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Myrtle Local

Amtrak Unveils Its High Speed Vision For 2040

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PHILADELPHIA — Amtrak on Tuesday unveiled a $117 billion, 30-year vision for a high-speed rail line on the East Coast that would drastically reduce travel times along the congested corridor using trains traveling up to 220 miles per hour.

 

The proposal, which would require building a new set of tracks from Boston to Washington, D.C., is at the concept stage and there's no funding plan in place, Amtrak President Joseph Boardman said at a news conference at Philadelphia's 30th Street Station.

 

The project would likely use some combination of public and private investment and hopefully be phased in starting in 2015, he said.

 

The Next-Gen High Speed Rail line would have hubs in Baltimore, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington and would cut travel times in half or better. It would reduce the travel time between Washington and New York from 162 minutes to 96 minutes, according to Amtrak. The travel time between New York and Boston would go from 215 minutes to 84 minutes.

 

About 12 million riders a year use Amtrak along the northeast corridor.

 

Under the high-speed system envisioned, the trains would be able to accommodate about 33.7 million passengers by 2040. Amtrak officials estimated the high-speed system would generate an $900 million more a year with the added ridership.

 

High-speed rail would not only help reduce congestion on the rails, but also in the skies, since it would be more enticing to passengers making shorter trips, according to Amtrak officials and others.

 

"No one should take a plane for a trip shorter than 500 miles," said Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, noting that the system would be comparable to service now linking European countries.

 

The Democratic governor added that political leaders must generate the will to get the project done before current system is overwhelmed.

 

"It isn't a dream, it isn't a fantasy, it isn't an illusion," Rendell said. "Can we afford it? ... We can't afford not to do it."

 

Story:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39405312/ns/travel-news/

 

Report:

http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentServer?c=Page&pagename=am%2FLayout&cid=1241245669222

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Good idea, but the chances of this happening are awfully low until something extreme happens (i.e. A president winds up like a transit Robert Moses).

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America is a nation of cars. They will never be replaced with rails like in Europe until cars are made economically unfeasible. Given the average American's resilience and abhorrence of anything than more than four tires, this will never happen.

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yeah this is a real bright idea... They cant even operate trains at normal speeds without derailing them or causing tons of accidents.. Do they really think they can operate a high speed rail safely? Not going to happen. Im not getting on one thats for damn sure.

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yeah this is a real bright idea... They cant even operate trains at normal speeds without derailing them or causing tons of accidents.. Do they really think they can operate a high speed rail safely? Not going to happen. Im not getting on one thats for damn sure.

 

What an ignorant statement that is....

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What an ignorant statement that is....

 

No its not ignorant, you just take offense because you work for them. Its a fact buddy. They cant handle trains at the speeds they go now. With the combination of morons blocking grade crossings and amtrak derailing etc theres NO WAY these trains can travel safely at speeds of 200MPH+

 

Highway-rail Crossing Incidents by Railroad Amtrak (Accidents)

 

2000 2001 2002 2003

Fatal 56 69 42 51

Non Fatal 90 84 93 114

 

 

Amtrak (National RR Passenger Corp.)

 

Casualties by Railroad (not at highway-rail crossing)

 

2000 2001 2002 2003

Fatal 70 67 78 64

Non Fatal 18 37 28 22

 

July 7, 1984 – Williston, Vermont, United States: The Amtrak Montrealer derailed following a railbed washout, killing five and injuring nearly 140.

 

January 4, 1987 – 1987 Maryland train collision, Chase, Maryland, United States: The Amtrak Colonial express train, highballing at 130 miles per hour (210 km/h), slammed into a consist of Conrail freight locomotives whose engineer had ignored a stop signal and had fouled the Northeast Corridor mainline at Gunpow Interlocking. The force of the impact completely destroyed the lead Amtrak locomotive and derailed the rest of the train, killing the Amtrak engineer, a lounge car attendant and 14 passengers. The subsequent investigation revealed that the in-cab signaling system of the Conrail lead locomotive was inoperative and that the Conrail crew had been smoking marijuana. This notorious accident, Amtrak's most deadly at the time, caused the US railroad industry to tighten up drug use detection among operational personnel and subsequently led to the federal certification of locomotive engineers.

 

December 12, 1990 – An Amtrak North East Corridor regional train crashes into a MBTA commuter train at the Back Bay station in Boston, Massachusetts. This accident is the worst in the history of the MBTA. This accident injured over 500 people and was so severe that the locomotives of both trains along with several coaches had to be scrapped on site.

