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tjh8402
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:51 pm

Considering the speed, I assume they will be building dedicated track for this. Building the track is a key expense with rail projects. AAFis a relatively cheap high speed rail project because the tracks from Miami to Cocoa, nearly 200 miles worth, already exist, are owned by a company related to AAF and simply needed to be upgraded. That's a huge cost savings. Also, the upgrades to the track and signaling that allow high speed passenger trains will also allow higher speed freight trains, so the payoff from this investment will be seen by others besides AAF, whereas you can't spread the cost/benefits out as much on dedicated high speed passenger rail.

Also, it has been posited that FECI isn't really looking to turn a profit on AAF itself, but instead use it to boost the return on its investments in real estate around the stations. Mass transit systems don't have to turn a profit in an of themselves to be lucrative to a business. Extreme example, but Walt Disney World has one of the largest mass transit systems (buses, boats, and monorails) in the US, and looked at on its own, its clearly a money loser (you don't pay to ride any of it). It's only when it's looked at in context of its contribution to the "Disney Economy" as a whole that the wisdom of that investment is clear.

[Edited 2014-06-05 14:55:21]

[Edited 2014-06-05 14:58:08]
 
BoeingBear
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:22 pm

Quoting LHCVG (Reply 6):
Yup, just like the DC-NY-BOS corridor -- none of the airlines are REALLY hurting from the decline of the NEC Shuttle. That's x plane rotations (not to mention crew time as well) that can be re-allocated to growth elsewhere.

Similarly, reducing HOU-DAL frequency would free up precious DAL gate availability for WN to expand into more medium-haul markets -- which seems vital given the upcoming end of Wright Amendment restrictions.
 
Dallas
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:36 pm

Quoting BoeingBear (Reply 51):
Similarly, reducing HOU-DAL frequency would free up precious DAL gate availability for WN to expand into more medium-haul markets -- which seems vital given the upcoming end of Wright Amendment restrictions.

Depends on how you look at it. Seeing the frequency of that city pair, it has to be a huge cash cow and very profitable, or else it wouldn't exist at its current frequency. Yes it would open the door for additional cities and routes, but I couldn't believe that would be the better option at the expense of one of your market strongholds and most profitable routes.
 
lhcvg
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:18 pm

Quoting Dallas (Reply 52):
Depends on how you look at it. Seeing the frequency of that city pair, it has to be a huge cash cow and very profitable, or else it wouldn't exist at its current frequency. Yes it would open the door for additional cities and routes, but I couldn't believe that would be the better option at the expense of one of your market strongholds and most profitable routes.

I wouldn't dispute the value (though I don't know if it really does print money ALL day), but I would argue that the potential value of a handful of those flights -- say 5-10 a day -- would be even greater with tight gate space at DAL and the end of the Wright Amendment opening up many new opportunities.

True you don't just throw away your cash cow, but that is a LOT of flights. Going down to say 20 (perhaps you rotate in a couple 738 turns if the seat demand is that high at certain times) would still be great frequency while opening up who knows what at DAL.

Or put another way, I'm going out on a limb to say WN is squatting a bit here on the route so they have more room than you might think to adjust/retime/right-size here and not be in bad shape.
 
cjpark
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Fri Jun 06, 2014 4:28 am

Quoting ScottB (Reply 5):
I think WN has generally been opposed to the use of state/federal subsidy for the benefit of
what ends up being a direct competitor on (a) key route(s), especially when one considers that excise taxes and other
fees are charged on tickets sold and they typically pay for the costs of the facilities they use on the ground.

Yea, they would rather have all of the state/federal subsidies used for their industry.
"Any airline that wants to serve the [region] can go to DFW today and fly anywhere they want," WN spokesman Ed Stewart
 
PHX787
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Wed Jun 11, 2014 6:04 pm

Quoting Boeing717200 (Reply 42):
Even still, Japan had to take a massive debt right down to balance its sheets because even Japan was losing money on HSR.
Quoting seat38a (Reply 45):
Cost is a big issue and finding the money for it. Remember that the original JNR that built the first bullet trains went bankrupt from the cost and had to be sold in pieces to the current private companies JR. Even in France, SNCF no longer is liable for the LGV (High Speed Track) only the TGV trains. The cost of building the HSR has been transferred to a separate state corporation.

Japan wasn't losing money, it was just hampered with costs, as Seat38a stated, which caused the privatization.

Between 1964 when the Tokaido Shinkansen Line opened up, 1982 when the Tohoku Shinkansen Line opened up, and 1987 when JNR was privatized, the value of the yen was consistently rising, which pretty much ballooned the costs....coupled with the massive amounts of people working on these projects and the subsequent pensions owed to them (which a spinoff from JNR, called JNR Settlement Corp, still maintains today as a branch of the Japanese government).

