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Old January 28th, 2007, 04:22 PM   #101
hkskyline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yardmaster View Post
In fact Europe and the US are approximately equal in area (I guess some people will debate what is and is not 'Europe") and have more or less equivalent populations.

My country has an equivalent area too, but not by any means an equivalent population. Europe is investing vastly in rail infrastructure: AMTRAK is struggling to stay alive. This has little to do with population density.

More significantly, "Radio National' here today reported that last Century's emissions would heat the world for one thousand years to come .... even if we turned off our pen-lights.

And God Created Cadillacs ...
While Europe and US share about the same area, Europe is home to over 700 million people while the US just surpassed 300 million.

More information by country : http://epp.eurostat.cec.eu.int/cache...-05-015-EN.PDF

If there is enough density, then the client base will be adequate to support the railway. If that happens, who cares if the government stops funding, because the operator will still turn a profit with their revenues already.
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Old January 28th, 2007, 04:23 PM   #102
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Size yes, population, no,

USA Area 9,631,420 km² (3rd1) 3,718,695 sq mi
Population 2007 estimate 301,049,000

Europe 10,400,000 square kilometres (4,010,000 sq mi)
Population 710,000,000
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Old January 28th, 2007, 04:34 PM   #103
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^I think a comparisson between the EU area and the continental area (48 states) of the US would be more interesting:

US(48 states) Area : 7,884,254 km²
Population: 301,049,000
Density 38/km²

EU Area: 4,325,675 km²
Population: 493,000,000
Density 114/km²
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Old January 28th, 2007, 07:07 PM   #104
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So is Australia already counted as part of the US ?

From here, population-wise, India, & China are big nations. Indonesia is big too. Brazil? USA? Europe?

I hadn't really kept track of the population statistics, but quite seriously, the story I heard from national radio in the last two weeks was that Europeans were so degenerate that they couldn't even breed any more ... try www.abc.net.au/rn/counterpoint .

Last edited by Yardmaster; January 28th, 2007 at 07:26 PM.
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Old January 28th, 2007, 09:42 PM   #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yardmaster View Post
So is Australia already counted as part of the US ?
Uh?!?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Yardmaster View Post
but quite seriously, the story I heard from national radio in the last two weeks was that Europeans were so degenerate that they couldn't even breed any more ... try www.abc.net.au/rn/counterpoint .
Yeah, right... we lost that abbility because a whitch cursed us!!

Hum, that must be the crappest national television ever if it broadcasted trash like that...
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Old January 28th, 2007, 09:58 PM   #106
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Well the fact behind tht news is that the native European population is getting old....like in Japan. Unlike the immigrants who are relatively young compared to the native white population in European countries are reproducing in lesser numbers.
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Old January 29th, 2007, 09:08 AM   #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nephasto View Post
Uh?!?





Yeah, right... we lost that abbility because a whitch cursed us!!

Hum, that must be the crappest national television ever if it broadcasted trash like that...
It's actually a radio program ... I wasn't saying that I agreed with that view, just that you get a lot of Europe-bashing in the media these days.

To give my national broadcaster the credit it deserves, this particular program was put in the schedule to present a 'conservative' view to offset the alleged left-wing bias of the programming as a whole.

Last edited by Yardmaster; January 29th, 2007 at 12:12 PM.
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Old January 29th, 2007, 05:12 PM   #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yardmaster View Post
I hadn't really kept track of the population statistics, but quite seriously, the story I heard from national radio in the last two weeks was that Europeans were so degenerate that they couldn't even breed any more ... try www.abc.net.au/rn/counterpoint .
Speaking as a European, breeding is beneath us. Instead we adopt and nurture the foreign infidels, so that they can feed us soup in our old age, while we watch ozzy soaps. But then I don't really keep track of the population statistics....
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Old January 29th, 2007, 08:05 PM   #109
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Ha, hahahahahahahahaha.....don't worry, there are plenty of african immigrants waiting to get into the EU....a population crisis could be quickly absolved.
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Old January 30th, 2007, 10:42 AM   #110
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Grand Canyon Railway

Deal to buy historic Grand Canyon Railway accepted
25 January 2007

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - The owners of the fabled Grand Canyon Railway have accepted a buyout offer from one of the nation's biggest national park contractors.

