Thread: Maglev

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  1. #21
    Please wait Temp name's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slant View Post
    Germany developed the tech like 20-30 years ago. It was abandoned due to the belief of evil magnetic rays causing cancer or somesuch nonsense in the population. Basically, nobody wanted new tech in their backyard. Missed opportunity for maglev. So we sold it to Japan and China instead. Cos why give up on the profit.
    .... Sometimes the stupidity of people astounds me.

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Temp name View Post
    .... Sometimes the stupidity of people astounds me.
    Many thought the same, but going through the German court system was apparently too much effort. In the end, Germany's transport infrastructure is (despite all complaints) one of the densest and modern on the planet. The need for this simply isn't there when your target group is very specifically the traffic Hamburg-Berlin-Munich and nothing else. And the German railway opted to just upgrade/rebuild the existing tracks as ICE high speed tracks, the time advantage of Maglev would be what, maybe half an hour or so? Actually, 18 Minutes. Mind you, the high speed track was planned to use existing tech and bring trains Hamburg-Berlin in 60 minutes, that is maglev range already. It was abandoned because it was not considered economically viable.

    I agree that the actual resentment in the population was retarded, but I also agree that economically it just wasn't strictly necessary. Whereas China at the time was legit still running steam locomotives. And Japan... well, if it's shiny and new, they want it. Japanese people do not seem to have the aversion to new tech that good ol' Europe has.
    Last edited by Slant; 2021-04-30 at 11:13 AM.
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  3. #23
    There's one being penned for where I live (DC > NY), but it's being opposed by local taxpayers on the grounds it doesn't benefit local communities, is bad for the environment, too expensive, and takes business away from existing MARC / Amtrak services.

  4. #24
    Unfortunately, there is no money to be made in high speed rail. Freight rail yes. Even China is having a tough time making their high speed rail profitable. In fact, they have cut down their funding in high speed rail a LOT.

    China looks to slow growth of struggling high-speed rail

    China struggling with slow progress on high-speed rail network expansion due to local financing problems

    Bottom line, with the exception of the busiest lines between the biggest cities, such as the link between Beijing and Shanghai, China's high-speed rail network is bleeding money like crazy.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slant View Post
    Many thought the same, but going through the German court system was apparently too much effort. In the end, Germany's transport infrastructure is (despite all complaints) one of the densest and modern on the planet. The need for this simply isn't there when your target group is very specifically the traffic Hamburg-Berlin-Munich and nothing else. And the German railway opted to just upgrade/rebuild the existing tracks as ICE high speed tracks, the time advantage of Maglev would be what, maybe half an hour or so? Actually, 18 Minutes. Mind you, the high speed track was planned to use existing tech and bring trains Hamburg-Berlin in 60 minutes, that is maglev range already. It was abandoned because it was not considered economically viable.

    I agree that the actual resentment in the population was retarded, but I also agree that economically it just wasn't strictly necessary. Whereas China at the time was legit still running steam locomotives. And Japan... well, if it's shiny and new, they want it. Japanese people do not seem to have the aversion to new tech that good ol' Europe has.
    I wasn't referring to that, I was referring to what you said about "evil magnetic rays causing cancer or somesuch"

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Zuben View Post
    Talked about them a bit in a hyperloop thread. Neat tech, but hella expensive. Makes it practically unthinkable for low-pop nations, where transit ridership isn't anywhere near high enough to make up for the cost. It's a damn shame. I can only hope the costs will come down over time as high pop nations build those things and develop the tech further.
    It is unthinkable in high pop nations as well, a total show pony. China's notably german built Maglev loses millions per year.
    The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.

  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Temp name View Post
    I wasn't referring to that, I was referring to what you said about "evil magnetic rays causing cancer or somesuch"
    I know, that's what I was talking about. People were gearing up for law suits and stuff based on these beliefs. It was madness.
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  8. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Slant View Post
    I know, that's what I was talking about. People were gearing up for law suits and stuff based on these beliefs. It was madness.
    That would've never stopped it though. As long as the financial part would've been even remotely sound we'd have seen it happen, just like all the other trashy large construction projects - most of which aren't even viable on paper. Even the unfathomably deep running corruption in Bavaria was not enough to make it happen as a prestige project (though admittedly, Munich being firm in the hands of the social democrats probably helped as well) and it certainly wasn't for the state's party with absolute majority not trying.

