KAUSpilot
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CNN: Trains Just As Fast And Cheaper On DC-NYC

Fri Feb 08, 2002 11:11 am

Hi, I was on cnn.com and noticed a video segment in which a cnn reporter takes a delta shuttle flight from La Guardia to Washington Reagan, and then takes a high speed train on the way back in order to compare the two forms of travel.

His conclusion? The train took almost the exact same amount of time and ended up being 100 bucks cheaper.

Take a look for yourself:

http://www.cnn.com/2002/US/02/07/argentina.plane/index.html

This is the page about the UA 777 disturbance, but click "play video" about halfway down the page in a gray box on the right side of the screen.

Once the video about the UAL flight starts playing, select "Planes vs. Trains" on the menu on the right side of the new window.

Personally, I find this hard to believe. Plus the guy included Taxi fares to the airport in his cost comparisons. Any opinions?
 
Hoffa
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RE: CNN: Trains Just As Fast And Cheaper On DC-NYC

Fri Feb 08, 2002 11:16 am

Well, usually the major Fortune 100 corporations that have their companies on the LGA-DCA-BOS shuttles on a daily or weekly basis have negotiated substantial volume discounts...so in that sense this wouldn't be the case.

However, for ordinary joes like you and me, midweek walkup fares can be over $300 which makes the train a very attractive option. I have sat on the runway at LGA on a 3 hour weather delay for a 35 minute flight to DCA so yes the train can actually be faster plus it takes you right to Midtown Manhattan.

The Acela service is probably all that will be left of Amtrak after it goes bust. They offer very plush 2-class service but its nothing compared to the German ICE or French TGV trains.
 
delta-flyer
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RE: CNN: Trains Just As Fast And Cheaper On DC-NYC

Fri Feb 08, 2002 11:25 am

Well, you can't argue facts. Trains work better for a lot of people, not so well for others. The shorter the distance, the less attractive is flying.

I am sure the fuel burn per passenger-mile is a lot lower for a train than a plane.

Pete
"In God we trust, everyone else bring data"
 
DELTA777
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RE: CNN: Trains Just As Fast And Cheaper On DC-NYC

Fri Feb 08, 2002 11:36 am

I`ll tell you one thing! trains are not as fun!!!  Smile

D E L T A 7 7 7
 
PHLflyer
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RE: CNN: Trains Just As Fast And Cheaper On DC-NYC

Fri Feb 08, 2002 11:41 am

If you compare going from city center to city center, NYC to WAS the train is going to be much quicker, especially now when you consider how far in advance you need to check in. I am sure it is much cheaper also.
 
PHLflyer
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RE: CNN: Trains Just As Fast And Cheaper On DC-NYC

Fri Feb 08, 2002 11:43 am

Trains in the US are not as fun, but a TGV or ICE train in France or Germany is just as fun a plane.
 
nonrevman
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RE: CNN: Trains Just As Fast And Cheaper On DC-NYC

Fri Feb 08, 2002 11:54 am

Do the DC trains run to Union Station?
 
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STT757
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RE: CNN: Trains Just As Fast And Cheaper On DC-NYC

Fri Feb 08, 2002 12:38 pm

Of course, where else in DC would they go.

Union station is great to visit or travel through.
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
magyar
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RE: CNN: Trains Just As Fast And Cheaper On DC-NYC

Fri Feb 08, 2002 12:41 pm


As a matter of fact the CNN just discovered one of the
reason why the superfast trains were invented. The
fast trains in Europe where the distances are much
shorter can actually compete with the airtravel.

And just consider one thing. On a train you can get up
have long walk to the restaurant car, sit down at a very
comfortable table, order some food or drink and have
lunch while you travel. There is no plane, not even the
A380, which can provide this comfort for you!

Janos
 
cba
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RE: CNN: Trains Just As Fast And Cheaper On DC-NYC

Fri Feb 08, 2002 2:05 pm

I was just in France, and let me tell you, the TGV is so much easier than flying. You can order your tickets just as easily as with the airlines, phone, net, etc. Plus, the walkup fares are affordable. The station is in the middle of town, not out in the middle of nowhere like most airports. You arrive maybe 15 minutes early if you already have your ticket, you composte the ticket in the machine, and go up to the proper pier, then get on the train.
 
