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Old 06-06-2015, 01:32 AM
 
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Interesting article dealing with state-of-the-art technology and unintended consequences.

Granted the author talks exclusively about travel in the EU but the same scenario would play out here in America...

A line the author wrote stuck in my mind:

Quote:
High speed trains share a fundamental problem with almost all other "sustainable" high-tech solutions that are being marketed these days: they are way too expensive to become mainstream.
LOW-TECH MAGAZINE: High Speed Trains are Killing the European Railway Network
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Old 06-06-2015, 12:52 PM
 
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EXCELLENT article. Good enough that I bookmarked it for reference.
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Old 06-07-2015, 04:05 AM
 
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Default Straightforward observation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kris De Decker
Historically, train fares have always been lower than air fares. The arrival of high speed trains and low-cost airlines in the 1990s has inverted this. Rich and poor have simply swapped travel modes: the masses are now travelling by plane, while the elite take the train. Since there are less rich Europeans, this obviously won't bring any energy savings or reductions in carbon emissions. High speed trains share a fundamental problem with almost all other "sustainable" high-tech solutions that are being marketed these days: they are way too expensive to become mainstream.
I have read this article before, and it is straightforward and simple. The tendency also won't change because inevitably planes will fly with passenger in semi-standing mode. So even if fuel triples in price, it will still be cheaper to take a plane.
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Old 06-07-2015, 05:45 PM
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The article explains that rail is for the rich and low-cost air is for the low-to-medium income people of Europe, and talks about how high-speed rail is siphoning passengers from low-speed rail, but doesn't offer much explanation about why the pricing is the way it is.

Maybe the rail networks would be sustainable if they operated with the cost-cutting measures of the low-cost airlines, like having flight attendants hawk goods in the aisles and charging high fees for luggage?
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Old 06-07-2015, 08:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo View Post
high-speed rail is siphoning passengers from low-speed rail
I don't think that is correct. Nearly all passenger rail travel in the world is subsidized. I think his complaint is that the low speed offerings are shut down once the high speed rail is in place

Barcelona - Paris started high speed rail link December 15, 2013, after which the Trenhotel Joan Miró which left at 20h30 in evening and arriving around 08h30 in morning. Fare was €70 and €140 euro

Standard fare on the new high speed train covering the same trajectory is €170 travel time is cut in half to six hours. But now in addition to the massive increase in fare, the rider must now pay for a hotel room.

So if he went to Paris for a day trip it might cost him from 2*€70 to 2*€140=€140 to €280 . Now the same trip might cost him 2*€170+€200 (hotel room) = €540.

Ryan Air from Paris Beauvais to Girona Barcelona is often less than €80 each way and takes 95 minutes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo View Post
Maybe the rail networks would be sustainable if they operated with the cost-cutting measures of the low-cost airlines, like having flight attendants hawk goods in the aisles and charging high fees for luggage?
That is just raising more revenue from the passengers.
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Old 06-09-2015, 07:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo View Post
..but doesn't offer much explanation about why the pricing is the way it is.
I don't think there is any form of transportation that doesn't get more expensive the faster you go. Infrastructure, vehicle and other costs increase.

There is some parallels here with what happened with air travel. Boeing was simultaneously developing the 747 and another plane that was going to be supersonic to compete against the Concorde. It was expected the 747 would be for freight and the supersonic plane for air travel. The cost of the supersonic plane ballooned and they abandoned it, Boeing was literally betting the company on the 747. The 747 and the Concorde first flew literally weeks apart however the 747 went into use almost immediately while it took years more of development for the Concorde. The 747 went on to be the most successful commercial plane ever and the Concorde could barely keep it's neck above the water.
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Old 06-13-2015, 02:27 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
I don't think there is any form of transportation that doesn't get more expensive the faster you go.
Look at automobiles. A Model T had a curb weight of 1200 pounds, an 20 hp engine, and a top speed of 40-45 mph. A modern golf cart is usually 900 to 1000 pounds.

A Cadillac Escalade has a curb weight of 5800 pounds 420 hp and a top speed (governor limited) of 113 mph.

A lot of the efficiency of electric cars has more to do with not going as fast. Although we may laugh at the speed of a Model T for intercity driving, the reality is for urban driving it may well be fast enough.
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Old 06-13-2015, 03:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PacoMartin View Post
Although we may laugh at the speed of a Model T for intercity driving, the reality is for urban driving it may well be fast enough.
There was an article a few years ago before the batteries in the electric cars were starting to get a reasonable range and still required a 12+ hour recharge. They compared the time it took for lengthy cross country trip against the timetable of 1800's horse carriage. The horse carriage won. LOL To be fair they weren't using the same horses for the entire trip.

Quote:
A Cadillac Escalade has a curb weight of 5800 pounds 420 hp and a top speed (governor limited) of 113 mph.
The car I have gets 19/29, top speed is about 150. While it's not great gas mileage it's impressive considering the power. I'm getting 75% of Prius on the highway.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9cwtgLSbTY
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Old 06-15-2015, 05:01 PM
 
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There are always those who want something for nothing. The high-speed rail network is heavily subsidized. The low-speed rail network is also heavily subsidized. Airlines are somewhat subsidized through publicly owned airports, and high-revenue air passengers help pay for low-revenue passengers. If you removed all the subsidies the market would sort this out, but that is not going to happen, so people will have to continue to search for the travel mode that is personally best for them on each trip. Tempest in a teapot.
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