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Old 11-06-2014, 12:12 PM   #61
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Re: Amtrak's $117 Billion Plan For High Speed Travel

How DARE you dismiss Hyperloop.
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Old 11-06-2014, 12:23 PM   #62
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Re: Amtrak's $117 Billion Plan For High Speed Travel

I hope CNR opening up shop in Springfield and overtly expressing their interest in bringing their high speed trains to the US means we get some movement on running Acela via that route. It'd be great for the NEC overall, and Springfield particularly assuming it solidifies them as the permanent US home for CNR and puts them at the middle of a real high speed Bos-NYC route.

Overall, that seems like a smarter (read: cheaper and easier) way to improve the NEC highspeed corridor than digging a tunnel to Long Island.

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Old 11-06-2014, 01:28 PM   #63
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Re: Amtrak's $117 Billion Plan For High Speed Travel

As a railroad alignment, I think a cross-sound routing would make the most sense as an extension of the Greenport line. So a bridge from Orient Point to Plum Island (~9000') a tunnel from Plum Island to Fishers Island (~40,000') and another bridge from Fishers Island to Groton (~14,000').

Altogether that's less than half the length of the ~160,000' Chunnel, and almost 20,000' less than the Chesapeake Bay bridge-tunnel. So difficult and expensive, yes, but hardly unheard of. I mean hell, they built the first seven-mile bridge in the keys over a hundred years ago for trains.


The real issue, of course, is that the LIRR doesn't exactly have capacity to spare either. So while you bypass the absolutely-crushed section of Metro North between New Haven and New Rochelle, youve still got to deal with congestion in Queens. The LIRR main does appear to have room for another few tracks, however, and there are some abandoned ROWs that can be played with, unlike in CT.

Honestly, I think it's a better routing than blasting a new ROW through the middle of suburban CT, the preferred alternative.
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Old 11-06-2014, 02:17 PM   #64
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Re: Amtrak's $117 Billion Plan For High Speed Travel

Fishers would be a NIMBY nightmare worse than Westchester County. Easier to just cut straight from Plum to New London.
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Old 11-06-2014, 03:24 PM   #65
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Re: Amtrak's $117 Billion Plan For High Speed Travel

Just imagine what a super-high-speed train would be like if it ran THIS fast.

Up to 4x the speed of the present Acela trains now!!!



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Old 11-06-2014, 03:43 PM   #66
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Re: Amtrak's $117 Billion Plan For High Speed Travel

There is no capacity crisis between New Haven and New Rochelle and there never, ever will be.

The Metro-North "absolutely crushed" portions are the throat of the tunnel into GCT, where all Metro-North service east of the Hudson is forced to go through, and this is going to be the source of any and all problems with Metro-North capacity from now until the day that Penn Station Access is pumping eight more Metro-North trains per hour over the Hell Gate and up to New Haven.

Until that happens, there's always going to be room for other services on the New Haven Line in the gaps between MNCR trains, gaps caused by Harlem Line and Hudson Line trains entering the constrained terminal tracks over Park St, NYC. Amtrak can live in those gaps.

The slowness of Metro-North tracks has to do with engineering incompetence (the tracks were (re)built too close together for tilting) and malevolent dispatching (Metro-North owns and dispatches those tracks, and its default moods towards anything not owned by Metro-North are 'anger,' 'jealousy,' and 'suspicion') - capacity is a complete non-issue today and won't become an issue for a long, long, long time.

Well, let me make one small qualifier. The flat junction between the tracks to GCT and the tracks to NYP might pose a capacity problem in the future. Rebuilding that junction solves the problem.

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Fishers would be a NIMBY nightmare worse than Westchester County. Easier to just cut straight from Plum to New London.
What you're basically saying here is to give up on connecting two state capitals which also happen to be the second and third largest metropolitan areas in the region in favor of completely bypassing one of those regions, connecting the most rural edge of Long Island to the rustic corner of Connecticut, dealing with Stonington NIMBYs AND Hamptons NIMBYs AND the environmentalists who would go nuts over this, so that you can avoid reactivating a right-of-way that already mostly exists and angering the environmentalists who would go to war over "disturbing" the CT hinterlands in the quiet corner (and these could be the same environmentalists who would be out for your blood under the Plum crossing option which means you have no way of NOT angering them).

