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Old September 5th, 2007, 04:35 PM   #161
Trainman Dave
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Originally Posted by Songoten2554 View Post
well the thing is i did but when i checked on wikipedia they show a sign that it used to run to florida

i was wondering why they show that and on the amtrak site it says that the sunset limited runs to orlando florida
Don't believe everything you read on Wikipedia.
You, once again, did not do your research.

Since Katrina, the Sunset Limited has not run east of New Orleans and I will be mildly surprised it it ever does run to Florida again.
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Old September 5th, 2007, 07:50 PM   #162
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that sucks that means that east of new orleans there is no rail service i think Sunset limited should come back to Orlando Florida i think it should
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Old September 5th, 2007, 08:36 PM   #163
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that sucks that means that east of new orleans there is no rail service i think Sunset limited should come back to Orlando Florida i think it should
Wishful thinking!
Unfortunately it had relatively low patronage on a single track route with very heavy freight volume.

It often ran days late
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Old September 6th, 2007, 12:24 AM   #164
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then double track the sunset limited route then i mean what will happen to the communites without rail service i mean how will people get around better without sunset limited now i can't go to LA on the sunset limited anymore i thought they repaired that part of track
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Old September 6th, 2007, 12:28 AM   #165
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Amtrak Booming In The NE US




http://online.wsj.com/public/article...275205642.html




Airplanes are getting stuck in lots of traffic jams this summer, but Amtrak is on a roll.

Ridership on the passenger rail system is up 6% so far this year, the biggest jump since the late 1970s. On the Acela Express, trains that run at higher speeds between Washington, New York and Boston, the number of riders has surged 20% over the past 10 months. That's enough new passengers to fill 2,000 Boeing 757 jets.

Richard Rosen, who heads a pharmacy-fulfillment company in Boston, is making as many of his trips to New York as possible on the Acela.


Flying to New York, with traffic to and from La Guardia Airport, flight delays and security lines, has become "an absolute horror show," he says. A recent one-hour flight turned into four hours of exasperation. Mr. Rosen says the Acela, which takes about 3½ hours to get from Boston's Back Bay Station to Pennsylvania Station in midtown Manhattan, is more comfortable and reliable. "The train is much better, and you can do your work and use your cellphone during the whole trip," he says.

While airlines are running later and with more delays than ever -- a third of flights arrived late at La Guardia Airport between June 1 and Aug. 15, according to Flightstats.com -- Acela's performance is improving. The train is running on time 88% of the time, so far this year -- up from 84% a year ago. It was 90% on time in June. With Amtrak selling every seat on some Acela trains in peak travel periods, Amtrak recently added another weekday Acela round trip between New York and Washington to keep up with growing demand. The new train dropped all but one stop, Philadelphia, shaving 15 minutes off the normal 2Ύ-hour, five-stop New York-Washington trip.

All this represents a big change for Amtrak, the perennial Rodney Dangerfield of passenger transportation, which has faced scathing criticism in recent years for late trains and poor service. The Bush administration has in recent years tried to cut or eliminate its federal subsidies, which total $1.3 billion in 2007. And allies of the White House remain harsh critics. "Amtrak still needs to change its way of doing business," says Joseph Boardman, the Bush administration's top rail official as head of the Federal Railroad Administration and an Amtrak board member.

The Bush administration has repeatedly called for a major overhaul of Amtrak that would turn over Amtrak's Washington-New York-Boston Northeast Corridor to the states along the route. Amtrak would become a pure passenger rail operating company that would then compete for state contracts to provide intercity passenger rail service. The administration plan would create a long-term partnership where states determine passenger rail needs and the federal government provides matching funds similar to highways and transit.
[photo]
Since 2000, high-speed trains between Washington, New York and Boston have eroded airlines' market share.

But Amtrak's success lately isn't confined to the Northeast. While the railroad's long-distance trains continue to suffer from lengthy delays, its ridership is up sharply on some improved state-supported corridors, including Chicago-St. Louis, up 53% in the 10 months through July.

The improved service is being noticed by Amtrak's supporters in Congress and helping tilt the odds in the railroad's favor on more funding for future improvements.

