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Old 10-17-2018, 08:52 AM
bu2
 
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Originally Posted by cqholt View Post
Hmm, sounds like the BeltLine.
No. The tracks have been removed from most of the beltline and they are trying to put light rail, not commuter rail.
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Old 10-17-2018, 09:08 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bu2 View Post
No. The tracks have been removed from most of the beltline and they are trying to put light rail, not commuter rail.
But that section of the article specifically says not not think of it as US version style commuter rail. The example they use, RER in Paris, is a regional / metro hybrid. It operates elevated and underground lines. It uses overhead power lines.

Here is RER trains at the airport:



The title of that section is "Using Existing Space" in reference to rail corridors which is exactly what the Beltline is doing.
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Old 10-17-2018, 10:04 AM
 
3,650 posts, read 8,817,373 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samiwas1 View Post
Europeans also pay more taxes to support such things, and the American theme is "taxes are theft" and to try to avoid them as much as possible. Americans want things, but don't think they should have to pay for them.
In Japan the private sector runs a lot of the rail lines, and also the Brightline in Florida.
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Old 10-17-2018, 10:47 AM
 
Location: Prescott, AZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SEAandATL View Post
In Japan the private sector runs a lot of the rail lines
By a combination of massive real-estate holdings and a level of development density many (at least on this board) are terrified of.

Quote:
and also the Brightline in Florida.
By both building out real-estate holdings, and backing their effort with an existing freight company that leaves excess track capacity while still being profitable on its own. The mixed service limits train speeds below anything close to true high-speed.

Neither situation is fully workable in the Atlanta metro area right now, even if principals of the real-estate holdings can (and is) be used to improve returns on transit investment.
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Old 10-17-2018, 11:12 AM
 
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Originally Posted by fourthwarden View Post
By a combination of massive real-estate holdings and a level of development density many (at least on this board) are terrified of.


By both building out real-estate holdings, and backing their effort with an existing freight company that leaves excess track capacity while still being profitable on its own. The mixed service limits train speeds below anything close to true high-speed.

Neither situation is fully workable in the Atlanta metro area right now, even if principals of the real-estate holdings can (and is) be used to improve returns on transit investment.
If only Atlanta had a "Gulch" where underutilized land surrounding multiple private rail lines connecting the city center to the region and country right next to the central subway station...



Atlanta is better positioned to leverage future partnerships between private transportation and real estate than most places in the world. In fact it is already the way many of the original in town neighborhoods were developed, as a partnership between private streetcar companies and real estate.

The lack of real estate to be developed near potential private transit sites is not an issue.

The issue is we need to get policy and perception on board.
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Old 10-17-2018, 11:43 AM
 
Location: Prescott, AZ
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Originally Posted by jsvh View Post
If only Atlanta had a "Gulch" where underutilized land surrounding multiple private rail lines connecting the city center to the region and country right next to the central subway station...

Atlanta is better positioned to leverage future partnerships between private transportation and real estate than most places in the world. In fact it is already the way many of the original in town neighborhoods were developed, as a partnership between private streetcar companies and real estate.

The lack of real estate to be developed near potential private transit sites is not an issue.

The issue is we need to get policy and perception on board.

Right of way acquisition alone would sink most of that. Even the current freight railways had massive government land-grants set up to make them possible in the first place.


I agree that Atlanta is in a solid position to set up new TOD, and to great effect, but I really doubt that the math would work out to make private-operation a real possibility for a network. The best that would likely happen is significant boosts to agencies' base budgets from lease payments.
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Old 10-17-2018, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Kirkwood
23,304 posts, read 17,479,258 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bu2 View Post
No. The tracks have been removed from most of the beltline and they are trying to put light rail, not commuter rail.
I am sure the European transit companies upgraded the tracks.
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Old 10-17-2018, 12:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fourthwarden View Post
Right of way acquisition alone would sink most of that. Even the current freight railways had massive government land-grants set up to make them possible in the first place.


