badlatitude

China's Superfast Bullet Train Shows Just How Far Behind The U.S. is

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China's bullet train is a startling example of how far behind US infrastructure has become. Shutterstock

 

 

  • China has the largest high-speed railway in the world, with 15,500 miles of track and most major cities covered by the network.
  • I recently took China's fastest "G" train from Beijing to the northwestern city of Xi'an, which cuts an 11-hour journey — roughly the distance between New York and Chicago — to 4.5 hours.
  • I found the experience delightful, with relatively cheap tickets, painless security, comfortable seats, air-conditioned cabins, and plenty of legroom.
  • It left me thinking about how far behind US infrastructure has become, when most comparable journeys still require expensive and tiring air travel.
 

Traveling to China can often feel like visiting the future. The cities stretch out for what seems like forever, while new skyscrapers, bridges, and futuristically designed landmarks spring up every year.

Nowhere is this feeling more apparent than when you encounter China's high-speed railway network. At 15,500 miles, the country's "bullet train" is the world's largest.

And it's getting larger.

The China Railway Corp., the country's government-owned train operator, is getting close to finishing the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link, a high-speed rail line spanning more than 80 miles. And the country's plan is to create an extended network that covers 24,000 miles and connects all cities with a population greater than 500,000.

Currently, there are over 100 cities in China with a population greater than 1 million, a figure projected to grow to 221 cities by 2025.

The practical result of this is that you can pretty much travel in anywhere in China via high-speed rail. It's usually comparable in speed to air travel (once you factor in security lines and check-in) and far more convenient, as I found on a recent trip to China.

I had made plans to travel from Beijing to Xi'an, the capital of northwestern Shaanxi province and the imperial capital of China for centuries.

The distance between the two cities is around 746 miles, making it slightly more than two hours by plane, 11 hours by car, and anywhere between 11.5 hours and 17.5 hours on a regular train.

On China's top-of-the-line "bullet train," the journey takes 4.5 hours.

If I wanted to travel a comparable distance in the US by train — at 712 miles, New York to Chicago is the closest — it would take 22 hours, with a transfer in Washington, DC. And that's with traveling on Amtrak's Acela Express, currently the fastest train in the US with a speed up to 214 km/h (150 mph).

Traveling on one of China's fastest bullet trains is an entirely different experience:

Much more at the link: http://www.businessinsider.com/china-bullet-train-speed-map-photos-tour-2018-5

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Perfect example

Chinese theft of foreign intellectual property ...the bullet train technology was stolen from the germans and Japanese

http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/product-piracy-goes-high-tech-nabbing-know-how-in-china-a-402464.html

http://fortune.com/2013/04/15/did-china-steal-japans-high-speed-train/

 

 

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2 hours ago, badlatitude said:

5af54f56ab624824008b4844-960-720.jpg

China's bullet train is a startling example of how far behind US infrastructure has become. Shutterstock

 

 

  •  

Amazing what you can do with $2/hr construction labor, zero environmental/regulatory challenges, free patent infringment and the ability to confiscate land without compensation, isn't it?

image.thumb.png.58771cf189e86967847e2bb62514fd72.png

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Boeing and Airbus are the big losers. The Subsidized HS trains are killing air travel.

Oh and the easy security is a product of a well developed police state that can disappear whole neighborhoods  with ease. 

 

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One advantage that China has as an authoritarian country is that it knows how to get things done.  If it decides to build a 15 building high rise complex, or a bridge, or a skyscraper, it just fucking builds it.  They don't piss around with environmental impact studies or town hall meetings.   

The problem with building a bullet train system in the US is that the track runs are not straight enough.  That means that the government would have to eminent domain quite a bit of land to build the tracks.

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Makes sense in China for the reasons pointed out above.   Cheap labor no regulatory rules ability to simply take land. 

Not so much in the US where we have rules and regulations.  Not to mention a well structured interstate and local highway system that causes major headaches when trying to build high speed rail 

 

 

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Interesting to see the comments regarding the way China can get it done. Loose regulations, cheap labor, authoritarian government. 

No wonder you guys support President Trump. 

