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elb401

Rail system

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Were there plans to built a high speed train system in the US? With all the growth in the metros in the south do ya'll think it would be a good plan to help ease the traffic on the interstates?

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You might want to check out the transit treads in the North Carolina section as there is a lot of info posted there in the NC, Triangle and Charlotte sections about the South East High Speed Rail System. Generally the Federal government has designated a number of high speed rail corridors in the USA but has made little money available so far to do much about it. That is being left to the states. There is a provision in the Senate now that would assist the states with funding a system.

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I don't get it....why a rail for that section of Arkansas? Is it to travel the scenic sections?

Come check out the Arkansas forum, and you'll see why.

For those who don't know much about Northwest Arkansas, we have a MSA of around 400,000 with companies Wal-Mart Stores, J.B. Hunt, and Tyson Foods based in the area. Along with thousands of vendor based jobs for Wal-Mart, the University of Arkansas has an enrollment of around 18,000.

We don't need a light rail right now, but they want to start construction on it soon, so that in 15 or so years when we do need it, it will be there for use.

By 2020, The MSA of Northwest Arkansas is supposed to be around 650,000+.

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It's comendable they wish to get the jump on it now but an area of only 400k - 650k isn't exactly stat-tastic (yeah, I made that up) for rail trasnport.

How dense is that population?

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I wish it would become a reality. Amtrak is way too slow. It would be nice to have a system like in Europe here. with trains running at 200 mph and the gas prices the way they are, it would be nice....I would think.

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It's comendable they wish to get the jump on it now but an area of only 400k - 650k isn't exactly stat-tastic (yeah, I made that up) for rail trasnport.

How dense is that population?

Sparse. Realistically Northwest Arkansas is not a good target for a light rail system right now, they don't really have a decent bus system in place. Like every other place in the country, though, there's talk. Little Rock has a downtown trolley system that's nice but it's not being expanded outside of the downtown area. I live in Dallas and the DART light rail system here is quite good but doesn't reach much of the city. There's good info on it on the Dallas board under a thread called "DART".

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Back to what started the thread - high-speed rail. I personally think it's a boondoggle as Amtrak ridership is abysmal and we're heavily subsidizing it. The best place for it was the state were it was transiently approved, Florida, where tourists traveling between Orlando, Miami, Tampa Bay, etc would be more prone to utilize it. The problem is you would still end up needing to travel by car or taxi to your destination once you arrived there. As a Southeastern Regional network it would cost more money than flying, for one, and it would still take quite a while to travel from Dallas to Atlanta, New Orleans to Miami, Wash DC to Houston, etc. I'm not sure it would he utilized.

I lived in the UK (Oxford) for a year and traveled around Europe some. The problem is that over there with trains, buses, and on foot you could reach anywhere without walking more than a couple of blocks. If you take the train here between cities there is usually insufficient public transportation at your destination. In Europe you could truly be "carless" and in the U.S. the distances involved amongst as well as within metros just seem to make trains impractical.

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North Carolina is working to rectify this problem.

It has been running its own passenger train network for a little over 10 years and ridership rises every month. There is also work to build or rennovate every station were it stops in the state to attach it to multimodal transport. There is a new station in Greensboro that just opened that connects to the city bus system, taxis and the local transit system when it is built. In Charlotte ground is gettring ready to break on a new station in the center city that will also have access to the commuter rail system, streetcars, amtrak, city buses, Greyhound, and eventually high speed rail. Similar stations are under construction in Durham and planned for Raleigh.

toppiedmont.jpg

topcarolinian.jpg

Planning for high speed rail is in the works and will use the same route as those shown above except that it is being extended to Washington DC. Virginia is a partner in this and the route is currently being designed an ROW being purchased and set aside. On the NC side, the NCDOT is making grade crossing improvements and other changes that will allow for HSR.

This is a map of the SEHSR system and will most likely be the next line built in the USA.

sehsrmap.gif

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I don't get it....why a rail for that section of Arkansas? Is it to travel the scenic sections?

There may not be a great need for a light rail now but if we don't start planning now many fear it will be too expensive to impliment when we do need one. Northwest Arkansas is one of the fastest growing areas of the country.

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I don't see anything wrong with "small" metropoltan areas trying to start up their own light/commuter rail systems. The sooner, the better.

Huntsville is just beginning to talk about a commuter rail line between Decatur and Huntsville, and a possible light rail line from downtown to the Tennessee River. Unfortunately, the state does not fund mass transit, so it will not happen for another 30-40 years. By then, we should be close to 1 million.

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I think it's crazy for any metro of less than a million to attempt and even in very large metros such as Dallas (DART) or Atlanta (MARTA) it's going to be a big money-loser, though it will slightly improve traffic.

The key to a successful light rail system is to have an excellent existing bus network. Few people are going to be fortunate enough to work within a couple blocks of a station and most will live even further, meaning most will have to drive or ride a bus to a rail station and then catch a bus when they deboard the train. To make that practical you need a very efficient network of buses or possibly a trolley-like system downtown.

Cities like Dallas and Atlanta already had this infrastructure in place which made their light rail work when it was implemented. Again, though, it is a big financial drain.

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Atlanta has a heavy rail system, not light rail. Dallas really should have gone the heavy rail route as well.

I knew that, my brother lives in Marietta, just not phrasing things correctly.

I'm not sure rail will really work all that well in the Dallas metro in any case. There is so much exurbia and it lacks the radial nature Atlanta has. There are two separate major downtowns in Dallas and Ft Worth that need access and most of the population lives between the two cities or north of them as far as 50 miles. Cities on a wheel spoke arrangement work so much better.

The Trinity Rail Express, which connects Ft Worth and Dallas and the mid-cities of Irving and Arlington is heavy rail, FWIW.

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Actually, light/commuter rail works fine and has been pretty successful in metro Dallas so far. It would take several additional years and billions of more dollars (in an anti-rail country) to construct a heavy rail system the current size of DART.

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Actually, light/commuter rail works fine and has been pretty successful in metro Dallas so far. It would take several additional years and billions of more dollars (in an anti-rail country) to construct a heavy rail system the current size of DART.

I like DART but there are vast portions of the city it doesn't reach. I live in the city of Dallas proper and the nearest DART is 7 miles from me. I also work near downtown and there is no DART line to the medical center where I work (or within 2 miles), despite the fact it is a massive place employing 12k people.

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