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Old 05-24-2009, 06:55 PM
 
8,581 posts, read 8,924,308 times
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Amtrac is and has been a dismal failure why throw good tax payer money after bad. It should be completely privatized and sink or swim on its own as should the airlines and the highway systems. Is Train Travel History?
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Old 05-24-2009, 07:28 PM
 
Location: Prepperland
13,116 posts, read 9,202,467 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
The cost per car of the trolley is $2.67 million. Cost of our modified Prius without an engine should easily come in at under $35,131 (2.67 Million / 76 passengers.) I'm thinking a cost of $15,000 would be more than adequate.
I suspect when electric rail ramps up in production, per unit costs will drop - but that's not as important as durability. Lifespan of working rail cars run 50, 75 or 100 years and more.
(San Francisco F line's fleet of Vintage streetcars is unique. Now made up of 25 streetcars in regular service, with 4 more undergoing restoration, it includes car 578-S, built in 1895 and one of the oldest operable streetcars in the world.)
Prius might last 10 years or less under heavy use. Of course, in ten years, a new model (and with higher pricetag) would be available, but $35,131 versus 10 times $15,000 ($150,000) shifts the winner to rail over the long term. (Dratted short term economics!)

If the 234 million U.S. cars on the road shrank to 23.4 million by 2020, and 234 thousand passenger rail cars came on line, we might squeak by.

But I sincerely worry if we insist that government build and operate any mass transit.

See this story
WASHINGTON -- It's like something out of a Franz Kafka novel -- a city buys streetcars for $10 million, but has no tracks to run them.

Oldest Tram in Europe
Over 100 years of service.
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Old 05-24-2009, 08:38 PM
 
Location: Orlando, Florida
43,858 posts, read 43,564,164 times
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It's obvious that rail travel is the way to go.......I have no idea why government doesn't support it. I mean if you are willing to bail out a loser.....why not build up a winner?
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Old 05-24-2009, 08:44 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
32,107 posts, read 39,170,046 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GloryB View Post
It's obvious that rail travel is the way to go.......I have no idea why government doesn't support it. I mean if you are willing to bail out a loser.....why not build up a winner?
The government does support Amtrak:Senate votes to increase Amtrak subsidy*|*OpenMarket.org

The ticket price is about 1/3 the actual cost to move the passenger. The DC Metro system is about that same ratio. I don't know about Amtrak but the subsidy for Metro comes out of state gas taxes.
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Old 05-25-2009, 05:02 AM
 
2,681 posts, read 3,573,781 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silas777 View Post
Amtrac is and has been a dismal failure why throw good tax payer money after bad. It should be completely privatized and sink or swim on its own as should the airlines and the highway systems. Is Train Travel History?
You'd be paying 20$ a pop to drive an interstate in that instance. And forget about air travel in your world. How does 300-400$ for a Dallas-Houston journey sound? That's what would happen.

Having well funded infastructure is not tantamount to Mao's "Cultrual Revolution" as the uber-selfish would see it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GloryB View Post
It's obvious that rail travel is the way to go.......I have no idea why government doesn't support it. I mean if you are willing to bail out a loser.....why not build up a winner?
Becuase it's not a fiscal argument for most folks, it's a personal one. It's the divide between people who are comfortable with themselves in a public sphere and those who are not.
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Old 05-25-2009, 08:11 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,849 posts, read 51,301,408 times
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"I suspect when electric rail ramps up in production, per unit costs will drop - but that's not as important as durability. Lifespan of working rail cars run 50, 75 or 100 years and more.
(San Francisco F line's fleet of Vintage streetcars is unique. Now made up of 25 streetcars in regular service, with 4 more undergoing restoration, it includes car 578-S, built in 1895 and one of the oldest operable streetcars in the world.)
Prius might last 10 years or less under heavy use. Of course, in ten years, a new model (and with higher pricetag) would be available, but $35,131 versus 10 times $15,000 ($150,000) shifts the winner to rail over the long term. (Dratted short term economics!)"

