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  #21  
Old Posted Feb 17, 2010, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Nexis4Jersey View Post
So HSR has a bright future in the NE , but outside the NE , the light is dimming.

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What?

The CHSR already has more than a quarter of the funds it needs, which is amazing to me.
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  #22  
Old Posted Feb 17, 2010, 11:21 PM
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This is how I'd like to see it work out:

Trips > 400 miles
Maglev- Faster than all other forms of transportation
PRT- For those who like to look out at the scenery on road trips; can be matched up with utilities like in the interstate traveller project

Trips < 400 miles but > 30-40 miles (city and suburb)
High Speed Rail- not faster but cheaper
PRT-see above

Trips < 30-40 miles
Subway- much quicker than light rail and all grade separated
Lightrail and Cable car- For the historic districts
PRT- goods can come into a PRT hub and be moved to business through automation (take a look at prtstrategies.com)... They can also move locals around faster than the auto

Set it up this way and you reduce congestion, reduce transportation deaths, reduce global emissions, reduce transportation time, increase reliability, increase ground level space in cities, reduce auto costs, reduce city/county garage costs (no need for salt trucks or pothole maintenance). Furthermore, you will create approximately 5 jobs for every current auto job while reducing costs at the same time.
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  #23  
Old Posted Feb 17, 2010, 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Rail>Auto View Post
This is how I'd like to see it work out:

Trips > 400 miles
Maglev- Faster than all other forms of transportation
PRT- For those who like to look out at the scenery on road trips; can be matched up with utilities like in the interstate traveller project
For trips of that distance, you know what's even faster and costs a lot less money to build and operate? An airplane.
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  #24  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2010, 2:51 AM
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^ Paris-Marseille is 485 miles (in about 3 hours). Last I read (a couple of years ago), the train had captured over half the market. I'm sure it has increased even more by now. And it is definitely profitable. (which is more than can be said for most airlines)

The new Chinese HSR line between Wuhan and Guangzhou covers 660 miles, and it makes the trip in 3 hours.

Trains can and do operate profitably over distances > 400 miles.
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  #25  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2010, 2:55 AM
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For trips of that distance, you know what's even faster and costs a lot less money to build and operate? An airplane.
Are you counting..

A. The time to drive all the way out to the airport

B. The check-in time

C. The time to get back in your new city

Airplanes do NOT cost less, not in airfares, not in expanding runways, not in anything. And just wait to oil prices go even higher. Not to mention they're a global emissions nightmare.
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  #26  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2010, 3:06 AM
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I'll agree with you for most locations in the USA, but not for the Northeast Corridor that Amtrak owns. If there's too many trains on the corridor to unleash Amtrak's fastest trains to full speed, it's time to expand the corridor or reduce the number of trains on the corridor. I'd start first with freight trains, followed next by commuter trains, the last trains Amtrak should reduce on the corridor are their own.
Freight trains isn't a big problem on the NEC, there's very little freight traffic. And the traffic that does exist obviously has to yield to any Amtrak trains.
Most of the NEC has four tracks, so commuter trains aren't really a problem either. I don't think congestion is a problem on the NEC with the exception of the tunnels into Penn Station, and that's only because trains from dozens of other lines (NJT and LIRR) converge on those tunnels.
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  #27  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2010, 3:07 AM
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I hope this actually happens, and in the relatively near future.

It would be so great to have this along the I-35 corridor in Texas. The Amtrak service that currently serves this region is a joke.
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  #28  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2010, 3:47 AM
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Freight trains isn't a big problem on the NEC, there's very little freight traffic. And the traffic that does exist obviously has to yield to any Amtrak trains.
Most of the NEC has four tracks, so commuter trains aren't really a problem either. I don't think congestion is a problem on the NEC with the exception of the tunnels into Penn Station, and that's only because trains from dozens of other lines (NJT and LIRR) converge on those tunnels.
Congestion is a major issue for the NEC, mostly in the crowded Philadelphia to NYC Penn Station segment, but congestion is a problem in other segments as well. The reason why much of the NEC is slow are old bridges, tunnels (the B&P tunnel in west Baltimore being perhaps the highest priority for replacement), slow curves, bottlenecks, and pretty much all of Connecticut. Amtrak is limited to 75 mph max speed, for the Regional and the Acelas, for most of the New Rochelle to New Haven segment which is controlled by Metro-North, not owned by Amtrak.

