February 1943 (1)

Pacific Paratrooper

Tulagi PT base Tulagi PT base

PT Report:

1/2 February – This was the last fight between the Tokyo Express and the PT’s at Guadalcanal and it was the most violent.  Three boats were sunk – the 37, 111 and 123, with a total of 6 enlisted men killed, 3 officers killed, 6 enlisted missing and 6 others wounded.  Five PTs fired 19 torpedoes, claiming 2 destroyers sunk and 2 damaged.

The Makigumo was either damaged by the PTs or by one of the 300 mines laid that day.  Two more Japanese evacuation trips were made on 4/5 and 7/8, but the boats did not attempt to intercept.  During this time, Japanese Gen. Hyakutake and his remaining troops were ferried off Guadalcanal 6 months after the US troops arrived on the island.

IJN Makigumo IJN Makigumo

In the Bismark Sea, the 5th Air Force spotted a convoy and performed the first “skip-bombing” technique.  Mitchell bombers…

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Outsourcing EDI Is The Way To Go Says Expert

According to James H. Davis, director of sales of Amosoft, an EDI provider, a vast majority of “all commerce is done through EDI.” Because of its unparalleled importance to the success of supply chain communications, it is imperative for trading partners to speak the same shipping language or hire an outside resource to communicate for them.

“In the traditional supply chain configuration, technology is the predominant communication tool incorporating retailers, suppliers, distributors and manufacturers,” says Davis.

Because most companies aren’t adept at translating the complicated language of the supply chain known as EDI, outsourcing those efforts is the most economical way of doing business, says Davis. “Computers can’t read EDI. They require a translator or an intermediary piece of software so the computer can understand the data,” he says.

Outsourcing such a need is less expensive than performing the service in-house, primarily because EDI has become so “specialized and complex,” says Davis.

Other benefits of outsourcing EDI
There are several benefits of hiring an outside firm to translate the complex languages of the supply chain for your company.

Those plusses, says Davis, include:
• The assurance your company will comply with all EDI standards, both domestic and international
• The ability to merge newer technologies (like web services) with traditional EDI
• The ability to seamlessly link all elements in the supply chain
• The money saved by not having to buy, support and maintain translators and the technology to support those efforts

Four ways American travel could live up to Swiss standards

Posted by Malcolm Kenton
  I returned just over a week ago from my first extensive experience with intercity travel outside of North America. I was spoiled to have at my disposal for two weeks the Swiss Travel System, perhaps the world’s densest interconnected system of public conveyances. While it may be unrealistic to expect that America’s public transportation network will ever grow to truly rival — in size, scope and quality — that which the Swiss enjoy, I will share a few areas in which I feel I have the right to expect the world’s richest country to do better.
Several friends have told me that it’s useless to try to compare the transportation systems of European countries to that of the US. Many argue that the US is too geographically spread out and culturally different from countries with more robust passenger train networks that are better integrated with other public conveyances on land and sea. It is said that Americans cherish the freedom to come and go as we please, not bound by train schedules and routes, that comes from the automobile’s proliferation and the infrastructure that makes it possible to drive nearly anywhere at any time. But in Switzerland, whose car ownership rate ranks it number 21 amongst the world’s 192 countries (the US is number 4), users of the public travel network are arguably more free than drivers, as there are many places that trains, buses and boats go that are not easily accessible by car, and the vast majority of public conveyances run at least hourly throughout the day and seamlessly connect with one another.Here are four aspects of transportation convenience in which Americans stand to learn a lot from the Swiss:

1. Interconnectivity: Not only do trains, boats, buses and even funiculars (even though they are operated by separate companies) work together as a system — timed so that the wait between when one arrives and the other leaves is never more than 20 minutes, and almost always less than 10 minutes — but they are also ticketed, marketed, and conceptualized as an integrated whole. All of their schedules are housed within the national railroad SBB’s reservations system, which allows users of its website or app to look up schedules and buy tickets from any given point in the country to any other point, without having to consult each individual operator’s schedule. The trips I was able to plan using the SBB app in earlier days would have required consulting multiple schedule books to figure out the timing of connections.

