Author Topic: Why "high-speed rail" is dumb.  (Read 21919 times)

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Offline Scheavo

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Re: Why "high-speed rail" is dumb.
« Reply #105 on: November 03, 2011, 02:12:53 PM »
No you misunderstood.  I do know the costs (sort of). Ive taken the Eurorail a lot.

 Say factoring all costs (time, convinience, dollars spent), it costs $10 to go from Paris to Madrid either in car or plane. But to do go from NYC to DC costs only $5.

Lets say the rail to either costs $7.  Where you are effects whether or not its viable.

I could make up numbers too.

Offline Dark Castle

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Re: Why "high-speed rail" is dumb.
« Reply #106 on: November 03, 2011, 02:13:59 PM »
No you misunderstood.  I do know the costs (sort of). Ive taken the Eurorail a lot.

 Say factoring all costs (time, convinience, dollars spent), it costs $10 to go from Paris to Madrid either in car or plane. But to do go from NYC to DC costs only $5.

Lets say the rail to either costs $7.  Where you are effects whether or not its viable.

I could make up numbers too.

Offline AcidLameLTE

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Re: Why "high-speed rail" is dumb.
« Reply #107 on: November 03, 2011, 02:15:37 PM »
$10 to go from Paris to Madrid via car or plane? :rollin

Offline Super Dude

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Re: Why "high-speed rail" is dumb.
« Reply #108 on: November 03, 2011, 02:17:46 PM »
Edit: This, boys and girls, is why you should read a post entirely before responding. Derp.
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Offline El Barto

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Re: Why "high-speed rail" is dumb.
« Reply #109 on: November 03, 2011, 02:28:18 PM »
Sounds like a dandy idea.

The problem is,  as my old man used to say,  the problem with planning for transportation 20 years from now is, who the hell knows what transportation will be like in 20 years!  (and he really did say that)

Simply put,  by the time we had the ability to build such a thing and make it effective,  we'd probably have the ability to do more useful things that we can't currently imagine.  It's entirely possible that in the time it takes to get there,  we've started a love affair with something that kicks the bejeezus out of automobiles.  Frankly,  that love affair is ending quite quickly before our eyes. 
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Offline Super Dude

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Re: Why "high-speed rail" is dumb.
« Reply #110 on: November 03, 2011, 02:35:30 PM »
Sounds like a dandy idea.

The problem is,  as my old man used to say,  the problem with planning for transportation 20 years from now is, who the hell knows what transportation will be like in 20 years!  (and he really did say that)

Simply put,  by the time we had the ability to build such a thing and make it effective,  we'd probably have the ability to do more useful things that we can't currently imagine.  It's entirely possible that in the time it takes to get there,  we've started a love affair with something that kicks the bejeezus out of automobiles.  Frankly,  that love affair is ending quite quickly before our eyes.

Not likely. The car's been around now, for what? Almost 130 years? Even so, I don't see this as a reason not to get crackin' on the HSR. I see it as a reason to start that and the next thing already.
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Offline GuineaPig

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Re: Why "high-speed rail" is dumb.
« Reply #111 on: November 03, 2011, 02:40:51 PM »
High-speed rail has been around since the 1960s.  It's only increasing in popularity, and is being implemented around the world.  It uses renewable energy, is energy efficient, is fast and affordable, is the safest mode of travel ever put into service, and makes money.

It's not going to go away any time soon.
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Offline Scheavo

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Re: Why "high-speed rail" is dumb.
« Reply #112 on: November 03, 2011, 02:41:58 PM »
Sounds like a dandy idea.

The problem is,  as my old man used to say,  the problem with planning for transportation 20 years from now is, who the hell knows what transportation will be like in 20 years!  (and he really did say that)

Simply put,  by the time we had the ability to build such a thing and make it effective,  we'd probably have the ability to do more useful things that we can't currently imagine.  It's entirely possible that in the time it takes to get there,  we've started a love affair with something that kicks the bejeezus out of automobiles.  Frankly,  that love affair is ending quite quickly before our eyes.

Well if cars go out, then HSR seems like it would have to replace it. Plus, I can't imagine the basic tracks or infrastructure being all that different; the difference would be in the cars or trains that run on the tracks, having some accommodate cars like a ferry, and other's be purely passenger.

Ya know, we also still do a lot of transporting of goods in this country via train; HSR doesn't need to solely be for passengers, it could accommodate freight luggage as well. Upping the speed of commerce only helps an economy grow.