You missed the point I made in an earlier post. The vehicles would be private ownership. Only the guideway would be government owned. There would have to be some rental units available for the indigent and tourists, but those could be handled a-la rental car company. This would shift costs and actually benefit the economy. A secondary issue is that the changes in transportation over the past few years are beginning to speed up. A steam locomotive made in 1850 could expect a working lifetime of at least fifty to seventy years. One favorite shay of mine made it from the Columbian Exhibition in Chicago through about fifty years of service in Vermont to another 20 years logging in Alabama. Diesels from when I was a teen are obsolete. We have to expect that the pace of change will only increase.
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Old 05-25-2009, 10:13 AM
 
Location: Hallandale, FL
204 posts, read 726,086 times
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I'd love to support Amtrak, but the prices are too high.

I wanted to take Amtrak from Philadelphia to NYC, and it was $48 per person, one way. With 2 people in our party, it would have been cheaper, and more convenient, to rent a car. Bolt Bus/Megabus would have been another option.
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Old 05-25-2009, 11:10 AM
 
Location: Oak Park, IL
5,520 posts, read 11,970,918 times
Reputation: 3820
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spac3d View Post
I'd love to support Amtrak, but the prices are too high.

I wanted to take Amtrak from Philadelphia to NYC, and it was $48 per person, one way. With 2 people in our party, it would have been cheaper, and more convenient, to rent a car. Bolt Bus/Megabus would have been another option.
Philly to NYC is too short a distance for trains to effectively compete with auto. The sweet spot for trains is about 300-400 miles. Less than that and it makes more sense (most of the time) to drive. Greater than that, and it makes more sense to fly.

That being said, I think it is possible to get from Philly to NYC fairly cheaply using and combination of SEPTA and NJ Transit, but it requires transfers and is probably not the fastest way to go.
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:27 PM
 
Location: Prepperland
13,116 posts, read 9,202,467 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
Diesels from when I was a teen are obsolete. We have to expect that the pace of change will only increase.
I doubt that any astounding change will occur in internal combustion engines, whether Otto, Atkinson, or Diesel-cycle.

Technological advancements may occur, but with respect to electric motors, there has been no ground breaking changes affecting industrial strength applications. And if there are, swapping out the motor for an improvement is always possible.

Traction motor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Electric motor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

With respect to the current situation that imposes the need to have private automobiles in order to access necessities and commute to work, that, too, will have to be gradually changed.

Mixed-use development - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"With the advent of mass transit systems, but especially the private automobile and cheap oil, the ability to create dispersed, low-density cities where people could live very long distances from their workplaces, shopping centres and entertainment districts began in earnest. However, it has been the post-second World War dominance of the automobile and the decline in all other modes of urban transportation that has seen the extremes of these trends come to pass."

"Throughout the late 20th century, it began to become apparent to many urban planners and other professionals that mixed-use development had many benefits and should be promoted again. As American, British, Canadian and Australian cities deindustrialized, the need to separate residences from hazardous factories became less important. Completely separate zoning created isolated "islands" of each type of development. In most cases, the automobile had become a requirement for transportation between vast fields of residentially zoned housing and the separate commercial and office strips, creating issues of Automobile dependency. In 1961, Jane Jacobs' influential
The Death and Life of Great American Cities argued that a mixture of uses is vital and necessary for a healthy urban area."

Already mixed use development is becoming popular, as new homes and services are built closer together, reducing the need for an automobile. I suspect that this trend will continue, and the flight to suburbs will reverse.

As part of that transition, electric powered rail mass transit will be vital to those living in mixed use developments.
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Old 05-27-2009, 06:55 AM
 
Location: Prepperland
13,116 posts, read 9,202,467 times
Reputation: 8988
Oil reserves in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Proven oil reserves in the United States are 21 billion barrels (3.310^9 m3), excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The U.S. Department of the Interior estimates the total volume of undiscovered, technically recoverable prospective resources in all areas of the United States, including the Federal Outer Continental Shelf, the 1002 area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the National Petroleum Reserve–Alaska, and the Bakken Formation, total 134 billion barrels (21.310^9 m3) of crude oil. This excludes oil shale reserves, as there is no significant commercial production of oil from oil shale in the United States.
1 billion barrels of oil = one month U.S. consumption (2007)
TOTAL OIL RESERVES = 134 months (11 years)
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