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6 hours ago, Hillary said:

Amazing what you can do with $2/hr construction labor, zero environmental/regulatory challenges, free patent infringment and the ability to confiscate land without compensation, isn't it?

image.thumb.png.58771cf189e86967847e2bb62514fd72.png

I need to take a breath - I actually agree with this post.

It is easy to build trains when you can tell the people in the way of the tracks to GTFO.

Actually, come to think of it, this IS how we built railroads in the 19th century. We could more less confiscate land, the workers were disposable cheap labor from Ireland or China, and the 19th century USA industries viewed foreign patents like the pirate code, i.e. more like "guidelines".

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1 hour ago, jzk said:

One advantage that China has as an authoritarian country is that it knows how to get things done.  If it decides to build a 15 building high rise complex, or a bridge, or a skyscraper, it just fucking builds it.  They don't piss around with environmental impact studies or town hall meetings.   

The problem with building a bullet train system in the US is that the track runs are not straight enough.  That means that the government would have to eminent domain quite a bit of land to build the tracks.

That is an appropriate use of eminent domain if we all really want fast trains badly enough.

Eminent domain is one of those fundamentally collectivist ideas that works in the real world. Of course, there are issues, but those are safely ignored by most.

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Just now, Uncooperative Tom said:

That is an appropriate use of eminent domain if we all really want fast trains badly enough.

Eminent domain is one of those fundamentally collectivist ideas that works in the real world. Of course, there are issues, but those are safely ignored by most.

Putting aside whether it is appropriate, it is certainly no small task.  

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How long would that journey take with TSA handling security?

 

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19 minutes ago, Bus Driver said:

Interesting to see the comments regarding the way China can get it done. Loose regulations, cheap labor, authoritarian government. 

No wonder you guys support President Trump. 

Oh please.  Has Trump cut minimum wage?  If you want to see authoritative government have an EPA IRS or OSHA inspection 

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Give him time - he's had less than 18 months so far.

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7 minutes ago, TMSAIL said:

 If you want to see authoritative government have an EPA IRS or OSHA inspection 

I've had all three, no big deal. The people I dealt with were pleasant, easy to deal with, interested in correcting a problem if they found one and moving on.

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Posted (edited)

In 100 years, while the earth functions at high speed, the United States will slog along on regular highways rebuilt numerous times because we were not ambitious enough to compete. Our ancestors will look on and wonder how their descendants balls got so tiny, and the urge to be pioneers disappeared.

 

 

 

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Edited by badlatitude
couldn't edit out images

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2 minutes ago, badlatitude said:

In 100 years, while the earth functions at high speed, the United States will slog along on regular highways rebuilt numerous times because we were not ambitious enough to compete. Our ancestors will look on and wonder how their descendants balls got so tiny, and the urge to be pioneers disappeared.

The latest parts of the TGV cost $15M per Km. The cheapest parts cost $4M per Km. Do you think anything built in the NE could be done for, say, 10x either number per Km?

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1 minute ago, bpm57 said:

The latest parts of the TGV cost $15M per Km. The cheapest parts cost $4M per Km. Do you think anything built in the NE could be done for, say, 10x either number per Km?

I will say that in 100 years the cost will seem enormously cheaper.

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22 minutes ago, Mismoyled Jiblet. said:
31 minutes ago, TMSAIL said:

 If you want to see authoritative government have an EPA IRS or OSHA inspection 

I've had all three, no big deal. The people I dealt with were pleasant, easy to deal with, interested in correcting a problem if they found one and moving on.

OSHA mostly scares employers who consider their employees as expendable. I worked closely with OSHA and the EPA for years, and ran into relatively few problems. OTOH with military training, I always believed in giving people a fair chance and a safe work place. Ironically, I also prevented a lot of people whose ambition was to go home on workmens' comp from doing so.

When you're a money-grubbing dick, who thinks only of shoving every possible nickel into your own pocket, you tend to resent employee benefits because they're STEALING from you, goddammit! What gives them uppity n______ the right to steal money from their master employer?

Same attitude towards taxes.

