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Nareed
Nareed
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May 1st, 2012 at 8:11:47 AM permalink
There goes the day off! :)

Quote: pacomartin

The word ave by itself means "chicken" in Latin America, but paired with another word, for example ave zancuda the phrase means wading bird.



"Ave" means bird. That's it. The word for "chicken" is "pollo." "Rooster" and "cock" mean "gallo" and "hen" is "gallina."

Quote:

Latin America talks about trens de alta velocidad as much as they do in the USA.



TrenEs.

Quote:

The ones that get the most discussion are Mexico City to Queretero (about 120 miles), and Buenos Aires to Cordoba (350 miles) in Argentina.



Look up "elefante blanco."
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pacomartin
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May 1st, 2012 at 3:32:29 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed

Look up "elefante blanco."



I am not sure what the difference is between ave and el pájaro.

I've always felt that idiom was misused. The story is always that the maharajah gives someone a white elephant in a deliberate attempt to bankrupt that person. He cannot kill the elephant, or give it away, and it slowly eats him out of house and home. Whoever builds the train is not deliberately trying to bankrupt anyone. It just ends up requiring costly subsidies. But the idiom is used anyway.

Quote: Mexico reviving travel by train


Billions poured into new Bullet, Suburban trains
Chris Hawley
Republic Mexico City Bureau
Jan. 6, 2006 12:00 AM

MEXICO CITY - High-speed bullet trains whooshing across the Mexican countryside. Electric commuter trains slicing through Mexico City. Gleaming new train stations and state-of-the-art switching systems.

It's all part of an ambitious, multibillion-dollar plan to revive train travel in Mexico, a business that was mostly abandoned in 2001 after decades of mismanagement and long, uncomfortable journeys in aging rail cars. Now construction crews are tearing up streets along the weed-covered rails leading into Mexico City's crumbling Buenavista station, preparing the way for a new $5 billion commuter-rail system that officials are calling the Suburban Train.

And the government is about to open bidding on a $12 billion, 180-mph "Tren Bala," or bullet train, the western hemisphere's first, that will run 360 miles between Mexico City and Guadalajara, the country' second-largest city. There are also plans for a new cargo rail line that could cut 10 hours off the trip from the Pacific port of Manzanillo and Aguascalientes in central Mexico.

The government says it needs trains because Mexico's highways are becoming overloaded with cars, especially around Mexico City, the world's second-largest metropolis after Tokyo. Gridlock-weary chilangos, as Mexico City residents are known, are praising the idea.

But officials are also reaching out to Mexican patriotism, trumpeting the projects as signs of the country's progress.

"This signifies a great step toward modernity," President Vicente Fox said at a ceremony marking construction of the new suburban line. "It's part of a strategy for developing quality public transportation for the inhabitants of our cities."

Laying down tracks

The government has pledged to finish the first 15-mile section of the Suburban Train system by 2007 and the Bullet Train by 2011. Both projects are being funded by a combination of private investment and government bonds.


Began operations: June 2, 2008

CAF, the Spanish company building the suburban line, will also operate it under a 30-year contract with the government. It's unclear who will run the bullet train, although it's likely to be a contractor as well. In Mexico, it's not unusual for foreign companies to manage airports and other government-owned enterprises.

Several countries have built high-speed rail lines. The most well-known are Japan's Shinkansen and France's TGV, but Spain, Italy, Germany, Belgium and South Korea also have them. Taiwan and China plan to build high-speed lines as well.

The United States has Amtrak's Acela train, which runs between Washington, New York and Boston. But it shares its track with conventional trains, which limits its speed.

"If Mexico were to pull this off, it would be the first true high-speed rail system in the Western Hemisphere," said William Vantuono, editor of Railway Age, a trade publication based in New York. "And as long as they can avoid a lot of political interference, their chances of doing this are pretty good."

The government has hired French company SYSTRA to plan the rail line and plans to begin awarding construction contracts within months.

The leading candidate in the 2006 presidential election, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has an even more ambitious plan. He is promising to extend the bullet train, which he calls "the Eagle," north to Nuevo Laredo, on the border with Texas, and west to Mexicali and Tijuana. Travelers from Arizona could catch the train in Puerto Peñasco or Hermosillo, Sonora.

López Obrador is also promising a rail line to span the 150-mile Isthmus of Tehuantepec separating the Atlantic and Pacific oceans in southern Mexico. The line would be an alternative to the Panama Canal for companies shipping goods to Asia.

Nareed
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May 1st, 2012 at 4:04:49 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

I am not sure what the difference is between ave and el pájaro.



None.

Quote:

Whoever builds the train is not deliberately trying to bankrupt anyone. It just ends up requiring costly subsidies. But the idiom is used anyway.



Trying to bankrupt? No. Trying to get their hands in big wads of cash, yes?

