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  #2341  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2010, 6:58 AM
SLC4L SLC4L is offline
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Let's not forget, train rides are a much better way of observing the environment. You can only look out of a plane window for so long before you say to yourself, "It all looks the same now."
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  #2342  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2010, 4:54 PM
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We don't want to be left out of of interstate II. It is being implemented in the east and west coast, and if we don't get on board, we'll be missing out big time. If you do t like hsr, then take an airplane instead. What if the airline industry were to fail, wouldn't it be nice to have other transit options available?
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  #2343  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2010, 5:11 PM
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  #2344  
Old Posted Apr 28, 2010, 6:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyAnderson View Post
I mean I definitely see the advantages in terms of convenience in HSR over flying, especially now since trains aren't as near a security risk as planes...
Unfortunately, it will take a 3/11 style attack on Amtrak's Acela for people to wake up and the "convenience factor" of HSR will disappear.

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Originally Posted by TonyAnderson View Post
The problem I have with the Intermountain line proposed, is all the major cities around the Mountain West are so spread out, and usually have geographical features (like mountains) in the way. It just doesn't seem efficient.
I have to agree.

While I travel frequently in the Northeast (Acela Express), HSR would be a hard sell in a region so sparse although scenic. If my family, friends, and home-state of operations were in the Northeast, I would NEVER fly. Acela every time.

It's cheaper, less hassles, and far more convenient than air travel... Most airports recommend two hours just to check in. On Acela, It's three and a half hours from DC to NYC with stops at BWI, Baltimore, Wilmington, Philly, Trenton, Newark, and finally Penn Station. (For the record, I find those cities in the middle to be repulsive shit-holes, so it may not land credence for my view of convenient transit stops vs. wide open phenomenal scenery)

I do have to wonder, where would 210 minutes of HSR from SLC in any direction eventually arrive at?
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  #2345  
Old Posted Apr 28, 2010, 3:53 PM
arkhitektor arkhitektor is online now
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A couple of random pictures from my train ride home yesterday:

They are building a kiosk of some sort near the FrontRunner platform:


Is anybody going to miss the old viaduct?:
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  #2346  
Old Posted Apr 28, 2010, 7:53 PM
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Originally Posted by urbanboy View Post
We don't want to be left out of of interstate II. It is being implemented in the east and west coast, and if we don't get on board, we'll be missing out big time. If you do t like hsr, then take an airplane instead. What if the airline industry were to fail, wouldn't it be nice to have other transit options available?
Interstate II? Now that is funny. If an HSR ever gets as big as the interstate system, we will have no choice in the matter, much like we had no choice in the matter with the interstate system. if it is successful as anything more than a regional service, then eventually demand will require that the coasts be connected, just like with the railroad and the interstate system, both of which started on the coasts.

I think there are far more valuable uses for the money, mainly improving inner city transportation through an increase in transit lines. Spend the many billions of dollars on that versus a high speed train that will more than likely be the same cost as an airline ticket and take longer. If the airline industry fails than we have far bigger problems to worry about. A high speed rail line isn't going to be the same type of economic driver that the airline industry is. Ever.
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  #2347  
Old Posted Apr 29, 2010, 12:46 AM
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I'd say trains and train stations are far more vulnerable to security risks than airplanes or airports are. Train stations are crowded and passengers and their bags don't need to be screened. Train stations and trains have been targets of far more terrorist attacks than airports or airliners have (i.e. Moscow a few weeks ago). I'd say the safest place a person could possibly be in a city is on the secure side of an airport terminal.
You can't use a train as a weapon like you can a plane though. And because it's on a track you can regulate and control it much more. And a flock of seagulls won't force it to land in the Hudson .
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  #2348  
Old Posted Apr 29, 2010, 2:14 AM
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I think the whole air\HSR comparison is very interesting, as far as capacity goes here is a somewhat unfair comparison:

-the busiest airport in the world, Hartfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport takes up 4600 acres and has 250,000 passengers per day

-the busiest train station (Not HSR) in the world is the Shinjuku Station in Tokyo, it takes up less than 15 acres or so and handles over 3.6 million passenger per day


(Maps are at the same scale)

Of course these passenger trips are different types but still that is a huge difference. If you compare the ratios for passengers per acre that is actually more than 2500 times more passengers per acre at the train station than the airport.

I would say that air travel is our best option for long haul trips (>500 mi), but that we can use HSR rail as both a competitor for short haul trips and a feeder system to bring passenger into airlines for long-haul trips. This would definitely be good to reduce the air traffic congestion at some airports.

I think stayinginformed gave a really good run down comparing of HSR and Air, I would say however that one study I read showed that the door-to-door travel times are actually pretty comparable in Europe comparing HSR and Airtravel for trips in the 190-250mi range, because there tends to be so much less "access and egress" time.

One of the big reasons people say HSR rail wont work in the US is because we dont have the density that Japan and Europe do. I wonder if that might be the exact reason we would want to build HSR, so that we could encourage high density land use and make urban living more attractive.

My only issue with it is how expensive it would be, they were projecting at least 50-60 Billion dollars for the CAHSR system last I read about it. But when it was on the CA ballot I voted absentee to fund it(the first 10 bil), their website says the 8 hour trip to my grandparents house by car that I have taken a hundred times would be just over 3 hours by HSR, that would be awesome!
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  #2349  
Old Posted Apr 29, 2010, 2:32 AM
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I hear a lot of Siemens train ads down here in L.A. on KFI 640. They are really making a push for HSR, mostly because they can make a lot of money. Much like a 1950s Firestone and GM lobbying to take trains out.
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  #2350  
Old Posted Apr 29, 2010, 5:42 AM
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^^^ Except the rail companies aren't buying GM to dismantle the company and force people to use rail.
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  #2351  
Old Posted Apr 29, 2010, 6:26 AM
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OR ... are they? *cue scary music*
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  #2352  
Old Posted Apr 29, 2010, 6:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arkhitektor View Post
They are building a kiosk of some sort near the FrontRunner platform:

That kiosk, just like any other kiosk, is a hideous eyesore.

