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Jenetyk t1_j9wpd6r wrote

Inject California high speed rail directly into my veins. This state is too big and has too much to see to NOT have a cheap way to get from A to B.


kynthrus t1_j9xglfe wrote

That America as a whole hasn't invested in creating a high speed rail system for the whole country for the last 50+ years is ridiculous.


bagkingz t1_j9xsg2r wrote

Maybe if we didn’t blow so much money in the Middle East for 20 years we’d have HSR by now…maybe…


kynthrus t1_j9xtm6q wrote

We could afford it even with those 20 years. There is nothing stopping the US from investing in bullet trains except for old money train tycoons too scared to step into the modern age.


Jerund t1_j9yioh4 wrote

Federal money is used for the war. California themselves uses state money to build the high speed rail. It seems like money wasn’t the issue for this HSR. Too many land rights and bad planning. We invested most of our money in airports instead. Look at how many airports we have compared to rest of the world. Think we have more than the next 5 countries combined


littleferrhis t1_j9ydmzy wrote

It doesn’t make much sense to build.a large HSR network in America, Australia is the same way. Canada is the same way.

One simple reason, population dispersion.

Sure from SF to LA there is a large population in pretty much every city to support it, but what if we were to go through the midwest or the Great Plains, or the rockies, midwest suburbs, all of which require a lot of expensive track to build for a population of a few thousand? Even when talking about cities are small cities have 300k, 400k, with suburbs 10, 20, even 30 miles away, which combined have a nice big population, but they’re so far apart it would be impractical to build HSR. Roads and airports are relatively cheap. You can just plop them down anywhere with a little bit of pavement and in an airports case an FBO or tiny terminal.

America has 300 mil. people spread over 9.8 mill kilometers. China has 1.4 billion over 9.6 mil. Km. Western Europe has a smaller population, about a third of the US, but its spread out over a 9th of the size of the U.S. .

In places with tight populations like China or Japan, it makes sense to have really intricate HSR networks. In places like Europe where populations are more concentrated it makes sense. In the high population parts of the US it makes sense, which is why they are either built or are in the process of being built.

With the entire U.S. though it makes zero sense.


Ave_TechSenger t1_j9ygllo wrote

Here’s the thing.

Japan has most of its population centralized in a few cities but still has HSR and standard rail options to the boonies. It’s pretty sparsely populated outside of those cities. The difference is that infrastructure including public transit is seen as a necessary public service in much of the world, cities and spaces are typically more pedestrian and bicycle friendly, etc.

China’s gotten there too. 20ish years ago, there was no train line to my hometown (with a population of about 20,000 and century old homes that still had unused open sewers repurposed as storm drains). We took a 6 hour bus from Shenzhen, then a 2 hour car ride. 15ish years ago, they put in a rail line to a nearby city (Chaozhou), so 3 hours on a train and 1 hour by car. 8 years ago, a maglev line was completed with a stop 15 minutes’ drive from the grandparents’ house, cutting total transit time to like 90 minutes from Shenzhen.

Here in the US, we do have very sparsely populated areas that this wouldn’t make sense in such as the plains, the Dakotas, etc. But certain circuits would make sense such as the coasts, regional hubs such as around Chicago, etc. would maybe be feasible along with connecting lines to link major hubs over distances. It would be seen as government bloat, anti/car, etc. most likely and those would be political obstacles…


littleferrhis t1_j9ykffp wrote

See I totally agree with that. Standard Gauge rail has worked in the U.S. over small populations in the past, and has proven to work in countries with higher population dispersions like Russia. It’s in fact working really well right now with cargo rail.

If I wanted to go forward with a plan to bring rail back into common use with the U.S. I would go to CSX, Norfolk Southern, Union Pacific, etc. and propose government subsidized passenger cars/trains on their trains to government owned stations along their routes. The routes are already there, the U.S. already has one of the largest cargo rail networks in the world. The cost would be relatively minimal for these companies, the real question is how much profit is there to be gained from it? The problem with Amtrak is its sharing the cargo rail for passenger service, essentially competing with the cargo companies on their rail. The key would be to work with these companies so that they make them a priority.

This guy was talking about HSR across the U.S., which is laughable given our population dispersion.


kynthrus t1_j9ye2ye wrote

The point is to be able to disperse the population without the inconvenience of living in buttfuck nowhere. To be able to commute from North Dakota to Seattle In more comfort than an airplane while being able to get work done


littleferrhis t1_j9ygmpw wrote

It makes no economic sense to do so. Say you have buttfuck nowhere station, and you want to bring it to buttfuck somewhere station. Buttfuck Nowhere has a population of 3000. To get to buttfuck somewhere station it is 50 miles.

