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View Poll Results: Should the US build or improve it's HSR network?
Yes 249 89.57%
No 29 10.43%
Voters: 278. You may not vote on this poll

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Old March 8th, 2011, 05:04 AM   #2241
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slipperydog View Post
Rail, in and of itself, is not what irks the right. It's the continous government spending, in spite of record deficits, on questionable projects and a general sense of throwing good money after bad just for the sake of politics, and all with 2012 on the horizon in a key battleground state. It's basically just earmarking on a larger scale, a practice which both sides agreed to eliminate back in December. Now if we shut down most of Amtrak's money-burning long-haul routes, maybe we could start looking at alternatives that make sense.
Record deficits caused by a NATIONAL recession that impacted REVENUE, not excessive spending.

One man's "earmark" is another man's crucial investment.

Shutting down most of Amtrak's money losing routes would make as much of an impact on the federal budget deficit as cutting off a few hairs would have on someone's weight. How about ending the Bush tax cuts? How about cutting the bloated military budget?
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Old March 8th, 2011, 05:19 AM   #2242
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Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
That Amtrak has a terrible financial record only helps opposition to HSR. It is a very bad precedent of government involvement on rail service. As I wrote on this thread before, long-distance routes have an OPERATIONAL loss averaging ca. 60% of its costs.

If they agreed to ditch subsidized tourist trains (essentially, all transcontinental routes that are useless for real transportation + most of long-distance routes too slow to even compete with cars and buses), they could start building a case for increased public goodwill.

Amtrak could also commission a serious detailed study of a Boston-NYC-Washington true high-speed corridor mixing severely upgraded sectors and entire new ROW.
Those money losing Amtrak routes are popular in the states they serve. People in rural areas don't want to have a means of intercity transport cut off from them.

Amtrak does not come close to providing HSR. Anyone that has a negative opinion of HSR because of Amtrak is an uneducated moron.

And if you actually paid attention to a topic you so greatly enjoy pontificating about, you would know that Amtrak has released a detailed set of recommended upgrades to NE corridor to increase capacity and reduce travel times. Much money is needed for basic upgrades and replacement of century old infrastructure. The NE Corridor was built well over 100 years ago and has received minimal upgrades since then.
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Old March 8th, 2011, 05:25 AM   #2243
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoosier View Post
Record deficits caused by a NATIONAL recession that impacted REVENUE, not excessive spending.

One man's "earmark" is another man's crucial investment.

Shutting down most of Amtrak's money losing routes would make as much of an impact on the federal budget deficit as cutting off a few hairs would have on someone's weight. How about ending the Bush tax cuts? How about cutting the bloated military budget?
He does not represent us conservatives with common sense.

But no, US do overspend. Whether its military or inefficient bureaucracy this country is bleeding money.
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Old March 8th, 2011, 05:46 AM   #2244
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Funny, you whined about conservatives getting treated poorly on here then post this condescending rant to all supporters of non-oil based transportation.
Last time I checked, most Amtrak routes run on diesel locos.

Quote:
Amtrak operates on a shoe string budget and the money it "loses" (as if a public benefit needs to generate a profit) PALES in comparison to the interstate highway system. I've yet to see any evidence it generates a profit.
Not an appropriate comparison, it's apples to oranges: the interstate highways are kept with public funds (most of it derived from gas taxes, so self-funding). However, government doesn't operate trucks, buses and rental cars! It only maintains and build infrastructure. Same goes with airport. I guess most people would accept the idea of a national public networks of tracks if different but private-only companies were freely allowed to run trains there - like airports (that are mostly public, but open to any airline willing to fly there).

Amtrak doesn't have a resemblance in others modes of transportations, as US government doesn't have a fleet of buses, rental cars, trucks and even ocean freight ships...

Quote:
If we are going to shut down the lightly used Amtrak routes, then we need to shut down the interstates in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, and any other lightly populated interior state because the use those roads get surely does not justify their exorbitant cost.
All transcontinental interstates (I-10, I-40, I-80, I-90) get fairly high long-distance traffic. In any case, shutting down an Amtrak route is not like closing an Interstate. It is just withdrawing some special vehicle there. The rail tracks would remain there, and they are indeed very active with freight rail. Shutting down an Amtrak route is just like dropping a flight - it doesn't mean demolishing the airports, just stop offering a direct flight between them.

