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Old 01-04-2020, 12:22 PM
Status: "wishy-washy liberal" (set 14 days ago)
 
1,508 posts, read 399,422 times
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the automotive companies killed the bus-lines they bought them up and put them out of business it was quite a scandal and well documented


highways use public funding railways cannot keep all the infrastructure up without help either
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Old 01-05-2020, 05:27 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
31,301 posts, read 57,032,790 times
Reputation: 33616
Take for example a trip that we do 1-2 times a year, driving from Seattle to the San Francisco Bay Area. People in a hurry will fly, so that’s airlines replacing bus/train. For me, it’s 14 hours, and we enjoy the trip since it’s almost all scenic with fun places to stop along the way. Gas in our turbo 4 cylinder car is about $140 round trip at current prices. Take the bus or train, and it means getting to a terminal in Seattle, paying to park for a week or more in a place where the car may get prowled. Then the bus is going to take 28 hours to S.F. and ticket is about $120. By train, it’s 23.5 hours to Oakland, and cost for ticket is $130, more for a sleeper car.
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Old 01-05-2020, 05:48 PM
 
Location: Roaring '20s
1,869 posts, read 483,588 times
Reputation: 7268
Quote:
Originally Posted by elvis44102 View Post
the automotive companies killed the bus-lines they bought them up and put them out of business it was quite a scandal and well documented
Bus lines still exist. They have a different customer base than to automobile manufacturers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by elvis44102 View Post
highways use public funding railways cannot keep all the infrastructure up without help either
In the middle of the 19th century, over 180 million acres were granted to railroad companies, mostly under the Public Railroad Acts. This was far beyond what the railroads needed - typically, the granted right-of-way was five miles on either side of the track. The railroad companies then sold this excess land to settlers - and land located comparatively near track was particularly valuable, for obvious reasons.

In additions, government bonds valued at $16,000 (approximately $500,000 in 2020 dollars) were issued to railroad companies for each mile of track laid. This was increased to $48,000 ($~1,500,000 today) for track in mountainous terrain.

This represents a monumental subsidy of railroads.

It should also be noted that there is currently subsidized rail travel in the United States - Amtrak.

Freeways simply provide a different service than do railroads. When I commuted 50 miles each way to work, I used an automobile. I could not have used a train. The point-to-point service - had it even existed - would have taken hours (I completely my commute in under an hour). And cargo can move by rail from one region to another, but still needs to be trucked to specific locations.

It's not just the United States. In other large, sparsely-populated countries (Canada and Australia, for example) passenger rail simply can't compete with automobiles. Long-distance passenger rail travel in the United States is now more of a leisurely experience (not unlike a cruise) than a practical mode of travel.
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Old 01-06-2020, 10:59 AM
 
9,984 posts, read 10,562,325 times
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The improvement in automobiles had to have an effect. Cars are also cheaper to buy. Someone who bought their first car in around 1940 told me that many of the older car engines would only last 15,000 miles. That's a year for some people today. There used to be roadside filling stations every where along interstates. You don't need the repairs or the fuel like you used to on a long road trip. I can't imagine what it would have been like to drive some old jalopy from Oklahoma to Los Angeles across the desert like my father and grandfather did in the 30-40's.
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Old 01-06-2020, 02:03 PM
 
Location: Ohio
21,001 posts, read 14,867,631 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by victimofGM View Post
I know bus and train service still exist but no where near what they once were. I wasn’t around prior to the interstate highway system being built. Was the interstate highway system the development that hurt bus and train travel the most?
No, it was increased Standard of Living.

Increased Standard of Living results in increased Affluence.

There are sociological and psychological components to Affluence.

One of those components is independence; being self-reliant instead of relying on others. Control is also a component: the need to control one's own life.

Had the interstate system never been built, Americans would still have purchased vehicles. It wasn't until 1974 that 51% of US households had 2 or more vehicles. I don't have data for years before that, but it's clear the interstate system played little to no role.

The US already had a well-developed system of US Routes and State Routes. Even before the interstate system, cities, counties and States were building by-passes for US and State Routes around urban areas to alleviate congestion or to connect two urban areas.

Anyway, vehicles give people greater independence, freedom and control, making them self-reliant, and that's why motor coach and rail travel declined.

Trains are hardly convenient.

If I take Amtrak, I get to Chicago at 2:00 AM. What the hell am I going to do in Chicago at 2:00 AM?

If I drive, I have more freedom, control and independence. I can leave at a time so that I arrive in Chicago between 6:00 PM and 7:00 PM, get me a hotel room, have a nice dinner and go to bed. That's the advantage, with or without an interstate highway system.
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Old 01-06-2020, 02:41 PM
 
11,628 posts, read 16,734,051 times
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Interstate system was primarily designed for military purposes, to quickly move military loads across the country. Because railroad system was underdeveloped. Back in time, ant trailer puller that had 400hp plus had green light carte blanche from speed limits and street signs. So that they could haul faster.
Country I mentioned before, everything was railroad. Hemlock, train from Seattle to SF would have been excellent trip. Then you >bus>trolley>tram anywhere esle>train>home. That's how we did it. Trains went anywhere, public transportation was "bus at the stop every 1 minute" Or trolley. We did not NEED cars.
here. everything is so spawned and spread, without PT you are forced into having wheels.
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Old 01-06-2020, 04:21 PM
 
6,922 posts, read 3,933,991 times
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When I was growing up the culprit was the trucker's union. The history of their part in the decline of the railroad appears to have been scrubbed from the web.
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Old 01-06-2020, 05:03 PM
 
422 posts, read 138,782 times
Reputation: 734
As ukrkoz posted, the interstate was designed for military purposes. Its official name is Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways. Construction of the system was authorized by the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956. This bill was signed during the first term of Eisenhower's presidency. Eisenhower was champion of the interstate highway system, based on his experience as a young Army officer crossing the US in 1919, traveling along the Lincoln Highway.


Eisenhower also had an appreciation of Germany's 'autobahn', which he came to realize was an important component in the Third Reich's national defense system.
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Old 01-09-2020, 12:30 PM
 
5,925 posts, read 7,269,740 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
Salaries for railroad workers have always been a bit on the high side because the employment is unionized and the unions have done a good job getting salaries and benefits for their members
When the railroads changed from steam locomotives to diesel/electric, the unions did not allow a reduction in engineer staff. There were more engineers on diesel/electric locomotives than were required to operate the machine due to railroad unions.
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Old 01-11-2020, 10:38 PM
 
22,266 posts, read 15,037,779 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ram2 View Post
When the railroads changed from steam locomotives to diesel/electric, the unions did not allow a reduction in engineer staff. There were more engineers on diesel/electric locomotives than were required to operate the machine due to railroad unions.
Change from steam to diesel or other electric locomotives meant in theory firemen were no longer required. RR unions saw things differently and wanted featherbedding by continuing two man cab crews. Thus for many railroads the savings promised by switching from steam were never fully realized.

In end RR's got rid of what employees and infrastructure they could once they finally got rid of steam. Boiler makers, pipe fitters, etc... All or anyone remotely involved with building, maintaining, servicing, or otherwise dealing with steam locomotives were likely given the push. Some who could be retrained to work with/on diesel were kept on. But as the huge infrastructure needed by RR's to run and maintain steam locomotives went away, so did those jobs.
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