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Why not build a transcontinental MagLev Train?

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Postman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 02:45 PM
Original message
Why not build a transcontinental MagLev Train?
I hear these dipshit republicans whining about a maglev train being in the stimulus bill running from "Disneyland to Las Vegas".....

Why not build one cross-country? Even if there were one slated for California to Nevada, doesn't that put people to work building a railroad, laying track, working the train cars?

WTF is wrong with these GD republicans? Either you're for putting Americans to work or you're not.

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rcrush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 02:48 PM
Response to Original message
1. Fuck they should build them all over the place.
Super high speed rail trains that go cross country in bout an hour. If they really wanted to they could do it.
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GA_ArmyVet Donating Member (304 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 10:11 PM
Response to Reply #1
56. You truly believe
we can make a train that travels at over Mach 2 speeds???

3000 miles plus in an hour?

I think we need high speed trains and cross country would be good, but they dont move that damn fast.
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madokie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-26-09 10:01 AM
Response to Reply #56
61. Captain Kirk and Dr Spock would be happy huh
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tomreedtoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-26-09 07:54 PM
Response to Reply #61
83. Fictional character and a baby physician?
Oh. You're a MUNDANE. You don't know the difference between Mr. Spock and Dr. Benjamin Spock. Sheesh. And they wonder why Asians call Americans lazy and stupid.
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TommyO Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-26-09 11:19 AM
Response to Reply #56
66. It could easily be done
Would it be conventional surface transport? No, it would be in the form of a maglev running through tubes in an atmospheric vacuum. Does the technology exist on the scale needed to produce such a transportation network today? No, but it's not impossible sci-fi like faster-than-light travel or teleportation.

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4lbs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-26-09 05:41 PM
Response to Reply #1
76. The fastest high speed rails in Japan and China are just now reaching 500 kph, or about 300 mph.
Edited on Thu Feb-26-09 05:42 PM by 4lbs
So, 300 mph still means about 10 hours to go from L.A. to New York non-stop.
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Jackpine Radical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 02:50 PM
Response to Original message
2. I think maglev technology is ungodly expensive.
In China, 20 miles of maglev cost $1.3 bil to build. I assume it would be at least 5 times as expensive here. Like maybe a trillion bucks to cross the US with current technology.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 02:54 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Yes. We just need dedicated rail, dedicated to fast moving passenger trains. nt
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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 03:03 PM
Response to Reply #2
8. How much does it cost to support our environmentally hazardous
air traffic. You are talking about the initial investment costs of the rail, not the cost of the rail amortized over the many years that we would use it.
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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 03:37 PM
Response to Reply #8
14. Don't make me come back there! what did I tell you about using logic??
sound reasoning and clear thought have no place in a thread meant to feed the wolves.

peace.
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Orsino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-26-09 09:57 AM
Response to Reply #8
59. Train tracks only go where they're laid.
To examine your point fully, we would need to consider the amount of air traffic we can afford to replace with rail, to include the question of whether enough people are willing to spend days instead of hours in transit.

I suspect that we're going to be forced in that direction eventually (and that one day we will wish we'd made the investment), but one immediate problem is getting people to settle for slow rail in place of jets.
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TommyO Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-26-09 11:29 AM
Response to Reply #59
68. Planes only go where there are airports and infrastructure to support them
For mid-range travel, high-speed rail, or even maglev, is a viable option.

Don't forget that for planes you get to tack on two hours of pre-flight time to deal with the TSA-imposed delays at airports. A high-speed train traveling at 300mph will take less time for many trips than a plane flying at 500mph, and be far more comfortable to boot.
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Orsino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-26-09 12:37 PM
Response to Reply #68
71. The airports and associated infrastructure are already there.
New rail, however badly we need it, is going to have to fight for funding.

