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Shinkansen vs Tgv vs Ice (The Battle of High Speed
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   Author  Topic: Shinkansen vs Tgv vs Ice (The Battle of High Speed  (Read 1117 times)
George_Harris
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Re: Shinkansen vs Tgv vs Ice (The Battle of High S
 
« Reply #20 on: Nov 7th, 2006, 3:29am »
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At 300 km/h, the train covers a mile in 19.3 seconds, so you do not have a lot of time to figure out what to do when you see one.  If in the middle, trying to get across the tracks to the side is probably suicidal.  In fact the basic simple rule here is that NO ONE is to be within the trackbed area, including walkways, during normal operations.  There is a nice walkway on each side, but it is for evacuation and the maintenance people clearing up for the passage of maintenance equipment, which will obviously be going much slower.  
 
If someone were to be caught on the viaduct or in tunnels, even if they are on the walkway they should still lie down, with their feet toward the train.  If anything is being blown along, it is better to lose a foot rather than your head.  If between the tracks, definitely lie down and in case of trains from both directions, put your arms over your head.  You are almost certainly going to be peppered with dirt, maybe small rocks, any lose items floating in the air, and possibly dismembered bird bodies.  By now all trains have bird splats on their noses.  Roosting on the overhead wires had become a favorite bird pastime between completion of the overhead and starting of train trials.
 
I have no intention of ever experimentally finding out what it is like to be close to a train passing at 300 km/h.  All stations have the platforms adjacent to side tracks and height of train barriers between the paltform tracks and the through tracks, so there will be no trains going past people at full speed, even one track over.  
 
All these station tracks have high speed turnouts so that the train slows for the stop at the platform, not for the turnout.  Through trains go over the straight side of the turnouts at the full 300 km/h.
 
All track is on concrete slabs except the southern most 2 km which is limited to 140 km/h and under due to curves.  I regard it as very difficult to keep ballasted track precise enought for this high a speed.  The French apparently do it with a massive imput of labor, and also talk a lot about the problems with the trains picking up and throwing the ballast stones.  
 
George


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ClydeDET
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Re: Shinkansen vs Tgv vs Ice (The Battle of High S
 
« Reply #21 on: Nov 7th, 2006, 11:30am »
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Well, obviously the answer is to NOT be on the ROW in the first palce. But if you insist, well, "Hit the Dirt" is probably the best advice available.
 
300 km/hr would be right at 275 feet per second, which ain't slow - about 1/3rd the muzzle velocity of a 45 auto...


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George_Harris
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Re: Shinkansen vs Tgv vs Ice (The Battle of High S
 
« Reply #22 on: Dec 1st, 2006, 2:13am »
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Looks like our opening ceremony scheduled for December 7 is being postponed.  (That would have actually been on the night of December 6, US time.)
 
I will copy in some info carried in the press later,  but it looks to be probably a month or longer later.  
 
George


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George_Harris
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Re: Shinkansen vs Tgv vs Ice (The Battle of High S
 
« Reply #23 on: Dec 8th, 2006, 1:52am »
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Sure enough, no opening ceremony.  All is quiet for the rescheduled date.  
 
Rode last Sunday afternoon with wife for one of the "employees, you may take your family for a ride" days.  Running one train an hour, mostly "locals".  You have to put local in quotations when your ride covers 97 miles in 55 minutes with two intermediate stops.  These rides appear to be primarily for the purpose of giving the station and train employees practice with no need to deal with the public, credit cards, or cash.  The passengers were given an itinerary and had to get and properly use the tickets for each on and off.  We actually rode three trains, Panchaio (western Taipei suburb), to Taichung, Taichung to Tainan, and Tainan back to Taipei.  They even rolled the serving carts up and down the aisles, but without anything to sell on them.  Went off without a hitch.  
 
George


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George_Harris
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Re: Shinkansen vs Tgv vs Ice (The Battle of High S
 
« Reply #24 on: Jan 2nd, 2007, 4:01am »
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It appears to now be official.  Opening will be on January 5, with the first 10 days at half fare.  
 
This past Saturday and Sunday was another employee you can bring family memebers weekend.  Took kids and friends.  Coming back, Tsoying, km 345.187 to Taichung, km 164.733 in 44 minutes start to stop.  That is 179.454 km = 111.507 miles, which gives you an average speed start to stop of 244.71 km/h or 152.06 mph, and that was not running flat out.  The exact arrival time in Panchaio (suburban Taipei) I did not note, but taking the schedule, and it appeared to be right on if not a couple minutes early and Panchaio at km 13.119, we have 41 minutes for 152.614 km = 94.830 miles, for an average of 208.11 km/h or 129.31 mph, again start to stop.  Again not running flat out, showing that the required 90 minute Taipei (km 5.906) to Tsoying 90 minute schedule with one stop can easily be met.  
 
