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High Speed Rail / Texas Triangle

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On 8/12/2018 at 9:31 PM, Elseed said:

 

No point in trying to explain anything to you. If you can't see why having an "awesome core"  and making the city more suitable for visitors and residents alike is a good thing then you're just delusional.I pity you.Have fun at applebees.

Why would I eat at Applebees? Their food is mediocre. I live inside the loop, but seldom go Downtown for events or food - there's not much to attract me to the area. I don't go to bars, and the restaurants Downtown aren't that attractive, given the choices elsewhere in the City. No need to pity me, I've lived here for 40 years, in a variety of areas. I love Houston, but don't want it to be another version of some other city.

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On 8/13/2018 at 8:20 AM, ADCS said:

 

Eh, closer to 2 miles from Ile de la Cite, and 5 from La Defense, but your general point is sound. Train stations have almost always been built at the outskirts of whatever the city was at the time of construction.

European cities stations being outside of their core still have rail connectivity within their core, which we're missing (for now). I haven't been following this thread because this train won't be useful to me or many people I know. I do think this type of infrastructure is important, but for now when we go to Dallas we need a car and also have car seats and a dog to deal with, so we drive. If I go alone I take Megabus, which is much cheaper than this train is projected, and is easily accessible (for me) downtown.

 

so who will this train serve? a replacement for weekly business folks that take SW now? students? visitors? for any of these people, there needs to be a direct link to the urban core if the train ends at the NW transit center.

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On 8/12/2018 at 10:28 PM, gmac said:

 

You're not explaining anything to anyone. You're passionately espousing your ideas.

 

An "awesome core" would entail building affordable housing for thousands of workers who are priced out of the area right now. There aren't many people besides 1%ers who can afford to live downtown as is, so I have no interest in catering to that crowd. The CBD concept is a dinosaur that needs to fade away.

 

Its funny because you’re doing the same thing that you say that I’m doing; passionately espousing your ideas. You say, “An "awesome core" would entail building affordable housing for thousands of workers who are priced out of the area right now.” You see that’s you’re under developed opinion. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Houston is getting denser and the CBD is getting denser. More people are moving into the city and that’s a trend that will stay put for a very long time. Ask any major developer in any city and they’ll probably tell you the same. If you can’t see that then you’re just as thick as Ross and have no business on this page and that’s a fact jack!

Edited by Elseed

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4 hours ago, Elseed said:

 

Its funny because you’re doing the same thing that you say that I’m doing; passionately espousing your ideas. You say, “An "awesome core" would entail building affordable housing for thousands of workers who are priced out of the area right now.” You see that’s you’re under developed opinion. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Houston is getting denser and the CBD is getting denser. More people are moving into the city and that’s a trend that will stay put for a very long time. Ask any major developer in any city and they’ll probably tell you the same. If you can’t see that then you’re just as thick as Ross and have no business on this page and that’s a fact jack!

 

Oooooooooo, burnnnnnnnn.....

Alrighty, ace, we'll see how it turns out.

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15 hours ago, gmac said:

 

Oooooooooo, burnnnnnnnn.....

Alrighty, ace, we'll see how it turns out.

 

You mad bro?

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21 hours ago, Elseed said:

If you can’t see that then you’re just as thick as Ross and have no business on this page and that’s a fact jack!

Ross, pay no mind to this young whipper-snapper.
I still like you.:D

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19 hours ago, gmac said:

 

Nooooo, sis, just laughing out loud at you. :lol:

Yeah, you mad lol

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On 8/13/2018 at 9:35 PM, Ross said:

Why would I eat at Applebees? Their food is mediocre. I live inside the loop, but seldom go Downtown for events or food - there's not much to attract me to the area. I don't go to bars, and the restaurants Downtown aren't that attractive, given the choices elsewhere in the City. No need to pity me, I've lived here for 40 years, in a variety of areas. I love Houston, but don't want it to be another version of some other city.

 

I pity you.

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This seems ...unproductive. There are genuine points to discuss here, but, since that's clearly not what's happening, somebody is just going to have to unilaterally disarm, or at least change the subject. 

 

Here's my suggestion: trains. Let's talk about trains.

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Several years ago...... maybe..... 4-ish...... i seem to recall (perhaps incorrectly) that the timeline to have this train open and operating on its route was ......... 2021?  

 

Is my memory correct?

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16 hours ago, UtterlyUrban said:

Several years ago...... maybe..... 4-ish...... i seem to recall (perhaps incorrectly) that the timeline to have this train open and operating on its route was ......... 2021?  

 

Is my memory correct?

 

It has been pushed back a couple of times. I'd guess 2025 at this point.

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23 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

I think the latest information is that they hope to start construction in 2019 and it will take 4-5 years to build.

