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  #101  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2013, 10:39 PM
aquablue aquablue is offline
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My thought is to plan for a East Coast to Midwest HSR line for the future. This would pass though Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Detroit, and Chicago (with later service West to Minnasota), helping to make the rust belt more competitive again with other regions by connecting all its major cities with the megalopolis. This would be of a similar length to the Shanghai-Beijing line in China. If it could do Chicago - NYC in 4 hours, it would be competitive with air due to airport travel and security time. Currently the Beijing to Shanghai line takes 4 hours +.

There is no reason we can not move into inter-regional HSR once we have completed the currently planned HSR regional projects. Make no small plans!

Lack of infrastructure investment is a sign of decline. China is building 25000 km of HSR line by 2015 with a plan for 40,000km. We have nearly 1/4 of their population, but no where near 1/4 of their HSR length.
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  #102  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2013, 11:25 PM
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My thought is to plan for a East Coast to Midwest HSR line for the future. This would pass though Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Detroit, and Chicago (with later service West to Minnasota), helping to make the rust belt more competitive again with other regions by connecting all its major cities with the megalopolis. This would be of a similar length to the Shanghai-Beijing line in China. If it could do Chicago - NYC in 4 hours, it would be competitive with air due to airport travel and security time. Currently the Beijing to Shanghai line takes 4 hours +.

There is no reason we can not move into inter-regional HSR once we have completed the currently planned HSR regional projects. Make no small plans!

Lack of infrastructure investment is a sign of decline. China is building 25000 km of HSR line by 2015 with a plan for 40,000km. We have nearly 1/4 of their population, but no where near 1/4 of their HSR length.
Chicago to New York City is over 800 rail miles, averaging 200 mph it would take over 4 hours to travel. That's averaging 200 mph, no train in the world does so today. If that train averages 150 mph, more likely to achieve, it would take around 5 1/2 hours to travel.
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  #103  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2013, 11:35 PM
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Chicago to New York City is over 800 rail miles, averaging 200 mph it would take over 4 hours to travel. That's averaging 200 mph, no train in the world does so today.
A sub 6 hour time would be realistic and still be competitive with air travel door to door.

Given the number of times I've been delayed at LGA and EWR or freeze my butt off in a cab line a mile long if there was such a rail option I'd never fly from Chicago to NYC again.
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  #104  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2013, 11:44 PM
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A sub 6 hour time would be realistic and still be competitive with air travel door to door.

Given the number of times I've been delayed at LGA and EWR or freeze my butt off in a cab line a mile long if there was such a rail option I'd never fly from Chicago to NYC again.
All you would have to do is settle upon a primary route, which cities do you stop at, which cities do you avoid, which cities do you bypass? The Appalachian Mountains will have to be tunneled again, over your brand new HSR corridor, no existing corridor could support those high speeds. Then we would have to choose new train stations in both Chicago and New York City, the existing major train stations would be far above capacity if this HSR attracted as many passengers as Acela. As it is, some will suggest Penn Station is at capacity today.
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  #105  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2013, 11:46 PM
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Maybe it's a national priority to tunnel through the Alleghenies, but if you're building Chicago-NY, why on earth would you not use the Water Level Route through Upstate NY? Would the added ridership really be worth the expense? Especially if you're trying to reinvigorate the Rust Belt, I think Upstate NY is a better goal than revitalized Pittsburgh and Philly.
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  #106  
Old Posted Feb 5, 2013, 12:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Maybe it's a national priority to tunnel through the Alleghenies, but if you're building Chicago-NY, why on earth would you not use the Water Level Route through Upstate NY? Would the added ridership really be worth the expense? Especially if you're trying to reinvigorate the Rust Belt, I think Upstate NY is a better goal than revitalized Pittsburgh and Philly.
Well it takes 17-19hrs for the Lake Shore limited and about 1,400 use it daily. I think a High Speed Train with a top speed of 240mph could do it in about 6hrs... This would be my plan.

Lake Shore Express - New York City --- Top Speed : 240mph --- Service , 25 roundtrips a day
Chicago Union Station
South Bend
Toledo
Cleveland
Buffalo
Rochester
Syracuse
Albany Central
Poughkeepsie
New York Penn Station


Lake Shore Express - Boston --- Top Speed 240mph --- Service , 15 roundtrips a day
Chicago Union Station
South Bend
Toledo
Cleveland
Buffalo
Rochester
Syracuse
Albany Central
Springfield Union
Worcester Union
Boston Back Bay
Boston South Station


Lake Shore Regional - 135mph --- Service hourly
Chicago Union
Gary
South Bend
Elkhart
Toledo
Sandusky
Lorain
Cleveland Union
Euclid
Ashtabula
Erie
Dunkirk
Lackawanna
Buffalo Waterfront
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  #107  
Old Posted Feb 5, 2013, 12:12 AM
eternallyme eternallyme is offline
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Such a pattern would likely also involve extensions into Canada.

