View Poll Results: Should the US invest in a nation-wide high speed rail network?

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  • Yes, it's worth it!

    190 78.84%
  • No, too expensive/wasteful/other reasons

    34 14.11%
  • Unsure

    17 7.05%
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  1. #1
    High Overlord Ult92's Avatar
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    US High Speed Rail Network - worth it?


    ( All credit for this image goes to Alfred Twu - http://www.alfredtwu.com. )

    The issue of infrastructure spending has been sidelined lately given all the talk of spending cuts. A few mentioned it in my other thread about austerity, but I think the infrastructure issue is important to discuss in its own right. In particular, I would like to focus on high speed rail.

    Do you think it's worth the resources to construct something like this? Do you think it's a waste? What might be some unintended consequences?

    My take on this:

    Government spending on infrastructure projects is probably the best option to foster long term growth. It truly is an 'investment' and without it, rising costs associated with transportation, deteriorating roads and traffic inefficiencies will cost our businesses trillions of dollars in the coming decade (according to the American Society of Civil Engineers).

    I am personally in favor of a high speed rail network; at the very least along our coastal cities. It will be expensive, but worth it.

    -------------

    General posts about other infrastructure improvements/projects are welcome here as well. The ASCE just released their ratings of America's infrastructure back in March. They claim that a $3.6 trillion investment is needed over the next decade to get the US infrastructure up to par. Here are the grades:

    Last edited by Ult92; 2013-05-03 at 06:08 PM.
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  2. #2
    Merely a Setback Rukentuts's Avatar
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    Very much worth it.
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  3. #3
    The Patient Nario64's Avatar
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    I'd like to know how much a ticket from Vancouver to LA would cost, then I could decide if it was worth it. It has to be more than 50% cheaper than a plane ticket or I'd just fly.

  4. #4
    High Overlord Ult92's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nario64 View Post
    I'd like to know how much a ticket from Vancouver to LA would cost, then I could decide if it was worth it. It has to be more than 50% cheaper than a plane ticket or I'd just fly.
    Good point. However, I want to point out that train rides usually carry additional benefits (rather than just price). They are usually more spacious, comfortable, and quiet. You can also still use electronics and cellular phones at all times.
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  5. #5
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    This is the kind of shit your money should be going to.

    ...well, after healthcare and education.
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  6. #6
    The Insane Reeve's Avatar
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    I would totally make use of that Dallas to Houston line. I might even take overnight weekend trips up to visit my buddy in Kansas City.
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  7. #7
    Herald of the Titans theredviola's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ult92 View Post
    Good point. However, I want to point out that train rides usually carry additional benefits (rather than just price). They are usually more spacious, comfortable, and quiet. You can also still use electronics and cellular phones at all times.
    You can also get up and move around a lot more. And for some, like me, that's worth it.
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  8. #8
    The Insane Reeve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nario64 View Post
    I'd like to know how much a ticket from Vancouver to LA would cost, then I could decide if it was worth it. It has to be more than 50% cheaper than a plane ticket or I'd just fly.
    Keep in mind that airports suck and train stations don't. Currently for me to fly from Houston to Dallas it takes the same amount of time as driving. If I could go to a train station and leave almost immediately and travel at 220 MPH, it would be faster than flying or driving and a hell of a lot more comfortable. Also an overnight trip is much more radiant on a train than a plane, car, or bus.
    Last edited by Reeve; 2013-05-03 at 05:23 PM.
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  9. #9
    Titan Kalyyn's Avatar
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    First of all, our Infrastructure sucks so much because we're so spread out. As much as I'd like them to build public transportation directly to my house, fact is that they'd be spending millions of dolllars to service an area with about 10 people per square mile.

    And because that is how most of America lives, we can't have fancy things like subway stations and monorails.

    But I do support this project.

  10. #10
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    Perhaps if you took 10% of your defense budget and put it toward infrastructure, you'd witness miracles.
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  11. #11
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    Although I don't live in the US nor have I ever visited, this would potentially be of benefit if I was to consider looking for work over there. Sure, there's already flying available, but I honestly prefer trains to flying. It's just a lot less hassle overall. As someone else said, using phones and such is one benefit available with all trains (whereas it's not available with all flights). I'm not sure why it seems like less hassle, but I guess not having to sit around going through so much security and walking miles through an airport to get to your gate does give me that impression.
    [...]