    The meglev simply commits the cardinal sin of transportation: Instead of making the medium by which you travel as simple as possible, it puts half the tech and therefore complexity(aka. cost) into the transport medium and the other half in the vehicle. This is by the way the reason why most other "high-tech" (read: snake-oil) transportation projects are guaranteed to fail as well.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Afrospinach View Post
    It is unthinkable in high pop nations as well, a total show pony. China's notably german built Maglev loses millions per year.
    While that is probably still the case, I have some vague recollection that the one (and only) we build there wasn't exactly build in a manner that was ever going to utilize it fully. It was also built at a time when each chinese prefecture was run like their own kingdom and the local "monarchs" splurged money like crazy on prestige projects. There is quite the collection of oddities out there.
    Last edited by Haidaes; 2021-05-04 at 04:30 PM.
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  9. #29
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    NIMBY's won't allow the thing to be built. Republicans will dis it and cause it to never be funded and hated by half the US pop as it would be a Biden success and they can't have that.

  10. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Haidaes View Post
    The meglev simply commits the cardinal sin of transportation: Instead of making the medium by which you travel as simple as possible, it puts half the tech and therefore complexity(aka. cost) into the transport medium and the other half in the vehicle. This is by the way the reason why most other "high-tech" (read: snake-oil) transportation projects are guaranteed to fail as well.
    Huh, never knew that was a thing, but it makes sense if you look at the transportation successes: Carts, horses, cars, the fricking airplane probably has the simplest medium, with zero infrastructure needed other than ATC and radio stations to make sure people don't fly into each other. Ships!

    By that token, the railway is already a miracle given how much you have to work into putting those rails into place (and all the infrastructure around them).

    Very interesting insight.
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  11. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Slant View Post
    Huh, never knew that was a thing, but it makes sense if you look at the transportation successes: Carts, horses, cars, the fricking airplane probably has the simplest medium, with zero infrastructure needed other than ATC and radio stations to make sure people don't fly into each other. Ships!

    By that token, the railway is already a miracle given how much you have to work into putting those rails into place (and all the infrastructure around them).

    Very interesting insight.
    Railways itself aren't that complex compared to a modern street with multiple drainage layers etc. At least if we talk point to point. It's a simple steel bar that can be shaped with relative ease that gets bolted to a track made out of wood, stone or steel and is placed on gravel, sand etc. The expensive part is putting down (and managing) switches, electrification and land rights - especially with the trend of privatization in the railway industry - and the issue that you can't drive around an obstacle/unobtainable spot of land, because of the limitations in curvature and inclination. Streets obvously have alot of advantages here since they are usually owned by the government and are more flexible and many cars can practically climb mountains like goats compared to normal trains. But obviously they have alot of disadvantages, which is why airplanes have taken a big chunk of their business even for inland flights. Thought alot of that also has to do with us not actually taxing industries properly for their ecological impact.

    At the end of the day all of these are scale problems and forms of travel that aren't (as much of) a function of distance tend to do better here. Putting a big factor in front of your distance variable will always come and bite you if you want to travel long distances. For the maglev another downside is that one of it's biggest advantages - speed - only works if you can actually make use of it. City traffic with many turns and stops is usually not that, iirc that was part of the issue why the shaghai one was never going to he profitable. I'd need to rewatch some old documentaries to get the full picture though. I just remember it being taught as one of the examples for engineering follies in uni when it comes to project managment.
    Last edited by Haidaes; 2021-05-07 at 08:45 PM.
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  12. #32
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    Just talking off the top of my head, before I've gotten enough coffee to fake sentience, but I am curious about the focus on profit in what strikes me as relative isolation from other benefits. I grant that there are different economic models and that will influence approaches; however, a fast, comfortable maglev carries people that otherwise would be using cars, buses, or planes. With the climate change problem compounding earlier concerns about oil not being a renewable resource, might it not be worthwhile to run maglev at a subsidized rate to reduce reliance on those other forms of transportation? Beijing, for example, is a mess for traffic and pollution, even with cars being limited by plate number to not driving on certain days. Anything that thins out the traffic reduces traffic noise and pollution, and pollution takes a significant toll on public health (with the associated social costs).
    With COVID-19 making its impact on our lives, I have decided that I shall hang in there for my remaining days, skip some meals, try to get children to experiment with making henna patterns on their skin, and plant some trees. You know -- live, fast, dye young, and leave a pretty copse. I feel like I may not have that quite right.

