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Thread: BROTM Post. Would you ride high speed rail?

  1. #1
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    Default BROTM Post. Would you ride high speed rail?

    Given a choice between travelling intercity by air, or travelling by high speed rail, which would you prefer?

    https://edition.cnn.com/travel/artic...cmd/index.html

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    Default Re: BROTM Post. Would you ride high speed rail?

    I think we’re set up for 70 mph busses and planes.

    Just read your link. It’s amazing what China has done. My comment was about the future as I don’t think we’ll change what we’re doing.
    Last edited by LeeG; 12-26-2021 at 04:35 AM.

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    Default Re: BROTM Post. Would you ride high speed rail?

    I'd love to see a true high speed train in the U.S. and I'd use it, but I doubt I'll see it anytime in the near future.
    All we've got is a bunch of clickity-clack trains that haven't been updated in 50 years.
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    Default Re: BROTM Post. Would you ride high speed rail?

    I have traveled the TGV in France on plenty occasions, it is a great expierience.
    In the Netherland I prefer the Intercity train.
    The plain is for really big distances, not worth the hassle for intercity travel.
    Don't worry I'm happy

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    Default Re: BROTM Post. Would you ride high speed rail?

    Rode the TVG many times in the 80's. It's deplorable that the UK is only just getting it together now, and even that under duress, protest and NIMBYism. Post 9/11 I detest flying, and will choose any other means given the choice.

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    Default Re: BROTM Post. Would you ride high speed rail?

    Helyess
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    Default Re: BROTM Post. Would you ride high speed rail?

    The train is the last civilised way to go medium distances and, usually puts you closer to the centre of towns and citys. Unfortunately, flying is cheaper and quicker, but no fun.

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    Default Re: BROTM Post. Would you ride high speed rail?

    For sure. Aeroports are a hasle
    Ragnar B.

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    Default Re: BROTM Post. Would you ride high speed rail?

    I prefer the train; it brings you directly from city center to city center. Since Covid came I commute to my company 600 km north of Stockholm with a sleeper train (not high speed) over night in a private cabin. It's more relaxing than flying and I lose less working hours.
    When going abroad farther than the Scandinavian countries (>1000 km) I doubt that the even a high speed train will beat flying.
    /Erik

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    Default Re: BROTM Post. Would you ride high speed rail?

    I have done very high speed rail in Italy, the Red Arrow, and it was superb.
    Gerard>
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    Default Re: BROTM Post. Would you ride high speed rail?

    What are these trains you speak of ?
    Unfortunately, passenger rail in NZ's South Island is limited to two (very pleasant) summer season routes, Christchurch to the west coast through the alps, and Christchurch to Picton to meet up with the inter Island ferry. Thats it. No commuter light rail, no inter city passenger rail, nothing, nada, zip - of any speed.
    If I ever get to travel again, and high speed rail was viable cost/time/distance wise, I would use it in preference to flying. Eleven hours Adelaide to Melbourne on a slow train scatched that itch - it's a nice way to travel, but enough is enough.

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    Default Re: BROTM Post. Would you ride high speed rail?

    Trains in the UK are a vision of hell through expensive unreliability.

    I've driven, ridden, flown and even hitch-hiked - hell I'd take a long haul bus in preference to the misery of a train.
    I'd much rather lay in my bunk all freakin day lookin at Youtube videos .

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    Default Re: BROTM Post. Would you ride high speed rail?

    Gosh yes. I love the fact that you can't hijack a train, thus the security hassles hardly exist.

    The TGV in France is a wonderful way to move quickly across that country. Vastly simpler and more pleasant than air travel. (And it's an airline captain saying this.)

    We took a vacation in Aquitaine 4 years ago. Flew to Paris. Got on the TGV. Moved at high-speed to Bordeaux, mostly sleeping away the jet lag from the horrible all-night flight. Disembarked feeling much better, found a BnB, had a fine night, rented a car next morning refreshed, and explored upriver for a week.

    Bring on more trains.

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    Default Re: BROTM Post. Would you ride high speed rail?

    #14.. the British experience... What did I tell you?

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    Default Re: BROTM Post. Would you ride high speed rail?

    I would prefer a train of any speed.

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    Default Re: BROTM Post. Would you ride high speed rail?

