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Train Buffs, Light Rail, And Mass Transit...  
User currently offlineSaxman66 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 518 posts, RR: 0
Posted (11 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 4314 times:

Being the train buff that I always have been, I've decided to really getting involved in being a good citizen in trying to influence and improve our nation's transportation systems, especially rail, from commuter to light rail, and yes, even long-distance intercity rail. i.e. Amtrak.

So if you are a big rail-fan like I am, tell me some of the good stuff about rail travel. Does the city you live in have good rail service? Also I'd like to hear some good arguements against anti-rail supporters. Someone once said that "trains are out of date" kinda like his 8-track. What would you say about that?
Or stuff like highway vs. railway.

I'd like to hear ya'lls feedback on this issue. Now remember, this is more focused on commuter/light rail within a city. Not Amtrak! Thats a whole different front. I will be posting something similar about Amtrak later though.

Thanks
Chris


Ride Amtrak!
35 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineHole_courtney From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 569 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (11 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 4295 times:

Personally, I don't live in Dallas, but I do live 60 miles from downtown, and I go there a lot.

I have to say, that after visiting a couple of European capitals and almost every major urban city in the United States, I think Dallas is on its way to have a magnificent public rail system. The only problem for Dallas is that underground things, especially in Texas, are problematic because the ground shifts very often and very regularly.

I give all my votes in the world to public transport. Cities like Montreal, Washington, DC, Chicago and New York show how rail can dramatically improve public transport, in my opinion.

I think the best thing a city can do is provide public transport. To me, buses are not enough, because they still are reliant on traffic. Since rails are separated from the normal traffic flow, schedules can be adhered to much easier.

I think all major cities should push resources into developing light rail systems to merge with their existing bus systems. This would make living easier for people that can't afford or don't have a car. I think the overall good effects are much greater than anything that someone might find problematic with a light rail system.

live forever and stay beautiful,
hole_courtney



"[He] knew everything about literature, except how to enjoy it." - Yossarian, Catch 22
User currently offlineMirrodie From United States of America, joined exactly 14 years ago today! , 7438 posts, RR: 62
Reply 2, posted (11 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 4285 times:
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You have got to come to NYC to see the LIRR and MetroNorth. Thats twhere the action is. Oh, don;t forget the #7 line, which is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

I took mass amount of video over 1997-2001 when our old GP28-2 were beiong replaced by the DE 30 ac. Best memories were the GP38s pushing a train at 65 mph, with cab car( MP15ac or Alco FA1) bouncin up front. And the coach cars ahd open vestibules, so you could literally stand behind the engine and hold its rails while shes up at notch 8.

Great friggin rush! No, the LIRR stinks with is new super quiet engines. Metro North and some FL9s still running I heard.

Then head to Grooklyn, where you have Cross Island RR and New York and Altantic doing freight and interchanging with CP Rail. Come to NY, You'll love it.



Forum moderator 2001-2010; He's a pedantic, pontificating, pretentious bastard, a belligerent old fart, a worthless st
User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16691 posts, RR: 51
Reply 3, posted (11 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 4289 times:

Here in NJ we have NJ Transit, the third largest transit system and the largest State Wide transit system in the US.

Electric commuter trains run on the North East corridor, North Jersey Coastline, Morris & Essex, Gladstone and soon Montclair connection to Manhattan's Penn Station.

There are many other commuter rail lines that run Diesel service to beautiful Hoboken Terminal on the Hudson river, where commuters transfer to ferries and the PATH to Lower Manhattan.



Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlineRayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 7929 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (11 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 4274 times:

Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, we have commuter rail, mass transit and light rail.

This is especially true in San Francisco, which has SF MUNI light rail lines, BART going through the eastern half of the city and is the northern terminus for the Caltrain commuter rail line that goes south down the Peninsula to San Jose, CA before terminating in Gilroy, CA.  Smile


User currently offlineAcidradio From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 1867 posts, RR: 10
Reply 5, posted (11 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 4260 times:
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In Minneapolis, we are just building the first light rail line. It extends from downtown Minneapolis to the airport and eventually to the Mall of America.
Right now it is being built down Hiawatha Ave on the east side of Minneapolis, which is not really close to anything, it almost seems out of the way of a lot of things. If it were built somewhere along I-35W (where there are a lot of people) it would replace several bus lines and would be packed 24 hrs/day. The 13 mile project is expensive (somewhere around $600 million!) but if it were very successful, the taxpayers would probably be OK with it and be willing to support more light rail lines.

