hawker
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No More Runways, No More Flights

Sun Jun 05, 2005 4:37 pm

The Guardian Newspaper has just provided details of a report demanding no additional runways at major British airports. The thrust is that the growth in air travel is producing too much greenhouse gas.

Maybe travelers wanting to fly to and from Britain will have to enter a lottery for available seats.


http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,6903,1499628,00.html
 
bennett123
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RE: No More Runways, No More Flights

Sun Jun 05, 2005 5:09 pm

Perhaps if some internal flights are replaced by trains, like FRA to CGN?.
 
ly7e7
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RE: No More Runways, No More Flights

Sun Jun 05, 2005 5:23 pm

Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 1):
Perhaps if some internal flights are replaced by trains

Trains shoud be the future of intra-continental transportation systems anyway. How about channel tunnel #2? Or can the diameter of the exisiting one be enlarged?
2 things are endless: ignorance and space
 
FLVILLA
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RE: No More Runways, No More Flights

Sun Jun 05, 2005 5:26 pm

Seems like a lose-lose situation, build more runways and of course we would all choke to death on greenhouse gases !! Or force people off planes and tell them to drive to the continent, by which we must tarmac a good portion of the countryside to ensure greater road capacity. *


*Health Warning: Sarcasm may be dangerous.
I hope in life i can work to live, not live to work
 
hawker
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RE: No More Runways, No More Flights

Sun Jun 05, 2005 5:36 pm

The British Government has already thought of that. They will charge motorists for use of the roads.

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,6903,1499780,00.html
 
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VirginFlyer
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RE: No More Runways, No More Flights

Sun Jun 05, 2005 5:41 pm

Quoting LY7E7 (Reply 2):
Trains shoud be the future of intra-continental transportation systems anyway. How about channel tunnel #2? Or can the diameter of the exisiting one be enlarged?

I disagree. Railways still use up land, like an airport. They still create noise, except it goes right salong the route. They are expensive to build, and more importantly, they are expensive to operate. Railways are susceptible to disruption if the line is blocked, whereas aircraft can take an alternative route, and if need be, land at an alternate airport.

I am of the understanding that jet airliners are more efficient, and cheaper to operate. To my knowledge, there is no significant environmental advantage of a high speed train over a jet airliner.

That's not to say that there isn't a place for rail travel, but I don't think we'll see it replacing air travel any time soon.

On the subject of stopping construction of runways, I think that's a bit of a throwing out the baby with the bathwater reaction. There certainly should be encouragement for the aviation industry to be environementally friendly, however this encouragement would be better off in the form of tax advantages for operating less poluting aircraft (or tax disadvantages for operating more poluting aircraft). We are able to categorise aircraft by the noise and turbulence levels they create; I don't think it would be that difficult to categorise types by polution levels as well. If enviornmental friendliness can have an effect on the balance sheet, then airlines will sit up and take notice. We are already partly on the way there - a good (but not perfect) measure of pollution is how much fuel is burnt per passenger. Less fuel burn means less cost, and as the Sonic Cruiser/787 programme demonstrated, this is what the airlines want.

V/F
"So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth." - Bahá'u'lláh
 
NWA
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RE: No More Runways, No More Flights

Sun Jun 05, 2005 5:44 pm

thats right. the birtish people need to look no farther than across the pond and take a look at amtrac.....
23 victor, turn right heading 210, maintain 3000 till established, cleared ILS runwy 24.
 
ly7e7
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RE: No More Runways, No More Flights

Sun Jun 05, 2005 7:43 pm

VirginFlyer,

It seems to me that you disregard the disadvantages of the air travel on short distances. Consider following:

1) Airports are located in such way that it takes an average time of 30-40 minutes to get there, unlike the train stations that are centrally located and better accessed.

2) Airport procedures are time consuming: dealing with tickets and stubs all the time, luggage check-in (and waiting to get it back)

3) Immigration procedures can be done on trains without loosing any time, while traveling.

4)Boarding time : trains have doors through all of their length.

5)Planes do not leave immediately. They are subjects to lengthy taxiing (especially at busy , large airports) and , yes, ground (and air )traffic jams.
I've experienced such a jam a few month ago , sitting for 35 minutes in a LH plane in TLV due to a heavy traffic above Greece and Cyprus.