"This means a lot of goodwill in the bank for Amtrak among policy makers for increasing its funds and expanding service," says Rep. James Oberstar, a Democrat from Minnesota, who heads the House transportation committee. "The dynamics have shifted in favor of a strong future for Amtrak."

The House recently passed a fiscal 2008 funding bill with $1.4 billion for Amtrak plus $50 million to match state funding of capital projects. The Senate is considering Amtrak funding of $1.37 billion plus $100 million for the capital program.

Airlines, of course, have their own ideas of how best to improve travel in the Northeast. Many of them are actively supporting a federal government proposal to replace the current air-traffic-control system with a more modern one that allows more flights. The Next Generation air-traffic-control system is estimated to cost nearly $40 billion and take until 2025 to be fully implemented, says the Air Transport Association.

"If that is taken care of, a lot of the problems we have today will be eliminated," says a spokesman for US Airways Group Inc., Tempe, Ariz., which operates one of the two hourly air-shuttle services between Washington, New York and Boston. A spokeswoman for JetBlue Airways Corp., Forest Hills, N.Y., says it's wrong for tax dollars to be used to subsidize Amtrak passenger trains "when a modernized air-traffic-control system is not yet in place or even funded."

But some big names in the airline industry are supporting Amtrak by calling for the U.S. to do what governments in Europe and Asia have long done -- building high-speed train lines for short-distance travelers and freeing up runway space for long-distance flights.

"You have to begin to put the infrastructure in place to put in high-speed trains," says Gordon Bethune, who retired in 2004 as chief executive of Continental Airlines Inc. "It should be a national priority. If the French can do it, why can't we?"

Another airline-industry legend Robert Crandall, former CEO of American Airlines parent AMR Corp., says improvements to Amtrak's network in the Northeast are one of the best ways to reduce aviation gridlock.
[right]

Since Amtrak introduced higher speed Acela trains in 2000, the railroad's share of the 10,000 daily plane or train passengers traveling between Washington and New York has grown to 54% from 45%. The Acela runs as fast as 135 miles per hour between New York and Washington. It reaches its top 150 mph speed on a small part of the route between New York and Boston. Amtrak's share of the Boston-New York air-rail market is also up, but by a lower amount.

Chris Gremski, who manages travel for the New York-based Open Society Institute, investor George Soros's charitable foundation, says a significant number of the foundation's employees have switched to Acela from air shuttles between New York and Washington. Airport security lines and flight delays are wiping out the time savings of the plane, he says, and Acela is cheaper (the one-way nondiscounted fare for the New York-Washington Acela is $199, compared with $324 for the air shuttle).

Mr. Gremski says some employees also are using the train because they think it is more fuel-efficient and less polluting than the plane.

But there are definite limits to how much more Acela can do. Alex Kummant, Amtrak's president and CEO, said in a presentation recently that Amtrak is constrained by the size of the Acela fleet, which numbers 20 trains. If he had his druthers, Mr. Kummant said Amtrak would be able to add cars to Acela trains to meet demand, rather than being limited to 304 passengers by Acela's fixed complement of six cars and two locomotives.

Acela will never clock the steady 180 mph speeds reached by the fastest European and Japanese trains as they travel on dedicated tracks from city to city. On the Northeast Corridor, Acela is stuck with curvy tracks that it must share with freight and commuter trains. Space for more and faster trains is limited particularly in New York, where the Northeast Corridor squeezes down to just two tracks under the Hudson River.

Still, for $625 million in upgrades to tracks, equipment, signals and electrical power systems, Amtrak could shave 15 minutes from the Acela's 2Ύ-hour schedule between New York and Washington, Mr. Kummant told Congress last month. Further time savings would come at a higher cost. Mr. Kummant says that to save an additional 10 minutes would cost $7 billion for new tunnels in New York and Baltimore, new bridges at other locations and track upgrades at five stations.

