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Old 02-14-2010, 07:37 PM
 
Location: Yermo, Calif
30 posts, read 46,847 times
Reputation: 12

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetgraphics View Post
That's not quite correct. Property taxes on railroad rights of way triggered the destruction of many miles of track. Mainline railroads were desperate to cut costs - even pulling up their own capital investment in track.
*** Peak rail mileage: 254,000 miles (less than 160,000 miles today)

The government, federal, state and local, was and is the culprit in this case.

Consider that before the rise of the nefarious income tax, electric rail transit was booming (1890 - 1915). As the taxes began to creep up, and up, suddenly the streetcar and interurban rail companies were becoming unprofitable.

Add in the destructive efforts of the Streetcar Conspiracy of Big oil, etc., and you have a real mess.
(Over 40,000 miles of urban and interurban electric powered rail track were lost, thanks to their efforts.)
Ok, I was just talking about Passenger Rail in Particular as a Service, Not taxes which I've never heard discussed, But taxes sounds good, So no problem. Amtrak is the same as Mainline Passenger, Not intercity or interurban rail or commuter service as It's called today, I was a model railroader at one time, But taxes weren't ever a topic. Railfans might be interested in taxes, But Model Railroaders could couldn't care less about what the Railroads property taxes are or were, Taxes don't scale too well.

From what I've read Mainline Passenger Service used the same rails as the Freight Service does, But Passenger Service got Priority over Freight Service, Just the opposite of today.
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Old 02-14-2010, 07:54 PM
 
116 posts, read 61,174 times
Reputation: 84
Anyone who wants a taste of true HSR should ride one of these:



Super fast, super efficient, super clean and far more enjoyable than flying. If France can do it, why can't we? It could actually revolutionize travel in many parts of the United States.
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Old 02-14-2010, 08:29 PM
 
Location: Yermo, Calif
30 posts, read 46,847 times
Reputation: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Revol100 View Post
Anyone who wants a taste of true HSR should ride one of these:



Super fast, super efficient, super clean and far more enjoyable than flying. If France can do it, why can't we? It could actually revolutionize travel in many parts of the United States.
Nice, What do You think of this one? It's a Shinkansen Fastech360, It's from Japan and It will do 224mph.
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Old 02-14-2010, 08:36 PM
 
116 posts, read 61,174 times
Reputation: 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by SJ49 View Post
Nice, What do You think of this one? It's a Shinkansen Fastech360, It's from Japan and It will do 224mph.
The Japanese bullet trains are also a remarkable feat of engineering. I have also enjoyed the experience using these two trains:





I love trains, sorry!
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Old 02-14-2010, 09:38 PM
 
Location: Yermo, Calif
30 posts, read 46,847 times
Reputation: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Revol100 View Post
The Japanese bullet trains are also a remarkable feat of engineering. I have also enjoyed the experience using these two trains:





I love trains, sorry!
That's Ok, So do I.


Of course I've never been on any passenger train, A stopped caboose on a Freight Train that was waiting for permission to go somewhere else, But that's It.
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Old 02-15-2010, 11:31 AM
 
24,714 posts, read 26,785,278 times
Reputation: 22709
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenestgrass View Post
1. Both our highway system and airline industry are heavily subsidized. In 2002, Congress appropriated $32 billion in highway funding and $14 billion for the airline industry in 2002. The FAA ran on a 2005 budget of $7.8 billion. How "successful" would the private airline industry be if it were not subsidized by the government? Would our "car culture" exist without our governments involvement in building and maintaining highways?

2. Amtrak operates on a pauper's budget in comparison, receiving just $521 million in 2002. Amtrak's entire budget accounts for less than one per cent of US Department of Transportation spending. The ratio of highway/airline to rail government funding between 1971-2001 was 63:1. How can rail compete with these modes of transportation considering such lopsided government support?

3. Four of the seven largest U.S. airlines are in bankruptcy and the airline industry needed $5 billion in cash and an additional $10 billion in loan guarantees from the government just to continue operating. The ONLY airline that operates with a profit is Southwest airlines.

4. The government has appropriated $13 billion dollars for high speed rail construction ($8 billion initially and $1 billion every year for five years). Construction of the interstate highway system cost taxpayers $114 billion (adjusted for inflation, $425 billion in 2006 dollars). The replacement value for our commercial airline industry that was subsidized by the government (airports, traffic control towers, etc...) is estimated at $1 trillion. The proposed LAX expansion would cost the state and federal government $11 billion alone!

5.Amtrak carried 28.7 million passengers in 2007 posting six straight years of ridership and revenue growth. Amtrak averages about 69,000 passengers a day.

6. High speed rail will provide $1.3 billion in highway congestion relief and $700 million in airport congestion relief. One third of commercial airline routes are regional. Imagine how much air traffic congestion could be eased by transferring those passengers to rail. It is estimated that a full passenger rail train takes between 250-350 cars off the road.

7. High speed rail is lightyears ahead in other nations. The U.S. operates one high speed rail line (Acela express in the northeast corridor) that averages 89 mph with a top speed of 150 mph. France's TGV operates 1,700 km of LGV averaging speeds around 173 mph with a top speed of 357 mph. Japan's Shinkansen is a 2,459 km network averaging about 162 mph with a top speed of 361 mph. China operates a 430 km/h network (Plans 12,000 km by 2020) with a top speed of 217 mph (Highest top operating speed in world). High speed rail service that operates well above the United States exist in France, Japan, China, Italy, Spain, Germany and South Korea. High speed rail proposals that would exceed what currently exist in the United States (Acela express) are being planned in nations such as Iran, Morocco, Malaysia, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Argentina and Brazil.

