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Old 02-09-2013, 07:06 PM  
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The new high speed rail map that's been floating around recently



High speed rail is moving forward in California, but progress is pretty stagnant around the rest of the country. Still, there are a lot of proposals out there, and when placed on one map, they form an impressive rail network. This map was put together by California Rail Map, led by Alfred Twu, which combined existing proposals from high speed rail advocacy groups around the US. Twu described his process for the Guardian:

Instead of detailing construction phases and service speeds, I took a little artistic license and chose colors and linked lines to celebrate America's many distinct but interwoven regional cultures.

The US High Speed Rail Association, a nonprofit trade association, predicts a network similar to this one could be in place by 2030.

Transporation Secretary Ray LaHood has called for a large HSR network, saying it could link 80 percent of Americans within 25 years, for $500 billion.
Based on this map, starting in Los Angeles, a high speed train could get to New York, with stops in Denver and Chicago, in well under 18 hours.

Considering the significant funding and political will any large rail project needs, it's hard to imagine all this will be built. But Robert Cruickshank at the California High Speed Rail Blog argues just visualizing the network is a good thing:

But before the Interstate Highway System was authorized, it had to first be conceptualized on a map. This map gets us closer to the goal of an interstate high speed rail system by showing us what it looks like. And envisioning such a system is the first step toward building it.


Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/map-o...#ixzz2KSS4Sw1Q
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:04 AM   #61
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So they won't have security and checks on a train? Any ol terrorist can come and blow it up.

Drive to KCI? That's if you live far from KCI. What about if you live far from the train station?

I don't see how this will really be anything other than a slow version of an airplane.
Yep. I like the idea of high speed rail but in order for myself to use it other than a novelty it will have to save me time and money.

I did some checking on popular routes and the mid-range trip would be the best for me.

1. KC - St. Louis - 250 miles. For high speed rail that would take 1 hr 15 minutes. To fly that takes 30 minutes. For me to take the rail it would take me 1 hour to get up to KC and probably 30 minutes to board\security so the total trip time would be 2:45. To fly it takes me almost 2 hours to get to KCI plus you have to be there at least 1 hour prior to departure. I can drive that in that time frame for either option.
Cost to fly: $250 round trip

2. KC - Chicago - 510 miles. High speed rail = 2:30 Flight: :50 minutes
Cost to fly: $215 round trip

3. KC - Dallas - 555 miles. High Speed rail = 2:45 Flight: 1 hour
Cost to fly: $190 round trip

If rail could compete at those prices or better than I think it would be a viable option for many.
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:20 AM   #62
chiefzilla1501 chiefzilla1501 is offline
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You all realize that the TSA will screen rail passengers the same way they do for air travel, right?
Your typical airline experience goes like this. You have to get up a few hours early. You can only pack 2 bags and a carry on. There's really no cheap or inexpensive way to get to an airport so unless you get a ride, you have to cab it or pay to park several miles away (if it's parking... add an extra 15 minutes to your travel time). Sometimes you have to wait in line for 20-30 minutes... just to check your baggage. You then have to walk to security where you can wait in line usually somewhere between 15-30 minutes. Then you have to walk to your gate, which can sometimes be a 15-20 minute distance away. You're looking at 1-2 hours of check-in time for an airport. Then when you're at the gate, you have to be at least a half hour early. You get on the plane and you wait 20-30 minutes for everybody to board, and then for the next 15 minutes after takeoff, you're not allowed to use ANY electronic devices. Nor can you use them for the last 15 minutes. If you transfer flight, add in additional half hour of wireless/internet blackout, and an additional 1-3 hours of time spent at a gate. And this is all assuming you don't have a delay. And when you're done with that, you have ANOTHER 15 minutes to get to the baggage claim and another 15 minutes to get your bags (if you checked any in).

Why are people here trying to claim that air travel is any way convenient or preferable? I don't care how fast it takes to get you from point A to point B. People do realize that you are spending hours of your time just checking in, checking out, and waiting or in a wireless/internet blackout, right? And you gamble every single time that everything will be on time.

Have you been on a train? You don't have rigorous bag screening procedures, you don't have long lines, you don't have long sprints to get to a gate, you can pack whatever you want (including food) and there typically aren't major baggage restrictions, and once you're on the train you can open your computer and sit down and relax... That's it. You've literally cut hours of hassle off.

So yeah, if a plane gets you from point A to point B in 2 hours of flight time and a train can get me there in 5? You bet your ass I'm taking a train. And I'd save hundreds of dollars per trip.
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:28 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by dirk digler View Post
Yep. I like the idea of high speed rail but in order for myself to use it other than a novelty it will have to save me time and money.

I did some checking on popular routes and the mid-range trip would be the best for me.