6) environmental issues: trains consume less energy, also , high speed trains do produce noise, however not that much noise. A high speed train passing at full speed (300km/h 186mph) is still quieter than a busy motorway or an a/c while landing or taking off.

7) Capacity - self explanatory.
2 things are endless: ignorance and space
 
Glom
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RE: No More Runways, No More Flights

Sun Jun 05, 2005 9:13 pm

Leaving aside what was discussed in the other thread, aviation is a slim minority contributor (<5%), especially when compared to what it delivers. Picking on it is purely opportunism because it is a politically easy and obvious target.
 
md80fanatic
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RE: No More Runways, No More Flights

Sun Jun 05, 2005 9:17 pm

Perhaps they "know" the future of aviation lies in VTOL?
 
whitehatter
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RE: No More Runways, No More Flights

Sun Jun 05, 2005 9:22 pm

A lot of verbal fencing which doesn't actually address what is needed.

The elimination of "silly shorthaul" routes. Namely under 200 to 400 miles.

Trains need to take up that market by running fast, reliable point to point services and also operating directly into airports to connect with medium and longhaul services. It cuts down on runway congestion and helps with the pollution. Short routes can still be operated with regional aircraft when trains wouldn't be feasible but the dozens of jets flying from places like London to Amsterdam or Paris would be chopped back.

Why have the hassle of using LHR, CDG and AMS when you can travel from St Pancras to Paris in less time with less hassle? Or board your train at Glasgow Central Station, running direct to LHR in three hours or less to connect with that QF flight?
Lead me not into temptation, I can find my own way there...
 
Glom
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RE: No More Runways, No More Flights

Sun Jun 05, 2005 9:26 pm

Quoting LY7E7:
How about channel tunnel #2?

Channel tunnel #1 has been such a financial disaster that I don't think anyone has the stomach for another one. The tunnel is far too limiting to be particularly practical for a sizeable amount of transport.

Intercontinental trains are limited by having to go on land for the vast majority of their journey. That's not good when trying to cross a planet covered two thirds by water. They don't go as fast and the increased speed is more than enough to account for the increased time at either end, especially on long haul, which is why high speed trains may take a sizeable portion of regional travel, but long haul will always be the realm of air or space travel.
 
ly7e7
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RE: No More Runways, No More Flights

Sun Jun 05, 2005 11:33 pm

Quoting Glom (Reply 11):
Intercontinental trains are limited

I was talking about intra-continental transportation, not the intercontinental one
2 things are endless: ignorance and space
 
Glom
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RE: No More Runways, No More Flights

Mon Jun 06, 2005 12:21 am

Oh yeah. So you did. That could confuse a dyslexic.
 
HT
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RE: No More Runways, No More Flights

Mon Jun 06, 2005 2:30 am

When talking about "trains replacing flights" the U.K. definitely is the wrong place to look at !
Actually flights on the sector MAN - LON have increased mainly due to the problems with the Westcoast Main Line (WCML). !

Quoting WhiteHatter (Reply 10):
Or board your train at Glasgow Central Station, running direct to LHR in three hours or less to connect with that QF flight?

So how long does it take to go from Glasgow to London by train ? The best times I could find were between 4h40 and 5h45.

Trying to improve that situation substancially and make it a reliable (!) operations is almost impossible as everybody blames the problems to the other, with Railtrack playing a big part in that game ...
Unfortunately, the british rails-system was privatized before the necessary improvement were carried out.


Also look at that slow link for Eurostar from London to the british terminal of the ChannelTunnel: Trains litterarily are crawling along that very old tracks, while on the french side they continue with 300 kph/185 mph to Paris ...
-HT
Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
 
kaitak
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RE: No More Runways, No More Flights

Mon Jun 06, 2005 2:44 am

Although I'm strongly in favour of a third runway at LHR, one of the key factors against that is that there are so many unnecessary short haul flights, particularly on short haul routes. LHR-MAN is an excellent example: lots of short haul sectors, but most operated by smaller aircraft like the 737 and A319/320. Far better, I think, to limit these flights, so that other short haul routes can benefit. That means that you will have optimum use of available runway capacity. Take a leaf out of Japan's book; instead of 20 flights a day to EDI or GLA, have about 10 or 12, but operated by charter airlines' A300s or 763s in a high density config; it's only a short haul flight anyway and it'll mean more connections for regional destinations, most of which have been cut off.

