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DocLightning
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's 1st!

Thu Nov 06, 2008 8:14 pm



Quoting Keesje (Reply 45):
In Europe high speed train stop under the major airport hubs. AMS, CDG, FRA and regional trains stop at almost all major airports. Maybe a next step.

Yeah, that's one thing I don't like about this. It would have a stop at SFO, but not at LAX. Not sure about SAN, but SAN is so close to city center and San Diego is such a small city that it's probably not so important.

In my opinion, it needs a stop at LAX or there needs to be a quick and convenient crosstown rail put in to connect the LA station to LAX.

Quoting Jaws707 (Reply 46):

On another topic has California considered making their system just like Acela. The technology is proven and even though its slower (its still pretty darn fast) I imagine that it would end us costing billions less than this system.

Making it like Acela would be very stupid. Top line speed is ultimately determined by the line, not the train. Trains are far easier to upgrade than rights-of-way. The problem with Acela isn't the trains, it's the right of way. The rails are too curvy and the ancient catenary can't support such speeds.

The technology to build a system with European or Japanese standards already exists. There's no reason we can't use these systems off the shelf. The trainsets themselves will have to be altered for U.S. use, but the limit to their speed will ultimately be the line. If you build a perfectly straight line, then there's no reason that a train couldn't do 600 km/h as long as the catenary and pantographs could handle it.
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GrahamHill
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's 1st!

Thu Nov 06, 2008 8:26 pm

Congratulations to California!! High speed train is the best for short distances (like LA - San Francisco).

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 41):
TGV can't keep that sort of speed up, though. It can only be done on certain sections of track and it requires too much energy to maintain that sort of speed at ground level to be economical. It was really a publicity stunt by Alstom to sell trains.

True, and they used upgraded wheels and engines to achieve it. But it is still an incredible performance  Wink

http://fr.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ir_n3J5ABA&feature=related (watch the speed on top left of the screen - in kph)

In 2011, the TGV will travel at a cruise speed of 360 km/h in Italy.
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flybaurlax
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's 1st!

Thu Nov 06, 2008 8:28 pm



Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 21):
Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 19):
Proposition 1A is a complete waste of California taxpayer's monies.

Sure sounds like it.... Where is that LA subway at these days?

I rode the LA subway from North Hollywood to Wilshire/Vermont stop every day for 3 years for high school (the first year I carpooled with 3 other people. I commuted from Northridge to Loyola High School near downtown, on Venice and Vermont. It definitely worked in my advantage. I support public transportation, and this HSR is definitely a move in the right direction. I voted yes, and I hope to ride it sometime in the "near" future.
Boilerup! Go Purdue!
 
JakeOrion
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's 1st!

Thu Nov 06, 2008 8:35 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 50):
Making it like Acela would be very stupid. Top line speed is ultimately determined by the line, not the train.

Might have to given the terrain. Face it, CA is not very train friendly, and given the additional costs of having to blast/dig/whatever, it could be far more expensive to go the super high speed route rather than the Acela route.

So the question is are you willing to pay over double or triple amount for nearly 200 MPH line or use ~120 MPH line for a lower price?
Every problem has a simple solution; finding the simple solution is the difficult problem.
 
yooyoo
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's 1st!

Thu Nov 06, 2008 9:04 pm

Looks really good to me.
I wish we could do something like this where i am, say Detroit to Toronto to Montreal
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ozglobal
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's 1st!

Thu Nov 06, 2008 10:27 pm



Quoting Glid4500 (Reply 13):
That maybe so...but as u may know, the Amtrak Acela Express and Northeast Corridor trains ( Boston-NYP-Washington DC ) is a perfect example of HSR in the US. Its been sucessful for quite some time.

It's a pretty good success WITHOUT even being a real HSR, running a lot slower and on classic, not purpose built HS lines. Just image if it were all at a smooth 200mph...
When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.
 
WunalaYann
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's 1st!

Thu Nov 06, 2008 11:39 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 41):
TGV can't keep that sort of speed up, though. It can only be done on certain sections of track and it requires too much energy to maintain that sort of speed at ground level to be economical. It was really a publicity stunt by Alstom to sell trains.

I was only kidding, dude.

To sustain the record run, engineers increased voltage to over 30 kV, which is 5 kV higher than the train's operating voltage. Of course, the train itself was a shortened, lightened version of what you would normally travel on. Additionally, if you look carefully you will see that for the record run it was running on the right-hand side, because it was at the time the "freshest" piece of the track. French trains run on the left-hand side (except in Alsace and Moselle but let us not be picky).

