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WTF in America Part 2

WTF in America Part 2

Old Jun 17th 2024, 6:51 am
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Default Re: WTF in America Part 2

Originally Posted by Steerpike
..... Long distances between major centers, which means long rail runs and few opportunities for intermediate stations / passengers. Compare that to building two airports, one at each end, and running a plane between them. Example - LA and SF. 400 miles apart. Lay down some concrete at each end for an airport (which can also serve an unlimited number of 'other' locations), and fly a plane between the two - done. Journey time under 1 hour, cost often under $100. Compare that to building 400 miles of high speed rail, and consider there's a major mountain range between the two.
I totally agree, and would add, that if you're going to put the sort of money that would require, into rail infrastructure in the US, it should be put into greatly improved container freight transportation, to get as many trucks as possible off the roads.
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Old Jun 18th 2024, 4:09 am
  #317  
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Default Re: WTF in America Part 2

Originally Posted by Pulaski
I totally agree, and would add, that if you're going to put the sort of money that would require, into rail infrastructure in the US, it should be put into greatly improved container freight transportation, to get as many trucks as possible off the roads.
I just happened to watch a documentary on Amazon Prime Video last night called 'China's Silk Road'. I only got half-way through (it's way longer than it needs to be ... but will try to complete shortly) but the gist of it was, China is busy building a railway line from central China to Germany for the specific purpose of delivering goods more efficiently, and is part of their 'central plan' to dominate world trade. The line runs through central China, then Kazakhstan, then Russia, and on through Poland into Germany (I'm guessing the latter part already exists!). Freight does not need to be 'high speed' in the same way that passenger rail needs to be in order to be viable.

They also showed how they are busy building sea-ports in various African nations (Djibouti, etc), again in support of China trade. China is basically doing a variation of the 'colonial' type thing with their investments in infrastructure all over the world. Something the US should be doing but isn't.

Last edited by Steerpike; Jun 18th 2024 at 4:12 am.
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Old Jun 18th 2024, 6:45 am
  #318  
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Default Re: WTF in America Part 2

Originally Posted by Steerpike
I just happened to watch a documentary on Amazon Prime Video last night called 'China's Silk Road'. I only got half-way through (it's way longer than it needs to be ... but will try to complete shortly) but the gist of it was, China is busy building a railway line from central China to Germany for the specific purpose of delivering goods more efficiently, and is part of their 'central plan' to dominate world trade. The line runs through central China, then Kazakhstan, then Russia, and on through Poland into Germany (I'm guessing the latter part already exists!). Freight does not need to be 'high speed' in the same way that passenger rail needs to be in order to be viable.

They also showed how they are busy building sea-ports in various African nations (Djibouti, etc), again in support of China trade. China is basically doing a variation of the 'colonial' type thing with their investments in infrastructure all over the world. Something the US should be doing but isn't.
What did they say was new about this line? Is it high speed or all about shaving off miles from the previous routes? I suppose all of China had to go through the North East of China to get to Europe by rail in the past?
I'm trying to remember the old lines. Alma Ata had rail, so did Urumchi, but I don't remember anything in-between.
I should watch the documentary.
Edit,: Oh I remember one important point now. Rail from China into Russia via Mongolia had to change gauge, this In itself was quite involved and time consuming
Lifting up the carriages and replacing the bogie


Last edited by kimilseung; Jun 18th 2024 at 7:40 am.
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Old Jun 18th 2024, 7:27 am
  #319  
 
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Default Re: WTF in America Part 2

Originally Posted by kimilseung
What did they say was new about this line? Is it high speed or all about shaving off miles from the previous routes? ....
I think the only meaningful trans-Asia railway is entirely in Russia, which is presumably unattractive to the Chinese.

I don't know if a piecemeal route exists further south, but if you can get freight into India and west into Pakistan, the railway, and any freight it is carrying, faces having to cross at least Iran, to reach the relative safety of Turkiye and the eastern end of the line to western Europe used by the Orient Express.