-DSK

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1 minute ago, badlatitude said:
2 minutes ago, bpm57 said:

The latest parts of the TGV cost $15M per Km. The cheapest parts cost $4M per Km. Do you think anything built in the NE could be done for, say, 10x either number per Km?

I will say that in 100 years the cost will seem enormously cheaper.

I dunno, after the US collapses, it could be a lot cheaper to bulldoze the squatters out of the way.

OTOH we won't need or want it, then

-DSK

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4 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

I dunno, after the US collapses, it could be a lot cheaper to bulldoze the squatters out of the way.

OTOH we won't need or want it, then

-DSK

That's entirely possible, cursed to wagon trains, funny how things can run in circles.

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6 minutes ago, badlatitude said:

Why not power line right of way? combine the two and you're ready to go.

 

Dunno where you are, but here in hilly New England, lots of power lines are constructed up and down very steep slopes, even cliffs.  So that would not work so good here.

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6 minutes ago, billy backstay said:

 

Dunno where you are, but here in hilly New England, lots of power lines are constructed up and down very steep slopes, even cliffs.  So that would not work so good here.

So you use eminent domain to work around that. Eminent Domain is okay when used for the common good, not so good when used to build mcmansions and golf courses.

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5 minutes ago, badlatitude said:

So you use eminent domain to work around that. Eminent Domain is okay when used for the common good, not so good when used to build mcmansions and golf courses.

If that's so, then I want the taxes I paid back. I've had to deal with a scare of Eminent Domain with the proposed Prairie Parkway and it really pissed me off. Then, Dennis Hastert went to prison and everything was fine. I guess it's OK if it's not you facing it.

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Just now, austin1972 said:

If that's so, then I want the taxes I paid back. I've had to deal with a scare of Eminent Domain with the proposed Prairie Parkway and it really pissed me off. Then, Dennis Hastert went to prison and everything was fine. I guess it's OK if it's not you facing it.

I certainly don't like eminent domain, but I understand that the greater good must be considered. If I didn't agree with a project, I would have no problem actively opposing it. 

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30 minutes ago, badlatitude said:

Why not power line right of way? combine the two and you're ready to go.

Nice idea for the flatland.

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4 minutes ago, Lark said:

Nice idea for the flatland.

There's also AMTRAK, people have been complaining about subsidies for a long time, why not develop it into something for the future?

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9 minutes ago, austin1972 said:
19 minutes ago, badlatitude said:

So you use eminent domain to work around that. Eminent Domain is okay when used for the common good, not so good when used to build mcmansions and golf courses.

If that's so, then I want the taxes I paid back. I've had to deal with a scare of Eminent Domain with the proposed Prairie Parkway and it really pissed me off. Then, Dennis Hastert went to prison and everything was fine. I guess it's OK if it's not you facing it.

Right

That's like the difference between a recession and a Depression: a recession is a when a bunch of my neighbors & friends lose their jobs. A Depression is when a bunch of my neighbors & friends lose their jobs AND I LOSE MINE TOO

But seriously, how do things move on? I have been working on a park project in our community, and everybody wants it, but everybody wants something slightly different and nobody wants it fronting on their own yard. This is a large tract of community owned land threaded all thru, so nobody is actually giving up land in this particular instance.

I think part of the problem is determination of fair market price; and the fact that we can only pave over so many farms before we start going hungry

-DSK

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5 minutes ago, austin1972 said:

If that's so, then I want the taxes I paid back. I've had to deal with a scare of Eminent Domain with the proposed Prairie Parkway and it really pissed me off. Then, Dennis Hastert went to prison and everything was fine. I guess it's OK if it's not you facing it.

A free ball stadium for a billionaire, hell no.   A high speed corridors linking a hub airport with surrounding cities?   Imagine a link from Chicago to Gary, South Bend, Milwaukee, etc instead of sitting on the five lane parking they optimistically call a freeway.   The alternative is eminent domain to widen the freeway another couple lanes, and more rent a car spaces at the airport.  Everybody lives with more smog and greenhouse gasses.    Seems like it’s clearly for the good of many people living, working and traveling to each of those cities, while bad for a very few landowners.   That’s the whole rational of eminent domain.   The good of the many outweigh the needs of the few, but the few do get compensated for their loss by the many.

