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Old December 29th, 2005, 02:50 PM   #21
matthewcs
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some one mentioned Canada above (I won't yell), but we have the same problem as you guys do with rail. Everything is too far away for almost all the country. It really is cheaper and quicker to fly for trips than it is to take a train. Suburban commuter rails are great, but a national (/international) network is pointless; and would get little support from Canada West (Ontario and Quebec may, but they're different)
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Old December 29th, 2005, 05:29 PM   #22
Frank J. Sprague
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matthewcs
some one mentioned Canada above (I won't yell), but we have the same problem as you guys do with rail. Everything is too far away for almost all the country. It really is cheaper and quicker to fly for trips than it is to take a train. Suburban commuter rails are great, but a national (/international) network is pointless; and would get little support from Canada West (Ontario and Quebec may, but they're different)
The CP service I mentioned runs in the Windsor-Toronto-Montreal corridor. For intermodal freight the problem is not going long distance, but rather short distance. Rail has a larger share of traffic between the West Coast and the Midwest, but for distances of a few hundred miles it has very little share. A major reason is the time and expense at both terminals makes a short haul non-competitive.

An overland RO/RO rail ferry will address this. In the US there is 9 times as much freight that moves less than 1000 miles than travels over 1000 miles. Rail has negligible share of the former, and about a third of the latter. When asked why he robbed banks Willie Sutton replied, "because that's where the money is."

The rails at present are best at moving unit trains from a loading terminal to a discharging terminal. It is not much of stretch to substitute a trainload of coal going from Montana to Texas with a trainload of self loading trucks traveling 500 miles overnight from the outskirts of Indianapolis to Atlanta's. The expense of fuel and tires, road fees, wear and tear avoided with the driver arriving refreshed. From a half dozen points freight could be distributed to the areas of the US having the bulk of our population.

Imagine those railway lines being electrified and you see the US being able to move the bulk of her freight free of imported oil.

As for passenger traffic, the competition is not the jetliner, it is the auto. Here again the majority of all trips are shorter distances. Several types of trains are needed.
1.) Intercity runs of a few hundred miles between major cities, on an hourly basis in both directions, for example Chicago to Cinncinatti.
2.) Overnight RO/RO ferry trains, these do not exist yet as I would like to see them. There are some shuttle trains in Europe that are close, but they would need sleeping cars and run long distance. A route could be from the Portland area to central California, I would find it useful (I live in Seattle).

If I need to go to New York I'll fly.
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Old December 30th, 2005, 12:05 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank J. Sprague
The only ones are in the northeast corridor between Washington DC, Philedelphia, New York and Boston. It used to only extend as far as New Haven, Connecticut but it was extended all the way to Boston for the Acela. There are also a few electrified suburban railways, around New York, Philedelphia and Chicago.

Formerly we did have a few other electrifications, the best examples being the Milwaukee Road from Harlowtown, Montana to Avery, Idaho, and Othell to Tacoma in Washington. That was a 3000 VDC electrification which came down in 1974, now the route itself does not exist, taken up after 1980. The Great Northern, Virginian and Norfolk and Western had stretches of electrified mainline that were removed in the two decades following WW2.
Thanks for the info! So those other commuter lines in the West are all diesels?

Another question: how many people use long distance rail in the USA? What´s the percentage in relation to other means of transportation?

Quote:
The Milwaukee Road used some locomotives that were originally built for the USSR, they were nicknamed "Little Joes" in reference to Josef Stalin. The was a railway in you area which also purchased a few of them, I think known as the "Paulista?"
Really? Yes, there was a railroad called Paulista here in São Paulo, Im gonna try and find out about little joes here. Unfortunately all passenger rail in Brazil has been dismantled in the past 20 years, except for two or three lines.
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Old December 30th, 2005, 04:15 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mopc
Thanks for the info! So those other commuter lines in the West are all diesels?
Yes, however there are proposals to electrify the line that runs between San Fransisco and San Jose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mopc
Another question: how many people use long distance rail in the USA? What´s the percentage in relation to other means of transportation?
A very low percentage, I think about 5 billion passenger miles per year, in 1945 at the peak it was nearly 100 billion. To put that in perspective the airlines in the US handle about 700 billion passenger miles per year, and the highways handle several trillion. So it would be less than one percent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mopc
Really? Yes, there was a railroad called Paulista here in São Paulo, Im gonna try and find out about little joes here. Unfortunately all passenger rail in Brazil has been dismantled in the past 20 years, except for two or three lines.
I'm not able to post HTML yet so I will give a few links:
http://www.pell.portland.or.us/~efbrazil/russa_pb.html
http://www.pell.portland.or.us/~efbrazil/russa_pb.html
http://www.pell.portland.or.us/~efbr...ef_delect.html
That is a sad thing to see, it gives me a sense of deja vu. I recall in 1973 our family was returning home from vacation through Montana on I-90. At one point the Milwaukee Road ran parallel to the freeway and as luck would have it a freight train pulled by a "Little Joe" was going our way. We ran alongside for miles, that was so cool.

