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Old February 14th, 2008, 07:26 AM   #401
phattonez
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Freight improvement is great, and if we change federal laws concerning passenger rail, then this will improve commuter rail as well.
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Old February 14th, 2008, 01:38 PM   #402
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Milwaukee Road also ran the Hiawatha express trains between those two cities. According to wikipedia these trains may have unofficially exceeded the world steam speed record (and broken US railway speed rules in the process) on more than one occasion.
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Old February 15th, 2008, 07:46 AM   #403
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I think Amtrak needs to work on safety. Look at the incident that happened in Illinois on 1999 (Which I am currently doing a project on.) 13 people died on the train because it hit a semi truck, that should NOT happen, no one in a train should EVER be harmed because the train struck a road vehicle, amtrak genesis's are the most horribly constructed locomotives ever and need to be put out of service, it's like their constructed of tinfoil, there have been too many incidences of genesis loco's derailing from striking road vehicles. Sorry I just can't stand the locomotives that Amtrak uses.
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Old February 15th, 2008, 10:21 AM   #404
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There's only one real answer to this problem - remove the level crossings. No matter brilliantly the locos are designed some dozy driver can still park a 40 ton truck in the way of the train, and at 80 mph any train would probably derail unless the train cut clean through the truck. Even a small piece of metal from any collision, in the wrong place, can cause derailment.
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Old February 15th, 2008, 10:36 AM   #405
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kailyas View Post
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.
I think so too. Even the US is too large for a nationwide HSR-network. Maybe Maglev, but it would still cost you like 15 hours to travel from Boston to Seattle.

Although i think some Maglev lines could be useful, for instance along the eastern seaboard and in California, mainly as a replacement for short-range flights.
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Old February 15th, 2008, 06:37 PM   #406
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I agree that level crossings should be eliminated, however, if passenger loco's were designed more like frieght locos amtrak trains would never derail. Safety is important for any vehicle, two 140 ton gensis loco's with 12 60 ton amfleet cars (about 1000 tons) should easily protect people in the train from dying when hitting a 40 ton truck, this is not the first case of genesis derailing because of a road vehicle, it's happened on several occasions, while other locomotives plow through anything, the gensis is lightweight and lacks steel frame, and probably the AEM too. It's a simple solution, if we don't want deaths at crossings, locomotives need to be built tougher with better guards for the wheels.
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Old February 15th, 2008, 11:10 PM   #407
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It would be a solution, though derailment is always still a possibility but less likely, the issue is getting all that extra weight up the speeds needed to make passenger rail viable costs so much more in fuel. The rest of the world is actively trying to reduce the weight of it's passenger vehicles.

The other solution is to have better designed crash-worthyness of the trains. There were recent derailments of a TGV hitting a truck on a level crossing - even the train driver survived - only fatality the truck driver and also the Pendolino derailment in Scotland at 100 mph and only one person died I believe, the entire body of the train remained in tact.
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Old February 16th, 2008, 07:09 PM   #408
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^Totally agree, in the 1999 accident in Illinois 13 people were killed on the train, no one else. There is no excuse for that but falty train or track construction.


http://youtube.com/watch?v=r2r139F9CUo&feature=related

The front would never look like that if it were a frieght locomotive, even though it helps give cushion to those traveling on the train, at crossings it has proven to be deadly with Genesis's. I don't know if an AEM has ever struck a road vehicle, Aem's only weight 101 tons but are very solidly constructed.
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Old February 16th, 2008, 10:10 PM   #409
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The loco did look a bit dead! The TGV in comparison had the skin wrecked but you could see the bulkhead was undamaged by it's impact (on another thread somewhere).
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Old February 16th, 2008, 10:25 PM   #410
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Well, I am going to ride Amtrak for a short vacation in April....should be fun! We will only be going from Tampa Florida to Winter Park (near Orlando) Florida, so it is only a little over two hours for the trip, so it is not long at all. I just thought I would throw that out there!