Given the mountains of eastern Turkiye, a line further south, across Iraq and Syria, would be much easier to build from an engineering perspective, but the whole region is politically unstable, or in a state of war and/ or insurgency, making building a railway impractical any time soon.

Last edited by Pulaski; Jun 18th 2024 at 7:31 am.
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Old Jun 18th 2024, 12:02 pm
  #320  
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Default Re: WTF in America Part 2

This sad story comes from Vermont - which I always thought epitomized good, old fashioned American courtesy & small-town values.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...ican-water-bag

Republican repeatedly pours cups of water into her democratic colleague’s bag.
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Old Jun 18th 2024, 4:27 pm
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Default Re: WTF in America Part 2

Originally Posted by Steerpike
As much as I think the US needs a lot more high speed rail (especially after having just experienced 'perfection' in Japan), I do have some sympathy for the western US.

Long distances between major centers, which means long rail runs and few opportunities for intermediate stations / passengers. Compare that to building two airports, one at each end, and running a plane between them. Example - LA and SF. 400 miles apart. Lay down some concrete at each end for an airport (which can also serve an unlimited number of 'other' locations), and fly a plane between the two - done. Journey time under 1 hour, cost often under $100. Compare that to building 400 miles of high speed rail, and consider there's a major mountain range between the two.
That's largely but not wholly true. The reason the LA - SF high speed rail line was designed to run through the eastern Central Valley was so it could serve intermediate stations in Bakersfield and Fresno, both cities in the 500k range. Additionally, that allowed a line to run to Sacramento (also a similar size). Of course, those cities are far smaller than San Diego, LA or the Bay Area.

Another factor is that it's flipping difficult to build any transport infrastructure in the US due to legal challenges that can go on seemingly forever. So building a high speed line into a major city is always going to run into legal difficulties. Another classic example is the time it's taking to build a desperately needed new railroad tunnel under the Hudson River to NYC. That was started over 15 years ago and the latest projection is it may open for traffic in ... 2035.

One project that might actually get completed is the high speed line from LA (well, San Bernadino actually, to attempt to avoid the big city problem mentioned above) to Las Vegas. Having once spent five hours crawling from Las Vegas to Barstow, maybe even Californians can be tempted away from the traffic on I-15.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brightline_West

Last edited by Giantaxe; Jun 18th 2024 at 5:48 pm.
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Old Jun 19th 2024, 1:40 am
  #322  
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Default Re: WTF in America Part 2

Originally Posted by robin1234
This sad story comes from Vermont - which I always thought epitomized good, old fashioned American courtesy & small-town values.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...ican-water-bag

Republican repeatedly pours cups of water into her democratic colleague’s bag.
I guess she took "trickle down" economics as literal.
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Old Jun 20th 2024, 6:05 am
  #323  
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Default Re: WTF in America Part 2

Originally Posted by kimilseung
What did they say was new about this line? Is it high speed or all about shaving off miles from the previous routes? I suppose all of China had to go through the North East of China to get to Europe by rail in the past?
I'm trying to remember the old lines. Alma Ata had rail, so did Urumchi, but I don't remember anything in-between.
I should watch the documentary.
Edit,: Oh I remember one important point now. Rail from China into Russia via Mongolia had to change gauge, this In itself was quite involved and time consuming
Lifting up the carriages and replacing the bogie
I was so fascinated by the rail route, and the image came and went so fast in the documentary, that I photographed it so I could stare at it for longer! They mentioned something about avoiding Tibet. The impression I got was, this was a combination of upgrades to existing, plus new. I seem to recall also hearing, 'electrification is not yet complete' - implying that is an ongoing project. I don't recall any mention of gauge. The documentary was called 'China's Silk Road' and it was on Amazon Prime. Here it is - https://www.amazon.com/Chinas-Silk-E.../dp/B08429VNVT .

It's not just about the railway line, it's about all things Chinese trade, including entrepreneur zones in China and the products they make (electric cars, etc). I seem to recall another documentary recently that said China makes more EVs than anyone else.


