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Old February 4th, 2008, 03:29 AM   #381
Songoten2554
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what Election?
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Old February 4th, 2008, 05:56 PM   #382
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Originally Posted by Songoten2554 View Post
what Election?
In the US, we've got a presidential campaign going now. Both Democratic contenders have committed to dramatically increasing the FTA's budget, which is exactly the stepping stone we need now to build electric rail for passengers. It'll be demand for long-distance passenger rail that gets our mainlines electrified.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 01:24 PM   #383
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yes good vote for that too give the FTD and the FRA more funds thats good and High Speed Rail in the United States will be more possible

and also more metros, Light Rail, Amtrak being more better now, Regional Rail more better now and in more places as well, also Frieght Rail more better yes vote for it
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Old February 7th, 2008, 08:18 AM   #384
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Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
Haha, I know about that, and I'm definitely voting for it if it's finally put on the ballot, but even if it is approved, it is at least 20 years away. Upgrades to rail can be done much more quickly and are needed now. I-5 is constantly loaded with freight traffic, and a lot of people abhor how long it takes to get onto a plane to go between SF and LA. HSR is great and it's desperately needed in the state, but until we get it, let's improve our current passenger rail corridors.
SF-LA is not a good way to start a HST network ... but it can be ammended

LA Area:

"Dock Line"
Los Angeles - Long Beach (harbour) = 79mph ... electrified

"South Line"
Los Angeles - Orange - San Diego - Tijuana = 220km/140miles ... electrified ... doubletacked and at 110mph <<< some commuter at 30m intervals can be run in "urban" Los Angeles ... forced usage of in cab

"East Line(s)"
Los Angeles - San Bernardino - Palm Springs - Calexico/Mexicali = 340km/210miles ... electrified ... doubletacked and at 110mph <<< some commuter at 30m intervals can be run in "urban" Los Angeles ... forced usage of in cab

"North East Line"
Los Angeles - San Bernardino - Las Vegas = 480km/300miles ... electrified ... doubletacked and at 110mph <<< usage os Turbo Trains or diesel/electric units ...

"South East Line"
Los Angeles - San Bernardino - Palm Springs - Phoenix - Tucson = 850km/530miles ... electrified ... doubletacked and at 110mph <<< some commuter at 30m intervals can be run in "urban" Los Angeles , "urban" Phoenix and "urban" Tucson ... forced usage of in cab

"Coast Line"
Los Angeles - Burbank - Ventura - Santa Barbara/Goleta - Santa Maria (and north?) = 300km/187miles ... "electrified" ... schenic railway ... 110mph

"Valley Line"
Los Angeles - Burbank - Santa Clarita - Palmdale - burbank - "north" = 250km/156miles ... "electrified" ... double tracked and 110mph



there are a lot of possibilities over there:
- comuter railways (operated by "traditional" BUS companies)
- intercity (200miles and less) services operated jointly by BUS/airwys operators
- improved infraestructure favours/beneficts freight traffic

This is the "secret" ... franchise equals busines ... and one has to know how to "sell" intercity railways ... HST wannabees "dumping" isolated networks on everyones laps don't go that far away nowadays.
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Old February 7th, 2008, 10:51 PM   #385
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Originally Posted by Svartmetall View Post
#1. Transportation of electric current over long distances = problematic.
#2. Money involved in upgrading such a vast network = problematic.
#3. Poltical will = problematic.

Expand on that.
#1 ... transiberian = electrified the hole lenght
#2 ... rails suitable for fast freight are also suitable for HST ... freight gains from HST
#3 ... its economy ... political has nothing to do with it

A "slow" 160km/h european train:



It's Electric and Diesel ... can run both under wires and on its own power ...
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Old February 8th, 2008, 12:32 AM   #386
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I was thinking more of major power transmission lines as being NIMBY fodder. It seems like every major new 345 Kv transmission line that is proposed here in Wisconsin, for example, gets all the lawyers and enviro-whackos out of hiding and into the courtroom. And a typical mainline freight train here in Wisconsin requires 6-8 megawatts (two AC4400CW or equivalent locomotives) to adequately power - and add another 2-3 MW for climbing Byron Hill on CN's ex WC, nee SOO mainline southbound out of Fond du Lac, WI. A general rule of thumb that I use is that each 100 MW capacity of power plant requires about one 120 car (about 14,000 t) trainload of coal per week to feed.

Those are not just 'plug into the wall' amounts of power.

Mike

Never thoght someone would say diesel is better than electrification and use "climbing" as an argument ...

