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Old November 6th, 2010, 06:07 PM   #1901
Nexis
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Could you translate that to English for me?
He said our trains look horrible. The only problem with our Newer trains is that they look to generic and cheaply built......The Majority of our new trains are Asian EMU Trains built by Rotem & Kawasaki they tend to be very bland. If they were more colorful i'm sure people wouldn't dislike them. Most of the Railfanning community hates the overall blandness of the Newer EMU , even though some of the older trains are worse. As for the other train cars rolling around the region that look bland , agencies in the Northeast / Midwest seem to be getting very cheap with design...
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Old November 6th, 2010, 06:07 PM   #1902
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When analyzing transportation projects, profit should not be the first criteria for most of the time. Especially wen we are talking about trains, one should consider environmental, social and political outcomes too. Let say we have a high speed train in North-East corridor, Trains will decrease the amount of traffic, pollution, dependence to oil, will create jobs. If a line breaks even the investment like in 10 years, in my view it is a huge success. If it does that in 30 years it is still a success. If it cannot i.e. its maintenance takes whole profit it still should be considered due to indirect positive effects I just listed.

And also if oil prices hike to reach 6-8 dollars, trains will turn into a must anyway.
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Old November 7th, 2010, 02:44 AM   #1903
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Not necessarily. Electric cars are coming - fast. And we'll power them with nuclear energy.

As for rail projects, I doubt the new political climate in US will allow for higher spending on rail systems that cannot break even. There was that case of some rail in WI, then the cancelled Hudson River tunnel.

By the way, could anyone confirm that such tunnel was definitively cancelled? I read that NJ governor had balked, than reconsidered, then cancelled it definitively citing "soaring costs".
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Old November 7th, 2010, 03:12 AM   #1904
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Not necessarily. Electric cars are coming - fast. And we'll power them with nuclear energy.
If you're talking about the US,then I find it unlikely since there is still resistance against nuclear power by environmentalists.
In any case individual transportation will always be more energy intensive than mass transit of any kind based on simple laws of physics since you'll need to carry more mass(engines and so on for each car).
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Old November 7th, 2010, 03:31 AM   #1905
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If you're talking about the US,then I find it unlikely since there is still resistance against nuclear power by environmentalists.
In any case individual transportation will always be more energy intensive than mass transit of any kind based on simple laws of physics since you'll need to carry more mass(engines and so on for each car).
Let me elaborate. If gas goes back to US$4.50+/gallon and stays there for a while (with indirect implications, of a lesser magnitude, on residential electricity costs), pressure against nuclear energy will subside. In any case, because US electricity production from coal and gas (almost all of it US-sourced and relatively cheap) is increasing, we can expect an accelerated shift to electric cars.

For physical reasons, burning oil in a power plant then charging a car with the generated electricity is also far more efficient than refining it and turning it into gas, as electrical engines have mechanical efficiency above 90% while internal combustion engines do not go over 36-38% in the best case.

Of course individual cars are less efficient than mass transit, which is less efficient than just walking. However, US, Europe, Canada, Australia all make part of what we call developed World because we can afford the luxury of living according to our own particularities and consumption-intensive lifestyles, instead of just sticking with the most efficient lifestyle. That is why we fought wars, study like hell and try to keep an edge over the rest of the World that cannot afford such luxuries.
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Old November 7th, 2010, 03:48 AM   #1906
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By the way, could anyone confirm that such tunnel was definitively cancelled? I read that NJ governor had balked, than reconsidered, then cancelled it definitively citing "soaring costs".
It's pretty much dead, the workers who were on the project were sent home recently. I also heard they started filling the tunnel in.
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Old November 7th, 2010, 03:51 AM   #1907
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Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Not necessarily. Electric cars are coming - fast. And we'll power them with nuclear energy.

As for rail projects, I doubt the new political climate in US will allow for higher spending on rail systems that cannot break even. There was that case of some rail in WI, then the cancelled Hudson River tunnel.

