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High speed train travel on the Northeast Corridor is not feasibile


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#1 Casey Jones

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 10:11 AM

I did not realize that there was a dedicated forum for High Speed Rail. I had previously posted this link in the discussion forum.

This link is my slant on the feasibility of high speed travel on the Northeast Corridor.

http://www.railwayag...?channel=00Bill

 



#2 Brian_tampa

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 10:41 PM

I did not realize that there was a dedicated forum for High Speed Rail. I had previously posted this link in the discussion forum.
This link is my slant on the feasibility of high speed travel on the Northeast Corridor.
http://www.railwayag...?channel=00Bill

Where to begin...

You say this reflects your 'slant', so own it:

Generation 1 trainsets were equipped with the latest tilt system, yet could only equal, not exceed, the running time of the 1969 Metroliners between New York and Washington D.C.

Why do you omit that tilt systems were meant for the more curvy section between NYC and Boston yet you make the comparison with the relatively straight section between NYC and DC? Tilt trains would never be much benefit for that section of the NEC. Seems like you intentionally chose to highlight the worst possible case to make your argument.

You say this also reflects your 'slant':

Integrated trainsets such as the Acela Express (and the aforementioned “trains of the future”) have proven impractical.

Uh, all over the world most if not all higher speed trainsets are integrated. So are the Brightline trains in Florida. It is a proven concept and technology. Only here in Amurika do we think loose car passenger trains are the norm for 1st world developed countries in the 21st century. How are they impractical if the rest of the world operates 1000's of these integrated trains every day?

You also say this reflects your 'slant':

Comparisons to European and Japanese railway systems cannot be made. Europe and Japan were bombed into rubble during World War II. With nothing in the way, the Marshall Plan and SCAP (Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers), with an eye on the future, rebuilt the European and Japanese railway systems as straight and modern as practicable.

Really? Have you been to Germany or France? Do you not know they only recently in the past 25 years built their high speed lines? Same with France since 1980. Wow. HSR has nothing to do with WWII or the Marshall Plan. Alternative facts being presented here.

Japan started their HSR in the early 1960s after seeing how the North Shore line between Chicago and Milwaukee was built.

#3 jis

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 07:15 PM

 

Comparisons to European and Japanese railway systems cannot be made. Europe and Japan were bombed into rubble during World War II. With nothing in the way, the Marshall Plan and SCAP (Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers), with an eye on the future, rebuilt the European and Japanese railway systems as straight and modern as practicable.

Really? Have you been to Germany or France? Do you not know they only recently in the past 25 years built their high speed lines? Same with France since 1980. Wow. HSR has nothing to do with WWII or the Marshall Plan. Alternative facts being presented here.

Japan started their HSR in the early 1960s after seeing how the North Shore line between Chicago and Milwaukee was built.

 

I have given comprehensive reasons in the other thread where this has been posted as to why I believe this claim about Marshall Plan having anything to do with major basic reconstruction of the European network is bunk. However, he seems tio be unwilling to enter into a constructive discussion about the validity or lack thereof of that bit of rewriting of history.

 

Shinkansen in Japan also has nothing to do with US post war reconstruction aid under McArthur. That predates the construction of the Shinkansen by a decade and a half. Indeed US started the NEC program with Metroliners in order to compete with the Japanese development and then proceeded to fail miserably. How could they possibly help someone else build something that they themselves proved incapable of building in a sustainable fashion?

 

BTW mods ... could we please merge the two threads?


Edited by jis, 23 March 2017 - 07:15 PM.


#4 Casey Jones

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 08:49 PM

 

I did not realize that there was a dedicated forum for High Speed Rail. I had previously posted this link in the discussion forum.
This link is my slant on the feasibility of high speed travel on the Northeast Corridor.
http://www.railwayag...?channel=00Bill

Where to begin...

You say this reflects your 'slant', so own it:

Generation 1 trainsets were equipped with the latest tilt system, yet could only equal, not exceed, the running time of the 1969 Metroliners between New York and Washington D.C.

Why do you omit that tilt systems were meant for the more curvy section between NYC and Boston yet you make the comparison with the relatively straight section between NYC and DC? Tilt trains would never be much benefit for that section of the NEC. Seems like you intentionally chose to highlight the worst possible case to make your argument.

You say this also reflects your 'slant':

Integrated trainsets such as the Acela Express (and the aforementioned “trains of the future”) have proven impractical.

Uh, all over the world most if not all higher speed trainsets are integrated. So are the Brightline trains in Florida. It is a proven concept and technology. Only here in Amurika do we think loose car passenger trains are the norm for 1st world developed countries in the 21st century. How are they impractical if the rest of the world operates 1000's of these integrated trains every day?

You also say this reflects your 'slant':

Comparisons to European and Japanese railway systems cannot be made. Europe and Japan were bombed into rubble during World War II. With nothing in the way, the Marshall Plan and SCAP (Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers), with an eye on the future, rebuilt the European and Japanese railway systems as straight and modern as practicable.

Really? Have you been to Germany or France? Do you not know they only recently in the past 25 years built their high speed lines? Same with France since 1980. Wow. HSR has nothing to do with WWII or the Marshall Plan. Alternative facts being presented here.

Japan started their HSR in the early 1960s after seeing how the North Shore line between Chicago and Milwaukee was built.

 

It is my slant and I do own it. I stand by my article. That article has been published in numerous venues and the overwhelming favorable responses outnumber the very few (just two of you) negative responses.

 

There are no curves between NYC and WAS??? The tilt system is exclusively for NYC to BOS???

 

So tell me, what happens to an integrated train when say a wheel locks up and a major flat spot develops on one of the cars in it's consist? What is your solution to that problem?