 

July 31, 1991 – Lugoff, South Carolina, United States: The Amtrak Silver Star derails the rear portion of its consist on the former Seaboard Air Line of the CSXT Railroad when a faulty switch split (moved out of position) as the train passes over it, directing a coach into a hopper car standing on a siding, and derailing the following equipment. Eight passengers die and 76 are injured

 

August 12, 1992 – just outside Newport News, Virginia, United States: Amtrak's Colonial passenger train, traveling at nearly 80 mph (130 km/h), enters a switch that had just moments before been opened by a pair of teenaged saboteurs. Though there are no fatalities, dozens are injured. 60 of the passengers subsequently sue Amtrak and CSX (who owned the right-of-way) for negligence, but the case is decided in favor of the railroad companies as it was determined that there was no way for the train crew to prevent the incident. The two teens are sentenced to federal prison terms for the crime.

 

March 17, 1993 – near Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States: An Amtrak passenger train strikes a gasoline tanker truck that has stopped on a grade crossing, causing the tanker to explode. Six people (including the truck driver) are killed and 12 injured. The dining car stops in the center of the fire and is totalled.

 

September 22, 1993 – 1993 Big Bayou Canot train wreck, near Mobile, Alabama, United States: Barges being pushed by an off-course towboat collide with a bridge piling; the bridge shifts out of alignment, creating a kink in the rails on the CSXT's former Louisville & Nashville Gulfcoast line. Minutes later, Amtrak's Sunset Limited derails at high speed on the misaligned track and plunges into the water, causing a massive fuel spill and fire. 47 people are killed in Amtrak's deadliest accident.

 

August 4, 1994 – Batavia, New York, United States: Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited passenger train derails while traveling at 75 mph (120 km/h), injuring 125 passengers and crew members.

 

March 15, 1999 – Bourbonnais train accident, Bourbonnais, Illinois, United States: The southbound Amtrak City of New Orleans, traveling at approximately 80 miles per hour (130 km/h), slams into a semi-trailer truck loaded with steel concrete reinforcing bar (rebar) at a grade crossing and derails. An ensuing fire sets one Superliner sleeper car ablaze. Eleven were killed and over 100 were injured. It was subsequently determined that the truck driver had ignored the grade crossing signals and drove around the lowered gates.

 

 

 

April 18, 2002 – Crescent City, Florida, United States: 21 cars of an Amtrak Auto-Train derail near Crescent City. Four deaths, 142 injured. The National Transportation Safety Board initial accident report finds that the ECP brakes purchased for the train were not functioning: the final report determines that the accident was caused by a hot-weather "sun kink" misalignment of the track due to inadequate CSX maintenance-of-way, and stated that equipment and track damages totaled about $8.3 million

 

July 29, 2002 – Kensington, Maryland, United States: The eastbound Amtrak Capitol Limited, train 30, while traversing a CSX route, strikes a sun kink at 1:55 PM while traveling at 60 mph (100 km/h) near milepost 11.78. Several cars go down an embankment and four Superliners overturn against trees. 16 people are seriously injured and 79 people suffer from minor injuries. The misalignment was determined to be caused by an improperly tamped ballast and excessive speed in the 96°F (35°C) sunny weather. "Slow orders" were imposed on passenger trains in the area on very hot days following this accident.

 

August 2, 2005 – Raleigh, North Carolina, United States: Two people are killed when their truck is hit by an Amtrak train. The driver bypassed safety barriers.

 

July 16–17, 2007 – Two Amtrak Silver Star trains on the Tampa to Miami route crash into automobiles and derail in two separate instances, one in Lakeland and one in Plant City. Four people in the automobile die in the first wreck; one in the automobile dies in the second accident. Nobody on either train is seriously injured.

 

October 3, 2007 – Moving over the CSX east coast main line, the Amtrak Silver Meteor collided into a tractor-trailer after it attempted to cross a grade crossing in Port Wentworth, Georgia. No serious injuries are reported.

 

November 30, 2007 – Amtrak train No. 371, the Pere Marquette, strikes the last car of COFC freight train on the Norfolk Southern (ex-PRR) line near 65th Street in Chicago. Two people in the cab of P-42DC No. 8 are injured, and many passengers are injured, including three critical. The crumple zone design of the locomotive is effective and prevents worse results. The engineer was running approximately 40 mph in a 15 mph zone due to confusion about the meaning of a signal.

 

January 25, 2008 – Amtrak train 91, the Silver Star, collides with a garbage truck sitting on the tracks on CR 427 in Longwood, Florida while waiting for the traffic light to change at the intersection next to the crossing. The two occupants of the garbage truck are not wearing seat belts and are ejected; one dies, the other is seriously injured. There are no injuries on the train

 

January 25, 2008 – Amtrak train 1, the Sunset Limited, collides with a semi truck in north-east Harris County, Texas. The driver of the truck is taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

 

July 9, 2009 – An Amtrak passenger train hits the side of a vehicle in Canton Township, Michigan near Detroit. Five people in the vehicle die.

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with 200 mph + trains comes fully separated right of way, and hopefully trespassing proof fencing or concrete walls. so IF there are any mishaps with accidents on AMTRAK's future HSR, it should theoretically not involve your average idiot walking down/driving across the ROW and getting minced into a million pieces....

