High Speed Rail - someday?

Transportation topics in KC
Post Reply
User avatar
ToDactivist
Pad site
Pad site
Posts: 76
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:06 am

High Speed Rail - someday?

Post by ToDactivist » Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:14 pm

Someone in the know tell me a story about how, where and when this will happen in the US and KC. See fits and starts in East Coast and Texas line but no large scale Eisenhower-type initiative. Always thought that is what Obama should have enacted as a recovery plan. When the Chinese put their mind() to it, BAM! Country-wide. EU same and what a wonderful way to travel. When you think about polluters/climate change and causation, shirley the convenience of jet travel has to rank up there https://www.theguardian.com/world/ng-in ... -100-years. So now you may know why there is no universal, standardize country-wide high speed rail to compete with air travel....there is no one to lobby for it. and the converse is true. Hmm.

Tell me a story. Where will terminals be? in cities or on the edge? Can KC make an impact in this industry in addition to just being another hub?

alejandro46
Strip mall
Strip mall
Posts: 122
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:24 pm
Location: North Plaza

Re: High Speed Rail - someday?

Post by alejandro46 » Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:19 pm

Land acquisition costs and legal expenses are extremely high. Its the main reason CalTrans project is way over budget. Literally paying almond farms decades of future profits for running HSR through their land. Chinese govt does not have that problem. Best bet is to upgrade shorter, highest density corridors able to best compete with air travel.

User avatar
normalthings
Alameda Tower
Alameda Tower
Posts: 1194
Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2015 9:52 pm

Re: High Speed Rail - someday?

Post by normalthings » Sat Jan 05, 2019 12:31 am

alejandro46 wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:19 pm
Land acquisition costs and legal expenses are extremely high. Its the main reason CalTrans project is way over budget. Literally paying almond farms decades of future profits for running HSR through their land. Chinese govt does not have that problem. Best bet is to upgrade shorter, highest density corridors able to best compete with air travel.
A few of my coworkers are involved with the more well known highspeed rail projects under construction here and abroad. In their opinion KC to STL is one of their top choices for a starter line in the US.

WoodDraw
Alameda Tower
Alameda Tower
Posts: 1346
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2004 8:53 pm

Re: High Speed Rail - someday?

Post by WoodDraw » Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:35 pm

It's fantastic in theory, but there are some serious issues with high speed rail in the US.

User avatar
FangKC
City Center Square
City Center Square
Posts: 13330
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2003 10:02 pm
Location: Old Northeast -- Indian Mound

Re: High Speed Rail - someday?

Post by FangKC » Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:15 pm

With our country's lack of regulation of slow-poke passenger trains, and the resulting accidents, I can only imagine what might happen with high-speed rail. Now, with proper oversight, I'm all for it.

User avatar
ToDactivist
Pad site
Pad site
Posts: 76
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:06 am

Re: High Speed Rail - someday?

Post by ToDactivist » Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:22 pm

I dont buy the legal/cost RoW issue. I used to take out almond (amond to CA folk) trees for drilling and charge was per tree based on county-assessor costs. very fair. then think about how Ike mandated interstates. at some point it has to be the same, some will lose ground but that's the role of the gov't as the greater good (god?). Hate to see disparate efforts without standardization of types, source, etc. Roll that back to the streetcars of the 30's and thats why the gov't (god) created the PCC type standard (see 5th and DE). Thus takes some energy expended. Granted density is a good start or corridors like Houston-KC or ABQ-DEN or whatever mess is east of the miss. Oh well, just curious.

User avatar
DaveKCMO
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 16835
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2005 6:22 pm
Location: Crossroads
Contact:

Re: High Speed Rail - someday?

Post by DaveKCMO » Sun Jan 06, 2019 1:58 pm

There are only two serious HSR proposals advancing in the US right now:

- Texas Central https://www.texascentral.com/
- California HSR http://www.hsr.ca.gov/

California is cobbling together new right-of-way by acquiring property, and it's cost them way more and taken much longer than planned. You could say that's mismanagement, but not 100%. Texas Central is using existing ROW and it will be the first one in service, given it has attracted solid international partners to build and operate.

Amtrak has proposed a true HSR route for the Northeast Corridor, but it has no legs at the moment because (a) it would require property acquisition to straighten the route to Boston by going inland and (b) states that would be cut out are not happy about that. Amtrak is in a perpetual fight just to keep its lights on, so I doubt it'll see the windfall necessary to build a 200+mph route.