Are they trying to make SL Central a tourist attraction?
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  #2353  
Old Posted Apr 29, 2010, 6:52 AM
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I like the kiosk.

How much money by today's standards did the original Interstate Highway System, designed by Robert Moses, cost to build?
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  #2354  
Old Posted Apr 29, 2010, 1:38 PM
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Over $425 billion is an adjusted figure that I have seen. The original estimated cost was $25 billion. Of course, I do not think the original estimates took into account that it would take 60 years to complete. Interesting that most people think the interstate system was conceived after WWII, when in fact, the early efforts started 10-15 years earlier as a hand drawn map of those roads that were deemed necessary for national defense. This is a very similar process as to the planning for the HSR. Like I said, if the federal govt. decides to create a national network, it will happen regardless of what we as a region do. More than likely, we would be on the tail end of the construction anyway, due to the cost of getting through our terrain, our remoteness, etc.

Robert Moses did not design the interstate freeway system. He designed the major parkways in New York and consultant many cities, but he is primarily credited with designing and getting funding for the first parkways in NY and later in his life changing his designd towards the modern interstate, but mainly to comply with the federal standards that had been adopted by then. Fortunately, most of what Robert Moses proposed and designed never got built.
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  #2355  
Old Posted Apr 30, 2010, 9:26 PM
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Originally Posted by marcusb View Post
I think the whole air\HSR comparison is very interesting, as far as capacity goes here is a somewhat unfair comparison:

-the busiest airport in the world, Hartfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport takes up 4600 acres and has 250,000 passengers per day

-the busiest train station (Not HSR) in the world is the Shinjuku Station in Tokyo, it takes up less than 15 acres or so and handles over 3.6 million passenger per day


(Maps are at the same scale)

Of course these passenger trips are different types but still that is a huge difference. If you compare the ratios for passengers per acre that is actually more than 2500 times more passengers per acre at the train station than the airport.

I would say that air travel is our best option for long haul trips (>500 mi), but that we can use HSR rail as both a competitor for short haul trips and a feeder system to bring passenger into airlines for long-haul trips. This would definitely be good to reduce the air traffic congestion at some airports.

I think stayinginformed gave a really good run down comparing of HSR and Air, I would say however that one study I read showed that the door-to-door travel times are actually pretty comparable in Europe comparing HSR and Airtravel for trips in the 190-250mi range, because there tends to be so much less "access and egress" time.

One of the big reasons people say HSR rail wont work in the US is because we dont have the density that Japan and Europe do. I wonder if that might be the exact reason we would want to build HSR, so that we could encourage high density land use and make urban living more attractive.

My only issue with it is how expensive it would be, they were projecting at least 50-60 Billion dollars for the CAHSR system last I read about it. But when it was on the CA ballot I voted absentee to fund it(the first 10 bil), their website says the 8 hour trip to my grandparents house by car that I have taken a hundred times would be just over 3 hours by HSR, that would be awesome!
This is a skewed comparison if you don't add up the acres that are used up by rail. Sure the stations are small, but once the plane takes off they do not impact the landscape nearly as much as rail does. How many light rail lines, commuter rail lines and street cars could we construct if we used that money for that infrastructure rather than HSR dream?

Consider these tidbits from CNNMoney:
"If the United States committed to build out the DOT's proposed network, the price tag would be close to $100 billion. With trains that exceed 150 miles per hour, the price could top $500 billion."

"In the latest version, which Congress should consider late this year or in early 2011, supporters are asking for $50 billion out of an expected $400 to $500 billion for high-speed rail."

Again I ask how many mass transit projects in our cities could we construct for 500 billion dollars? We have major budget problems in the United States and we can ill afford to spend money on building out a infrastructure that largely duplicates what the airline industry does.

The Congressional Budget Office is projecting trillion dollar deficits for at least 10 years and that those deficits appear to balloon after that. Do we really want to spend that kind of money on HSR? I hope we come to our senses before a dollar is spent on HSR. Unfortunately I doubt that is possible.
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  #2356  
Old Posted May 2, 2010, 4:55 AM
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If it was my money I would not spend it either with the debt we are in as a country. I would guess that the 500 billion number is even conservative.

But I do have to say that investing in streetcars, light rail lines and commuter rail lines will duplicate what the auto industry does just as much as building HSR would duplicate what the Airline industry does. But I see that as a good thing, it gives people options to choose what is most efficient for them.

About the airport and train station comparisons, I agree that it is not a fair comparison in many ways, but it does speak to how the stations are able to function at different densities\capacities. Which is a major factor in how cities develop and how we are able to transfer between modes.
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  #2357  
Old Posted May 5, 2010, 7:15 PM
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The kiosk will be used to sell food and beverage at the station. They'll be adding them to other stations later as well:
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  #2358  
Old Posted May 10, 2010, 4:16 PM
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north temple bridge demolition



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  #2359  
Old Posted May 10, 2010, 7:17 PM
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I took the FrontRunner last week and got a great look at the demolition of the viaduct. Over the rail tracks the bridge has been completely removed. I know that getting a permit to do work over the tracks can be difficult to obtain so they must have got the permit and fast tracked that work.
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  #2360  
Old Posted May 10, 2010, 9:03 PM
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Thanks Orpheum, very cool pics!
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