Quoting N62NA (Reply 43):
Government agency environmental studies and approvals need to be conducted and obtained, in addition to lawsuits against the proposal need to work their way through the court system. The actual building of these things is the quickest part of the process.

what the heck is the "enviromental" impact of an electric bullet train? FWIK the train is not using level crossings so there's a very small amount of ground impact involving the roaming areas of fauna.
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UA772IAD
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Wed Jun 11, 2014 7:45 pm

Quoting ScottB (Reply 49):
In Texas, the distribution of population in the metro areas ends up working against the concept of rail travel between city centers. With limited local transit options and suburbs spreading out 40-50 miles from the city centers, passengers would have to drive into the congested downtown core to access the HSR; there is really no benefit to this over driving to an airport.

Except that you can make the same argument about the Northeast Corridor. The suburbs and exurbs of Washington, D.C. extend out to Leesburg, west of Dulles Airport. Similarly, NYC and Boston have suburbs and sprawl that extend well beyond the city limits. The NEC isn't hurting for business, and it charges a premium - particularly for Acela service.

If travel times are close, and frequencies convenient, the train will win when you consider:
- The time and expense of driving to the airport and paying "airport prices" for parking (Amtrak, for instance, does not charge for parking at its stations that have parking)
- Not having to clear airport security
- The benefit of arriving right before your departure, instead of having to arrive an hour at minimum prior to departure at the airport
- No or minimal fees for luggage on the train
- Amenities such as WiFi/power outlets/ability to use your cell phone to conduct business or personal matters
- Arriving at or near city center (particularly if your destination is urban oriented)

Quoting AviRaider (Reply 44):
Really it comes down to lawsuits, politics and funding that ultimately muddle these things up. The engineering can be done within a few years and ready for the go.

Yes. And only a half century ago, the mindset was that such projects were good for the social and economic security, not to mention defense of the country. Things like motorways, bridges and public transportation. Now their seen as an assault to the taxpayer.
 
jetblue1965
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Wed Jun 11, 2014 8:35 pm

The Acela works because you have lots of big towns along the way : DC-Baltimore-Philly-NYC that's more than 35 million in population. Same thing with Shinkansen Tokyo-Nagoya-Kyoto-Osaka

Dallas - Houston, on the other hand, is nearly a blank emptiness separating the two. (and SAT/AUS are too far to the west to make a meaningful stop for the HSR)

But the chance of this succeeding is still a lot higher than that SFO-LAX bullet train to nowhere
 
FWAERJ
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:13 pm

IIRC, WN didn't raise a stink when California presented their LA-SF HSR plan... and unlike the Texas project and All Aboard Florida (WN didn't oppose that one, either), the California HSR line is government-funded and will probably take longer to build than the TX and FL projects.

My thoughts: The WN of the Texas TGV controversy days is not the WN of today. Short hops are being gutted from the WN network by the schedule release. I think today's WN is or will be neutral on rail projects because they can drop or at least significantly cut back the low-margin to unprofitable intrastate flying that they want to wash their hands of so badly of since 9/11 made driving those routes more viable.
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ScottB
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:55 pm

Quoting UA772IAD (Reply 56):
The suburbs and exurbs of Washington, D.C. extend out to Leesburg, west of Dulles Airport. Similarly, NYC and Boston have suburbs and sprawl that extend well beyond the city limits. The NEC isn't hurting for business, and it charges a premium - particularly for Acela service.

Yes, but D.C./Philly/NYC/Boston all have well-developed transit networks serving the downtown core where the stations are located, quite unlike Dallas & Houston. Also, the cities along the Northeast Corridor have much, much larger populations within the urban core than Dallas & Houston.

Quoting UA772IAD (Reply 56):
- The time and expense of driving to the airport and paying "airport prices" for parking (Amtrak, for instance, does not charge for parking at its stations that have parking)

Yes, parking is so inexpensive at Boston South Station/NY Penn Station/DC Union Station   

Quoting UA772IAD (Reply 56):
- No or minimal fees for luggage on the train

The charge for baggage on WN is how much?

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 58):
IIRC, WN didn't raise a stink when California presented their LA-SF HSR plan... and unlike the Texas project and All Aboard Florida (WN didn't oppose that one, either), the California HSR line is government-funded and will probably take longer to build than the TX and FL projects.

The California HSR project is a joke because it was sold to the voters with ridiculously low-balled construction costs. And California is Hyper-NIMBY Central so good luck getting anything past the inevitable decades of court challenges if it's within 50 miles of where any human being lives.
 
