Skip to comments.Siemens’ High-Speed Rail: These “Cars” Get 700 Miles-Per-Gallon
Posted on 06/11/2010 7:43:40 AM PDT by Willie Green
America has a waiting problem.
Think about the time you spend waiting in traffic jams at the doctor/dentists office at restaurants at the gas station.
And how about the six months of your life spent waiting at traffic lights? Or the five years youll spend just waiting in lines at retail stores, the post office, DMV, etc. (Early buyers of Apples products likely spend far more.)
And according to Robert Poole, Director of Transportation Policy at the Reason Foundation, the average air traveler now spends two to three hours waiting at the airport. Granted, much of that is due to more rigorous security screening time that is generally well spent but air travel delays and traffic jams are only going to get worse, as more people take to the skies and roads.
In short, we wait an average of 45 to 62 minutes every single day. And thats less time spent with family and friends, or doing other more productive, enjoyable activities.
Other countries have already recognized the problem and have addressed it for years. But the United States has failed miserably. So how can we improve our waiting efficiency? Theres a solution
A Great Idea Until Henry Ford Drove it Off the Rails
Its called high-speed passenger rail.
Ill get to the high-speed part in a moment. First, a quick overview of the U.S. rail service today.
Much of Americas freight still travels by rail. In fact, more than two billion tons plowed across the country in 2007 (the latest data available). Its the transport mainstay for coal, lumber and other heavy industrial products and machinery.
Passenger rail service in the United States dates all the way back to 1830 when the Best Friend of Charleston the first steam-powered train traveled six miles with 141 passengers on board.
Boston, Baltimore and other major cities quickly established major railroads, due to the lack of river access to U.S. inland areas. And the idea of being able to travel, regardless of weather conditions and at high speeds, too was a big hit with most Americans.
As a result, passenger rail service soared
But then Henry Ford came along and changed the playing field. When he introduced the mass-produced automobile in the following decade, rail travel fell by 18%.
700 Miles and a Tank of Gas Later
Fast-forward to 2010
Youd think that in todays high-tech age, we could combine speed with efficiency and wouldnt spend so long waiting. But thats not the case. And with transportation, its an increasingly expensive wait for most Americans.
Take the average car, for instance. Fully loaded with five passengers, it gets about 100 passenger-miles-per-gallon (PMPG).
And according to the Department of Energy, the average passenger jet only gets about 36 PMPG. Of course, the trade-off there is speed.
But how about that speed/low-cost equation? Especially for regional travel? Europe and Asia already manage it. And we can here, too.
The answer lies in the method that squeezes out 700 PMPG.
You got it high-speed trains. You can string their cars together and carry far more passengers than the average commercial jetliner. And these trains blast along at speeds of nearly 250 MPH.
So which company is behind this rapid rail transportation?
This Company Feels the Need the Need for Speed
Take a quick jaunt around the globe and youll see this companys trains in use all over the place
The company were talking about is Siemens AG (NYSE: SI) the largest manufacturer of high-speed trains in the world.
Its Valero high-speed train technology is the worlds most successful. Siemens currently has 160 trains in operation and hundreds more on order.
And for speed-hungry America, its the perfect fit
Siemens is pushing hard to get its Valero high-speed train technology widely adopted across the U.S. rail network. Interest is high, too. There are several high-speed rail projects in the works
Critics argue that few people will ride the high-speed rails. But frankly, thats a myopic view. Theyre not counting on expensive gasoline, because cheap gas is a thing of the past.
As if further proof were needed, U.S. politicians simply need to look around the world to see what other countries are investing in transportation and energy infrastructure.
They need to roll up their sleeves and get the same things going here.
And while you wait, you might want to hop onboard the Siemens train and pick up a few shares.
Wow! It looks like you’ve found a great investment for your personal savings.
you put a gallon of gas into it, and if it runs for 700 miles, then i’ll beleive your claim. these hypermileage claims by teh rail industry can be considered misleading because they assume certain capacities, loads, etc.
And suddenly I'm snickering like a 12 year-old.
“Think about the time you spend waiting in traffic jams at the doctor/dentists office at restaurants at the gas station.”
Is he implying that I’m going to be able to take “high speed rail” to pick up a pizza?
$50 million PER MILE.
Take a look at the cost per passenger mile, then tell me what a great investment this is!
20 minutes or its free. LOL
There will be no government subsidy of rail, right?
Magically, there will be no lines and no waiting with rail, right?
Each rail car will be filled to capacity to gain that 700 miles per gallon figure, right? They won’t be like all those empty buses I see runing up and down the streets, right?
There will be very little start up cost, right?
All the trains will run (on old tracks) at 250 miles per hour, right?
Wow. Hey, I hear the Brooklyn Bridge is for sale because it will no longer be needed.
Lord Obama gave Michigan a whopping $40 million.
You can go as fast as you want, and as far as you want.....as long as its within 9/10 of a mile.
They also never include the fact that the train doesn't go exactly where people want to go, either. Neither do commercial airlines, but what is going to win out in the market? A commercial flight across the country that takes 4 hours and costs $400 or a train ride that takes 15 hours and cost $800?
Unless there is a high-speed train running every ten minutes from my front door to anywhere I want to go, I’ll still spend all of that same time waiting at lights.
Trains work in Europe because they’ve taxed fuel to $7.00 per Gallon.
(psychological disorder)People obviously never wait at train stations or spend time getting to and from them. (/psychological disorder)
This is a good place for the picture of the Detroit Rail Station.
Here you go...
The 700 Mile per gallon is calculated as compared to if the train is running at full capacity as compared to everyone taking their own car.
In other words, it is the equivalent of a single person on the train driving the same distance in a 700 mile per gallon car.
or further, it is 100% BS.
Doesn’t include the fuel cost involved in constructing this monument to the green ideology either.
Cars get 700 mpg?
No, when you have to be deceptive with the description, it becomes obvious the point is rather weak.
Trains compete with airlines, not personal vehicles.
They should be able to offer that competition in time versus cost.
If the goverment is bankrupt enough and can’t maintain the highways and oil is expensive enough then the railroads will provide passenger service again. Right now the people of the U.S. want the government to build and maintain highways not rails.
By the way for everyone else commenting railroads are cheaper to build, maintain and operate then interstate highways. So it is not about cost it is more about choice.
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