Vancouver-Portland HSR proposed

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CHamilton

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High speed train proposed between Portland and Vancouver

Proposed commuter train would at travel at 290 km/h and cost more that $18B

A group based in Portland is lobbying local governments for a high speed train that would connect the Cascadia region, from Vancouver to Portland.


The proposed train would take passengers from Greater Vancouver to Seattle in less than an hour, and to Portland in less than two.

"It would be over 180 miles [290 kilometres] per hour and it would be on … it it's own corridor separate from freight rail," Brad Perkins — the co-founder and CEO of Cascadia High Speed Rail told The Early Edition's Rick Cluff.

Perkins said it would take a public-private partnership to fund the train, and the first phase of construction would only run between Seattle and Portland, which would cost from $18 billion to $22 billion, according to Perkins.

The second phase would continue the line into B.C.
 

Bob Dylan

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Is this some of the X-Train to Vegas hustlers trying to suck in investors for another HSR rail venture that will never ride the rails?

PT Barnum was right!
 

Anderson

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While technically "More than $1b" includes "$18-22b", the two numbers carry far different connotations.
 

afigg

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Seems like this is the annual "Let us propose a high speed rail bonanza" time. :)
The start of new legislative sessions in most states and at the federal level would be the main reason for the rush of new transportation project proposals.
 

Anderson

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Also...is it just me or in spite of a date of 2011 on it does that site seem to have stumbled off of Geocities somehow?
 

XHRTSP

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I've ridden between SEA and PDX a few times now, and it seems like it'd be 'easy', ie as easy as these things can be with a whole bunch of money available. But going north, SEA to YVR, how the hell is that going to happen without either a bunch of tunnels and/or tearing through neighborhoods and towns?
 

jis

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British Columbia is on board the Cascadia project.

http://globalnews.ca/news/1772495/is-a-high-speed-rail-between-portland-and-vancouver-on-track/

Nathan Pachel is right in that the region needs accelerated rail in the short term, but I think HSR in the corridor would provide a good long term benefit.

It's also an easy jump to the CA HSR via Eugene, Grants Pass and Redding, providing single-seat through service.
May I ponder a bit about how anyone could reach the conclusion that BC is on board of anything, based on the material presented? How on earth did you reach that profound conclusion? How much money has BC committed to anything?
 

SarahZ

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Also...is it just me or in spite of a date of 2011 on it does that site seem to have stumbled off of Geocities somehow?
I say Angelfire. ;) It also needs some heavy proofreading.

I'm not trying to be mean. I just feel that if an organization wants to be taken seriously, they need to make sure everything is presented professionally (i.e. no typos, no apostrophes for plural words, etc.). My boss rejected two resumes the other day because they contained misspelled words.
 

jis

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Seems like this is the annual "Let us propose a high speed rail bonanza" time. :)
Followed by AU's "Let us mock and ridicule the proposal" time? :)
Specially if they worthy of ridicule. :) There unfortunately are more such than is ideally desirable. No we should not be looking for perfection. But OTOH, we should be striving for perfect imperfections either. ;)
 
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Why not go for 110-125 MPH speeds, electrify the Cascades routing, perhaps adding another track, and use electric motors on the Cascades Service? It'd likely be cheaper than dedicated routing and 180 MPH. I think these people are really trying to go too fast too quickly, especially in a difficult region to build track in. It'd be better to establish a routing with 90-125 before looking at 180+ mph routings.
 

Tokkyu40

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Why not go for 110-125 MPH speeds, electrify the Cascades routing, perhaps adding another track, and use electric motors on the Cascades Service? It'd likely be cheaper than dedicated routing and 180 MPH. I think these people are really trying to go too fast too quickly, especially in a difficult region to build track in. It'd be better to establish a routing with 90-125 before looking at 180+ mph routings.
Why should it be either-or? HSR would be a long project so it would have to start now, but even after it's finished an accelerated DEMU service on the old line would be valuable.

That could be done now and provide early benefits while the HSR project is being developed.
 

Anderson

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Why not go for 110-125 MPH speeds, electrify the Cascades routing, perhaps adding another track, and use electric motors on the Cascades Service? It'd likely be cheaper than dedicated routing and 180 MPH. I think these people are really trying to go too fast too quickly, especially in a difficult region to build track in. It'd be better to establish a routing with 90-125 before looking at 180+ mph routings.
Why should it be either-or? HSR would be a long project so it would have to start now, but even after it's finished an accelerated DEMU service on the old line would be valuable.

That could be done now and provide early benefits while the HSR project is being developed.
Also, doesn't electrification allow quicker acceleration (and deceleration as well)?

While we're at it, what is a decent threshold for electrifying a line in terms of service levels? Hourly service? Twice-hourly?
 

jis

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As a data point Gene Skorpowski's outfit at AAF Florida have determined that it is not cost effective to electrify the Miami - Orlando infrastructure for hourly service to Orlando and half hourly service to WPB. The former at 125mph and 110mph part of the way, the latter at 80mph.

Yes, you can get better acceleration and given the profile of the Cascade Corridor, if the roughly 15 minutes or so - the possible gain in running time (very optimistically) due to better acceleration will yield that significant an additional revenue stream to justify electrification, then I suppose it should be considered. I don't know what the margin was in the analysis done by AAF, so I have no basis for saying definitely this way or that.

Another argument in favor of electrification in the Cascades is the abundant availability of hydro-electricity. From and environmental point such renewable energy source is desirable. however, how you include that in the cost benefit analysis is always an interesting challenge. Similarly in Florida the abundance of Solar energy should be a consideration considering the the electric utilities are actually setting up Solar facilities. But Solar does require top off capacity to be in place for those stormy days.
 