Later that year we had the Arab oil embargo and I thought how lucky the Milwaukee Road was to be using electricity rather than oil. How wrong I was, the next year they tore it out, I can still remember reading it in the newspaper and thinking we were stepping back from the future.
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Old December 30th, 2005, 04:26 AM   #25
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I fear that we realize too late how awful it was to sidelines rail travel infavor of the car.
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Old December 30th, 2005, 04:53 AM   #26
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the powerful auto and oil indistries in this country pretty much killed any chance european type of sophisticated rail system but that's what happens when you have politicians easily influenced by guys in fancy suits and gobs of campaign contributions.
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Old December 30th, 2005, 05:09 AM   #27
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ain't that the sad truth.

I can see several markets where this could be turned around. Unfortunately, I think the likelihood of seeing an advanced railroad network nationwide is slimmer than slim.
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Old December 30th, 2005, 07:03 AM   #28
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Just read up on vB code, here's a shot. This has been proposed by the WARP (Washington Association of Rail Passengers).
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Old December 30th, 2005, 11:09 PM   #29
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I still believe that one of the reasons why our rail system has so many problems is that it is built for freight traffic, not passenger traffic. FRA regulations won't let european style lightweight trains run on the same lines as the freight traffic. Perhaps we need two networks - one for freight and one solely for passenger and real light freight. Maybe even have them different gauges.
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Old December 30th, 2005, 11:35 PM   #30
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yep, time to bring out the fra bashing article
http://www.ebbc.org/rail/fra.html
a good read
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Old December 31st, 2005, 12:48 AM   #31
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What are your opinions on passenger rail in America? Should something be done about it? Should it be left to commuter services, or what SHOULD be it's role?
How should it work?

America NEEDS a passenger rail system. Too many people count on air traffic to get them from point A to point B. Starting from Portland, Maine to Anchorage, Alaska, thiswill clear air and highway traffic very.


*If anyone can do a red line going to each city I say, that would be great.

Starting from St. Louis, there will be8 destinations. 1 going south, 1 going to the southest, 1 going to the east and so on.

South will start heading towards Jefferson City, there it will branch off to 2 rails. 1 going to Memphis and 1 going to Tulsa. Tulsa will go to Oklahoma City and Memphis will go to Little Rock. Oklahoma will split off goin to San Antonio and Dallas. Little Rock will head to Jackson. Dallas will head to Houston and San Antonio will head to Austin. Jackson will head to Baton Rouge. Houson will head to Bronwnsville and so will Austins.

Southeast will start heading to Nashville. Nashville will split going to Atlanta and Huntsville. Atlanta will go to Savannah and Huntsville will head to Montgomery.Savannah will head to Jacksonville. Montgomery will split in 2 going to Mobile and Pensacola. Jacksonville will head to orlando and split going to Miami and Tampa. Pensacola will head to Tallahassee and then to Jacksonville.

East will head to Louisville. Next going to Frankfurt. Franfurt will split going to Charleston and Charlotte. Chalesto will head to Richmond and Charlotte will split goint to Columbia and Ralaigh. Richmondwill then head to Washington DC.

Northeast will start of going to Springfield. It will then split going to Chicago and Indianapolis. Indianapolis will then split going to Detroit and Cincinnatti. Cincinnatti will head to Columbus and then to Cleveland. Cleveland will split to Pittsburg and Buffalo. Pittsburg will got to Philidelphia and Buffalo will go to Rochester. Phelidelphia will split going to Dover and NYC. Rochester will head to Syracuse. NYC will head to Hartford. Syracuse will head to Willington. Hartford will head to Boston. Willington will head to Albany. Boston will head to Concord. Albany wil head to Montpelier. Concord will head to Augusta and so will Montpelier's rail.

