THE PAVILION ANNEX

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

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FrankChurch
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby FrankChurch » Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:11 am

Just tell people that they are bad Americans if they drive all the time. Guilt may work..lol

We need to slow our roll. Trains make us slow down our too-fast, crazy lives. We should stare at the flower, understand its being, not just run past it and get to the next Starbucks fix.

cynic
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby cynic » Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:32 am

high speed passenger rail has and will continue to find viable, sensible application, and more disapointments and failures.

an older study, but you will find little has changed, other than political climate and the temptation of "make work" stimulus policy.

"Abstract.
This paper examines the full costs, defined as the sum of private and social costs, of a high-speed rail system proposed for a corridor connecting Los Angeles and San Francisco in California. The full costs include infrastructure, fleet capital and operating expenses, the time users spend on the system, and the social costs of externalities, such as noise, pollution, and accidents.
Comparing these full costs to those of other competing modes contributes to the evaluation of the feasibility of high-speed rail in
the corridor. The paper concludes that high-speed rail is significantly more costly than expanding existing air service, and marginally more expensive than auto travel.

This suggests that high-speed rail is better positioned to serve shorter distance markets where it competes with auto travel than longer distance markets where it substitutes for air."

http://rational.ce.umn.edu/Papers/HighSpeedRail.pdf

any reasonable shift to more efficient, cost effective rail transport should be embraced, but it will be best realized in transport of freight, not high speed people.

High-Speed Rail's Sky-High Cost Makes It a Lousy Way to Get Carbon Cuts
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/08 ... o-much.php

again, HSPR will find it's place, hopefully not too many shiny new wasteful toys.
follow your bliss,mike

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Jan
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Jan » Sat Mar 20, 2010 3:50 pm

Part of the reason why we implemented high speed trains is to provide fast travel at acceptable levels of pollution. I don't think we would have them quite this way if we'd looked at it like the policy advisors cynic quotes. The environment has been a big factor in keeping the German railway alive, and most EU countries are modernizing their rail services. A lot of them have been relying more on long-distance bus lines.

The wikipedia article on high speed rail: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-speed_rail
And on magnetic levitation rail (neglected but more efficient) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetic_levitation_train

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robochrist
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby robochrist » Sat Mar 20, 2010 4:02 pm

For the commuter experts on board here, I have never understood why passenger trains provide emergency pull cords allowing patrons to tug on it any time they MIGHT! Isn't that placing a LOT of faith in passengers that the train would be stopped for a good reason? What if they had an evil Simpson-esque kid like myself on board, who'd DROOL at the chance of a prank?

It would make sense to me if they had a cord to signal personnel of an emergency, who in turn would stop the train. But if they really give that power to the passengers, I can't believe it never presented a problem! (Anyone remember that 'I Love Lucy' episode?)

Who's got the history on this?

Richard Keeney
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Richard Keeney » Sat Mar 20, 2010 4:23 pm

Robo Rob,

The answer to the emergency cord question is that every city with a transit system has stern penalties in store for those who interfere with the operation of a conveyance. It's expensive and can involve jail time, probation, community service. At any rate, you will stand before a judge. Takes only a few folks finding out the hard way to deter that brand of malarkey.

And the trains in Minneapolis do not have these. You have to buzz the operator.

Rick
"It would be interesting to know what it is men are most afraid of. Taking a new step, uttering a new word is what they fear most."
--F. Dostoievsky, from CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

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robochrist
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby robochrist » Sat Mar 20, 2010 4:40 pm

"And the trains in Minneapolis do not have these. You have to buzz the operator."

THAT'S what makes more sense to me.

At any rate, if they wanna jail me they'll have to find me first. I jerk-n'-run, I don't just tug-n'-wait. I'll just dash off, sitdown with a halo over my head, and WATCH the FUN! (You're dealing with an experienced pro here!)

If that has never happened on a train it's hard to believe. And if it DID happen, it's even harder to believe they didn't set up the system as in Minneapolis.

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Ezra Lb.
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Ezra Lb. » Sat Mar 20, 2010 7:02 pm

My point is that the real problem and the source of most pollution and environmental degredation is the automobile and the internal combustion engine and the infrastructure required to support it. Any solution has to address this issue at some point.