 

My comments concerning WW II has nothing to do with high speed it has only to do with new infrastructure as opposed to our older infrastructure. Theirs being straighter and allowing higher speeds when the high speed trains were developed as opposed to our high speed trains running on 'ancient' infrastructure.


Edited by Casey Jones, 23 March 2017 - 09:03 PM.


#5 Casey Jones

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 08:58 PM

 

 

Comparisons to European and Japanese railway systems cannot be made. Europe and Japan were bombed into rubble during World War II. With nothing in the way, the Marshall Plan and SCAP (Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers), with an eye on the future, rebuilt the European and Japanese railway systems as straight and modern as practicable.

Really? Have you been to Germany or France? Do you not know they only recently in the past 25 years built their high speed lines? Same with France since 1980. Wow. HSR has nothing to do with WWII or the Marshall Plan. Alternative facts being presented here.

Japan started their HSR in the early 1960s after seeing how the North Shore line between Chicago and Milwaukee was built.

 

I have given comprehensive reasons in the other thread where this has been posted as to why I believe this claim about Marshall Plan having anything to do with major basic reconstruction of the European network is bunk. However, he seems tio be unwilling to enter into a constructive discussion about the validity or lack thereof of that bit of rewriting of history.

 

Shinkansen in Japan also has nothing to do with US post war reconstruction aid under McArthur. That predates the construction of the Shinkansen by a decade and a half. Indeed US started the NEC program with Metroliners in order to compete with the Japanese development and then proceeded to fail miserably. How could they possibly help someone else build something that they themselves proved incapable of building in a sustainable fashion?

 

BTW mods ... could we please merge the two threads?

 

Your 'comprehensive reasons'  have been countered in the other thread. Constructive discussion can be had if you set aside your 'romance of the rails' and look objectively and realistically at the state of rail travel in this country. Passenger railroads can only compete with the airlines in the 500 mile and under market.  Transcontinental trains should be operated as sightseeing excursions in the summer months only.



#6 brianpmcdonnell17

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 09:29 PM

 

 

Comparisons to European and Japanese railway systems cannot be made. Europe and Japan were bombed into rubble during World War II. With nothing in the way, the Marshall Plan and SCAP (Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers), with an eye on the future, rebuilt the European and Japanese railway systems as straight and modern as practicable.

Really? Have you been to Germany or France? Do you not know they only recently in the past 25 years built their high speed lines? Same with France since 1980. Wow. HSR has nothing to do with WWII or the Marshall Plan. Alternative facts being presented here.

Japan started their HSR in the early 1960s after seeing how the North Shore line between Chicago and Milwaukee was built.
 
I have given comprehensive reasons in the other thread where this has been posted as to why I believe this claim about Marshall Plan having anything to do with major basic reconstruction of the European network is bunk. However, he seems tio be unwilling to enter into a constructive discussion about the validity or lack thereof of that bit of rewriting of history.
 
Shinkansen in Japan also has nothing to do with US post war reconstruction aid under McArthur. That predates the construction of the Shinkansen by a decade and a half. Indeed US started the NEC program with Metroliners in order to compete with the Japanese development and then proceeded to fail miserably. How could they possibly help someone else build something that they themselves proved incapable of building in a sustainable fashion?
 
BTW mods ... could we please merge the two threads?
 
Your 'comprehensive reasons'  have been countered in the other thread. Constructive discussion can be had if you set aside your 'romance of the rails' and look objectively and realistically at the state of rail travel in this country. Passenger railroads can only compete with the airlines in the 500 mile and under market.  Transcontinental trains should be operated as sightseeing excursions in the summer months only.

Why should transcontinental trains be cut? If the infrastructure is maintained to passenger quality for sightseeing excurisions, than it would not cost much extra to run the trains year-round. If you travelled extensively by long distance train, you would know that they are often sold out or very close to it, even during times other than the summer. Planes are the primary way of getting coast to coast, but trains and highways are also used by people for various reasons. You also must remember that many of the passengers travel to large urban intermediate cities or towns without convenient airplane access. That is why it makes sense to run trains on the NEC Boston to Washington rather than just two separate lines out of New York. Most people on those trains are not travelling the full route, but instead boarding in places like New York and Philadelphia. However, it still makes sense to run trains the whole way to introduce more city pairs. The same concept is applied to long distance trains. By your logic, why don't we just stop funding all roads in the rural west? They, in the same way as long distance trains, connect urban centers and are important to people living in certain rural areas. Just because planes get more passengers than the trains does not mean that the trains should be discontinued.
Trains travelled: Capitol Limited WAS-CHI, Carolinian CLT-RGH, Coast Starlight SJC-LAX, Crescent BAL-ATL, Empire Builder MSP-CHI, Empire Service NYP-NFL, Lake Shore Limited BOS-ALB, Maple Leaf ALB-NYP, Northeast Regional FBG-RVR+WAS-BOS, Pacific Surfliner LAX-ANA, Silver Meteor ORL-NYP, Silver Star FTL-WAS, 2016 Autumn Express NYP-HAR-NYP

Upcoming New Routes: Piedmont RGH-GRO (July), Pennsylvanian NYP-PGH (July), Cardinal CHI-WIL (July), Lake Shore Limited NYP-CHI (December), California Zephyr CHI-RIC (December), Coast Starlight SJC-SEA (December), Empire Builder SEA-MSP (January).

