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Old April 1st, 2009, 01:15 AM   #941
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Surely the sprawl factor means that the bonus in Europe that you end up in the city centre does not apply as much in the USA. In Europe the point to point factor means that withy HSR people can take a train and in many cases walk or get a short bus to their destination as opposed to longer train journies or bus journies/car travel.

In the USA the airport may be just as convenient to get to as the train station, as a car journey is likely anyway.

Maybe for some cities HSR links will be possible, like the denser cities on the east.
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Old April 1st, 2009, 03:20 AM   #942
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We don't want HSR service here in the US. If it was something that enough people wanted it would be built. That's the market speaking. Amtrak is "profitable" in one corridor nationally (Boston to Washington DC), and as a former weekly rider of that corridor I can say that the acela was a great thing but even the old Metroliner service was faster than driving or flying. Everywhere else it loses money, so why would those who steal and then spend my income decide to pour it down a hole where there is no evidence that enough people would use it to justify construction?

The current system needs to be subsidized heavily to stay afloat, why would that be different just because the trains run faster?

This is very simple really, in the US we do not have the desire for this service. It makes sense in Europe I suppose although I am certain the subsidies there are large but here, other than from Boston to DC and eventually down the Pacific coast from SFC to San Diego there just aren't enough riders to justify the expenditure.
One question by"WE" who do you represent?

Work force related to the passenger airline industry?
NIBMYs who are living near rail tracks?
Work force related to the auto industry?
Conservative Republicans who think that taxation is a sin and usage of federal budget is a crime?

I think the average American citizen would just like a cheap, convenient, safe and, punctual way to travel.
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Old April 1st, 2009, 04:01 AM   #943
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Agreed, that is why they are on the verge of collapse. I'm thinking it might be time to talk to Bombardier, Siemens, and Alstom about coming over to the U.S. to manufacture rail cars, get some infrastructure giants to build some high speed rail in order to prevent a huge unemployment spike while investing in the future of the country.

I think the FRA needs to deregulate it's crash standards on passenger trains since they rely solely on weight. We have technology today that prevents crashes. These standards have not prevented deaths in collisions. Prevention we have yet to work on. SNCF has expressed interest in running a high-speed train, why not let foreign investment come in to take over the auto sector as a big economic engine?
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Old April 1st, 2009, 04:43 AM   #944
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Agreed, that is why they are on the verge of collapse. I'm thinking it might be time to talk to Bombardier, Siemens, and Alstom about coming over to the U.S. to manufacture rail cars, get some infrastructure giants to build some high speed rail in order to prevent a huge unemployment spike while investing in the future of the country.

I think the FRA needs to deregulate it's crash standards on passenger trains since they rely solely on weight. We have technology today that prevents crashes. These standards have not prevented deaths in collisions. Prevention we have yet to work on. SNCF has expressed interest in running a high-speed train, why not let foreign investment come in to take over the auto sector as a big economic engine?
I completely agree. We all point to the successes of foreign countries when trying to sell HSR -and rail in general- to the general U.S. public, so why not allow SNCF and companies like Bombardier to set the example (and precedent) by being active in the design and construction of our first true HSL/intercity rail system?
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Old April 1st, 2009, 04:48 AM   #945
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What about highways and airports then?

There are toll roads that make a profit but would they go everywhere like the interstates do? Same with airports, many are somewhat self-sufficient but building them is a different story. I guess we should still be flying in little planes landing on mowed fields?

Ironically of course had the government not spent so much on this stuff in the post-war era we'd probably still be dependent on long-distance trains

The more correct answer to the question you brought up, do people want something or not, depends on how big a crowd you are talking about. Of course for the most part more people drive and fly then take trains so naturally we have ignored them. But with more of the US living in greater urban regions that can be connected together with high-speed trains, and the continued advancement of this mode of transport overseas, why not start to look at them?

Last edited by zaphod; April 1st, 2009 at 04:53 AM.
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Old April 1st, 2009, 05:04 AM   #946
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110mph isn't HSR so it shouldn't be seen as a way to connect far-flung cities. It is however a realistic speed that can be often attained by upgrading existing infrastructure (although there are the rail freight authority's stupid regulations) and excellent at connecting locations that are one or two hours away, where people can switch to rail so that they can do something more productive (e.g. work on laptop, read a book, sleep) instead of sitting behind the wheel of a car. And it's always better to run shorter trains more frequently to spread the demand and shorten waiting times.