I mean, maybe you specifically aren't saying that, but I see an awful lot of resistance to the idea of a Hartford-Providence ROW and I honestly don't understand where a lot of it comes from, especially in the context of people seriously discussing a Long Island crossing alternative.
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Old 11-06-2014, 05:22 PM   #67
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Re: Amtrak's $117 Billion Plan For High Speed Travel

Oh, I'm not saying the LI alternative is the best at all. I'm just saying if you did do it, then skip Fishers.
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Old 11-06-2014, 05:44 PM   #68
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Re: Amtrak's $117 Billion Plan For High Speed Travel

Here's what all the trains would be like if they ran this fast, especially the Acela train!! Because the vid is edited & sped up, the voices sound like Alvin and the Chipmunks!! Hah!!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...wkfjekqAM&NR=1
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Old 11-06-2014, 05:50 PM   #69
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Re: Amtrak's $117 Billion Plan For High Speed Travel

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The slowness of Metro-North tracks has to do with engineering incompetence (the tracks were (re)built too close together for tilting) and malevolent dispatching (Metro-North owns and dispatches those tracks, and its default moods towards anything not owned by Metro-North are 'anger,' 'jealousy,' and 'suspicion') - capacity is a complete non-issue today and won't become an issue for a long, long, long time.
Not totally true.

-- Acela tilt restriction has been lifted. That was temporary all along.

-- There is a legitimate train spacing cap because of the incredibly small signal blocks. And that's not going to improve much when the moving-block PTC system goes live next year. Very little can exceed 90 MPH because the overlapping MNRR locals and expresses on all 4 tracks means Amtrak attempting to go faster gets Amtrak bunched up in a clog faster. No amount of crossover dancing is going to help here. It really is that crowded that the speed differential can't be ratched up at daytime load.

You can pack more trains with better state-of-repair like eliminating the movable bridge speed restrictions, finishing the last of the catenary renewal (2017 completion because they take 1 track out of service at a time, but it's on the home stretch), and so on. But they have to proceed in an orderly fashion at low speed. That's not a bad thing. You push the speeds elsewhere so you can deal with reaching the population centers here.

Off-peak when the train spacing is lower...that could push Amtrak's speeds up when moving-block PTC goes live. But higher nighttime and weekend speeds is not a game-changer.

Quote:
Well, let me make one small qualifier. The flat junction between the tracks to GCT and the tracks to NYP might pose a capacity problem in the future. Rebuilding that junction solves the problem.
It's in the Amtrak NEC Infrastructure Master Plan. Expensive one, but that'll get done.



Quote:
I mean, maybe you specifically aren't saying that, but I see an awful lot of resistance to the idea of a Hartford-Providence ROW and I honestly don't understand where a lot of it comes from, especially in the context of people seriously discussing a Long Island crossing alternative.
I don't. Quiet corner of CT wants good rail service. Especially the communities that suffer with driving on "Suicide 6" and against the grain of casino traffic on CT2. I can't speak for western Rhode Island, but I don't see a hell of a lot of opposition from Manchester to Willimantic to Plainfield, etc. They even agreed tentatively to the last I-384 Willimantic routing; that was the stupid Army Corps that quashed it and said it would only sign off the alternative that bulldozed the most houses of the available options. The lack of connectivity to Hartford is a real sore spot. That's why they keep trying again and again to find an equitable interstate routing...they know it's important.


Watch Hill crossing is never going to happen. Of all the cross-Sound megaprojects, that's the one that just won't die no matter how many studies say it doesn't work and doesn't do what people think it'll do because of that whole point of skipping too many destinations. And LIRR's track congestion is arguably more spectacular than Metro North's. Maybe bailing out early on the Oyster Bay Branch is doable...but I don't even know how you get as far as the Port Jeff Branch...let alone past Ronkonkoma in all that train traffic. It's going to be a whole other level of nuts on the Main Line after ESA opens. They may cede some Penn slots, but the "transfer at Jamaica" traffic and stuff running thru to the west tip at Long Island City is going to overwhelm. Why do you think the MTA is shitting bricks about its subway capacity in Queens (7 train in particular)?
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Old 11-06-2014, 05:55 PM   #70
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Re: Amtrak's $117 Billion Plan For High Speed Travel

Last I heard of this planned project was that Congress had shot it down, supposedly due to the financial crisis that is still supposedly gripping the country. This was last year sometime during the summer.

Has there been any new developments as of late? I mean, is it still going to move forward?