Rule of thumb among SNCF engineers has it that a 10% increase in commercial speed beyond 320 km/h translates into a 30% increase in electricity consumption. We should applaud the latest development of 4th generation TGVs and their projected 360 km/h commercial speed. Will be a few years before they come online, though.  Sad

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 50):
Trains are far easier to upgrade than rights-of-way. The problem with Acela isn't the trains, it's the right of way. The rails are too curvy and the ancient catenary can't support such speeds.

You got it.  checkmark  Thus the big $$$ price of admission.  Smile
 
JoFMO
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's 1st!

Fri Nov 07, 2008 5:49 pm



Quoting JakeOrion (Reply 53):

So the question is are you willing to pay over double or triple amount for nearly 200 MPH line or use ~120 MPH line for a lower price?

You need a certain runtime to get high yield passengers from the airlines. This time is usually considered as under 3 hours. So without running at 225mph/360km/h ,which is best practice in now, you would loose out on a very important proportion of customers, time conscious passengers Bay Area - Los Angeles.

Quoting JakeOrion (Reply 48):
Chances are it will probably be the Acela Express that they currently use on the east coast.

It will definitely not be an Acela. Acela train sets are tilting trains and fulfill the ridiculous US crash test requirements. That makes them very heavy and they destroy the track much more than normal trains. Acela also runs only 250km/h.
California will buy complete different real new high speed trains. Most likely from Japan, Germany or France. But don't rule out the Spaniards, Koreans or Bombardier. Manufacturing will most likely be in the USA anyway.
 
radarbeam
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's 1st!

Fri Nov 07, 2008 6:29 pm

Congratulation to our friends from California!
I've ride on the TGV twice a year and it's a pure pleasure. With a carefully planned network this will be a major success for the US.

Here's a taste of high speed for you: The view from a overpass of the TGV breaking the speed record last year... 357 Mph/ 574 Kph  Wow!  Big grin

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8skXT5NQzCg#t=3m00s
 
steeler83
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's 1st!

Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:50 pm



Quoting STT757 (Reply 47):
Projects like this should be the cornerstone of a economic stimulus, make substantive investments in our infrastructure and put people to work.

Oh I EMPHATICALLY agree! This is what we should be spending hundreds of billions of dollars on. This will improve downtowns, revitalizing them once again, making movement of people of goods between cities, states, and regions, creating jobs, jumpstarting the economy... We can only win by investing in this! I have said this time and time again!

We should have NEVER abandoned our rail system when we built the highways!!!
Do not bring stranger girt into your room. The stranger girt is dangerous, it will hurt your life.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's 1st!

Sat Nov 08, 2008 12:45 am



Quoting JakeOrion (Reply 53):
Might have to given the terrain. Face it, CA is not very train friendly, and given the additional costs of having to blast/dig/whatever, it could be far more expensive to go the super high speed route rather than the Acela route.

Ever been down the Central Valley? It's a huge, long, flat expanse. There will only be a few slow spots through the mountains at the south end of the Central Valley and at the very north where you have to curve around from one valley into the other. For the vast majority of the trip, the route could run right next to I-5, which is an almost perfectly straight line.
-Doc Lightning-

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MD11Engineer
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's

Sat Nov 08, 2008 4:41 am



Quoting JakeOrion (Reply 53):
Might have to given the terrain. Face it, CA is not very train friendly, and given the additional costs of having to blast/dig/whatever, it could be far more expensive to go the super high speed route rather than the Acela route.

So is the southern half of Germany (loads of hills and mountain ranges) or Spain. Tunneling today is much cheaper using tunnel drills than it was years ago using conventional means like drilling and blasting. Even blasting is cheaper today and goes fasterwith the new mobile large shothole drills as used in rock quarries.You can easily remove several twnthousand tons of rock in one go.

Jan
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centrair
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's 1st!

Sat Nov 08, 2008 5:59 am



Quoting JoFMO (Reply 57):
Most likely from Japan, Germany or France. But don't rule out the Spaniards, Koreans or Bombardier. Manufacturing will most likely be in the USA anyway.

I thought the Koreans, Spaniards and Bombardier all use the Althom base (TGV)

China has bought German and Japanese as well as developed their own (copies).
Taiwan uses Japanese technology.

So it would be Japan vs France vs Germany. Too bad US companies gave up on high-speed back in the 1940s.
My name is Centrair but HND is closer. Let's Japanese Aviation!
 
JoFMO
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's 1st!

Sat Nov 08, 2008 2:21 pm



Quoting Centrair (Reply 62):

I thought the Koreans, Spaniards and Bombardier all use the Althom base (TGV)

China has bought German and Japanese as well as developed their own (copies).
Taiwan uses Japanese technology.

So it would be Japan vs France vs Germany. Too bad US companies gave up on high-speed back in the 1940s.

Korean have bought the TGV for their first Line. But they are developing a high speed tarin on their own. The next generation of high speed trains will be locally produced.

