Africa's first high speed train : The Al-Boraq across Morocco at 320 km/h

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MARC Rider

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Ah, recruiting the German rocket brains at gunpoint is a lot different to stealing their ideas...
I don't think Americans "get" irony? :cool:
I don't think they needed gunpoint to recruit the German rocket scientists. At the time their choice was either working for the Soviets or being a defendant in a war crimes trial. I recall reading the Werner von Braun made considerable effort to make sure he was captured by the Americans rather than by the Russians. (Although I think there were some German rocket experts who did end up working for the Russians.)
 

cirdan

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"Copying" the German rocket program? They recruited as much of the staff as they could, after the war. Think Werner von Braun, "It's not my department where they come down." And many more, not so well known. Search "Operation Paperclip" for more information.
For a certain value of "recruiting".

As in, do you want to go on trial for war crimes or do you want to work for us?

When Werner von Braun claimed to have known nothing about the slave labor that was used in the Dora Mittelbau factory, they just believed him and didn't ask any further questions. I wonder if they would have been as lenient if he had refused to work for them.
 

cirdan

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I dont think its accurate to compare Redstone, Atlas, or Saturn to a V-2. Yes, people were brought in from Germany for the experience they possessed - but the ultimate product was vastly superior.
Given that they had 20 years or so to develop the technology and billions of dollars to do so, it would have been a scandal if the end result had not been vastly superior.
 

MARC Rider

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I mean, real data vs wishful thinking... The biggest being freedom. In a car I can go where I want, when I want. I can't do that with ANY other form of transportation. Next would be private flying.
Yeah, you can go where you want when you want .... and get stuck in a traffic jam!

For a lot of reasons, the ability to travel on one's own schedule is unsustainable, at least for the vast majority of the population. (Excepting, of course, trips than can be done on foot or by bicycle.) Unfortunately, we have no leadership willing to tell the American public that if they are serious about avoiding the worst that global warming will bring and if they still want to have some mobility and be able to travel, they're going to have to mostly give up the ability to travel on their own schedule. I'm not holding my breath that this will happen.
 

neroden

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And that was not the only thing. The German enthrallment with mechanical complexity hurt them in many ways during the war, thankfully. Read up on Rommel's operations in North Africa. The German tank's issues with the desert climate and the maintenance effort necessary to keep them functional was a major factor in his ultimate defeat. In contrast, the US tanks were mechanically simple using multiple automobile engines that most GI's know how to play with. Read up on the German invasion of the Soviet Union.
Don't get me started on how the US military now has the problem which the German military had then. Already by Vietnam, the US was using overly complicated technology prone to jamming, and Ho Chi Minh was using ultrareliable technology. The US military has learned nothing from this.
 

neroden

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I mean, real data vs wishful thinking... The biggest being freedom. In a car I can go where I want, when I want.
False. If you're tired, ill, suffering from blurred vision, or have had an alcoholic drink ... driving your personal car is illegal and dangerous. You can, however, take a train, where paid professionals will drive it.

I suppose "employer of private limo with agency full of drivers" might have actual freedom. Do you have one of those? Didn't think so.
 

George Harris

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Ah, recruiting the German rocket brains at gunpoint is a lot different to stealing their ideas...
I don't think Americans "get" irony? :cool:
The US didn't have to compel anything. The German rocket scientists came to the US with enthusiasm. Now, for the Soviet Union, that was a different story. They did scarf up all the German scientists of all flavors they could get their hands on and gave them no choice of destination.
 
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George Harris

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Don't get me started on how the US military now has the problem which the German military had then. Already by Vietnam, the US was using overly complicated technology prone to jamming, and Ho Chi Minh was using ultrareliable technology. The US military has learned nothing from this.
I agree totally with this one. In the construction unit I was in, if we could get much over half our equipment out on the job we were doing good, although there was some suspicion that the leader of our company's maintenance platoon was trying to increase the perception of his value. I was running around in a barely reliable jeep that had a plate on the dash that stated the contract price as being something like $3,126, while at the same time I could walk onto a car lot in the US and buy an AMC Jeep for $2,600 or thereabouts that would be a lot more reliable. Finding that when you signed for it you were responsible for any damages led to the joke of, now we know why the captain goes down with his ship. The NVA was also very good at improvision.
 