  13. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by shadowmouse View Post
    Just talking off the top of my head, before I've gotten enough coffee to fake sentience, but I am curious about the focus on profit in what strikes me as relative isolation from other benefits. I grant that there are different economic models and that will influence approaches; however, a fast, comfortable maglev carries people that otherwise would be using cars, buses, or planes. With the climate change problem compounding earlier concerns about oil not being a renewable resource, might it not be worthwhile to run maglev at a subsidized rate to reduce reliance on those other forms of transportation? Beijing, for example, is a mess for traffic and pollution, even with cars being limited by plate number to not driving on certain days. Anything that thins out the traffic reduces traffic noise and pollution, and pollution takes a significant toll on public health (with the associated social costs).
    Railways (high speed) cost on average 15-25 million per km. Meglev is about twice that with over 50 million/km. These are usually multi-billion dollar projects already when only talking about highspeed rail. Maglev can't use existing technology at all (so they require a full investment) and can't be used for anything else (like freight trains to transport goods). That is an enormous hurdle already. Projects in areas like california baloon even further. I think the normal hightspeed railway there came to a cost of about 150 million per km. Examples like the shanghai one bleeding 85-100 million a year make it rather obvious that you aren't just subsidizing these projects, you will pay for them through the nose for every single meter wheres normal railways can actually make a profit. This is a really hard sell for most people that won't be geting much out of it. The issue here is that you aren't just competing with cars and busses, you compete with normal run of the mill trains as well (even more so in cities).
    MMO-C should be glad that the British Empire is no more, because they'd want a piece of all the copium trade here.
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  14. #34
    There is the added problem that for a maglev, you need a completely new track, which means you need to buy land and unlike in the olden days when non-democracies could just nationalise a strip of land or as in the US when most of the land was just taken from native Americans, that wasn't a problem. These days, however, you're gonna face a long string of court trials trying to get anything like that done. And just one guy throwing a wrench in the gears is enough to halt the entire project.

    And of course, as always, there's going to be some little lake or creek in the way that's very important for that one species of frog nobody knew existed until the project came along but it surely will go extinct if you plow your way through their habitat.
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  15. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Slant View Post
    Huh, never knew that was a thing, but it makes sense if you look at the transportation successes: Carts, horses, cars, the fricking airplane probably has the simplest medium, with zero infrastructure needed other than ATC and radio stations to make sure people don't fly into each other. Ships!

    By that token, the railway is already a miracle given how much you have to work into putting those rails into place (and all the infrastructure around them).

    Very interesting insight.
    Railway came about at just the right time. Before cars but after the need for expensive, slow, and difficult to be dug canals. Basically railway could go places canals just could not and more freight could be carried.

  16. #36
    I remember when Maglev was the transportation method of the future and everyone was hyped for it!
    Sure you had some nutjobs that were worried about cancer and stupid stuff like that, but that's not what ended it.
    when did it end? In 2006 with this incident:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lathen_train_collision

    The Shanghai Maglev had proven the effectiveness, Munich had commissioned one of their own...Basically everything was going well, until that accident.
    Then the commission was withdrawn and given to the ICE high speed trains instead.

    Is all hope over for the Maglev though? For the German one maybe, but absolutely not for the Japanese one.
    Construction has already begun on a fully commercial Maglev shinkansen.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ch%C5%AB%C5%8D_Shinkansen

    Sadly construction has run into issues but it's still being built.

  17. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Slant View Post
    There is the added problem that for a maglev, you need a completely new track, which means you need to buy land and unlike in the olden days when non-democracies could just nationalise a strip of land or as in the US when most of the land was just taken from native Americans, that wasn't a problem. These days, however, you're gonna face a long string of court trials trying to get anything like that done. And just one guy throwing a wrench in the gears is enough to halt the entire project.