Is there any real chance that they can start turning dirt with 15 months?

 

as is often the case, time is in the favor of the opposition.  The longer this can be delayed the less likely that it will ever be built.  

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https://www.bizjournals.com/houston/news/2018/09/10/heres-what-a-bullettrain-station-in-houston-could.html

 

One potential rendering of the HSR station. The most interesting component is the "proposed light rail" that heads south on 610.  Knowing Metro, they will put in a rail to to NW transit station....everybody hop on the bus!

 

As an aside, why is Houston so focused on Light rail for any type of passenger rail?  I'd like us to be more like Chicago with actual commuter rail. (And this is not in the context that it has to go all the way to Katy or other suburb intially. More a comment on the technology/rail and car style) The light rail downtown is a glorified bus.

Edited by Visitor
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1 hour ago, Visitor said:

https://www.bizjournals.com/houston/news/2018/09/10/heres-what-a-bullettrain-station-in-houston-could.html

 

One potential rendering of the HSR station. The most interesting component is the "proposed light rail" that heads south on 610.  Knowing Metro, they will put in a rail to to NW transit station....everybody hop on the bus!

 

As an aside, why is Houston so focused on Light rail for any type of passenger rail?  I'd like us to be more like Chicago with actual commuter rail. (And this is not in the context that it has to go all the way to Katy or other suburb intially. More a comment on the technology/rail and car style) The light rail downtown is a glorified bus.

 

HOLY COW! This would be amazing! I had kept my expectations pretty low from the inital images they set up, but this would be incredible!

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22 hours ago, Visitor said:

https://www.bizjournals.com/houston/news/2018/09/10/heres-what-a-bullettrain-station-in-houston-could.html

 

One potential rendering of the HSR station. The most interesting component is the "proposed light rail" that heads south on 610.  Knowing Metro, they will put in a rail to to NW transit station....everybody hop on the bus!

 

As an aside, why is Houston so focused on Light rail for any type of passenger rail?  I'd like us to be more like Chicago with actual commuter rail. (And this is not in the context that it has to go all the way to Katy or other suburb intially. More a comment on the technology/rail and car style) The light rail downtown is a glorified bus.

 

Mostly cost. Light rail is seen as cheaper, and it is already hard enough to get transit funding.

 

As far as commuter, the existing rail lines around Houston are heavily trafficked. Instead of piggybacking on existing infrastructure, expansion would be needed on existing corridors (owner railroads would not like that), or construction on new/repurposed corridors (like the freeways). The latter option has generally been politically unpopular, seeing as it may take capacity away from the freeways, and irrespective of whether it would actually help traffic as a whole.

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1 hour ago, ADCS said:

 

Mostly cost. Light rail is seen as cheaper, and it is already hard enough to get transit funding.

 

As far as commuter, the existing rail lines around Houston are heavily trafficked. Instead of piggybacking on existing infrastructure, expansion would be needed on existing corridors (owner railroads would not like that), or construction on new/repurposed corridors (like the freeways). The latter option has generally been politically unpopular, seeing as it may take capacity away from the freeways, and irrespective of whether it would actually help traffic as a whole.

 

That's unfortunate, might as well just be buses with how Houston designs it (and FWIW I don't support bus expansion). Trying to think of other metros I have been where the main "train" system shared street lanes with vehicles. Closest I can think of is SF and their street cars.

 

Too bad really, Houston has so much potential I don't expect will ever be realized. 

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In most of the light rail network, the train has its own dedicated lane.  Only in the med center and the purple/green line downtown do the trains have to share lanes with cars.  The bigger issues are the light timing - if you ride a well functioning system, the only time it should stop is at the station platform.  The light rail right now gets red lights, sometimes when the street has a green.  

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Okay so 60-70% of the current rail system shares a lane with cars? I guess my opinion is that none of it should. 

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Um, no. The red line *only* shares lanes in the Medical Center, and the Purple/Green *only* downtown. That's, what, roughly two miles total? 

Now, don't get me wrong, I would love to see the green/purple line downtown given fully dedicated lanes, and I seriously hope that happens, but that's a very long way from "60-70%."

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The red line in the med center has to share space with the left turn lane for Fannin for about 0.62 mi.  The purple and green line downtown have to share a lane with cars on both Rusk and Capitol, so I used 0.93 mi x 2 to represent how much that is.

 

The red line is 13 mi long, so it shares a lane with cars for 4.8% of its length.

 

The purple line is 6.6 mi long, so it shares a lane with cars for 14% of its length.

 

The green line is 3.3 mi long, so it shares a lane with cars for 28% of its length.

 

As a whole, the system has 22.7 mi of track, and trains share a lane for 2.5 mi of it - 11% of the time.

