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  #21  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2012, 6:43 PM
eternallyme eternallyme is offline
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I wonder if the reason the Republicans want to starve the NEC is political, since they get almost no support there? That really hurts them since 110 electoral votes are thrown away right there (about 40% of what is needed to win the White House, add California and Illinois and that is 183 EV's right away - more than two-thirds of the way to the goal - just on urban issues).

After all, all the states in it from DC northward, except New Hampshire, are solidly or at least strongly leaning Democratic - PA is sometimes seen as a swing state but really even in 2004 when Bush dominated the rural parts, he still couldn't win because the urban parts went against and Obama has consistently led there; also Virginia has gone from solidly Republican to swing because of the I-95 corridor growth.
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  #22  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2012, 6:44 PM
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^ I was thinking along the lines of a proper modern train shed.
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  #23  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2012, 7:14 PM
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They should also drop the word European when describing the style of high speed rail since that may make it less likely to be funded.
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  #24  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2012, 8:07 PM
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There are a few problems I have with this line which Amtrak Employees agree with me needs to be addressed.

1. Why No Newark Bypass , its a congested Rail JCT that should be bypassed via the Eastern side of the Irounbound. You can connect the New Kearny JCT ramps to the Bypass with Easy yet why didn't they plan a bypass? The Max speed through Newark is 45mph , even with all the upgrades planned. A Bypass could allow for speeds of 130mph.

2. The New England segment is iff , Woonsocket is a joke and the Providence line even with Capacity upgrades will not have enough Capacity to handle the HSR let alone allowing the speeds why not ride I-84 to I-90 and service the large often left out city of Worcester. I know the Cross England is being planned for mini-HSR between Boston and Albany but why not throw in the New NEC. And ride the Worcester line which can be easily widened to carry 4 tracks...

3. Why the stupid alignment through Westchester , riding the Harlem line > New Haven line > Old NEC > New NEC breaks off in Port Chester? What a Joke , why not tunnel from Mount Vernon to Purchase which is where I-684 is , thus avoiding all the super rich people by Port Chester...

4. How to address getting a 6 tracked from Linden to Newark , you need to demolish multiple homes which ignored Amtrak and the Federal warnings...you need to move a county college and Jail...and shift and rebuild Elizabeth Station. To allow speeds of 180mph from NY to Philly , the Elizzy curve is one of a few things preventing higher speeds and clogging up the infrastructure. It goes from 6 tracks in Rahway to 4 with a tight S curve in Elizabeth then 6 to 8 in Newark....

Once out of NJ , you shouldn't have any issues building a new line next to the NEC , the ROW is huge and underused.
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  #25  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2012, 8:57 PM
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You can't be serious? Successful at creating jobs in India and China perhaps. Successful in creating jobs for accountants and tax attorneys setting up Caymen Island and Swiss bank accounts for him.
Don't even get me started with jobs. Obama didn't do jack with job growth. Walk up to any 20 to 34-year-old with a college degree and ask him or her how happy he or she is with their job, providing they even have one...

Jelly Roll, very funny... Still, I seriously don't understand why the far right weenies don't want high speed rail. Ok. I get the whole argument about reliability and the spending, but instead of wanting it to go away, why not fix the problem? Allowing Amtrak to just go away is going to create a huge mess of problems! JFK, PHL, LaGuardia, Newark, et al. will all become inaccessible due to heavy passenger volumes, and don't even get me started with the gridlock that will become I-95... Watch, the next thing you'll hear is proposing a massive widening of I-95 to something like 10 to 20 lanes, which will probably be quadruple the cost to built a northeast HSR line...

One bone I have to pick with this thing is why do they feel the need to build a completely new station underneath Market East? I like that SEPTA station design, but the mall above it is a dump. Besides, suppose you want to connect to another regional train to go to Harrisburg or Lancaster. That will mean leaving the train, hopping on a SEPTA train to get to 30th Street Station and then board another train from there. I like the idea with linking PHL with high speed rail, making it more of an intermodal facility than it already is with the R1 SEPTA line serving it.
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  #26  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2012, 9:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Nexis4Jersey View Post
1. Why No Newark Bypass , its a congested Rail JCT that should be bypassed via the Eastern side of the Irounbound. You can connect the New Kearny JCT ramps to the Bypass with Easy yet why didn't they plan a bypass? The Max speed through Newark is 45mph , even with all the upgrades planned. A Bypass could allow for speeds of 130mph.
Except for the "Super Express" HSR in the revised Vision plan, all the HSR trains stop at the Newark station. A Newark Bypass would be a challenge and rather expensive for something used only by a limited number of Super Express trains.