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No its not ignorant, you just take offense because you work for them. Its a fact buddy. They cant handle trains at the speeds they go now. With the combination of morons blocking grade crossings and amtrak derailing etc theres NO WAY these trains can travel safely at speeds of 200MPH+

 

I take no offense, I just think what you said is ignorant. You further this fact by posting all of those accidents, how is it Amtrak's fault that people try to beat crossings? There are a handful of grade crossings along the NEC in CT and RI but I don't know of any incidents occurring at any of those. In fact, all but 2 of these (Chase, MD and the Back Bay accident) were on host railroad property. If this high speed plan does go through, you can guarantee there will not be any grade crossings or issues due to host railroad maintenance since Amtrak will own all of the new right of way. Obviously you didn't read the report either or you wouldn't go through these lengths to make yourself look like a fool. Like I said, ignorant.

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Hey Im just saying that theres so many accidents now at 80+MPH theres not much more that can be done for 200+mph to make it safe. You still have grade crossings, objects on the tracks, imperfections..It doesnt matter whos fault it is, there are accidents all of the time because we dont live in a perfect world were everything goes according to plan. Id rather test my luck only doing 80-100mph than taking advantage and traveling double and adding more risk. I dont think America is ready for that type of transport at all. The accidents in Europe involving similar high speed trains are pretty bad but most still dont go in excess of 200+MPH either.

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Trenton gets snubbed once again.

 

By the way, the rest of the world is leaving us behind in terms of rail transport. Are you really going to worry about safety when most TGV trains average 150 for their whole end to end trip? Acela averages 90.

 

- A

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I personally think it's a reality. Amtrak has wanted to do this for quite sometime. It has nothing to do with us being a nation of cars, and thus it wouldn't work. They mainly want to compete with airlines along the east coast, but also offers driver another alternative in the process. I see it complete by 2040.

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I personally think it's a reality. Amtrak has wanted to do this for quite sometime. It has nothing to do with us being a nation of cars, and thus it wouldn't work. They mainly want to compete with airlines along the east coast, but also offers driver another alternative in the process. I see it complete by 2040.

 

It does though, its a cultural thing. The entire West Coast wouldn't have flourished the way it did without the automobile. America used to be a trains nation back in the 1800s when there were no cars to compete with it. But now, in line with American classic individualism, the car is our primary mode of transportation and railroad declined. The Interstate system could have just as easily been built to be high-speed rail instead of highways, but it wasn't because Americans like to drive in their cars with a coke in their cupholders. America's a car-driving nation and "I don't want to sit next to you in a tight train!" nation. It works in Germany and France because they didn't have that concept of individualism like America does. That's why America will never have an extensive high-speed network.

 

The only reason New York carries 1/3 of all rail traffic is because its forced to. There simply isn't enough room on the roads to carry all the people. That and the fact that NY was one of the centers of rail travel before the invention of the car. So it has a history different from close to 70% of the country. It's a wonder to me that LA, a city of almost 15 million (metro area) doesn't have a proper metro system. (The metro there is a joke.) If that city were in Germany or Japan, there would be one of the largest metros in the world. But LA was built by and for cars, hence the "keno capitalism" urban design.

 

All in all, I'd love to be able to take a high-speed rail line from Boston to New York to Philadelphia to Washington to Richmond to Atlanta and get there in record time. But would that ever happen? Probably not.

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America is a nation of cars. They will never be replaced with rails like in Europe until cars are made economically unfeasible. Given the average American's resilience and abhorrence of anything than more than four tires, this will never happen.

 

Automobiles are economically unfeasible, and have been since the 50's when the government spent huge sums building the interstate highway system, parts of that debt still aren't paid off.

 

Automobiles are subsidized, just like airlines, when gasoline costs as much as it takes to fix roads and not have it be taken from income or other taxes (pay the real cost at the pump) then transit will look like a bargain.

 

- A

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No its not ignorant, you just take offense because you work for them. Its a fact buddy. They cant handle trains at the speeds they go now. With the combination of morons blocking grade crossings and amtrak derailing etc theres NO WAY these trains can travel safely at speeds of 200MPH+

 

 

Emm there are no crossings on HSR, at least in Europe and i don't know but how many High Speed Trains had accidents in the last years? Not very much! You are talking theoretically about something that is reality in other countries. Where is that America with its "yes we can do it" people? Same with healthcare and other things. Just do it!!!

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What happened to the rest of the Northeast? I know the Bos-Wash Corridor is the most populated , but you forgot about the Empire , Lackawanna , Lehigh , Montreal , keystone corridors? You can't leave out the rest of the NE that is not fair and for 117 billion $$$ you should be able to build that. The New NEC would only cost 40-60 Billion $$$ according to alot of ppl.

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I sure am with Ed Rendell on taking his idea about 500 miles , I would much rather take A High Speed Train straight through and With Acela Exp the way it is , I'm sure Amtrak is going your way for the future .

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