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Old December 26th, 2007, 04:16 AM   #241
kphoger
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Amtrak needs to stop trying to be an airline. There are people, of course, who prefer to travel cross-country by train, but they don't do it as a matter of convenience, only preference. The rest of America, on the other hand, either (1) would never take the train long-distance, because it takes too long, or (2) would rather take the bus, because it's cheaper, has more stops, and doesn't sell out. What Amtrak is trying to do is get more Type 1 passengers, rather than Type 2.

Greyhound runs about 1250 buses around the clock, to all parts of the country, and they're always full - and that doesn't count other, more local bus companies. Greyhound's ticket prices stay the same until one week before travel, and they tell you in advance what the last-minute price will be. If more people buy tickets than can fit in the bus, they don't say they're sold out, but simply add another bus to the route.

But, everybody knows that taking the bus is an unpleasant ordeal, at least if you're traveling long-distance. Nearly everybody out there would much rather sit in the comfort of a train than wake up at 3 AM to the arc-sodium lights of a truck stop. As they say: you don't ride the dog, the dog rides you. So what's the advantage? As I said, buying a ticket is hassle- and worry-free, and they run almost everywhere in the country. The slow progress doesn't bother them, the condition of the stations doesn't matter to them; what matters is that they can buy a ticket on short notice to wherever they need to go, and it won't break the bank to do so.

Amtrak could serve these people's needs by having a more local focus - stop trying to be an airline, and start trying to be a bus company. Add stops to the route, even if it slows the route down. Keep a reserve of rail cars at various locations to add to the string if too many people buy tickets. Eliminate reservation-only trains from the network. If giving Newton (KS) some daytime departures means people traveling Chicago - L.A. have to change trains, then make them change trains.

Flying long-distance will always be faster and more schedule-friendly than taking the train, so much of the flying population will never be swayed. But there are thousands of people on the bus who would much rather take the train, so let's try and serve THEIR needs instead.
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Old December 31st, 2007, 01:17 PM   #242
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloudship View Post
Try flying from JFK to Boston during the evening push. Spend 40 minutes taxying around JFK. Spend 35 minutes in the air.
The problems with NYC JFK & LaGuardia airports is the taxis lobby will not allow a rail solution!!

What is needed in NYC is an airport monorail that runs between these two airports with stops at a main lines coming out of NYC.

I took the Amtrak Acela from Boston to NYC to pickup an international flight during a snow storm and it was a joke getting from Grand Central out to JFK, I think I took 3 trains and a bus. In Hong Kong I took a cab from my hotel to Central Station where I did an airport check in of my bags and my boarding pass and then boarded the train and in 45 minutes I was at the airport.
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Old January 6th, 2008, 01:51 AM   #243
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HSR should be constructed in regional networks which could then connect to each other. NEC, Midwest, SE, FL, and Texas Triangle could make one killer system, and they'd all be built by different states budgets. CAHSR and NW are going to be system all on their own just because they're so disconnected from the rest of any other possible HSR.

There should still be regular long distance trains though, and lots of them. Plenty of people still use LD service. All North American countries should get their systems up to world class. After that, have service between countries(Chicago-Mexico City?). There are a lot of successful cross border bus services.
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Old January 7th, 2008, 07:50 AM   #244
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i looked at Chicago Union Station and i believe that High Speed Rail can call to that Station

it can be electrifed like Randolph Station and since it is a thru station it benefits for the other locations to be reached with Electifitcation
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Old January 7th, 2008, 08:18 AM   #245
TheMann2000
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I believe that HSR has potential in a few places in North America:

- Northeast Corridor
Boston, Providence, New Haven, Hartford, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Richmond, Norfolk
- Canadian Corridor
Detroit, Windsor, London, Kitchener-Waterloo, Toronto, Kingston, Ottawa, Montreal, Trois-Rivieres, Quebec City
- California Corridor
San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, Ontario, San Bernardino, Fresno, Modesto, San Jose, San Francisco
- Pacific Northwest Corridor
Vancouver, Everett, Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia, Portland, Eugene, maybe Sacremento and San Francisco
- Southern Corridor
Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Daytona Beach, Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville, Savannah, Atlanta, Charlotte
- East Midwest Corridor
Chicago, Gary, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland, Columbus, Erie, Buffalo, maybe Albany and NYC
- South Midwest Corridor
Chicago, Joliet, Peoria, Springfield, St. Louis, Jefferson City, Kansas City, Topeka, Wichita
- North Midwest Corridor
Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison, La Crosse, Green Bay, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Duluth

Beyond that, for long distances Amtrak would smart to forget about the speed travel, and make rail the way to travel if you want to go substantial distances. Yeah, you can get there faster on the plane, but it will be more enjoyable on the train. With that in mind, make substantial bedrooms on trains, observation/dome cars for the view, luxurious compartments and all the refinements economically possible. Have all trains offer the auto train deal where you bring your car along if you want - which is easy, just add covered auto carrier cars on the ends of trains.

As for the moving of freight on rail, the USA moves vastly more freight on rail in American than in Europe, because the private companies have been battling for traffic for ages. This ain't the 1970s, the railroads make mountains of money and work beautifully, hauling freight nationwide. What might help is a nationally-owned freight rail line that rivals the private carriers.

As for the high-speeds, the TGV system developed bi-level trainsets. This would be good to do for the intercity lines.

Adding to this, I would reccommend that the passenger trains try to gain back the lustre of yesteryear. So, you get clean trains with good service and excellent surroundings, a part of your vacation rather than being on the way to it. International trains would be cool, too.

Oh, and get back the great names. Why Amtrak never ran the 20th Century Limited name is beyond me. But here's a better idea - an ultra-luxury 21st Century Limited, but instead of Chicago to NYC go for NYC to LA.
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Old January 7th, 2008, 08:37 AM   #246
OettingerCroat
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u must include Sacramento in your California Corridor, it will branch off in the mid-Central Valley for the Bay Area and Sacramento regions separately.
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Old January 7th, 2008, 08:39 AM   #247
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otherwise yes, i agree with these corridors very much.

HRS has huge feasibility in the US, but no potential thanks to the stranglehold of the oil companies. they dont want people using electric-powered trains to travel long distances, they want them traveling those distances in Chevy Suburbans and Greyhound buses!
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Old January 7th, 2008, 08:40 AM   #248
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OettingerCroat View Post
u must include Sacramento in your California Corridor, it will branch off in the mid-Central Valley for the Bay Area and Sacramento regions separately.
I actually had the idea of Frisco being the link between California and Pacific NW, which puts Sacremento on the Pacific NW, between Redding and San Francisco.
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Old January 7th, 2008, 08:42 AM   #249
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I actually had the idea of Frisco being the link between California and Pacific NW, which puts Sacremento on the Pacific NW, between Redding and San Francisco.
you know, a west coast corridor would be great. it would need to branch off before SF and Sacramento and rejoin afterwards, but it could easily stretch from the Canadian to Mexican borders.
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Old January 7th, 2008, 08:50 AM   #250
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you have a great idea to the Rail Corridors

for the Chicago Union Station will be electirified with improved overhead wires for the HSR that will run to it since its a thru station it will benefits north, west, east, and south destinitations by Rail and it will provide HSR as well

that would be awsome and Chicago Union Station will look more cleaner and more grander then ever

North and South Stations to be connected by a connection railway which will be Part of the High Speed railway as well the North and South Link when will this happen???

South Florida Rail Corridor to be electrified from MIC and beyond currently uses Amtrak, Tri Rail, CSX and in the future HSR as well also between hialeah market and MIC built a new bridge with two tracks
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Old January 7th, 2008, 01:47 PM   #251
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HSR from Sacramento/San Fran area of Cali to Eugene isn't worth it. There's too much nothing in between. Let it just be Vancouver-Eugene and San Diego-San Fran/Sacramento. As far as bi-levels go, it works as long as theirs no height limit. Penn Station in NYC has a height limit b/c of the Hudson River tunnels. NJT had to specially design their bi-levels. Also, auto train on every train doesn't make sense. Between what stations will it operate on these other lines? Remember, the current Auto Train only makes ONE stop in SC to change crews.