I'll be back with more.
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Old December 31st, 2005, 12:56 AM   #32
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the US is too large for an extensive coast to coast passenger system so thats definitely not feasbile. What are are the smaller projects such as Californias and Florida HSR proprosals within the states that can compete with air travel in terms of cost, speed, and efficiency
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Old December 31st, 2005, 01:04 AM   #33
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If China can do it, so can we.
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Old December 31st, 2005, 04:43 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_storms
yep, time to bring out the fra bashing article
http://www.ebbc.org/rail/fra.html
a good read
Excellent article, thanks for posting it. Some of the original streamliners would not be legal under the FRA rules, just about all of the prewar Zephers and UP city trains.


Photo of the UP's 1936 City of Denver, a pair of 1200 hp locomotive pulled 10 cars between Chicago and Denver at an average speed of 66 mph. Under FRA rules this train would be illegal.
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Old December 31st, 2005, 05:11 AM   #35
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Indy Rail Then, Now and in the Future?

Here is an older article about rail transit in Indianapolis. i agree that a nationwide high speed rail system is unrealistic, but there is no excuse for the absence of a high-speed rail system connecting Chicago and the nearby big cities.

I live in Japan now, with an amazing rail system. The high speed rail (shinkanse) here was the LAST part of the system to be built. A high speed system in the US must have smaller feeders as well to be successful.

Article on Indianapolis rail then and now...

http://www.nuvo.net/archive/oldarts/articlex1917.html

How did we go from best to worst?
By Mark Andrews

Jun 5, 2002, 12:26pm

“The best public transportation in the world!” That’s what many said about Indianapolis in the 1940s. In the year 2002, it’s hard to imagine that Indy could ever have made such a claim.

How did Indianapolis’ public transportation work at the height of its “glory days”?

Let’s say that it’s Saturday, June 1, 1946. The time is 7 a.m. You have made arrangements to have lunch with a friend in Chicago at noon. In order to do so, you must first go to the corner of 16th and Central to pick up your jacket from the dry cleaners. Your task is to then go to the corner of Main and Madison in Greenwood where you are to rendezvous with a friend who is going to return the $10 he owes you. You must then go back downtown to catch a train to get you to Chicago’s Union Station by noon. Your only mode of getting around is by public transportation.

Could you have done it? Let’s see ...

At exactly 7 a.m., you begin from Monument Circle and walk to the bus stop and board electric trolley bus No. 47 CENTRAL which ran every two minutes. You arrive at 16th and Central at 7:14 a.m. You pay your dry cleaning bill and just as quickly, you board an inbound No. 47 and are back downtown by 7:26 a.m. You then walk to the Traction Terminal interurban shed near the corner of Illinois and Market where you catch the electric commuter train that departs for Greenwood at 8:10.

Traveling at speeds of up to 75 mph, you arrive in Greenwood at 8:36 a.m. This particular line, in fact, was the very first electrically powered commuter line in the world, beginning operation on Jan. 1, 1901.

You meet your friend and quickly have your $10 in hand. Your returning commuter train pulls up to the platform at 8:45. You are back at the Traction Terminal at 9:10 a.m. You then walk to Union Station where you board the Monon Line’s 9:30 train for Chicago, which followed the route now holding the “Monon Trail.” Speeding along at 75-100 mph, you pull into Chicago’s Union Station at exactly 11:58 a.m., two minutes ahead of your goal.

Your total travel time was four hours and 58 minutes. You paid out a total of 14 cents for the trolley; $1 for the interurban round trip; $8 for your ticket to Chicago and back. And your total round trip cost would have been $9.14.
Unfortunately, you would not be able to make the same trip within the same amount of time in the year 2002. If you began at Monument Circle on a Saturday morning in June of 2002, you would have a 30 minute wait between IndyGo buses serving the area of 16th and Central. There are 50 minute intervals between buses serving Main and Madison in Greenwood. The same trip now by public transportation could take up to three and a half hours, compared to the two hours and 38 minutes in 1946.

And when you arrived at Union Station, you would be informed that the only Amtrak train to Chicago had already pulled out of the station at 5:30 a.m. You would have to wait until 5:30 on Sunday morning to ride to Chicago by rail.
It will take Amtrak about five and a half hours to get to Chicago’s Union Station. There are segments of track where the allotted speed for the train is 5 mph. You will arrive at Chicago Union Station at about 11:45 a.m. on Sunday, almost 24 hours late for your appointment.

