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TuxRaiderPen

join:2009-09-19
reply to pnh102

Re: 9;

said by pnh102:
said by Telco:
This is precisely why government needs to step in an own a wholesale FTTH network that anyone can use to deliver high-speed internet to Americans.
That worked quite well for Amtrak.

Is the broadband policy in this country borq'd beyond belief?

YES!

Are sleasy investors killing a great project?

YES!

Is passenger rail service in this country borq'd beyond repair?

[b]YES![b/] has been for decades since they let the RR's weasel out of servivce both passenger and freight... decades ago.

Sad , truly sad, no, absolute disgrace that this country has no high speed rail service to go between coasts, and feed local passenger service to smaller areas... absolute disgrace that countries like Japan and even the french put this country to shame on high speed rail. Disgrace!

Amtrak is a joke, even Canada, *mariginally* gets it better, just slightly, and not by much... they too let passenger rail service be chisled away piece by piece...

Then the whole idiotic rails to trails... URRRGH!

NO MORE TRAILS! LOTS AND LOTS OF RAILS! RIP THE TRAILS DOWN AND PUT THE RAILS BACK!

Let the smoke bellow and the whistles blow!

Alllllll ABBBBOOOOOARDDD!
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1311393600 - Back to Black.....Black....Black....

Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY
said by TuxRaiderPen:

Sad , truly sad, no, absolute disgrace that this country has no high speed rail service to go between coasts, and feed local passenger service to smaller areas... absolute disgrace that countries like Japan and even the french put this country to shame on high speed rail. Disgrace!

Fastest passenger train speed: 200mph
Time from NYC to LA: 14 hours

Jumbo jet cruising speed: 485mph
Time from NYC to LA: 6 hours

Hmm, perhaps this has something to do with it?


a333
A hot cup of integrals please

join:2007-06-12
Rego Park, NY
Sometimes it's not just the speed of a mode of transport that matters... if that were the case, we'd all be flying coast-to-coast in Concordes at this point... trains offer a significantly more comfortable journey, more legroom, not being squeezed inside the equivalent of a pressure chamber for > 4 hours, and quite a few amenities that either cost you an arm and a leg on aircraft, are impossible, or force you to buy business-class tickets at... an arm and a leg. Besides, there are plenty of long-range high-speed railways around the world that are operating quite successfully in terms of passenger and freight traffic (Channel Tunnel/High Speed 1, TGV, Shinkansen.) Also, within the next few decades, I'd venture to say that Maglev technology (which the Japanese have been testing for over 2 decades, and say is finally approaching readiness for commercial marketing) will be a reasonable proposition for new railways, making speed even less of an issue.
--
Physics: Will you break the laws of physics, or will the laws of physics break you?
If physicists stand on each other's shoulders, computer scientists stand on each other's toes, and computer programmers dig each other's graves.

Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY
If passenger trains are so great why can't they successfully compete without support from the government? Why aren't they self sustaining anywhere outside of the Northeast Corridor? Do you really think that high speed rail offers benefits compelling enough to justify the use of eminent domain against countless property owners? What of the environmental impact of thousands of miles of new track? How does it ever compete financially against air travel, which requires no new infrastructure, no use of eminent domain, and has no NIMBY pushback from the communities between point a and b?

I'm sorry, but I've never understood the fascination that people have with rail. It's great for moving freight, getting around the city, and for regional trips. Cross country trips? Not so much.


a333
A hot cup of integrals please

join:2007-06-12
Rego Park, NY
Perhaps not cross-country trips, but linking up the length of each coastline and its major centers using the EXISTING tracks (but improving them so that they are worthy of high-speed service) is certainly something worth pursuing. There is a whole lot of track that could be put into service similar to the 300 Km/h (~ 187 Mph) service found in portions of the UK, and in a lot of Europe, but we need to renew the trackbed, install concrete sleepers, and install cab-based signalling (typically, safe operation of a train cannot exist with traditional lineside signals above ~125 mph). All of those combined cost quite a lot less than building a whole new line (and don't require the headaches of new zoning/permits/et. al.)

Also, air has its own growing pains these days... increased traffic means we have to re-think an air traffic control system that hasn't been re-thought since the 1960's. New runways also lead to NIMBY cases who do not want to be put in the approach path, and experience the associated noise (or at least the perceived noise), or the potential safety hazards.
--
Physics: Will you break the laws of physics, or will the laws of physics break you?
If physicists stand on each other's shoulders, computer scientists stand on each other's toes, and computer programmers dig each other's graves.

Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY
said by a333:

Perhaps not cross-country trips, but linking up the length of each coastline and its major centers using the EXISTING tracks (but improving them so that they are worthy of high-speed service) is certainly something worth pursuing.

