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Old March 5th, 2013, 12:15 PM   #681
Robi_damian
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Originally Posted by phoenixboi08 View Post
No one's arguing that....
But, you would expect the major urban areas to be connected. And really, the point here is the neglect of an existing line and potential of restiring that service.

Density isn't the end-all-be-all for passenger rail service.
Density is used as an argument in the US, but it is largely BS. The US proper has a density of 40/sq. km. However, North-East US regions has a surface and population similar to France and greater than Spain or Austria, yet no comparable quality of rail service.
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Old March 5th, 2013, 02:43 PM   #682
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Density is used as an argument in the US, but it is largely BS. The US proper has a density of 40/sq. km. However, North-East US regions has a surface and population similar to France and greater than Spain or Austria, yet no comparable quality of rail service.
Were working on it , New England should be done by 2030 with their network and Northern Virgina-DC-Maryland-Delaware around 2030. Only New Jersey , New York and Pennsylvania are mystery's were all 10+ years behind on our Rail restorations / Expansions....
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Old March 5th, 2013, 06:01 PM   #683
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robi_damian View Post
Density is used as an argument in the US, but it is largely BS. The US proper has a density of 40/sq. km. However, North-East US regions has a surface and population similar to France and greater than Spain or Austria, yet no comparable quality of rail service.
This is very true. I know it's easy for me as a European to knock the USA and Canada for poor rail services when my country crams a quarter of the USA population into about a twentieth of the area, but there are other places to compare America to that are more geographically similar to it than Europe. Russia is the really obvious one. China is densely populated along the east coast but central and western areas are another story.

The situation in Phoenix is interesting to me because the politics behind it have no parallel in Europe. Here that track repair and service would have been planned and paid for at a national level. The state model and the way cities fund their own infrastructure projects opens the door for short term political interests to obstruct crucial infrastructure projects for both the city and the entire state and even the country. That's the problem in many of the regional cities in the USA when it comes to railways. What these places would really benefit from is a rail equivalent to the Interstate building programme of the 1950s.
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Old March 5th, 2013, 08:02 PM   #684
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Oh, and another thing, some routes, such as NM's Railrunner, are operated with gigantic locomotives that guzzle fuel and run with few passengers. More of the small regional rails in the US should be run with European or Japanese style DMU's and railcars. These consume much less fuel, require less maintenance and barely wear the tracks.
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Old March 6th, 2013, 06:58 AM   #685
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The situation in Phoenix is interesting to me because the politics behind it have no parallel in Europe. Here that track repair and service would have been planned and paid for at a national level. The state model and the way cities fund their own infrastructure projects opens the door for short term political interests to obstruct crucial infrastructure projects for both the city and the entire state and even the country. That's the problem in many of the regional cities in the USA when it comes to railways. What these places would really benefit from is a rail equivalent to the Interstate building programme of the 1950s.
Bingo.

I don't know when the idea began to proliferate that 50 individual, local governments enacting disparate policies was more efficient than using one large body to enact a national one.
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Old March 6th, 2013, 08:14 PM   #686
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Bingo.

I don't know when the idea began to proliferate that 50 individual, local governments enacting disparate policies was more efficient than using one large body to enact a national one.
Beacuse the US is a federation of different states with a degree of self-government. Not a single state.
It's been so since the country was founded, it's part of the Constitution and that's just the way it works.
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Old March 7th, 2013, 12:00 AM   #687
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Because nothing in the Constitution has ever or should ever be amended? "Amended"....Why does that word sound familiar?

Dunno if you were taking a stance there, but as someone living in a small state which depends on residents travelling from or going to another state for the bulk of its economic activity, it's a pretty stupid point to worry about. One can only imagine how poorly places like New Hampshire would fair without being part of a larger political body.
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Old March 7th, 2013, 01:36 AM   #688
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robi_damian View Post
Oh, and another thing, some routes, such as NM's Railrunner, are operated with gigantic locomotives that guzzle fuel and run with few passengers. More of the small regional rails in the US should be run with European or Japanese style DMU's and railcars. These consume much less fuel, require less maintenance and barely wear the tracks.
They are not very efficient at all. The CO2 emissions of the whole amtrak network is the same as driving everyone around hybrid cars. Alas the ridiculous safety rules dictate that trains are only safe if they are enormous.
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Old March 7th, 2013, 02:15 AM   #689
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Because nothing in the Constitution has ever or should ever be amended? "Amended"....Why does that word sound familiar?
Amend what? That the US is now a single state? Yeah, that'll fly well...

Quote:
Dunno if you were taking a stance there, but as someone living in a small state which depends on residents travelling from or going to another state for the bulk of its economic activity, it's a pretty stupid point to worry about. One can only imagine how poorly places like New Hampshire would fair without being part of a larger political body.
I didn't say that states shouldn't co-operate or that there should be a federal power; what I am doing is answering the question why things dosen't go as "smoothly" as in other countries.
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Old March 7th, 2013, 03:54 AM   #690
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Amend what? That the US is now a single state? Yeah, that'll fly well...

