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  #101  
Old Posted Aug 27, 2015, 7:30 AM
drummer drummer is offline
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I personally struggle with the need of HSR between Dallas and Fort Worth (especially with an additional stop in Arlington, etc.). Major metros around the world have one, maybe two, HSR stations. Looking at Shanghai, with a population north of 20 million, they have two (Shanghai and Hongqiao). DFW doesn't have the population base to make it profitable, in my opinion. Nanjing (with a population slightly more than DFW) has two, but only one is specifically catered to HSR (Nanjing South). Beijing is really only utilizing one station for HSR. For DFW, it makes sense to put the ONLY station in Dallas proper, and connecting modes of transportation (TRE, DART, etc.) can get people to that station.
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  #102  
Old Posted Aug 27, 2015, 7:49 AM
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I would second that opinion, Drummer. You're absolutely correct.
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  #103  
Old Posted Aug 27, 2015, 7:55 AM
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I personally struggle with the need of HSR between Dallas and Fort Worth (especially with an additional stop in Arlington, etc.). Major metros around the world have one, maybe two, HSR stations. Looking at Shanghai, with a population north of 20 million, they have two (Shanghai and Hongqiao). DFW doesn't have the population base to make it profitable, in my opinion. Nanjing (with a population slightly more than DFW) has two, but only one is specifically catered to HSR (Nanjing South). Beijing is really only utilizing one station for HSR. For DFW, it makes sense to put the ONLY station in Dallas proper, and connecting modes of transportation (TRE, DART, etc.) can get people to that station.
I agree. Even if the politicians can find the money to build the HSR line to Fort Worth, where in Fort Worth would you place a "dedicated" HSR train station?
The Japanese HSR trains haven't had much success exporting their technology abroad mainly because it requires "dedicated" tracks using their "specific" methods of operations. Their HSR train sets will not be allowed on the Amtrak, TRE, or TexRail tracks, even at the ITC or TP stations.

Assuming one can find a Fort Worth location for a HSR station, they will still have to find a valid route between Dallas and Fort Worth. The TRE and UP corridors will be off limits to them. The I-30 corridor will have significant challenges that will have to be met. The pre-existing HOV (managed) lanes on I-30 will not be useable, if not politically unacceptable to repurpose them, because the overhead clearances for 25KV catenary lines will be too small. So that will mean either a north or south of the main freeway lanes alignment, either inside or outside of the service roads.The existing and planned flyover intersections at Loop 12, SH 161, SH 360, IH 820, US 281, and IH 35W will be just as challenging to build a double track viable HSR corridor through. I don't think building the HSR 5 levels high will be politically acceptable, and I seriously doubt a lower level alignment will be possible, if not at all of them but maybe just at one. Just one roadblock will be all that will be necessary to kill that routing. But there's always the possibility they could tunnel under the freeway intersections that they find impossible to breech above ground. Of course, that engineering solution will probably make the capital costs to high politically to build.
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  #104  
Old Posted Aug 28, 2015, 3:51 AM
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Texas Central Railway email newsletter

Tim Keith: My First Month as CEO

As I consider my first month as CEO at Texas Central, I do so with a huge amount of gratitude. I want to take a moment to thank the many community and business leaders, elected officials and stakeholders with whom I have had an opportunity to visit. I appreciate you taking time to share your thoughts with me. Your insights have reinforced the importance of this project to the state and to the communities we want to serve. I know Texans have many questions, comments, concerns and good ideas. We want to hear them. In the meantime, I’d like to share some of the project’s recent developments and upcoming milestones.

Environmental Review Progress: Focus on Utility Corridor
We understand a lot of people are eager to learn the exact location of the final train route. The process to determine this is thorough and lengthy. Last week, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), the agency leading the ongoing environmental review of the project, published a technical report related to the potential high-speed rail corridors. The report concludes the “Utility Corridor” is the preferred corridor from an environmental perspective because this Corridor is feasible with lesser environmental impacts. It is referred to as the Utility Corridor because the potential alignments (track locations) associated with this Corridor generally follow existing high-voltage electrical transmission lines. With the publication of this report by the FRA, the focus now turns in earnest to examining those potential alignments associated with the Utility Corridor.

