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talisyn

China's Amazing Train

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How would you like to get from San Diego to Seattle in 8 hours?

World's longest fast train line opens in China - Yahoo! News

I would love it if the USA had the kind of infrastructure to allow these kind of train travel times. Minus the bribes and dead bodies...

Maybe the reason we don't is attitude of 'We have planes, we don't need trains!'? :lol:

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The infrastructure costs of trains are enormous. Those of superfast trains are much higher even than for regular trains. If you think building an airport is expensive, try building a high-speed rail or maglev track a thousand miles long.

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How would you like to get from San Diego to Seattle in 8 hours?

World's longest fast train line opens in China - Yahoo! News

I would love it if the USA had the kind of infrastructure to allow these kind of train travel times. Minus the bribes and dead bodies...

Maybe the reason we don't is attitude of 'We have planes, we don't need trains!'? :lol:

Yeah, it's so much easier to get things done when the peasants don't really have property rights. Or the right to live, for that matter.

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Yeah, it's so much easier to get things done when the peasants don't really have property rights. Or the right to live, for that matter.

It is so much better to do as the Soviet Union did and do little if any to have a transportation infrastructure. They have such good roads that even their military get bogged down in Moscow in the mud roads.

In order to have good infrastructure that pays for itself we have to pay for it first. Remember the interstate highway systems? That was a huge project in its time yet how could we as a nation function without it now? We would be in the same position Russia is now an that is not a good position.

I am very glad it was done before now because if it had not been it would never be done.

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Remember the interstate highway systems? That was a huge project in its time yet how could we as a nation function without it now? We would be in the same position Russia is now an that is not a good position.

I am very glad it was done before now because if it had not been it would never be done.

The Interstate System was funded by World War II. It was built as part of the US Defense System to ease the deployment of troops and supplies across the US. This Interstate System was built when the US Treasury was seeing surplus year after year. 2 years after the start of the Interstate project, the Treasury started seeing deficits year after year and never saw a single surplus until today.

"Roads and bridges" are great Keynesian projects. But, the question of "how could we as a nation function without it now" can always be answered by capitalists. How could we as a nation function without the 3G/4G network now? Without the Electric Grid now? Without the water grid now? Without the gasoline pipeline now?

When there's a need, man's ingenuity will provide the supply. No government necessary. If the government doesn't supply it, someone else will... unless the government prevents it.

There is no need for the bullet train in the US big enough to justify its cost. There was this proposal in Florida to use Obama-money to build a train from Tampa to Orlando. It got voted down. People would rather drive the 1.5 hours from Tampa to Orlando - why? Because, okay, you take the train from the center of the city in Tampa to the center of the city in Orlando. How would you go from there to UCF if that was your destination? Rent a car? Ride a cab? And what if you want to stop by the Millenia Mall before going back to Tampa? You're going to carry your jillion purchases on the train to go back to Tampa? No. People would rather just take their cars from Tampa and drive it all over the place. Tampa and Orlando are just not Pedestrian Societies. They're not structured that way.

Edited by anatess

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This Interstate System was built when the US Treasury was seeing surplus year after year.

I've heard this before and wonder if it's true. If it is the case that the government was taking in more revenue than it was spending, it should have paid off any debt and then cut taxes. (Not that I disapprove of the interstate system or highways in general, but finding places to spend taxpayer's money should be on the bottom of the priority list.)

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I've heard this before and wonder if it's true. If it is the case that the government was taking in more revenue than it was spending, it should have paid off any debt and then cut taxes. (Not that I disapprove of the interstate system or highways in general, but finding places to spend taxpayer's money should be on the bottom of the priority list.)

Not necessarily.

Basically, a surplus means that you have more revenue than expense for that particular session of Congress. The expense, of course includes debt payments. Not all debts are bad debts. For example, in some cases, you are better off spending your household budget surplus on investing on a... say, stock... than paying off your mortgage debt. This is because you see that your mortgage debt is only charging you 4% interest whereas, the stock is projected to gain a 7% interest. So, you get a 3% gain.

In government, when you can project that the expense is bound to cause an increase in revenue, then it is better to spend the money than pay off the debt. The basic concept of Pell Grants is supposed to be to spend government money to train your citizenry to have good jobs so you can get more tax out of them which is projected to be greater than the cost of the Grant - of course, this is not what's happening right now because Pell Grant recipients have a graduation rate of less than 20% within 7 years.

The Interstate System was part of the US Defense project, so it was not considered to be 100% revenue generating. The other objective of connecting interstate commerce is, of course, projected to be a major revenue generator which was expected to pay off the Defense expenditure so that THAT expense will not add to the $250B debt incurred by the US to fight both WWI and WWII.

P.S.

I just looked at the census data and there were actually only 3 years of surplus in the 50's - 1951, 1956 and 1957. But, the 50's was a peacetime economy.

Edited by anatess

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We are indeed an automobile country, probably because it was cheaper for individuals/families to buy their own vehicles than funding railroads. But, there was a time in this country when trains were huge big business. What changed?

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We are indeed an automobile country, probably because it was cheaper for individuals/families to buy their own vehicles than funding railroads. But, there was a time in this country when trains were huge big business. What changed?

Trains are still the cheapest way (by far) to ship large quantities of materials. But trains lack the flexibility to deliver small quantities to extended locations. That is what has changed. That, and really terrible management of the railway systems over the last sixty or eighty years.

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Trains also were for commuting when people lived and worked in big cities, but now the only reason to have passenger trains is for leisure travel. No economic incentive so no need. That's why light rail seem to work better. It's used by commuters.

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We are indeed an automobile country, probably because it was cheaper for individuals/families to buy their own vehicles than funding railroads. But, there was a time in this country when trains were huge big business. What changed?

