Old 05-16-19, 12:08 PM
Mobile 155
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Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
1. USA should definitely develop HSR. Long past due. Time was (a long time ago), rail opened up The West. It's still a key shipping modality.

2. However, there are forces working against. Established investments in auto/roads. Extremists on both ends -- you'll get squawking from both lefty environmentalists and righty individualists. Including cyclists -- imagine the uproar when everyone's favorite rail-trail is up for closure for conversion back to rail use. The fact that most rail rights of ways have been reverted. Ford recently said they are not a car company, but a transportation company. That's a move in the right direction -- if rail is ever going to pick up steam, it's going to need financial incentive to do so.

3. Texas is way too big, east-west. One of the first HSR routes I'd run if I were King would be Jacksonville FL to San Diego CA, along I-10. For those without a sense of scale, map the distance from Jacksonville to Houston, and then from Houston to San Diego...

4. The problem isn't roads and traffic, it's drivers. Over in P&R, there's a thread about an Exxon study from 1982 which tracks the increase in atmospheric CO2 fairly accurately. I checked, and world population went from 4.6billion in 1982 to 7.7billion today. The problem is people. If we don't rein in population and scale it back to sustainable levels, it will be done for/to us...
Mostly I tend to agree. Not sure HSR can compete with air travel from Houston to San Diego but I do know the drive can be a long one. I drove from Palm Springs to Fort Hood when my son was stationed there and it took days not hours. But my son warned me that when I got to El Paso I was only halfway there. But at least you could draft a Semi truck at over 80 mph at night for miles and miles.

For those of of us on the West coast there is no bang for the buck in a HSR from Merced to Bakersfield. Not at more than 77 billion in unfunded grants. At least it doesn’t impress me having been to both cities.

If it can be funded privately I wouldn’t care because people should be able to spend their money however they want. I don’t see building something the tax payers will not support.

The last part is spot on however. We simply lack the ability to support run away population. That makes HSR just a regional issue and not a solution for world wide sustainability. In my point of view. Much like the article I posted in market watch. We are attacking the symptoms not the cause.
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