whitehouse.gov petition!

Sending the link out by email as well. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 09:35 AM

153. Signed, that's an excellent idea

I'd love to travel by train, you don't need a traveling companion. You get to see the country. You can stay over in any city then continue on to the next.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 10:07 AM

155. I agree that the idea is both wonderful and essential, but I dislike the routing

the very first thing I would say is that the routing might of necessity follow the rights of way of existing Interstate highways. So it seems to me as a major change in the routing, while following the general map as shown, is that the red line in the map might better follow the existing path of I-70. I would also comment that having three lines service south Florida is sort of redundant when a hub at Jacksonville might serve the needs of the region at considerable cost savings. I'm sure others will note places where different routing makes more sense as well.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 10:53 AM

157. North Dakota, South Dakota, Idaho and Montana left out....again.

Surprising, because a good percentage of the nation's JOBS are up here. Not surprising, because it always happens that way.

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Response to WeRQ4U (Reply #157)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 11:18 AM

162. Aren't those areas already heavily serviced by freight lines?

It was my understanding that the rail roads in that part of the country were thriving and in more or less constant high use. I recall reading that they have become quite profitable for the rail companies. This is because of resource extraction of course, trees and minerals I suppose. At any rate I'd immagine that when the systems are finally built they will be fed by lines that rely on existing railway, and if I'm not mistaken you all have that in spades.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 11:02 AM

159. That we don't already have this, speaks volumes to the power of the oil & auto industries.

Reading through this thread -- so many people would use this!

Love, love, love RTD! Looking at my little book of bright green L passes & smiling.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 11:18 AM

161. Kick!

Shared & signed!

This RTD rider says, "Bring it!" Time to get with the 21st century, America!

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 02:52 PM

168. Anyone who complains that this is not possible or impractical, forfeits the right to ever complain..

about gas prices.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 04:27 PM

176. I would be a regular on the Blue Line

Cleveland to St. Louis and Kansas City.

Or maybe the Red Line to Omaha

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 10:49 PM

184. There will never be rail fast enough for most of those routes to make sense.

Stick to the Northeast that actually has near European population density and major cities in relatively close proximity and forget the rest.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 11:07 PM

186. Chicago could make a ton of money in this

Look how many lines have a hub there... Though I would add a minor line connecting St. Louis and Kansas City to Denver. I don't want to have to ride to Chicago if I want to catch a ride to LA.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 11:59 AM

188. Petition still needs 63K+ signatures by March 7th!

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Response to beac (Reply #188)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 03:00 PM

190. Petition still needs help! n/t

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