Last edited by Jahvon09; 11-07-2014 at 06:09 PM.
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Old 11-06-2014, 06:44 PM   #71
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Re: Amtrak's $117 Billion Plan For High Speed Travel

Quote:
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I don't. Quiet corner of CT wants good rail service. Especially the communities that suffer with driving on "Suicide 6" and against the grain of casino traffic on CT2. I can't speak for western Rhode Island, but I don't see a hell of a lot of opposition from Manchester to Willimantic to Plainfield, etc. They even agreed tentatively to the last I-384 Willimantic routing; that was the stupid Army Corps that quashed it and said it would only sign off the alternative that bulldozed the most houses of the available options. The lack of connectivity to Hartford is a real sore spot. That's why they keep trying again and again to find an equitable interstate routing...they know it's important.
Well, of course nobody in the areas that stand to benefit the most from this are opposed. (I would certainly hope that nobody in this region is opposed.)

Where I see the opposition coming from is from places like New York and Washington and I frankly can't figure out why.
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Old 11-08-2014, 10:16 AM   #72
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Re: Amtrak's $117 Billion Plan For High Speed Travel

Whats wrong with the widest section , West Haven to Port Jefferson....if you did a immersed tunnel...yes the Fisherman would raise hell but it could be done quickly... The FRA goes via Worcester not Providence with spur service along the Knowledge Corridor.
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Old 11-08-2014, 10:23 AM   #73
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Re: Amtrak's $117 Billion Plan For High Speed Travel

wait there's no way anything but a bore is actually feasible for something that long / deep, right?
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Old 11-08-2014, 11:23 AM   #74
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Re: Amtrak's $117 Billion Plan For High Speed Travel

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wait there's no way anything but a bore is actually feasible for something that long / deep, right?
Its not that deep....65ft average...
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Old 11-08-2014, 01:25 PM   #75
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Re: Amtrak's $117 Billion Plan For High Speed Travel

Deepest part is about 120ft.
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Old 11-08-2014, 02:17 PM   #76
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Re: Amtrak's $117 Billion Plan For High Speed Travel

Correct. The Sound's very shallow and mostly silt. Other than the mileage of tunneling involved it's very ho-hum engineering and construction orders of magnitude easier than the Chunnel. The grades descend so gradually they'd be imperceptible over the middle. Dig loose fill, encase it, dig more loose fill, encase it. Seismic mitigation would stick to a fill scenario and not a bedrock bore, probably with expansion joints between encasement segments that would let it move laterally like a water-tight hose in a 500-year liquefaction earthquake event.

The Watch Hill routing (at least in its I-495 days, but probably also for rail) was always the one that would be some crazy quilt of tunnels under water, at-grade on the islands, sections of short bridges and causeways between nearby islands, and multiple portals. Everything else is a pretty much a shallower, shorter Chunnel under silt.



The problem is entirely about what's being connected.
1) Watch Hill skips entirely too many destinations.

2) The CT shoreline landing points are all very built-up and would require land-taking of dense development (road or rail) to hook it into the existing transportation system.

3) There's problems with whether Long Island (road or rail) can handle the traffic. On road all the canceled cross-NYC expressways hamper what I-495 can feasibly carry.

4) On rail LIRR is a more chaotic proposition because of the day-long traffic pulses from a blur of merging branchline and transfer traffic than the more orderly overlap of New Haven Line local vs. express patterns.

5) There's the problem of what it connects to in CT.
-- On road the Watch Hill routing the 495-to-CT/RI79 hook-in didn't spare I-95 enough congestion.
-- On rail Watch Hill feeds into some of the same segments of the Shoreline that can't be expanded >2 track. And is an awkward backtrack for the commuter- and weekender- oriented short-haul services that would want Long Island-New London access for beaches and casinos.
-- On the Oyster Bay and Bridgeport road routings I-95 was still overloaded because of all the east-west big city destinations having more demand than the US7 or CT25/CT8 expressway hook-ins would've helped for carrying away some traffic to the north.
-- On rail the Oyster Bay and Bridgeport routings hit the same New Haven Line east-west demand to the big destinations that's far > than northbound load-spreading. You'd still be stuck with having at least one of your HSR flanks have to alt-route on the New Haven Line to satisfy the bigger chunk of demand, which isn't a very big improvement over New Rochelle-New Haven.
-- Re: the same tunnel routings the N-S Waterbury and Danbury Branches--and the landbanked Botsford Branch from Bridgeport to Newtown--are too inherently slow, inadequate ROW capacity, and unable to be straightened or bypassed because of the riverfronts they follow and surrounding density right at the mouths of those rivers. CT8's a pretty meandering drive shaped by the Naugutuck River and the high cliffs alongside it; there's no HSR bolt-on to a highway ROW here like there sorta is on the inland HSR routing via I-684 in Westchester County and I-84 Newtown-Waterbury.



