Jump to content




Help Support AmtrakTrains.com by donating using the link above or becoming a Supporting Member.

Photo

Could Amtrak Be Replaced With Something Better?


  • Please log in to reply
46 replies to this topic

#41 neroden

neroden

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,619 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Location:Ithaca, NY
  • Interests:Please feel free to moderate my posts

Posted 05 June 2018 - 08:47 PM

If we had a government sane enough to treat railroad tracks the way we treat expressways, I honestly think everything would sort itself out rather quickly.  I'm not a fan of private train operators like in the UK, but it works a lot better than private track ownership, which doesn't even work for freight service.


  • tricia likes this
--Nathanael--

Please feel free to moderate my posts.

#42 frequentflyer

frequentflyer

    OBS Chief

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 422 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 07 June 2018 - 12:36 PM

To answer the OP question? No. Unless the freight railroads kept offering service. Who knows what would had happened if the Government offered to give a subsidy to the freight railroads instead of trying to take it over itself. I read in Trains that Santa Fe was willing to continue the Chief past 1971. So some RRs actually took pride in their pax services. The Crescent ran apart from Amtrak for a time too.


Edited by frequentflyer, 07 June 2018 - 12:37 PM.


#43 jis

jis

    Engineer

  • Gathering Team Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 21,792 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
  • Interests:Trains, Planes and Travel

Posted 07 June 2018 - 12:44 PM

And yet the US appears to have chronic under-capitalization of the rail infrastructure with sever capacity issues on many routes, partly caused by strange tax laws admittedly.

 

Santa Fe would not have been able to sustain passenger service given how its finances of the rail portion turned out eventually, just like Southern was not able to sustain the Southern Crescent operations either. People who did not live through it don;t seem to realize what the depth of the financial crisis was in the railroad industry, even among the not so hard hit companies, again admittedly caused by regulatory and ICC policies to some extent, and the rest caused by plain short sighted, short term greed.



#44 fredmcain

fredmcain

    Train Attendant

  • Training
  • Pip
  • 46 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Northeastern Indiana
  • Interests:Trains, Gardening, older U.S. Numbered Highways (Like Route 66) & Piano Ragtime

Posted 07 June 2018 - 01:11 PM

And yet the US appears to have chronic under-capitalization of the rail infrastructure with sever capacity issues on many routes, partly caused by strange tax laws admittedly.

 

Santa Fe would not have been able to sustain passenger service given how its finances of the rail portion turned out eventually, just like Southern was not able to sustain the Southern Crescent operations either. People who did not live through it don;t seem to realize what the depth of the financial crisis was in the railroad industry, even among the not so hard hit companies, again admittedly caused by regulatory and ICC policies to some extent, and the rest caused by plain short sighted, short term greed.

You know, JIS, I have long wondered how much of an impact property taxes have on the rail industry as a whole.  I think most of us would admit they have an impact but how much of an impact?

 

It's a generally known, accepted economic fact that high taxes discourage investment and if taxes are punitive enough they can actually ENcourage disinvestment.  I have long suspected that in some states, high property taxes have led railroads to abandon many branches and secondary mainlines that could've been used as "pop-off valves". And now we have arrived at the capacity issues you mentioned.

 

In the Indiana county I live in, we once had THREE rail lines that criss-crossed the county.  Now for all intents and purposes we have NO rail service at all.  I blame the county and their high property taxes for this as much as the railroads for abandoning them.  Now our county will never be able to attract any kind of business that would need to use rail.  Not that they would ever want to but they have completely eliminated that as a shipping option.  You might say they have burned their bridges behind them.  Too bad, really.

 

Regards

Fred M. Cain


  • jis likes this

​Regards,

Fred M. Cain


#45 frequentflyer

frequentflyer

    OBS Chief

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 422 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 07 June 2018 - 01:31 PM

And yet the US appears to have chronic under-capitalization of the rail infrastructure with sever capacity issues on many routes, partly caused by strange tax laws admittedly.

 

Santa Fe would not have been able to sustain passenger service given how its finances of the rail portion turned out eventually, just like Southern was not able to sustain the Southern Crescent operations either. People who did not live through it don;t seem to realize what the depth of the financial crisis was in the railroad industry, even among the not so hard hit companies, again admittedly caused by regulatory and ICC policies to some extent, and the rest caused by plain short sighted, short term greed.

 

I remember, its one of the reason Conrail was formed, and why railroads were deregulated in 1980. True, the RRs were not as stable as they are today. Sante Fe was at the time surviving or thriving on the LA-CHI route and the new thing at the time called "intermodal" service.



#46 railiner

railiner

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,960 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Queens, NY
  • Interests:All public transportation....land, sea, and air

Posted 07 June 2018 - 04:08 PM

 

Santa Fe would not have been able to sustain passenger service given how its finances of the rail portion turned out eventually, just like Southern was not able to sustain the Southern Crescent operations either..

You can add the D&RGW to them...it held out the longest...1983, before surrendering to Amtrak...


metroblue?

okay on the blue!

#47 neroden

neroden

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,619 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Location:Ithaca, NY
  • Interests:Please feel free to moderate my posts

Posted 08 June 2018 - 08:18 AM

You want to deal with the property tax issue? Put the tracks in the hands of the public, i.e. government.

Private roads and private expressways pay property taxes too.
  • Ryan and IndyLions like this
--Nathanael--

Please feel free to moderate my posts.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users