Offline Super Dude

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Re: Why "high-speed rail" is dumb.
« Reply #113 on: November 03, 2011, 02:43:28 PM »
High-speed rail has been around since the 1960s.  It's only increasing in popularity, and is being implemented around the world.  It uses renewable energy, is energy efficient, is fast and affordable, is the safest mode of travel ever put into service, and makes money.

It's not going to go away any time soon.

Renewable energy meaning electric?
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Offline GuineaPig

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Re: Why "high-speed rail" is dumb.
« Reply #114 on: November 03, 2011, 02:44:45 PM »
Yeah.  I suppose I should say "potential for renewable energy." 
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Offline El Barto

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Re: Why "high-speed rail" is dumb.
« Reply #115 on: November 03, 2011, 03:15:18 PM »
Sounds like a dandy idea.

The problem is,  as my old man used to say,  the problem with planning for transportation 20 years from now is, who the hell knows what transportation will be like in 20 years!  (and he really did say that)

Simply put,  by the time we had the ability to build such a thing and make it effective,  we'd probably have the ability to do more useful things that we can't currently imagine.  It's entirely possible that in the time it takes to get there,  we've started a love affair with something that kicks the bejeezus out of automobiles.  Frankly,  that love affair is ending quite quickly before our eyes.

Not likely. The car's been around now, for what? Almost 130 years? Even so, I don't see this as a reason not to get crackin' on the HSR. I see it as a reason to start that and the next thing already.
I was actually referring specifically to DTVT's idea.  I got quadruple ninja'd and it didn't warn me when I posted.  I don't see any reason to design HSR around existing automobile traffic is my point.

And yes,  cars have been around in one way or another for a very long time.  The world is a very different place now than it was, though.  I really think that the nature of driving will be fundamentally different in a few years and all of this talk about revamping transportation in this country is probably a bit misguided. 
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Offline Super Dude

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Re: Why "high-speed rail" is dumb.
« Reply #116 on: November 03, 2011, 03:40:48 PM »
Alright, but so in that case I refer you to GP's second-to-most-recent post.
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Offline El Barto

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Re: Why "high-speed rail" is dumb.
« Reply #117 on: November 03, 2011, 03:47:29 PM »
Alright, but so in that case I refer you to GP's second-to-most-recent post.
Everything in it is absolutely true.  It also has nothing whatsoever to do with America.  Perhaps HSR will catch on here,  but I think it probably won't.  We really are a completely different animal with regards to transpo.  Just because something is wildly successful somewhere doesn't mean it won't go down in flames elsewhere.  My hunch is that's the case here.

And it's really not a bad thing.  Personally,  I'd like for a better option to develop, and I think it will.  HSR is nifty, and when it works it's a lovely thing.  I just don't see it working well here.  Whereas just like we took the components of the car from Dhaimler, Boch,  Watt,  etc, and used it to revolutionize our society,  I think we'll do the same with a different idea. 
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Offline Super Dude

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Re: Why "high-speed rail" is dumb.
« Reply #118 on: November 03, 2011, 03:49:58 PM »
Alright, but so in that case I refer you to GP's second-to-most-recent post.
Everything in it is absolutely true.  It also has nothing whatsoever to do with America.  Perhaps HSR will catch on here,  but I think it probably won't. We really are a completely different animal with regards to transpo.  Just because something is wildly successful somewhere doesn't mean it won't go down in flames elsewhere.  My hunch is that's the case here.

And it's really not a bad thing.  Personally,  I'd like for a better option to develop, and I think it will.  HSR is nifty, and when it works it's a lovely thing.  I just don't see it working well here.  Whereas just like we took the components of the car from Dhaimler, Boch,  Watt,  etc, and used it to revolutionize our society,  I think we'll do the same with a different idea.

How, and why? Other than being 'merica.
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Offline Scheavo

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Re: Why "high-speed rail" is dumb.
« Reply #119 on: November 03, 2011, 03:51:50 PM »
Sounds like a dandy idea.

The problem is,  as my old man used to say,  the problem with planning for transportation 20 years from now is, who the hell knows what transportation will be like in 20 years!  (and he really did say that)

Simply put,  by the time we had the ability to build such a thing and make it effective,  we'd probably have the ability to do more useful things that we can't currently imagine.  It's entirely possible that in the time it takes to get there,  we've started a love affair with something that kicks the bejeezus out of automobiles.  Frankly,  that love affair is ending quite quickly before our eyes.