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3 minutes ago, badlatitude said:

There's also AMTRAK, people have been complaining about subsidies for a long time, why not develop it into something for the future?

AMTRAK seems to have a hard time maintaining track they already own, and you want them to build whole new lines?

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2 minutes ago, bpm57 said:

AMTRAK seems to have a hard time maintaining track they already own, and you want them to build whole new lines?

I think making it private would help, perhaps Warren Buffet might be interested? 

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2 minutes ago, bpm57 said:

AMTRAK seems to have a hard time maintaining track they already own, and you want them to build whole new lines?

AMTRAK owns very little track and there ain't much problem maintaining it, but this is the usual conservative stupidity.

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13 minutes ago, badlatitude said:

There's also AMTRAK, people have been complaining about subsidies for a long time, why not develop it into something for the future?

I’d love to.    The problem with Amtrak was its legacy,   It took the cast off equipment, running from old union stations, abandoned by the railroads after it became a money loser.    Freight trains get priority on leased track maintained for coal hauling speeds.  Amtrak  can’t even compete with pre World War II timetables.    Nobody was willing to upgrade it and reinvision it.   Half the politicians want to kill it because it smells of socialism and freeways somehow don’t.  Air travel made rail from New York to Chicago or Kansas City to LA obsolete.    Regional rail with links to airports seldom exists in the US.   Africa (thanks to China) is developing passenger rail better then ours.

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1 minute ago, badlatitude said:

I think making it private would help, perhaps Warren Buffet might be interested? 

Well, he claims that he isn't taxed enough, but I haven't seen any followup press releases suggesting that he wrote a check with alot of zeroes on it to the gov't.

Maybe he will just keep investing his money in companies that tend to make money over the long term..

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51 minutes ago, badlatitude said:

Why not power line right of way? combine the two and you're ready to go.

It’ll be in the way when I wanna shoot a deer. 

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1 minute ago, bpm57 said:

Well, he claims that he isn't taxed enough, but I haven't seen any followup press releases suggesting that he wrote a check with alot of zeroes on it to the gov't.

Maybe he will just keep investing his money in companies that tend to make money over the long term..

He owns Burlington Northern Santa Fe, so it makes sense.

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Just now, Bus Driver said:

It’ll be in the way when I wanna sjhoot a deer. 

That 180 mph express will tenderize it nicely,   Perfect for chili.   

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Just now, Bus Driver said:

It’ll be in the way when I wanna shoot a deer. 

At 190 mph, they won't be in the way very long.

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2 hours ago, badlatitude said:

In 100 years, while the earth functions at high speed, the United States will slog along on regular highways rebuilt numerous times because we were not ambitious enough to compete. Our ancestors will look on and wonder how their descendants balls got so tiny, and the urge to be pioneers disappeared.

I remember clearly when the USA was the unquestioned world leader in practically everything. Made the best stuff, had the moral leadership - everything.

Now you have Trump and things like Hannity, Breitbart and the Moral Majority.

 

Something happened.

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5 minutes ago, Mismoyled Jiblet. said:

 

AMTRAK owns very little track and there ain't much problem maintaining it, but this is the usual conservative stupidity.

Yeah, they own the NE corridor, and I'm sure the lack of maintenance issues will be news to anyone going into ny penn station every day

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/09/nyregion/amtrak-penn-station-derailments.html

Needless to say, work is still ongoing.

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I’m hoping we can catch up with India.

 

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The speed is the problem. To many crossings with roads and walkways already in place.   At those speeds there is very little warning 

As to a hub from O’Hare Rail is already in place to take you downtown from there you can catch AMTRACK or the Metro to get you the places named 

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High speed rail doesn't have level crossings FFS.

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10 minutes ago, badlatitude said:

He owns Burlington Northern Santa Fe, so it makes sense.