Non Amtrak: Atlanta Streetcar, Caltrain, CTA, DC Streetcar, Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, LIRR, MARC, MARTA, MBTA Subway, Metra, Metrolink, METRO Transit Light Rail, Miami Metrorail, Muni Metro, NJT Commuter Rail, North Star, NYC Subway, PATH, River Line (NJT), SEPTA Regional Rail, SEPTA Subway, South Shore Line, Sunrail, TECO Streetcar, Tri-Rail, Washington Metro

#7 A Voice

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 09:34 PM

Passenger railroads can only compete with the airlines in the 500 mile and under market.  Transcontinental trains should be operated as sightseeing excursions in the summer months only.

 

False.  The passenger trains' primary competition is not the airplane but the automobile.  

 

The "sightseeing excursions" statement completely misses the point of how Amtrak's long-distance trains are being utilized by passengers and the actual markets which the trains serve (to and from intermediate points).  An examination of the distances passengers actually travel will bear this out.  

 

A valid and reliable study of the state and potential of high-speed passenger rail in the Northeast Corridor can only be obtained through an objective approach; A "slant" invalidates the conclusions.  


Edited by A Voice, 23 March 2017 - 09:35 PM.


#8 Casey Jones

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 08:35 AM

 

 

 

 

Comparisons to European and Japanese railway systems cannot be made. Europe and Japan were bombed into rubble during World War II. With nothing in the way, the Marshall Plan and SCAP (Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers), with an eye on the future, rebuilt the European and Japanese railway systems as straight and modern as practicable.

Really? Have you been to Germany or France? Do you not know they only recently in the past 25 years built their high speed lines? Same with France since 1980. Wow. HSR has nothing to do with WWII or the Marshall Plan. Alternative facts being presented here.

Japan started their HSR in the early 1960s after seeing how the North Shore line between Chicago and Milwaukee was built.
 
I have given comprehensive reasons in the other thread where this has been posted as to why I believe this claim about Marshall Plan having anything to do with major basic reconstruction of the European network is bunk. However, he seems tio be unwilling to enter into a constructive discussion about the validity or lack thereof of that bit of rewriting of history.
 
Shinkansen in Japan also has nothing to do with US post war reconstruction aid under McArthur. That predates the construction of the Shinkansen by a decade and a half. Indeed US started the NEC program with Metroliners in order to compete with the Japanese development and then proceeded to fail miserably. How could they possibly help someone else build something that they themselves proved incapable of building in a sustainable fashion?
 
BTW mods ... could we please merge the two threads?
 
Your 'comprehensive reasons'  have been countered in the other thread. Constructive discussion can be had if you set aside your 'romance of the rails' and look objectively and realistically at the state of rail travel in this country. Passenger railroads can only compete with the airlines in the 500 mile and under market.  Transcontinental trains should be operated as sightseeing excursions in the summer months only.

Why should transcontinental trains be cut? If the infrastructure is maintained to passenger quality for sightseeing excurisions, than it would not cost much extra to run the trains year-round. If you travelled extensively by long distance train, you would know that they are often sold out or very close to it, even during times other than the summer. Planes are the primary way of getting coast to coast, but trains and highways are also used by people for various reasons. You also must remember that many of the passengers travel to large urban intermediate cities or towns without convenient airplane access. That is why it makes sense to run trains on the NEC Boston to Washington rather than just two separate lines out of New York. Most people on those trains are not travelling the full route, but instead boarding in places like New York and Philadelphia. However, it still makes sense to run trains the whole way to introduce more city pairs. The same concept is applied to long distance trains. By your logic, why don't we just stop funding all roads in the rural west? They, in the same way as long distance trains, connect urban centers and are important to people living in certain rural areas. Just because planes get more passengers than the trains does not mean that the trains should be discontinued.

 

It does not cost that much to run long distance trains year round? There is a thread on here where a long distance train is 40 hours late is there not? I assume there are attendant expenses that are out of the norm i.e. bus transportation, refunds, hotel rooms etc. for those situations that occur frequently in the winter months. It does cost that much more to run long distance trains (Chicago to California) in the  fall(snow),winter(snow), spring (washouts) months.


Edited by Casey Jones, 26 March 2017 - 09:48 AM.


#9 Casey Jones

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 09:10 AM

 

Passenger railroads can only compete with the airlines in the 500 mile and under market.  Transcontinental trains should be operated as sightseeing excursions in the summer months only.

 

False.  The passenger trains' primary competition is not the airplane but the automobile.  

 

The "sightseeing excursions" statement completely misses the point of how Amtrak's long-distance trains are being utilized by passengers and the actual markets which the trains serve (to and from intermediate points).  An examination of the distances passengers actually travel will bear this out.  

 

A valid and reliable study of the state and potential of high-speed passenger rail in the Northeast Corridor can only be obtained through an objective approach; A "slant" invalidates the conclusions.  

 

How can you pronounce something false that was not said? Who said anything about automobiles versus trains?

 

I miss the point? Please give examples of intermediate travel points/cities in North Dakota, Montana, Iowa , Nebraska for starters where intermediate travel warrants a transcontinental train.

 

Yes I agree with an objective approach and my slant is to be considered when reaching a conclusion. Please point out where/how my slant invalidates the conclusions.



#10 brianpmcdonnell17

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 10:17 AM

 

 

 

 

Comparisons to European and Japanese railway systems cannot be made. Europe and Japan were bombed into rubble during World War II. With nothing in the way, the Marshall Plan and SCAP (Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers), with an eye on the future, rebuilt the European and Japanese railway systems as straight and modern as practicable.

Really? Have you been to Germany or France? Do you not know they only recently in the past 25 years built their high speed lines? Same with France since 1980. Wow. HSR has nothing to do with WWII or the Marshall Plan. Alternative facts being presented here.

Japan started their HSR in the early 1960s after seeing how the North Shore line between Chicago and Milwaukee was built.
 
