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High speed rail!

geckahngeckahn Registered User regular
edited November 2008 in Debate and/or Discourse
Kerry and Spector have just introduced a high speed rail bill. Highlights:

The High-Speed Rail for America Act of 2008 builds upon the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 which reauthorizes Amtrak and authorizes $1.5 billion over a five-year period to finance the construction and equipment for eleven high-speed rail corridors. It provides billions of dollars in both tax-exempt and tax credit bond and provides assistance for rail projects of various speeds. The bill creates the Office of High-Speed passenger rail to oversee the development of high-speed rail and provides a consistent source of funding.

Specifically, the High-Speed Rail for America Act of 2008 provides $8 billion over a six-year period for tax-exempt bonds which finance high-speed rail projects which reach a speed of at least 110 miles per hour It creates a new category of tax-credit bonds – qualified rail bonds. There are two types of qualified rail bonds: super high-speed intercity rail facility bond and rail infrastructure bond. Super high-speed rail intercity facility bonds will encourage the development of true high-speed rail. The legislation provides $10 billion for these bonds over a ten-year period. This would help finance the California proposed corridor and make needed improvements to the Northeast corridor. The legislation provides $5.4 billion over a six-year period for rail infrastructure bonds. The Federal Rail Administration has already designated ten rail corridors that these bonds could help fund, including connecting the cities of the Midwest through Chicago, connecting the cities of the Northwest, connecting the major cities within Texas and Florida, and connecting all the cities up and down the East Coast.


And this ridiculous high speed rail network comes one massive step closer to reality, as long as its passed and signed in the next congress.

trains-2.jpg

Also note the minimum max speed for these high speed bonds is 110 mph, thus making the acela obsolete. Thank god.

geckahn on
«134

Posts

  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Yay!

    moniker on
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    This would be so awesome.

    bowen on
    Ladies.
  • KazhiimKazhiim __BANNED USERS regular
    edited November 2008
    why not have it go straight from denver to salt lake? Seems like a waste of a detour

    Kazhiim on
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  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Kazhiim wrote: »
    why not have it go straight from denver to salt lake? Seems like a waste of a detour

    I think most of us were drunk that night in [chat].

    moniker on
  • geckahngeckahn Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Kazhiim wrote: »
    why not have it go straight from denver to salt lake? Seems like a waste of a detour

    the rocky mountains?

    geckahn on
  • The Raging PlatypusThe Raging Platypus Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    geckahn wrote: »
    Kerry and Spector have just introduced a high speed rail bill. Highlights:

    The High-Speed Rail for America Act of 2008 builds upon the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 which reauthorizes Amtrak and authorizes $1.5 billion over a five-year period to finance the construction and equipment for eleven high-speed rail corridors. It provides billions of dollars in both tax-exempt and tax credit bond and provides assistance for rail projects of various speeds. The bill creates the Office of High-Speed passenger rail to oversee the development of high-speed rail and provides a consistent source of funding.

    Specifically, the High-Speed Rail for America Act of 2008 provides $8 billion over a six-year period for tax-exempt bonds which finance high-speed rail projects which reach a speed of at least 110 miles per hour It creates a new category of tax-credit bonds – qualified rail bonds. There are two types of qualified rail bonds: super high-speed intercity rail facility bond and rail infrastructure bond. Super high-speed rail intercity facility bonds will encourage the development of true high-speed rail. The legislation provides $10 billion for these bonds over a ten-year period. This would help finance the California proposed corridor and make needed improvements to the Northeast corridor. The legislation provides $5.4 billion over a six-year period for rail infrastructure bonds. The Federal Rail Administration has already designated ten rail corridors that these bonds could help fund, including connecting the cities of the Midwest through Chicago, connecting the cities of the Northwest, connecting the major cities within Texas and Florida, and connecting all the cities up and down the East Coast.


    And this ridiculous high speed rail network comes one massive step closer to reality, as long as its passed and signed in the next congress.

    ?action=view&current=trains-2.jpg

    OH FUCK YES.