I agree that rail has many advantages that air travel doesn't, and is by definition more sustainable, but it's at a disadvantage now more than ever. I hope we can start to build, but I still am unsure how much and where. We've made so many mistakes in transportation infrastructure that we can't afford many more.
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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-26-09 02:46 PM
Response to Reply #71
72. Fuel costs are going to make air travel and transport impossible
in the not so far off future.
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Orsino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-26-09 03:04 PM
Response to Reply #72
73. I think so, too.
I have not heard any serious plans for battery- or nuclear-powered planes. We're probably facing the end of commercial aviation.
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comrade snarky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-26-09 03:23 PM
Response to Reply #68
74. Exactly!
Cross country trains are not the place to start. It's not possible for a train to provide better service than a plane on a 2500 mile trip.

I'd like to see Japanese type bullet trains linking metropolitan areas. If we look to the future these systems could later be combined into a larger national or continental transport system.
I have to do the SF to LA thing every month or so and if I could hop on a train in Downtown SF and get off 2 hours later in downtown LA I'd do it over a plane in a hot second, even if it costs a bit more. Getting to and from the airport takes a ridiculous amount of time on both ends. Sure the flight is 45 minutes but all the other crap ups it to at least 3 hours out of the day.

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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #2
18. It's also a massive energy waste. Very environmentally unfriendly.
You're essentially lifting the train using electrical power for the full duration of the trip, which is horribly inefficient.

Maglev is the Lamborghini of the mass transit world. On the upside, it's an incredibly fast way to get around. On the downside, it's five times as expensive as anything else, consumes enormous amounts of energy, and has upkeep costs an order of magnitude higher than conventional transportation.

The ONLY plus to maglev is its speed, and even THAT advantage is fairly small. The worlds fastest maglev train is only 6km/h faster than France's TGV, which is a steel rail system.
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 03:47 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. thanks, I just learned a lot about trains
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wickerwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 10:04 PM
Response to Reply #18
54. Also, the one in Shanghai caught on fire.
http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2006-08/12/content_6...

Whoops.

It's seriously the most pointless mass transit ever. It only goes from the airport to Longyang subway station (which doesn't have escalators so you have to haul your heavy ass suitcases up two flights of stairs) and costs something like $20 round trip. For three or four bucks more you could have door to door cab service which isn't any slower than the maglev train unless you live right next to the station.
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TommyO Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-26-09 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #18
69. The energy used for a maglev compares favorably to other high-speed rail
and is far more efficient than air, auto, or conventional trains.

You're misinformed about the energy and upkeep costs.
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ColbertWatcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 03:47 PM
Response to Reply #2
21. The French have high speed trains that made a profit in 2007, but ...
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NeedleCast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 04:06 PM
Response to Reply #21
30. France is also a much smaller country with a much greater population density
Edited on Wed Feb-25-09 04:08 PM by NeedleCast
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ColbertWatcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 04:11 PM
Response to Reply #30
34. True.
Just posting an example of how someone (somewhere) was able to make money with public transportation.

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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 04:15 PM
Response to Reply #30
37. True, France is about the size of Texas. Bullet trains could service the Northeast corridor though.
The population density in that part of the country could support a huge mass transit network there. The main backbones could conceivably be bullet-train tracks, and the hubs that those trains stop at could be used as origin points for bus fleets to cover everything else in a radiating pattern. So if one wanted to go from Boston to D.C., one would hop on the transit buses that services the communities and use them to get to the train station to board the bullet. For shorter trips like from one town to the next, the bus alone would be fine.
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NeedleCast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 04:18 PM
Response to Reply #37
40. I'd be all for that
I agree that it could be both profitable and a great option. Like I said down-thread, I've always found it faster and cheaper to take the train from DC to New York (and even further north), in addition to be a heck of a lot more comfortable and less stressful.
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 10:01 PM
Response to Reply #40
53. I'm with you on the stress. You don't have to deal with nightmarish gridlock during rush hour.
A bullet train doesn't suffer traffic jams.
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Juche Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-26-09 11:11 AM
Response to Reply #2
65. Numbers I've seen are all over the place
I've seen 8, 18, 40 and 80 million per mile for high speed rail. If you assume $25 million per mile, then it'd be about $65 billion to get from NYC to LA. High speed rail will be great to connect large cities though. Indianapolis to Chicago, NYC to Boston, San Diego to LA, etc.
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billybob537 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 02:51 PM
Response to Original message
3. why not build six of them
laid out in a grid with hubs like chicago denver pheonix Memphis and terminus in L.A. Atlanta NY. SF and limited stops it could be faster safer and cheaper than flying
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 02:54 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. It's FAR more fuel efficient. nt
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 03:01 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. Because people own that land. Lots and lots of different people.
Even with an eminent domain condemnation, it will take YEARS to get the land.