I have given comprehensive reasons in the other thread where this has been posted as to why I believe this claim about Marshall Plan having anything to do with major basic reconstruction of the European network is bunk. However, he seems tio be unwilling to enter into a constructive discussion about the validity or lack thereof of that bit of rewriting of history.
 
Shinkansen in Japan also has nothing to do with US post war reconstruction aid under McArthur. That predates the construction of the Shinkansen by a decade and a half. Indeed US started the NEC program with Metroliners in order to compete with the Japanese development and then proceeded to fail miserably. How could they possibly help someone else build something that they themselves proved incapable of building in a sustainable fashion?
 
BTW mods ... could we please merge the two threads?
 
Your 'comprehensive reasons'  have been countered in the other thread. Constructive discussion can be had if you set aside your 'romance of the rails' and look objectively and realistically at the state of rail travel in this country. Passenger railroads can only compete with the airlines in the 500 mile and under market.  Transcontinental trains should be operated as sightseeing excursions in the summer months only.
Why should transcontinental trains be cut? If the infrastructure is maintained to passenger quality for sightseeing excurisions, than it would not cost much extra to run the trains year-round. If you travelled extensively by long distance train, you would know that they are often sold out or very close to it, even during times other than the summer. Planes are the primary way of getting coast to coast, but trains and highways are also used by people for various reasons. You also must remember that many of the passengers travel to large urban intermediate cities or towns without convenient airplane access. That is why it makes sense to run trains on the NEC Boston to Washington rather than just two separate lines out of New York. Most people on those trains are not travelling the full route, but instead boarding in places like New York and Philadelphia. However, it still makes sense to run trains the whole way to introduce more city pairs. The same concept is applied to long distance trains. By your logic, why don't we just stop funding all roads in the rural west? They, in the same way as long distance trains, connect urban centers and are important to people living in certain rural areas. Just because planes get more passengers than the trains does not mean that the trains should be discontinued.
 
It does not cost that much to run long distance trains year round? There is a thread on here where a long distance train is 40 hours late is there not? I assume there are attendant expenses that are out of the norm i.e. bus transportation, refunds, hotel rooms etc. for those situations that occur frequently in the winter months. It does cost that much more to run long distance trains (Chicago to California) in the  fall(snow),winter(snow), spring (washouts) months.
There is also a thread on here that shows that much of the costs accosiated with long distance trains would not go away and would simply be reallocated if the LDs were stopped. I believe the subsidy that would be eliminated would only be about $59 million. That number becomes even less when you factor in that infrastructure must be maintained and employees must be paid for your summer excursion trips.

Edited by brianpmcdonnell17, 26 March 2017 - 10:18 AM.

Trains travelled: Capitol Limited WAS-CHI, Carolinian CLT-RGH, Coast Starlight SJC-LAX, Crescent BAL-ATL, Empire Builder MSP-CHI, Empire Service NYP-NFL, Lake Shore Limited BOS-ALB, Maple Leaf ALB-NYP, Northeast Regional FBG-RVR+WAS-BOS, Pacific Surfliner LAX-ANA, Silver Meteor ORL-NYP, Silver Star FTL-WAS, 2016 Autumn Express NYP-HAR-NYP

Upcoming New Routes: Piedmont RGH-GRO (July), Pennsylvanian NYP-PGH (July), Cardinal CHI-WIL (July), Lake Shore Limited NYP-CHI (December), California Zephyr CHI-RIC (December), Coast Starlight SJC-SEA (December), Empire Builder SEA-MSP (January).

Non Amtrak: Atlanta Streetcar, Caltrain, CTA, DC Streetcar, Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, LIRR, MARC, MARTA, MBTA Subway, Metra, Metrolink, METRO Transit Light Rail, Miami Metrorail, Muni Metro, NJT Commuter Rail, North Star, NYC Subway, PATH, River Line (NJT), SEPTA Regional Rail, SEPTA Subway, South Shore Line, Sunrail, TECO Streetcar, Tri-Rail, Washington Metro

#11 Casey Jones

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 10:34 AM

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comparisons to European and Japanese railway systems cannot be made. Europe and Japan were bombed into rubble during World War II. With nothing in the way, the Marshall Plan and SCAP (Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers), with an eye on the future, rebuilt the European and Japanese railway systems as straight and modern as practicable.

Really? Have you been to Germany or France? Do you not know they only recently in the past 25 years built their high speed lines? Same with France since 1980. Wow. HSR has nothing to do with WWII or the Marshall Plan. Alternative facts being presented here.

Japan started their HSR in the early 1960s after seeing how the North Shore line between Chicago and Milwaukee was built.
 
I have given comprehensive reasons in the other thread where this has been posted as to why I believe this claim about Marshall Plan having anything to do with major basic reconstruction of the European network is bunk. However, he seems tio be unwilling to enter into a constructive discussion about the validity or lack thereof of that bit of rewriting of history.
 
Shinkansen in Japan also has nothing to do with US post war reconstruction aid under McArthur. That predates the construction of the Shinkansen by a decade and a half. Indeed US started the NEC program with Metroliners in order to compete with the Japanese development and then proceeded to fail miserably. How could they possibly help someone else build something that they themselves proved incapable of building in a sustainable fashion?
 
BTW mods ... could we please merge the two threads?
 