What they really should have started with was commuter rail. The tracks already exist everywhere and would be able to provide service throughout the heart of many of the suburbs of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Some of these tracks are not used much anymore, perhaps once a day by CP Rail or BNSF to avoid abandoning the tracks. I'm sure equipment is readily available. It would have been a good way to start, to test the waters. I actually wrote a big paper on this for a composition class and completely owned the class (I got a 99% on the paper).



Ich haben zwei Platzspielen und ein Microphone
User currently offlineSaxman66 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 518 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (11 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 4258 times:

For those of you who think people won't ride rail, even if it is small, is simply untrue. Poeple WILL ride and there WILL be revenue. Sure it may be a short route but thats how you have to start out. Expansion will come. Look at DART in Dallas. i rode the Trinity Rail Express; a 37 mile line between Ft. Worth and Dallas and it was packed! Hardly a seat to spare. DART also just opened 7 brand new lightrail stations. Later this they are opening 5 more. They are estimating that one station; the Bush Turnpike Station will add an additional 10,000 riders per day!!

Mirrodie:
I have been to NYC twice, and absolutly love it. I flew into ISP and rode the LIRR into Penn Station and back. Also rode the subway everywhere. And it was fun. I remember hearing that when the first NY subway tunnel, the people thought no one would ride a train underground! Now look at it today.

Chris



Ride Amtrak!
User currently offlineSoku39 From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 1797 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (11 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 4244 times:

Cleveland has a light rail line that goes from downtown to the Eastern suburbs right to one of the main office buildings downtown. They also have a line that leaves that building and goes to the airport, and a line that extends into the flats and back out towards the lakefront. Not all that extensive I'd say but its pretty convenient if you live on the east side.


The Ohio Player
User currently offlineSccutler From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 5393 posts, RR: 26
Reply 8, posted (11 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 4228 times:

Good comments about Dallas' light rail (DART- Dallas Area Rapid Transit);

before it was built, the naysayers (and I was one of them) said it would be over budget and that no one would ever ride it.

It has been built quite effectively, and the ridership has, from day one, been well above th estimates used to originally justify it.

With new extensions to the north and east, and connections to Ft. Worth and (sort of) DFW airport, it is becoming a real benefit to North Texas.

If I lived in Plano and worked downtown, I'd ride it!

I am most amused by LA's new light rail, much of which runs on the same right-of-way originally used by what may have been the best-ever light rail, the Pacific Electric.



...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
User currently offlineLubcha132 From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 2776 posts, RR: 7
Reply 9, posted (11 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 4214 times:

i love trains- EMD forever! My favorites are the GP-38's and SD-50's (cuz i've driven them before). My dad knows people at some local yards and we have a lot of stuff, including numberboards (some from the original metroliners).

Mass transit- I LOVE the NYC Subway system. Whenever i go into the city i ride the subway as much as i can. I've even taken rides just to say that i rode the train (did that with the 7 and the L).

Its cool to see other ppl into trains and planes.


User currently offlineRedngold From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 6907 posts, RR: 45
Reply 10, posted (11 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 4206 times:

http://www.narprail.org/ National Association of Rail Passengers is a great place for passenger rail enthusiasts!

I'm a real AMTRAKer myself. Once went all the way from Cleveland to Las Vegas on the train (before I was happy flying again) and I got Cleveland to Lancaster, PA, almost every Thanksgiving on Amtrak.

Hope they stay in business.

redngold



Up, up and away!
User currently offlineN312RC From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 2680 posts, RR: 17
Reply 11, posted (11 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 4211 times:

Detroit has no rail except the Detroit People Mover, which is a 2.9 mile elevated loop that runs through the downtown. It's never made any money since it was put in during the "dark years" in Detroit (the 80's).



Detroit also has DDOT (Detroit Department of Transportation) bus service throughout the city, but I wouldnt ride it without a bullet proof vest. DDOT buses connect with SMART (Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation) buses that run into the suburbs. Light Rail and commuter rail services have been proposed, but due to the condition of the City of Detroit (high crime rate), the suburbs shoot down any proposal put their way. Basically, nobody wants to be connected with the City itself because it's so bad. The sad thing about this is, Detroit had one of the greatest mass transit systems in the country back from about the turn of the century right up to 1956, when electric trolley service ceased. In 1945 Detroit's transit system (including electric trolley, bus, interurban, and commuter rail) had 490 million rides..

Currently the proposal on the table for connecting the Metro area is "SpeedLink".. A high speed bus network running on deticated roads. This is supposed to cost less than Light Rail. This system is supposed to run like Ottawa, Ontarios "Transitway" for those of you familiar with it. I think it's dead in the water, however.

