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Topic: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: Vincewy
Posted 2006-02-07 08:39:41 and read 8171 times.

(If this is too OT, please move to unrelated)

In the past few years, we have seen quite a few countries interested in building High Speed Rail lines, connecting major cities,besides aviation, I'm also railroad fanatics, and am very excited about many countries introducing high speed rail (HSR) to help alleviate congested roads, airports, and air space.

It may seem like HSR will be in direct competition with airlines, in the long terms, however, I think airlines and railroads can complement each other by connecting to cities not served with HSR by air, imagine if UK has good HSR network that can connect people from LHR to Wales, Midland, and even up to Scotland, I know there's Eurostar, but many more slots can free up if people can connect with HSR.

More countries are planning HSR (Taiwan is almost done and will open later this year), like Russia (Moscow-St Petersburg), Turkey (Istanbul-Ankara), Mexico (D.F.-Leon-Guadalajara), China (massive network proposed), I'm sure many more will be ready to adopt such transport.

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: Centrair
Posted 2006-02-07 09:52:43 and read 8099 times.

Well in Japan HSR has created headaches for airlines.

If you are in Tokyo and need to do business in Nagoya or Osaka, your best bet is to take the Shinkansen. You can leave from Tokyo or Shinagawa and be in central Nagoya in just about an hour and central Osaka in about 1.5 hours with no security checks, no baggage checks and no hassles.

Tokyo has two airports NRT and HND. NRT is one hour north of central Tokyo and HND is about 20 min from Shinjuku ward in Tokyo. You can fly from HND to ITM in Osaka but you can't get from Tokyo to Nagoya by plane. You could until the Shinkansen line was built in the 1960s.

I would take a plane for flights from NGO to FUK as they end up being similar in price to the shinkansen but the time is shortened.

There is a point where HSR has limits and air is needed.

Japan is currently developing a maglev that will go from Tokyo to Osaka and replace the current Tokaido Shinkansen up to that point. It would reduce the time traveled from Tokyo to Nagoya from one hour to 30 minutes and Tokyo to Osaka to 1 hour. (MLX01 Maglev Test vehicle homepage)

Note: There are flights from NGO to NRT, but they are for international connections only. They leave from NGO's international wing.

Did the TGV and the ICE change the landscape of domestic air travel in France and Germany?

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: DTManiac
Posted 2006-02-07 10:28:41 and read 8060 times.

Quoting Centrair (Reply 1):
Did the TGV and the ICE change the landscape of domestic air travel in France and Germany?

Well, with regard to the travel time the ICE is certainly an alternative between some city pairs since Germany isnt that big. Just have a look at the new track which was built between Cologne and Frankfurt that reduced the travel time to something under one hour.

However, from my experience the trains can hardly compete in terms of pricing. For example, a friend of mine who is in Berlin is going to visit me this weekend. I looked for the cheapest option and it was Lufthansa (140€) compared to the train which cost like 180€ or so.

You probably can get a good bargain if you book well in advance, but with all the low cost carriers around and Lufthansa trying to respond with their 99€ r/t fares it is often cheaper to take the plane.

One important reason might be "Eco-Tax" on electricity and other kinds of energy the "Bahn" (German Railway) has to pay. From what I know jet fuel is not taxed in that way (however, I dont know the reason) what gives the airlines advantages.

Regards

Frederik

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: Indy
Posted 2006-02-07 10:40:27 and read 8033 times.

Quoting DTManiac (Reply 2):
Just have a look at the new track which was built between Cologne and Frankfurt that reduced the travel time to something under one hour.

Its nice. I would take the ICE from FRA to Wuppertal & back when I go there. Before the new track was built it was the slow route along the river and it would take nearly 3 hours. 2hr 45 min I think. Its still a very nice ride. Much more relaxing and comfortable than air travel.

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: Vunz
Posted 2006-02-07 10:43:32 and read 8033 times.

After the TGV line from Paris to Brussels was completed AF ceased operations from CDG to BRU. It takes 75 minutes from Paris Nord to Brussels Midi and there's simply no way an airline can compete on that route, including transfer, security and other hassles.

The TGV line from Amsterdam to Paris is due to open next year, but since AF and KL are so well interconnected in their network and the distance is greater flying will probably stay the easiest way.

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: MBJ2000
Posted 2006-02-07 10:45:50 and read 8017 times.

The biggest problem of the ICE in Germany is in my oppinion that it cannot be even called high speed train, MUC - FRA is so lame and such a shame, those average speeds were reached in UK some 150 years ago.

With such an alternative flying can only win Sad

... I guess the TGV is a totally different beast.

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: DTManiac
Posted 2006-02-07 10:54:42 and read 8001 times.

Quoting Indy (Reply 3):
Before the new track was built it was the slow route along the river and it would take nearly 3 hours.

Yes. That was a pain in the a**. I had take the train through the Rhine valley every week when I was doing army services. The interesting thing was that I took several kinds of trains (InterCityExpress, InterCity, InterRegio) and they all took almost the same time to Dusseldorf since the Rhine valley track is speed restricted.

In this context there is another thing to add. Although the ICE can go quite fast weird routings seem to kill the time advantage. I went from Dortmund to Munich on the ICE a few years ago and it took me more than six hours. The train went trough Düsseldorf, Cologne (the slow Rhine valley again), Stuttgart and so on. This is definitely not the most direct routing and six hours is well possible by car (A45 and A3). I would prefer the plane the next time.

Frederik

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: A319114
Posted 2006-02-07 11:04:42 and read 7991 times.

Quoting Vunz (Reply 4):

The TGV line from Amsterdam to Paris is due to open next year, but since AF and KL are so well interconnected in their network and the distance is greater flying will probably stay the easiest way.

KLM is actually involved with the exploitation of the HSL (High speed line) between Amsterdam and Paris, so I guess at least some flights between AMS and CDG will be replaced by trains.

Also, even though the line itself may open next year, the trains were ordered to late so we'll have to wait even longer untill we can catch the high speed train to Paris.

BTW, Centrair, that Maglev test train looks incredibly cool!

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: Chase
Posted 2006-02-07 16:05:28 and read 7856 times.

A train has to get pax from point A to point B. An airplane has to get pax from point A to point B, and lift them 5 miles into the sky. Consequently I believe an airplane will always be less efficient economically than a train. Okay, today trains have to deal with more friction, but that will cease to be the case with more widespread adoption of maglev.
Since train travel generally has more lax security and "arrive X minutes before departure" requirements, I think that on routes shorter than 500 miles or so trains will gradually replace airplanes, especially as trains get faster. For a while. Then, the security and advance arrival requirements of train travel will creep up as it becomes more popular, to the point where these requirements are the same at the train station as they are at the airport.
I would love to see a highspeed train set up to run IND-MDW-ORD-MKE, with these stations set up inside the secure area of the airports, and no other stops on the line.
Just my $0.02.

[Edited 2006-02-07 16:06:27]

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: Flyibaby
Posted 2006-02-07 16:46:13 and read 7784 times.

The problem in the US is no one wants to pay for it, in addition to the fact that no one wants to keep their car parked and take public transportation to work, ect. rather than drive. Personally I would rather front the money now to explore a proposed "highway" of HSR tracks and not worry about widening anymore interstates for cars.

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: Flying Belgian
Posted 2006-02-07 16:54:31 and read 7748 times.

My bet is that the plane will always be fatser than the train on the AMS-CDG run.
That said, the Thalys has placed BRU in a tricky position and it will hinder BRU's future the next years. The developpement plans in North-West Europe is very promising and a company like Thaly is increasing its profit and load factor every year.

FB.

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: Skymonster
Posted 2006-02-07 16:58:24 and read 7730 times.

Eurostar has 71% of the combined rail/air business between London and Paris, and something like 63% of the combined rail/air business between London and Brussels. I think that says a lot about high-speed rail travel, when it is finally put into place.

Andy

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: Dartland
Posted 2006-02-07 17:07:36 and read 7712 times.

The US forray into high speed trains has been a disaster. The Acela project for the northeast corrider was a great idea. It is prime territory for high speed trains:
1) Short distances
2) HEAVY air traffic and congestion leading to lots of delays
3) HEAVY people traffic between cities, including much business travel

So what happened? Amtrak and the Canadian/French consortium designed Acela. FANTASTIC train from personal comfort perspective -- just not fast! Since the distances are fairly close, the trains still leave full every weekday, but they've been plagued with problems and literally only shave 10-30 min off travel times from the Metroliner, primarily beceause of fewer stops!

Is it a success? From one perspective, yes. It certainly moves a lot of people, but time-wise it still takes longer than flying assuming no delays, even given transport time to the airport. Given its cost is roughly equiavelent to the shuttles, most business travelers still opt to fly. From a congestion standpoint, it hasn't done much since DL and US still have hourly shuttles to connect the 3-cities -- but one could argue things would be worse w/o the Acela.

Anyways, that's my perspective. I personally love the train, but if it were a legitimate high speed train with higher frequency, I'm sure you'd fine less demand for the shuttles and the potential to ease air congestion (which while I hate to see DL or US loose a shuttle, the net benefit to all airports involved and all airlines flying from those airports due to that much less congestion can't be a bad thing).

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: Congaboy
Posted 2006-02-07 17:44:01 and read 7647 times.

Quoting Dartland (Reply 12):
Is it a success? From one perspective, yes. It certainly moves a lot of people, but time-wise it still takes longer than flying assuming no delays, even given transport time to the airport.

No delays means flying in perfect conditions on Saturday morning. For all its faults, as Dartland points out, taking Amtrak still works better IMHO on high density city pairs within 300 miles. And I agree with Chase, it would be great to see the Amtrak MetroLiner/Acela model in markets like MKE-CHI-IND, CLT-ATL-CHA-BNA, maybe even HOU-DAL-OKC where you could open the train up through low-density areas.