Truly high-speed rail requires a straighter, dedicated line built to highly exacting standards. David Gunn, who was fired as president of Amtrak in 2005 after a policy dispute, put it bluntly: "If you really want a super-zippy train from Washington to New York, you have to build another railroad."
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Old September 6th, 2007, 12:34 AM   #166
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yes you hear amtrak is booming awsome its becoming successful then ever i mean it seems awsome Amtrak is getting the step ahead and then high speed rail can be built and all that will be possible to be built
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Old September 6th, 2007, 02:13 AM   #167
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http://www.usatoday.com/travel/news/...gh-speed_n.htm

Amtrak president: High-speed rail would cost billions

WASHINGTON (AP) — Even if it spent $7 billion on track upgrades, Amtrak couldn't reduce the travel time between Washington and New York to less than 2 hours and 20 minutes, which is only 25 minutes less than the trip now takes, the company's president told Congress on Wednesday.

The statement by Alex Kummant came during a presentation on the federally funded railroad's capital needs. During the hearing, members of the House transportation committee expressed frustration about the lack of truly high-speed rail service in the U.S.

The closest thing Amtrak has to high-speed service is the Acela Express, the railroad's premier Washington-Boston train, which travels at an average speed of 82 miles per hour and reaches 150 mph in parts of Rhode Island and Connecticut. In other parts of the country, where Amtrak runs trains on congested tracks owned by the freight railroads, speeds can be far slower and delays are frequent.

But even on the northeast corridor, it would be impossible to maintain speeds of 125 to 150 mph on the entire route using the current infrastructure, which Amtrak shares with numerous commuter lines and some freight carriers, Kummant has said. Such speeds — which could cut the trip from Washington to New York down to about an hour and a half — would require a dedicated line, he reiterated Wednesday.

"We'd be very enthusiastic about a major high-speed corridor," Kummant told the rail subcommittee. "Our reality is the system we run today."
FIND MORE STORIES IN: Wednesday | Washington | Amtrak

The Washington-New York segment currently takes 2 hours and 45 minutes on the Acela. Investing $625 million in upgrades would allow Amtrak to reduce that time to 2 ½ hours. A full overhaul, including several new tunnels and bridges, would cost $7 billion, but even that would only achieve a trip time of 2 hours and 20 minutes, with an average speed of 97 mph, Kummant said.

Building a dedicated line for high-speed service like France's TGV would cost $10 billion, and that doesn't even include the amount that would have to be spent on real estate acquisition in some of the most urbanized parts of the country, Kummant said.

Rep. John Mica of Florida, the ranking Republican on the transportation committee, has long advocated creating European-style high-speed rail on the northeast corridor with private capital. On Wednesday, he estimated such a project would cost $32 billion.

Committee Chairman James Oberstar, D-Minn., said that while there was no consensus on how high-speed service should be achieved, "that we get there is something that I think no one can dispute anymore."

But Kummant cautioned that overseeing a $32 billion project would be a serious challenge for Amtrak without significant changes in the organization. The railroad is better equipped to handle projects in the vicinity of $200 million.

"If you wrote us a check today, if I were you, I would be very wary of the execution," he said.
Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published
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Old September 6th, 2007, 04:02 PM   #168
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then double track the sunset limited route then i mean what will happen to the communites without rail service i mean how will people get around better without sunset limited now i can't go to LA on the sunset limited anymore i thought they repaired that part of track
We Drive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old September 6th, 2007, 10:10 PM   #169
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yeah but owning a car is expansive i mean not only the buying of the car but also insurance is a pain in the ass and gas is expansive too
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Old September 8th, 2007, 07:33 PM   #170
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I wouldn't say it's "booming"...Amtrak operates in the NE corridor in an area densely populated. Anywhere in the US (except the Bay Area, in which Amtrak runs the commuter service) Amtrak is expensive and slow. Travel by air is still cheaper and faster.
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Old September 9th, 2007, 10:45 PM   #171
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of course rail COULD work in the usa, even long distance lines. but it would require way way too much $$ to bring everything up to standards. cmon, guys, we got to spend our $ on more important things, like iraq.
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Old September 10th, 2007, 10:08 AM   #172
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Amtrak expects to hit ridership records

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070909/...CgRM3mClus0NUE

Amtrak expects to hit ridership records

By JIM SUHR, AP Business Writer
Sun Sep 9, 2:17 PM ET

ABOARD AMTRAK'S LINCOLN SERVICE - The Illinois cornfields whizzing past Mark Hardacre's view from the Amtrak cafe car had nothing on the memorable splendor the Australian had already taken in on his trans-America adventure — the Pacific Ocean so vast and blue off California's coast. The emerald green of the Northwest forests. The majesty of the snowcapped Rockies.

