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Old Posted Jan 10, 2013, 4:19 AM
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Nexis4Jersey Nexis4Jersey is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: North Jersey
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Originally Posted by Alon View Post
Re HSR versus incremental improvements, Spain should be in the same category as France, not Germany and the UK. In all of those countries, there was a medium-speed express intercity service - the original Kodama in Japan, the Mistral in France, etc. Germany and the UK spent money on raising the speed of those medium-speed lines. France and Spain built HSR early. (Spain only opened its first line in '92, but it was also starting from a lower level of development than the parts of Europe that hadn't been fascist since the end of WW2.) Of course it's not as simple as that - France also heavily upgraded the legacy line to Bordeaux and Toulouse and is only now building a full LGV that far southwest, Germany built some strategic bypasses and also upgraded the Berlin-Hamburg line so heavily that with tilting 230 km/h trains it achieves higher average speed than the 300 km/h lines.

Either way, in the NEC, this medium-speed express intercity service already exists. There's demand for it, and there'd be much more demand for faster service.

Of course, it depends on the price of boosting speeds. That's why it's so important to keep costs down. This means that a lot of the wishlist items, even bridge replacements, need to be treated as secondary priorities. The Canton Viaduct is older than the Maryland bridges that Amtrak wants to replace. The priority should be fixing the slowest segments - e.g. Elizabeth, Metuchen, Frankford Junction, New Rochelle - and getting cutting edge rolling stock and systems that can run on mixed-quality track.
Metuchen is fine and can handle up to 140mph , Elizabeth will be replaced along with station hopefully later this decade.... From New Haven to New York Penn will be replaced or rehabbed in terms of bridges , and grade seperation in New Rochelle and at South Norwalk and Waterbury upgraded Interlocks... Canton was just rehabbed and is a state landmark , you can build a Bridge next to it preferable pre-cast... Frankford JCT ,will be grade seperated and prepped for the Tunnel to Market East and Freight upgrades... The Inland Bypass is still needed , but it needs to be re-thought. Your not going to get support by bypassing all the Important towns along the I-84 Corridor or between Providence and Hartford which has a decent commuter shed i'm told. There should be regional service that services all the towns and cities next to the HSR service....
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