BWIrwy4
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RE: CNN: Trains Just As Fast And Cheaper On DC-NYC

Fri Feb 08, 2002 2:31 pm

The Washington Post had a race like this over the summer. At 6:00 AM, they pulled four reporters into the editors office. One was to take the USAirways Shuttle, one took Acela, one drove, and the last one took the bus. The plane beat the train by about 30 minutes to the New York office of the Post. The consensus was that the train was a much better method of travel, and cheaper too.
 
AA737-823
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RE: CNN: Trains Just As Fast And Cheaper On DC-NYC

Fri Feb 08, 2002 2:33 pm

I just got back from Italy. I can't imagine anyone flying there. The trains are so easy. You walk up to an automated machine to buy your ticket- cash or credit card is fine, and the machine "speaks" in six languages (thankfully including ENGLISH). And it's quick and cheap. I went from Viterbo (100 miles northwest of Rome) to Pisa (in the North of Italy) for $45 round trip. Not bad.

Of course, it would have been faster had we taken the high speed train direct to Milan and then done something else, but that was more expensive...

Randy
 
Hoffa
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RE: CNN: Trains Just As Fast And Cheaper On DC-NYC

Fri Feb 08, 2002 4:05 pm

Trouble is Amtrak is apparently now going bust. The Acela service was supposed to be the model of the future for fast city-to-city travel like the California corridor, etc. The track is old and cannot support something on the level of TGV/ICE unless an outside investor steps in.

There was even a proposal in the early 1990's to develop a Texas TGV before Southwest Airlines lobbyists killed the idea. Almost happened too:

http://mercurio.iet.unipi.it/tgv/texastgv.html
http://www.sciam.com/1097issue/1097perl.html

Its such a shame considering this country was literally built around railroads. In 1890, for example, the number of passengers carried on American street railways (including cable and elevated systems) was over 2 billion per year, or more than twice that of the rest of the world combined. In the 1870's the US had 7 times the amount of track than the rest of Europe combined!
 
jwenting
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RE: CNN: Trains Just As Fast And Cheaper On DC-NYC

Fri Feb 08, 2002 5:28 pm

On TGV and other bullettrains you DO have to book in advance just like with airtravel.
Normal trains (at least here) are highly uncomfortable and crowded.
I wish I were flying
 
johnboy
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RE: CNN: Trains Just As Fast And Cheaper On DC-NYC

Fri Feb 08, 2002 5:37 pm

Seems things are moving ahead at a glacial pace, but moving ahead nonetheless in California.

Haven't heard much yet from the airlines...methinks they're taking a wait and see attitude, hoping that this will die a slow death without any "intervention."

http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov
 
Guest

RE: CNN: Trains Just As Fast And Cheaper On DC-NYC

Fri Feb 08, 2002 5:54 pm

I've used Amtrak quite a bit in the US during my holidays, and I have to say, they are quite comfortable compared to what is on offer in Britain.

Nevertheless, 'public transport' in the US is abysmal, when compared to that available in Europe-if you're not travelling to a major city-you're stuffed. Probably as a result of the popularity of the automobile & plane.

I think the secret with LGA-BOS shuttles (and such routes) is to either get the very first early-bird flight out, or don't take the plane at all-go by train. This is what I was told by a Delta FA on just such a flight!

Ah well, at least there are some honest airline employees around....

Regards
 
BCal Dc10
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RE: CNN: Trains Just As Fast And Cheaper On DC-NYC

Fri Feb 08, 2002 6:06 pm

when I used to work in Europe (mainly Amsterdam and Paris), certainly to get to Paris was much quicker on the Eurostar than taking the plane.

To get to Waterloo International from my flat 10 mins, then the train str8 to Paris Nord.

However the equivalent journey to London Heathrow, checkin, security queues, the flight, pick up bags at Charles de Gaulle, travel to central Paris... waaay more hassle.

And I thought that 1st class eurostar is very comfortable, room to stretch out, sleep, work whatever.
 
cba
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RE: CNN: Trains Just As Fast And Cheaper On DC-NYC

Sat Feb 09, 2002 1:58 am

The nice thing about the TGV is that first class is very affordable. We payed something like $130 per person for a rountrip from Paris to Perpignan (small city right on the Spanish border). Had we travelled coach, we would've payed maybe $100-$90. A plane in economy class would've been $250.
 
ctbarnes
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RE: CNN: Trains Just As Fast And Cheaper On DC-NYC

Sat Feb 09, 2002 2:08 am

Very true!