Swiss residents can buy fares and multi-ride passes good on the entire network of their region, and the railroads offer interline tickets to buses, boats and funiculars. And visitors to Switzerland can take advantage (as my aunt and I did) of the amazing Swiss Travel Pass, which is good for unlimited travel on the entire network (both intercity trains/buses/boats and the local transit systems of most cities or regions). No reservations or special arrangements needed (except for on the handful of popular tourist-oriented trains where seat reservations are either required or strongly encouraged) — just get on board and show your pass to the conductor or operator upon request.

Imagine if the likes of Amtrak, Greyhound, Megabus, the numerous regional motorcoach lines, and even airlines started thinking of themselves as partners in mobility rather than as competitors or as islands to themselves — or perhaps as both partners and competitors simultaneously? In Switzerland, each regional or cantonal railroad and bus line has its own brand and identity, but interacts symbiotically with the national railroad (SBB) and intercity bus network (PostAuto). Obviously, the leaders of these companies do not see this collaboration as in any way detracting from their own revenues or customer base. American operators should be commended for the bit of bridge-building that has already been done (such as Amtrak’s Thruway bus network), but this should become more the rule than the exception.

2. Frequency: As a corollary to interconnectivity, and key to what makes for short wait times and convenient transfers, Americans in all corners of the country deserve buses and trains (and boats, where possible) that run more than once daily. As noted transit planning consultant Jarett Walker put it, “frequency is freedom,” an aphorism that applies in both the intra- and intercity contexts. While it would be hard to justify hourly service on routes like the entirety of the California Zephyr, every intercity train route should be served by at least three daily frequencies, and as travel demand grows between pairs or strings of destinations, frequency should increase up to hourly (a service level those on the Northeast Corridor, Capitol Corridor and Pacific Surfliner routes already enjoy). And intercity buses should offer corresponding levels of frequency.

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3. Locals, limiteds, expresses and request stops: In the early 20th century, every little town on a rail line had a depot, and was served by an all-stops local train that connected it to the next larger town or city, where connection could be made to a limited or express that offered a quicker ride over a longer distance by making fewer stops. The Swiss still enjoy this level of service: main lines host intercity trains (stopping only at bigger cities) as well as RegioExpresses (making all but a few small stops) and locals. The latter two types of trains make extensive use of what in the US are called “flag stops,” where the train only comes to a stop at a given station if a passenger pushes the stop request button or the operator sees passengers waiting on the platform. (I became quite accustomed to hearing the German phrase “halt auf verlangen,” meaning “request stop,” as these stops were announced by the automated PA system.)

4. Break down needless divisions between states: In terms of the sub-national government’s constitutional relationship with the national government, Switzerland’s 26 cantons have, in some respects, more autonomy than US states. And similarly to how the states plan for and maintain their roads using federal funds, and financially support and oversee their short-distance Amtrak routes, the cantons are chiefly responsible for supporting their own internal networks. Yet there are major differences between states in terms of the level of transit service they support. Traveling between Swiss cantons (and even between different parts of the same canton), you connect between different systems and notice different local flavors and distinctness, yet you don’t notice a difference in political priorities between cantons as far as transportation is concerned. In line with goal number 1, our federal and state transportation policies should solidify the notion that this is the United States of America, not an amalgam of 50 different fiefdoms.

Building up the kind of travel system Americans ought to expect in the 21st century will actually mean rebuilding a lot of what we had, at least on the rail side. There used to be a number of small regional railroads that provided freight and passenger service, interconnecting with the large trunk lines that crisscrossed the country. Places like tiny Orbisonia, PA (to name one example), which housed the shops and head office of the narrow-gauge East Broad Top Railroad. While primarily a coal hauler, the EBT operated passenger trains that allowed Orbisonians, by connecting to a Pennsylvania Railroad local at Mt. Union, and then perhaps to a limited or express at Harrisburg, to be in Philadelphia in a little over four hours, and in New York in just under six, and to leave and return at a number of times throughout the day.

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That was possible in 1925, and I was able to make a similar kind of journey in Switzerland in 2015. Maybe in 2060 or so, I’ll again be able to enjoy that kind of connectivity to American places big and small, near and far, without the hassle or expense, not to mention the statistically much greater safety risk, of driving.

But I shouldn’t, nor actually want, to wait that long.

