• 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 tarheelman
 
David Benton wrote:I wonder if people see airplanes as public transport ?
People choose air over the private car because it gets them there faster .
if trains were to do the same thing .....
You've raised a good point, Mr. Benton. Because it involves traveling faster than cars, and also involves interstate travel rather than intracity transport, HSR has more in common with air travel than it does with public transit. However, because nobody in this country (and especially not in South Carolina and Georgia) has done a good job of articulating to the American people that rail travel can be done safely at speeds over 100 MPH, folks still equate passenger rail with public transportation rather than with interstate travel. Also, the fact that air travel is available from more than one carrier while rail travel isn't doesn't help efforts to keep folks from thinking "public transportation" when they think "passenger rail."
  by tarheelman
 
Vincent wrote: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.
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal about Honda's CNG-powered Civic indicates that this might change in the future, as automobiles move from petroleum to other sources of energy. According to this article, CNG and current battery technology both have one thing in common---they have much shorter cruising ranges than gasoline. Consequently, rather than having cars that they can drive cross country, folks are going to have to accept cars that do only one thing---run errands and commute to/from work (i.e., local driving).

If this comes to pass, HSR advocates will have a much easier time explaining the benefits of 100+ MPH rail travel.

Here's a link to the article: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122186094724058283.html
  by Vincent
 
Thanks for the link, tarheelman. CNG seems to be gaining popularity with fleet operators, who have a fixed base of operations, allowing them to overcome the problem of "where to fill the tank?". It remains to be seen if the limited range of CNG vehicles, the unknown lifetime maintenance and repair costs and other problems of new technology will be overcome by the lower cost at the pump. Also, one big problem mentioned in the article: CNG doesn't significantly reduce CO2 emissions when compared to gasoline (although other noxious emissions are much lower). If CNG can't produce an overall reduction in CO2 emissions, we're not really making any progress on the environmental problems caused by automobiles, just making it cheaper to destroy the planet.
.
  by Chessie GM50
 
David Benton wrote:I wonder if people see airplanes as public transport ?
People choose air over the private car because it gets them there faster .
if trains were to do the same thing .....
The only spot in the US that I could see people choosing trains over other modes, is the Northeast, and to a stretch, Keystone Corridor areas. Ever since the Acela was Introduced to the NEC, Air shuttles have been losing passengers. (I'll try to find the site that proves that.)

If only some of the southeastern states would see the light, (and the FRA, making things lighter) that Japan has been running the Bullet Trains at over 125 mph for almost the past half-century, and AFAIK, there have been NO major incidents.
  by David Benton
 
New Zealand promoted cng use heavily in the late 70's early eighties . We had it on our family car . While about 1/2 the cost of petrol , the limited range and lack of performance were problems that doomed its widespread use . The other problem was the cost for petrol stations to install compresors for it . by the ninities , it was all over , i think the last compressor locally went about 1995 . I brought a van with cng tanks in it , but would have had to drive about 100 miles to fill it up . i sold the tanks to a guy , i believe they were shipping them off to califionia .
Lpg , on the other hand is still around , has the range and little performance loss , and the filling stations are there to service the bottles for home heating and bbqs etc .
  by villager
 
CNG is like oil- declining in worldwide supply. From an energy security perspective, it's worse than oil because oil wells slowly produce less and less over time- you can see the end coming. With natural gas deposits, it flows full blast out of the earth and then suddenly-nothing! It's gone.
  by george matthews
 
villager wrote:CNG is like oil- declining in worldwide supply. From an energy security perspective, it's worse than oil because oil wells slowly produce less and less over time- you can see the end coming. With natural gas deposits, it flows full blast out of the earth and then suddenly-nothing! It's gone.
Here is my page on these matters. http://www.members.aol.com/wimtalk/geot ... index.html

Our aim is to live on Income rather than Capital.
  by David Benton
 
As this forum is lacking a moderator( volunteer to Otto if you can do it ??? ) at the moment , perhaps we should get back to the thread subject . i will copy all the cng threads to the worldwide forum tonight , and we could continue discussion there .
  by lpetrich
 
Georgia is getting into the act with Intermodal Programs at the Georgia DOT site.
Southeast High-Speed Rail Coalition

The Southeast High Speed Rail Coalition is a transportation advocacy group designed to advance high-speed rail corridors of significance in the Southeast region. The Coalition in comprised of transportation leaders from states including, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North and South Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee.

The Southeast High Speed Rail Coalition recognizes the importance high-speed, intercity rail connectivity has on the national future and the direct impact rail plays in the success of the Southeast’s economic development. As a result, the coalition has made a historic commitment to accelerate the pace in which the rail modality is included in its transportation plans.
But one may reasonably suspect Georgia officials of not wanting to miss out on the Federal money that is now available for HSR development.

Georgia DOT Commissioner Smith Hosts Southeast High-Speed Rail Transportation Summit - on January 26 - in support of the Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor plans and others.