When the first TGV was introduced from Paris to Lyon in 1981 (I think), flight bookins dropped by something in the range of 50%.

On Shorter and medium distance routes, the high-speed trains are definately better. They're cheaper, more convenient, and the time from city-center to city-center is about the same. No wonder Air France stopped flying CDG-BRU because of the competition from the high-speed Thalys.

Charles, SJ
The customer isn't a moron, she is your wife -David Ogilvy
 
GoAllegheny
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RE: CNN: Trains Just As Fast And Cheaper On DC-NYC

Sat Feb 09, 2002 1:53 pm

So, how does air compare with rail on the London to Paris trip using the Chunnel? I assume that the plane is much quicker, but maybe not?
 
Hoffa
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RE: CNN: Trains Just As Fast And Cheaper On DC-NYC

Sat Feb 09, 2002 2:49 pm

Surely most of the passengers on LHR/LGW-CDG are international transfer pax. BA do very well selling package holidays in France from the US and Canada.
 
Hoffa
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RE: CNN: Trains Just As Fast And Cheaper On DC-NYC

Sat Feb 09, 2002 2:53 pm

Nevertheless, 'public transport' in the US is abysmal, when compared to that available in Europe-if you're not travelling to a major city-you're stuffed. Probably as a result of the popularity of the automobile & plane.

Sadly this is very true. Its actually a carefully orchestrated corporate plot stretching as far back as the 1930's when General Motors bought the tram lines in America's 20 largest cities and summarily ripped them up (this was in the days before antitrust legislation had teeth) only to later introduce "National Bus Lines" (and who do you think sold them the buses  Big grin )

 
EIPremier
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RE: CNN: Trains Just As Fast And Cheaper On DC-NYC

Sat Feb 09, 2002 3:04 pm

I'll tell you one thing! trains are not as fun!!!

That's a matter of opinion.  Smile
 
sterne82
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RE: CNN: Trains Just As Fast And Cheaper On DC-NYC

Sat Feb 09, 2002 4:59 pm

Hi all,

I'm living in Belgium (center of the Thalys network), and I'll show you one example...

To do a one round trip between Bruxelles-Midi (center of the city)to CDG it takes around 1h30 (travelling at 300Km/h on 90% of the journey). You can book the same day as you leave, they have NO need to be there 15 min before the departure!!!(But for the Eurostar you have to be there 15 min before). In second class it cost you around 25-30€, in first I don't know but it must be aroun 50-60€.

Figures? Since his launch in 1996, the Thalys have carried more than 10.000.000 people, and now carry yearly around 3.000.000 people!!!!

For the Eurostar that's a little bit more complicate to explain as the HSL is not yet ready in England. The first part will be open in 2003 and the next part in 2007!!! So this nervous nice horse is still limited at 120-140 Km/h in some places!!!

Regards,

Benjamin
 
Guest

RE: CNN: Trains Just As Fast And Cheaper On DC-NYC

Sat Feb 09, 2002 6:57 pm

It has to be said though, I currently live in Cambridge in the UK, so my local airport is Stansted.

The low-cost airline 'buzz' flies STN-CDG many times a day, and I have used this service myself many times. Why? Lack of congestion at STN (and CDG, before 0900) means flight time is merely 0:40!!

This sure as heck beats anything on the ground, especially given the low-cost nature of the flight!

Regards
 
FDXmech
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RE: CNN: Trains Just As Fast And Cheaper On DC-NYC

Sat Feb 09, 2002 7:36 pm

The strange thing is, passenger train service is generally not profitable in the U.S., and from what I hear, Europe also.

Any reason as to why?
You're only as good as your last departure.
 
Guest

RE: Hoffa-sterne82- Fdx Mech

Sat Feb 09, 2002 11:13 pm


Hoffa-
You shouldn’t be emotional about public transportation disappearance if it’s not economically viable. When I was living in Los Angeles, I heard many whines & complaints about the lack of public transportation yet most people I spoke with weren’t willing to see their income/property tax increase to finance any form of public T.
Besides, rail transportation is not very flexible: running gas, fuel cells or hydrogen-powered buses on dedicated lanes is probably more efficient & as environmentally friendly as a subway or a tramway.
As for the plot-GM thing, have you considered that there might also be a political plot to have us all ride train/subways & ban cars?
Personally, I have nothing against riding a GM built bus rather than a tramway if it means less tax!