Of course, there are many lawyers out of work these days, too.
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MattBaggins Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 03:09 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. See it would be good for creating jobs
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billybob537 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 04:23 PM
Response to Reply #7
44. people love money.
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smalll Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 10:09 PM
Response to Reply #7
55. Ding ding ding, we have a winner: it's land ownership, nimbyism, and NEPA (environmental law) ---
that makes an FDR-style public works project (like the TVA, or highways, or trains) impossible in today's system without specific legislation that would suspend regulation, delay and red tape.

There's no "shovel-ready" way to build great projects anymore. This is perhaps why they tell us that the spending side of the stimulus bill will take two full years to begin to spend it.

There was a failure of nerve somewhere with this plan.
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melm00se Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-26-09 09:45 AM
Response to Reply #55
58. i was watching
a TV program that re-engineered hoover dam and the engineering team (especially the environmental engineer) said the same thing.

Hoover Dam was designed and built in approximately 6 years...they indicated it would take 2 or 3 times that even before they could even break ground with all the impact studies and inevitable law suits. Once ground was broken, they figured it would take a little less time to build it than the original but not by much.

Any major project, even built entirely on public lands, would take an eternity to pass through all the hoops that current environmental and land use rules that are in place.
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TheMightyFavog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #3
11. Well, the airline industry can't have that, can they?
It would take away business.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 02:53 PM
Response to Original message
4. I'd love to take the overnight train to Los Angeles.
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 03:05 PM
Response to Original message
9. When the trip becomes 'room and board' it gets expensive.
Edited on Wed Feb-25-09 03:08 PM by TahitiNut
This is why ocean liners and transcontinental trains (imho) were supplanted by jet planes. When the passenger can be "bused" (seat, sandwich, shared toilet) it's far less expensive than providing bed and breakfast and more. Lots of travel is done by people who can't afford hotels ... and making the conveyance as expensive as a hotel prices too many out of the market. Such travel was either only within reach of the affluent or a once-in-a-lifetime thing for the working class. Now, all except the "bottom 20%" regard such travel as something they should be able to do at least annually.

I see rail travel as regional or short hauls feeding airports, as long as the vast majority (95%) of trips (end to end) are kept below about 10-12 hours.

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TheMightyFavog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 03:14 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. Right use high speed rail to replce fligts of >400 milles.
Anything further can be better handled by air.
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. "greater than 400 miles"? Don't you mean "less than"?
Edited on Wed Feb-25-09 03:33 PM by TahitiNut
:shrug: Going by my limit of 10-12 hours for the entire trip, I'd say rail travel segments of somewhere around 100-200 miles makes sense for high-speed rail. People have to see it as convenient, affordable, and competitive in comforts, imho.
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Norrin Radd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 04:12 PM
Original message
Airships would be great for room and board.
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 04:17 PM
Response to Original message
38. Most people either don't want or can't afford 'room and board' prices for travel.
Just check out the Amtrak prices from Chicago to Seattle some time.

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Norrin Radd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 04:19 PM
Response to Reply #38
41. Yes, but when they do, airships would be a more green method.
Not necessarily weather or time schedule friendly, but...
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Lost in CT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 05:07 PM
Response to Reply #41
50. They can't be much less weather and time schedule friendly than
Amtrak is most days.
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Ioo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 03:39 PM
Response to Original message
15. BECAUSE WE DO NOT NEED IT - Trips that far SHOULD be flown.
We need it up and down the East...

DC to NY to Boston

For the most part we need to build them where people DRIVE... Do you know how many planes we have just going from DC to NYC? like 40...

We need REGIONAL high speed rail...

