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Old May 8th, 2010, 06:14 AM   #1761
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Its so simple... We have the LARGEST HIGHWAY SYSTEM OF THE WORLD! I mean, c'mon, 46, 876 miles of road weren't built for nothing...
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Old May 8th, 2010, 08:03 AM   #1762
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Quote:
something to remember, the US moves more freight by rail than any other country.
Yes, the rail system in the U.S. is a freight system through and through. Though it must be said most of the traffic hauled is high tonnage/volume but low value where rail has comparative advantage over other forms of transport. (i.e. coal, grain, paper, etc.) The goverment in concert with private enterprise made a choice many years ago to emphasize road and interstate building, low density suburban housing tracts, building airports and the air traffic control system, and left the railroads to fend for themselves with regards to passenger trains. Inevitably, the rr's cast off their lossmaking passenger trains as fast as the government regulators would let them. The emaciated system that was left was turned into Amtrak, which was really intended to be temporary construct on the road to final elimination of all long distance passenger service.
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Old May 8th, 2010, 02:50 PM   #1763
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sotavento View Post
1) ultra protectionist national government heavily subsidizes it's costs ...

2) liberal free-for-all de-regulation of services (i.e. free but still a conession based system)

the second usually produces the best results ... that's what they do in switzerland and other such places (like japan or germany) ... don't know why but most services are usually provided either by the central state or by the local authorities in those places.
You are right about Japan being a free-for-all deregulated rail system, but completely wrong about Germany being one.

I think that in order for passenger rail to work well you need at least 2 of the following:

* Dense country
* High Average Income
* State Owned Operation, or other large scale investment / subside by the state

So, if your country is dense and with a high average income, you can choose between privatizing the system and having a middle quality service (which the high income citizens will perceive as being low quality), like in England and Italy or have all 3 of the above and have a very high quality service, like the one provided by DBahn in Germany.

Japan is an exception because it has extremely high density, which allows for a high quality private service.

If your country is reasonably dense and has an average income, you can have either have state owned operations offer a middle quality service, like in Poland and Turkey, or privatize it and kill passenger rail, like in Brasil (SP, RJ and north-east are dense areas).

In USA obviously passenger rail wouldn't work because most of it isn't dense and until recently the governament wasn't interested in investing in passenger rail. I would usually think that private passenger rail should work in the Northeast USA, not sure why it didn't. Maybe the car culture?
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Old May 8th, 2010, 03:17 PM   #1764
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Originally Posted by sekelsenmat View Post
You are right about Japan being a free-for-all deregulated rail system, but completely wrong about Germany being one.

I think that in order for passenger rail to work well you need at least 2 of the following:

* Dense country
* High Average Income
* State Owned Operation, or other large scale investment / subside by the state

So, if your country is dense and with a high average income, you can choose between privatizing the system and having a middle quality service (which the high income citizens will perceive as being low quality), like in England and Italy or have all 3 of the above and have a very high quality service, like the one provided by DBahn in Germany.

Japan is an exception because it has extremely high density, which allows for a high quality private service.

If your country is reasonably dense and has an average income, you can have either have state owned operations offer a middle quality service, like in Poland and Turkey, or privatize it and kill passenger rail, like in Brasil (SP, RJ and north-east are dense areas).

In USA obviously passenger rail wouldn't work because most of it isn't dense and until recently the governament wasn't interested in investing in passenger rail. I would usually think that private passenger rail should work in the Northeast USA, not sure why it didn't. Maybe the car culture?
Amtrak doesn't like competition on its Northeast Corridor. Hench why its hard to even extend the MARC & other passengers to close the gap on the NEC Passenger service system. Hopefully Amtrak will come to its senses and sell the NEC. 350,000-400,000 people daily use the NEC services. That's expected to climb to 600,000 by 2030. On top of that its over capacity by 50 trains? Amtrak has not upgraded other lines either and something will give. Meanwhile , New York , New Jersey , Eastern Pennsylvania , Massachusetts , Connecticut , Maryland , & Virgina are planning to build statewide Rail & Urban Transit systems some will be on par with Europe. But things here are improving at least , faster then other parts of the US and at higher longer lasting quality. With permission form the original map owner i edited his Northeast Rail map & added in the 2030 plans. Which i think as time goes on , will get more complex due to rapid population growth.