Transit Windsor (Windsor, ON) runs a reliable and safe system in Windsor, and connects with DDOT on the Detroit side of the tunnel.

Ann Arbor, MI (home of The University of Michigan) has AATA (Ann Arbor Transit Authority) which runs buses throughout Washtenaw County, including: Ann Arbor, Chelsea, Manchester, Saline, and Ypsilanti. This system is clean and reliable with almost brand new equipment.










Fly Delta's Big Jets!
User currently offlineMurf From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 119 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (11 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 4189 times:

I have a question maybe one of you train guys could answer for me.

Why is it that when there are two or more locomotives, the front one is facing forward and all the rest are facing backwards?
Now I understand why the front one is forward, cause thats where the driver is, but why are the rest backwards?


As for riding on trains, I've done it twice, on the Amtrak Capitol Corridor route which runs between the bay area and Sacramento. I liked it, but I thought it was a little pricey.






User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16691 posts, RR: 51
Reply 13, posted (11 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 4191 times:

NJ Transit has three Light Rail lines (Newark City Subway, Hudson Bergen, and Southern NJ, here's pictures from the Hudson-Bergen Light rail which runs along the Hudson river from Bayonne-North Bergen NJ.
























Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlinePROSA From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5576 posts, RR: 5
Reply 14, posted (11 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 4176 times:

I took mass amount of video over 1997-2001 when our old GP28-2 were beiong replaced by the DE 30 ac. Best memories were the GP38s pushing a train at 65 mph, with cab car( MP15ac or Alco FA1) bouncin up front. And the coach cars ahd open vestibules, so you could literally stand behind the engine and hold its rails while shes up at notch 8.

Ugh! Those old diesel coaches were disgusting, a true blight upon humanity. The new bilevels are far, far better, especially with their spacious seats.



"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
User currently offlineJessman From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 1506 posts, RR: 8
Reply 15, posted (11 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 4175 times:

I think now might be a good time for the federal government to study an integration of mass transit, linking the major cities of the US much like the major cities in Europe are linked. I would envision a system set up where most airports remain; lightrail would link the airports with the city or cities it services as well as linking the cities and/or airport with the surrounding suburbs. High speed rail would link all airports within about 150-200 miles of each other. More traditional rail links should remain for those who choose to travel that way. The hope would be that airlines would welcome the reliable regional feed and develop code-sharing agreements like AF has with SNCF. This would allow airlines to not have to rely on regionals so much and could focus more on the long haul service that is the draw for air travel.

I believe this could be done. If it is done in such a way that it is fast and reliable it would be popular, like the above mentioned DART system. This country built the interstate highway network in the 1950s and 1960s. We could surely build an interstate high-speed rail in the new millennium


User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16691 posts, RR: 51
Reply 16, posted (11 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 4178 times:

NJ Transit Heavy rail electric trains from select NEC stations.

NY Penn Station







Newark Penn Station,





Newark Airport Rail station,











Princeton Junction,



Princeton University rail station,






Trenton,



















Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlineMx5_boy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (11 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 4160 times:

For those interested the below links are to "Cityrail", Sydney's heavy suburban / Intercity rail operator whose operations are quite extensive:

http://www.cityrail.nsw.gov.au/general/welcome.jsp

http://www.cityrail.nsw.gov.au/networkmaps/mainmap.jsp

http://www.cityrail.nsw.gov.au/aboutus/millenium_train/m_train.jsp

Sydney Ferries:

http://www.sydneybuses.nsw.gov.au/sb.ferries.html

Sydney Buses:

http://www.sydneybuses.nsw.gov.au/index.html

Metro Monorail / Light Rail:

http://www.metrolightrail.com.au/

And I haven't listed the countless suburban bus companies.

Cheers,

mb


User currently offlinePROSA From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5576 posts, RR: 5
Reply 18, posted (11 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 4166 times:

STT757,
I noticed you used some pictures from nycsubway.org. Do you hang around on Subtalk?



"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
User currently offlineTwaneedsnohelp From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (11 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 4152 times:

In Ithaca, NY we have TCAT (Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit), which is the bus line partly owned by Tompins County and partly by Cornell University. When I was a freshan I used it often, but now I have my own car which is much easier.

In NYC, the MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority) which is first-class. New York City Subways, New York City Buses, and Metro North Commuter Railroad are three parts of the MTA I use and they get my thumbs up.

