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Thread summary:

Lightrail: solar panels, electricity, green energy, wind turbines, global warming, transport system.

 
 
Old 04-16-2008, 10:00 AM
 
Location: The beautiful Rogue Valley, Oregon
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Originally Posted by sean98125 View Post
The rails have always been owned by private companies - they were never public property. All of the private companies that ran passenger trains on their rails lost money with the increase in air travel, road quality and car ownership.
I was thinking along the lines of Southern California's old Red Car line, which was developed with public funds and then sections were either torn up (in favor of freeways) or given to the railroads.
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Old 04-16-2008, 10:09 AM
 
Location: America
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sean98125 View Post
I would love to see more passenger rail instead of air travel for short hops, but it takes longer than flying and driving. Seattle to Portland is a 3 1/2 hour rail trip or a 3 hour drive. And since most people don't have appointments at the train station they still have to get to where they are going, which adds even more time (and expense) to the trip.

It also would cost me about twice as much for a rail ticket as it does for gas for the same trip, but my car gets about 40 mpg on the highway so that wouldn't be true for someone with a less efficient vehicle - but even an SUV that gets 15 mpg will only spend about $15 more on gas than the cost of the train ticket. Unless their meeting happens to be within walking distance of the depot, and if they don't have to pay for parking, then they are still going to wind up spending more.

The fact remains that for these 300 mile or so trips in most of the country it is faster, cheaper and more convenient to take your own car.

Government can do all they can to encourage more rail use, but they are going to get a lot more bang for the buck by increasing fuel standards for ipersonal vehicles.
those travel times would be cut down dramatically if instead of regular heavy rail they put fast rail in place like Europe and Asia has.That is what I think they should use between metro areas.
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Old 04-16-2008, 10:10 AM
 
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I think most people would shudder at the thought of taking the train from Miami to Seattle for obvious reasons. Lots of people come back from Europe with wonderful stories of their various rail systems forgetting that their countries are most often the size of one our states and for longer trips, Europeans now fly as well.

Now, light rail and commuter rails. That is a different story.
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Old 04-16-2008, 10:24 AM
 
Location: America
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moth View Post
I think most people would shudder at the thought of taking the train from Miami to Seattle for obvious reasons. Lots of people come back from Europe with wonderful stories of their various rail systems forgetting that their countries are most often the size of one our states and for longer trips, Europeans now fly as well.

Now, light rail and commuter rails. That is a different story.
I agree, but I think most are saying the same thing. In metro areas that are in close proximity, then yeah fast rail makes sense. On more spread out destinations, maybe airplane. Though I don't know how long it would take the fastest bullet train to get from coast to coast. If it is crazy fast then yeah, do it that way.
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Old 04-16-2008, 10:27 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW-type-gal View Post
I was thinking along the lines of Southern California's old Red Car line, which was developed with public funds and then sections were either torn up (in favor of freeways) or given to the railroads.
The Red Car (Pacific Electric Railway) was built with private funds to promote real estate sales in properties they owned by the Pacific Railway Land Company in the undeveloped areas around LA. It only made a profit for a few years mainly during WW2 when fuel was rationed. The initial money came from the son of Southern Pacific founder Hollis Huntington and later through investment by the Southern Pacific, which wound up taking over the company from Huntington's son. It wasn't a public works project, but a private venture meant to sell real estate.
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Old 04-16-2008, 10:50 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Wild Style View Post
those travel times would be cut down dramatically if instead of regular heavy rail they put fast rail in place like Europe and Asia has.That is what I think they should use between metro areas.
It would be cut down somewhat, but at what cost? Amtrak estimates that building a true fast rail system in the Northeast Corridor along rights-of-way that they already control would cost about $10 billion, and it would only be about 20 minutes faster between DC and NY than their current service. That doesn't include any real estate acquisitions they need to make or the cost of the new train sets they'd need.

A jet can make the jump from Seattle to Portland in 50 minutes. Something like France's TGV system would make the trip in 90 minutes at the fastest and probably more like two hours. And you'd still have to get to where you're going once you got to the gate.

Or, I could drive to exactly where I'm going in 2 1/2 to 3 hours, and even at $6 a gallon I would save money because I have a fuel efficient car, I don't have to pay for parking, and I don't have to rent a car or catch a bus or taxi at the far end.
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Old 04-16-2008, 11:48 AM
 
Location: The beautiful Rogue Valley, Oregon
7,253 posts, read 15,281,477 times
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While the argument is that it's still cheaper to drive than ride the train/fly, the bigger issue is that choice may not be a future option. What's the pollution difference between 100 cars driving the trip and 100 people on the train? If supplies of oil are limited or will be harder to come by, is personal transportation the best use for it? It may be the gasoline supplies are prioritized away from personal use, and the future choice is rail to a hub and then local transport away from the hub. It's not what we're used to now, but it could be something we have to get used to.

As th era of Cheap Oil comes to a close, changes will have to be made, and a re-prioritized rail system might well be one of the answers.
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Old 04-16-2008, 11:50 AM
 
Location: America
6,985 posts, read 15,453,543 times
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It would be cut down somewhat, but at what cost? Amtrak estimates that building a true fast rail system in the Northeast Corridor along rights-of-way that they already control would cost about $10 billion, and it would only be about 20 minutes faster between DC and NY than their current service. That doesn't include any real estate acquisitions they need to make or the cost of the new train sets they'd need.
I have to do research on this, I found a ton of info but will have to read up on it.

Quote:
A jet can make the jump from Seattle to Portland in 50 minutes. Something like France's TGV system would make the trip in 90 minutes at the fastest and probably more like two hours. And you'd still have to get to where you're going once you got to the gate.
If you take a jet, you still have to get where you are going also. I am not sure about speed and time. I will research and post back.

Quote:
Or, I could drive to exactly where I'm going in 2 1/2 to 3 hours, and even at $6 a gallon I would save money because I have a fuel efficient car, I don't have to pay for parking, and I don't have to rent a car or catch a bus or taxi at the far end.
The system isn't even in place yet so what are you basing these cost of travel on? Cost of travel isn't only monetary, there is wear and tear as well as environmental/health costs.
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Old 04-16-2008, 12:26 PM
 
3,698 posts, read 10,201,502 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW-type-gal View Post
While the argument is that it's still cheaper to drive than ride the train/fly, the bigger issue is that choice may not be a future option. What's the pollution difference between 100 cars driving the trip and 100 people on the train? If supplies of oil are limited or will be harder to come by, is personal transportation the best use for it? It may be the gasoline supplies are prioritized away from personal use, and the future choice is rail to a hub and then local transport away from the hub. It's not what we're used to now, but it could be something we have to get used to.

As th era of Cheap Oil comes to a close, changes will have to be made, and a re-prioritized rail system might well be one of the answers.
Changes will be made - cars will either be more efficient, or they will be powered by something other than petroleum. We'll get more bang for our buck from a $10 billion investment in alternative energy sources and increased fuel economy
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Old 04-16-2008, 12:29 PM
 
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WildStyle, I'm basing the cost of travel on Amtrak's current ticket price between Seattle and Portland. High speed rail would have to have a much higher ticket price to pay back the cost of construction and the higher cost of equipment.
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