  12. #12
    High Overlord Ult92's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalyyn View Post
    First of all, our Infrastructure sucks so much because we're so spread out. As much as I'd like them to build public transportation directly to my house, fact is that they'd be spending millions of dolllars to service an area with about 10 people per square mile.

    And because that is how most of America lives, we can't have fancy things like subway stations and monorails.

    But I do support this project.
    The geography argument is one I here frequently. However, at the very least, we could construct this in our densely populated coastal areas. Basically all of the east/west coasts. We certainly can do better than Amtrak, which is already there.
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  13. #13
    The Lightbringer N-7's Avatar
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    In my humble opinion, trains are awesome and looking at the map there should be more rails than those on the map.

  14. #14
    Moderator aiko-chan's Avatar
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    Depends on the costs...not. I'd pay more than I do now for a plane ticket if I meant I could avoid all the waiting.
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  15. #15
    Merely a Setback Rukentuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by N-7 View Post
    In my humble opinion, trains are awesome and looking at the map there should be more rails than those on the map.
    Anything that blares at over 100dB every intersection and shakes the ground is inherently awesome.
    Quote Originally Posted by GreatOak View Post
    Hey, as a transabled, transethnic, non-binary, genderqueer, neo-communist, indoor-capable republican otherkin I am offended by your callous display of ignorance.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cybran View Post
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  16. #16
    Field Marshal Yutani's Avatar
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    I wonder how those ratings came to pass. When I was in the US I don't think I would have rated aviation nor drinking water nor roads with a d and I used all of that quite frequently. The most crappiest railway system I've ever seen however (in a western country) is home to the US. According to the chart above though its like the best thing their infrastructure has to offer. I am not an expert but I kinda doubt that.

    On topic: As a tourist I would love for them to build up a system for fast ground-based travel. Because currently you're basically confined to the places within a 100km radius of an airport which - even though there are plenty - leaves lots of places that are very difficult to get to.
    Also theres not much to see when going by plane.

    When I was there I rented a car though and like I said the roads are in good condition mostly but the speed limit of what? 80mph or something on the largest roads they have is laughable considering the distances you have to cover. Also it is very boring because it's just endless roads with trees left and right. (Atleast in the south, where I was)

    So I think having a good train network where you can choose to switch between fast trains that go from sf to ny for example and more regional trains that allows you to explore smaller cities would be really cool. Also I imagine it would make for a great experience if they put the tracks in a way that allows for a bit of sightseeing.

    so..go for it I'd certainly ride the train all over the country if they had a decent train network.
    Last edited by Yutani; 2013-05-03 at 05:33 PM.

  17. #17
    Moderator LocNess's Avatar
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    Hell yeah its worth it. I would LOVE to have a high speed train system in place.
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  18. #18
    High Overlord Ult92's Avatar
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    Looking to Japan, I am impressed with their system of high speed rails. They are quick, clean, efficient, and always on time...make me envious. They were constructed in the 1980s and there haven't been any fatal accidents. While some might argue that it is easy for Japan to do this because of the small geographic area, I counter that we could at least construct high speed rail from Boston-NY-DC, etc, if not more.

    CORRECTION: This post originally claimed that there has never been an accident on Japan's high-speed rail network. That is incorrect, and the actual case is that there have been no fatal accidents. I regret this error.

    Last edited by Ult92; 2013-05-04 at 07:43 PM.
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  19. #19
    Pandaren Monk Tokru's Avatar
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    If you want to build that from scratch prepare for a tremendous amount of money and time required.

    In the long run it might be worth it, but seeing how Americans are, it will be a hell of a lot of effort to even get it started.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tokru View Post
    If you want to build that from scratch prepare for a tremendous amount of money and time required.

    In the long run it might be worth it, but seeing how Americans are, it will be a hell of a lot of effort to even get it started.
    Best not to even try.
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