Anderson

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If I had to guess, at least part of AAF's calculation was down to the fact that you'd effectively have an electric line Orlando-Cocoa-Miami while still having a diesel line Cocoa-Jacksonville, meaning that FEC would be stuck with a mixed fleet in a relatively small system.

Of course, the highly express-focused model of AAF (not to mention the extremely straight RoW) means the trains won't be starting and stopping much vis-a-vis the situation in the Northwest. One other factor was likely actually having to pay for the entire project themselves, too...knocking 2-5 minutes off of trip time simply wouldn't be worth the cost (at $4.8m per route-mile, which seems to be what SCAG came up with, AAF would have to shell out about $1.15bn...which would be a massive increase in the project cost from their perspective.

To be fair, if they were going for electrification I would assume that they'd be looking to go with something faster than 125 MPH Cocoa-Orlando (something in the 150 MPH range would work well), but the time savings just aren't there if the Cocoa-Miami line isn't also improved...and FEC isn't about to dump its freight business.
 
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jis

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Actually even in the northwest, there really are not that many stops. on an average there is a stop every 30 miles or so. What is more interesting is the gradient profile where electric shines because of the ability to reuse regenerated energy across the entire network, not just locally in the locomotive where it is generated. Remember Amtrak's claim that the ACS 64s would be paid for in saved energy costs in some relatively few years due to their ability to do regenerative braking down to something like 5 or 7mph?
 

Anderson

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Actually even in the northwest, there really are not that many stops. on an average there is a stop every 30 miles or so. What is more interesting is the gradient profile where electric shines because of the ability to reuse regenerated energy across the entire network, not just locally in the locomotive where it is generated. Remember Amtrak's claim that the ACS 64s would be paid for in saved energy costs in some relatively few years due to their ability to do regenerative braking down to something like 5 or 7mph?
I had forgotten that little detail, actually. Quite interesting...though that's another case where Florida doesn't shine compared to the Northwest (since Florida is...well, flat).
 

jis

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Actually even in the northwest, there really are not that many stops. on an average there is a stop every 30 miles or so. What is more interesting is the gradient profile where electric shines because of the ability to reuse regenerated energy across the entire network, not just locally in the locomotive where it is generated. Remember Amtrak's claim that the ACS 64s would be paid for in saved energy costs in some relatively few years due to their ability to do regenerative braking down to something like 5 or 7mph?
I had forgotten that little detail, actually. Quite interesting...though that's another case where Florida doesn't shine compared to the Northwest (since Florida is...well, flat).
But Amtrak's claim was on the NEC which isn't exactly mountainous. But one of the banes of NEC is the inability to run a train at some constant speed for any reasonable distance. There are numerous speed restrictions all over the place which means trains have to brake and then speed up again as quickly as possible. Which is where electrics shine again. AAF would have a similar situation between Miami and Cocoa, but not so much from Cocoa to Orlando.
 
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Anderson

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Actually even in the northwest, there really are not that many stops. on an average there is a stop every 30 miles or so. What is more interesting is the gradient profile where electric shines because of the ability to reuse regenerated energy across the entire network, not just locally in the locomotive where it is generated. Remember Amtrak's claim that the ACS 64s would be paid for in saved energy costs in some relatively few years due to their ability to do regenerative braking down to something like 5 or 7mph?
I had forgotten that little detail, actually. Quite interesting...though that's another case where Florida doesn't shine compared to the Northwest (since Florida is...well, flat).
But Amtrak's claim was on the NEC which isn't exactly mountainous. But one of the banes of NEC is the inability to run a train at some constant speed for any reasonable distance. There are numerous speed restrictions all over the place which means trains have to brake and then speed up again as quickly as possible. Which is where electrics shine again. AAF would have a similar situation between Miami and Cocoa, but not so much from Cocoa to Orlando.
I thought that it would mostly be MIA-WPB? From WPB onwards I've been under the impression that service would be pretty close to 110 MPH most of the way.

Also as another thought...stops on the Cascades lines may only be every 30 miles or so, but at the moment on AAF you're looking at a gap of over 150 miles WPB-Orlando (and technically an average distance between stops of 80 miles...though again, the distances are more like 40-40-160 or something like that). Granted, AAF will likely add some stops over time, but not even the most express Acela has that few stops.
 

Paulus

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Also, doesn't electrification allow quicker acceleration (and deceleration as well)?

While we're at it, what is a decent threshold for electrifying a line in terms of service levels? Hourly service? Twice-hourly?
Depends on who pays for the capital costs. The maintenance costs are paid for with just a few frequencies a day, but the lowered fuel and train maintenance expenses never really end up paying for the cost of installing the overhead and new locomotives/train sets. Higher passenger ridership and revenue might, but that's going to be route dependent.
 

jis

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I thought that it would mostly be MIA-WPB? From WPB onwards I've been under the impression that service would be pretty close to 110 MPH most of the way.

Also as another thought...stops on the Cascades lines may only be every 30 miles or so, but at the moment on AAF you're looking at a gap of over 150 miles WPB-Orlando (and technically an average distance between stops of 80 miles...though again, the distances are more like 40-40-160 or something like that). Granted, AAF will likely add some stops over time, but not even the most express Acela has that few stops.
There are long stretched of 90mph or less through areas like Melbourne, Rockledge etc. Lots and lots of pesky little curves, and in places a grade crossing every 200 yards and such.
 
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