Red = True High Speed Rail 120-220mph
Orange = Commuter or FRA Standards for HSR 80-110mph
Purple = Proposed / Planned Light rail , Rapid Rail transit , BRT


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Old June 1st, 2010, 05:00 PM   #1765
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I'm seeking some details regarding American & Canadian "Commuter" rail systems. I'm trying to create a database of traffic density versus mileage, worldwide. Essentially, I'm trying to create tables of distance versus traffic density.

Timetables are readily available on the Internet; distances are not. I could attempt to measure these things on a map, but i'm sure someone out there has better figures: just as I have for the railways here.

What I'd like are (reliable) distances by rail for the following:

Boston (North Station) to:
  • Fitchburg
  • Lowell
  • Haverhill
  • Newburyport
  • Rockport

Boston (South Station) to:
  • Greenbush
  • Plymouth , Kingston & Halifax
  • Middelborough/Lakeville
  • Stoughton
  • Providence
  • Forge Park
  • Needham Heights
  • Worcester


GO, Toronto, Ontario:

Distance fron Toronto to:
  • Hamilton
  • Milton
  • Georgetown
  • Bradford/Barrie South
  • Richmond Hill
  • Linconville
  • Oshawa


New York:

MTA Northern already publishes distances in their timetables.

MTA LIRR:

Penn (or wherever) to:
  • Port Washington
  • Oyster Bay
  • Port Jefferson
  • Rontonkoma
  • Greenport
  • Montauk
  • Babylon (via Wantaugh)
  • Hempstead
  • West Hempstead
  • Long Beach
  • Far Rockaway
  • (Valley Stream & Hicksville would also be appreciated)

MTA Staten Island:
  • St George to Tottenville

NJ Transit/ MTA Northern (West):

Penn Central or Hoboken or wherever to:
  • Spring Valley
  • Port Jervis (& Ridgewood)
  • Hackettstown via Montclair
  • Hackettstown via Morristown
  • Gladstone (& Summit)
  • High Bridge
  • Bay Head
  • Trenton

SEPTA: Distance by rail from Central Philadephia to:
  • Airport (R1) - Glenside (R1)
  • Newark (R2) - Warminster (R2)
  • Elwyn (R3) - West Trenton (R3)
  • Thorndale (R5) - Doylestown (R5)
  • Cynwyd (R6)- Norristown (R6)
  • Trenton (R7) - Chesnut Hill East (R7)
  • Fox Chase (R8) - Chesnut Hill West (R8)

BART, San Francisco:

Distance fron Oaklands to:
  • Richmond
  • Fremont
  • Pittsburg/ Bay Point
  • Dublin/ Pleasanton
  • Daly City
  • Millbrae

Much appreciative to whoever can help me here.
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Old June 1st, 2010, 05:47 PM   #1766
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yardmaster View Post
I'm seeking some details regarding American & Canadian "Commuter" rail systems. I'm trying to create a database of traffic density versus mileage, worldwide. Essentially, I'm trying to create tables of distance versus traffic density.

Timetables are readily available on the Internet; distances are not. I could attempt to measure these things on a map, but i'm sure someone out there has better figures: just as I have for the railways here.

What I'd like are (reliable) distances by rail for the following:

Boston (North Station) to:
  • Fitchburg
  • Lowell
  • Haverhill
  • Newburyport
  • Rockport

Boston (South Station) to:
  • Greenbush
  • Plymouth , Kingston & Halifax
  • Middelborough/Lakeville
  • Stoughton
  • Providence
  • Forge Park
  • Needham Heights
  • Worcester


GO, Toronto, Ontario:

Distance fron Toronto to:
  • Hamilton
  • Milton
  • Georgetown
  • Bradford/Barrie South
  • Richmond Hill
  • Linconville
  • Oshawa


New York:

MTA Northern already publishes distances in their timetables.