I for one am really tired of the whole business travel ritual when flying short sectors...the stress factor is worth alot, and increasing in value as fuel prices rise, lines get longer, and service from airlines gets even worse.

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: Boeing7E7
Posted 2006-02-07 17:46:08 and read 7647 times.

Personally, I think the US needs to get its head out of the sand and start connecting airports within 100-250 miles of eachother where it can save time vs. air travel - it won't work everywhere though. The airport capacity benefit is huge from this in high density short hop routes (BOS-JFK, PHL-PIT, MCI-STL, ORD-MKE, SAN-LAX, LAX-LAS, PHX-LAS, DFW-AUS, AUS-IAH, SEA-PDX, MSP-ORD etc...). Will people use it? Only if it's fast enough. The technology for interline is already there. In this day and age it doesn't have to be rail either. Othe uses could be across wide states with an airport at each end - i.e... Rapid City and Sioux Falls with air service to both those airport eliminating the need for essential air service, you could cross that flat as a pancake span with Maglev in about an hour.

[Edited 2006-02-07 17:50:52]

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: Apodino
Posted 2006-02-07 17:56:10 and read 7615 times.

Quoting Boeing7E7 (Reply 14):
Personally, I think the US needs to get its head out of the sand and start connecting airports within 100-250 miles of eachother where it can save time vs. air travel - it won't work everywhere though. The airport capacity benefit is huge from this in high density short hop routes (BOS-JFK, PHL-PIT, MCI-STL, ORD-MKE, SAN-LAX, LAX-LAS, PHX-LAS, DFW-AUS, AUS-IAH, SEA-PDX, MSP-ORD etc...). Will people use it? Only if it's fast enough. The technology for interline is already there. In this day and age it doesn't have to be rail either. Othe uses could be across wide states with an airport at each end - i.e... Rapid City and Sioux Falls with air service to both those airport eliminating the need for essential air service, you could cross that flat as a pancake span with Maglev in about an hour.

I totally agree and couldn't have said it better myself. BOS-NYC and NYC-DCA are covered very well by the Acela. There has been a bill in congress for years that has enjoyed wide veto proof bipartisan support that should be passed, but for some reason it never gets brought up in committee despite the wide support to start High Speed rail investing. This is one area where Europe and Japan have the upper hand on use, and since most of these trains would be powered off Electricity, Oil consumption would drop as a result. I don't see any negatives outside of startup costs.

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: FATFlyer
Posted 2006-02-07 18:16:54 and read 7573 times.

For those who may not be aware, here is the California government agency that is currently working on High Speed Rail plans in the state. Route selection is nearing completion, connecting in the first phase Los Angeles with San Francisco. The biggest remaining problem will be getting voter approval for bond sales to build the system.
http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/

For Los Angeles to Las Vegas a different group is working on a maglev system. The Federal govenment is currently working on environmental studies.
http://www.maglev-train.com/home.asp

Both routes being studied would serve corridors that currently see high numbers of short flights and auto traffic.

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: N1120A
Posted 2006-02-07 18:19:25 and read 7558 times.

Quoting Dartland (Reply 12):
literally only shave 10-30 min off travel times from the Metroliner, primarily beceause of fewer stops!

Actually, the Metroliner and Acela don't run together. The slower trains are the Regionals, the Metroliner were the old limited/express services before the Acela entered the market and also took over for the Acela when they had the brake trouble. The main problems with the speed of the lines up there is the fact that the tracks are ultra curved and the FRA won't allow Amtrak to run the Acelas at their maximum capabilities. It certainly isn't the trains, because while they are heavier than the TGVs they are based on, they still have the ability to do around 170 mph

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: Oryx
Posted 2006-02-07 18:26:30 and read 7534 times.

Quoting MBJ2000 (Reply 5):
The biggest problem of the ICE in Germany is in my oppinion that it cannot be even called high speed train, MUC - FRA is so lame and such a shame, those average speeds were reached in UK some 150 years ago.



Quoting MBJ2000 (Reply 5):
... I guess the TGV is a totally different beast.

The railway system in Germany has three heavy disadvantages compared to France:

1. A very dispersed population. Meaning you need to buld something like 3000km of tracks to reach only the biggest cities. In France with the Line from CDG to Lyon you have already covvered a big part of the market.

2. The terrain in the sothern two thirds of germany is not easy at all. It costs something like 20 million euro to build on kilometre of track in the south compared to 10 million in the north. The french system is a lot less complicated partly due to easier terrain (nearly no tunnels etc.)

3. No central government. In France it was for a long time sufficient that the parliament in Paris desided about new railroads. In Germany you have 16 Laender who want to take part in the discussion. This leads to very long head times, unsystematic construction of lines and unnecessary stops. On the Line from Cologne to FRA the land of Hessian made Berlin pay for a sidelink to Wiesbaden and the land of Rheinland Pfalz is responsible for two an additional stop only 15 km from the previos station.

We have a construction program running until 2015 (officially). Avverages will be a lot better than. Already for the soccer champianship we will se a lot of improvement like Munich -- Nuremberg or Berlin -- Leipzig in 1 hour 15 minutes and MUC -- FRA in 3 hours 15 minutes.

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: Lightsaber
Posted 2006-02-07 18:56:16 and read 7483 times.

I'm a big fan of intermodal transportation. In other words, do like at FRA where the ICE connects to the airport. Or a big HND style bus terminal. And soon LHR will have high speed through the chunnel. Not to mention its great when local buses and subway feed an airport as part of a well designed system. (Hint LAX! hint!) The more connections, the more usefull transportation is.

Quoting Chase (Reply 8):
onsequently I believe an airplane will always be less efficient economically than a train.

Less fuel efficient yes. Economical? Depends on what all that land the track is sitting on could have been used for. While moving freight by train is much more economical than a truck, the Alemeda cooridor here in Los Anglese isn't being fully utilized due to the effectiveness of trucking. There is always that trade off. I'd like to see more high speed here in the US and loved the ICE when I visited Germany. But...

Quoting Dartland (Reply 12):
So what happened? Amtrak and the Canadian/French consortium designed Acela. FANTASTIC train from personal comfort perspective -- just not fast! Since the distances are fairly close, the trains still leave full every weekday, but they've been plagued with problems and literally only shave 10-30 min off travel times from the Metroliner, primarily beceause of fewer stops!

That is the problem with US high speed train. Acela was designed to go a little faster on existing tracks. In Europe, many of the tracks are dedicated (certainly on the more successfull runs).

There are only a few runs in the US where a train is economical due to the large distances. (Recall, I live in California, where a city 120 miles away is almost considered a suburb of the one I live/work in.) BOS-NYC-WashingtonDC (with stops in Phil and Baltimore?) is the obvious one. (Better track is required. Better=straight off grade track) LAX-ONT-Ivanpah-LAS is potentially another. There is a dream of a SAN-union statioin (Los angeles)-San Jose-San Fran. But oh... getting the track is going to cost Billions! And politics are going to add diversions to Lancaster, Fresno, etc. Are there a few other runs? Yes. But I just don't see Florida-Northeast via HST. That would be an all day or overnight run.

Quoting Skymonster (Reply 11):
Eurostar has 71% of the combined rail/air business between London and Paris, and something like 63% of the combined rail/air business between London and Brussels. I think that says a lot about high-speed rail travel, when it is finally put into place.

Really? Without the final high speed legs to London yet completed? Wow! I'd like to find out more, do you have a link Skymonster? I'm facinated by how they'll increase the chunnel traffic via better controls and feeder track.  Smile While Eurotunnel the corporation has financial issues, the Chunnel is obviously paying off in major economic advances for both England and France.

Now when will LHR get its new runway?  duck 

Personally, the US right now just needs better subway systems for their cities. E.g., the 2nd ave subway in NYC, Full Wilshire line in LA (to airport, w/green line), DC subway to IAD, etc.

Lightsaber

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: N1120A
Posted 2006-02-07 19:13:33 and read 7442 times.

Quoting Oryx (Reply 18):
1. A very dispersed population. Meaning you need to buld something like 3000km of tracks to reach only the biggest cities. In France with the Line from CDG to Lyon you have already covvered a big part of the market.

Actually, France is a much larger country area wise, but has 14 million fewer people. I mean, Paris-Nice is as long as Flensburg-Munich and you still have much more of France to the North (not to mention that France is significantly wider). Beyond that, big cities in Germany are often located on straight lines from other big cities, while they are in different corners and locations in France. I actually think that one of the big problems is that Germany has less space to put new tracks into its already impressive rail infrastructure.

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: Airbazar
Posted 2006-02-07 19:19:50 and read 7414 times.

Quoting Dartland (Reply 12):
So what happened? Amtrak and the Canadian/French consortium designed Acela. FANTASTIC train from personal comfort perspective -- just not fast! Since the distances are fairly close, the trains still leave full every weekday, but they've been plagued with problems and literally only shave 10-30 min off travel times from the Metroliner, primarily beceause of fewer stops!

The "failure" of the Acela has nothing to do with the trains themselves. The problem was that everyone wanted a piece of benefits but no one wanted to pay for it. Amtrak certainly wanted faster trains but didn't have the money. The government didn't want to give the money. And the local authorities, although all want the train to stop in their town along the way, none would let the train travel at it's designed high speed though their town. So we ended up with an underfunded rail project with too many stops and not enough speed.

The pathetic thing is that it's still the best thing we have in the US and as proof of it's potential, it has been stealing market share in the BOS-NYC corridor, from airlines since the day of its inception.

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: FATFlyer
Posted 2006-02-07 19:40:52 and read 7362 times.

Quoting Lightsaber (Reply 19):
And politics are going to add diversions to Lancaster, Fresno, etc.

