Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Oddly enough - David Cameron, and his starry-eyed shadow transport minister (whose name I have forgotten) have been talking up a UK Maglev project for the proposed London/Scotland high speed line.

It's no less silly here it would be elsewhere. A conventional TGV - or better, a Northern extension to the Channel Tunnel line - makes a lot more sense.

Meanwhile New Scientist has been reporting the imminent arrival of room temperature superconductors for a while - but obviously they're still not here yet.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Sep 26th, 2006 at 07:22:34 PM EST
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Ah, the northern British high-speed line saga... this is something infamous in railway circles. Especially after someone decided that it shall be done one the cheap by four-tracking and upgrading the West Coast Mainline, but upgrade proved much more complicated and expensive than foreseen... in fact so much so that a new line would have been cheaper. Expect another decade of the idea being tossed around, and only then another ten years of squabbling with locals about the route, before any earth is moved... if at all.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Sep 27th, 2006 at 05:41:08 AM EST
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The UK and railways... Who was saying what about early adopters?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Sep 27th, 2006 at 05:42:28 AM EST
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New surface routes have large costs (in real terms, to say nothing of money) because they must displace whatever is there now. Tunnels, of course, avoid this cost, and also avoid noise along rights of way, scars through ecosytems, many potential accidents, and so on.

But (as usual), this is out of reach because of cost, which is to say the cost of things, which is to say, in large measure, the cost of making things. We're still very bad at that.

(Gee, I could repeat this in so many contexts...)

Words and ideas I offer here may be used freely and without attribution.

by technopolitical on Wed Sep 27th, 2006 at 06:47:55 PM EST
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