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Old 02-09-2013, 07:06 PM  
SNR SNR is offline
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The new high speed rail map that's been floating around recently



High speed rail is moving forward in California, but progress is pretty stagnant around the rest of the country. Still, there are a lot of proposals out there, and when placed on one map, they form an impressive rail network. This map was put together by California Rail Map, led by Alfred Twu, which combined existing proposals from high speed rail advocacy groups around the US. Twu described his process for the Guardian:

Instead of detailing construction phases and service speeds, I took a little artistic license and chose colors and linked lines to celebrate America's many distinct but interwoven regional cultures.

The US High Speed Rail Association, a nonprofit trade association, predicts a network similar to this one could be in place by 2030.

Transporation Secretary Ray LaHood has called for a large HSR network, saying it could link 80 percent of Americans within 25 years, for $500 billion.
Based on this map, starting in Los Angeles, a high speed train could get to New York, with stops in Denver and Chicago, in well under 18 hours.

Considering the significant funding and political will any large rail project needs, it's hard to imagine all this will be built. But Robert Cruickshank at the California High Speed Rail Blog argues just visualizing the network is a good thing:

But before the Interstate Highway System was authorized, it had to first be conceptualized on a map. This map gets us closer to the goal of an interstate high speed rail system by showing us what it looks like. And envisioning such a system is the first step toward building it.


Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/map-o...#ixzz2KSS4Sw1Q
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Old 02-09-2013, 11:54 PM   #31
BucEyedPea BucEyedPea is offline
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Originally Posted by chiefzilla1501 View Post
I have run my own P&L in the private sector
I have built business cases to secure funding on projects

So I don't understand what your implication is, as if I don't have experience in the private sector. Revenue vs. Cost is an unbelievably outdated practice. Any business that obsesses about Revenues vs. cost are the same declining stupid businesses that don't advertise, don't invest in R&D, and don't invest in employee training or wellness programs because they "don't make profit."
I noticed you used the past tense and omitted profit.
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Old 02-09-2013, 11:56 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by chiefzilla1501 View Post
I have run my own P&L in the private sector
I have built business cases to secure funding on projects

So I don't understand what your implication is, as if I don't have experience in the private sector. Revenue vs. Cost is an unbelievably outdated practice. Any business that obsesses about Revenues vs. cost are the same declining stupid businesses that don't advertise, don't invest in R&D, and don't invest in employee training or wellness programs because they "don't make profit."
This is all true except that in the end, it better make SOME profit(or at least come close to break even) or it isn't sustainable. I think the idea that it needs to make a profit is less about the profit itself and more a PROOF that it is a project that the market wants and needs.

I'm a huge fan of HSR but I think it needs to be done with private funds so that we don't end up with countless "trains to nowhere." I have no problem with government subsidies for massive infrastructure ventures like this done primarily with private funds.
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:03 AM   #33
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Looking at the map and it's clear that most of this is complete pie in the sky bullshit. For example, the Chicago to LA run makes no sense. The ONLY leg of that run that is viable is LA to Vegas. No chance in hell the entire route would be more cost effective than flying.
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:06 AM   #34
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Looking at the map and it's clear that most of this is complete pie in the sky bullshit. For example, the Chicago to LA run makes no sense. The ONLY leg of that run that is viable is LA to Vegas. No chance in hell the entire route would be more cost effective than flying.
Agreed. The nation's broke and our existing infrastructure is already crumbling. It would be cool, but so would space stations and moon bases, and we can't afford those, either.
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:24 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by BucEyedPea View Post
I noticed you used the past tense and omitted profit.
I don't know what you're trying to say, but I really resent what I think you're implying here. I didn't omit profit. A P&L is a profit/loss. I don't currently own a P&L because I am involved in strategic planning now. That doesn't mean I don't have regular meetings with leadership on my budget, how I'm spending it, and making sure every last dollar is measured. I work with analytics experts all the time. I can promise you that their analytics require a LOT more discipline than just looking at pure profit of a project.
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:29 AM   #36
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This is all true except that in the end, it better make SOME profit(or at least come close to break even) or it isn't sustainable. I think the idea that it needs to make a profit is less about the profit itself and more a PROOF that it is a project that the market wants and needs.

I'm a huge fan of HSR but I think it needs to be done with private funds so that we don't end up with countless "trains to nowhere." I have no problem with government subsidies for massive infrastructure ventures like this done primarily with private funds.
I agree that much of this would need to be funded by private funding. The problem is that in many cases, the private funding is best suited on a state level (e.g. Florida having a rail with funding help from Disney), but the rail only works best when you have multi-state involvement. It will have to be a mix between private and public funding, because there's just no way you can get enough private funding for a federal project to make it go.

