The train thread

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Profile Bill Walker
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Message 1378350 - Posted: 7 Jun 2013, 23:51:51 UTC - in response to Message 1378348.  

Via Rail should change over to HSR, the Chinese do it over long distances and yeah it's done from Germany down to Spain.


A little hard to afford or to justify in a country bigger than China but with only 3.5% the population.

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Message 1378356 - Posted: 8 Jun 2013, 0:05:52 UTC - in response to Message 1378008.  

So you can go from San Fran to Vancouver by train then?


The simple answer is no. As I found last year not all towns and cities have a passenger rail connection.

You can however take a bus at both ends and for the princley sum of $212 (£137) you can make the approx 930 mile (1,500km) trip in around 27 hours. Unfortunately all journeys seem to be overnight and I cannot find a daytime one! That is the Weekend price, drops to $136 on a weekday.

(Edit) Wasn't awake then, that's why it'll be called the Coast Starlight then DUH!!



If you are visiting Berkeley, you don't need to take a bus from SF across the Bay, since Emeryville is just north of Berkeley/Oakland. And isn't there a Coast Daylight as well? Or is that the leg that runs back and forth from San Diego to Oakland?

After your stay in Vancouver, you could take the CN cross-country to the East Coast. I've seen video of that trip, should be fun.
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Message 1378359 - Posted: 8 Jun 2013, 0:15:03 UTC - in response to Message 1378350.  

Via Rail should change over to HSR, the Chinese do it over long distances and yeah it's done from Germany down to Spain.


A little hard to afford or to justify in a country bigger than China but with only 3.5% the population.

Yeah it is a small country, population wise, from what I've read BC and Washington state to the south are interested, but whatever.
Canada     34.48 million (2011)
California 38.04 million (2012)
Spain      47.27 million (2012)
France     65.43 million (2011)
Germany    81.80 million (2011)

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Message 1378364 - Posted: 8 Jun 2013, 0:22:13 UTC

Everybody is interested, as long as somebody else pays. That sums up Canadian passenger train planning for the last 40 years.

The train from Vancouver to Eastern Canada hasn't been CN for several decades. Unless you take one of the high priced tourist trains, the Via Rail passenger train through the Rockies now runs at night, to free up the tracks in prime time for the money makers.

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Message 1378421 - Posted: 8 Jun 2013, 3:29:39 UTC - in response to Message 1378348.  

Via Rail should change over to HSR, the Chinese do it over long distances and yeah it's done from Germany down to Spain.

Consider the distances involved.

Berlin to Madrid: 1427 miles

Vancouver to Montreal: 3003 miles (mostly in the US)

This isn't rail distance, it's driving directions from maps.bing.com, but you get the idea. There just isn't enough ridership over that run to justify making the whole thing HSR. Montreal-Toronto-Ottawa-Windsor, sure, and Via would like to. In fact, I believe parts of that area go 90MPH or faster (which isn't really HSR).

China, otoh, has a tendency to build things incredibly quickly and then have spectacular crashes because they cut corners on safety to meet the deadline. They also go gung ho building stuff for a few years, then suddenly stop because the political controls on their economy say so.

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Message 1378430 - Posted: 8 Jun 2013, 3:48:19 UTC - in response to Message 1378356.  
Last modified: 8 Jun 2013, 3:48:54 UTC

If you are visiting Berkeley, you don't need to take a bus from SF across the Bay, since Emeryville is just north of Berkeley/Oakland. And isn't there a Coast Daylight as well? Or is that the leg that runs back and forth from San Diego to Oakland?

There is only one daily train in each direction running the length of the west coast. In the days before Amtrak, Southern Pacific called it the Coast Daylight. (A lot of their other trains were also called Daylight.) Amtrak calls it the Coast Starlight and it runs from Los Angeles to Seattle.

Amtrak has lots of trains overlapping the Starlight's route at the south end, in the middle, and on the north end, but those areas don't connect to each other except by bus. The Pacific Surfliner (formerly the San Diegan) does what no pre-Amtrak railroad ever did, run through LA from San Luis Obispo to San Diego. The Capitol Corridor runs San Jose to Sacramento, partially overlapping with the San Joaquin from Oakland to Bakersfield (with a bus connection to LA). And the Cascades run from Eugene, OR, to Vancouver, BC. All of these corridor services run multiple frequencies per day.

BTW, the Coast Starlight is unique among Amtrak trains in that sleeping car passengers are invited to the evening wine tasting in the Pacific Parlor car, which doesn't run on any other train.