There was a note about the train to Queretaro in today's paper. On the one hand, they claim it will make the journey in 1:20. Sounds good, but even though it takes me two hours to make the trip, I wouldn't switch to the train. Why not? because then it would take me at least 2 hours heading out, assuming an early departure, and over 3 hours coming back. So no time savings at all.

And on the other hand, they talk about a plethora of intermediate stations with stops. Like 5 or 6. How much time will that add? And what's the sense of a high-speed train in a relatively short route, under 250 km. with 5 stops along the way?

Well, politics, naturally. To appeal to the largest number of people who'll get nothing out of such projects.

Oh, it may get built. If it is, the only people better off will be the builder, and whoever they pay off to get the contract.
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Wizard
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May 1st, 2012 at 7:33:07 PM permalink
That sounds not unlike the much discussed high-speed train between Vegas and Victorville. If that should happen it will become the new poster child for wasteful government spending. Could it at least be said that your train travels between two major population centers, and would be a legitimate option for those without cars?
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Nareed
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May 1st, 2012 at 7:50:45 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

That sounds not unlike the much discussed high-speed train between Vegas and Victorville. If that should happen it will become the new poster child for wasteful government spending.



So long as you overlook "entitlements"...

Quote:

Could it at least be said that your train travels between two major population centers, and would be a legitimate option for those without cars?



There's an extensive bus network in place already. It offers a variety of pricing options, too. In Mex City there are 4 large bus terminals, known appropriately as Sur, Norte, Oriente y Poniente. A bus leaving from the Norte terminal to Queretaro perhaps takes 2:30 hours. More if it makes stops (some do, some don't). But the thing is you can catch a bus to Queretaro from any of the other terminals. This is convenient, even though it takes longer, because you don't have to go across town to catch your bus. I've no idea where the train station would be, but likely on the outskirts and there would just be one.

So maybe it would be a good option for some people without cars, depending on the price. If it's too expensive, well, few people who can't afford a car will be able to afford the train.

Fact is in large countries trains have been replaced by highways and freeways. The only successful modern passenger trains are subways and some commuter trains. But that should get a thread of its own... Maybe.
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Wizard
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May 1st, 2012 at 8:38:20 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed

So long as you overlook "entitlements"...



At least with entitlements the government is not spending money, except for administrative costs, but redistributing it.

Quote: Nareed

Fact is in large countries trains have been replaced by highways and freeways. The only successful modern passenger trains are subways and some commuter trains. But that should get a thread of its own... Maybe.



How about Europe? Japan? It isn't that I oppose high-speed trains, but they should between places people live or want to go.
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Nareed
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May 1st, 2012 at 9:01:05 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

At least with entitlements the government is not spending money, except for administrative costs, but redistributing it.



Not when it needs to borrow money to pay them out.

Quote:

How about Europe? Japan? It isn't that I oppose high-speed trains, but they should between places people live or want to go.



Japan is pretty small, when you think of it, and so are most European countries. If you add the areas of Japan, Germany and France, they add up to less surface than Mexico. The big exception in Europe, literally, is Russia.

In Japan and Europe, too, gasoline is very expensive. So taking the train makes more sense. I should say I don't pay for my gas. My employer does, and highway tolls, too. But still I don't see a high-speed train between Querétaro and Mexico City as viable.
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Wizard
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May 1st, 2012 at 10:17:48 PM permalink
Fecha: 2-5-12
Palabra: Espabilar


Today's SWD means to wake up.

I can just hear the intermediate readers saying, "I thought the word for 'wake up' was despertar." That too. I think the difference is that despertar means to literally wake up. Espabilar is more figurative, as to realize something obvious that should have been understood earlier.

The advanced readers can explain the real difference.

¡Espabile y huela el café! = Wake up and smell the coffee!

This is my first attempt at using the imperative conjugation, so go easy on me. My biggest area of doubt was whether to conjugate oler at all.
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pacomartin
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May 2nd, 2012 at 2:32:10 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

That too. I think the difference is that despertar means to literally wake up. Espabilar is more figurative, as to realize something obvious that should have been understood earlier.

The advanced readers can explain the real difference.

¡Espabile y huela el café! = Wake up and smell the coffee!

This is my first attempt at using the imperative conjugation, so go easy on me. My biggest area of doubt was whether to conjugate oler at all.



avivar means to revive
entendimiento means intellict
torpeza means torpor

espabilar: avivar el entendimiento de alguien, hacerle perder la torpeza
FleaStiff
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May 2nd, 2012 at 4:39:17 AM permalink
Quote: Nareed

And on the other hand, they talk about a plethora of intermediate stations with stops. Like 5 or 6. How much time will that add? And what's the sense of a high-speed train in a relatively short route, under 250 km. with 5 stops along the way?

A high speed train that never gets out of second gear. High speed is a slogan for inflating voters egos while offering only slower speeds and multiple stops. Taxes are raised, contracts given out, jobs are created ... and paid for by the voters who wanted a high speed train but found a slow speed burden.

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