    And of course, as always, there's going to be some little lake or creek in the way that's very important for that one species of frog nobody knew existed until the project came along but it surely will go extinct if you plow your way through their habitat.
    Welcome to Rail Baltica, where every single land owner on the path of the planned railroad will almost definitely ask for insane cash for their little patch of land.
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  18. #38
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  19. #39
    The US has been trying to get it for decades. It belies some of the inherent problems with a Democratic system vs. Communist. China has an advantage in that they don't have to worry about grabbing land by public domain, different state laws, noise concerns, etc. In the US literally anytime anything is built anywhere there are 1000 neighbors complaining that it will affect them negatively so they don't want it and fight it tooth and nail, even if it's something that will benefit the local area financially, create jobs, and maybe even increase their property values. China doesn't give it's citizens that choice, if they want it they take it, do what they want with it, and locals better not complain. The end result is good for the larger population, but it is core to the differences in system. In a lot of ways it parallels the struggles of the pandemic with a little too much freedom assumed regardless of the costs for others. Selfishness is the opposite of patriotism. People that consistently put themselves over the country as a whole are absolutely not patriots or supporters of the country, regardless of what they may try to tell themselves to the contrary. They would be the ones driving landing craft the other way to save their own hide on D-day, while waving a flag telling everyone what a patriot they are.

    This comes up with anything in the US. Recycling or processing plant, it will smell. High-speed rail near me, too much noise. Nuke plant for greener energy, what if it has a leak. Prison, what if someone escapes. So you can imagine the struggles trying to overcome all those hurdles without the authority like China has to just say we need it, it's for the greater good of the population, sorry if you might hear a train 5 miles away for a few seconds once in a while and that bothers you. Not that I support China's system at all. But Democracy relies on neighbors helping neighbors, doing what's right for the greater good even if it doesn't benefit you to balance the freedom that our country gives. Until recently our country has had that. But it needs to get back to that balance of freedom *with* empathy for our neighbors, not extreme selfishness while waving the flag to not feel guilty about it.

  20. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by Biglog View Post
    The US has been trying to get it for decades. It belies some of the inherent problems with a Democratic system vs. Communist. China has an advantage in that they don't have to worry about grabbing land by public domain, different state laws, noise concerns, etc. In the US literally anytime anything is built anywhere there are 1000 neighbors complaining that it will affect them negatively so they don't want it and fight it tooth and nail, even if it's something that will benefit the local area financially, create jobs, and maybe even increase their property values. China doesn't give it's citizens that choice, if they want it they take it, do what they want with it, and locals better not complain. The end result is good for the larger population, but it is core to the differences in system. In a lot of ways it parallels the struggles of the pandemic with a little too much freedom assumed regardless of the costs for others. Selfishness is the opposite of patriotism. People that consistently put themselves over the country as a whole are absolutely not patriots or supporters of the country, regardless of what they may try to tell themselves to the contrary. They would be the ones driving landing craft the other way to save their own hide on D-day, while waving a flag telling everyone what a patriot they are.

    This comes up with anything in the US. Recycling or processing plant, it will smell. High-speed rail near me, too much noise. Nuke plant for greener energy, what if it has a leak. Prison, what if someone escapes. So you can imagine the struggles trying to overcome all those hurdles without the authority like China has to just say we need it, it's for the greater good of the population, sorry if you might hear a train 5 miles away for a few seconds once in a while and that bothers you. Not that I support China's system at all. But Democracy relies on neighbors helping neighbors, doing what's right for the greater good even if it doesn't benefit you to balance the freedom that our country gives. Until recently our country has had that. But it needs to get back to that balance of freedom *with* empathy for our neighbors, not extreme selfishness while waving the flag to not feel guilty about it.
    The Carlsbad desalination plant was 10 years in litigation before the SDCWA was finally able to start construction. During that time, the cost of labors and materials had at least doubled.

    The current City of San Diego Pure Water Project is basically the same recycled water project in 1990s which opponents back then derogatorily nicknamed "toilet to tap." After the prolonged drought, no such resistance manifest this time. We could have had the system in place by now at a fraction of a cost if those idiots had not scuttled the City's effort.

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