As we work through the environmental review process, Texas Central is committed to sharing updates, so that anyone interested in the project will have access to the latest information.

The Team is Growing: Welcome Brady Redwine
I’m pleased to share that we continue to build our staff and leadership teams in Dallas and Houston. Brady Redwine has joined Texas Central as a Vice President in the Dallas office. He will lead the efforts to study and communicate the economic impact of the project on communities, will join the team working on station development and will manage a variety of special projects. Brady is a native Texan and a proud Aggie with a diverse background that includes real estate, finance, research and entrepreneurial investing. His skills and leadership are critical to the project as we move forward.

North Texas Leaders Pledge Support for Public HSR
Also last week, our friends at the North Central Texas Council of Governments announced that the Regional Transportation Council (RTC), the regional transportation policy board for North Texas, voted to allocate $4.5 million towards additional planning studies for a proposed Fort Worth/Arlington/Dallas high-speed rail project. This separate, public effort led by TxDOT’s Commission for High-Speed Rail in Dallas/Fort Worth and the RTC is an important project for the North Texas region.

Texas Central’s project is privately developed, predominately by Texas-based investors, and has not applied for or received any government funding. As such, Texas Central will not receive any of these funds. However, Texas Central has proposed station locations in Dallas that would facilitate further connectivity, ultimately allowing for Fort Worth/Arlington to Houston high-speed rail travel if both projects move through funding and construction.

We applaud the Region’s continued support of transportation innovation to address the needs of a growing population in North Texas.

On the Horizon: Texas Central’s upcoming activities
The next several months will bring a lot of activity for Texas Central, as the team and I continue meeting with stakeholders, planners and elected officials. We are planning a series of open house meetings for this fall in communities along the study corridor.
Look for more details in the coming weeks, as we will be inviting the public to visit with us and our technical experts and learn more details about this important project. Our team wants to answer your questions. We look forward to hearing from you!

Thank you, again, for the warm welcome I have enjoyed in the last month. I am excited about our transformational project and the incredible benefits it will bring to Texas.

All the best,

Tim
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  #105  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2015, 12:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drummer View Post
I personally struggle with the need of HSR between Dallas and Fort Worth (especially with an additional stop in Arlington, etc.). Major metros around the world have one, maybe two, HSR stations. Looking at Shanghai, with a population north of 20 million, they have two (Shanghai and Hongqiao). DFW doesn't have the population base to make it profitable, in my opinion. Nanjing (with a population slightly more than DFW) has two, but only one is specifically catered to HSR (Nanjing South). Beijing is really only utilizing one station for HSR. For DFW, it makes sense to put the ONLY station in Dallas proper, and connecting modes of transportation (TRE, DART, etc.) can get people to that station.
Not quite true with respect to Beijing - Beijing West is definitely used for HSR, as I was in Wuhan this week for business and I saw HSR trains advertised as being bound for Beijing West. So like Shanghai, Beijing's also got two stations to handle HSR (Beijing West and Beijing South) but also like Shanghai, only one is pure HSR (Shanghai Station, like Beijing West, also caters to non-HSR trains). Shanghai used to use 3 stations, but Shanghai South now only has non-HSR trains. In fact, Wuhan (population about 10 million) does use 3 stations for HSR (Wuhan, Wuchang, and Hankou) although the only pure HSR station is Wuhan.
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  #106  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2015, 12:58 AM
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Beijing and Shanghai, like Paris, are major cities that are the terminus of multiple high-speed lines. Consequently, they can afford to have multiple stations.

Dallas and Houston not so much.
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  #107  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2015, 3:10 AM
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Boston has three stations and it works well for them. Certainly Houston can support one downtown and one further out closer to the galleria.

