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Old November 27th, 2010, 12:41 AM   #1961
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hammersklavier View Post
Railroad electric grids, OTOH, are separated from the consumer grid. Even when your lights go out and your Leaf fails to charge, the train keeps running. This is an implicit benefit electric trains enjoy over electric vehicles.
Where did you get that from ? In most countries, all railways sub-stations
are simply fed from the national grid. Separate grids only exist in a minority
of countries, essentially where railways use a different frequency (16,7 or
25 Hz) than the national grid (50 or 60 Hz). In Europe,That's Germany,
Switzerland, & Austria. Everywhere else, where DC or 50 Hz is used, the
national grid directly feeds the sub-stations.

Not that it matters very much, in fact. The grid in Europe being far more
reliable than in the US, we don't see our trains stalled that often. I don't remember a single power failure here for the last two decades.

I tend to remember that in some parts of the east coast, 25 Hz is used for
feeding the catenaries... Is it where you got the idea of separate power grid ?
It must be the case over there because of the different frequency. But
don't generalize. There are no railways lines in Europe with a twin power line
atop of it, like on the good ol' Pennsy railroad.
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Old November 27th, 2010, 12:57 AM   #1962
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Originally Posted by hammersklavier View Post

What is going to happen in the next decade? The dominant demographic trend among the 18-35 year-olds in the United States is of reurbanization. This cannot be ignored. Electric (either plug-in battery or hydrogen-fueled) vehicles are going to become an important sector of the automotive industry--however, their attempt at ubiquity is going to be constrained by an underinvested-in electrical infrastructure. Until the electrical infrastructure of the United States is modernized, it will be impossible for electric vehicles to become the dominant demand share. This modernization will have to be a modernization of both the power stations and the grid; power stations will need to be, by and large, sustainable and "sustainable" technologies such as wind, solar, waste-to-energy, clean coal, and nuclear fission. Incentives for at-home power generation (solar roofs, rooftop turbines sort of thing) will have to be greatly increased. To cope with the demands of out new electric economy, I think it might be likely that, before autos like the Volt and Leaf can claim mode-share, the electrical capacity of the United States has to at least double current capacity.
You might however note that

1) what is hurting a power grid is essentially the peak demand.
2) an electric vehicle can only be recharged when it is not used. For
most people, that means during the night.

Therefore, recharging electric vehicles will only marginally increase the peak
demand on the electric grid, which means that only limited efforts will be
required to make it able to sustain it.

If there are still too many people who recharge their car during the day, or
during the peak hours, putting in place "incentives" to change this behaviour
(like time-differentiated tariffs) will be much less expensive than re-
engineering the power grid.

On the other hand, electric production always had a lot of difficulties to adapt
to a varying load : best efficiencies being obtained when the load remains
constant. To that effect, nightly battery recharges might contribute to
reduce the load difference between the day and the night, and therefore
contribute to a better overall efficiency of electricity production.
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Old November 27th, 2010, 03:05 AM   #1963
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Exactly. Moreover, in the medium term, burning oil at a modern power plant, then using the electricity to charge charges, can easily reduce the amount of oil needed to power the same set of cars driving the same routes by 30-40% (easily), as an internal combustion engine is a damn inefficient machine compared to any electric one - and losses in transmissions are very, very low even if you have to produce electricity in Maine to offset increased demand in New Mexico
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Old November 27th, 2010, 11:29 AM   #1964
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Going back to passenger rail:

Quote:
Extension of Northstar Rail line delayed

Minnesota's first commuter rail line, the Northstar line, which opened in November of 2009 has hit a little snag in the area of the line's extension. Currently, the line goes from the Minnesota Twins' new ballpark Target Field, to Big Lake, MN. Original plans were for the line to eventually go up to Saint Cloud.

Those plans are currently on hold. According to a report in the St. Cloud Times, the Northstar Corridor Development Authority (NCDA) will not apply for federal funding for extension of the line. NCDA cites lower-than-projected ridership numbers as one reason for not applying for funding.

Sherburne County commissioner Felix Schmiesing told the Times that compared with other transit projects around the country, the Northstar line "wasn't faring well." Northstar's low ridership numbers have been credited to lower gas prices, unemployment and the recession in general.

