High Speed Rail - someday?

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.).

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Re: High Speed Rail - someday?

Post by brewcrew1000 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:00 pm

Looks like California High Speed Rail is dead and the only line might be in the Central Valley.

I don't think High Speed Rail is really necessary to connect So Cal to Nor Cal because there are so many flights from the 5 LA Area Airports to the 3 Bay Area Airports and the prices are all super cheap almost year round

Its kind of funny that the first high speed rail line might end up being in Texas of all places

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Re: High Speed Rail - someday?

Post by tower » Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:41 pm

brewcrew1000 wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:00 pm
Looks like California High Speed Rail is dead and the only line might be in the Central Valley.

I don't think High Speed Rail is really necessary to connect So Cal to Nor Cal because there are so many flights from the 5 LA Area Airports to the 3 Bay Area Airports and the prices are all super cheap almost year round

Its kind of funny that the first high speed rail line might end up being in Texas of all places
I don't know about it being dead. the Central Valley part was the only thing under construction anyway and was scheduled to open first. A lot of the north and south segments were only partially designed, so they would just have been additions to the central valley line anyway.

Also, a lot of the opposition is in the central valley, support could grow there over time if people end up using it.

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Re: High Speed Rail - someday?

Post by DaveKCMO » Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:24 pm

brewcrew1000 wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:00 pm
Looks like California High Speed Rail is dead and the only line might be in the Central Valley.
That's not dead, it's just truncated. It's a realization that state and federal funding hasn't materialized to build the system as proposed.

California has a pretty extensive State Rail Plan that has them making lots of near-term improvements to existing routes and services before HSR comes online (Caltrain electrification, expansion of existing Amtrak service, etc.). They're already the #2 intercity rail market outside of the Northeast and with dedicated cap & trade funding some incremental investments will definitely occur.

There's also the chance that the private sector will swoop in and rescue the larger HSR program like what's happening Texas. Clearly there's a big opportunity in the country's most populous state.

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Re: High Speed Rail - someday?

Post by normalthings » Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:34 pm

DaveKCMO wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:24 pm
brewcrew1000 wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:00 pm
Looks like California High Speed Rail is dead and the only line might be in the Central Valley.
That's not dead, it's just truncated. It's a realization that state and federal funding hasn't materialized to build the system as proposed.

California has a pretty extensive State Rail Plan that has them making lots of near-term improvements to existing routes and services before HSR comes online (Caltrain electrification, expansion of existing Amtrak service, etc.). They're already the #2 intercity rail market outside of the Northeast and with dedicated cap & trade funding some incremental investments will definitely occur.

There's also the chance that the private sector will swoop in and rescue the larger HSR program like what's happening Texas. Clearly there's a big opportunity in the country's most populous state.
IMHO, that $70-100 Billion would be much better spend on creating comprehensive transit networks within CA cities as well as electrifying Cal Trans

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Re: High Speed Rail - someday?

Post by warwickland » Thu Feb 14, 2019 2:28 pm

to be sure, i would be happy with a better run version of the illinois high speed rail project between stl and kc...but see below for a problem holding up semi-high speed rail for now...

IDOT spokesperson Guy Tridgell says faster speeds are coming soon. A section of the route between Springfield and St. Louis will allow for 90 MPH travel by this summer, and the rest will follow suit by 2020, Tridgell says.

But there’s no longer an official timetable for 110 MPH trains.

“We don’t know for sure,” said Tridgell. “We hope that the schedule comes into focus soon.”

The delays are largely bureaucratic. Amtrak trains aren’t allowed to hit 110 MPH without first testing what’s called positive train control (PTC) under the guidance of the Federal Railroad Administration. The safety technology is meant to prevent collisions and derailments by automatically slowing trains that are going too fast — say, around the bend of a track, or if an engineer becomes incapacitated.

The problem is, nobody seems to be in a hurry to implement the system. In 2008, Congress gave rail operators until 2015 to roll out PTC, but eventually extended the deadline to 2018.

By December 31 of last year, only four of the nation’s 41 rail systems had installed PTC. Amtrak was among the companies that filed for another extension. The new deadline has been pushed back to 2020.


http://www.chicagomag.com/city-life/Feb ... -Illinois/

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Re: High Speed Rail - someday?

Post by brewcrew1000 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 2:35 pm

DaveKCMO wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:24 pm
brewcrew1000 wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:00 pm
Looks like California High Speed Rail is dead and the only line might be in the Central Valley.
That's not dead, it's just truncated. It's a realization that state and federal funding hasn't materialized to build the system as proposed.
A high speed rail going car centric cities in the Central Valley is dead to me, nobody will ride this and it will end up dying in the long term. You might as well start a high speed line from Springfield/Tulsa/OKC if your gonna connect Central Valley cities like Bakersfield/Fresno/Merced

They should have just did a bullet type train from San Diego to LA - Something that could get you station to station in 40-45 minutes. I think people would have taken that and it could have been a huge success

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Re: High Speed Rail - someday?

Post by warwickland » Fri Feb 15, 2019 1:00 pm

brewcrew1000 wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 2:35 pm
DaveKCMO wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:24 pm
brewcrew1000 wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:00 pm
Looks like California High Speed Rail is dead and the only line might be in the Central Valley.
That's not dead, it's just truncated. It's a realization that state and federal funding hasn't materialized to build the system as proposed.
A high speed rail going car centric cities in the Central Valley is dead to me, nobody will ride this and it will end up dying in the long term. You might as well start a high speed line from Springfield/Tulsa/OKC if your gonna connect Central Valley cities like Bakersfield/Fresno/Merced

They should have just did a bullet type train from San Diego to LA - Something that could get you station to station in 40-45 minutes. I think people would have taken that and it could have been a huge success
That would have been an excellent, short but very practical "bench scale test" for longer routes. it's unbelievable how inept america is with passenger rail...i was hoping that at least california could get it right (other than the half-ass acela).

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