U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Texas
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 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.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
 
 
Old 05-10-2011, 12:12 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
38,753 posts, read 38,434,092 times
Reputation: 28820

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by HtownLove View Post
it is just for exploration and accessments, not for actual rail building.

An environmental impact study, feasibility studies, cost studies, ridership projections, possible stops etc must be done before any other planning or monetary requests can be done
I understood that perfectly. My point is that $15 million is such a tiny, tiny amount of money, it is really a completely pointless consideration in the overall picture and an irrelevant grant. We'll spend $15 million in Afghanistan tomorrow morning before breakfast.

There have been hundreds, maybe thousands of federal projects that never cane to fruition, after piddling sums of money like that were thrown at exploration and "accessment".
------------

Now, moving on to the big picture. The high speed rail that is on the drawing board would almost certainly cost at least a trillion dollars. But the existing Amtrak system, on existing rail with existing trains, already costs more to ride than the air fares on most routes. If we were to spend a trillion on a totally new infrastructure, track and rolling stock and terminals, the government would still need to keep on heavily subsidizing fares to keep it competitive. And at those kinds of fares, only corporate clients and high-end travelers would be using it, and again, the government would be heaviliy subsidizing the already-rich. And in America, it's going to be run for profit by the private sector, who will not need to advance one penny of the cost, which is a constraint that explains why we don't have any decent rail service in this country in the first place. Nothing exists in American unless the private sector is assured at the outset that they can make a profit from it, and this ain't gonna be one of them.

It's just not going to happen. Here's a site with some more background.
http://www.downsizinggovernment.org/...igh-speed-rail

Last edited by jtur88; 05-10-2011 at 12:47 AM..
Quick reply to this message

 
Old 05-10-2011, 12:18 AM
 
Location: Tysons Corner, VA by way of TEXAS
727 posts, read 487,086 times
Reputation: 814
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
I understood that perfectly. My point is that $15 million is such a tiny, tiny amount of money, it is really a completely pointless consideration in the overall picture and an irrelevant grant.

There have been hundreds, maybe thousands of federal projects that never cane to fruition, after piddling sums of money like that were thrown at exploration and "accessment". We'll spend $15 million in Afghanistan tomorrow morning before breakfast.
I agree. It's not going to get anything done in Texas anytime soon and we've done this before. By the time we actually get around to thinking about building something it will need to be done over again.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-10-2011, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Richardson, TX
15,805 posts, read 14,073,737 times
Reputation: 13043
$15 million is nothing. If they were serious it would be $15 billion.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-10-2011, 09:00 AM
 
Location: Up on the moon laughing down on you
18,516 posts, read 16,214,927 times
Reputation: 7263
Quote:
Originally Posted by majicdonjuan View Post
When you add in access time of the station of say 20 minutes on each end, allowing 15 minutes before your departure and 15 minutes after for walk/disembark/find your next ride time and assuming 1 hour 50 minutes travel time (@ 130 mph because there WILL be a stop or two along the way) you're looking at 3 hours. I'd call that average but say the range of total travel time would be somewhere in the neighborhood of 2:45-3:30. I can do downtown Dallas to downtown Houston in about 3:30. Air total actually about the same, i'd say :50 for the flight, :30 for access on each end, :40 for security and :20 for bag claim. That's 2:50 total.

Now let's say congestion got to a point where it takes 4:15 to drive the two cities. Then HSR becomes much more competitive because it takes a big bite of the automobile market which is MUCH bigger than the air market. Only 2.9 million people flew between Houston and Dallas in 2009 and that includes not only O&D traffic but connecting traffic meaning that only a portion of that 2.9 million had Houston or Dallas as a final destination. My guess would be 50-60%. Those travelers would primarily switch to HSR, but the automobile drivers (the leisure travelers and the more cost-conscious business travelers) would not due to pricing differences.