Diversions to Fresno? Sorry I'll disgree, Fresno is not a diversion.

Adding Lancaster/Palmdale was partially a political move to get a stop caused by getting a route decision not to tunnel directly under the Grapevine and Tejon Pass.

In fact the early reports said more passengers would use the service if it used the I-5/Grapevine route vs. Lancaster. But the costs of tunneling in the Grapevine became a reason to shift toward Lancaster.

But Fresno is a different story. In fact from the earliest planning, the HSR studies have said the highest passenger revenue would come from LA to SF riders, with the 2nd highest revenues from LA/SF to Central Valley passengers, followed by San Diego to LA, then Sacramento to LA.

If we look at it, there are 3 basic routes that make sense in California between LA and SF.

The coastal route similiar to the Highway 101. But the difficulty of creating long, flat, straight stretches through the Coast Range allowing high speeds eliminate that route quickly. Additionally, limited population centers along that alignment.

The Central Valley along the I-5 alignment. Long flat stretches of vacant land available for high speed but no large population centers along the route. So that would result in billions being spent for something serving only the Southern California to Bay Area passengers.

The Central Valley along the Highway 99 corridor. Long, flat stretches available allowing high speeds. Additionally several population centers of approx 1 million people each could also be served, reducing auto traffic which would cut smog and decrease the money needed to be spent on highways and airports in California's fastest growing region.

The mileage difference in the 2 Central Valley alignments is small, adding only minutes. But the additional passenger counts provide a gain that is considered worth it.

The real political battle seems to the route into the Bay Area. One group wants to enter from the south through San Jose then to the rest of the region. The other wants to enter through the East Bay with splits to other parts of the Bay Area.

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: Vs25
Posted 2006-02-07 19:55:15 and read 7318 times.

From a UK perspective we have a lot to gain from HSR, especially the maglevs. We're a small country and most domestic flights are under an hour. With a maglev going from London to Brimingham, then Manchester, then crossing over to Leeds, Middlesbrough, Newcastle and then up to Edinburgh and back over to Glasgow. A strange route, but one that connects the majority of the big UK cities together.

Manchester would become 30 minutes from London, which puts it on the same time as Kingston (where I live) in South West London. Manchester would become commutable to London. Newcastle would be 1.5 hours instead of 3 hours. Probably not good for house prices up north, but it would do wonders for the traffic on our congested roads and the economy.

Plans I've seen would also connect the track into LHR and it would stop at BHX and MAN along the way. You could get on a train in Leeds and be in LHR in an hour. Flights between LHR and MAN would cease to exist, and it would probably kill MME and NCL to LHR too. EDI and GLA would still be quicker by plane, but not by much when you add in the usual airport times.

I'm all for it. I know it would cost a fortune and we Brits aren't known for our "grand projets". It would take some act of God or major act of parliament to put and that's before we even think about the NIMBYs throughout the whole country. 30 counties and millions of people within a couple of miles of the track. That's a lot of NIMBYs to complain.

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: Boeing7E7
Posted 2006-02-07 20:41:08 and read 7264 times.

Quoting FATFlyer (Reply 16):
For those who may not be aware, here is the California government agency that is currently working on High Speed Rail plans in the state. Route selection is nearing completion, connecting in the first phase Los Angeles with San Francisco. The biggest remaining problem will be getting voter approval for bond sales to build the system.

Screw Rail...That's the Union favorite. Operators with endless compensation and a small army to keep the rails in good condition. Installation cost is on par with Maglev because they would need multiple new straight sections that don't exist today in California.

This is the answer...

Quoting FATFlyer (Reply 16):
For Los Angeles to Las Vegas a different group is working on a maglev system. The Federal govenment is currently working on environmental studies.

High installation cost, but only about 10-15% more than rail and low O&M cost. No vehicle operators and a staff of 20 for every 100 miles. Rails is about 40 per 100. Maglev also uses the highway right of way meaning you don't have to fight with the rail companies. None of this stop every 5 miles crap either. Connect airports, or don't bother with it. You lose any potential gains if you stop more than once in a 100 mile segment.

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: LTBEWR
Posted 2006-02-07 21:27:36 and read 7214 times.

I have traveled by rail in Europe a number of times, including the French TGV, and loved it. Rail is a lot better in Europe for when one is going city center to city center for distances up to 300 miles there, especially when able to go 100 MPH (160 Kms/Hour). Using passes and off peak fares, it is often far cheaper than air flights, and problably takes less time.
Air is still going to be better when one has to go to places that are on islands or were the network of trains takes you longer due to their route networks. In the USA, as noted above, politics, costs to taxpayers, our addiction to using cars, the need for flexibility a car allows, poor and low speed track routes, a limited passanger track system, puts them at a disadvantage. If high speed rail were to be better in the USA, that is able to do speeds like the TVG's on certain routes such as the Northeast Corrordor BOS-DC and SF-LA-SD, then it would be successful and take away from airline use.

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: N1120A
Posted 2006-02-07 21:36:43 and read 7196 times.

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 25):
Rail is a lot better in Europe for when one is going city center to city center for distances up to 300 miles there, especially when able to go 100 MPH (160 Kms/Hour).

Actually, they go much faster than that, even in the UK

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: Jcavinato
Posted 2006-02-07 21:49:53 and read 7168 times.

Two weeks ago I rode the Shanghai MAGLEV. 20 miles in 8.1 minutes. A gradual speed build up and slow down, but at its top (264 mph) I could have ridden that train all day if it was possible. Too, it is very wide -- three and three seating and yet none of it felt cramped at all. Seat pitch about what you find in today's F/C on international planes.

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: Beertrucker
Posted 2006-02-07 23:16:25 and read 7087 times.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 17):
Quoting Dartland (Reply 12):
literally only shave 10-30 min off travel times from the Metroliner, primarily beceause of fewer stops!

Actually, the Metroliner and Acela don't run together. The slower trains are the Regionals, the Metroliner were the old limited/express services before the Acela entered the market and also took over for the Acela when they had the brake trouble. The main problems with the speed of the lines up there is the fact that the tracks are ultra curved and the FRA won't allow Amtrak to run the Acelas at their maximum capabilities. It certainly isn't the trains, because while they are heavier than the TGVs they are based on, they still have the ability to do around 170 mph

Acutally there is one more thing you forgot about the Acela. It is not the curves so much as it is other trains slowing it down. After you leave New Haven. There is only 2 Tracks till you get closer to Boston. Yes there are a few curves to worry about, but not as many as to really slow it down that bad. As I said the main prob is the other trains. Nothing will change a lot in this. Unless they can make a dedicated line for the Acela. Cause do remember. You ever sit on the tracks in CT there are a few freight trains on the lines too. Not too many but a few. Any of the slower trains will slow a faster one up.

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: Lightsaber
Posted 2006-02-07 23:42:49 and read 7038 times.

Quoting FATFlyer (Reply 22):
with the 2nd highest revenues from LA/SF to Central Valley passengers, followed by San Diego to LA, then Sacramento to LA.

 scratchchin  really? Ok. I take back my Fresno comment.  Smile But can you provide a link. I'm only seeing 66 pax/day on faremeasure (yes, imperfect...) While I would expect the train to carry *many* more (if politics keeps the price down), a train needs to carry a thousand+ pax/day.

Quoting FATFlyer (Reply 22):
The real political battle seems to the route into the Bay Area. One group wants to enter from the south through San Jose then to the rest of the region. The other wants to enter through the East Bay with splits to other parts of the Bay Area.

Or the route through LA. Will is originate at LAX, union station, or ???

Quoting Boeing7E7 (Reply 24):
Connect airports, or don't bother with it. You lose any potential gains if you stop more than once in a 100 mile segment.

 checkmark  The route for the meglav should be LAX-unionstation-ONT-Ivanpah-LAS-north Vegas. While I'd like there to be one less stop, the three in LA are needed for O&D and two in Vegas for O&D. I threw in the new Ivanpah airport because politics will demand the feed. I didn't know maglev was cheaper to maintain. Thanks.

Lightsaber

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: Mir
Posted 2006-02-07 23:55:50 and read 7017 times.

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 25):
especially when able to go 100 MPH (160 Kms/Hour).

Try 198mph (300km/h). That's what the TGV can do, as can the newer ICE trains and the newer Shinkansen (Shinkansen is the fastest in the world since it accelerates faster than the TGV or ICE, according to a book I have, but that may be out of date).

-Mir

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: RJ111
Posted 2006-02-08 01:13:32 and read 6928 times.

In test conditions they got TGV up to 300+ MPH.

Would never be feasible in regular passenger service in the near future, but impressive anyway.

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: FATFlyer
Posted 2006-02-08 01:33:27 and read 6885 times.

Quoting Lightsaber (Reply 29):
really? Ok. I take back my Fresno comment. But can you provide a link. I'm only seeing 66 pax/day on faremeasure (yes, imperfect...) While I would expect the train to carry *many* more (if politics keeps the price down), a train needs to carry a thousand+ pax/day.

Don't forget FAT and rest of the Valley doesn't have low fare airline service within California. So much of the current in-state travel occurs in private vehicles or Amtrak. Few passengers fly FAT-LAX or FAT-SFO because of the perceived high cost and small planes.

Instead, for example, Amtrak currently operates 6 roundtrip trains in the Valley, 4 run Bakersfield to Oakland and back, 2 run Bakersfield to Sacramento and back. All 12 runs stop at Fresno. Dedicated bus service carries pax from all trains at Bakersfield to/from various southern destinations.

The San Joaquin Amtrak service is the 5th busiest in the country, over 700,000 passengers used the service in 2004. The Fresno station alone averaged 662 daily pasengers in 2004. 45 minutes south at Hanford station it was 373/day and 45 minutes north at Merced it was 201/day. And that is on service that is scheduled at 1-2 hours longer than driving. Many more could be diverted from autos if time was not a factor.