Your 'comprehensive reasons'  have been countered in the other thread. Constructive discussion can be had if you set aside your 'romance of the rails' and look objectively and realistically at the state of rail travel in this country. Passenger railroads can only compete with the airlines in the 500 mile and under market.  Transcontinental trains should be operated as sightseeing excursions in the summer months only.
Why should transcontinental trains be cut? If the infrastructure is maintained to passenger quality for sightseeing excurisions, than it would not cost much extra to run the trains year-round. If you travelled extensively by long distance train, you would know that they are often sold out or very close to it, even during times other than the summer. Planes are the primary way of getting coast to coast, but trains and highways are also used by people for various reasons. You also must remember that many of the passengers travel to large urban intermediate cities or towns without convenient airplane access. That is why it makes sense to run trains on the NEC Boston to Washington rather than just two separate lines out of New York. Most people on those trains are not travelling the full route, but instead boarding in places like New York and Philadelphia. However, it still makes sense to run trains the whole way to introduce more city pairs. The same concept is applied to long distance trains. By your logic, why don't we just stop funding all roads in the rural west? They, in the same way as long distance trains, connect urban centers and are important to people living in certain rural areas. Just because planes get more passengers than the trains does not mean that the trains should be discontinued.
 
It does not cost that much to run long distance trains year round? There is a thread on here where a long distance train is 40 hours late is there not? I assume there are attendant expenses that are out of the norm i.e. bus transportation, refunds, hotel rooms etc. for those situations that occur frequently in the winter months. It does cost that much more to run long distance trains (Chicago to California) in the  fall(snow),winter(snow), spring (washouts) months.
There is also a thread on here that shows that much of the costs accosiated with long distance trains would not go away and would simply be reallocated if the LDs were stopped. I believe the subsidy that would be eliminated would only be about $59 million. That number becomes even less when you factor in that infrastructure must be maintained and employees must be paid for your summer excursion trips.

 

Yes the monies could be reallocated to good use in the 500 mile and under market where trains with their midtown to midtown service  can compete with the airlines.

What infrastructure has to be maintained? The long distance trains are operated mainly on contract railroads.



#12 brianpmcdonnell17

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 11:58 AM

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comparisons to European and Japanese railway systems cannot be made. Europe and Japan were bombed into rubble during World War II. With nothing in the way, the Marshall Plan and SCAP (Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers), with an eye on the future, rebuilt the European and Japanese railway systems as straight and modern as practicable.

Really? Have you been to Germany or France? Do you not know they only recently in the past 25 years built their high speed lines? Same with France since 1980. Wow. HSR has nothing to do with WWII or the Marshall Plan. Alternative facts being presented here.

Japan started their HSR in the early 1960s after seeing how the North Shore line between Chicago and Milwaukee was built.
 
I have given comprehensive reasons in the other thread where this has been posted as to why I believe this claim about Marshall Plan having anything to do with major basic reconstruction of the European network is bunk. However, he seems tio be unwilling to enter into a constructive discussion about the validity or lack thereof of that bit of rewriting of history.
 
Shinkansen in Japan also has nothing to do with US post war reconstruction aid under McArthur. That predates the construction of the Shinkansen by a decade and a half. Indeed US started the NEC program with Metroliners in order to compete with the Japanese development and then proceeded to fail miserably. How could they possibly help someone else build something that they themselves proved incapable of building in a sustainable fashion?
 
BTW mods ... could we please merge the two threads?
 
Your 'comprehensive reasons'  have been countered in the other thread. Constructive discussion can be had if you set aside your 'romance of the rails' and look objectively and realistically at the state of rail travel in this country. Passenger railroads can only compete with the airlines in the 500 mile and under market.  Transcontinental trains should be operated as sightseeing excursions in the summer months only.
Why should transcontinental trains be cut? If the infrastructure is maintained to passenger quality for sightseeing excurisions, than it would not cost much extra to run the trains year-round. If you travelled extensively by long distance train, you would know that they are often sold out or very close to it, even during times other than the summer. Planes are the primary way of getting coast to coast, but trains and highways are also used by people for various reasons. You also must remember that many of the passengers travel to large urban intermediate cities or towns without convenient airplane access. That is why it makes sense to run trains on the NEC Boston to Washington rather than just two separate lines out of New York. Most people on those trains are not travelling the full route, but instead boarding in places like New York and Philadelphia. However, it still makes sense to run trains the whole way to introduce more city pairs. The same concept is applied to long distance trains. By your logic, why don't we just stop funding all roads in the rural west? They, in the same way as long distance trains, connect urban centers and are important to people living in certain rural areas. Just because planes get more passengers than the trains does not mean that the trains should be discontinued.
 
It does not cost that much to run long distance trains year round? There is a thread on here where a long distance train is 40 hours late is there not? I assume there are attendant expenses that are out of the norm i.e. bus transportation, refunds, hotel rooms etc. for those situations that occur frequently in the winter months. It does cost that much more to run long distance trains (Chicago to California) in the  fall(snow),winter(snow), spring (washouts) months.
There is also a thread on here that shows that much of the costs accosiated with long distance trains would not go away and would simply be reallocated if the LDs were stopped. I believe the subsidy that would be eliminated would only be about $59 million. That number becomes even less when you factor in that infrastructure must be maintained and employees must be paid for your summer excursion trips.
 
Yes the monies could be reallocated to good use in the 500 mile and under market where trains with their midtown to midtown service  can compete with the airlines.
What infrastructure has to be maintained? The long distance trains are operated mainly on contract railroads.

