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Old May 14th, 2012, 04:54 AM   #2321
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Originally Posted by mgk920 View Post
The NFL looks upon itself as an entire package (the league) competing in the free market against all of the other forms of entertainment, not the individual teams competing against other forms of entertainment (except in their own respective local markets). Their model - keep all of the teams equally strong financially and the 'on the field' competition between then will be very close, with any team being very capable of defeating any other team on any given weekend - and developing intensive, and hugely profitable, fan interest in the process.

As for 'third-party', including government, ownership of railroad infrastructure here in the USA, the State of Wisconsin already owns a significant percentage of the ROW and mainline track in the state - most of which that the state owns being currently leased to the Wisconsin and Southern railroad ('WSOR') for operations.

Mike
http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/localgov/docs/railmap.pdf
If you consider about 1/3 a significant percentage, then yes.
You also have to consider that Wisconsin is primarily a Democratic state, meaning that the voting population, or at least a majority of it does not mind the higher taxes and the increased government involvement in areas such as rail infrastructure.

Now looking at Illinois, where Chicago is situated, there is more of a balance between the Republicans (conservatives) and the Democrats (liberals), although it IS slightly liberal leaning. Your proposal would be possible if the State government decided that it was a proper thing to undertake, but government at the city level (which you proposed) would most likely never devote such resources necessary for this kind of project.
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Old May 15th, 2012, 02:34 PM   #2322
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Originally Posted by Woonsocket54 View Post
Our priorities are misguided...extending trains to rural Maine

That'd only be true assuming that this extension is coming in place of other railway extensions/improvements elsewhere, and it's not clear that this is. I've riden on this train only once before (there's a station right on my university campus), but even at 7am on a Saturday, this train was busy. A lot of people from Boston take the train up during the summer and fall, and a lot of people on the seacoast of Maine and NH take it down all year; this extension seems reasonable.
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Old May 15th, 2012, 04:26 PM   #2323
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Tell that to people who will be paying more taxes for government funded railway improvement / construction. Most will have a cow if this was proposed in earnest. It's just the way our society is; people won't want to pay for something that doesn't directly benefit them, regardless of how important or beneficial it may actually be.
I think that the evidence is quite different. See for example when the governor of Florida started port construction with tax payer money right after rejecting the High Speed Rail line. He rejected a people transportation project and put money into a cargo transportation project.

Similarly in the South Carolina debate Newt Gingrich said the government should invest in the port to improve job perspectives in the state as X% (don't remember how many, but it was a lot) jobs there are directly or indirectly related to the port. So there clearly is a will to invest in cargo transportation.

And anyway, the reason to build it would be to clear the city center for passenger rail, so it is a passenger investment after all...

One thing here is that our exact topic of discussion is kind of clouding the picture because it is a very strange proposition: a city investing a cargo rail ring. I have never heard of such a thing. The usual entities to build rail rings are the state and federal government. Examples:

*Araçatuba (Brazil) rail ring -> Built by the Federal government with money which it collects from the private cargo rail transport
*São Paulo (Brazil) rail ring -> Debated to be funded by the state and federal government, not by the city. Part of the reason to build it is to clear the city center for passenger rail.

So for Chicago I would assume the same thing could be done: The state and federal governments could built it and lease it away as a concession to a private entity.

But of course as for everything one would need to make an economic viability study for this project and compare it with other propositions and build first the most viable rail projects, the ones that bring the most passenger benefit for the amount of invested $
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Old May 15th, 2012, 10:50 PM   #2324
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I think that the evidence is quite different. See for example when the governor of Florida started port construction with tax payer money right after rejecting the High Speed Rail line. He rejected a people transportation project and put money into a cargo transportation project.

Similarly in the South Carolina debate Newt Gingrich said the government should invest in the port to improve job perspectives in the state as X% (don't remember how many, but it was a lot) jobs there are directly or indirectly related to the port. So there clearly is a will to invest in cargo transportation.

And anyway, the reason to build it would be to clear the city center for passenger rail, so it is a passenger investment after all...

One thing here is that our exact topic of discussion is kind of clouding the picture because it is a very strange proposition: a city investing a cargo rail ring. I have never heard of such a thing. The usual entities to build rail rings are the state and federal government. Examples:

*Araçatuba (Brazil) rail ring -> Built by the Federal government with money which it collects from the private cargo rail transport
*São Paulo (Brazil) rail ring -> Debated to be funded by the state and federal government, not by the city. Part of the reason to build it is to clear the city center for passenger rail.

So for Chicago I would assume the same thing could be done: The state and federal governments could built it and lease it away as a concession to a private entity.