And there might as well be one in Ft. Worth as well as Dallas.
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  #108  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2015, 3:49 AM
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Then again, Boston does not need two, and it only has two due to historical purposes that are unrelated to a modern high-speed line. Additionally, like those cities I listed, they serve different directions/lines.

Really, though, Boston only needs one and its system would be better with one.

Last edited by Troyeth; Aug 29, 2015 at 5:15 AM.
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  #109  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2015, 7:02 PM
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To be fair, Acela only stops at two of the stations, with the third terminal not being directly connected.
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  #110  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2015, 7:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Troyeth View Post
Then again, Boston does not need two, and it only has two due to historical purposes that are unrelated to a modern high-speed line. Additionally, like those cities I listed, they serve different directions/lines.

Really, though, Boston only needs one and its system would be better with one.
How do you figure they'd be better with one? I think you could easily eliminate Route 128, but every time I've rode the train tons of people use both Back Bay and Union Station.

Anyway I was just suggesting that because some people are hell-bent on a station near 290 and 610 and don't want a station downtown.

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To be fair, Acela only stops at two of the stations, with the third terminal not being directly connected.
Acela's I've been on stop at all three, but like I said above you could eliminate Route 128 for sure.
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  #111  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2015, 10:30 PM
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Boston does not need a North and South Station and only has both due to historical reasons.
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  #112  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2015, 10:43 PM
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  #113  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2015, 5:49 AM
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Boston does not need a North and South Station and only has both due to historical reasons.
I was not referring to North Station, I was only referring to the stations that Acela services, which is Route 128, Back Bay and Union Station.

Sure, for new construction, it's probably best to build one station simply due to cost. But for the people that are dying to have a station at 290/610 area, you can have that station in addition to a downtown station, it can still work.
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  #114  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2015, 5:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troyeth View Post
Boston does not need a North and South Station and only has both due to historical reasons.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mfastx View Post
I was not referring to North Station, I was only referring to the stations that Acela services, which is Route 128, Back Bay and Union Station.

Sure, for new construction, it's probably best to build one station simply due to cost. But for the people that are dying to have a station at 290/610 area, you can have that station in addition to a downtown station, it can still work.
Sorry, I meant South Station, not Union Station.
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  #115  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2015, 7:30 AM
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Not quite true with respect to Beijing - Beijing West is definitely used for HSR, as I was in Wuhan this week for business and I saw HSR trains advertised as being bound for Beijing West. So like Shanghai, Beijing's also got two stations to handle HSR (Beijing West and Beijing South) but also like Shanghai, only one is pure HSR (Shanghai Station, like Beijing West, also caters to non-HSR trains). Shanghai used to use 3 stations, but Shanghai South now only has non-HSR trains. In fact, Wuhan (population about 10 million) does use 3 stations for HSR (Wuhan, Wuchang, and Hankou) although the only pure HSR station is Wuhan.
Thanks for the clarification. I used to live in Nanjing and would typically only go to Hongqiao in Shanghai and Beijing South in Beijing when I took D or G trains. Nanjing occasionally has D trains go through it, but I think Nanjing South is the only one for G trains, if I remember correctly - but then it's been a couple of years also, so I'm not sure now.

I didn't realize that about Wuhan, but are those separate stops along the way rather than just in Wuhan proper? I've never been through there - had an opportunity for work a while back but had to change it last minute.

I live in Yunnan now and am excited to eventually have HSR from Kunming to Nanning, and then onto Guangzhou, and everywhere else. I very much prefer G and D trains to flying...so much more comfortable and convenient unless I'm going cross-country. Of course, Kunming is targeted as sort of the gateway into China from a SE Asia line that would connect to Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore. No clue on how far down the road that would be, if it ever comes to fruition.



....and back to Texas, my home state, I'd be excited for two stops in the two largest metros with eventual connections to Austin and San Antonio. Beyond that, I'm not sure that anything would be practical at this time. Other metros simply aren't populated enough to merit the money spent on stations, tracks, etc. Just my opinion, of course, but I feel like it's not too far off. I do think that something like Lone Star Rail (proposed for Austin to San Antonio), which is largely similar to TRE in DFW, would be good to expand and connect to other areas (smaller metros such as Corpus Christi, Rio Grande Valley, etc.) eventually.