Your total round trip will cost you $3 on IndyGo, and roughly $55 on Amtrak.
You would spend a grand total of $58 and 28 hours and 45 minutes to get to Chicago. Again, in 1946, those numbers would have been $9.14 and four hours and 58 minutes.

So, what happened? How could our public transportation services have deteriorated so much in only 56 years? How could Indy’s public transportation service have gone so quickly from best to worst in only 56 years?

In 1955, I was in kindergarten. I couldn’t wait to walk to school because along the way I would be able to watch as the electric trolley buses would make the sparks fly from the intersected overhead wires at the corner of South East and Minnesota on the near-Southside. That was a big thrill for a 4 year old.
Back then, public transportation was a source of awe and wonder for me. And with good reason! Even in 1955, there were still many electrically powered trolley bus lines, operated then by Indianapolis Railways Incorporated. The average wait between city buses in Indy at that time was 12-15 minutes. That compared to IndyGo’s current average of 50 minutes between buses. So then, again, we might ask, “What happened?” What could possibly have gone so wrong with public transportation in Indianapolis?”

I can remember asking my grandma why the city’s streetcar lines were dismantled. She replied — as she herself had been told — that the rails that once carried the city’s many streetcars and interurbans had been pulled up in order to be turned into bullets so that America could win World War II. I believed that to be true because Grandma told me so. And Grandma also believed that to be true because the local government had said so.

The Streetcar Conspiracy

This brings us to the dark agenda known as the “Streetcar Conspiracy.” This was the effort by General Motors, Firestone Tires and Standard Oil (of Indiana) to persuade America’s municipalities to dismantle their electric streetcar and trolley bus lines in favor of GM built, Firestone equipped, Standard Oil fueled diesel buses.

The whole issue finally did make its way to federal court, and after years of testimony and debate, the court ruled that GM, Firestone and Standard Oil were indeed guilty of conspiring to lobby and promote their products in the nation’s city halls at the expense of America’s very convenient, very affordable, very popular electric public transportation services. Following a few slaps on the wrist, the three corporations continued with their business as usual.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Indianapolis was “Motown” — “The Motor City.” This was due mainly to the city’s status as the nation’s rail hub. Indianapolis became the manufacture and assembly center for America’s burgeoning automobile industry, producing classics such as the Stutz Bearcat and the Deusenberg. The automobile manufacturers eventually came to the conclusion that they could more cheaply produce their autos in Detroit where the ore barges deposited their loads from the Minnesota mines, coming by way of the Great Lakes, and thus avoid the rail shipping costs. (The Indianapolis Motor Speedway was built for the sole purpose of providing Indy’s auto manufacturers with a place where their latest engines and models could be safely tested.)

By the time the Streetcar Conspiracy reared its head in Indianapolis (in the early 1940s), the auto industry already had more than the required number of lobbyists to persuade the city fathers to join them in their conspiracy. And so Indianapolis went “off track” from having one of the nation’s best public transportation services and went, instead, to its unflattering position in 2002 as having one of America’s worst transit systems.

The last streetcar to run in Indianapolis went from Broad Ripple Park to the corner of 16th and College in the summer of 1953. The city’s last electric trolley bus line was dismantled in 1957. The City-County Council voted in favor of creating the Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation, which took over the privately-owned city bus system in 1975, renaming it “Metro.”

Metro changed its name to “IndyGo” in 1998. Lack of commitment on the part of civic leaders over the many years — and the apathy and disinterest of the (would-be) riding public — have led to Indianapolis’ public transportation deterioration.

Is there any hope for improving the situation?

Looking ahead

It is a demographic fact that the city of Indianapolis grew and developed along the rail lines of the 19th and 20th centuries. The current patterns of urban sprawl are still closely attached to these rail beds. Many involved in local civic planning (as well as many in local government) have long envisioned a light rail network in the metropolitan area that utilizes many of these existing rail beds. Designs for the new mid-field terminal at Indianapolis International Airport include plans for a light rail station to be operational by the time of the terminal’s opening in 2007. Mayor Peterson has repeatedly expressed his support for public transportation, and has made light rail one of the goals of his administration.