Really, the only Sound crossing that avoids as many as 4 out of 5 of these problems is I-91 out of New Haven to Wading River/William Floyd Parkway on Long Island, or Springfield Line to Wading River (abandoned/preserved extra portion of the Port Jeff Line) such that north-south is the primary traffic direction and not east/west I-95 or New Haven Line upon touchdown in CT. In essence, you'd turn the Port Jeff Line into the contiguous Springfield Line south extension and/or (but probably both) doing the Port Jeff @ Wading River to Main Line @ Riverhead connector that LIRR reserved but never built a century ago. Trace the power line ROW's east of Port Jeff through Wading River and to Riverhead...that whole ROW is still 'officially' provisioned and protected by LIRR as a deep-future consideration.


But even that crossing still has these problems:
-- It's the single longest and single most expensive underwater bore of any of the options at 20 miles of tunnel.

-- Problem #2 above rears its ugly head in a BIG way. The touchdown area on the shore right by Tweed New Haven Airport is built up and would take a nuke dropped on the (100% legit) NIMBY objections to get I-91 or the Belle Dock Branch the extra 3 miles down to the East Haven shore.



These were the blockers that time-and-again killed the umpteen highway crossing proposals. Not the engineering. It's where the traffic's going to on either shore (E-W > N-S). Whether there's enough change from where it's going on either shore for the crossing to be much of a reliever, or if it just makes induced demand worse. And whether the feeders to the crossing on the LI side are even equipped to handle it. Rail follows the exact same demand patterns, so the questions muddling the viability of these crossings end up being much the same. You can find ways to justify them most of the way, but it's muddled on the unanswered questions and always seems to fall well short of pulling the trigger.
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Old 11-09-2014, 04:00 PM   #77
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Re: Amtrak's $117 Billion Plan For High Speed Travel

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Originally Posted by F-Line to Dudley View Post
Correct. The Sound's very shallow and mostly silt. Other than the mileage of tunneling involved it's very ho-hum engineering and construction orders of magnitude easier than the Chunnel. The grades descend so gradually they'd be imperceptible over the middle. Dig loose fill, encase it, dig more loose fill, encase it. Seismic mitigation would stick to a fill scenario and not a bedrock bore, probably with expansion joints between encasement segments that would let it move laterally like a water-tight hose in a 500-year liquefaction earthquake event.

The Watch Hill routing (at least in its I-495 days, but probably also for rail) was always the one that would be some crazy quilt of tunnels under water, at-grade on the islands, sections of short bridges and causeways between nearby islands, and multiple portals. Everything else is a pretty much a shallower, shorter Chunnel under silt.



The problem is entirely about what's being connected.
1) Watch Hill skips entirely too many destinations.

2) The CT shoreline landing points are all very built-up and would require land-taking of dense development (road or rail) to hook it into the existing transportation system.

3) There's problems with whether Long Island (road or rail) can handle the traffic. On road all the canceled cross-NYC expressways hamper what I-495 can feasibly carry.

4) On rail LIRR is a more chaotic proposition because of the day-long traffic pulses from a blur of merging branchline and transfer traffic than the more orderly overlap of New Haven Line local vs. express patterns.

5) There's the problem of what it connects to in CT.
-- On road the Watch Hill routing the 495-to-CT/RI79 hook-in didn't spare I-95 enough congestion.
-- On rail Watch Hill feeds into some of the same segments of the Shoreline that can't be expanded >2 track. And is an awkward backtrack for the commuter- and weekender- oriented short-haul services that would want Long Island-New London access for beaches and casinos.
-- On the Oyster Bay and Bridgeport road routings I-95 was still overloaded because of all the east-west big city destinations having more demand than the US7 or CT25/CT8 expressway hook-ins would've helped for carrying away some traffic to the north.
-- On rail the Oyster Bay and Bridgeport routings hit the same New Haven Line east-west demand to the big destinations that's far > than northbound load-spreading. You'd still be stuck with having at least one of your HSR flanks have to alt-route on the New Haven Line to satisfy the bigger chunk of demand, which isn't a very big improvement over New Rochelle-New Haven.
-- Re: the same tunnel routings the N-S Waterbury and Danbury Branches--and the landbanked Botsford Branch from Bridgeport to Newtown--are too inherently slow, inadequate ROW capacity, and unable to be straightened or bypassed because of the riverfronts they follow and surrounding density right at the mouths of those rivers. CT8's a pretty meandering drive shaped by the Naugutuck River and the high cliffs alongside it; there's no HSR bolt-on to a highway ROW here like there sorta is on the inland HSR routing via I-684 in Westchester County and I-84 Newtown-Waterbury.