MTA LIRR:

Penn (or wherever) to:
  • Port Washington
  • Oyster Bay
  • Port Jefferson
  • Rontonkoma
  • Greenport
  • Montauk
  • Babylon (via Wantaugh)
  • Hempstead
  • West Hempstead
  • Long Beach
  • Far Rockaway
  • (Valley Stream & Hicksville would also be appreciated)

MTA Staten Island:
  • St George to Tottenville

NJ Transit/ MTA Northern (West):

Penn Central or Hoboken or wherever to:
  • Spring Valley
  • Port Jervis (& Ridgewood)
  • Hackettstown via Montclair
  • Hackettstown via Morristown
  • Gladstone (& Summit)
  • High Bridge
  • Bay Head
  • Trenton

SEPTA: Distance by rail from Central Philadephia to:
  • Airport (R1) - Glenside (R1)
  • Newark (R2) - Warminster (R2)
  • Elwyn (R3) - West Trenton (R3)
  • Thorndale (R5) - Doylestown (R5)
  • Cynwyd (R6)- Norristown (R6)
  • Trenton (R7) - Chesnut Hill East (R7)
  • Fox Chase (R8) - Chesnut Hill West (R8)

BART, San Francisco:

Distance fron Oaklands to:
  • Richmond
  • Fremont
  • Pittsburg/ Bay Point
  • Dublin/ Pleasanton
  • Daly City
  • Millbrae

Much appreciative to whoever can help me here.
Hoboken Terminal to Spring Valley takes 60mins
Hoboken Terminal to Port Jervis takes 151 mins max
Hoboken Terminal to Hackettstown via Montclair takes 120mins
Hoboken Terminal to Hackettstown via Dover takes 111-120mins
Hoboken Terminal to Bay Head takes 125 mins
Hoboken Terminal to Suffern takes 65 mins
Hoboken Terminal to Waldwick takes 45 mins
Hoboken Terminal to Gladstone takes 95 mins

Newark Penn to High Bridge takes 85 mins
New York Penn to Gladstone takes 110mins
New York Penn to Trenton takes 95 mins
New York Penn to Montclair State University takes 55 mins
New York Penn to Dover takes 100mins
New York Penn to Long Branch takes 100mins
Philly 30th Street to Atlantic City takes 95 mins
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Old June 1st, 2010, 07:19 PM   #1767
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thanks Nexis, I appreciate your efforts, but I've already looked at the timetables, and recorded it: I'll use your figures to check out mine.

But I don't want minutes, I want reliable mileage, or kilometreage. By "reliable" I mean something that has come from a railway source.

Last edited by Yardmaster; June 1st, 2010 at 08:49 PM.
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Old June 3rd, 2010, 05:52 PM   #1768
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yardmaster View Post
thanks Nexis, I appreciate your efforts, but I've already looked at the timetables, and recorded it: I'll use your figures to check out mine.

But I don't want minutes, I want reliable mileage, or kilometreage. By "reliable" I mean something that has come from a railway source.
Port Jervis line > 95 miles
Bergen Line > 20.2 miles
Main Line > 30.5 miles
Pascack Valley line > 31 miles
Morristown line > 57.4 miles
Montclair-Boonton line > ?
Gladstone Branch > 42 miles
North Jersey Coast line > 58 miles
Northeast Corridor line > 57 miles
Raritan Valley line > ?
Princeton Branch > 3 miles
Atlantic City line > ?
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Old June 3rd, 2010, 09:54 PM   #1769
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sekelsenmat View Post
You are right about Japan being a free-for-all deregulated rail system, but completely wrong about Germany being one.
The railways in Japan are quite regulated too.

Quote:
I think that in order for passenger rail to work well you need at least 2 of the following:

* Dense country
* High Average Income
* State Owned Operation, or other large scale investment / subside by the state

So, if your country is dense and with a high average income, you can choose between privatizing the system and having a middle quality service (which the high income citizens will perceive as being low quality), like in England and Italy ...
Railways in the UK are of an order of magnitude better than in Italy. Italy is actually a good example of how having having heavy state involvement, an da dense country is no guarantee for decent service.