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Please tell me how a car traveling on a chronically choked Interstate 4 is going to get from Orlando International Airport to DT Tampa faster than a train with a top speed of 168 mph.
Top speed =/= commercial speed. Beyond that, you need to account for the time it takes for people to move from their doorstep to the airport check-in concourse.
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Old March 8th, 2011, 05:58 AM   #2245
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoosier View Post
Amtrak operates on a shoe string budget and the money it "loses" (as if a public benefit needs to generate a profit) PALES in comparison to the interstate highway system. I've yet to see any evidence it generates a profit.
Who claimed roads should be generating a profit? You people are too transparent. Someone makes a statement that states A, you move the ball 10 yards and say they stated B. Yeah, people are really going to purchase four individual HSR fares for an 80 mile trip when they could fill up a car and transport up to 4-5 people at a fraction of the cost. What world are you people living in?

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Proudly ignorant, obnoxious AND insulting. You are the perfect conservative!
If anyone here been obnoxious and insulting, it's been you. Those were your own words. Should I re-post your degrading assessment of your own state here, or should I spare you the humiliation? I'm not kidding though, if the degree to which you get this worked up and treat people on the internet is any indication of your actual interactions in real life, I only pity you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hoosier View Post
Record deficits caused by a NATIONAL recession that impacted REVENUE, not excessive spending.
The cause of these state budget crunches is irrelevant. Any unnecessary 'investment', at this point, is excessive spending.
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Old March 8th, 2011, 06:00 AM   #2246
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Those money losing Amtrak routes are popular in the states they serve. People in rural areas don't want to have a means of intercity transport cut off from them.
They are certainly not popular at all. How can 3 routes serving Chicago-California connection, all scoring - combined - less than 1.000.000 passengers/years (we're talking about total ridership, not full-route equivalent passengers or passenger-miles), be deemed "popular"?

I guess nobody wants to have any mean of transportation taking off their town, particularly it if is subsidized. What doesn't make any sense it to sustain a service that, again, in all possible relations will be SLOWER than driving.

If they were serious about providing local communities with alternative transport, they would organize routes with focus on major hubs from where continuing the journey by flight were possible, instead of stretching 4 transcontinental routes with meager patronage and slow commercial speeds, some of them slower then in 1940. A set of regional networks centered in cities like Denver, Dallas, Salt Lake City, Minneapolis would be far more reasonable that keeping a 43-stop, 46h travel time, highly prices Los Angeles -Chicago direct service.
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Old March 8th, 2011, 06:08 AM   #2247
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Why has this become the bash Amtrak and US HSR thread ...like the old thread....why can't we have intelligent discussions without launching attacks.... Unless you have strong facts or understand US Transportation / Funding...i suggest you not comment on this thread... because all it does is starts arguments ...
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Old March 8th, 2011, 06:53 AM   #2248
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Originally Posted by Nexis View Post
why can't we have intelligent discussions without launching attacks....
Good question.

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Originally Posted by hoosier View Post
Genius, the line was the FIRST LEG of a much larger network that would have extended to Fort Lauderdale and Miami.
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If I had wanted to call names, I would have called him a ******* moron. Pointing out the obvious is not name-calling.
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It's scary, but trying to reason with Teaparty people is like trying to deprogram somebody who's in a religious cult.
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Old March 8th, 2011, 07:00 AM   #2249
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slipperydog View Post
Who claimed roads should be generating a profit? You people are too transparent. Someone makes a statement that states A, you move the ball 10 yards and say they stated B. Yeah, people are really going to purchase four individual HSR fares for an 80 mile trip when they could fill up a car and transport up to 4-5 people at a fraction of the cost. What world are you people living in?



If anyone here been obnoxious and insulting, it's been you. Those were your own words. Should I re-post your degrading assessment of your own state here, or should I spare you the humiliation? I'm not kidding though, if the degree to which you get this worked up and treat people on the internet is any indication of your actual interactions in real life, I only pity you.



The cause of these state budget crunches is irrelevant. Any unnecessary 'investment', at this point, is excessive spending.
You're such a damn hypocrite. You're bashing his behavior even though you went to such a level to call construction workers "uneducated, obese rednecks". What's your escuse?

And unnecessary "investment"? What's keeping us in competition with other countries? Our enormous Defense Budget? These companies and corporations want to be in a country that's moving forward and investing in their infrastructure and future. Even with a pretty high corporate tax, it's still cheaper to do business in this country compared to countries like France and Germany. And yet, with High Speed Rail, companies are moving to these countries and investing. Improving the education and infrastructure in this country should be the way to go and many in this country believe it is our corporate taxes and overall taxes that need to be changed.
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Old March 8th, 2011, 07:14 AM   #2250
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You're such a damn hypocrite. You're bashing his behavior even though you went to such a level to call construction workers "uneducated, obese rednecks". What's your escuse?
That was actually a quote from Mr. Indiana himself, albeit from a different thread. He derides his own people when it seems politically prudent to his argument. It really has become the lowest common denominator with this guy.