But the cheery man from New South Wales was impressed with a couple of things he'd not seen in three previous Amtrak treks across this nation's rails over the past two decades — Americans seeming to outnumber tourists, and far fewer empty seats.

"It's good to see the Americans starting to use their trains, because if they don't use them they'll lose them," Hardacre, 53, said recently as Amtrak click-clacked its way from St. Louis to Chicago, one leg of his monthlong sightseeing trip with his wife, Janice.

To Amtrak, it's proof that despite vexing challenges, it's on the right track.

The money-losing service, which relies heavily on government funding, says it is riding higher, illustrated by the hundreds of thousands of additional riders flocking to expanded routes in Illinois and California. Amtrak anticipates its fifth-straight record year for ridership nationwide, helped by high gasoline prices and congested highways and airports that seem to have encouraged people to keep their vehicles parked.

But Amtrak's headaches remain, and the biggest is funding. The service has never been out of the red since its launch in 1971, meaning it must rely on government handouts year after year.

In trying to hash out the federal budget for next year, Congress is weighing how much U.S. taxpayers should underwrite the passenger service. Amtrak has requested $1.53 billion, nearly twice the amount the Bush Administration wants to give it. In the past, Bush has proposed giving the service nothing.

A House appropriations committee recently agreed to boost Amtrak's federal funding to $1.4 billion — a modest increase from the service's $1.3 billion in government help — while a Senate panel has endorsed spending $1.37 billion. But Bush has promised to veto any spending bills exceeding his budget requests, forcing Amtrak to slice service if the president makes good on his threat.

Amtrak says the lack of stable funding holds it back, leaving it unable to commit to infrastructure improvements. It still uses some equipment dating back half a century and cannot add new rail cars it says it can easily fill on some routes.

The service also continues to be nagged by travel delays, mostly because it must share the tracks with freight haulers that own the rails and charge Amtrak a modest fee — $90 million in the last fiscal year — for using them. With freight traffic soaring in recent years, Amtrak's on-time performance slid to an average of 68 percent last year, its worst showing since the 1970s.

"There's room for improvement, and we're looking for it," said Marc Magliari, an Amtrak spokesman.

Since taking over as Amtrak's president last September, Alex Kummant repeatedly has said the U.S. should embrace rail travel at a time of growing transportation needs and high oil prices. He said he's always wondered "why the Amtrak debate is so emotional and at times acrimonious."

The easy answer is money.

Amtrak has more than $3.3 billion in debt — largely tied to equipment leases. Amtrak's operating losses for 2005 topped $550 million, and its struggles along certain routes continue: The iconic Sunset Limited train between New Orleans and Los Angeles, for instance, loses 62 cents per passenger mile.

Amtrak officials are pinning their hopes on the bipartisan Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act, which would authorize $3.3 billion for operating expenses and $4.9 billion for capital improvements over the life of the bill, from 2008 to 2012.

"We can't keep asking Amtrak to operate like a business while we string the company along year to year," Sen. Trent Lott, the Mississippi Republican sponsoring the bill with Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, said in January.

The haggling over funding comes as Amtrak's ridership flourishes. Passengers for the fiscal year that ended last September numbered 24.3 million, setting a record for the fourth year in a row when comparing the same routes along the 21,000-mile system serving 500 stations in 46 states and Washington, D.C.

Between last October and March, Amtrak's riders numbered 14.3 million, up 5 percent over the previous year and sailing toward another record.

At least some of that growth might be tied to the investment by Illinois and 13 other states in short-distance corridors Amtrak otherwise wouldn't offer, essentially paying for service where they see a need.

Last fall, Amtrak added two state-financed roundtrips between St. Louis and Chicago and one apiece between from Quincy and Carbondale to the Windy City. Ridership spiked by 189,823 for the first two-thirds of this fiscal year, bringing the total passenger count in the state to 670,605.

Amtrak chalks it up to convenience.