Even if you rely on carbon ... carbon gets to the power plant on ... freigh trains so it's another excuse/argument for the freight companies to be "receptive" to electrifications.

In my country we use some packs of 2x5600KW (11,2MW) locomotives to push some "light" 2000ton. coal trains ... its a pretty hilly ride.

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Remember that urban LRT tram cars and 15,000t freight trains require somewhat different amounts of energy to power (yes, they run them that heavy here in North America).

Mike
The heavier the train ... the more "economic" is the usage of electric traction ... but for the usual USA freight and distances "contained" haulage (huge and powerfull diesel locomotives) is still better than generalised electrification.
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Old February 8th, 2008, 08:30 AM   #387
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sotavento View Post
Never thoght someone would say diesel is better than electrification and use "climbing" as an argument ...

Even if you rely on carbon ... carbon gets to the power plant on ... freigh trains so it's another excuse/argument for the freight companies to be "receptive" to electrifications.

In my country we use some packs of 2x5600KW (11,2MW) locomotives to push some "light" 2000ton. coal trains ... its a pretty hilly ride.



The heavier the train ... the more "economic" is the usage of electric traction ... but for the usual USA freight and distances "contained" haulage (huge and powerfull diesel locomotives) is still better than generalised electrification.
It's not unusual for a 3 or 4 MW 'pusher' locomotive to be added to the end of a train for that hill (about 10 km of 1% grade, quite long and steep by midwestern USA standards). It is uncoupled when the train reaches the top of the hill and then returns to the yard. The remainder of grades on that line are much more gentle.

Right now, yes, the economic numbers very much favor diesels in North American (Canada, Mexico and USA) freight service. If/when the numbers start favoring electrificaion, it will be done very quickly.

Mike
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Old February 9th, 2008, 03:42 AM   #388
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but wait a minute so if a Railway Corridor is busy and its used alot then why not bring in Service to it like Regional Rail or Electrify the Rail Corridor that is busy i mean doesn't that bring in Revenue in alot of countries this is how it works how come in the USA it doesn't? werid on that
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Old February 9th, 2008, 05:22 AM   #389
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That depends on how local comunities evolved ... east coast is full of long distance "comuter" companies (NJ Transit ?) and west coast was full of highways (los angeles ?) and buses are everywhere ... the rest depends on how and where people are traveling.

2 cities some 200 miles apart could seek a High Speed train .. .but only if they had enough comuters going from one to the other everyday ... in dose distances people usualy just catch the bus/plane or go on their own car ... since the other town is also "lacking" on public transportation.

But nonetheless in the USA you got lots of electrified lines ... could be more (expecialy in Texas , The lakes and California) ...

Ans considering that "diesel" locomotives are "self generator" electric locomotives it's a compromise ... someday it will probably change.
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Old February 9th, 2008, 06:12 AM   #390
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sotavento View Post
#1 ... transiberian = electrified the hole lenght
#2 ... rails suitable for fast freight are also suitable for HST ... freight gains from HST
#3 ... its economy ... political has nothing to do with it

A "slow" 160km/h european train:

It's Electric and Diesel ... can run both under wires and on its own power ...
I mainly posted that list of three to stimulate discussion as this thread was largely disregarded. It prompted responses and got discussion going - that's a good thing.

I'm all in favour of a European model (having lived in Britain for most of my life).
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Old February 10th, 2008, 05:20 PM   #391
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Electrifiying rail in US will never happen.

The system is a joke already. When Amtrak took over in 1971 they cut half of the passenger network immidiately. My local station (Mpls-St Paul(Midway)) is a joke. Amtrak decided to close the Minneapolis and Saint Paul stations, they decided to open a station halfway between the two cities. It is in the backyard of a rundown industrial area. Most people don't even know where it is. The train service is a joke:

EB to Chicago - 7:50 AM/8h5m trip/417 mi/$54-119
WB to Portland/Seattle - 11:15 PM/35h5m trip/1789 mi/$143-318

A commuter rail will open in 2009, but it will not go to Saint Cloud so it is basically a worthless line, except for suburban commuters. Several more are scheduled to open, but not for a while.

A light rail to the Airport and Mall of America opened in 2004. A line to St. Paul will open in 2014, but this may be delayed or cancelled because of troubles with the FTA.

An intercity rail line to Duluth may reopen in 2012. It will serve the commuter station in Downtown Minneapolis. This line will have 79 or 110 mph service. It was closed in 1985 by Amtrak.

The Union Depot may reopen in Saint Paul, but probably not for a long while.