Here is the formula I would use... if the wait at security and to get on a plane is longer than the flight itself, BUILD A TRAIN.
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NeedleCast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 03:46 PM
Response to Reply #15
19. Do you know how many planes we have just going from DC to NYC?
Actually it's a LOT higher than that. Sorry, not trying to start static but you raised an interesting point. As a person who lives in DC and used to travel frequently for work with NYC being a major destination, me and some co-workers did the math on this once, using just the two major airports in NYC and DC. We found something like 120 total flights in one day using all avaliable airlines departing from DC airports. Especially in the early morning and late afternoon early evening, you have flights often departing less that a few minutes apart. I forget which airline it was (want to say US Airways), but one of them had something like 35 shuttle flights by itself...17 flights per day between Washington Dulles and La Guardia.

I always take the train. Between cabs, security, bag checks and the inevitable flight delay, it takes less time to catch the Acela Express to NYC from Union Station in DC, and costs about a third as much.
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kwassa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #19
24. My wife does the same thing, she never flies to New York.
Same reasons as you.
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 04:07 PM
Response to Reply #19
31. Yes, but what percentage of those are connecting flights?
People flying from DC to London via NY? Nobody is going to take the train fron DC to NY just to fight through the security lines at La Guardia.
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NeedleCast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #31
42. DC/Baltimore are international hubs though
So you really don't need to go to NYC to get to London from DC. Maybe pricing/scheduling, I don't know, didn't really look into that. Point being that there are a tremendous number of flights from DC to NY in a single day, many of which are half full or less...and the airlines are bitching about their profit margins.
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 04:40 PM
Response to Reply #42
47. Last I checked, it's cheaper to fly out of NY than DC
Just checked Orbitz. The cheapest nonstop round trip from DC to London, leaving tomorrow, was $1,222 per person using Lingus and British Airways. I can catch an Air India flight from New York to London for $589 round trip, with Jetblue commuter connections to DC for $217. So DC to London direct will cost $1,222, while DC to London via New York will cost $806. All prices include taxes and fees.

New York has more carriers passing through, so it has more options.
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 04:04 PM
Response to Reply #15
27. That's my beef, and the reason I don't like the California system.
California is building a high speed rail system to connect LA and San Francisco. While it's interesting and I'm sure it will see some use, most independent analysis have already shown that it isn't going to do anything to reduce the number of cars on the road or reduce pollution. Why not? Because most Californian's don't spend the day driving or flying back and forth between those cities. In fact, factored into the number of cars on the road and number of flights through those cities, in-state traveling between those cities is only a fraction of a single percent of the traffic on the road. Since the train will still be slower, and since current projections are that ticket prices will be comparable, the reality is that the rail system isn't likely to capture more than half of that fraction of a percentage.

The problem that many overlook is that the vast and overwhelming majority of road usage and auto-based pollution are generated during local or regional trips. People commuting from Tracy Ca to San Jose for work in the morning. People driving to their office across town, etc. I personally drive about 90 miles to Sacramento twice a week. These types of shorter trips are where the bulk of our pollution and fuel usage originates, and yet nobody is looking seriously at that problem. The high speed rail proposals here in California, and sometimes proposed nationally, ignore that local traffic entirely.

What we need isn't a high speed rail system, we need a series of REGIONAL rail systems with interlinks to allow usage by high speed thru-trains. THAT will get cars off the road. Anything else is just make-work and environmentally useless.
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Sen. Walter Sobchak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 04:11 PM
Response to Reply #27
33. You speak the truth, NOW OFF WITH YOUR HEAD!
I am just thankful that California is too bankrupt to ever see the proposed system built.
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The Stranger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 04:45 PM
Response to Reply #27
48. It seems like the studies ALWAYS seem to say that no one is going to use it.
Then you have times like when gas spikes to $4-5 per gallon, and suddenly you can't push your way on to one.
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 05:05 PM
Response to Reply #48
49. Yes, but these systems are useless for that sort of thing.
If I have to drive 50 miles to work every day and gas spikes to $5 a gallon, that high speed train isn't going to do a bit of good if the nearest stop is 100 miles away. Even worse, if I live in a suburb and have to commute 30 miles to "the city" for work every day, that high speed rail system is going to be beyond useless if the nearest stop is IN THE CITY.