Which is:

1) Not a passenger RR

2) Wouldn't be allowed on any real high speed line, since they are built grade separated on dedicated tracks

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4 minutes ago, TMSAIL said:

The speed is the problem. To many crossings with roads and walkways already in place.   At those speeds there is very little warning 

As to a hub from O’Hare Rail is already in place to take you downtown from there you can catch AMTRACK or the Metro to get you the places named 

Have you looked at the schedule.   Not practical for a business traveler.   Designed to check a box, not provide a service.  It needs to be efficiently organized and comoditized as an alternative for travelocity.   Absolutely needs to be free of crossings, especially those rural crossings without lights or gates.   

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4 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

High speed rail doesn't have level crossings FFS.

You are are full of shit.    

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25 minutes ago, Lark said:

Imagine a link from Chicago to Gary, South Bend, Milwaukee, etc

Once upon a time, 1916-1963, there was the North Shore Line. An electric interurban that ran from Milwaukee to Chicago.  Stopped running in 1963 and the right of way was sold off.  You can't go home again, they tore it down.

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Just now, Lark said:

Have you looked at the schedule.   Not practical for a business traveler.   Designed to check a box, not provide a service.  It needs to be efficiently organized and comoditized as an alternative for travelocity.   Absolutely needs to be free of crossings, especially those rural crossings without lights or gates.   

Actually the trip from O’Hare to downtown Chicago is pretty quick. 

I agree with you on no crossings which is why in a country like the US WITH A HIGHLY developed road system it is almost impossible to get the rights and keep costs down. 

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Just now, jerseyguy said:

Once upon a time, 1916-1963, there was the North Shore Line. An electric interurban that ran from Milwaukee to Chicago.  Stopped running in 1963 and the right of way was sold off.  You can't go home again, they tore it down.

The south shore line exists and is superior to Amtrak.   Cheaper and much better schedule.   A friend commuted from south bend to Chicago to teach at one of the universities.   Slow, but he could work on the train and avoid the Cicero? traffic jam.  

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11 minutes ago, TMSAIL said:

You are are full of shit.    

Provide an example of a real high speed rail line with grade crossings.

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11 minutes ago, Lark said:

The south shore line exists and is superior to Amtrak.   Cheaper and much better schedule.   A friend commuted from south bend to Chicago to teach at one of the universities.   Slow, but he could work on the train and avoid the Cicero? traffic jam.  

You are correct.South Shore lines continues to run but it is painfully slow and plagued with delays and breakdowns.

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22 minutes ago, bpm57 said:

Which is:

1) Not a passenger RR

Yes it is. Several Amtrack trains go through town daily and that RR is BNSF. Goes all the way to CA with the Zephyr.

16 minutes ago, Lark said:

The south shore line exists and is superior to Amtrak.   Cheaper and much better schedule.   A friend commuted from south bend to Chicago to teach at one of the universities.   Slow, but he could work on the train and avoid the Cicero? traffic jam.  

Hillside Strangler. Not sure why you wouldn't just take I90 for that commute. 90 doesn't come close to da Chichero, in any event.

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26 minutes ago, TMSAIL said:

Actually the trip from O’Hare to downtown Chicago is pretty quick. 

I agree with you on no crossings which is why in a country like the US WITH A HIGHLY developed road system it is almost impossible to get the rights and keep costs down. 

It’s the wait for the twice daily Amtrak to South Bend (last I looked).     

https://www.amtrak.com/content/dam/projects/dotcom/english/public/documents/timetables/Hiawatha-Service-Schedule-092517R.pdf

this is our current attempt.  90 minutes from Chicago to Milwaukee. After you travel from the airport to the train.   An advanced country would have luggage transferred and under an hour  from the airport on high speed rail.    

http://streamlinermemories.info/Milw/Milw55TT.pdf.   This shows the train left Milwaukee 90 minutes after it left Chicago in 1955.    Zero progress in two thirds of a century, while the world advances around us.   

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20 minutes ago, bpm57 said:

Which is:

1) Not a passenger RR

2) Wouldn't be allowed on any real high speed line, since they are built grade separated on dedicated tracks

I was referring to experience, an RR has too many obstacles, right of way issues, crossings, and speed challenges.