There are other factors as well. BNSF Railway, the owner of the tracks that Northstar Trains operate on, and NCDA couldn't come to an agreement on the price of using the tracks between Big Lake and St. Cloud. By car, it's about 28 miles along US Highway 10, the highway Northstar follows, between Big Lake and St. Cloud. That extension would extend the full Northstar route to about 70 miles.

Tuesday's elections didn't bode well for the extension, either. Several of the new members of the Minnesota Legislature who were elected on Nov. 2 have said they are opposed to Northstar funding, at least in the 2011 session. Furthermore, Jim Oberstar, the 8th District Representative in the US Congress was defeated by Chip Cravaack in the election. Oberstar was chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee; and was a supporter of the Northstar line.

Schmiesing also told the Times that the decision to put the extension on hold had been discussed for a few weeks; and probably would have happened, regardless of Tuesday's election. He did say that when the time comes, they will be ready to proceed.
Source: http://www.allvoices.com/contributed...l-line-delayed

Does anyone know which rail projects are actually currently under construction in the USA, as opposed to only planned?

Also, in a different source I read that the expension to Saint Cloud would add only 600 passengers each day. wow, that's incredibly small. Commuter rail riderships in the USA always amaze me by how low they are for the population amounts. Similar lines in Brazil would have between 10 and 100 times more passengers for sure.

I am rather curious, does everyone in USA have a car? Even the cleaning staff, university students and unemployed people? And no-one thinks it would be better to save the money from the car to, for example, take a large trip to the exterior?

And what do people without a car do in a place with no or very precarious public transport? Just go by foot? Hitchhiking?
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Old November 27th, 2010, 11:49 AM   #1965
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USA news about commuter rails sound more like Commuter Rail Dismantelation rather then Development.

I wonder what people would think if the government wanted to close unprofitable roads...

Quote:
Rail Commuter Council Opposes Eliminating Service on Branches

Governor’s proposal is “a turkey,” says council chairman Jim Cameron.
November 25, 2010

Governor Rell's Thanksgiving-eve proposal for elimination of commuter rail service on the New Canaan, Danbury and Waterbury branch lines of Metro-North is being met with a consistent cry from commuters… "What, is she joking?"

After being hailed for her six years of unwavering support for mass transit, this end-of-term surprise call for slashing rail service may just be a political negotiating point, but the CT Rail Commuter Council is taking no chances.

"We are contacting the thousands of commuters on our e-mail alert list," says Council Chairman and commuter Jim Cameron of Darien. "We're asking them to contact their state lawmakers and urge them to oppose this nonsensical move by the Governor."

The Governor's proposal to save $5 million by cutting rail service to 4,300 daily riders harkens back to her predecessor John Rowland's 1994 budget suggestion to shutter service on the same lines. That plan was soundly defeated by the legislature after the Commuter Council rallied riders' support.

The Council pointed out that the loss of commuter rail in communities like New Canaan and Wilton would lower real estate values by making those towns inaccessible to folks working in New York City. Lowered property values equates to lower tax revenue, less spending on schools and a downward economic spiral.

"We've just spent $60 million putting signals on the Danbury branch," notes Cameron, "and now the Governor suggests closing it down to save $5 million? This makes no sense!"

"I'm hoping every commuter, on the mainline and the targeted branch lines, will take a moment this holiday weekend to e-mail or call their State Representative and Senator and urge them to oppose this budget disaster," says Cameron.

Created by an act of the Connecticut legislature, the CT Rail Commuter Council's members are all commuters who serve without compensation as advocates of their fellow riders' interests. The CT Rail Commuter Council meets monthly with Metro-North and CDOT and testifies before state and regional boards and commissions in favor of affordable, reliable rail service in the state.

More information is available at the Council's website: www.trainweb.org/ct
http://wilton.patch.com/articles/rai...ce-on-branches
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Old November 27th, 2010, 11:50 AM   #1966
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Also, in a different source I read that the expension to Saint Cloud would add only 600 passengers each day. wow, that's incredibly small. Commuter rail riderships in the USA always amaze me by how low they are for the population amounts.
The problem is that anyone trying to provide passenger rail has to work against a system that tries very hard to make it impossible. Looking at commuter rail projects in the US I see that they often need a lot more money to provide less value than equivalent services elsewhere.

