CAHSR Alignment to San Francisco

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MARC Rider

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Apr 5, 2011
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It sounds like they're doing the right thing with the blended tracks to get the trains into the city. But some people can't be satisfied, I guess:

"Nevertheless, it seemed like several people visiting the meeting were disappointed by the politics and compromises. “I want a better future,” said TR, who lives in San Francisco. “I want to be able to go between San Francisco and Los Angeles and have a smaller environmental impact.”

So he won't be able to go between SF and LA if the train takes a couple of minutes longer? As for environmental impact, the faster the train runs, the greater the GHG emissions. Power requirements increase as a cube of the velocity. So maybe you don't really need a train that goes 200 mph. They don't need instantaneous travel between the two cities, they just have to be competitive with other modes of transport. And given our lack of political will to pay the big bucks needed for these kinds of infrastructure projects, maybe a slower, cheaper train is a better idea.

Sometimes I wish they would teach basic engineering principles in K-12 educations, stuff about how all designs are compromises and to suck it up and learn to live with it.
 

jis

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I think those few should really hold out for the Teleporter ROTFL :D
 

cirdan

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Mar 30, 2011
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So he won't be able to go between SF and LA if the train takes a couple of minutes longer? As for environmental impact, the faster the train runs, the greater the GHG emissions. Power requirements increase as a cube of the velocity. So maybe you don't really need a train that goes 200 mph. They don't need instantaneous travel between the two cities, they just have to be competitive with other modes of transport. And given our lack of political will to pay the big bucks needed for these kinds of infrastructure projects, maybe a slower, cheaper train is a better idea.
The acceleration burns way much more energy than cruising at any speed. So pulling a train over into a passing track, only to accelerate it back to full speed is much more harmful for the environment than just having the same train plod along.​
 

leemell

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Solar arrays, wind turbine farms, hydroelectric (dams in the Sierra Nevadas)
 

Anderson

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Nov 16, 2010
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Which I agree with, though IIRC there have been issues with overall power generation figures. I was more drawing a line under the fact that HSR powered by, say, coal or gas at least has less of an edge on that front.
 
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