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Old 01-31-2010, 10:38 AM
 
Location: WA
5,488 posts, read 22,099,743 times
Reputation: 6168

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I'd rather see them use the money to improve I-5.
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Old 01-31-2010, 10:48 AM
 
7,616 posts, read 13,881,446 times
Reputation: 9846
Quote:
Originally Posted by jr75 View Post
I'm all for it. We have to start somewhere and connecting the PNW would be great until we can expand to SF and LA. Since this is a federal project, How is it that a Canadian city is part of the plan? Just wondering how the Canadian govt. is working with the U.S. on this and if there are other examples of cross border infrastructure projects.
Well, we already have a train and rails going up there, so for the basic infrastructure is pretty much all set up. Looks like we'll just be geared with a faster train and all that. However, I can't find any articles that talk about Canadian involvement on their end-- so that should be interesting.

I do think if we have a faster and cheaper train going to Portland, it could work. Right now, it's much more convenient and cheaper if we drove ourselves to Portland, OR/Vancouver, WA.
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Old 01-31-2010, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Seattle Area
3,455 posts, read 6,472,376 times
Reputation: 3583
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inkpoe View Post
Well, we already have a train and rails going up there, so for the basic infrastructure is pretty much all set up. Looks like we'll just be geared with a faster train and all that. However, I can't find any articles that talk about Canadian involvement on their end-- so that should be interesting.

I do think if we have a faster and cheaper train going to Portland, it could work. Right now, it's much more convenient and cheaper if we drove ourselves to Portland, OR/Vancouver, WA.
There is no Canadian involvement...

I go to both Portland and Vancouver, BC on a regular basis and haven't driven to either of those places in years.

To me the train is much more convenient...no parking issues, etc.
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Old 01-31-2010, 11:50 AM
 
Location: Seattle Area
3,455 posts, read 6,472,376 times
Reputation: 3583
Quote:
Originally Posted by eskercurve View Post
I think it is laughable that the US is the ONLY advanced economy in the world without some form of high speed rail system. Europe has the Eurostar, Japan has the Shinkansen, and China has their own high speed rail system too.

That said, I am curious to see the business case for the Eugene - Portland - Seattle - Vancouver BC route.

I fail to see how people who are going to do business in Seattle will care? It only takes 3 hours by car from Vancouver BC, and only 3-4 hours in a car to Portland. Further, in my opinion, neither Portland nor Eugene have much to offer that would entice a tourist to stay for more than a day trip, and a train ticket will be much more expensive than gas, and while it would offer the ability for a day pass, it really wouldn't make much more sense than that.

ON THE FLIP SIDE, this would be a boon for people who want cheaper housing and work in Seattle or Vancouver, especially if they have multiple stops along the way. I've been on the Shinkansen and trust me, having multiple stops isn't defeating the purpose by a whole lot. Those babies can sure go!

I also think to people living in the Boston - NYC - Philly - DC corridor this would also make a lot of sense because of the population density. Same goes for the San Diego - Sacramento route, with a branch to Phoenix potentially.

So, while it would be nice, I do not think it is a "must have" for the Pac NW. Now if it would bypass customs traffic ... and have cheap "day trip" fares to Vancouver of Portland ... then I'd be interested.

The ridership of Amtrak's Cascades services is already quite high, and a great many of those who ride are business people. For many business people it is much more productive...

Amtrak Cascades 2009 Ridership Numbers
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Old 01-31-2010, 11:57 AM
 
Location: Seattle Area
3,455 posts, read 6,472,376 times
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I urge anybody interested in this or any transit related projects to read Seattle Transit Blog
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Old 01-31-2010, 08:37 PM
 
Location: Pacific NW
9,434 posts, read 6,212,336 times
Reputation: 7928
Judging by how the rail lines in WA have been run so far - reality, not campaign promises - this new rail will be:
1) slower than driving
2) cost more than driving
3) never by self sustaining
4) be an ever increasing drain on the tax payers for all eternity
5) cost at least three times as much to complete as they initially fund

Maybe this time they'll get it right, but I'll believe it when I see it. The current train from Seattle to Portland takes 50% longer than driving and is rarely on time. They're talking about spending nearly 600 million dollars just to get it to run on time (and that probably won't be enough).

Some information on the Sounder line: Sound Transit Sounder Commuter Rail: Promises vs. Performance
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Old 02-01-2010, 11:35 AM
 
Location: Seattle Area
3,455 posts, read 6,472,376 times
Reputation: 3583
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haakon View Post
Judging by how the rail lines in WA have been run so far - reality, not campaign promises - this new rail will be:
1) slower than driving
2) cost more than driving
3) never by self sustaining
4) be an ever increasing drain on the tax payers for all eternity
5) cost at least three times as much to complete as they initially fund

Maybe this time they'll get it right, but I'll believe it when I see it. The current train from Seattle to Portland takes 50% longer than driving and is rarely on time. They're talking about spending nearly 600 million dollars just to get it to run on time (and that probably won't be enough).

Some information on the Sounder line: Sound Transit Sounder Commuter Rail: Promises vs. Performance
Do you realize that this has nothing to do with Sound Transit?

Do you realize that highways, freeways, etc are not self sustaining?

Do you realize that highways and freeways are an ever increasing drain on taxpayers?

Do you realize that this project upgrades an already existing infrastructure?

Do you realize that this is not "new rail"?

Do you realize that 4 roundtrip trains between Seattle and Portland?

Do you realize that whether these trains are on-time or not is due to factors beyond Amtraks control?
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Old 02-01-2010, 05:29 PM
 
150 posts, read 634,175 times
Reputation: 70
It's about time! Our train infrastructure is laughable. I enjoyed my Amtrak trip from LA to the Tri-Cities but it was a 30 hour trip! Our train left LA late because of a crew scheduling error... which resulted in us having to stop multiple times to give right of way to the much more valuable freight trains. We were so far behind schedule we had to stop in Klamath Falls and board a bus to Pasco so anyone on the Portland-Chicago route could catch the train there to continue.
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Old 02-01-2010, 10:58 PM
 
Location: Prepperland
14,603 posts, read 10,593,400 times
Reputation: 11144
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcres View Post
Our train infrastructure is laughable.
Blame the Feds and their bass ackwards rules. FRA requires car weights to be far heavier than necessary - which explains why European made traincars don't run at their potential on AMTRAK.

Also blame taxation policy that forced railroad companies to tear up track to save money on taxes (duh!).

The current slow, heavy freight companies may be lean, and mean, and profitable. But if we really want a rail renaissance, we are going to have to get government off their backs.

I'd rather that in place of public funding, stop charging taxes to every company (and their employees) 100% involved in building, maintaining, and operating private electric traction railways. Given the chance to invest in tax exempt rail, I believe that there would be plenty of money. Ditto for employees.
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Old 02-02-2010, 11:10 AM
 
Location: Spokane, WA
850 posts, read 3,285,281 times
Reputation: 919
It's about time we get a rail system. I HATE driving. I use I5 so often from Portland to Seattle, and it would make it so much better if we had a fast rail.

When do they plan on starting this?
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