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High-speed rail could stop in Palo Alto
Original post made
on Dec 28, 2007
The California High Speed Rail Authority is eyeing Palo Alto as a potential stop for super-fast trains that could whiz passengers from San Francisco to Los Angeles in less than three hours.
Read the full story here Web Link
posted Friday, December 28, 2007, 1:54 PM
Posted by Mike
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 9, 2008 at 11:33 pm
Engineer, Your arguments are compelling, but I find them ultimately wanting because so many other nations have successfully implemented HSR. And users love these trains. So why aren't we doing this?
There is no doubt that the ridership argument, and some other arguments, appear to raise primarily cost accounting objections, but then how is HSR so successful in other countries, and why is it so PROFITABLE in other countries. We need to learn from successful deployments in other places.
This state is growing, and we HAVE to find new modalities of transport, or we will force more people into cars. That is not something that I want to see happen, and I'm not alone in that preference.
We can get into debates about passenger carrying capacity, but that begs the question about new ridership, marketing, and a general tilt toward more mass transport in the future.
If we DON'T do HSR, what's the alternative. More cars? More highways? More suburban sprawl (HSR favors urban dwelling).
Strategically, the initial arguments made on cost units alone, simply don't cut it. Why did we go to the moon? Your argument would have stalled that project. We need to move forward, and not get bogged down with living by numbers, especially when the alternative to those numbers create so many negative scenarios.
Frankly, in this constrained budget year, I don't see Arnie committing the $$$ anyway, but I think this project should stay on the table.
from a web site:
"I just wanted to put my 2 cents in the debate, since, as a French high speed train user and enthusiast, I am puzzled by American resistance to the very idea of high speed train...Talk about a modern country! .....but I don't wan't to look typically "cheese-eatin'-surrender-monkey arrogant", and I'm sure that had I been born and bred American I would think just like M. Garrison ; so, just to share my experience with ya on high-speed trains :
1)- High-speed trains have nothing in common with a "granddad's dream", you should think of it rather like a "terrestrial plane (with a bit more room for legs)" ; this is truly state-of-the-art technology and a real pride for all the people who may use it (that is nearly everybody)!
2) - High speed train is extremely well-suited for travel in the 150 miles - 500 miles range ; MUCH more practical and less stressful than plane ; MUCH less stressful, tiresome and costly than car, even in a country where oil is probably cheaper than evian water, if you count the incidence of mileage to your car's value.
3) - Nobody's forbidding the people who plan high-speed train lines to interconnecting the terminals with other means of transportation: taxis, rented cars, airports, subways, even (why not? it's done on "le shuttle")taking your own car onboard ; there's room for everybody!; and all this can work perfectly!
4) - High speed lines are not only a tremendous success everywhere they are implemented, they are LUCRATIVE! in France, indeed, it's the success of the existing network that is now financing its extension...If we can do it in France...well, you understand.
5) - The experience of riding at 300km/h on the ground is UNIQUE! AT LAST a train that doesn't bore me to death! the landscape is changing every 10 seconds! all that in perfect, air-conditioned comfort...
JUST A LIVED EXAMPLE :
I used to live in the suburbs of Paris, by luck, not far from the only suburban TGV station in Massy ; my mother lived in Lyons (300 miles from Paris), 10 mn by foot off the TGV station in centertown. When I planned to stay at her home for a weekend, I would just take the bus to Massy station(20 mn), then the TGV to Lyon (2h20mn, with 50 mn in the suburb at low speed before reaching the high speed line), then walk 10mn to my mom's home ; total : 3 hours DOOR TO DOOR! when I think of it I still can't beieve how easy it was ; I did it by car sometimes and it took me 5 hours each time...
But wait! I now live in Marseille, 500 miles from Paris, and it takes (believe it or not) 3h only for the whole direct trip...I can make it from my appartment (10 min. to the station by subway, 20 min. by car)to the champs élysées in less than 3h30mn!!! I've tried it! and it seems so incredibly easy I just buy some magazine before boarding and by the time I'm finished I'm in Paris! no plane trip can give me such a relaxing experience...
The only reasons I can imagine why California wouldn't benefit as much as other places from high speed train is if the main towns that it makes sense connecting (L.A., San Diego, San Francisco)are spread other such enormous areas that the benefit made by reducing the time it takes to get from a town to another town is destroyed by the time needed to go to/from the stations ; but then again it's the same problem with airports, and airports aren't in centertowns, so you'd better not live opposite to an airport (I mean, relatively to the centertown, where train stations should be, you see?) ; and considering car use, at least in the case of an S.A.-L.A. route, it's already a won case for the train (how much is it, 400 miles?)!
I can tell you guys, this high-speed train thing is really AWESOME! ohterwise it couldn't be such a huge success...
"Last but not least, if you can implement the line finally, DON'T let any middle-sized town mayor lobby to have his own stop!! this works only if it is the most DIRECT route between VERY POPULATED TOWNS...More than 1 stop per hour of travel and you spoil the whole thing!I tell you because in France it is the plague! seems that every Mayor of some beet-growing village of 500 genuinely believes he is truly entitled to have his own TGV-station, given the economic importance of "trifouilly-les-oies" or "bécon-les-bruyères"!!