The invention of the automobile and the prosperity of the people to buy one including the cost to fuel it. The demand for fuel lowered its price which made it cheaper to run big trucks to deliver goods and services instead of having to deal with the limitations of the railroad. The commerical airplane made it possible to deliver goods and services from coast to coast as fast as same-day delivery. The train became the equivalent of an LP record...

The US geography is gigantic. From East Coast to West Coast, North to South and everything in between is a gigantic piece of land run on one economy. The car created Suburbia. So then citites naturally gravitated to an automobile structure instead of a pedestrian structure.

Cities like New York City and Atlanta retained their pedestrian structure because of the concentration of very prosperous commerce in premium space. Trains work well going into, out of, and around NYC. Shopping in New York City, cabs transport your purchases as an alternative option to trains.

Cities like Houston tried to maintain a pedestrian society but it just couldn't work. The city is such a big sprawl that you have pockets of commercial areas all over this gigantic place. And you can drive 50 miles outside of the city and it's still Suburbia! They have the light rail transit system connecting parking areas to workplaces. So the order of the day is the Park & Ride system.

Cities like Miami/Tampa/Orlando are smaller cities. But because they are smaller, cars become cheaper to operate than trains.

There's an Amtrak train that goes non-stop from Orlando to Washington, DC, and you take your car with you - the car gets stowed on its own train car for the 10-hour trip. It is cheaper to catch a Southwest sale and rent a car in DC than take that train and I don't have to lose 2 days of work to do so.

Edited by anatess

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With lives, blood and trampled rights? And here I thought leftists cared about people.

Eminent Domain is a leftists agenda void in conservative ideology?

Every title of property held in the USA is in essence property taken in one way or another by some kind of eminent domain from those that were previously using it.

The Traveler

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Trains are still the cheapest way (by far) to ship large quantities of materials. But trains lack the flexibility to deliver small quantities to extended locations. That is what has changed. That, and really terrible management of the railway systems over the last sixty or eighty years.

Are you implying the unions have nothing to do with terrible management of the railway system? Since bad management is best addressed by unions?

The Traveler

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How would you like to get from San Diego to Seattle in 8 hours?

World's longest fast train line opens in China - Yahoo! News

I would love it if the USA had the kind of infrastructure to allow these kind of train travel times. Minus the bribes and dead bodies...

Maybe the reason we don't is attitude of 'We have planes, we don't need trains!'? :lol:

I'd hate to see what the actual cost will be in china. We dont have highspeed trains Because right now planes, trucks, and slow trains are cheaper.

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I'd hate to see what the actual cost will be in china. We dont have highspeed trains Because right now planes, trucks, and slow trains are cheaper.

I believe the correct word would be - more convenient - I am not sure that cheaper is accurate. The technology is in use in many places (in industry) and is cheaper and more efficient than alternative technology.

The Traveler

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I believe the correct word would be - more convenient - I am not sure that cheaper is accurate. The technology is in use in many places (in industry) and is cheaper and more efficient than alternative technology.

The Traveler

so far every attempt we've made at having a high speed train has been a money sink, and havent gotten off the ground very far.

There might be potential savings in it, but so far it hasnt been enough to change what we have. Probably won't be until the price of gas really climbs lots higher, and or the average traffic congestion becomes a lot worse, or some other motivation really starts kicking society in the rear really hard.

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so far every attempt we've made at having a high speed train has been a money sink, and havent gotten off the ground very far.

There might be potential savings in it, but so far it hasnt been enough to change what we have. Probably won't be until the price of gas really climbs lots higher, and or the average traffic congestion becomes a lot worse, or some other motivation really starts kicking society in the rear really hard.

Basically, what you're trying to say is - when the American social structure becomes that of China. Hey, maybe that's where you're headed.

I was reading the comments on that article and I can't believe people actually think that having a "bullet train" in the US is a "proud moment" for America. Uhm, no. Having flying automobiles would. Having a bullet train would be a step backwards for y'all...

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I'd hate to see what the actual cost will be in china. We dont have highspeed trains Because right now planes, trucks, and slow trains are cheaper.

What I've read is it'll be about $140ish US. Pretty cheap, I think ^^

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What I've read is it'll be about $140ish US. Pretty cheap, I think ^^

$140ish, for what? Fare? Cost per mile to construct? How much of that cost is subsidized? How does that cost compare as a percentage of the average income? How does it compare to the cost of owning a vehicle there? How affordable is it to the average Chinese working-class citizen?

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Basically, what you're trying to say is - when the American social structure becomes that of China. Hey, maybe that's where you're headed.

welll....

considering how things are going, that may not be that far off (even tho that wasn't my thought, lol).

The idea for using high speed rail has been kicking around in the US for years. California even made an attempt to start one not too long ago (it started gathering steam for a little while then it died miserably). If it was really a wonder-saver, we would likely have one somewhere by now ( i really doubt that the large corporations that would benefit from such would be so lazy).

I was reading the comments on that article and I can't believe people actually think that having a "bullet train" in the US is a "proud moment" for America. Uhm, no. Having flying automobiles would. Having a bullet train would be a step backwards for y'all...

naw you be aimin' to low... Quantum teleportation ( or some other nerdy sounding hocus pocus that is semi grounded in reality, aka Star Trek Transporter).

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Basically, what you're trying to say is - when the American social structure becomes that of China. Hey, maybe that's where you're headed.

I was reading the comments on that article and I can't believe people actually think that having a "bullet train" in the US is a "proud moment" for America. Uhm, no. Having flying automobiles would. Having a bullet train would be a step backwards for y'all...

Bullet maglev, maybe.

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