    Train, no question about it.

    Jeff C

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    Default Re: BROTM Post. Would you ride high speed rail?

    Quote Originally Posted by john welsford View Post
    Given a choice between travelling intercity by air, or travelling by high speed rail, which would you prefer?
    What a false choice. We all imagine why we are going and where we are going and make come to false conclusions.

    Usually, when I go to a city, I have stuff to carry with me. My last trips to cities were made to pick up Ikea furniture. Not easy to transport by either plane or train.

    Most stores are not going to be near the airport or depot. So some sort of local transport is needed. Adding time and expense.

    And then there are schedules. I don't expect planes or trains to leave at times most convenient for my travel.

    I have flown and trained. Having someone handle all the details makes the trip better, but I think a car is more efficient and economical for most in the US.
    Life is complex.

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    Default Re: BROTM Post. Would you ride high speed rail?

    In more densely populated places, sure. For this part of the country where major cities are a long way apart, it doesn't work so well. The nearest big city to us is Chicago, about 400 miles away, and any farther than that, air has a big advantage. And for shorter distances, automobiles are very, very convenient.
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
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    Default

    I rode the TGV once in 1987. I rode the Italian Ferrovia Stato regularly in 1986 and 87. It was relaxing and reasonably fast. In the US I rode Amtrack from Newark back to DC after my flight kept getting delayed. But it is not at all convenient for me now since I live in Huntsville.


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    Default Re: BROTM Post. Would you ride high speed rail?

    The train in a heartbeat for a 400 mile or less trip.
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    Default Re: BROTM Post. Would you ride high speed rail?

    If I had a choice then definately the Train.
    We puposely chose AMTRAC trains on our 2017 CANADA/USA trip.
    And would do so again!!!
    We have also travelled Seoul-Busan return on Sth Korea's high speed train.
    I think it was an inported French TGV and is was a pleasure to ride in.
    I once thought I was wrong, but I was wrong, I wasn't wrong.

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    Default Re: BROTM Post. Would you ride high speed rail?

    "The steam locomotive teaches us that the railway age was a totally viable and a civilised alternative to the hideous consequences of basing national economies on road transportation." -- Colin Garratt

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    Default Re: BROTM Post. Would you ride high speed rail?

    I have ridden the Accela from Philly to Boston. It's a nice ride, but price wise, was almost the same as a small commuter plane. The lack of TSA was very nice though. I would do it again, I found the people aboard to be less "chatty" than the usual passengers I get plagued with when on a plane.
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    Default Re: BROTM Post. Would you ride high speed rail?

    A while ago I watched a YouTube video of a couple of mates who were in London UK standing on the bridge crossing the river Thames by Parliament. They agreed to meet up at a Cafe in a square in central Amsterdam. They parted ways with one taking the Tube to St Pancras Station where he boarded the Train to Amsterdam via the Chunnel. The other mate took the Tube to Heathrow to catch a plane. The train travellor got to the Cafe and phoned his mate asking where he was and got the reply...........just boarding the plane!!!!
    For short trips....even international, train please.
    I once thought I was wrong, but I was wrong, I wasn't wrong.

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    Default Re: BROTM Post. Would you ride high speed rail?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    In more densely populated places, sure. For this part of the country where major cities are a long way apart, it doesn't work so well. The nearest big city to us is Chicago, about 400 miles away, and any farther than that, air has a big advantage. And for shorter distances, automobiles are very, very convenient.
    In the underdeveloped US, maybe. In Europe trains go 300 km/h, so 400 miles would take just over 2 hours. That's downtown to downtown, not to some suburban airport. Neither car nor plane could do it nearly as fast.

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    Default Re: BROTM Post. Would you ride high speed rail?

    There's an ongoing discussion on how to improve the railways in Sweden. I don't find 300 km/h very practical. It requires new tracks at new stretches. If we're satisfied with 180 km/h we can essentially use the existing tracks and build new tracks where they're needed for increased capacity instead.
    180 km/h will still make trains faster than flying between Stocholm and all cities in southern Sweden, which is where the high speed tracks would have been built.
    Flying is still the best way to travel to the cities in the sparsely populated far north; high speed tracks are not economically feasible.
    /Erik

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    Default Re: BROTM Post. Would you ride high speed rail?