It seems in all of North America, the east and west are two different transportation grids...
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  #108  
Old Posted Feb 5, 2013, 12:30 AM
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Originally Posted by eternallyme View Post
Such a pattern would likely also involve extensions into Canada.

It seems in all of North America, the east and west are two different transportation grids...
Ive thought of that as well...

Great Lakes Express --- Top Speed : 220mph --- Service , 25 roundtrips a day
Chicago Union Station
Kalamazoo
Detroit
Windsor
London
Toronto Union
Ottawa
Montreal In't Airport
Montreal Central
Quebec City


Great Lakes Local --- Top Speed : 220mph --- Service , Hourly
Chicago Union Station
Kalamazoo
Battle Creek
Ann Arbor
Detroit
Windsor
London
Kitchener-Cambridge
Mississauga
Toronto Union
Oshawa
Kingston
Ottawa
Montreal In't Airport
Montreal Central
Trois Rivieres
Quebec City


Toronto Link --- Top Speed : 220mph --- Service , 15 roundtrips a Day
Toronto
Mississauga
Hamilton
St. Catherines
Niagara Falls
Buffalo Waterfront
Rochester
Syracuse
Albany Central
Poughkeepsie
New York Penn Station
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  #109  
Old Posted Feb 5, 2013, 12:40 AM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Maybe it's a national priority to tunnel through the Alleghenies, but if you're building Chicago-NY, why on earth would you not use the Water Level Route through Upstate NY? Would the added ridership really be worth the expense? Especially if you're trying to reinvigorate the Rust Belt, I think Upstate NY is a better goal than revitalized Pittsburgh and Philly.
Your 800 mile train corridor changes into 969 miles, adding around an hour to your train ride while averaging 150 mph. The trip would now be over the magic number of 6 hours if the trains averaged 150 mph.

Last edited by electricron; Feb 5, 2013 at 4:26 PM.
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  #110  
Old Posted Feb 5, 2013, 12:48 AM
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Well it takes 17-19hrs for the Lake Shore limited and about 1,400 use it daily. I think a High Speed Train with a top speed of 240mph could do it in about 6hrs... This would be my plan.
Let's keep the maximum speeds to realistic numbers. Even China has reduced the maximum speeds of their trains to 300 kph, 186 mph, to save mostly on energy. Energy costs will continue to rise as more and more electricity is generated from non coal fuel sources, so maximum speeds will be limited by economic reasons.

SST jetliners only remained in service for the airframes lifespan, they weren't replaced for economic reasons. They never amounted to more than 1% of all airline traffic. High speeds are an advantage, but lower fares are too in a competitive market.
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  #111  
Old Posted Feb 5, 2013, 2:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Maybe it's a national priority to tunnel through the Alleghenies, but if you're building Chicago-NY, why on earth would you not use the Water Level Route through Upstate NY? Would the added ridership really be worth the expense? Especially if you're trying to reinvigorate the Rust Belt, I think Upstate NY is a better goal than revitalized Pittsburgh and Philly.
I hate the thought of bypassing the economic powerhouse of Philly and the emerging ecconomic center that is Pittsburgh, but the geography is rather prohibitive unfortunately...

What would a new route through this no man's land cost, upwards of $20 billion, considering the new R.O.W. and 6 (ballpark) tunnels?

I would suggest improvements to the Pittsburgh-Harrisburb corridor, at least to allow for high-ER speed trains to reduce the 5.5 hour trip by a little anyway. Granted, there are a few cities in between that I think would be minimally impacted if they lost Amtrak completely, but Pittsburgh would take a dagger to the heart. PGH handles roughly 130k pax a year. I know it's no big deal, but that's mostly the origin-destination travelers boarding/deboarding the Pennsylvanian, which could be eliminated all together. I think only a dozen or so people board the Capitol Limited since both trains stop in the middle of the night...
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  #112  
Old Posted Feb 5, 2013, 2:25 AM
Alon Alon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Maybe it's a national priority to tunnel through the Alleghenies, but if you're building Chicago-NY, why on earth would you not use the Water Level Route through Upstate NY? Would the added ridership really be worth the expense? Especially if you're trying to reinvigorate the Rust Belt, I think Upstate NY is a better goal than revitalized Pittsburgh and Philly.
The Appalachian tunneling isn't for NY-Chicago, but for NY-Pittsburgh, NY-Cleveland, NY-Detroit, Philly-Detroit, and other intermediate pairs for which the 45-60 minutes of difference between the PRR and NYC routes is more significant.
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  #113  
Old Posted Feb 5, 2013, 3:46 AM
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The Appalachian tunneling isn't for NY-Chicago, but for NY-Pittsburgh, NY-Cleveland, NY-Detroit, Philly-Detroit, and other intermediate pairs for which the 45-60 minutes of difference between the PRR and NYC routes is more significant.
Altho, if you want to just focus on reinvigorating the rust belt, why not invest in a Pittsburgh-Cleveland-Toledo-South Bend-Chicago route? I think this would make more sense; there seems to be more in common between Pittsburgh and the Midwest than with the Northeast Corridor...
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  #114  
Old Posted Feb 5, 2013, 4:53 AM
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Because the whole point of HSR is to break boundaries between functional regions and encourage faraway cities to form economic links.