Anyone know if anything is ever going to happen with the San Antonio - Monterrey HSR that was mentioned a few years back?
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  #116  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2015, 7:51 AM
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In Texas, Fort Worth would be the terminus of HSR after Dallas. Extensions of the line to other cities in the South Central region would likely be unprofitable and I highly doubt private industry would be interested, unless underwritten by state funding.

It's not like we're talking about Europe or China here where there is an entire network of high speed rail... The reason to have limited stops is to save travel time, but it's not like there will be some future scenario where passengers are complaining about two stops in the Metroplex delaying their arrival in Oklahoma City.

If an extension to Fort Worth increases ridership substantially, then why not do it?
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  #117  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2015, 8:00 AM
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That's just it - I don't know how substantial it'll be. Sure, if they build it, it'll be used. But wouldn't people take the TRE over to Dallas if they don't build one in Fort Worth and catch it from there (Dallas)? I'm not sure if DFW having two HSR stations would be the most profitable. That's why Texas Central Railway isn't touching it - but if the North Texas Council of Governments puts up the money to make it happen, they're willing to work with them. I understand the South Texas stuff, but Austin and San Antonio would bring, currently, another 4 million or so to the market, and that number is only going up. South Texas doesn't have that substantial of a population, so that makes sense.


Edit: Not to mention, if we don't build it with the hope of a future network (though, sure, it'll be years until that happens, if at all), then why build it? The problem with a lot of current transportation projects in the U.S. - and why we're always playing catch-up 10+ years late - is lack of foresight or too much political red-tape (leading to watered down plans that aren't even efficient from the beginning). I think if a substantial network was planned in a realistic way, the most ideals spots could be built first (i.e., Houston to Dallas for the Texas area), and, if it proves profitable, build the other legs at the appropriate time. Bottom line: don't just build one leg and trip all over yourselves when you realize you can't expand it if necessary. The lack of density in much of the American South means it'll never be as extensive of a network as China or Europe, but that doesn't mean that poor planning is acceptable.

Last edited by drummer; Aug 30, 2015 at 8:18 AM.
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  #118  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2015, 4:12 PM
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In Texas, Fort Worth would be the terminus of HSR after Dallas. ....................
If an extension to Fort Worth increases ridership substantially, then why not do it?
If HSR is extended to Fort Worth, it should be considered as the second DFW station. Likewise an extension to Galveston should be considered as a second Houston station.

But, I believe it would be more appropriate for any public funding to be spent on providing more public transit. Either commuter rail,light rail, or rapid bus lines, with many intermediate stations along these new transit corridors. There are far, far more passengers wanting to travel slowly between east Fort Worth, west Dallas, Arlington, and Grand Prairie than from any of these locations wishing to travel extremely fast to Houston.
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  #119  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2015, 4:46 PM
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If HSR is extended to Fort Worth, it should be considered as the second DFW station. Likewise an extension to Galveston should be considered as a second Houston station.

But, I believe it would be more appropriate for any public funding to be spent on providing more public transit. Either commuter rail,light rail, or rapid bus lines, with many intermediate stations along these new transit corridors. There are far, far more passengers wanting to travel slowly between east Fort Worth, west Dallas, Arlington, and Grand Prairie than from any of these locations wishing to travel extremely fast to Houston.
This. DFW Airport and the other cities where the proposed line would pass through would want their own station as well and I'm sure the North Texas Council of Governments would support them too. A line to Fort Worth is best suited by the current TRE or if they wanted to upgrade to something better then light rail.
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  #120  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2015, 1:02 AM
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I haven't been following. However, the future of HSR as a serious investment in the United States of America rests on your shoulders Texas. I hope you don't fuck up. Good luck and make a good impression. Don't be the next Florida or California.
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