I agree that Atlanta is in a solid position to set up new TOD, and to great effect, but I really doubt that the math would work out to make private-operation a real possibility for a network. The best that would likely happen is significant boosts to agencies' base budgets from lease payments.
We can (and have) debated the line between public and private roles in operating in the transportation industry. But a lack of opportunities for transit connected real estate development is not a problem Atlanta has.
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Old 10-17-2018, 01:05 PM
 
Location: Prescott, AZ
5,554 posts, read 3,028,522 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsvh View Post
We can (and have) debated the line between public and private roles in operating in the transportation industry. But a lack of opportunities for transit connected real estate development is not a problem Atlanta has.
A lack of workable right of way is, though, for anything other than the BeltLine, and that's where the costs will overwhelm private options.

Brightline is something of a novelty situation in the U.S., where you have a combination of a saturated freight market, a freight company with extra line-capacity despite that saturation, and a fairly demanded travel market. That means that FEC doesn't have to go about acquiring new right of way for the vast majority of its routing, and the section it does need to do so is government-owned land designed with adding rail in mind.

Passenger service and the accompanying real-estate is just a way to work more value out of a freight system that's hit its peak. If FEC could grow the freight market instead, it likely would have, since the returns are better.

The Atlanta metro's railroads, by comparison, are quite congested and only expected to get more so. There's a real lack of additional capacity, and growing freight markets throughout the country mean that the rails will likely only see more tonnage moved. The ever-growing Port of Savannah is proof enough of this.

So, beyond the BeltLine, where new transit will have to build entirely new lines, even if they are in parallel to existing right of ways, the costs will grow high enough as to likely overshadow any realistic TOD-based financing system.

If I'm wrong, then great, but I know neither Norfolk Southern nor CSX are going to give up the more profitable freight services, nor are they going to give up track-rights. New services will need new track, at least within the core-five counties, and thus will be so expensive as to go beyond the same mechanisms that Brightline is using.
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Old 10-17-2018, 02:25 PM
 
10,490 posts, read 7,477,318 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fourthwarden View Post
A lack of workable right of way is, though, for anything other than the BeltLine, and that's where the costs will overwhelm private options.

Brightline is something of a novelty situation in the U.S., where you have a combination of a saturated freight market, a freight company with extra line-capacity despite that saturation, and a fairly demanded travel market. That means that FEC doesn't have to go about acquiring new right of way for the vast majority of its routing, and the section it does need to do so is government-owned land designed with adding rail in mind.

Passenger service and the accompanying real-estate is just a way to work more value out of a freight system that's hit its peak. If FEC could grow the freight market instead, it likely would have, since the returns are better.

The Atlanta metro's railroads, by comparison, are quite congested and only expected to get more so. There's a real lack of additional capacity, and growing freight markets throughout the country mean that the rails will likely only see more tonnage moved. The ever-growing Port of Savannah is proof enough of this. They often partnered with local government to build on, under, or above streets.

So, beyond the BeltLine, where new transit will have to build entirely new lines, even if they are in parallel to existing right of ways, the costs will grow high enough as to likely overshadow any realistic TOD-based financing system.

If I'm wrong, then great, but I know neither Norfolk Southern nor CSX are going to give up the more profitable freight services, nor are they going to give up track-rights. New services will need new track, at least within the core-five counties, and thus will be so expensive as to go beyond the same mechanisms that Brightline is using.
Nope. US has no lack or workable right away than anywhere else in the world. In fact it has more than many places. In fact, you got to realize that places like London and New York where the first (private) transit systems went in there was basically no preexisting infrastructure like rail lines for them to really leverage in that way. They often just partnered with local government to build them on, under, or above existing streets.

Costs of land are not any more of an issue either, in fact as major 1st world cities go, land in Atlanta is very cheap. Costs of building transit here are multiple times higher here largely due to it being more a poorly managed public effort instead of a private one where there are better incentives to manage costs.

Policies, rules, and expectations around public / private operation of transit is the only difference.
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