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Old 09-28-2010, 09:07 PM   #1
Riverworks
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Amtrak's $117 Billion Plan For High Speed Travel

Amtrak's $117 Billion Plan For High Speed Travel

Boston to New York in 1:20 Hours!

What can you buy for $117 billion? According to Amtrak, you can cut travel times between major East Coast cities in half. You can operate trains at up to 220 miles per hour, and you can start doing it all in just five years.
Amtrak announced a concept plan today for what would be the United States? first high-speed rail service, connecting Washington D.C., Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston. The proposed rail line would be completed by 2040, with a launch for some sections as early as 2015. Funding has yet to be finalized, but Amtrak has already requested $2.5 billion from Congress for 2011, and earlier this year Obama earmarked $8 billion of the 2009 stimulus package for high-speed rail service. The rest would come from private investment, according to CEO Joseph Boardman.
With the Next-Generation High-Speed Rail a trip between New York City and Boston would take only 84 minutes, a trek that currently takes over 2.5 hours by Amtrak?s Acela train, or four hours by bus.
Aside from the conveniences this will bring to travelers and daily commuters, the new rail would attract riders away from highway and air travel, detracting from the need for foreign oil and the carbon emissions, and making the Next-Gen the most environmentally sustainable travel option.
Still, Next-Gen pales in comparison to its more institutionalized counterparts in Europe and Asia. Its implementation is scheduled for 51 years after Japan first introduced its Shinkansen high-speed rail. France?s TGV train takes only three hours to cover the 490 miles between Paris to Marseille, whereas Next-Gen would take nearly three-and-a-half hours to travel the 426 miles between Washington, D.C. and Boston.
As uncompetitive as it is, Amtrak?s plan is the first of several investments needed to create a viable modern transit network in the Northeast, cut pollution, and bridge the infrastructure gap.

Source: http://www.fastcompany.com/1691854/a...ast-coast-rail

Report found on Amtrak's website and here:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/...-in-96-minutes
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Old 09-28-2010, 09:09 PM   #2
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Re: Amtrak's $117 Billion Plan For High Speed Travel



Sorry the repeat, but I liked this version better... Granted it's just a preliminary feasibility study, but at least they can begin to think about funding/financing.

Amtrak Envisions High-Speed Rail for East Coast
Published September 28, 2010 | FoxNews.com



ADVERTISEMENT
Washington to Boston in 3 hours? Amtrak wants to make it happen.

On Tuesday, Amtrak unveiled a $117 billion, 30-year vision for a high-speed rail line on the East Coast that would drastically reduce travel times along the congested corridor using trains traveling up to 220 miles (354 kilometers) per hour.

?Amtrak is putting forward a bold vision of a realistic and attainable future that can revolutionize transportation, travel patterns and economic development in the Northeast for generations,? said Amtrak President Joseph Boardman during a news conference at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia.

The proposal, which would require building a new set of tracks from Boston to Washington, D.C., is at the concept stage and there's no funding plan in place, Boardman said.

The project would likely use some combination of public and private investment and hopefully be phased in starting in 2015, he said.

The Next-Gen High Speed Rail line would have hubs in Baltimore, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington and would cut travel times in half or better. It would reduce the travel time between Washington and New York from 162 minutes to 96 minutes, according to Amtrak. The travel time between New York and Boston would go from 215 minutes to 84 minutes.

About 12 million riders a year use Amtrak along the northeast corridor.

Under the high-speed system envisioned, the trains would be able to accommodate about 33.7 million passengers by 2040. Amtrak officials estimated the high-speed system would generate an $900 million more a year with the added ridership.

High-speed rail would not only help reduce congestion on the rails, but also in the skies, since it would be more enticing to passengers making shorter trips, according to Amtrak officials and others.

"No one should take a plane for a trip shorter than 500 miles (800 kilometers),"said Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, noting that the system would be comparable to service now linking European countries.

The Democratic governor added that political leaders must generate the will to get the project done before current system is overwhelmed.

"It isn't a dream, it isn't a fantasy, it isn't an illusion," Rendell said. "Can we afford it? ... We can't afford not to do it."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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Old 09-28-2010, 09:17 PM   #3
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Re: Amtrak's $117 Billion Plan For High Speed Travel

84 minutes? Now that's sexy!
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forget it ever happening, its too great an idea.
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Old 09-28-2010, 09:23 PM   #4
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Re: Amtrak's $117 Billion Plan For High Speed Travel

Found this too

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Old 09-28-2010, 09:37 PM   #5
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Re: Amtrak's $117 Billion Plan For High Speed Travel

Only 51 years after the Shinkansen was introduced? In 1964, the entire 500km route from Tokyo to Osaka made its debut. Will the implementation of the first "phase" of Next-Gen in 2015 be of comparable significance? (i.e., Boston to New York in 84 minutes). LOL.
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Old 09-28-2010, 09:49 PM   #6
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Re: Amtrak's $117 Billion Plan For High Speed Travel

It's a shame that this will take 25 years AND probably never happen. I applaud Amtrak for thinking big for once. What is interesting is that a very similar line was actually proposed back in 1888 which was designed to cut diagonally through CT to speed times from NY to Boston. Some rail still exists out there but it bypasses so much that it doesn't really make financial sense.

