Thursday, February 26, 2009

Midweek High Speed Rail Links

My feed reader is getting bombarded with high speed rail articles. It's crazy how much attention something gets when leadership in this country gets behind it. In addition, things are heating up in California and the nuts on the Peninsula are trying to weasel out. Some of the anon comments on Robert's HSR blog are quite hilarious. I'm paraphrasing but when you say "Rich people live here and will sue so move the alignment to where the poor people are" it's time to rethink your priorities.
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An article in the San Jose Mercury News discusses the possibility of trenching. This is a better option than ending the line at San Jose and running Rapid Rail (which I assume is BART or electrified Caltrain) up the peninsula.
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One of China's High Speed Rail lines is going to start construction soon. Ahead again.
Groundwork started Thursday on a high-speed passenger rail line that will link Shanghai with Hangzhou in east China with trains that can run up to 350 km per hour.
And if only the United States worked like this...
Rail capacity in the Yangtze River Delta region has reached saturation point, said Yu. He said that during peak travel seasons, cargo transport was often suspended to make way for passenger trains.
Firefox warned me about the site so probably not a good idea to click...but if you must.
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It looks like Richard Branson wants to wring more money out of the trip between San Francisco and Los Angeles. He has me sold on Virgin America. Robert says he'd rather an agency cover it so we can pump profits back into expansion.
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Newsflash. People who are bashing high speed rail as a Disneyland Ride are out of touch with America. It would also do them some good to get out of thier congressional district, state, or Washington DC once in a while to that crazy socialist Europe part of the world. I mean, Bulgaria will have HSR soon! BULGARIA!!!

6 comments:

Mario Tanev said...

I think Bulgaria having HSR any time soon is a pipe-dream. In Bulgaria high-speed was tried in the 80s and early 90s where high-speed meant 100kph (62mph) but that turned out to be very dangerous on the existing infrastructure. So I think what is referred to in that article is a track upgrades and grade separation (akin to what Caltrain is doing). So what they mean as HSR is probably closer to Caltrain after electrification.

jon said...

jim kunstler has a famous quote about US rail... "we have a rail system that would shame the bulgarians". though i'm hopeful that will change soon.

i have no problem with virgin rail operating it several years after the full CA HSR system is completed but i agree the profits need to be thrown back into the system for expansion. and when the people of california built this project at great expense on their dime you cant then have a single private company (and foriegn too) reap all the benefits.

Cavan said...

Rather than getting out of Washington, DC, they should get out into Washington, DC. They will see a walkable city that is served by the Metro and the commuter rail systems. They will also see that those rail systems enable our region to be so walkable and have less pollution per capita in the walkable parts.

I doubt they'd make the connection between the Metro and the lower levels of pollution. I doubt they'd see the value of connecting other cities with HSR like on the east coast (Acela is barely HSR, right?).

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

Point well taken Cavan...perhaps I should have said out of their DC offices and parking lots.

Cap'n Transit said...

I found the Bulgarian project website. It says that the work they're doing (which includes track upgrades and grade separation, but also electrification) that they're doing will allow 160kph with conventional trains and 200kph with tilt trains.

Yes indeed, the Bulgarians are putting us to shame.

Cap'n Transit said...

That Mercury News article is weird. Comparing the 30-mile bored Channel Tunnel with a hypothetical six-mile cut-and-cover tunnel?

The TGV Atlantique runs through the southern suburbs of Paris for five miles along an old regional rail right-of-way that was once reserved for a highway. For most of that length it's in a cut-and-cover tunnel with a nice greenway on top. As far as I'm aware, it's been running since 1989 with no major fires.