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High Speed Rail: what do other know that we don't?

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High Speed Rail: what do other know that we don't?

Old 05-18-19, 12:03 PM
  #76  
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
You posed a hypothetical and I pointed out how far from reality it was. If that triggers you, you're on the wrong internet.
It didn't trigger me. I just found it funny that I used the space station example to make a point about how M155 thinks, and you took it as a launch point for a tangent about space stations. The really funny thing is that I would not mind discussing space stations and sustainability, but if I engaged in that conversation with you here, it would not only take the thread in a tangential direction, but the mods would end up moving it to P&R or foo and we wouldn't be able to discuss HSR except by starting a new thread.

Idk if you are just wanting to cause the thread to get flushed away for some reason, or if you are just innocently wanting to discuss space stations.



Originally Posted by pedex View Post
temporarily self contained but not sustainable on its own.......it requires frequent and constant resupply and maintenance provided by the industrial economy that put it into orbit to begin with
I would start a new thread about space stations and post a link here, but I don't think the mods would accept it as an appropriate topic for LCF. I could be wrong, of course.
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Old 05-18-19, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
...
Idk if you are just wanting to cause the thread to get flushed away for some reason, or if you are just innocently wanting to discuss space stations.
Neither. I'm pointing out the problems with this statement:

If humans can live sustainably on a space station, then there is no limit to population growth on Earth.
Humans can't live sustainably on a space station, and there is a practical limit to population growth on Earth.
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Old 05-18-19, 02:18 PM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
Humans can't live sustainably on a space station, and there is a practical limit to population growth on Earth.
Yes, it is fascinating to consider what makes Earth in its natural form sustainable and how changing various parameters alters the feedback cycles that keep it stable.

In general, whenever you reduce resource use/waste by replacing a less efficient technology with a more efficient one, you make the Earth a little more sustainable by preventing waste from spiraling out of control.

Paved infrastructure and development has that potential of spiraling out of control because we don't reforest land after developing it into automotive sprawl. We just keep expanding and developing more land.

So switching to passenger rail, away from driving and flying, would reduce the amount of land and fuel/CO2 wasted on transportation; though buses would also be better than driving and flying.

It's not quite as efficient as putting humans in space stations and totally protecting the natural biosphere from them that way, but as you said that technology is a long way off.

There, now the space station tangent has been brought back around to the topic of the thread, high speed rail.
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Old 05-18-19, 02:25 PM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
Neither. I'm pointing out the problems with this statement:



Humans can't live sustainably on a space station, and there is a practical limit to population growth on Earth.
Hammer meets nail hits same on head.
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Old 05-18-19, 06:44 PM
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What they know?

They know the price of gas is waaaaay more expensive than in the USA..
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Old 05-18-19, 07:51 PM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by rossiny View Post
They know the price of gas is waaaaay more expensive than in the USA..
That's a good point I'm surprised no one has made yet.

I don't want to get too political here, but in principle people in the US are supposed to make responsible choices without costs and taxes being the motivating factor. In practice, that ideal seems to fail a lot, but it remains as the underlying justification for legitimating freedom over control.

So do you think people in the world who have good rail service available currently would want to stop paying for it if the price of gas went down there low enough to justify driving and flying instead? Or is there sense enough that people would maintain their rail systems for the sake of efficiency and sustainability in transportation?
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Old 05-19-19, 12:03 AM
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Originally Posted by rossiny View Post
They know the price of gas is waaaaay more expensive than in the USA..
The petroleum industry is the largest in the world, as is its lobby and influence is in congress. What's holding back HSR in the U.S. is unadulterated greed, pure and simple.
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Old 05-19-19, 02:39 AM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
That's a good point I'm surprised no one has made yet.

I don't want to get too political here, but in principle people in the US are supposed to make responsible choices without costs and taxes being the motivating factor. In practice, that ideal seems to fail a lot, but it remains as the underlying justification for legitimating freedom over control.