In terms of HSR, I haven't kept up on all of the documents and studies, but in the 2000 study here,
http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/plan/pdf/Ridership_Revenue.pdf
it's interesting to look at the air fare comparison on page 44 (pdf pg 86). Valley intra-state air fares run higher compared to the rest of the routes.

Page 37 in the body (pdf pg 79) shows 1994 and 1997 trip numbers on various routes using various modes. The Valley to LA/SF is similiar to the San Diego to LA traffic ratio between air and auto, but rail use is higher out of San Diego.

On page 59 (pdf pg 101) it has 2020 projected revenue numbers showing breakdowns of potential O&D. Page 66 (pdf 108)is potential station passenger counts.

The point I guess I'm trying make is that the Central Valley travel won't show in faremeasure. We can debate the assumptions used for numbers in the HSR models but in the Central Valley there is still a lot of passenger traffic not using air or rail at this time.

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: Moparman
Posted 2006-02-08 01:44:13 and read 6821 times.

On the Acela in the Northeast. The person who said that the rails are keeping down the speed is absolutely correct in his view. I recently had the chance to ride the Acela in FC from Washington Union Station to Boston. It was amazing in terms of service. Far, far, far superior to what I have experianced with Deutsche Bahn's ICE or on the French Rail's TGV in terms of service. And both of the later, DB especially, the service is excellent. In comparison to the Amtrak service, the staff was even better then in many a FC product on top airlines. The food! it was top notch, of similar quality served by 4 star resteraunts. This train isn't exactly all that slow either, as we hit 150mph on several occasions with average speeds of around 100mph. 160km/h isn't all that slow in Europe either - sure there are faster trains, but what is the average? I would say right around 100mph.

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: JonnyGT
Posted 2006-02-08 01:59:42 and read 6720 times.

Mopar, the average speed of Acela during it's entire trip from Washington to Boston is 68 miles per hour. Hardly, impressive.

What really needs to happen is private development of high speed corridors in the US, since trying to set up an efficient national service would be completely impossible.

If there were regionalized sections of HSR, like DAL-AUS-HOU. ATL-TPA-ORL-MIA, DC-Boston, IND-CHI-STL-KC, built and managed by private entities, it would take an enormous strain of air traffic filling these routes with small puddle jumper flights.

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: TGV
Posted 2006-02-08 02:08:32 and read 6662 times.

Quoting DTManiac (Reply 2):
However, from my experience the trains can hardly compete in terms of pricing. For example, a friend of mine who is in Berlin is going to visit me this weekend. I looked for the cheapest option and it was Lufthansa (140�) compared to the train which cost like 180� or so.

This really depends on the pricing policy of the rail company.

From this point of view DB (Germany) and SNCF (French Railways) have had quite different approaches. SNCF has a wide range of prices, from expensive full fares to very low bought-in-advance fares (not exchangeable, not reimbursable, does it reminds you of something ?).
This is due to the fact that in 1993, SNCF introduced a yield management system (derived from SAABRE from AA). This functions only with a compulsory reservation of the seats, which has always been the case for the TGV (and now compulsory reservation is also introduced on conventional long distance trains).

I just checked the prices for a Paris to Marseille trip (750 km/3 hours to 3 hours15 depending on the stops) in one month: depending on the fare a second class ticket will go from 30 euros (ticket sold only on internet, you have to print the ticket yourself at home!) to 92 euros (full fare).

SNCF has chosen a lower pricing policy than DB. As mentioned by Moparman this reflects on the quality of service on-board, as obviously you have to save on operations costs. But this is a reason why LCC have a difficult time in France.

Quoting A319114 (Reply 7):
Also, even though the line itself may open next year, the trains were ordered to late so we'll have to wait even longer untill we can catch the high speed train to Paris.

There are already Thalys trainsets running from Paris to Amsterdam, using the conventional line from Brussels to Amsterdam. They will be able to run on the new line at high speed as soon as this line is opened.

Quoting Skymonster (Reply 11):
Eurostar has 71% of the combined rail/air business between London and Paris, and something like 63% of the combined rail/air business between London and Brussels. I think that says a lot about high-speed rail travel, when it is finally put into place.

According to the French experience market share for HST/air is around 90/10 for a HST trip of 2 hours (usually quicker than the corresponding air transport taking into account access/egress times to stations/airports) and around 65/35 for a HST trip of 3 hours (in that case air can be faster depending to the above mentioned access/egress times).
But of course the fare structures of the rail and of airlines (presence of LCC) have an effect also.

Quoting Oryx (Reply 18):
The french system is a lot less complicated partly due to easier terrain (nearly no tunnels etc.)

Not only: initially German lines were built with a mixed traffic approach, so the lines were designed to be able to accommodate freight trains which can not accept very steep gradients. On the other hand French high speed lines have always been reserved for TGV traffic and been designed accordingly (gradients up to 35 per thousand, when freight trains are generally limited to 15 per thousand). This difference enables French high speed lines to have lower construction costs, by following more the natural ground, even with more difficult terrain.

Quoting Mir (Reply 30):
Try 198mph (300km/h). That's what the TGV can do, as can the newer ICE trains and the newer Shinkansen

Since 2002 there is a 60 km section of the LGV Mediterran�e with an operating speed of 320 km/h.
This has enabled to check the system comportment at this speed (maintenance needs and maintenance costs compared to 300 km/h), as this speed will be used on all the LGV Est-Europ�en, which first section of 300 km from Paris to the East of France will open next year.


[Edited 2006-02-08 02:14:42]

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: TPEcanuck
Posted 2006-02-08 02:24:12 and read 6543 times.

Thanks to everyone for all the interesting comments and insight in this thread.

I wanted to turn the conversation to a slightly more narrow focus and talk about the possibility of high speed rail, small urban airports, and urban renewal.

Many cities have smaller airports in the heart of their urban area. For example, Taipei has Songshan Airport, Toronto as the island airport, and I'm sure there are others.

My question is if HSR can replace some of these "local" connections that can be made from these airports, could these airports be made virtually redundant? If so, consider how valuable these peices of property would be to their respective airport authorities, publics or development companies. For example, Songshan airport, once Taiwan's international gateway, sits on a prime piece of land along a river front. With highspeed rail making rail travel times to the major markets serves from this airport (Kaoshiung, Taichung, Tainan) similar to or quicker than air, one has to wonder how the airlines will survive. Of course there is the issue of the Songshan flights to Taiwan's outer islands, but I doubt the volume on these flights and the reduced demand to other markets justifies the airport.

Any thoughts on these types of issues from the group?

Darren

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: UpperDeck79
Posted 2006-02-08 02:51:45 and read 6393 times.

Quoting Centrair (Reply 1):
You can leave from Tokyo or Shinagawa and be in central Nagoya in just about an hour and central Osaka in about 1.5 hours

You are exaggerating quite a bit...

Tokyo-Nagoya: 1 h 42 min (Shinkansen Nozomi)
Tokyo-Osaka: 2 h 36 min (Shinkansen Nozomi)

And in Osaka, Shinkansen stops in Shin-Osaka station, which is not in the heart of Osaka (although an easy subway ride away).

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: VV701
Posted 2006-02-08 02:57:26 and read 6347 times.

Quoting Lightsaber (Reply 19):
Quoting Chase (Reply 8):
onsequently I believe an airplane will always be less efficient economically than a train.

Less fuel efficient yes. Economical? Depends on what all that land the track is sitting on could have been used for.

The lowest cost Virgin Trains (monopoly) London-Manchester fare works out at over 0.40 pounds sterling per mile. The Virgin Atlantic LHR-LAX advanced passenger excursion fare works out at around 0.02 pounds sterling per mile. So clearly either Branson is robbing the British train traveler or the airplane is NOT 'less efficient economically than a train'. Yes there is the cost of land. But a far higher cost over any period of time is the infrastructure cost of laying, replacing and maintaining the railway track. Cost wise stations equate with airports (give or take). Cost wise signaling equates with air traffic control (give or take). But cost wise track maintenance, replacement and original capital cost equates with . . . Free as air?

Quoting Skymonster (Reply 11):
Eurostar has 71% of the combined rail/air business between London and Paris

While this is perfectly true, the Eurostar infrastructure costs (that is the capital and maintenance costs of track and tunnel) are so high that at current fare levels or anything near them, Eurostar can never make a profit. If the fares on Eurostar were pitched to give some possibility of recovering the capital cost then Eurostar would be (in travel cost terms) the Concorde of the 21st century. But, of course, Eurotunnel is there and has had to be paid for and it is better that it gets some revenue (as long as it can cover its day-to-day operating costs) than no revenue by shutting it down. At least then its operating profit can be used to pay some of the interest charges on its huge debt. But anyone who uses Eurostar as an argument for economical medium and long distance rail travel must be smoking something!

Another factor leading to the 71 per cent figure is that it includes all traffic going through the Channel Tunnel to France whatever the starting and finishing points. However the 29 per cent air figure is specifically London - Paris and excludes all other services. So if you travel Manchester-Paris by train you are counted in the London-Paris figures (because you pass through London). But if you fly Manchester-Paris you are not (because you overfly London).

This is important because there has been a huge growth in regional air traffic between the UK and France in both the LCC and full service areas in recent years. While much of this traffic has been generated by the introduction of these services, a significant amount used to be part of the combined rail / air London to Paris market.

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: Mandrake
Posted 2006-02-08 03:01:10 and read 6327 times.

It is not necessary to always move people by train or plane! It is not people who need to be moved from points A to B - it is their ideas, responses, routine replies etc.
Every day I watch the slow strangulation of my city by transport systems trying to cope with hordes of people who don't really need to do it.
The waste of people's time and the gross consumption of fossil fuels to get Jo Blow to an office where he could just as easily work at home, is dismaying.
The tools for a work-at-home system already exist. A little bit of tweaking the security and the verifying processes is all that is needed to make the system work on a wide scale.