Quote:
or have all 3 of the above and have a very high quality service, like the one provided by DBahn in Germany.
One of the reasons for the high quality of service in Germany (and Switzerland) is that the government isn't that heavily involved in running trains. The railways are quite independent in those countries, and the government basically acts as a customer that buys services.
In countries where the railways are still run as a department of the transportation ministry (Italy comes to mind again) the results are far from excellent.
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Old June 4th, 2010, 12:27 AM   #1770
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K., Italy has chosen to focus on few key (true) HSR and improved conventional rail in the late 1990's. Since then, Trenitalia's losses that Italian taxpayers like me had to fund were dramatically reduced (mainly but service cuts and fleet rationalization).

Italian railways have a lot of problems that I recognize, but Trenitalia is improving its operations, axing trains that don't recoup their own direct costs unless regional governments foot the bill, signing long-term regional rail services contracts and so.

Italian HS railway is a quite decent one - far better than German HS network, which is "limited" at the most. Now there are 4 major engineering projects that will improve services in 10-20 years: Milano-Venezia HS corridor, Torino-Lyon base tunnel, Brennero-Innsbruck base tunnel and the Messina Strait Bridge (Road/Tunnel). Until then, I hope they cut most unprofitable slow lines altogether and build decent highways and access roads instead.
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Old June 4th, 2010, 07:37 AM   #1771
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexis View Post
Port Jervis line > 95 miles
Bergen Line > 20.2 miles
Main Line > 30.5 miles
Pascack Valley line > 31 miles
Morristown line > 57.4 miles
Montclair-Boonton line > ?
Gladstone Branch > 42 miles
North Jersey Coast line > 58 miles
Northeast Corridor line > 57 miles
Raritan Valley line > ?
Princeton Branch > 3 miles
Atlantic City line > ?
Thanks for your efforts ... are these distances from Hoboken? Obviously the Princeton distance is just the branch length.

Last edited by Yardmaster; June 4th, 2010 at 07:48 AM.
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Old June 4th, 2010, 09:31 AM   #1772
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Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Italian railways have a lot of problems that I recognize, but Trenitalia is improving its operations, axing trains that don't recoup their own direct costs unless regional governments foot the bill, signing long-term regional rail services contracts and so.
Trenitalia could just choose to become more efficient (so more trains would "recoup their costs") rather than cutting services of begging for more money.

Quote:
Italian HS railway is a quite decent one - far better than German HS network, which is "limited" at the most.
I disagree. The network is usable as long as you can do your trip on a direct train. The moment you however have to get from "a place not on the HSL backbone" to "another place not on the HSL backbone" the system quickly becomes a joke.

The most important factor in the usability of a railway network is punctuality. It's completely pointless to invest in high speed railways, which in Italy have a tendency of being underutilised anyway, if you can't get this right.
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Old June 26th, 2010, 06:55 AM   #1773
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Texas politicians meet to discuss high-speed rail potential

http://www.kvue.com/news/High-speed-...-96515269.html

Tampa wants to get high-speed rail stop at airport

http://www2.tbo.com/content/2010/jun...news-breaking/

Virginia plans a Norfolk-Richmond train in three years

http://hamptonroads.com/2010/06/trai...e-years?cid=mr

New York wants 1h NYC-Albany train times, down from 2h30

http://www.gothamgazette.com/article...0617/204/3294/

WSJ argues Amtrak's future under threat by HSR

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000..._whats_news_us

-Corey
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Old June 27th, 2010, 05:19 AM   #1774
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Originally Posted by czm3 View Post
Do you have any idea when they will improve the Amtrak rails from Penn station to the CT state line? I think it is utterly pathetic that a Metro North commuter train can go from NYC to Stamford CT faster than an Acela. The trains just crawl through the New Rochelle area (they do speed up to a blistering 70 mph in CT though )
The merge section from the Hells Gate section to the Metro North merge is limited to 30 mph. Metro North property is a pain to deal with due to how constrained it is. It is more than possible to get Metro North rails from 75 mph maximum to 90 mph with a bit of curve adjustments and superelevation. University of Pennsylvania students put together a NEC plan to route a HSR line in the Northeast via I 90 to I 84 to I 91 into New Haven, then tunnel under Long Island Sound to Long Islands, connect to LIRR and go to Penn Station that way. Whoever last posted to Wikipedia stated that there would be 150 mph sections added but I have yet to see concrete evidence of that goal ever being reached without a HSL to Long Island.

