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Article About Trains Surpassing Air Travel  
User currently offlineB752OS From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 1322 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 9 months 2 hours ago) and read 3220 times:

Yesterday (Sunday) I was reading the Parade Magazine that came with my Boston Sunday Globe and read an interesting article about the status of our national passenger rail network. In short, the author believes that a big investment is needed by the federal government to maintain and upgrade the rail network in this country, much like what has been done in Europe and Asia. The artciel cited that rail is more effecient from an environmental standpoint and also that rail is less prone to delays. It was also mentioned that air travel in Europe could one day become obsolete.

Right now railroads receive a far less amount of government subsidies that the airlines and highways receive, but some people in congress are starting to make some noise and ask for more money.

My question is, how real a threat to air travel could rail become?

30 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21476 posts, RR: 60
Reply 1, posted (6 years 9 months 1 hour ago) and read 3192 times:

The issue is the same as we find with highways and airports. NIMBY and eminent domain. NIMBY's won't want a loud high speed train flying through their neighborhood (would you?). And it is expensive both monetarily and politically to grab so much land to build the rails needed for highspeed. It's not as simple as reusing old tracks, as highspeed needs to be elevated, with softer turns, banks, etc.

In places like California, where they are almost proud that they aren't building any more highways (which just makes the pollution far worse), and where there is little to no chance of building or expanding an airport for the above reasons, the rail plans run into similar roadblocks. LAS-Union Station LA should have had a high speed rail 10 years ago, yet the plans are still "in the works."

You also have the issue of connecting city centers only. Airports draw people from all over. While on one end they may be heading for the city center, the departure location is from a catchment area. Thus the travel time needed to get to the limited number of stops for a highspeed train may be as much or worse than dealing with an airport.

Europe and Japan are far more "city center centric" regions than the USA. The places with this strong focus on the city center already have rail networks. So if the goal is to connect other cities with highspeed rail (Houston to Dallas has been tossed about), considering how decentralized those places are and how one needs a car at the destination anyway, I don't see how it's easier than flying or just driving.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (6 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3063 times:

Quoting B752OS (Thread starter):
Yesterday (Sunday) I was reading the Parade Magazine

Read the same article.

Quoting B752OS (Thread starter):
It was also mentioned that air travel in Europe could one day become obsolete.

Don't see that happening . . .

In the United States, sure . . .but not in Europe.

If our Gov't had their wits about them, they'd invest heavily in passenger rail . . .

Quoting B752OS (Thread starter):

My question is, how real a threat to air travel could rail become?

In this country - absolutely insignificant.

Europe? Japan? Other Asia? The railroads will never surpass air travel as the way to go, that day is long passed.

I continue - however - to ride the train for the sake of riding the train.


User currently offlineCrewchief From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (6 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3047 times:

I've always felt that train trips in the US are best in the North East corridor, where major cities are somewhat close together, and in select other markets where the same characteristic, like Chicago-Milwaukee. The reason for short trips as opposed to long is my feeling that the vast majority of travelers don't want to plan on sleeping in a seat overnight, or in a room without a shower.

On the short trips the train can pose a formidable threat to airlines simply based on 1) time city-center to city-center (admittedly this is works best for city dwellers), 2) the hassle factor (huge crowds and lines at airport check-in and let's not forget the friendly and efficient TSA), 3) frequency and capacity, and 4) comfort (no middle seat!)

On trips from DC to Philadelphia or NYC I always take the train. It's simply the best choice for that particular trip. For longer trips, like IAD-TPA, nothing is better than a plane.


User currently offlineCommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11463 posts, RR: 61
Reply 4, posted (6 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3037 times:

Respectfully, I think this entire premise is just ridiculous.

While anything is possible, I suppose, I cannot realistically envision any time in my lifetime in which trains will ever even come close to "surpassing air travel" in the U.S. That might happen in Europe - a continent significantly larger and more geographically-concentrated than the U.S., where most of the flights are under 2 hrs. The U.S., on the other hand, is a big country. Long-distance train travel is just not realistic - cost- or time-wise - and flight travel is just far more efficient over the distances that are required to traverse the United States. Trains may well one day come to dominate shorter, higher-density traffic corridors like the Northeast (Boston-Hartford-New York-Newark-Philadelphia-Baltimore-D.C.) or maybe even Los Angeles-San Francisco or Dallas-Austin-Houston, but I don't think you'll ever see trains running planes out of business in most U.S. air markets.