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Originally Posted by Nexis4Jersey View Post
2. The New England segment is iff , Woonsocket is a joke and the Providence line even with Capacity upgrades will not have enough Capacity to handle the HSR let alone allowing the speeds why not ride I-84 to I-90 and service the large often left out city of Worcester. I know the Cross England is being planned for mini-HSR between Boston and Albany but why not throw in the New NEC. And ride the Worcester line which can be easily widened to carry 4 tracks...

3. Why the stupid alignment through Westchester , riding the Harlem line > New Haven line > Old NEC > New NEC breaks off in Port Chester? What a Joke , why not tunnel from Mount Vernon to Purchase which is where I-684 is , thus avoiding all the super rich people by Port Chester...
The 2012 version does not go to Woonsocket RI, but now rejoins the current NEC at Providence RI. How the NextGen HSR NEC tracks would get from Hartford to the NEC ROW south of Providence with a mostly straight ROW, no clue.

A tunnel from Mt. Vernon to Purchase NY? With this many expensive tunnels in the plan, another 11 or 12 miles of tunnels might be too much.

If a in-depth cost analysis and justification of the NextGen NEC plan is conducted, I expect the first big ticket item to go would be the tunnel under center city in Philadelphia. 30th Street is a well connected station. Run the HSR dual tracks to 30th St from the south. Since the NEC is slow through Zoo Interlocking, going across the Schuylkill, and North Philly, build 2 new HSR tracks either bypassing Zoo or a tunnel under the river and emerge in the NEC ROW in North Philly. Has to be a lot less expensive that the tunnel and new station under Philly idea.

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Originally Posted by Nexis4Jersey View Post
4. How to address getting a 6 tracked from Linden to Newark , you need to demolish multiple homes which ignored Amtrak and the Federal warnings...you need to move a county college and Jail...and shift and rebuild Elizabeth Station. To allow speeds of 180mph from NY to Philly , the Elizzy curve is one of a few things preventing higher speeds and clogging up the infrastructure. It goes from 6 tracks in Rahway to 4 with a tight S curve in Elizabeth then 6 to 8 in Newark....

Once out of NJ , you shouldn't have any issues building a new line next to the NEC , the ROW is huge and underused.
The 2012 Vision for the NEC Stair Step improvements has a Elizabeth Area Improvements - Curve Modifications on the 2025 milestone list.

The NEC ROW is more generous south of Philly, but there are still tight spots in Wilmington, some MD towns, Baltimore, and between Baltimore to DC.
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  #27  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2012, 10:52 PM
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Thankfully, Mitt Romney has very little chance of getting elected so hopefully Amtrak will be able to get funding for this.
Don't get cocky. Romney's odds are better than die-hard Democrats realize, mostly because Obama has disillusioned so many of them. Even when Obama does things many/most Democrats like, he has this stupid habit of doing them in ways that look weak and provide fodder for the Republicans without looking like a leader. Example, his support of gay marriage. Instead of coming out with it directly, it sort of just stumbled out in a way that looked like, "Oh, ok, since Biden already forced me into it, I'll just stay it, and I'll say it in the weakest way possible without contradicting what my VP said." Then there's his terrible immigration behavior. On the one hand he pisses off the Republicans by suing states trying to enforce Federal law against undocumented immigrants, and on the other hand his administration is probably the most anti-immgrant administration in my lifetime as far as the actual effect of what the people working for him are doing. Net immigration has practically ground to a halt, and it's not all due to the economy. So not only is he terrible on immigration in practice despite paying it lip-service, so that liberal people who actually care about immigration holistically are pissed at him, his lip service serves to piss off the Republicans so much it actually becomes a rallying cry for them.

Most Democrats won't vote for Romney, but all that needs to happen for Romney to win is for enough Democrats to just stay home. That plus the gargantuan advantage Romney is enjoying from Super-PAC spending, and anyone counting him out is blind.

I gave Obama hundreds of dollars last time around, and while I might have been able to vote for the Romney who was governor of Mass, I won't vote for this latest one. But Obama has been such a terrible political failure that I haven't given him anything this time (yet, at least), and while I'll probably vote for him, both candidates leave such a taste of filth in my mouth now that if I got an international job offer I'd jump at it and never look back (and since I finish my masters degree next year at the same time my international partner finishes a doctorate, that's a very real possibility).

I mostly blame the Republicans for the toxic political environment, but I place blame squarely on the Democrats and on obama for being abject failures to deftly deal with it, or even successfully tread water. His emails are pathetic. His allowance of the Democrats to continue to blame Bush is patetic. He's just completely lost his ability to inspire.

I hope Obama wins, but so far any Democrat who thinks it's a no-brainer that he will is blind, deaf and stupid.

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What happens to rural America then?