Sterne 82 –
I’m from Belgium as well & my experience is that it is cheaper & much faster to fly to Stansted from Charleroi-Brussels & catch a train to Liverpool station than to ride Eurostar from Brussels to Waterloo. Besides, Eurostar Brussels-London has been losing much traffic ever since Ryanair started their operations out of Brussels-Charleroi. So a high-speed train is not necessarily faster nor cheaper, especially if you don’t live nearby a train station nor close to the city center (as capt. Picard pointed out)
Flying a low cost carrier out of a secondary airport could often be a better alternative than riding a high speed train.

FDXmech-
Your comment epitomize the problems associated with train transportation: First, train passengers solely see the price paid for the tickets & fail to realize than most of the costs associated with their trips are covered by the local governments or the EU (in other words, the taxpayer). Furthermore, even flooded with subsidies, train companies cannot even turn a profit!! Therefore, from an economic point of view, you can hardly see how sustainable train transportation can be without help from the taxpayer.
Second (from a convenience point of view) air traffic (mis ?)management is terribly inefficient due to lack of investment & too much regulation.
Would we invest more in ATC & airport infrastructures, air travel would become much quicker, reliable & even cheaper than it is. (Without the help of subsidies)
In short, for medium-long trips, much of the perceived advantage of the high speed trains is due to the government bias, not because it is inherently faster or cheaper.

 
delta-flyer
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RE: CNN: Trains Just As Fast And Cheaper On DC-NYC

Sun Feb 10, 2002 2:41 am

9Q-CLI -- you make an excellent point about rail subsidies. Another problem with trains (or for that matter, any form of ground transportation) is our automobile culture. If one wants to travel on the earth's surface, one drives. Most people in Los Angeles won't ride the rails even if it were free!

Pete
"In God we trust, everyone else bring data"
 
LJ
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RE: CNN: Trains Just As Fast And Cheaper On DC-NYC

Sun Feb 10, 2002 2:58 am

ehhhh maybe a stupid question but does someone also cares about the environment?
 
prosa
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RE: CNN: Trains Just As Fast And Cheaper On DC-NYC

Sun Feb 10, 2002 4:05 am

9Q-CLI -- you make an excellent point about rail subsidies. Another problem with trains (or for that matter, any form of ground transportation) is our automobile culture. If one wants to travel on the earth's surface, one drives. Most people in Los Angeles won't ride the rails even if it were free!

Ridership on the Los Angeles-area Metrolink commuter rail has been well above expectations. People who can use it to get to work quite often do so, the city's car culture notwithstanding. Even so, the dispersion of work locations in the area means that the vast majority of commuters cannot use Metrolink even if they wanted to. What results, therefore, is a situation in which the existing lines do well, but the overall network covers only a small part of the area.

"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
 
asgeirs
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RE: CNN: Trains Just As Fast And Cheaper On DC-NYC

Sun Feb 10, 2002 4:30 am

I like airplane travels more than train travels (quite normal for an aviation enthusiast) but fact is, trains are much more environmentally friendly than airplanes.

Take a look at this article: How Diesel Locomotives Work (from the How Stuff Works website)

In the second chapter of the article you can find this:
"Diesel engines are more efficient than gasoline engines. A huge locomotive like this uses an average of 1.5 gallons of diesel per mile (352 L per 100 km) when towing about five passenger cars."
Reykjavik Aviation Photography - Just bring the aircraft to us and we'll photograph them! :-)
 
vfw614
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RE: CNN: Trains Just As Fast And Cheaper On DC-NYC

Mon Feb 11, 2002 1:14 am

Some LH domestic routes in Germany will see the axe as soon as the new highspeed link between the Cologne/Dusseldorf area and Frankfurt will become operationable. Time from Cologne city centre to Frankfurt Airport will be 57 minutes by train and Lufthansa is more than happy to axe loss-making feeder flights to places like CGN or DUS. In fact LH even operated a dedicated Lufthansa Express train to Frankfurt in the 1980s/1990s but as it had to take the long and winding track along the river Rhine, it tokks about 3 times longer than the new highspeed trains. From Stuttgart, Lufthansa already runs trains to Frankfurt and passengers can check in for the connecting flight from FRA at Stuttgart central station. Lufthansa's idea for the future is to axe all domestic flights of less than 200-250miles and offer train services instead.
 