Why? What niche will it fill that isn't filled cheaper and more efficiently by air travel?

As it stands, the only reason trains are more attractive for mid-range regional trips (think Boston to DC) is because you don't have to deal with the post 9/11 security regime and resulting delays. The travel time is roughly the same once you take airport security into account. It remains unclear how much longer this will remain an advantage, TSA is currently attempting to expand their security theater into other forms of transportation, including rail and bus stations. Fixing airport security would solve a lot of problems with our air travel system, but that's an entirely different discussion!

said by a333:

All of those combined cost quite a lot less than building a whole new line (and don't require the headaches of new zoning/permits/et. al.)

So why doesn't the private sector do it? It would be all over it if there was money to be made. Why should the Government step in and spend billions of dollars on rail, particularly when we have other infrastructure (roads and bridges) demanding attention. That infrastructure is already the responsibility of Government, and most would agree that it's failing us, how many other first world countries have had bridge collapses in a major metropolitan area?

said by a333:

Also, air has its own growing pains these days... increased traffic means we have to re-think an air traffic control system that hasn't been re-thought since the 1960's. New runways also lead to NIMBY cases who do not want to be put in the approach path, and experience the associated noise (or at least the perceived noise), or the potential safety hazards.

Well, the air traffic control system needs to be modernized regardless, though a lot of issues there could be solved simply by hiring more people. I concur that air travel has it's own NIMBY issues, I just think they are easier to manage than those from rail.

Speaking more broadly, NIMBY, and its step child BANANA, are holding us back more than our mass transit system. Everybody wants cell phone reception, but nobody wants to look at a communications tower. Everybody wants cheaper electricity, but it requires a major battle to obtain the required right-of-ways to build new transmission lines. Politicians grandstand, the tin-foil hat (cell phone towers cause cancer!) crowd comes out, and any new infrastructure project turns into an expensive public relations nightmare.

Our excessively burdensome regulatory structure does not help matters either. It took more than a decade to complete the environmental impact studies for the Cape Wind project. Combine that with the nasty PR/NIMBY battle and it's a wonder the company behind the project didn't pull out in favor of investing their capital elsewhere. Would you have the patience to sit on billions of dollars of capital for more than a decade, when you could send it elsewhere, probably offshore, and earn returns today?


NOCMan
MadMacHatter
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Colorado Springs, CO
reply to TuxRaiderPen
Once the airlines all go bankrupt because of rising fuel prices rail will become the only link between smaller cities as the airlines contract back to major hubs and the commuter routes are dropped. It's must a matter of time that's all.
--
Ski News - Ski Colorado Blog
Web Hosting - www.FrontRangeHosting.com

TuxRaiderPen

join:2009-09-19
reply to Crookshanks
said by Crookshanks:
If passenger trains are so great why can't they successfully compete without support from the government?
Railroads that moved freight AND people ie: passenger service built some of the largest corporations and wealthiest persons in the US at one time. Combine the runs! If you have cars to take from area a to the yard in b to be transferred out to other trains put them in the consist for the passenger run, at least on the local/regional feeders to the high speed line.

Now a days the RR's reroute traffic around passenger service lines like they have the plague or something... gee they managed to share the same lines for hundreds of years before no reason they can't now, other than lawyers.

cars are a big part of the demise of train travel, and even air travel.

said by Crookshanks:
Do you really think that high speed rail offers benefits compelling enough to justify the use of eminent domain against countless property owners?
Had the RR not been allowed to abandon and let rot or allowed to remove lines, or abandon/remove/turn to trails a good bit of infrastructure would not have to be REBUILT but upgraded.

And YES 10000000% I approve of taking back the land to provide for a high speed rail feeder system to feed local service to every hick 1 cow town in the US!

said by Crookshanks:
What of the environmental impact of thousands of miles of new track?
I do not care one bit about environmental impacts.

said by Crookshanks:
How does it ever compete financially against air travel, which requires no new infrastructure, no use of eminent domain, and has no NIMBY pushback from the communities between point a and b?
Thats why the government will have to be the one to take the land and then turn it over to some one else OTHER THAN AMTRAK!

So how's that air travel working out????

Delta is killing its regional service, all those great regional jets are going to sit in the AZ desert now till the next revival... All the others are doing the same the regional airlines are going to be gone... Rail offers a good way to do local transit to feed to stations for regional rail travel and then on to the high speed line.

Cities are going to loose the only air travel they have! Some would required hours long drives. Rail service could pick this up.

I am all for regional airlines too... fuel cost is the problem.. it should not be... since the US occupies a country with the 3-4th largest oil supply... it should be running down the streets of the US like water. And similar cost... Put it in a tanker and ship it to the US.. Thats why we were/are there, period. The next problem is refining, the greenie weenie tree huggers kill every project for refineries or nuclear power plants. Arrested and deported for economic terrorism. bye bye enjoy Gitmo!