I fully support HSR. I never drive to Baltimore or Philly (two regular destinations). But Baltimore is an hour away at most (for $10) on the MARC and Philly two ($40 to $60 depending on time of day) on AMTRAK. Going to Atlanta would be another matter. The AMTRAK is cumbersome and overpriced when you can hop on Airtran for $80 and get there in ninety minutes. .
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

cynic
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby cynic » Sat Mar 20, 2010 9:33 pm

pardon the wiki info, the DOE site is down at the moment (allegedly wiki's source)

world energy consumption stats:

Industrial users (agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and construction) consume about 37% of the total
(mike notes; ( if i recall ) concrete production is the larger share of this consumption)

Personal and commercial transportation consumes 20%
(mike notes; given US passion for autos, world personal trans could easily be as low or lower than 10%. can't find the figure yet )

residential heating, lighting, and appliances use 11%

commercial uses (lighting, heating and cooling of commercial buildings, water and sewer services) 5% of the total

The other 27% of the world's energy is lost in energy transmission and generation

US stats:

-industry 33%-
22% chemical production
16% petroleum refining
14% metal smelting/refining

-Transportation 28%-
61% gasoline fuel...(17.08% of total, mostly autos i suppose )
21% diesel fuel
12% aviation
(mike note; that leaves 6% unaccounted, perhaps elect. rail via coal, nat gas & nuke)

-residential 21%-
-commercial 17%-
(i got no id where du last 1% is.)

certainly, joyriding in SUVs can be curtailed, perhaps a mass exodus by jet to see the last surviving polar bear can be passed up, but cars aren't the biggest solution that we may find excuses not to address.

even existing mass transit is a pill most find difficult to swallow.
follow your bliss,mike

diane bartels
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby diane bartels » Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:19 pm

"Get me a ticket for an airplane, ain't got time to take no fast train, lonely days are gone, I'm a goin home, my baby just wrote me a letter". Can't for the life a me remember who wrote that, but it sure weren't moi. Good song, not much to do with the thread.
Robo and Rich, can't envision the details but my subconscious tells me the train cord pulling theme would made a terrific core for an old-fashioned Harlan story. Different worlds entered, different punishments ensue....

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robochrist
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby robochrist » Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:47 pm

THAT'S a story I can tell myself!

sjarrett
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Postby sjarrett » Sun Mar 21, 2010 10:23 am

It occurs to me that a form of public transport on which a single lunatic with no regard for consequences can casually yank a cord and bring all forward progress to a halt -- causing inconvenience, or worse, to an untold number of people who are depending on that transport to get where they need to go -- is a pretty good metaphor for the currently-sanctioned use of the filibuster in the United States Senate.

Just saying.

Steve J.

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robochrist
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby robochrist » Sun Mar 21, 2010 12:17 pm

The METAPHOR!

That was my very intention! Yes, indeed!

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Jan
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Jan » Sun Mar 21, 2010 1:30 pm

cynic:
any reasonable shift to more efficient, cost effective rail transport should be embraced, but it will be best realized in transport of freight, not high speed people.

the "need" and practicality of high speed passenger rail seems to me as little more sensible than having your own flying car

61% gasoline fuel...(17.08% of total, mostly autos i suppose ) ... cars aren't the biggest solution that we may find excuses not to address.


Etc.

Mike, people spend much more on cars and planes than tax payers ever would on any efficient and people-friendy mass transit which includes high speed trains.
The gasoline figures alone do not measure the energy expended for cars, only for driving. Their production is a part of the figures relating to "chemical production", "petroleum refining", and "metal smelting/refining", among others (oil drilling, mining).
The world is drowning in airplanes which harm the upper atmosphere, and we could do without a lot of them if we had more high speed rail. The modern world increasingly requires speedy transit, otherwise we could do simply without short distance flights, which are the most harmful to the environment.
Cars are standing around most of their lifetime. Trains and buses are used to transport different people at different times and last much longer. They also don't require oil for their operation.

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FrankChurch
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby FrankChurch » Sun Mar 21, 2010 2:15 pm

Right on Jan. Europeans are great on many things, especially healthcare and trains.

Cars are evil.

cynic
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby cynic » Sun Mar 21, 2010 2:17 pm

jan,
you (and ez) are mostly correct. i didnt include the figures regarding " the infrastructure required to support it. " that ez pointed out, or the costs of manufacture of personal transport hidden in the industrial figures.

and while ELECTRIC trains "They also don't require oil for their operation.", fossile fuel is still the source of energy.( 90%)

certainly, unecessary personal transport (esp. autos) needs to be minimized, but given it's involvement in the world economy, to say nothing of the cultural attitudes (and some reasonable utility), this is a change that will be long in coming.

as often happens, true necessity will likely form our actions, rather than logic and foresight.
follow your bliss,mike


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