I didn't say that states shouldn't co-operate or that there should be a federal power; what I am doing is answering the question why things dosen't go as "smoothly" as in other countries.
That's a little glib...
Anti-Federalism is one thing. But we're talking about a situation in which, using the interstate system as an illustration, States would forbid the construction of and refuse any funds allocated towards construction of a large project simply because it was a policy directive of the Federal Government.

I don't get when this attitude (i.e. Feds only waste, never do anything worthwhile) became so mainstream; their track record would prove otherwise.

Common sense should point out that, as the purveyor over the entire National wealth, they have more purchasing power than any single state.
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Old March 7th, 2013, 06:07 AM   #691
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It doesn't sound as though 1772 is expressing his (her) opinion about the fact, merely expressing the literal meaning of it.

But it does seem inconsistent and weirdly (stupidly) paradoxical that certain political entities would justify their denial of federal authority by referring to the same document that established that authority in the first place.
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Old March 7th, 2013, 06:34 AM   #692
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenixboi08 View Post
Bingo.

I don't know when the idea began to proliferate that 50 individual, local governments enacting disparate policies was more efficient than using one large body to enact a national one.
I think that idea probably comes from Europe where there's a bit of a regional rail revival going on, spurred by getting the local governments more involved.
Having policy done at a level close to the stakeholders is generally believed to be a good thing and quite a few countries prove that it works.

In Switzerland all levels of government get involved in railway planning and operation, down to the municipal level. There are more than 50 railways companies operating passengers services in this country of 8 million.
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Old March 7th, 2013, 06:35 AM   #693
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquaticko View Post
It doesn't sound as though 1772 is expressing his (her) opinion about the fact, merely expressing the literal meaning of it.

But it does seem inconsistent and weirdly (stupidly) paradoxical that certain political entities would justify their denial of federal authority by referring to the same document that established that authority in the first place.
Actually the prime purpose of a constitution is not to establish authority, but to limit it. So there is no paradox here.
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Old March 7th, 2013, 04:28 PM   #694
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Alas the ridiculous safety rules dictate that trains are only safe if they are enormous.
Lucky for us and the industry, the FRA is working on changing that.
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Old March 7th, 2013, 04:36 PM   #695
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Also, if some of you still aren't aware, New Jersey Transit's new Dual Mode Locomotives, the ALP-45DPs, have been cleared to run into New York Penn Station, and have been doing so since last week, albeit on a sporadic schedule. Due to catenary work on the M&E, all 4 train sets (two comet sets and two MLV sets) used to run the weekend (3/2-3/13) Midtown Direct schedule on the M&E were powered by ALP-45DP locomotives. This marks the first major use of the dual mode locomotives into New York Penn Station, thus finally fulfilling the purpose for which they were procured.




One more video to come.
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Old March 7th, 2013, 04:37 PM   #696
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Actually the prime purpose of a constitution is not to establish authority, but to limit it. So there is no paradox here.
It nonetheless did establish federal authority, and those unwilling to see that that is the most important part now, that to worry about state authority in a global economy is unproductive at best and harmful at worst, are being hard-headed.
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Old March 7th, 2013, 08:37 PM   #697
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Old March 7th, 2013, 08:41 PM   #698
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Actually the prime purpose of a constitution is not to establish authority, but to limit it. So there is no paradox here.
That's mostly true, but USA and certain other immigrant founded countries are an exception.
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Old March 8th, 2013, 01:46 AM   #699
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I tried really hard in my last post not to play the "Europe has better railways" card and just talk about the USA's genuine rail issues. But now people have raised the issues of US rail safety standards and the sizes of locomotives I have to lose my rag a bit.

The safety standards are simply mental and I have no idea what the rationale is behind them. German-spec Siemens Desiro units were ordered for a commuter system in I forget which US city and were forbidden from sharing tracks with main line trains... units that do exactly that in Germany every day. These same standards resulted in the Acela Express costing way more than it needed to when you could've just bought the standard TGV or Pendolino. For commuter rail as someone's already said it makes the trains so much larger and heavier than they need to be. Track wear goes up, fuel costs go up, and a lot of fresh air is moved around the city. You end up using a monster FP45 and thirty ton carriages for a service that could comfortably operate with a two-car DMU like this - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Rail_Class_172 - Now, I'm not suggesting that for New Jersey Transit. But less heavily used routes where an FP45 and bi-level Bombardier coaches (same company as that unit incidentally) just aren't viable economically.

I don't want to fly off topic and talk about high speed rail in a commuter thread, but as a quick illustration of why the safety standards are nonsense -



That was doing 125mph when it hit a track fault and double backflipped down the side of a hill. It would fail almost every Amtrak safety test, yet its design resulted in a 125mph accident where carriages ended up facing the opposite direction causing only one fatality (an 88 year old). Had the same accident occured with older rolling stock the result would have been unthinkable. Rolling stock for much slower commuter services can be built far smaller, far lighter and far more economical, just as safe if not safer than the FSA guidelines require without meeting half their insane stipulations.
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Old March 9th, 2013, 04:53 AM   #700
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Wow! (well, the story and Denver)
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