Survey on HSR

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flitcraft

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 10, 2018
Messages
945
I had just logged onto E-rewards to see if they might have a survey for me (I need to keep some hotel points active!) and what I got was a survey from WashDOT on my preferences with regard to high speed train models in the Vancouver BC to Portland corridor. They seem to be trying to judge preferences on frequency of service, cost of service, and speed of service in comparison to air flights. What I found interesting--and frankly perplexing--is that they were also comparing preference for 'ordinary' HST with Maglev trains and Hyper-loop.  It's going to be hard enough to get support for any HST trains, but the budget-busting consequences of committing to Maglev or Hyperloop would seem to doom any project from the beginning. 

Still, it was good to see they are at least doing some due diligence with survey respondents who have had experience with both planes and trains in that corridor. 
 

cpotisch

Engineer
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Sep 2, 2017
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Brooklyn, NY
Did it actually call the Cascades high speed rail? It isn't even higher speed rail, let alone full on HSR.
 

flitcraft

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 10, 2018
Messages
945
No, it didn't refer to the Cascades as HSR.  For each option it described a hypothetical train. I think it defined the standard HST as averaging speeds of 150 mph, the Maglev as averaging 225 mph, and the Hyperloop as 350 mph.  I am probably off a bit, as I'm working from memory, but those are approximately the options.

The survey also asked about whether in the last twelve months you'd taken non-HSTs like the Cascades, whether you'd flown Seattle to Vancouver or Seattle to Portland, and asked about door-to-door times for each (including waiting and security check times, and time getting to and from the airport or station).   

Among the other questions asked was this set: How much would you expect a one-way ticket between Seattle and Vancouver/Portland to cost on each high speed option?  How much would you be willing to pay for a one way ticket on each option?  I was tempted to undershoot how much I'd be willing to pay (why encourage them to price tickets high?) but then I realized that I didn't want to suggest that HST would be unworkable because it wouldn't attract enough fee-paying passengers to offset at least some of the costs.   So I said I'd be willing to pay 100 bucks each way--and actually, I think I would. I really hate flying on those Q400 planes!
 

cpotisch

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Sep 2, 2017
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I really hate flying on those Q400 planes!
You don't like Q400s? I love them. Mainly because they have quite a lot of space by regional plane standards, they accelerate pretty quickly on takeoff, and the landing gear is completely visible to passengers which, for me at least, is quite a cool thing to be able to watch. But I digress. ;)
 

Maglev

Conductor
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Sep 4, 2016
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Orcas Island, Washington
One problem with this corridor is that parts of it are extremely susceptible to sea-level rise.  An expensive solution is an elevated concrete viaduct, but then you might as well build maglev.  (The cost of maglev is comparable to the high-end cost of high-speed rail).  I see capacity restraints to hyperloop--but we'll see how it works in LA!
 

Anderson

Engineer
Joined
Nov 16, 2010
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9,691
Location
Virginia
The main issue with Maglev (vs "regular" HSR) is that it requires a near-bespoke solution, whereas with "regular" HSR you can basically pull stuff off the shelf (at least, with the new equipment standards).
 
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