Not likely. The car's been around now, for what? Almost 130 years? Even so, I don't see this as a reason not to get crackin' on the HSR. I see it as a reason to start that and the next thing already.
I was actually referring specifically to DTVT's idea.  I got quadruple ninja'd and it didn't warn me when I posted.  I don't see any reason to design HSR around existing automobile traffic is my point.

Building along highways would be intelligent for many other reasons, not just due to accommodate our car society. Easier to get the materials there, easier to get there to do repairs, and large populations are found closer to highways.



Offline livehard

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Re: Why "high-speed rail" is dumb.
« Reply #120 on: November 03, 2011, 03:53:44 PM »
No you misunderstood.  I do know the costs (sort of). Ive taken the Eurorail a lot.

 Say factoring all costs (time, convinience, dollars spent), it costs $10 to go from Paris to Madrid either in car or plane. But to do go from NYC to DC costs only $5.

Lets say the rail to either costs $7.  Where you are effects whether or not its viable.

I could make up numbers too.

ARE YOU TWO SERIOUS?  Of course I am making up numbers.  Its to not reflect the actual situation but how costs can change based on geography! oh my God...

Offline Dark Castle

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Re: Why "high-speed rail" is dumb.
« Reply #121 on: November 03, 2011, 03:57:40 PM »
No you misunderstood.  I do know the costs (sort of). Ive taken the Eurorail a lot.

 Say factoring all costs (time, convinience, dollars spent), it costs $10 to go from Paris to Madrid either in car or plane. But to do go from NYC to DC costs only $5.

Lets say the rail to either costs $7.  Where you are effects whether or not its viable.

I could make up numbers too.

ARE YOU TWO SERIOUS?  Of course I am making up numbers.  Its to not reflect the actual situation but how costs can change based on geography! oh my God...
Oh no, we get that you made up the numbers for that purpose, but it has no point, as you didn't prove anything by making up numbers.

Offline Scheavo

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Re: Why "high-speed rail" is dumb.
« Reply #122 on: November 03, 2011, 04:00:49 PM »
No you misunderstood.  I do know the costs (sort of). Ive taken the Eurorail a lot.

 Say factoring all costs (time, convinience, dollars spent), it costs $10 to go from Paris to Madrid either in car or plane. But to do go from NYC to DC costs only $5.

Lets say the rail to either costs $7.  Where you are effects whether or not its viable.

I could make up numbers too.

ARE YOU TWO SERIOUS?  Of course I am making up numbers.  Its to not reflect the actual situation but how costs can change based on geography! oh my God...
Oh no, we get that you made up the numbers for that purpose, but it has no point, as you didn't prove anything by making up numbers.

Many things CAN happen, what we should be interested in is what is most likely going to happen.

Offline bosk1

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Re: Why "high-speed rail" is dumb.
« Reply #123 on: November 03, 2011, 04:02:10 PM »
Many things CAN happen, what we should be interested in is what is most likely going to happen.

Funny, that's exactly what I was saying for about two whole pages, and the only answers I got were "But Europe/Nebraska!"
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Offline livehard

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Re: Why "high-speed rail" is dumb.
« Reply #124 on: November 03, 2011, 04:22:03 PM »
Here's the point, whether you or I understand the previous posts or not:

Its not an accident that it hasnt been built yet.  For most people in America, dirivng or flying are relatively cheap options in US.  Roads go basically everywhere.

Offline Implode

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Re: Why "high-speed rail" is dumb.
« Reply #125 on: November 03, 2011, 04:26:14 PM »
flying [is] relatively cheap

Maybe I'm just poor, but is it really considered cheap?

Offline El Barto

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Re: Why "high-speed rail" is dumb.
« Reply #126 on: November 03, 2011, 04:32:38 PM »
flying [is] relatively cheap

Maybe I'm just poor, but is it really considered cheap?
As I pointed out above,  for the distances we're talking about absolutely.  LA-SF,  DC-NYC,  DAL-HOU,  all $59 for a one way ticket.  You won't be buying a train ticket for that cheap.  Plus,  you won't be seeing competition.  Part of the reason for those cheap fares is SWA doing so well on the short runs.
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Offline Super Dude

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Re: Why "high-speed rail" is dumb.
« Reply #127 on: November 03, 2011, 04:40:25 PM »
Oh, I thought we were talking round trips. See my earlier numbers for reference.
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Offline El Barto

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Re: Why "high-speed rail" is dumb.
« Reply #128 on: November 03, 2011, 05:10:35 PM »
Doesn't matter how you split it up.  Flying is still ridiculously cheap compared to rail, and particularly Acela which is our best frame of reference at the moment.  Right now,  I can book a flight for 8am tomorrow morning from Washington to NYC for $148.  If I'm purchasing a few days ahead,  I can fly all day for $59.  A one way ticket on Acela will run me $188 for an 8am trip.   A single ticket on Acela for that leg starts at $142 for a red-eye and runs to $213 for a convenient travel hour. 