The (very) long-term goals called for in the Interim Assessment for improving trip times on the NEC report, released last October, are for 2:15 trip times from WAS to NYP and a rather non-ambitious 3:00 trip time from NYP to BOS for Acela class trains. To get some insight into what is needed to speed up the NEC, the interim report can be found at http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/Conten.../1237608345018 under PRIAA Submissions and Reports. This report is essentially a preview of the NEC Master Plan report which is supposed to be released sometime later this winter or in the spring.
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  #29  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2010, 5:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Mad_Nick View Post
Freight trains isn't a big problem on the NEC, there's very little freight traffic. And the traffic that does exist obviously has to yield to any Amtrak trains.
Most of the NEC has four tracks, so commuter trains aren't really a problem either. I don't think congestion is a problem on the NEC with the exception of the tunnels into Penn Station, and that's only because trains from dozens of other lines (NJT and LIRR) converge on those tunnels.
The issue with freight trains on the NEC is not the congestion that it causes, it is the regulatory nonsense that it brings about.

Because there is freight on the NEC, the Acela had to be built so heavily that it accelerates slowly, wears out its axles and brakes too quickly, can't tilt like it was built to, and all in all is expensive to operate.

If either the regulations were changed, or the freight removed, or both, the NEC could be switched over to lighter, off-the-shelf equipment that gets up to speed faster and can tilt more to maintain speed around curves.

I would guess that such a change would cut a substantial chunk off of the time it takes trains to travel the length of the corridor.
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  #30  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2010, 5:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Mad_Nick View Post
^ Paris-Marseille is 485 miles (in about 3 hours). Last I read (a couple of years ago), the train had captured over half the market. I'm sure it has increased even more by now. And it is definitely profitable. (which is more than can be said for most airlines)

The new Chinese HSR line between Wuhan and Guangzhou covers 660 miles, and it makes the trip in 3 hours.

Trains can and do operate profitably over distances > 400 miles.
I never said they couldn't, and I would certainly support certain conventional HSR lines of that distance. I was just pointing out that maglev is not "faster than all other forms of transportation," an airplane is. A space plane would be even faster (but ludicrously expensive again). And an airplaine and airport cost a fraction of what 400+ miles of maglev would cost.
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  #31  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2010, 6:12 PM
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I never said they couldn't, and I would certainly support certain conventional HSR lines of that distance. I was just pointing out that maglev is not "faster than all other forms of transportation," an airplane is. A space plane would be even faster (but ludicrously expensive again). And an airplaine and airport cost a fraction of what 400+ miles of maglev would cost.
Well, maglev could, in theory at least, be much faster than planes. If you're willing to invest in serious R&D, installation, and operating costs of vacuum tubes for the train to run in that is.

The train would be essentially frictionless and could in theory accelerate in the entire first half of the route and decelerate in the entire second half, but of course maintaining the vacuum would be prohibitively expensive using current technology, and finding the ROW for the huge curve radii required (unless you want to crush the passengers with insane lateral g-forces) for such high speeds could be tough.
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  #32  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2010, 9:46 PM
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The problem with developing maglev is that there would be no flexibility as opposed to using standard rails, and forced transfers.
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  #33  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2010, 9:49 PM
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Unless they were to develop a Maglev with rolled up wheels that extract on demand to travel on regular rails.
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  #34  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2010, 9:54 PM
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Unless they were to develop a Maglev with rolled up wheels that extract on demand to travel on regular rails.
I'd never heard this idea before about a couple days ago (from you)... if this is actually feasible, I'll have to at least partially change my position on maglev. My biggest issue with maglev is that it's not compatible with anything, if that weren't the case and if the price were to drop significantly, I'd probably be behind it.
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  #35  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2010, 10:33 PM
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One defining factor would be having to build completely new tracks to accommodate the high speed trains with no congestion from other trains or other difficulties.