The Spaniards have a bit of everything. For their first line in 1992 they bought TGV's from Alstom, for the line to Barcelona they bought the German ICE3 from Siemens. But But they also bought the locally produced 'Pato' for 350km/h form Talgo and an 250km/h version of high speed trains from CAF in Spain. CAF also sold this train to the Turkish Railways for their new HGV.

Bombardier articipated in many different high speed trains so far. But they also have developed an concept on their own now. But I am not aware that this is any further than a paper train. But I have no doubt they are more than capable of building it.
And I think Bombardier is pretty big in North America. They have the usually required local producton capacities

Ansaldo Breda from Italy is also building high speed trains, 250km/h trains for the new line between Brussel and Amsterdam. But they are several years late and it ist still not clear when they will run. So not recommended to shop there....
 
Doona
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's 1st!

Sat Nov 08, 2008 3:05 pm



Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 5):
1,134 operational delays

Don't the Japanese also have (at least from a European point of view) ridiculously low thresholds for what constitutes a delay? Like 5 mins behind or so?

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 44):
I'm pulling for a Japanese model with modified interiors.

I'm guessing the 2+3 abreast seating might not fly on a train in the US...  duck   silly 

Cheers
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Sure, we're concerned for our lives. Just not as concerned as saving 9 bucks on a roundtrip to Ft. Myers.
 
victrola
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's 1st!

Sat Nov 08, 2008 4:04 pm



Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 42):
Excellent news!
One thing I'd love to see is for the Purple Metro line to be extended out to the coast then possibly turn South although there is now the Expo line which I guess would cover the South part. I looked on the metro site and I think they said that a trip from the existing last Purple stop to the coast would take about 20 minutes compared with closer to 1h20m by bus!!

I think the Purple Line should have been the first line built. Anyone who lives in Los Angeles knows that Wilshire Boulevard can be looked upon as the spine of the city. So many business and high density residential zones are located on, or adjacent to Wilshire. If the Purple Line is ever extended from Downtown all the way to the beach in Santa Monica, traffic on the system would skyrocket.

As far as the statewide rail system is concerned, I am a bit sceptical. While I think a LA to San Diego line could be viable, I'm not sure the state has the population density on the other proposed corridors to make it work.
 
JakeOrion
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's

Sat Nov 08, 2008 7:07 pm



Quoting JoFMO (Reply 57):
You need a certain runtime to get high yield passengers from the airlines. This time is usually considered as under 3 hours. So without running at 225mph/360km/h ,which is best practice in now, you would loose out on a very important proportion of customers, time conscious passengers Bay Area - Los Angeles.

Not arguing that. But is it still economical for three times the cost to initially build it?

Quoting JoFMO (Reply 57):
It will definitely not be an Acela. Acela train sets are tilting trains and fulfill the ridiculous US crash test requirements. That makes them very heavy and they destroy the track much more than normal trains. Acela also runs only 250km/h.
California will buy complete different real new high speed trains. Most likely from Japan, Germany or France. But don't rule out the Spaniards, Koreans or Bombardier. Manufacturing will most likely be in the USA anyway.

I emphasized your post to point out key arguments. First, would the foreign built trains even to fulfill the US crash requirements? Do not get me wrong, I know they are very safe and have great to outstanding safety records, but can they apply to the current US regulations?

Second, this is the first I've heard of Acela trains destroying tracks. Also, I failed to find a link to say otherwise. I would like to see your source please. Not saying I don't believe you, just never heard of this.

Third, and all honesty, Bombardier already developed the jet train, which in my opinion would be the best option. It eliminates the need for a catenary system, thus saving costs on maintenance and the initial purchase.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JetTrain

http://www.trackwalker.ca/Train/JetTrain/JT_frameset.htm

Another point to use the jet train: eliminates the need for much needed electricity. As we all know, this state already has enough problems regarding power, so a self powered jet train would be a better alternative.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 60):
Ever been down the Central Valley? It's a huge, long, flat expanse. There will only be a few slow spots through the mountains at the south end of the Central Valley and at the very north where you have to curve around from one valley into the other. For the vast majority of the trip, the route could run right next to I-5, which is an almost perfectly straight line.

The sticky point would be from Bakersfield - Los Angeles - San Diego. True, a majority of the trip is flat, and I don't think San Fransisco would be too much of a problem, just San Diego to Bakersfield.

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 61):
So is the southern half of Germany (loads of hills and mountain ranges) or Spain. Tunneling today is much cheaper using tunnel drills than it was years ago using conventional means like drilling and blasting. Even blasting is cheaper today and goes fasterwith the new mobile large shothole drills as used in rock quarries.You can easily remove several twnthousand tons of rock in one go.

