Quote:
Originally Posted by ardecila
Florida made the same decision to use 150mph technology, in a similar interstatemedian alignment.
I suspect there was some safetybased government decision at some point that HSR in an interstate rightofway should be capped at 150mph.

I don't think there's any government supported conspiracy. The reason they chose 150 mph maximum speed trains is because they are cheaper to run, therefore easier to turn a profit....
Let's count the ways 150 mph trains are cheaper to run than 220 mph trains.
(1) Less energy consumption, (2) Cheaper trains, and (3) Cheaper track infrastructure, (4) Faster trains don't draw more passengers at a cost effective rate.
Lets look a little closer how 150 mph tracks are cheaper than 220 mph tracks. (a) Ballast missile hazards eliminated at no additional costs, (b) Tolerances are less, (c) Less ties are needed, and (d) grades can be higher because engineer sight lines are shorter.
Let's look a little closer at trainsets. A Siemens Velaro is amongst the choices for a 220 mph train.
On 19 May 2006 Siemens announced an order for eight Velaro RUS high speed trains by Russian Railways including a 30year service contract. The contract is in total worth €600 million. That means each train costs €75 million over 30 years, not including interest payments. €75 million is equivalent to $102 million today.
A Bombardier Regina EMU is amongst the choices for a 150 mph train.
DesertXpress plans to buy 10 car trainsets, I'm not sure how many trainsets it plans to buy.
SJ is buying 13 Bombardier Regina emu vehicles at a cost of €31 million. That means each 4 car train costs €2.4 million. That's the equivalent of $3.25 million today. Lets increase that 2.5 times for a 10 car trainset, that means a Desert Xpress Regina 10 car trainset should cost around $8 Million. That seems low to me, even Bombardier single level cars built for America cost more. Let's double that number again to $16 million. That still nearly $90 million per trainset cheaper than a Velaro 10 car trainset...
As for travel times  it's 190.5 miles between Las Vegas and Victorville per Yahoo Maps.
At average highway speeds, per Yahoo Maps, it takes 2 hours and 49 minutes to drive that distance.
A train at 220 mph will take 52 minutes.
A train at 150 mph will take 1 hour and 16 minutes.
A train at 110 mph will take 1 hour and 44 minutes.
A train at 90 mph will take 2 hours and 7 minutes.
A train at 80 mph will take 2 hours and 23 minutes.
I don't think they think a time savings of just 24 minutes will increase passenger demand enough to pay the increased costs.....One and a quarter hours is plenty fast when you consider it takes two and three quarter hours to drive.