I personally think the only other auto train services should be directed towards Florida and MAYBE southern Cali.

HSR can operate between those multiple corridors. Say, Chicago-Quebec, or NY-Atlanta. Not because most will use it between the two end points, but b/c there are people who would be in one corridor who want to get to another(say, DC to Atlanta, Charlotte to NY, or Chicago to Toronto)
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Old January 7th, 2008, 07:49 PM   #252
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Originally Posted by FM 2258 View Post
I think passenger rail in the U.S. is best served for short distances in high density areas. Otherwise light rail connections throughout a city and high speed rail links to the airports are best for our country. I think air travel serves it's purpose much better than what a cross country high speed rail system could do.
Density isn't an issue. You build the HSR, the density comes from it. You don't want to wait for density first, because then the land is too expensive to afford construction.
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Old January 8th, 2008, 07:45 AM   #253
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That's not anyway to get the US to build HSR. Besides, the only place where density is a problem, outside of the NEC, is in the actual cities. Otherwise, outside of the NEC, once you're out of the city, there's plenty of room to put a ROW where they can just open it up.
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Old January 9th, 2008, 12:53 AM   #254
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That's not anyway to get the US to build HSR. Besides, the only place where density is a problem, outside of the NEC, is in the actual cities. Otherwise, outside of the NEC, once you're out of the city, there's plenty of room to put a ROW where they can just open it up.
I'm not sure what you mean.

I'm saying that you want to build now. Now is always the best time to build HSR corridors.
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Old January 9th, 2008, 06:36 AM   #255
islandtransit
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You were basically saying build it and they will come, no? I was saying screw building where it's not dense. Big cities are where the passengers are now and always will be. Of course, between cities is not dense. But yes, the least dense the area, the cheaper the ROW. I was saying that between cities we are still okay on land prices, but in the big cities, the US will probably have to stick to existing ROWs.
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Old January 9th, 2008, 08:11 AM   #256
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Originally Posted by islandtransit View Post
You were basically saying build it and they will come, no? I was saying screw building where it's not dense. Big cities are where the passengers are now and always will be. Of course, between cities is not dense. But yes, the least dense the area, the cheaper the ROW. I was saying that between cities we are still okay on land prices, but in the big cities, the US will probably have to stick to existing ROWs.
I am saying build it and they will come, but I think we're using different definitions of "density" and "density".

Yes, obviously, from big city to big city. But build it before the big cities get bigger! There's quite a variation in land prices in any given city from center to edge.
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Old January 10th, 2008, 01:22 AM   #257
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Ah, okay. So what you're saying is basically that cities like Cincinnati and St Louis are better off getting this done ASAP before they get even more built up than they are. I can dig that.
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Old January 11th, 2008, 07:31 PM   #258
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Ah, okay. So what you're saying is basically that cities like Cincinnati and St Louis are better off getting this done ASAP before they get even more built up than they are. I can dig that.
Yeah, we're totally on the same side here. Build it instead of all this awful highway expansion...
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Old January 12th, 2008, 01:22 AM   #259
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would High Speed Rail be possible with Ron Paul as President if that is then Ron Paul could be my new favorite president next to Ronald Reagen, JFK, Teddy Roosvelt, Franklin Roosvelt, Lincoln does anybody agree
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Old January 12th, 2008, 04:09 AM   #260
UrbanBen
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would High Speed Rail be possible with Ron Paul as President if that is then Ron Paul could be my new favorite president next to Ronald Reagen, JFK, Teddy Roosvelt, Franklin Roosvelt, Lincoln does anybody agree
Uh, no. It wouldn't - he wouldn't agree to federal funding for the project, and that's what you need at this point, because you have to start from scratch. You should learn how to spell the names of your favorite presidents, too.
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