U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 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.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 01-25-2015, 09:59 PM
 
Location: bend oregon
930 posts, read 846,305 times
Reputation: 351

Advertisements

coal is not as good as electric, got it. what is this thread, i dont even want to be apart of it any more
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-31-2015, 08:44 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
1,070 posts, read 2,372,511 times
Reputation: 1421
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilson513 View Post
The little hybrid car is the most efficient transportation there is assuming a place to park and no gridlock. there is nothing efficient about an 800,000 piece of iron fueled by coal burning electric rolling up the rails with 50 people on board in the middle of the day and a crew of union transportation workers on the public payroll. Every full train comes back nearly empty everyplace I've been.
Where to start?

First, when's the last time a coal-burning train was legitimately used to haul passengers / cargo (excluding "historic" rides, who's sole purpose is to offer people rides on an old, coal powered train)? Modern trains are either electric, or diesel / electric hybrids.

Now, let's talk economy. Getting numbers from CSX (a major rail freight company in he U.S.), a train can move a ton of freight 450 miles on 1 gallon of fuel.

I have a friend who drives semi trucks, and her typical load is around 45,000 lbs, or 22.5 tons. To move that load 450 miles would use 22.5 gallons of fuel. Her truck averages around 6-8mpg under load. Even using the higher average, she'd burn 56.25 gallons of fuel to go the same distance.

Now that freight is covered, let's talk passenger rail. Agreeing statistics can be found all over the web, but this site has easy-to-read graphs.

Passenger efficiency is measured in CO2 per a set distance, per passenger. The common metric is "grams of CO2 per passenger kilometer", or how much CO2 is produced to move one passenger one kilometer.

Using that metric, the average car (with an average capacity) will create 205 grams of CO2 per passenger kilometer. Passenger rail produces 56 grams of CO2 per passenger kilometer. Light Rail (inner city) produces 71g / pax km, and buses produce 186 g / pax km. So literally every other mode of transport is more efficient than a passenger car.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-31-2015, 11:09 AM
 
10,139 posts, read 23,329,856 times
Reputation: 8290
Quote:
Originally Posted by cab591 View Post
Where to start?

First, when's the last time a coal-burning train was legitimately used to haul passengers / cargo (excluding "historic" rides, who's sole purpose is to offer people rides on an old, coal powered train)? Modern trains are either electric, or diesel / electric hybrids.
Electric trains, third rail or overhead electric are all powered by coal fired electric power generation.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-31-2015, 12:43 PM
 
2,825 posts, read 3,358,359 times
Reputation: 3031
Quote:
Originally Posted by cab591 View Post
Where to start?

First, when's the last time a coal-burning train was legitimately used to haul passengers / cargo (excluding "historic" rides, who's sole purpose is to offer people rides on an old, coal powered train)? Modern trains are either electric, or diesel / electric hybrids.

Now, let's talk economy. Getting numbers from CSX (a major rail freight company in he U.S.), a train can move a ton of freight 450 miles on 1 gallon of fuel.
The train depot isn't going to be the destination - so you'll still need to have a staging area for cargo to be unloaded and stored pending pickup. Then you need a truck to haul it to its actual destination. So although a train may be an efficient component of shipment, it inherently won't be the only component or cost. The "aggregate math" works for the train operator but not so much for the customer. Your numbers rely upon many, many more tons being transported at the same time.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cab591 View Post
I have a friend who drives semi trucks, and her typical load is around 45,000 lbs, or 22.5 tons. To move that load 450 miles would use 22.5 gallons of fuel. Her truck averages around 6-8mpg under load. Even using the higher average, she'd burn 56.25 gallons of fuel to go the same distance.
Except that she has far more flexibility than the train. She can travel locations the train cannot go (like the origin and destination for the cargo). If a train is involved, a truck will likely be needed to get something to the train or from the train. Now you have at least three loading and unloading operations - each of which requires operators and equipment, takes time, and risks damage to the cargo - you can eliminate 2/3 of that risk/cost by just using the truck the entire route to begin with. Not all "tons" travel with the same robustness. The truck also has more flexibility as to when it travels, where it travels, and the route taken between locations.

Trains are a valued component of shipping certain cargo under certain conditions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cab591 View Post
Now that freight is covered, let's talk passenger rail. Agreeing statistics can be found all over the web, but this site has easy-to-read graphs.

Passenger efficiency is measured in CO2 per a set distance, per passenger. The common metric is "grams of CO2 per passenger kilometer", or how much CO2 is produced to move one passenger one kilometer.

Using that metric, the average car (with an average capacity) will create 205 grams of CO2 per passenger kilometer. Passenger rail produces 56 grams of CO2 per passenger kilometer. Light Rail (inner city) produces 71g / pax km, and buses produce 186 g / pax km. So literally every other mode of transport is more efficient than a passenger car.
Efficient based just upon one metric -a metric that really isn't a concern to the people riding around but rather a metric for "planners" and others attempting to dictate how others "should" live. There are other metrics such as cost, convenience, timing, etc. that are far more relevant to the traveling individuals. The people riding rail or buses aren't doing so out of some altruistic goal of "saving carbon" or generating less carbon dioxide. Mostly the carbon argument seems just to be an excuse to try to rationalize an anti-car agenda. Many of those riders still have to have some way to get to the rail station or bus depot....and no doubt many use cars to do so.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-02-2015, 03:47 PM
 
2,388 posts, read 2,960,217 times
Reputation: 1953
Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
Mostly the carbon argument seems just to be an excuse to try to rationalize an anti-car agenda. Many of those riders still have to have some way to get to the rail station or bus depot....and no doubt many use cars to do so.
It's really not that black and white and the "anti-car agenda" is a strawman for people to get worked up about things that aren't worth getting worked up about.

