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A Maglev Train System for Florida?

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the whooosh dept.

Technology 298

Artifice_Eternity writes "For 20 years, citizens of Florida have been pushing for high-speed rail, as an alternative to the state's ever-growing, yet ever-crowded highways. A previous plan, the Florida Overland eXpress (FOX), was killed by governor Jeb Bush in 1998. The voters responded by passing a referendum to require the building of a "bullet train," starting by November 2003. The new Florida High Speed Rail Authority is focusing first on the busy Miami-Orlando and Tampa-Orlando corridors, but eventually hopes to serve the whole state. And they are seriously considering maglev technology! If the Florida HSR system did use maglev, it would be the largest one in the world. (Right now, maglev is in use on test tracks in Germany and Japan, with a 30-kilometer system under construction in Shanghai.) However, I like this humorous proposal best: it takes the idea of a "bullet train" literally, using the Jules Verne approach to propulsion."

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298 comments

Finally... (1)

jormurgandr (128408) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048283)

Gods Waiting Room gets metro. Hopefully they'll give the over-65 generation free passes, get them off the roads.

Cut and pasterrific! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4048315)

Dear Hemos,

Now that I'm away at pedophile camp, CmdrTaco told me to clarify and explain some of your new duties to you. You see, CmdrTaco got the kind of service he demanded from me, and now that I'm gone, he expects the same service from you, his second son.

You may as well make up your mind right now to abandon every shred of self-respect you've got, because you will be undergoing, every day from now on, some of the most humiliating ordeals you ever dared to imagine.

I will try to give you some tips to prepare you for the suffering that's ahead of you; but whatever horrors I tell you here fall short of the reality--so bear that in mind!

I guess I'll start by describing what we might call your "morning toilet duty." This is one of the hardest to get used to, but you have no choice, so you might as well do it right the first time. I guess that, like me, when I was your age, you've never tasted shit--so you'd best get some practice by eating your own shit until you can get it down without vomiting.

I can't overstress this. Few things put CmdrTaco in a meaner mood than a son who throws up--there was a time a few years back when I DID throw up (I forget what it was that CmdrTaco made me do--I think it was just from the smell of one of his sneakers).

Anyway, you don't want to know what happened to me that time.

A certain amount of nausea and gagging is unavoidable, however; in fact, I think CmdrTaco even expects it, because if you ever get used to something, he seems to always figure out a way to make it grosser and more disgusting for you!

Once you've had enough practice eating your own shit so that you can manage it without any difficulties, you should try to get someone else's shit--the smell of someone else's is less familiar, and it's harder to deal with this. Some of CmdrTaco's pals who aren't little fagmouths like you and me will occasionally help in this regard by leaving the toilet unflushed when they know you're around. Don't miss these opportunities to prepare yourself. I used to wait around on poker nights for hours. It was embarrassing, sure, because they all knew what I was waiting for, and either howled with laughter over my misfortune, or else looked at me with disgust--but in spite of that, I guess they know that CmdrTaco could make any one of them do what you and I have to do, so they leave something for you to experiment with. I was also lucky in that my friends Lenny and Bob were often a bit careless at their house, and that gave me further opportunities.

I have found that it is usually best to prepare for morning toilet duty by neither fasting nor eating too much--a very light breakfast seems to be best, with bland food--some toast, maybe, some milk--just bear in mind that if you eat too little, you may retch because you're faint, but whatever you eat, you WILL be fighting to keep it down a bit later! Don't think you'll be in full control, because I've tried and failed.

CmdrTaco usually needs to take a dump at about 7:20, so you should show up in the bathroom at about 7:10, just in case he's early. Remove all of your clothes, and kneel in front of the toilet (make sure that the toilet is flushed and clean--even though CmdrTaco doesn't use it--after all, you don't want to give him any bright ideas, do you?).

Step One. CmdrTaco will walk over to where you are kneeling. Greet him by bending down, and kissing his feet (he will probably be in one of his smelly pairs of socks) and then straighten up to fly level again. Unbutton the fly of his boxer shorts, and let them down.

Now, if he is wearing sweatpants or pj's, you should undo the tied laces with your teeth. This takes a bit of practice. If he is wearing button-fly bottoms, you must be a bit more ceremonious about his fly. Starting at the top button, you should plant a worshipful kiss on the button, gently undo it with your mouth, and, when the button is undone, kiss it again reverently.

Now, underneath his pajamas he may be wearing nothing, or else he may have briefs or a jockstrap on.

If you see briefs or a jockstrap, you should locate, as best you can, the tip of his penis inside it, and place your lips on it in another respectful kiss, and breathe through your nose, inhaling the odor so he can hear. Wait for CmdrTaco to say "okay," which indicates you may continue. At this point, you gently pull down the undergarment with your mouth and teeth. If he is naked under his pants, this step is omitted.

Next comes CmdrTaco's morning piss. Unless he specifically instructs you otherwise, the usual routine is to take his soft or semi-soft penis into your mouth very gently (try your darnedest not to stimulate a hard-on), hold your mouth as still as you can, and wait.

CmdrTaco will probably pace himself at first, but you should still gulp down his piss as fast as you can. Don't let any drip out of your mouth--which he finds very insulting. Swallow quickly, and expect some of it to get into your nose--it can't always be helped. You will soon get used to the salty, bitter flavor, and the smell is not too hard to take.

If you do spill any, on the floor, or, heaven forbid, on him, don't wait to be told. The moment he is finished pissing, get down there and lap it all up immediately. If you get it on the floor, CmdrTaco's usual punishment is simply to step in it, to make it even dirtier, and you have to lap up the black liquid, and then lick the last few drops off the sole of his feet.

After he is through pissing, swallow a few times to clear your mouth, and then turn around and sip a mouthful of water out of the toilet (which, we assume, contains clear water at this point--you see why I warned you to flush it!). Rinse your mouth and spit a few times--this is not so much to relieve you of the taste as to prepare you for the next step. I should also mention that CmdrTaco does not handle or shake his penis when he is pumping his piss into you, so you should, before disengaging your mouth, carefully squeeze the large vein on the underside of his penis with the pointed tip of your tongue, just to make sure you have wrung out the last few drops.

So far, this is all pretty easy to do--because CmdrTaco frequently does a workout before your morning toilet duty, however, you will find that his piss tends to be quite concentrated and dark. Hardly ever will you find his piss to be dilute and watery.

Another thing you should expect is that CmdrTaco's body, in general, is especially flavorful at this time, because he doesn't wash in the morning until you've done your toilet duty.

Which brings us to the next important bit--one which is especially important if it is the day after a night out, or if he's just back from a hiking trip or something. With your cleansed mouth, push back his foreskin and carefully and thoroughly wash the head of his penis in your mouth, collecting your saliva so that there is enough to really swish it about. Use your tongue to dislodge any deposit of smegma that you find there, and of course, this smelly disagreeable stuff is to be swallowed too. However, this time do NOT just gulp it down. When you have cleaned off the glans, let it slip out of your mouth, and HOLD the liquid on your tongue, looking up at CmdrTaco. Wait for him to say "okay, swallow!" at which point your mouth filled with cock-cheese diluted in spit goes down your throat.

Now comes the tough part. CmdrTaco will turn around so that your face is opposite his ass. Kiss both cheeks of his ass to indicate that you are ready to serve him, and then lie down flat. (Sometimes CmdrTaco will have you place the back of your neck up against the rim of the toilet seat, but let's discuss basics first.)

Then he will squat over your face, with his balls and prick hanging over your chin and chest. You should bring a sneaker with you to place on your chest to catch any stray drops of urine (or, if you do a good job, semen) that leak out of his penis during your work.

The first step now is to clean the entire crack of his ass, from his balls to the small of his back. Work on one side of the valley first, flattening your tongue and rubbing it up and down the crack to remove the sweat or brownish slime that collects in it. Work quickly, and remember to BREATHE THROUGH YOUR NOSE!