1. KC - St. Louis - 250 miles. For high speed rail that would take 1 hr 15 minutes. To fly that takes 30 minutes. For me to take the rail it would take me 1 hour to get up to KC and probably 30 minutes to board\security so the total trip time would be 2:45. To fly it takes me almost 2 hours to get to KCI plus you have to be there at least 1 hour prior to departure. I can drive that in that time frame for either option.
Cost to fly: $250 round trip

2. KC - Chicago - 510 miles. High speed rail = 2:30 Flight: :50 minutes
Cost to fly: $215 round trip

3. KC - Dallas - 555 miles. High Speed rail = 2:45 Flight: 1 hour
Cost to fly: $190 round trip

If rail could compete at those prices or better than I think it would be a viable option for many.
Agreed. And in all those cases, you are assuming there's no delay, there's no flight transfer (and that in that flight transfer, you're original flight isn't delayed), and you're not checking in any bags. You're also assuming your terminal is close. In O'Hare, I once walked about a half hour just to get from gate to gate.

This is why I don't get why midwesterners are so resistant to this travel. Especially if you're not a mega airport hub, you probably have to do a transfer flight. And that is all kinds of inconvenient.
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:35 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by chiefzilla1501 View Post
Agreed. And in all those cases, you are assuming there's no delay, there's no flight transfer (and that in that flight transfer, you're original flight isn't delayed), and you're not checking in any bags. You're also assuming your terminal is close. In O'Hare, I once walked about a half hour just to get from gate to gate.

This is why I don't get why midwesterners are so resistant to this travel. Especially if you're not a mega airport hub, you probably have to do a transfer flight. And that is all kinds of inconvenient.
I don't either except people don't like change. I would love to take a high speed train over flying if it is economical and safe to do so.

The one thing though that we might disagree about is security. There will be the same restrictions with rail as there is with air and TSA will certainly be involved.
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:47 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by dirk digler View Post
I don't either except people don't like change. I would love to take a high speed train over flying if it is economical and safe to do so.

The one thing though that we might disagree about is security. There will be the same restrictions with rail as there is with air and TSA will certainly be involved.
To some extent. Trains have more capacity for baggage. As of now, you can check in FOUR bags (the first two for free). Unlike flights, you can currently carry food/liquids. But biggest of all is just how long every procedure takes. You'll never have the same lines in a train station as an airport. So check-in, waiting in line to be personally screened, and then picking up your baggage, you can shave off as much as an 45 minutes to an hour of your time just by going rail vs. plane.
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:53 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by chiefzilla1501 View Post
To some extent. Trains have more capacity for baggage. As of now, you can check in FOUR bags (the first two for free). Unlike flights, you can currently carry food/liquids. But biggest of all is just how long every procedure takes. You'll never have the same lines in a train station as an airport. So check-in, waiting in line to be personally screened, and then picking up your baggage, you can shave off as much as an 45 minutes to an hour of your time just by going rail vs. plane.
Wow, you really are a central planner for the people instead of letting markets ( the people ) decide this.
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:59 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by chiefzilla1501 View Post
To some extent. Trains have more capacity for baggage. As of now, you can check in FOUR bags (the first two for free). Unlike flights, you can currently carry food/liquids. But biggest of all is just how long every procedure takes. You'll never have the same lines in a train station as an airport. So check-in, waiting in line to be personally screened, and then picking up your baggage, you can shave off as much as an 45 minutes to an hour of your time just by going rail vs. plane.
That is because there hasn't been a terrorist attack on one yet. I was just reading that the Chinese trains can hold 1000 passengers. Imagine the security and restrictions that would happen if a terrorist blew up the train over a residential area with that many people on it here in the US.

In fact it is probably pretty easy to derail a train, you could plant a bomb on one of the thousand + support columns.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:18 AM   #68
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:01 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by chiefzilla1501 View Post
Agreed. And in all those cases, you are assuming there's no delay, there's no flight transfer (and that in that flight transfer, you're original flight isn't delayed), and you're not checking in any bags. You're also assuming your terminal is close. In O'Hare, I once walked about a half hour just to get from gate to gate.

This is why I don't get why midwesterners are so resistant to this travel. Especially if you're not a mega airport hub, you probably have to do a transfer flight. And that is all kinds of inconvenient.
I am pretty sure all of those destinations have direct flights from KC, so the delays and flight transfers you keep exposing about might be slightly exaggerated.
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:07 PM   #70
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Connect Cheyenne to Rapid City, SD, through SD, to Minneapolis.
While the railway provides so interesting east/west connections, it provides nothing north to south.

If you are in Houston and need to get to Mpls...good luck. KC to Des Moines? Forget it? Mpls to KC or Little Rock?

Light rail would be in a tough spot. In order to spur ridership, they would have to undercut airfare pricing by a significant amount. If that were to happen, then the system would be bleeding red, and would be requiring government subsidy (i.e. your tax dollars) to stay afloat.

Would riding it be cool? Sure. Worth the cost? I do not see it.