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17 minutes ago, TMSAIL said:

Actually the trip from O’Hare to downtown Chicago is pretty quick. 

I agree with you on no crossings which is why in a country like the US WITH A HIGHLY developed road system it is almost impossible to get the rights and keep costs down. 

Build a trench where there are challenges, let the roads run right over it, we either get with progress or we go home.

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2 minutes ago, austin1972 said:

Yes it is. Several Amtrack trains go through town daily.

Hillside Strangler. Not sure why you wouldn't just take I90 for that commute. 90 doesn't come close to da Chichero.

He may have.   I used to drive through Cicero as a slowdown from Indiana to WI several years ago.   I’d drive through the night to avoid that shit.  Last time I was there was for a meeting a couple years ago.   The traffic didn’t seem much better. 

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10 minutes ago, badlatitude said:

Build a trench where there are challenges, let the roads run right over it, we either get with progress or we go home.

Ed went back to Poland.   I don’t speak the language well enough and am too young to retire.   I’m stuck here and want to play catch up even if progress has to be forced on the Amish like Tmsail. 

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9 minutes ago, bpm57 said:

Provide an example of a real high speed rail line with grade crossings.

That was my point worded in response to too many roads in place unless you are willing to cross or close  to hundreds of road crossings there are very few corridors.  Farm land sounds great until the farmer has no way to get across

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5 minutes ago, austin1972 said:

Yes it is. Several Amtrack trains go through town daily and that RR is BNSF. Goes all the way to CA with the Zephyr.

Hillside Strangler. Not sure why you wouldn't just take I90 for that commute. 90 doesn't come close to da Chichero, in any event.

BNSF is very much not a passenger RR. They have an agreement with Amtrak that allows Amtrak to use the track at certain times.

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3 minutes ago, TMSAIL said:

That was my point worded in response to too many roads in place unless you are willing to cross or close  to hundreds of road crossings there are very few corridors.  Farm land sounds great until the farmer has no way to get across

Which is why I said "grade separated" Which means the track is built on an embankment, not at normal grade level. It is pretty straightforward to allow access to places when it is planned..

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1 minute ago, bpm57 said:

Which is why I said "grade separated" Which means the track is built on an embankment, not at normal grade level. It is pretty straightforward to allow access to places when it is planned..

Really no different then limited access highways.   

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9 minutes ago, Lark said:

He may have.   I used to drive through Cicero as a slowdown from Indiana to WI several years ago.   I’d drive through the night to avoid that shit.  Last time I was there was for a meeting a couple years ago.   The traffic didn’t seem much better. 

IN to WI should be done on 294. I guess where you start in IN makes a difference but generally, the further west you go, the better off you'll be. I take I-39 to WI.

4 minutes ago, bpm57 said:

BNSF is very much not a passenger RR. They have an agreement with Amtrak that allows Amtrak to use the track at certain times.

You might want to let Metra know that they need to get the Chicago to Aurora runs out ASAP then.

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8 minutes ago, badlatitude said:

Build a trench where there are challenges, let the roads run right over it, we either get with progress or we go home.

Pretty clear you have no Engineering skills

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1 minute ago, austin1972 said:

IN to WI should be done on 294. I guess where you start in IN makes a difference but generally, the further west you go, the better off you'll be. I take I-39 to WI.

You might want to let Metra know that they need to get the Chicago to Aurora runs out ASAP then.

I can't seem to find passenger info on the BNSF website, can you point it out?

Or is it the idea that track owners have agreements with other companies to use their tracks?

 

 

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You said it was only freight. If Berkshire owns it, then isn't everyone else leasing track usage? I see all sorts of cars getting hauled through town. They have all kinds of brands on the sides of the cars. CN, Santa Fe etc.

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The problem Austin is the track is owned by BNSF.   Throughout the heartland the track was retained when passenger service was dumped.    The railroads kept anything of value to them for freight service.    They lease rights to passenger trains, but give freight business priority.   The passenger service is scheduled around freight needs not market forces.   It  is bumped as convenient to expedite freight trains, and track is maintained to the economical speed for freight.    As the track wears it is sometimes more economical to lower the speed limit (to a point) and postpone repairs.    Amtrak often is stuck in some rural station for hours waiting on a delayed freight train somewhere.    