The Metropolitan Planning Organization is looking into possibilities for light rail services in the region, using the facilities at the Beech Grove Amtrak yards as the storage and maintenance center for the trains. Among IndyGo’s plans are a new transit center connected to Union Station at Capitol and South Street, and an electric bus line to circulate passengers in the downtown area. Considering these possibilities, we can allow ourselves the luxury of imagining how our public transportation might come to work in the next few years.

Let’s say that it’s Friday,
June 1, 2007.
You want to meet a friend from out of town who is flying into Indianapolis International, arriving there at 8 a.m. You drive from your Franklin Township home to the light rail terminal station attached to the Amtrak yards near the corner of South Arlington and Churchman Avenue. This is known as the TRAX rail terminal. “TRAX” is the name given to the light rail service — a contraction of the words “TRAnsit” and “eXpress.” You park your car at the station’s (free) “park ’n’ ride” lot at exactly 7:23 a.m. The lot is quickly filling with the cars of the regular morning commuters. IndyGo buses are bringing passengers from as far south as Southport and Greenwood to transfer to the trains. Many bicyclists have locked their bikes in the secure bike racks.

You deposit your $3 into the automated ticket teller, and receive your “day pass” which is valid on all IndyGo services for 24 hours. The electrically powered two-car train is resting along side the platform, overhead wires providing the connection. You hear the familiar “tone” over the station’s P.A. system, indicating that the train will depart in one minute. Trains leave the terminal (headed for Union Station and Indianapolis International) every six minutes during rush hours, every 10 minutes through the day and evening hours. This line operates 24 hours a day, every day.

You quickly board and take your seat. At exactly 7:25, the train’s doors close and you feel the gentle tug as the No. 2 car in which you are riding is pulled by the first. A recorded female voice greets the passengers. “Welcome aboard TRAX: IndyGo light rail TRAnsit eXpress. Our first station stop is Emerson Avenue. Transfer here for route 56 EMERSON CROSSTOWN and route 16 BEECH GROVE.” The same message is repeated in Spanish for the benefit of Hispanic passengers as the city’s Hispanic population now exceeds 500,000.
Suspended screen monitors display information for the hearing impaired, as well as plot the train’s progress along the route. Within two minutes, your train pulls into the Emerson Avenue station, elevated over the street. You notice that your two-car train is already half full (170 seat capacity) even before the second wave of riders comes through the doors.

Sixty more passengers board the train at Emerson, most having transferred from bus lines. Following the 10 second (standard) wait, the doors again close, and the train moves on to the next station at Raymond and Sherman. The line is built parallel to the Conrail tracks into Union Station. The train’s speed approaches 45 mph as it glides smoothly — and almost silently — across the welded rail trackage.

At 7:29 a.m. the automated female voice announces your arrival (bi-lingually) as you pull into the Raymond/Sherman station. Seventy-five more passengers board, having transferred from IndyGo bus routes, and also from the park ’n’ ride lot that draws most of its traffic from drivers coming to the station from Southeastern Marion County and Shelby County, having exited from I-74.
It is now “standing room only” as the doors close and the train makes its way to the next two elevated stations, over Keystone Avenue, and then onto the station at State and English. By the time you arrive at the first downtown stop (Conseco station), the train is carrying over 300 passengers.
The voice announces, “This is Conseco station, exit here for Conseco Fieldhouse, Eli Lilly and the City-County Building. Our next stop is the IndyGo transit center at Union Station ... Passengers continuing on to Indianapolis International Airport will please remain on board.”

You pull into Union Station at 7:37 a.m., 12 minutes following your departure from the Beech Grove terminal. Most of the passengers exit at the transit center, but many more also board there; most are headed for the airport.
At 7:38 a.m., you roll out of the station toward the airport, traveling along side the Conrail tracks, and making station stops at the zoo/White River Parkway, Belmont Avenue, Warman Avenue, Holt Road, Lynhurst and Park Fletcher. The lighting inside the rail car suddenly seems to get brighter as the train begins its descent into the underground tunnel that takes it to its airport terminal subway station. The (by now) very familiar female voice announces your arrival in English and Spanish, and (this time) also in French and Japanese. You arrive at Indianapolis International Airport at 7:50 a.m., 25 minutes after leaving the Beech Grove park ’n’ ride and 10 minutes ahead of your friend’s arrival.

You very graciously pay for your friend’s rail fare as the two of you head for your car at the Beech Grove TRAX terminal. As you head to the city, your friend observes, “This is the best public transportation in the world!”