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What's keeping us in competition with other countries?
Simple. Allowing states to operate freely without government mandates. Allow them to use federal funds to improve their schools, roads, hospitals, cut income taxes, shrink the corporate tax rate, thus giving states the financial wherewithal to attract the best workers and investment from corporations both at home and abroad. Not the continued endorsement of some broad federal "stimulus" that just throws money at the project with the loudest mob.

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And yet, with High Speed Rail, companies are moving to these countries and investing.
Highly doubtful. All because of high speed rail? Care to post a link?
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Old March 8th, 2011, 07:16 AM   #2251
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Our incomes taxes has been lowest in over 20 years yet it hasn't prevented the 2008 recession or produce many good quality jobs. It's ironic how higher taxes in the 90's haven't prevented the great economic boom of that decade.
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Old March 8th, 2011, 07:27 AM   #2252
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Our incomes taxes has been lowest in over 20 years yet it hasn't prevented the 2008 recession or produce many good quality jobs. It's ironic how higher taxes in the 90's haven't prevented the great economic boom of that decade.
If it hadn't been for the highly-speculative .com bubble and a House that slashed spending and balanced the budget, the 90's likely wouldn't have been much better.
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Old March 8th, 2011, 01:00 PM   #2253
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Hey uncle Sam guess what...

The former soviets got their HST
The communistic Chinese got an entire HST network
Oh... and Iran is building one.

In Europe we build High Speed Lines under a sea, through mountains and under parks with outstanding natural beauty....

Where we enjoy free WiFi on the train you get clogged up in traffic jams all day.
Where we invested in a future transport mode before oil prices kill low coast airlines and even the car..... you are still asleep, dreaming about lower taxes and a dream which turned out to be a massive failure...


Sleep well.
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Old March 8th, 2011, 01:27 PM   #2254
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Not a total failure, come on, we are finacing the "free world's" military. Seriously can't we all get along? Again, HSR and just plain old trains work for some of us and 16 lane freeways work for others. The best thing is, is that a combination would work for everyone. But we can never get to that point because it's convenient for politicians and us. We want to argue, it's what we do best. Nothing will ever be right because we don't want it to be. Not sure what utopian Europe Otto lives in (ever seen the traffic in London)? but for most of us atleast in the U.S., we are a car dominated society, like it or not, that could use a train/HSR enhancement. Personally I don't own a car and I like my 6 block walk to work, so my carbon footprint is really small, you guys should do the same, then who would care about HSR or gas prices? hmmm, how small is your world?
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Old March 8th, 2011, 02:15 PM   #2255
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slipperydog View Post
That was actually a quote from Mr. Indiana himself, albeit from a different thread. He derides his own people when it seems politically prudent to his argument. It really has become the lowest common denominator with this guy.



Simple. Allowing states to operate freely without government mandates. Allow them to use federal funds to improve their schools, roads, hospitals, cut income taxes, shrink the corporate tax rate, thus giving states the financial wherewithal to attract the best workers and investment from corporations both at home and abroad. Not the continued endorsement of some broad federal "stimulus" that just throws money at the project with the loudest mob.



Highly doubtful. All because of high speed rail? Care to post a link?
You still ignore the part where you're a complete ass comparing construction workers to uneducated rednecks.

This is transportation money. Goes in from transportation, comes out for transportation. I don't see how hard it is to understand that, but I guess it is for some. And money has gone to education and social programs, its not like the federal government abandoned those issues to fund High Speed Rail.

I believe Florida is #11 in corporate taxes with a tax rate of 5.5%. We also don't have a personal income tax, reason why we pretty much have a statewide sales tax. So #11 in corporate tax and no income tax, why are companies relocating to states with both an income tax and higher corporate tax rates than us?

And I said investing in our infrastructure and education right there after the comment you quoted.
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Old March 8th, 2011, 03:59 PM   #2256
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Originally Posted by hoosier View Post
Funny, you whined about conservatives getting treated poorly on here then post this condescending rant to all supporters of non-oil based transportation.

Amtrak operates on a shoe string budget and the money it "loses" (as if a public benefit needs to generate a profit) PALES in comparison to the interstate highway system. I've yet to see any evidence it generates a profit.

If we are going to shut down the lightly used Amtrak routes, then we need to shut down the interstates in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, and any other lightly populated interior state because the use those roads get surely does not justify their exorbitant cost.

Please tell me how a car traveling on a chronically choked Interstate 4 is going to get from Orlando International Airport to DT Tampa faster than a train with a top speed of 168 mph.


HSR isn't going to bankrupt California. It will not be funded with general tax revenues. Name one state that doesn't have budget problems. Conservative Heaven Texas has a $27 BILLION budget deficit.
GREATEST THREAD EVER!

Not whining dude, observing. There are definetely more of the left leaning mindset here than the right. that's OK though, we can hold our own.