CmdrTaco gets very annoyed at shortcuts, and takes a dim view of boys who don't inhale the stink they should honor. (If you ever feel a warning pressure of a heel on your balls, chances are you have instinctively started breathing through your mouth to escape the smell of CmdrTaco's ass.)

You may find that bits of unmentionable stuff are clinging to the hairs in the crack--try first softening them with saliva and sucking to dislodge it and separate the hairs, but if all else fails, trim the ass-crack hair with your teeth. Do not pick ass-hairs off your tongue--swallow them. Don't forget about your balls, which are right where he can get at them--and behave!

When the crack of his ass is completely clean, you are ready for the next step which is to lubricate the anus and rectum so that the shit will slide out more easily. This takes some work, but soon your tongue muscles will get stronger, allowing you to accomplish this step with greater ease.

Begin by planting your mouth directly over his anus, sealing your lips around the perimeter. Point your tongue and wet it thoroughly with your spit and then push hard against the tight anus with it. Retract your tongue to wet it again frequently--about once every five to ten seconds. Expect it to bring back a certain amount of flavor--rather like the taste of his ass-crack, but a bit stronger.

Each thrust of your tongue should take you a little deeper into his asshole, and, as you warm up his ass, he should be able to relax his ass a bit more, so that you can get further up into it. Keep breathing through your nose, and keep retracting your tongue to get as much spit up his ass as you can. The harder you work now, the easier the rest will be (on CmdrTaco).

I'm trying to describe this calmly and clinically, but you will find that all sorts of emotions overcome you as you actually perform this the first time. For one thing, your perverted little prick will be rock-hard. You will also feel a certain amount of shame: after all, CmdrTaco is looking right at that evidence of your queerness. Another thing you'll feel is resentment, which you must fight down--after all, there is no escape. You will realize that you can never kiss again without thinking of the use to which your mouth was put--and that whoever you will ever kiss will be placing their mouth on an orifice that served this purpose. Finally, you will feel a humility unlike anything you've ever felt before, because, after all, you are about to perform the most degrading act that a boy can perform for a man. And, of course, you will be feeling a growing degree of nausea.

There is one moment I cannot help you prepare for--it is the toughest to overcome--and that is the moment when you get up deep enough inside CmdrTaco's ass that you make contact with his shit. It is almost an instinctive reflex to retract your tongue and try to throw him off. Fortunately, CmdrTaco is stronger than you, and there is no danger of your actually getting his ass away from your mouth--but I advise you to lie on your hands anyway.

It is at this moment that you must keep your wits about you. Breathe through your nose--not only because you must, but because that will help to keep you from retching.

Remember also that from about this moment, you have an important job to do, which is to keep any shit-odor from getting to CmdrTaco's nose. How to eat a fart is beyond the scope of what I want to write up in this letter, but you must eat them.

The important point to make here is that no matter how overcome you get at this crucial moment, DO NOT LET YOUR LIPS BREAK THEIR SEAL AROUND DAD'S ANUS! Just make up your mind that your mouth is an annex to his rectum, and keep it in place!

Now, in general, CmdrTaco will know when you've lubed him up well enough, and will start letting his shit move down the chute. You should gather your strength and start to suck--easy to say, but wait till you feel how hard it is to muster your strength and force yourself to do what every nerve in your body is rebelling against!

You must suck, I say, to assist CmdrTaco in dropping his turd. Once it starts emerging, it should just shoot out, at least most of it will, without any suction, but until it gets to the point of "no return" as it were, SUCK HARD!

When it does get to the point of no return, press your mouth up against his asshole as hard as you can, so that the turd, which is usually about a foot long and three inches or so in diameter, will remold itself to fit inside your mouth. You will have to struggle a bit to keep your jaw as open as you can--and you will learn how to swallow a bit of it without closing your mouth to make this part a little easier.

But remember--no stink should escape your mouth and get to CmdrTaco's nostrils--that's the most important thing--so don't close your lips until you are certain that all shit is either inside your mouth, or trapped behind his closed sphincter muscle--there IS usually a bit of "leftover" which I'll discuss in a moment.

Now, the feeling of having your mouth stuffed to the brim with your father's shit is too complex to describe, and I won't try. Suffice to say that your gagging and need to retch will have you bucking, physically; you will probably turn quite red in the face; you will probably feel tears running down your cheeks; you may ejaculate; you will feel the stink inside you--your nose reacts to smells in your mouth, after all, as well as smells around your face; and there's no helping a violent reaction, so just concentrate on the one important thing which is to keep your lips sealed tightly over your mouthful, and pressed just as tightly against his ass.

When you gain enough control, start (slowly!) chewing. You will probably have to swallow some more without chewing before you can safely chew without letting some odor loose--but chew you must. I was a wiseguy a few years ago: I taught myself to swallow turds directly down my throat, without chewing at all. The first time I performed morning toilet duty, CmdrTaco shot out his turd, and it continued going straight down my throat, without collecting in my mouth first. And, it's true, I tasted almost nothing. Well, CmdrTaco was furious, and to teach me a lesson, he suspended me from toilet duty for a whole month. Before you get any bright ideas, you should know that at the end of the month, I discovered that he had collected ALL the shit from EVERY ONE of his pals, including his own shit, for that entire month, in a huge beer barrel in the garage.

It just sat there, all month, getting more and more disgusting. What happened next--well, just don't get any cute ideas...you don't want to know what happened next.

The moral of the story, though, is CHEW. Taste it. It takes real strength to force yourself to do it, but do it. Chew it, and liquify it in your mouth, and bit by bit, swallow it down. Again, I can't prepare you entirely for the textures, the flavors, the odors--no two of the CmdrTaco's dumps are entirely alike. It all depends on what he's been eating lately.

In general though, what you get is pretty solid and needs to be chewed.

Now you're in the home stretch, if you haven't passed out in disgust (don't! you'll be sorry! You will find that there's no pity for a faint heart anymore than there was appreciation for wise-ass tricks!). The next step, once the major business has been concluded, is to get your weary tongue back up into that ass, and dig out whatever got left behind. Again, remember to keep your face pressed tightly against that ass, so no smell escapes. Get your tongue up inside the anus (you will find that easier now, as the anus should be a bit distended after the shit passed through), and use it as a kind of scoop. Bring each morsel back into your mouth, chew it, and swallow. Continue to do this until your tongue starts to come back clean, and all traces of shit, from as far up as you can go, have been transferred from CmdrTaco's rectum to your stomach.

(At some point, CmdrTaco will probably introduce you to deeper cleansing of his bowels, but let's take one step at a time--he only does that occasionally anyway, whereas ordinary toilet duty is something you have to do every day.)

Now, carefully clean up the outside of his ass with your tongue, salivate a mouthful of spit or two and swallow to rinse your mouth, and then lick your lips clean carefully to make sure that every trace of shit is gone. (You'll find that the flavor is still with you, but HE can't smell it--which is curious and funny at first.) By kissing the back of his scrotum sack gently, you indicate that you have completed your task.

CmdrTaco will now get up, and you should kneel again while he turns to face you. Check the sneaker you had on your chest:

if a few extra drops of piss came out while CmdrTaco pushed his shit into your mouth, lap 'em up. If he came because you were doing a halfway decent job on him, so much the better--lap up the sperm too--usually that's pretty slimy and gross, but you'll find it almost welcome at this moment! Of course, if YOU came, you should not wait to be told to lap it up off the floor (CmdrTaco sometimes requires that me to wear a scumbag--if you are made to do this, now is the time to empty it into your mouth).

If CmdrTaco has a hard-on at this point, he will give you his instructions (if he wants a suck-off, don't forget to slurp up some more fresh water from the toilet to rinse yourself first--but DON'T rinse with water unless it is a question of soiling our Father's body).