There is basically no point whatsoever to invest in a rail line unless you'r going to run at least a train per hour.
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Old November 27th, 2010, 12:03 PM   #1967
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Wrong, the buses were always more expensive, although they were faster.
I would be interested to know what intercity rail around Sao Paulo was like in the years before it got discontinued. Do you have more info?
What I have been found so far is that the "Paulista" was once a very good railway, but that lack of investment is what did it in finally. At one moment the government decided to concentrate investment on the Sao Paulo suburban network, which looks quite good.
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Old November 27th, 2010, 07:56 PM   #1968
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sekelsenmat View Post
USA news about commuter rails sound more like Commuter Rail Dismantelation rather then Development.

I wonder what people would think if the government wanted to close unprofitable roads...



http://wilton.patch.com/articles/rai...ce-on-branches
Actually she has no power to do that , she is leaving office in a few weeks and is making wacky proposals. She barely did anything her past 4 years in office. So this a empty threat....and a weird one indeed. Because she had the lines upgraded a few years ago....

Connecticut long Term plans


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Old November 27th, 2010, 08:02 PM   #1969
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sekelsenmat View Post
Going back to passenger rail:



Source: http://www.allvoices.com/contributed...l-line-delayed

Does anyone know which rail projects are actually currently under construction in the USA, as opposed to only planned?

Also, in a different source I read that the expension to Saint Cloud would add only 600 passengers each day. wow, that's incredibly small. Commuter rail riderships in the USA always amaze me by how low they are for the population amounts. Similar lines in Brazil would have between 10 and 100 times more passengers for sure.

I am rather curious, does everyone in USA have a car? Even the cleaning staff, university students and unemployed people? And no-one thinks it would be better to save the money from the car to, for example, take a large trip to the exterior?

And what do people without a car do in a place with no or very precarious public transport? Just go by foot? Hitchhiking?
Theres a ton in my state , and there all going to add between 20,000-50,000 more commuters. Some are Intercity Commuter lines and others are regular commuter lines. The Northeast is the only region restoring a ton of Rail , 5,000 miles to be exact. The Trend now is to live in the city and without a car , so car ownership is going down. Outside the Northeast its different , its less dense and more sprawl.....so you do the Math more ppl drive. Most states in the Northeast except 2 have stop building New Highways and started investing in Rail , Bike and Bus Transit.
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Old November 27th, 2010, 09:37 PM   #1970
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2040 Amtrak Northeastern Rail Expansion and Restoration plan

I took the Amtrak , NYSDOT , Penndot , VADOT plans and merged them onto one map along with the proposals for High Speed Rail. Some lines will be Electrified others won't , due to usage projections. All the Diesel lines will be built with future Electrification in mind. All lines involved have dual commuter service operating on part of the line. I did not include the New Northeast Corridor , because many of us n the Rail community never see that getting built.

Lines by State

New Jersey

Lehigh Express
Lackawanna Intercity line


New York

Elmira line
Syracuse connection

I-90 Corridor HSL
Empire HSL

Binghamton Extension of the Lackawanna line
NYC - Montreal HSL
Empire HSL


Connecticut

New Haven - Springfield line improvements

Massachusetts

Cape Cod line
I-90 Corridor HSL
Concord line
CT river Valley line improvements

Boston - Montreal HSL

New Hampshire

Boston - Montreal HSL
Concord line

Vermont

CT river Valley line improvements
Boston - Montreal HSL

Maine

Bangor line
Augusta line
Brunswick line


Pennsylvania

Pennsylvanian HSL
Lehigh Express
Lackawanna Intercity line


Delaware

Downstate Ocean City Trunk line
Salisbury Option of the Downstate line


Maryland

Salisbury Option of the Downstate line

Virgina

Transdominion Express Western line
Transdominion Express - Richmond line
Norfolk line

Richmond HSL

Line status

Lehigh Express
Lackawanna Intercity line - Construction started in the Summer , phase 1 opens in 2012
Elmira line
Syracuse connection
Binghamton Extension of the Lackawanna line
New Haven - Springfield line improvements - Construction started a few weeks ago
Cape Cod line
CT river Valley line improvements
Concord line
Bangor line
Augusta line
Brunswick line - UC
Downstate Ocean City Trunk line
Salisbury Option of the Downstate line
Transdominion Express Western line
Transdominion Express - Richmond line
Norfolk line - UC


