• SEHSR Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor

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

Moderators: mtuandrew, gprimr1

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  by neroden
 
tarheelman wrote:
Chafford1 wrote:This is a very modest scheme by world standards (China is spending $32 billion on its 800mile Beijing - Shanghai 220mph high speed rail link which will be completed in 2013) so I would hope it would have a good chance of completion
Obviously written by somebody who doesn't know how uninterested South Carolina and Georgia are on funding their part of the SEHSR corridor.
Well, I think the parts beyond Charlotte look like fantasy at this point, for exactly that reason. But let's call it "complete" when it gets to Charlotte, since that was the *original* corridor before the "extensions" were added.
  by tarheelman
 
neroden wrote: Well, I think the parts beyond Charlotte look like fantasy at this point, for exactly that reason. But let's call it "complete" when it gets to Charlotte, since that was the *original* corridor before the "extensions" were added.
Unfortunately, you're probably correct in calling it complete when it gets to Charlotte. However, as someone with family in Atlanta and an expen$ive local airport (i.e., few flights and no discount airline), the older I get, the more I wish South Carolina and Georgia would get with the program on HSR.
  by villager
 
Unfortunately for those with connections to the south of NC, and perhaps fortunately for those of us who look more to the Northeast for travel and family connections, I think the SC/GA non-participation has recently been cemented even further with the announcement of the mid-day NC train on the Piedmont run.

Prior to announcing the midday Piedmont, the suggestion that the Piedmont equipment could be more effectively used by going on from Charlotte to Columbia, then turning around to come back to Charlotte, was at least mentioned every now and then. Presently, the Piedmont sits in Charlotte for 7 hours every day before going back to work to return to Raleigh.

When the midday NC train is deployed, the opportunity to extend into NC on a non-LD train service is closed. I don't blame NCDOT- the deafening silence on intercity passenger rail from SC and GA is a clear signal that they are not interested. VA under Tim Kaine has been sending much different signals, and is putting money up for improvements.

NCDOT Rail has the right improvements in their sights- incremental improvements in the RGH-CLT corridor, and the big investment in the RMS-RGH corridor to get the fast segment of SEHSR built.
  by tarheelman
 
villager wrote:Unfortunately for those with connections to the south of NC, and perhaps fortunately for those of us who look more to the Northeast for travel and family connections, I think the SC/GA non-participation has recently been cemented even further with the announcement of the mid-day NC train on the Piedmont run.

Prior to announcing the midday Piedmont, the suggestion that the Piedmont equipment could be more effectively used by going on from Charlotte to Columbia, then turning around to come back to Charlotte, was at least mentioned every now and then. Presently, the Piedmont sits in Charlotte for 7 hours every day before going back to work to return to Raleigh.

When the midday NC train is deployed, the opportunity to extend into NC on a non-LD train service is closed. I don't blame NCDOT- the deafening silence on intercity passenger rail from SC and GA is a clear signal that they are not interested. VA under Tim Kaine has been sending much different signals, and is putting money up for improvements.

NCDOT Rail has the right improvements in their sights- incremental improvements in the RGH-CLT corridor, and the big investment in the RMS-RGH corridor to get the fast segment of SEHSR built.
Considering the amount of growth that has taken place in the Charlotte-to-Greenville (SC) corridor, it's too bad that South Carolina and Georgia don't want to provide a faster alternative to car travel between the Greenville/Spartanburg area and Atlanta, Athens, Charlotte, and Raleigh. Oh, well.....
  by lpetrich
 
It is very welcome that some states are intent on making progress toward high-speed rail. However, such progress depends a lot on states' political whims, which will make progress spotty. And such spottiness is what we are seeing here; North Carolina is leading the way and dragging Virginia along, while South Carolina and Georgia continue to be slowpokes.

And even with improved service, the "we want one too" factor may not necessarily be very effective. It hasn't been very effective in the starting of urban-rail systems:

San Francisco and San Jose / South Bay have light-rail systems; Oakland / East Bay still doesn't
Much of the SF Bay Area has the Caltrain, Altamont Commuter Express, and Capitol Corridor commuter trains, but Marin and Sonoma Counties still doesn't have one
Los Angeles and San Diego have light-rail systems; Orange County still doesn't
Portland has a light-rail system; Seattle is building one
Dallas has a light-rail and a commuter-rail system; Houston recently built one, Austin is building one, Ft. Worth doesn't have a light-rail system, and San Antonio has neither
St. Louis has a light-rail system but Kansas City is gradually approaching starting to build one
Cleveland has rail-transit systems, but Columbus and Cincinnati don't

Joseph Vranich noted in Supertrains that European nations often find it easier to cooperate on HSR schemes that US states.
  by george matthews
 
Joseph Vranich noted in Supertrains that European nations often find it easier to cooperate on HSR schemes that US states.
There is now a European policy on high speed trains, supervised by the European Commission and legislated for by the European Parliament.
  by tarheelman
 
lpetrich wrote:It is very welcome that some states are intent on making progress toward high-speed rail. However, such progress depends a lot on states' political whims, which will make progress spotty. And such spottiness is what we are seeing here; North Carolina is leading the way and dragging Virginia along, while South Carolina and Georgia continue to be slowpokes.