For some reason I got totally absorbed in looking at Google Maps of the border area between China, Russia, and North Korea - it seems North Korea and Russia have a border crossing where the border/river meets the ocean, and China is a few miles upstream/inland on that river; so China doesn't seem to have any ocean access north of the Korean Peninsula.

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Old Jun 20th 2024, 7:12 am
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Default Re: WTF in America Part 2

Originally Posted by Steerpike
I was so fascinated by the rail route, and the image came and went so fast in the documentary, that I photographed it so I could stare at it for longer! They mentioned something about avoiding Tibet. The impression I got was, this was a combination of upgrades to existing, plus new. I seem to recall also hearing, 'electrification is not yet complete' - implying that is an ongoing project. I don't recall any mention of gauge. The documentary was called 'China's Silk Road' and it was on Amazon Prime. Here it is - https://www.amazon.com/Chinas-Silk-E.../dp/B08429VNVT .

It's not just about the railway line, it's about all things Chinese trade, including entrepreneur zones in China and the products they make (electric cars, etc). I seem to recall another documentary recently that said China makes more EVs than anyone else.


For some reason I got totally absorbed in looking at Google Maps of the border area between China, Russia, and North Korea - it seems North Korea and Russia have a border crossing where the border/river meets the ocean, and China is a few miles upstream/inland on that river; so China doesn't seem to have any ocean access north of the Korean Peninsula.
I just had a quick scan and will watch in full at a later time, and your screen shot is useful. Its more of a policy of improving and upgrading all communication links and trade. I mistook it for one designated route. I suppose this has been going on since the Karakoram Highway, linking with Pakistan, maybe before.
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Old Jun 23rd 2024, 11:27 am
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Default Re: WTF in America Part 2

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...an-girl-aged-3

Texas woman tries to drown a three year old girl in the swimming pool - because she’s of Palestinian heritage. OK, the woman was drunk; but trying to drown a young child in the swimming pool? And now she’s out on bail, after threatening to kill the child’s mother & her whole family?
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Old Jun 23rd 2024, 6:58 pm
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Default Re: WTF in America Part 2

Originally Posted by robin1234
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...an-girl-aged-3

Texas woman tries to drown a three year old girl in the swimming pool - because she’s of Palestinian heritage. OK, the woman was drunk; but trying to drown a young child in the swimming pool? And now she’s out on bail, after threatening to kill the child’s mother & her whole family?
Bail????

Being drunk isn't relevant, obv.

WTF?
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Old Jun 24th 2024, 12:05 am
  #327  
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Default Re: WTF in America Part 2

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter
Bail????

Being drunk isn't relevant, obv.

WTF?
I don’t know what the general common sense, or legal, parameters are whether a person alleged to have committed a violent crime should be eligible for bail. But I’d always assumed it was related to whether they were a credible danger to the community. I’d have thought trying to drown a little kid in a swimming pool was up there, in unhinged egregiousness ..
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Old Jun 24th 2024, 2:01 am
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Default Re: WTF in America Part 2

Originally Posted by robin1234
I don’t know what the general common sense, or legal, parameters are whether a person alleged to have committed a violent crime should be eligible for bail. But I’d always assumed it was related to whether they were a credible danger to the community. I’d have thought trying to drown a little kid in a swimming pool was up there, in unhinged egregiousness ..
Well you would think. Apparently she threatened to kill the whole family - why it's a good idea for her to be out is anyone's guess...

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Old Jun 24th 2024, 2:09 am
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Default Re: WTF in America Part 2

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter
Well you would think. Apparently she threatened to kill the whole family - why it's a good idea for her to be out is anyone's guess...
I don't understand the world, especially the USA . Let's hope this doesn't end in any further tragedy. This family have faced enough trauma already, I hope they are being protected. Beggars belief!!
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Old Jun 24th 2024, 3:07 am
  #330  
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Default Re: WTF in America Part 2

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter
Bail????

Being drunk isn't relevant, obv.

WTF?
She was "standing her ground" on the edge of the pool when the three year old pulled her into the pool.
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