Even the Megabus.com beats Amtrak to Chicago:
1) Cheaper Fare
2) 3 Departures per day
3) Serves Downtown Minneapolis and Chicago Union Station
4) Faster - Only 7 hours
5) Non Stop Express Service
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Old February 10th, 2008, 09:01 PM   #392
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There's something seriously wrong if a bus is faster than a train!
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Old February 10th, 2008, 09:34 PM   #393
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There's something seriously wrong if a bus is faster than a train!
Indeed there is. That is due to the heavy federal highway investment.
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Old February 12th, 2008, 08:54 AM   #394
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There is something ridiculously wrong if a BUS is faster than the "arvertisement" RAIL link of America.


I remember seeing time and time again the video footage in History channel of a little inoxidable train running at 100mph between chicago and the twin cities somewhere in early XX century.
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Old February 12th, 2008, 09:46 AM   #395
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Originally Posted by sotavento View Post
There is something ridiculously wrong if a BUS is faster than the "arvertisement" RAIL link of America.


I remember seeing time and time again the video footage in History channel of a little inoxidable train running at 100mph between chicago and the twin cities somewhere in early XX century.
The Chicago and North Western railroad built a true high-speed passenger mainline between Chicago and MStP in about 1910-1915 (I am unsure of the exact year). It went through Milwaukee and on northwestward through open countryside passing through no towns of note except for Adams, WI before connecting with existing lines at Wyeville, WI in the western part of the state. This line (called the Adams line) still exists and is used by Union Pacific as a general freight and expedited intermodal route.

When that line was completed, CNW inaugurated their '400' series of passenger trains - advertising downtown Chicago to downtown Minneapolis in 400 minutes.

Mike
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Old February 13th, 2008, 07:49 AM   #396
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US: New Era Dawns for Rail Building

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1201...hpp_us_pageone

New Era Dawns for Rail Building
Lines Add Tracks, Upgrade Tunnels To Take On Trucks

By DANIEL MACHALABA
February 13, 2008; Page A1

MERIDIAN, Miss. -- America is back to working on the railroads.

For decades, stretches of track west of this town were so rough that trains couldn't run faster than 25 miles an hour. Lanie Keith, a locomotive engineer for Kansas City Southern, recalls waiting for hours when trains stalled on a steep curve on a stretch of single track between Meridian and Shreveport, La.

But over the past two years, at a cost of $300 million, track crews have transformed the 320-mile route. Installing 960,000 crossties and 80 miles of new rail, they've turned a railroad backwater into a key link in a resurging national transport network. Mr. Keith now skims parts of the improved track, called the Meridian Speedway, at nearly 60 miles an hour. "You went from moving like a turtle to a jack rabbit," he says.

The upgrade is part of a railroad renaissance under way across much of the U.S. For the first time in nearly a century, railroads are making large investments in their networks -- adding sets of tracks, straightening curves that force engines to slow and expanding tunnels for bigger trains. Their campaign is altering the corridors of American commerce, more so than any other development since interstate highways spread to the interior.

For decades, railroads spent little on expansion, even tore up surplus track and shrank routes. But since 2000 they've spent $10 billion to expand tracks, build freight yards and buy locomotives, and they have $12 billion more in upgrades planned.

The buildout comes as the industry transitions away from its chief role in recent decades of hauling coal, timber and other raw materials in manufacturing regions. Now, increasingly, railroads are moving finished consumer goods, often made in Asia, from ports to major cities. Their new higher-volume routes, called corridors, often serve the South, where the rail system is less developed and the population is rising.

Railroad operators are pressing for advantage over their main competitor, long-haul trucking, which has struggled with rising fuel prices, driver shortages and highway congestion. Railroads say a load can be moved by rail using about a third as much fuel as it takes to haul it by truck. And rail transport is becoming more efficient still, they say, as operators speed their lines and logistics companies build huge warehouse areas along routes.

Demand for rail service increased sharply when the U.S. economy and Asian imports surged starting in 2003. Tight capacity on major routes enabled railroads to raise prices. The growth in freight volume has slowed along with economic growth, but shippers say they're still planning to increase their use of rail transport because of the cost.

"The railroad industry is finally making some money," says Charles "Wick" Moorman IV, chief executive officer of Norfolk Southern Corp., based in Norfolk, Va. "And we're pumping that money into our infrastructure."

Trucking accounted for 82% of the U.S.'s truck-and-rail intercity-freight spending in 2004, up from 78% in 1990, according to Eno Transportation Foundation, a research organization in Washington, D.C. But trucking companies, notably industry giant J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. of Lowell, Ark., are using railroads for the long-haul part of some trips because it's cheaper. Some rail promoters believe that as a result of their investments, they could cut into the business of the two million long-haul freight trucks in the U.S., which account for 350 million shipments a year.