So do you think people in the world who have good rail service available currently would want to stop paying for it if the price of gas went down there low enough to justify driving and flying instead? Or is there sense enough that people would maintain their rail systems for the sake of efficiency and sustainability in transportation?
Good question. I think it has a lot to do with the population also. Older countries are more in need if it because of space. Of course China is a huge country but has huge population. I have a personal beef with the suppression of even decent train transport. I work in Wisconsin and need to travel to Chicago. About 50miles each way. Even though we have the Metra that links Chicago and Kenosha. The schedules are just to sporadic and I wind up driving . If it ran regular I could just take my bike on the train and commute. I just think we have to reach a critical mass before humans accept that we need to move without cars. Say >>>>>catastrophic global environmental collapse...outside of that we love our cars....
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Old 05-19-19, 07:41 AM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by rossiny View Post
Good question. I think it has a lot to do with the population also. Older countries are more in need if it because of space. Of course China is a huge country but has huge population. I have a personal beef with the suppression of even decent train transport. I work in Wisconsin and need to travel to Chicago. About 50miles each way. Even though we have the Metra that links Chicago and Kenosha. The schedules are just to sporadic and I wind up driving . If it ran regular I could just take my bike on the train and commute. <font size="+2"><span style="color:brown;">I just think we have to reach a critical mass before humans accept that we need to move without cars. Say &gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;catastrophic global environmental collapse...</span></font>outside of that we love our cars....
<br /><br />Now you see that's just my point. But things don't have to get that bad. Our political leaders sit on their hands until we reach the point of catastrophe before they act. We knew about our growing dependence on foreign oil long before the first oil embargo in the 1970s and yet we ignored it and continue with no Plan B.<br /><br />The worst part was even after they crippled the nation's transportation network, all we did was slow everybody down via a lower national speed limit, and here we are nearly a half century later and with an even greater dependence than before.<br /><br />Imagine how far along our country would be by now if we had begun building a HSR after that embargo back in the 70s? With 10 year phases would could have been crisscrossing the U.S. by now. Even the Brazilians were smart enough to learn from the embargo and develop a Plan B for it's population. Why are American leaders so inept at this?<br /><br />If -- or better still, when -- there is another embargo or transportation catastrophe who do you think will be the first to suffer for it? Has anyone ever considered what would happen if gas prices were to double? They know we have no viable transportation alternative so we'd have no choice but to pay it. Suddenly the glamor of independent travel would lose much of its appeal. Particularly for commuting.<br /><br />Having alternatives prevents any one mode of transportation or industry from having all that power and control. How we can fall back into the same trap so easily is unconscionable. Necessity may be the mother of invention, but am I the only one that can see this coming?<br /><br />President Obama was the first president to seriously put into motion a HSR system. But even he fell short of giving it sufficient emphasis to really push it through.<br /><br />This needs to be made a National Plan just like our highway system was in the '50s. Especially where there are so many people around today that were alive to witness the horrendous economic devastation of the first oil embargo.
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Old 05-19-19, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by rossiny View Post
Good question. I think it has a lot to do with the population also. Older countries are more in need if it because of space. Of course China is a huge country but has huge population. I have a personal beef with the suppression of even decent train transport. I work in Wisconsin and need to travel to Chicago. About 50miles each way. Even though we have the Metra that links Chicago and Kenosha. The schedules are just to sporadic and I wind up driving . If it ran regular I could just take my bike on the train and commute. I just think we have to reach a critical mass before humans accept that we need to move without cars. Say >>>>>catastrophic global environmental collapse...outside of that we love our cars....
Now you see that's just my point. But things don't have to get that bad. Our political leaders sit on their hands until we reach the point of catastrophe before they act. We knew about our growing dependence on foreign oil long before the first oil embargo in the 1970s and yet we ignored it and continue with no Plan B.

The worst part was even after they crippled the nation's transportation network, all we did was slow everybody down via a lower national speed limit, and here we are nearly a half century later and with an even greater dependence than before.

