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Old December 17th, 2014, 08:20 PM   #2761
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Amtrak's newly built baggage cars are being delivered from the factory in Elmira Heights, NY to Hialeah, FL for final inspections.


https://twitter.com/Amtrak/status/54...298242/photo/1

Story here: http://www.stargazette.com/story/new...ract/20529593/
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Old December 17th, 2014, 11:00 PM   #2762
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua Dodd View Post
Now I am not saying Hill was a saint. But what I am saying is that your claim that "hugely expensive infrastructure projects with no change of recouping their initial investment need government help" is false. ...

...I am simply making my assertion based on historical and statistical evidence. But it seems to me you are taking your stance based on ideological bias.
No you are not. Because you forget to mention that the Great Northern was the only railway built in the States without government subsidies. Which makes it a statistical blip far from the norm. Also, let's not forget that the same private companies that operate a very efficient freight rail network have completely failed to have the same success in passenger rail.

Like it or not, the fact is that the grand majority of major infrastructure projects around the world are government backed to a significant degree and that goes for rail even more so, including freight. Especially for modern passenger rail, which has huge upfront costs for capital investment as it needs to deliver speeds far higher than what freight rail requires and has to go through densely populated areas.
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Old December 18th, 2014, 12:45 AM   #2763
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Amtrak Vermonter rerouting in western Massachusetts - 2014.12.29

Beginning 2014.12.29, Amtrak Vermonter will take a more direct route in western Massachusetts between Springfield and the Vermont border, using the "Knowledge Corridor" instead of going east to Palmer and then reversing to head north.




Source: http://trainweb.org/usarail/amherst.htm

New stations will open in Greenfield and Northampton. The Amherst station will close. Holyoke station will open in spring.

New schedule from 2014.12.29:

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Old December 18th, 2014, 07:47 AM   #2764
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gippas View Post
No you are not. Because you forget to mention that the Great Northern was the only railway built in the States without government subsidies. Which makes it a statistical blip far from the norm. Also, let's not forget that the same private companies that operate a very efficient freight rail network have completely failed to have the same success in passenger rail.

Like it or not, the fact is that the grand majority of major infrastructure projects around the world are government backed to a significant degree and that goes for rail even more so, including freight. Especially for modern passenger rail, which has huge upfront costs for capital investment as it needs to deliver speeds far higher than what freight rail requires and has to go through densely populated areas.
I think you have missed, entirely, the point I am trying to make, which is that non government subsidized infrastructure projects do work.

As for your argument about the "failure" of private lines providing passenger service, I would like to point out that there were many factors involved that includes the automobile and airline passenger service. Before then private passenger rail was widely successful in the US and was even the envy of the world. The US is a very car oriented country. Not to mention, unlike Europe where people ride more trains, the US is incredibly large in land mass. Texas alone is the size of central Europe. Private, inter-city passenger rail in America has been dead since 1983, the year the Rio Grande Zephyr was folded into Amtrak's California Zephyr route. The number of passenger trains in the United States dropped 45 percent between 1929 and 1945, and 85 percent between 1929 and 1965. Again, because of cars and planes.
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Old December 18th, 2014, 08:31 AM   #2765
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The new baggage cars look like DC metro cars.

What is the deal with the throwback paint job? It was ugly then and its worse now.
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Old December 18th, 2014, 10:26 AM   #2766
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Also the Immense Subsidization of Cars and Planes (Out side the "normal" subsidies for highway and airport construction) even to this day has made passenger rail untenable, because it has made many people very wealthy in many regards.
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Old December 18th, 2014, 12:38 PM   #2767
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua Dodd View Post
I think you have missed, entirely, the point I am trying to make, which is that non government subsidized infrastructure projects do work.