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Is this line also funded and built by the Chinese Communist Construction Company? I hear many of the African nations that have relied on China's investment owe them heavily.
Selling and leveraging an unpayable debt burden sounds more like crony capitalism to me.

I mean, real data vs wishful thinking... The biggest being freedom. In a car I can go where I want, when I want. I can't do that with ANY other form of transportation. Next would be private flying.
So back when you lived in Japan you ignored trains and simply drove everywhere?
 

jis

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I mean, real data vs wishful thinking... The biggest being freedom. In a car I can go where I want, when I want. I can't do that with ANY other form of transportation. Next would be private flying.
Only if there are no obstacles that the vaunted car cannot cross in the way :D like say - the Pacific Ocean :p
 

caravanman

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Gosh, talk about "mission creep" !
I just used the US using German know how as an example of one state using another's technology in reply to someone saying the Chinese had copied Japanese train design. No train from the "Rocket" design onwards failed to build on a previous design?
 

cirdan

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Years back when I was working for the L&N there was a letter circulating in the office that had been written at the time it was done describing how they regauged the Nashville to Birmingham main line from 5'-0" to 4'-8 1/2" in one day. That is 210 miles of main track in one day done in something like1880.
I assume infinite oodles of preparatory work went in before that though, so you can't really compare.
 
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cirdan

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False. If you're tired, ill, suffering from blurred vision, or have had an alcoholic drink ... driving your personal car is illegal and dangerous. You can, however, take a train, where paid professionals will drive it.

I suppose "employer of private limo with agency full of drivers" might have actual freedom. Do you have one of those? Didn't think so.
Anecdote here.

Reminds me of a conversation I once had when visiting a relative who has bought a farm in Hungary. One of the guys who helps on the farm was sitting with us. This was a guy in his mid 60ies from a nearby village. A very poor guy who never had much formal education or ever had any proper job but got through life with a mix of various side activities. Not all of them entirely above board and he had done quite a few years in prison. But in his maturer years he had become law abiding and respected and everybody trusted him 100%. He was telling us he was unable to drive because the police had taken away his driver's license for drunken driving. And they wouldn't let him use his motorbike either. But he said he rode his horse everywhere as apparently they can't stop you being drunk on horseback.
 

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False. If you're tired, ill, suffering from blurred vision, or have had an alcoholic drink ... driving your personal car is illegal and dangerous. You can, however, take a train, where paid professionals will drive it.

I suppose "employer of private limo with agency full of drivers" might have actual freedom. Do you have one of those? Didn't think so.
You could replace every paved road with rail and you still wouldn't come close to the freedom of travel as you have now because YOU don't have control - you delegate that control to that "professional driver". You can't straw man your argument with minority excuses. Almost every municipality in this country of any significant size has some sort of public transit, yet almost every time I see a city bus, it's practically empty. And when they are crowded (before COVID), the driver would call over crowding preventing new passengers when you could still literally spin in place.

And I say all this with empathy to the cause of rail. I driver Uber. I avoid Orlando like the plague because I-4 is Disney's largest slow-ride. And we haven't even fully opened up to foreign visitors yet. Orlando NEEDS a light rail system. Even with SunRail, public transit is woefully inadequate. I'm so freakin' excited about Brightline, even though they aren't designed to service me. I suffer through temporary inconveniences because I'm excited for the future. But riding it would be pointless on any grand scale. I can't ride it to the grocery store or to work. I may get to use it once a year to get to the airport after driving half way there just to get to the train station.

Finally, all things considered, I'd rather spend an hour in traffic in my private [hybrid] car listening to MY music than spending that hour in a crowded train that gets me 3/4 of the way home smelling that guy that had that alcoholic drink and maybe even his puke. Been there, done that. Spent many rides on the Japanese rail circuit after 10 PM with drunks who hate white people - after which I got to walk the last 10-15 minutes home.

There's a place for everything, but to say that rail benefits more individuals than highways and therefore shouldn't get the NIMBY reaction is does is just flat wrong. And see those massive concrete walls on the edge of the highways in neighborhoods? That's unreported NIMBY action realized by those opposed to highways. They are there, too.
 

VentureForth

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Selling and leveraging an unpayable debt burden sounds more like crony capitalism to me.
China fully embraces capitalism for the Party, just not for the individual.