In any case, how people get to train stations depends on the nature of the the system. For the DC Metro it's 62 percent of passengers walked or biked to stations, 16 percent
drove and parked, 16 percent arrived by bus or commuter rail, and 6 percent arrived by Kiss & Ride,
carpool, or taxi
so 22% of riders are driving or getting rides to the station.

For Metra in Chicago it's around 52% of riders who are driving alone and another 28% who are getting rides or getting dropped off. But those numbers quickly shift in the direction of 50% walking or biking for Metra stations in Chicago.

For CTA stations in Chicago 82% of riders walk to the station.

If you look at SEPTA in Philly or MBTA in Boston you get similar splits except that the commuter rail in Boston and Philly pulls in more walkers.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-02-2015, 04:01 PM
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 42,080,368 times
Reputation: 14811
any stats on NYC rail & subway?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-02-2015, 04:24 PM
 
2,825 posts, read 3,358,359 times
Reputation: 3031
Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
It's really not that black and white and the "anti-car agenda" is a strawman for people to get worked up about things that aren't worth getting worked up about.
Of course it's that "black and white". There is zero other reason to focus on carbon dioxide production particularly in the manner it was presented.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
In any case, how people get to train stations depends on the nature of the the system. For the DC Metro it's 62 percent of passengers walked or biked to stations, 16 percent
drove and parked, 16 percent arrived by bus or commuter rail, and 6 percent arrived by Kiss & Ride,
carpool, or taxi
so 22% of riders are driving or getting rides to the station.

For Metra in Chicago it's around 52% of riders who are driving alone and another 28% who are getting rides or getting dropped off. But those numbers quickly shift in the direction of 50% walking or biking for Metra stations in Chicago.

For CTA stations in Chicago 82% of riders walk to the station.

If you look at SEPTA in Philly or MBTA in Boston you get similar splits except that the commuter rail in Boston and Philly pulls in more walkers.
...and what percent of them make decisions based upon CO2 production? Zero percent?

The carbon dioxide argument is directed at trying to control how OTHER people get to where they want to go.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-02-2015, 06:30 PM
 
2,388 posts, read 2,960,217 times
Reputation: 1953
Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
Of course it's that "black and white". There is zero other reason to focus on carbon dioxide production particularly in the manner it was presented.

The carbon dioxide argument is directed at trying to control how OTHER people get to where they want to go.
Cars account for >25% of all US CO2 emissions. That's trending downward and it's likely to go down a lot more as the fleet fuel economy doubles over the next decade. Maybe there are other people in this thread who are arguing that (I didn't pick up on that) but I've never read any credible sources well versed on the topic that suggest that cars should go away or even sources who think that will ever happen.

It's always discussed in the realm of choice because is the one aspect of personal CO2 emissions that can be easily reduced for 60-70% of Americans.


Quote:
...and what percent of them make decisions based upon CO2 production? Zero percent?
Well, I don't think too much about my CO2 budget from transportation on a daily basis because we deliberately moved to a place where we had easy transit access to work and where we could walk or bike most other places. I wouldn't completely dismiss the idea that it's a factor in some peoples' decision making processes.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-02-2015, 06:42 PM
 
2,825 posts, read 3,358,359 times
Reputation: 3031
Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
Cars account for >25% of all US CO2 emissions. That's trending downward and it's likely to go down a lot more as the fleet fuel economy doubles over the next decade. Maybe there are other people in this thread who are arguing that (I didn't pick up on that) but I've never read any credible sources well versed on the topic that suggest that cars should go away or even sources who think that will ever happen.

It's always discussed in the realm of choice because is the one aspect of personal CO2 emissions that can be easily reduced for 60-70% of Americans.
Whose choice?
Halting breathing reduces CO2 emissions as well but no one suggests that as a "solution".
Trains and buses are in the same category. People don't say "I'm going to ride the train to cut down on CO2 emissions"

Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
Well, I don't think too much about my CO2 budget from transportation on a daily basis because we deliberately moved to a place where we had easy transit access to work and where we could walk or bike most other places. I wouldn't completely dismiss the idea that it's a factor in some peoples' decision making processes.
... and you're no different from anyone else. But the reason you don't think about it isn't because of where you live or how accessible transit is. If it produced even more CO2 you wouldn't care - it's not a factor in your decision making process. You are making a choice based upon what's convenient for you personally.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-02-2015, 07:04 PM
 
2,388 posts, read 2,960,217 times
Reputation: 1953
Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
any stats on NYC rail & subway?
I haven't been able to find any sources that point back to original data but most seem to reference that walking is in the 90% ballpark. I have other older data from 1998-2000 though -

This is % of commuters driving to, getting dropped off, or riding as a passenger to a train station. Keep in mind that these numbers have probably trended downward since then:

For NY area commuter rail, ferries and express buses it's 40%

Caltrain - 54%
BART - 49%

Pittsburgh - 46% for light rail and 11% for busway stations

Portland light rail - 33%

Sacramento light rail - 28%

Buffalo light rail - 21%

The variation, as I'm sure you know, all depends on the type of service and the context of the line itself.
Reply With Quote 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.


Reply
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:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

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, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top