The problem is of course that the UK govt is scared of saying boo to airlines; it has to be done sometime. If it does this successfully and can prove that existing runway capacity is used as efficiently as possible, it will become easier to get a green light for R3.
 
geoffm
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RE: No More Runways, No More Flights

Mon Jun 06, 2005 4:12 am

Quoting HT (Reply 14):
When talking about "trains replacing flights" the U.K. definitely is the wrong place to look at !
Actually flights on the sector MAN - LON have increased mainly due to the problems with the Westcoast Main Line (WCML). !

That is because of major infrastructure upgrades on the WCML. You can't improve a railway without affecting existing service. You take one step back to take 2 forward.

Quoting HT (Reply 14):
Trying to improve that situation substancially and make it a reliable (!) operations is almost impossible as everybody blames the problems to the other, with Railtrack playing a big part in that game ...

I doubt it. Railtrack died 2 years ago.

Quoting HT (Reply 14):

Unfortunately, the british rails-system was privatized before the necessary improvement were carried out.

Improvements are a continual process. You simply cannot hold up privatisation to wait until improvements have finished because it would just never happen.

Quoting HT (Reply 14):

Also look at that slow link for Eurostar from London to the british terminal of the ChannelTunnel: Trains litterarily are crawling along that very old tracks, while on the french side they continue with 300 kph/185 mph to Paris ...

Again, you're way out of date. Trains travel at up to 100mph before they reach the 1st stage of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link. From there they travel at the same speed as the French side, up to the portal of the Channel Tunnel. That's 77% of the UK journey at 186mph - hardly crawling on very old tracks is it? The remainder of the link will be open in the next year or two.

The fact that London-Paris flights have been reduced over the years shows that the train can replace the plane on short-to-medium journeys. It's getting the right route with the right infrastructure. The UK is not like Europe: we are so crowded that we simply cannot build a whole new railway link easily without the powerful NIMBYs blocking the plans.

Geoff M.
 
commavia
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RE: No More Runways, No More Flights

Mon Jun 06, 2005 4:14 am

I find this whole question extremely sad. The UK is allowing itself to fall farther and farther behind their continental neighbors, particularly in regards to LHR vs. AMS/CDG/FRA.
 
ly7e7
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RE: No More Runways, No More Flights

Mon Jun 06, 2005 5:04 am

Quoting Glom (Reply 13):
Oh yeah. So you did. That could confuse a dyslexic

Sorry about that.
2 things are endless: ignorance and space
 
Glom
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RE: No More Runways, No More Flights

Mon Jun 06, 2005 5:04 am

You have to remember, Commavia, that these kinds don't care about the well being of the country.
 
HT
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RE: No More Runways, No More Flights

Mon Jun 06, 2005 5:23 am

@GeoffM
Obviously I have to admit, that my reply #14 was based on outdated information. Tnx for updating me!
-HT
Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: No More Runways, No More Flights

Mon Jun 06, 2005 6:00 am

Quoting VirginFlyer (Reply 5):
Quoting LY7E7 (Reply 2):
Trains shoud be the future of intra-continental transportation systems anyway. How about channel tunnel #2? Or can the diameter of the exisiting one be enlarged?

I disagree. Railways still use up land, like an airport. They still create noise, except it goes right salong the route. They are expensive to build, and more importantly, they are expensive to operate. Railways are susceptible to disruption if the line is blocked, whereas aircraft can take an alternative route, and if need be, land at an alternate airport.

I am of the understanding that jet airliners are more efficient, and cheaper to operate. To my knowledge, there is no significant environmental advantage of a high speed train over a jet airliner.

You obviously haven't taken trains in Europe. Modern electric railroads are much cleaner than airports. But more importantly, they're much more convenient. No security, no check-in. Just get on and get off. Also, if you're talking routes of about an hour to an hour and a half flying time, high-speed trains are faster at getting you from city centre to city centre.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
DCrawley
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RE: No More Runways, No More Flights

Mon Jun 06, 2005 6:33 am

Quoting LY7E7 (Reply 7):

It seems to me that you disregard the disadvantages of the air travel on short distances. Consider following:

1) Airports are located in such way that it takes an average time of 30-40 minutes to get there, unlike the train stations that are centrally located and better accessed.