But does this take into account of the issuance/laws/etc CA has in place? Blasting is virtually unheard of (in populated areas) which could mean everything is done by drilling. Not necessarily a bad thing, just could be very expensive. The key here is are the builders ready to overcome all the red tape?
Every problem has a simple solution; finding the simple solution is the difficult problem.
 
captaink
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's 1st!

Sat Nov 08, 2008 8:50 pm

Isn't the Acela Express on the NE corridor, high speed rail?
Look Up
 
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stasisLAX
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's 1st!

Sat Nov 08, 2008 9:12 pm



Quoting Captaink (Reply 67):
Isn't the Acela Express on the NE corridor, high speed rail?

Yes, Acela covers the Boston-New York - Philadelphia-Washington Northeast Corridor route.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety!" B.Franklin
 
captaink
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's 1st!

Sat Nov 08, 2008 9:15 pm



Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 68):

Yes, Acela covers the Boston-New York - Philadelphia-Washington Northeast Corridor route.

So the California rail would be the 2nd High-Speed. HAHA
Look Up
 
Cadet57
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's 1st!

Sat Nov 08, 2008 9:54 pm



Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 19):
traveled by high-speed Metroliner

Not to nitpick but the metroliner train sets were withdrawn years ago. They were then replaced with standard AEM-7 and HHP-8 locomotives pulling the regular amfleet coaches. These trains are now known as Northeast Regional's
Doors open, right hand side, next stop is Springfield.
 
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stasisLAX
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's 1st!

Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:24 pm



Quoting Cadet57 (Reply 70):
Not to nitpick but the metroliner train sets were withdrawn years ago. They were then replaced with standard AEM-7 and HHP-8 locomotives pulling the regular amfleet coaches. These trains are now known as Northeast Regional's

Thanks for the correction.I rode a Metroliner-style passenger car from Philadelphia to Paoli several months ago, but you're correct. Metroliner branded service on AMTRAK ended in 2006.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety!" B.Franklin
 
WunalaYann
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's 1st!

Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:46 pm



Quoting Captaink (Reply 67):
Isn't the Acela Express on the NE corridor, high speed rail?

By European standards, "high speed rail" starts beyond 220 km/h (137 mph) because this is the speed above which train drivers require in-cabin electronic signalling. Therefore, "high speed trains" travelling at speed above it cannot do it on standard infrastructure and cannot have standard rail traffic interfering with them.

Typically, high speed starts at 270 km/h and goes all the way up to 360 km/h at the moment.

 Smile

I would not consider the North East corridor as a high speed system at all.
 
Cadet57
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's 1st!

Sun Nov 09, 2008 12:03 am



Quoting WunalaYann (Reply 72):
I would not consider the North East corridor as a high speed system at all.

Why? The Acela travels at 125 which is only 12mph less than what you consider high speed and other standard trains at about 100.

Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 71):
rode a Metroliner-style passenger car from Philadelphia to Paoli several months ago, but you're correct.

Well most amtrak coaches (minus the Talgo, Horizon and Superliner and Acela) are based off of the Budd metroliner design.

Doors open, right hand side, next stop is Springfield.
 
JoFMO
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's 1st!

Sun Nov 09, 2008 2:07 am



Quoting JakeOrion (Reply 66):
Quoting JoFMO (Reply 57):
It will definitely not be an Acela. Acela train sets are tilting trains and fulfill the ridiculous US crash test requirements. That makes them very heavy and they destroy the track much more than normal trains. Acela also runs only 250km/h.
California will buy complete different real new high speed trains. Most likely from Japan, Germany or France. But don't rule out the Spaniards, Koreans or Bombardier. Manufacturing will most likely be in the USA anyway.

I emphasized your post to point out key arguments. First, would the foreign built trains even to fulfill the US crash requirements? Do not get me wrong, I know they are very safe and have great to outstanding safety records, but can they apply to the current US regulations?

They don't have to. The Californian network is planned total separate from the interstate freight network. The will share tracks with Caltrain in the Bay Area, but there is not freight. But you never know with what kind of stupid regulations the authorities come up with....

Quoting JakeOrion (Reply 66):
Second, this is the first I've heard of Acela trains destroying tracks. Also, I failed to find a link to say otherwise. I would like to see your source please. Not saying I don't believe you, just never heard of this.

"Destroying" is a hard word. But it is simply a fact of physics. Running a very heavy train very fast puts large forces on track and ballast. Then you also have to put the tilting mechanism into equation, which puts even more force on the track. Therefore Acela 'hurts' the track much more than a light-weight TGV which has only 17t per axle.

Quoting WunalaYann (Reply 72):

By European standards, "high speed rail" starts beyond 220 km/h (137 mph) because this is the speed above which train drivers require in-cabin electronic signaling. Therefore, "high speed trains" travelling at speed above it cannot do it on standard infrastructure and cannot have standard rail traffic interfering with them.