User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (6 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3021 times:

Quoting Crewchief (Reply 3):
On the short trips the train can pose a formidable threat to airlines simply based on 1) time city-center to city-center (admittedly this is works best for city dwellers), 2) the hassle factor (huge crowds and lines at airport check-in and let's not forget the friendly and efficient TSA), 3) frequency and capacity, and 4) comfort (no middle seat!)

When I lived in DC and has to go to New York or Philly, there was no question . . . Amtrak got the business.

Sure beat the hell out of waiting on the US Airways Shuttle . . . which was hourly then, but of course, you've the get to the airport, wait, board the plane, wait, taxi, wait, ATC delay, wait, fly, wait, airport out of town again, cab, wait.

Much, much easier to Amtrak it from Washington Union to 30th Street or Penn Station.

And still - there's the thrill of train travel.

Of course, there's the West Coast too . . . Coast Starlight is the cat's meow.


User currently offlineSpacecadet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3611 posts, RR: 12
Reply 6, posted (6 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3004 times:

In specific corridors, train travel could easily surpass air travel in the United States, given the infrastructure investment. (And it's got nothing to do with NIMBY's; the infrastructure largely exists already, it just needs to be upgraded.)

In Japan? I'd be surprised if it didn't already happen long ago. I don't have ridership #'s in front of me, but their high speed system operates at capacity most of the day, as do the non-high speed lines... and there are a lot of them. As for the rest of Asia, I don't know, but given the size of most Asian countries (China excepted, of course), I don't see why it couldn't theoretically happen.

Don't know much about Europe.



I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
User currently offlineBond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5401 posts, RR: 8
Reply 7, posted (6 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 2990 times:

Quoting Commavia (Reply 4):
where most of the flights are under 2 hrs

Ummm .... that's the case in the USA also  Wink

Quoting Commavia (Reply 4):
Trains may well one day come to dominate shorter, higher-density traffic corridors like the Northeast (Boston-Hartford-New York-Newark-Philadelphia-Baltimore-D.C.) or maybe even Los Angeles-San Francisco or Dallas-Austin-Houston, but I don't think you'll ever see trains running planes out of business in most U.S. air markets.

The biggest and busiest airline markets in the USA include exactly those areas you mentioned!


Jimbo



I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (6 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 2970 times:

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 7):
Quoting Commavia (Reply 4):
where most of the flights are under 2 hrs

Ummm .... that's the case in the USA also

Well, okay, actual time in the air perhaps . . .

But, with the "get to the airport two hours early" and the lines (If you're non-elite) and the TSA Morons and then the ATC delay, the 45 minute taxi out at LGA and blah, blah, blah . . . that "TWO" hour plane ride turns in to a 5-6 hour odyssey, does it not?

And, with very few exceptions - you're not arriving downtown anywhere like you will on the Northeast Corridor with Amtrak for instance.


User currently offlineBrenintw From Taiwan, joined Jul 2006, 1612 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (6 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2944 times:

Over here in Taiwan, the high-speed rail has all but decimated air travel between Taipei (TSA) and KaoHsiung (KHH). Three years ago, flights were in the region of NT$4,000 R/T, and at peak travel times, I counted as many as ten flights arriving into TSA from KHH in an hour.

There was regular air travel between TSA and TaiChung (TXG) on at least two carriers.

Today, I can walk into the aiport and hop on a flight to KHH for around NT$1,000 O/W. Whereas the flights, offered by carriers with a mixed fleet, were previously on a mix of MD-90 and A320/321, they're now mostly Dash-8 and ATR-72. Carriers that don't have turboprops, FAT and AE, continue to fly jets (MD-82 and F-100) on a hugely reduced schedule. The 757-200 has disappeared from the TSA - KHH route.

It's impossible to fly scheduled from TSA to TaiChung, as none of the carriers will touch that route any more.

TSA - ChiaYi has been scrapped as well, I'm not sure about TSA - TNN.

In short, the convenience and comfort of the high-speed rail, and the fact that it takes a mere 30 min longer than the actual flying time, has destroyed the once-vibrant domestic airtravel here. BTW, this is before the HSR line has actually been completed! I think that once the HSR terminates in downtown KHH, and is running at it's planned 10-minute intervals, the TSA-KHH route will become un-operable.

