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Old 02-06-2009, 11:18 AM
 
5,858 posts, read 14,044,713 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrfox View Post
I'd like to see an emphasis on rail. Rail doesn't hurt the airline industry. ..
I agree, but even if it did, the airline industry was part of what put the railroad companies out of the passenger business.

It's all cyclical, folks. As the price of flying goes up and the level of service goes down, increasing numbers of travelers will choose rail over flying. We need choices in the transportation marketplace.
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Old 02-06-2009, 11:31 AM
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Location: Ohio
16,822 posts, read 33,206,690 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrfox View Post
I'd like to see an emphasis on rail. Rail doesn't hurt the airline industry.
The state I live in would have built intercity high-speed rail in the 1990s if it weren't for the lobbying efforts of Southwest Airlines.

Mystery Train: The Texas High-Speed Rail That Wasn't - Austinist: Austin News, Food, Arts & Events

In the Texas state archives, there are 6 cubic feet of documents that were filed by Southwest as part of a lawsuit to scuttle a high-speed rail initiative in 1991 and 1992. 6 cubic feet!
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Old 02-06-2009, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Jersey City
6,488 posts, read 16,150,620 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bowie View Post
The state I live in would have built intercity high-speed rail in the 1990s if it weren't for the lobbying efforts of Southwest Airlines.

Mystery Train: The Texas High-Speed Rail That Wasn't - Austinist: Austin News, Food, Arts & Events

In the Texas state archives, there are 6 cubic feet of documents that were filed by Southwest as part of a lawsuit to scuttle a high-speed rail initiative in 1991 and 1992. 6 cubic feet!
6 cubic feet, but what size font and margins?

I hope whatever Southwest employee delivered those documents to Texas was charged for overweight/extra bags.
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Old 02-06-2009, 05:18 PM
 
Location: Prepperland
13,731 posts, read 9,841,195 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Around View Post
the airline industry was part of what put the railroad companies out of the passenger business.
Actually, cheap and plentiful oil killed passenger rail.
Before 1950s, most mainline railroads ran steam locomotives. They required extensive maintenance and labor to operate.
Diesel-Electric Locomotives didn't come on line until the latter half of the 20th century.
By the time steam died out, it was too late, and the subsidized oil based transportation systems were far cheaper to operate.
[Subsidies included tax payer funded roads, bridges, condemnation of land, airport construction, and tax code incentives. Let's not forget the BIGGIE - railroads had to pay property tax on their rail rights of way. While truckers and buses didn't have to pay property taxes to use the public roads.]

But now, with the end of 'cheap and plentiful oil', all our assumptions must change.
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Old 02-07-2009, 02:43 PM
 
1,261 posts, read 1,770,576 times
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Once we are not on the brink of insolvency economically, Obama should make good on his plan on Urban Policy. This could be a boon to Metro and Regional rail networks.

There should be a national effort and coordinating (to a certain extent) and facilitating urban rail networks. Much like the gov't had a big hand in suburbanizing America.

I mean, it is true NO ONE wants to rely on a train from L.A. to Chicago these days.

But LA's bond measure to build High Speed Rail between it and San Fran is a good idea (although one with TERRIBLE timing due to financial pinches).

Texas could use one linking Houston to Dallas and Austin (harder sell in Texas which loves cars though).

BUT I don't think we should cram that into the stimulus bill just yet for organizational reasons. Better to tackle that in a more focused transit bill later. (It would be hard to sell to those people in the breadbasket though).
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Old 02-07-2009, 04:23 PM
 
Location: ITL (Houston)
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The only reason why it would be a "hard sale in Texas" (not even close now) is because of Southwest Airlines and not because we "love our cars".
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Old 02-07-2009, 05:18 PM
 
Location: Prepperland
13,731 posts, read 9,841,195 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waltlantz View Post
Once we are not on the brink of insolvency economically, Obama should make good on his plan on Urban Policy. This could be a boon to Metro and Regional rail networks.
Though politicians might not wish to admit it, the U.S. government is far beyond insolvency.
In 2007 and 2008, Congress borrowed more than it paid in interest. Isn't that what a Ponzi scheme is?
Old investors are paid from new investors, now. What happens when Treasury bonds are shunned?
D'oh...

Quote:
Originally Posted by waltlantz View Post
There should be a national effort and coordinating (to a certain extent) and facilitating urban rail networks. Much like the gov't had a big hand in suburbanizing America.
I do wish there would be a national consensus of public opinion to lead our public servants (who aren't really leaders, but frightened panicky stooges, no insult to stooges intended) to make the "right" decision.

Quote:
Originally Posted by waltlantz View Post
I mean, it is true NO ONE wants to rely on a train from L.A. to Chicago these days.
Why not? If the trip was comfortable, with good food, and entertainment, it would not be a problem.

I certainly would prefer a train over a cramped airline "bucket" seat, designed to squeeze in the most humanity, without mercy. I would prefer a simple bench seat, without the armrests.

Quote:
Originally Posted by waltlantz View Post
But LA's bond measure to build High Speed Rail between it and San Fran is a good idea (although one with TERRIBLE timing due to financial pinches).
I like the idea of "high speed rail", but until the Federal Railway Administration amends their rules, any HSR will be handicapped.

Passenger Rail for the Shasta Route: Table of Contents
Quality of regulations
"In the USA, trains like the type 411 EMU are not allowed to operate. US regulations require a very high carbody strength for political reasons, which adds several tons of weight to a vehicle."
"The Acela Express is built to these strength standards. It is nearly double as heavy as European or Japanese tilting trains. Instead of restricting the axleload to 16 tons or less, the powercars weigh 25 tons per axle. No safety authority would allow values like those for the German 411 or 610 for this train, because the forces at the wheel-rail contact point would be too high for safe operation.
As a result, the "Acela Express" loses about half an hour between New York and Boston, compared to best practice in tilting train usage. (It also loses at least half an hour, compared to the calculations of US railroad engineers in the 1960s.)"
"Another result of US regulations is low performance on steep grades."

High Speed rail is but another "victim" of government bumbling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by waltlantz View Post
BUT I don't think we should cram that into the stimulus bill just yet for organizational reasons. Better to tackle that in a more focused transit bill later. (It would be hard to sell to those people in the breadbasket though).
The "stimulus bill" is a sham, anyway. It's mostly pork for the Democrats, and barely addresses the underlying issues. But that's another topic for discussion.
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