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View Poll Results: Should Amtrak expand and add more routes/additional cross country railroads!
Yes, Amtrak should expand and add more routes. 30 90.91%
No, I prefer to fly. 3 9.09%
Voters: 33. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-19-2007, 05:22 PM
 
Location: In exile, plotting my coup
2,408 posts, read 13,358,698 times
Reputation: 1792

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I'd personally love to see a vast high-speed train network like the Shinkansen in Japan or the TGV in France, take hold in this country. I don't see it coming to fruition any time soon just due to our country's dependence on the automoblie which has greatly influenced development to spring up in a manner not necessarily friendly to the train or other public transport.

In the meantime though, yes Amtrak should expand. It should also lower ticket prices. At the moment, there's little incentive for people to take the trains when they can reach destinations for the same price in less time via plane (although the "less time" is decreasing due to security measures in airports), much cheaper via bus, or in much more personal comfort in their own cars.
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Old 06-19-2007, 06:38 PM
 
Location: Wi for the summer--Vegas in the winter
653 posts, read 3,132,372 times
Reputation: 259
It was mentioned that AMTRAK does not own it's own rails, and must share them with the Freight railroads. Pretty much true, except for some of the Northeast Corrider Accela trains. This sharing of the tracks is not conducive to effecient movement of passenger trains. While some freight railroads, such as BNSF co-operate with AMTRAK to a high degree, others, such as UNION PACIFIC, show little co-operation. Also, I too admit that because of the vastness of this country, high speed rail connecting all major cities, would be astronomical in cost. Never the less, Amtrak should be properly funded, expanded and offered as an alternative means of transportation, wherever it would be beneficial. At some point the massive road building that has been going on in this country for over 50 years, needs to cease. Light Rail in Metro areas along with medium to long distance passenger trains need to be a larger player in our transportation network. It's really a common sense thing, isn't it??
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Old 06-19-2007, 10:10 PM
 
Location: Far Western KY
1,833 posts, read 5,868,446 times
Reputation: 848
I like trains and I'm never in a hurry, I wish they had more and better routes, I live near the only Kentucky stop and it stops at 1 in the morning ... real pain I have to go to Chicago or New Orleans to connect most of the time ... rather annoying.
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Old 06-19-2007, 10:54 PM
 
Location: The Heart of Dixie
7,815 posts, read 12,319,426 times
Reputation: 4765
Default Amtrak is pointless

Amtrak is pointless and makes no profit at all and is a drain on government money.

If I can get someplace in 8 hours, I'll drive. If I can't, I'll fly. I'm from around Washington, D.C. and I don't get why so many people take the train to Richmond or Charlotte or up to NY and Philadelphia when by the time they drive or take public transport to the train station they're a good way to their destination on the Interstate already.

I think what we need is to help out the airlines with their bankrupty and delays problems, help upgrade airports to prepare for increased passengers and jet landings/takeoffs, and to improve the Interstate highway system. Going by Amtrak always takes longer than flying and is always more expensive than driving or even Greyhound.
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Old 06-19-2007, 10:57 PM
 
Location: The Heart of Dixie
7,815 posts, read 12,319,426 times
Reputation: 4765
But if Amtrak were actually to build high-speed rail the likes of Japan or Germany that would be different. That would make a national rail network make more sense. I do wonder though about those Japanese trains...going so fast on ground level can you still enjoy the scenery?

But a high speed US train network would create massive layoffs problem for the airlines, unless they re-hire flight attendants as train attendants....same job really right?
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Old 06-20-2007, 07:51 AM
 
Location: Journey's End
10,189 posts, read 24,906,244 times
Reputation: 3840
I suppose my experiences have been different. I lived in NYC on and off for many years, and traveled to Boston, Philadelphia, DC and Albany often for work related issues. Unless I was doing a one-day in and out trip, I always took the train, and during my last year working, we were actually prohibited from flying such short distances.

When the train works, and is reliable it was more comfortable and less stressful to take Amtrak than try to drive to any of those locations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrapin2212 View Post
Amtrak is pointless and makes no profit at all and is a drain on government money.

If I can get someplace in 8 hours, I'll drive. If I can't, I'll fly. I'm from around Washington, D.C. and I don't get why so many people take the train to Richmond or Charlotte or up to NY and Philadelphia when by the time they drive or take public transport to the train station they're a good way to their destination on the Interstate already.

I think what we need is to help out the airlines with their bankrupty and delays problems, help upgrade airports to prepare for increased passengers and jet landings/takeoffs, and to improve the Interstate highway system. Going by Amtrak always takes longer than flying and is always more expensive than driving or even Greyhound.
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Old 06-20-2007, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
32,364 posts, read 59,796,813 times
Reputation: 54006
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreggB View Post
In this country the government still pours billions of dollars into new roads. Well, that's what most Americans want.
Not to mention that Americans don't want trains running anywhere near their homes. Mention light rail or any other kind of train service, and everyone gets all NIMBY about it.

Which is kinda ridiculous, because yes, trains make noise, but a train traveling through a populated area is moving very slowly and makes about as much noise as a parade of cars. And a train won't be coming past the house more than once every couple of hours, unlike auto traffic which is constant.
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Old 06-21-2007, 12:44 AM
 
Location: imprisoned in chicago
326 posts, read 371,408 times
Reputation: 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrapin2212 View Post
But a high speed US train network would create massive layoffs problem for the airlines, unless they re-hire flight attendants as train attendants....same job really right?
True, but what if security issues become so big that the federal government orders an all out ban on air travel across the entire United States?
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Old 06-21-2007, 06:32 AM
 
1,134 posts, read 3,627,283 times
Reputation: 652
Quote:
Originally Posted by ontheroad View Post
The single and simply answer: the automobile!

When I lived in Europe, although we owned a car, we never used it unless it was absolutely necessary. We commuted by train, tram and bicycle.
We would do well to emulate Europes transportation system
in a few areas. I commute by bicycle year 'round so I am very
sensitive to the wastefulness and what the car has done to our
society, but, I digress..........
My beef with Amtrak is that it is too little for too much if the
services up and down the eastern seaboard are any indication.
In my experience some of the people on the trains dont know
about thier own fares or services(Ive had to pay twice because
a conductor wouldnt honor my pre-pay computer printout/conf. #),
switching trains a lot and never, ever on time. Customer service is
poor, too. If they can get these minor glitches taken care of Im sure
they would get more riders.
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Old 06-21-2007, 06:54 AM
 
Location: Journey's End
10,189 posts, read 24,906,244 times
Reputation: 3840
We did have a joke about the 3.15pm run from Albany to New York, and would try to arrange our meetings to go beyond three or cut them short to avoid that train--it was notoriously late and often left after the 4.15pm. - I believe we called it "the never train."
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