Obama Announces High Speed

Hytec Apr 16, 2009

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  1. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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  2. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

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    I think the focus on corridors is a good approach. I sincerely hope that they keep the systems more or less compatible or at least adaptable so that if this thing spreads over the next decades we don't run into, say, voltage incompatibilities or other systemic problems.
     
  3. Benny

    Benny TrainBoard Member

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    Now if the smart people will only elevate and keep these corridors separate from other systems [freight, for exampple] we'll see some real potential!!

    300 mph might be pretty fun??
     
  4. JCater

    JCater TrainBoard Member

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    All I can say is its about time! We once had the greatest rail system in the world but tore it all out when we became car crazies. Now we regret what was lost. It is my hope that there will also be a combination of high speed rail and local commuter rail, even in rural areas. I could visit larger cities such as Albuquerque more often if I did not have to drive for three hours to get there.
     
  5. jagged ben

    jagged ben TrainBoard Member

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    This is a baby step, of course... We are 40-15 years behind other countries (Japan and France to Spain and Russia) on this.

    While I think that we will end up going "back to the future" by bringing back rail travel as a major form of transport in this country, I'm not a huge fan of high-speed rail. Rail loses its energy efficiency advantage at speeds above approximately 100mph. For this and other reasons, I don't expect to see most of these high-speed rail projects completed. Or at least, I don't expect to see trains run at those speeds on most of them. I hope I am wrong, however.
     
  6. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    After looking at that list of corridors, I can say- Sorry folks. Nothing new here. Many of these were proposed decades ago. Some already exist, but there is not enough funding, environmental arguments, et al. Don't look for anything much to really happen soon. Anyhow, the amount of funding proposed won't go as far as it seems...

    I want to known how they plan to start tying these regionals together. So the whole concept would be truly for a National benefit.

    Meanwhile, I'll keep searching. So far I have not found any geese which can lay golden eggs.

    Boxcab E50
     
  7. CSXDixieLine

    CSXDixieLine Passed Away January 27, 2013 In Memoriam

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    In recent times they seem to have found a printer over at the treasury department that is capable of doing so. Jamie
     
  8. Robbman

    Robbman TrainBoard Member

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    Any verifiable numbers/equations on that claim?
     
  9. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

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    Speaking in relation to the California project, the system is to be powered by wind turbines through out the region. Wind power is 100% natural, 0% polluting. How does speed of the train have anything to do with its energy efficiency?
     
  10. JCater

    JCater TrainBoard Member

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    Well, I would like to first say...some rail is better than no rail, like we have now. I suspect that the majority of this will be concentrated in the East, as it should be, followed by California. As for loss of efficiency etc., I can only say that I traveled at 130 MPH from London to Scotland...it was great BUT often slowed due to "track problems" or other issues. Yes, many of the corridors are already known BUT there has not been any real interest from Washington in decades...and yes it will take decades to complete, if it can last past the current administration. Clearly, though, we are BEGINNING to see America open its eyes to its oil addiction and the idea that there may be better ways to "get there" other than by driving an SUV...
     
  11. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Unfortunately now, and for a looooooooong time to come, too many Americans will see zero benefit in this regard. It will still be cheaper, and faster to head to most any destination I would choose, via POV. A quick glance at any Lower 48 US map shows this true for too many others as well.

    Boxcab E50
     
  12. CSXDixieLine

    CSXDixieLine Passed Away January 27, 2013 In Memoriam

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    Ugh...where is the "unsubscribe" link...
     
  13. OC Engineer JD

    OC Engineer JD Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Thats the only way it would work like it's suppost to. :)
     
  14. jagged ben

    jagged ben TrainBoard Member

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    You don't seem to understand what "energy efficiency" means. It has no relation to whether the source of the energy is polluting or not. It has to do with how much energy is used to travel a certain distance.

    Just as a car going 55mph gets better gas mileage than a car going 70mph, a train going 200mph will use more energy per mile than one going 100mph. (More energy is wasted and turned into heat when the train goes faster, mostly in overcoming friction between the rails and the train, and in the wheel bearings.) This is just a fact of physics and the technology.

    Thre more expensive energy becomes in the future (regardless of whether the energy comes from wind, diesel, coal, etc.) the more advantageous it will be to run trains at slower speeds rather than 200mph.
     