Plain and simple we need to get alternatives to oil for jet fuel, to electric generation to vehicle (cars/trucks) fuel.. If some South American country, brazil, can convert to ethanol than this country can too! Plenty of sources for it in non corn or other non food stocks.

1) Every oil burning electric plant in the US is REQUIRED to convert to nuclear or sustainable source (NOT COAL or Natural gas! has nothing to do with the environment! it needs to be a one time switch nuclear or some sort of other fuel, like garbage... that can be renewed.

2) gasoline vehicles are phased out for ethanol vehicles.

Ethanol is produced from what ever sustainable sources.. sugar cane, switch grass, garbage, grass clippings, wood processing remainders what ever.. there was a whole slew of development on these things...

said by Crookshanks:
I'm sorry, but I've never understood the fascination that people have with rail. It's great for moving freight, getting around the city, and for regional trips. Cross country trips? Not so much.
Because you have never ridden a train... Not ever trip is about being there instantly. If I have a time frame to meet then air travel is probably the only choice for some situations. Rail travel across the UK, france, Germnay etc. exists and is used by large.... Some time its not about getting there NOW NOW NOW.. its about getting there in peace and quiet.

I'll take trains when its possible and air when I need to... but trains is not an option for 98% of the US... At one time is was as ubiquitous as water. Thats a sad testament to this country.
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1311393600 - Back to Black.....Black....Black....

TuxRaiderPen

join:2009-09-19
reply to Crookshanks
said by Crookshanks:

Fastest passenger train speed: 200mph
Time from NYC to LA: 14 hours

Jumbo jet cruising speed: 485mph
Time from NYC to LA: 6 hours

Hmm, perhaps this has something to do with it?


Not every one needs or wants to be there instantly, and cross country does not mean only la or nyc...both places I have no interest in visiting, living or anything else...

A high speed line needs to serve all major cities, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Nashville, Chattanooga, Mepmphis Dallas,Atlanta, chicago, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Reno, Salt Lake, san francisco, sacramento, san diego, Billings, Butte, etc...
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1311393600 - Back to Black.....Black....Black....

TuxRaiderPen

join:2009-09-19
reply to Crookshanks
said by Crookshanks:
Why? What niche will it fill that isn't filled cheaper and more efficiently by air travel?
Many areas about to loose their ONLY portion of your annointed air service as the regional jets are parked, the regional airlines killed off all so very similar to the way passenger service on rail died.

said by Crookshanks:
advantage, TSA is currently attempting to expand their security theater into other forms of transportation, including rail and bus stations.
At least you got that part right... "theater."

said by Crookshanks:
So why doesn't the private sector do it? It would be all over it if there was money to be made.
The difference between the concept of profit and profiteering, thats why... companies will only take risks if there is HUGE PROFITS versus a smaller profit on the same project.

said by Crookshanks:
Why should the Government step in and spend billions of dollars on rail, particularly when we have other infrastructure (roads and bridges) demanding attention. That infrastructure is already the responsibility of Government, and most would agree that it's failing

J O B S..... Thats why... and no this ain't no "New Deal!"
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1311393600 - Back to Black.....Black....Black....

Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY
reply to TuxRaiderPen
said by TuxRaiderPen:

Because you have never ridden a train... Not ever trip is about being there instantly. If I have a time frame to meet then air travel is probably the only choice for some situations.

Actually, I have ridden on a train. Multiple times. I live in the Northeast, the only part of the country where rail travel is self-sustaining.

The "it's not about being there instantly" mentality is why trains will never be profitable, because with few exceptions that's exactly what it's about. Ocean liners died out precisely because air travel got you there in hours, not days. Cruise ships are still around but that's an entirely different market than ocean liners, they are catering to people who view the trip itself as the vacation, with all of the assorted luxuries that a cruise ship can provide.

Could you take that business model to trains and make it profitable? Possibly. I've always wanted to take the trans-Siberian railway across Russia and would consider making a similar trip across the United States. I don't think it would be nearly as successful as the cruise industry but you could probably make it self sustaining. Note that is an idea for a novelty/luxury service like cruise ships, not as a means of travel, and I would not condone my Government spending tax dollars on such a venture when we need them elsewhere.

said by TuxRaiderPen:

Rail travel across the UK, france, Germnay etc. exists and is used by large....

Those countries are a lot smaller than the United States. Why don't you look at the whole of Europe and ask yourself how many people really take a train from Madrid to Moscow, or from Helsinki to Rome? The numbers are small to non-existent, air travel is the clear winner at those distances.