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Other Countries: Passenger Rail News

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I'll take 125 mph/138 mph here any day.  Even the Czech Republic-- a former Soviet eastern block nation has more modern trains than we do! 

 

KJP,  you're only succeeding in making me want to move...  :|

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... or, if you want to see them here now, do the next best thing: fly or hop in the car to D.C., Balto of Philly to see Acela, our version.  At a premium buck, of course.  The sad thing is that, as good as Acela is along the Eastern Seaboard, it's so absurdly expensive to ride, that it's much, much cheaper to fly from one end (Philly/D.C. to the other Boston/Providence) than taking the train... Only in America.

 

It is quite sobering -- downright depressing -- that, here in Ohio, we're begging for just regular old diesel rail to connect the 3 Cs, our 3 largest cities... What are we in the friggin' stone age here?  Don't you think if regular folk had access to this info & pics they'd revolt and toss out ever pol that ever objected to passenger rail?

 

Argh, Ohio!!!!

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As an Acela rider, the problem is the promise of all the "features" but Amtrak cannot deliver them.

 

Trains frequently leave NYP late, the tunnel between NYP and NJP are absolutely the worst, then between NYP and PHL-30 St., the trains cannot run at top speed because of "congestion", the acela is barely faster then the metroliner, by 10/15 minutes

 

Right after 9-11 Amtrak was competitive because of all the bandaid security at airports.

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^the problems you mention are the result of a lack of adequate capital investment in the infrastucture.  Amtrak has sure made some dumb moves during its lifetime, but the problem of a general lack of investment in rail infrastructure is the biggest culprit.

 

 

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Trains frequently leave NYP late, the tunnel between NYP and NJP are absolutely the worst, then between NYP and PHL-30 St., the trains cannot run at top speed because of "congestion", the acela is barely faster then the metroliner, by 10/15 minutes

 

Congestion is a factor in some places. But over the entire section from Washington DC to New Haven, the problem that keeps the Acela to 135 mph and often lower is the condition of the catenary system. The structures supporting the overhead wires are more than 70 years old and need replacement to allow speeds in excess of 135 mph.

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Free Flow: Planned Europe-African rail link underlines U.S. shortcomings

By Don Phillips

 

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

WASHINGTON

 

A mere 15 kilometers can be a frustrating distance when deep ocean water separates the two shores and many thousands of people want to travel between them.

 

Ferries are the obvious solution, but sometimes the number of people who want to travel leaves the ferry a poor method of transport. For instance, Continental Europe and England were connected by the $20 billion Channel Tunnel, speeding and vastly increasing travel across the English Channel.

 

Now a high-speed rail line connecting Europe and Africa that has been on the drawing boards for a quarter of a century is finally being ushered along.

 

...........

http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/01/31/business/transcol01.php

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Now Vietnam?  And what does Bush propose in his budget?  $900 million, including $100 million for a state capital grant program-- absolute crumbs!  and no money for the next generation high speed rail program.

We're on our way to becoming a 3rd rate nation...

 

http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSHAN159060

Vietnam to build high-speed rail with Japan aid

06 Feb 2007 10:08:30 GMT

Source: Reuters

Printable view | Email this article | RSS [-] Text [+]

 

HANOI, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Vietnam will build a high speed railway with aid

from Japan at an estimated cost of $33 billion, a project that would cut travel

time by two-thirds between Hanoi in the north and southern Ho Chi Minh City,

the government said. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung gave approval to

state-run Vietnam Railways to invest in the 1,630-km (1,010 miles) track, a

statement on the government's Web site (www.vietnam.gov.vn) late on

Monday said...

 

also archived here:  http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/HAN159060.htm

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Japan is the single biggest country donor to Vietnam. It has pledged $890

million in aid for the country this year, or 6.5 percent higher than the 2006

level of $835.6 million.

 

I find it quite ridiculous that Japan is willing to give Vietnam almost the same amount of money that Bush and co want to give for their own country.

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TGV breaks its own, 17-year-old record -- 553 km/h is 345.6 mph! The fastest train speed in the U.S. was 183.85 mph -- a Budd RDC car retrofitted with jet engines hit the speed in western Ohio. That record speed for us is the regular cruising speed for high-speed trains in Europe and the Pacific Rim.

_________________

 

February 14, 2007 05:54 AM

 

LGV Est: world record exploded

 

------------------

 

The LGV Est, that will connect Paris to Strasbourg in the future, broke the former record of 515,3 km/h establied in 1990. With a new record established this morning *553 km/h*, SNCF and Alstom take advantage of such advertising for their companies but also give a rendez-vous : "See you in april !" SNCF and Alstom have the project to go to 570 km/h with their new technologies. Fans of high speed trains already trust that to go over 600 km/h is possible considering this morning record but president of Alstom temperates "we will not put in danger people working on our project, we will go as far as the technology can." Story to follow in next months.