Surely, automobiles will continue to exist, just with different technologies in the future.
Rural America is doomed anyway - particularly once the aquifers under the Great Plains run dry. There will not be a "return to the land" movement barring some sort of biological or nuclear disaster. Nonetheless, cars will, of course, continue to exist.
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  #28  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2012, 11:36 PM
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im so glad to see that things are starting to get done again..anyone else? even if this isn't 100% chance of being built, im glad to see these proposals popping up..it just seems that the wheels are turning again in the usa, alot is getting done i hope this gets built, id love to ride it
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  #29  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2012, 3:32 AM
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Originally Posted by M II A II R II K View Post
They should also drop the word European when describing the style of high speed rail since that may make it less likely to be funded.
Sadly that`s true. Which is ironic, considering most Americans are of European descent.
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  #30  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2012, 3:29 PM
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Part of the problem is that the Vision plan is overpriced. That Philadelphia tunnel needs to be thrown under the bus (Gateway must stand--a new tunnel under the Hudson is needed). Each of those is singlehandedly 10% of total project cost.

Here's Alon Levy's take on it:
http://pedestrianobservations.wordpr...lan-b-for-hsr/
http://pedestrianobservations.wordpr...sr-90-cheaper/
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  #31  
Old Posted Jul 12, 2012, 12:14 AM
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Part of the problem is that the Vision plan is overpriced. That Philadelphia tunnel needs to be thrown under the bus (Gateway must stand--a new tunnel under the Hudson is needed). Each of those is singlehandedly 10% of total project cost.

Here's Alon Levy's take on it:
http://pedestrianobservations.wordpr...lan-b-for-hsr/
http://pedestrianobservations.wordpr...sr-90-cheaper/
Is it just me or did anyone read the plan , they combined the Northeastern Master Plan with the Old HSR Plan hench the cost increase then they got rid of 20 billion in fat. They can still trim some , like 20 Billion , but the HSR Plan didn't explode in costs. Alot of his proposals have been looked at and deemed to expensive for with little benefit. And Sharing with the MNRR is out of the question , its too slow and congested...hench the bypass. And By 2030 that part of the NEC with improvements will be over capacity like its I-95 neighbor. Theres no room for adding 2 more expensive... He seems out of touch with reality...once again , while the Amtrak Proposal is bold and huge , its not ridiculous they have trimmed alot of the fat from it....so more like ive said could be and probably will be trimmed. But the New England NEC must be bypassed there's no way you could straighten it out cheaply or add capacity cheaply... The NEC Master Plan calls for all bridges along the Shoreline NEC to be replaced and speeds increased on curves and curves straighten along with Constant Catenary which is all underway courtesy of MNRR.
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  #32  
Old Posted Jul 12, 2012, 2:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Nexis4Jersey View Post
Is it just me or did anyone read the plan , they combined the Northeastern Master Plan with the Old HSR Plan hench the cost increase then they got rid of 20 billion in fat. They can still trim some , like 20 Billion , but the HSR Plan didn't explode in costs. Alot of his proposals have been looked at and deemed to expensive for with little benefit. And Sharing with the MNRR is out of the question , its too slow and congested...hench the bypass. And By 2030 that part of the NEC with improvements will be over capacity like its I-95 neighbor. Theres no room for adding 2 more expensive... He seems out of touch with reality...once again , while the Amtrak Proposal is bold and huge , its not ridiculous they have trimmed alot of the fat from it....so more like ive said could be and probably will be trimmed. But the New England NEC must be bypassed there's no way you could straighten it out cheaply or add capacity cheaply... The NEC Master Plan calls for all bridges along the Shoreline NEC to be replaced and speeds increased on curves and curves straighten along with Constant Catenary which is all underway courtesy of MNRR.
I'll agree an additional tunnel under the Hudson will be needed so that there will be a 4 track mainline to Penn Station from both the east and west. I disagree a new bypass will be needed around Metro North soon. Lengthening platforms is the most appropriate solution at this time along the entire corridor to increase capacity. That might mean reconfiguring many stations and interlockings, but it's a far cheaper solution than building a brand new bypass from scratch.
For what it is worth, both Europe and Japan run HSR trains more than 8 cars in length. There's no reason that shouldn't be the first upgrade done on the NEC.
Typical HSR train lengths:
Japan > 700 series = 16 car EMU trainsets
TGV - Eurostar > 18 car train sets with 2 additional locomotives
Amtrak Acela > 6 car trainsets (hopefully 8 car train sets soon) with 2 additional locomotives.
Even if Acela was increased to 8 cars, other nations run trains twice as long more efficiently and without building parallel corridors.