The railroads must be maintained to passenger standards; PTC may also be an issue in the coming years. In addition, stations must be maintained if they will be used during the summer season. Although this is not related to infrastructure, what would you plan on doing with the equipment during the rest of the year? You are clearly trying to appeal to tourists, so I don't think standard regional equipment would be operated on a summer excursion train.
Trains travelled: Capitol Limited WAS-CHI, Carolinian CLT-RGH, Coast Starlight SJC-LAX, Crescent BAL-ATL, Empire Builder MSP-CHI, Empire Service NYP-NFL, Lake Shore Limited BOS-ALB, Maple Leaf ALB-NYP, Northeast Regional FBG-RVR+WAS-BOS, Pacific Surfliner LAX-ANA, Silver Meteor ORL-NYP, Silver Star FTL-WAS, 2016 Autumn Express NYP-HAR-NYP

Upcoming New Routes: Piedmont RGH-GRO (July), Pennsylvanian NYP-PGH (July), Cardinal CHI-WIL (July), Lake Shore Limited NYP-CHI (December), California Zephyr CHI-RIC (December), Coast Starlight SJC-SEA (December), Empire Builder SEA-MSP (January).

Non Amtrak: Atlanta Streetcar, Caltrain, CTA, DC Streetcar, Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, LIRR, MARC, MARTA, MBTA Subway, Metra, Metrolink, METRO Transit Light Rail, Miami Metrorail, Muni Metro, NJT Commuter Rail, North Star, NYC Subway, PATH, River Line (NJT), SEPTA Regional Rail, SEPTA Subway, South Shore Line, Sunrail, TECO Streetcar, Tri-Rail, Washington Metro

#13 Casey Jones

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 12:48 PM

PTC is a fact of life, shoddy and inadequate training programs ensure that all railroads will eventually have it. Stations can be closed can they not? Thousands of folks close their homes in winter and head for warmer climes, this can also be done with stations. The equipment can also be stored with some used to supplement other high traffic areas. Transcontinental trains are dinosaurs in the long distance mode of transportation as Arlo Guthrie musically states in his hit song "The City of New Orleans".



#14 keelhauled

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 01:50 PM

For the love of God can you people figure out how to quote only the brief and relevant passages needed to make your points?

Go on, raise the flag, I got stars in my eyes...I'm in love with her and I won't apologize.


#15 neroden

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Posted 30 March 2017 - 04:16 AM

I have demonstrated previously that (a) the eastern (single-level) long-distance trains are all profitable, in the sense that cutting them would COST more money each year than running them, except the Cardinal; (b) the Auto Train is also profitable; and © the maximum amount you could possibly save by cutting the remaining trains is about $59 million, plus the cost of operating New Orleans Union Station, if you closed that too. In fact, it appears that it would also *cost more money* to cancel the Cardinal, Capitol Limited, Coast Starlight, or Empire Builder, due to the loss of connecting traffic. In reality you could probably save no more than $46 million.

The key point is that most of the published "losses" are just allocations of overhead, which wouldn't go away if you cut a train, it would just get reallocated to another train.

Further, of that putative $46 million, it is concentrated in three trains: Sunset Limited, Southwest Chief, and California Zephyr, amounting to $38 million. Most of the putative savings would come from shutting down staffed stations and crewbases. If you ran trains in the summer, you couldn't get these savings. Skilled railroad workers don't want to be furloughed every winter and you'd have to pay them year-round to do something.

More importantly, Mr. Jones, you have completely failed to understand the market for people riding on these trains: they're mostly not sightseers. They're oil workers going from Williston ND to Chicago, or people from Chicago visiting family in Denver. Et cetera.

Basically, Mr. Jones, you don't understand the economics of railroading. It's all about scale. Do you know how little you'd get for $38 million / year in a short corridor train? I'm not sure you could run one at all!

The long distance trains are actually *more profitable* than the corridor trains, and always have been. This is becuase they are really a string of corridors overlapping, but with economies of scale by only running one train the whole way.

The transcontinentals suffer from having a few weak segments. I was all in favor of rerouting the Southwest Chief from Albuquerque to Topeka via *Amarillo and Wichita*, rather than via the tiny towns it goes through now. I would also be in favor of rerouting the Sunset Limited back through Phoenix, rerouting the California Zephyr through Moline and Des Moines, etc.

I think you've fundamentally missed that these trains are in fact city-center to city-center trains; I took one from Chicago to a convention in Kansas City not so long ago, and from Chicago to a convention in Denver,...

Edited by neroden, 30 March 2017 - 04:25 AM.

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#16 Casey Jones

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Posted 30 March 2017 - 04:44 PM

I have demonstrated previously that (a) the eastern (single-level) long-distance trains are all profitable, in the sense that cutting them would COST more money each year than running them, except the Cardinal; (b) the Auto Train is also profitable; and © the maximum amount you could possibly save by cutting the remaining trains is about $59 million, plus the cost of operating New Orleans Union Station, if you closed that too. In fact, it appears that it would also *cost more money* to cancel the Cardinal, Capitol Limited, Coast Starlight, or Empire Builder, due to the loss of connecting traffic. In reality you could probably save no more than $46 million.

The key point is that most of the published "losses" are just allocations of overhead, which wouldn't go away if you cut a train, it would just get reallocated to another train.

Further, of that putative $46 million, it is concentrated in three trains: Sunset Limited, Southwest Chief, and California Zephyr, amounting to $38 million. Most of the putative savings would come from shutting down staffed stations and crewbases. If you ran trains in the summer, you couldn't get these savings. Skilled railroad workers don't want to be furloughed every winter and you'd have to pay them year-round to do something.

More importantly, Mr. Jones, you have completely failed to understand the market for people riding on these trains: they're mostly not sightseers. They're oil workers going from Williston ND to Chicago, or people from Chicago visiting family in Denver. Et cetera.

Basically, Mr. Jones, you don't understand the economics of railroading. It's all about scale. Do you know how little you'd get for $38 million / year in a short corridor train? I'm not sure you could run one at all!