As for your argument about the "failure" of private lines providing passenger service, I would like to point out that there were many factors involved that includes the automobile and airline passenger service. Before then private passenger rail was widely successful in the US and was even the envy of the world. The US is a very car oriented country. Not to mention, unlike Europe where people ride more trains, the US is incredibly large in land mass. Texas alone is the size of central Europe. Private, inter-city passenger rail in America has been dead since 1983, the year the Rio Grande Zephyr was folded into Amtrak's California Zephyr route. The number of passenger trains in the United States dropped 45 percent between 1929 and 1945, and 85 percent between 1929 and 1965. Again, because of cars and planes.
I do understand your point but I do say that your "facts and statistics" are in fact supporting the opposite of what you claim. Just because something happened once successfully (the Northern Rail being constructed entirely with private funds) and has not been repeated since it is no proof that it can be done consistently with success. It's like saying that if a drug cures 1 HIV patient and fails to do so with another 999 it has a successful test.

In the US there are (very profitable) intercity passenger rail services currently being run in the NE corridor which private companies failed to provide before Amtrak took over.* There are also states like Texas and Florida, or areas like the Midwest that have all the geodemographic characteristics to make passenger intercity rail even with speeds of 120 m/h work on a profit. Texas for example, since you mentioned it, has 2 huge metro areas in Dallas and Huston within 240 miles. That's much closer than the distance between Madrid and Barcelona or Paris and Lyon. Not to mention the Dallas-Austin-San Antonio route that could connect around 8 million people with a 150 minute ride end to end. Not even Switzerland can offer that kind of population density!

What is lacking compared to the rest of the world is a will by the state to provide funds for the initial investments in capital. At least in Texas the government of Japan seems willing to take the role that the US State should have. If the service is in place and the price is right the people will come, just as they did with planes.

*Yes, I know that Amtrak on a whole is working on subsidies but that's due to its long distance services in the wilderness which make no sense to operate, even as a public benefit.
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Old December 18th, 2014, 02:00 PM   #2768
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gippas View Post
What is lacking compared to the rest of the world is a will by the state to provide funds for the initial investments in capital.
Let's take as an example the case of Chicago. This is the choke point of
the entire freight rail system in the US, railroads there lose millions because
of delays, yet they seem to be completely unable to make the required
infrastructure upgrades to solve the problem. The CREATE plan only works
when public funds are injected. If private railroads were really able to
function without public money, this would definitely not happen.

Now I don't blame that. Other means of transportation also pay only a
fraction of their infrastructure costs.
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Old December 18th, 2014, 07:34 PM   #2769
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Now I don't blame that. Other means of transportation also pay only a
fraction of their infrastructure costs.
Exactly, no one is blaming US private rail for being unable to provide the level of investment that no other transport company in the world can sustain. The only issue here is that the fantasy that a part of transport infrastructure rail, can sustain with minimal subsidies is delaying crucial investments for the future of transport in the US and depriving its citizens from a transport medium that can be CO2 free and brings more capacity per buck than any other.
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Old December 18th, 2014, 11:45 PM   #2770
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zaphod View Post
The new baggage cars look like DC metro cars.

What is the deal with the throwback paint job? It was ugly then and its worse now.
Vintage Amtrak striping. I like it.


https://twitter.com/jacorbett70/stat...46483224014848
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Old December 19th, 2014, 08:43 AM   #2771
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gippas View Post
Exactly, no one is blaming US private rail for being unable to provide the level of investment that no other transport company in the world can sustain. The only issue here is that the fantasy that a part of transport infrastructure rail, can sustain with minimal subsidies is delaying crucial investments for the future of transport in the US and depriving its citizens from a transport medium that can be CO2 free and brings more capacity per buck than any other.
The entire premise for my argument is that privately financed HSR is possible. The TCR will have to prove itself.
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Old February 1st, 2015, 08:52 AM   #2772
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Quote:
Springfield Union Station: Can New Haven's transit-connected development be a model?


By Jim Kinney | [email protected]
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on December 08, 2014 at 11:16 AM, updated December 13, 2014 at 9:27 PM

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Rail travelers streamed through the ornate Great Hall of New Haven's Union Station Monday as Springfield-area business and civic leaders, including Mayor Domenic Sarno and U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal, D-Springfield, gazed down from the building's ornate gilded-age balcony and dreamed of what Springfield's Union Station might one day be like.

"I was struck by how welcoming it is," said Neal, a driving force behind the nearly 40-year effort to reopen Springfield's rail deport. "You could really sense to efficient movement of people."