Before adding the trains between St. Louis and Chicago, for example, the day's first Amtrak reached St. Louis about 2:30 p.m., just 45 minutes before the last train out, commonly forcing riders to spend the night.

But since last year's expansion, Amtrak's first arrival in St. Louis from Chicago is about noon, and the last train leaves for Chicago five hours later, enabling Chicagoans to attend a St. Louis Rams or Cardinals game or visit the cultural sites for an afternoon and head back the same day.

Before the expansion, the only departure times out of Carbondale for Chicago were 3 a.m. and 4 p.m. The state added a breakfast-time departure, and ridership blossomed.

To William Rechtenwald, it's a real bargain. The journalism teacher at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale takes Amtrak several times a year to Chicago, finding the service comfortable enough, roughly $100 per round trip cheaper than driving and less hassle than maneuvering through congested freeways.

"I'm a fan of Amtrak," he said. "It's a much wiser choice than driving."

Magliari said Amtrak's expansion was important to ridership gains.

"Instead of turning people away, we now are able to put them on trains," Magliari said. "We've always found around the country that frequency drives ridership."

That's proven true in California. Just months after eight trains were added to the state-subsidized Amtrak service between Sacramento and the Bay Area, officials say ridership on that "Capitol Corridor" continues climbing. Ridership on the 170-mile service now with 32 trains was nearly 1.3 million in 2005, nearly triple the 460,000 passengers who rode those rails eight years ago. Administrators credit more options for passengers, with 16 round-trip trains a day a far cry from the three offered in 1991.

With no federal funding to call upon, the Capitol Corridor — the third-busiest rail line in the Amtrak system — was built and runs solely with state and local funds.

Amtrak and its state partners are pondering more routes, if there's enough money.

To the Midwest High Speed Rail Association's Rick Harnish, Amtrak's time is now.

"The era of cheap oil is over, and we have to find ways to take costs out of the system. There should be a lot more trains running, and they should be faster," he said. "If ridership is growing this strongly with the kind of delays they get, just think of what kind of response they'd get if they ran on time.
"It's not rocket science," he said. "It's just about providing a good product."
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Old September 10th, 2007, 10:30 AM   #173
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Gas costs spark high-speed rail interest

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070909/...d04JOP4Oxv24cA

Gas costs spark high-speed rail interest

By JAN DENNIS, Associated Press Writer
Sun Sep 9, 2:11 PM ET

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - Seven hours after boarding a train in Kansas City, Douglas Lewandowski finally arrived at Chicago's Union Station — rested after the 500-mile trip but anxious to get home to Elkhart, Ind.

"How long it takes on these trains is so frustrating," said Lewandowski, 55. "I'd be more likely to take more trains if they were faster, but I'm afraid I'll be six feet under before that ever happens."

While sleek new passenger trains streak through Europe, Japan and other corners of the world at speeds nearing 200 mph, most U.S. passenger trains chug along at little more than highway speeds — slowed by a half-century of federal preference for spending on roads and airports.

But advocates say millions of Americans may be ready to embrace high-speed rail for everything from business travel to vacations because of soaring gas prices, airport delays and congested freeways that slow travel and contribute to air pollution.

"We have to change these things really fast. The era of cheap oil is over," said Rick Harnish, executive director of the nonprofit Midwest High Speed Rail Association. "People want choices in how they travel, and it's time for the states and feds to start providing those."

Still, getting trains moving fast enough, and in enough places, to entice travelers is a funding and logistical challenge.

Track and safety improvements for already-proposed projects could cost billions of dollars — and require reprioritizing of federal transportation funds.

Congress is considering a six-year Amtrak funding bill co-sponsored by 40 senators that would provide the first matching federal grants for rail projects. The measure proposes $100 million in first-year grants, paltry considering that California alone needs $40 billion for a mammoth bullet train project that would link San Francisco and Sacramento with Los Angeles and San Diego.

Some argue federal money would be better spent to research electric-powered cars and other cutting-edge travel alternatives, rather than the ribbons of steel that triggered America's westward expansion in the 1800s.