This then creates a good base to build HSR on top of if/when someone decides to fund it.
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Old April 1st, 2009, 05:07 AM   #947
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110mph isn't HSR so it shouldn't be seen as a way to connect far-flung cities. It is however a realistic speed that can be often attained by upgrading existing infrastructure (although there are the rail freight authority's stupid regulations) and excellent at connecting locations that are one or two hours away, where people can switch to rail so that they can do something more productive (e.g. work on laptop, read a book, sleep) instead of sitting behind the wheel of a car. And it's always better to run shorter trains more frequently to spread the demand and shorten waiting times.

This then creates a good base to build HSR on top of if/when someone decides to fund it.
100% agreed. Improving existing routes might be better since some countries that have HSR did not care to invest in there other rail infrastructure. This might set a precedent to what higher speeds will do for rail travel.
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Old April 1st, 2009, 05:20 PM   #948
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I think transportation is an example where the free market is a poor example because ALL of its infrastructure is built by the government.
That's just a recent thing, if you look at how all the railways were built pre-ww2 it was pretty much all private sector.
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Old April 1st, 2009, 07:10 PM   #949
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That's just a recent thing, if you look at how all the railways were built pre-ww2 it was pretty much all private sector.
Even since WWII.

For example, the major *private* freight rail lines into the Powder River Basin coal fields in Wyoming were all built from scratch on new rights-of-way since the late 1970s and another is planned (this one will run westward into the Basin from the Rapid City, SD area). Kansas City Southern is also currently building a new mainline route on a previously abandoned grade in southeastern Texas.

Mike
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Old April 1st, 2009, 07:56 PM   #950
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tri-ring View Post
One question by"WE" who do you represent?

Work force related to the passenger airline industry?
NIBMYs who are living near rail tracks?
Work force related to the auto industry?
Conservative Republicans who think that taxation is a sin and usage of federal budget is a crime?

I think the average American citizen would just like a cheap, convenient, safe and, punctual way to travel.

I represent no "we", I'm just telling you why I think it is not a priority here.

Your last sentence is right on target, but that is the automobile, not the train.
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Old April 1st, 2009, 08:08 PM   #951
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Because building a railway network payed by the government is a thing that many americans call "socialistic". People in the US don't want their tax dollars to be spend on railways, bridges and autoways. At least Republicans find that socialistic. Luckely Obama has a infrastructure renovation plan, let's hope it will find it's way through the senate, and it won't be named by fox news and it's supporters as "a socialistic plan"

Investing in public transport is one of the most important things that can be done by a government. People underestemate the importance of high speed railway connections.

peace.
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Old April 1st, 2009, 08:13 PM   #952
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I think transportation is an example where the free market is a poor example because ALL of its infrastructure is built by the government. It is a Government decsion to build a super highway into a downtown area or a commuter rail system. If the money and infrastructure built by the gov't is designed for auto use it will be used because it is faster. If the money and planning is put into rapit transit or rail service instead of super highways, rail will be quickier. Gov't built our transportation systems to say they have no impact is ridiculous.

I do agree with you on some long Amtrak routes, there is now reason Amtrak should be running through Montana. Important infrastructure improvements are needed where people actual live.

I'll give you an example of what I am saying. Here in norfolk, VA, the local planning commission decided that it would be a wonderful thing to have light rail. It will save gasoline they said, it will "green" our area they said, it will make us a City moving to the future they said. All true but what they never said out loud was that no one rides the current bus system so why would people want to ride the train? People who are not used to driving to a station, parking, riding a train, then riding a bus or walking the rest of the way generally do not choose that over getting in the car at home, driving to work and being there. Even when parking costs $$ and the highway system is sometimes congested. Government went against market studies and real data on mass transit usage and is building it anyway. This is my point to the market. You can build it, but that doesn't mean people will come. I would guess that in five years we will be driving home on the interstate looking at empty trains.

Now, if you build it and dig up the roads of course people will use the train.

In Chicago, NYC and Philadelphia to name three Cities, people do ride the train and walk the rest of the way, but they are used to that and in those places driving really is not that great a choice.