There's a reason why all of the worlds successful rail systems are built on a regional model. France, Britain, Japan, and even India have rail networks designed to move people from outlying areas into a core location, and then interlink those core cities. So why is the U.S. so focused on building those inter-city links when the regional networks to get people TO those core locations doesn't exist? Both the European and Asian rail networks demonstrate that we're doing it ass-backwards.
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The Stranger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-26-09 09:17 AM
Response to Reply #49
57. The high speed train 100 miles away will eventually have a connecting line 25, then 5 miles away.
They have to start somewhere.
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-26-09 06:27 PM
Response to Reply #57
78. That's just a backwards way to do it.
Edited on Thu Feb-26-09 06:28 PM by Xithras
Build the local and regional networks first, because that will have the biggest impact on pollution, the economy, and per-capita fuel consumption. Build me a train that goes from San Francisco to New York, and I'll ride it once a year on vacation. Build me a train that goes from where I live to where I work and I'll ride it every single day.

Regional rail systems will have an infinitely larger impact on American lives than national thru-rail systems.

According to the FAA, 2 million Americans take trips far enough to fly every day.

According to the DOT, somewhere around 180 million Americans drive their cars every day.

Which is more important to address? A high speed rail system, at best, will take somewhere around 1/4 of those people off those planes (a percentage of those flyers are on connectors, another percentage want the shorter travel time, etc). I just don't get the logic behind spending hundreds of billions of dollars building a high speed rail system across America when it will do NOTHING to alleviate our traffic problems, which stem from the 180 million daily drivers. Those hundreds of billions are better spent building local rail networks to get Jane Commuter off the road.
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 04:23 PM
Response to Reply #15
43. There's one problem with the "instead of driving" notion.
People drive so they have their cars away from home ... and don't have to rent one. Cost. Cost. Cost. When it's two or three people traveling, cars make all kinds of sense for trips under 250 miles, especially when there's no mass transit at the destination. One of the reasons the train is so popular in Europe is because European cities have such convenient mass transit systems. Paris' Metro is a joy. London's Underground is terrific.

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Sen. Walter Sobchak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 03:41 PM
Response to Original message
16. There are these really cool new things called "airplanes"
They have only been around 106 years so you might have not seen one yet, their really neat, just the other day I got out of bed in Canada and 5 hours later I was eating lunch at home in California.
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RB TexLa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 03:42 PM
Response to Original message
17. Trans hemispheric as well.
A couple running east to west, and one running north to south. Mexico City to Toronto, maybe.
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Sen. Walter Sobchak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 03:49 PM
Response to Reply #17
22. WHY?
Who the hell is going to take the train from Mexico City to Toronto or any two points inbetween?

This is a fantasy, if you want a make work project start with filling in the the craters on my street

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RB TexLa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 04:06 PM
Response to Reply #22
28. You don't have to take it all the way from one to the other. It can also have freight rails too.
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Sen. Walter Sobchak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 04:12 PM
Response to Reply #28
35. So I am going to take the train from Chicago to Kansas City?
Nope, not going to do that either.
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TommyO Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-26-09 11:38 AM
Response to Reply #22
70. Just like getting into an aluminum cylinder and flying between those points is fantasy
OH, wait. it's not fantasy, it's reality, and high-speed rail or maglev is more comfortable and efficient than sardining yourself into a jet.

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Sen. Walter Sobchak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-26-09 05:34 PM
Response to Reply #70
75. Yeah, except 5 hours later by airplane I am at home
Lets see, it takes three days to get from New York to Los Angeles by train now, cut that in half to 36 hours and it sucks, cut that in half again to 18 hours and it still sucks, cut that in half again - at which point your probably violating the laws of physics and flying still wins.