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Boeing717200
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Wed Jun 11, 2014 11:19 pm

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 58):

I believe they hedged their bets on 1. It will cost so much that it won't be cost competitive, 2. It will stop so much that it won't be time competitive, and 3. That it would eventually cost so much to build in the first place that it would never be built.

They appear to have been correct on 2 given it does not appear it will meet the time objectives due to the number of stops now added and the "blended" track sections. They are probably correct on 1 because the cost has exploded which will translate to more expensive tickets which by law cannot be subsidized (until they change the law where Southwest and several other carriers may take issue and file suite) and might be right on 3 if California gets it's head out of its butt and stops the project.
240 years and the top two candidates are named Dumb and Dumber. Stay classy!
 
KarlB737
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:24 am

Quoting 777Jet (Reply 20):
The thing is what will the fare cost compared to a WN flight?

Right on coupled with the time element. How long will it take to travel between Houston and Dallas by rail compared to air? To me these are the main questions. This doesn't even include comparisons for check-in and baggage pickup and proximity to rental cars.
 
AADC10
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Fri Jun 13, 2014 4:39 pm

Quoting Sooner787 (Reply 12):
My understanding is this rail proposal is a private venture.

That does not mean that the project would not receive substantial subsidies. Rights of way, tax incentives, if not direct ticket subsidies would likely come into play.

Quoting michman (Reply 38):
Oh really? Care to document your assertion? Airline tickets have a 7.5% US excise plus a $4.00 segment tax to pay for things like ATC and runway construction. Then there's the additional $2.50/segment TSA tax and PFC charges (typically $4.50 per segment). We pay fuel taxes to pay for road construction/repair. What taxes are paid on Amtrak tickets? Zero!

The excise tax reimburses states for the lost sales tax revenue for certain interstate transactions. The TSA fee is for the security theater that the airlines needed to restore confidence after 9/11. Passenger Facility Charge is for the airport to use for specified improvements, generally not to reimburse the FAA. While far from the leader in transportation subsidies, aviation does not collect enough in fees to cover its federal costs.
 
brons2
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Fri Jun 13, 2014 6:21 pm

I think this concept would work better on the I-35 corridor (Dallas-Waco-Austin-San Antonio) than it would on the I-45 corridor (Houston-Dallas). Once you leave Houston or Dallas metro areas going towards the other, there really isn't much there in the way of population. You've got a series of little hamlets like Huntsville, Madisonville, Centerville, Buffalo, Fairfield, Corsicana, etc.

Whereas the spaces between San Antonio and Waco are all growing into each other. Particularly Austin and San Antonio are maybe another 20 years from being completely joined by sprawl. And traffic north of Waco is horrible enough to make the train option attractive if it is priced competitively. I used to go AUS-DAL pretty often when fares were cheaper but now I usually always drive because $29 specials can't be found anymore. A train could lure me back if it was competitive with my car, especially if there was room for my bike.

Regarding funding, there's been an effort going on for many years to expand I-35 to 3 lanes each direction from San Antonio all the way to the 35E/35W split about 40 miles south of the Metroplex. They could have already built HSR with the money that's been poured into the project. And there's still significant stretches where the freeway is not 3 lanes each direction.

It also bears noting that TxDot won't build much of anything nowadays without it being a toll road - the transportation taxes in Texas are not high enough to support it. Building rail starts to look better when you talk about building tolled lanes between San Antonio and Dallas to support the explosive growth. How much would you pay to avoid driving gridlock? Compared to what you would pay to take the train? It's not as far off as one might think - the capacity of a fully expanded I-35 with 3 freeway lanes each direction for the whole corridor will probably already be insufficient by the time they are done with construction.

It didn't happen in the 90s and it may not happen now but I think it's eventually inevitable due to the growth along the I-35 corridor. It may be expensive to build HSR but building freeway lanes is also expensive from a capital cost standpoint.
Firings, if well done, are good for employee morale.
 
brons2
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Fri Jun 13, 2014 6:25 pm

Not to mention, Texas has some of the fattest cities in America due partially to everything being accessible by car. People need to get off their asses and walk or bike to the train station. We have an obesity epidemic in this country. Compare the capital costs of HSR to the costs of healthcare. Then bring in the trade (im)balance - much of said imbalance due to imported oil...

anyway...
Firings, if well done, are good for employee morale.
 
INFINITI329
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:12 pm

Quoting KarlB737 (Reply 61):
Right on coupled with the time element. How long will it take to travel between Houston and Dallas by rail compared to air? To me these are the main questions. This doesn't even include comparisons for check-in and baggage pickup and proximity to rental cars.