The long distance trains are actually *more profitable* than the corridor trains, and always have been. This is becuase they are really a string of corridors overlapping, but with economies of scale by only running one train the whole way.

The transcontinentals suffer from having a few weak segments. I was all in favor of rerouting the Southwest Chief from Albuquerque to Topeka via *Amarillo and Wichita*, rather than via the tiny towns it goes through now. I would also be in favor of rerouting the Sunset Limited back through Phoenix, rerouting the California Zephyr through Moline and Des Moines, etc.

I think you've fundamentally missed that these trains are in fact city-center to city-center trains; I took one from Chicago to a convention in Kansas City not so long ago, and from Chicago to a convention in Denver,...

What do you base your money prognostications on? Are you privy to the inner financial workings of Amtrak or are you speculating? I stand by my statements that Amtrak can only compete in the 500 mile and under market and that  transcontinental trains are dinosaurs and should be operated only in the summer(warmer) months.

You are correct when you mention "weak segments". The "center to center trains" can be operated with the equipment that is not being used on the transcontinentals. Crossing the Rockies and the Sierras in the winter/spring months is an exercise in futility and a waste of money. We should heed the lesson from the Donner party disaster.

Chicago to Denver (1000 miles) airlines win in that market. That is an overnight trip and more expensive than the airplane.

Chicago to Kansas City(500miles) the automobile wins . Folks are apt to drive this relatively short and low traffic density (in between) area on their own schedule. Again less money.



#17 brianpmcdonnell17

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Posted 30 March 2017 - 10:32 PM

The transcontinental equipment, Superliners, could not be used in the NEC, where most of Amtrak's riders are and I presume you think Amtrak should remain. Also, the time extra equipment would be needed most is summer which is also when you propose sending them out west for tourist trains. As has been previously stated, most LD Amtrak passengers are not sightseers; you seem to be misunderstanding the market. As has also been stated, it would be inefficient to keep the rail lines open for passengers in the summer and close them in winter. While an occasional delay or cancellation does pop up, Amtrak doesn't suffer any more from the winter months than other transportation modes such as planes do. In addition, I believe most of the costs associated with such inclement weather is paid for by the host railroad (snow clearing, track repair, etc.). Lastly, while planes may have more passengers than Amtrak from Chicago to Denver, there is still clearly a market for rail service to the point that ridership is limited by capacity. Not everyone is under strict time constraints, is able to fly, or is willing to fly. As for Chicago to Kansas City, I feel much of the same is true and that Amtrak could support more frequencies than they currently operate between the cities. Many people, especially in Chicago, do not have access to a car. As you said, this is too few miles for a large airline market. That leaves trains and busses, and I feel most people would much rather be on an Amtrak than a bus, even if it costs a little more.

Edited by brianpmcdonnell17, 30 March 2017 - 10:33 PM.

Trains travelled: Capitol Limited WAS-CHI, Carolinian CLT-RGH, Coast Starlight SJC-LAX, Crescent BAL-ATL, Empire Builder MSP-CHI, Empire Service NYP-NFL, Lake Shore Limited BOS-ALB, Maple Leaf ALB-NYP, Northeast Regional FBG-RVR+WAS-BOS, Pacific Surfliner LAX-ANA, Silver Meteor ORL-NYP, Silver Star FTL-WAS, 2016 Autumn Express NYP-HAR-NYP

Upcoming New Routes: Piedmont RGH-GRO (July), Pennsylvanian NYP-PGH (July), Cardinal CHI-WIL (July), Lake Shore Limited NYP-CHI (December), California Zephyr CHI-RIC (December), Coast Starlight SJC-SEA (December), Empire Builder SEA-MSP (January).

Non Amtrak: Atlanta Streetcar, Caltrain, CTA, DC Streetcar, Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, LIRR, MARC, MARTA, MBTA Subway, Metra, Metrolink, METRO Transit Light Rail, Miami Metrorail, Muni Metro, NJT Commuter Rail, North Star, NYC Subway, PATH, River Line (NJT), SEPTA Regional Rail, SEPTA Subway, South Shore Line, Sunrail, TECO Streetcar, Tri-Rail, Washington Metro

#18 railbuck

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Posted 30 March 2017 - 10:59 PM

 

We should heed the lesson from the Donner party disaster.

 

Exactly.  Had they been riding the Zephyr instead of relying on their own transportation, there would have been no disaster.  But you cancelled the train during the off season and cannibalized the equipment for other routes, leaving them to their fate.

:huh:



#19 Casey Jones

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 09:31 AM

The transcontinental equipment, Superliners, could not be used in the NEC, where most of Amtrak's riders are and I presume you think Amtrak should remain. Also, the time extra equipment would be needed most is summer which is also when you propose sending them out west for tourist trains. As has been previously stated, most LD Amtrak passengers are not sightseers; you seem to be misunderstanding the market. As has also been stated, it would be inefficient to keep the rail lines open for passengers in the summer and close them in winter. While an occasional delay or cancellation does pop up, Amtrak doesn't suffer any more from the winter months than other transportation modes such as planes do. In addition, I believe most of the costs associated with such inclement weather is paid for by the host railroad (snow clearing, track repair, etc.). Lastly, while planes may have more passengers than Amtrak from Chicago to Denver, there is still clearly a market for rail service to the point that ridership is limited by capacity. Not everyone is under strict time constraints, is able to fly, or is willing to fly. As for Chicago to Kansas City, I feel much of the same is true and that Amtrak could support more frequencies than they currently operate between the cities. Many people, especially in Chicago, do not have access to a car. As you said, this is too few miles for a large airline market. That leaves trains and busses, and I feel most people would much rather be on an Amtrak than a bus, even if it costs a little more.