 

11% is larger than the ideal 0%, but it is still much less than half

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On ‎9‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 10:05 AM, Visitor said:

As an aside, why is Houston so focused on Light rail for any type of passenger rail?  I'd like us to be more like Chicago with actual commuter rail. (And this is not in the context that it has to go all the way to Katy or other suburb intially. More a comment on the technology/rail and car style) The light rail downtown is a glorified bus.

 

Light rail is less expensive than commuter rail. Also, heavy commuter rail could not work in Houston like it "works" in Chicago (metra ridership numbers are plummeting in Chicago) because Houston has multiple business districts. In Chicago all of Metra's lines terminate in Chicago's core. In Houston only a small fraction of the population works in any one of the major business districts.

 

But I agree I don't know why Houston is so focused on light rail. With a lack of zoning, spread out geography and a booming economy making automobiles accessible to the masses the focus should instead be on buses, not light rail. Cheap, clean, safe busses for citizens to use until they can afford a car. 

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19 hours ago, 102IAHexpress said:

 

Light rail is less expensive than commuter rail. Also, heavy commuter rail could not work in Houston like it "works" in Chicago (metra ridership numbers are plummeting in Chicago) because Houston has multiple business districts. In Chicago all of Metra's lines terminate in Chicago's core. In Houston only a small fraction of the population works in any one of the major business districts.

 

But I agree I don't know why Houston is so focused on light rail. With a lack of zoning, spread out geography and a booming economy making automobiles accessible to the masses the focus should instead be on buses, not light rail. Cheap, clean, safe busses for citizens to use until they can afford a car. 

 

Yeah see I don't buy that. I actually think with multiple business districts commuter rail is a must. While in Germany and traveled to Berlin, that city is not really one city, but multiple mini cities smashed into one another. All connected by higher gauge S-bahn and U-bahn rail (commuter rail). Light rail is great for very localized travel. There is a system that works for each level. Just like highways are always the answer for traffic and commuting, the same is with rail. These kinds of transit networks are an ecosystem that tie into each other. If we need different layers of functions for particular streets from alleyways all the way up to highways, then the same has to be viewed for rail. Heck we don't even have one size fits all airplanes. Even they function the same. If I want to get from Downtown to the Galleria in a good amount of time then commuter rail is the answer. If I want to maybe make some stops on my journey from Downtown to the Galleria then taking light rail is your answer.

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19 hours ago, 102IAHexpress said:

 

Light rail is less expensive than commuter rail. Also, heavy commuter rail could not work in Houston like it "works" in Chicago (metra ridership numbers are plummeting in Chicago) because Houston has multiple business districts. In Chicago all of Metra's lines terminate in Chicago's core. In Houston only a small fraction of the population works in any one of the major business districts.

 

But I agree I don't know why Houston is so focused on light rail. With a lack of zoning, spread out geography and a booming economy making automobiles accessible to the masses the focus should instead be on buses, not light rail. Cheap, clean, safe busses for citizens to use until they can afford a car. 

 

See, that attitude is the problem - buses are like cars, but worse, so we should give them to the poor as a pittance. Not, we should develop a comprehensive public transit plan so everyone, not just the poor, can get around more efficiently and effectively.

 

Buses in the absence of other modes of transit are horrible, making traffic worse (because of the constant stopping and starting, reducing overall traffic flow during peak periods), and offering less functionality than private autos (horribly wasteful) because of the lack of point-to-point connections. Buses as part of an overall system, on the other hand, are wonderful, because they can shuttle people in that last mile to and from the fixed-guideway modes that bypass the traffic problem altogether.

 

The big issue with light rail as implemented so far in Houston is that you only get a bit of one advantage, and none of the other altogether.

Edited by ADCS

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12 minutes ago, Naviguessor said:

 

Quote

The interest-bearing loan along with the equity provided to date — mostly coming from Texas entrepreneurs — will provide enough funding for all activities required for the project to reach financial close

 

Financial close?

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I agree we need layers of transit; local buses are useful for the last mile or 2, light rail is good for up to 8 miles, and then the commuter buses are ok for the long 20 mile drives to the suburbs, but we need something in between that is fast - going from downtown to the Galleria shouldn't take 45 minutes on public transit in a well-functioning system.

 

I was looking at the map and trying to imagine where a hybrid commuter rail/heavy transit connection could be, and I keep coming back to Westheimer from Midtown to the Galleria.  The street needs to be redone anyway, so it could be possible to do a cut and cover subway along it.  The only problem is what to do on either end after following Westheimer - that would take some thinking of where do you want to try to encourage denser development, as well as how you decrease public transit travel times 

 

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2 hours ago, cspwal said:

I agree we need layers of transit; local buses are useful for the last mile or 2, light rail is good for up to 8 miles, and then the commuter buses are ok for the long 20 mile drives to the suburbs, but we need something in between that is fast - going from downtown to the Galleria shouldn't take 45 minutes on public transit in a well-functioning system.