I suppose I should mention here that all Amtrak trains that have sleepers provide free meals in the diner to sleeper passengers (not to coach passengers).
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Message 1378438 - Posted: 8 Jun 2013, 4:14:48 UTC

Mystic Moods Orchestra......
One Stormy Night/Local Freight
"Freedom is just Chaos, with better lighting." Alan Dean Foster

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Message 1378464 - Posted: 8 Jun 2013, 5:12:30 UTC

Speaking of trains......
There was a recording long ago by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab called 'The Power and the Majesty'. On vinyl....remember vinyl?? They did the mastering at half speed so as to maximize the bandwidth and dynamics imparted to the vinyl.

This is the first side.....A great recording of a thunder and lightning and hailstorm.

If memory serves, on the flip side is a grand recording of a freight train blasting across the tracks in front of the mike setup, which at full bore on my old megawatt stereo system, would blow you right off the rails.
I used to scare the crap outta party guests with that one years ago.

It starts out slow, so nobody would notice, and then, all of a sudden, this freight train is rumbling through the living room....LOL.

Does anybody remember that recording, and if so, could you possibly post it to youtube or gimme a link?

My turntable has been down for some time now, it might have something to do with the fact that a new tip for my Ortofon would probably cost me well over a grand at this time.
"Freedom is just Chaos, with better lighting." Alan Dean Foster

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Message 1378897 - Posted: 9 Jun 2013, 11:56:46 UTC - in response to Message 1378889.  

Hope it doesn't catch on over here!

Sweden

They should just call them kilts, and everybody would be happy.
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Message 1378901 - Posted: 9 Jun 2013, 12:13:31 UTC

Kilts - You beat me to it Richard :-)
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Message 1378949 - Posted: 9 Jun 2013, 14:25:41 UTC

Then there is the efforts of Jeff Denham(R-CA) to move the $6 billion in HSR funds and jobs outside of CA to the NEC, the link is here(California GOP Rep. Jeff Denham urges shift in high-speed rail funds to Northeast), it's not like that would happen, since it would have to get past the US Senate and possibly face a Veto from POTUS Obama...

If it were to happen, then CA would have to fund HSR here on our own as Repubs in the House are loathe to send any money to a Blue State, it's not like CA doesn't have the ability as an economy, since CA is the 8th or 9th largest economy in the world. Most likely any federal legislation would have a clawback from the NEC to keep money away from OIL poor HSR, which currently doesn't exist with the $6 Billion in ARRA grant funds rom the DOT...
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Message 1378972 - Posted: 9 Jun 2013, 15:29:55 UTC - in response to Message 1378421.  


Vancouver to Montreal: 3003 miles (mostly in the US)


And from Montreal it a long day's drive to the East Coast. Map Quest makes Vancouver to Halifax as 3854 miles, again taking the short cut through the US. This is a big place!

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Message 1379206 - Posted: 10 Jun 2013, 4:37:32 UTC - in response to Message 1378972.  


Vancouver to Montreal: 3003 miles (mostly in the US)


And from Montreal it a long day's drive to the East Coast. Map Quest makes Vancouver to Halifax as 3854 miles, again taking the short cut through the US. This is a big place!

The Canadian freight railroads route their trains through the US because it's shorter and easier than going north of Lake Superior. Canadian Pacific, which has lines to New York/New Jersey/Pennsylvania, would route anything from BC into the US in North Dakota, across Minnesota and Wisconsin to Chicago, use trackage rights on Norfolk Southern to Detroit, back into Canada, and then into the US again in upstate New York.

Via stays in Canada because its purpose, after all, is to serve the Canadian people. (I think Via crews take over the Amtrak Maple Leaf from New York at Niagara Falls for the run to Toronto.)

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Message 1380878 - Posted: 13 Jun 2013, 23:36:20 UTC

BREAKING NEWS: STB grants the exemption sought by the CHSRA (really, really long URL):

http://www.stb.dot.gov/decisions/readingroom.nsf/fc695db5bc7ebe2c852572b80040c45f/3da3d75a2453dd2685257b8900680856?OpenDocument

That’s a big hurdle cleared. Once Judge Kenny sends the NIMBY’s packing (again) and the last EIR’s for the segment are complete, we’re off and running…
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Message 1380953 - Posted: 14 Jun 2013, 6:27:07 UTC - in response to Message 1380878.  

