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All Aboard! High Speed Rail Coming to America

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  • All Aboard! High Speed Rail Coming to America

    It's first arrival is Florida, with an express line from Tampa to Orlando and the express lines will expand to serve other, major Floridian cities. In Tampa last week I visited the traveling exhibit that heralds the arrival of this marvel of the future, and I have produced this brief video that explains about the new high-speed rail service and we even get to ride a full-scale model of the new Velaro train by Siemens that will be the heart of this exciting and promising rapid transit system.


  • #2
    Re: All Aboard! High Speed Rail Coming to America

    Neither Tampa nor Orlando have much of a public transit system. If you rode high-speed rail to either city, you would likely need to rent a car upon your arrival. If you have to rent a car at your destination, you might as well just drive the entire distance and save the train fare.

    High-speed rail works well in the Boston - New York - Philadelphia - Baltimore - Washington corridor because those cities have good public transportation systems. For the same reason, a high-speed rail line connecting San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Sacramento might also work well. There are a few other corridors that might also work well such as Seattle - Portland, Dallas - Houston, and Chicago - St. Louis. All these cities either already have or are building rail transit networks.

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    • #3
      Re: All Aboard! High Speed Rail Coming to America

      One other comment that I would like to make about this is that high-speed rail generally does not generate enough revenue to cover operating expenses. Government subsidies are required. Personally, I am willing to pay taxes to support transit and inter-city rail. I have come to doubt that my own opinion on this is representative of the general population, especially given all the present Tea Party activity.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: All Aboard! High Speed Rail Coming to America

        Originally posted by Mosquito_Bait View Post
        Neither Tampa nor Orlando have much of a public transit system. If you rode high-speed rail to either city, you would likely need to rent a car upon your arrival. If you have to rent a car at your destination, you might as well just drive the entire distance and save the train fare.

        High-speed rail works well in the Boston - New York - Philadelphia - Baltimore - Washington corridor because those cities have good public transportation systems. For the same reason, a high-speed rail line connecting San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Sacramento might also work well. There are a few other corridors that might also work well such as Seattle - Portland, Dallas - Houston, and Chicago - St. Louis. All these cities either already have or are building rail transit networks.
        It is beyond me why the U.S. doesn't invest in high speed rail. Asia and Europe are light years ahead of the US when it comes to public transportation and rail.

        Amtrak & Acela trains are laughable when you compare it to their Asian & European counterpart. Regional city train systems are nothing when you compare them to Asians and Europeans.

        Obama has been the first president to invest in rail but the gov't's investment is not enough to really put us in the same league as Asia or Europe. The dismal amount the gov't has invested is simply money that will be used for maintenance and upkeep for many systems. It is just not enough to really lay the foundation to start fresh and new.

        I really really believe that investing in rail of the future can propel the US and transform our economy. Imagine how much we can do if one can go from DC to Boston, LA to San Fran, or Orlando to Miami is under 2hrs. Imagine if we had a rail system that can connect major cities to other major cities in light speed.

        Unfortunately, no politician is bold enough to say it out loud and put the money up. Everyone is so afraid about spending but this is not just spending but an investment that can change how we live and how we do business.

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        • #5
          Re: All Aboard! High Speed Rail Coming to America

          High Speed Rail would incorporate nicely into Florida, especially with all the attractions and resort areas that offer shuttle bus and 'Limo' services, in addition to the full-service city bus systems in the Bay areas. Shuttle busses and tram services abound in the Disney Resort areas that will make getting around the Kissimee and Lake Buena Vista areas a breeze.

          My hope though, is that there will be sufficient and secure, long-term parking available for folks who choose to travel by their own car to the train station and then use the train for fast and easy transportation to their main destinations across the state.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: All Aboard! High Speed Rail Coming to America

            Originally posted by Mosquito_Bait View Post
            One other comment that I would like to make about this is that high-speed rail generally does not generate enough revenue to cover operating expenses. Government subsidies are required. Personally, I am willing to pay taxes to support transit and inter-city rail. I have come to doubt that my own opinion on this is representative of the general population, especially given all the present Tea Party activity.
            That is true, the subsidies are needed by the gov't to fund rail. Many rail systems across America are struggling to stay afloat b/c every year, the gov't gives out less and less money. My city has already raised fare 2x this year. NYC has raised fare 3x.

            This is why Amtrak is struggling and not to mention expensive. The gov't essentially cut them off and left them to fend for themselves and it hasn't worked out for them.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: All Aboard! High Speed Rail Coming to America

              Originally posted by Croydon View Post
              That is true, the subsidies are needed by the gov't to fund rail.
              True. There are a lot of good reasons to subsidize passenger rail systems - for instance, they are by far the most energy efficient means of motorized transportation.

              The thing is, we heavily subsidize ALL transportation. Automobiles are far more subsidized than rail, through our fuel and road taxes. The subsidy needed to make high speed rail widespread would still be a pittance in comparison.

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              • #8
                Re: All Aboard! High Speed Rail Coming to America

                Originally posted by Croydon View Post
                It is beyond me why the U.S. doesn't invest in high speed rail. Asia and Europe are light years ahead of the US when it comes to public transportation and rail.
                There are several factors that make the US different from Asia and Europe. First of all, Europe is far older which means the cities were designed for walking and very light transport... I remember a visit to Ireland... Half of the streets in Gallway were exclusive to pedestrians. Dublin had many too. The U.S. on the other was settled in such a way that we are far more spread out than many other countries and our cities (especially out west) were built to accommodate heavier traffic. Our early industries also supported car traffic (coal, steel, etc.)