Imagine how far along our country would be by now if we had begun building a HSR after that embargo back in the 70s? With 10 year phases would could have been crisscrossing the U.S. by now. Even the Brazilians were smart enough to learn from the embargo and develop a Plan B for it's population. Why are American leaders so inept at this?

If -- or better still, when -- there is another embargo or transportation catastrophe who do you think will be the first to suffer for it? Has anyone ever considered what would happen if gas prices were to double? They know we have no viable transportation alternative so we'd have no choice but to pay it. Suddenly the glamor of independent travel would lose much of its appeal. Particularly for commuting.

Having alternatives prevents any one mode of transportation or industry from having all that power and control. How we can fall back into the same trap so easily is unconscionable. Necessity may be the mother of invention, but am I the only one that can see this coming?

President Obama was the first president to seriously put into motion a HSR system. But even he fell short of giving it sufficient emphasis to really push it through.

This needs to be made a National Plan just like our highway system was in the '50s. Especially where there are so many people around today that were alive to witness the horrendous economic devastation of the first oil embargo.
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Old 05-19-19, 09:18 AM
  #86  
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We have the interstate highway system because it had a Military application .. Troop Movement..


If you look at the Budget, a huge % is military , so HSR needs a Militaty appeal to get the money ..
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Old 05-19-19, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by rossiny View Post
They know the price of gas is waaaaay more expensive than in the USA..
Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
That's a good point I'm surprised no one has made yet.

I don't want to get too political here, but in principle people in the US are supposed to make responsible choices without costs and taxes being the motivating factor. In practice, that ideal seems to fail a lot, but it remains as the underlying justification for legitimating freedom over control.

So do you think people in the world who have good rail service available currently would want to stop paying for it if the price of gas went down there low enough to justify driving and flying instead? Or is there sense enough that people would maintain their rail systems for the sake of efficiency and sustainability in transportation?
Tandempower, have you forgotten post number 4, way back on page 1?
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Old 05-19-19, 10:04 AM
  #88  
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
<br /><br />Now you see that's just my point. But things don't have to get that bad. Our political leaders sit on their hands until we reach the point of catastrophe before they act. We knew about our growing dependence on foreign oil long before the first oil embargo in the 1970s and yet we ignored it and continue with no Plan B.<br /><br />The worst part was even after they crippled the nation's transportation network, all we did was slow everybody down via a lower national speed limit, and here we are nearly a half century later and with an even greater dependence than before.<br /><br />Imagine how far along our country would be by now if we had begun building a HSR after that embargo back in the 70s? With 10 year phases would could have been crisscrossing the U.S. by now.
Lowering speed limits would have been a good start, but a resistance/rebellion grew against the austerity, which for some reason is hell-bent on denying that rejecting rationality causes detriment. These people who ignore detriment are probably just unconcerned about the well-being of all people, and they assume the people who they do care about can be protected from the detriment.

Even the Brazilians were smart enough to learn from the embargo and develop a Plan B for it's population. Why are American leaders so inept at this?<br /><br />If -- or better still, when -- there is another embargo or transportation catastrophe who do you think will be the first to suffer for it? Has anyone ever considered what would happen if gas prices were to double? They know we have no viable transportation alternative so we'd have no choice but to pay it. Suddenly the glamor of independent travel would lose much of its appeal. Particularly for commuting.<br /><br />Having alternatives prevents any one mode of transportation or industry from having all that power and control. How we can fall back into the same trap so easily is unconscionable. Necessity may be the mother of invention, but am I the only one that can see this coming?<br /><br />President Obama was the first president to seriously put into motion a HSR system. But even he fell short of giving it sufficient emphasis to really push it through.<br /><br />This needs to be made a National Plan just like our highway system was in the '50s. Especially where there are so many people around today that were alive to witness the horrendous economic devastation of the first oil embargo.
I think the US is viewed globally as a place to go make easy money. "The streets are paved with gold," is an old expression that was once popular. So I think it has become a global pastime to obstruct reforms in the US that would reduce waste and thus make money harder to make. It is much easier to make money in markets where people and businesses are hemorrhaging money because pathways to efficiency and waste-reduction have been obstructed and obfuscated.
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Old 05-19-19, 10:10 AM
  #89  
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Originally Posted by FiftySix View Post
Tandempower, have you forgotten post number 4, way back on page 1?
Technically, yes, I did forget about older posts in this thread. But upon re-reading it, it focuses m more on gas being cheaper in the US, which would not motivate people elsewhere to invest in passenger rail. Gas prices being high there, on the other hand, would be a logical reason to develop more fuel-efficient modes.