In certain environments, I can easily see train travel surplanting air travel. There are already plans afoot here to extend the HSR to cover the East Coast -- which is the only area of the island that airtravel is still really the only feasible alternative to driving.



I'm tired of the A vs. B sniping. Neither make planes that shed wings randomly!
User currently offlineBond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5401 posts, RR: 8
Reply 10, posted (6 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2934 times:

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 8):
Well, okay, actual time in the air perhaps . . .

But, with the "get to the airport two hours early" and the lines (If you're non-elite) and the TSA Morons and then the ATC delay, the 45 minute taxi out at LGA and blah, blah, blah . . . that "TWO" hour plane ride turns in to a 5-6 hour odyssey, does it not?

And, with very few exceptions - you're not arriving downtown anywhere like you will on the Northeast Corridor with Amtrak for instance.

Hey, I'm on your side here !!!

I was replying to the comment:

Quoting Commavia (Reply 4):
That might happen in Europe ......where most of the flights are under 2 hrs.

Jimbo



I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (6 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2921 times:

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 10):
Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 8):
Well, okay, actual time in the air perhaps . . .

But, with the "get to the airport two hours early" and the lines (If you're non-elite) and the TSA Morons and then the ATC delay, the 45 minute taxi out at LGA and blah, blah, blah . . . that "TWO" hour plane ride turns in to a 5-6 hour odyssey, does it not?

And, with very few exceptions - you're not arriving downtown anywhere like you will on the Northeast Corridor with Amtrak for instance.

Hey, I'm on your side here !!!

Oh, I know . . . but for the uneducated the northeast corridor . . . an example was warranted  biggrin 

And I'll make the bet that an FRA - ORY flight - less than two hours in the air - will take 3-4 hours to accomplish, all the necessary BS considered.


User currently offlineGigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 85
Reply 12, posted (6 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2878 times:

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 2):
In the United States, sure . . .but not in Europe.

You really think rail could catch back up to air travel in the US, or even surpass?

I'd like that, but I don't see it happening. I know you're a train nut and would love to hear more about how you think its possible.

Its somewhere else my skewed political views have a hard time finding a side. Generally, I'd say that free market forces should be the only deciding factor in how the population travels or chooses to travel. However, I have some strong eco-driven opinions as well which say that rail could deserve propping up. Also, there's no reason to believe that the free market would take rail on as a service- even if given the option to do so, they'd need access to eminent domain to make it work or the barriers to entry would be insurmountable. All that being said, rail and feeder rail could easily solve a lot of traffic related problems but I see that as unrelated to this.

IDK. I think high speed or even ultra high speed rail is a Good Thing (tm) but I can't find a solution to make it work that suits my politics or even is workable given a fully liberal or fully conservative view, or politics completely aside a way to just make it work period.

NS


User currently offlineBlatantEcho From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1903 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (6 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2838 times:

can't wait for trunk routes to have some decent (125mph and above) train lines.

Going to the airport for a short hop is simply a waste of time anymore. I only enjoy it to do some spotting, otherwise, I'd rather pull my own hair out than que, wait, security...delay....wait...etc etc.



They're not handing trophies out today
User currently offline2175301 From United States of America, joined May 2007, 1037 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (6 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 2740 times:

Below is a duplicate of part of a post I did under the "A380 Airlines Answer To High Gas Prices?" thread a few days ago that is very relevent to this topic.

See the following link for the full thread:

www.airliners.net/discussions/general_aviation/read.main/3683881/


------------------------------------------------------------------

The problem with train service in the US is that, with very few exceptions, passenger trains run on the same tracks that freight trains run on. This limits the speed of passenger service and also means a rougher ride than for dedicated high speed rail for passenger service.

I once studied the concept of building a dedicated high speed passenger (and light high value cargo) rail system between Minneapolis and Chicago, consisting of two main loops: Minneapolis, Rochester, Dubuque, Rockford, Chicago; and Chicago, Milwaukee, North Appleton, Wausau, EauClaire, Minneapolis. Smaller side loops such as Rockford, Madison, Milwaukee would also be very plausible (in fact a loop of Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison, Rockford, Chicago would be a very good start to the system).

Oh, and the end terminals would be reasonably close - or connected via rail - to the Minneapolis and Chicago airports (and perhaps to other airports as well).