2) Airport procedures are time consuming: dealing with tickets and stubs all the time, luggage check-in (and waiting to get it back)

At SEA QX operates SEA-PDX every 30 minutes. This flight takes no longer than 30 minutes max and sure beats the 2 hour drive or 3 hours in traffic on I-5. There is a major niche market that business travelers love! At both SEA and PDX there is an express line through security just for that flight. I've found it very effiecent and know many business travelers who love it. If you are making that flight several times a week, there is no hassle with baggage because most people taking that flight know to just bring a carry-on or two and you can check-in from your home computer! Convenience at its best..

On the 3rd runway topic, here in SEA, they have started contructing the massive dirt mound of which will be the 3rd runway. Do we really need it? No. Do we really need a second airport more north of Seattle? Yes. It has been a debate that's lasted 10 years and the self-governed POS (Port Of Seattle, lol) won.. oh well!

Just my thoughts, whether right or wrong!

-D.K. Crawley
"Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but they'll try to have them fixed before we arrive."
 
Glom
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RE: No More Runways, No More Flights

Mon Jun 06, 2005 6:38 am

True enough. But with on-line check-in and efficient connections between airports and the city centres, the competition becomes more heated.
 
legacy135
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RE: No More Runways, No More Flights

Mon Jun 06, 2005 6:48 am

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 21):
You obviously haven't taken trains in Europe. Modern electric railroads are much cleaner than airports. But more importantly, they're much more convenient. No security, no check-in. Just get on and get off. Also, if you're talking routes of about an hour to an hour and a half flying time, high-speed trains are faster at getting you from city centre to city centre.

This is very true. We lost our two daily flights from Bern to Paris CDG exactly because of the competition from the French TGV (Train Grande Vistesse) a train that goes with 250 Km/h and links the two cities in somewhat like 4 hours. If you travel citycenter to citycenter by plane it will be at least this.
Same for a Bern - Milan. There is a big demand but as trains are that fast and convenient....
On the other side don't forget the connecting passengers. I prefer to continue on a flight after a transatlantic. Finally one thing the airlines are still better or at least some of them is if something goes wrong. All the train companies normally know to do is driving the train. This they know very good, but the rest..... Changing a reservation, having a lost bag or whatever I prefer the airline. This is at least my experience.
 
Glom
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RE: No More Runways, No More Flights

Mon Jun 06, 2005 6:51 am

Quoting DCrawley:
On the 3rd runway topic, here in SEA, they have started contructing the massive dirt mound of which will be the 3rd runway.

Well, I'm moving to Seattle.
 
gigneil
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RE: No More Runways, No More Flights

Mon Jun 06, 2005 6:58 am

If its runways you want, move to Denver. They have 6 and room for 12.

Or Dallas, perhaps.

N
 
Rj111
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RE: No More Runways, No More Flights

Mon Jun 06, 2005 7:17 am

I read the very same article in the Observer today, on a train leaving Euston coincidently.

The debate about which is more efficient, the plane or the train, is a very vague one. Results can be very easily skewed, usually by a government who wants to justify a decision.

Just remember though, a modern train line is electrically powered. So its engine is basically a Nuclear/Coal/Oil power plant. Even if it takes more energy to run, the energy it receives is probably more efficiently produced. It's like having one uber-GE90 for a whole fleet of A320's.

What would be sensible is a high speed line which connects London, LHR Birmingham and the surrounding cities, Stoke, Manchester (and MAN airport) and Liverpool along that west coast corridor. If they get stuck for space just run it alongside the M1 and other motorways, limiting the transit corridors. It'll never happen though. For some reason Britain (with a little arm twisting by France) decide to build a 30 mile stretch under the sea to link Paris. But they can't figure out how to get a HST between their two largest cities.  

[Edited 2005-06-06 00:19:03]
 
n844aa
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RE: No More Runways, No More Flights

Mon Jun 06, 2005 1:21 pm

Quoting NWA (Reply 6):
thats right. the birtish people need to look no farther than across the pond and take a look at amtrac.....

Right. Because there are no geographic/demographic/distributional differences between the UK and the US. Rolleyes, etc.