    I forget who it was, but a year or two ago some news host was on a high speed train somewhere and showed via a glass of water or cup of coffee how smooth the ride was.

    I don't see myself doing any more traveling, but I'd take a train. The success/failure as systems come to be will depend a great deal on if boarding the train is far less hassle than than planes.
    "Banning books and not guns seems backwards. Can't think of anyone ever shot by a book

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    Default Re: BROTM Post. Would you ride high speed rail?

    If there was high speed rail here I would take it. Currently it is a 2.5 hour drive to the closest Amtrak station, so I rather doubt we will get high speed rail anywhere near here any time soon. It is also an hour and fifteen minute drive to the nearest bus station.

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    Default Re: BROTM Post. Would you ride high speed rail?

    Quote Originally Posted by Todd D View Post
    If there was high speed rail here I would take it. Currently it is a 2.5 hour drive to the closest Amtrak station, so I rather doubt we will get high speed rail anywhere near here any time soon. It is also an hour and fifteen minute drive to the nearest bus station.
    Living in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region, things like the accela make sense here. The corridor from DC to Boston is perfect for that kind of train travel. What other areas of the US has so many heavily populated cities so close together? As much as I enjoyed my Ride and would do it again, no doubt I would hate having to ride that same train from DC to Miami. In that respect flying is easier.
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    Default Re: BROTM Post. Would you ride high speed rail?

    Rant warning!

    Trains in the US are a pitiful mess. The problem started over 100 years ago - mostly based on (surprise!) greed. Many rail lines went out (were driven out) of business, were bought up & combined, etc. Then they cut way back on maintenance. Local lines & trolleys were forced out due to pressure from auto mfrs + the convenience of cars. Over the last 30+ years we've had the damn Rials-to-Trails outfit buying up railroad ROWs & turning them into bike paths - with deeded restrictions on ever turning them back to rail.

    IMHO, a huge chunk of all the infrastructure bills should've gone towards rail. It is hugely cheaper than trucks for long distance freight (& hugely less pollution), for medium distance travel it's as fast as planes & here too it has far less environmental impact. While rural areas are probably a lost cause (see Todd's post above - though Maine & many other states used to have small lines - see my objection to Rails-to-Trails), connections between major cities by rail only makes sense.

    Could it all be done? Yes. Will it? Doubt it - no national will in the US - not to mention vision. So - in answer to the OP, yes I would indeed choose rail over flying if appropriate.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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    Default Re: BROTM Post. Would you ride high speed rail?

    Nice rant. Good summary.

    This following is another Jimmy story, so let me know if I should delete it for being too long, or TMI, or too off the track.

    ***

    I hate to travel by air, the actual flying part is fine, mostly I hate the crowded airports and the waiting and the sardine-can feel of the plane's interior. When my folks first moved us to northern from southern California, and we kids were old enough to send off alone to the grandparent's house for a two week summer vacation, they put us on a seven-oh-seven (?) that cost about fifty bucks. We had to get dressed up, including slacks, a jacket and tie, at ten years old, and the friendly stewardess gave us a free deck of airline playing cards and a pair of silver wings for our lapel. It took about an hour as I remember it, and even back then, the airport part was the worst of it.

    Since my current marriage, and my previous diagnosis of bipolar and subsequent diagnosis of aspergers, We determined that I can no longer be relied upon to negotiate an airport without having some kind of stress-related melt-down. Which I don't remember having when I flew alone...

    So I don't travel anymore. I can't afford it, and I am not ever going to get on another plane, and I'm probably never going to drive a road trip for more than a few hours away from home. And I'm not ever going to travel by car alone overnight again.

    Skip over this next part if you're squeamish or insistent on a non-drifted thread.

    ***

    This is difficult to admit, but it's true. When I was diagnosed with bipolar it was at the end of a ten day excursion into delusional hyper-mania, and a five day solo ride in my Miata from Grants Pass, Oregon through northern Califrornia culminating dramatically with my being admitted, bloody and in handcuffs, to the mental ward of Marin General Hospital for a seventy-two hour hold. And the point of bringing that up here, is that when I consider a possible trip to see my younger brother in Dallas or my estranged daughter in Kansas, the memory of being almost dead and insane scares the bejeezus out of me, and I have resolved to never risk it again. Then I take a breath and I'm fine, but I'm not ever going out on a multi-day road trip by myself again. Never. Because I can't trust myself to not wig out, even though I have never, not once since being diagnosed and brought out of that delusion, missed my meds, and haven't had another hyper-manic episode. It sometimes still haunts me.