You seem to be misunderstanding my posts. Where do  I state that any of that equipment, i.e. Superliners, be used on the NEC? What I stated was "the 'center to center trains' can be operated with the equipment that is not being used on the transcontinentals.' I was referring to the heavily traveled segments of the transcontinental routes.

 

Your  observation of markets between Chicago and Denver and Chicago and Kansas City is pure speculation. Have you any data on how many folks do not have cars in Chicago who are in need of increased service? Do you have any data that these trains are crowded to the point that additional service is required?

 

You state "it would be inefficient to keep the rail lines open for passengers in the summer and close them in winter." Are not these lines maintained by the host/contract railroads?

You yourself have stated so. "In addition, I believe most of the costs associated with such inclement weather is paid for by the host railroad (snow clearing, track repair, etc.)".

 

You state "While an occasional delay or cancellation does pop up Amtrak doesn't suffer any more from the winter months than other transportation modes such as planes do".   "Occasional delay" ???? Surely you jest. Planes can be diverted and can take circuitous routes to avoid storms railroads cannot.

 

I realize that this site is mainly populated by railroad enthusiasts, an admirable hobby I might add, but one must not let that enthusiasm cloud ones objectivity. It is nice to wax poetic about the days of yore but that was then and this is now and the demographics have and are changing.



#20 A Voice

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 10:10 AM

 

I have demonstrated previously that (a) the eastern (single-level) long-distance trains are all profitable, in the sense that cutting them would COST more money each year than running them, except the Cardinal; (b) the Auto Train is also profitable; and © the maximum amount you could possibly save by cutting the remaining trains is about $59 million, plus the cost of operating New Orleans Union Station, if you closed that too. In fact, it appears that it would also *cost more money* to cancel the Cardinal, Capitol Limited, Coast Starlight, or Empire Builder, due to the loss of connecting traffic. In reality you could probably save no more than $46 million.

The key point is that most of the published "losses" are just allocations of overhead, which wouldn't go away if you cut a train, it would just get reallocated to another train.

Further, of that putative $46 million, it is concentrated in three trains: Sunset Limited, Southwest Chief, and California Zephyr, amounting to $38 million. Most of the putative savings would come from shutting down staffed stations and crewbases. If you ran trains in the summer, you couldn't get these savings. Skilled railroad workers don't want to be furloughed every winter and you'd have to pay them year-round to do something.

More importantly, Mr. Jones, you have completely failed to understand the market for people riding on these trains: they're mostly not sightseers. They're oil workers going from Williston ND to Chicago, or people from Chicago visiting family in Denver. Et cetera.

Basically, Mr. Jones, you don't understand the economics of railroading. It's all about scale. Do you know how little you'd get for $38 million / year in a short corridor train? I'm not sure you could run one at all!

The long distance trains are actually *more profitable* than the corridor trains, and always have been. This is becuase they are really a string of corridors overlapping, but with economies of scale by only running one train the whole way.

The transcontinentals suffer from having a few weak segments. I was all in favor of rerouting the Southwest Chief from Albuquerque to Topeka via *Amarillo and Wichita*, rather than via the tiny towns it goes through now. I would also be in favor of rerouting the Sunset Limited back through Phoenix, rerouting the California Zephyr through Moline and Des Moines, etc.

I think you've fundamentally missed that these trains are in fact city-center to city-center trains; I took one from Chicago to a convention in Kansas City not so long ago, and from Chicago to a convention in Denver,...

What do you base your money prognostications on? Are you privy to the inner financial workings of Amtrak or are you speculating? I stand by my statements that Amtrak can only compete in the 500 mile and under market and that  transcontinental trains are dinosaurs and should be operated only in the summer(warmer) months.

You are correct when you mention "weak segments". The "center to center trains" can be operated with the equipment that is not being used on the transcontinentals. Crossing the Rockies and the Sierras in the winter/spring months is an exercise in futility and a waste of money. We should heed the lesson from the Donner party disaster.

Chicago to Denver (1000 miles) airlines win in that market. That is an overnight trip and more expensive than the airplane.

Chicago to Kansas City(500miles) the automobile wins . Folks are apt to drive this relatively short and low traffic density (in between) area on their own schedule. Again less money.

 

 

The long-distance (LD) trains lose money (on fully allocated costs), anything further is just speculation and guesswork based on limited access to (possibly inaccurate) financial data which paint an incomplete and thus misleading picture.  In fairness, however to those making the calculations, I am anxious to see the breakdown of Short Term Avoidable Costs (STAC) when that methodology is available.  Done fairly and equitably, we should have a much clearer picture of just how the LD services are performing.  

 

It has already been demonstrated that the (approximately) 500-600 mile market is exactly where Amtrak's LD services are primarily competing.  If Chicago to the Bay Area were actually the market in which the California Zephyr were competing you might have a point, but the intermediate point business represents the passenger trains' true potential.  This is true, to an extent, even in the Northeast Corridor.  

 

 

Chicago to Denver (1000 miles) airlines win in that market. That is an overnight trip and more expensive than the airplane.

Chicago to Kansas City(500miles) the automobile wins . Folks are apt to drive this relatively short and low traffic density (in between) area on their own schedule. Again less money.

 

It's not a race; No single mode of transport 'wins' anything.  Prospective passengers chose a mode of travel based on a host of factors, and not just which is quickest or least expensive.  You have people flying the 225 miles from Washington to New York while others drive (or take the train or bus) for trips over 1,000 miles.  There further remains the matter of matching capacity to demand; You don't need much of a market share to sell out one train a day - a few hundred seats at prevailing market prices (I would have thought that last part went without saying, but apparently not).  






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