 

Basilica of Bom Jesus, Old Goa

Sree is travelling

Overview of my 3 day Goa trip

Basilica of Bom Jesus (Borea Jezuchi Bajilika) in Old Goa houses the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier. “Bom Jesus” means Good or Infant Jesus. The letters “IHS” at the top of the façade represents the first 3 letters of Jesus in Greek. Construction of the Basilica, which is one of the oldest in India, started in the year 1594 and was consecrated in 1605. The holy relics of St. Francis Xavier were placed in a silver casket in this Basilica on 2 December, 1637. Every 10 years public exposition for 6 weeks takes place.

The Entry is free and photography is allowed inside the Basilica. But one interesting thing I noted was that you are not allowed to take photos of persons (posed photos) inside. I guess selfies are fine 😉. Being a popular pilgrimage and tourist spot, it can become…

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“Most could never forget what they had seen and experienced . . . ” But will we remember?

Johns Hopkins University Press Blog

Guest post by John C. McManus

mcmanusRecently the Anti-Defamation League conducted a worldwide survey designed to measure the extent of anti-Semitic attitudes and knowledge of the Holocaust. Over 53,000 adults in 102 countries were queried by professional pollsters using a data-based research survey method. The results were not encouraging. According to the poll, some 26 percent of respondents admitted to deeply held anti-Semitic attitudes. Perhaps even more disturbing, from an historical viewpoint, is that 54 percent of those surveyed worldwide had never heard of the Holocaust. Overall, almost two-thirds of those surveyed had either never heard of this most monumental of all history’s many great crimes or, worse, they believed it never actually happened.

Not surprisingly, Anti-Defamation League representatives expressed deep disappointment and alarm at such stark evidence of modern day hatred and ignorance. Abraham Foxman, the League’s national director in the United States, said, “The results confirm a troubling gap…

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Utica Comets lost to the Syracuse Crunch 2-1 in overtime at the Patinoire Charlemagne Arena in Lyon, France

Blair Jones (1-0-1) netted the Comets only goal of the night, and Clay Witt stopped 32 of 34 Crunch shots in the loss.

The Crunch broke open the scoring 14:52 into the game when Tanner Richard scored an unassisted short-handed goal.

The Comets tied the game up just 15 seconds later when Blair Jones found the back of the net for his first goal of the preseason. Michael Zalewski and Cole Cassels tallied assists on the goal.

The game remained scoreless until overtime, when Tony DeAngelo scored on the power play to win the game for the Crunch.

The Comets will play their final preseason game on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. local time (12:30 p.m. ET) against the Dragons de Rouen.

 

The Utica Comets kicked off their 2015 pre-season schedule with a 1-0 shutout win against the Syracuse Crunch at the Patinoire Charlemagne Arena in Lyon, France on Thursday night.

Joe Cannats started in net for the Comets and turned away all of the Crunch’s shots in the shutout effort. Nicklas Jensen (1-0-1) scored the Comets lone goal.

The Comets broke the scoreless tie 7:45 into the second period. Jensen ripped a shot past Adam Wilcox for the Comets first goal of the preseason. Joseph LaBate and Alex Friesen recorded assists on the marker.

Vancouver Canucks General Manager Jim Benning announced  that the Canucks have reduced their pre-season roster by two players. The moves bring the club’s current roster to 28 players.

The following players have been assigned to the Utica Comets:

*         Richard Bachman, Goaltender
*         Taylor Fedun, Defense

East Coast railroads prep for Hurricane Joaquin

Railroads, transit agencies and local governments along the East Coast have begun prepping for heavy rains resulting from Hurricane Joaquin, which is expected to move northward through the Atlantic Ocean over the coming days.

Yesterday, Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) officials announced preparatory measures being taken across New York City’s subway system, including filling sandbags, preparing and distributing generators, ensuring vehicles are fueled, and scheduling staff members.

If the storm continues toward New York City, the MTA can deploy covers for the 540 openings into the subway system in Lower Manhattan, agency officials said in a news release.

Additionally, MTA crews have installed large sand bags at the Coney Island Yard.

The agency’s two commuter railroads — Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad — are monitoring electrical grids and substations “with heightened awareness,” agency officials said.

“It is too early to say whether the railroads would need to suspend service if a powerful storm strikes our region,” MTA officials said. “If flooding is predicted, the railroads would move trains away from low-lying storage areas

Meanwhile, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey also announced that it had begun severe weather preparations, including positioning nearly 4 miles of flood barriers to protect transportation facilities. Additionally, the port is ready to deploy 170 generators and pumps to ensure service continues.