Last edited by electricron; Jul 12, 2012 at 2:34 AM.
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  #33  
Old Posted Jul 12, 2012, 2:42 AM
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I'll agree an additional tunnel under the Hudson will be needed so that there will be a 4 track mainline to Penn Station from both the east and west. I disagree a new bypass will be needed around Metro North soon. Lengthening platforms is the most appropriate solution at this time along the entire corridor to increase capacity. That might mean reconfiguring many stations and interlockings, but it's a far cheaper solution than building a brand new bypass from scratch.
For what it is worth, both Europe and Japan run HSR trains more than 8 cars in length. There's no reason that shouldn't be the first upgrade done on the NEC.
The line is 4 tracked already , they've upgraded most of the stations and Interlocks to handle more trains and its still not enough so hench why Amtrak wants a bypass. The current line is still to congested to run higher speeds...at most with the curves you can hit 125mph... There upgrading the NEC , the plans were combined Hench the cost increase...and they slimmed some off. I'm shocked and angry at people attacking the Amtrak plans , I think there fine with some tweaking. Why is it that Europe or Japan can come up with complex plans , but the US can't? We can't even dream? Hmm, I guess we should never dream of large private projects....like the LIC Redevelopment or Hudson Yards projects... In the Northeastern US you have to shoot high and far , even though you might fall short sometimes.
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  #34  
Old Posted Jul 12, 2012, 9:12 AM
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Like ive said all along the Existing NEC will be improved which is part of the cost..., the cost to upgrading was priced at 50 Billion , the New NEC was priced at 70 Billion , and the feeders make up the rest like the Keystone line and others







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  #35  
Old Posted Jul 12, 2012, 6:32 PM
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Whoever was saying that fossil fuels was running out should read up on how much oil and gas there is in N. America waiting to be exploited in shales. The Economist even proclaimed it as the 'new middle east'. Soon we will be exporting gas.

As regards HSR, it is sickening that it has taken so long to do this. Since it will be 30 years until I could enjoy this, I basically disregard such projects. The US having no HSR system, or even a decent slow train system, is the worst thing ever and I hate it!!!!
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  #36  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2012, 2:00 AM
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I highly suggest that they build a station between Hartford and Providence since Worchester lays closely in between.
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  #37  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2012, 2:50 AM
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They should also drop the word European when describing the style of high speed rail since that may make it less likely to be funded.
I would personally suggest using the word Asian when describing the style of high-speed rail. Considering that a majority of the new HSR schemes are being implemented in Asian countries.
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  #38  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2012, 5:01 AM
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I would personally suggest using the word Asian when describing the style of high-speed rail. Considering that a majority of the new HSR schemes are being implemented in Asian countries.
You mean China mainly? As that is where most of the new Asian lines are going. I think you'd better stick with Europe. They are still building state of the art rail lines all over Europe (France, Spain, Germany, Uk, Italy). If American think China is somehow more appealing than Europe, I don't know what to say. So what if China's trains are marginally faster than France or Spain.

Really, Americans, get over this silly crap.
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  #39  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2012, 5:07 AM
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The line is 4 tracked already , they've upgraded most of the stations and Interlocks to handle more trains and its still not enough so hench why Amtrak wants a bypass. The current line is still to congested to run higher speeds...at most with the curves you can hit 125mph... There upgrading the NEC , the plans were combined Hench the cost increase...and they slimmed some off. I'm shocked and angry at people attacking the Amtrak plans , I think there fine with some tweaking. Why is it that Europe or Japan can come up with complex plans , but the US can't? We can't even dream? Hmm, I guess we should never dream of large private projects....like the LIC Redevelopment or Hudson Yards projects... In the Northeastern US you have to shoot high and far , even though you might fall short sometimes.
I wouldn't care what they think really. It's the usual fear of the unknown bs that always crops up.

However, I think it is far too slow, all far too slow. We must fast track this project though and get this thing moving ASAP. Too much dithering and dilly dallying for my liking.
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  #40  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2012, 3:45 PM
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I actually think the Shore Line/95 routing would be far cheaper and easier to do.
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Whoever was saying that fossil fuels was running out should read up on how much oil and gas there is in N. America waiting to be exploited in shales. The Economist even proclaimed it as the 'new middle east'. Soon we will be exporting gas.

As regards HSR, it is sickening that it has taken so long to do this. Since it will be 30 years until I could enjoy this, I basically disregard such projects. The US having no HSR system, or even a decent slow train system, is the worst thing ever and I hate it!!!!
Actually the EROI in shale is very, very low. It takes substantially more energy to extract a barrel of shale oil than it does any sort of conventional drilling*. And shale wells dry up really fast, which means they have to drill lots of new wells just to maintain the production stream. It's not remotely sustainable, and in fact, shows several bubble characteristics.
________
*IIRC the EROI on conventional oil is 25, which means it returns 25x the amount of energy invested. Shale oil is about 9.5 (if that)...which makes it less efficient than solar power, currently around 10 and 15, depending on the mode and technology.
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