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  #1  
Old Posted Nov 28, 2007, 7:36 PM
joeplayer1989 joeplayer1989 is offline
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Amtrak News

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  #2  
Old Posted Nov 28, 2007, 9:26 PM
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Interesting. Are the speeds on the map top or average? 110 mph seems a bit slow. 150 should be feasible.
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  #3  
Old Posted Nov 28, 2007, 10:03 PM
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It says top speed is 110mph for the NW Corridor. Not exactly Bullet Train or TGV speeds, but still less than 2 hours from Portland to Seattle.
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  #4  
Old Posted Nov 29, 2007, 12:28 AM
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http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/NR/rdonlyres...akCascades.pdf

everything you want to know about plans for high-speed rail between Portland and Seattle
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  #5  
Old Posted Nov 29, 2007, 5:26 PM
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They just finished the bypass in that one WA town-- the one with the funny name.

That leaves... quite a lot more. But it's progress!
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  #6  
Old Posted Nov 29, 2007, 8:17 PM
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^ which one and???

When is the new Lakewood Sounder line in Tacoma going to allow Cascades service to bypass point defiance? That will really speed things up.
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  #7  
Old Posted Nov 29, 2007, 8:32 PM
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Titlow bypass, that's the one!
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Old Posted Dec 1, 2007, 11:21 PM
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The federally recognized HSR routes (these corridors can apply for federal matching funds for state sponsored projects now):


maybe someday we can connect to California's planned HSR via the current Coastal Starlate route...
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  #9  
Old Posted Dec 2, 2007, 12:08 AM
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I find it weird that Houston↹Dallas are not proposed for a route...
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  #10  
Old Posted Dec 2, 2007, 7:10 AM
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This is quite important in my book. Glad to see someone trying to get something done. Maybe by the time I'm about to kick the bucket, trains will be running!

110mph is beyond lame if that's really the plan...... is this europe in the 1980s?
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  #11  
Old Posted Dec 2, 2007, 9:28 PM
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^ got to start somewhere...
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  #12  
Old Posted Dec 2, 2007, 10:55 PM
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I don't disagree with your sentiment, especially here in the states.

But the plan is for 110mph 15 years from now, in 2023!


The report talks about how 125mph doesn't seem to save much time, but why are we thinking so slow at all? You do 200mph, as is already done in many places, or shoot for 300+ and end up at 220 or something, you've done something major that can change the perception and use of rail.

This is connecting 3 major cities that we all traffic between regularly.
I swear I drive to Seattle twice a month.

Flying is insanely inconvieniet.
And unless the train is going to take under 2 hours, I must drive to be productive at all.

I am the biggest proponent of high speed rail you will ever find, it could save me tons of gas money, wear and tear on my car, time, energy and inconvenience if could get from downtown Portland, to downtown Seattle quickly.

If we are planning 15+ years out, lets not aim for current mediocrity, lets have some ambition, some vision and some drive to do better than move the yard sticks 28%.
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  #13  
Old Posted Dec 3, 2007, 1:21 AM
zilfondel zilfondel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WestCoast View Post
This is quite important in my book. Glad to see someone trying to get something done. Maybe by the time I'm about to kick the bucket, trains will be running!

110mph is beyond lame if that's really the plan...... is this europe in the 1980s?
If we could match Europe in the 1960s, that would be a start.

I was just doing a bit of googling... the new Cologne-Frankfurt high speed rail line (gen 3 - ICE 3) can go 250-300 km/h, is 177 km (110 miles) in length, and cost 6 billion Euros; although was constructed from 1995-2002, so would cost much more today due to inflation. In miles that comes out to 54 million Euros/mile.

However... that comes out to about 34 million Euros/kilometer (54 million Euros/mile), which isn't too bad. This includes the total cost of land, track, stations, and trains. Our MAX system has been right around $55 million/mile (MAX Yellow line).

A system from Portland to Seattle, a distance of 180 miles, they're estimating $6.5 billion (2006 $$) for the Portland - to Vancouver BC section - which comes out to $36 million/mile.


The WSDOT report linked above states that:

Quote:
The total cost for all the construction and equipment necessary to achieve
WSDOT’s service goals for intercity passenger rail service between Portland,
Seattle, and Vancouver, BC is estimated to exceed $6.5 billion dollars in 2006
dollars.
For a service level of 110 mph for the entire state. Hmm... and the document also states that 125 mph service would cost an additional $500 million, which is less than 10% of the total cost... seems like they should just go for it!

Note that the entire Cascades rail corridor from Eugene to Vancouver BC is 466 miles in length - more than 4x the length of the Frankfurt high-speed line.