Not cheap to build - and the political fight to build it would be huge (land condemnation for the route and terminal areas) ; but the long term payoff would be huge.

The real reason that such a system would not be built is the politics of the situation. Financially - it makes a lot of sense. From an energy used standpoint it makes even more sense.

Such a system would also substantially reduce the number of feeder flights to the larger airports (Chicago, Minneapolis, Milwaukee) from the area.

One of the political factors was the effect on Amtrak in the area. I have ridden Amtrak a number of times on a number of long distance trips over the years - and am not impressed with the newer rail-stock (in fact, I no longer consider them viable for my trips). I do note that Amtrak has some nice business commuter trains that run on the east coast (Philly to Washington, etc; which are different than their longer distance trains).

Of course, similar systems could also be built in other areas of the US. I am really not sure if there is enough of a market to connect such regional systems - as I think that most people would say fly from Chicago, Milwaukee, or Minneapolis to another hub on a regional train system.

----------------------------------------

End of excerpt from previous post.

I was involved with this study 15 to 20 years ago. They system could have been fully built and be fully functional by now. It would have most likely taken 10 - 12 years to build if the political will was there, although parts of the system could have been built and be functional by 5 years. Of course, if the political will was really there the whole system could have been built in about 7 years.


User currently offlineMasseyBrown From United States of America, joined Dec 2002, 5373 posts, RR: 7
Reply 15, posted (6 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 2657 times:

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 1):
You also have the issue of connecting city centers only.

I think this will become an advantage for trains as US cities land use and population density will move to a European model where the close-in areas, instead of being burned-out slums, are the more expensive locations and the suburbs are the cheaper. It is already a fact in Washington. I mention DC only because I know it best; other older US cities are following the same path. The only drag on this happening faster is the miserable state of inner-city public schools.



I love long German words like 'Freundschaftsbezeigungen'.
User currently offlineSpacecadet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3611 posts, RR: 12
Reply 16, posted (6 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 2644 times:

Quoting Gigneil (Reply 12):
Its somewhere else my skewed political views have a hard time finding a side. Generally, I'd say that free market forces should be the only deciding factor in how the population travels or chooses to travel.

There's no such thing as the "free market" when it comes to transportation. JetBlue doesn't pave the runways at JFK and General Motors doesn't build bridges. Similarly, you can't expect rail lines to build their infrastructure either. Transportation infrastructure is always government subsidized. It should be taken out of thoughts on what we consider profitability when it comes to rail, as it is with other forms of transportation.

Amtrak has proven that the rail lines themselves can be run profitably - they're doing it right now in the NEC and in a few other corridors, even without the required infrastructure improvements. They're not profitable when you take infrastructure into account, but then neither would any airline be if you also included costs like air traffic control, airport building and maintenance and FAA oversight in their balance sheet, which is the equivalent of what Amtrak has to contend with in their budget while still being expected to turn a profit. If the government were to *invest* in rail infrastructure improvements (and an investment is what it is - that money comes back over time, and then some), Amtrak or another rail line could come in and run those lines profitably.

We really should look at Japan as something of a model. No, their system is neither perfect nor is it directly transferable, but what they did was spend huge amounts of money in the 1960's building an advanced, easily upgradeable rail system that continues to be the envy of the world. Because of that, they're one of the most mobile societies in the world, and it's allowed them to become one of the largest economies in the world in a very short time (by the 1980's). The rail system was completely government subsidized for the first couple decades, but now it is mostly privately run, with the government still subsidizing infrastructure.

Japan is a small country but you could easily look at the west coast of the US as a stand-in for Japan. Similar topography and everything. Ditto for the NEC, which would be even easier to build out because there is already a lot of infrastructure that could be reused, and the land is a lot flatter. Eventually, I don't see why even a New York-Chicago route couldn't be run profitably. Given that flying between the two cities is now practically an all-day affair from the city center (taking the trip to the airport, the security clearance, ground delays, baggage claim, trip back from the other airport etc. into account), a high speed express train that takes 8-9 hours or so would probably be pretty popular. Remember that this route used to be run in 16 hours with *steam engines* - it could probably be done in half that with a high speed train.

I don't think you'd ever get transcontinental travel by rail to be very popular here again. (Though I've done it, and love it.) But in the corridors and even up to about 1000 miles, I think trains could at least be profitable and in some cases could exceed the popularity of flying.



