Go Back   EcoModder Forum > EcoModding > EcoModder Blog Discussion
Register Now
 Register Now
 

Reply  Post New Thread
 
Submit Tools LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 10-11-2010, 08:11 PM   #11 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
 
Wonderboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Chicago
Posts: 673

The Fruit Bat - '01 Honda Insight
90 day: 61.34 mpg (US)
Thanks: 40
Thanked 37 Times in 26 Posts
I think geography and population density has a lot to do with why we don't have any successful or widely used nationwide rail. As Weather Spotter mentioned, Americans do have diverse "needs" and places to travel. Aside from the coasts, the major cities in America are pretty spread out with not a lot of people in between them. In europe there are people everywhere. Here's some quick numbers from wikipedia:

United states
3.79 million sq miles
83 people/ sq mi

Europe
3.93 million sq miles
181 people/ sq mi

Our federal government would be responsible for spreading the tax money (in this hypothetical case for subsidizing high speed rail) over one country roughly the size of europe. Europe has 50 countries each with federal governments held at various levels of accountability for subsidizing high speed rail among and out of their countries for twice the population density we have here in the US.

I therefore doubt much will happen with this on a federal level, which is probably why schwartzenegger is looking into high speed rail for his own state (which in my opinion is often on the vanguard of most progressive initiatives in the country). California seeks efficient transportation for its 234 people per square mile population density and long slender sliver of populated land. I definitely think it could work on a state level at least for a state like california, and splash over into oregon/washington. I can see the same happening on the east coast, but once we start zigzagging about the heartland, things start to get expensive for the number of people served. Not that I don't believe everyone should be entitled to have high speed rail within x miles of her home, but realistically a nationwide system just doesn't seem like it would work anytime soon (my guess is for at least 50 years) and is a very difficult pill to swallow given how much money we've invested in automobile infrastructure.

BTW I have a sneaking suspicion that high speed rail works and is as well received in Japan because their population density is 873 people /sq mi, over TEN TIMES the population density of America. It's probably a lot easier to get a bunch of sardine packed taxpayers to be willing to subsidize a railway from Sapporo to Kyoto than for ten times less hotdog eating taxpayers willing to subsidize a high speed railway from Boston to Phoenix.

__________________
  Reply With Quote
Alt Today
Popular topics

Other popular topics in this forum...

   
Old 10-11-2010, 08:25 PM   #12 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
 
euromodder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Belgium
Posts: 4,634

GasDwarf - '13 Volkswagen up! EcoFuel CNG
Thanks: 173
Thanked 611 Times in 486 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by cfg83 View Post
Ha ha, I guess you have to pick your money pit.
At least you enjoyed the trip

One of the Eurostars trains (38 million euro apiece) stood parked for over 5 years due to lack of passengers - only to be vandalized.
It was sold, then leased-back, the lease costing another 24 million euro.

It was supposed to be refurbished and taken in use this year, dunno what became of it though.
__________________
GasDwarf's fuel consumption :
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2010, 01:43 AM   #13 (permalink)
EcoModding Apprentice
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: CT usa
Posts: 224
Thanks: 11
Thanked 7 Times in 6 Posts
Why would you want to take a train from boston to pheonix, it would be faster to fly. Trains are good for intermediate distances. We have the population density to build them on the coasts but we're not.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2010, 07:33 AM   #14 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 5,927
Thanks: 877
Thanked 2,018 Times in 1,302 Posts
The Chinese can look at the long term effects of technological advances without the worry of cost or political shennanigans.

E3T has the potential to take you from DC to LA in 45 minutes, faster than any plane. It also has the potential to be very energy effective, only needing an initial burst of energy to accelerate it to 4000 MPH then that inertia is mostly recovered in deceleration.

Energy cost per mile that is a very small fraction of the fuel used in air transport.

regards
Mech
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2010, 08:27 AM   #15 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: scotland
Posts: 1,400

The Mistress - '88 Bmw 320i Touring SE
Team m8
Last 3: 27.17 mpg (US)

Babette - '01 Renault Clio 172 Exclusive
90 day: 31.17 mpg (US)

Derv Olop - '96 VW Polo CL
90 day: 38.61 mpg (US)

The Miserly Missile - '01 Skoda Octavia Tdi Ambiente
Team m8
90 day: 48.67 mpg (US)

Puggit - '97 Peugeot 306 Dturbo
90 day: 42.8 mpg (US)

Alfalfa - '02 Alfa Romeo 156 1.8 T Spark
90 day: 27.31 mpg (US)

316 - '87 BMW 316
90 day: 31.02 mpg (US)

Vectra - '01 Vauxhall Vectra SRi
90 day: 32.14 mpg (US)

Germany Beadle - '91 Mercedes 300td (estate, N/A)
90 day: 24.63 mpg (US)

Howdi Hay two - '01 Audi A2
90 day: 49.96 mpg (US)
Thanks: 88
Thanked 81 Times in 69 Posts
High speed rail should be ideally suited to the US- you have large wide spaces you can fit long straight tracks into..

