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FINALLY! Government planning on high speed rail

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by Copzilla, Apr 16, 2009.

  1. Copzilla

    Copzilla dangerous animal Staff Member

    State to state, cutting down on traffic in high congestion corridors, reducing dependence on foreign oil...

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5i6vd11tQjgDt_UiV1emaKY_RciWgD97JK3O00
    http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsNews/idUSTRE53F4DJ20090416
    http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/04/16/obama.rail/

    Of course, I've been an advocate of mass transit, and proposed building national high speed mass transit here before. My only problem with this proposal? We pissed away 3 times this much trying to prop up a couple of dying car companies, who are going to die anyway, when we could have been building 3 times more of this rail. I'd like to see New York to LA, Brownsville to Chicago. Still... better late than never.
     
  2. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    How is the constant proping up of Amtrak any different than proping up the Big 3? Traveling by train is pretty damned pricey, and I don't see that changing anytime soon.
     
  3. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Step in the right direction.
     
  4. Copzilla

    Copzilla dangerous animal Staff Member

    This is different than the Amtrak funds. This is like 8 billion being dedicated to run lines around the Great Lakes area, and like the SF / Oakland / LA area. read the articles, meng. This is high speed rail, not our current commuter rail.
     
  5. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    I can see where the short haul may, and that's a BIG may, be profitable. But I fail to see how the long haul lines will be any different than Amtrak currently is.
     
  6. Swamp Fox

    Swamp Fox Veteran Member

    I have no problems with infrastructure spending, but it cannot be a make-work project, and it must lead to economic growth.
     
  7. cmhbob

    cmhbob Did...did I do that? Staff Member

    I Can Agree With Obama About Something

    He wants to improve our ability to travel by rail, and he's right. Rail is one of the most energy-efficient modes of travel, and I think it's criminal that we don't have better rail passenger capability. I'm sure he and I will disagree about the implementation, though. I suspect he'll want to throw more money at Amtrak; I want the free market to do.

    (O Lord, I sound like Swampy there, don't I?)
     
  8. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    Merged.
     
  9. Swamp Fox

    Swamp Fox Veteran Member

    That depends. Do you believe in conspiracies?
     
  10. Copzilla

    Copzilla dangerous animal Staff Member

    How about twice as fast? It's the mid-size commutes where this will be attractive. Like from Houston to Dallas, a normally 4 hour drive, there in 2. Houston to New Orleans, normally 8 hour drive, there in 4. Want to hit Fort Lauderdale? 8 hours. And I believe the ticketing will be similar to Greyhound, cheaper than flying.
     
  11. Swamp Fox

    Swamp Fox Veteran Member

    I would find that attractive. One concern, though. If a train is going at high speeds, what're the odds of it hitting someone stupid enough to get in its way? IOW, can a high-speed train avoid accidents?
     
  12. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    That's where I think the issues will arise. If the tickets are too cheap, they're going to loose money, and we're going to see the exact same thing we're seeing with Amtrak.
     
  13. Swamp Fox

    Swamp Fox Veteran Member

    Instead of a government system, how about a regulated monopoly, like the old phone system? Or even privatize it completely?
     
  14. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Where do you get that lower prices vs. planes and car travel will result in Amtrak? Lower prices means higher demand, higher demand equals revenue, it has nothing to do with resulting in Amtrak. It's how you manage the business that's killing Amtrak not lower price tickets. It's the 30 year rail system AND trains that's killing Amtrak, not lower prices.
     
  15. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    In Los Angeles the odds of a train hitting some idiot who drove around the crossing signs is 100 percent. I mean it's a sure thing that some idiot will do it.
     
  16. jfcjrus

    jfcjrus Veteran Member

    I would love any sort of VIABLE ALTERNATIVE to get from Boston to Chicago, or LA, or Atlanta, or <i>ANYWHERE</i>; rather than flying in one of today's airborne cattle cars.

    Airlines have a monopoly on long distance travel in this country, and they know it!
    Long gone are the days when they competed for customers and valued us as such.
    Today, we put up with being parked on the taxiway for HOURS, or we get arrested if we've had enough and want off!
    Bullshit!

    Give me a sleeper compartment and a dinining car on a HIGH-SPEED train that takes a few more hours than a plane, for the same price, and you can sign me up!

    Or, maybe it costs a little more, and takes a little more time.
    I don't care, I'll work around it!

    I want a viable alternative to air travel!
    And it's WAY beyond time for the USA's Government to spend tax payer money on something other than airlines as our method of long distance transportation!
     
  17. Copzilla

    Copzilla dangerous animal Staff Member

    Amtrak is also an outdated travel model. It's more convenient to simply drive. The only way it's any easier than driving is on long distance hauls, and on long distance hauls it's easier to simply fly. Either way, another mode of travel is better.

    On medium and short hauls, high speed rail is just flat out awesome. I'd love to hop high speed rail to New Orleans, or San Antonio. I'm sure San Franciscans would prefer high speed rail to driving in order to head to LA. Same thing with New York to Chicago. No other form of travel is more convenient.

    You just can't compare Amtrak to modern commuter rail. The differences are extraordinary.

    Furthermore, I think it's very important to be forward thinking with regards to energy. WHEN (not if) vehicle fuel gets far too expensive, the backbone for travel needs to be in place so that we aren't crippled. We need something like this in place for 30 years from now. And the time to get started on what we need in 30 years is right now.
     
  18. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    You're damned right!!! I haven't flown for more than a decade, and each year I feel more adamant that I don't want to fly. And it's so damned expensive unless you are very familiar with the system and book way in advance. I'm astonished that passengers could be forced to sit idly on the tarmac for several hours even once! You would think that the FAA or Congress would force the airlines to some maximum limit, perhaps 2 hours, but they haven't and they don't seem inclined to do that.

    I may never take a flight ever again unless it's some sort of family emergency where I must get somewhere quickly, life and death type of situation.

    I love taking my vacations in my auto (SUV) where I can change my itinerary whenever I like, where I can stop whenever it suits me, and where I can enjoy the scenery.

    I'll admit that I'm not very interested in trains either (for the reasons above) but I can see the future possibility of maybe taking a vacation by train, and of course you get scenery there too. I'll take a train over a plane anytime.
     
  19. dsl987

    dsl987 Member

    They have to abandon road crossings and do it like Europe where trains and road traffic never intersect.
     
  20. Swamp Fox

    Swamp Fox Veteran Member

    How about lifting the carriages onto elevated tracks or going underground?
     

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