    The Acela railway corridor met with a lot of problems due to running on a crappy Depression-era electrical grid system, so hopefully these new corridors will be able to support high speed trains that can actually run at an average mph above 100 or so.

    I got to ride the new high speed rail in Taiwan last year, and it was glorious. Having a system like that in the US would do wonders to ease both aerial and highway congestion.

    The Raging Platypus on
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  • GooeyGooey (\/)┌¶─¶┐(\/) pinch pinchRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    A national high speed rail system would be cool, but I want a (real) commuter rail system in my city first.

    Also, what are the benefits over a plane? Cost? Emissions? Safety? I guess it is quicker than driving if you happen to be going to one of the cities it services.

    Gooey on
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  • EmanonEmanon __BANNED USERS
    edited November 2008
    110mph isn't high speed IMHO. I want 300mph!!

    Emanon on
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  • gundam470gundam470 Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    110 mph? Laaaaaaaaaame.

    edit: mad beat'd.

    gundam470 on
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  • MrMonroeMrMonroe Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Totally tits yeah.

    I wonder how much support this actually has in Congress at the moment.

    MrMonroe on
  • oldmankenoldmanken Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Why are Canadian routes on that map?

    oldmanken on
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    The Acela's a piece of crap and about as expensive as flying to boot

    nexuscrawler on
  • SheepSheep Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited November 2008
    My main problem with traveling by rail isn't the speeds at which you travel, but the amount of stops you have to make and the length of them.

    Amtrak could have engines faster than the speed of light, but if it still can't get me across 200 miles of track in less than 6 hours it's kinda pointless.

    Sheep on
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  • [Tycho?][Tycho?] Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    oldmanken wrote: »
    Why are Canadian routes on that map?

    I was wondering that as well. Would be neat though, I'm all about my trains.

    [Tycho?] on
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  • geckahngeckahn Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    oldmanken wrote: »
    Why are Canadian routes on that map?

    that map is the result of board input. Connecting toronto, mondtreal, and vancouver were considered very good ideas. With canada obviously footing that part of the bill.

    As for the speed, I'd like to see the bond requirements for speed changed to a 120 mph average. minimum.

    from wiki:
    Japan's Shinkansen trains which average more than 125 mph (201 km/h), France’s high speed TGV trains which average 173 mph (278 km/h), Germany’s which average 153 mph (246 km/h), and South Korea’s which average 125 mph (201 km/h).[14] At an average speed of 86 miles per hour (140 km/h), it is not significantly faster than the Denver Zephyr service that ran at an average speed of 77 mph (124 km/h) between Chicago and Denver in the early 1960s. The highest speed attained by Acela Express is 150 mph (241 km/h) on two sections of track in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, which total 18 miles (29 km).

    So basically it seems the problem with Acela is all in the tracks themselves, which these bonds are meant to solve.

    geckahn on
  • EmanonEmanon __BANNED USERS
    edited November 2008
    Second gripe. We should of had something like this 20 years ago!! Weak and pathetic.

    Emanon on
    Treats Animals Right!
  • Andrew_JayAndrew_Jay Registered User
    edited November 2008
    oldmanken wrote: »
    Why are Canadian routes on that map?
    There is a rider attached to the bill for our annexation.

    Actually, that's just a map people here put together.

    Andrew_Jay on
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Yeah the Acela uses lots of older tracks not meant for high speed I think

    nexuscrawler on
  • BarcardiBarcardi All the Wizards Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    airlines + their lobby and maybe even carmakers will try to shut down the Colorado connection and close off that competition within ... say... a day

    edit: probably under the fake guise of environmentalism and irony

    Barcardi on
  • EmanonEmanon __BANNED USERS
    edited November 2008

    OH FUCK YES.

    The Acela railway corridor met with a lot of problems due to running on a crappy Depression-era electrical grid system, so hopefully these new corridors will be able to support high speed trains that can actually run at an average mph above 100 or so.

    I got to ride the new high speed rail in Taiwan last year, and it was glorious. Having a system like that in the US would do wonders to ease both aerial and highway congestion.