The reason why I don't like the profit/loss argument is that it doesn't factor all the intangible benefits that you can't put a dollar toward. This transportation system is a SIGNIFICANT positive enabler for businesses. The government may not make profit from that enablement, but it certainly makes the cost much more justifiable.
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:30 AM   #37
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Travel by train is waaay more comfortable then flying, even first class flying. I'd be worth it for the comfort, but the price will ultimately determine if it was viable. For business the speed of air travel is worth extra, but for personal trips it could work. It just seems like a huge investment for an experimental project.
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:32 AM   #38
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A train that goes 220mph will surely compete with that $79 ticket you pay for on an airplane that flies 500mph.
It absolutely will. ESPECIALLY when you live in the midwest.
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:34 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by chiefzilla1501 View Post
because there's just no way you can get enough private funding for a federal project to make it go.
Which is why I don't think a FEDERAL project is feasible, nor do I support one at this time. The best bet would be for a Federal STANDARD for HSR so that all the state networks could become interoperable in the future should it become feasible. Frankly, I don't see many places west of the Mississippi where HSR makes sense except Texas and California.. and even California is iffy. I guess a KC to St Louis run might be feasible... probably not though.

EDIT: to be clear (in this post) I am talking about routes that are entirely within one state.

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Old 02-10-2013, 12:36 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by Bewbies View Post
A train that goes 220mph will surely compete with that $79 ticket you pay for on an airplane that flies 500mph.
Most of the country doesn't live in a location where it only costs $79 to fly somewhere.

Those prices are usually in the hundreds of dollars to get anywhere.
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:37 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by chiefzilla1501 View Post
It absolutely will. ESPECIALLY when you live in the midwest.
It will for a very small percentage of routes. Anything over 400 miles and it's unlikely to be able to compete with air travel... anything under 100 miles and what's the point?
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:39 AM   #42
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Makes sense in short corridors of high population density. It's perfect for the Northeast, Southern California, Even connecting Chicago, Des Moines, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, and Detroit would work.

****ing Quincy though...makes me
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:39 AM   #43
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Travel by train is waaay more comfortable then flying, even first class flying. I'd be worth it for the comfort, but the price will ultimately determine if it was viable. For business the speed of air travel is worth extra, but for personal trips it could work. It just seems like a huge investment for an experimental project.
I agree 1000% with this EXCEPT there is an advantage to rail for business... you can WORK on a train, it's almost impossible to be productive on an airplane. Of course, this doesn't make sense if you are trading a 2 hour flight for an 8 hour train ride... but it makes a ton of sense for anything under 2 hours of train travel.
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:43 AM   #44
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Which is why I don't think a FEDERAL project is feasible, nor do I support one at this time. The best bet would be for a Federal STANDARD for HSR so that all the state networks could become interoperable in the future should it become feasible. Frankly, I don't see many places west of the Mississippi where HSR makes sense except Texas and California.. and even California is iffy. I guess a KC to St Louis run might be feasible... probably not though.
I live in the midwest and travel on plane for business about 1-2 times a month. Because most midwest locations are point-to-point and not hub destinations, it's an unbelievable waste of time and energy because you always have 1-2 hub transfers and hubs like O'Hare and Midway have become an absolute nightmare.

If you're a business, time is money. And every minute you waste without wifi, in a security line, in a transfer line, or even tired from the inconvenience is money businesses can gain back in massive chunks if HSR gets installed. It is a huge enabler for businesses, especially multi-location businesses. This isn't just for leisure and tourism. This is a great enabler for businesses. Businesses would be able to travel at a significantly lower cost.
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:52 AM   #45
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I agree 1000% with this EXCEPT there is an advantage to rail for business... you can WORK on a train, it's almost impossible to be productive on an airplane. Of course, this doesn't make sense if you are trading a 2 hour flight for an 8 hour train ride... but it makes a ton of sense for anything under 2 hours of train travel.
Here's a good example. Indianapolis to Omaha. Looked at a flight for 2/21 arbitrarily. $350 and it will take you about 4 hours to get there by plane. The rail can probably get you there in about 3 hours for a hell of a lot less money, and you save about 30-45 minutes of hassle and frustration from the airport (I'm not talking about hassle, by the way, as just being annoying. I'm talking about hassle as in, from a business standpoint, 30-45 minutes is really valuable time an employee can spend comfortable using a computer with wifi).

For short train rides, I see lots of people using it for day trips (e.g. going to a stadium). I also see a LOT of businesspeople using it, as it is cheaper and allows one to be more productive than driving.
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