Besides, Amtrak does fine when it's in its natural element. Taken a Metroliner between Washington and New York lately? I love flying, but there are times when the train is the only civilized way to travel.

Quoting Gigneil (Reply 26):
If its runways you want, move to Denver. They have 6 and room for 12.

Or Dallas, perhaps.

Really? Because I didn't realize DAL had that much room for expansion. Or so says the Ft. Worth partisan Big grin
New airplanes, new employees, low fares, all touchy-feely ... all of them are losers. -Gordon Bethune
 
ly7e7
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RE: No More Runways, No More Flights

Mon Jun 06, 2005 1:53 pm

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 21):
You obviously haven't taken trains in Europe. Modern electric railroads are much cleaner than airports. But more importantly, they're much more convenient. No security, no check-in. Just get on and get off. Also, if you're talking routes of about an hour to an hour and a half flying time, high-speed trains are faster at getting you from city centre to city centre.

Yes I have, many, many times (especially on the Deutsche Bahn). Not to mention the fact that the IR (Israeli railways) operate German made electric trains - same ones as the DB. And what you wrote is only strengthening my points - we have no disagreement here man!

Quoting DCrawley (Reply 22):
At SEA QX operates SEA-PDX every 30 minutes. This flight takes no longer than 30 minutes max and sure beats the 2 hour drive or 3 hours in traffic on I-5.

Surely you did not read my post. Who was talking about driving?
2 things are endless: ignorance and space
 
centrair
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RE: No More Runways, No More Flights

Mon Jun 06, 2005 2:10 pm

Over here, we have Japan Rail doing most of the traffic between Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka. One Nozomi shinkansen leaves every 30 minutes with 1200 seats...mostly full. It gets to Nagoya in about 1 hr 30 min and Osaka in 2 hrs 10 min (Downtown to downtown). They are on designated raised track and so do not slow down in urban areas.

When Japan Rail opened the Shinagawa Shinkansen station, NH and JL had a fit. It was invading on their domestic HNL-ITM route as Shinagawa is only 20 minutes from HND. The government said...tough. Osaka also started saying TOUGH as KIX was losing money and the residents around ITM were complaining about noise. Osaka government put landing restrictions at ITM. Starting soon only newer planes that meet the noise restriction can land...bye bye 747D.

We have trains everywhere and they are efficient. But you don't want to take a train from Tokyo to Fukuoka. It takes 4 hours and costs about $250 one way. Take NH from HND and you are there in 2 hours and at a cost of just about $150 r/t.

If you live between Nagoya and Tokyo, you can take a train to either airport and catch a flight to a farther point in Japan. The only care you take is from your house to the station.

Despite the shinkansen and massive train network, domestic air travel in Japan has risen. JL and NH as well as some smaller airlines have increased service from HND to locations with limited high-speed rail. Soon they will increase flights to NRT under a new landing fee system to help feed international flights (NGO advantage).

HND is building a fourth runway just to handle Tokyo - Domestic traffic. As the 747D start going out, they will be replaced with smaller A/C and more frequency. However they will not go to uber-frequency. This is why NH is going with a high-density config for the 777 complemented by a smaller craft also in all Y class.

To me you need both trains and planes to exist. Trains feed the airlines and the airlines can feed the railways. Both are heavily affected by weather. When a typhoon hits Japan...both come to a halt.
Yes...I am not a KIX fan. Let's Japanese Aviation!
 
DCrawley
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RE: No More Runways, No More Flights

Mon Jun 06, 2005 3:56 pm

Quoting LY7E7 (Reply 29):

Surely you did not read my post. Who was talking about driving?

You know what's interesting is I did read it and that is why I posted on it. It was not negative critisism, yet just another view on regional travel. Talking about driving, I gave a numbers estimate on time which is comparative to your statements below:

Quoting LY7E7 (Reply 7):

It seems to me that you disregard the disadvantages of the air travel on short distances. Consider following:

1) Airports are located in such way that it takes an average time of 30-40 minutes to get there..
2) Airport procedures are time consuming..
4)Boarding time..

You were pointing out how flying short distances takes too much time comparatively to "train travel". OK. Since you think I must be ignorant because of my driving statement, I will compare the times it takes via airways and railways. The date I am using is 06JUN2005 departing SEA at 0600 hours and then departing PDX at 1800 hours, a standard business day with +1 hour to get your bag together and get to the airport or train station.