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PW100
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RE: CNN: Trains Just As Fast And Cheaper On DC-NYC

Mon Feb 11, 2002 2:22 am

Delta-flyer wrote:
If one wants to travel on the earth's surface, one drives. Most people in Los Angeles won't ride the rails even if it were free!
Well I'll bett they never did 200mph on the earth's surface!  Smokin cool Since this is what we are talking about with theses European high-speed trains... Nonthin can beat these trains when it comes to city-to-city travel time on stretches up to 500miles. Especially these days when one has to check-in 2-3 hrs in advance.

I also have to conclude that the Dutch are investing close to 5 billion dollars for 100 miles of high speed rail track. And this new high speed train will connect only a few cities! For the same amount of money [I believe the humoungus DIA took the same level of investment!!], you can build some nice runways and state of the art terminals, allowing you to serve the whole world, not just a couple of cities that happened to be conveniant located at this high-speed rail-track!

As for the environment, this is open for discussion. Apparently, a 75% loaded A321 will use about the same amount of energy per pax as a high speed train on a typical 1000km stretch. The advantage of the train is that it is electrical, meaning one has a "choice" on how to generate the required energy; ie hydro, nuclear, conventional oil/gas/coal etc. [just do not run Emron].
The problem with aircraft is that, although they have become increasingly environmental friendly these days, they still pollute the higher levels of the atmosphere. Which is the very worst place that you want to pollute from a global-warming point of view. And even the water-vapour contrails are told to have a negative effect on global-warming.
Believe or not, here in Europe the environmental issue is becoming increasingly important to the traveling public. Quite some Dutch want to ban short haul [<400miles] flying altogether! This could become a serious problem for air-travel over here. Pissed

PW100
Immigration officer: "What's the purpose of your visit to the USA?" Spotter: "Shooting airliners with my Canon!"
 
desertjets
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RE: CNN: Trains Just As Fast And Cheaper On DC-NYC

Mon Feb 11, 2002 8:20 am

Clearly air travel, rail travel, and automobile travel all have their place. But the problem is, much more so in the US, is that there are few synergies between the modes of travel. To get to the aiport, your only option is to drive and pay to park in a parking lot in a far distant corner of the airport. Or you could pay $20-$50 dollars for a shared ride van, and even more for a taxi. I find it funny that it is only now that decent rail connections are being made from city centers to airports (especially in cities that have well-established light and heavy rail systems, like NYC, are just now completing rail connctions).

I do like what Lufthansa is doing by eliminating short haul domestic service in favor of train service with one stop check-in (though I think some of the new security measures complicate things). It is something everyone needs to work on.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
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PW100
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RE: CNN: Trains Just As Fast And Cheaper On DC-NYC

Wed Feb 13, 2002 4:46 am

DesertJets

Next time you visit Europe, check out AMS or FRA.
At AMS, once you've picked up your lugage, take the escalators down to the -1 level, and you'll find a six-platform underground railway station, directly under the airport terminal! On average, approx. 40 trains leave every hour. With hourly high-speed service to Antwerp, Brussels and Paris [the dutch part of the high-speed rail link won't be finished until 2005, so this part is still conventional speed @ 100mph]. From Antwerp the full 200mph is available.
Besides all the trains, tons and tons and tons of buses drive to all major cities within 30-45 min.

Public transport has really been integrated into the airport design. Over 40% of all pax and workers at AMS commute by public transport. I guess it's the same at FRA.
Immigration officer: "What's the purpose of your visit to the USA?" Spotter: "Shooting airliners with my Canon!"
 
prosa
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RE: CNN: Trains Just As Fast And Cheaper On DC-NYC

Wed Feb 13, 2002 5:01 am

I also have to conclude that the Dutch are investing close to 5 billion dollars for 100 miles of high speed rail track

Well, heck. If New York City ever builds the desparately needed Second Avenue subway, it's likely to cost at least one billion dollars per mile. Not that anything's going to get built, of course; the line was first proposed 75 years ago and has been paid for twice already with almost nothing built.
"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"

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