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Sunday Train: HSR from Houston to Dallas one step closer to reality

The Texas Department of Transport and Federal Railway Authority announced in June that they were beginning an Environmental Impact Study for the proposed private Texas Central Railways (TCR) High Speed Rail corridor between Houston and Dallas.

This is a private venture that is proposing to using the "Japan Rail Central" N700-I system, an internationalized version of the 186mph HSR train running between Tokyo and Osaka. TCR proposal is not only for the trains to be operated on farebox revenue, but for the corridor to be built with private funds. As the FRA announcement states:

TCR is a Texas-based company formed in 2009 to bring HSR to Texas as a private-sector venture. Working closely with Central Japan Railway Company (JRC), TCR is proposing the deployment of JRC’s N700-I Bullet System based on the world’s safest, most reliable, lowest emission, electric-powered, HSR systems, the Tokaido Shinkansen System. Developed and operated by JRC and the former Japan National Railways, the Tokaido Shinkansen has operated safely for almost 50 years and carries over 400,000 daily passengers. The most current generation Shinkansen train, the Series N700, runs at speeds up to 186 miles per hour.

Being a private venture, the EIS process will give us our first public look at corridor alternatives that TRC is considering, as well as the first opportunity for formal public comment.

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The Breakfast Club (Eighty Years War)

breakfast beers photo breakfastbeers.jpgOh, those clever Italians, always sneaking up on the poor French in the Mountain passes of the Alps and Pyrenees.Perhaps you are thinking about professional bicycle racing?  Well, you're absolutely right but even though I'm willing to torture a metaphor (and there's an auto-da-fé, which technically means "confession of faith" but in practice means burning at the stake- a peculiar type of barbeque popular in Spain from about 1477 to 1812, in this Opera) I wasn't quite able to work in the cobbles of Brittany where Le Tour was really won this year and not by crashes and injuries but by slick riding and good strategy (what do you mean you benched Wiggo?) and tactics.

ek, you've totally lost me.

See, that's the thing isn't it?  Nobody ever expects... the comfy chair!

And you'd better get one because in addition to being composed by an Italian to a French libretto about a Spanish Prince based on a German play today's Opera is also about 4 hours long.

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Follow Friday for 25 July, 2014: MidnightOil-Politics

A weekly mostly random sampling of resources shared on twitter on various topics. This week: the MidnightOil-Politics list.


Four more tweets or tweetblocks below the fold

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The Breakfast Club: 7-25-2014

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We're a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we're not too hungover we've been bailed out we're not too exhausted from last night's (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Everyone's welcome here, no special handshake required. Just check your meta at the door.

Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it's PhilJD's fault.

 

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This Day in History

 

 

 

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A Costa Rica retrospective

crossposted from: Humanitarian Left

By OPOL
from Humanitarian Left, 12 July, 2014

I've been back in the USA for about a month now. I discussed how that came to be in Early morning, Cahuita, my last diary from Costa Rica, one of a series documenting our journey originally posted at Daily Kos.

Previous episodes in this series include:

Adios Gringolandia

Pura Vida

I used to have kidneys - then I took the road to Tamarindo

Kossacks in Paradise – Mike and Alice Olson of Nosara

Palmares

Life in the Irie Zone

Life is hard, even in Cahuita

Life in the Jungle

Early morning, Cahuita

This is my latest Photoshop painting. Inspired by our journey, it's called, Tucano.

Tucano-SMALL-640px

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The Breakfast Club: 7-21-2014

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We're a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we're not too hungover we've been bailed out we're not too exhausted from last night's (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Everyone's welcome here, no special handshake required. Just check your meta at the door.

Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it's PhilJD's fault.

breakfast beers photo breakfastbeers.jpg

This Day in History


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Sunday Train: What Future for America's Deadly Cul-de-Sacs?

The Great Recession of 2007-2009 triggered the Depression that we appear to be exiting this summer. And it was triggered by the collapse of the Great Turn of the Century Suburban Housing Bubble.

In coming out of the recent Depression, one driver of residential property values, the Cul de Sac, seems to be in conflict with a new driver: walkability. In October 2013, the Realtor(R) Magazine Online, of the National Association of Realtors, wrote, in Neighborhoods: More Walkable, More Desirable that:

Neighborhoods that boast greater walkability tend to have higher resale values in both residential and commercial properties, finds a recent study published in Real Estate Economics. In fact, a 2009 report by CEOs for Cities found that just a one-point increase in a city’s walk score could potentially increase homes’ values by $700 to $3,000.

And Ken Harney, writing for NewHomeSource.com, observes in that:

The core concept — connecting people with where they want to work, play and own a home by creating attractive neighborhood environments that make maximum use of existing transit infrastructure — fits many post-recession households’ needs, regardless of age. Older owners of suburban homes are downsizing into townhouses and condo units close to or in the central city, often in locations near transit lines. Younger buyers, fed up with long commutes to work, want to move to places where they can jump onto mass transit and get off the road.

Many of these buyers also have an eye on economics. For example, Bill Locke, a federal contracts consultant in northern Virginia, said that although owning a LEED-certified townhome near a Metro transit stop “is a really big deal” for himself and his wife, he sees the unit they recently purchased in the Old Town Commons development in Alexandria, Va., as a long-term investment that will grow in value “because it makes so much more sense” than competing, traditional subdivisions farther out from the city.

So, what does this mean for the sustainable transport and for the future of the deadly American Suburban Cul de Sac? Let's have a chat about it, below the fold.

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