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Old February 17th, 2008, 04:51 AM   #411
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay View Post
I agree that level crossings should be eliminated, however, if passenger loco's were designed more like frieght locos amtrak trains would never derail. Safety is important for any vehicle, two 140 ton gensis loco's with 12 60 ton amfleet cars (about 1000 tons) should easily protect people in the train from dying when hitting a 40 ton truck, this is not the first case of genesis derailing because of a road vehicle, it's happened on several occasions, while other locomotives plow through anything, the gensis is lightweight and lacks steel frame, and probably the AEM too. It's a simple solution, if we don't want deaths at crossings, locomotives need to be built tougher with better guards for the wheels.
If we designed them to withstand freight collisions and derailments with freight standards, we would do horrible amounts of damage to the rail network. Tier II laws (obsolete and extremely stupid) force passenger trains to be heavier than they should be, wapring and crushing rails in the process, requiring increased amounts of track repair that cost ungodly amounts of money. If we look at European and Japanese passenger trains, they are extremely lightweight yet have incredibly higher safety records and run more efficiently. If we separate freight and passenger enough and eliminate level crossings, safety will become extremely better and performance will improve.
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Old February 17th, 2008, 01:00 PM   #412
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To further that point I can't believe the locos are 140 tons, that's an amazingly large amount of pointless weight. A 5-6000hp Eurostar loco is under 70 tons, less than half the weight, and even this is deemed too much by today's standards looking towards 350+ km/h operation. The US's rail regulations and general operation's policies are entirely contrary to what would be deemed viable for passenger operations. I'm not an expert on tier II laws, but it looks to me like a bad choice of making the locos almost indestructible rather than spend more money in the short term making the infrastructure safer with barriered crossings, bridges and a more reliable signalling system. They've shot themselves in the foot because the passenger use of the railway is crippled - vehicles that cost twice as much to purchase because they are twice as heavy, they can't go at a useful speed because they then destroy the track, passengers don't bother because they are so slow, end result - really inefficient uneconomic railway.
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Old February 18th, 2008, 06:51 AM   #413
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elfabyanos View Post
To further that point I can't believe the locos are 140 tons, that's an amazingly large amount of pointless weight. A 5-6000hp Eurostar loco is under 70 tons, less than half the weight, and even this is deemed too much by today's standards looking towards 350+ km/h operation. The US's rail regulations and general operation's policies are entirely contrary to what would be deemed viable for passenger operations. I'm not an expert on tier II laws, but it looks to me like a bad choice of making the locos almost indestructible rather than spend more money in the short term making the infrastructure safer with barriered crossings, bridges and a more reliable signalling system. They've shot themselves in the foot because the passenger use of the railway is crippled - vehicles that cost twice as much to purchase because they are twice as heavy, they can't go at a useful speed because they then destroy the track, passengers don't bother because they are so slow, end result - really inefficient uneconomic railway.
That's because the corrupt American government's FRA is run by freight companies and the FRA won't change those regulations anytime soon.
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Old February 20th, 2008, 08:50 AM   #414
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Amtrak to randomly screen bags, step up patrols

WASHINGTON, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Amtrak, the only long-haul passenger rail service in the United States, will for the first time randomly screen passengers' bags and deploy armed security officers on trains and platforms, the railroad said on Monday night.

Details of the shift in security strategy at Amtrak will be released on Tuesday, but the railroad said the steps were not in response to any threat.

Since the hijacked airline attacks on U.S. landmarks in 2001, the Madrid train bombings in 2004 and the London subway bombings a year later, Amtrak has tightened security for ticketing and boarding and employed other behind-the-scenes measures. Some of them are permanent, while others, like bomb-sniffing dogs, are used randomly.

But the overall response for rail security pales in comparison with the multibillion-dollar systems for screening passengers and their bags for bombs and weapons at U.S. airports.

Critics point to relatively easy access to trains and their infrastructure as a serious security vulnerability.

Amtrak previously considered other programs to screen passengers but rail and U.S. security officials often pointed to the difficulties of trying to secure a sprawling rail network that feeds into commuter and subway lines.

Amtrak alone carries more than 25 million people annually over a 21,000-mile (33,800-km) route system. Its heavily traveled flagship line runs from Boston to New York and Washington.

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration, which oversees airline and some rail security operations, said it supported Amtrak's new initiative.
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Old February 20th, 2008, 03:37 PM   #415
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so the united states is dead in Rail Transport there won't be HSR or great metrorail projects and such in the USA oh man i feel sad about this?
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Old February 20th, 2008, 04:18 PM   #416
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I hate to bring this threads down but as long as we have big oil minded - moronic leaders in the whitehouse, we will not be doing any real mass transit investment.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,7031872.story

States to compete for $30 million for improvements to passenger train service
By Jon Hilkevitch | Tribune reporter
February 20, 2008

The Bush administration, which has proposed sharp cuts to Amtrak funding again next year, invited Illinois and the other states Tuesday to compete for only $30 million in federal help to improve and expand long-distance passenger train service.
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Old February 20th, 2008, 08:17 PM   #417
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elfabyanos View Post
The US's rail regulations and general operation's policies are entirely contrary to what would be deemed viable for passenger operations.
Canada oughta be categorically included. I suspect you yourself know this already, but locos are ultra hefty over here for the supposèd notion that their being overweight makes them collision-proof should they plough into a mile-long train.

Why this state of rail over here? Coz N Americans reckon don't like the business prospects posed by passenger rail. As much as they like paying lip-service to "green talk" over here, powerbrokers prefer the practice of consumers buying their own automobiles. Heck, just take a peek at the majority of passenger stations over and you'd notice that the scant facilities would make any passenger feel unwelcomed.

However, what now interests me is greater Montreal's wish to (possibly) introduce a couple of «Tram-train» services, whereby the tram services would serve freight-only spurs off of mainlines. It seems to me that the trams would be really costly due to having to be capable of withstanding colliding with some mile-long train....
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Old February 21st, 2008, 03:34 AM   #418
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so the united states is dead in Rail Transport there won't be HSR or great metrorail projects and such in the USA oh man i feel sad about this?
Only in the Northeast and West Coast. New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, California, Oregon, and Vermont are the only states that are putting in much effort, and even then they're not a huge percent of the American population. However, the New York metropolitan area has a great transport system that is in the process of revitalisation.
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Old February 21st, 2008, 08:03 PM   #419
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However, the New York metropolitan area has a great transport system
I disagree -- e.g., Jamaica Center's got only eight platforms....
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Old February 22nd, 2008, 03:05 AM   #420
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30 million dollars? It should be 30 billion.
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