I think the UIC considers everything above 220km/h as high speed. 220 is still possible on upgraded old track, above it becomes a problem. In cab signaling in most European countries is already required above 160km/h.

Quoting Captaink (Reply 69):
So the California rail would be the 2nd High-Speed. HAHA

Wikipedia says: "The highest speed attained by Acela Express is 150 mph (241 km/h) on two sections of track in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, which total 18 miles (29 km)".
and
"The scheduled transit time for the 5:00 a.m. departure from Washington, D.C. (the quickest stopping pattern) to Boston's South Station on Acela Express service is roughly 6 hours 36 minutes. Allowing for the fifteen minute scheduled layover in New York City, the average speed is 72 mph (116 km/h) for the 456 mi (734 km) trip."

Thats not high speed! The French run high speed trains over the 750km between Paris and Marseille in 3 hours, that equals 250km/h average....!
 
captaink
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's 1st!

Sun Nov 09, 2008 2:15 am

From Wiki

Quote:
High-speed rail is usually defined as traveling faster than 200 km/h, or about 124 mph. The highest speed attained by Acela Express is 150 mph (241 km/h) on two sections of track in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, which total 18 miles (29 km). There are also many miles of track, especially east of New Haven, that have been upgraded to 110 mph and 125 mph (177 km/h and 201 km/h). South of New York, Acela Express is limited to 135 mph (217 km/h), with many stretches of 125 mph (201 km/h). Although the track is straight enough to allow 150 mph (241 km/h) in several areas there, the overhead catenary support system was constructed during the Great Depression. As such, it lacks the constant-tension features of the new catenary east of New Haven, and cannot support running speeds over 135 mph (217 km/h) (although in the late 1960s, the Pennsylvania Railroad did run Metroliner test trains as fast as 164 miles per hour (264 km/h) and briefly ran the Metroliner service at speeds reaching 150 miles per hour (240 km/h)).

So I guess it is a true High-Speed rail due to limitations, but on some parts of the track it can operate like one. So the first TRUE high speed rail would be California's.

 Sad West Coast Wins again.. HAHA
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WunalaYann
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's 1st!

Sun Nov 09, 2008 4:08 am



Quoting Cadet57 (Reply 73):
Why? The Acela travels at 125 which is only 12mph less than what you consider high speed and other standard trains at about 100.

As I said, above 220 km/h you need a completely different infrastructure and signalling system. Safety comes first.

For what it is worth, "high speed" in Japan and Europe is 270 km/h and beyond. 70 km/h over distances of, say, 500 km makes a big, big difference in running times. Not to mention 320 km/h.

Quoting JoFMO (Reply 74):
In cab signaling in most European countries is already required above 160km/h.

There can be in-cab signalling back-ups, but the physical signalling system remains visible on the side of the tracks, up to 220 km/h.

 Smile
 
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Aaron747
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's 1st!

Sun Nov 09, 2008 4:12 am



Quote:
Doona Reply 64: Don't the Japanese also have (at least from a European point of view) ridiculously low thresholds for what constitutes a delay? Like 5 mins behind or so?

From what I understand, "late" here is 1 minute behind schedule or more. Generally, shinkansen is never late unless there's a suicide, earthquake or typhoon.

[Edited 2008-11-08 20:15:13]
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Jaws707
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's 1st!

Sun Nov 09, 2008 4:16 am

A little off topic, but since we're talking about Acela I thought I would ask if Amtrak is working on making the system faster such as improving track and signaling. Has there been a reduction of travel time from when Acela first began service?
 
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centrair
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's 1st!

Sun Nov 09, 2008 8:12 am

If California went for the Shinkansen (Tokaido) they would be laying wider lines than what is done in Europe and the US. The Shinkansen trains a wide and the tracks are wide.

I bet they would go for a system where the trains could be switched off dedicated lines to non-dedicated lines.

The Chinese bought a Japanese Shinkansen train that runs north. I think it was the E3.
My name is Centrair but HND is closer. Let's Japanese Aviation!
 
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Francoflier
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's 1st!

Sun Nov 09, 2008 8:38 am



Quoting Aaron747 (Thread starter):
This is the proposed system in its current incarnation:

I think it's a great achievement for CA.

However, I think too many stops have been planned between the major stations.

There are 11 intermediary stattions between SF and LA, the longest uninterrupted run being 39 mins... Stopping too often kills the purpose and efficiency of high speed in my opinion, although I understand that a compromise between speed and the number of riders must be found.

Will there be any express trains which will not stop at these intermediary stations?

In many other countries where HSR is used, lines run mostly uninterrupted between major urban centers, and that's how it could succesfully compete with air travel. Stopping every 15 to 30 mins literally destroys your average speed, even if you're doing 200mph in between the stops.