    And, if that's not enough, this past year's continuing news story about the unfortunate Ms Petito and her murderous fiance, struck close to home.

    When I was married to wife number three, who in the end, some years after the following story, was diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic, we took a week long road trip from Grants Pass to Sea Girt, New Jersey. We saw the badlands of the Dakotas and Mount Rushmore, and we spent one night in Sturgis, in the middle of that year's biker rally. We stayed on a northern route, with a side trip to central Kansas to see her father's gentleman's farm. Called that, in my memory, for his not really farming it but it was his home-town, and being a retired airline pilot who made a fortune gambling in traveling card games, on trains, during and after his airline career, which also paid well.

    Our road trip was punctuated with daily fighting, nearly all of which was shouting, but got phsycially violent at one point when she suddenly pounded on me for some slight. I never hit her back I just took the defensive position until it was over again. We got asked to leave a motel once for disturbing the other guests.

    We made it to her brother's house in New Jersey, who lived part-time in an old three-story mansion a block from the beach, which he had just bought. He too, was an airline pilot, this episode occuring in the late eighties, and he was well off. He paid cash for the house, and bought it completely furnished in the PO's stuff, everything from dining room antiques to the towels and ashtrays. The day after they moved out, to retire in Miami, he moved in, changed the sheets and made his coffee in their pot the next morning.

    He invited us to see the city in his Mercedes which we picked up from JFK for him when we swapped him for the car we had just delivered, which was the point of our making the road trip. We climbed the Empire State building after parking his car on the street. He told us after the fact that no one with a brain would leave a car, any car, let alone a classic Mercedes convertible, on the street in the city and expect to have all the wheels still on it upon their return. We got lucky.

    Our entire trip on the road, before flying home from JFK, was fraught with our fighting, and sex. We did the beast with two backs in a half dozen motel rooms across the midwest, after fighting the whole afternoon, and then fought in the morning, then continued the long dreary hours on the interstate in her mom's Buick. I got left by the side of the road more than once. In the middle of nowhere, somewhere west of Chicago, before she returned and let me back in the car. We'd start over, do the dirty, get back on the road, check in, have dinner, and fight again. We both survived somehow. Our life together got worse than that afterwards, and I won't go into any of that, and if you're still reading this, you're grateful for that.

    Now back to the high speed rail thread.

    ****

    I haven't kept up with the progress or the news of California's attempt to build a high speed north-south rail line which has been fraught with all kinds of objections, nimby style. Stop the tunnels. Free the salamanders. Save the bullshirt.

    The few trains I've been on here in the states include a day ride while vacationing near Santa Barbara a few years ago. Pleasant, comfortable, and with the advantages mentioned by previous posters.

    In the air force in the early seventies, some of my friends were from back east where commute trains are more of a thing, and when we got to Taiwan, we were jazzed to take a vacation train down island from Taipei to Taijung, and everyone with any US train experience said the Chinese trains were superior in most ways, and a very-super-deluxe-extra-special-first-class ticket was about five bucks. The ride was smooth as well done metaphor, and comfortable as it could be.

    We were impressed with the tea service. About a half hour into the ride, a uniformed young woman came down the aisle through the car, with a huge pot of hot tea on a cart. The tea was hot, and I mean steaming, scalding hot, and this young woman was all business and quicker than a brown fox jumping. Each seat had a paper-wrapped glass in a holder in a rack within arm's reach, and she'd grab that sucker and have it unwrapped and filled with tea in a flash. One cup, splash, the other cup, splash, on to the next seat, boom bam bim, all the way down to the end of the car like it was an Olympic event. Never had any reason to pause or slow down and never spilled a drop. The train was so smooth it was like it was on rails. But without the clickety-clack, as I recall.