At the same time, Norfolk Southern Railway yesterday issued a service alert to customers about potential service disruptions.

“Weather advisories have been issued reporting potential heavy rainfall and widespread flooding in many low lying areas throughout the East Coast,” NS officials said in the service alert. “Norfolk Southern will monitor operations closely and take every precaution to protect shipments that may be affected in these areas.”

Schumer wants $550M Sandy funds handed over to Amtrak

US Sen. Charles Schumer is asking the feds to hand over $550 million in yet-unclaimed Sandy-relief funds to Amtrak so the agency can make direly needed repairs to the beleaguered East River rail tunnels.

Amtrak had hoped to collect several hundred million dollars needed for the repairs from insurance policies it had in place during the 2012 superstorm. But US District Judge Jed Rakoff last
month capped the amount that Amtrak can collect at $125 million instead of the $700 million it said it needed.

ChuckSchumer

Amtrak plans to appeal the ruling, but that could take years and it needs to move on the repairs now, Schumer (D-NY) said in a statement Monday.

He wants the feds to take money from the massive kitty it set aside for superstorm-related damage and give it to Amtrak.

“The repair of the East River tunnels — which is the vital link for [Long Island Rail Road] commuters, as well as for Amtrak and NJ Transit — simply cannot wait for an Amtrak insurance appeal process to arrive,” he said. “This project is too important to our regional economy and to hundreds of thousands of commuters. Any delay in this project will not only mean more
disruptions in these critical tunnels but could also delay East Side access, countless commuters, and potentially stall a critical national priority.”

Schumer is asking Amtrak to sign a letter promising to pay back to the federal government any additional money it gets from insurance years down the line.

Amtrak owns the four East River tunnels. It uses them for its Northeast Corridor service. It also shares them with the MTA, which uses them for its LIRR service, and New Jersey Transit, which uses them to access a rail yard in Sunnyside, Queens.

The superstorm left the tunnels inundated with salt water, causing the already antiquated passageways to rapidly deteriorate.

Schumer is also working with Gov. Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Christie to get funds to rebuild the Hudson River rail tunnels, which were also seriously damaged during Superstorm Sandy and have suffered several cable failures in recent months, often causing major commute delays.

What’s the Actual Cost of Amtrak’s Trans-Hudson Gateway Project?

Five years after New Jersey Governor Chris Christie spiked the ARC transit tunnel to redirect money to roads, politicians are finally discussing how to go about upgrading rail capacity between Jersey and Midtown Manhattan, currently limited to a pair of century-old tunnels under the Hudson River. But just about every announcement related to the proposed Gateway Project comes with a different price tag.

[E]ach time Gateway is the news, there usually seems to be a fresh cost escalation. Is it a $10 billion project? A $14 billion project? A $16 billion project? Or a $25 billion project? And what is included exactly? Amtrak does not make it clear what the various items are and how much they cost; I have not seen a single cost estimate that attempts to establish a baseline for new Hudson tunnels without the Penn Station South component, which would provide a moderate short-term boost to capacity but is not necessary for the project. The articles I’ve seen do not explain the origin of the $25 billion figure, either; it may include the tunnel and full four-tracking of Newark-New York, or it may include additional scope, for example Amtrak’s planned vertical circulation for a future (unnecessary) deep cavern for high-speed rail (see picture here).

Against this background, we see scare stories that Gateway must be built for reasons other than capacity and ridership. The old tunnels are falling apart, and Amtrak would like to shut them down one track at the time for long-term repairs. The more mundane reality is that the tunnels have higher maintenance costs than Amtrak would like since each track can only be shut down for short periods, on weekends and at night. This is buried in technical documents that don’t give the full picture, and don’t give differential costs for continuing the present regime of weekend single-tracking versus the recommended long-term closures. The given cost for Sandy-related North River Tunnel repairs is $350 million, assuming long-term closures, and it’s unlikely the present regime is billions of dollars more expensive.

 

Picturesque French Riviera hit by deadly flash floods

In a matter of minutes, torrential rains transformed the postcard-perfect French Riviera into a terrifying flood zone, leaving at least 16 dead, trapping hundreds of railroad passengers and halting car and train traffic Sunday along the mud-drenched Mediterranean coast.

President Hollande thank elected officials, police, firemen, and volunteers. Forgot to mention the many “public works” employees of Alpes-Maritimes Conseil General (county government). Guess they get their overtime in three months for a thank you.