Officials from some of the states delivered presentations, which are at the site:

Virginia DOT was impressively far along, with plans for:
  • DC - Richmond - Petersburg
  • Richmond - Hampton Roads
  • Petersburg - Norfolk
No mention of electrification south of DC, however.

North Carolina DOT was less clear -- it seemed to mainly be referring to a Petersburg - Raleigh line.

South Carolina DOT was largely a who's who that did not state much about plans.

Georgia DOT did seem to be doing a little, with plans for Atlanta-Macon service, and proposals for Atlanta-Louisville, Atlanta-Birmingham, and Macon-Jacksonville feasibility studies.

Alabama DOT didn't have anything specific.

Florida DOT had not only plans, but a history of the ups and downs of HSR planning in that state. The Florida DOT acknowledged the Orlando-Jacksonville gap in FRA-endorsed HSR corridors, and it described how far along its Tampa-Orlando and Orlando-Miami corridors are. Tampa-Orlando could start construction in a year or two and be done in 2015, thus beating California.

There was nothing from either Kentucky or Tennessee.

-

From the looks of it, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida are the farthest along, with the other states having to catch up. Looks like prospects are good for lengthening the Northeast Corridor by a factor of two with the Southeast Corridor: DC - Richmond - Raleigh - Charlotte. But plans for further extensions have not gone very far, even an obvious one to Atlanta.

I think that an Atlanta - Louisville HSR line would be a long shot, because of the Appalachian Mountains in the way. Most of the others are over much flatter terrain.
  by lpetrich
 
The patchy progress of HSR planning by these states suggests political whim here also.

I'll now try to estimate feasibility with some distance calculations.

Reference: NYC-DC: 228 mi, Paris-Lyon: 289 mi
maps.google.com highway distance used here

DC - Richmond: 109 mi
Richmond - Petersburg: 25 mi
Richmond - Hampton Roads: 80 mi
Petersburg - Norfolk: 77 mi
Richmond - Raleigh: 157 mi
Raleigh - Charlotte: 170 mi
Charlotte - Atlanta - 243 mi
Atlanta - Nashville: 250 mi
Nashville - Louisville: 174 mi
Atlanta - Birmingham: 147 mi
Atlanta - Macon: 86 mi
Atlanta - Jacksonville: 344 mi
Jacksonville - Orlando: 141 mi
Orlando - Tampa: 85 mi
Orlando - Miami: 251 mi

Populations (metro areas, Wikipedia):
DC 5.3 m, Richmond 1.2 m, Norfolk 1.8 m, Raleigh 1.7 m, Charlotte 1.7 m, Atlanta 5.4 m, Birmingham 1.2 m
Nashville 1.6 m, Louisville 1.2 m, Macon 0.23 m, Jacksonville 1.3 m, Orlando 2.1 m, Tampa 4.0 m, Miami 5.4 m

These distances are all respectable by HSR standards, though Atlanta - Jacksonville is a bit of a stretch, and Atlanta - Nashville crosses some big mountains. The populations are not as great as those of the NEC or California or the Chicago area, but they are nevertheless respectable.

So I think that HSR can work here also.
  by Jeff Smith
 
I love this on slide 2: "Began attending the Southern High Speed Rail Commission Meeting in Birmingham, show of support and cooperation"

Wow. They attended a meeting. There must have been a lunch buffet. Slide 3 is slightly more encouraging.
  by Jeff Smith
 
News per the Atl Bus Chron:

http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/stor ... a=e_du_pap
The Georgia Department of Transportation is working with its counterpart in Tennessee to seek $34 million in federal funds to build a high-speed rail line linking Atlanta with Chattanooga, Tenn.
In May, the State Transportation Board voted to seek $14.5 million in federal planning grants for three other high-speed rail projects. The Georgia DOT is working with other Southeastern states on a rail line linking Atlanta and Charlotte, N.C., and a line between Atlanta and Macon that would continue on to Jacksonville, Fla.
There may be hope yet. Yeah, maybe I'll have to drive to Dublin or Claxton, but I'll take it.
  by lpetrich
 
I've seen some speculation about an Atlanta - Chattanooga line using maglev, but I find it hard to believe that anyone can take that seriously. I think that the only way that that would ever be funded is if Georgia and Tennessee sent some super porkmeisters to Congress.

Atlanta is a respectable big city:
Pop. 5.5m
Chattanooga is only a tenth its size:
Pop. 0.52m
Distance: 118 mi
  by litz
 
There are actually some very good reasons to promote this ... one is, it would link the Chattanooga and Atlanta airports (and possibly allow some overcrowding at ATL to be relieved) ... and two, there is a tremendous amount of suburban growth out the northwest side of Atlanta (almost, frankly, *to* chattanooga) and there is no MARTA service in that direction.

My question is, where would they put it ... unless it goes down the middle of I-75.

CSX' W&A sub cannot be considered ... not only is it one of the business freight corridors in the nation, it geographically pretty much can't support HSR service.

- litz
  by Jeff Smith
 
If it was part of a longer corridor, say Nashville - Chatt - ATL, it makes sense, too. Even part of a resurrected Floridian?
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