More usually, though, you now simply haul up his underwear or pajamas--you will need to use your hands for this, but again, there is that special ritual with buttonfly pants of kissing each button before and after it is inserted into the buttonhole. Buckle his belt, or tie up his sweatpants, and there you are! You've done it!

Except for one absolutely essential thing which you must NEVER forget. Get down on his feet, or sneakers, kiss them, and say, with emotion, and if you can manage it, a tear of gratitude: "Thank you, Father."

Then, lower your eyes and wait for him to leave the bathroom before putting on your clothes.

Take care not to belch--not only in front of CmdrTaco (because you will burp up the shitstink), but not after he leaves, either. Burping it up again will only bring all the stink back up, and is one of those things that will push you over the edge and have you puking your guts out. Try to avoid retching it all up again. First of all, if CmdrTaco should discover that you've upchucked his shit, it's got to all go back down your throat again anyway (this once happened to me, and it's really horrible). In fact, every so often CmdrTaco will "test" you when you're all done, and do a few things DESIGNED to tempt you to throw up, like for instance, picking his nose and making you hold it in your mouth, or sticking his finger in your mouth to provoke your gag reflex. Once he made me smell one of his REALLY ripe sneakers just after I had done morning toilet duty on a particularly big and evil-tasting turd--and I swear, I had it up in my mouth and down my throat again about three times--but I didn't let it out!

But even if you are sure CmdrTaco won't know, don't puke it up. If you thought it was unsavory going down, you can't imagine how awful it is coming back up. Also, it's a good idea not to eat anything else for a while, at least until you are out of danger. Of course, you should keep your mind off thoughts which might stir up nausea again, including going over what you've just done in your mind. Take it easy; you've done it, and tomorrow you'll get another chance--there's no need to review it now.

Paradoxically, you may need to cum at this point; you can jerk yourself off--I know that this daily ritual never failed to fetch me out, when it was all over. You will also find that you have trouble looking at yourself in a mirror. But after all, you deserve everything you just got, don't you? And another thing--CmdrTaco can get very inventive, so don't think for a moment that this is as bad as it gets--this is just routine stuff.

I'll try to prepare some study notes on some of the other things you're going to have to do--but this struck me as an important one to get out of the way right at the beginning, so that you can start practicing NOW.

There are times when CmdrTaco will excuse you from your morning toilet duty, or will choose to shit on your chest instead of in your mouth. These are, in general, not exactly occasions for rejoicing, but are rather, indications that worse things are yet to come.

One thing you may be sure of, however: you're CmdrTaco's son, and you may be sure that NO shit whatsoever will escape at least ONE trip into your mouth, down your throat, through your stomach and gut, and out your asshole--though HOW and WHEN it gets into your mouth is an open question. One thing I will say, though: not once have I performed ordinary morning toilet duty and said "Thank you, CmdrTaco" without real relief and gratitude that that was ALL I had to suffer through to please CmdrTaco with respect to that particular dump of shit. You will soon find the same to be true for yourself, I am certain.

Let me put it this way, kid: Hell has no surprises in store for either of us once we have served as CmdrTaco's slaveboys! Let me know if you have any questions, or if you need advice.

And let me know how it goes; it's too bad YOU don't have a kid brother to suck you off after these morning rituals as I did; but you can always jerk yourself off, and if you keep practicing the exercises I taught you, you'll even be able to suck yourself off soon. Remember, if you don't do a good job on CmdrTaco, we're both going to suffer for it: you for being a jerk, and me for not training you right.

Let me know how it goes.

Your best friend,
Jon Katz

Re:Finally... (2)

phillymjs (234426) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048327)

Hopefully they'll give the over-65 generation free passes, get them off the roads.

They'll have to modify the train cars to accommodate the elderly-- by adding a turn blinker that is on for the entire length of the trip.

~Philly

Monorail? (1, Funny)

forsetti (158019) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048286)

monorail, Monorail, MONORAIL!!!
well, maglev doesn't have the same ring to it.

Re:Monorail? (2)

sconeu (64226) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048482)

monorail, Monorail, MONORAIL!!!

Who do you think you are, Steve Ballmer [ntk.net] ?

I4 (3, Insightful)

Alizarin Erythrosin (457981) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048292)

Would be nice if they would run it along I4 (which they probably will, since it's the main artery from Tampa to Orlando)... traffic there is horrible.

Assuming it's not too expensive to ride, I would see it getting alot of business from us college students in Orlando who have family along the routes... gas isn't exactly cheap for a 400 mile drive one way

Re:I4 (2, Informative)

bwalling (195998) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048609)

400 miles? If you are in Orlando, you'll be unable to find a 400 mile trip along I4. Tampa is only 75 miles away, and the other end of I4 (Daytona) is even less. It's not even 400 miles from Orlando to Miami (it's only 200).

400 miles would take you almost to Atlanta, which won't be participating in our little High Speed Rail fiasco.

Take a Greyhound. That's what I did when I was going to school in Gainesville. It doesn't take very long on trips like Orlando to Tampa, or Orlando to Miami. It's cheap ($20), and it's not going to cause the taxpayers to be ripped off beyond their wildest imaginations. This rail thing is a huge waste.

Re:I4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4048685)

And I suppose the traffic on I-95 in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties is unworthy of your consideration? Try again, Buckwheat - the traffic down here is absolutely horrible during rush hour and is just plain terrible at other times. Tri-Rail is only just now starting to capture the mindshare that it needs, and they're talking about adding a separate track so that it doesn't run afoul of Amtrak and all the freight trains that rumble through constantly.

However, I will grant you that the I-4 corridor would be an excellent starting way to prototype and debug the maglev design - it's a relatively short distance (not even 400km, let alone miles!), and there is enough traffic to warrant an installation. Once they get the bugs worked out, then they can extend it down to South Florida, and perhaps up to Jacksonville. (I-95 in Jax ain't purty, either, BTW!)

Argh, the Simpsons... (0, Redundant)

Kirby-meister (574952) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048300)

"Monorail.....monoraaaaiiiillll.....Monoraiiillll !!!"

"Mono...D'oh!"

Re:Argh, the Simpsons... (1)

forsetti (158019) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048323)

beat ya' to it! (see below)

Futuristic Trains in Central Florida (1)

guttentag (313541) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048306)

Rumor has it Disney is lobbying against the Maglev train in favor of a variant of the patented, copyrighted, lunch-box-marketed monorail system at Epcot.

Re:Futuristic Trains in Central Florida (3, Interesting)

rtphokie (518490) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048346)

Disney abondoned in thoughts of running a monorail between it's property and the Orlando airport when they realized it would be way to slow. They supported the maglev high speed train project that was to run between the airport and EPCOT (with connecting service to Disney hotels via bus and monorail) right up until the point that a stop at Universal/I-drive was also added to the plans. Disney got real uncooperative at that point. Their goal is to keep visitors (and their $$$) on Disney property.

Re:Futuristic Trains in Central Florida (2)

Hangtime (19526) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048588)

This post needs to be modded up because it brings a great deal of prospective to the Florida issue. In central Florida, the biggest power broker is the Mouse. If the Mouse doesn't like it, it won't happen in Orlando. Disney Transportation has contemplated the issue of getting people from MCO to LBV including the Maglev project. However, I just don't ever see the project coming to Florida. In much the same way Amtrak never had any usefulness outside the NE corridor, these high-speed rail projects will the do the same. If you want a quick way to Miami from Orlando, jump on the turnpike for a three hour drive. As for I-4 traffic, the worst I ever saw when I lived in Orlando was the rubbernecking tourists trying to figure which exit to get off to get to the Magic Kingdom (please don't follow the large signs mounted). Want real traffic...come to Houston and I will take you up on HWY 59 or I-10 (Katy Freeway) in the afternoon. Then you will see what real traffic is like.

