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Old 03-24-2014, 09:16 PM
 
2,388 posts, read 2,955,715 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OuttaTheLouBurbs View Post
As for the streetcar conspiracy, notice that the word "theory" is absent from the page I linked to. That's because it actually happened. It was not a theory, it was real. I hate conspiracy theories like every rational human being, but the Great American Streetcar Scandal wasn't some crazy irrational idea made up on a whim.
I know that it happened and there was a court case and everything but to the extent that it actually mattered is seriously overblown.

Streetcar companies were in decline for a while because the business model was unsustainable to begin with. When private autos were thrown into the mix it was all but lights out for them. All Standard Oil, GM et al did was deliver the coup-de-grace.
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Old 03-24-2014, 09:48 PM
 
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Actually, private autos were invented about the same time as electric streetcars. Private autos were more of a novelty until public roads with hard surfaces were common enough to facilitate driving--and the lobbyists of the auto and road-building industries (and the oil and tire industries) who pushed for laws that made electric streetcar companies unsustainable (specifically, laws that prohibited electric utilities from operating streetcar lines) and public-funded roads, which shifted the cost of transportation from the customers who rode the lines to taxpayers in general. So no, it wasn't just the coup de grace, the industries involved in the automobile and road industries also engaged in all the other phases of beating the private streetcar and interurban railroad industry to death.
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Old 03-24-2014, 10:08 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Boston dismantled its streetcars after the government took over the streetcar operations. The same is true all over the UK. London removed the majority of its streetcars in the 1930s and then finished the job postwar.

The chance that the government wouldn't pave roads with hard surface with public funds was remote, the only question was the scale: how many new roads and how much improvements / widening. And whether to fund rail at the same time.

Also, highways can even be paved in stone. Look at this elevated highway:

West Side Highway - Stuck Caddy on May 8, 1953. Really glad to see the tow truck finally arrive! New York. | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

an onramp a few decades later:

West Side Highway abandoned with burned out 1970s Chevy Camaro. 1975. New York. (welcome to the good old days). | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
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Old 03-25-2014, 02:24 PM
 
Location: Richmond/Philadelphia/Brooklyn
1,263 posts, read 1,273,508 times
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I think what is more important to note about Transit is that compared to the late 20th century, it truly is making a turnaround. Also, After looking at many of the numbers, it appears that most decline in certain transit systems comes from bus services, so in a way, rail proponents could argue that there has been much rail growth. Also, I think it is important to note that car usage has remained stagnant since 2008.
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Old 03-25-2014, 02:48 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pantin23 View Post
I think what is more important to note about Transit is that compared to the late 20th century, it truly is making a turnaround. Also, After looking at many of the numbers, it appears that most decline in certain transit systems comes from bus services, so in a way, rail proponents could argue that there has been much rail growth. Also, I think it is important to note that car usage has remained stagnant since 2008.
Is it possible some of it could be a shift from bus to rail?
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Old 03-25-2014, 02:57 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 21 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Isn't the link in the OP about ALL types of transit, not just rail? Speaking of rail, this was interesting.

A Trip On The Nation’s Most Unreliable Train | Here & Now

I guess you'll have to listen to it, it doesn't seem like there's a transcript available. Anyway, it talks about how even in the Golden Days of rail, freight was the big moneymaker.
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Old 03-25-2014, 03:14 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Isn't the link in the OP about ALL types of transit, not just rail?
I didn't say it wasn't.

Quote:
Speaking of rail, this was interesting.

A Trip On The Nation’s Most Unreliable Train | Here & Now

I guess you'll have to listen to it, it doesn't seem like there's a transcript available. Anyway, it talks about how even in the Golden Days of rail, freight was the big moneymaker.
I've ridden that train, I didn't listen to article yet but I remember it being considered one of the more reliable train. It was a neat trip. I'll try to listen later. I'm guessing the change is added freight use in North Dakota.

As for rail reliability, long-distance Amtrak trains are affected by things that don't affect typical rail riders: and long-distance Amtrak trains are a tiny portion of American rail ridership.

Last edited by nei; 03-25-2014 at 04:18 PM..
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Old 03-25-2014, 04:11 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,674,744 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
I didn't say it wasn't.

I've ridden that train, I didn't listen to article yet but I remember it being considered one of the more reliable train. It was a neat trip. I'll try to listen later.

As for rail reliability, long-distance Amtrak trains are affected by things that don't affect typical rail riders: and long-distance Amtrak trains are a tiny portion of American rail ridership.
Freight always has priority in the US, so a long distance train could be severely impacted. On a shorter route, delays aren't very noticeable.
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Old 03-25-2014, 04:18 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
Freight always has priority in the US, so a long distance train could be severely impacted. On a shorter route, delays aren't very noticeable.
Not always. I doubt freight has priority on Caltrain, for example. The Amtrak line from Springfield, MA southward is owned by Amtrak, and the section to the north was just bought by the state.
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Old 03-25-2014, 04:33 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,674,744 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Not always. I doubt freight has priority on Caltrain, for example. The Amtrak line from Springfield, MA southward is owned by Amtrak, and the section to the north was just bought by the state.
Caltrain isn't delayed as often as the local Amtrak is by "train congestion." but it does happen. Amtrak ride to Sacramento/Stockton from the Bay can be impacted, as they do share tracks. It is usually 10 minutes or less.
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