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Old Posted Jan 2, 2018, 5:49 PM
lrt's friend lrt's friend is offline
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With decreasing airline service, increasing security at airports and increasing congestion on highways, HSR and even just fast rail can play a very competitive role as part of the transportation network when pairing certain cities that are at a reasonable distance apart. That is how you start an improved rail network. It also possible to selectively upgrade routes to an HSR standard. In other words, portions of a route may be more economical to upgrade to HSR standards than others. I experienced that when I took a train from Prague to Berlin, where the portion between Dresden and just south of Berlin, trains operated at a very fast speed. So, you can gradually improve a rail line and gradually improve the speed without expecting the entire route to be HSR in the short term. Furthermore, as you make improvements between pairs of cities, you can then extend the improvements to the next adjacent pair of cities. As speed increases, ridership will grow. This will develop a HSR network over time. I would never expect coast to coast travel to be popular by rail so we should forget about that as our goal. Instead, develop a case for individual pairs of cities or groups of cities, where speeds and relatively short distance will make them competitive with car and plane travel.

Sure local public transit is important, but with intercity transport, the availability of taxis, Uber and car rentals may serve much of the market for intercity HSR adequately. A lot of money is sometimes invested in local rail transit which does not deliver an overall better transit system.
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