The United States is BANKRUPT, when every American has healthcare, when every American can goto University, when every American can do any number of things. Until then lets try to prioritize?
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TommyO Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-26-09 07:44 PM
Response to Reply #75
82. The distance from NY to Los Angeles is roughly 2450 miles
That distance is "as the crow flies." How fast would you have to go to traverse that distance in 9 hours with no stops?

Just over 272 miles per hour, well within the laws of physics of a maglev train which has a top speed of around 342 mph. A non-stop from NY to LA could be done in just over seven hours with far greater comfort and with far less energy per passenger consumed than any cross-country flight.

Even with the need to re-route the mainline to avoid geographic obstacles and to service a number of other cities along the way, we're still well within the laws of physics.

I'm using the German Transrapid system for my figures, other systems may differ in top speed.

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Sen. Walter Sobchak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-26-09 09:22 PM
Response to Reply #82
84. and your going to pay for this HOW?
Build all that and your still going to be beat down by a 1959 DC-8.
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TommyO Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-27-09 06:10 AM
Response to Reply #84
88. With the billions upon billions of dollars we currently spend on transportation
systems that rely on a dwindling supply of fossil fuels.

Do you propose that we do nothing until we're unable to fly because there is no fuel available?

Typical short-sighted thinking.
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LeftinOH Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 03:49 PM
Response to Original message
23. right-wingers equate rail service with amusement park rides, i.e: fun for the kids,
but not a serious way to get around in the real world (on trains & buses, you have to share space with strangers -who might be different than you).
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NeedleCast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 03:50 PM
Response to Original message
25. I'm all for more rail options
but the bottom line is you're going to have to make a model for operating them in a manner which at least breaks even in terms of costs (demand vs what the feds would have to pay in upkeep).
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Cronus Protagonist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 03:57 PM
Response to Original message
26. I'm thinking green - a trans-continential BIKE PATH!
hehe :P
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 04:06 PM
Response to Original message
29. Traditional bullet-train technology is far cheaper and is proven safe.
Edited on Wed Feb-25-09 04:09 PM by Selatius
Maglev technology is too costly now. Wait until costs go down to comparable levels seen with bullet train services seen in countries like Germany and France. A French TGV can easily cruise at 160 to 180mph safely and efficiently, and there has been no fatalities on any of those trains as far as I know.
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Thothmes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 07:25 PM
Response to Reply #29
51. Agree on using the bullet concept
Question, can they make the grades over the Applacian or the Rocky mountins. Current freight trains over these mountains sometimes have to use 6 units on the steep grades.
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 09:52 PM
Response to Reply #51
52. Most likely, but those tracks weren't built for high-speed movement for obvious reasons.
Edited on Wed Feb-25-09 09:59 PM by Selatius
You don't want to be moving at 160+mph and then hit a bunch of S-curves or a dip. It would feel too much like a roller-coaster and would probably derail the train.

The TGVs used by France now are powered by electricity delivered by power lines suspended above the track. This was done to eliminate the weight of a full-sized diesel-electric engine block and the weight of hundreds of gallons of diesel fuel needed to run it. The power to pull the train up a hill or mountain would come essentially from the power station. France's entire power grid today, incidentally, is 80% nuclear powered. They built a lot of nuclear power stations in the last 30 years following the Arab Oil Embargo and the price shocks that resulted.
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Norrin Radd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 04:10 PM
Response to Original message
32. Apparently, they don't think the jobs and lives of people in Anaheim
or Vegas matter. Though I guess that goes for everyone and everywhere, with the repubs.
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Sen. Walter Sobchak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 04:13 PM
Response to Reply #32
36. and how the hell is it going to make it through Anaheim?
Edited on Wed Feb-25-09 04:14 PM by Sen. Walter Sobchak
run it up the middle of Harbor Blvd?
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Norrin Radd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 04:17 PM
Response to Reply #36
39. Elevated, or outside of town.
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Sen. Walter Sobchak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #39
45. Been down here much?
"Outside of town" would be the cities of Fullerton, Garden Grove, Orange and Buena Park. The only way to know your in another city down here is when the style of the street signs change.
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Norrin Radd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #45
46. City can't go on forever. In the Atlanta Metro area, Hartsfield airport is
Edited on Wed Feb-25-09 04:46 PM by Norrin Radd
far away from most towns. One has to travel a bit to travel.

