blink182
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Volcano Effect On US Rail Development?

Mon Apr 19, 2010 5:16 pm

Hi All,

Currently in Europe, extra trains are being added and are going out full. Despite the air traffic mess on rail travel, the fact that rail travel is still usable has done some alleviation to the air traffic problem. If rail networks weren't so strong, Europe's highways would be completely clogged(and perhaps they may be).

I know that a few countries, such as the US, have traditionally shied away from high speed or even regional rail development. Does anybody think the events in Iceland will finally provide an impetus for a movement to build up the US's high speed networks?

I'm thinking much more along the lines of Acela's Boston-NY-Washington triangle. Maybe Acela could be extended to Portland ME and include Baltimore and Philadelphia.
There could maybe be a Miami-Orlando-Atlanta-Charlotte link
Other possible links include New Orleans-Houston-San Antonio-Austin-Dallas-Oklahoma City-Tulsa-Kansas City.
On the West Coast I'd imagine something like San Diego-LA-SF-Portland-Seattle

etc.

I realize Americans like road travel, but high speed rail would be far faster. For example, high speed rail is the fastest link between Barcelona and Madrid, once flight waiting times are involved. I don't have any data on me, but does the world's reliance on air travel need a back up? Could this week's events provide enough reason for high level investment in high speed rail development?

I'm curious what you all think.
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rwsea
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Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:23 pm

RE: Volcano Effect On US Rail Development?

Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:03 pm

Personally, I think this will be yet another missed wake-up call for the US.

1970s oil crisis = no change in policy
gulf war = no change in policy
9/11 = no change in policy
$4+ gallon gas a few summers ago = no change in policy

I think the US government will not even begin considering alternative solutions until every last drop of oil is burned up. History has a way of repeating itself - outcry, rage, anger at higher gas prices, then comfortably settling back into the status quo once the crisis is over. This time will be no different. For some reason, Americans seem to prefer being held hostage to oil prices and weather events, and apparently do not want other options. I say this as a very frustrated American who wonders how I will be able to get around 40 years from now. Short-sightedness on such things is already starting to hold the US back today, and I really have to wonder how much worse it will be in the future.
 
dxing
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RE: Volcano Effect On US Rail Development?

Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:04 pm

The chunnel running at full tilt couldn't keep up.

Here in the United States the distances involved are usually the limiting factor invovled in high speed rail. That plus the enviromental impact and other legal obstacles that are demanded by the supposedly sympathetic.
Warm winds blowing, heating blue skies, a road that goes forever, I'm going to Texas!
 
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casinterest
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RE: Volcano Effect On US Rail Development?

Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:05 pm

Quoting blink182 (Thread starter):
I'm thinking much more along the lines of Acela's Boston-NY-Washington triangle. Maybe Acela could be extended to Portland ME and include Baltimore and Philadelphia.
There could maybe be a Miami-Orlando-Atlanta-Charlotte link
Other possible links include New Orleans-Houston-San Antonio-Austin-Dallas-Oklahoma City-Tulsa-Kansas City.
On the West Coast I'd imagine something like San Diego-LA-SF-Portland-Seattle

Quite a few of these routes already exist in some form or another.

http://tickets.amtrak.com/secure/content/routeatlas/index.html

Quoting blink182 (Thread starter):
realize Americans like road travel, but high speed rail would be far faster

Possibly, but it is only faster on a Point 2 Point basis between stations. Add in multiple rail stops and destinations that are not located within 50 miles of a station, and Rail travel becomes slower than Molassis.

I think if I tried to take the line from Raleigh to NYC, it would take 10 hours station to Station. Plus I would have to waste an hour or 2 with luggage, and destination transport for around 12-13 hours. I could drive it in 8.5 door to door. Even with some traffic problems.


Rail in the US won't ever meet the European model, mostly because the Freeways and Interstates are too efficient. Anything beyond a Day's travel or 2 is more efficient by air for most folks.
Older than I just was ,and younger than I will soo be.
 
flanker
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RE: Volcano Effect On US Rail Development?

Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:30 pm

Quoting blink182 (Thread starter):
know that a few countries, such as the US, have traditionally shied away from high speed or even regional rail development. Does anybody think the events in Iceland will finally provide an impetus for a movement to build up the US's high speed networks?

Nope, there is no point here in the states.
Calling an illegal alien an 'undocumented immigrant' is like calling a drug dealer an unlicensed pharmacist
 
PPVRA
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RE: Volcano Effect On US Rail Development?

Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:47 pm

Quoting blink182 (Thread starter):
I know that a few countries, such as the US, have traditionally shied away from high speed or even regional rail development

The US has not shied away from rail investment, including high-speed rail. Up until the 1940s it had some of the fastest trains around on a significant network (obviously the "HSR" standard back then was much different). With the massive subsidization of highways beginning around that time, as well as airport infrastructure and burdensome rail regulations, the U.S. passenger rail industry collapsed over the next few decades. Freight rail lasted longer and barely made it to the 1970s, when Carter deregulated it, turning it completely around.

If we refuse to fix the environment to give rail a chance to succeed, it never will. The problem is that the US has discouraged rail development (and killed an entire, historically-vibrant industry I might add) through certain policies.

[Edited 2010-04-19 13:00:00]
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
rwsea
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RE: Volcano Effect On US Rail Development?

Mon Apr 19, 2010 8:48 pm

Quoting flanker (Reply 4):
Nope, there is no point here in the states.

Not sure why you would say that. There are several corridors in the US that have population density equal or greater than parts of Europe. The Northeast corridor and California are the obvious examples.

Quoting casinterest (Reply 3):
Rail in the US won't ever meet the European model, mostly because the Freeways and Interstates are too efficient. Anything beyond a Day's travel or 2 is more efficient by air for most folks.

In dense population corridors, the freeways/interstates are anything but efficient. Try driving I-95 during a weekday between Washington and New York. Or I-5 between LA and San Diego. Hell, even I-5 between Seattle and Portland is a mess just about every weekend. Not efficient at all.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Volcano Effect On US Rail Development?

Mon Apr 19, 2010 8:56 pm

Quoting blink182 (Thread starter):
I know that a few countries, such as the US, have traditionally shied away from high speed or even regional rail development. Does anybody think the events in Iceland will finally provide an impetus for a movement to build up the US's high speed networks?

No, because...

Quoting rwSEA (Reply 1):
Personally, I think this will be yet another missed wake-up call for the US.

Bingo. The U.S. is far too short-sighted.

Quoting DXing (Reply 2):
The chunnel running at full tilt couldn't keep up.

That's because they don't have the train capacity. The line sure does. Unfortunately in an immediate disaster, Eurostar couldn't just come up with an extra 30 trainsets.

Eurostar could do a full trainset every 15 minutes around the clock if there were enough trainsets. I don't know the exact numbers, but a full-length trainset probably has twice the capacity of a 744.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
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casinterest
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RE: Volcano Effect On US Rail Development?

Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:18 pm

Quoting rwSEA (Reply 6):
Try driving I-95 during a weekday between Washington and New York

Done it many times. Avoid rush hour or take alternative routes. The trains are no more efficient, as the main operational centers you are speaking of generally have crud traffic at that time anyway on all routes, plain , train, or automobile.
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