So back when you lived in Japan you ignored trains and simply drove everywhere?
Of course not. And most of time it was great. But not so great was being squished and packed like a sardine, or subject to the vomit and smell of whiskey and beer marinated office workers. On an average day, of my 1.5 hour commute each way, 1/3 of that time was walking. And guess what? If we missed a train, my dad would have to drive us to school (on highways) to get us there on time.

In my nearly 15+ years of being a part of this forum community, I have never shown any dislike to rail. However, I have and will most likely continue to believe that in the USA the population density outside the NEC doesn't support a rail-over-highway priority to serve its citizens.
 

AmtrakMaineiac

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Getting back to the original subject of the thread :)
I just happened to have watched Simply Railway's video of the Al Boraq last night. It is pretty impressive, I realize it is basically the TGV transplanted to North Africa and the vaunted 300+ kph is only achieved for a portion of the run. Also I imagine the political structure is much different in Morocco and thereby easier for them to build something like this unlike in the US where you have layers of political jurisdiction (federal, state. county, city) and a litigation happy population of NIMBY's. Still you have to give them credit for achieving this.
 

Ziv

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To take the thread jack one bit further off topic, I haven't seen any discussion about how the US stole... Err... Recruited some of the top Canadian aerospace engineers when the Avro Arrow was cancelled in 1959. Sometimes it seemed like the Apollo program was a who's who of Canada's top engineers.
Actually the Avro Arrow is a sad tale. I would have loved to see the Avro Arrow in production. It would have been an F-106 on steroids if the Iroquois engine had worked as planned...
 

jis

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Here is a nice article on the current state of play on the Egyptian HSR construction project:

 

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You can't straw man your argument with minority excuses. Almost every municipality in this country of any significant size has some sort of public transit, yet almost every time I see a city bus, it's practically empty.
What you either miss or choose to ignore is that auto-centric zoning kills the usefulness of many public transit systems. A bus offers little benefit if it gets stuck in the same clumsy traffic jam as private vehicles. In a rational system public traffic is given priority in order to maintain a reliable and efficient schedule.

In my nearly 15+ years of being a part of this forum community, I have never shown any dislike to rail. However, I have and will most likely continue to believe that in the USA the population density outside the NEC doesn't support a rail-over-highway priority to serve its citizens.
How do you explain the time before highways? The US was far less dense with many more trains going every which way at all times of day and night. If we had zoned our cities for a network of high speed rail and metro systems instead of highways and freeways most of us would be using those today.

I'd rather spend an hour in traffic in my private [hybrid] car listening to MY music than spending that hour in a crowded train that gets me 3/4 of the way home smelling that guy that had that alcoholic drink and maybe even his puke. [...] But not so great was being squished and packed like a sardine, or subject to the vomit and smell of whiskey and beer marinated office workers.
I just find it curious that someone so traumatized from obnoxious foul smelling passengers has no problem becoming an Uber driver.
 
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George Harris

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I assume infinite oodles of preparatory work went in before that though, so you can't really compare.
(Above in reference to my statement that, "Years back when I was working for the L&N there was a letter circulating in the office that had been written at the time it was done describing how they regauged the Nashville to Birmingham main line from 5'-0" to 4'-8 1/2" in one day. That is 210 miles of main track in one day done in something like1880."

To the contrary, the letter went into considerable detail concerning preparation and follow up. Yes, "oodles of preparatory work was involved, however, after reading that letter, actually several page memorandum, it made the inability of the German Army to make faster progress across Russia even less comprehensible. Remember, they had the entire invasion force to do the work..
 

neroden

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In my nearly 15+ years of being a part of this forum community, I have never shown any dislike to rail. However, I have and will most likely continue to believe that in the USA the population density outside the NEC doesn't support a rail-over-highway priority to serve its citizens.
I'll just repeat the fact that Ohio has a higher population density than France. France supports a rail-over-highway priority; Ohio should too.

I certainly believe that there is a population density below which rail does not really work, and this applies to depopulated states such as most of Wyoming and most of Idaho.

But most of the US population lives in places where the population density DOES support a rail-over-highway priority. Like Ohio. But Ohio continues to support highways over rail. Same with Florida, which is also plenty dense enough to prioritize rail over highways.

To get back on topic, Morocco is an interesting example, because where the people live, it again has the same high population density. (Like Ohio. Or Florida.) They aren't building the trains out into the nomad-occupied desert, they're building them between the dense mostly-coastal cities.
 
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