By the way, could anyone confirm that such tunnel was definitively cancelled? I read that NJ governor had balked, than reconsidered, then cancelled it definitively citing "soaring costs".
Maybe because the project was a terrible , poorly planned and was sucking $$$ for future Rail projects......Hes letting about 10 Billion of Rail / Road Projects continue. The Northeast , Northwest , Cali , and parts of the Midwest have great support for Rail. The Amtrak plans for New Tunnels are better and will cost less.
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Old November 7th, 2010, 03:52 AM   #1908
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It's pretty much dead, the workers who were on the project were sent home recently. I also heard they started filling the tunnel in.
I heard the site will be preserved or ROW preserved for Amtrak's Tunnels. Now that are Tunnel is killed , Amtrak's Tunnels will cost less.
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Old November 7th, 2010, 11:03 AM   #1909
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Not necessarily. Electric cars are coming - fast. And we'll power them with nuclear energy.
Unfortunately we won't have electric planes for the foreseeable future... That only strengthens the case for high speed rail.
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Old November 7th, 2010, 11:08 AM   #1910
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When analyzing transportation projects, profit should not be the first criteria for most of the time. Especially wen we are talking about trains, one should consider environmental, social and political outcomes too.
Profit should be a consideration. After all, profit means that you are contributing more than you are taking.
However I agree that externalities must be taken in to account too. Once a value is put on the externalities, and used as a basis for subsidies the operation should turn a profit.
That is why tendering out operation is a better solution than having some government agency run the trains.
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Old November 9th, 2010, 02:23 AM   #1911
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It's pretty much dead, the workers who were on the project were sent home recently. I also heard they started filling the tunnel in.
actully nope. there is some hope as of today

Amtrak, NJ Transit discuss partnership to build canceled ARC Hudson River tunnel

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/11/post_186.html

but it will be ready in 2040
http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/201...tunnel_pr.html
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Old November 9th, 2010, 02:38 AM   #1912
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Oh good god. By 2040 China and the rest of the world will have trains that go as fast as airplanes, and we will still be building this thing!!!
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Originally Posted by aceflamingo23:http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpo...postcount=1108
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Old November 9th, 2010, 03:00 AM   #1913
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Oh good god. By 2040 China and the rest of the world will have trains that go as fast as airplanes, and we will still be building this thing!!!
And by then the Second Avenue Subway will still not have been completed.
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Old November 9th, 2010, 05:56 AM   #1914
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Oh good god. By 2040 China and the rest of the world will have trains that go as fast as airplanes, and we will still be building this thing!!!
I know it is ridiculous. this whole thing with this country lately is one big laugh. nothing gets done. lots of words and promises and nothing else. we can do shit these days it seems.
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Old November 9th, 2010, 10:13 PM   #1915
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Was reading the comments on this article (on the link) and everyone seems to be spreading/believing the same un-true non-sense about trains.
____________________________________________
Canceling high-speed rail is economic treason
http://www.biztimes.com/blogs/milwau...onomic-treason

Governor-elect Scott Walker’s ill-advised campaign posture to cancel the high-speed rail project that is already under construction would cost Wisconsin up to 15,000 family supporting jobs and up to $100 million at a time when both jobs and revenue are desperately needed.

Walker got a lot of campaign mileage out of this issue as a supposed example of wasteful government spending, but now that he actually will have to govern, cancelling the project at this stage makes absolutely no sense, even if you believe his arguments against the project.

Walker’s campaign posturing now threatens thousands of construction and permanent jobs, and will cost Wisconsin much more money to cancel than continue. Given the desperate need for jobs in Wisconsin, and the severe fiscal crisis the state faces, cancelling the high speed rail line amounts to economic treason.

Not surprisingly, other governors are already beginning to line up to request the job-creating money for their own states. Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo in New York has already put out a statement asking for the money to create good high-speed rail jobs for New Yorkers.

First, let’s review the jobs that will not be created if Walker cancels the high-speed rail project. If it is cancelled, it will cost Wisconsin an estimated 4,732 construction jobs. In addition, research on the economic impact of high-speed rail concludes that when the full project is completed, including the link from Madison to Minneapolis, that 9,570 permanent jobs will be created.

Governor-elect Walker has defended cancellation of the high-speed rail project on fiscal grounds, but returning the $810 million in federal funding that is paying for construction of the project would actually cost the state a great deal of money. As the money can only be used for high-speed rail, and the project is already underway, Wisconsin would have to pay back the federal government and contractors for work already done.

Policymakers estimate it will cost Wisconsin between $57 million and $100 million to buy out of the project. The maintenance costs Walker railed against in the campaign are substantially lower than this! Walker projected $7.5 million per year during the campaign, but most analysts think it will be much less. If the federal government pays the same percentage of maintenance costs it now pays for the Hiawatha line between Milwaukee and Chicago, the cost to Wisconsin will only by $750,000 per year, which is a tiny fraction of the state transportation budget.

In addition, the City of Milwaukee spent $10 million to buy the blighted Milwaukee site where the high speed trains are being built by Spanish manufacturer Talgo, and has invested an additional $6 million to upgrade the facility. Talgo has made it clear that they are unlikely to stay in Milwaukee if the Wisconsin high speed train project is cancelled. As a result, Milwaukee would lose the anchor manufacturing facility needed to spur re-development of the blighted Tower Automotive/A.O. Smith site on the near north side.