Xanterra Parks & Resorts will take over the assets of the railroad company, including the trains, rail route from Williams to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel, an RV park, restaurant and several real estate parcels in Williams. The amount of the bid was not disclosed.

Xanterra runs lodges, restaurants and other concessions at national parks and state parks and resorts, including Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion, Crater Lake, Death Valley and Petrified Forest national parks.

"Xanterra is exactly the type of organization we hoped would purchase the railway. It's a well-run operation and we are looking forward to being a part of it," said W. David Chambers, president of Grand Canyon Railway.

The railway has two steam engines and 29 cars currently in service, plus six diesel engines and 14 cars not currently used.

The railway was shuttered for nearly 20 years before Paradise Valley residents Max and Thelma Biegert reopened it in 1989. In the early 1900s, it was the main mode of transportation to the Grand Canyon.

The Biegerts put the operation up for sale last year and announced a tentative deal with Xanterra in September. The deal still requires approval from the National Park Service.
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Old February 8th, 2007, 09:31 AM   #111
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will Amtrak (United States) be sepearted like JR in Japan

i want to know if Amtrak can sepearted like JR in Japan i mean JR wasn't JR it was actually JNR (Japan National Railways) then around the 1980's it became JR (Japan Railways) and sepreated them by regions i am wondering if Amtrak can do the same since its not working to well if its united you know like Northeast Amtrak, Southwest Amtrak,Southeast Amtrak, Midwest Amtrak, South Amtrak, Rocky Amtrak, Amtrak Cailfornia (Currently exists), Pacific Northwest Amtrak like that i mean and Central Amtrak, anyways like that will help Amtrak and can also bring High Speed Rail to the United States
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Old February 8th, 2007, 04:40 PM   #112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Songoten2554 View Post
i want to know if Amtrak can sepearted like JR in Japan i mean JR wasn't JR it was actually JNR (Japan National Railways) then around the 1980's it became JR (Japan Railways) and sepreated them by regions i am wondering if Amtrak can do the same since its not working to well if its united you know like Northeast Amtrak, Southwest Amtrak,Southeast Amtrak, Midwest Amtrak, South Amtrak, Rocky Amtrak, Amtrak Cailfornia (Currently exists), Pacific Northwest Amtrak like that i mean and Central Amtrak, anyways like that will help Amtrak and can also bring High Speed Rail to the United States
Wasn't it because the various regional passengers railways were collapsing that Amtrak was created?

Ask Margaret Thatcher ... she knew.
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Old February 9th, 2007, 05:28 AM   #113
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i mean not to destroy amtrak i mean to sepreate them by Regions but still keep the amtrak name like i said before by regions like how Japan did with JR East, JR West, JR Central, JR Shiouku, JR Kynushu, and JR Hokkidao like that i mean to sepearte Amtrak to Regions and that Amtrak will be more profitable that way
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Old February 9th, 2007, 05:57 AM   #114
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JR is private.
Amtrak is owned by government.
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Old February 14th, 2007, 04:13 AM   #115
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Actually, Amtrak is de facto private - but its stock is wholly owned by the U.S. government.

Honestly, I don't know what's keeping Washington back from nationalizing Amtrak. I say go for it.
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Old February 28th, 2007, 04:54 AM   #116
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Amtrak Struggles With Late Trains
27 February 2007

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Capitol Limited, an Amtrak train from Chicago, is scheduled to arrive in Washington every day at 1:30 p.m. But frequent rider Edda Ramos knows better than to make plans for the afternoon or evening.

She knows a late arrival -- sometimes by an hour or two, sometimes by seven or eight -- "is the one thing you can count on."

The 764-mile route is among Amtrak's most dismal performers, with just 11 percent of trains arriving within 30 minutes of their scheduled time last year. But the problem exists to one degree or another on the majority of Amtrak routes.