But of course as for everything one would need to make an economic viability study for this project and compare it with other propositions and build first the most viable rail projects, the ones that bring the most passenger benefit for the amount of invested $
I think there is a point to be conceded, here, and I do agree that there is a will to invest in freight construction in certain respects, but you have to understand that this matter all revolves around profit motive. In Florida for example, what was the reason the Governor used in his rejection of the high speed rail line construction subsidized by Federal funds? He said that the project "far too costly to taxpayers" and that "the risk far outweigh[ed] the benefits".

My guess is that the projected revenue returns would not have been high enough to justify such and investment of Federal and State funding, as opposed to construction of a port used for freight. Not only would such a project supply the area with short term construction jobs, but freight is almost a guarantee of safe/continuous revenue. Freight is more predictable than passenger railways. Thus profit and return would be ensured, enabling a lesser impact upon the individual taxpayer, if there was any impact at all.

On to your proposal about freeing up track space around Chicago for Passenger rail. I completely agree with your idea, and it's definitely a good idea for the residents of Chicago, but once again, there are a number of factors to consider that would sway the voter (and by extension, the government) one way or the other:

1. Profit motive: Is there going to be a profit made in this scenario that would offset construction costs and therefore ease the burden on the taxpayer? Where is that profit coming from? The freight companies, passenger rail? What are the freight companies going to do with their supposed profit? Lower transportation fees? Invest in rail maintenance (thus affecting passenger rail)? What would passenger operators do with their profits? Invest in new equipment? Lower fares? <-- HAH!

2. Is the government truly giving away the final constructed product away to the private companies for operation and maintenance, or are there strings attached. Private rail freight companies in the US are notoriously protective of their track rights and whatnot.

3. How exactly would the funding be broken up? How much is to be funded by the state, and how much of it is being subsidized by the Federal Government? Is construction going to be contracted out to a private group/company? How many jobs will this create (both short term and long term)?

All of these questions have to be considered before it can be decided that any sort of government funded project can proceed forward. If the voters have any issue with this, the the politicians involved are going to have trouble during the election seasons.

And as a friendly side note, who's the Republican nominee now?
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Old May 16th, 2012, 09:14 AM   #2325
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In Florida for example, what was the reason the Governor used in his rejection of the high speed rail line construction subsidized by Federal funds? He said that the project "far too costly to taxpayers" and that "the risk far outweigh[ed] the benefits". My guess is that the projected revenue returns would not have been high enough to justify such and investment of Federal and State funding, as opposed to construction of a port used for freight.
That's what he said. Maybe because I am brazilian I don't believe in what people say with a blank check. I think he didn't accept it because it came from a democrat president. Doing everything possible to block a ruler is a standard opposition practice to make him look incompetent and get votes in the next election, even if you are actually in favor of something. In Brazil the socialist party (PT) used this tactic very wildly. They voted again and again and again against even the best proposals just to screw the current rulers until they finally won and got power. PT voted against the balenced budget law, voted against our current currency, againt privatizing telecom companies ... well against all of the most successful and vital measures done at the time.

About the project itself: The project would not cost a dime for the state, it was 100% federal funded. The state only had to keep it running, which is the minimum expected and the viability report clearly stated that it would be a profitable line.

The cargo investment involves billions of dollars of investment by the state government, and is not sure either. There is an economic downturn and decrease in manufacturing in the USA which could easily make the port see much less traffic then expected.

And both of them would generate construction jobs.

Also the rail line was guaranteed to have loads of passengers between Orlando Airport and Disney.

Quote:
1. Profit motive: Is there going to be a profit made in this scenario that would offset construction costs and therefore ease the burden on the taxpayer? Where is that profit coming from? The freight companies, passenger rail?
Actually I am not really convinced about the project anymore, so it is hard to talk about details about it. After posting I read in another post in this thread that Chicago already has some belt lines ... so freight should just use those.

Instead of building a belt line the federal government could just buy the inner city rail sections used by Amtrak, if not already from Amtrak and give passenger rail full priority. Freight should use the belt lines.

