Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About cirdan

  • Rank

Profile Information

  • Gender

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. cirdan

    Airbus to Halt A380 Production

    A friend of mine was on a two-engine plane once when one engine failed and they had to turn around (mid Atlantic) and go back to the starting airport. On a four engine plane I understand you can keep going, as even if a second one fails you can still continue.
  2. cirdan

    Airbus to Halt A380 Production

    Good products, especially if developments cycles are as long and slow as they are with aircraft, should anticipate the future needs of the market rather than addressing the present needs.
  3. Friendliness of crews can also vary from train to train and even between individuals on the same train. I think it eeds more monitoring by management and measures to re-train or otherwise weed out the bad eggs. But does anybody care?
  4. Well, basically he's saying, let's finish the bit that's already under construction and that we can't meaningfully pull out of, giving us some sort of accelerated San Joaquin service, and postpone the other bits to some undefined point in the far distant future with no commitment. That sounds very much like abandoning to me.
  5. He's not wrong, though some of that can be overcome. I do think HSR will eventually come, most likely in the slightly flawed Texas Central project. But TC has also run across a lot of roadblocks (lobbies and legal action), so I could also see them giving up on it too. I haven't read Jis's article because of a paywall, but I don't believe Texas Central is necessarily scalable. there may be a handful of other corridors where that model might just about work. But t is an illusion to believe a contguous national network will ever come to be without government money (*). So the question is, when, and under what set of circumstances will that happen? (*) or even a non contiguous network, as I don't believe a transcontinental line will ever make sense, except maybe as a 1,000 mph maglev or something like that in the far distant future.But I mean contiguous in the sense that there will be locally contiguous networks around the areas that have the potential to support them. So say, East Coast, West Coast, Chicago area, Texas, and that airline bridges exist between these networks, but that means high speed lines serving airports directly ...
  6. In the early days of Amazon, you couldn't find any coverage of them that didn't ram the fact down your throat that they were losing money hand over fist.
  7. The question though is, what percentage of all overall air trips are from Philadelphia to San Francisco, versus journeys that could reasonably be made by HSR. I'm not claiming to know the statistic, but picking the most unreasonable example and somehow using that to project onto everything else is not really helpful. I can only speak from my own experience, but I would guesstimate that well over 90% of air trips (mostly for work actually) I made over the last 5 years were 2 hours or less. Could a train be competitive in such scenarios?
  8. It's a bit complicated (the history of London Underground that is). Some of the outer bits of the London Ungerground were originally just regular rail lines. Steam engines pulled the trains in the early days (engines could be changed over at the limits of the electrified sections) and there was even a considerable amount of freight on the outer sections until circa the 1950s. By the 1920s, some such lines were jointly exploited by the main line rail companies and the Underground. For example there were a number of 1938-stock tube trains that were actually owned by LNER, and many sections of track in the outer area were shared (and still are today to a lesser extent, although some of the more rural lines have been cut back over the years). The Great Western similarly allowed the Underground to electrify the branch from Paddington to Hammersmith but chose not to get involved in the actual operations, but instead continued running a small number of their own steam trains on that line until the 1950s. It was mostly freight but also the occasional excursion train for football matches and such. South of the Thames there are sections of line, for example at Wimbledon, shared by very intensive services alternating between third rail electrified main line trains and 4th rail electrified Underground trains. Interestingly, although British rail stop using steam in 1968, London Underground didn't shut down its last steam engiune until 1971. There are no longer any commercial freight trains on the Underground, but there are still considerable movements of main-line freight cars for engineering and maintenance work. Battery locomotives are used in the tunnel sections (seeing power is typically cut off for works) but on the outer sections you can sometimes see main line locomotives such as classes 66 or 20. Besides the shared track sections in regular use as described above, there are one or two other places where Underground and main line tracks connect and are used principally for transferring engineering trains, but also for delivering new trains etc.
  9. The Key System tracks could only be used by Key System trains, so you could say they were perpetuating an old concept.
  10. The problem with that comparison is that there is a perfectly good line between Dijon and the Rhine-Rhone TGV segment that has been invested in over the years, is double track, electrified and is cleared for 100mph operation. It's not perfect of course, but it does the job pretty well. Tehachapi on the other hand is owned by a railroad that doesn't like passenger trains, and even if that were to miraculously change, the route has serious constraints that would need big dollars to put right. And if you're going to spend those big dollars, isn't it better to spend them on proper HSR?
  11. But aren't there also plans to develop that land, once the Transbay extension is operational? The lack of staging tracks could well turn out to be a real barrier to any type of service expansion.
  12. Isn't the BART bay tunnel more or less a replacement for the old Key System tracks on the lower level of the bridge. Not a one on one replacemnet obviously, but broadly doing the same thing, only doing it better seeing the Key System finished at Transbay (as far as I know) wheras BART provides one seat journeys to many places beyond. . Wan't BART already being planned when the Key system shut down?
  13. I think one of the reasons many transit systems are not able to grow beyond their captive customer bases (that is, the people who cannot aford to travel any other way) is that they are not actually attempting to be attractive to a broader ridership and to people who have a choice. A huge change in thinking is still required.
  14. I think you can tap in with any standard issue credit card or debit card these days. I've found even some of my older cards of which i didn't even realize they had any smart functionality in them work perfectly.
  15. I am not sure that I agree with this. Maybe out in the deep suburbs where there aren't any sidewalk, this may be true. But I am always surprised when walking around downtows of US cities that there are typically pedestrian crossings at every crossroads and that you don't have to wait forever for the walk sign to light up. I know European cities that are far more hostile in that respect, with dark and stinking underpasses. What makes US cities comparaitively hostile though is that European cities typically have shop fronts along all downtown streets, and they are typically decorated, so you have eye candy to look at and don't feel totally vulnerable. Many US cities don't have more than a handful of shops like that and entrance lobbies to offices and such are often designed to be as sterile and unfriendly as possible. And then you get things like parking lots and other hostile and ugly uses of land so that basically you feel lost between a busy road and a concrete wall.