If it had been my tax money, I would have liked to see 3 or 4 major high speed non-stop lines, such as SF-LA, SAC-LA, LA-SAN, LA-LAS... Regular trains could do feeder service to smaller cities.

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 77):
From what I understand, "late" here is 1 minute behind schedule or more. Generally, shinkansen is never late unless there's a suicide, earthquake or typhoon.

The punctuality of the Japanese train service is verging on unbelievable, and I don't think you can honestly expect that kind of on-time performance from anywhere else in the world, even if generally speaking, trains are easily much more punctual than air travel.

 Wink
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WunalaYann
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's 1st!

Sun Nov 09, 2008 9:34 am



Quoting Francoflier (Reply 80):
The punctuality of the Japanese train service is verging on unbelievable, and I don't think you can honestly expect that kind of on-time performance from anywhere else in the world, even if generally speaking, trains are easily much more punctual than air travel.

Second that 100%. Absolutely amazing, and that's from a French railway fan.  bigthumbsup 

Quoting Centrair (Reply 79):
The Shinkansen trains a wide and the tracks are wide.

My understanding is that Shinkansen tracks are actually standard UIC 1.436m gauge. Which makes them larger than standard Japanese rail tracks.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shinkansen#Construction

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Aaron747
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's 1st!

Sun Nov 09, 2008 11:06 am



Quoting Francoflier (Reply 80):
The punctuality of the Japanese train service is verging on unbelievable, and I don't think you can honestly expect that kind of on-time performance from anywhere else in the world, even if generally speaking, trains are easily much more punctual than air travel.

No matter how long I've been here, it's simply stunning. I caught this from the same wiki site:

In 2003, JR Central reported that the Shinkansen's average arrival time was within six seconds of the scheduled time. This includes all natural and human accidents and errors and is calculated from all of about 160,000 Shinkansen trips made. The previous record was from 1997 and was 18 seconds.

Sorry, that's just disgusting  Wink
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HowSwedeitis
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's 1st!

Sun Nov 09, 2008 1:04 pm

Good for California. Sanfran-LA in just over 2 hours?!?!  wideeyed  That's going to be a cool trip!

-HSII
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L410Turbolet
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's 1st!

Sun Nov 09, 2008 1:20 pm



Quoting Columba (Reply 43):
Any idea what highspeed train California will get, a new one or one based on an existing model (TGV, Eurostar, ICE, etc....)

The picture in the opening post suggests it will be Alstom's Pendolino, but maybe they used that just for illustration purposes.

http://gas2.org/files/2008/05/chsr_10_southbay_a_05_3600_2025.jpg
 
JoFMO
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's 1st!

Sun Nov 09, 2008 1:35 pm



Quoting HowSwedeitis (Reply 83):
Good for California. Sanfran-LA in just over 2 hours?!?!

2:38
 
Cadet57
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's 1st!

Sun Nov 09, 2008 3:02 pm



Quoting JoFMO (Reply 74):

So by your own post, you say the acela hits a top speed of 150mph which according to you meets the criteria of high speed, but apparently because it cant go as fast as european HST's its not a proper high speed train.
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Francoflier
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's 1st!

Sun Nov 09, 2008 3:29 pm



Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 84):
The picture in the opening post suggests it will be Alstom's Pendolino

I thinks it's just a picture of Alstom's latest TGV with a custom paintscheme.



BTW, is that an official pic? It looks like a repaint of a simrail software model.

I personally wish they'd go for Alstom's AGV, or Siemens/Bombardier ICE 3.

The pendolino is great if it is to be used mostly on an older track network not designed for high speed running, but if it's getting it's own track, they should get a properly fast machine.
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JoFMO
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's 1st!

Sun Nov 09, 2008 4:03 pm



Quoting Cadet57 (Reply 86):


Quoting JoFMO (Reply 74):

So by your own post, you say the acela hits a top speed of 150mph which according to you meets the criteria of high speed, but apparently because it cant go as fast as European HST's its not a proper high speed train.

It hits it on 2 sectioned with a combined length of 29km. So it seems quite fair to reckon you will run less than 10 minutes of your whole 3:30hour journey with a speed that would qualify as high speed. It is up to everybody to judge if that is good enough.
 
Cadet57
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's 1st!

Sun Nov 09, 2008 4:11 pm



Quoting JoFMO (Reply 88):
It hits it on 2 sectioned with a combined length of 29km. So it seems quite fair to reckon you will run less than 10 minutes of your whole 3:30hour journey with a speed that would qualify as high speed. It is up to everybody to judge if that is good enough.

Its not. But the trains run much faster than 74mph as you think they do. I was on a standard amtrak train and was passed twice by a north and southboud acela and they were moving MUCH faster than I was. And the section of track we were on we were doing atleast 60-70 mph so the aclea had to be doing atleast 90-100.
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FruteBrute
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's 1st!

