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High-speed trains
Posted: 28 August 2013 09:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Wait. Aren’t maglev and other types of high speed rail very common in Japan and Europe? I thought the only issue was political forces against it (as usual) in the US?

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Posted: 28 August 2013 05:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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CuthbertJ - 28 August 2013 09:46 AM

Wait. Aren’t maglev and other types of high speed rail very common in Japan and Europe? I thought the only issue was political forces against it (as usual) in the US?

Musk’s Hyperloop is no mere maglev train.  Its a maglev train in a giant vacuum tube!  No kidding.  It would travel along in an evacuated tube at speeds of 700 MPH or greater.  This makes it incredibly complex, as well as expensive to operate.  In an earthquake zone.

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Posted: 29 August 2013 10:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Coldheart Tucker - 28 August 2013 05:01 PM
CuthbertJ - 28 August 2013 09:46 AM

Wait. Aren’t maglev and other types of high speed rail very common in Japan and Europe? I thought the only issue was political forces against it (as usual) in the US?

Musk’s Hyperloop is no mere maglev train.  Its a maglev train in a giant vacuum tube!  No kidding.  It would travel along in an evacuated tube at speeds of 700 MPH or greater.  This makes it incredibly complex, as well as expensive to operate.  In an earthquake zone.

Right, that one is no mere maglev. I’m talking about the “regular” maglevs and high speeders in the first couple of links in the OP.

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Posted: 29 August 2013 11:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Actually, low-pressure pneumatic systems are cheap and easy.  Pneumatic systems are commonly used in industry controls, I’ve used them in HVAC controls.  To get a basic pneumatic system working at low pressures, it just take cheap plastic connectors and tubing with an air pump, etc.  Pressure is merely the opposite of a vacuum.  A pneumatic system is normally designed with a little bleeding air to get it to work correctly, so perfection is not necessary at all, that’s just a straw-man argument.  If you expect a perfect vacuum, yes that is a real challenge, but an ideal vacuum is not needed for a train.

Since France and Japan and others have high-speed trains, China has a Shanghai Maglev, then that is hard proof that they are viable, and real technology.  Straw-man arguments cannot disprove the High speed train technology.

“But on Monday he said he’d be willing to build the demonstration project himself, if no one else steps up to do it. While it’s not a top priority for him, he said the prototype could be completed in 3 or 4 years.”

CNN August 13, 2013: 9:43 AM ET: Hyperloop: San Francisco to L.A. in 30 minutes

People thought that an electric super-car was impossible, but the Tesla roadster exists.  People thought that a commercial space launch linking to the International Space Station impractical, but it has happened.  The Maglev train support could really be changing.

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Posted: 29 August 2013 05:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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jump_in_the_pit - 29 August 2013 11:40 AM

Actually, low-pressure pneumatic systems are cheap and easy.  Pneumatic systems are commonly used in industry controls, I’ve used them in HVAC controls.  To get a basic pneumatic system working at low pressures, it just take cheap plastic connectors and tubing with an air pump, etc.  Pressure is merely the opposite of a vacuum.  A pneumatic system is normally designed with a little bleeding air to get it to work correctly, so perfection is not necessary at all, that’s just a straw-man argument.  If you expect a perfect vacuum, yes that is a real challenge, but an ideal vacuum is not needed for a train.

Small scale systems are cheap and easy, this is most certainly not small scale.

Since France and Japan and others have high-speed trains, China has a Shanghai Maglev, then that is hard proof that they are viable, and real technology.  Straw-man arguments cannot disprove the High speed train technology.

None of those places have high speed trains operating in an evacuated tube like the Hyperloop.  The only one making a strawman argument here is you.

“But on Monday he said he’d be willing to build the demonstration project himself, if no one else steps up to do it. While it’s not a top priority for him, he said the prototype could be completed in 3 or 4 years.”

CNN August 13, 2013: 9:43 AM ET: Hyperloop: San Francisco to L.A. in 30 minutes

Musk also thought that he could have the Tesla Roadster into production in only a couple of years after he announced the project.  It turned out to take longer than he originally estimated, SpaceX is also slightly behind his original schedule, and neither project had to deal with the kind of political goofballery that something like a high speed train does.

People thought that an electric super-car was impossible,

And what people would those be?  Everything I read about it after the car was announced didn’t doubt that it could be done, the question was the long term viability of the cars.

but the Tesla roadster exists.

So do Kaiser-Frazer automobiles, but they eventually went bankrupt.  Tesla’s profits do not come from selling cars, but from stock sales and selling government tax credits to other car makers.  This doesn’t indicate that Tesla’s doomed, but it should make anyone pause before investing in Tesla.  Kaiser-Frazier was selling cars for longer than Tesla’s been around, and they still wound up failing.  It is too early to declare Tesla a “success.”  Give them a decade of profitable operation first.

