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Old June 10th, 2013, 04:34 PM   #2521
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Very nice and informative post, I agree with you that America is a super power in technology, And they are very famous in train all over the world. There railway tracks are totally stripped. I think passenger rail in the U.S. Is best served for short distances in high density areas. Every tourist likes that train, because it is much too comfortable and makes the distance convenient.
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Old June 12th, 2013, 04:26 AM   #2522
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnson8100 View Post
Very nice and informative post, I agree with you that America is a super power in technology, And they are very famous in train all over the world. There railway tracks are totally stripped. I think passenger rail in the U.S. Is best served for short distances in high density areas. Every tourist likes that train, because it is much too comfortable and makes the distance convenient.
Have you been smoking?
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Old June 12th, 2013, 04:44 AM   #2523
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Have you been smoking?
Actually, Johnson's comment is reflective of the attitude of a large number of the US populace (especially those more on the, ah, right side of the political spectrum). Problem is, once some money is made available for rail transport (for those projects that "make sense and are not boondoggles") ,they are shifted by the politicians to road construction or just unspent in the name of "fiscal responsibility". Passenger rail infrastructure development is such a political football in the US, it's like watching a farce.
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Old June 12th, 2013, 05:05 AM   #2524
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Old June 25th, 2013, 10:17 PM   #2525
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Today's :
Planes, trains, but in California there's got to be an automobile in between
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Old June 26th, 2013, 06:05 AM   #2526
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http://w3.usa.siemens.com/mobility/u...-sprinter.aspx
According to the tracking feature on the new official Siemens USA page, locomotive 602 should be in Wilmington, DE before the July 4th weekend. Happy hunting to those along the route.
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Old June 28th, 2013, 04:34 PM   #2527
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Here is a nice photo of the aforementioned engine 602:



http://blog.amtrak.com/2013/06/amtrakcitiessprinter/
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Old June 29th, 2013, 07:38 AM   #2528
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And here are some videos of those who went to capture the beginning of this historic move:

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Old June 29th, 2013, 01:32 PM   #2529
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k.k.jetcar View Post
Actually, Johnson's comment is reflective of the attitude of a large number of the US populace (especially those more on the, ah, right side of the political spectrum). Problem is, once some money is made available for rail transport (for those projects that "make sense and are not boondoggles") ,they are shifted by the politicians to road construction or just unspent in the name of "fiscal responsibility". Passenger rail infrastructure development is such a political football in the US, it's like watching a farce.
Well, it will be a quite a rough wakeup call during the next decade as fuel prices will balloon (unless something very drastic happens). Countries that realize we're way past the era of chep oil will have a huge advantage.

But to me, I'd say that the major issue in passenger rail transport is that the US system are fragmentated and the private owners of tracks are prioritizing freight instead of expanding the network to accomodate passenger trains too. Amtrak seems to be a great company ut they're fighting an uphill battle.
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Old June 29th, 2013, 02:33 PM   #2530
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Well, it will be a quite a rough wakeup call during the next decade as fuel prices will balloon (unless something very drastic happens). Countries that realize we're way past the era of chep oil will have a huge advantage.
I think with the current development of shale gas extraction and fracking energy will stay relatively cheap for another half a century. Maybe longer.

Of course that is not an argument against developing passenger railway infrastructure.
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Old June 29th, 2013, 05:38 PM   #2531
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Shale gas extraction is considerably more expensive than traditional oil dwelling. If you don't want to utterly destroy large parts of your country with it it gets even more expensive.

It will be a lot but not "cheap". In fact some alternative energy sources would be able to compete fairly well with shale gas in cost terms.
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Old June 30th, 2013, 04:37 PM   #2532
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After 20 years of talk, Crenshaw/LAX rail line gets green light
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Old July 2nd, 2013, 06:07 PM   #2533
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Is this how it's usually done?
I've been thinking about this lately, and I just can't figure out why they won't just improve upon this principle to make the fixed cost as low as possible (i.e. requiring less manual labor to actually lay track). I find this to be analogous to the huge TBM - no subway relies much on manual labor anymore to dig the tunnels, except in cities like NYC where they must blast rock).