Mon Nov 10, 2008 12:49 pm



Quoting JoFMO (Reply 74):
"Destroying" is a hard word. But it is simply a fact of physics. Running a very heavy train very fast puts large forces on track and ballast. Then you also have to put the tilting mechanism into equation, which puts even more force on the track. Therefore Acela 'hurts' the track much more than a light-weight TGV which has only 17t per axle.

Frankly, I've never once seen this mentioned anywhere being an issue about Acela. What has been an issue was/is the accelerated wear and tear on the wheels and brakes of the Acela trains themselves. The additional weight of the Acela trains for the random, arbitrary crash standards AMTRAK had picked was the problem. Hopefully the California trains won't have such a silly, arbitrary requirement.

To have truly high speed trains you need a rail system dedicated to passenger rail only w/ the higher speed ratings in mind when designing the rails/track. Most all of the Acela NE rail is considered Class 7 rail which allows for up to 125 MPH operation, with a couple of areas upgraded to Class 8 rail which is rated for up to 160 MPH. For 200 MPH use you need to get Class 9 rail, currently the USA has no Class 9 rail anywhere.

Is Acela "true high speed rail"? Yeah / nah is my answer. I've been all over Europe on the various high speed trains as well as the high speed systems in Japan & Korea. The Acela is not comparable for sheer speed. If they could upgrade their rail then it would be a solid competitor. I've been on the Nozumi Shinkansen which is the fastest train Japan currently has, which is 300 KPH / 186 MPH. The new 320 KPH trains come online in 2010 I believe. Supposedly the new 320 KPH trains are capable of running at 360 KPH but Japan won't let them due to wear and tear on the electric lines, noise pollution and tunnel boom, and 360 KPH to 0 stopping times are unacceptable to their current rail system. So for the time being it seems as traditional high speed rail may hit it's max, and new technologies will have to be pursued like maglev.

I'm excited to see that California has embraced the future. You have to also keep in mind that eliminating all of those flights from up and down the coast between the cities also will allow the airports to forestall expansion plans for a few years because they will be able to handle more flights from elsewhere. The NE corridor needs to really focus on this as well, and free up airspace by eliminating the need for interNE flights.
 
Beaucaire
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's 1st!

Mon Nov 10, 2008 1:00 pm



Quoting Francoflier (Reply 87):
I personally wish they'd go for Alstom's AGV, or Siemens/Bombardier ICE 3.

In all honesty - the Alstom TGV's are more reliable than the German High Speed Trains..
I am German but have to admit that the French TGV trains are pretty well designed and built- the run dam fast ( up to 350Km /H ) on regular services and other than the criminal sabotage on French TGV-tracks( still one today close to Narbonne..) the operations are very good.
Great French engineering ..!!
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Aaron747
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's 1st!

Mon Nov 10, 2008 1:42 pm



Quoting FruteBrute (Reply 90):
Japan won't let them due to wear and tear on the electric lines, noise pollution and tunnel boom

Based on articles I've seen locally, the most limiting issue is tunnel boom. They have tried sound suppression technologies for the last 25 years and still have been unable to tackle the problem to their satisfaction. It just so happens the majority of shinkansen tunnel exits are located in close proximity to either densely-populated suburban areas and/or agricultural communities prone to protest anger...which doesn't really help them out any.
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JoFMO
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's 1st!

Mon Nov 10, 2008 4:03 pm



Quoting FruteBrute (Reply 90):

Quoting JoFMO (Reply 74):
"Destroying" is a hard word. But it is simply a fact of physics. Running a very heavy train very fast puts large forces on track and ballast. Then you also have to put the tilting mechanism into equation, which puts even more force on the track. Therefore Acela 'hurts' the track much more than a light-weight TGV which has only 17t per axle.

Frankly, I've never once seen this mentioned anywhere being an issue about Acela. What has been an issue was/is the accelerated wear and tear on the wheels and brakes of the Acela trains themselves. The additional weight of the Acela trains for the random, arbitrary crash standards AMTRAK had picked was the problem. Hopefully the California trains won't have such a silly, arbitrary requirement.

I am not an expert on North American railways. What I describe is just a general physical function. So I don't know if it is just not widely reported , maybe the problem needs more time to evolve but most likely it is not yet a problem because Acela runs so slow.

But I know from Germany and France that they have certain problems with their ballast. When the French have done the first overhaul of the Paris-Lyon line a couple of years ago after 20 years of operation, I read the description 'pulverized'. And that happened with very light weight trains of just 17t axle load but 270km/h.
In Germany they also had problems with the Ballast on their first high speed line. They already have done some replacement work after 10 years of operation on large parts. But they not only run heavier than 17t axle load high speed trains but also ordinary freight with 22.5t loads over it. Therefore Germany completely switched to slap-track fro their new line.
 