Mandrake

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: HKGKaiTak
Posted 2006-02-08 03:17:18 and read 6237 times.

Quoting TPEcanuck (Reply 36):
I wanted to turn the conversation to a slightly more narrow focus and talk about the possibility of high speed rail, small urban airports, and urban renewal.

IMHO rail can never replace the "urban" airports you describe here. No politician will ever close an airport as flying is always more "sexy" than rail, no matter how high speed it is.

High speed rail with so many cars and expensive tracks and rolling stock is probably not cheap when you're comparing with turboprops and regional jets?

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: MarshalN
Posted 2006-02-08 03:23:52 and read 6201 times.

It's always very frustrating when you take the Acela and in CT the train visibly slows down. It's a shame, because you know the thing can go much faster (as it does between PVD and BOS). If it can go at a high speed throughout the trip you can make it from BOS to NYC in less than 3 hours. That's a lot of time saved and you are in city center, not LGA or JFK. It's really a shame.

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: N1120A
Posted 2006-02-08 03:25:48 and read 6185 times.

Quoting VV701 (Reply 38):
The lowest cost Virgin Trains (monopoly) London-Manchester fare works out at over 0.40 pounds sterling per mile. The Virgin Atlantic LHR-LAX advanced passenger excursion fare works out at around 0.02 pounds sterling per mile. So clearly either Branson is robbing the British train traveler or the airplane is NOT 'less efficient economically than a train'. Yes there is the cost of land. But a far higher cost over any period of time is the infrastructure cost of laying, replacing and maintaining the railway track. Cost wise stations equate with airports (give or take). Cost wise signaling equates with air traffic control (give or take). But cost wise track maintenance, replacement and original capital cost equates with . . . Free as air?

The thing is, Virgin Trains doesn't have to absorb infrastructure costs (Network Rail handles that) and, like you said, has a monopoly on service. The privatisation of the railways in the UK actually made travel more expensive because UK train riders now subsidize the profits of these companies that are conducting inherently unprofitable activity

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: JayinKitsap
Posted 2006-02-08 03:32:04 and read 6143 times.

What I noticed with the Shinkansen was they kept things simple. Clean but unfancy stations certainly at the boarding platform. What no granite and Marble? Ok, so the Kyoto central station is massive and quite beautiful, but it is also private. They have spent the money wisely. In the US, we have the Taj Mahal complex - super fancy stations but not the investment to make them reliable or efficient.

Another thing is the time of the stop - very short. I think the train is in Shin Osaka for 3 minutes, at Kobe it is about 2 minutes. With their frequency and having 3 speeds of Shinkansen's (only the main stops say 5 between Tokyo and Osaka, add 4 or 5 stops on the middle speed, and add another 6 or so on the slowest one) with the longest one taking about 40 more minutes than the fastest between Tokyo & Osaka.

Their Shinkansen fares were not cheap, but realistically priced. The fares for the regular trains between Osaka & Kyoto were pretty cheap, about 600 yen for one way of about 45 miles. They carry the vast majority of commuters because it is faster and cheaper than any other alternatives. They also serve to collect pax for the Shinkansen's.

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: UpperDeck79
Posted 2006-02-08 03:43:24 and read 6070 times.

Quoting JayinKitsap (Reply 43):
Another thing is the time of the stop - very short.

And another thing is the frequency. You might have flights Tokyo-Osaka every half an hour, but the Shinkansen runs every 7th minute!!! (And before and after special holidays, even more frequently...)

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: Av8rDAL
Posted 2006-02-08 05:15:40 and read 5674 times.

Have to share my ICE experiences:

Last March (2005). I needed to go from Cologne to Berlin. ICE was 90 EUR and 4 hours. Germanwings was 60 EUR and 1 hour. Germanwings won.

June 2001: Berlin Zoologischer Garten - Frankfurt a.M. Hbf on the ICE SPRINTER- 3.5 hours. Packed train, but it was still cool to have a nonstop connection between the two city centers. Checking in, waiting, boarding and flying the same route probably would have killed more time than the train.

I must say, if you get a rail pass, the trains are worth it and you are able to spend less time traveling and more time in the cities you visit.

Overnight trains though: Munich Hbf to Rome Termini, departs 9pm, arrives 10am. That's a rough ride on the train. I flew the same route and later took the train. I must say that I would gladly give dba my money rather than use Trenitalia and take my chances with the unpleasantness of riding overnight (but if you want an adventure, by all means, take that train).

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: RayChuang
Posted 2006-02-08 05:26:11 and read 5635 times.

Actually, right now it appears only the routes between Tokyo and Osaka, Paris and Nice, and Paris and London is where high-speed rail can successfully compete against airline service.

Especially now that the British side of Eurostar is getting the high-speed trackage really necessary to reduce transit time between London and Paris. Which does reminds me: I've heard that they plan to replace Waterloo International station with a new station in London by 2010; does anyone know where will the new station will be?

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: Vincewy
Posted 2006-02-08 05:50:04 and read 5548 times.

Wow, 40+ replies once I return and great info too. Regarding aforementioned projects in US, I think the first HSL they need is Boston-New York-DC, the definition of this is, no other trains (traditional rails, freighters) share the lines, no railroad crossing, travels upward of 200 km/hr (newer lines will go upward of 300), , limited turning angel on tracks (perhaps someone can elaborate). Next of importance is between LA and Bay Areas, I have doubt over the network out of Chicago, as the connecting cities are much smaller, distances are also longer, modifying current lines might be more feasible.

Using that criteria, in Europe, only TGV network out of Paris is truly high speed rail, ICE (Germany) and ETR500 (Italy) are considered fast rails. Japan (except Akita and Yamagata), South Korea (TGV), and Taiwan (Shinkansen) would all be considered HSR.

Quoting TPEcanuck (Reply 36):
With highspeed rail making rail travel times to the major markets serves from this airport (Kaoshiung, Taichung, Tainan) similar to or quicker than air, one has to wonder how the airlines will survive

There were worries earlier about the fate of TSA-KHH and TSA-TNN, but TSA is right next to prime commercial areas with major tech firms across the river (Neihu), IMO those routes will stay, perhaps fewer flights with smaller aircrafts, catering mostly to business travelers. TXG will be gone, ask any cab drivers and no one is even willing to drive to the airport.

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: Iwok
Posted 2006-02-08 06:57:18 and read 5342 times.

Quoting Congaboy (Reply 13):
it would be great to see the Amtrak MetroLiner/Acela model in markets like MKE-CHI-IND, CLT-ATL-CHA-BNA, maybe even HOU-DAL-OKC where you could open the train up through low-density areas.



Quoting FATFlyer (Reply 16):
For those who may not be aware, here is the California government agency that is currently working on High Speed Rail plans in the state. Route selection is nearing completion, connecting in the first phase Los Angeles with San Francisco. The biggest remaining problem will be getting voter approval for bond sales to build the system.
http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/

For Los Angeles to Las Vegas a different group is working on a maglev system. The Federal govenment is currently working on environmental studies.

And the federal govt and special interests will be performing environmental studies for ever. Once the greens get involved, the train track will have to divert 100miles because of some friggin "endangered" desert weed, and then the NIMBY guys in the new location will fight to have it re-routed into Nevada, which would mean huge tunnelling costs and in the end we'll wind up with...

Quoting Airbazar (Reply 21):
So we ended up with an underfunded rail project with too many stops and not enough speed.



Quoting MarshalN (Reply 41):
That's a lot of time saved and you are in city center, not LGA or JFK. It's really a shame.

The sad think about the Boston-NY run is that the bus is usually quicker than train.

I fondly recall the years before 9-11; I used to show up at the airport about 20-minutes before the flight with my e-ticket and walk right up to the gate. Short-haul air travel was so much easier back then.

Having said all that, I'd love to have a Maglev network in the southwest. Wishful thinking..  Sad

iwok

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: Glareskin
Posted 2006-02-08 09:20:14 and read 5040 times.

Quoting Flying Belgian (Reply 10):
My bet is that the plane will always be fatser than the train on the AMS-CDG run.
That said, the Thalys has placed BRU in a tricky position and it will hinder BRU's future the next years. The developpement plans in North-West Europe is very promising and a company like Thaly is increasing its profit and load factor every year.

 checkmark  AMS-CDG could not become a success IMO. The price for a ticket is too high, the travelling time too long and there are too many stops. If Ryanair or Easyjet is going to start service EIN - CDG Thalys doesn't have a chance! BRU-Paris Nord is OK but I still think the price is high.

Quoting Mir (Reply 30):
Shinkansen is the fastest in the world since it accelerates faster than the TGV or ICE

Hmm, you haven't heard of MAGLEV? Try a search on the German Transrapid system that is in operation in Shanghai, China.

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: TPEcanuck
Posted 2006-02-08 10:59:07 and read 4999 times.

Quoting HKGKaiTak (Reply 40):
IMHO rail can never replace the "urban" airports you describe here. No politician will ever close an airport as flying is always more "sexy" than rail, no matter how high speed it is.



Quoting Vincewy (Reply 47):
There were worries earlier about the fate of TSA-KHH and TSA-TNN, but TSA is right next to prime commercial areas with major tech firms across the river (Neihu), IMO those routes will stay, perhaps fewer flights with smaller aircrafts, catering mostly to business travelers.

Hi HKG and Vincewy,

I think you are both right, but...!
In terms of politicians closing down airports...see Meigs Field in Chicago for an example. Mayor Ma (who may well be the next president) is also on the record of making Songshan the main gateway for Mainland-Taiwan flights, or...otherwise the future of the airport is uncertain. If Ma does become President, I would expect regular mainland-taiwan flights to start up in fairly short order, and might give life to the airport.