Richmond HSL - Construction starts in 2011
I-90 Corridor HSL - late phases of planning
Empire HSL - late phases of planning
Pennsylvanian HSL
Boston - Montreal HSL
NYC - Montreal HSL


http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UT...f1e2ee171a9580

Line Length

Lehigh Express - 178 mi
Lackawanna Intercity line - 136 mi
Elmira line - 59 mi
Syracuse connection - 80 mi
Binghamton Extension of the Lackawanna line - 59 mi
New Haven - Springfield line improvements - 61 mi
Cape Cod line - 90 mi
CT river Valley line improvements - 120 m9
Concord line - 74 mi
Bangor line - 123 mi
Augusta line - 51 mi
Brunswick line - 28 mi
Downstate Ocean City Trunk line - 120 mi
Salisbury Option of the Downstate line - 67 mi
Transdominion Express Western line - 356 mi
Transdominion Express Richmond line - 109 mi
Norfolk line - 109 mi


Richmond HSL - 107 mi
I-90 Corridor HSL - 431 mi
Empire HSL - 140 mi
Pennsylvanian HSL - 282 mi
Boston - Montreal HSL - 278 mi
NYC - Montreal HSL - 210 mi



Line power sources

Lehigh Express - Electrified

Lackawanna Intercity line - Electrified

Elmira line - Electrified

Syracuse connection - Electrified

Binghamton Extension of the Lackawanna line - Electrified

New Haven - Springfield line improvements - Electrified

Cape Cod line - Diesel

CT river Valley line improvements - Electrified

Concord line - Diesel

Bangor line - Diesel

Augusta line - Diesel

Brunswick line - Diesel

Downstate Ocean City Trunk line - Diesel

Salisbury Option of the Downstate line - Diesel

Transdominion Express Western line - Diesel

Transdominion Express Richmond line - Diesel

Norfolk line - Diesel

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Old November 27th, 2010, 11:30 PM   #1971
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Here was Rell a few weeks ago..... I talked to my MNRR friend and he said CTDOT can't do that by law. Also all the Branch line towns are against this since they have projects that connected into the Rail lines. Rell only has a few weeks left in Office , so she can't really do anything. CT has a no New Highway policy , so it hasn't built anymore Highways. Most Northeastern states are doing that , were focusing on the Highways we have and enhancing Transit. CT has been injecting $$$ into the New Haven line and planning to upgrade the Branch lines , which is another reason why this makes no sense.

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Old November 28th, 2010, 03:08 AM   #1972
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Quote:
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Also all the Branch line towns are against this since they have projects that connected into the Rail lines. Rell only has a few weeks left in Office , so she can't really do anything. CT has a no New Highway policy , so it hasn't built anymore Highways. Most Northeastern states are doing that , were focusing on the Highways we have and enhancing Transit.
Your information about "no new highways" is just wrong. Many states over there are rather small and already have a basic road network, so most projects concern widening, which is completely different of saying they have a "no new highway policy". They would be stupid to forgo federal monies for highway construction out of a stupid policy.
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Old November 28th, 2010, 04:17 AM   #1973
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Your information about "no new highways" is just wrong. Many states over there are rather small and already have a basic road network, so most projects concern widening, which is completely different of saying they have a "no new highway policy". They would be stupid to forgo federal monies for highway construction out of a stupid policy.
I should have said a Transit over Highways policy which they do have and so do they other New England states. They are still enchancing there highways and replacing there bridges.
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Old November 28th, 2010, 06:35 AM   #1974
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Originally Posted by MarcVD View Post
You might however note that

1) what is hurting a power grid is essentially the peak demand.
2) an electric vehicle can only be recharged when it is not used. For
most people, that means during the night.

Therefore, recharging electric vehicles will only marginally increase the peak
demand on the electric grid, which means that only limited efforts will be
required to make it able to sustain it.

If there are still too many people who recharge their car during the day, or
during the peak hours, putting in place "incentives" to change this behaviour
(like time-differentiated tariffs) will be much less expensive than re-
engineering the power grid.