George


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ClydeDET
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Re: Shinkansen vs Tgv vs Ice (The Battle of High S
 
« Reply #25 on: Jan 3rd, 2007, 11:48am »
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If only that announcement was for service on the Texas Triangle, George...

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George_Harris
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Re: Shinkansen vs Tgv vs Ice (The Battle of High S
 
« Reply #26 on: Jan 8th, 2007, 1:56am »
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Clyde:
 
Don't I wish, also.  If we had ever gotten around to serious railroad building in the US, I would probably have never gotten west of Texas.  Not that I am complaining about my sojourn in Asia.  It has been most interesting.  
 
The first three days of operation have gone smoothly as far as running of the trains are concerned.  There have been some well publicized glitches in the ticketing and reservation systems, including a lot of seats sold twice.  Other people were told that all trains were full, when the known number of tickes sold said that could not be possible.  I have some opinions on this which I had better not express in public.  
 
When you sit on the train zipping in and out of tunnels and sailing down the long viaducts above the houses and fields it is hard to believe how much work it took to get there.
 
If we think we have a patent on the anti-rail mentality in the US, not so.  There was an editorial in one of the English language papers here by one of their long term local editorial staff to the effect that the line should have never been built.
 
George


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VentureForth
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Re: Shinkansen vs Tgv vs Ice (The Battle of High S
 
« Reply #27 on: Jan 8th, 2007, 12:34pm »
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Oh, pish posh.  I'm sure by 2050, Texas will have something about as equivalent as the old doodlebug routes reincarnated...

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ClydeDET
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Re: Shinkansen vs Tgv vs Ice (The Battle of High S
 
« Reply #28 on: Jan 8th, 2007, 2:46pm »
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Maybe - though I can't say that (at age 63) I expect to be around to see what we'll have in 43 years. MAybe Rick PErry's Trans-Texas Corridors with tehir separated auto, truck, freight rail, commuter rail and phiogh speed passenger trail will exist by then, but I have my doubts. With luck some of the corridors will have been built and will at lewast provide for some increased freight capacity and separtation of trucks and cars (boy would that be a good thing).
 
I heard a little blurb on NPR this morning about some bunch that is pushing for a mag-lev FREIGHT line (at $100 million per mile) out of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Wasn't clear about just where this was to run to, but it would 300 mph freight trains as far as it went.
 
Soembody suggested that increasing the capacity of the existing feight lines out of LB-LA ports (not least by electrifying them) and extending from an existeng junction to redistribution centers (existing) about 100 miles inland would be a better deal, but the mag lev people are hollering "No, no, mag-lev is clean fromt he start, there are a lot of problems with wheels on rail that this will cure, etc.". Sounds like the ideal blocking the good (or at least good enough). I'd think you could do trhe whole upgrade (including elctrification and extension) of the railroad for the price of maybe ten miles of mag-lev. Whioch will cost a lot more than $100 million/mile by teh time any gets built. PResuming ti works. And - where is all the electricity to run it going to come from? Since the same crowd that wants the "clean" mag-lev is the same one yelping about "No nukes, no dams, no coal, quit burning all the oil and gas, those are irreplaceable fossil fuels and they contribute to global warming anyway".  Ah well, I guess I'm getting curmudgeonly again.


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George_Harris
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Re: Shinkansen vs Tgv vs Ice (The Battle of High S
 
« Reply #29 on: Jan 9th, 2007, 2:33am »
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Ah, Clyde,
 
You hit two of my favorite gripes:  
 
I have seen and ridden the lovely Shanghai Maglev and am still of the opinion that Maglev is a solution looking for a non-existant problem to solve.  That short system was so expensive that the Chinese government has essentially said, NO MORE.  Even though never stated in public, it was a full scale trial to decide whether or not the proposed Shanghai to Beijing line would be maglev or rail.  The answer is: Rail.  These things hpve proven to be both more exensive to build and more expensive to operate than a high speed railroad.  The difference is not even close.  And, of course their fire showed the basic safety weakness of the system:  No practical way to evacuate the train if it has to stop between stations.
 
The other is or complete insanity on generation of electricity.  Not just object ot all power plant construction, but lets play with wind power, solar panes, etc, which are at best high cost low output botique style solutions that look like you are doing something   If we want non-polluting, why not run off geothermal heat?  Every place that has hot springs definitely has rocks hot enough to boil water so you can build a steam plant that will operate with zero consumption of fuel.  You would think that a place like Hawaii would generate all their electricity off the heat from the volcano.  NO! it is all off oil fired plants.  And, I still think nuclear is a good way to go.  There is lots of Uranium in the ground in many parts of the world.  
 