The main reason: In most of the country, the national passenger railroad operates on tracks owned by freight railroads, and the tracks are badly congested.

With freight traffic soaring in recent years, Amtrak's never-stellar on-time performance declined to an average of 68 percent last year, its worst showing since the 1970s. When the routes where Amtrak owns the tracks are excluded, the on-time performance last year fell to 61 percent.

Even the lawmakers who vote on Amtrak's subsidies of more than $1 billion annually have gotten caught in the holdups. Earlier this month, House Democrats traveling to a retreat in Williamsburg, Va., arrived two hours late after getting stuck behind a CSX freight train with engine trouble.

Alex Kummant, who took over as Amtrak's president in September, has made improving on-time performance a priority. A former executive at Union Pacific Corp. -- a freight railroad long considered hostile to Amtrak -- he says the relationship between Amtrak and the freight railroads is inherently complicated.

"It is an intersection of a subsidized structure with a truly private-sector structure, so how do you coexist?" he said in a recent interview with The Associated Press.

Kummant doesn't blame the freight railroads for most delays, saying they need government help to make the capital investments necessary to cope with soaring volumes.

But passenger advocates and others accuse the freight railroads of failing to live up to their end of a bargain struck in 1970, when Congress agreed to let the railroads unload the passenger service they said was dragging them down. In exchange, the railroads were required to give priority on their tracks to trains run by a new national passenger railroad. Amtrak pays modest fees for use of the tracks.

Amtrak performs far better on the Northeast corridor, where it owns the tracks. Last year, 85 percent of its high-speed Acela Express trains between Boston and Washington arrived within 10 minutes of their scheduled time.

But where Amtrak depends on the freight railroads, the picture is far gloomier, and the Capitol Limited is not even the worst case. The Coast Starlight, which runs between Seattle and Los Angeles, had an on-time performance of 4 percent in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30. For the California Zephyr, connecting Chicago and San Francisco, the figure was 7 percent. In the current fiscal year, the California Zephyr has not once arrived on time.

"The resulting damage to Amtrak's brand, reputation and repeat business is potentially devastating," Amtrak's former acting president, David Hughes, wrote in a letter last summer to the federal Surface Transportation Board.

The freight railroads say they do the best they can and are investing heavily in capacity improvements. In its own letter to the board, CSX Corp. said Amtrak should add more time to its schedules to reflect reality.

There is little incentive for the railroads to help Amtrak arrive on time, because the fees that Amtrak pays to use the tracks are paltry in relation to the billions of dollars the freight lines take in. Nor are there any real consequences for failing to accommodate Amtrak. A bill in the Senate calls for establishing penalties.

In the last fiscal year, Amtrak paid all of its host railroads $90 million -- including about $15.5 million in rewards for on-time performance. If Amtrak had performed better, the railroads could have earned an additional $74.5 million in incentives.

Kummant said he believes the freight railroads are making a good-faith effort. But he said track capacity has become maxed out as freight traffic has soared in recent years, thanks to increased demand for coal and a growing reliance on rail.

That, in turn, has worn out the tracks, forcing Amtrak trains that normally travel 79 mph to slow to as little as 20 mph. Much of the rail network is single-tracked, meaning trains going in one direction have to pull over onto sidings to let trains coming the other way pass.

But Kummant said the situation has shown some improvement in recent months. And in what he called a sign of better relations, he has been given a sneak peak at the railroads' capital plans, and "they're nothing short of stunning."

To further speed up improvements, the freight industry is lobbying for federal tax credits for investments in track and other infrastructure to expand capacity.

One late arrival of the Capitol Limited last week showed how complicated the issue is. The train lost several hours because of "freight interference" on Norfolk Southern Corp.'s tracks between Chicago and Toledo, Ohio. But its problems actually started when it left Chicago an hour and a half late because of mechanical problems, thus missing its time slot. It arrived at Washington's Union Station 3 1/2 hours late.