In Boca Raton, we have Tri-Rail, which is a tri-county owned railroad line from Miami to West Palm Beach. I've been on it once or twice. Not great. Trains run next to I-95 and you can see the cars speeding by the trains. No fun. Plus the stations are not terrible accesible. The stations of the the three airports (FLL, MIA, PBI) aren't great either, one needs to take shuttle busses to the terminals.

TNNH


User currently offlineLubcha132 From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 2776 posts, RR: 7
Reply 20, posted (11 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 4150 times:

some pictures my dad took (he's a big guy when it comes to train photography- one of his pictures was given to the head of CR when he retired)
For the LIRR guys-

On their way to Altoona to be rebuilt for EMD.

NJT  Big thumbs up

this is the new ALP 46!!! The picture's a little bit eh because this is inside...this is the building you pass when you go over the big above-ground part of the NJT to your right going north after the pulaski. 5 of these were parked outside today.

gotta love the MU's!

The station we always go to, Metropark


I've been in the cab of an Acela engine and let me tell you...some of those railroad guys wouldn't fit!

Ever see a freight train on the NE corridor?


i've seen this 1x-2x


User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16691 posts, RR: 51
Reply 21, posted (11 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 4144 times:

Mx5_boy:

I would think Sydney would be an awesome place for high speed ferries.

PROSA,

Yes http://www.nycsubway.org is an awesome sight , however I very rarely have ever posted on their boards because they're hard to follow a topic. Also they were down a while for some reason (lawsuit?), anyway it's a great site and I just wish they would get back to adding pictures.

Im going to swing by their boards and see if the format has improved, and to see if I can post some pictures I have. I'll look for ya.



Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16691 posts, RR: 51
Reply 22, posted (11 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 4134 times:

Hey PROSA, I checked out the boards.

I have to say that the Albany Amtrak station situation is hilarious, I remember reading recently about Senator Schumer (pro Amtrak) trying to twist Amtrak CEO Gunn's arm to get him to sign the lease. He said no.

Anything new to this story?.



Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlineRai From Canada, joined Feb 2008, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (11 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 4141 times:

I'm a huge mass transit fan! Living in New York City is an absolute dream when it comes to public transportation.

Check out this site to see all the subway systems of the world.

The two I want to check out are Sao Paulo's and Mexico City's. I hear they are among the two best in the world.


User currently offlinePROSA From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5576 posts, RR: 5
Reply 24, posted (11 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 4120 times:

I have to say that the Albany Amtrak station situation is hilarious, I remember reading recently about Senator Schumer (pro Amtrak) trying to twist Amtrak CEO Gunn's arm to get him to sign the lease. He said no.
Anything new to this story?.


Last I heard, Gunn is still standing firm.
You can modify the appearance of Subtalk so that messages appear threaded rather than chronologically. I prefer the latter approach because I check the board so frequently, but many people like seeing the threads.



"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
25 Post contains images KL713 : Some nice pictures of the Amsterdam Subway system: Lines 53 and 54, the Gein-and Gaasperplas lines: Line 51, the Amstelveen line: Line 50, the Ring li
26 Post contains images 707cmf : Okay guys. You want a train ? Here is trains' Concorde, aka the fastest train in the world, aka the TGV : I was travelling 1st class in this beauty ju
27 Post contains images Mirrodie : ...when our old GP28-2's were being replaced by the DE 30 ac. Best memories were the GP38s pushing a train at 65 mph, with cab car( MP15ac or Alco FA1
28 Nonrevman : The DFW area has seen an initiation of light rail services a few years ago, but there are still some major improvements to be made. First of all, the
29 Post contains links Saxman66 : Nonrevman: A good rail system in the DFW area, will not happen overnight. It will take years. And even though the Trinity Rail Express may not meet yo
30 STT757 : I have to admit that I am impressed with the transit growth in the DFW area, keep up the good work!..
31 Us330 : DART Light Rail is great, but only for those who live near the stations. The problem with Light Rail is that while it has significant North-South cove
32 KAL_LM : We've got light rail here in PDX (the MAX system), and for what it is, it ain't bad. They opened an airport connection (ironically, the 1st full day o
33 Post contains links and images Hartsfieldboy : Rai- São Paulo has one of the best systems I've ever been on. In fact, I took the photos you see at MetroPlanet, no joke. I also did the write up and
34 Saxman66 : Us330: "Let's face it, DART won't attract as many people as it would in another area because people don't want to give up their cars." I don't mean to
35 CMK10 : Here in Rye we have Metro-North which goes between New Haven, CT and Grand Central on my line. And up to Dover Plains and Poughkipse, NY on the other
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