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Victims were found dead in a retirement home, campsites, and cars submerged in a tunnel. Residents, stunned by the ferocity of the brief downpour Saturday night, described it as the worst flooding they’d ever seen — so dramatic that President Francois Hollande paid an emergency visit Sunday to promise government aid for victims.

BUT NOT FOR THREE MONTHS

Helicopters patrolled the area and 27,000 homes were without electricity Sunday after rivers and streams overflowed their banks and fierce thunderstorms poured more than 18 centimeters (6.7 inches) of rain in Cannes and some other areas, according to the Interior Ministry. The Cannes region saw the equivalent of two months of rainfall in less than two hours.

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Hollande said the overall death toll by midday Sunday was 16, with three still missing. Government officials gave conflicting reports about casualty figures throughout the day, as emergency services fanned out across the region to check homes, stores and overturned cars for victims.

“It’s not over,” Hollande said, visiting the flood-stricken retirement home in the town of Biot and meeting with emergency workers.

He expressed condolences to families of victims and urged residents to remain cautious, especially on the region’s roads, many of which remained impassable Sunday. He promised aid for residents hit by the flooding and lamented serious damage to local stores and other businesses.

IN THREE MONTHS

Some residents criticized authorities for not doing more to prevent flood damage in the region, which is prized by tourists and residents for its mild year-round climate but which has seen increasing flooding in recent years. Local firefighters and meteorologists said the amount of rain Saturday was unusual for the region this time of year, but were especially shocked by the intensity and speed of the storm.

People were found dead in the towns of Cannes, Biot, Golfe-Juan and Mandelieu-la-Napoule in the southeast.

Three elderly people were killed in the retirement home, Hollande said. Three others were found dead in their car after entering a flooded tunnel, authorities in Golfe-Juan said. Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said the dead included victims who had been trapped in a parking lot and campsites.

Winds and rain whipped palm trees along the famed Croisette seaside promenade in Cannes. Some cars parked near the Cannes shore were swept away and overturned by high waves.

In nearby Antibes, campsites along the Brague River were suddenly inundated with muddy water, leaving cars overturned.

Several trains were stopped because of flooded tracks, and traffic remained stopped along the Mediterranean coast between Nice and Toulon all day Sunday. Several roads were closed.

The newly rebuilt Cannes railroad station was completely flooded.

Pope Francis offered his prayers for the victims during his weekly Sunday blessing from St. Peter’s Square.

“We express our nearness to the hard-hit populations, including with concrete forms of solidarity,” he said.

The flooding also disrupted a French league soccer match in Nice, forcing the stadium to shut down in the middle of play.

Hundreds of emergency workers were involved in rescue efforts Sunday, helped by bright sun contrasting sharply with the sinister skies the night before.

What America can learn from Germany’s high-speed trains

Originally published on Grist.

Riding the high-speed train between Berlin and Hamburg, Germany’s two largest cities, is a radically different experience from riding its American counterpart, Amtrak’s Acela, which connects major East Coast cities. Germany’s InterCity Express (ICE) ride is as smooth as a Mercedes on the Autobahn. The conductor comes around politely offering to bring you coffee. The bathroom doors open electronically with the push of a button for disability access. There’s no perennial stopping and starting of the train, no grumpy barking conductor, no herky-jerky rolling of the bathroom doors, none of Amtrak’s chronically late arrivals. And on German trains, the wifi actually works.

At €45 each way, roughly $50, it isn’t cheap. But it’s cheaper than Amtrak. Berlin to Hamburg is 179 miles, which is about the same distance as New York to Baltimore. The regional Amtrak for that trip, booked about two weeks in advance, costs $77 each way and takes 40 minutes longer than the German trip. The Acela is $150 and still takes 20 minutes longer.

California is the only place in the US where high-speed rail (HSR) plans are really moving forward, albeit not that quickly or smoothly. The state is currently building a 520-mile high-speed line from San Francisco to LA, which will eventually extend north to Sacramento and south to San Diego.

What California could learn from Germany

The German Marshall Fund put out a report in June on the lessons California could draw from the well-developed HSR systems in Germany and France. Most of the different points it lays out boil down to one essential, overarching approach: Make HSR central to a larger transportation system that includes other alternatives to driving and is focused around smart growth. Successful high-speed rail requires more than just laying tracks between cities and buying fancy new rail cars.