WunalaYann
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's 1st!

Mon Nov 10, 2008 10:04 pm



Quoting JoFMO (Reply 93):
But I know from Germany and France that they have certain problems with their ballast. When the French have done the first overhaul of the Paris-Lyon line a couple of years ago after 20 years of operation, I read the description 'pulverized'.

Considering most heavily-travelled rail infrastructures (urban and inter-urban) get entirely "revitalised" (read: completely re-done sleepers, rails and ballast) every seven years, I do not see a problem with LN1 being hammered after 20 years. As a side note, 2001 was a key year for the North-South backbone as it coincided with the launch of the last Valence-Marseille section of the track. The SNCF and RFF took the opportunity to package it all with track replacement north of Valence.

 Smile

As a side note, 115-tonne CC-riders (CC 6500 series) running at 200 km/h absolutely killed the Paris-Bordeaux infrastructure until 1989 because of six axles slamming into curves that were then mostly supported by wooden sleepers. They were called "mangeurs de traverses".
 
FruteBrute
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's 1st!

Mon Nov 10, 2008 11:14 pm



Quoting JoFMO (Reply 93):
I am not an expert on North American railways. What I describe is just a general physical function. So I don't know if it is just not widely reported , maybe the problem needs more time to evolve but most likely it is not yet a problem because Acela runs so slow.

Interesting. Perhaps they have just assumed or built in higher wear and tear allowances as matter of course, so we don't really hear of it as an issue.

I do know that while a rail stretch may have a speed rating, a train is still limited by rules on curves.

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MaidensGator
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's 1st!

Tue Nov 11, 2008 12:00 am



Quoting Aaron747 (Thread starter):
America's first dedicated high speed rail line has been approved by voters in California.

It may be the first to be built, but as others have mentioned, Florida passed the same thing eight years ago...

Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 19):
Proposition 1A is a complete waste of California taxpayer's monies.

Which Florida found out after it was passed. Because it was constitutional, it took precedence over all other transportation funding. No money for roads doomed it. In 2004 another amendment voted down the first one...

Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 19):
The proponets of this measure provided the public with bad information,

Just like in Florida...

The bottom line is if this was such a great idea, private business would build it...
The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.
 
WunalaYann
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's 1st!

Tue Nov 11, 2008 12:08 am



Quoting MaidensGator (Reply 96):
The bottom line is if this was such a great idea, private business would build it...

I disagree. Staunchly. It has to do with the impossibility to reconcile economic life of assets counted in decades with quarterly financial reports. Investing $15b in infrastructure will generate economic benefits spread out over 100 years. If not more.

There have been interesting threads on the subject in the past few days.

 Smile
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's 1st!

Tue Nov 11, 2008 2:44 am



Quoting WunalaYann (Reply 97):
I disagree. Staunchly. It has to do with the impossibility to reconcile economic life of assets counted in decades with quarterly financial reports.Investing $15b in infrastructure will generate economic benefits spread out over 100 years. If not more.

If it takes decades (plural) to recuperate the initial investment, the public probably isn't getting much benefit from a heavily subsidized service. In my research of the TGV, I believe SNCF was able to recuperate the initial investment in the Sud-Est line in about 15 years. That's very do-able for private industry. And since the private holder would indeed stand to benefit from 100+ years of royalties, that would be a lucrative business case in an ideal world.

But unfortunately, getting those economics to work in the United States (in 2008) is still questionable. Like I've said before, I can't see more than 5 viable high-speed markets in the U.S. before 2050.
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WunalaYann
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RE: High Speed Rail Win In California - America's 1st!

Tue Nov 11, 2008 2:54 am



Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 98):
If it takes decades (plural) to recuperate the initial investment, the public probably isn't getting much benefit from a heavily subsidized service.

The service itself probably will not be subsidised. In the case of the TGV, virtually no service is subsidised.

What does often require a lot of tax money is the initial infrastructure building. As you said, there is a business case in terms of long-term profits but the main barrier to entry on the market is most of the time the colossal size of the initial infrastructure investment. Not many construction and/or transport companies have that kind of cash. And at the present time, big loans are not the easiest thing to get.

In my opinion it is temporary (fingers crossed) and should therefore change in the next 18 months or so.

The funny thing about the French HST network is that for the first 15 years, the private sector would not touch it with a 10-ft pole. And then, as you showed, it started to come to light that it was indeed economically viable. And suddenly consortia are mushrooming left, right and centre to get a chance to bid for the construction and/or operation of new lines.

Economic theory would indicate that rational decision-making would push economic agents towards the most profitable investments first, and then work their way down the profitability ladder. It seems like it is working backwards in the case of TGV.

Go figure.

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