You have to pick and choose your localities to do this type of thing. Infrastructure investment in the NE corridor is a great investment of public money because it is proven that people will use it.

Doing it just to do it in hopes that people will use it is a very poor investment in public money especially right now when the money would need to be borrowed.
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Old April 1st, 2009, 08:44 PM   #953
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Give your system some time. Public transportation does not gain immediate ridership. It can take years for new development to be formed around a new transit line. Real Estate developers love to build new developments near transit hubs, and the people who move into them are likely to be transit users.

I see the flaw in free market for transportation planning is that the market expects to see immediate results. Long term gov't planned systems do not need to see imediate results. In areas like Jersey City a new light rail line initially was lightly used at first but as real estate developers saw growth potential around the stations on the line, the ridership slowly increased. The key is to get people out of their cars not create park and ride situations.

Under your philosophy new forms of transportaion can not be introduced because there is no familiarity. But that allows for no innovation. Under your assumptions if rail doesn't exist now it never will.
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Old April 1st, 2009, 08:46 PM   #954
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Originally Posted by mgk920 View Post
Even since WWII.

For example, the major *private* freight rail lines into the Powder River Basin coal fields in Wyoming were all built from scratch on new rights-of-way since the late 1970s and another is planned (this one will run westward into the Basin from the Rapid City, SD area). Kansas City Southern is also currently building a new mainline route on a previously abandoned grade in southeastern Texas.

Mike
Last time I check it was post WWII and the converstation is about passenger lines.
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 05:30 AM   #955
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Your last sentence is right on target, but that is the automobile, not the train.
You know nothing about trains then because they are just as capable of being safe and reliable. Over 40,000 people die each year in the U.S. in car accidents so I would say that the car isn't very safe.
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 05:39 AM   #956
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Originally Posted by FlyFish View Post
We're here, we just have to work during the day.......


By the way, all of the political stuff here is very entertaining ( I especially like the invade Venezuela post, LOL) but you are missing the central point of Amtrak's trouble...no one rides it. They should shut it down everywhere but where it can be self sustaining: the Pacific Coast, Texas triangle and Boston - DC corridor. Regionalize it in those lacations and shut it down everywhere else. It's a money pit.


Well Dems, I gotta go back to work now, someone's got to pay for your stimulus, LOL.

Cheers
You are so ignorant. Did you know that the poorest states in the country are all very conservative and vote Republican consistently? The blue states all pay more in taxes than they get back in aid from the federal government. The most democratic states are also the most educated and wealthy. So in reality, it is Blue America that supports the stupid and poor Red America.

Maybe we should shut down the parts of the interstate highway system that are sparsely populated. I-40 in Arizona and New Mexico don't get much traffic. I-84 in Oregon is sparsely traveled. We should close that road down too.

And Amtrak has posted record ridership each of the past five years, so your claim that no one uses the system is complete bullshit.

And if Amtrak provided faster and more frequent service, way more people would use it. The construction of the interstate highway system led more people to drive.

Not all uninformed people are conservative, but all conservatives are uninformed.
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 05:46 AM   #957
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I really doubt the puntual part as well looking at the massive grid lock congestion on most of the freeways of major American cities.
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 05:47 AM   #958
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No interstate highway makes money in this country. We should close them down.

No one here is advocating just building HSR lines and hoping that people will use them. In California, the route for their HSR system was studied for YEARS with extensive input from local communities. The route that served the most people the fastest was the one that was chosen- it had support in all of the major cities it served.
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 05:53 AM   #959
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Originally Posted by jdbarber View Post

I do agree with you on some long Amtrak routes, there is now reason Amtrak should be running through Montana. Important infrastructure improvements are needed where people actual live.
Amtrak runs through Montana on a line that connects Seattle with Chicago.

A big reason why Amtrak loses money is because it uses freight railroads that don't connect major cities the way the interstate highway system does.

If Amtrak ran on track that paralleled interstate highways you would see many more people use it.

The service that is offered is so limited because of low funding that the system is not highly used. Even so, record numbers of people have ridden on Amtrak each of the past five years.

You can't travel from Atlanta to Miami without first going through Washington D.C.!!
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 07:24 AM   #960
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Based in my obsevation why Amtrak high speed line is only on West side of America while the east territory mostly use Diesel train can't amtrak company create a high speed network from West to East.
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