I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
User currently offline57AZ From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2550 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (6 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2605 times:

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 1):
LAS-Union Station LA should have had a high speed rail 10 years ago, yet the plans are still "in the works."

They did 75+ years ago and then dismantled the system. As for European travel, the domestic markets and short haul international markets will indeed take a major hit where the governments are investing in infrastructure improvements. Train speeds will continue to increase-200+ mph will someday be the average speed for intercity service.



"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
User currently onlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9170 posts, RR: 29
Reply 18, posted (6 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2568 times:

It is always an individual choice and in densely populated areas like West Europe, it is good to have both and during peak time, both trains and planes are full, plus the roads.

FRA-PAR is a good example, trains talke only 4:42 minutes now, you can board at FRA airport either an LH jet or an ICE train which connects to a TGV. Parking the car at the same location, business trip ou and back same day, hand luggage only.

Trains leaves 06:54, I need to park the car latest 06:40 but give my selkf another 10 minutes, target entering P1 06:30, leave home 06:20. train arrives 11:34 Paris Est

LH leaves 07h20, check in at kiosk latest 06:50, as with the train, I give myself some additional time, leave home at the same time, could do 10 minutes later. Arrive CDG 08h30 , take either the bus or the RER and be at Paris Est about 10 am latest. Full 90 minutes better by plane.

Leaving by train 17:24, arrive FRA 22:06, if train is on time, I sit in my car 22:20, be home 22:40

LH flight leaves 19:35 (I could take an earlier flight, for the 19:35 I can leave Paris Est at the same time the TGV leaves and that still gives me some time in the lounge at CDG, have a drink. Plane arrives 20:50. Even if they park at A42, I sit in my car 20 minutes later, 21:10, be at home 21:30, 70 minutes earlier.

LH Y same day return is rather expensive, depending how long before ticket is bought. I have done it for about %u20AC 200,00, it could be over %u20AC700.00

Train, First Class with Railcard 50, is cheaper than LHY,, outbound it is %u20AC 121,00 one way, return., they are still unable to calculate, online booking still not possible, but a return first class for about %u20AC 250,00 is a good bargain, more comfortable and they serve wine and food at the seat.

Conculsion, train takes longer but is cheaper and more comfortable

Trains making planes obsolete in Eruope - no, that will not happen.



E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
User currently offlineANother From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (6 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2521 times:

Quoting Spacecadet (Reply 16):
Transportation infrastructure is always government subsidized.

Aviation isn't, at least in Europe especially when compared to rail: See this IATA report (pdf)

Quote:
This report shows that the aviation sector currently pays a significant amount in terms of both taxes and user charges. Indeed, airlines already pay in full - and more - for their associated infrastructure costs. By contrast, rail and urban transit networks are heavily subsidised. Road users do pay a higher total amount of tax, but typically make a lower net contribution than the aviation sector on a per journey basis.


User currently offlineAirnerd From United States of America, joined Oct 2007, 253 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (6 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2511 times:

Will rail service surpass air in the US? No time soon. But it's still worthy of investment and improvements. At some point in the future chances are we'll really need it.

IMHO the best approach in the US is a corridor focus for improved fast passenger rail service. If it were developed to be well-integrated with major airports, that would be even better. The corridor I live on is EUG-PDX-SEA-YVR. The bulk of the travel is between PDX and SEA. There are UA and QX shuttle flights every 30 to 60 minutes all day between the cities. There are 5 trains each day in each direction. The flights take about 30 minutes (with travel time to/from the airports and waiting time it's more like 2 hours). The train takes 3.5 hours. Driving takes 2.5 hours with zero traffic (an increasingly rare occurance) and can take 4 hours or more in certain seasons and times of day. There are plans to get the train trip down to 2.5 hours within the next few years. This would be highly competitive for people traveling between PDX to SEA. One of the biggest problems is keeping a reliable schedule due to track conditions and very heavy and unpredictable freight traffic on the same lines. If this can be addressed, I think this train service has a bright future.

What would make it so much brighter is if there were stations at the airports in PDX and SEA like the big European hubs have. This makes it easy and reasonable to make part of your trip on a train and part on a plane. Obviously, keeping schedules in this scenario is critical.

