HSR Paradise?

General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

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amm in ny
Posts: 232
Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2010 1:33 pm

Re: HSR Paradise?

Post by amm in ny »

David Benton wrote:Why would anyone in their right mind want to rent a car in Manhattan anyway??? .
Same reason people rent cars at LaGuardia or JFK. To get to places outside of NYC.
David Benton wrote:Surely anyone looking to travel anywhere other than Lower Manhattan by rental car would get off at a prior stop anyway.
Which "prior stop"? If you're going to Long Island or Westchester County, the other Amtrak stops are fairly out of the way. And they don't have rental car facilities within walking distance. There are rental car places in Manhattan, but you have to get to them during normal business hours. Unlike airport rental agencies, which are open whenever the planes are flying, these agencies are not integrated into the rail travel network and their business hours don't take Amtrak schedules (or delays) into account. Back when I lived in Brooklyn, we would go to LaGuardia to rent cars because the in-town rental locations' hours didn't mesh with when we needed to pick up or drop off the car. If someone I knew were coming by train to visit, say, IBM or SUNY/Stony Brook, I'd recommend they take the bus from NYP to LGA and rent a car there.

I'm not banging on the "rental car" issue because I'm all that in love with driving. But it is pretty much the only solution that I know of for getting between the station and the final destination that works in the USA for any final destination. The alternatives -- taxi, public transportation, and being picked up by someone from your destination -- only work for a very limited set of destinations, and by depending upon them, Amtrak is reduced to a niche business, sort of like the ferries between Long Island and Connecticut, or between Cape May and Delaware.

The places I know of where HSR seems to be working (Japan, Europe) are places where conventional rail travel was already integrated into the transportation network and a major transportation mode.

Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 5:02 pm

Re: HSR Paradise?

Post by Connection »

SouthernRailway wrote:How soon we forget:

US freight railroads lead the world in market share (and efficiency and profitability). They don't cost taxpayers (net) one cent.

We may not be #1 in passenger rail, but we are #1- by a long shot- in freight rail. Freight rail carries 40% of US freight, and that has a much larger impact on the economy than HSR systems have, which carry at most maybe 5-10% of intercity passengers.

(Sidenote: there are plenty of rental car locations in Manhattan; they are in parking garages.)
Europe's railroads are far more efficient equipment/technology/infrastructure wise. Our rail traffic is far more lucrative by nature. They don't have a need comparable to dragging chinese goods across the desert of the American west to chicago. Germany's freight tends to shipping high values goods like cars/machine tools to ports. I mean really how can you claim that our largest freight hub, Chicago, still uses manually thrown switches while the Europeans are on the precipice of widespread moving block signals.
SouthernRailway wrote: And if having larger-scale HSR means (1) living in a Communist country like China where the desires of the population can be ignored, and their property can be confiscated, or (2) living in somewhere like France, where you're taxed to death (and I know, as I have lived, studied and worked there), I'd choose what we have.
What kind of country let's vocal minorities of NIMBY's impede national progress because they can't stand the idea of another area being benefited even though they would benefit indirectly?

Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:05 pm

Re: HSR Paradise?

Post by barciur »

SouthernRailway wrote:
Plus, we DO have HSR. It's small in scope, but we have it. The Acela is faster than "HSR" trains in plenty of countries, such as the Dutch and Swedish HSR trains, Fyra and the X2000.
Fyra was a short lived experiment and its V250 went as fast as Acela's top speed. SJ 2000's top speed is a little slower than Acela (130 mph vs 150 mph) but it's average speed is 108.2 mph vs Acela's 70 mph. Can you really call a train with an average speed of 70 MPH an HSR? Hell no. I don't care how fast it can go over a 5 mile stretch, I care about its entire journey.

So I'd like to hear of those "plenty of countries" that you speak of with a true HSR service. Germany's trains go over 200 MPH, as do France's, Spain's etc.

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