 

Here's some photos of the new line on which this speed record was reached:

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=441135

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Firms Ride High on China's Huge Rail Upgrade

By BRUCE STANLEY

February 16, 2007;

Wall Street Journal On-Line

wsj.com

 

After years of putting up with a patchy, overburdened rail network, China is suddenly shoveling billions of dollars into new tracks and high-speed trains. Beijing has embarked on a five-year plan through 2010 that calls for a near quadrupling of investment to modernize the country's railways, which it sees as a foundation of a prosperous economy.

 

.......

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We are missing out on supplying this huge market because we let our railcar industry shrink and die, along with rail industry as a whole. Pullman, Budd, American car and Foundry...all gone. We were too busy building highways to notice or care. Foreign companies supply our needs now.

 

Still, this is impressive! Where can I get a map of the Chinese system?

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February 25, 2007

In Transit  (NY Times)

Travel by Rail in Europe Is Set to Get Even Faster

By JENNIFER CONLIN

 

European rail companies are cutting the time it takes to get from one city to the next. Thanks to a series of new international fast rail projects, taking a train from Edinburgh to, say, Moscow may no longer b

 

http://travel.nytimes.com/2007/02/25/travel/25transtrain.html?pagewanted=print

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The investments elsewhere continue along without us. BTW...I'm really liking the BBC as a hard news source. They provide a great global perspective...much better than anything I've found in this country.

 

France to open fastest rail link

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6450973.stm

 

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/42681000/jpg/_42681359_train_afp203bo.jpg

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/42684000/gif/_42684467_france_tgv_east2_map203.gif

 

France is to inaugurate its fastest rail link to date that will see trains travelling at 320km/h (200mph).

The LGV-Est line will connect Paris with the eastern city of Strasbourg, cutting travel time from the current four hours to two hours, 20 minutes.

 

Passengers travelling further east to other EU states will also benefit after the launch of the link on 10 June.

 

Thursday's event will be marked with a grand light show staged along the 300km (185-mile) railway line.

 

......

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The investments elsewhere continue along without us. 

 

They certainly do.  Passenger rail is the most obvious place where Europe has done a far better job than the US.  However, the US has a growing infrastructure crisis across ALL forms of infrastructure, not just rail.  Our electric grid, water lines (Cleveland still has some wooden water pipes left in its water system, believe it or not), sewer lines, and of course roads and bridges. 

 

We've long boasted our lower tax burden than the rest of the industrialized world, but it came at the price of neglected infrastructure.  The chickens are coming home to roost now.  I'm not saying our taxes need to be as high as Europe's, I'm just saying that we haven't done a very good job of considering the long term consequences of deferred maintenance of our infrastructure.  We should have been doing a better job of building it to last, keeping it in good condition, etc.  It's either pay now or pay more later.  We chose to pay more later.

 

 

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SPIEGEL ONLINE - March 16, 2007, 12:02 PM

URL: http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,472117,00.html

 

TRAIN À GRANDE VITESSE

France Christens High-Speed Rail Link

 

The country that revolutionized European rail travel a quarter-century ago celebrated this week the construction of tracks that will bring Paris closer to Germany and Eastern Europe. The new Paris-Strasbourg TGV line is the fastest in France.

 

France on Thursday night christened a new high-speed rail line between Paris and the eastern part of the country that will also reduce travel times between Germany and the French capital. About 100 kilometers of the line are still under construction, but that didn't stop the French from throwing a dazzling spectacle with the lengthiest display of fireworks the world has yet seen.

 

.......

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"French President Jacques Chirac described the €4 billion ($5.3 billion) project as a "major industrial success... The French line is part of a European Union plan to create a Europe-wide high-speed rail network with 12,600 kilometers of track linking the continent's most-important cities. "

 

You get the rail system you're willing to pay for.  That's for sure.

 

 

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Just purchased all the train tickets for Europe...

 

York to London (GNER - 125 mph slow by European standards)

London to Brussells (Eurostar)

Brussells to Cologne (ICE)

Cologne to Frankfurt (old route via the Rhine - takes 2 hours, 140 miles)

Frankfurt to Cologne (new HSR route - takes 71 minutes, 140 miles)

Cologne to Brussells (ICE)

Brussells to Paris (Thalys)

 

Fly back to USA the next day.  :cry:

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I was just in Europe last week, the trains were amazing there.  we took a high speed train from Mannheim to Frankfurt in under a half hour, it was so smooth and fast.

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TGV breaks train speed record

POSTED: 7:59 a.m. EDT, April 3, 2007

CNN.com

 

PARIS, France (AP) -- France broke the world speed record on rails Tuesday with a souped-up fast train, a feat to showcase the technology it is trying to sell to overseas markets including China.