Where have we heard that before?

With the running of that first Greenwood interurban on Jan. 1, 1901, the concept of light rail was born in Indianapolis along the tracks that now parallel Madison Avenue on the city’s Southside. It would only be reasonable that Indy would re-invest in light rail.

After all, we invented it.

Last edited by cjfjapan; December 31st, 2005 at 05:24 AM.
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Old December 31st, 2005, 05:14 AM   #36
Frank J. Sprague
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloudship
I still believe that one of the reasons why our rail system has so many problems is that it is built for freight traffic, not passenger traffic. FRA regulations won't let european style lightweight trains run on the same lines as the freight traffic. Perhaps we need two networks - one for freight and one solely for passenger and real light freight. Maybe even have them different gauges.
Interesting idea about different gauges. At one time the Erie railroad had a 6 foot gauge mainline between New Jersey and Chicago, too bad we did not select that as standard gauge. When twinstack cars went into use it was the only line which could handle them to the east coast as a result.

I think carload and bulk (coal/ore/grain) unit trains could be segregated, with the intermodal, fast freight, overland RO/RO rail ferries and poassenger trains having a separate network. On a 3 or 4 track main they could even share the main line, the NYC had 4 track mains with 2 tracks for passenger and the other 2 for freight. The Pacemaker freight service traveled on the passenger tracks, it was kind of a highspeed unit train made up of boxcars which delivered lcl freight.

We had a lot areas where there were duplicate right of ways, for example the NYC and the Pennsylvannia paralleled each other routes in many areas, a lot of duplicate lines were pulled up when they merged.

In other areas we have routes that were severed completely such as the Rock Islands "Choctaw" route between Amarillo and Memphis. This could be bought up by the federal government and upgraded for 70 mph freight and 100 mph passenger trains. Little Rock and Oklahoma City lay along this route.

I read today where the state of New Mexico has purchased the BNSF line over Raton Pass Between Belem, NM and Trinidad Colorado, they hope to have passenger service between Albuquerque and Denver some day. A few years ago I visited Colorado Springs and you can see where a rail line has been pulled up, it went north to Denver and south to Pueblo. That would cover most of the required distance, leaving a short gap between Pueblo and Trinidad.

We have quite a number of areas where abandoned or downgraded lines could be rebuilt for service.
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Old December 31st, 2005, 06:04 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjfjapan
Here is an older article about rail transit in Indianapolis. i agree that a nationwide high speed rail system is unrealistic, but there is no excuse for the absence of a high-speed rail system connecting Chicago and the nearby big cities.

I live in Japan now, with an amazing rail system. The high speed rail (shinkanse) here was the LAST part of the system to be built. A high speed system in the US must have smaller feeders as well to be successful.

Article on Indianapolis rail then and now...

...It would only be reasonable that Indy would re-invest in light rail.

After all, we invented it.
Interesting article, I've also spend a great deal of time in Japan and am amazed at some of the private railways which began as interurban's, and they keep getting better! For work I travel on the Keinan line between Moriguchi and Kadoma (Kansai region around Osaka), its only 2 stops but I've traveled the entire line in my off time including several branches.

There is a branch which travels to the town of Uji (with a temple shown on the 10 yen coin). 1997 was the first time I visited, in 2000 I went again and they had built a beautiful new station.

In Kyoto there was a line which traveled on the surface from a terminal at Sanjo station eastward to Lake Biwa, with in a few years it had been relocated to a subway which it shares with other subway trains.

The tempo of operation is amazing to see. Where the branchline to Uji meets the Keihan mainline there are 6 tracks IIRC. The eastmost pair handle the Uji branch trains, of the remaining 4 tracks the the inside pair handle both express and limited express trains with the other 2 handling locals. The local and express tracks in each direction share a platform, making transfers very easy.

You can watch as a local pull into the outside track and waits, a few minutes later the express arrives and the passengers can transfer bewteen trains. Then the express will leave, followed shortly by the local. This is where the mainline is only 2 tracks, closer to Osaka it is a 4 track main. This shows what is possible with light rail lines in the future.

In Japan people seem to have higher expectations which begets higher results. In the US we seem to settle for low expectations and end up with low results. The one flaw I see with the article is the bilingual PA system, a nation which sets higher expectations of its railway system will set higher expectations for immigrants, that they assimilate to us rather than we assimilate to them. Its hard to be a first rate nation when you become balkanized, Japan has not balkanized and they seem far ahead of us in many aspects. If the US is a first world nation they must be zero world nation.