Really, the only Sound crossing that avoids as many as 4 out of 5 of these problems is I-91 out of New Haven to Wading River/William Floyd Parkway on Long Island, or Springfield Line to Wading River (abandoned/preserved extra portion of the Port Jeff Line) such that north-south is the primary traffic direction and not east/west I-95 or New Haven Line upon touchdown in CT. In essence, you'd turn the Port Jeff Line into the contiguous Springfield Line south extension and/or (but probably both) doing the Port Jeff @ Wading River to Main Line @ Riverhead connector that LIRR reserved but never built a century ago. Trace the power line ROW's east of Port Jeff through Wading River and to Riverhead...that whole ROW is still 'officially' provisioned and protected by LIRR as a deep-future consideration.


But even that crossing still has these problems:
-- It's the single longest and single most expensive underwater bore of any of the options at 20 miles of tunnel.

-- Problem #2 above rears its ugly head in a BIG way. The touchdown area on the shore right by Tweed New Haven Airport is built up and would take a nuke dropped on the (100% legit) NIMBY objections to get I-91 or the Belle Dock Branch the extra 3 miles down to the East Haven shore.



These were the blockers that time-and-again killed the umpteen highway crossing proposals. Not the engineering. It's where the traffic's going to on either shore (E-W > N-S). Whether there's enough change from where it's going on either shore for the crossing to be much of a reliever, or if it just makes induced demand worse. And whether the feeders to the crossing on the LI side are even equipped to handle it. Rail follows the exact same demand patterns, so the questions muddling the viability of these crossings end up being much the same. You can find ways to justify them most of the way, but it's muddled on the unanswered questions and always seems to fall well short of pulling the trigger.
I don't know where Watch Hill is , so I can't comment.

Theres one spot in a side area of the New Haven Yard which would be a perfect area for a tunnel approach... You would have to bore under the built up area to reach the Sea Meet up location , but its in an area which I doubt would cause much NIMBY opposition. https://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&l...06539&t=h&z=18

On the Long Island Side you can go via the Port Jefferson Branch but then you run into the Congested Main Line at Hicksville. I would continue the line down to Medford and then Triple Track and Grade Separate the Ronkonkoma line to Farmingdale and continue onto the abandoned Central Branch and then onto the Hempstead Branch > Lower Montuak line and into Penn Station. This would avoid most of the heavily congested sections of the LIRR network.

Once North of New Haven it does get abit Tricky but not as complicated as you think. I would Triple Track and Grade Separate the line from New Haven to Hartford with Brief 4 Tracked Areas. Hartford to Worcester the Line would follow the Old Manchester Branch to Manchester edge and then follow I-84 to I-90 which would be straighter then just follow I-84 out from Hartford. In Mass I would follow I-90 to Newtown and then merge onto the Worcester Line into Boston. The CT would be pretty easy with the exception of Grade Separation in Downtown Berlin , Meriden and Wallingford which could get messy and the Hartford Station Rebuild. The MA segment would require a lot of tunnels and could be quite costly.

I think the Amtrak Plan using 684 and 84 out to Providence is a mistake and I don't see it being any cheaper then the LI Plan once you factor in all the expensive land that will need to be bought up , the super rich NIMBYs , the Topography and Environmental opposition...its an expensive mess... It also bypasses a large chunk of the NEC population including the secondary corridors... Upgrading and expanding New England's Rail network should connect any missd cities.
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Old 11-09-2014, 04:12 PM   #78
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Re: Amtrak's $117 Billion Plan For High Speed Travel

Watch Hill is the fancy, seaside part of Westerly RI, so it represents tying into the NEC at the CT/RI line (and therefore avoiding all of CT's coastal meanderings, and joining the tracks in RI just as they get straight and fast)
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Old 11-11-2014, 05:17 PM   #79
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Re: Amtrak's $117 Billion Plan For High Speed Travel

Too bad that the Acela trains aren't THIS long!

Note that the train set is so long that the platforms are too short.


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Old 11-11-2014, 08:08 PM   #80
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Re: Amtrak's $117 Billion Plan For High Speed Travel

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Watch Hill is the fancy, seaside part of Westerly RI, so it represents tying into the NEC at the CT/RI line (and therefore avoiding all of CT's coastal meanderings, and joining the tracks in RI just as they get straight and fast)
Keep in mind that if you try to island hop from Greenport through the mouth of the Sound to get to Watch Hill, the Sound is significantly deeper, ~250ft, which would probably require deep boring.
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