Seattle itself sprawls in all directions, and is riddled with hills, yet we are getting an elevated train. Building things around things people can do. It's not impossible.

But, whatever -- my original point wasn't whether it were feasible, but that the repubs are ridiculing the jobs of people in both towns to grandstand and resist progress, everywhere.
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Lost in CT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-26-09 10:00 AM
Response to Reply #45
60. Well what we usually do is raze the poor areas and build the tracks right through them. nt
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Historic NY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-26-09 10:10 AM
Response to Original message
62. Thats what I've been saying a "National Rail System",....
my state takes hours to go from one end to another, imagine taking a train and being there in an hour or so vs driving 5-6 hrs. We did it with highways its time to factor out the auto in a national plan. Just imagine how much energy use would go down. NY state already has a corridor the Thruway which followed the Erie Canal.
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Bake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-26-09 10:47 AM
Response to Original message
63. What do the high-speed trains in Europe run on?
i.e., what type of engine? Diesel? Electricity?

Bake
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ThomWV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-26-09 10:59 AM
Response to Original message
64. I think there is more commercial and passenger traffic north/south than east/west
I think in terms of use there would be more bang for the buck if you just hung one over top of I-95 and ran it from Maine to Florida. A western equal would be in order too, from the Mexican border all the way to Canada. Each would have spurs and I suppose eventually an east/west connecting line, though I'm not real sure just how valuable that would be.
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W_HAMILTON Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-26-09 11:26 AM
Response to Original message
67. They're fucking idiots.
As if everyone didn't already know...

They're certainly showing it with this stimulus bill. All the stuff they have been whining about have perfectly legitimate stimulative uses, including building transportation between "Disneyland and Las Vegas." It is an infrastructure project that will put people to work.

Republicans are such fucking idiots. I am really starting to HATE them. I despise their stupidity.
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lib2DaBone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-26-09 05:54 PM
Response to Original message
77. Pity that Americans cant see beyond their face...
High speed rail doesnt cost.. it pays. Nothing is more cost effective pound for pound than high speed rail.

These new rail systems will not travel on old rail.. they will use they old right-of-way, but they will lay new track. How many millions of jobs would it require to lay new track?

The only problem is.. the Republicans do not want to see America prosper. Party over people.. that is the Republican way. America will never be able to live up to the technology in France.. we don't have the will.



BEZANNES, France, April 3 A French high-speed train broke the world speed record on rail on Tuesday, reaching 357 miles an hour (574.8 kilometers) in a much publicized test in eastern France, exceeding expectations that it would hit 150 meters a second, or 540 kilometers an hour.



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Sen. Walter Sobchak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-26-09 09:29 PM
Response to Reply #77
85. yeah, that is the job americans are looking for
I am sure the few dozen QA Technicians, Firmware Developers and PCB designers who got fired this month where my girlfriend works are just dying to lay down railroad ties, right after they take a semester of Bush subsudized community college courses.
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Posteritatis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-26-09 06:30 PM
Response to Original message
79. At this point, I kinda figure wingnuts would try sabotaging them
The ebil dimmycrats supported their creation, after all, so they must be communist!

(Yes, I actually am kind of expecting people to attack some of the stimulus-related projects in more than a rhetorical way because the scary black man was somehow behind them. I hate not being able to dismiss that sort of thing; ugh.)
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Rosco T. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-26-09 06:32 PM
Response to Original message
80. This place has been trying to get funding for years.. even better
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lib2DaBone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-26-09 06:42 PM
Response to Reply #80
81. As I said.. America will never OK high Speed Rail because we don't have the will power..
.. we don't have the technology to compete with France and Europe.
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Sen. Walter Sobchak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-26-09 09:33 PM
Response to Reply #81
87. No
America will never have high speed rail because there aren't 200,000,000 people living on a postage stamp
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deaniac21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-26-09 09:31 PM
Response to Original message
86. We could build bridges or tunnels and make thme transatlantic
or pacific!
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