Monday, February 23, 2009

Rail Porn

The green lines are the plan. The blue line is what we currently have (Amtrak Acela).



And now an incomplete list of countries who currently have high-speed rail at speeds higher than Amtrak Acela: China, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Russia, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey

5 comments:

troymccluresf said...

Seems like Cleveland should connect to Buffalo and/or Pittsburgh.

(He said, sitting at his computer 2,000 miles away.)

UrbanCycleJockey said...

The problem with high speed rail is the limmited scope of service. I know that what is planned serves areas with very high population densities, but out in the middle of the country most of us don't even have access to normalrail service.

I live in Missoula, MT (you probably have never heard of it) and the closest place to catch a train is three hours away. If I wanted to go to Denver on a train, I would first have to drive to Spokane, Wa, then ride the train to Sacramento, CA and finally make my way to Denver.

So, high speed rail is nice for those that will have access, but the rest of the country needs old lines reactivated, which would be extremely cheap compared to building dedicated high speed lines.

Brains said...

Hi, UCJ! You have an awesome web site!

Thanks for the comment. Good point, the rest of the country needs reactivated rail lines. Rural areas in other countries have rail coverage, and we used to, too. Missoula grew into a city only because of the arrival of the NP Railroad in 1883. Poor urban planning in the 20th century got rid of it.

Still, I don't see rural coverage as a "problem with high speed rail." That's where my post and your comment don't overlap at all. I doubt high-speed rail is ever intended for isolated cities.

Although arguably the interstate highway system is already an expensive, high-speed network for small towns. Maybe putting rail on two lanes of interstate would be the fair thing to do. :-)

UrbanCycleJockey said...

Sorry, I think I miss spoke when I wrote "problem with high speed rail" High speed will be a great addition connecting many cities

My point is more about the need to connect medium and small sized cities (those under one million), if you connect those, the rural areas in between recieve service as am added benefit.

Just take a look at Amtrak's route map and you can see that there are tons of service gaps, especially in the west and norht-south, you can't even get from Denver to Texas on a train. I know this is the way it is because of the historical development of the railroads, but we need to do more then just high speed to improve our transportation network for the
21st century

Brains said...

Agreed.