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If there were no railroads, would it make sense to build them today?


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#21 JRR

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Posted 02 July 2018 - 12:20 PM

With the Chinese, besides the money, it's their ability to just ramrod thru any project they desire...no 'NIMBY's, no EIS, no obstructionists to contend with....


Yes, their people have no rights.

#22 railiner

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Posted 02 July 2018 - 12:43 PM

I am not going to get into the politics of what rights they do or don't have...I am merely stating that when their government see's the need for a project, they can get it done, unencumbered...


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#23 JRR

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Posted 02 July 2018 - 12:59 PM

That’s the point, when the Government decides, not the people.
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#24 Rover

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Posted 03 July 2018 - 03:21 AM

Rail is the way to go for freight. I think only smaller nations can reasonably have adequate passenger rail. If you banned cars then you'd see an uptick in passenger rail.


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#25 cirdan

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Posted 03 July 2018 - 04:33 AM

 

With the Chinese, besides the money, it's their ability to just ramrod thru any project they desire...no 'NIMBY's, no EIS, no obstructionists to contend with....


Yes, their people have no rights.

 

 

Not sure if that is 100% true.

 

I have a Chinese friend who tells me they have eminent domain in China too, and people can appeal decisons in court and often do.

 

But the courts  fast track this type of thing rather than kicking the can down the road endlessly.

 

It helps of course that out in the deep countryside in China, many people are still extremely poor and houses and land are extremely cheap, so even if you end up paying well above the market value, it's still very cheap.

 

In many cases, the land was already bought up by the railroad years ago, and the people farming  it now are just renting it off the railroad, or maybe even occupying it illegally, which means that when construction does begin, they can be moved off very quickly.


Edited by cirdan, 03 July 2018 - 04:37 AM.


#26 cpotisch

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Posted 03 July 2018 - 08:14 AM

It helps of course that out in the deep countryside in China, many people are still extremely poor and houses and land are extremely cheap, so even if you end up paying well above the market value, it's still very cheap.

That actually strikes me as kind of terrible. It's great for the government, but that really means that the people who need the money most can lose their homes and property for virtually nothing. It just means that the Chinese government can be that much more cavalier about taking away the homes of the impoverished.

 

Also, if anyone wants to hear more about China and the peoples' rights:


Edited by cpotisch, 03 July 2018 - 08:15 AM.

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#27 Gemuser

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 01:02 AM

 

 

What is the advantage of railroads in bulk freight?
 
I always assumed the main advantage was in staffing costs. If you put freight on trucks you need a driver on every truck. On a train, a smaller number of people can move a far larger load.
 
But will self-driving trucks disrupt that?
 
If self-driving trucks become commoditized, which I assume that at some point they will, which traffic will railroads lose and which traffic can they cling onto.
 
I think intermodal might be at risk because trucks don't need to wait for a schjedule but can just start the journey as soon as they are ready to go.
 
Coal and minerals and things may stay with the railroads because schedules and speed are less important. But is that enough for the railroads to survive on?
 

Freight trains are hundreds of cars long and much more efficient than trucks. They can be tens of thousands of feet long, so you'd need a hell of a lot of trucks to get even close to the capacity of one freight train. And then you take traffic into account (including the traffic that hundreds of migrating 18-wheelers would cause). My point is, freight trains are by far the cheapest way to haul cargo, whether the alternative is self driving or not.

The barges on the rivers are the cheapest way to haul bulk products. Unfortunately, rivers like The Mississippi and the Ohio don’t run everywhere!

 

True but how much of that fact is due to Federal government expenditure on said rivers & canals? Without that much of the current barge network wouldn't be possible.


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