I think we are discussing with too few information here. A big Chicago map showing which lines are owned by Amtrak and which ones not would be a must have to further talk about the topic =)

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And as a friendly side note, who's the Republican nominee now?
It is Romney.
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Old May 18th, 2012, 04:21 AM   #2326
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mgk920 why can't government of Chicago build a railroad from one intersection of different railroads to other major intersection, and than just sell timeslots to freight companies?
Technically speaking, a good idea; politically speaking, a nonstarter (just look at Fan Railer's incendiary post below).
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Old July 7th, 2012, 06:49 AM   #2327
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Talgo trains for Amtrak Cascades

image hosted on flickr

Oregon DOT flickr/Bob Gallegos
http://www.flickr.com/photos/oregondot/7510821090/

image hosted on flickr

Oregon DOT flickr/Bob Gallegos
http://www.flickr.com/photos/oregondot/7510820744/
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Old July 7th, 2012, 08:28 AM   #2328
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Well , at least were slowly getting to a more European look ,
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Old July 7th, 2012, 10:32 AM   #2329
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Well , at least were slowly getting to a more European look ,
Whether or not they "look" European, they've been using Talgo equipment (Spanish) on the Cascades line since it started. I rode them in the 1990s.
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Old July 7th, 2012, 10:39 AM   #2330
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That's what he said. Maybe because I am brazilian I don't believe in what people say with a blank check. I think he didn't accept it because it came from a democrat president.
I'm a huge supporter of HSR but even I had to admit the project in Florida seemed like a boondoggle. It didn't even go city center to city center (downtown Orlando) which is one of the features of rail that air transport can't match. The Florida project went to the Orlando AIRPORT for Pete's sake. It was like it was just a project to get flyers from Tampa to another airport.

When it was proposed, I took it as a demonstration project more than serious transportation. It was the most "shovel ready" true HSR project then available. But it wasn't a terribly smart use of funds. I actually wasn't very disappointed when it was cancelled (and most of my family lives in Florida so I might have ridden it).
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Old July 7th, 2012, 11:40 AM   #2331
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Talgo trains for Amtrak Cascades
Nice, I never even heard about this, are they planning on replacing all the old trains, or is this just a new addition? When it's put into commercial service I'll definitely take a ride.
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Old July 7th, 2012, 01:32 PM   #2332
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I'm a huge supporter of HSR but even I had to admit the project in Florida seemed like a boondoggle. It didn't even go city center to city center (downtown Orlando) which is one of the features of rail that air transport can't match. The Florida project went to the Orlando AIRPORT for Pete's sake. It was like it was just a project to get flyers from Tampa to another airport.
You are forgetting that the majority of riders would be doing Orland Airport->Disney World and that Orland Airport has a pretty good connection to the rest of the city. The city center (excluding NY) is much less dominant and relevant in USA cities then in the rest of the world. The huge suburbias and highly degradated centers with surface parking lots and huge highways in the USA much diminshes the importance of the city center.

Not to mention that a future expansion would cover going to the center, and into Miami.
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Old July 7th, 2012, 02:37 PM   #2333
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Talgo trains for Amtrak Cascades

image hosted on flickr

Oregon DOT flickr/Bob Gallegos
http://www.flickr.com/photos/oregondot/7510821090/
Have they finally gotten rid of the Cabbages?
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Old July 8th, 2012, 12:31 AM   #2334
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Yeah, is that the rear cab unit(like the new Rotems in LA and Miami) or a DMU?

Anyways, the only bummer of the various failed rail projects was Chicago-Madison. After visiting Madison I came to think that despite being a small city it would have been a good line. The Monona Terrace station would have been within perhaps extended walking distance from UW, the capital, etc

All we can hope for I guess is continued funding from states and the feds for decent regional Amtrak service at 110 mph speeds and slow but steady upgrades to the NEC so maybe Acela could go 150 mph in Jersey?
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Old July 8th, 2012, 08:05 AM   #2335
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I think that's the loco.
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Old July 8th, 2012, 09:37 AM   #2336
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I think that's the loco.
No that's not the loco.

The Talgo sets used on the Cascade would normally run with an engine at one end, and a "cab baggage" car ("cabbage") on the other. The cab car was a converted locomotive, with it's prime mover removed.

This looks like they've modified one end of a Talgo set to have a proper driving cab so they don't need the cab car anymore.
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Old July 8th, 2012, 10:03 AM   #2337
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No thats the new lead car , FRA seems to have given them so wavier. There was no incentive for Amtrak to build a rear car if you think about it , this isn't the Acela...so they must have pushed the FRA.
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Old July 8th, 2012, 02:29 PM   #2338
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No thats the new lead car , FRA seems to have given them so wavier. There was no incentive for Amtrak to build a rear car if you think about it , this isn't the Acela...so they must have pushed the FRA.
It's a cab car. Wether it's on the lead or at the tail depends on which way the train is running I suppose.
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Old July 9th, 2012, 07:11 AM   #2339
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It looks like a school bus
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Old July 9th, 2012, 10:03 AM   #2340
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California lawmakers ok billions for first US high speed line

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/...0/1?csp=34news
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