I wish we had the political leadership to pull this off. The only way I see this happening is if the governors from all these states come together and somehow convince Washington that this is worth financing.
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Old 09-28-2010, 09:59 PM   #7
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Re: Amtrak's $117 Billion Plan For High Speed Travel

Agreed. Governor Rendell was present at the press release and showed some serious support. There is also a Northeast Coalition of DOT Directors that support such advancements.
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Old 09-29-2010, 12:36 AM   #8
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Re: Amtrak's $117 Billion Plan For High Speed Travel

This is Amtrak's Mars exploration plan. Will be killed as soon as a Republican tea party president topples Obama in 2012.
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Old 09-29-2010, 02:47 PM   #9
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Re: Amtrak's $117 Billion Plan For High Speed Travel

Yea according to infrastructurist.com most republicans are against HSR (along w/ stem cell research, abortion, culture, acknowledging global warming etc...). But have no fear they are all about creating jobs, somehow...?? oh yes by making sure billionaires don't pay a slight increase in taxes. Trickle down effect is a CROCK of SHIT. Hopefully the tea partiers (aka clueless closet-racist retards) will ruin the modern republican party and they(smart repubs) reform as the respectable party they used to be. Having a great job-creating investment like this would be a good start.
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Old 09-29-2010, 04:30 PM   #10
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Re: Amtrak's $117 Billion Plan For High Speed Travel

I love passenger rail and I think there is no better place for it than the Northeast Corridor. But how does it make sense to spend $117 billion to
Quote:
generate $900 million more a year
??? And I presume that's revenue, not profit. I'm not saying it should have to pay for itself the same way a private sector project would, but shouldn't it pay for itself in 100 years?
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Old 09-29-2010, 05:31 PM   #11
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Re: Amtrak's $117 Billion Plan For High Speed Travel

You have to take in account the economic boost generated by this project. Revenue to each city could increase by the millions, from cost cutting, new businesses, people moving closer to the city (because these hubs only exist at cities) generating positive real estate development, and higher productivity.
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Old 09-29-2010, 07:29 PM   #12
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Re: Amtrak's $117 Billion Plan For High Speed Travel

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Originally Posted by AmericanFolkLegend View Post
I love passenger rail and I think there is no better place for it than the Northeast Corridor. But how does it make sense to spend $117 billion to ??? And I presume that's revenue, not profit. I'm not saying it should have to pay for itself the same way a private sector project would, but shouldn't it pay for itself in 100 years?
The actual amount in 2010 dollars is 40 billion, same as california HSR.
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Old 09-29-2010, 07:41 PM   #13
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Re: Amtrak's $117 Billion Plan For High Speed Travel

Its just downright depressing to think that this won't be done till i am in my late 40's/early 50's.



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Old 09-29-2010, 09:12 PM   #14
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Re: Amtrak's $117 Billion Plan For High Speed Travel

Yep, the crumbling continues. A 40 year old highway sign fell onto the Pike in Newton yesterday. The pole holding it up had been rotting for no one knows how long.

But by all means, let's vote for the alcohol tax cut so that it's cheaper to drink and drive on the increasingly dangerous roads.
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Old 09-29-2010, 11:13 PM   #15
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Re: Amtrak's $117 Billion Plan For High Speed Travel

Where are Providence, Worcester and New Haven in the plan? Seems like they should be connected, no?
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Old 09-30-2010, 08:33 AM   #16
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Re: Amtrak's $117 Billion Plan For High Speed Travel

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Originally Posted by KentXie View Post
You have to take in account the economic boost generated by this project. Revenue to each city could increase by the millions, from cost cutting, new businesses, people moving closer to the city (because these hubs only exist at cities) generating positive real estate development, and higher productivity.
Jose Gomez-Ibanez (a well know transportation expert at Harvard) did a comprehensive cost/benefit analysis on intracity rail that tried to incorporate all social and economic direct and indirect impacts. Reduced congestion, air pollution, traffic safety, carbon emissions, noise pollution, cost of capital, ripple effects of construction spending, business productivity, etc . . . Just a fabulous study (which unfortunately I can't find online). Anyway, the only Amtrak corridor that broke even when incorporating all social and economic costs was the Northeast Corridor. Every other route in the country was a loser. With some long-haul routes in middle America costing literally $1000's of dollars to society for each passenger trip.
Interestingly there was also a route to Florida that ferried cars and families from the midwest that almost broke even. I guess they charged a ton to take your car, which made up for the losses. Although I think that route has since been cancelled.
I'll try and find a copy of the study from my old grad school materials and post here.
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Old 09-30-2010, 08:34 AM   #17
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Re: Amtrak's $117 Billion Plan For High Speed Travel

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The actual amount in 2010 dollars is 40 billion, same as california HSR.
That's a bit more reasonable I guess. Where did you see that Jass?
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Old 09-30-2010, 09:46 AM   #18
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Re: Amtrak's $117 Billion Plan For High Speed Travel

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Originally Posted by Lrfox View Post
Where are Providence, Worcester and New Haven in the plan? Seems like they should be connected, no?
Worcester is a regional stop on the new main allignment. Providence and New Haven are bypassed by the new main line, but are given upgrades as a secondary route, so they will also see big improvements. But to go from Boston to NYC via the new shore line will not be 1.5 hours, more like 2.25 if I recall correctly from the chart buried deep in the PDF.
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Old 09-30-2010, 11:00 AM   #19
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Re: Amtrak's $117 Billion Plan For High Speed Travel

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The actual amount in 2010 dollars is 40 billion, same as california HSR.
So the project is similar in scope to California, involving 8 states and DC. This makes me hopeful that it can be done. The hardest part is regional cooperation. From the Massachusetts perspective, I'd far rather see a few billion dollars go to this than South Coast Rail.
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Old 09-30-2010, 11:46 AM   #20
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Re: Amtrak's $117 Billion Plan For High Speed Travel

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Originally Posted by Lrfox View Post
Where are Providence, Worcester and New Haven in the plan? Seems like they should be connected, no?
I would think that with Providence and Worcester part of the MBTA Commuter Rail, they're relatively connected to Boston, and if you go to New Haven you have to deal with the crazy sailboaters who create such a bottleneck to cross the Connecticut River that you can kiss a <90 min trip to NYC goodbye.
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