BTW, Houston is building a rail system thanks to Lee Brown, of course it runs from the Astrodome, where nobody lives to Main Street where you have to walk 10 blocks to get to work. Yea Rail!

I want one thing, a rail system that has multiple stops no farther then 3 to 4 blocks from where I want to get off and no more then 5-10 minute commute to get on. Of course, politics gets in the way until everyone's hand is in the cookie jar and what's left is a system nobody will use. /me gets off my soapbox

Re:Futuristic Trains in Central Florida (1)

NormalVisual (565491) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048740)

Can you cite your source? It's my firm belief the Bombardier trains that Disney uses are more than fast enough to effectively serve an MCO/Disney route, especially if Disney was willing to build the beamway *correctly* instead of cheaply/poorly as they did on the Epcot beam.

Warning: Beware of Kikes ! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4048307)

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Scotty, I need more POWER!!!!!! (2, Interesting)

digitallis (249804) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048309)

The logistics of supplying power to such a maglev system would be slightly insane. Florida has daily rain, coupled with the heat, that will corrode coils and short stuff out. Not to mention the hurricanes.

Oh yeah, let's not forget the couple 'o fusion reactors that'll be needed to power the sucker.

Re:Scotty, I need more POWER!!!!!! (2)

silentbozo (542534) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048398)

Why would coils be exposed to the elements? I know NOTHING about maglev, so treat this as a newbie question...

Re:Scotty, I need more POWER!!!!!! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4048447)

Actually, digitallis is rather clueless. Maglevs will do just fine in the environment. As to the power needs, wether using Highspeed rail or Maglev monorail, the power needs are high. But it is not only very doable, but desireable to use multiple power sources spread around florida rather than several large power stations and a large number of cars (Major polluters).
A maglev would actually have several advantages down there:
1) Ability to operate in a hurricane. H2o is not an issue.
2) no problem with grandpa sitting on the track not hearing the 200 MPH train coming at him (Rail has a very high death rate, while monorail, which is eleveted, is closer to 0% than 1%).
3) Most Monorails have run with an operating profit. None of the Highspeed rail currently do.

Re:Scotty, I need more POWER!!!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4048488)

Mod parent up!

Re:Scotty, I need more POWER!!!!!! (1)

martyn s (444964) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048576)

I saw this thing on TV that said that you don't even need powered magnets. That since neodymium (or something) magnets are now much cheaper, and very powerful, it would be much more cost effective to use unpowered neodymium magnets to levitate the train.

East Cost (1)

need2jive (588990) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048311)

How about just extending it all the way up to New York. Now that would be a fun trip!!

Pushing? (1, Insightful)

Squareball (523165) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048318)

Well I live in FL and trust me, it's not the citizens that are pushing for a highspeed rail system! It's the congressmen and the Disney folks. They want to run a rail for "us", yet it would only really serve to get tourists to and from hotels and attractions.

Re:Pushing? (3, Insightful)

Auckerman (223266) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048347)

"Well I live in FL and trust me, it's not the citizens that are pushing for a highspeed rail system! It's the congressmen and the Disney folks. They want to run a rail for "us", yet it would only really serve to get tourists to and from hotels and attractions."


Nonsense. I remember signing the petition to have the issue put on the ballot. I remember voting on it. I remember it being passed.


Here in FL, with enough signatures, any issue (as long as it deals with a single point) can be put on the ballot. Any issue. This was one of them. It wasn't like big money bought the signatures and bought the voters.

Re:Pushing? (2, Funny)

GoodWebDesigns (599819) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048376)

ummm...does this mean these Disney "Petition-Signer Super-Saver" coupons are no good?

Re:Pushing? (3, Funny)

guttentag (313541) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048406)

It wasn't like big money bought the signatures and bought the voters.
Why buy votes in Florida when you can buy Unauditable Voting Machines [slashdot.org] ?

Re:Pushing? (4, Interesting)

lollipop17 (144134) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048410)

I was going to moderate this story, but I hate it when folks living in south Florida think they are the whole state. There are some people left that live north of I-4 and the turnpike and see money taken out of their pocket for a project only benefiting those that live on or south of it. If you don't live south of Ocala, naturally I'll eat my own shorts, but big money didn't have to buy the signatures- there are plenty enough ignorant people living here to naively think a high-speed rail would benefit them despite their living in say, Tallahassee.

I will say, you are certainly correct in your second paragraph, I just don't think you can convince me that because it was introduced via petition that certain mouse-eared companies had nothing to do with sponsoring said petition.

Jacksonville has a monorail system that is not used becuase it currently only benefits one small portion of a very spread-out city, and the voters won't throw any more money at it to expand the service because of the perception that it won't benefit them- I guess I just don't want to see that happen in this case. Traveling in south florida is a pain, what with all the tolls and everything, anything to relieve that would be nice.

Re:Pushing? (1)

Auckerman (223266) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048448)

"If you don't live south of Ocala, naturally I'll eat my own shorts"


Start eating those shorts, I live in Tallahassee. Have been living here for 11 years.

Re:Pushing? (1)

AyeRoxor! (471669) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048505)

"there are plenty enough ignorant people living here to naively think a high-speed rail would benefit them despite their living in say, Tallahassee."

Okay, so you seriously think that never ever in the future existence of this state, will they extend the rail to the *state capital*?

Speaking of ignorant...

Dont they have some sports team up there? Wouldn't, say, a couple thousand people want to watch the games each weekend?

*sigh*

"Forethought doesn't mean thinking four times."

Re:Pushing? (1)

bwalling (195998) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048638)

Okay, so you seriously think that never ever in the future existence of this state, will they extend the rail to the *state capital*?

I absolutely think that the rail will not be going to Tallahassee. There won't be anyone riding on it. Tallahassee is just too small.

Dont they have some sports team up there? Wouldn't, say, a couple thousand people want to watch the games each weekend?


There are only 7 or so home games for FSU in the entire year.

The only real options for this wasted rail are Tampa, Orlando, Jax, and Miami. Ft Lauderdale/WPB could be a pit stop on the way to Miami.

First Rule of Eating of Shorts (1)

kbs (70631) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048553)

When you say "If X, I'll eat my shorts"... you will inevitably be forced to eat your shorts, as X will inevitably be true. My shorts-eating incident... [slashdot.org]

Re:Pushing? (1)

user32.ExitWindowsEx (250475) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048689)

Ah. Yes. The SkyWay Express.
It sure does a great job moving empty air from one side of the river to the other.
Public transportation hasn't worked in Jacksonville and CAN'T work. The city is just too big -- the cost would be too prohibitive.

By the way, I live in Jacksonville.

Re:Pushing? (2)

meta-monkey (321000) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048383)

I'm a Florida voter, too, and I voted against this. First, it's horribly expensive. Wasn't the estimated cost something like several billion dollars? There are huge budget battles going on in Tallahassee right now because there isn't enough money even to run the schools, much less build a multi-billion dollar bullet train to shuttle more tourists to Disney.

Second, and this is the real kicker...it wasn't a referendum. It was a Constitutional amendment. That's right, it's now a piece of the Florida state Constitution that the government MUST build a high-speed rail system. Isn't that just a little ridiculous? They couldn't get a bill to mandate this past the governer, so the backers for this boondoggle (again, mostly Disney, the corporations who get the contract to build it, and the legislators they bought off) pulled and end-around and ammended the Florida state constitution for this. Damn.

Re:Pushing? (2, Insightful)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048477)

Only several billion dollars?

That is cheap.

The West-side Light Rail in Portland cost several billion dollars.

This is my two cents about Government funded work.

For every penny the government spends on a project like this, someone is getting work, a job, etc.