Of course regular trains could reach speeds as fast as a Maglev, to have all trains being able to run on all tracks to not bother with the Maglev itself.
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  #36  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2010, 11:58 PM
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Originally Posted by M II A II R II K View Post


Unless they were to develop a Maglev with rolled up wheels that extract on demand to travel on regular rails.
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Originally Posted by mwadswor View Post
I'd never heard this idea before about a couple days ago (from you)... if this is actually feasible, I'll have to at least partially change my position on maglev. My biggest issue with maglev is that it's not compatible with anything, if that weren't the case and if the price were to drop significantly, I'd probably be behind it.

Actually, the Colorado HSR project originally developed an electro-magneto drive (called the SERAPHIM motor) in conjunction with Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) in New Mexico. The Colorado HSR study began in 1989 and concluded in 1999 that a Mag-lev Monorail using the SERAPHIM motor, would be the most cost-effective transit solution for the I-70 mountain corridor between Denver and Vail, Colorado.

The state of Colorado later developed a prototype High Speed Monorail train using this magneto-drive propulsion system and tested it at the U.S. Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Transportation Technology Center (TTC) in Pueblo, Colorado.

What they developed was a 125mph mag-lev-like monorail (Mag-lev Monorail). By not having the power source embedded in the full length of the track (instead using the on-board SERAPHIM motor), construction costs could be reduced significantly. The track is un-powered (unlike conventional mag-lev), the motor is in the train-set.

The Colorado High Speed Monorail developed in the 1990's was loosely based on an earlier prototype High Speed Mag-lev Monorail developed by Spain in the 1980's. Both the Spanish and the Colorado trains were proven feasible concepts. japan's version of mag-lev is also based on an on-board motor, instead of a powered magnetic track (the conventional mag-lev is the German designed mag-lev with expensive, powered magnetic track).

The main difference between mag-lev and High Speed monorail is that the high speed monorail has this advanced magneto-drive engine built into the train-set, not into the track. So instead of building hundreds of miles of expensive track to power the vehicle, this concept would put the motor back in the train and be powered by a catenary system or third rail. The energy requirements would be greater than any electric train in use today.

With the latest generation of the SERAPHIM motor, it's efficiency has been increased to the point that while at cruising speed, the monorail could actually retract it's wheels and operate as a true mag-lev. Again, powered by the SERAPHIM motor on-board the train, instead of a powered mag-lev track.

Click Here For more On This Report:
Quote:
Sandia National Laboratories is developing their Segmented Rail Phased Induction Motor (SERAPIM), a new type of linear induction motor offering unique capabilities for high-thrust, high-speed propulsion for urban maglev transit, advanced monorail, and other forms of high-speed ground transportation.
Here is the official Sandia National Laboratory project website.

My point being, that it may not be too far fetched to take this High Speed SERAPIM Mag-lev Monorail that the Federal Government (FRA), Sandia National Laboratories and the State of Colorado spent millions developing over a 15 year period and make some small tweaks.

The retractable wheels for instance... What if these wheels where redesigned to be standard gauge and compatible with conventional railroad tracks? Then suddenly these train-sets might be able to be evolved into a train compatible for use on standard rail, mag-lev and monorail tracks. The only requirement being a suitable catenary power source and dedicated tracks (as it would not be FRA-compliant for shared freight rail tracks).

Pros:
-Far cheaper to build than true mag-lev.
-Faster acceleration/deceleration than conventional electric HSR.
-Possibly adaptive to other types of track such as conventional electrified HSR tracks.
-Can handle both steep grades and sharp curves without slowing down.
-Can cruise at speeds over 125mph and possibly over 150mph.

Cons:
-Would require new high-powered caternaries.
-Slower than true mag-lev.
-Not as smooth as true mag-lev but smoother than conventional rail.
-More costly than conventional electric HSR.
-No manufacturer of these train-sets currently exists.
-Critics will claim it's "untested technology" despite the fact that Spain, Japan and the US have all been developing and testing versions of this technology for the last 20 years.


