Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
the_yellow_dart

570 km/h train

14 posts in this topic

http://www.cbc.ca/cp/Oddities/070403/K040302AU.html

ABOARD TRAIN V150, France (AP) - A high-speed French train with a souped-up engine has broken the world speed record for conventional rail trains, hitting 570 kilometres an hour.

The black-and-chrome train with three double-decker cars, named the V150, bettered the previous record of 515.3 km/h.

However, it fell just short of the ultimate record set by Japan's magnetically levitated train, which reached 581 km/h in 2003.

note: That's about 350 mph.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's fastest for land based rail travel. Mag Lev costs nearly $1 million per mile of track and as such is not cost effective.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd love to see high-speed trains make it in this country, but too bad the US railroad system cannot (and probably will not) ever support it. Our rail system by and large was laid down in the nineteenth century, with varying gauges of track that would need to be severely upgraded or replaced to support the faster trains. The airplane and the automobile have rendered rail travel all but done in the US. I once took an Amtrak from Penn Station to Union Station (washington DC), and I thought it was pretty cool, plus my first semester of college I commuted via the LIRR. There's a certain mystique to riding a train that's always intrigued me.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is only one gauge of track in the U.S. for any sort of main line travel. 4' 8.5"

The problem with passenger rail travel in the U.S. is that the passenger trains have to share the tracks with the freight trains <with exceptions in the north east and very west coast>. Amtrak does not control the line, they have to request permission to run on Norfolk Southern's, CSX's, Union Pacific's, and Burlington Northern/Santa Fe <BNSF>'s lines. The freight railroads have an amazingly efficient operation going and Amtrak slows their more profitable freight operations down.

I can rant for days on what is wrong with Amtrak and what needs to happen to fix it, but I won't bore you with that.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think I'd be bored at all....go for it.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First, the inequities against Amtrak via other methods of travel:

1. The airlines don't have to pay for the airports. They don't pay for them to be built and they don't pay for the maintenance. Generally, the local county or city government covers all of these expenses. The airports simply lease gates from the government authority, generally at a substantially sub-market rate. <i.e the square footage cost compared to a retail shop.> Airports are kept solvent by the retail shops inside the airport.

2. Congress and the President consistently complain about spending $1.5 billon on Amtrak while thinking nothing of spending $800 billion on a national highway bill. Those tractor trailers that ship you your goods are basically getting a free ride courtesy of Uncle Sam. Sure, there is a gas tax, but that hardly makes up for the highway mantainence costs.

3. The freight railroads own and maintain all their own track <with exceptions in the north east and west coast>. As such, they have a say over who runs on their rails. They make much more profit running their own frieght over their lines at 45mph than they do allowing an Amtrak train 60, 90, or 100mph access over the same line.

4. Amtrak owns and maintains all of it's own stations and much of the passenger track in the northeast. This is the biggest source of inequity. If the airlines had to pay for and maintain the airports they use, you'd see air travel in this country change dramatically. Air travel would suddenly become a huge luxury rather than a necessity. Additionally, all the track that runs from DC to Boston and west to Harrisburg is electrified. This is very expensive to maintain, but allows for very fast, clean transportation.

My Solutions:

Amtrak needs to be broken up into two pieces.

The first piece is the infrastructure. A Federal government agency, advised by Amtrak and some of the freight carriers, that owns and maintains all of the passenger rail infrastructure. This agency would also be responsible for expanding the passenger-only rail network much in the same way the Federal Highway Administration does with highways today.

The other piece is a privatized passenger rail entity... the Amtrak that you know today but only the trains themselves. They own/lease the actual equipment such as engines and cars. Their job is to run trains and nothing else. They lease station space from the Federal Rail Infrastructure agency.

The 3rd thing that needs to happen is that an incentive needs to be offered to the freight lines to expedite passenger trains using their rails. Some current freight lines can't handle high speed trains, but even cruising along at 70mph is still better than being stuck behind a coal train barely pushing 35mph.

4th, offer incentives of some sort for the freight rail companies to begin offering Passenger service again to spur some competition. They can lease station space from the Federal Rail Infrastructure Agency just as Amtrak can. The side effect of this, if effective, is that the freight lines will begin to upgrade some of their track on their own.

We will never see rail travel like they have in Europe, but we can substantially improve what we currently have.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing I read is that it fell a few KM shy of a Japanese speed record.

Still, it's impressive.

Los Angeles to Las Vegas ought to be a prime contender for such service. They've talked about it for as long as I can remember. Maybe they are worried about too many rattlesnakes and coyotes getting spooked...

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oldsmoboi - what you're suggesting is that the rail industry become almost exactly like air travel. The FAA "owns" the skies in the sense that noone can legally fly an aircraft without FAA involvement (I'm sure Fly can provide more specifics on that), while the airlines just maintain their fleet. From what I understand, the airlines do have some sort of ownership of their routes and can buy them from or sell them to other airlines. But I digress - I never understood why rail was ever handled differently, since at one point it was vital to this country's livelihood.

Given the curent state of things I think your 4th point would make the most significant impact in upgrading rail travel. For this to be effective, we'd have to come up with a way to speed up the freight trains. A passenger train on a freight line can only go as fast as the freight train in front of it, and passengers will not like going 35mph.

I would love to see high-speed rail come to the LIRR. Let it run right alongside the LIE. People sitting in traffic jams will see a train whiz by in a blur, and think twice about mass transit.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would love to see high-speed rail come to the LIRR. Let it run right alongside the LIE. People sitting in traffic jams will see a train whiz by in a blur, and think twice about mass transit.

Consider yourself lucky, Z. The greater NY area has a commendable transit system. America's second city got on board with one in the mid-90s (absurd) and it is nowhere near adequate for where it needs to go such that Angelenos, except for the poorest ones, continue to live in their cars.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd like to see rail traffic increase in the passenger side. But at the same time, the cost effectiveness isn't there with today's market. Everyone wants to fly, or drive, which both are a PITA at certain times. I know I'd sure like to catch an American bullet train here in Montgomery and head up to TN to see family, or to SC for the same reasons.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd like to see rail traffic increase in the passenger side. But at the same time, the cost effectiveness isn't there with today's market. Everyone wants to fly, or drive, which both are a PITA at certain times. I know I'd sure like to catch an American bullet train here in Montgomery and head up to TN to see family, or to SC for the same reasons.

The cost effectiveness isn't there because the airlines are getting government subsidy that Amtrak doesn't get. They make the cost of flying artificially low.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hate Amtrak--I used to take the Acela from Boston to NY Penn Station pretty regularly, and it was regularly a disaster. If you leave within 2 hours of the scheduled departure time, you've done pretty well. The train never ever gets up to its advertised speed, because it cannot tilt like it's supposed to (THEY MADE IT TOO WIDE BY ACCIDENT!!), the tracks are curvy, and local towns impose their own speed limits. Plus, it's very expensive. Not a great way to travel.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I know that flying is artificially cheap, I held my private pilot's certificate up until May 2005, and you're right, its cheaper for the airlines, but flying privately is kinda like getting raped sometimes.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted Image

Remember that time Thomas broke all those records with the

help of a runnaway Jet engine? That was WAAAYYY faster.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   You have pasted content with formatting.   Remove formatting

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0



  • Who's Online (See full list)

    There are no registered users currently online

  • Who's Chatting

    There are no users currently in the chat room