As it is right now, the airport website talks about:

"In the future, influenced by the completion of Taiwan high speed rail, the airline market in the western corridor of Taiwan will further shrink;"

"It will be the focus of future tasks to actively combine with local activities, introduce public arts and other cultural activities and provide related services by integrating with cultural landscape and tourism." (tourism, read mainland?)

http://www.tsa.gov.tw/0069/e_page10/p1003.shtm

Vincewy, I work in Neihu and often go from here to Hsinchu and Tainan Science Park. Do you know if the high speed rail will go to Songshan train station, or just to taipei main station? I would think Songshan train station and HSR would make it quicker then the airport.

Happy flying and high speed train riding all!

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: TGV
Posted 2006-02-08 11:25:35 and read 4983 times.

Quoting Vincewy (Reply 47):
Using that criteria, in Europe, only TGV network out of Paris is truly high speed rail,

Don't forget Spain HSL, with Madrid-Sevila "true" HSL (in service since 1992 using French TGV trains), and Madrid-Barcelona also "true" HSL (gradually opening with some teething problems with the new ERTMS - European Rail Traffic Management System signalling system, and using rolling stock from various suppliers with maximum speed of up to 350 km/h).

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: Cadet93
Posted 2006-02-08 15:07:44 and read 4878 times.

The ACELA has problems.....break downs happen......
I was on my NJ TRANSIT train the other day. An ACELA was broken down just outside of Rahway. So, they sent the next ACELA train to "rescue" the passengers. They transferred the passengers from the broken train to the working one. As my train came along the moving train, I looked in and noticed that the passengers out numbered the seats, and they were sitting on the floor !!!! LOL 200 dollars to go from NY to Washington sitting on the floor.......Not my idea of first class service.........

Also, the reason the trains are not allowed up to speed are the facts that there are some serious curves in the line going to Washington from NY....There is a tremendous amount of train traffic on that section of track....NJT trains out number AMTRAK by a significant margin......The tracks on that part of the run are owned by AMTRAK...and nothing is allowed to interfere with the ACELA as it makes it way up.....NJT trains will be held for 10 mins to let the ACELA pass....Even if the crossing of tracks could be done in 1 min... If the NJT train lost power and held up the ACELA, there would be HELL TO PAY........


Heading to Boston ...the tracks are owned by METRO NORTH .... so when metro north feels in a "stick it to ya mood" for being held up in NY by AMTRAK, they can do it......

Until the current government stops taking money away for the transportation depts of this country (they just did it again in this current budget proposal) then there will never be any other form of transportation other than the car and the plane. Both of which burns oil and gas, making the A**HOLE in the white house richer, and us shelling out more money to sit on the roads and breathe in the fumes from his wealth

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: Aircellist
Posted 2006-02-08 16:00:55 and read 4818 times.

There are two TGV studies around Montréal, one on Québec - Windsor, going through Montréal, probably Ottawa, Toronto, and, possibly, after Windsor, Detroit. While we were at it, maybe it could go all the way to Chicago? The other one is Montréal-New York, part of a much longer track that would start from Washington, going thourgh Baltimore, Philadelphie, New York, Albany, Montréal and even as far as Tremblant.

A few infos on both (at the bottom of the page, in French)
http://www.vigile.net/ds-Qc-monde/index/ny.html

If the federal government goes on making surplus for a few more decades, we may yet see the first one (I think some engineers are still working on it, mainly at Bombardier).

Back to topic, according to Aéroports de Montréal
http://admtl.com/passenger_services.aspx?id=45
Montréal-Toronto represents 196 flights a week, and Montréal-New York (all airports), 143 flights. (While we are at it, there are still 115 flights a week between Montréal and Québec, which amazes me since it is quite a short (less than 3 hours), and not much expensive, bus ride.)

Among the arguments of the proponents of such high-speed trains was the reduction of the number of flights, replacing them by less-polluting electric trains, and of course the convenience of arriving downtown...

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: Oryx
Posted 2006-02-08 16:22:18 and read 4788 times.

Quoting Vincewy (Reply 47):
Using that criteria, in Europe, only TGV network out of Paris is truly high speed rail, ICE (Germany) and ETR500 (Italy) are considered fast rails.

There are currently five lines where the ICE goes over 200 km/h:

Hamburg -- Berlin 230 km/h
Hannover -- Berlin 250 km/h
Hannover -- Wuerzburg 250 km/h
Koeln -- Frankfurt 300 km/h
Stuttgart -- Mannheim 250 km/h

and starting with the soccer championship

Ingolstadt (Muenchen) -- Nuernberg 300 km/h.

Interesting is Hamburg -- Berlin as it is only rebuild - not a new contructed line. The landscape up there is very flat such that even the old tracks have very fiew curves making it easy to achieve high velocities.

I would consider everything upwrds of 200 km/h high speed.

Here is a link with a velocity map of German railways

Velocity Map

and an interesting website with high speed railways all over the world

High-Speed-Trains

Quoting RJ111 (Reply 31):
In test conditions they got TGV up to 300+ MPH.

... and had to rebuild the electric lines for several million euros aftherwords.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 20):
Actually, France is a much larger country area wise, but has 14 million fewer people. I mean, Paris-Nice is as long as Flensburg-Munich and you still have much more of France to the North (not to mention that France is significantly wider).

But with the single line from Paris to Marseille you are already connecting the three biggest cities where one third of the entire population and an even bigger part of the demand is living.

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: NumberTwelve
Posted 2006-02-08 16:26:53 and read 4782 times.

Quoting DTManiac (Reply 2):
However, from my experience the trains can hardly compete in terms of pricing. For example, a friend of mine who is in Berlin is going to visit me this weekend. I looked for the cheapest option and it was Lufthansa (140€) compared to the train which cost like 180€ or so.



TCV: "This really depends on the pricing policy of the rail company.

From this point of view DB (Germany) and SNCF (French Railways) have had quite different approaches. SNCF has a wide range of prices, from expensive full fares to very low bought-in-advance fares (not exchangeable, not reimbursable, does it reminds you of something ?)."


Sorry, you compare apples and oranges - the 180 Euro trip by train is full fare trip. You also can get this route for 19 Euro per trip. Also Children younger than 15 years (when accompanied from parents) travel for free. 2A has a big number of lower fares, too. Also you can get the Bahncard where you get 50 % or 25 % reduction without limitation.
Deutsche Bahn (DB or 2A) also has cheaper fares, so SNCF hasn't reevented the wheel. DB also has full fare and saver fares.

Unfortunatelly there are lots of travel agencies and sales offices who aren't informed and not able to find the cheapest fares and of course there are restrictions (such as minimum stay, advanced bookings, etc).

So when you compare, compare in a fair way

[Edited 2006-02-08 16:37:23]

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: Oryx
Posted 2006-02-08 16:30:47 and read 4769 times.

Thinking about the above said:

High-speed trains are competitve if they have dedicated tracks to make sure they are not is not slowed down by freighters or urban trains. There is no need to build every line up to 300 km/h and above as the gain is decreasing fast when the top speed exeeds 200 km/h. Whats slowes down the ICE on many connections in Germany are the parts where it only goes 80 km/h as the travel time is based on the time-avveraged velocity and those parts outweighet the gains on the short tracks where it can go 250 and more.

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: NumberTwelve
Posted 2006-02-08 16:42:54 and read 4730 times.

Even Lufthansa has to admit that there are routes within Germany where the train is the better alternative.
So LH cancelled bigger number of flights on the routes CGN-FRA and STR-FRA - there are more trains with LH flight number than flights on these routes. Service is called "AIRail", http://www.bahn.de/trainflight

Also capacity in ICE is much higher (up to 850 in ICE train) and 2A's seat pitch is 13 cm more than LH's.


  Also I see lots of people in LH uniform on 2A trains from FRA to QKL and you can ask co workers from international airlines in Germany what transport system they use when they are on business trips within Germany (also with which transport system they are travelling to ITB)   Where do you get a 69 Euro RT ticket 1st class in totally high season (no limited number of tickets) ? Any LCC having this fares?

[Edited 2006-02-08 16:49:20]

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: Glareskin
Posted 2006-02-08 16:50:34 and read 4715 times.

Quoting NumberTwelve (Reply 57):
STR-FRA - there are more trains with LH flight number than flights on these routes.

The good thing is that you can check your luguage in Stuttgart for your intl. trips. It's very convenient!

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: NumberTwelve
Posted 2006-02-08 16:57:42 and read 4698 times.

Yes, thats the advantage of AIRail - but on the other hand, Frankfurt airport has direct long distance railway station and a Check In (Check In "T") directly at the train station, so that changing from train to plane in Frankfurt airport is very convenient (with or without luggage). And Frankfurt airport is linked with more than 70 cities all over the country - and also AMS and BRU  Wink

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: Lightsaber
Posted 2006-02-08 16:59:44 and read 4698 times.

Quoting FATFlyer (Reply 32):
The San Joaquin Amtrak service is the 5th busiest in the country, over 700,000 passengers used the service in 2004. The Fresno station alone averaged 662 daily pasengers in 2004. 45 minutes south at Hanford station it was 373/day and 45 minutes north at Merced it was 201/day. And that is on service that is scheduled at 1-2 hours longer than driving. Many more could be diverted from autos if time was not a factor.

Thanks for the information. You've changed my mind. (yes possible on a.net)

Quoting JonnyGT (Reply 34):
Mopar, the average speed of Acela during it's entire trip from Washington to Boston is 68 miles per hour. Hardly, impressive.

That's it? Grrr...

Quoting Iwok (Reply 48):
I fondly recall the years before 9-11; I used to show up at the airport about 20-minutes before the flight with my e-ticket and walk right up to the gate. Short-haul air travel was so much easier back then.