And even with improved service, the "we want one too" factor may not necessarily be very effective. It hasn't been very effective in the starting of urban-rail systems:

San Francisco and San Jose / South Bay have light-rail systems; Oakland / East Bay still doesn't
Much of the SF Bay Area has the Caltrain, Altamont Commuter Express, and Capitol Corridor commuter trains, but Marin and Sonoma Counties still doesn't have one
Los Angeles and San Diego have light-rail systems; Orange County still doesn't
Portland has a light-rail system; Seattle is building one
Dallas has a light-rail and a commuter-rail system; Houston recently built one, Austin is building one, Ft. Worth doesn't have a light-rail system, and San Antonio has neither
St. Louis has a light-rail system but Kansas City is gradually approaching starting to build one
Cleveland has rail-transit systems, but Columbus and Cincinnati don't
Regardless of what kind it is (i.e., HSR, light rail, or commuter rail), in order for a new rail service to succeed, it has to provide a benefit to consumers.

In the case of HSR, this means that it'll only do well if it's both faster and more convenient than car travel.

For light rail and commuter rail, this means that each line has to have a lot of stations on it so that most of a metro area's residential and commercial sections are within a short walk to a station. Obviously, this is difficult to accomplish in cities that are spread out over a wide area, which is why light rail and commuter rail often don't catch on in such cities.
  by lpetrich
 
tarheelman wrote:Regardless of what kind it is (i.e., HSR, light rail, or commuter rail), in order for a new rail service to succeed, it has to provide a benefit to consumers.

In the case of HSR, this means that it'll only do well if it's both faster and more convenient than car travel.

For light rail and commuter rail, this means that each line has to have a lot of stations on it so that most of a metro area's residential and commercial sections are within a short walk to a station. Obviously, this is difficult to accomplish in cities that are spread out over a wide area, which is why light rail and commuter rail often don't catch on in such cities.
Fair enough, but some cities develop such systems much more than other cities that are broadly similar to them.

Since urban-rail systems require a lot of capital investment by their local governments, I think that the difference is a matter of political whim -- are there politicians committed to setting up an urban-rail system?

And the same is likely true of high-speed rail. From the looks of it, South Carolina and Georgia do not look much different from North Carolina or Virginia -- all southeastern coastal states, where the proposed HSR lines are in relatively flat areas.
  by SystemsConsciousness
 
Race plays a large role in public transportation in the South--just look at Rosa Parks onward.

I hate to say this, but the Southeast is incredibly dependent on fed gov spending. They have been essentially on government welfare, which is ironic given their conservative ideology.

One way therefore to change the situation is to offer federal spending for high speed rail from Atlanta to DC. The south never met a federal dollar they didn't want. As a Northeasterner (from Pennsylvania, now New York), I have been happy to subsidize the south, but not the military, so spending the money on transit would give them an opportunity to receive non-military tax dollars, which would be a welcome improvement.
  by SystemsConsciousness
 
If you look at long distance trains from the south. There are a huge number of African Americans on board and there is a general hostility in the south towards public transportation. This came after bus boycotts, court-orders, etc. People in general would like to avoid being around others who are not like them.
  by tarheelman
 
SystemsConsciousness wrote:If you look at long distance trains from the south. There are a huge number of African Americans on board and there is a general hostility in the south towards public transportation. This came after bus boycotts, court-orders, etc. People in general would like to avoid being around others who are not like them.
With all due respect, I'm not trying to argue, but I've lived in the southeast for all of the forty-one years of my life. As such, from first-hand experience I can say that the southern lack of interest in public transportation comes from the fact that most of us value personal liberty. Consequently, because private automobiles offer the ability to go wherever we need to go whenever we need to go there (which public transportation doesn't), they dovetail with our respect for personal liberty. Thus, as automobiles became more affordable in the years after World War II, we chose to use our automobiles for transportation rather than using public transportation.

BTW, as a sometime passenger on the only corridor day train that we have (trains 79 & 80---the Carolinian), there are almost as many white passengers on this train as there are black passengers.
  by Vincent
 
from tarheelman:
Consequently, because private automobiles offer the ability to go wherever we need to go whenever we need to go there (which public transportation doesn't)
Here in the Pacific Northwest, we hear that line spoken by anti-rail advocates, too. What's missing from the equation is the fact that unless you have a road to drive on and gas to put in your tank, you ain't goin' nowhere. But if citizens would rather spend 6 hours sitting in their cars instead of 3 hours on a high speed train, so be it.
  by george matthews
 
Thus, as automobiles became more affordable in the years after World War II, we chose to use our automobiles for transportation rather than using public transportation.
And now they are going to get more expensive.
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