Neal's office organized the trip Monday to both New Haven and Hartford to get Pioneer Valley officials a taste of what transit-oriented development can look like. They met with New Haven officials like David B. Panagore, onetime head of economic development in Springfield. He said people will use Union Station to access Springfield and points north.
http://www.masslive.com/business-new...ew_havens.html
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Old February 6th, 2015, 07:47 AM   #2773
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Some Fictional Intercity Services from Northeastern PA. I'll slowly be doing the whole Northeastern & Mid Atlantic US. Some have been proposed or are in the works , while others are just ideas.

The Map

Lackawanna Express
Electric / EMU Push-Pull Trains similar to OBB Railjet Service
Electrification at 25kV/60Hz Catenary
Top Speed : 125mph
2 Daily Roundtrips between Hoboken & Syracuse
5 Daily Roundtrips between New York & Binghamton
15 Daily Roundtrips between Scranton and Hoboken

Calling at :
Syracuse
Cortland
Binghamton
Hallstead
New Milford
Clarks
Scranton
Moscow
Tobyhanna
Mount Pocono
Analomink
East Stroudsburg
Delaware Water Gap
Blairstown
Andover
Dover
Morristown
Summit
Newark Broad Street Station
Hoboken Terminal or Secaucus Upper / New York Penn


Susquehanna River Express
Diesel / DMU Tilt Trains Similar to British Rail Class 180
Top Speed : 110mph
6 Daily Roundtrips from Scranton to Harrisburg

Calling at :
Scranton
Wilkes Barre
Nescopeck
Miffinville
Bloomsburg
Riverside
Sunbury
Millersburg
Harrisburg Central
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Old February 9th, 2015, 08:29 AM   #2774
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Some Amtrak Food Photos courtesy of ExactoCreation

Acela First Class Meal


Amtrak Acela FirstClass Meal
by ExactoCreation, on Flickr

Amtrak Long Distance Dining Food


Amtrak Dining car Meal
by ExactoCreation, on Flickr


Amtrak Dining Car, Angus burger
by ExactoCreation, on Flickr


Amtrak Dining Car Cheesecake desert.
by ExactoCreation, on Flickr
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Old February 9th, 2015, 09:50 AM   #2775
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I can't be the only one who thinks that Amtrak's unwillingness to use trainsets is weird right?
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Old February 9th, 2015, 09:57 AM   #2776
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I can't be the only one who thinks that Amtrak's unwillingness to use trainsets is weird right?
What do you mean by Train sets?
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Old February 9th, 2015, 10:01 AM   #2777
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Like the The Acela trainsets or The Rhor turboliners, why aside from the obvious issues of using gas turbines and limited capacity it feeling like Amtrak should be using EMU trainsets on the NEC and other important corridors. Do they not like the limited capacity issue or it an FRA thing?
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Old February 9th, 2015, 10:05 AM   #2778
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Like the The Acela trainsets or The Rhor turboliners, why aside from the obvious issues of using gas turbines and limited capacity it feeling like Amtrak should be using EMU trainsets on the NEC and other important corridors. Do they not like the limited capacity issue or it an FRA thing?
I think its part FRA and part costs... EMUs are expensive compared to Electric locomotives and standard coaches... I think Amtrak is trying to shift to EMUs at least for NEC operations. I did see something about EMUs be considered for replacing some Northeast Regional rolling stock.
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Old February 13th, 2015, 08:23 PM   #2779
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Here is the site for the Texas Central Railway, the company that is connecting Dallas and Houston with a high speed rail line. 2 Locations in Dallas have been selected as the terminal spot and the rail lines are close to being finalized. This line would make Dallas to Houston in 90 Minutes. Not as fast as flying but more affordable.

http://texascentral.com/

The company is in talks with JRC (Japanese Railway Company) to deploy a “N700-I Bullet” high-speed rail system based on JRC’s “Shinkansen” system

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Old February 14th, 2015, 02:34 PM   #2780
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A close up of SMART's (Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit) pilot set being tested at the Transportation Test Center in Pueblo, CO
https://www.facebook.com/sonomamarin...type=1&theater
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