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beeninAL, June 7, 2008
Posted June 7, 2008
Posted June 9, 2008
Lots of good questions there, I don't have the answers though. I would like to say I believe one of the biggest things holding back high-speed rail in the US is our antiquated regulations on train designs. For instance the high-speed trains running in Europe are not legal here in the US.
Posted June 9, 2009
I didn't know that Mike. Do you know what exactly it is that makes it illegal in the US??
I will attempt to answer your questions based on my experience with riding the various Shinkasen lines in Japan along with other research that I have done.
Video of N700. Note the older 700 series that pulls in beside it before it takes off. You can notice the immense size and power of these trains as it pulls out of the station.
Posted June 11, 2009
Thanks monsoon for the info!!
Posted June 12, 2009
It's hard to pinpoint an exact regulation that makes them illegal, but it has mostly to do with the weight and structural integrity of the trains themselves. American railroad regulations are biased towards heavy freight trains - passenger trains must be able to withstand collisions with heavy freight trains with little structural deformation. This means that it is next to impossible to make lightweight, efficient high speed trains for the US. Acela, which is really based on European designs, had to be significantly strengthened, this added so much weight that it was impossible to make it go as fast as trains in Europe do.
Posted July 11, 2009
If you are really interested in HSR visit Amtrak Unlimited Forum for lots of discussion on the topic.
Posted August 16, 2009
[*]I am not sure if the USPS uses trains for mail delivery. Seems to me they either use trucks or planes.
I am not sure about USPS, but UPS does use what is referred to as TOFC (Trailer on Flat Car). Basically, some of the trailers that you see on the interstate can be dislodged from it's subframe and placed on a flat railcar two high. Many cross country packages are transported this way.
In the "postal facts" section on the USPS site, they state that they use the following methods for mail transportation:
"planes, trains, trucks, cars, boats, ferries, helicopters, subways, float planes, hovercrafts, T-3s, street cars, mules, bicycles and human feet"
You can find this here: http://www.usps.com/communications/newsroom/postalfacts.htm
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