  15. JCater

    JCater TrainBoard Member

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    Excuse me?...what the heck does THAT mean? Look, all I am saying is that compared to ANY Eupropean country we are MILES behind. Even RUSSIA has a better rail system for passenger travel than we do. WHY? Certainly Russia and China have the same size/distance ratio we do...even more. MEXICO has better, more localized passenger service for crying out loud. We depend on our autos too much in this country. I can say that; being someone who lives in a VERY rural part of the Southwest where rail travel is a virtual impossibility without SOME incentive, some dream, some idea from either rich investors or government transformationists. Will there be obsticles? Of course! Will this thing ever be as grand as planned...not likely, but the mere fact that Washington is talking about it should give all of us hope...especially the railfans among us :D

    BUT maybe I am way off base here...YOU want to hit the unsubscribe button...maybe it would be better if I did.
     
  16. jagged ben

    jagged ben TrainBoard Member

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    (I think "verifiable" is asking too much, but if you want sources, you can use google as well as I can.)

    It has been a while since the last time I researched this, and I don't claim any special expertise.

    Here's a couple sources that bolster what I said, although I probably should have said 125 or 135 mph instead of 100. Still, 125mph is usually considered the definition of high-speed rail.

    1) Cars are more fuel-efficient than trains, claims study - Telegraph
    (The conventional train, btw, goes about 135mph.)

    US DOE figures in table 2.12 (excel file) here:
    Chapter 2 Energy - Transportation Energy Data Book

    Crunch the DOE's numbers and you find that the most efficient rail travel, which is Amtrak, is only about 23% more efficient that air travel. It stands to reason that such a margin would be erased if you raise the speed of the trains, which we all know with Amtrak is not very fast.

    Of course, if your looking for ammunition to make a counter claim, you can find that too:
    http://www.cnt.org/repository/HighSpeedRailEmissions.pdf
     
  17. Robbman

    Robbman TrainBoard Member

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    Note they were using a modern direct-injection diesel powered car for comparison (not just any car either... the 2004 Passat had the then brand new 2.0 TDI engine, a MUCH improved engine over it's predecessor... but I digress) while valid in Europe, where it's hard not to find a car with a diesel option (though you have to have a fairly modern one for it to be direct-injection)... not so valid here in the States, where less tha 5% of cars are dieel powered, only a select few of that (2007 and later) will be direct-injection diesels.

    The conventional GNER train should have been a Clas 91 and ten cars... but without stating it, we don't know.... they may well have used the diesel powered 1970s built 125s as comparison (which wouldn't surprise me, given that they state exactly what they used for the car and airplane... but failed to do so for the trainset))


    Yes and no... yes in that raising the speeds will increase the amount of time spent at max notch (I'm going to assume diesel powered trainsets here), no in that newer trainsets will undoubtably have a lower co e of drag than the current GEs and Superliners do (not to mention lighter), and no in that the newer trainesets will undoubtably have newer more efficient prime movers (i.e, GEVO-12 vs 7FDL-16)...



    As an aside, I looked at the ammunition as well... I don't consider it valid. My biggest concern is that they assumed a certain threshold for aircraft 'trip cancellations' that to me simply was not reasonable. Traffic is only goig to increase... presuming a flight would be cancelled becuase more of those people are going by train to me is not realsitic.
     
  18. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Unfortunately, this drumbeat/mantra is false. It is true only for some cars. In no way does it come close to standing for all. The only possibility for this scenario to be true, is if all vehicles were exactly the same, driven the same way and maintained to the same ideal standard. Such a condition does not exist, and probably never could be brought about.

    There are simply too many variables involved. Engine options, gear ratios such as tow packages. Vehicle weights. Wind resistance. Tire size (footprint on pavement.) Weather....

    My current vehicle at 55mph gets just over 18mpg. If I can get out and cruise between 72 and 75, mileage jumps UP to just over 23mpg. That's significant, especially when considering fuel prices of last year. You slow me down to 55 and it costs big time dollars every tank. Not to mention significant added travel time. No, it's unmodified- Completely factory stock. And it's not the only gas powered transport I have ever owned where higher speed improved mileage.

    Boxcab E50
     
  19. jagged ben

    jagged ben TrainBoard Member

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    That is correct, it is specified here.

    My biggest concern is that if you take the raw numbers on fuel or electricity consumption in that study, HSR ought to be an order of magnitude more efficient than autos or planes. Put that up against the Lancaster or DOE numbers, and someone (or all of them) must be way off.
     
  20. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

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    Forgive me, I'll clarify, on the topic of high-speed rail using the term energy efficiency, I immediately relate the comparison to other means of travel, such as cars and planes. Comparing the energy efficiency of high-speed electric rail to an airplane, speed has nothing to do with it..er.. well I'll say little to do with it. Sure there are ways of making each mode more efficient in them selves, but wind electricity is renewable energy where as jet fuel is not. I don't care how fast a train goes, it will always be more energy efficient than a plane. (please don't correct me with the point that fuel renews itself over millions of years... that basically means its not renewable. :p )
     
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