Attracting Interest

For the first time in years, the industry is attracting interest among big-name investors. Last spring, Berkshire Hathaway Inc., disclosed an 11% stake in Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp., the second-largest U.S. railroad by revenue. Berkshire has since raised the stake to more than 18%. In a move recalling rail boardroom battles of the past, Children's Investment Fund Management LLP, a London hedge fund, and other shareholders have put up a slate of directors for a coming annual meeting of the nation's No. 3 railroad, CSX Corp. (Union Pacific Corp. is the largest U.S. railroad in revenue terms; Norfolk Southern and Kansas City Southern are fourth and fifth, respectively.)

The expansion is stirring conflict with some old customers, the shippers who move raw materials such as chemicals, grain and logs, who feel they're being charged unnecessarily high rates to pay for capital improvements. Trade groups representing such shippers are seeking federal legislation to rein in railroad rate increases.

"I think the railroads are investing in corridors to serve a different customer, and heavy U.S. industry will be left in the dust," says Kenneth Walker, a transportation manager of Graphic Packaging International Corp., a cardboard manufacturer in Marietta, Ga.

It's been a century since railroads embarked on a similar spate of capital investment. Between 1900 and World War I, they launched a huge rebuilding program across the U.S. midsection to handle freight and passenger trains. Traffic was booming as the economy roared back from a financial panic in the 1890s. Railroads added second, third and fourth sets of tracks along main routes, built tunnels and bridges and installed stronger locomotives.

After World War II, though, cars began wiping out passenger-train service. New interstate highways unleashed trucks as a freight competitor. By the 1970s, U.S. railroads were deep into a decline, other than adding new track to the coal fields of Wyoming.



Burlington Northern was the first to pursue the strategy of building a high-capacity corridor to link ports with population centers needing consumer goods, rather than linking industrial centers. In the 1990s, it set out to complete a second set of tracks on its Chicago-Los Angeles Transcon line. "It came right out of the 'Field of Dreams': Build it and they will come," says Rob Krebs, a retired Burlington CEO.

Wall Street analysts objected to the big spending, and Mr. Krebs throttled down the expansion in 1999 and 2000. But his successor, Matt Rose, resumed work on the project in 2003, and it is now nearing completion.

Problems with old infrastructure were becoming clear elsewhere. Union Pacific was plagued with freight jams and service breakdowns during a surge of Asian imports a few years ago. Union Pacific hired thousands of new train crew members, and it has since launched a massive track-installation program across the Southwest.

It is upgrading its Sunset Route, from Los Angeles to El Paso, Texas, with a second set of tracks. It's planning to build new freight yards and a fueling station along the way. When the $2 billion project is finished in 2010, Union Pacific will be able to roughly double the number of freight cars crossing the Sunset each day to more than 9,000 from about 5,000 currently.

Railroads are generating development in the same way they spawned towns and industrial sites over a century ago. Warehouse complexes are popping up next to new rail yards designed to load and unload trains carrying containerized goods. Major distribution operations have opened or are planned in places like Elwood, Ill., Kansas City, Mo., and Columbus, Ohio.

The social consequences are evident in developments like AllianceTexas. In the late 1980s, Hillwood Development Co., founded by Ross Perot Jr., son of the former presidential candidate, built a cargo airport outside Fort Worth, thinking that would be the best way to attract companies to 17,000 acres of land north of the city. As an afterthought, the company says, it made room for a rail yard.

A decade later, it's the rail yard that has attracted huge warehouses, for companies such as J.C. Penney Co. and Bridgestone Corp. These and others get container loads of jeans, electronics, tires and such from Southern California ports. "I never would have thought having a rail hub in the middle of our development would have attracted so much interest," says Thomas Harris, a Hillwood senior vice president.

The development, which employs 27,000, has spawned a nearby minicity of shopping centers, a golf course, a racetrack and 6,200 houses. More than 300 of the homes are high-priced models in gated communities.

Railroads have found friends among environmentalists, who see moving freight by train rather than truck as a way to reduce fuel burning and emissions. Method Products Inc., a San Francisco maker of nontoxic home and personal-care products, says it plans to use rail for 50% of its shipments this year, up from 33% in 2007. "We view rail as a solution to lower our greenhouse-gas emissions," says Jason Bowman, the firm's global logistics manager.