The Indianapolis Interurban Terminal.

"Of all the words on tongue and pen the saddest are what might have been."
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Old December 31st, 2005, 09:57 PM   #38
Frank J. Sprague
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A few thoughts on a potential "new" route for freight into New England.



The actual line was not nearly so straight as shown by the map, this was rather common practice for railraods back in the day. Their lines would always be shown as thick, solid, straight lines while the competions routes would be thin wiggling lines. Nonetheless it does show the possibilities of this route, which was part of a greater Poughkeepsie Bridge Route.



This would form an ideal trunk for the flow of freight between New England and the southeastern US with one major revision. In the area where the line crosses the New Jersey-Pennsylvannia border traffic should flow over the line leading to Harrisburg and then flow south. This would allow freight to flow independent of the northeast corridor.

You will also note that the lines passes through Easton, Pennsylvannia, this just happens to be where the Loree Line began (it ended near Pittsburgh).

There would be little demand for passenger service along this route, it would be be reserved for freight. New England has little demand for bulk unit train freight service, and most of that can be supplied by the existing routes or coastwise shipping. The new route could handle carload, intermodal and lcl freight to and from all the major population centers of New England, as far as northern Maine.

A good deal of civil engineering would be required to bring the route into service, for example construction of a new bridge at Poughkeepsie. The existing bridge caught fire in 1974 and has been out of service ever since, just as well since it would not be up to the task. Something along the order of the bridge across the Firth of Forth or at Quebec City would be needed.

The Central New England route would also require work, several tunnels would shorten the distance and reduce grades, none of them would be as long as the existing 8 mile tunnel built across Stevens Pass in 1929.
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Old January 1st, 2006, 05:08 AM   #39
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A few notes on the Loree line;

This was the brainchild of Leonor F. Loree, president of the Delaware & Hudson. It was to begin in Easton, Pennsylvania and travel 283 miles across that state to a point just outside Pittsburgh. The steepest grade in either direction would have been no more than 0.4%, and it was also the most direct route. New York and Chicago are 830 miles apart by the Loree line, versus 908 miles by the Pennsylvania, 960 by the New York Central, 978 by Baltimore & Ohio and 999 by way of the Erie railroad.

This was in the early twenties when the ICC had been pushing the consolidation of the American railways into 19 systems, including four in the northeast. Loree proposed this line as part of a plan to create a fifth system based on his D&H. In 1925 the cost was estimated at $260,000,000 dollars, equal to several billion dollars today.

It would have included several lengthy tunnels and high level crossing of some rivers along the route such as the Susquehanna. With electrification and restriction of the line to high speed freight and passenger trains steeper grades could be tolerated, with commensurate decrease in construction costs.

Information is from the book "Railroad for Tomorrow" by Edward Hungerford, published in 1945 by Kalmbach.
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Old January 1st, 2006, 05:55 AM   #40
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A few thoughts on a modern lcl (Less Than Carload) freight service.

A cubic container roughly 8 feet cubed would be used, it would be similar in configuration to the PODS (Portable On Demand Storage) containers which can be delivered any, loaded and then removed and used for storage.



It could be transported by truck, rail or air. By rail it travel on a car that would be articulated to save on the number of trucks required, as on a twinstack container car, for example 3 cars joined together riding on 4 trucks. Each separate section would be at least 48 feet long, able to accomodate 6 container bays each. Each bay would be accessable by door, ideally 2 bays would share a door allowing for the transport of double length containers that could be transported by a rigid frame truck as shown.



A 16 foot double bay would allow most automobiles to be transported. Loading of containers would be via forklifting or rolling containers on and off (each bay would have wheels in the floor similar to those found aboard cargo aircraft. As with the existing containers units built to handle liquids and bulk cargoes could be used, for example to deliver flour to a bakery. In addition some types of equipment could designed to be compatible with this system for easy transport, such as HVAC systems mounted on buildings.

These containers could also be used by other companies such as FedEx and UPS to transport their shipments, something pioneered by the old railway Express Agency.



Each customer could have containers customized to their needs, for instance one to deliver large rolls of paper for printing presses.

The railcars should be capable of running at the same speeds as a passenger train, and could even join the consist of some passenger trains. Or passenger cars could be added to the consist of these high speed lcl trains.
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