For the Light Rail in Portland, there are local survey teams, earthmovers, concreate people, electrical workers, artists, contractors all getting to work. The trains come from the Czech Republic, so we get to throw some money at them that should have gone there during the Marshall Plan.

It's not like welfare where the money goes into a blackhole.

And I think now that it's a good time for a state government like Florida's to spend some money on infrastructure, good lord they need it.

It's the perfect place for high speed trains. Throw up a couple new nuke plants for the power.

Re:Pushing? (2)

ceejayoz (567949) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048533)

For every penny the government spends on a project like this, someone is getting work, a job, etc.

So if it costs several billion dollars, that's several trillion new jobs? Guess those 65+ year old retirees best start having sex like bunnies... ;-)

Re:Pushing? (1)

josh crawley (537561) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048848)

I guess you dont know. They do: Look at autopr0n.com for "That Old Guy". (wince)

Re:Pushing? (2)

ceejayoz (567949) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048907)

I guess you dont know. They do: Look at autopr0n.com for "That Old Guy". (wince)

'k, I think I'll take your word on that one...

Re:Pushing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4048603)

Government DOES NOT PROVIDE GOOD JOBS!

It provide a good way to keep people employed at an extraordinary deficit of tax money.

This project was a complete joke, I voted it down and told everyone I knew to vote it down.

How that ever got passed is by sheer ignorance.

Re:Pushing? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4048783)

and you lost anyway! BWAHAHA!! LOL!

More maglevs, less libertarian kooks, and less time wasted in traffic!

Re:Pushing? (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048487)

The same corporations that couldn't get a law passed were able to amend the state constitution? Sounds a bit weird to me.

It would certainly explain the voting irregularities.

Re:Pushing? (1)

Squareball (523165) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048631)

No, you see, Bush is against the rail. To go through "normal" proceedure, Bush would have to sign on to the project. Instead of a "normal" proceedure, the corporations (Disney, Universal, Sea World etc) got a petition started and got the measure onto the ballot. What was on the ballot was a constitutional ammendment, so Bush doesn't have to sign onto it. Then all they had to do was convince the dumb masses that it would some how benefit them. The truth is, if you look at WHERE this train will run, it won't help our traffic problems on I4 at all. All it will do is shuttle tourists from place to place. It goes right by I-DRIVE (where all the attractions are) and *gasp* right down to Tampa right by *gasp again* Bush Gardens. hmmm.. again.. how does this help the common people who will foot the bill??? Our economy already gets a lot of money from tourists, how much more will we get by putting in this train? Will we recoup our investment?

Re:Pushing? (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048842)

I would have thought it easier to get enough legislative votes to override a veto? No, probably not. It's the same way we got a lottery passed in Maryland about 20 years ago. Advertise it as helping schools, then secretly change it to funding the 'Maryland Stadium Authority' when nobody is looking and when there is tons of public support.

I'm a tourist and have been to Florida perhaps a half dozen times. And from my memory of my last trip, and the geography in the state, people outside the tourist corridor are going to be screwed. In addition, it will not increase tourism. New attractions (Universal Studios was under construction during my last visit) will increase tourism. But not a train. Anyone with any sense picks a spot (orlando) and uses shuttles to the various destinations.

(BTW, for me, I like St. Augustine, and the A1A down to Daytona. Especially when it is neither Spring Break nor Bike Week. The wife likes the beach, I like the trip. Except for that boring drive through Georgia. Now THAT is where you need a fast train.)

Re:Pushing? (1)

AyeRoxor! (471669) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048534)

"There are huge budget battles going on in Tallahassee right now because there isn't enough money even to run the schools, much less ..."

Blah blah blah. Talk is cheap from people who use logic fallacies like this.

Fair persons, be on the lookout for people who say all money should be dedicated to this, or all police power should be devoted to that.

Yes, rape and murder should be curtailed. But does that mean cops shouldn't try to catch speeders or burglars or petty 7-11 thiefs? Should they all skip the crack dealers because they're too busy looking for rapists and murderers? No. Of course not.

I guarantee that people who use this logic fallacy don't bring it up when projects in their liking are up for depate, even if "the schools need money."

In the end, it's actually pretty hypocritical.

Let's stop fixing potholes. Those people could be building schools.

Re:Pushing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4048764)

I have real problems with comparing drug problems with rape and murder. The only problem with the drug situation is the drug war itself, which creates artificial scarcity that fuels the organized crime and turf wars. If you take away the value of the product, people won't be bothered to fight over it or steal to buy it. That, and it's only a minority of drug users that become addicts. There are ALOT of people walking around there that have tried various drugs in social settings, with marijuana, it's over 50%, and yet very few become addicts. Why should my freedom be taken away because a few people become addicts? So, yes, I would rather my police department focus on murders, burglaries, etc., than some buy lighting up a joint every once in awhile. Take away the scarcity, and there will no longer be a reason for dealers to exist, the same way alot of organized crime had to radically change their bussiness when prohibition ended. No, it won't completely go away, but it'll get alot better.

Re:Pushing? (2)

meta-monkey (321000) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048828)

Ummm...it's not a logical fallacy. First, on principle, I'm against the idea of government funded schools. The point is, if you know anything about Florida politics, is that for the past two years we've had huge budget shortfalls. The primary cuts have been in education, and there really isn't a day that goes by that there isn't a story in the State & Local section of my newspaper about the state budget, and, primarily, its impact on education. I'm not saying we should put all our money into education before building a maglev, but I am saying that if the situation is so bad that even education is getting cut, which, in general, politicians won't touch, then we sure don't have the money for this train.

It'll never happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4048584)

One good rumor, and the politicians will have to come up with some other way to squander the taxpayers' ex-money. Just start saying that it would be a terrorist target (and it would be), and it would place all the towns along the route in jeopardy. Point out that the Feds let the al-Quaida suicide pilots train in Florida, and that it would be impossible to secure the whole damned rail line. Pretty soon municipalities will start passing ordinances banning it in their town. The big politicians will give up if they think it'll cost them votes. It'll take them years to come up with another big boondoggle.

Re:Pushing? (1)

AyeRoxor! (471669) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048608)

You've got to be kidding. Apparently you're comfortable in that box you've put up around your small town existence. Good god man, get out once in a while.

Signed, a Tampa resident with friends in orlando and miami; one of thousands.

Please dont speak for us in the future.

Pushing? (-1)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048708)

Shut up you ignorant fuck. Any moron that lives in Floriduh, and talks about it like it is normal, should have his skull cracked open so that the little peanut can roll out.

Yeah, and if I ever meet you I will kick 100% of your flabby ass.

Re:Pushing? (3, Interesting)

Ratbert42 (452340) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048833)

Absolutely. This will be 1000 times worse than the Florida Aquarium, Tampa Taxpayer's Stadium, and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays combined. Nobody will ride it. Well, not nobody. But very few people. Tourists, not residents.

The problem isn't getting between Tampa and Orlando. The problem is getting from the rail station to where you need to go. Mass transit in Florida is nearly worthless to anyone except the poor or the martyrs. I can drive to work in 15 minutes, but to take a bus I have to walk/bike 3 miles, switch buses twice, then walk another mile. It's 2 hours each way.

I'm sure there will be Disney and hotel shuttles though.

The solution (if you refuse to finance and offer incentives for mass transit) is better roads. We still have plenty of clover-style on/off-ramps where onramp traffic has to cross over offramp traffic. We have way too short merge lanes at critical spots. Crap, we have a right-angle bend on a two-lane offramp that many drivers take at 50mph+. A gas tanker flipped and burned there recently, trashing the overpass for months. Do these engineers drive?

If we'd just yank the license of anyone with a 3" tailpipe on a Civic and blondes with BMWs, I'd shave 2 hours off my commute time every week.