I drive from Austin to Houston 2 or 3 times a month. Does that mean I would take a HSR if it were available as a leisure traveler (grad student?)? Only if it were competitive in price (first criteria for most leisure travelers) and time (second criteria) and I could easily get to my final destination (third criteria). However for a business traveler, time is the main consideration. If I can drive to Austin in 2:30 and the HSR takes 2 hours but costs me $90 for a round trip ticket compared to $45 to fill my tank up, I'm going to take my car.
I don't know what magic juice they have been giving you in Austin but It must be strong to get from Houston to Dallas in 3hrs. as for the flight you didn't have to break it down for me I said the flight would take about the same time. Problem with flight is that it has more hassles like invasive security checks, limitations on what you can carry with you, unwarranted delays.

as for costs, the rails are usually cheaper than the price of a bus ticket. so Austin to Houston should not cost more than 50. Also it would not take more than an hour to get there. You would be spending the same you would spend on gas but getting there twice as fast
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-10-2011, 09:08 AM
 
Location: Underneath the Pecan Tree
15,831 posts, read 19,728,327 times
Reputation: 6680
Quote:
Originally Posted by HtownLove View Post
I don't know what magic juice they have been giving you in Austin but It must be strong to get from Houston to Dallas in 3hrs. as for the flight you didn't have to break it down for me I said the flight would take about the same time. Problem with flight is that it has more hassles like invasive security checks, limitations on what you can carry with you, unwarranted delays.

as for costs, the rails are usually cheaper than the price of a bus ticket. so Austin to Houston should not cost more than 50. Also it would not take more than an hour to get there. You would be spending the same you would spend on gas but getting there twice as fast
It's possible if you keep a high consistent speed.

Last edited by blkgiraffe; 05-10-2011 at 09:23 AM..
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-10-2011, 09:10 AM
 
4,503 posts, read 6,269,751 times
Reputation: 3052
So Let's see . . . $15 million.

That ought to pay for billboards along I-45 saying how great High Speed Rail would be.

Anyway -- Southwest Airlines would NEVER allow this.

Face it, Texas is a Corporate Pimp state, and we are the ho's on the street.

Now, get back to work and gets me my money, biotch.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-10-2011, 09:49 AM
 
Location: Texas State Fair
8,567 posts, read 5,112,718 times
Reputation: 4128
$15 million??? That's just enough to put up a couple of signs in each destination terminal. Down payment on another $150 billion investment in a non-used public transportation.

Dallas and Houston aren't urbanite cities. Once you get from one to the other, what'cha gonna do? Take a train to the airport to rent a car?

Send it back. Tell Obama we'll meet him on the tarmac at the airport.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-10-2011, 09:54 AM
 
Location: Midessa, Texas Home Yangzhou, Jiangsu temporarily
1,507 posts, read 2,743,211 times
Reputation: 862
So we spend $15 million 21st century dollars for a 19th century solution to a 20th century problem?

What a waste, surely we have more promising technologies than railroads. I will admit though that trains are cool.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-10-2011, 10:50 AM
 
995 posts, read 1,017,442 times
Reputation: 950
Hmmm. That's a long distance to cover for an idea that is still very lukewarm in Texas. I'd be surprised if it could get off the ground, with the distance and building costs involved, and the lack of demand to use it and pay back the costs. I doubt it will happen.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-10-2011, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Tysons Corner, VA by way of TEXAS
727 posts, read 487,086 times
Reputation: 814
Quote:
Originally Posted by HtownLove View Post
I don't know what magic juice they have been giving you in Austin but It must be strong to get from Houston to Dallas in 3hrs. as for the flight you didn't have to break it down for me I said the flight would take about the same time. Problem with flight is that it has more hassles like invasive security checks, limitations on what you can carry with you, unwarranted delays.

as for costs, the rails are usually cheaper than the price of a bus ticket. so Austin to Houston should not cost more than 50. Also it would not take more than an hour to get there. You would be spending the same you would spend on gas but getting there twice as fast
You should re-read my post. I said I can do Houston to Dallas in 3:30, not 3 hours. I don't think even my heavy-footed self could do it in three hours.

As another poster said, rail would have to be heavily subsidized because this line alone would cost probably in the neighborhood of $10-$20 billion. That's $400-$800 per taxpayer and that's only capital costs.

Now in terms of operating costs, the rail would likely follow a downward slope over time as ridership goes up and the relative cost of traditional fossil fuels goes up, pushing the relative cost of electricity down. Either way, it's not going to be competitive with airlines from a purely market basis until the price of oil goes up significantly, even given the high levels of today. I can't really speculate on how much that would have to be though, that would require further research I don't have time to do right now. But HSR is just not suited for the near-term in Texas.

Long-term? Sure, but politically it will take a lot of courage. And it will have to be subsidized, at least initially.
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.


 
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:

Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2011 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $84,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Texas

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2014, 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 - Top