Granted, I think America has always had a greater degree of interplay between cities than Europe or Asia, where political boundaries or slow, unreliable travel prevented such links from forming, pre-HSR.
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  #115  
Old Posted Feb 5, 2013, 6:00 AM
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I think a NYC to Chicago route would be worth the cost, after Cali HSR and East Coast HSR gets upgraded.

I'm for it, and I live in Oregon.
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  #116  
Old Posted Feb 5, 2013, 6:50 AM
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If we're willing to deviate from the most efficient route to serve population centers, then it's a no-brainer to serve Detroit instead of South Bend. I suppose you could run a Toledo-Detroit shuttle with a timed transfer instead of deviating the main line, but the Michigan line from Chicago-Detroit actually stands a chance of getting upgraded to real HSR in my lifetime because of government ownership.
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  #117  
Old Posted Feb 5, 2013, 8:50 AM
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If we're willing to deviate from the most efficient route to serve population centers, then it's a no-brainer to serve Detroit instead of South Bend. I suppose you could run a Toledo-Detroit shuttle with a timed transfer instead of deviating the main line, but the Michigan line from Chicago-Detroit actually stands a chance of getting upgraded to real HSR in my lifetime because of government ownership.
If you're willing to deviate, why not serve cities not being served well today? How about Pittsburgh, Columbus, Indianapolis, then Chicago. That way you wouldn't be duplicating lines soon to be upgraded to 110 mph. You could follow I-70 to Indianapolis, then follow I-65 to Gary, where there's several routes the rest of the way into Chicago. It probably be easier and cheaper to follow Interstates and build a brand new rail corridors than upgrade an existing rail corridor with lots of freight trains.
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  #118  
Old Posted Feb 5, 2013, 12:08 PM
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Opps I forgot Pittsburgh....

Allegany Express --- Top Speed : 140mph --- Service , Hourly
Chicago Union
Gary
South Bend
Elkhart
Toledo
Sandusky
Lorain
Cleveland Union
Arkon
Youngstown
New Castle
Beaver Falls
Pittsburgh
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  #119  
Old Posted Feb 5, 2013, 2:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electricron View Post
All you would have to do is settle upon a primary route, which cities do you stop at, which cities do you avoid, which cities do you bypass? The Appalachian Mountains will have to be tunneled again, over your brand new HSR corridor, no existing corridor could support those high speeds. Then we would have to choose new train stations in both Chicago and New York City, the existing major train stations would be far above capacity if this HSR attracted as many passengers as Acela. As it is, some will suggest Penn Station is at capacity today.
The exact route would be up for debate.

In Chicago the problem is the concourse is a terrible design which can't handle the passenger loads it does. We had a perfectly good concourse that could handle far more people but it got demoed for a pretty ugly office building. It would not be too challenging to correct that mistake and redo some the track alignments to accept HSR.

In the near term Penn is giving up some LIRR traffic and if all Metro-North service is kept at GCT that would free up a substantial amount of space. Longer term however it's pretty clear that a more radical solution is required, either do the Penn South from Gateway or a deep cavern under the existing station using Moynihan as the Amtrak HSR head house.
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  #120  
Old Posted Feb 5, 2013, 2:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Jonboy1983 View Post
Altho, if you want to just focus on reinvigorating the rust belt, why not invest in a Pittsburgh-Cleveland-Toledo-South Bend-Chicago route? I think this would make more sense; there seems to be more in common between Pittsburgh and the Midwest than with the Northeast Corridor...
This is a common mistake people make. Pittsburghers do not travel west to Cleveland and other points... they travel east to DC/Philly/NYC. Megabus made the same mistake when they first came to Pittsburgh... plugging us in to the Midwest bus network instead of the East Coast bus network... and it failed.
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