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Old 06-19-2014, 03:54 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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The West Coast Main Line in the UK has a max speed of 125 mph, though electrified. Train times are still rather fast, though not TGV fast. London to Liverpool (on that line) is about 212 miles, same distance as NYC-Boston. Fastest train times (via Virgin Trains) is 2hr14min. In comparison, the fastest NYC-Boston time is 3hr40min with Acela. Acela has a higher max speed, 150 mph, than the West Coast Main Line. Average speed matters a lot. The wiki article claims that the line has a lot of freight traffic:

West Coast Main Line - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The main line appears to be four tracked, as is the NEC.
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Old 06-19-2014, 06:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nei View Post
The West Coast Main Line in the UK has a max speed of 125 mph, though electrified. Train times are still rather fast, though not TGV fast. London to Liverpool (on that line) is about 212 miles, same distance as NYC-Boston. Fastest train times (via Virgin Trains) is 2hr14min. In comparison, the fastest NYC-Boston time is 3hr40min with Acela. Acela has a higher max speed, 150 mph, than the West Coast Main Line. Average speed matters a lot. The wiki article claims that the line has a lot of freight traffic:

West Coast Main Line - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The main line appears to be four tracked, as is the NEC.
NEC is only four tracked in certain places and IIRC most of that is between NYC and Washington D.C. ROW.

The NEC ROW between NYC and Boston contains many curves, bridges and other obstacles that cause speed to be reduced to below if not well below 150mph. If you read the above linked article posted by Moi it lays out some of the problems.

Connecticut portion of the NEC in particular tends to run along the coast which means there is no room to add or even straighten out tracks to allow faster speeds. Well you could *try* to expand the easements and or take the necessary land by eminent domain but that wouldn't go down without a fight. Considering the residents whom own much of the property that would be taken you can be sure the thing would be tied up in the courts for decades.
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Old 08-09-2014, 09:20 AM
 
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Originally Posted by RomaniGypsy View Post
They're obsolete due to the cost per ticket when compared to air travel.

That being said, I think that rail transportation will become more popular in the future as fuel prices continue to increase - that will hit airfares much more than it would hit train fares.

Let's face it - if you could pay $500 for a train ticket to get you from point A to point B in 24 hours, even if it would include a bed so you could get a good night's sleep, would you do it if the alternative was $500 for a plane ticket that would get you there in three hours? (That's plenty reasonable. The train might go 60 mph average even if it never has to stop. At that speed you cover 1,440 miles in 24 hours. An airplane will average 500-600 mph, which enables it to cover that same distance in three hours.)

Plus, Amtrak doesn't go everywhere. There aren't Amtrak stations all over the place, but there are airports all over the place. I've looked into Amtrak for my travels and I just wasn't impressed... though I probably will use it at some point just to say I did. I love riding old historic trains at train museums and the like.
Over the last 15 years I've been doing a lot of driving between Illinois, Oklahoma, and Nebraska. I'd take a train in a heartbeat if it were anywhere near as cheap, or as fast, or as easy as driving. But it doesn't touch anyone of those three.
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Old 08-09-2014, 09:59 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
45,992 posts, read 42,026,386 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
The West Coast Main Line in the UK has a max speed of 125 mph, though electrified. Train times are still rather fast, though not TGV fast. London to Liverpool (on that line) is about 212 miles, same distance as NYC-Boston. Fastest train times (via Virgin Trains) is 2hr14min. In comparison, the fastest NYC-Boston time is 3hr40min with Acela. Acela has a higher max speed, 150 mph, than the West Coast Main Line. Average speed matters a lot. The wiki article claims that the line has a lot of freight traffic:

West Coast Main Line - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The main line appears to be four tracked, as is the NEC.
Another comparison, similar distances:

Milan - Naples: 4hr40min
Boston - Washington DC: 6hr40 Acela, 7hr50 Northeast Regional

Note the Italian train is priced similar to the Northeast Regional not the Acela. The Milan-Naples line passes through several large cities, including Florence and Rome. Commuter rail and other slower trains share the route in many parts, like the Northeast Corridor.
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Old 08-09-2014, 12:56 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
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Originally Posted by Natnasci View Post
There is nothing to debate. I worked on Canada's Via Rail as a dining car waiter, a bartender and a porter. I have a pretty good idea what people do on long haul train rides. I worked there for 2 years starting in 1980, before wi-fi, TV on trains, and even showers on trains.
The cars were mainly US made BUD cars, renovated, but configured much as they were when they were built.

Just like on a cruise ship, a certain rhythm of life develops on the train as we crossed the country. That rhythm was centred on meals and and the bar for some. The meals back then were not included but people still lined up for sittings and the bars were always full. People read, play games ( we used to have bingo in the dining car ) and basically amused themselves. It really was no different than the era in which that movie you saw took place…but come on…it's ONLY a movie.

I'm not sure why you think I need a history lesson on modes of travel and the history of flight vs trains? My statement stands
I am so with you on this. Back in the day the California Zephyr was the luxury liner of the rails. I am talking 1966 when my then husband and I took that wonderful train from Chicago to Denver and enjoyed every minute of it on our honeymoon. We had a comfortable sleeper car but the train had so much more to offer.

The trip was timed so that we passed through most of the Midwestern farming country during the night and the beautiful scenery in the Rockies during the day. There were observation cars passengers could sit in to view the beautiful Rockies. I remember even transferring to a special steam engine locomotive to go through terrain to see scenery that could not viewed any other way.

The interior of the train was luxury all the way. Comfortable seats, elegant dining car with real linen and silverware and polite waiters. Passengers could play cards, or other games supplied by the railroad. People could chat. We met interesting travelers all along the way.

Every now and then the conductors would come around and announce a bit of history about the areas in which we were passing through.

People are so wrong to judge that era by today's standards in which they are so wired into electronic devices they are unable fathom how on earth anyone could survive a long journey without these devices. Perfect example is those who judge who have never experienced this kind of travel during that era and only judge real life from their comfy chairs or a movie theater. They don't even realize they are judging only what they have seen in a recreation and not what they have experienced.

Boring trip? Anything but!
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