I just keep imagining a system in which, concrete (for ballastless track) is poured several miles ahead of the machine, settles, and the track is laid down upon it. As each car is depleted, it is detached and leaves to get another load.
As such, you could conceivably have a 24/7 construction schedule, weather permitting.

I'm sure there are specific technical details, but I just can't wrap my head around why the fixed costs are so high?

Another example would be not employing Lithium Ion (LiFePo4) batteries and using regenerative breaking, as opposed to having to put up catenaries.

All-in-all, I don't see why we won't take the opportunity to look at conventional wisdom and change: price is a concern, so do it more cheaply.

I've asked so many times, but does anyone have, or has anyone seen, actual cost breakdowns of these kinds of projects? Or, more exactly, how the cost is passed on to passengers in terms of ticket fare?
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Old July 2nd, 2013, 09:58 PM   #2534
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheyorow View Post
Yeah, I agree. The train system here is pretty obsolete in most places. It would be nice to be able to hop on a train as a more cost effective solution to flying or taking the bus. I've always loved trains, but when I moved abroad it really started to hit me about how we should be utilizing trains in our own country for a better travel solution between towns and states...

After I saw how trains worked while visiting Europe a few times and then China, my attitude towards rail travel in the U.S. changed dramatically. Before traveling I was all about more freeways/cars but after seeing the pure efficiency of rail networks abroad I felt like we were lacking in that department. On top of that I realized that the U.S. used to have a good long distance and local rail infrastructure but it either got torn up or left to rot. I see so many rail lines here in Texas that are overgrown with trees and vegetation because they were abandoned. Hell even see rail lines with abandoned rail cars. Very sad
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Old July 2nd, 2013, 10:13 PM   #2535
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenixboi08 View Post
After 20 years of talk, Crenshaw/LAX rail line gets green light
That's nice. I could have definitely used that line last time I was in LA.

More details on Wiki, since article didn't have a map:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crensha...geles_Metro%29

Map:
http://lametthesource.files.wordpres..._map_eng-1.jpg
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Old July 3rd, 2013, 12:12 PM   #2536
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Originally Posted by Sunfuns View Post
I think with the current development of shale gas extraction and fracking energy will stay relatively cheap for another half a century. Maybe longer.

Of course that is not an argument against developing passenger railway infrastructure.
Not all energy the same.
Unlike oil-based fuels, that are way more effective in internal combustion cycle, than in generation grid electricity, NG are more effective (up to 60%) at big stationary electric plants, compared to small IC engines.
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Old July 18th, 2013, 07:38 PM   #2537
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SPARTANBURG, SC | Amtrak Station

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IMAG1635 by RunnningWithScalpels, on Flickr
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Old July 24th, 2013, 10:24 PM   #2538
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An American union is now calling for an outright ban of one-man trains.
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Old July 26th, 2013, 03:15 PM   #2539
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Unions want to bloat trains with unnecessary people. They'd rather have cabooses and 3-men crew than advanced electronic train systems. They are doing what they are supposed to - stalling technological development. I couldn't have more contempt for unions that try to restrict technological advancement.
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Old July 27th, 2013, 03:01 AM   #2540
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Quote:
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Unions want to bloat trains with unnecessary people. They'd rather have cabooses and 3-men crew than advanced electronic train systems. They are doing what they are supposed to - stalling technological development. I couldn't have more contempt for unions that try to restrict technological advancement.
This fact reminds me a thing about Budd RDC railcars. In 1950's, Budd launched the Rail Diesel Car (RDC), a self-propelled passenger rail car that could be operate with only two persons: a engineer and a conductor, with lower labor costs for American railroads.


http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showth...=665324&page=7

But, Rail Unions demanded that RDC's would have to operated with a engineer, a flagman and a auxiliary employee (plus conductor) inside each railcar... This was one of the reasons for the failure of Budd RDC.
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