Flying trains are great and all (1)

t0qer (230538) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048321)

But where is my flying car? It's 2002 already and I was promised a flying car!

Is this such a good idea? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4048331)

It'd be a prime target for al qaeda. Imagine the damage one of those crashing would do.

Re:Is this such a good idea? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4048709)

I was being serious... that was not a troll. Think about it.

the monorail bottom track... what's up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4048332)

Wondered why the magneto levitate trains and the monorails always had the track at the bottom of the vehicle. Seems like more balance could accomplish with the rail at the top side. When the train goes fast then the rail twists a little bit to make up for the side Gs. When the rail is at the bottom then the rail needs to be bent way outword and of tilt back in to the turn to make up for the Gs.

Re:the monorail bottom track... what's up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4048433)

probably because people feel safer if they're on solid ground (the track), rather than hanging. If you look out the window all youll see is ground, itll be like being in a low flying plane or gondola.

But I do agree, it would be better if the track was above

Re:the monorail bottom track... what's up? (1)

AyeRoxor! (471669) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048551)

"When the rail is at the bottom then the rail needs to be bent way outword and of tilt back in to the turn to make up for the Gs."

I don't know about you, but if and when something breaks, I want a track under my 100mph capsule, instead of lots of air with some ground below it.

Wait, the ground's getting bigger.. And bigger..
uh-oh

Old Dominion currently testing a maglev in VA (1)

jbbernar (41291) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048340)

"With a couple of keystrokes on a computer, Old Dominion University's maglev transportation system project moved -- literally and figuratively -- steps closer to making history. The first propulsion tests of the system on the campus guideway began Thursday, a feat that has not previously been accomplished in the United States...." http://www.odu.edu/webroot/orgs/IA/university_news .nsf/articles/08092002092905AM

Maglev? Old hat... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4048352)

Why such a big thing over a maglev? There's been one carry passengers (not a test!) around birmingham airport since the 70's! Why has it taken so long for some to build another maglev? Or are there any other working maglevs in the world?

Someone mentioned rain in florida... Try the rain in birmingham (england)!!!

or maybe it's all a conspiracy and it's not actually a maglev, also I think it might have been put into retirement?

remember (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4048359)

i remember voting for this a few years ago. it was very obscure on the ballot, and was also worded like a 5yr old wrote it. let's hope this happens, tampa needs it.

tampa yes, but not the rest of florida (1)

Penguinoflight (517245) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048452)

The problem is, the whole state will be paying taxes for just 3 metropolis cities. Why should people in all over the state pay for transportation in Tampa, Jacksonville, and Miami?

Besides, if they need funding from the whole state, it can't be an efficient way of travel.

Remember guys, this is Florida, where everyone complains about ballots.

Re:tampa yes, but not the rest of florida (1)

AyeRoxor! (471669) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048560)

"The problem is, the whole state will be paying taxes for just 3 metropolis cities. Why should people in all over the state pay for transportation in Tampa, Jacksonville, and Miami?"

For some reason, it appears that those of you not in the seed cities have a hard time realizing that projects need to begin somewhere. I don't get it. Should they build it along the whole state simultaneously? It would take decades before ANY fruit was borne. I think a better idea would be to get it set up in the major cities first, and use that to gather data.

Hey, wait a minute... That's what they're doing...

dimpled chad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4048370)

Be careful, floridans are easily confused...

Re:dimpled chad (-1)

The_Messenger (110966) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048756)

What? Magnetic trains? I thought the nice man said that I was signing a petition for free Jointritis! You know, the man who lives under my bed and who told me the truth about how alien creatures are agents of GOD who were sent to keep the Mexicans away from my lawn. Oh dear, I hope that the nice man has not made another mistake, like when he told me that by punching out all of the chads, it would mean extra votes for that nice boy Al Gore. That was obviously a conspiracy orchistrated by those evil Republicans, selflishly always trying to take back freedoms from our wonderful government. They are surely in league with SATAN, and I hope that I am able to avoid their mind-control rays. My mind is just as sharp today as it was eighty years ago, and I'll be darned if any mind-control rays are going to keep me from reading Slashdot. Those Slashdot fellows are pretty interesting, much more so than the Inquirer or other tabloids. Why, the other day, they had a story about GODLESS corporations that are trying to make money by selling goods and services for profit! I'll tell you, if Al Gore were in the White House today, he would have put a stop to that, right quick!

Well, goodbye, now.

Bleh. (2, Insightful)

hage (581704) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048375)

I voted against this in 2000.

Simply put: Florida doesn't have the money. I'm not sure if the old rail route between Miami and Tampa is still operational (I took it a couple of times, years ago), but it was more than adequate. It wasn't very popular, though, IIRC.

The reason the referendum passed? It was vaguely worded and there was virtually no publicity given to it. I remember seeing it on the ballot, thinking "Hmm.. that would be pretty neat," and damn near punching it. And then I realized that it would be simply another bloated fund for our local politicos to exploit -- another holy grail for South Florida's thriving embezzlement industry. No thanks.

I hope Jeb lays the smack down again.

Re:Bleh. (1)

electricmonk (169355) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048414)

Jeb can't lay the smack down. It's a constitutional amendment.

Besides, Jeb's too busy laying the smack down on our public schools to mess with a bullet train (thank God my family has the money to keep me out of that mess).

Re:Bleh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4048469)

>I hope Jeb lays the smack down again.

And what he can't lay down, he will simply buy from his connections.

Re:Bleh. (-1)

The_Messenger (110966) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048760)

I hope Jeb lays the smack down again.
Too bad that his brother couldn't do that, eh?

Ideal Location (1)

InnovATIONS (588225) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048379)

You must admit that Florida, with the lack of any hills to speak of, is the perfect location for high speed rail. Straight and flat is how to make it flat, no matter what the propulsion.

One more link.. (5, Interesting)

dizco (20340) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048384)

"Off-duty troopers, hired at $30 an hour, picked motorists at random and directed them to pull off the interstate into a rest stop, where Palm Pilot- toting interviewers waited. "

That's how florida's high-speed rail authority recently choose to gauge public interest [tampatrib.com] in riding the high speed train.

Re:One more link.. (1)

stefanlasiewski (63134) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048440)

The survey, which will cost about $150,000,

While there probably are better ways to gauge public opinion, $150,000 is small change when compared to the hundreds-of-millions that Florida (or any other state) spends on roads or mass transit systems.

slashdotted (2)

r00tarded (553054) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048386)

lets hope the trains handle crowds better than the website.

Please, for the sake of bicyclists..... (2)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048401)

Get a Maglev PLEASE!!. Florida is one the absolute worst states for riding a bicycle [maricopa.gov] .

Hordes of cyclists may actually ride in your state and you might actually have fewer blind older folks killing them.

Now if you could only convince the young 'uns that riding a Maglev would be kool.

Heard of Rail Trails? Here's 129 Bike Trails in FL (2)

N8F8 (4562) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048815)

Have you ridden the Pinellas Trail? Or any of the many other bicycletrails in Florida [rogersunderland.com] ? I not you really have to give it a try. My father in law live a block away from the Pinellas Trail and we regularly take a day trip into town on bikes when I visit. Across the country they are converting unused train tracks into walking and bicycle paths.

Old folks home in on cyclists (2)

Augusto (12068) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048890)

I used to ride my bike to the University every day, and boy did I have a bunch of close calls. Most of them involving older folks, when I would see a very old citizen near me I would always panic.

I hope by the time I get really old, we have automatic cars driving us around.

The maddening thing... (0, Redundant)

PhysicsGenius (565228) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048423)

In Germany, where high-speed trains are fairly common (the ICE2 goes up to something like 280 km/h, or about 170 mph, though only on top-quality track), there has been some debate for some years about building a maglev passenger train -- but the usual NIMBY problems keep coming up.

