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High speed rail!

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Posts

  • FyreWulffFyreWulff Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2008
    PantsB wrote: »
    The cross country trains just don't make sense. No one is going to ride them, and you have to build across huge lengths of land where no one lives. While that's also where you'd be able to get truly fast trains going if you really wanted to (there aren't many other nations that have as much flat non-desert as the US does), that's back burner.

    The only train route in the US that could currently survive without massive government subsidy is the Acela route. Its not paradise, but its not bad, but its not terrible. I used to go Boston-Philly once a month or so (non-express) and as long as you didn't get someone annoying sitting next to you it was pretty pleasant and affordable.

    People already pull 2-4 day trips on the Greyhound, I think they'd just transition over to the train very easily. Amtrak is useless for Omaha because they make one stop per day in the middle of the night. It's useless for going from Omaha to Lincoln, even though it's only 11$. Greyhound doesn't go from Omaha to Lincoln. In fact the bus i took back from Seattle didn't even stop in Lincoln, it just went straight to Omaha.

    A Omaha<->Chicago connection would be great. Not everyone wants to ride the plane, and planes are not cost effective for moving, whereas people can move using the Greyhound because they don't charge an arm and a leg for extra baggage. Plus we can use those trains to transport mail, and subsidize by selling space to UPS and FedEx and DHL on the trains for packages that they can't fly.

    I think people are seriously underestimating how limited plane flying really is and how much better it would be than the Greyhound.

    I've gone from Omaha to Seattle on a Greyhound (23 hours to, 1 day 22 hours back), Omaha to Toronto on a Greyhound (29 there, 29 back), and Omaha to Seattle on a plane (3 hours to/back). I was able to bring much more with me on the bus than I was able to on the plane. Higher utility at the cost of speed, or high speed at the cost of utility. A high speed train would fit right in the middle.

    FyreWulff on
  • TK-42-1TK-42-1 Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    We have been trying to get a commuter rail line going between austin and san antonio for atleast a decade and it never goes anywhere. with federal funding this might actually be able to get off the ground

    TK-42-1 on
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  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Can we not have a thread masturbating about Europe's rail system, because most of them are exceptional.

    Fencingsax on
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  • JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Caaba Beankomy XobthroRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    PantsB wrote: »
    If you can get places asking for coverage - places like Minn-St Paul, Phoenix,Denver, etc - Congressmen will stop trying to keep other people from getting the trains (because it drains money they want) and start fighting for the train.

    Are you saying we are asking for coverage or we should be?

    Because, for a while now, we have been rabbleing for our damn train. One that will go from Minneapolis to the burbs and then to St. Cloud, and eventually to Duluth.

    The estimated ticket price was... 9 bucks? 12 bucks? I think from St. Cloud to Minneapolis. Costs me 20 bucks to drive there and back.

    JebusUD on
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  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    JebusUD wrote: »
    PantsB wrote: »
    If you can get places asking for coverage - places like Minn-St Paul, Phoenix,Denver, etc - Congressmen will stop trying to keep other people from getting the trains (because it drains money they want) and start fighting for the train.

    Are you saying we are asking for coverage or we should be?

    Because, for a while now, we have been rabbleing for our damn train. One that will go from Minneapolis to the burbs and then to St. Cloud, and eventually to Duluth.

    The estimated ticket price was... 9 bucks? 12 bucks? I think from St. Cloud to Minneapolis. Costs me 20 bucks to drive there and back.

    Well that's more of a commuter thing. We have a decent system (IMO) in Boston, and federal funding of that type of thing is appropriate IMO (they'd provide regular jobs more than highways, are better for the environment, etc) but you don't need high speed rail for that kind of thing usually. The MBTA ones max out at between 60-80, and often are going slower than that since the entire trip is fairly heavily developed. We already have intercity (Acela) service considerably faster than that.