I love flying, but I still have hope for the trains in this country. I'm just not sure the future of air travel for short trips is going to be sustainable (environmentally or economically) in the future.


User currently offlineORDagent From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 823 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (6 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2497 times:

The biggest problem to setting up high speed rail is WN. They have lobbied heavily against inter Texas lines. LON-PAR / LON-AMS and many other markets of similar length have lost air service as ICE / TGV / Thalys etc. have bled passengers away due to convenience for the train ride. The airlines have used those precious now empty slots to shift them to more profitable long haul service or lending them to alliance partners to build hub to hub connections. However now with the new LCC's in Europe the rail lines once again need to fight for pax.

When I'm in Europe I try to take the train as often as possible as it is simply less stressful, much more comfortable and often just as time efficient if you take travel times and security issues into account. Besides it really is a thrill to be traveling at such high speeds on smooth as silk rails with real room and comfort. Not all is perfect on the rails. The German drivers are on strike and the French and Italian unions think striking is spectator sport.


User currently offlineHB88 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2005, 814 posts, RR: 31
Reply 22, posted (6 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2472 times:

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 2):
Europe? Japan? Other Asia? The railroads will never surpass air travel as the way to go, that day is long passed.

In general I think you are right. However, one would be insane to fly London-Paris rather than take the Eurostar. Door to door from central London (even outer London I suspect), the train beats flying any day if you include travel to the airport, check-in, security etc etc.

Also, when I lived in France, there were quite a few times when the train (TGV) is simply more comfortable and less hassle than flying. Similarly in Italy. For short haul/certain city pairs in Europe, I think air travel has quite a challenge to match European high speed trains for comfort and hassle-factor if absolute speed isn't too critical.

We live in London and routinely consider trains as alternatives if we're not in a hurry - air travel is just too unpleasant these days - especially through LHR.


User currently offlineStapleton From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 280 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (6 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2462 times:

Quoting B752OS (Thread starter):
Right now railroads receive a far less amount of government subsidies that the airlines and highways receive

This is a bit misleading in that airline travel infrastructure (airports, atc, etc.) is paid through what are in effect user fees (Airline ticket taxes). On a per passenger basis, Amtrak receives more from the general fund than the air travel system does.


User currently onlineRL757PVD From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 4646 posts, RR: 11
Reply 24, posted (6 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2462 times:

Certain places where it coulw work well

Northeast

With track investment for higher speeds, rail could easily kill the BOS-LGA-DCA shuttles, with higher speeds, each segment could be done in less than 2 hrs city center to city center. PHL and BWI would also likely see reduced to eliminated NYC flights.


Intra florida

TPA-MCO and south florida all connected by high speed trains could eliminate need for probably 50% of the centra;/south FLA intrastate flying


Califormia

SAN - Los Angeles - SF Bay




Essentially rail isnt really a threat to aviation, the areas where high speed rail can help and prosper are ares that will need additional airport capacity bur cant necessarily build it, esp the northeast, and California. If you eliminate 50-75% of EWR/LGA/JFK to BOS/BWI/PHL/DCA you would free up a significant amount fo air traffic capacity to reduce delays and allow for new transcontinental and international growth.

Airports with train stations on the northeast corridor have the potential to really help both air and rail travel. BWI and EWR have it now, PVD will have theirs in just over 2 years.



Experience is what you get when what you thought would work out didn't!
25 EXTspotter : In America, people complain that the trains are too slow and to make them go faster, new tracks or upgrading already existing infrastructure has to ta
26 Gigneil : I am honestly shocked and awed that they're not dead already. Pre-9/11, they were a pleasure. A real pleasure. I could show up at National with 5 min
27 RL757PVD : yea DCA-BOS wont go away, maybe can be reduced, but DCA-LGA and LGA-BOS can practically go away and those alone consist of over 100 segments (50 roun
28 SeJoWa : Very interesting, as I harbor precisely your conflicting sentiments. I recently had the pleasure of traveling to Paris by TGV, and the speed as well
29 Post contains links Breiz : Some journalistic opinion about it: http://travel.latimes.com/articles/la-tr-europe23sep23?single_page=y Conclusion: it depends on a lot of factors.
30 Post contains links Threepoint : These are all very good posts, and a topic in which I remain quite interested. However, haven't we recently debated all of these points in Ferrovarius
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