"Solutions to our current problems have to be found, not imposed from previous centuries. High-speed rail is just a polished version of 19th century technology," said William Garrison, co-author of "Tomorrow's Transportation" and a retired civil engineering professor at the University of California at Berkeley.

But supporters contend high-speed trains could be an important alternative, rivaling even air travel once home-to-airport travel times and delays cause by airport security measures are taken into account.

A new European rail line that hits speeds up to 199 mph has cut the 292-mile ride between Paris and Frankfurt from 6 hours and 15 minutes to 3 1/2 hours. At those speeds, the 260-mile ride between Chicago and St. Louis would drop from 5 1/2 hours to just over 3 hours.

"They'd have to go awful fast. When I go somewhere I like to get there in a hurry, not take all day," John Wilson, 79, said while waiting for his son's plane at an airport in Bloomington, Ill.

Few envision U.S. high-speed rail would stretch coast to coast or match the dizzying speeds of other countries in the next few decades, even if Congress approves the matching funds for intercity rail projects.

Instead, supporters see most trains running at about 110 mph between major cities 200 to 300 miles apart, similar to Amtrak's Acela line that trimmed about a half-hour from the usual 4-hour trip from Boston to New York and about 15 minutes from the three-hour ride from New York to Washington.

The six-year-old Acela Express is the only U.S. rail line that tops the 125 mph considered "high speed" by international standards. And even supporters concede it barely qualifies, hitting its maximum 150 mph for less than 20 miles from Boston to Washington, D.C., and averaging just 86 mph over the full 456-mile run.

Even so, Acela's ridership rose 20 percent in May as gasoline prices topped $3 a gallon nationwide, said Amtrak spokesman Cliff Cole. Nationally, Amtrak is poised for its fifth straight year of ridership gains this year, said Marc Magliari, a spokesman for the railroad.

Ridership was up nearly 18 percent through May on a Pennsylvania line that bumped speeds from 90 mph to 110 mph last October, cutting 15 to 30 minutes off the two-hour ride from Philadelphia to Harrisburg.

States across the country have gambled on increased interest in rail travel, investing millions of their own dollars in studies and construction for high-speed projects that helped launch about a half-dozen routes that now run above 90 mph.

Illinois has sunk about $80 million into track and crossing improvements over a decade, but has finished less than half of a planned high-speed route from Chicago to St. Louis that would shave 90 minutes off the current 5 1/2-hour train ride.

Completing the estimated $400 million project will take years, but is projected to boost ridership from 300,000 last year to 1.2 million, said George Weber, chief of the Illinois Department of Transportation's passenger rail division.

Weber said trains could begin running at 110 mph by 2009 on 120 miles of the 280-mile route after the state recently settled on safety technology that will ensure faster trains can coexist with cars and slow-moving freight traffic that shares the line.

"To think this state (Illinois) has known for 10 years how to get Chicago-to-St. Louis to three hours and 45 minutes, and we kind of languish at five and a half to six hours," Harnish said. "Imagine what difference that would make to the St. Louis economy if you could get to Chicago by train (that much quicker)."

California has proposed the nation's most ambitious plan: a 700-mile electric-powered train that would run at up to 220 mph from San Francisco to San Diego, cutting the roughly 9-hour drive to about 3 1/2 hours.

The San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association said recent forecasts show the system carrying up to 117 million passengers a year by 2030.

The massive project, which would lay all new track, could complete its first phase from San Francisco to Los Angeles within 15 years if voters approve a $10 billion bond issue scheduled for next year. But the vote has been pushed back twice and could be postponed again because of worries that it could hinder the state's bonding authority for roads, schools and other projects.

"How can we say we can't afford this in California, the biggest state in the country, when these systems are being built all over the world? ... It's a matter of priority," said Dan Leavitt, deputy director of the California High-Speed Rail Authority.

John Spychalski, a transportation expert and professor at Penn State University, says high-speed rail will continue to languish unless lawmakers provide the same financial backing as highways and air travel. He said some could be swayed if high-profile projects such as California's succeed.

"I don't think there's any question that it would help build momentum for making this kind of service a reality where it makes sense to have it," Spychalski said. "There just needs to be a political will, and right now not enough elected officials see it as a viable alternative."