I looked at your Metra link.   I don’t know how they do it.   Does BNSF use the track or just maintain it for the commuter trains? 

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15 minutes ago, austin1972 said:

IN to WI should be done on 294. I guess where you start in IN makes a difference but generally, the further west you go, the better off you'll be. I take I-39 to WI.

You might want to let Metra know that they need to get the Chicago to Aurora runs out ASAP then.

I drive that all the time. I have the choice of 90 through the city or 294 bypass. Despite being shorter the 90 route is always slower.  

No reason to ever go through Cicero. Unless you flew into Midway 

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18 minutes ago, TMSAIL said:

Pretty clear you have no Engineering skills

Pretty clear you have no imagination.

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1 minute ago, austin1972 said:

You said it was only freight. If Berkshire owns it, then isn't everyone else leasing track usage? I see all sorts or cars getting hauled through town. They have all kinds of brands on the sides of the cars. CN, Santa Fe etc.

Ok, you are right, BNSF runs some passenger ops for other RR in a few places.

In the old days, imagine that you buy carloads of widgets  from a company that is serviced by PRR (Pennsylvania RR).

But your facility is in an area serviced by the (now former) Southern Pacific.

Every time the train reached the edge of their area, the cars would be resorted, and the new RR would move it to their border, and it would happen until it showed up at your dock.

I'm sure there were exceptions, I imagine a company like Standard Oil got things done on their own terms. Of course Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, etc all owned their own RR

These days, the major (class 1) RR have agreements - and will move things all the way to the destination. Seen some funny lashups on big trains, but they all end up parking in the same yards, and the agreements must cover using each others equipment..

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1 minute ago, bpm57 said:

Ok, you are right, BNSF runs some passenger ops for other RR in a few places.

In the old days, imagine that you buy carloads of widgets  from a company that is serviced by PRR (Pennsylvania RR).

But your facility is in an area serviced by the (now former) Southern Pacific.

Every time the train reached the edge of their area, the cars would be resorted, and the new RR would move it to their border, and it would happen until it showed up at your dock.

I'm sure there were exceptions, I imagine a company like Standard Oil got things done on their own terms. Of course Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, etc all owned their own RR

These days, the major (class 1) RR have agreements - and will move things all the way to the destination. Seen some funny lashups on big trains, but they all end up parking in the same yards, and the agreements must cover using each others equipment..

The way metro seems to operate is morning and afternoon rush is all commuter.  Freight runs through mid day and night.   

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2 minutes ago, badlatitude said:

Pretty clear you have no imagination.

Oh I can imagine it.   It’s a lot more than digging a ditch.   If going below grade you need drainage and the road needs a bridge.  Climate plays a part.  I read the study on the high speed from St Louis to Chicago.  So many crossings that the speed was no longer high speed and approaching the same time as driving.  

Do you really think 100 years from now high speed rail will be the choice?  Think about how far we went in 70 years   Horse  and buggy to landing men on the moon.  

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1 minute ago, TMSAIL said:

Oh I can imagine it.   It’s a lot more than digging a ditch.   If going below grade you need drainage and the road needs a bridge.  Climate plays a part.  I read the study on the high speed from St Louis to Chicago.  So many crossings that the speed was no longer high speed and approaching the same time as driving.  

Do you really think 100 years from now high speed rail will be the choice?  Think about how far we went in 70 years   Horse  and buggy to landing men on the moon.  

Duh, we do it here all the time. In a place where traffic movement is critical, you improvise. The amount of traffic on roads and at airports is finite; we need solutions to solve that problem. I think high-speed rail is a solution, but I have no idea how many decades that will work for our society. Probably for a long time before another solution presents itself.

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11 minutes ago, TMSAIL said:

Oh I can imagine it.   It’s a lot more than digging a ditch.   If going below grade you need drainage and the road needs a bridge.  Climate plays a part.  I read the study on the high speed from St Louis to Chicago.  So many crossings that the speed was no longer high speed and approaching the same time as driving.  