Midwesterners like their cars. They like driving. They would rather spend their tax dollars on keeping the highways in good shape than to build a shiny fancy train that they will ride one, if that.
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:17 PM   #71
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Wow, you really are a central planner for the people instead of letting markets ( the people ) decide this.
At first, though, it won't be the people who decide; it will be some investors, whether that be the federal government or private ownership. Even assuming that this high-speed rail network will be 100% free-markety (and not a flat-out infrastructure investment like the Interstate highway system), I think Chiefzilla is just telling us what he thinks the project pitchmen will be telling their investors.

In other words, he's discussing it, here on a discussion board.
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:18 PM   #72
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I would like to point out that I am RABIDLY pro-rail. I would love there to be urban rail, high speed cross country rail.. all kinds of rail!!! BUT I understand that just because I want something doesn't mean I should force the rest of you to pay for it. So I won't sit here and make up excuses or convoluted hypotheticals to try to justify spending YOUR money on something I want. I'm happy to let the market decide this.

Direckshun, you see how that works?
I'm not necessarily opposed to it. The problem is that the people doing the investing would likely be the wealthy, and would prefer a rail design that feeds their interests.

That's all fine and good, but the poor and the middle class would really benefit from HSR travel. For one, they'd actually travel more. Which is objectively a positive thing economically and culturally.

My preference would be for a national rail system much like the OP. When the private funding fails to offer travels that poorer Americans would benefit from, then perhaps public funding would supplement it.
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:20 PM   #73
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I am pretty sure all of those destinations have direct flights from KC, so the delays and flight transfers you keep exposing about might be slightly exaggerated.
Yep I agree. You are not going to have any transfers flying from KC to St. Louis, Chicago or Dallas. You might have delays and you would have those with trains as well.

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Originally Posted by mnchiefsguy View Post
While the railway provides so interesting east/west connections, it provides nothing north to south.

If you are in Houston and need to get to Mpls...good luck. KC to Des Moines? Forget it? Mpls to KC or Little Rock?

Light rail would be in a tough spot. In order to spur ridership, they would have to undercut airfare pricing by a significant amount. If that were to happen, then the system would be bleeding red, and would be requiring government subsidy (i.e. your tax dollars) to stay afloat.

Would riding it be cool? Sure. Worth the cost? I do not see it.

Midwesterners like their cars. They like driving. They would rather spend their tax dollars on keeping the highways in good shape than to build a shiny fancy train that they will ride one, if that.
Light-rail or rail in general would work really well in high density areas like the Northeast. I think it would work well to travel mid-range distances as well like from KC-Chicago as long as the cost of the ticket is economical.

I agree that we like our cars and driving but it appears at least our representatives don't like fixing our roads and bridges. Our infrastructure as whole in this country is graded as a D and over 10% of our bridges rated as deficient.
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:26 PM   #74
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Yep I agree. You are not going to have any transfers flying from KC to St. Louis, Chicago or Dallas. You might have delays and you would have those with trains as well.



Light-rail or rail in general would work really well in high density areas like the Northeast. I think it would work well to travel mid-range distances as well like from KC-Chicago as long as the cost of the ticket is economical.

I agree that we like our cars and driving but it appears at least our representatives don't like fixing our roads and bridges. Our infrastructure as whole in this country is graded as a D and over 10% of our bridges rated as deficient.
I agree about the Northeast/East Coast being the best area for a light rail to be successful. I think the notion that just because the densly populated areas like NY/NJ/BOS/PHilly/Balt/DC would benefit from it, and the project would be successful there, means that we have to have it between KC/STL/CHI/Des Moines. The midwest is more spread out, less populated, and we like our cars.

I also agree about our reps not caring about fixing and maintaining roads. They are not sexy projects for our tax dollars, although they should be, since they play a major roles in how we travel.
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:37 PM   #75
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I am pretty sure all of those destinations have direct flights from KC, so the delays and flight transfers you keep exposing about might be slightly exaggerated.
Delays are not exaggerated. Regardless of transfer/non-transfer, there is always much more opportunity for delay in airports than rail. It becomes a nightmare when your delay occurs during a transfer. And yes, there are plenty of spots on rail for KC that do not have a direct flight, in which case travel can take 4-6 hours from beginning gate to end gate and will cost you well over $300 to travel. So if you wanted to go to OKC or Cincinnati, rail is a hell of a lot more convenient. In fact, I'm surprised you're so opposed to this. Do you realize that from Minneapolis, by plane, you can't go to Detroit, Louisville, Indianapolis... lots of other places nearby... without shelling out $400 and getting a transfer that will make the trip 4-5 hours gate-to-gate?

As for your other point about cars vs. rails. If I remember, you are stuck on the idea because Minneapolis didn't accept it as inner-city train. The midwest is NOT a good market for that. But in terms of interstate travel... you can't say people don't want it just because they say they don't want it. That's the whole point of market disruption and innovation -- there are LOTS of products and innovations that weren't widely acceptable until they were introduced and socialized.
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