It's definately be economically advantagious if you could couple high speed rail to goods transport..

Have a search for Eddie Stobbart haulage in the UK- they have a Land port they use to ship goods.

Something like that'd work a treat over with you
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2010, 09:07 AM   #16 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
 
Wonderboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Chicago
Posts: 673

The Fruit Bat - '01 Honda Insight
90 day: 61.34 mpg (US)
Thanks: 40
Thanked 37 Times in 26 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by miket
Why would you want to take a train from boston to pheonix, it would be faster to fly. Trains are good for intermediate distances. We have the population density to build them on the coasts but we're not.
I don't think you got the point I was trying to make. Of course no one would or could take a train directly from Boston to Phoenix (who would want to leave Boston especially to go to Phoenix? Who would want to go to Phoenix in the first place?) I was just picking arbitrary major US cities that are geographically spread out, just as I arbitrarily chose Sapporo and Kyoto.
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2010, 09:59 AM   #17 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
 
mechman600's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Langley, BC
Posts: 1,225

Colorado - '04 Chevrolet Colorado
90 day: 22.98 mpg (US)
Thanks: 190
Thanked 271 Times in 165 Posts
Double the price of gas, like in Europe, and high speed trains might start popping up here.. Face it: it's not much more expensive to drive your car than to take public transit, and taking a plane across the county is cheaper than driving when you consider the less time off you'll need to take. I'm all for trains. I use our Skytrain here in Vancouver whenever I can because the traffic is so horrible.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2010, 10:52 AM   #18 (permalink)
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: california
Posts: 1,329
Thanks: 24
Thanked 160 Times in 106 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Mechanic View Post
The Chinese can look at the long term effects of technological advances without the worry of cost or political shennanigans.
The chinese don't play political shins? Really? Are you advocating the Chinese political model?
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2010, 01:08 PM   #19 (permalink)
EcoModding Lurker
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 41
Thanks: 3
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
When ever talk of high speed rail crops up, Southwest Airlines (and the other regional carriers) enlist Boeing and and all the other stake holders to lobby against it. That is the American way. Yes once built rail is the most efficient form of transportation but it requires enormous investment in tax payer subsidized infrastructure and is nowhere near as convenient as our personal passenger vehicles once completed.

How do you get to the train station? How do you get where you're going once the train reaches its nearest station? What a pain figuring all that out... Easier to just drive or Fly, walk over and rent bing bang done!

In our state the Governor decided we needed rail (Politicians love things they can point to and call their own) even though the transportation corridor it serves is not overcrowded and bus service could have better fulfilled the exact same (imaginary) need for a tiny fraction of the cost. But back then, the state was running a surplus the feds were handing out money for these sorts of boondoggles and so he extended his hand. But its still ancient technology... the train is slow and makes numerous stops along the way... Nice for tourist brochures but thats about it. Thinking persons quickly conclude its easier and less costly to drive.

So now times have changed, the state is broke (like all others accept North Dakota which has a state run bank), teachers salaries are on the chopping block and as could have been predicted and with the cost of gasoline no longer stratospheric, commuters don't ride the train... Its not covering its expenses and taxpayers are being asked to pony up for the governor's white elephant.

High speed rail is a pipe-dream of central planning focused socialists who believe they, not individuals should decide how and when people get from point A to point B. American ingenuity should be focused on reducing cost, improving efficiency and safety of PERSONAL transportation, not a move backwards towards stifling collectivist cookie cutter mass transportation. Southwest Airlines does an admirable job of meeting the needs of regional commuters and buses on existing infrastructure can fill any gap.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2010, 01:40 PM   #20 (permalink)
EcoModding Apprentice
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: CT usa
Posts: 224
Thanks: 11
Thanked 7 Times in 6 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Mechanic View Post
The Chinese can look at the long term effects of technological advances without the worry of cost or political shennanigans.

E3T has the potential to take you from DC to LA in 45 minutes, faster than any plane. It also has the potential to be very energy effective, only needing an initial burst of energy to accelerate it to 4000 MPH then that inertia is mostly recovered in deceleration.

Energy cost per mile that is a very small fraction of the fuel used in air transport.

regards
Mech
Do you have a link for e3t? How much would it cost to build and maintain per mile? Heck if i could afford it i could fly the space shuttle to where i wanted to go at 17,000 mph.

  Reply With Quote
Reply  Post New Thread


Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
High speed motor wanted henrikga Motorcycles / Scooters 3 10-11-2009 07:19 AM
Re-Institute National 55mph? Bror Jace General Efficiency Discussion 100 07-29-2008 05:04 AM
Field Weakening Experiment for Speed Increase TomEV Fossil Fuel Free 12 04-10-2008 03:53 PM
Series Motor - Speed vs Torque TomEV Fossil Fuel Free 3 03-02-2008 12:27 PM
Basic EcoDriving Techniques and Instrumentation SVOboy Instrumentation 2 11-17-2007 11:38 AM



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.5.2
All content copyright EcoModder.com