by NellieBly » Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:42 pm
Let me add a bit to Mr. Norman's (as always) informative post. The deficiencies of the Shore Line alignment were known back in the 1960s when the High Speed Ground Transportation Demonstration Program was set up in the Commerce Department (USDOT didn't exist until 1967). I have seen the original aerial surveys for the BOS-NYG route. The plan was to follow the former New Haven "Air Line" alignment from New Haven through Putnam, CT and Blackstone, MA, and on into Boston via Franklin. This route misses Providence, but has two advantages:
1) it's straight
2) there are no movable bridges
Actually, there is 1 such bridge at Middletown, but it can either be replaced with a newer, more reliable span, or a higher level fixed span.
As for Providence it would be pointless to build a new route that didn't serve the city. It's not NY or Boston, but it's still a city in every sense of the word. If there really is no way to build a new HSR ROW without having to deal with NIMBY hoopla then I'd say let the future enhanced Shore Line service handle that market.
The Air Line would be a top candidate, but given that the proposed alignment more or less follows I-84, that might deem it more worth building (even though IMO the whole purpose of this newer ROW is to primarily serve New York and Boston travelers with cities like Hartford and Waterbury as the runners up.)
I have since had a couple of head-end rides on Acela Expresses, and between Kingston, RI and Old Saybrook, CT there is hardly any place with a speed limit above 80, and lots of restrictions (including 25 MPH through New London). It isn't until west of Old Saybrook that you get into some fairly fast running.
Mm agreed. The stretch through Guilford, Madison, and Clinton in particular is good for 100-110mph. The speedometer app on my iPhone whilst riding the Regional to Boston backs that up
The New London trackage is just flat out embarrassing speed-wise. I'd say build a new, straighter approach to the station from the west and a new bridge to the east, therefore straightening the ROW, buuuuut of course that'll never happen for various reasons (not in my lifetime at least).
by penncenter » Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:54 pm
Is there REAL demand for HSR between NY and Boston, or any point in between???
You better believe there is. Have you ever ridden on a train coming out of/going to Boston? Not all of those passengers are coming from/getting off at stops like Mystic, Bridgeport, or Westerly. Just look at the Acela Express service. It serves ONLY the major stops and they're 1) full or near full 2) the bread and butter of the NEC and 3) tech/tilt/speed problems aside, one of the greatest trains to ride. People WANT to ride it, even with the high ticket prices. And soon even the Regional trains will get equipped with rolling stock just like the Acelas (coach, cafe, cab cars) that will be pulled by even more powerful locomotives (ACS-64).
Boston is not NY or DC, so why the push to include it in any plans anyway? It is a small city.
Be that as it may (I myself love Boston for its small size), it's still a vibrant center of commerce, education, arts, sports, etc. It was most recently named the 3rd hottest job market in the US (see link: http://www.boston.com/business/ticker/2 ... ton_1.html
) behind only DC itself. NY didn't even make the list. Now the accuracy of those numbers aside, Boston is not only a major "small" city, but it's also the gateway to the rest of New England (and for those coming into Logan from overseas, etc. , New England as a whole). Heck, that's why construction of the North-South Rail Link ought to start as soon as someone realizes that it's worth the investment. It's not just Washington-Boston that matters anymore. Cities like Richmond, VA and Portland, ME are slowly, but surely becoming part of the BosWash Megalopolis.