This is sad. I remember getting in and out of airports so quickly. Now its "show up 2 hours before." Grrr...

Quoting Oryx (Reply 54):
Velocity Map

Very informative.

Lightsaber

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: FlyLondon
Posted 2006-02-08 17:15:38 and read 4667 times.

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 46):
Which does reminds me: I've heard that they plan to replace Waterloo International station with a new station in London by 2010; does anyone know where will the new station will be?

Not a new station exactly but redeveloping an old one to become St Pancras International along with the redevelopment of the whole St Pancras/Kings Cross/KCSP Underground/Kings Cross Thameslink complex (and not before time I might add!)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Pancras_station
Pic of the redeveloped area:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:KingsCrossDevelopmentModel.jpg

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: Chase
Posted 2006-02-08 17:39:18 and read 4650 times.

Quoting VV701 (Reply 38):
The lowest cost Virgin Trains (monopoly) London-Manchester fare works out at over 0.40 pounds sterling per mile. The Virgin Atlantic LHR-LAX advanced passenger excursion fare works out at around 0.02 pounds sterling per mile.

Good point. To clarify my post, I was only talking about operating a trip, not constructing the infrastructure or acquiring ROW. You're absolutely right, land is expensive and the air is free. I was also talking about trips of comparable length...LHR-LAX is obviously a lot farther (and impossible for a train) than London-Manchester. But, good points nonetheless.

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: Cloudy
Posted 2006-02-08 17:41:21 and read 4650 times.

There are several problems with high-speed trains which will make it hard for me to believe they to replace a significant portion of air traffic, except in a few heavily traveled, short-haul routes....

.....The biggest problem is that high speed rail is not nearly as flexible as air travel. Build a high speed rail line of several hundred miles and you can connect 2 or 3 cities. Spend about the same ammount of money on an airport for a single city and you have potential connections to every city in the world. High-speed Rail routes can be changed only at great expense. Air routes are changed all the time for comparatively little cost. High speed rail cannot be had in the same increments of capacity as air travel. Its either daily 747 capacity plus some or nothing. This leads to either tremendous inneficiencies if you want to serve any but the highest-demand routes.

.....There will have to be airline style security at high speed rail stations sooner or later. Someday terrorists will figure out that they can hold more people hostage on a high speed train than with a plane, and that they are just as vulnerable to bombs when traveling at high speed. Other forms of attack abound as well - it is much harder to guard hundreds of miles of track (plus the stations) than it is to guard an airport. Train stations are not designed as well for security as airports are. WHEN, not if, the big attacks come, it will be very hard for the high-speed rail industry to adjust.

..... In general, many problems planes have to deal with only at their "stations" trains have to deal with all along their routes. These problems include NIMBYS, politics, etc.

.....Airports and other infrastructure for air travel is generaly paid for by airlines and their passengers. High speed rail is generally paid for by governments. As bad as the political influence on aviation is, it is much worse for high speed rail.

IN SHORT.... High speed rail is one of those things that look miraculous on a beauraucrat's or academic's spreadsheet but have limited application in the real world. I would be surprised if more than two or three percent of airline flights ever get replaced by high speed rail - and that is optomistic.

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: RJ111
Posted 2006-02-08 19:28:56 and read 4560 times.

Quoting Cloudy (Reply 63):
Its either daily 747 capacity plus some or nothing. This leads to either tremendous inneficiencies if you want to serve any but the highest-demand routes.

A TGV traveling form Lyon-Paris needs to sell about 50 full fare business seats to break even, they have a much lower break even point than a 747. Also trains stop at several stations along the way, not all 500 people are necessarily going to connect between only two of the stops. Hence lower demand routes can be woven into high demand ones, and fairly obscure connections can be achieved.

Quoting Cloudy (Reply 63):
.....The biggest problem is that high speed rail is not nearly as flexible as air travel. Build a high speed rail line of several hundred miles and you can connect 2 or 3 cities.

Depends on your prior infrastructure. The new HST line of from Brussles to Amsterdam, could potentially connect Amsterdam with Brussles, Paris, London, Lyon, Geneva, Marseille, Nice, Tours, Bourdouex, Toulouse, Lillie, Le Harve, L'Orient. That naming just a few, by integrating standard lines over short stretches, dozens more cities can be connected.

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: Aeroluxpt
Posted 2006-02-08 19:35:40 and read 4553 times.

Luxembourg will be connected with Paris in about 2 years

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: Vs25
Posted 2006-02-08 20:15:05 and read 4522 times.

RayChuang, the Eurostar is moving to a new terminal at St Pancras (just beside King's Cross) in the north of London. The high speed line goes under SE london, stops at Statford (where the Olympics Stadium will be) and then underground to St Pancras. I believe this will cut the journey time to Paris to 2h15m.

Cloudy, actually terrorists have already proved that trains are a good target. Remember Madrid and the London Tube bombings. I don't want to get into terrorism, but everything is a target.

High speed rail has advantages in connecting close cities with lots of )&D traffic. This works well in Europe because, lets face it, its a small place. Its only a couple of hundred miles between the major centres in Europe : London; Paris; Frankfurt and Brussels (sorry Athens, Rome, Madrid and the rest but they are the big four).

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: Vincewy
Posted 2006-02-08 21:18:42 and read 4460 times.

Quoting TPEcanuck (Reply 50):
Do you know if the high speed rail will go to Songshan train station, or just to taipei main station? I would think Songshan train station and HSR would make it quicker then the airport.

It'll go to only Taipei Main Station, later on, they'll extend the line north to Nangang (Nangang is developing a science park), however you'll soon be able to take transit from Neihu all the way to Nangang station.

Regarding TSA, there's a talk of allowing some MFM and HKG flights into this airport instead of TPE, as mentioned both sides of the TSA are prime commercial areas (Neihu is the headquarters of firms making most of world's computer chips, although the plants are in Hsinchu).

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: TGV
Posted 2006-02-08 22:57:54 and read 4377 times.

Quoting NumberTwelve (Reply 55):
Sorry, you compare apples and oranges - the 180 Euro trip by train is full fare trip. You also can get this route for 19 Euro per trip.

I was only reacting to DTManiac figures. Apparently he was not able to get good fares on DB for the planned trip. Happy to know that DB has good fares too !

Quoting NumberTwelve (Reply 55):
so SNCF hasn't reevented the wheel

Never said that, only that SNCF is using, since 1993 a yield management system derived from SAABRE, and that (maybe I am wrong) DB does not use such a system (which supposes compulsory reservation). I know there are deep discussions between SNCF and DB for the pricing structure of TGV Est-Européen on this point.

Quoting Cloudy (Reply 63):
High speed rail is one of those things that look miraculous on a beauraucrat's or academic's spreadsheet but have limited application in the real world. I would be surprised if more than two or three percent of airline flights ever get replaced by high speed rail - and that is optomistic.

An element you did not mention in your high speed rail negative discussion is pollution. High speed rail uses electricity which can be produced from various energy sources including clean ones (hydroelectric, wind turbines...). This is an advantage, at least in environment conscious countries.

High speed rail is in effect especially adapted to high density lines, but as explained before this is quite frequent in Europe, but also in some parts of Asia (Japan and Korea already in service, Taiwan to come this year, China is in the process of building several thousand of high speed lines, etc.).

Note that the present problem of Japan, and of France (on the Paris to Lyon line now, and in the years to come on the Paris to Lille Line with the addition of domestic TGV, Eurostar and Thalys), is the saturation of the high speed lines which leads to measures to reduce the interval between trains and to have high capacity rolling stock (double deckers).
So there is a "real world" really needing high speed trains, it is not only a "bureaucrat" view.

Furthermore high speed rail can be a useful supplement for saturated airports, where reducing (even by some percent) feeder flights enables to have more capacity for long haul flights.

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: VinnieWinnie
Posted 2006-02-09 00:18:15 and read 4330 times.

I only really know 2 HST lines which compete with airlines: Brussels-London and Brussels-Paris. Whilst they obviously compete against eachother they are also very complementary and even better high speed lines create new demand which never existed before...

Take the 2 above mentioned examples:

-Tourism from Belgium to both destinations shot up thanks to the new links: Planes have always been rather expensive, and a boat trip to London or a 3h+ journey to Paris was not very convenient. One could or can always take the car to Paris but it is only cost effective when more than 2 or 3 people travel to together.

-In 1h and 20 minutes you can now reach Paris Charles de Gaulle by train from Brussels. Since Bruxelles-Midi is located more or less in the city center of Brussels it is far more easy to take the train than to travel to Brussels Airport. (which is by the way also very close to Brussels center compared to many airports in the world) That's why Air France is putting its own codes on Thalys trains to and from Brussels. On the other hand SN Brussels airlines still maintains 1 or 2 rotations a day to Charles-De-Gaulle because it's not as fast to reach Brussels Airport from Paris.

-To London though BMI BA and SNBA still maintain a lot of rotations a day. (BMI even kept its business class on the route!) the trip takes about one hour more (2h25), and heathrow is not easy to reach from Waterloo. When I lived south west of London I found it way more convenient to take the plane. (Wasn't easy to cross London with a really heavy suitcase)

Hope I was able to contribute my bit to this debate!  Smile

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: Glacote
Posted 2006-02-09 03:25:32 and read 4254 times.