On the other hand, electric production always had a lot of difficulties to adapt
to a varying load : best efficiencies being obtained when the load remains
constant. To that effect, nightly battery recharges might contribute to
reduce the load difference between the day and the night, and therefore
contribute to a better overall efficiency of electricity production.
...which, in so many words, creates a new problem. I don't doubt your assertion is correct; however, how would you respond to my counter-assertion that each house charging 2-4 electrical vehicles at night is akin to that house running 2-3 a/c units (I'm not too sure how the numbers pan out), as well as heating (if it's electric) or a/c, depending on season--these are what create peak demand--all night long?

You'd lose the current predictable peak/trough cycle, which allows maintenance to be performed during trough periods, and generate a whole new cycle of continuous running, which, in turn, incurs its own problems.

Again, looking at electric vehicles as a 1-1 replacement to internal combustion is not the solution. Electric vehicles are part of the solution, but not the be-all-end-all solution.

Sorry for getting off topic--especially to you, Nexis, where you know my Skyscraper Page posting habits--but I just kinda had the brainstorm working on a post for this thread, and it snowballed from there.
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Old November 28th, 2010, 10:28 PM   #1975
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...which, in so many words, creates a new problem. I don't doubt your assertion is correct; however, how would you respond to my counter-assertion that each house charging 2-4 electrical vehicles at night is akin to that house running 2-3 a/c units (I'm not too sure how the numbers pan out), as well as heating (if it's electric) or a/c, depending on season--these are what create peak demand--all night long?
Let's try to verify that with some computation... What is the typical
capacity of an all-electric car battery today ?
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Old November 28th, 2010, 11:54 PM   #1976
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I would be interested to know what intercity rail around Sao Paulo was like in the years before it got discontinued. Do you have more info?
What I have been found so far is that the "Paulista" was once a very good railway, but that lack of investment is what did it in finally. At one moment the government decided to concentrate investment on the Sao Paulo suburban network, which looks quite good.
The problem is not how the lines were. It is clear that they were very bad. I don't have more precise data because it is very hard to find, there is almost none in the internet, not even how many trains per day operated. It looks like the only solution is finding someone over 40 who used the trains and inverview him. From the ANTT website I remember that São Paulo-Araraquara carried around 2.000 people per day in it's last year, but the site seams down to day, so I can't check. In general, the investments on the rail infra-structure of São Paulo between 1960 and 1980 can only be described as tiny, and between 1980 and 2010 it was actually depredation rather then investiment. Better only then Ethiopia maybe.

The real problem of closing the line even if it was bad, is the same one faced in the USA: The government abandoned rail and favoured cars to such a huge extent that most people don't even image that public transport can be a viable alternative. The results are there: Pollution, 40.000 dead per years in accidents, hundreds thousends more invalid, etc.

But, the public doesn't think this is terrible and that the government should focus on public transport instead, because there is no notion at all that another kind of transport is possible. When I lived only in Piracicaba-SP I too wouldn't imagine that public transport is a serious option. With almost 400.000 inhabitants, the city of Piracicaba has a ridiculous public transport. Buses come whenever they want, there are no time tables in the bus stops. Similarly there are no sign of which buses stop. Intervals are huge except in a couple of main lines. The buses are so bad that if you are going to a distance of up to 4km going by foot is faster, or at least more reliable.

Knowing only this reality people don't think that public transport should be better. It simply seams natural that it is horrible and that it isn't possible for it to be better. Building light rail and intercity rail is not imagined as a solution because most people have never seen these things in their lives!!! If a politician proposes them, then most people will think it is a joke, it isn't serious and won't vote for him. It's like proposing teletransportation, people take it as something alien and impossible, even if you say that it works in even poorer countries.

Similarly I imagine that in the USA most people outside of the Northeast have never seen a good transport network and will never imagine it as a transport solution and an way to save a lot of money from transport which you can then spend somewhere else.

If you ask for people in Poland, on the other hand, the vast majority is in favor of public transport being the priority, because people can see that it can work really well. Poland is not richer then São Paulo, but still they have an excelent public transport.

Summing up: By dismantling the rail network the government pretty much ensured that there won't be support from the public for rebuilding it, because noone has even used in their lives a good public transport network of light rail and intercity trains and therefore won't consider this as a solution.
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Old November 29th, 2010, 02:51 AM   #1977
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This is just whining. I'll create a thread to bash the outdated Brazilian railway system and discuss its modernization USA-style, a.k.a, focusing on what matters for a country that, like US, has a good chunk of bulk freight, relatively few waterways and is sparsely populated.