    Better than the bus ride through the Taroko Gorge, where the overcrowded busses which powered down the narrow two-lane highway overlooking a deep, jungled abyss, with sheduled urgency, and all the downhill banks of the treacherous curves were littered with tons of fresh ghost money. The Chinese believe, so we were told, that your spirit is followed by those of your ancestors, and that the route is 'peopled' by spirits waiting to take you to heaven if the bus should tip in it's high speed negotiating of the curves, and fall over the cliff. It was sort of fun to watch the bus make the curve at speed and see the clouds of fake paper money flutter out at every switch-back. There are kiosks where the busses load passengers, that sell spirit money in bundled stacks. If you didn't know the custom you might think they were planning to pay off kidnappers or drug lords. Rounding the tight corners, thousands of yuan chyan, suddenly blew out the windows on the downhill side, accompanied, one might believe, by shrieks of happy passengers waiting to die and join their ancestors on the way to visit their sick aunt down island. The trip made all the more colorful as many of the passengers brought their favorite goose, or a box of clucking chickens, or some bundle of mystery wrapped in newsprint to stack in the aisel alongside their seats. They used to say that if you were riding a Taiwanese bus and it crashed, the chances of survival were good due to the fact that the bus was so crowded everyone was everyone else's cushion against a fall.


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    Default Re: BROTM Post. Would you ride high speed rail?

    Quote Originally Posted by George. View Post
    In the underdeveloped US, maybe. In Europe trains go 300 km/h, so 400 miles would take just over 2 hours. That's downtown to downtown, not to some suburban airport. Neither car nor plane could do it nearly as fast.
    On most routes the US lacks the travelers to make high speed rail viable.

    400 miles is 6 hours by car. And one does not need to wait for a train or a plane. Most of the time driving would beat any proposed high speed train or plane.

    When I was visiting in California, some of our trips were controlled by the train schedule. If the last train leaves at 9pm, you need to be done eating soon enough to get the train. If you start and end working at the wrong time - considering the train schedule, you may waste an extra hour in the morning and evening just because the train and you have different schedules.

    The biggest issue with transportation in the US is going to be shared autonomous cars. If I can get into a car at the time of my choosing and let it drive 70mph for 8 hours while I sleep, I have high speed rail beat on time, cost, and convenience.

    China has high speed trains. One might look at the economics there for some indication of how well or poorly things can turn out.

    History drives a lot of economic decisions. Much more than wants and needs. We could have planned and built high speed trains decades ago - in place of the interstates. We would be having a much different conversation about economics and the best way to get to the future.
    Life is complex.

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    Default Re: BROTM Post. Would you ride high speed rail?

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Little Time View Post
    On most routes the US lacks the travelers to make high speed rail viable.

    400 miles is 6 hours by car. And one does not need to wait for a train or a plane. Most of the time driving would beat any proposed high speed train or plane.

    When I was visiting in California, some of our trips were controlled by the train schedule. If the last train leaves at 9pm, you need to be done eating soon enough to get the train. If you start and end working at the wrong time - considering the train schedule, you may waste an extra hour in the morning and evening just because the train and you have different schedules.

    The biggest issue with transportation in the US is going to be shared autonomous cars. If I can get into a car at the time of my choosing and let it drive 70mph for 8 hours while I sleep, I have high speed rail beat on time, cost, and convenience.

    China has high speed trains. One might look at the economics there for some indication of how well or poorly things can turn out.

    History drives a lot of economic decisions. Much more than wants and needs. We could have planned and built high speed trains decades ago - in place of the interstates. We would be having a much different conversation about economics and the best way to get to the future.
    Agreed, different times. Different sunk costs. We have a tremendous sunk cost in private auto ownership built on large oil production and post WWII economic dominance. Looking to the future China can move more people with greater reliability by high speed rail as oil goes through more supply/demand volatility. The upside is that when oil goes through it’s inevitable decline we won’t bother trying to expand rail. We just won’t drive as much.

  34. #34
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    Default Re: BROTM Post. Would you ride high speed rail?

    Depends whether Casey Jones is at the wheel.
    If he ever drinks the brew of 10 tanna leaves, he will become a monster the likes of which the world has never seen



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    Default Re: BROTM Post. Would you ride high speed rail?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rigadog View Post
    Depends whether Casey Jones is at the wheel.
    Another song might have it, and "be gone five hundred miles when the day is done!"

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