Are we the only ones getting screwed ?????

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• posted on March 30, 2008, 9:29 pm
On Sun, 30 Mar 2008 09:42:54 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@aol.com"

What is the real average speed? 100? 150? What path will the train have to take? 3500-4000 miles? so it only takes 24 hours. Still not much of an option
Who will buy the land? How much do you figure that ticket is going to cost?
Trains make sense in urban environments but when you start getting out in the boonies they don't attract many passengers. You can't confuse things that work in Europe where countries are the size of congressional districts here with what works in the US.
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<%-name%>
• posted on April 3, 2008, 7:00 pm
On Sun, 30 Mar 2008 16:29:19 -0500, gfretwell wrote:

You don't actually need a maglev train. The TGV travels at 320 km/h (200 mph), using traditional train tracks. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TGV . And they've been running since 1974, the maximum speed they have reached was 515 km/hr.
I'm not denying it would be a major engineering and legislative feat, but it wouldn't be any bigger than the U.S. interstate system. Such projects have been very beneficient in the past.
I live in Europe, where traveling by train is an option. I have to travel to scientific conferences and such, which is paid by the university. So I don't worry about whether the train or the plane is more expensive (It can go either way, but only because air travel is so heavily subsidized). Train travel uses less energy and less labor to deliver people, so on an even playing field, train travel is cheaper.
Now, here is my algorithm for deciding which to take:
0. Can I take a train?     Obviously I can't take the train everywhere. So if I'm going to     the US or sardegnia, I fly. 1. Less than 6 hours by train?     -take the train. It's less hassle with the security, and for              works out to be time and energy saving, since I have to add         arriving 2 hours early at the airport, plus the time to travel to     the airport, etc. Also the trains are WAY more comfortable than         planes. 2. More than 8 hours: Is there an overnight train? Then take the train. For travels of 8+ hours on the train, I can get a sleeper car, and wake up refreshed at my destination. Usually for the price of a plane ticket.
Otherwise I take the plane.
So even in a world where energy isn't YET massively expensive, the train is a valuable alternative to have. Now, if you incorporate the rising costs of energy production the train becomes a more and more viable alternative.
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• posted on April 3, 2008, 8:33 pm
wrote:

How fast do they really run?
I know the Metroliner DC-NYC always talked about fantastic speeds, it ran about 70 most of the time.

You couldn't build the interstate system today. It would never get out of the environmental impact phase.

Trains make sense here where the right of way already exists, the track is in reasonable condition and the population centers are very close together. That eliminates about 90% of the US geography. The reality is the US has a lot more airline infrastructure in place than railroad infrasructure. I doubt we have really laid any new track on new right of way since WWII. Except for some passenger rail in the NE corridor, most of the track in place is the old bolted rail, not the precision welded rail you need for fast trains. Whenever we have really tried fast trains they end up crashing and the US citizens have little tolerance for crashes. I doubt security would be much different than the airport as soon as the first guy blows up or derails a train.
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• posted on April 3, 2008, 8:09 pm
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

yeah but not near 90% of the metric that is important.. number of trips. Most interstates are mostly populated by area residents not by people going large distances. You could (at least in theory) take many people off the road with a good system. Also some interstate. I'd love to be able to get to Louisville or Cincy or Chicago from Indy by other than car or plane.
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<%-name%>
• posted on April 4, 2008, 2:33 am
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I'm sure the tracks go there. If people would ride a passenger train, somebody would run one.
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• posted on April 4, 2008, 3:18 am
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Go to the area, but few go on downtown. Although the other problem is that the major players (CSX, NS, etc) generally view passengers as more trouble than they are worth. Even if someone else was going to run it, the RR that owns the track still has to crew it (at least that was the case a few years when I was involved with a museum that also ran steam loco trips). They have to work the newbie around their regular trains (hard enough to get them to do for singleton trips, I can only imagine the gnashing of teeth associated with multiple trips). Insurance. All sorts of reason.
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• posted on April 11, 2008, 2:11 pm
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com ( snipped-for-privacy@aol.com) says...

I spent 3 months in Europe on a Eurail pass in 1986. I never got on the high speed trains, but the typical commuter train ran about 80 in between stations. Express trains didn't go much faster, they just didn't stop as often. The real advantage of rail travel over air is the comfort. Air travel is an ordeal, rail travel is a pleasure.

In areas with expanding population, they are building new freeways all the time.

The USA is still running on the remnants of 19th century rails. I believe about 40% of the rail lines that existed in 1900 have been abandoned. Even the main rail corridors are, in many places, a single pair of rails.
The impetus to rebuild US rail structure will not come from passenger service. Long haul motor trucking is convenient, but uses several times as much energy and labor as rail shipping. At current energy prices, motor freight is only surviving because rail capacity is not available. Terminals were designed for men using hand trucks, and switching yards are a congested mess where cars can get lost for a month at a time. When the system gets rebuilt to handle freight efficiently, adding passenger service will be a minor upgrade.
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• posted on April 11, 2008, 2:58 pm
Larry Caldwell wrote: ...