Here are a couple more useful links about Linear Induction Motor (LIM) High Speed Mag-lev Monorail:
http://www.monorails.org/tMspages/TPTrVpr.html
http://docs.google.com/viewer?url=ht...995/951268.pdf
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Last edited by SnyderBock; Feb 19, 2010 at 12:50 AM.
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  #37  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2010, 6:02 AM
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I'd never heard this idea before about a couple days ago (from you)... if this is actually feasible, I'll have to at least partially change my position on maglev. My biggest issue with maglev is that it's not compatible with anything, if that weren't the case and if the price were to drop significantly, I'd probably be behind it.
Well I believe some maglevs can be linked with regional monorail systems.
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  #38  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2010, 6:11 AM
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Maglev will probably be used on the Moon before it has any real application on Earth. Let's face it, due to air resistance, Maglev applications in a terrestrial setting would have an effective speed limit of ~500mph (not that that's not already really, really fast)--which, while linking even more cities in the two-to-four-hour-HSR-butter-zone--suffers from the drawbacks of being MUCH more expensive than conventional HSR to develop (the Transrapid technology should be on a par, cost-wise, with rapid transit to build: they're both elevated concrete guideways; and the Chuo tech doesn't look all that cheap, either). Low-drag environments--like the Moon or a vacuumized tunnel--are where the near-unlimited possible speed of a Maglev can really shine, though--but building the kind of facility on Earth to allow the Maglev to actually run at 900mph would invoke some really ungodly costs (forget trillions and probably even quadrillions, this is probably up in the quintillion--yes, the quintillion--$1,000,000,000,000,000,000). Obviously infeasible.

Which isn't to say I'm against using Maglev in rapid-transit applications. My point is, the speeds at which Maglev starts looking phenomenally attractive, viz. conventional technologies, is so high that a single line would probably cost more than the entire HSR budget of China to build. However, efficiencies at the rapid-transit level, including fantastic braking abilities and the fact that it's much quieter than Els, make it the ideal rapid-transit technology--so long as you're not planning on integrating your new line into an existing (conventional) system. (Come to think of it, that's probably why only the Shanghai airport line has been built so far.) Another drawback is that what makes the Transrapid tech so good for Els makes it terrible for subways--the cost of building a small elevated concrete platform in your box tunnel is several times more expensive than sticking some rails over your precast concrete ties--so it would be an effective solution for a city looking to invest in rapid transit only. Hm.

By the way, as far as Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) goes, it's a joke--a red herring--you would be spending the same amount on it as on a Maglev line (slightly more than a conventional line, when you factor in the largely-untested nature of the technology) to move only a small fraction of the people the other two technologies can move! This scheme is a product of its time--but one that can never, ever hope to be successful in the real world. (There's a reason Republican politicos love to use these schemes, usually sold like snake oil--including the "possibility" of using the lines to transport cargo, which, a-hem, you can technically do, if you had the inclination to, on extant Els anyway (utilizing specialized non-FRA-compliant equipment, of course)--as unobtainable standards to dissuade us from funding the messy compromises we must make in order to have a mass transit system that, you know, actually works.)
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  #39  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2010, 7:05 AM
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^ I really think you're exaggerating the costs of Maglev. The transrapid cost $1 Billion for 19 miles, and even if you multiplied that by 150 (or basically from LA to NY), it would still cost only $150 Billion.

So, even tens of trillions for a national maglev system is a stretch, much less than "quintillions".
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  #40  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2010, 3:35 PM
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^ I really think you're exaggerating the costs of Maglev. The transrapid cost $1 Billion for 19 miles, and even if you multiplied that by 150 (or basically from LA to NY), it would still cost only $150 Billion.

So, even tens of trillions for a national maglev system is a stretch, much less than "quintillions".
No, I was not. That cost would be in the open air, but air resistance limits a Maglev's speed beyond a certain envelope, which IIRC is about double wheeled-rail's maximum speed (friction, of course, further limiting the conventional technology). To get a Maglev to go even faster (which it can), you're going to have to run it in a vacuum. There will be no air resistance then because there is no air. The expense of building--and maintaining--an ROW that is entirely vacuum-sealed (except for the stations, which would really be giant airlocks) would be phenomenally expensive. Even if I did overexaggerate a bit.

In the open air, a Maglev guideway will cost about the same as an equivalent stretch of elevated rapid transit; if you want more speed (and sooner or later, you're going to want more speed), you're going to need to couple the guideway costs with the costs of maintaining the frictionless vacuum environment necessary for the Maglev to perform at its top technical speed (probably an appreciable fraction of the speed of light). That is a lot of money--and there is no need to go build anything like that anytime soon.
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