    Its more a desire for a train link from Minn-StP ->Madison-> Milwaukee->Chicago that would make a semi-complete fast intercity trains plausible politically. If I want to go Boston->Pitt, I'm probably flying (2+ hrs) or driving (12 hrs). I'm certainly not training it (13-14 hrs if I'm lucky). If there was a train that could reliably go ~110 (say an average of 100 mph) the 6 hour train ride would be a conceivable alternative.

    PantsB on
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  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    PantsB wrote: »
    The cross country trains just don't make sense. No one is going to ride them, and you have to build across huge lengths of land where no one lives. While that's also where you'd be able to get truly fast trains going if you really wanted to (there aren't many other nations that have as much flat non-desert as the US does), that's back burner

    Well, I guess I just see a cross-country train connecting the major cities (basically the Chicago->KC/St. Louis->Denver idea) as being beneficial, and at that point I guess I'd like to dream that it'd be cost-effective to just continue it on to Salt Lake, Vegas, and LA.
    The only train route in the US that could currently survive without massive government subsidy is the Acela route.

    Luckily we've recently redefined "massive" in relation to government subsidy.

    And seriously, compared to the kind of bailouts we throw at airlines, or shit the auto industry, developing cross-county high-speed rail is fucking cheap.

    I'm okay with significant government subsidies to get it off the ground, and actually to operate it as well...because again, we already offer these kinds of subsidies to airlines. If that's what it takes to get an SF-LA line connected to Denver and the DC-Boston line connected to Chicago, so be it.

    mcdermott on
  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    mcdermott wrote: »
    PantsB wrote: »
    The cross country trains just don't make sense. No one is going to ride them, and you have to build across huge lengths of land where no one lives. While that's also where you'd be able to get truly fast trains going if you really wanted to (there aren't many other nations that have as much flat non-desert as the US does), that's back burner

    Well, I guess I just see a cross-country train connecting the major cities (basically the Chicago->KC/St. Louis->Denver idea) as being beneficial, and at that point I guess I'd like to dream that it'd be cost-effective to just continue it on to Salt Lake, Vegas, and LA.
    The only train route in the US that could currently survive without massive government subsidy is the Acela route.

    Luckily we've recently redefined "massive" in relation to government subsidy.

    And seriously, compared to the kind of bailouts we throw at airlines, or shit the auto industry, developing cross-county high-speed rail is fucking cheap.

    I'm okay with significant government subsidies to get it off the ground, and actually to operate it as well...because again, we already offer these kinds of subsidies to airlines. If that's what it takes to get an SF-LA line connected to Denver and the DC-Boston line connected to Chicago, so be it.

    I guess then its more of an approach issue. I'd rather kick in the door, no compromise on issues like health care, alternative energy etc. Other issues, like long distance rail I'd rather ease in - get the public to see that medium range (Acela, Chicagoland, WC) ones work well and get the closest city not connect clamoring to be included. If you get that going, you don't need to force it through since Cleveland will want to be connected to Pittsburgh (for instance), linking the East Coast and Midwest lines. That way you get the system off the ground so the subsidy is smaller and the public support is better. You could get a southern link (Atlanta->NO->Texas triangle->Denver->WC) that way, and maybe a middle route (StL->KC/Omaha->Denver) but probably not a northern route (not much between Min-StP and Seattle)

    PantsB on
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  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    FyreWulff wrote: »
    except it already takes 3 days via passenger train to go from the middle of the country to the west coast

    Surely that cannot be true? It takes 7days to get from Moscow to Beijing!

    High speed rail can quite easily replace short-haul flights. It is now quicker to travel from London to Frankfurt by train than it is by plane, due to all the security measures.

    Also can I join in the German train loving? I went interrailing this summer (unlimited train travel for a month ftw!) and German trains are fantastic, especially with the privacy and quietness provided by compartments. Even in trains with largely airplane style seating they had compartments at the end of carriages for families-no crying babies!

    Equal time, perhaps if you are very unlucky at the airport, but the train will still cost 50% more than a cheap flight. In fact, I've seen fare differences where you could fly, rent a car at the other end, and still save money over a train.

    tbloxham on
    "That is cool" - Abraham Lincoln
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