Although true high-speed rail would be awesome.. I think I could live with this:

Quote:
Thirteen round trips between Seattle and Portland, OR (headway in
multiples of one hour; travel time two hours thirty minutes).
but I can't believe I will have to wait 15 years for it to happen.



unrelated note - interestingly, Amtrak seems to have enacted variable pricing for the Cascades service, depending on what time you travel. Nearly $20 one-way difference between AM/PM travel time.

Last edited by zilfondel; Dec 3, 2007 at 2:10 AM.
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  #14  
Old Posted Dec 3, 2007, 1:34 AM
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Quote:
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I find it weird that Houston↹Dallas are not proposed for a route...
What I saw and for the life of me I cannot remember where (it was a TxDOT plan, tho)was a high speed line going from San Marcos to Houston. San Marcos is in the Austin Metro Area kinda-sorta between Austin and San Antonio (but a little closer to Austin). This would help out with those going from DFW to Houston - not really but that's what state planners are thinking.
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  #15  
Old Posted Dec 3, 2007, 6:34 PM
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I don't know many people who travel from Dallas to Houston, tbh. It's not an animosity sorta thing, but it seems like it sometimes.
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  #16  
Old Posted Dec 3, 2007, 7:50 PM
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When I lived in both cities (2 years apart) I found there were quite a few cars on the highway....at least comparable to the Seattle↹Portland I-5 traffic. (Not to mention the air traffic between the cities (which was extensive)...as mentioned by rsbear)⇓

Last edited by PacificNW; Dec 3, 2007 at 11:27 PM.
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  #17  
Old Posted Dec 3, 2007, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by alexjon View Post
I don't know many people who travel from Dallas to Houston, tbh. It's not an animosity sorta thing, but it seems like it sometimes.
That statement makes no sense at all. Southwest, American and Continental (combined) have over 60 flights a day between Dallas and Houston. That's about twice the number of flights as between Portland and Seattle. And most of the flights in Texas use "mainline" equipment, not the regional turboprops Horizon uses in the Northwest.
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  #18  
Old Posted Dec 3, 2007, 10:57 PM
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Quote:
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That statement makes no sense at all. Southwest, American and Continental (combined) have over 60 flights a day between Dallas and Houston. That's about twice the number of flights as between Portland and Seattle. And most of the flights in Texas use "mainline" equipment, not the regional turboprops Horizon uses in the Northwest.
OK.

I was just saying because all the people I know from Dallas, and all but one of the people I know from Houston don't make trips between the two.
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  #19  
Old Posted Dec 20, 2007, 7:02 AM
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So i took the train from portland to salem tonight. I usually take the amtrak bus but it was running a half hour late so i opted for the train. Bad idea. Anyone care to guess how long it took to get from PDX to salem? 3 HOURS! Haha i am never taking the train again. i gave it a chance and now i know better. Take the bus...as bad as i5 gets its never taken me 3 hours to go 50 miles. Whats funny was that no one really seemed frustrated on the train! Its like they expected it. We sat for an hour in the middle of nowhere. I'm convinced high speed rail will never happen in this country, at least not as long as it shares tracks with freight. Anyways, thats my rant. You just had to be there-it was laughable
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  #20  
Old Posted Dec 20, 2007, 3:34 PM
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So i took the train from portland to salem tonight. I usually take the amtrak bus but it was running a half hour late so i opted for the train. Bad idea. Anyone care to guess how long it took to get from PDX to salem? 3 HOURS! Haha i am never taking the train again. i gave it a chance and now i know better. Take the bus...as bad as i5 gets its never taken me 3 hours to go 50 miles. Whats funny was that no one really seemed frustrated on the train! Its like they expected it. We sat for an hour in the middle of nowhere. I'm convinced high speed rail will never happen in this country, at least not as long as it shares tracks with freight. Anyways, thats my rant. You just had to be there-it was laughable
Your experience wasn't a high-speed rail issue. The problem with current passenger train service in this country is that Amtrak doesn't own any of the rail lines it operates on. The rails are owned by rail freight companies and thus, freight traffic is given priority. Freight trains can be slow and loooooooong. With the increasing cost of fuel, freight trains, which are more efficient than freight trucks, are getting more use for long haul trips. I have no doubt the extra two hours you endured were responsible by a freight train using the tracks. However, Amtrak (and Greyhound) have horrible customer service and I'm not surprised the conductor or anyone else bothered to explain this issue.

High speed rail would require using new tracks, as most existing tracks have too many sharp turns, which doesn't mesh well with high speeds (100mph+). That, in addition to differences in speed, mean that freight and high-speed passenger traffic wouldn't be mixing like they do now. The only delays you'd ever experience on a high-speed train might be mechanical issues as true high-speed technology is foreign to this country. That could change over time.
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