                The big problem with mass transit in the US is that you would be building a system to connect cities together that only 20% of the country would use. As of the 2000 census, 80% of the US population lives in an urban area, presumably very close to their workplace and certainly close enough to use the public transportation available in the cities themselves.

                And the government is already way too over invested. We can't afford to build new infrastructure now. As the POTUS already tried to point out, we aren't addressing the needs of the infrastructure we already have.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: All Aboard! High Speed Rail Coming to America

                  I've been a rail fan for as long as I can remember, but I just don't foresee rail transit and inter-city trains permeating the United States the way they have Europe and Japan. I foresee further evolution of the automobile that will lessen its environmental impacts and improve its safety. Cars in the future will be powered by batteries and bio-fuels and will be driven by computers. We are already almost there.

                  http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39606282...ce-innovation/

                  Google tests cars that can steer without drivers
                  Engineers consider the cars safer because they react more quickly than humans

                  By DANIEL WAGNER
                  The Associated Press
                  updated 10/10/2010 6:04:39 PM ET 2010-10-10T22:04:39

                  WASHINGTON — Google Inc. is road-testing cars that steer, stop and start without a human driver, the company says.

                  The goal is to "help prevent traffic accidents, free up people's time and reduce carbon emissions," project leader Sebastian Thrun wrote Saturday on Google's corporate blog.

                  The cars are never unmanned, Thrun wrote. He said a backup driver is always behind the wheel to monitor the software.

                  It's not the first signal that Google wants to change how people get from place to place. In a speech Sept. 29 at the TechCrunch "Disrupt" conference, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said "your car should drive itself. It just makes sense."

                  "It's a bug that cars were invented before computers," Schmidt said.

                  The cars have traveled a total of 140,000 miles on major California roads without much human intervention, according to Google's corporate blog.

                  The Mountain View, Calif.-based technology giant has sent seven test cars a total of 1,000 miles without a human touching the controls at all, the New York Times reported. The newspaper published a report on the cars earlier Sunday.

                  ...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: All Aboard! High Speed Rail Coming to America

                    If the cost was low enough I can see where this would be an advantage, but right now with Amtrack the price is about the same or more than a flight but takes days instead of hours. If I wanted to go that slow to get somewhere I would drive.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: All Aboard! High Speed Rail Coming to America

                      We had nation wide rail service that moved millions of people and freight coast to coast and border to border "high speed" (in those days).

                      As soon as rail service became efficient and profitable the government stepped in a "regulated" it into bankruptcy.

                      If something has to rely on government subsidies to exist...then it is not a profitable undertaking and will eventually join the ranks of Amtrack, the TVA, and subsidized housing.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: All Aboard! High Speed Rail Coming to America

                        Originally posted by nimrod View Post
                        If the cost was low enough I can see where this would be an advantage, but right now with Amtrack the price is about the same or more than a flight but takes days instead of hours. If I wanted to go that slow to get somewhere I would drive.
                        The reason why amtrak is so expensive is because they don't get much subsidies from the gov't leaving them to figure how to generate enough revenue to cover cost and expenses. The cost of a ticket is what they deem to be what the market will pay and for them to make money.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: All Aboard! High Speed Rail Coming to America

                          Gloria, you don't seem to have a clue about how the railroads got built in the first place.
                          Monopolies, free land, exploitable labor, .... you can look up the rest.

                          Subsidies? Please,

                          Oh and while you're at it you might check out the aviation industry (you do remember your post about
                          the FAA thing don't ya?)

                          b.l.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: All Aboard! High Speed Rail Coming to America

                            Originally posted by nakedstudent View Post
                            There are several factors that make the US different from Asia and Europe. First of all, Europe is far older which means the cities were designed for walking and very light transport... I remember a visit to Ireland... Half of the streets in Gallway were exclusive to pedestrians. Dublin had many too. The U.S. on the other was settled in such a way that we are far more spread out than many other countries and our cities (especially out west) were built to accommodate heavier traffic. Our early industries also supported car traffic (coal, steel, etc.)

                            The big problem with mass transit in the US is that you would be building a system to connect cities together that only 20% of the country would use. As of the 2000 census, 80% of the US population lives in an urban area, presumably very close to their workplace and certainly close enough to use the public transportation available in the cities themselves.

                            And the government is already way too over invested. We can't afford to build new infrastructure now. As the POTUS already tried to point out, we aren't addressing the needs of the infrastructure we already have.
                            I agree with you that Europe and Asia cities are much denser than US cities. When we arrive on the train, we almost always are required to take a cab everywhere at the destination. There are a few cities that are the "exception that proves the rule."

                            I wonder who they think will use the high speed rail. Besides that, I wonder why they would need the train to be high speed. How much time would they save and on how many trips per year?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: All Aboard! High Speed Rail Coming to America

                              Originally posted by Baron Lake View Post
                              Gloria, you don't seem to have a clue about how the railroads got built in the first place.
                              Monopolies, free land, exploitable labor, .... you can look up the rest.

                              Subsidies? Please,

                              Oh and while you're at it you might check out the aviation industry (you do remember your post about
                              the FAA thing don't ya?)

                              b.l.
                              Please do not engage her. Doing so will turn this thread into another politics forum and another soapbox for her to discuss her unintelligent beliefs. I would really appreciate if we all can not respond to her and just continue discussing rail in US

                              Comment

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