PT July 2012 - (Page 14)
UIC HIGHSPEED 2012
High-Speed Rail—Why Not California and the U.S.?
BY HON. ROD DIRIDON SR. Executive Director Mineta Transportation Institute and Chair Emeritus California High-Speed Rail Authority Board San Jose, CA
cars can be provided in California and then for the 12 other approved U.S. HSR corridors. The new U.S. HSR rolling stock will feature the latest technology and so be competitive in the international marketplace, helping to reverse the nation’s deficit balance of trade. very industrialized n HSR mobility: that nation in the world, is, faster downtown-toplus many emerging downtown travel than by countries, have operating air for trips up to about high-speed rail (HSR) sys600 miles. HSR has been tems . . . except the U.S.! embraced by riders worldThat’s more than 30 HSR wide as their preferred systems in operation, with travel choice. Experience double that number in planproves that the country ning and construction. that moves people and Can they all be wrong products most efficiently Hon. Rod Diridon Sr. and only the U.S. be right wins the international geoto continue to rely primareconomic competition. ily on petroleum-fueled highway and n Safety of HSR is far better than air transportation? any other mode of transportation. But, we’re told, it costs too much! The oldest systems, in Japan and Yet every other industrialized country France, have carried billions of paid to build HSR. How can California, riders since 1964 and 1982 respecthe richest state in the richest nation tively with not one fatality. In the world has ever known, not afford contrast, U.S. highways were the a HSR system in a corridor that numersite of 32,000 traffic deaths in the ous studies have determined to be last year recorded, with millions optimum? maimed and billions of dollars in The advantages are well understood property damage. internationally: n Dependability is a strength of n Jobs that cannot be off-shored HSR. For example, Japan Central will be needed in the millions to Railroad trains operated an average build, operate, and maintain this of only .5 minutes late last year new industry for California and the on all lines. Inclement weather, nation. Manufacturing need not be deadly for airline schedules, doesn’t a lost skill for the U.S. The HSR sysbother HSR. tems’ technology, components, and n Comfort is an advantage unique
An artist’s rendering of a California high-speed rail station.
to HSR. A 200 mph international HSR train gives little sense of motion to riders, contrary to the often poorly stabilized U.S. trackage. The HSR cars are quiet and offer amenities such as broad aisles, large seat spacing, and dining and beverage cars. n Efficiency is the reason other leadership countries have built HSR systems. The lower cost of electricity compared to petroleum fuel is an increasing advantage. The cost of operating and maintaining steel-wheel technology is also low. Since HSR technology is faster, safer, more comfortable, and more dependable than other travel modes, the market is large and willing to pay well. Hence, central governments throughout
the world have built HSR, which has attracted heavy ridership and, with rare exception, has resulted in an often amazing profit percentage after operating and maintenance costs. n Environmental benefits. The “feel-good” benefit motivates many people to ride HSR. Indeed, it is no coincidence that Japan and most of the European countries that operate electrically powered HSR are in compliance with the old Kyoto Accords. Non-polluting travel is a nexus to judge the seriousness with which countries embrace the international imperative to combat climate change.
HIGH-SPEED RAIL—WHY NOT?
CONTINUED ON PAGE 20
Bombardier: The Evolution of Train Car Mobility
BY MARYANNE ROBERTS Senior Advisor, Communications and Public Affairs, U.S. Bombardier Transportation Horsham, PA
he world is constantly on the move and so is Bombardier. Fast, safe, reliable, and comfortable high-speed and very high-speed trains are now rivaling air travel as an efficient means of transportation for long distances. As a result, political decisions have been taken and infrastructure investments made to boost train travel over longer distances. Bombardier has been a key player
in the design and delivery of many European very high-speed trains, as well as other significant international high-speed projects, with an impressive portfolio of more than 20 products worldwide. In the U.S., that portfolio includes 20 high speed trainsets for Amtrak’s Acela Express service—the first and only high-speed trains in North America In the past the main challenge was very high speed, but nowadays such criteria as energy efficiency, high capacity, customized comfort, and ecological sensitivity are becoming increasingly important. That’s why Bombardier’s philosophy is to combine proven design elements for optimum reliability, safety, low energy consumption, and ease of maintainability
with the opportunity to customize the interior layout for the specific needs of each operator.
Creating New Opportunities
To maximize the potential of highspeed, long-distance rail travel, operators need innovative rail equipment that meets new requirements for interoperability, economy, reliability, energy efficiency, and the ability to ride both dedicated and non-dedicated tracks. Bombardier offers in-depth experience in rail vehicle engineering matched by extensive knowledge of all industrial, economical, and operational parameters. As an active partner and supplier, we provide operators with enhanced added value. Bombardier’s Zefiro high-speed train family is the culmination of the company’s long-standing reputation in this market segment. Developed for speeds between 250 and 380 kilometers per hour (between 155 and 236 mph), Zefiro offers high levels of comfort and capacity, low operating costs, and diverse application options for different countries and railway networks.
tions from one city center to another. Bombardier’s intercity trains provide an attractive transportation alternative for travel between densely populated areas.
Next Generation U.S. Equipment
In response to the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 and the subsequent establishment of the Section 305 Next Generation Equipment Committee, Bombardier has played, and continues to play, a key role in working with both private sector and government representatives to produce technical specifications that will provide the U.S. and Amtrak with the most advanced and reliable passenger rail equipment. Bombardier’s growing family of intercity products for the U.S. market is based on years of experience manufacturing intercity, regional, and commuter trains including the fleet of long-distance, bi-level Superliner II cars for Amtrak; more than 600 MultiLevel vehicles in service at or on order for New Jersey Transit Corporation, Montreal’s Agence métropolitaine de transport, and the Maryland Transit Administration; and more than 1,200 bi-level coaches in service at or on order for 14 public transit agencies across North America.
Providing Perfect Connections
A mockup of Bombardier’s Zefiro high-speed train.
Intercity rail offers comfortable, safe, and environmentally friendly connec-
14 | Passenger Transport
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PT July 2012
PT July 2012