For this project in California its some 200 million per mile. That’s a low estimate, but it is in Cali. So we’ll be extra gracious and call it 100 mil per mile. 100 mil per mile for 50 miles is now a 5 billion dollar project not counting upkeep. Now how are they, either the government or a business going to make a return on their investment for 3000 farmers who maybe say 50 will use it on any given day for a fee of 20 bucks(which low fees are why someone would take it over car), and that’s being gracious as well because farmers don’t really need to leave their farm every day to go to the bigger city.

Thats 1000 bucks a day for a 5 billion dollar project. 365k a year. Now how much is the for the planet excuse going to work when there’s a .000073% return on investment in the first year?

Now if we’re talking a small town with a population of 3 mil to a population of 50 mil like in China it totally makes sense to have HSR. Not in the U.S..


ray12370 t1_j9yk6m7 wrote

I don't think trains or hsr have to make any economic sense. They're a public service. The less cars they have out on the road the better.

We spend so damn much on highway maintenance here in California and no one bats an eye because it's a public service.


priznut t1_j9zjqdu wrote

I think you are way to short sighted on this.

Itd been proven that local access to transit systems pushes populations to other areas.

Like in California (where its too many people in the main bay area and LA). The incentive is to have other larger towns and cities across the I-5 absorb more of the population.

Which is happening, when Caltrain was established people started to move further south of San Jose. When bart finished their line further into the suburbs the home values for Brentwood went up as people bought homes knowing they have transit systems.

If the high speed rail completes people will move further out for cheaper homes.

Folks keep thinking trains don’t alter populations are not seeing the bigger picture.


ligerzero942 t1_ja0epc4 wrote

Failing to recognize how transit induces demand is pretty common, just look at any highway expansion "to reduce congestion" always leads to congestion occurring again in a few years due to inducement.


kynthrus t1_ja6cdmn wrote

Like I said the point is to be able to spread the population so we aren't living like roaches behind a fridge. It's not about economic growth, it's an investment in society, not economy.


littleferrhis t1_ja7qjg1 wrote

Alright then it would be a serious misallocation of funds. I’m not saying that connecting people from small towns to big cities is a silly thing for the government to do, but going with the most expensive option of doing so definitely is. The government right now operates the essential air service which does basically what you said, connects people in small towns to big cities, and it does it for over 150 small towns across the U.S.. every day as a public service. However, the EAS only spends about 350 million a year total in subsidies to these routes.

Like I said before for a 50 mile stretch of track its 5 billion with a lot of benefits of the doubt, which is over 14x that, for one single small route. Spending that for say all EAS routes, which again I’ll round out to 50 miles for each even though most are going to be significantly longer is 795 billion dollars. So sure if you want that high speed rail for the small towns to the big cities go for it, but just throw away pretty much all of the defense budget for the year on a single public service very few people are going to use hedging your bets that people will come, and that jobs won’t dry up in those cities super quickly.

You act like government aren’t economic entities. No amount of nationalization or socialism breaks you from being an economic entity. From North Korea to the U.S., money is still king. We can’t go wasting millions on expensive projects that can be done cheaper and pretty much just as conveniently.


FightOnForUsc t1_j9yohj0 wrote

And then when you get to those cities there isn’t good public transportation so you need a car. So if you’re only going a couple hundred miles it starts feeling like it makes more sense to drive. Especially if you have lots of luggage or multiple people as the costs don’t scale with the number of people in a car


kippypapa t1_j9zkeap wrote

Right. HSR isn’t cheap. I took it in Europe and there were way cheaper ways of getting around. For one, it makes sense cost wise, but once you start adding people, the prices are out of control.


kippypapa t1_j9zjn0z wrote

Totally. People don’t seem to understand that France is the size of Texas with several more major cities they can connect.

SF to LA already has a train and 90% of it goes through rural areas. Many people are saying “if it was fast, I’d go,” but that means they don’t have reason enough to go LA to SF unless it’s convenient, which means HSR won’t have a ton of ridership.


Scorch6200 t1_j9yzula wrote

Because of union fees and environmental impact studies this project will go wildly over budget in the first 10 miles and get cancelled before it gets anywhere, just like the last time California tried this


HandsyBread t1_j9x7gp6 wrote

I’m interested to know what you would classify as cheap? For example getting from LA to SF?