BREAKING NEWS: STB grants the exemption sought by the CHSRA (really, really long URL):

http://www.stb.dot.gov/decisions/readingroom.nsf/fc695db5bc7ebe2c852572b80040c45f/3da3d75a2453dd2685257b8900680856?OpenDocument

That’s a big hurdle cleared. Once Judge Kenny sends the NIMBY’s packing (again) and the last EIR’s for the segment are complete, we’re off and running…

At the risk of getting these posts moved to Politics, I say Don't bet on it. A lot of the route is still not finalized, so not much of the right-of-way has been acquired. I expect a lot of eminent domain court fights. (Some of my friends could have their properties cut in half by the HSR tracks, depending on which route options are finally approved.)
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Message 1381049 - Posted: 14 Jun 2013, 13:15:07 UTC - in response to Message 1380987.  

WE have the same controversy in the UK regarding HS2. Anyhow more cheerfil news is here. Mallard


Great shame it is no longer "steamable" and has to be hauled to Grantham!
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Message 1381066 - Posted: 14 Jun 2013, 13:51:31 UTC - in response to Message 1380953.  

BREAKING NEWS: STB grants the exemption sought by the CHSRA (really, really long URL):

http://www.stb.dot.gov/decisions/readingroom.nsf/fc695db5bc7ebe2c852572b80040c45f/3da3d75a2453dd2685257b8900680856?OpenDocument

That’s a big hurdle cleared. Once Judge Kenny sends the NIMBY’s packing (again) and the last EIR’s for the segment are complete, we’re off and running…

At the risk of getting these posts moved to Politics, I say Don't bet on it. A lot of the route is still not finalized, so not much of the right-of-way has been acquired. I expect a lot of eminent domain court fights. (Some of my friends could have their properties cut in half by the HSR tracks, depending on which route options are finally approved.)

If their counting on CEQA, part of that may be moot soon SB731 passed the CA state Senate 39-0 and is off to the CA Assembly for a vote.

CEQA review would no longer include project aesthetics for mixed use and transit priority areas, and unsubstantiated opinion would no longer be allowed as new evidence in court. The proposed law would also speed up legal challenges and standardize state thresholds for Environmental Impacts Reviews (EIRs).

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Message 1381156 - Posted: 14 Jun 2013, 17:23:42 UTC - in response to Message 1381066.  
Last modified: 14 Jun 2013, 17:26:51 UTC

BREAKING NEWS: STB grants the exemption sought by the CHSRA (really, really long URL):

http://www.stb.dot.gov/decisions/readingroom.nsf/fc695db5bc7ebe2c852572b80040c45f/3da3d75a2453dd2685257b8900680856?OpenDocument

That’s a big hurdle cleared. Once Judge Kenny sends the NIMBY’s packing (again) and the last EIR’s for the segment are complete, we’re off and running…

At the risk of getting these posts moved to Politics, I say Don't bet on it. A lot of the route is still not finalized, so not much of the right-of-way has been acquired. I expect a lot of eminent domain court fights. (Some of my friends could have their properties cut in half by the HSR tracks, depending on which route options are finally approved.)

If their counting on CEQA, part of that may be moot soon SB731 passed the CA state Senate 39-0 and is off to the CA Assembly for a vote.

CEQA review would no longer include project aesthetics for mixed use and transit priority areas, and unsubstantiated opinion would no longer be allowed as new evidence in court. The proposed law would also speed up legal challenges and standardize state thresholds for Environmental Impacts Reviews (EIRs).

Maybe I should have put Eminent Domain in bold. California Environmental Quality Act reviews are a whole different issue, and any proposed changes may not become law, and could not be applied retroactively.

The ONLY section where the route is finalized and property aquisition has begun is the section just north of Fresno. All of the proposed routes through the San Joaquin Valley invole 100s of farms that would be cut in half by the right-of-way, and with the proposed grade separation, many of those farmers would lose effective access to the other half of their land. The Eminent Domain court battles are expected to be long and costly once they start. California High Speed Rail is NOT a done deal, and may never be.

Now I suggest we end this discussion of a train that may never be, and stick to trains that actually are.
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Message 1385791 - Posted: 29 Jun 2013, 13:33:21 UTC



4464 Bittern a sister engine of the A4 Pacific engine Mallard has done a run down the same track, near Grantham, where Mallard set the world record for a steam engine 75 years ago.

There are only six of these engines left and they will all be at the National Rail Museum in York on anniversary day the 3rd July.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-23109971
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Message 1385842 - Posted: 29 Jun 2013, 16:55:10 UTC

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