 

I was looking at the map and trying to imagine where a hybrid commuter rail/heavy transit connection could be, and I keep coming back to Westheimer from Midtown to the Galleria.  The street needs to be redone anyway, so it could be possible to do a cut and cover subway along it.  The only problem is what to do on either end after following Westheimer - that would take some thinking of where do you want to try to encourage denser development, as well as how you decrease public transit travel times 

 

 

Agreed - Westheimer and Washington are the two immediate corridors that come to mind if we were to commit to heavy rapid transit. You could link them using Travis Street, making a big U connecting the HSR station/NW Transit Center, Washington Corridor, Burnett TC, Downtown, Midtown, Montrose, Greenway, and Uptown, ending at the Hillcroft Transit Center.

 

I don't think it's too much of a stretch to say ridership would be feasible.

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On 9/14/2018 at 11:54 AM, Triton said:

 

 

Financial close?

 

" The interest-bearing loan, along with the equity provided to date (the majority coming from Texas entrepreneurs) will provide enough funding for all activities required for the project to reach financial close, according to a statement. With this injection of funds, Texas Central can move ahead on permitting, design, and engineering and to begin construction by 2019"

http://houston.culturemap.com/news/innovation/09-18-18-texas-high-speed-train-project-texas-central-loan-dallas-houston-jbic-join/#slide=0

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2 hours ago, LBC2HTX said:

 

" The interest-bearing loan, along with the equity provided to date (the majority coming from Texas entrepreneurs) will provide enough funding for all activities required for the project to reach financial close, according to a statement. With this injection of funds, Texas Central can move ahead on permitting, design, and engineering and to begin construction by 2019"

http://houston.culturemap.com/news/innovation/09-18-18-texas-high-speed-train-project-texas-central-loan-dallas-houston-jbic-join/#slide=0

Ok, thanks!

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From a recent city presentation regarding a potential feasibility study for projects to create connectivity from the proposed High Speed Rail Station:  "Current rail/bus stations are not close enough to fully integrate with High Speed Rail.  Better integration with other transportation modes is needed for [the city] to take full advantage of the opportunities from High Speed Rail."

 

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53 minutes ago, Triton said:

 

Not sure if I'm allowed to copy-and-paste the article, but here is the executive summary of new news from this:

  • Houston firm Resource Environmental Solutions named for doing ecological mitigation, from a press release dated today
  • Project budget has apparently increased again, now at $18 billion
  • Still hoping to begin construction this year and open by 2024

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On 2/4/2019 at 3:32 PM, Triton said:

 

Just hit escape on your keyboard before the page finishes loading. It freezes the loading of the page. The last thing loaded is the paywall stuff. 

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45 minutes ago, wilcal said:

 

Just hit escape on your keyboard before the page finishes loading. It freezes the loading of the page. The last thing loaded is the paywall stuff. 

 

The peoples champ.

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1 hour ago, Luminare said:

 

The peoples champ.

 

tenor.gif?itemid=7214546

 

It works on most sites. NYT is really hard to get just right. 

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I've had a hard time getting the esc method to work.  But, if you hit the paywall, I've had some success by viewing the page source.  It's not pretty and you have to sort through the html, but usually the text you want to read is embedded in there. 

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seems like it may be delayed a little longer....

 

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/transportation/article/Opponents-of-Houston-Dallas-bullet-train-trumpet-13607501.php?src=hp_totn

 

Quote

Opponents of Houston-Dallas bullet train trumpet ruling that company is not a railroad

 

The planned high-speed rail project from Houston to Dallas hit a big obstacle last week in rural Leon County when a judge there declared the project’s backers did not have authority to force landowners to sell or provide access to properties.

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, 79ta said:

 

Interesting...so the ruling is that TCR isn't a railroad and therefore isn't entitled to the legal preferences for acquiring land.  So...what if they build a mile of track and put a locomotive on it?

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4 hours ago, august948 said:

 

Interesting...so the ruling is that TCR isn't a railroad and therefore isn't entitled to the legal preferences for acquiring land.  So...what if they build a mile of track and put a locomotive on it?

 

Couldn't they partner with Virgin Trains...

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This decision should get appealed and overturned base on lack of common sense. So if an oil company wants to lay a pipeline, they can't use eminent domain until its built? Or how about utility lines? Or better yet a toll road? They should just go ahead and start building the rest of the rail while they deal with the mess in one county. The governmental environmental study alone shows it is a railroad. 

Edited by cougarpad

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