Jenetyk t1_j9x97s2 wrote

I mean, it's an 8 hour+ drive. If rail was even close to the cost of gas/fees, and didn't leave me dead tired upon arrival: it would be worth it. I live in San Diego, I would pay a couple hundred per person for the convenience. Japan spoiled the shit out of me for public long-run transit though.


whackwarrens t1_j9yhvqm wrote

LA to SD is like a 30min flight but the airport... Be dope to just hop on a train for an hour. You'd probably get there in the same time with no airport bs to deal with.


jpcorry t1_j9ytwjj wrote

You realize you can fly on a literal jet about an hour...from SD to SF for less than $300, right?


eh_brah t1_j9yvyg8 wrote

Yeah but a trip to the airport is literally half your day at least. Getting dropped off, TSA, waiting for an hour just for boarding and takeoff, baggage claim, etc. -- There's so much overhead in plane rides for short trips.

A bullet train from Tokyo to Osaka runs you $100 each way without any of that. Even the cheap seats are spacious, along with awesome food to boot.

Train rides can be so much more than the sad "afterthought" we've made them in America.


digit4lmind t1_j9yz5hd wrote

Saying air travel takes “about an hour” is intentionally disingenuous


AquiliferX t1_j9zrgsj wrote

It's time to start thinking about the impacts of short distance air-travel. Commercial air is the largest polluter by a longshot. Fuck them planes


Fabulous_Ad4928 t1_j9xep3r wrote

Barcelona to Madrid is a similar distance. I paid like 10-20 euros for the Ouigo and not much more for AVE and plane ticket (went back and forth a lot). They have some competition in HSR already and it shows in service and options, many trains take 2.5-3 hrs. Heck, even Uzbekistan already has a cheap and fast HSR line of a similar length!


fuck_huffman t1_j9xditr wrote

> a cheap way to get from A to B.

LAX to SFO under $100 every half hour or so


trackdaybruh t1_j9xfpyp wrote

Now getting to LAX is going to take longer than actually flying from LAX to SFO


Iz-kan-reddit t1_j9xhnk0 wrote

Then go to Burbank, Ontario, Long Beach...


trackdaybruh t1_j9xi5p8 wrote

Since they’re smaller (which means less flight), they don’t always have same day flight availability

And they tend to be more expensive than LAX


Iz-kan-reddit t1_j9yv8sb wrote

>Since they’re smaller (which means less flight), they don’t always have same day flight availability

The smaller airports fly to fewer destinations. They have enough seats for everyone who wants one to go to the bay area.

Southwest runs 13 flights from LAX to SFO, versus 10 from ONT. Plenty of seats for whomever wants one

>And they tend to be more expensive than LAX

$308 from LAX versus $348 from ONT. Factor in the pain in the ass of LAX and it's a wash, unless your time is worthless to you.


trackdaybruh t1_j9z47rq wrote

Where are you getting $40 difference? For same day flight (today) I’m getting around a $100 difference between LAX vs ONT ($450 vs $550)

And we’re moving away from the “LA to SFO for under $100” price point at this point like the OP was claiming


Iz-kan-reddit t1_j9zctq8 wrote

Actually, I think I grabbed tomorrow's prices.

As for the sub-$100, that's long gone, including HSR projected pricing.

It seems like not that long ago I'd take the ONT-SJC flights for $89 like someone would ride the local bus, but it's been twenty years.


VentureQuotes t1_j9xljqc wrote

Who knows how long for security, so arrive an hour before. Get to lax and sfo by surface car, not fun. After you land, wait however long on the tarmac because the airline doesn’t have its shit together. And jet flying is like injecting AIDS into earth’s veins


priznut t1_j9zk0uj wrote

With a family of 2 fuck that. My wife and I just drive between LA and bay area. Less than 5-6 hours and no shitty airport issues.

When that train is available I’m the first one to disney land.


shockwave1211 t1_j9xrp6x wrote

going to Japan and being able to get nearly anywhere via train has made me bitter about the state of transportation In CA. you either pay a (usually exhorbant) fee to fly from places like LA to SF, or you tank the 6 hour drive and put miles on your car or pay up for a rental. Being able to travel across the entirety of Japan in 4 hours kinda blew my mind


lil_hyphy t1_j9yo25z wrote

Flying and driving are also exhausting in each their own ways. My experience going long distances by train or bus was much less tiring. Would like to not feel like shit when I get to my destination.


kippypapa t1_j9zj2ki wrote

We already have many ways to get anywhere in the state. Amtrak exists, also many commuter trains. Planes, ferries, subways, busses. People still prefer to drive because it’s cheaper if you’re a family and more convenient.