Random thoughts in no particular order

- high speed train is very competitive up to 3h, unbeatable under 2h of time. City-center to city-center, no check-in, no safety procedures, no luggage limit, can book at the last minute, can even get in without a ticket and buy it onboard, etc.
- train is much more comfortable IMHO. Much more legroom, "gigantic" windows, no noise, barely any movment, cell phone, a real bar, etc.
- you have to lift your plane whatever the distance. Any pound induces a price (I exclude cruise cost for small distances). The proportional part is high. In contrast a train only pays for (low speeds) aerodynamics; first car pays 100%, second car pays 33%, third pays 11%: make it as long as you want you barely pay more. On the Paris-Lyon city pair the 51st Y PAX at full fare makes the trip profitable. I.e. you have between 500 and 1050 more seats of pure profits (this disregards the fixed cost of the railway itself, see below). It is thus very straightforward to play "high frequency, low yield" with train. You can not do that with an aircraft.
- otoh you can not reconfigure your railway network. Changing your airline city pairs is just a matter of paying the airport fee. Much more adaptative to the market demand. Plus - long railways are expensive; as high as 1 million EUR per km (Lyon-Marseille).

Regarding magnetic trains:
- they look SciFi and make people dream; most believe they are the future of trains. Well some dreamed Concorde would be the future of aviation...
- there is no reason why a magnetic train would be faster. The adherence argument is not sufficient as current acceleration/brake performance is already enough with railway-wheel technology. The french TGV reached 515,3km/h (320 mph) with more than 200 people onboard; that was 15 years ago. This was no prototype but a train which still does his day-to-day duty (nr 325 Pars-Nantes for those interesting).
- there is no reason why it would be more comfortable - despite common wisdom it would. Actually the magnetic link is anti-comfortable as it gets extremely rigid when you "press" on it. Maglev an HST suffer very high vibration rate. French TGV have a well-known pneumatic suspension system.
- the cost of the railway is completely prohibitive, at ten times the iron equivalent.
- you can not reuse existing railways
- how to you make a fork?
- cars are smaller
- technology is completely unproven; supramagnetism is all but industrially proven at this scale
- maintaince is a nightmare (or conductivity drops; see German's solution of holding from below)

The one and only situation where magnetic trains are indeed reasonable is for short distances where you can not dig an underground train and noise is an issue (wheels are noisy). And you have unlimited budget. Everything else is SciFi bullshit.

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: Cloudy
Posted 2006-02-09 10:41:33 and read 4176 times.

Quoting TGV (Reply 68):
Note that the present problem of Japan, and of France (on the Paris to Lyon line now, and in the years to come on the Paris to Lille Line with the addition of domestic TGV, Eurostar and Thalys), is the saturation of the high speed lines which leads to measures to reduce the interval between trains and to have high capacity rolling stock (double deckers).
So there is a "real world" really needing high speed trains, it is not only a "bureaucrat" view.

If you actually read my post you would understand that I was talking about high speed rail's potential to replace air travel. I don't happen to think it will on any large scale, except in the minds of beauraucrats and academics. I never denied that it has its niche applications. It probably will replace some short haul-high density air routes. However, The rail links you mention mostly replace ferrys, cars, and mostly other trains.

The environmental questions raised are more complex than high-speed rail advocates like to make it sound. Those who think that trains are environmentally superior mostly use fuel consumption as a proxy for environmental damage. Trains are undeniably more fuel efficient than planes, and can be run on electricity. However, land consumption, power generation, electricity transmition, etc. all come into play here as well. So do government subsidies. High speed rail can survive only on subsidies given in the name of the environment. The question that must be asked is if those subsidies could better serve the environment if spent somewhere else, or not spent at all. Many government policies made to help the environment have actually hurt it or just spent a lot of money for no good reason. We should care about the environment, but we should look into what really works rather than just go for the feel-good solutions that so many advocacy groups promote.

Quoting RJ111 (Reply 64):
A TGV traveling form Lyon-Paris needs to sell about 50 full fare business seats to break even, they have a much lower break even point than a 747. Also trains stop at several stations along the way, not all 500 people are necessarily going to connect between only two of the stops. Hence lower demand routes can be woven into high demand ones, and fairly obscure connections can be achieved.

If this is true I stand corrected. However, how much of that is due to subsidies? Remember, airlines mostly have to pay their own way. Even airports are mostly built with bonds payed off with ticket taxes and landing fees. I suspect if you look at the total cost of it the situation would look different. Also, airlines can follow people and economic growth much faster than trains can. It takes a long time to build a high speed rail link - even where they are commonplace.

There is yet another problem with high speed rail - lack of competition. It is a natural monopoly. Whether it is run by government or private organizations, it will eventually display the waste and lack of concern for the consumer that monopolies tend to show. It may not happen today or tommorow, but eventually costs will go way up and service will decline. That's just the way monopolies work.

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: TGV
Posted 2006-02-09 15:50:56 and read 4101 times.

Quoting Cloudy (Reply 71):
If you actually read my post you would understand that I was talking about high speed rail's potential to replace air travel.

I did, and I agree with you that the potential part of the air travel that can be replaced by High speed Rail is limited to some specific cases, as it has been said by various posters above (high density traffic routes, 2 to 3 hours train running time, etc.). And this, in effect, does not represent more than some percent of the total number of flights that exist today.

For me high speed rail should not be considered as a competition to air travel, but as a complement were it is more efficient than flights, and enable to free slots on existing airports, hence avoiding the need to build additional airports, or increase the surface of existing ones.

Quoting Cloudy (Reply 71):
However, land consumption, power generation, electricity transmition, etc. all come into play here as well

This is true. But airports also use land. If my memory is correct the total surface used by the High speed line from Paris to Lyon is lower than CDG airport surface (annual traffic of the TGV SE line being some 20 % lower than annual traffic in CDG).

Quoting Cloudy (Reply 71):
High speed rail can survive only on subsidies given in the name of the environment.

There are not subsidies for OPERATIONS of HSR systems in any country that I know of, but I am positive about this in France.
The question is the investment needed to build the lines, afterward repaid by the HST operators who pay fees to use the line. It obviously depends on the level of traffic on the line. The first high speed line in France has been totally repaid sooner than planned (in 15 years if I remember well).
And now some lines are built under a concession system, where private entities build the line (with subsidies from governments in some cases) and receive the infrastructure fees from the operators (this is the case for the Perpignan-Figueiras line between France and Spain, presently under construction). So the system is now not very different from air traffic (who pays for the ATC systems and operation for example: isn't the government, then repaid by fees paid by airlines?).

Quoting Cloudy (Reply 71):
However, how much of that is due to subsidies?

Nothing: as said above HSR OPERATIONS are not subsidized in any way in France.
In fact it is the TGV traffic that subsidizes long distance traffic on conventional lines !

Quoting Cloudy (Reply 71):
Also, airlines can follow people and economic growth much faster than trains can.

True. Anyway in Europe population movements are not so fast, and in any case it is more cities growing (hence HSR traffic between these cities increasing) than anything else.

Quoting Cloudy (Reply 71):
It takes a long time to build a high speed rail link - even where they are commonplace.

10 to 15 years between very preliminary studies and operations, but the construction time itself is around 5 years.
Is it very different for huge airports?

Quoting Cloudy (Reply 71):
There is yet another problem with high speed rail - lack of competition. It is a natural monopoly. Whether it is run by government or private organizations, it will eventually display the waste and lack of concern for the consumer that monopolies tend to show. It may not happen today or tommorow, but eventually costs will go way up and service will decline. That's just the way monopolies work.

Here we enter a minefield!

The EU follows your view, and has designed European directives around the competition between rail operators, on the same lines. Gradually competition is implemented for national an international traffic. Freight traffic is first, passengers traffic is following.

Now will this give good results? The other examples of deregulation (telephone, electricity) we have seen here is that after an initial phase of prices going down to attract customers, there is a concentration in the market and prices ends up higher than what they were with the state monopoly before. So you will find a lot of people not as optimistic as you on this point !

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: Saxman66
Posted 2006-02-09 20:25:04 and read 3999 times.

Quoting Cloudy (Reply 63):
....The biggest problem is that high speed rail is not nearly as flexible as air travel. Build a high speed rail line of several hundred miles and you can connect 2 or 3 cities. Spend about the same ammount of money on an airport for a single city and you have potential connections to every city in the world. High-speed Rail routes can be changed only at great expense. Air routes are changed all the time for comparatively little cost. High speed rail cannot be had in the same increments of capacity as air travel. Its either daily 747 capacity plus some or nothing. This leads to either tremendous inneficiencies if you want to serve any but the highest-demand routes.

Trains are alot more flexible than you think. Watch out when you say it can only connect 2 or 3 cities. It can connect dozons of cities. Not just the major, but also smaller ones along the way. This way people in smaller cities can get to the big city. Air travel to smaller cities is usually limited and expensive. Plus think of the number of flights go to these cities to connect to the "hub" or big city. This is where the real efficiency comes in...One single train on one trip can make a dozon or two stops. People get on and off throughout the trip making it extremely efficient. Thats hundreds of city pair choices in just one train trip! You can't really do that with planes. Plus you can include connecting passengers from other trains. So you shouldn't really look at one line, you should consider the entire network.

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: Aircellist
Posted 2006-02-09 20:29:41 and read 3994 times.

Quoting TGV (Reply 72):
Now will this give good results? The other examples of deregulation (telephone, electricity) we have seen here is that after an initial phase of prices going down to attract customers, there is a concentration in the market and prices ends up higher than what they were with the state monopoly before. So you will find a lot of people not as optimistic as you on this point !

On a side note: except where there are LCC on the same routes, how have the fares progressed in the USA since deregulation?

Topic: RE: Impact Of High Speed Rail
Username: Vincewy
Posted 2006-02-11 10:10:29 and read 3832 times.

Also worth mentioning, if any Portuguese members know any progress on their HSL. They are linking Lisboa and Oporto, possibly Lisboa-Madrid later, how's the progress now. Supposedly this will affect some of TP's and IB's networks.

Last but not least, India is looking into HSR too, for India, I think it's a matter of WHEN, not IF

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_speed_rail#India


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