A prosperous society is still built off readily available cheap energy and reliable transportation.  Oppose those and you are fighting for poverty, not against it.
 
George


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Pennsy
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Re: Shinkansen vs Tgv vs Ice (The Battle of High S
 
« Reply #30 on: Jan 9th, 2007, 10:21am »
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Hi George,
 
Excellent points, as usual.
 
What caught my attention was your reference to Nuclear power. I have some experience with Nucleonics and one point worth noting, as brought out by Star Trek's Mr. Spock was, why bother with nuclear fission power plants, which are inherently unsafe, when you should be looking at nuclear Fusion plants which are not only safe, but generate useable and reuseable isotopes. They can actually pay for themselves that way.


« Last Edit: Jan 9th, 2007, 10:24am by Pennsy » Logged

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ClydeDET
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Re: Shinkansen vs Tgv vs Ice (The Battle of High S
 
« Reply #31 on: Jan 9th, 2007, 7:10pm »
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We fool with fission plants (which are NOT "inherently unsafe") instead of fusion plants  because fission plants work. Now. We know how to build them, how to run them, and they work every time. Fusion - nobody, I say again NOBODY knows how to run any sort of fusion plant other than a sun or an H-bomb right now. We ought to be trying to learn, but so far, nobody has figured out how to.

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George_Harris
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Re: Shinkansen vs Tgv vs Ice (The Battle of High Speed
 
« Reply #32 on: Apr 3rd, 2007, 9:52am »
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Thought about starting a new topic, but decided to just put it here.
 
But first a word about the Taiwan High Speed Railway:  We aer now running 23 trains a day each way all the was from Taipei downtown to Tsoying (suburban Kaohsiung)  The "slow" trains takes 2h10m and the fast trains 1h40m.  My time here is coming to a close.  In fact tomorrow was to be my last day, but I have been given another month to work on some outstanding issues.  
 
The New Item:
 
Just appeared on Yahoo News: April 3, 2007: A specially modified V150 French TGV high-speed train, set a new world rail speed record at 574.8 km/h (357.1 mph) in France's Champagne region at Bezannes, eastern France, about 125 miles east of Paris on the yet to be opened new line between Paris and Strasbourg.
 
Two electric locos with three unit articulated double deck coach set between them. 25,000 hp, overhead power voltage increased from normal 25,000 to 31,000, larger diameter wheels on the locos.
 
Technicians on the train had "French excellence" emblazoned on the backs of their T-shirts.  
Soure: Reuters and others.
 
Good Morning, America ! Let's wake up and do something.  
 
George


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ehbowen
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Re: Shinkansen vs Tgv vs Ice (The Battle of High Speed
 
« Reply #33 on: Apr 3rd, 2007, 10:01am »
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Hey, George--
 
Any chance you could send me a copy of the first timetable for your Taiwan High Speed line? I just might get around to using it someday (especially if you have one in English--I wouldn't know how to begin in Chinese!)
 
Just curious....


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George_Harris
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Re: Shinkansen vs Tgv vs Ice (The Battle of High Speed
 
« Reply #34 on: Apr 3rd, 2007, 10:12am »
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on Apr 3rd, 2007, 10:01am, ehbowen wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Any chance you could send me a copy of the first timetable for your Taiwan High Speed line? I just might get around to using it someday (especially if you have one in English--I wouldn't know how to begin in Chinese!)

No problem.  PM me or email me an address.  They only exist in Chinese, but the place names and a few other things on it I can read and translate for you.  Sorry about the notes.  That gets beyond my extremely limited Chinese reading abililty.
 
George


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Charlie_O
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Re: Shinkansen vs Tgv vs Ice (The Battle of High Speed
 
« Reply #35 on: Apr 3rd, 2007, 12:47pm »
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George -
Thanks for posting that impressive story.  
 
Let me add a few things...
1. Does the fact that the TGV speed record (357 mph) is only 4 mph short of the Maglev (361 mph) strike a fatal blow against Maglev?  That is, it seems that anything over 350 mph is about as fast as land-based passenger travel can be expected to go safely.  Beyond that we're splitting hairs and risking lives.  Is Maglev worth the huge infrastructure investment when conventional trains can nearly match its speed?
 
2.  I don't expect ths speed record will do much to spur advancement of similiar technology in the Sates.  At least not for awhile.  If true hi-speed rail were to work in the States, it would require dedicated passenger rail corridors built and maintained to the highest degrees of safety and efficiency.  And we can't even seem to repair a few bridges on the NEC.  Momentum at the highest levels of U.S. govt (at the Executive, Legislative, and Administrative levels) has been strongly away from rail travel for so long, it may take a miracle to turn things around (as we know, it takes time to stop a speeding train).  
 