The late arrival was frustrating for Ramos, 44, who started riding the Capitol Limited last year to visit relatives in Chicago. The Washington resident takes the train to avoid airport security hassles, but said she wouldn't risk it for business travel.

"I would be fired!" she said.
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Old March 3rd, 2007, 04:33 PM   #117
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Senate Bill would restore Madison-Milwaukee service

Story from UWM campus news online
By: Rebecca Kontowicz

Construction will begin two years after funding is approved. If the bill passes this year, the rail will be complete by 2010, said Randy Wade, Wisconsin DOT passenger rail manager.

Students and commuters traveling between Milwaukee and Madison can either drive or hop on the Badger Bus, but if a new federal bill goes through, they could have one more option: a train.

The Milwaukee to Madison High Speed Rail initiative relies on S.294, a bill proposed by U.S. Sens. Frank Lautenberg and Trent Lott last week, asking for $12 billion in federal funding for nationwide Amtrak services over the next six years.

The Milwaukee to Madison High Speed Rail corridor is part of the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative, a nine-state coalition to connect the region with high speed passenger rail service. It includes Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri and Minnesota. The network stems from Chicago and extends 3,000 miles.

According to Randy Wade, Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) passenger rail manager, the cost of the rail, which would be an extension of Amtrak’s Hiawatha service between Milwaukee and Chicago, is now set at $316 million. About $227 million would go toward infrastructure, including the track, controls and running devices and $89 million toward new equipment.

If the bill is passed by Congress, the Wisconsin DOT would then apply for a federal/state cost share ratio of 80/20. Eighty percent of the rail’s funding would be provided by federal funding, while the remaining 20 percent, around $63 million, would be paid for with state funds, Wade said.

Construction will begin two years after funding is approved. If the bill passes this year, the rail will be complete by 2010, Wade said.

“(High-speed rails) give residents another mobility choice that is predictable, dependable and affordable, for pleasure, business and family travel,” said Marc Magliari, Amtrak’s spokesman.

An executive summary of the project, which can be viewed at dot.wisconsin.gov, states that another benefit of high-speed rail is that it minimizes the environmental impact of travel. High-speed rails create less pollution than cars, airplanes and other modes of transportation. Rails also unite and benefit the economy of the connected regions, the site continues.

For these reasons, the already existing Amtrak Hiawatha service is successful. According to Wade, ridership has dramatically increased within the last few years. From 2004-2005 it increased at only 0.8 percent but jumped to a 10 percent increase in 2005-2006.

The Hiawatha currently runs seven roundtrips Monday through Saturday and six on Sundays from Milwaukee to Chicago. Speeds peak around 79 mph, with a one-way trip lasting about 90 minutes, Magliari said. Speeds between Milwaukee and Madison are estimated at up to 110 mph.

“The Hiawatha service has the best on time performance of any Amtrak in the U.S. outside of California,” Wade said.

Hiawatha currently makes stops at Milwaukee’s Mitchell International Airport; Sturtevant, Wis.; Glenview, Ill.; and Chicago. The extension would create additional stops in Brookfield, Oconomowoc, Watertown and Madison.

According to Magliari, it is too early to determine the cost of operation and fare as they are yet to be negotiated. However, he said it is relatively safe to assume that fare will be in the same range as Hiawatha’s current price of $21 for a one-way ticket to Chicago.

At this point, the State of Wisconsin Department of Transportation owns the 32-mile corridor extending from Watertown to Madison. Preliminary engineering and an environmental assessment have already been completed, but the status of the project relies on federal funding.
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Old March 6th, 2007, 03:40 PM   #118
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Chicago-to-Rockford Amtrak service studied

From Chicago Tribune

Tribune staff report
Published March 5, 2007, 8:22 PM CST


A new study evaluating the possible resumption of passenger trains from Chicago to Rockford and Dubuque reported Monday that travel times would not be any faster than driving, but the rail service would help reduce traffic congestion on highways.

The study, conducted by Amtrak at the request of Illinois transportation officials, also laid out preliminary cost estimates for the first time.