States Climb Aboard

States have also started to climb aboard. In a 2002 report, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials said transportation capacity could be increased more cheaply in some intercity corridors by adding railways rather than expanding highways.

Norfolk Southern is seeking public funding to accelerate rail-corridor projects, arguing that they provide a public benefit by limiting fuel use, traffic congestion and air pollution. The idea is gaining backers. Virginia created a rail-enhancement fund in 2005 from car-rental fees and is spending $40 million to improve a Norfolk Southern freight line in the state. The railroad industry is urging Congress to pass a railroad investment tax credit to fund rail improvements.

Many old lines need work. Norfolk Southern's most direct route to the Midwest from the docks of Norfolk, Va., has tunnels high enough for coal trains. But they are too low for double-stack trains, which haul shipping containers one above the other. Norfolk Southern has begun a three-year, $260 million project to raise the height of 28 tunnels on the route, which it has renamed the Heartland Corridor.



Norfolk Southern's most ambitious project is the Crescent Corridor, a network of tracks between the New York City area and New Orleans. The company touts the corridor as a cheaper and more environmentally friendly alternative to widening highways such as Interstate 81, which runs through Virginia's scenic Shenandoah Valley.

Trucks make four million to 4.5 million trips annually along I-81 in Virginia, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation. Norfolk Southern envisions a route with enough speed and capacity to displace about a million truck trips a year. It is seeking funding for most of the $2 billion project from the U.S. government and states along the corridor.

Tim Lynch, an executive of the American Trucking Associations in Arlington, Va., says it's "folly" to think rail corridors can take the place of additional highways. "You need to do both, because you have growth in freight traffic that will keep both modes busy," he says.

Work continues on the Meridian Speedway between Meridian and Shreveport. Kansas City Southern bought the line in 1994 as a shortcut for freight moving between Los Angeles and Atlanta, bypassing crowded gateways in Memphis, Tenn., and New Orleans. The railroad began to improve the line, at one point easing a hilly curve near the river town of Vicksburg, Miss., that for years hampered Mr. Keith and other engineers when trains stalled there.

Additional Overhauls

Two years ago, Norfolk Southern agreed to contribute more than $300 million for additional overhauls in exchange for a 30% stake in the Speedway. The money has helped replace tracks and install a signal system on a line that had none. It allowed construction of sidings so trains can pass each other in more places.

Union Pacific uses the Speedway for a leg of a longer run that begins near the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Calif. Improvements on the line have enabled Union Pacific to launch a new train packed with Asian goods that can cross the Southern U.S. in 72 hours, down from the 120-hour service it offered in past years. Such numbers translate into big savings for railroads, which figure that each mile per hour of speed they can add systemwide translates into fewer cars, locomotives and crew members.

Mr. Keith says his trips between Meridian and Vicksburg now take six or seven hours, compared with 11 or 12 before the upgrades. He says he saved 30 minutes on a recent run by pulling onto a newly lengthened siding in Meehan, Miss., to pass another train.

Mr. Keith says the work will clear the Speedway to handle more and faster trains. "I love it," he says. "It guarantees me work stability."

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Old February 13th, 2008, 07:56 AM   #397
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BTW if you click on the link it's got a pretty neat interactive graphic showing where all the current improvements are, as well as showing where other ones in the late 1800's were made.
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Old February 13th, 2008, 05:35 PM   #398
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yes finally the United States is coming back to what it made the country grand in the first place is the Railways finally thank you USA for relizing this.

yes you know what this means Amtrak will be alot better with more routes and High Speed Rail is possible and not only that Metro's and Light Rails will be more common with Massive Expansions in the United States Finally thank you for this awesome news.
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Old February 13th, 2008, 11:05 PM   #399
geoking66
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Originally Posted by Songoten2554 View Post
yes finally the United States is coming back to what it made the country grand in the first place is the Railways finally thank you USA for relizing this.

yes you know what this means Amtrak will be alot better with more routes and High Speed Rail is possible and not only that Metro's and Light Rails will be more common with Massive Expansions in the United States Finally thank you for this awesome news.
This is about freight rail, and since freight companies dominate the FRA, nothing will get done. We still have insane Tier II laws that make trains incredibly heavy and delays will continue to plague the system until new right of ways solely for high speed and commuter rail are built.
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Old February 14th, 2008, 05:13 AM   #400
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I doubted that train would be back likes in the early 1900 as the main transportations for the people of amerika. The main reason train is less mobile ans slower compared for example car and airplane even if the really fast train likes maglev being used by Amtrak however I do beleive that train will still exist even until 22 century in Amerika.
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