Given the nearly 15,000 construction and permanent jobs that would be created by the federal investment in Wisconsin in high-speed rail, and the high fiscal cost of cancellation, it would be incredibly short-sighted for Governor elect-Walker to follow through on his campaign posture just to provide more red meat for right-wing talk radio audiences. It amounts to economic treason at a time when everyone, regardless of political and ideological perspective, should be working together to bring desperately needed family supporting jobs back to Wisconsin.
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Originally Posted by aceflamingo23:http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpo...postcount=1108
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Old November 10th, 2010, 03:22 AM   #1916
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People voted for Walkers, he campaigned against the rail, and he is doing exactly what he's promised to do. Regardless of my opinion on the specific project (which I don't know in depth), if a politician promises a lawful measure, a specific one ("I'll kill that rail project"), one that is not discriminatory or rhetorical like "ban low-waist pants", and upon taking oath he immediately moves to fulfill his promise, how can that be treason?
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Old November 10th, 2010, 07:10 AM   #1917
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Did you read the word before treason?

Basically what he is saying is that for a relatively small cost the state would be getting tons of money and permanent jobs so it is "economic treason".
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Originally Posted by aceflamingo23:http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpo...postcount=1108
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Old November 10th, 2010, 12:14 PM   #1918
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Amtrak service between Iowa City and Chicago gets mixed reviews
2 November 2010

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Plans to expand Amtrak passenger service between Iowa City and Chicago with a $230 million Federal Railroad Administration grant to Illinois and Iowa are receiving mixed reviews.

The Des Moines Register on Monday reports that critics say it's a waste of taxpayer money and an investment in second-rate transportation.

"It just seems to me that this is money down a rabbit hole," said Sam Staley, who directs urban growth and land-use policy at the Los Angeles-based Reason Foundation. Staley said he questions the value of the government subsidizing the passenger train route.

Public policy analyst Randal O'Toole wrote a study in 2009 called "Why Iowa Should Not Build High-Speed Rail" for the Public Interest Institute at Iowa Wesley College in Mount Pleasant.

"High-speed rail is slower than flying and less convenient than driving. ... All it will do is drag down our economy because of all the subsidies it will cost to build it, operate it and maintain it," O'Toole said.

Twice-daily service on the route is expected to start in 2015 and the funding is to pay for environmental studies, track construction and improvements, a layover facility, equipment and station upgrades. Trains will accommodate 230 passengers and first-year ridership is estimated at nearly 247,000.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said high-speed rail presents a unique opportunity.

"Demand for high-speed rail is intense and it demonstrates just how important this historic initiative is," he said.

State officials point to economic studies that project $25 million in increased business activity along the train route. That's along with about 600 jobs a year for four years during design and construction.

"It will fuel job growth, improve the environment, increase tourism and improve the quality of life," said Iowa City Chamber of Commerce president Nancy Quellhorst.

The project's estimated cost is $310 million. Iowa and Illinois are to pay pro-rated shares of the remaining costs that the federal government doesn't fund. The Iowa Department of Transportation's rail office director, Tamara Nicholson, said state lawmakers have appropriated $10 million.

------

Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com
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Old November 10th, 2010, 02:51 PM   #1919
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I think that line and a few other proposed lines are wasteful at best , Amtrak should be upgrading the lines it upgrade has......
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Old November 10th, 2010, 09:28 PM   #1920
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The government may subsidize the highways, airports, air traffic control etc., but Greyhound is private, as are all airlines (save, of course, the military transporters, but that is another history).

I'd not oppose a government-owned agency that manages (build, maintain, operate) TRACKS and STATIONS. However, I DO oppose public involvement with train operations...
Why so? As in, discriminating ROW ownership apart from service ownership? I mean, I think the gov't is doing a great job running a service like Amtrak. Especially when it is handicapped multiple times over by lack of funding, lack of public interest, usage rights to privately-owned ROWs, and maintenance of its own tracks. In spite of that it STILL manages to churn out a 40-60% recovery rate from fares alone on some state-supported lines. And believe me, even a leftist state like California doesn't have much priority for rail when the budget comes around.

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Indeed, passenger transport is 40 years behind air and road passenger transport in the way of segregate and completely separate the infrastructure issues (ownership, financing, maintenance) from vehicle operations.
You should know that this was purely due to market forces, when the use of cars and airplanes started to take off in the late 1940s. People chose bananas and apples over oranges.
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