- Dec 10, 2011
- Reaction score
On the TGV between Switzerland and Lyon there are definitely places where speed + slope = flying up and down (floor pushing up, followed by a floating sensation)
Totally off topic, but AV's getting to that level is super bad for Boston and the area because it greatly mitigates Boston's advantage of mass transit. Plus liability wise it might be tough for an people mover AV in snow.It is complex, and anybody planning intercity trains for New England is going to have to try to model first order effects
-AVs will do a great job of making SPG-BOS less painful by car
-AVs will compete with the train as a "I can work and rest because somebody else is driving"
Overpowering a fleet is somewhat of a necessity when you've got a lot of routes traversing mountains, which mainland Europe certainly has. They can justify it on scale because it's hard to run a national carrier in France without confronting a whole lot of Alps in the process. It's a crappy proposition, however, once you start getting into exceptions to the rule because having to always operate extra power raises operating costs. CSX confronts this in the Berkshires where Middlefield Hill, the tallest grade on the B&A, requires a helper loco to help push the big intermodal trains over the grade. It requires a staffed job out of Pittsfield where the helpers are constantly shuffled up and down the hill to wait on a pocket track to attach in-motion to the passing freight and help push. For decades this was regular practice but CSX abolished the helper job in the early-00's because it was too costly, opting to run smaller trains with more up-front power instead. That was before the double-stack clearance project when they were very bearish on the New England market and the state was angsting about the noises they were making about dis-investing in the region. Now business is so booming and growth so long-term brisk they've brought the helpers back and see them as a small price to pay for uncapping train lengths. But there's a very sharp dividing line in cost escalation: either profits are so good the extra power is gravy, or it's not worth it at all...no in-between.TGV trains are intentionally overpowered so that they can take 4% grades at speed, which greatly reduces construction costs. They have so much momentum that the grades don't even increase power consumption that much. Of course, on the Pike ROW the constant grade changes are still going to make people seasick.
Arlington -- I think that you may be onto a germ of an idea -- there is just one significant problemI think I agree. And given that trains made up of AVs will be safer and more fuel efficient (drafting off the car(s) ahead) it is clear to me that we face an infrastructure bill coming up to rebuild the MassPike to maximize the SPG-WOR-BOS connectivity that I think is needed.
The MassPike seems like it is going to need 2 tiers of road service and rail down the middle (so you can safely/efficiently do 110mph+ speeds)
It is unclear to me what the 2 tiers of road will be
But moving passenger rail to the median of the Pike will also permit/allow more investment in better double-stack freight to carry things that trucks now carry.
- AV vs Non?
- Small (cars) vs Big (truck) (and is an trainline of AVs "big"?)
- SOV vs HOV (where HOV = Bus & trainline?)
His idea sounds pretty moot given the grades involved. In any case, no one wants to skip Worcester, the idea was to jump onto the Pike alignment after Worcester.Arlington -- I think that you may be onto a germ of an idea -- there is just one significant problem
When the Pike was laid out there was some sort of internal feud between the Boston and Worcester pols -- as a result -- Worcester didn't get a good connection to the Pike [neither downtown Woosoxvile nor the Worcester Airport]
Follow the existing Pike layout and you preserve the bypass of Worcester
So perhaps doe your Highish Speed Rail -- you run Boston to Framingham via the Pike ROW then cut to the existing rail to Worcester to continue to Springfield