I'll not do it here to avoid derailing the thread, but as a half-Brazilian I say, for now, that I'm glad that our government stopped pouring money in that black-hole that was its railway system before privatization in 1996.

Non-metropolitan railways receive ZERO subsidies there (like in US), government is constructing some lines, freight-only, but will not operate trains over them (they will be open access railways), and Brazilians taxpayers got away with a huge bill for overpaid, lazy, fat-cats and members of an oversized workforce of rail workers, the worse political and corruption-ridden union-dominated profession after the oil industry union.

Brazil, to the extent such comparisons can be drawn, is much more akin to US (population density, origin-destination freight profile) than to Europe. There is no way either country should, albeit for different reasons, try to think they will ever have a passenger system like Europe. US doesn't need it, Brazil doesn't need it - and I'll make my point into a new or revived thread in this very section.

US is also a very individualistic country, thank God, and that models attitudes toward public transportation to a certain, and only to a certain, extent. Brazilians should look more to Americans than to Poles, no offense or mistreat intended, as US offers a far more attractive paradigm of what a wealthy Brazil's life could be than Poland, which suffered from wars, communist ruling, centuries of being pawn between Prussia/Germany and Russia etc.
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Old November 29th, 2010, 03:05 AM   #1978
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This is just whining. I'll create a thread to bash the outdated Brazilian railway system and discuss its modernization USA-style, a.k.a, focusing on what matters for a country that, like US, has a good chunk of bulk freight, relatively few waterways and is sparsely populated.

I'll not do it here to avoid derailing the thread, but as a half-Brazilian I say, for now, that I'm glad that our government stopped pouring money in that black-hole that was its railway system before privatization in 1996.

Non-metropolitan railways receive ZERO subsidies there (like in US), government is constructing some lines, freight-only, but will not operate trains over them (they will be open access railways), and Brazilians taxpayers got away with a huge bill for overpaid, lazy, fat-cats and members of an oversized workforce of rail workers, the worse political and corruption-ridden union-dominated profession after the oil industry union.

Brazil, to the extent such comparisons can be drawn, is much more akin to US (population density, origin-destination freight profile) than to Europe. There is no way either country should, albeit for different reasons, try to think they will ever have a passenger system like Europe. US doesn't need it, Brazil doesn't need it - and I'll make my point into a new or revived thread in this very section.

US is also a very individualistic country, thank God, and that models attitudes toward public transportation to a certain, and only to a certain, extent. Brazilians should look more to Americans than to Poles, no offense or mistreat intended, as US offers a far more attractive paradigm of what a wealthy Brazil's life could be than Poland, which suffered from wars, communist ruling, centuries of being pawn between Prussia/Germany and Russia etc.
Your wrong , again the Attitudes towards Transit and Rail have changed in most Americans minds. Just like the Attitudes towards Gays and Immigrants have change , it may not appear that to be that way but it has. Maybe you should research some more before spouting your views on how you "think we Americans want". Over the last decade things have changed , mostly in the Northeast , Midwest and West Coast , the only opposition is coming form Rural Republicans and Southern Republicans which are corrupted by the Oil companies. Don't mention any projects that have been canceled by Republicans in the Northeast , because you don't know then full story.
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Old November 29th, 2010, 05:55 AM   #1979
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So, in your opinion, all that stands between America and the transit utopia where people leave McMansions and Ford Explorers behind for good and forever are a bunch of Southeastern Congressmen fueled (pun intended) by oil companies?
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Old November 29th, 2010, 06:20 AM   #1980
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I am rather curious, does everyone in USA have a car? Even the cleaning staff, university students and unemployed people? And no-one thinks it would be better to save the money from the car to, for example, take a large trip to the exterior?

And what do people without a car do in a place with no or very precarious public transport? Just go by foot? Hitchhiking?
Pretty much every family has a car, they are almost as ubiquitous as cell phones. College students much less so, but they live on or close to campus and can take the bus. Not having a car is tough but doable as I have witnessed many of my international student friends pull it off. They rely on friends with cars and take the bus around the inner city. Having a car greatly increases one's quality of life in the U.S.
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