The Recovery Act tried to make a down payment on a truly national system, but Republicans put a stop to it by refusing to accept the money. The one notable project that did accept funding (Illinois / CHI-STL) has taken a decade and still isn't operating over 79mph -- and that project is not true HSR, but only 110mph on shared tracks. The Brightline/Virgin/XpressWest projects are all 110mph or slower, so not true HSR, but I consider them the future of passenger rail in the US.

As to regulation, FRA actually goes way too far. Only recently did they relax their antiquated requirements for rolling stock, so US systems can now buy "off the shelf" European or Asian train sets that crumple and absorb energy in crashes (and are thus lighter) rather than the tank-like trains that OEMs are required to build for our tiny market (making new trains more expensive and prone to problems -- see Acela).

Most people would just be happy with reliable trains that run with some frequency -- more than 1x/day -- and at 79mph for most of the route (the top speed without having to implement specialized equipment or grade/freight separation). This has been surprisingly difficult to do in the US. The KCY-STL route had a nice program of incremental improvements, but has stalled due to Missouri Republicans (surprise!) barely authorizing enough money to pay Amtrak for operations. It's a shame MoDOT has become obsessed with Hyperloop because HSR down a rebuilt I-70 would be the perfect project and they yanked it from their long-range plans years ago.

User avatar
ToDactivist
Pad site
Pad site
Posts: 76
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:06 am

Re: High Speed Rail - someday?

Post by ToDactivist » Sun Jan 06, 2019 5:12 pm

good summary Dave and was hoping to solicit your input/expertise as the transit fanatic(?) it seems you are. Agreed a 110+MPH, reliable, and 2x+/day scenario could be widely used and begin to be competitive with air travel, especially on shorter routes where TSA(ingress/egress) hassles add hours to travel and then land outside a city center destination adding an additional commute. the edge can be train travel. And leveraging lighter off-the-shelf units and existing RoW is a duh, and thus seemingly synergistic via MDOT types as catalytic? Maybe thats where it starts. the sooner we jump n' shout on need/demand, the sooner we might find progressives who agree to catch up with the rest of the world. Hyperloop? No thanks. how could that possibly serve enough commuters in a straw?

User avatar
smh
Hotel President
Hotel President
Posts: 3048
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:40 pm
Location: Central Loop

Re: High Speed Rail - someday?

Post by smh » Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:46 am

I dream of a day we can shave an hour off the River Runner and add a mid-day departure in KC and STL.

User avatar
beautyfromashes
Bryant Building
Bryant Building
Posts: 4390
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2005 11:04 am

Re: High Speed Rail - someday?

Post by beautyfromashes » Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:07 pm

is there many chance in the future that we are considered one metro? If travel times are as short as driving from Lawrence to DT do we get a “Missouri” labeled NBA team? Do two airports become redundant? Do artists choose one venue or the other? I know this is WAY in the future, but I wonder what a shrinking of distance means for metros close together.

tower
Strip mall
Strip mall
Posts: 256
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:45 am
Location: Midtown

Re: High Speed Rail - someday?

Post by tower » Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:22 pm

Every time a city doubles in population, they get about a 15% productivity boost due to the efficiency of the labor market. A rail link of an hour would have less of an impact than that, but it would still be pretty big for the areas near the station. A ticket between the cities would still be relatively expensive, so I would expect that we would keep our city identities though.

User avatar
DaveKCMO
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 16835
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2005 6:22 pm
Location: Crossroads
Contact:

Re: High Speed Rail - someday?

Post by DaveKCMO » Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:58 pm

ToDactivist wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 5:12 pm
how could that possibly serve enough commuters in a straw?
I love this and will steal it for future use.

User avatar
DaveKCMO
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 16835
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2005 6:22 pm
Location: Crossroads
Contact:

Re: High Speed Rail - someday?

Post by DaveKCMO » Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:00 pm

smh wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:46 am
I dream of a day we can shave an hour off the River Runner and add a mid-day departure in KC and STL.
They could have shaved 15 minutes off the schedule after the last round of capital improvements, but I suspect UP said no. Mid-day departure would have been possible if we had approved Amendment 7, but we won't get anything with a gas tax increase (roads, bridges, etc.).

Post Reply