Thursday, December 25, 2008

Thursday Open Thread

NOTE: We've moved! Visit us at the California High Speed Rail Blog.

I'm in Arizona celebrating Christmas, probably freezing my ass off in the mountains and snow, but likely having a good time anyway. I hope all of you are having a wonderful holiday season, whatever it is that you celebrate (my wife and I are more into the solstice, but we're not going to turn down a nice big Christmas dinner either!).

I think we all got our present several weeks early, when California voters approved Proposition 1A and setting us on the path to finally building high speed rail. Of course we're going to have to defend it in 2009 as the economic crisis and residual HSR deniers and New Hooverites continue to swirl overhead. We built a solid foundation for HSR activism this year and next year it's going to accomplish even bigger things.


bossyman15 said...

Merry Christmas everyone!

Anonymous said...

I've got a fluff question for all- Which high speed (or sorta high speed) trains have you ridden? Which is your favorite trip? Favorite train?

Anonymous said...

I'll start:

Real HSR-

Eurostar, London to Brussels when there was no CTRL and on CTRL 1. Not ridden the whole HS1-CTRL yet.

Thalys, Brussels to Amsterdam and Brussels to Koln. Looking forward to the opening of both the Dutch HSR and eastern Belgian HSR.

ICE, all over Germany and into Belgium. ICE 1, 2, 3 and ICE-T. ICE 3 is the nicest HSR trainset. The ICE-T from Berlin to Munich, via Leipzig, is a really cool ride, as is Koln-Frankfurt.

I've also ridden the NEC on both Metroliners and the Acela. Acela rides nice, due to the tilt, but my favorite ride here in the US is the Cascades between Portland and Seattle. The Talgo is a nice compromise for interim service here.

bossyman15 said...

the only HSR i've ridden is the Shinkansen.

I rode that baby all over japan last June :) <3 JR rail pass.

Spokker said...

I drove the TGV in Microsoft Train Simulator...

Brandon in California said...

Michael K....
I've ridden the Euostar from Paris to London and back.... this past June. Unfortunately, I think the top speed was only 185.

BBinnsandiego said...

My favorite was the Madrid to Seville line in Spain. Due to a booking error I was treated to a first class ticket. It's the only high speed trip that I'd wished had gone slower so that I could enjoy first class longer.

Jay said...

Thalys, ICE, Series 300,500,700 Shinkansen. Thats about it.

whakojacko said...

Ive done Eurostar without CTRL at all (to Brussels) and with CTRL 1 (to Paris). Also Shinkansen from Tokyo to Osaka

Anonymous said...

For the benefit of those who haven't ridden a high speed train: Lots of 360° panoramas from the insides of passenger trains (Quicktime VR required). For example: ICE3 second class coach.

Köln-Frankfurt is not the most enjoyable ride. As you drive in and out of 30 tunnels you sense the pressure on your ears -- a little annoying. The trains are supposedly pressurized, otherwise people's eardrums would pop. But still..

Anonymous said...

What HSR trains have I ridden? Eh, I these are the ones I remember.

1) TGV Ruseau
2) TGV Duplex
3) Eurostar
4) ETR 500 (the Italian HST)
5) Thalys
6) Ave

What trains have I ridden? I'd crash the website with the list of all of them. Let's try it!

1) Silver Star
2) Silver Meteor
4) Tri-Rail
5) Metra
6) Cascades
7) MTA
8) Countless rides on metro systems (subways, light rail, heavy rail, etc)
9) Airport Shuttles
10) TGV
11) Eurostar
12) ETR 500
13) Thalys
14) Eurotrain
15) RER
16) Ave
17) Southern Railway Comm train
18) Irish Rail
19) Dozens of tourist trains

Favorite Trains?

I would have to say the TGV or 261. Its a toss-up.

Peter said...

High speed trains I've ridden: basically everything in Europe. I spent 2 months criss-crossing the continent last year by way of EuroRail pass. Got a full map of all the trains I took here

My favorite was probably the crossing between Denmark and Hamburg, where they stick a full ICE train on a ferry. The Spanish sleeper trains are also extremely comfortable.

As something unrelated, there's an optimistic fluff piece about HSR funding in today's SF Chronicle. It talks about the 4 expected federal funding sources ("an economic stimulus package, a high-speed rail bill, the Amtrak funding bill and the upcoming transportation spending plan") and of course has a completely ridiculous quote from the Reason Foundation.

Anonymous said...

Yes more BS from the reason morons
I have left a post about that

Unknown said...

Part of the SF gate article that seems i like is that HSRA is going to try to get stimulus to do some of the grade separations that are required by the project and can be started within the time frame that the stimulus requires.

Breaking ground in 6 months would be great, even if it doesn't accelerate the time table that much

Anonymous said...

Is the 600 grade seps number in SFGate correct? Seems way too high. For example, the Peninsula segment is about 10% of the system length and requires around 30 grade seps. So that means that the Peninsula would have half the average number of grade seps per mile, which seems very unlikely. In fact, I expect that the Peninsula would have the highest number of grade seps per mile of any segment.

Peter said...

I just noticed an article out of Dallas about Texas HSR work. The most interesting part is it claims the federal match for HSR will be 80-20. I hadn't heard of anything that generous, and it doesn't say exactly what bill/funding source that refers to.

Also there's a laughable quote from TXdot saying "If any of the other states are out ahead of us, I'd like to know about it". I'm guessing the NEC and CA don't count in his view? It always amazes the lengths that newspapers go to find quotes that simply don't make any sense, republish them unquestioned.

Anonymous said...

The article is on the front page of todays Chron.!! GOOD almost all comments are pro-HSR just the few neg comments that are probally not even in CA. We what people and the media to call for funding as ASAP

BruceMcF said...

No HSR riding experience ... in terms of capacity, the fastest trains I've been in were the CountryLink Xplorer, with a top speed of around 140kph ... the XPT has a higher top speed, but only gains a little time against the Xplorer on the routes that they share but because of various speed restrictions including level crossings and track conditions. AFAIU the Xplorer I was on would never have reached anything close to top speed when I was taking it up to the Northern Tablelands and back.

And the V-Set, the fastest Citryrail sparkie with a top speed of 130kph, was another example of a notional top speed speed, with speed restrictions in place for its entire service area.

So LSR experience, all the way.

無名 - wu ming said...

shinkansen several times on a jrail pass in 96, and the taiwanese HSR this evening, as it happens. i'll take some pictures.

Anonymous said...

The closest to high speed rail that I've gotten is ridding Tri-Rail, and Amtrak's Silver Star and Meteor.

All 3 have a top speed of 79 mph, of course. My favorite trip was the Silver Meteor from Savannah, GA to West Palm Beach, Fl. It was actually early.

Hope you guys in California don't make the same mistake us Floridians did when we fell for Jeb Bush's lie.

Robert Cruickshank said...

Traveled on the AVE from Madrid to Sevilla via Cordoba, almost exactly seven years ago. It was a revelation. I vividly remember turning to my travel partner and saying "we need one of these back in California." Now, here we are, with the opportunity of a lifetime to finally bring the AVE (and the TGV and the Shinkansen) to California.

Maybe one reason I always had a soft spot for the renfe youtube videos...