http://studio.design.upenn.edu/hsr/node/81
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Old June 27th, 2010, 07:28 PM   #1775
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G5man View Post
The merge section from the Hells Gate section to the Metro North merge is limited to 30 mph. Metro North property is a pain to deal with due to how constrained it is. It is more than possible to get Metro North rails from 75 mph maximum to 90 mph with a bit of curve adjustments and superelevation. University of Pennsylvania students put together a NEC plan to route a HSR line in the Northeast via I 90 to I 84 to I 91 into New Haven, then tunnel under Long Island Sound to Long Islands, connect to LIRR and go to Penn Station that way. Whoever last posted to Wikipedia stated that there would be 150 mph sections added but I have yet to see concrete evidence of that goal ever being reached without a HSL to Long Island.

http://studio.design.upenn.edu/hsr/node/81
That would be a much more feasible routing, at least from an ease of construction POV. As was just posted in another thread, to run true high-speed, you NEED very broad-radius curves (2500m for 250 km/h and 7000m(!) for 350 km/h), wider track separations and so forth. There is just no way to do that along the current NEC - without BILLIONS and BILLIONS of dollars in ROW acquisition, NIMBY abatement and on and on and on.

I will violate the OP's condition here. The NYC area and the northeastern USA is also is DESPERATE need of a cross-Hudson freight railroad tunnel (South Amboy/Sandy Hook, NJ area to Queens, NYC?) that can clear double-stacked containers and other high-clearance equipment. It will take a huge amount of truck traffic off of area highways, especially through trucks, greatly improving things throughout the region. Existing passenger tunnels also have absurdly small loading gauges, almost as tiny as Europe, and that also limits the equipment that can run in the east.

A major program is also under way to untangle the freight mess in Chicagoland, which, in addition to reducing freight transit times in the area, making rail freight services more competitive with trucks, will also greatly improve the fluidity of passenger services, both commuter and Amtrak, throughout the upper midwest. On Chicago radio traffic reports, it is not unusual at all to hear of commuter train delays that are caused by freight train interference.

It ALL interrelates.

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Old June 27th, 2010, 08:34 PM   #1776
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Agreed. You can't talk about medium distance rail without considering freight.
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Old June 28th, 2010, 01:29 AM   #1777
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Untangling freight will be of help, but doesn't the country need a roro freight system to roll on and off trucks? I definitely agree that there needs to be a trans-Hudson freight tunnel. My only question, where does freight traffic go to and from? The NEC is already planned to be jammed to capacity by 2030 and at some point, huge amounts of resources will have to be spent in order to keep the Northeast megaregion viable for investment. I've been playing around in GE Pro to map with minimum curve radii taken into account. There would have to be eminent domain no matter what option is used, however, between New Haven and Kingston, RI there could be a 270 km/h bypass using the I-95 ROW with the occassional tunnel and property accquisition.

The cost of doing nothing is not zero and something must be done.
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Old June 28th, 2010, 06:50 AM   #1778
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http://hamptonroads.com/2010/06/trai...nd-three-years

A second Hampton Roads-Richmond,VA Amtrak route is a go:

BeyondDC's map
http://beyonddc.com/log/?paged=2



Wouldn't it be great if the rails from Richmond to DC were upgraded fully, perhaps electrified, and we had something like tilting Talgo sets operating straight through on these lines? If it was faster than driving I imagine many people would spring for it.
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Old June 28th, 2010, 09:47 AM   #1779
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Old June 28th, 2010, 01:10 PM   #1780
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Quote:
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Wouldn't it be great if the rails from Richmond to DC were upgraded fully, perhaps electrified, and we had something like tilting Talgo sets operating straight through on these lines? If it was faster than driving I imagine many people would spring for it.
Some people would, but majority would still drive. After all, you need to get from your house to the origin train station, then from your destination train station to the place you are heading to.

In (relatively) short distance, as experience shows, the advantage of a fast train connections is easily counteracted by the time it takes to drive/take a bus/take a tram on both ends of such journeys.

So people just drive straight from home to their destination anyway - it will be faster, even is spite of congestion.
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