What did I say about non-oil based transportation except that this train will make so small a dent as to be immaterial. Last time I checked, other than a couple or three nuc plants the folks in Fla were burning things to make electricity so it's a non-starter. They will very likely still be burning coal or oil to run the train. I don't see this as non-oil based transportation unless they are planning to build windmills at the terminating stations.

For about 100 pages here you've been focused on the highway system but you are doing the apple to oranges thing. Yes, you are correct, highways, airports and railroads are big money losers if you incorporate construction and maintenance into the equation. There is NO arguement to that. The difference is that the airports and roads are ALREADY THERE. The other difference is that people and companies profit from the use of the highway system and the airports. And people and companies profit from moving stuff by rail. They do not profit by moving people by rail. You can tell that because trucking companies, airlines and cargo haulers exist and private passenger rail haulers do not. Another HUGE difference is that EVERYONE uses the interstate system. You might think you don't but I guarantee you that you do. If you go anywhere, eat any food, buy any product, get any mail from outside your City then you "use" the interstates. The same with the airport. If you travel anywhere outside your city, buy non-perishable goods and services, shop on the internet, then you use the airports. This rail system will be catering to a very closed user group. That's why there is doubt that this rail system will allow an operator to profit. It's economics, not politics. You only need to look at Amtrak to see where that doubt comes from. Amtrak only hauls people and probably some very limited and select cargo like US mail. It's a money loser. Making the train faster won't change that. Only selecting the proper routes will. I WANT HSR built....from Boston to DC and in Southern California where it makes sense to do so. I just happen to want to wait until the federal budget is in far better shape than it is right now.

Look, let's be honest. The money going to Florida in the first place was a payoff for the last election. We can all agree on that. If anyone with business sense was making these decisions any HSR money that was availabnle would be going to the NEC and Southern Cali. If the money gets re-allocated to Southern California I'll be as happy as I can be unless they spend it in the NEC or send it back to China in the form of repayment of debt.

To that car you mention.....If that car is at the Orlando airport and the destination is downtown Tampa then you are correct. If the origination or destination is anywhere else, you will not save any time on that train. The cities are just too close together.

How are those in CA planning to fund it if not from tax revenues? It's got to be from some sort of tax revenue. Certainly it can not entirely be from user fees on the train, hell it'll cost about 2 grand to ride it if that's the case. You are correct though, every state budget is in the hopper right now. Another reason to hold off on things like this.

Last edited by FlyFish; March 8th, 2011 at 04:59 PM.
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Old March 8th, 2011, 04:37 PM   #2257
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I never understood the American belief that everything should be profitable.
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Old March 8th, 2011, 04:50 PM   #2258
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I never understood the American belief that everything should be profitable.
So, how does something like this exist and operate in the world without being profitable? Someone has to pay. Who is that someone?


pssst. I already know the answer.....and therein lies the arguement.

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Old March 8th, 2011, 05:04 PM   #2259
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Quote:
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people and companies profit from the use of the highway system and the airports. And people and companies profit from moving stuff by rail. They do not profit by moving people by rail.
Tell that to these private companies:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Hull_Trains
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heathrow_Express
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuovo_T...to_Viaggiatori
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamburg-K%C3%B6ln-Express

Sure, this is all in Europe. It is not related in any way to USA. But have you ever thought that there's something wrong with USA's economy that private rail operator is impossible in the USA?

Hers's the thing: Europen regulations are now focused on operating railways just like highways. The infrastructure is generally state-owned. Operators pay for using that infrastructure. For rail it's access fees, for roads it's electronic toll and to some (minor) extent fuel tax.

Meanwihile, in the US of A, a road carrier uses the infrastructure completely free. There are generally no tolls on Interstates, and the fuel tax is almost non-existent. At the same time, almost every piece of rail track is privately owned by the railway operator (!), who must take all the infrastucture costs - otherwise his business will crumble to dust.

So don't tell me that it's naturally impossible to profit from passenger rail. It's impossible only in America.

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Amtrak only hauls people and probably some very limited and select cargo like US mail. It's a money loser. Making the train faster won't change that.
To the contrary. Making the train faster shifts everyone who values their time - from other modes of transport to trains. Even more if it's hassle-free and downtown-to-downtown. Air connections are practicly killed by a HSR service over the route. Bus connections are getting limited, but they stay in business because they are generally cheaper. Car ridership goes down, but still has most of the market - because of the convenience (pack your family and things and drive directly to your destination).

That's how it works all over the world. Why do you think it must be different in the USA?
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Old March 8th, 2011, 05:13 PM   #2260
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That's how it works all over the world. Why do you think it must be different in the USA?
I think you pretty much answered your own question about why it is different in your second and third paragraphs.
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