To add to the irony, the Greens -- who you would think would want to support mass transit, especially one like maglev -- have often blocked its implementation in Germany on environmental grounds (disturbing habitats, etc.).

There there is the situation in the USA.

On the other hand, maglev could in theory revive passenger train service in the USA. I believe that one of the main reasons it has failed in the States is simply economics -- because of the greater distances involved, the net cost per mile of track, the total cost to maintain a (much onger) average stretch of track, and therefore the ticket price for getting from point A to point B is higher than in Europe, where population density is far higher and a greater potential for train service exists. Another drawback in the States is again because of the distance: with Amtrak's usual trains (which are abysmally slow by European standards) it takes forever to get anywhere. So you pay more for worse (slower) service, and the train company has less surplus money to invest in new technology or track improvements. No wonder Amtrak is so terrible.

(Consider the irony that the USA is generally considered to have the most modern freight rail in the world -- but passenger rail is a joke.)

The initial cost of a maglev line is probably a lot higher, but I would imagine that its TCO would be much lower than conventional trains -- and given its far higher potential speeds, it could really compete with airliners (at least on the East and West Coasts, where there is a high enough population density to pay for it).

But the whole train-related mass transit infrastructure is missing in most American cities (thanks in part to the American love of cars) -- okay, so you got to the main station, but then what? How do you get around? Is there a well-integrated tram/bus/subway/coach system? Most cities just don't have that (certainly nothing like in Germany or France). So even if someone is willing to take the (substantial) financial risk and heavy investment load of building a maglev network in the States, there are still a lot of practical issues to deal with beyond just the train lines.

So, sad to say, even though maglev technology was developed to a large degree in America, I don't see it happening in the near future. In spite of the problems mentioned above in Germany, I do think that there will be several trunk lines running maglev service in Germany in the next few years (probably Cologne-Hannover-Berlin and Hamburg-Hannover-Frankfurt-Munich at the least).

By the way, one of the main companies working on maglev is TransRapid [transrapid.de]. Check out their site (especially the Projects section) for a lot of info about the subject, including about possible maglev lines in the States.

other US maglev projects... (1)

brgomeistr (165406) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048445)

In January 2001, the Federal Railroad Administration's Maglev Deployment Program named the Baltimore-Washington corridor one of two finalists for future development of magnetic levitation technology. Baltimore is now competing with Pittsburgh, PA, for no more than $950 million to develop a Maglev system in the Baltimore-Washington region.

Cost estimates for the Baltimore-Washington Maglev project range from $3.3 billion to $3.8 billion escalated to the year 2006, midpoint of the anticipated construction period with a 40 percent escalation, or $82 million to $90 million per mile.

The Project is estimated to begin construction in 2005 and be operational by 2010. Check out the Baltimore-Washington Maglev [bwmaglev.com] or the Pittsburgh MagLev [maglevpa.com] projects. They both have LOTS of information including some nice proposal graphics!!! This would be swwwweeeett....

Exactly... (1)

AyeRoxor! (471669) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048460)

I've been to France, I've been to England, I've been to Japan. If they didn't have the rail systems they had, I honestly have no idea what I would have done. If you arrange before you go, Japan will give you unlimited 1st class "green car" travel anywhere in the country for a week for $300. The trip from Hiroshima back to Tokyo to leave was itself about $150. 500 miles in under 5 hours. You do the math. I come back and I am so frustrated that I can't hop on a train (I live in tampa) and go to orlando or miami for the weekend. My options are drive 4 hours (miami) or 2.5 hours (orlando) or fly. Neither is acceptable as a casual means of transportation.

I am looking forward to this so much, I really am. I am so callous as to the workings of gov't. that I will be delighted to no end if this actually comes about. I will use it frequently, as I have hometown friends who now live in either one. Amtrak is an embarassment. I've said before that if we bring in a handful of engineers from the major train countries I mentioned before, and give them a reasonable budget, and stand back, this country would be set up like it should be.

The time is now.

Re:Exactly... (2)

ceejayoz (567949) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048550)

best rail system I've came across is the Swiss one... absolutely phenomenal, can get from every tiny village to any other tiny village in the country in like 6 hours max... sweet :-)

Re:Exactly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4048648)

That gets a mod of 2?

What for?

Re:Exactly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4048713)

That gets a mod of 2?

There's this thing called a "+1 Bonus"...

Re:Exactly... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4048780)

You seem to be forgetting that, being socialists, the governments of Japan, England, and France are free to tax the population as much as they need to fund such wasteful ventures. Unfortunately for you, and despite the popularity of the Democratic party, the US is not yet a socialist nation, and some of us would actually rather keep the money that we earn, instead of handing it to a beaurocracy that will use it both inefficiently and ineffectively.

Moron.

-- The_Messenger
(Banned for giving Fat Fent a Dirty Sanchez.)

Re:Exactly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4048897)

Actually the US is about as socialist as you can get.
To qualify as truly capitalist the Feds would have to
cut almost every single program out there.
Social Security, unemployment insurance, Medicare
even funding for roads.

What about highway construction? (1)

HypersonicAtheist (592177) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048917)

Building roads is not a private function; taxes are extracted from you for those construction projects also. Then sometimes there are tolls. You have to buy, insure, and maintain the car, don't forget that. Oh, and with the highway thing you get five thousand or so violent deaths every month. Not sure on the exact figure there, but I think that's in the ballpark for American road kills every month. Boy, what a cool deal!

Re:Exactly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4048916)

I agree but...
After living overseas for 7 years I was very frustrated
about the state of public transportation when I moved
back to the US. But after a few years I realized that
the average citizen equates public transportation with
communism so I have given up completely.
Not only that, the average citizen will not accept
public transportation until the population of the US has
exceeded 750 million.
In other words, no public transportation until we
are screwed.
So just get off your high horse and get a good story
ready to pass on to your great great great grandkids about
why we as a country were to stupid to buy land when
it was cheap instead of waiting until we had absolutely
no choice but to implement serious public transportation.

The Trouble With Florida (2)

hatless (8275) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048497)

Florida's population is exploding; contrary to the popular image, it's less a state of retirees than it is a state of immigrants (from within the US and from abroad) and of young families.

The traffic problems have gotten awful, and not for lack of highways and 6-lane through roads. The bigger problem is much of Florida's other defining characteristic: fifty years of unregulated sprawl. South Florida has the same problems Los Angeles is finally starting to address. Office space, commerce and residential areas are kept separate, spread out and decentralized, and both coasts are hemmed in by the Everglades. Once the rather limited 20-miles strips of land along the coasts are built on, it just gets denser and denser, and that's what's happening. But unlike New York, San Francisco, Paris, London, Chicago, Moscow, Tokyo, Sao Paulo, Hong Kong or [insert viable city here], the "downtowns" aren't as dominant as they should be, and even in the cities, many neighborhoods are car-oriented.

As in L.A., this makes intercity train service a lot less useful. What good is it if only one in four business travelers can get off a train within a quick local transit or cab ride of their destination? Is a commuter train system going to get a lot of passengers if most people have to drive a half hour in gridlock just to get to a station--and there's no end station near their workplace? (Ask Southeast Florida commuters: the current north-south-only Tri-Rail is enthusiastically embraced by people who live close to one station and work close to another, but shunned by everyone else.)

There are a lot of people in the Palm Beach-Miami corridor, but they're relatively spread out and they commute in every possible direction. Intercity rail is an important part of what the state's metro areas need, but it's just not going to make real inroads as an alternative to crowded highways until the "last mile" solutions are also in place. More mixed-use planning and zoning will help by letting people live and work with less need for cars, as it's been helping LA and Atlanta, but that will be a long time in coming. In the meantime, workplaces are so scattered and decentralized that buses take too long to get anyone anywhere useful, and extensive commuter and light rail would have to be practically everywhere, with lots of parallel east-west and north-south lines and express tracks in order to work.