...
We took the "Chunnel" across the channel to/return Paris/London in '99 I believe was last time.
It runs max of 100+ but on the time we were on had speed restrictions of <30 for track conditions in an area (I forget just where). So, even there they still have maintenance issues...
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• posted on April 12, 2008, 3:01 pm

That is the big problem with trains. Air travel only requires maintaining a couple miles of runway per airport and the plane itself. Rail travel requires maintaining the train plus maybe a million miles of track if you really want to go where the planes can go. Planes fly over most weather, trains go right through the middle of it. Trains work fopr relatively short trips between population centers on well established rail routes, that is why they are so effective in Europe. People just don't want to spend a day or two on a train here in the US when they can hop on a plane, for less money and get there in hours. If we were really willing to spend more money, they would make the plane ride more pleasant. I generally fly first class and they treat me fine.
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• posted on April 12, 2008, 5:57 pm
On Sat, 12 Apr 2008 11:01:25 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Apres toi, le deluge!
Aspasia
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<%-name%>
• posted on April 12, 2008, 11:44 pm
On Sat, 12 Apr 2008 10:57:02 -0700, aspasia wrote:

A first class train ride will cost a lot more than a first class plane ride. The discount price on a train will be more than the discount price on a plane and you will be in the cattle car for 3 days to get across the country. I'm sure Americans who think the microwave is too slow will be linng up for the train.
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• posted on April 13, 2008, 1:12 pm
On Apr 12, 7:44�pm, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

no a mag lev train can rival the speed of a aircraft. run with no grade crossings etc.
it can be completely computer controlled with individual cars leaving for different places continually........
like every hour 39B leaves for chicago with just 2 stops.
pay more for reservations or just show up and take next avaliable spot.
speeds of 350 MPH have been achieved.
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• posted on April 13, 2008, 3:14 pm
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Per Amtrak, a round trip from Cleveland to Chicago Union station is \$118 and you start and end up downtown.
Per expedia, a tourist flight from Cleveland to Chicago O'hare is \$137, plus fees, and you start and end up in a field far removed from downtown.
Per expedia, the first class flight is \$1102, from cowfield to cowfield, so with either flight you have additional time and cost to get downtown.
The train is slower, but the seating and accommodations are superior to any plane, including first class.
It is true that there are more expensive tickets on the train, such as if you want a bedroom or suite (but none as expensive as a first class airline ticket), but I think generally a train is a better bargain for all but very long trips. And with fuel prices soaring and airlines falling out of business, this should be even more true in the future.
So if I want to go to Chicago, I'll take the train. If I want to go to San Diego, I'll fly, although there is something to be said for the adventure of taking a transcontinental train, which is probably why the Canadian transcontinental is consistently oversubscribed.
The main problem with train travel in this country is that routes are so limited. In other countries, they have better train services, due no doubt to their very high cost of gasoline and cars, and very limited parking.
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• posted on April 13, 2008, 3:34 pm

Most of the time on the outbound trip you are substituting a trip from your cornfield to another for a trip from your cornfield to downtown. So, I am not all that sure that trains save you anything on that part. Although this is not always a viable alternative, probably a comparison with flights to Midway (downtown) would be better.

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• posted on April 13, 2008, 4:42 pm
wrote:

I'm sure he will say you take commuter rail downtown, then get on the train. Hope you didn't have too much luggage. That brings up the other problem with trains, not only do you need to buy thousands of miles of right of way, you also need parking near the station with some kind of shuttle to the train. Suddenly this "quick trip" starts becoming more complicated and pretty soon you are back with all the problems you had at the airport. If it is hard to find parking out in the cow field, imagine how tough it will be in the city.
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• posted on April 13, 2008, 7:32 pm
On 04/13/08 12:42 pm snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Perhaps they could do what the Makro stores (German or Dutch Costco-like stores) did in Taiwan: build multi-story parking above the store proper -- reduced the air-conditioning costs too. IOW, build parking structures above the train stations.
Perce
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<%-name%>
• posted on April 13, 2008, 3:38 pm

So the train already exists, how many people actually take it?
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• posted on March 30, 2008, 9:30 pm
On Sun, 30 Mar 2008 09:42:54 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@aol.com"

It will be a whole lot easier for a terrorist to hit a train. At 300 MPH they could wreck one with a big rock.
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• posted on March 30, 2008, 4:46 pm
railroads have to pay for rails........
made rail cost more for many years.
rail lines should be electrified
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• posted on March 30, 2008, 9:37 pm
On Sun, 30 Mar 2008 09:46:11 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@aol.com"

I guess you missed the creation of Conrail and Amtrack Uncle sam has been maintaining rails since the Carter administration

They are in the places that make sense to do it. Mostly the NE corridor