Up to $62 million would be needed to improve the railroad infrastructure, but that does not include costs for railcars, locomotives or stations, the study said.

Operating costs to run a single daily round trip between Chicago and Dubuque via Rockford were estimated at less than $5 million annually.

The study mentioned travel times of about two hours between Chicago and Rockford, and less than 4½ hours between Chicago and Dubuque.

It has been more than 25 years since the last passenger train service from Chicago through northwestern Illinois ended. Amtrak Black Hawk trains ran through Rockford and Freeport to Galena and Dubuque from 1974 to 1981 using the former Illinois Central route.

Officials at the Illinois Department of Transportation said they received the study Monday from Amtrak and needed time to review it before commenting.
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Old March 6th, 2007, 05:53 PM   #119
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Excerpts: "Feasibility Report on Proposed Amtrak Service" (Rockford)

Direct link to Amtrak:

http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/Conten...=1093554079196

The general population growth along the eastern portion of this corridor has been strong over the past decade, but passenger train service formerly provided by Amtrak ceased in 1981. Highway traffic volumes on Interstate 90 (Northwest Tollway) between Chicago and Rockford are significant; with frequent backups the closer one gets to Chicago. Rockford is a major residential and commercial center and the largest metropolitan area in Illinois without passenger rail service. Between Rockford and the O'Hare Airport area, many new residential developments have been established. Further west, Galena is a significant destination city for tourism, especially during the summer and fall. At Dubuque, there is an aggressive plan underway to redevelop the downtown property along the Mississippi River.

Following receipt of the study request, a number of alternative rail routes were identified as candidates for this service. Physical evaluations of the routes were conducted with host railroad personnel, including inspections, assessments of capital needs, and identification of operational challenges. Revenue/ridership forecasts were determined based on recommended schedules, and estimates of cost to operate the service were developed. The goal was to prepare a high-level and objective report of the findings, in response to IDOT's request, for further discussion.

Three alternative routes were identified as potentially feasible for establishment of Amtrak service between Chicago and Rockford, with only one route being practical between Rockford and Dubuque. An electronic version of the map showing the alternatives in .jpg format is available from Amtrak Media Relations, Chicago. Each requires a different level of capital investment to make the service a practical reality.

Although there have been general discussions and field inspections with the host freight railroads, the specific infrastructure improvement proposals, draft schedules and other railroad-related comments have not been negotiated or agreed to with the host freight railroads and reflect only the findings and best judgment recommendations of the study team. Should further progression of one of the alternative proposals be desired, detailed discussions and negotiations will have to be initiated with those rail carriers (emphasis added).

There is a map link on the Amtrak page that would be useful. Too bad I get an error when i click on it.
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Old May 18th, 2007, 05:44 AM   #120
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Keeping America's Railroads Safe

Government increases railroad track inspections with new rail cars
16 May 2007

WASHINGTON (AP) - Two new railroad cars will examine tracks around the country in an effort to detect flaws and prevent derailments, federal railroad officials said Wednesday.

The custom inspection cars will use laser technology to find problems such as tracks that have been bent, or have the wrong distance between them. They are being added to the Federal Railroad Administration's fleet of three existing cars and will enable the agency to inspect three times as much track annually, or nearly 100,000 miles of track per year.

"Finding track problems and getting them fixed before a train accident occurs is key to safeguarding communities," Joseph Boardman, head of the railroad administration said in a prepared statement.

Over the coming months, the cars will inspect railroad lines owned by Norfolk Southern Corp., CSX Corp., Union Pacific Corp. and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp., an agency spokesman said.

Earlier this year, the Government Accountability Office said federal railroad officials have made progress toward identifying the most dangerous parts of the nation's rail system in the wake of several accidents, but more work needs to be done to evaluate the effectiveness of that effort.

While the railroad administration has developed ways to measure safety in such areas as accidents caused by human errors, track defects and equipment problems, it does not have ways to evaluate the success of its inspection and enforcement programs, the report found. The report also said inspectors are only able to examine less than 1 percent of the rail system every year.
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