People thought that a commercial space launch linking to the International Space Station impractical, but it has happened.

A couple of times, wait until 2020, at least, before declaring that SpaceX is a success.  Musk’s goal is to have a thousand launches a year by 2019.  Let’s wait and see if he’s able to do it, shall we? 

The Maglev train support could really be changing.

Or this could turn out to be like the flying cars we’ve been promised for almost 100 years, and always be at some point in the future.  Musk has said that it will be probably five years before he has enough time to think about pushing for the Hyperloop.  So far, I haven’t heard of anyone picking up the banner, and Sir Richard Branson, fellow billionaire and friend of Musk, runs a rail line in England hasn’t spoken up, yet.  Unless you have someone of the stature of Musk or Branson actively working on the Hyperloop, its not going to be done.

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Posted: 30 August 2013 12:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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When a new technology is being proposed, of course it hasn’t been made before, that is what makes the technology new.  Every argument that says it has not been done before, and therefore cannot be done, is nothing but a straw-man argument.  I only see straw-man arguments that are condemning High Speed Rail and pneumatic assisted Maglev trains, here.

The technology looks like its getting a real boost soon.  That is a simple, demonstrated, fact.

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Posted: 30 August 2013 04:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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jump_in_the_pit - 30 August 2013 12:02 PM

When a new technology is being proposed, of course it hasn’t been made before, that is what makes the technology new.  Every argument that says it has not been done before, and therefore cannot be done, is nothing but a straw-man argument.  I only see straw-man arguments that are condemning High Speed Rail and pneumatic assisted Maglev trains, here.

I’m not saying that it can’t be done at all.  Given enough money and time, nearly everything is possible, and this technology certainly is, provided someone is willing to commit to it.

The technology looks like its getting a real boost soon.  That is a simple, demonstrated, fact.

No, the facts are that Musk has presented the idea, and people on the internet are talking about it.  That’s it.  There’s been no announcement that the cities of San Francisco or Los Angeles have agreed to look at, or fund, the idea.  The Federal government hasn’t said anything about funding it.  None of the major railroads, or people associated with railroads have stated they are considering the idea.  What we’ve got is a press conference, some concept materials, and a statement from Musk that if he is able to, he’ll consider starting the project in a few years.  A lot can change in that amount of time.  Someone else may pick up the ball and run with it, or folks might decide that if Musk isn’t willing to commit to it now, its not worth doing.  Musk may find himself too busy with SpaceX and Tesla (which, if things go the way Musk projects them to, both companies will be turning out record-breaking numbers of cars and rockets) to consider leaving.

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Posted: 03 September 2013 08:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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As long as air travel remains affordable and viable hi-speed passenger trains in the USA don’t have a chance except in certain niche markets.

North East corridor passenger trains are already running at speeds of 150mph using conventional propulsion and upgrades to the track structure are expected to allow travel at 160mph…is that not fast enough for the 10 million plus passengers who use the network every year?

The second issue is as long as Amtrak passenger trains share rail lines with freight hauling rail roads it is impractical to expect hi-speed rail on those routes…a dedicated passenger only network is required.

And then of course we get down to the brass tacks - who will pay for it…because no passenger rail system ever truly recovers the cost of operation through fares only.

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Posted: 04 September 2013 10:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Good point.  High speed passenger trains only make sense when there are many travelers along with relatively short distances such as in Europe, Japan, the N.E. corridor and maybe L.A. to S.F.  As I see it the main ones lobbying for U.S. trains are the corporations who would profit from the government subsidies.

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Posted: 04 September 2013 02:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Occam. - 04 September 2013 10:13 AM

Good point.  High speed passenger trains only make sense when there are many travelers along with relatively short distances such as in Europe, Japan, the N.E. corridor and maybe L.A. to S.F.  As I see it the main ones lobbying for U.S. trains are the corporations who would profit from the government subsidies.

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Posted: 04 September 2013 05:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Really, Lois?  I thought you knew that all California legislators have only the honest good of their ´╗┐constituents at heart and are all completely ethical.  LOL  LOL

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Posted: 05 September 2013 02:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Occam. - 04 September 2013 05:26 PM

Really, Lois?  I thought you knew that all California legislators have only the honest good of their ´╗┐constituents at heart and are all completely ethical.  LOL  LOL

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Oops, I forgot!  tongue wink

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Posted: 09 September 2013 12:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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Of course trains should connect popular cities to popular cities.  Look at the Eurotrain map (PDF, 2MB), a wonderful train system, not high-speed of course.

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