 

A high-speed French train named the V-150, equipped with a modified engine and wheels broke the world speed record today by traveling more than 350 MPH :clap:.

 

The new record is expected to gild France's image in the expanding market for high-speed technology as countries like China turn to bullet trains.

 

.........

 

http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/europe/04/03/TGVspeedrecord.ap/index.html

 

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Amazing.  Meanwhile, the United States is ... well, you know... btw, at what ground speed do humans get sick?  Can trains like V-150 or Maglev counteract the centrifugal forces on the body their speed inflicts?

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btw, at what ground speed do humans get sick?  Can trains like V-150 or Maglev counteract the centrifugal forces on the body their speed inflicts?

 

Getting sick is a result of the acceleration (g-forces) more than the speed.  If a train took long enough to get up to speed, a passenger wouldn't even know they were traveling 350mph. Once the train is moving at a constant 350mph, it would feel like they're standing on stationary ground.

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Thought you might be interested in this graphic from today's issue of the Metro newspaper.  It shows France in purple, and the heavy line warps the borders to reflect distance/travel time by TGV.  All distances are relative to Paris.  Oh, and sorry about the quality... I don't have a scanner, so I had to take a picture and upload it.

 

445064636_094761785a.jpg?v=0

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Big deal. I got to see the Lake Shore Limited go by this morning, also doing 50 mph!! awesome.gif

 

Oh, wait, the TGV did 350 mph? Er, never mind...

                                                                            eek3.gif

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Yeah....imagine going from Cleveland to Chicago in about and hour.  Or, Cleveland to Cincy in about 45 minutes.

 

NBC News' Brian Williams narrated a story on the TGV speed run on tonight's Nightly News and made the observation (great insight into the obvious) "There's nothing like this on U.S. rails."  I e-mailed his on-line blog to suggest that he missed the opportunity to explore the question: Why not?

 

This story has been covered by NBC, CBS, CNN and NPR..... and no one bothered to take up this question.

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Yeah....imagine going from Cleveland to Chicago in about and hour.  Or, Cleveland to Cincy in about 45 minutes.

 

NBC News' Brian Williams narrated a story on the TGV speed run on tonight's Nightly News and made the observation (great insight into the obvious) "There's nothing like this on U.S. rails."  I e-mailed his on-line blog to suggest that he missed the opportunity to explore the question: Why not?

 

This story has been covered by NBC, CBS, CNN and NPR..... and no one bothered to take up this question.

 

It's very frustrating but we constantly run into the ideology wall here: as ridiculous as it sounds, too many people in this country think such trains are pseudo socialist as they potentially empower too many avg Joe's who don't own cars and, hence, ultimately won't travel in certain living/social circles w/o such state-sponsored mobility -- yeah, I know that's simplistic, but you get my drift.  That "freedom vs. social engineering" conundrum continues to dash hopes for such projects here -- don't let anyone tell you that it's simply b/c of a lack of density, abundance of fuel (well, we now know that's a lie), etc...

 

... I sense Brian Williams is a bit to the right of center (I could be wrong, but...) so perhaps he wouldn't be the one to pose such hard questions but, at the very least, he covered the TGV story... maybe there's a slim ray of hope.

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^as if our publicly owned and funded interstate highway system and our system of zoning codes that make anything but auto-centric development illegal and have spread through all 50 states like cancer isn't social engineering...

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^as if our publicly owned and funded interstate highway system and our system of zoning codes that make anything but auto-centric development illegal and have spread through all 50 states like cancer isn't social engineering...

 

"From each taxpayer according to his ability to pay. To each automobile according to its needs"

 

Apologies to Karl Marx.... :-P

 

Heard that one while in Chicago...priceless.

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Yeah....imagine going from Cleveland to Chicago in about and hour.

 

My day yesterday:

 

Arrived at Hopkins at 6:30 AM for 7:25 AM flight to Chicago (ORD)

Plane left gate on time and parked on apron for ~50 minutes (ATC ground stop for ORD)

After about 90 minutes in the air, landed at DTW (Detroit) after being diverted from ORD

Caught the first flight back to CLE from DTW, arrived at 2:30 PM

 

Spent 8 hours of my life in planes and airports, missed my Chicago meeting, got very little work done, have to do it all again some other day...

 

Definitely something wrong with this picture!!!

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Rx Dislcaimer: 

 

Caution: Increased development and use of passnger rail and/or high-speed passenger rail may result in a feeling of euphoria over sudden influx of cash into your personal budget from having the choice to decrease use or eliminate one or more family cars.  Those still needing or wanting to use motor vehciles may also experience a sudden sensation of more room on the highways (Roadus Claustrophobus) and a few less reasons for road rage. Additonally, those suffering from asthmatic or other breathing-associated problems may find themselves less distressed upon breathing actually cleaner air. If you would like to experience any or all of these feelings, please refer to the above posting.

 

:-D :-) :clap:

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