8.China is roughly the size of the United States. Secondly, the networks that exist in France and Japan are roughly the size of the networks that would exist under the proposals in the United States. Thirdly, no one is advocating for CONNECTED high speed rail spanning the entire country but rather regional networks that would exist only where it's profitable to do so.

9. High speed rail across the nation has the support of many republicans including Transportation secretary Ray Lahood and Republican Leader of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, John Mica of Florida.

Here is a video of California's HSR proposal:
YouTube - California High-Speed Trains

My sources:

Interstate Highway System - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
U.S. Transportation Subsidies
The Practical Nomad blog: Government subsidies to airlines
Operating Administrations, U.S. DOT, FY 2005 Budget in Brief (http://www.dot.gov/bib2005/admins.html - broken link)
Amtrak Announces Record Annual Ridership - wjz.com (http://wjz.com/local/amtrak.ridership.2.837442.html - broken link)
Amtrak ridership increases - USATODAY.com
Shinkansen - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
High-speed rail - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
California's high speed rail is already going to cost BILLIONS more than they said it would. And you can be sure the number will go up from there.

I'm not against high speed rail in theory, but it's a trust issue for me. I'm tired of being lied to by government officials who say someting's going to cost X amount and then it ends up costing 2X or 3X what they said it would.

I voted against high speed rail in CA because the state manages things so poorly as it is. As evidence, we have the lowest bond rating of all 50 states. I'm personally tired of all the corruption and ineptitude. There's no excuse for it.
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Old 02-15-2010, 11:39 AM
 
24,714 posts, read 26,785,278 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jertheber View Post
.... once in your car you can feel a lot safer than those poor folk who will be taking mass transit,
I think the operative word here is "feel" safer. The reality is quite differerent from how it feels, though. People who take mass transit are MUCH less likely to die in accidents. 2x as many people die in car accidents in the US than are murdered.

Although the California High Speed Rail mentioned in the example by the OP was not a project I was in favor of, I do generally favor better mass transit in cities. I hate the care culture, and the illusion of safety people have about it....not to mention that it contributes to obesity, a lack of a sense of community, and the cost and aggravation required to buy, insure, and maintain cars. I'd ditch my car in a heartbeat if my city had good mass transit. As it is, I walk to work every day, but still don't feel I can get rid of my car becuase the buses run infrequently and don't run late into the night.
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Old 02-15-2010, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Yermo, Calif
30 posts, read 46,847 times
Reputation: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticaltyger View Post
California's high speed rail is already going to cost BILLIONS more than they said it would. And you can be sure the number will go up from there.

I'm not against high speed rail in theory, but it's a trust issue for me. I'm tired of being lied to by government officials who say someting's going to cost X amount and then it ends up costing 2X or 3X what they said it would.

I voted against high speed rail in CA because the state manages things so poorly as it is. As evidence, we have the lowest bond rating of all 50 states. I'm personally tired of all the corruption and ineptitude. There's no excuse for it.
Roads(Freeways, Highways, etc) are not Free, Some elsewhere think well since It only costs Me X amount of money to drive there, Why a Train? Everyone who owns a car pays into the Federal Gas tax here in the USA of $0.456 per gallon of gas, For Diesel It's $0.508 a gallon, And even then last year since the tax isn't keeping up with costs due to people not using as much fuel as they did in the past, The Federal Government kicked in another $8 Billion fix for the Highway Trust Fund (http://logisticstoday.com/operations_strategy/highway_trust_fund_legislation_0917/ - broken link), So roads are subsidized, Rails have been subsidized since about 1860 or so(Land Grants, etc), Amtrak is hobbled by Federal Law and the now Freight Only Railroads like It that way(prior to 1970 Railroads had Passenger Service, But did little to invest in It, Making It faster wasn't even thought of at all), If Amtrak had more of Its own rails and could go do research like the Japanese Railways do, Then You'd see something(Short Corridors are efficient(400 miles or less), Longer than 400 miles for fast passenger traffic right now isn't, Airline subs need to be reduced by half and redirected to HSR, Tell the airlines to closeup shop on flights of less than 400 miles too, But I'm ok with that) But could be used for testing at the very least by Amtrak with dedicated grade separated rail(same idea as a road or a route, Just with rails instead of pavement on It).
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Old 02-18-2010, 07:10 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
41,505 posts, read 49,547,847 times
Reputation: 24548
I would prefer my taxes go toward developing a true HSR system than be wasted on some foreign war. I would actually like to see the local train routes (possibly narrow gauge to reduce costs) restored. We need to do a trails to rails conversion so we can get nearly anywhere without cars.
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Old 02-18-2010, 08:28 AM
 
48,519 posts, read 81,013,914 times
Reputation: 17978
High speed rail will never happen as long as its more costly than flying which it will be. It makes sense for smaller coutnriesa like UK and japan tho. We left rail long ago as far as paseenger travel. the only sese I see i rail is freight and even then the number of croosing and noise in cites is compalined about and lots of accidents.Look up train accidents in the 1800 when rail was king.
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