    Must of been fun as per the Wiki link the train you rode can go 186mph. However, I cannot endorse the planned US system as it is too slow IMO. If we're to build a rail system that goes cross state it must go faster than 110mph, 200mph at a minimum.

    Emanon on
    Treats Animals Right!
  • oldmankenoldmanken Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    The Toronto - Ottawa - Montreal route definitely needs an upgrade, as it takes just as long to drive between TO and OT as it does to take the train.

    Sheep, the whole point of these routes should be for long haul trips between major cities, and excessive stops should be cut out. If the stops are reduced, this system would be viable.

    How long it take to go from New York to LA if they decided to use the fastest system possible, with minimal stops?

    oldmanken on
  • werehippywerehippy Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    MrMonroe wrote: »
    Totally tits yeah.

    I wonder how much support this actually has in Congress at the moment.

    If this gets passed at all, I wouldn't expect it to work as an independent bill but as something rolled into the stimulus package Obama wants to sign on his first day in office. That lets it capitalize on the whole "gogo infrastructure" thing Obama is pushing and it's better PR for the cost (a few billion in the stimulus package of a half trillion versus $10 billion for trains).

    werehippy on
  • TK-42-1TK-42-1 Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    You would think atleast the airlines would be for it since they could close a majority of their less than half filled minor jump flights (for instance up the 35 corridor from san antonio to dallas)

    TK-42-1 on
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  • CantidoCantido Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Do they work on super-magnets?

    Because magnetic anything is awesome.

    Cantido on
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  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Gooey wrote: »
    A national high speed rail system would be cool, but I want a (real) commuter rail system in my city first.

    Also, what are the benefits over a plane? Cost? Emissions? Safety? I guess it is quicker than driving if you happen to be going to one of the cities it services.

    It's faster, cheaper, and more environmentally sound than flying when you're traveling a distance of ~500 miles or less, IIRC. So it wouldn't be worth it to take a train from New York to LA, that's where planes are useful. However going from LA to Frisco is kind of stupid to fly. Or Boston to NYC, Chicago to...well a lot of the cities around the Great Lakes and St. Louis. There's also the added bonus of arriving downtown, rather than an hour outside of the city, and no real security concerns which is an extra hour of productive activity rather than standing around at the airport.

    Right now Amtrack is basically comparable to driving, only without the added benefit of having a car at your destination. It's somewhat cheaper thanks to gas prices and parking costs, but when it comes down to it being able to leave whenever you want generally wins out. Shifting that to highspeed gets you there faster, though, and it's still cheaper. If cities where to start making investments in intra-city mass transit --or just getting a lot more taxis-- where you don't necessarily need to have a car when you arrive in the heart of downtown, it'll truly beat the pants off of driving.

    moniker on
  • oldmankenoldmanken Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    The airlines will either fight this tooth and nail, or one of them will have the foresight to get involved in it. If this bill were to pass, how long before one of the big airlines gets into the rail industry or partners up with rail company?

    oldmanken on
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    oldmanken wrote: »
    The airlines will either fight this tooth and nail, or one of them will have the foresight to get involved in it. If this bill were to pass, how long before one of the big airlines gets into the rail industry or partners up with rail company?

    Airlines practically lose money for the short hop flights. If they could abandon those and just say 'take the train' instead of subsidizing them with the larger margins from transatlantic and transcontinental flights I don't think they'd be crying themselves to sleep. Flight Attendant unions might get angered by this, however they could probably become conductors; so it'd kind of come out in the wash.

    moniker on
  • TheMarshalTheMarshal Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I remember taking Amtrak from San Jose to Los Angeles one time. At a price that was barely below what I would have paid for tickets on Southwest Airlines, I got an 11-hour ride. Granted having dinner as we were passing the Santa Barbara coastline while the sun was setting was pretty amazing, but I'd like my 10 hours back, thank you.

    I'm all for this. Why do we not already have this system in place? Certainly this isn't the first time that this sort of thing has been proposed? What keeps it from getting off the ground?

    TheMarshal on
  • DasUberEdwardDasUberEdward Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Canton, Ohio is in the wrong spot on that map.

    Also it's about god damn time.