Once again,  I prefer train travel.  As a tourist I'd pay the extra money for a pleasant 2.5 hour train ride.  As a business traveler,  I'm taking the dirt cheap 55 minute flight. 
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Offline Super Dude

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Re: Why "high-speed rail" is dumb.
« Reply #129 on: November 03, 2011, 05:13:47 PM »
I did Delta from Boston to JFK and it was over $300. The same ACELA trip was less than $70.
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Offline El Barto

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Re: Why "high-speed rail" is dumb.
« Reply #130 on: November 03, 2011, 05:27:43 PM »
I did Delta from Boston to JFK and it was over $300. The same ACELA trip was less than $70.
$101 for the red-eye Acela out of Boston.  $151 for the non-miserable trip.  You looking at weekends, perhaps?  As for flying,  $240 round trip for tomorrow morning on Jet Blue.  A few days in advance will get you one of those $59 flights. 
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Offline Implode

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Re: Why "high-speed rail" is dumb.
« Reply #131 on: November 03, 2011, 05:55:53 PM »
Huh. I guess the prices are just that much better around those areas. Flying round trip between Chicago, Des Moines, and St. Louis usually costs around $120 at the cheapest. If I chose to take a train, it'd only cost around $60.

Offline Super Dude

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Re: Why "high-speed rail" is dumb.
« Reply #132 on: November 03, 2011, 06:31:34 PM »
I did Delta from Boston to JFK and it was over $300. The same ACELA trip was less than $70.
$101 for the red-eye Acela out of Boston.  $151 for the non-miserable trip.  You looking at weekends, perhaps?  As for flying,  $240 round trip for tomorrow morning on Jet Blue.  A few days in advance will get you one of those $59 flights.

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Offline Scheavo

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Re: Why "high-speed rail" is dumb.
« Reply #133 on: November 03, 2011, 06:44:32 PM »
Many things CAN happen, what we should be interested in is what is most likely going to happen.

Funny, that's exactly what I was saying for about two whole pages, and the only answers I got were "But Europe/Nebraska!"

There's a difference between making a possible point without pointing to examples, and making a possible point and pointing to actual examples.

Offline rumborak

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Re: Why "high-speed rail" is dumb.
« Reply #134 on: November 04, 2011, 05:02:23 AM »
Once again,  I prefer train travel.  As a tourist I'd pay the extra money for a pleasant 2.5 hour train ride.  As a business traveler,  I'm taking the dirt cheap 55 minute flight.

Those 55 minutes are pure flight time though. Actual travel time is probably more than 3 hours, with check-in, baggage grab, travel to/from airport etc.

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Re: Why "high-speed rail" is dumb.
« Reply #135 on: November 04, 2011, 05:52:16 AM »
Also, as you will be on the train longer for the same trip, it gives you more time to get things done (reading, work, sleep, etc)
The time spent driving, security, check in, baggage, etc are not times where such activities can be done.
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Offline GuineaPig

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Re: Why "high-speed rail" is dumb.
« Reply #136 on: November 04, 2011, 06:05:32 AM »
Not to mention you have more space, wi-fi, and a very smooth ride.
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Offline rumborak

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Re: Why "high-speed rail" is dumb.
« Reply #137 on: November 04, 2011, 06:13:29 AM »
While I'm always open to hearing counter-arguments to something like this, I more often than not get the impression that the opposition to it is based on "that's how they do it elsewhere, but not here", which is a rather annoying aspect of American culture I must say.

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Offline GuineaPig

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Re: Why "high-speed rail" is dumb.
« Reply #138 on: November 04, 2011, 06:27:34 AM »
At one point, the Pennsylvania Railroad (namer of all those Penn Stations around the East Coast) had a larger budget than the US government.  It was the largest publicly traded country in the world.  It still holds the record for longest continuous dividend payments in world history.


Americans used railroads before.  They'll use them again.
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Re: Why "high-speed rail" is dumb.
« Reply #139 on: November 04, 2011, 06:47:32 AM »
While I'm always open to hearing counter-arguments to something like this, I more often than not get the impression that the opposition to it is based on "that's how they do it elsewhere, but not here", which is a rather annoying aspect of American culture I must say.

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