On its own, this high-speed rail network may well only do what its detractors think it will do: ferry families from Florida's coastal cities to Disney World for weekend trips.

My theory on public transportation (2)

tlambert (566799) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048541)

I have a theory, and the theory is mine.

Public transportation is a wonderful thing.

Everyone will use it.

The number of cars on roads will decrease.

The amount of air pollution will decrease.

Then I can drive my car in peace.

-- Terry

Re:My theory on public transportation (2)

debrain (29228) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048744)

Public transportation is a wonderful thing.

The benefits of public transportation are generally functions of population density. 1000 lbs of air pollution from coal generators (where most US energy still comes from), is probably worse than 1000 lbs of air pollution from cars -- but I am speculating there. The problem comes when the density is low enough that the cost of deploying public devices on service routes on equitable and fair schedules costs (in terms of both $ and pollution) more to operate than personal vehicles.

In say Singapore, where the population density is mostly crammed into high-rises due to their limited land mass and political boundaries, public transportation is not only good, but necessary. In contrast, suburbs really kill the benefits of public transportation, by adding more-than a squared area to the service route.

If you really want high availability and quality public transportation, and with the benefit of better air quality, people have to live in closer proximity. Personally, I like the outdoors and the country, but I can also see the benefits of having a close-knit city like Singapore, in terms of the environment. If everyone lived like so many New Hampshire people do :), there wouldn't be much room left on the planet, and public transportation would cost more than the benefits it provides.

FOX & Bush? (1)

tk422 (446096) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048545)

Wow something named FOX wasnt immediately approved by a Bush? Who would have thought it?

Re:FOX & Bush? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4048831)

you are a tard

Can you imagine... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4048558)

A Beowulf cluster of these?

Against It (1)

Aknaton (528294) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048579)

As a Florida voter, I voted against it as I believe that this thing will eventually become a huge source of captial drain on the state. We only need look at AmTrack for an example of what I believe will happen in the end.

Please help stop the insanity! (1)

bwalling (195998) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048586)

As a Florida resident, I am deeply concerned by the whole High Speed Rail movement.

We now have a Constitutional Amendment (yes, in our State Constitution) mandating a high speed rail. That's absurd. Constitutions are for more important matters - rights that are undeniable. It was on the ballot and the morons of the state voted for it. There were no provisions for cost or anything else. Just that we are required to have a tax dollar supported rail.

It's not even going to get used. Our cities do not have adequate transportation to support this. Let's say I want to go from Orlando to Tampa (this will undoubtedly be one of the links on the rail). I will drive my car down to the train station, park and ride to Tampa. What do I do then? Tampa does not have a subway, only buses. The bus system is not even very good. Shall I take a cab? Not likely, as the Tampa area is not conducive to cheap taxi rides (it is a large area split by a bay). Besides which, there aren't taxis just passing by everywhere like in New York. There are cabs at the airport, and there will likely be some at the train station, but you will be calling for a cab to come get you and then waiting the 15 to 45 minutes for it to arrive.

The trip from Tampa to Orlando is only a little more than one hour by car, anyway. So, I would be driving to the train station (likely somewhere near downtown). This will take me 45 minutes. The average person probably 30 minutes(some more, some less). Let's allow 10 minutes for getting there a little early, dealing with ticket issues, boarding, etc (this is a very low estimate - I'll bet it's higher). Let's say the rail can get there in 30 minutes. Let's allow 5 minutes to get off the train and find local transportation. I've spent an hour and 15 minutes going from Tampa to Orlando. I've paid to park, and I've paid to ride the train. I now have to pay for some local transportation. So, I've arrived in the same amount of time, but I've spent more money. Perfect. Thank goodness for Constitutional Rights!

On the ballor in 2000. (-1)

DankNinja (241851) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048622)

I remember voting for this in 2000. I was surpised it actually passed.

funny you should mention this (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048623)

I just read an article [beyond2000.com] on why maglev trains weren't living up to their promise. Turns out that the technology (at least that reviewed in the story) is much more expensive than regular trains with only a marginal improvement in performance. One wonders if the proper thought has been put into this Florida design.

Mass Transit = Mass Stupidity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4048651)

Nobody wants to be stuck in a train car with a bunch of smelly negros and wetbacks! This is just going to be another big waste of money, like Amtrak. Everyone who can afford a car will avoid using the train whenever possible.

Re:Mass Transit = Mass Stupidity (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4048800)

Perhaps what is needed is a special kind of train ticket, which enables its bearer to his choice of any seat at the front of the train. If someone is already sitting in the choice seat, this person will be forced to move to the back of the train. Then the economically-healthy passenger will be free to enjoy the benefits of mass transit without the disadvantage of being exposed to the possibility of olfactory assault by less hygiene-minded urban individuals.

What do you think, Slashdotters?

-- The_Messenger

Monorail my boys, monrail (2)

gelfling (6534) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048711)

A monorail for Springfield!!!!

another amtrak (1)

frixion (228157) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048741)

They (the wanna-be big-spenders) are trying this type of crap in North Carolina too - althought probably not with maglev.

I'm so tired of everyone jumping up ready to spend tax dollars on unnecessary crap. Don't we waste too much already anyway? I know I'm sick of it and want either 1) my money back, or 2) some f*cking accountability at the fed and state levels.

Seriously - haven't these people heard of Amtrak [cagw.org] .

I'm suprised they haven't tried to pass it as the "Floridian Travelers Bill of Rights" because after all, who would not support a bill of rights?

Florida... c'mon

Not everyone in Florida... (1)

michaelkpate (260010) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048762)

Not everyone in Florida has been waiting for this. The existence of the project was a result of a bunch of uninformed voters (something Florida has gained a reputation for somehow) who went in the voting booth and voted yes on a plethora amendments they either didn't read or didn't understand.

Fortunately, some of the State Constitutional changes have already been rolled back and others will be in the future. But until it is...

We are stuck with this colossal monstrosity of a plan. It may serve people of the major metro areas (Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, Miami and everyone's favorite hotspot, Pensacola) but will do little or nothing for those of us who live outside of those areas. I am two hours away from the nearest train station in whatever route I choose to travel, and can't see driving two hours to get on a train, anyway.

The whole situation makes an eloquent case for republics over democracies.

Reminds me of tri-met (2)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048804)

In Portland they seem to have a very hard time building rail systems. The opposition say its no good, under-used, and they have the right to drive their car anyhow - without paying the high taxes (doesn't anyone think about how these roads were built or maintained?).

Anyhoo - every time I've been on their local (and short) train lines they have around here its always very crowded - especially when I had a job and commuted to work in it. Usually standing room only. I've found in my travels all over this world that there's one constant - in the bigger cities cars are a major problem. I've never seen any big city where everyone can drive downtown, park their car, go to work and drive home. In Tokyo for instance if you buy a car you need to have a note from a police officer that says you have a place to park it overnight (I wish they'd do that here too). I'm not talking about people who have to drive - but I'd be willing to bet well over 75% of everyone who does could use an alternative, simply because they had the opportunity to reduce highway load if they did use some alternative form of transport - but its just easier (sometimes) to drive.

For the most part the only reason you could drive (in the case of convience) is because someone else did take the bus or ride the train.

I don't like the way this Florida referendum was handled (I mean the only reason they wrote it into the constitution was because its much harder to recall), but sooner or later most cities in the US are going to have to take transit seriously.

WHat does (1)

josh crawley (537561) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048857)

What does Quake 3 and Florida have in common???

You got Rail!

ODU gets MAGLEV (1)

Phishfry (526789) | more than 11 years ago | (#4048944)

We have a new test track project in Norfolk Virginia for Maglev train,At a local school. Kinda seems like a PORKY project.. http://www.pilotonline.com/news/nw0809test.html
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