If you were to take Amtrak (the train service in the US) from SEA to PDX as a business traveler, your early choice departing SEA is Amtrak 501 Cascades with a 0730 hours departure time and it arrives at 1100 hours, making a travel time of 210 minutes. When looking at departing PDX, you would leave at 1815 hours on Amtrak 508 Cascades and arrive back in downtown SEA at 2145 hours, making the return travel time another 210 minutes. Sure, you might not have to be dropped off at the airport, but the train doesn't pick you up at your door step.  

If you were to take QX (the Pacific NorthWest regional carrier) from SEA to PDX as a business traveler, your standard choice of departure is at 0600 hours, or flight 2203. You wake up and check-in on your computer, get to the airport about 0520 hours, hop into the express security line, and then board your aircraft at 0540 hours. Your travel time (ETE) is 54 minutes. You arrive at PDX before 0700 and head off to downtown to get breakfast and start business by the standard 0800 hours. You leave your place of business at 1700 hours and head to the airport to catch flight 2086 which departs at 1800 hours. You hop in their dedicated PDX-SEA security line and are waiting and ready to board by 1740 hours. Your travel time (ETE) is 57 minutes. You arrive back in SEA before 1900 hours and head home.

To business men and women, time is money. To take the train, your travel time alone is 420 minutes (7 hours). If you choose QX, your travel time is 111 minutes (1 hour, 51 minutes). Comparatively, even when the airport is congested, you won't spend 7 hours of your day there.

I am not trying to argue with you LY7E7 and I am sorry if I come off this way. I understand your point of view, but I also think that generalizing air travel vs. rail travel is inconsistent. Even with my point about driving, it still takes less time than by train. I hope you found my analysis rather thorough and unbiased, but if you have an alternate stance, please don't make a generalization about me.. "Surely you did not read my post." Present me with some facts. Have a good day!

Just giving my point of view with a few facts,

-D.K. Crawley

[Edited 2005-06-06 08:58:33]
"Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but they'll try to have them fixed before we arrive."
 
ikramerica
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RE: No More Runways, No More Flights

Mon Jun 06, 2005 4:20 pm

Wasn't there a highspeed rail test up there that was discontinued?

one problem the US has at least is the low rail speed limit. back in the day, trains traveled at upwards of 100mph. Now, that isn't allowed despite better technology, due to safety concerns and intervention on the part of various interests. even through the middle of the desert on hundreds of miles of nearly straight track, the speed limit is low.

i've amtrecked across the US a few times and it is very fun. but very slow...
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
abba
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RE: No More Runways, No More Flights

Mon Jun 06, 2005 6:55 pm

Quoting LY7E7 (Reply 7):


6) environmental issues: trains consume less energy, .

Are you sure about this? I wonder if indeed airplane are more energy efficient than trains. I believe that I have read something to that effect not so long ago concerning air versus planes in Denmark where it actually were shown that it was less energy consuming to take the plane rather then the train. Remember that trains are big heavy stuff where you need to move many tones of steel in order to get yourself from place to place!


Abba
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: No More Runways, No More Flights

Mon Jun 06, 2005 7:05 pm

Interestingly there was an article in last weeks Spiegel magazine describing some surprises found by glaciologists in the Alps. They have been observing the retreat of alpine glaziers over the last decades and to their surprise, found the remains of forests on the spots where the glaziers disappeared. By dating the remains of the trees, they found out that about 2000 years ago most of the Alps must have been iceless, with the tree line much higher than today, pointing to a warm period back then.
I think the whole issue concerning climate change is not as simple as many politicians and reporters want us to believe. Our planet is in constant change, and we will simply have to adapt to it.

Jan

[Edited 2005-06-06 12:06:44]
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
ly7e7
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RE: No More Runways, No More Flights

Mon Jun 06, 2005 8:59 pm

D.K. Crawley,

No harm intended. It's just that Amtrack is in the stone age of rail development.

