U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Great Debates
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 12-26-2008, 07:59 AM
 
Location: Washington DC
5,915 posts, read 7,084,905 times
Reputation: 948

Advertisements

I ride the Amtrak regularly to New York and I wish we would upgrade the roadbed to accommodate higher speeds. I'm a proponent of high speed rail and urban subways, but there's a realty check that people need to embrace. There's a limit to the distance that people will travel over even the best high speed rail. For me, that's about 500 miles. The best train would take 2.5 hours to cover 500 miles. A airliner would make it in a hour, plus the additional delay on both ends due to the logistics of air travel. Very few business travelers would even remotely entertain a 1000 mile train trip. If you work the numbers, Amtrak is basically an east coats and west coast opportunity, with a handful of city pairs in the Midwest that work.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 12-28-2008, 05:34 PM
 
Location: Orlando, Florida
43,858 posts, read 43,564,164 times
Reputation: 58603
I would love to see more rail service around the country with some of the old fashioned flair. It would be a much better alternative to driving than taking a bus. Sure, a plan is faster, but the cost is high. Taking a train for short or long trips would be fun.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-28-2008, 05:59 PM
 
Location: Washington DC
5,915 posts, read 7,084,905 times
Reputation: 948
Quote:
Originally Posted by GloryB View Post
I would love to see more rail service around the country with some of the old fashioned flair. It would be a much better alternative to driving than taking a bus. Sure, a plan is faster, but the cost is high. Taking a train for short or long trips would be fun.
How much a month are you willing to pay for this fun? $300-500/month whether you travel or not?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-28-2008, 06:40 PM
 
Location: Pinal County, Arizona
25,107 posts, read 34,361,805 times
Reputation: 4893
Coast to Coast rail service was, and can be, a very relaxing trip - IF a traveler has the time. Therein lies the problem - Time.

Having traveled the Canadian rail service, Eurorail and the Australian rail, I love rail travel.

Reality says though, it probably cannot be made economically viable on a nationwide basis.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-29-2008, 07:09 AM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
2,290 posts, read 4,946,710 times
Reputation: 784
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greatday View Post
Coast to Coast rail service was, and can be, a very relaxing trip - IF a traveler has the time. Therein lies the problem - Time.

Having traveled the Canadian rail service, Eurorail and the Australian rail, I love rail travel.

Reality says though, it probably cannot be made economically viable on a nationwide basis.
But it could certainly be viable on a regional basis. I know the Atlanta/Southeast region is hurting for Amtrak-style rail.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-29-2008, 07:17 AM
 
3,628 posts, read 9,024,457 times
Reputation: 2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by backfist View Post
But it could certainly be viable on a regional basis. I know the Atlanta/Southeast region is hurting for Amtrak-style rail.
Good god yes.

I think it could work within a 500 mile radius - ESPECIALLY if there is an investment in high speed rail for commuting purposes.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-01-2009, 10:19 AM
 
1,156 posts, read 1,545,224 times
Reputation: 1148
I love taking the train!
The train is a fantastic way to travel and it is a mode of transportation (not just freight) that should not be ignored or written off in the U.S....
I was very pleased to see how many people in the North East and East Coast of the U.S. take the train....
The increasing congestion on the highways is reason enough to take the train. Trains are increasingly "wired" now, you can SLEEP....walk around....talk to people....read a book...and not have to stress about the road, the weather, other drivers etc etc...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-01-2009, 09:11 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
84,964 posts, read 98,795,031 times
Reputation: 31376
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frankie117 View Post
Alas we have a conundrum.

On the one hand, we must distinguish and decide which is more important;

a.) Railroads for vacation/long distance travel. This service competes with airlines

b.) Railroads for mass transit.

Choice a cannot be effective without Amtrak having its own dedicated lines. You could just build a line next to existing freight corridors, however, Amtrak should have broader curves, less grades, concrete crossties, and 160lb+ rail. This way, trains in excess of 250mph could be operated safely and efficiently. Recently, France tested their first 523Kph trains (roughly 300mph+). With Amtrak's own dedicated lines, they could effectively compete with airlines where railroads are most successful - the medium haul (i.e. Richmond-Washington D.C., Atlanta-Birmingham, Dallas-Houston, Chicago-Detriot, Los Angeles-San Francisco, etc.).

Of course, if you reall want passenger rail to come back, build new tracks, then privatize Amtrak. Bring back some routes from the 1970's that fell through due to poor equipment and track conditions. The Floridian (Chicago-Florida) had successful ridership, but probably the crappiest service and equipment in the nation. Implement Auto-Train in more places to encourage people to ride the train.

Most people say, well Amtrak take too long. True, but if you add how early you have to arrive at airports to check bags, go through security, fight crowds, etc. it all comes out in the wash.

However, without a massive overhault and dedicated passenger lines, I see no way it can be successful. Time will tell.
It may "come out in the wash" if you are traveling 300-500 miles or fewer. Beyond that, there's no comparison. When you travel by train, you also have to factor in time to get to the station, whether you walk, take a bus, car, cab, whatever. When you live in an isolated city like Denver, time is a precious commodity. I for one don't want to spend any more of my vacation time getting "there" than I have to.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-02-2009, 11:17 AM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
2,290 posts, read 4,946,710 times
Reputation: 784
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
It may "come out in the wash" if you are traveling 300-500 miles or fewer. Beyond that, there's no comparison. When you travel by train, you also have to factor in time to get to the station, whether you walk, take a bus, car, cab, whatever. When you live in an isolated city like Denver, time is a precious commodity. I for one don't want to spend any more of my vacation time getting "there" than I have to.
Isn't there a heavy rail set of tracks that run north-south parallel to I25? There's also plenty of potential for a nice updated train station in Sedalia. Instead of leaving Highlands Ranch or Castle Rock and traveling north on I25, people could have the option of going against traffic to the Sedalia station. There's potential for train stations in several key areas of Denver metro.

The problem is that people just don't want to get out of their cars, and politicians have given them way too many convenient excuses not to do so.

I mean, TREX? Gimme a break.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-02-2009, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
84,964 posts, read 98,795,031 times
Reputation: 31376
I refer you to this to google: Fastracks. They are building light rail here, some is already up and running. You have to want to go where the trains are going.
I'm not sure what you're referring to with going to Sedalia. I'm not sure Sedalia is in the RTD (funding mechanism for the light rail) anyway.

My post referred more to going from Denver to say, Omaha (where my in-laws live) or Pittsburgh than running arouond Denver.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Great Debates
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top