Specifically, the report warns against putting stops in sparsely populated areas, because that slows trains down. Put them only in the center of major cities, recommends report author Eric Eidlin, as Germany has done. The ICE train, for example, makes no stops during the two-hour journey between Berlin and Hamburg. France, on the other hand, has dispersed train stations around the urban periphery, and the result, Eidlin notes, has been less efficient connections to other modes of transport. “California should carefully consider the economic development and access challenges that French cities such as Aix-en-Provence and Avignon have experienced with exurban and peripheral stations,” Eidlin writes. “Thankfully, California has made the wise decision of siting most HSR stations in central cities. However, one notable exception to this is the proposed Kings/Tulare station east of Hanford, which would be located in an exurban location.” Also, the Milbrae and Burbank station locations will be in less accessible areas.

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If building an HSR station in a suburb or smaller city is absolutely necessary, the groundwork should be laid with a new mass transit hub around it. Eidlin also recommends that wherever stations are built, cities should encourage new housing, retail, and office development. One big advantage of trains over planes is that they get you right into the city center instead of to an airport out on the periphery. California should capitalize on that advantage by making the areas around HSR stations even more dense, developed, and connected. “The California HSR line could be a boon for a number of smaller cities located in California’s Central Valley with untapped economic development potential, including Fresno and Bakersfield,” Eidlin writes. “With careful economic development and land use planning in these Central Valley cities in anticipation of HSR, they stand to benefit greatly from being better connected to the state’s major economic poles.”

The challenge of American suburban sprawl

LosAngeles

One difference between German and American train travel is what you see out the window. On Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor route, you can spend seven hours traveling from Boston to Washington, DC, without ever passing a farm. Each city’s suburbs bleed into the next. When leaving Berlin, on the other hand, in less than half an hour you’re whisked from the capital’s center to cornfields and cow pastures. This reflects not just the train’s speed but the absence of sprawl in Germany. The suburbs — a handful of detached houses with pitched roofs, many featuring solar panels — whiz by in a few minutes. Despite, or perhaps ironically because of, Europe’s greater density, you are far closer to the countryside when in a major city. There is no equivalent to the US’s unending hellscape of highways, strip malls, fast food drive-thrus, and auto body shops. Europeans’ cities were more built up before the car, and they didn’t then tear their cities apart to accommodate cars and facilitate sprawl, as we did. The US is so vast that we could pave everything within 200 miles of New York City and still have more than enough land for our corn and cows. But if Europeans wanted to preserve rural areas, they would have to use urban space more efficiently, and so they have. A much greater share of the typical European metro area’s population is concentrated in its inner city. So you get dense, transit-rich cities with countryside in between.

You cannot build a high-speed rail line to nowhere and expect it to attract enough passengers to be economically feasible. Many US cities, by sprawling over everywhere, are in a sense nowhere. Or, in Gertrude Stein’s famous phrase about Oakland in the 1930s, “There is no there there.” West Coast cities in particular sprawl outward in so many different directions, with so little mass transit, that arriving at a downtown station won’t make it easy for you to get to your ultimate destination unless you rent a car upon arrival. LA and San Diego do not have the extensive subway systems of Hamburg or Berlin.

For high-speed rail to fulfill its potential, it must be one component of a low-carbon society. LA and San Diego need to become more like Berlin and Hamburg — and San Francisco and New York. That means being denser, with walkable and bikeable streets, public transit systems, and regional commuter rail lines to the suburbs. That would allow people to arrive in town on the train and hop on a bus or subway, or hail an affordable taxi, to get to their final destination and then get around while they are in town. LA is working on that, and other California towns and cities should too. Or, as Eidlin puts it in his report, “In order for HSR to deliver on its promise to 38 million Californians and investors, the project must be designed as the backbone of a comprehensive system for sustainable passenger mobility in California.”

Making trips by high-speed rail results in much lower carbon emissions than driving a car or flying. But another great thing about rail is that it works together with local transit systems to eliminate car trips once you’ve reached your destination city. California’s San Francisco-to-LA line is due to be completed in 2028, which is, unfortunately, still a long time off — but that gives cities along the route plenty of time to build up the neighborhoods and transit around their stations. If they do, it will be more than just good for the environment — it will be good for their economies too.