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One final post and I'll quit - at least for today!
There is absolutely no justifiable reason to consider ANY location for a downtown Dallas stop apart from Union Terminal (a.k.a. "Union Station")! The space is there, the necessary facilities can be replaced/rebuilt, and it's the only site where all extant general system and transit lines converge.
I have created an outline for a three step plan to restore D.U.T.'s essential functions, preparing it for today's world and another century of public service. This work would include H.S.R. infrastructure.
Garl B. Latham
1 month, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://www.futurestructure.com/Texas-High-Speed-Rail-Plans-Pick-Up-Steam.html
Along this same theme (the logic behind a societal investment in conventional passenger train services), my Progressive Railroading blog contains several entries regarding the "Grid and Gateway" proposal. Links to a few of the essays are below.
Ideally, we shouldn't be discussing an either/or proposition. Texas needs both H.S.R. AND standard railway passenger services!
While reviewing Texas Central's web site, I noticed their claim that within the next 20 years, the average driving time between Dallas and Houston will be approximately 6 1/2 hours.
Given the fact that multi-daily passenger train service once existed, connecting the two cities in a dependable and convenient four hours time (including intermediate stops) - and that such a schedule would easily be marketable against tomorrow's traffic nightmares, I fail to see how we can continue to ignore the promise of conventional rail-based transport technologies here in Texas and across the continent. This is especially true when one considers the reduced cost of those operations (just pennies on the dollar when compared to true H.S.R.) and the various benefits that can be shared by both passenger and freight services.
I encourage anyone who's interested to read the following essays from my Progressive Railroading blog (links below).
"HIgh Speed Rail is not the starting point"
"The myth of 'Higher Speed Rail'"
If our society was really serious about developing intermodal transportation projects (which it's not) and taking full advantage of rail-based passenger initiatives (which it isn't), the problems inherent with Texas Central's approach would quickly become evident.
Please understand: the high-speed line will be an unmitigated success and will lead to many other new routes and services, both in Texas and throughout North America. I wish Texas Central nothing but the best.
Still, there are issues with Texas Central's proposal, since it presumes a semi-isolated operation with trains serving as a glorified shuttle between the two metropolitan regions. Insufficient effort is being made to establish direct (read: "seamless") connections, railway or airline - and planning for line extensions within and beyond urban areas is either being assigned to other agencies (on the north end) or effectively ignored (on the south).
I sincerely wish SOMEONE with an esoteric knowledge of railway passenger services was playing an important role in the development of this plan! Apparently, that's too much to ask.
Garl Boyd Latham
"Virginia is being used as a transportation corridor only," [Fred] Millar said. "We get all of the risks and no benefits."
Wow; I never realized petroleum products weren't used in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Now I know!
6 months ago on Conversation @ http://www.governing.com/news/headlines/Oil-Train-Derailment-Sparks-Fire-Spill-and-Calls-for-Change.html
Therefore, based upon that reasoning, if a "real economic return" concerning roadway construction truly exists - which I have NEVER seen outlined in detail, by the way* - then we should "let private money do it!"
NO MORE ROADWAYS BUILT OR MAINTAINED BY THE TAXPAYERS until it can be conclusively proven they're all "profitable"!
What's sauce for the goose...
*For that matter, the concept is "not even addressed" in planning proposals for new and expanded roads; it is simply assumed. That's obviously unfair and must needs be changed - unless, of course, the "economic return" argument is simply a ruse.
1 year, 11 months ago on Creating a ‘trail of prosperity’ with high-speed Atlanta—Savannah rail
@The Last Democrat in Georgia
For the sake of meaningful discussion, we probably need to adopt technical railroad terminology as traditionally defined. What is being discussed here has NOTHING to do with "commuter" operations.
Having said that, I completely agree with you concerning the need to establish conventional intercity passenger train services BEFORE constructing true high-speed lines.
If concepts such as dreaming and emotion were completely removed from the world of transportation, very few automobiles would be sold! In fact , what seems to feed autocentrism as much as anything else is the (artificial) concept of "personal freedom" which, naturally (according to that industry), is only available by way of motor vehicle technology.
By the way, I must congratulate you on being the first contributor in this thread to use the pejorative "boondoggle."
Many true high speed lines around the world have proven quite effective when competing head-to-head against commercial airline service. In fact, there are several examples where airway alternatives have eventually disappeared. However, this should have little to do with our discussion.
1. The primary competition - for both airlines and railways - is the private automobile. Rail-based passenger service should concentrate upon tapping into THAT market (at least initially).
2. When we consider that conventional intercity passenger train service between Atlanta and Savannah hasn't even EXISTED for 41 1/2 YEARS, why must we think planning efforts begin with the formation of a new-from-the-ground-up high speed line?!
3. The airport should embrace the NEED for rail-based connections - of ALL types - and reserve the rights-of-way within its property for trackage and station facilities, even if expanded train service seems to be stuck in the formative stage.
4. Why is "intermodalism" such a foreign (and frightening) concept? Moreover, why should the general public allow special interests (such as those being protected by Tom Nissalke and the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport) to drive planning efforts?
5. Presuming Mr. Nissalke's statement concerning the F.A.A. is accurate, that agency's failure to REQUIRE railroad connectivity in ALL future airfield plans simply indicates an institutional failure on the part the U.S. D.O.T. to oversee the work of its component parts.
My disgust knows no bounds.
1 year, 11 months ago on High-speed rail not a consideration in Atlanta airport’s master plan