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Old Posted Dec 28, 2012, 9:01 PM
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electricron electricron is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Granbury, Texas
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Originally Posted by aquablue View Post
No, it is not similar to Europe because they have improved their slower lines while putting in HSR lines at the same time.

Also, unlike European countries, he precluded adding HSR in the best HSR market in N. America and then suggested increasing speed by 1 mph per year on existing rail which is silly. Train speeds don't increase by 1 mph / year anywhere. Waiting 20 to 30 years to upgrade our slow rail to slightly higher speed rail before thinking of putting in proper HSR is a waste of time. This is because land prices will increase and will make any future HSR even more expensive to construct. So, no. I disagree vehemently. Any decent HSR train line will have a trickle down affect that will encourage more investment in slower regional branch lines as more passengers will be attracted to ride the system by the HSR trip times. However, in the case of the NEC, the second slower layer is currently in place (the current line). It is also being considered for 160mph acela operation in certain sections in NJ (up from 135mph top speed). So, again 1 mph/year improvement on the NEC is ludicrous. This is where HSR needs to be and it has the best business case. Amtrak has taken 70 per cent market share on the NY-DC route due to post 9-11 airport hassles. It could increase up to 90 percent + if HSR was added.
Amtrak just recently tested Acela to speeds up to 160 mph on many sections of the NEC, the 135 mph limitation is based more on self imposed limitations than anything else. The main reason being the antiquated catenary system. I wonder what speeds Amtrak could achieve safely if the entire catenary was replaced with the existing Acela trains and with newer replacement trains?
Do we really need an entirely new corridor built from scratch, or will rebuilding the existing corridor suffice?
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