3. One factor hindering the development of hi-speed rail in the States is not the fault of govt.  It is that Americans are selfish about the ways in which we travel.  We do not like to share our space or modify our schedule. For hi-speed passenger rail to succeed, it would require that we think differently about the way we travel.  No more behemoth SUVs with climate control zones for the front and back seats.  No more GPS systems in the front and movie screens in the back.  Just a magazine and an mp3 player (now that's roughing it).  
 
4. A level playing field (or, show me the money!).  Trains would have to be competitive with planes, not only in speed but in price.  As long as the airlines are getting big subsidies to offset their deficits, while Amtrak is maintained on a starvation diet, nothing is going to change.
 
-Charlie


« Last Edit: Apr 3rd, 2007, 12:59pm by Charlie_O » Logged

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TAB
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Re: Shinkansen vs Tgv vs Ice (The Battle of High Speed
 
« Reply #36 on: Apr 3rd, 2007, 1:47pm »
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Hey Charlie_O...I couldn't agree more!
 
Quote:
If true hi-speed rail were to work in the States, it would require dedicated passenger rail corridors built and maintained to the highest degrees of safety and efficiency.  And we can't even seem to repair a few bridges on the NEC.

 
Could you imagine what it would require for such dedicated rights of way to be created in the USA today? Considering the MIMBYs, inevitable EPA intrusion and government transportation priorities, I will never live long enough to see a true high speed train in the USA. I think that personal anti gravity transportation devices are more of a reality.
 
On the other hand though, the recent court decissions on eminent domain may hold out some hope...as long as they don't take my property for the right of way  ...Tom


« Last Edit: Apr 3rd, 2007, 1:51pm by TAB » Logged

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ClydeDET
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Re: Shinkansen vs Tgv vs Ice (The Battle of High Speed
 
« Reply #37 on: Apr 3rd, 2007, 9:39pm »
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Well, we seem to be willing to play sardine in a can in order to ride airplanes (not to mention put up with so-called airline security measures)- I susepct we'd make at least as many accommodations if high speed rail was an option for distances up to 500-700 miles.
 
I don't think the stunt of running one modified train one time at 350mph is going to do anything significant for trains - I heard an account of the run and the additional comment that when regular service began, it woyuld be "much slower, around 200mph".
 
Mag-lev is a non-starter for actual transportation IMO.  Costs too much, offers too little.


« Last Edit: Apr 4th, 2007, 10:14am by ClydeDET » Logged
George_Harris
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Re: Shinkansen vs Tgv vs Ice (The Battle of High Speed
 
« Reply #38 on: Apr 4th, 2007, 12:10am »
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Charlie:
 
IMHO Maglev does not need a fatal blow.  Anytime anyone approaches trying to do a serious cost estimate on the thing it dies immediately.  This does help to prove that the speed promised can be achieved without it.  
 
What is very interesting about the high speed stuff is how absolutely normal the French track structure is.  There is absolutely nothing there that could not have been done anytime in the last 50 years.  Of course your tolerances in construction and maintenance must be very good, but component wise standard American track is actually ahead of what they have.  In fact, they are really pushing ballasted track beyond its reasonable limit.  
 
What we have here is all on concrete, but again this is not really new technology and what is in a lot of American transit systems is as good or better.  Just be very precise in placement.  
 
Yeah, I can hear it now, fancy geometry turnouts, swing nose frogs, and all that, but folks, this is by now not new stuff, and if I can't improve on what they are doing in Europe, I should retire now.  
 
I think seeing what has happened to ridership in California where they have simply added a few trains at conventional speeds there is a lot of untapped potential for ridership if we can run multiple frequencies that reasonably beat driving speed.  
 
I would like to see what will happen if the California high speed is built, but even if they started tomorrow with adequate funding I am not sure that my children will live long enough to see all the court challenges resolved.
 
George


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Norm_Anderson
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Re: Shinkansen vs Tgv vs Ice (The Battle of High Speed
 
« Reply #39 on: Jul 4th, 2007, 7:38am »
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Hi, all,
 
Just stumbled across a couple of interesting youtube videos... for those of us who have never ridden over the ground at faster than NEC speeds, they are quite a ride.
 
The first,  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-54gBLwK3s  is the Shanghai maglev, taken out the right-side window.  Expensive boondoggle or not, it's impressive to observe all the "parked" traffic along the parallel highway (vehicles that are actually moving at freeway speed).
 
The second,  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ir_n3J5ABA  is the French TGV speed record, observed from many vantage points, both inside, outside, and trackside.  It is sobering to remember that the "pace" shots were not filmed from a helicopter, but from a jet.  (And, in the thick, soupy air at that low altitude, the jet was probably laboring a bit to keep up...)
 
 
Just a couple of views of what is possible...
 
Norm


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