___

Associated Press writers Michael Tarm in Chicago and Jim Suhr in St. Louis contributed to this report.
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Old September 12th, 2007, 07:36 AM   #174
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This relates to the above:

http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/
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Old September 28th, 2007, 11:41 PM   #175
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Major US Rail Terminals

Grand Central Terminal:




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Old October 5th, 2007, 12:00 AM   #176
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It's a good step to make trains work a little faster. But a separate infrastructure needs to be built to allow faster speeds. Grade crossings are also a concern.

There is a section of the wolverine line in Michigan that plans to run at 110 mph w/o electrification - that is, with diesel engines on full throttle, similar to Britain's HST. Actually, all of the P42s and F59PHIs can do it - the only issues hindering this are the curves, freight, and crossings. And to straighten these things out can cost a lot of money too. But probably not as much money as an entirely new high-speed rail line.

Still I'd be pretty darn happy if either this or HSR is implemented here on the West Coast (second-highest, third-highest ridership, anyone?).
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Old October 6th, 2007, 03:44 PM   #177
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The US is not Europe. Cities are far apart and the country is huge. The focus should be improving air travel and having regional hubs to develop comprehensive highway connections (which is already there with the Interstate).
Thats not the case for the hot spots like the East Coast and even for California either. Those distances there between major cities are perfectly within a reasonable range.

Geography is not an excuse in those areas, not a working one. Its simply a lack of will. Its a cultural and political decision of the people and the politicians, not one because of a lack of possibilities.
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Old October 6th, 2007, 03:47 PM   #178
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Even in the Northeast, the Acela was supposed to show HSR works in the US, but due to technical faults, it has flopped quite badly. Competition from buses and the car is very intense, while the leisure traveler may not be willing to fork out the extra cash for Acela anyway. It's not a common mode of transport like Thalys, Eurostar, or TGV, etc.
First of all, Acela is only a "high speed light" train. Secondly it runs on ancient tracks.

But one of the worst factors is: The US features totally weird and outdated as well as inappropriate security guidelines for trains. The Acela bases on the TGV technology. But you know what the difference is? The Acela is double as heavy as the TGV. Not because the French producer thought this might be fun but because irrational raillaws in the US from the steam age demand that the train must not deform when it crashes.

Look at the victim numbers caused by the TGV in France and then tell me how this joke of a double as heavy train could be legitimized. This law would need an urgent change, up to modern standards.

Until then the Acela and all other alikes will have to endure the unofficial name "Tank on rails"
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 09:59 PM   #179
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UNITED STATES | Railways

I've always wished that here in the US, the powers that be would build a 'Bullet' train system, comprable to the type seen in parts of Europe and Japan. If I could design the system, I would start in an area where I think the population would be the most receptive to it. I think the best area here in the States would be the northeast 'Megopolis,' which for those of you who arent familiar, is the massive urban area consisting of Boston/NYC/Philadelphia/Baltimore/DC. I think a bullet train would be ideal for that area and I would base it on the Express/Local system with two train options:
1. Express - This train would include all major stops - Boston - Grand Central Terminal - Philly - DC.
2. Local - Boston - New Haven - Grand Central Terminal - Philly - Baltimore - DC.

I would build the system so that the trains would have connections to each cities respective train/bus systems. What would you do?....and what areas in the States do you think would be best?
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 10:10 PM   #180
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I don't know about the rest of the country, but we over here already do have quite a extensive system.

Problem is...it's mostly abandoned or rarely used for freight. Only 1 of the rail lines used here is actually used for passenger rail even though there are so much rail lines here.

Anyway, I agree with your options, except it would be cool to add HSR spurs, to some of the cities in the Northeast Corridor outside the direct line. Like this:

From Washington: Line to Richmond
From Philly: Lines to Atlantic City, Harrisburg, and Allentown
From New York: Lines to Albany, Long Island and Allentown/Scranton
From New Haven: line to Hartford/Springfield
From Boston: Lines to Worcester/Springfield, Portland, and Manchester/Concord, NH.

That would never happen, but it's possible. I am not sure about Manchester, but all the other cities on the list already have rail lines existing, some used and others abandoned.
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