    DasUberEdward on
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  • TofystedethTofystedeth veni, veneri, vamoosi Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Fucking yes! Wichita to Dallas!

    Tofystedeth on
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  • enc0reenc0re Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    So what are the chances we choose rails that can run a French TGV or a Japanese Shinkansen? You know, as opposed to whatever crappy "Acela II" Amtrack cooks/cocks up.

    Seriously, do you want to ride in this:
    126+Shinkansen.JPG

    or this:
    300px-AmtrakAcela2035atNewHavenUnion.jpg

    Also, everybody needs to watch Top Gear S11E04 for relevant background on the Shinkansen.

    enc0re on
  • CantidoCantido Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Orlando to NY...nice!

    Cantido on
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  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    The Acela was a result of using outmoded track that wouldn't be able to handle a true high speed train without death and/or destruction. From the sounds of it, this bill will help pay to replace those tracks with the ones that are, you know, good. That being the case we likely can get a GE equivalent to the TGV that won't suck.

    moniker on
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    The map is not an actual representation of what future high speed rail will look like. It's what a lot of us train nerds who got together in [chat] one night wish it would look like. There are no Vanderbilt's to force this through anymore.

    moniker on
  • IntangirIntangir Registered User
    edited November 2008
    Dang I hope this goes through, though as has been pointed out it needs to be faster, but maybe we'll have to take it one step at a time. I've looked into taking the train several places, but it just isn't feasible. Trying to get to Phoenix takes nearly two days and puts in you Flagstaff anyway, and trying to get to Toronto takes me through Chicago, the complete opposite direction. Even getting to Chicago takes just as long as driving and without any of the flexibility or convenience.

    Very glad to see this is on the radar for Congress and hopefully Obama, even if this isn't yet an ideal plan.

    Intangir on
  • ZimmydoomZimmydoom Registered User
    edited November 2008
    I've ridden the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kyoto. It was about a 3.5 hour trip, very comfortable. The night bus ride back? Very much less so.

    I will do fucking backflips if this ever sees the light of day, but the truckers union is going to fight it pretty hard too.

    Zimmydoom on
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  • TheMarshalTheMarshal Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Zimmydoom wrote: »
    I've ridden the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kyoto. It was about a 3.5 hour trip, very comfortable. The night bus ride back? Very much less so.

    I will do fucking backflips if this ever sees the light of day, but the truckers union is going to fight it pretty hard too.

    Why would they fight it? Will this rail system be used for commercial purposes as well?

    TheMarshal on
  • ZimmydoomZimmydoom Registered User
    edited November 2008
    TheMarshal wrote: »
    Zimmydoom wrote: »
    I've ridden the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kyoto. It was about a 3.5 hour trip, very comfortable. The night bus ride back? Very much less so.

    I will do fucking backflips if this ever sees the light of day, but the truckers union is going to fight it pretty hard too.

    Why would they fight it? Will this rail system be used for commercial purposes as well?

    It has the potential to, and that's bad enough. The trucking industry is a massive lobby in this country with its hands in all kinds of shit. They will be leading the fight against this system, whether you hear about it or not.

    Zimmydoom on
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    Gim wrote: »
    Zimmydoom, Zimmydoom
    Flew away in a balloon
    Had sex with polar bears
    While sitting in a reclining chair
    Now there are Zim-Bear hybrids
    Running around and clawing eyelids
    Watch out, a Zim-Bear is about to have sex with yooooooou!
  • MeizMeiz Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Is that going to be a maglev?

    Meiz on
  • jefe414jefe414 "My Other Drill Hole is a Teleporter" Mechagodzilla is Best GodzillaRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Man they are going to run into a problem in New Jersey. Part of the reason the Acela is a waste of money vs. the normal train when I take it (from CT to D.C.) is because we sit on the tracks for a very long time. The tracks down there are mostly owned by and used by freight companies. The North East corridor is very dense. The amount of track work that would need to be done is insane. Also, East to West, why not have a damn 300mph train? Aside from the occasional flood or tornado, there isn't anything there to slow things down.

    jefe414 on
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