Do you really think 100 years from now high speed rail will be the choice?  Think about how far we went in 70 years   Horse  and buggy to landing men on the moon.  

What do you see as another option?   Mag lev has huge energy requirements.   Air travel requires a huge Capitol investment to increase traffic at maxed out hub airports, plus the significant environmental costs.   The grounding after 911 actually demonstrated climate affects from air travel.   I respect Elon Musk’s vision, but am skeptical his car carrying sleds will make high speed moderate distance rail obsolete.    Their potential for sprawling  metropolitan areas with gridlocked traffic is more interesting.   It would be an exciting leepfrog technology though,

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3 minutes ago, Lark said:

What do you see as another option?   Mag lev has huge energy requirements.   Air travel requires a huge Capitol investment to increase traffic at maxed out hub airports, plus the significant environmental costs.   The grounding after 911 actually demonstrated climate affects from air travel.   I respect Elon Musk’s vision, but am skeptical his car carrying sleds will make high speed moderate distance rail obsolete.    Their potential for sprawling  metropolitan areas with gridlocked traffic is more interesting.

I don’t.  Pretty sure the people in 1900 NYC didn’t envision being able to get to Europe in a few hours or being able to make a phone call to China in 1 second.  For pennies. 

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So your argument is do nothing and wait for future tech to arrive?    That argument could have been used every step of the way through our nation’s progress.   And there would have been no progress if it was tried.   Move forward (at the speed of India or China) and accept that like the interstate parking lot system and the airports, whatever we build today will need to be improved tomorrow.   

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The fundamental difference is that China is a growing economy and the people who make things happen have a can do attitude, like the US once had before it lost its way. The US was built on the backs of slaves so the labour argument doesnt wash, neither does IP piracy. Fact is China is a threat to US  exceptionalism, a billion people that are being lifted out of poverty faster than any civilisation in history. Comparing the two governments is pointless, way difference histories and cultures.

The trains are a glaring example of the difference between a country that gets things done and one that does not. I dont agree with China's record on human rights but given the US's well documented history of its own human rights abuses, Im not sure the US can take the moral high ground.

Unfortunately the fear of the  "Yellow Peril" is alive and well

 

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1 hour ago, TMSAIL said:

I drive that all the time. I have the choice of 90 through the city or 294 bypass. Despite being shorter the 90 route is always slower.  

No reason to ever go through Cicero. Unless you flew into Midway 

You guys are correct.   I finally looked at a map.   There was a predictable parking lot by the sign for the Cicero exit off 294 (north of the last tollbooth as I recall).   The traffic jam seemed perpetual during the couple years I made the trip.    I incorrectly guessed the Cicero exit was near Cicero.   

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6 minutes ago, Gutterblack said:

The fundamental difference is that China is a growing economy and the people who make things happen have a can do attitude, like the US once had before it lost its way. The US was built on the backs of slaves so the labour argument doesnt wash, neither does IP piracy. Fact is China is a threat to US  exceptionalism, a billion people that are being lifted out of poverty faster than any civilisation in history. Comparing the two governments is pointless, way difference histories and cultures.

The trains are a glaring example of the difference between a country that gets things done and one that does not. I dont agree with China's record on human rights but given the US's well documented history of its own human rights abuses, Im not sure the US can take the moral high ground.

Unfortunately the fear of the  "Yellow Peril" is alive and well

 

The decade of arguing about museums before we even started rebuilding the World Trade Center was proof to me America had lost its way.   We are mired in our brief history instead of looking forward.

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Way I see it one of the biggest problems in the US relate to the military industrial complex with the money and morality it has drained out of society, I mean you are about to appoint a torturer as head of the CIA! Thats why I would have voted for Trump for one reason; He is the honest face of banal evil and corruption, Hilary and for that matter Obama are cut from the same cloth but had the Madison Ave treatment. You guys want bullet trains, good luck! For the price of a stupid pointless war in Afghanistan or Iraq you could have had gold plated trains criss crossing the US at 500 mph and as many bridges and tunnels to avoid then as you like.

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