If you try to do the same comparison for ICE or TGV rail service (in Germany or France respectively) vs. regional air service you'll see that the result are quite different. I'm not saying that train is always faster. What I am saying that it is a better alternative for the environment , and yes , at regional travel is sometimes faster (obviously I am talking about high-end rail systems, not Amtrack). With the introduction of MagLev the balance will worsen for the air travel even more.
2 things are endless: ignorance and space
 
YukonTrader
Posts: 204
Joined: Fri May 20, 2005 8:23 pm

RE: No More Runways, No More Flights

Mon Jun 06, 2005 10:06 pm

Quoting Abba (Reply 33):
Remember that trains are big heavy stuff where you need to move many tones of steel in order to get yourself from place to place

But now, that is also true for an airplane... Planes are built more "weight-consciously" than trains, I agree, but on the other hand, the couple hundred tons of a train do neither need to be lifted 30'000 ft into the air, nor do they need to be accelerated to Mach 0.9. Mach 0.25 suits me nicely, thanks...

Furthermore, once a train is rolling at full track speed, the very low friction values of steel wheels on steel rails demand very little energy to maintain speed. Meaning that a commuter train needing to accelerate and stop every few miles is definitely much more energy consuming than a long distance high speed train (HST).

Furthermore, regenerative braking (traction motors turning into dynamos when train is slowed down) means that modern trains return inbetween 30% and 50% of the energy they consumed before to the overhead power line (depending on geography/grades of your line). Or in other words: Two trains going downhill might produce enough juice for a third one running uphill.

Quoting RJ111 (Reply 27):
So its engine is basically a Nuclear/Coal/Oil power plant

Don't forget Hydroelectricity... Mountaineous Switzerland is in a privileged position for that, I agree. Still, the various hydroelectric plants owned by our railroads produce enough juice to feed some of it into the public power grid. Earning some healthy extra-bucks from that, actually...

Quoting DCrawley (Reply 31):
Sure, you might not have to be dropped off at the airport, but the train doesn't pick you up at your door step.

Thanks for the detailed example. I agree that there's no 1:1 comparison possible between North America and Europe in this intermodal competition debate air vs. rail.

I say so simply because of the very different geographical situation: While there are many large, densly populated areas within a stone's throwing range in Central Europe, we see lots of open land with you. Also, European cities tend to be focused on living, working and going out as closly to downtown as possible - with public transport networks reflecting this "inner city" mentality - as opposed to the decentralised way of how most US cities have evolved. Thus, your statement above would apply in many European cities: The next train station is often just a short drive from home, or even in walking distance (I have two stations to chose from, both a 10-15 minutes stroll away), and frequent commuter trains link up the residential stops with the large termini from where HST services leave. Whereas as few Europeans as Americans have an airport at their doorstep.

No offence or contesting of you nor LY7E7 intended, I just wanted to point out such a crucial difference, explaining while any "high-nosed" attempt to transplant European-style trains into North America would very well risk to end in disappointment.

Cheers, and thanks to all for a very noteworthy discussion here! Lukas
 
abba
Posts: 1382
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2005 12:08 pm

RE: No More Runways, No More Flights

Tue Jun 07, 2005 1:34 am

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 34):

Our planet is in constant change, and we will simply have to adapt to it.

I even believe to have seen on TV not so long ago that global warming is also taking place on Mars!

Abba
 
Glom
Posts: 2051
Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2005 2:38 am

RE: No More Runways, No More Flights

Tue Jun 07, 2005 1:38 am

Quoting Abba:
I even believe to have seen on TV not so long ago that global warming is also taking place on Mars!

Evil Martians and their SUVs!
 
DCrawley
Posts: 328
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2005 3:18 am

RE: No More Runways, No More Flights

Tue Jun 07, 2005 5:13 am

LY7E7,

Ah yes, Amtrak is very much so stuck in the stone age in terms of speed! I must say I could see how in Europe the train could be much quicker when traveling short distances. It's very interesting how very different the concept of travel has developed in North America compared to Europe (and many other places). Thanks for making me expand my mind.

YukonTrader,

Very valid point! I guess comparing USA and Europe is like comparing apples and oranges, but I don't know which country is what fruit! Anyways, good discussion and interesting points!

Quoting YukonTrader (Reply 36):

Whereas as few Europeans as Americans have an airport at their doorstep.

Guess I'm one lucky American!  Wink I live about 10 minutes away from SEA!
"Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but they'll try to have them fixed before we arrive."