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Old 06-02-2021, 09:21 AM
 
5,348 posts, read 4,431,074 times
Reputation: 13444

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Train tracks exist, right of way exists, so we should use it and not just let it rust.

In most of Europe and Asia, trains move people quickly and efficiently, but they are not profitable; they are heavily subsidized by the high taxation these regions suffer.

Yet, they improve society by helping people move around easily, it's great for tourism, safer than driving, better for the environment, provides lots of jobs.

We Americans believe the trains and the USPS should be profitable. That's just not going to happen. The USPS has to deliver mail and parcels to every address in the entire country, which is impossible to do profitably unless they charge $5 per stamp. USPS, like Amtrak, is a service and we should just treat it that way.

Amtrak (originally several different train companies and agencies) is tasked with transporting people and freight all across our far-flung nation and that's just a very very expensive thing to do. Japan is 110 million people crammed into a tiny land area, by comparison; tracks make more sense. But even there, trains are subsidized.

I'm a free enterprise, small government kind of guy, but in this particular case, I say give Amtrak the money it needs to provide a credible, reliable, and safe alternative to flying.

I hate flying anymore and would love to use trains, if they could only speed up but keep the prices down. Airlines could use a little competition. And what's not to love about a restaurant car, a club car, and a sleeper car? That's the way to travel.
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Old 06-02-2021, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Queens, New York
239 posts, read 75,264 times
Reputation: 664
Quote:
Originally Posted by blisterpeanuts View Post
Train tracks exist, right of way exists, so we should use it and not just let it rust.

In most of Europe and Asia, trains move people quickly and efficiently, but they are not profitable; they are heavily subsidized by the high taxation these regions suffer.

Yet, they improve society by helping people move around easily, it's great for tourism, safer than driving, better for the environment, provides lots of jobs.

We Americans believe the trains and the USPS should be profitable. That's just not going to happen. The USPS has to deliver mail and parcels to every address in the entire country, which is impossible to do profitably unless they charge $5 per stamp. USPS, like Amtrak, is a service and we should just treat it that way.

Amtrak (originally several different train companies and agencies) is tasked with transporting people and freight all across our far-flung nation and that's just a very very expensive thing to do. Japan is 110 million people crammed into a tiny land area, by comparison; tracks make more sense. But even there, trains are subsidized.

I'm a free enterprise, small government kind of guy, but in this particular case, I say give Amtrak the money it needs to provide a credible, reliable, and safe alternative to flying.

I hate flying anymore and would love to use trains, if they could only speed up but keep the prices down. Airlines could use a little competition. And what's not to love about a restaurant car, a club car, and a sleeper car? That's the way to travel.
Agreed! Sometimes things don't have to be profitable to be good.
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Old 06-02-2021, 09:34 AM
 
Location: NW Indiana
42,251 posts, read 17,030,875 times
Reputation: 108079
People, please refrain from posting political commentary here. Save it for the P&OC forum. I've deleted several political comments. If this thread turns political again, it will be closed.
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Old 06-02-2021, 11:00 AM
 
1,188 posts, read 1,208,582 times
Reputation: 785
Quote:
Originally Posted by ottomobeale View Post
I heard the Andover Station is relatively close to starting. Then again, it does notre require rebuilding a giant bridge like PA does Might be a good idea to run it to the literal river and stick a station there to allow the non wealthy to commute from PA without building a multi billion dollar bridge. People in NW NJ are being forced out by skyrocketing rents/values.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andove...on_(NJ_Transit)

Anticipated construction at the site includes a station and platform between the track and Roseville Road with 65 parking spaces initially, with room to expand to 125 spaces. Preparation to restore trackage between Port Morris and Andover was originally to begin in 2010 but was delayed until early 2011 due to a dispute over the exact location of the Andover Station area. Another delay was caused while environmental permits were sought.[6][5] In August 2017, an agreement with a local landowner appeared to have cleared the way for the necessary environmental permits. At the time, service was projected to start in 2020,[7] though in March 2020 it was pushed back to 2025

More than 15 years. Many fits and starts before that. Agreed about real estate prices rising. Progress!
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Old 06-02-2021, 11:50 AM
 
Location: NYC
4,005 posts, read 2,290,469 times
Reputation: 11599
I could definitely see upgrading Amtrak on the eastern seaboard & to Chicago. Same up along the west coast with possible upgrades to Las Vegas, SLC, Phoenix.

I don't see much use in the heartland unless there are some city pairs that could be useful, example: Dallas - Austin - Houston type connections. I would rather like to see investment in intercity tramlines to replace some bus/car commuter traffic & pollution issues.
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Old 06-02-2021, 12:02 PM
 
Location: Queens, New York
239 posts, read 75,264 times
Reputation: 664
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hefe View Post
I could definitely see upgrading Amtrak on the eastern seaboard & to Chicago. Same up along the west coast with possible upgrades to Las Vegas, SLC, Phoenix.

I don't see much use in the heartland unless there are some city pairs that could be useful, example: Dallas - Austin - Houston type connections. I would rather like to see investment in intercity tramlines to replace some bus/car commuter traffic & pollution issues.
Tramlines and other light rail are important too, yes. Amtrak is good but we shouldn't put all our eggs in one basket when it comes to rail transport.
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Old 06-02-2021, 01:20 PM
 
5,870 posts, read 5,306,122 times
Reputation: 17885
Amtrak would have been convenient for me in the Northeast, but it's way too expensive. Trains are slow. Air travel can be faster and cheaper. Sure, Amtrak Joe found it convenient to ride home to Delaware, but he was wealthy, and it's inconvenient to fly from DC to Delaware. So for the rich commuter from NYC to New Haven, or DC to Delaware, it's great. For everyone else, it's too much money, and too slow compared to flying, which is why no one uses it!

But with a president who is one of the few who found it convenient calling the shots, unfortunately more money will go into this system that was perfect... in 1930.
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Old 06-02-2021, 02:35 PM
 
Location: Austin
30,775 posts, read 18,438,159 times
Reputation: 8900
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodHombre View Post
I didn't use it a lot because it's not available where I live.


I will be more than happy to use it if Amtrak can take me from where I live to where I want to go. I don't even demand European/Asian high speed rail, just regular Amtrak service is good enough for me.


Mod cut.
That's the problem with rail. You have to want to go where it goes. Rail cannot go anywhere else. It's routes are fixed almost forever.
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Old 06-02-2021, 02:37 PM
 
Location: Austin
30,775 posts, read 18,438,159 times
Reputation: 8900
"Amtrak Wants $75 Billion To Create More Money-Losing Routes"

Therein lies the problem. $75 billion is not nearly enough. If they got $750 billion or maybe a trillion dollars they wouldn't lose money every year.
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Old 06-02-2021, 02:43 PM
 
3,747 posts, read 2,746,495 times
Reputation: 2979
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadking2003 View Post
That's the problem with rail. You have to want to go where it goes. Rail cannot go anywhere else. It's routes are fixed almost forever.
Cities don't generally move around much.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadking2003 View Post
"Amtrak Wants $75 Billion To Create More Money-Losing Routes"

Therein lies the problem. $75 billion is not nearly enough. If they got $750 billion or maybe a trillion dollars they wouldn't lose money every year.
Why tear your hair out over money-losing trains, and not money-losing roads or money-losing airlines? Trains are a proven cost-effective, comfortable and clean transportation method that is worth investing in. They're successful all over the world.
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