This is why I actually think some economic recession is a good thing. It's not good when people are being deprived of basic necessities, but it is good when they start thinking seriously about ways to get more out the money and resources they have to work with. The idea of unlimited abundance is very comforting but, sadly, it doesn't lead most people to the corresponding idea that the more resource-efficient technologies and lifestyles are developed and adopted, the farther the limits of abundance are moved into the future.

Permanent sustainability should be the ultimate goal that everyone is working toward. Figuring out which foods, forms of transportation, forms of architecture and development, etc. can be permanently sustained should guide people and businesses in their choices of what to buy/consume and what to invest in.
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Old 05-19-19, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
Technically, yes, I did forget about older posts in this thread. But upon re-reading it, it focuses m more on gas being cheaper in the US, which would not motivate people elsewhere to invest in passenger rail. Gas prices being high there, on the other hand, would be a logical reason to develop more fuel-efficient modes.

This is why I actually think some economic recession is a good thing. It's not good when people are being deprived of basic necessities, but it is good when they start thinking seriously about ways to get more out the money and resources they have to work with. The idea of unlimited abundance is very comforting but, sadly, it doesn't lead most people to the corresponding idea that the more resource-efficient technologies and lifestyles are developed and adopted, the farther the limits of abundance are moved into the future.

Permanent sustainability should be the ultimate goal that everyone is working toward. Figuring out which foods, forms of transportation, forms of architecture and development, etc. can be permanently sustained should guide people and businesses in their choices of what to buy/consume and what to invest in.
We spent about 60 years on inner city/ city rail and inter city rail and it wasn't sustainable. Then we spent the last 60 or so years replacing it with cars and roads which are even less sustainable. It isn't about economics, it is about human nature.
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Old 05-19-19, 10:41 AM
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The next plan is handing out free money to people ("Universal Basic Income") so that they no longer need to get up in the morning and go to work at all, easing or eliminating traffic congestion. Something tells me that this plan will also prove unsustainable.
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Old 05-19-19, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by pedex View Post
We spent about 60 years on inner city/ city rail and inter city rail and it wasn't sustainable. Then we spent the last 60 or so years replacing it with cars and roads which are even less sustainable. It isn't about economics, it is about human nature.
That's an interesting comment. Why do you say rail wasn't sustainable?
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Old 05-19-19, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
That's an interesting comment. Why do you say rail wasn't sustainable?
Finite planet, 2nd law of thermodynamics, and our own behavioral nature. Per seat mile or pound mile of freight rail is better than pretty much anything else over land it still requires an industrial base to produce and maintain which is based on non renewable finite resources,
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Old 05-19-19, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by pedex View Post
Finite planet, 2nd law of thermodynamics, and our own behavioral nature. Per seat mile or pound mile of freight rail is better than pretty much anything else over land it still requires an industrial base to produce and maintain which is based on non renewable finite resources,
You're talking about freight rail, not passenger rail.

Have you ever taken a real critical look at a multilane highway filled with cars? If you own stock in auto companies, that might just look like money rolling in, but if you think about transportation efficiency and land/resource waste, it looks like a bag of popcorn kernels that's been opened and popped until it takes up an entire bucket.

Buses consolidate traffic on highways, so they are good for that reason; but trains don't have tires so there is less rolling resistance, plus all the cars of a train are linked head to tail, so each car doesn't have to cut through the wind on its own, the way buses do.

Now I don't see why automation technology shouldn't be used to link multiple buses in close sequence so they could get the same wind drag advantage as a train; but if some foolish human driver caused the lead bus to crash, the rest of the 'bus-train' could derail and the result would be real train wreck, so to speak.

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Old 05-19-19, 11:25 AM
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Type of freight human or other does not matter. The laws of physics don't discriminate.
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Old 05-19-19, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post

Now I don't see why automation technology shouldn't be used to link multiple buses in close sequence so they could get the same wind drag advantage as a train; but if some foolish human driver caused the lead bus to crash, the rest of the 'bus-train' could derail and the result would be real train wreck, so to speak.
That's one reason why I think any bus-train will need its own roadway. Might as well just have high speed rail, since high speed rail would have its own railway.
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Old 05-19-19, 11:54 AM
  #97  
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I think smart (self driving and well coordinated) electric cars and buses are the way forward in the USA. It won't be as fast as HSR, but the lack of speed can be compensated for with comfort and convenience (many more endpoints than HSR).

The cost of smart electric cars will continue to come down, and (most importantly) the capacity of our existing road system will scale with intelligence (coordination), while the cost of HSR seems too unpredictable (as we've seen in California).
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Old 05-19-19, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
I think smart (self driving and well coordinated) electric cars and buses are the way forward in the USA. It won't be as fast as HSR, but the lack of speed can be compensated for with comfort and convenience (many more endpoints than HSR).

The cost of smart electric cars will continue to come down, and (most importantly) the capacity of our existing road system will scale with intelligence (coordination), while the cost of HSR seems too unpredictable (as we've seen in California).
It would be an improvement, but not near as efficient as rail. It still has to use the roadway and therefore, is pron to delays/accidents/etc. as regular traffic
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Old 05-19-19, 01:31 PM
  #99  
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
It would be an improvement, but not near as efficient as rail. It still has to use the roadway and therefore, is pron to delays/accidents/etc. as regular traffic
If we play the game out who will be paying for all of the HSR projects? A politician that raises taxes to support something people arenít willing to pay for will be in office for one term. Isnít the plan to power the HSR with electricity?

We we have been told in California that the electric grid is stressed and are to to expect brown out every summer. Renewable energy isnít up to the task yet and it may be years before it is , if ever. More nuclear is a possible solution but you run into the same NIMBY resistance to that. So electricity is generated by petrochemical power plants. Would we then be expected to build more of these plants?

Would we we need to increase taxes for both the HSR projects and build more power plants?

https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=427&t=3

At least with EVs the customer buys the rolling stock. The customer can decide on an econobox or a luxury car. If the customer still has the option on flying would that not cut into HSR profits?

At at least in the case of the California project we saw interest die off before it could be built. Even if they finish the section between Merced and Bakersfield it will be another 20 to 26 billion dollars. Will people be willing to dig into their savings accounts to fund a train they may never ride?
I have my doubts. I wouldnít vote for it. That may be just me.

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Old 05-19-19, 01:41 PM
  #100  
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
I think smart (self driving and well coordinated) electric cars and buses are the way forward in the USA. It won't be as fast as HSR, but the lack of speed can be compensated for with comfort and convenience (many more endpoints than HSR).

The cost of smart electric cars will continue to come down, and (most importantly) the capacity of our existing road system will scale with intelligence (coordination), while the cost of HSR seems too unpredictable (as we've seen in California).
What "cost" is continuing to come down for so-called smart self driving and well coordinated electric cars (or buses), since none exist now and no such vehicles appear to be close to being commercially fielded anywhere in the foreseeable future?

What is being coordinated in the "well coordinated" vehicle and/or road system in this scheme?

The costs of day dreaming about a fantasy system are already zero.
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