It wouldnt be fair comparison. From start to finish a plane will always be faster no matter what. So you would have to include the check-in, tsa , baggage claim and possible wx delays
 
tjh8402
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Sat Jun 14, 2014 12:28 am

Quoting brons2 (Reply 63):

I think this concept would work better on the I-35 corridor (Dallas-Waco-Austin-San Antonio) than it would on the I-45 corridor (Houston-Dallas). Once you leave Houston or Dallas metro areas going towards the other, there really isn't much there in the way of population. You've got a series of little hamlets like Huntsville, Madisonville, Centerville, Buffalo, Fairfield, Corsicana, etc.

It depends on what you want the train to do. That I35 corridor you describe is more in line with Amtraks model. I've only ridden the Texas Eagle once (from FTW to AUS), but from what I remember, you pretty much describe that exact route. I should add, btw, that was a great way to do that trip. Was around 4 hours, convenient travel times, typically comfortable Amtrak ride, and a reasonable price (under $30). Anyway, if your goal is an express high speed train that can compete with point to point service on an airplane, every one of those little stops between your two main destination cities will slow you down. AAF is only planning 1 stop between Miami and Orlando, West Palm. They will be bypassing several not insignificant cities like Ft Lauderdale, Vero Beach, Melbourne, and Cocoa. A chief complaint against the railroad has been from cities like the aforementioned ones who will see a dramatic increase in rail traffic without any additional direct services (aside from whatever benefits the improvements to rail infrastructure will have on FEC freight operations).
 
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FLALEFTY
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Sat Jun 14, 2014 1:20 am

High speed train deals are complicated. If they are to run on existing tracks, a deal has to be cut to lease time on them with (usually) a freight railroad. Scheduling both rail types is a challenge.

Maintenance and enforcement of rail crossing cuts between private and public funding. This gets stickier if the local government is irritated by the fact that the train is only passing through their community.

It seems that trains running connecting suburban/urban areas work best, not connecting major cities. Trains are good for getting suburbanites to work, but less successful competing with airlines at stages over 100 miles.

But the biggest hurdle for a high-speed rail system are the eminent domain proceedings required to acquire the rights-of-way and land needed for the project . ED cases can eat up years legal fees, expert fees and litigation and still not succeed.

Train travel is just not as accepted by consumers in the US as in Europe or Asia/Japan. That's a fact.

[Edited 2014-06-13 18:22:56]
 
thomasphoto60
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Sat Jun 14, 2014 1:43 am

Quoting brons2 (Reply 63):
I think this concept would work better on the I-35 corridor (Dallas-Waco-Austin-San Antonio) than it would on the I-45 corridor (Houston-Dallas). Once you leave Houston or Dallas metro areas going towards the other, there really isn't much there in the way of population. You've got a series of little hamlets like Huntsville, Madisonville, Centerville, Buffalo, Fairfield, Corsicana, etc.

Whereas the spaces between San Antonio and Waco are all growing into each other. Particularly Austin and San Antonio are maybe another 20 years from being completely joined by sprawl. And traffic north of Waco is horrible enough to make the train option attractive if it is priced competitively. I used to go AUS-DAL pretty often when fares were cheaper but now I usually always drive because $29 specials can't be found anymore. A train could lure me back if it was competitive with my car, especially if there was room for my bike.

Wow....snubbing Houston, not certain what to make of that.
"Show me the Braniffs"
 
atpcliff
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Sat Jun 14, 2014 7:15 am

ALL TRANSPORTATION is heavily subsidized.

Each airplane sold is sold for about 1/2 of the actual cost to build the plane. Airports are subsidized. ATC is subsidized.

Highways are subsidized, as is gasoline and diesel fuel, as well as all other oil and coal products. Trucks pay about 10% of their actual costs to operate on US roads.

Seaports, bridges, locks and dams are highly subsidized. City streets and sidewalks are subsidized, as are automakers.

Bicycles are the most efficient forms of transportation, but are too slow, and difficult, for longer distances.
Autos are great up to about 150 miles.
Trains are the most efficient for passengers up to about 650 miles.
Airplanes are most efficient beyond about 650 miles.

A high speed train (200 or so mph+) makes THE MOST SENSE to connect PAX between DFW and IAH. There are a number of other corridors in the US where high speed rail (NOT 90 mph!!!) makes the most sense.

I hope they build the high speed rail, and save the planes for where they are more efficient.
TRY. It's all you have control over, and it's what God wants.
 
ouboy79
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Sat Jun 14, 2014 8:48 am

Quoting atpcliff (Reply 69):
ALL TRANSPORTATION is heavily subsidized.

Now now. Stop speaking sense to those that live with their head in the sand. I just laugh (or shake my head) at those that complain about subsidies for rail when in the same breath trumpet support for more highways or air travel. It is all subsidized. The federal highway fund can't cover the costs of our highways and will soon require the government to dip into the general fund to cover all the costs.

If a private entity wants to build and maintain a rail line - good for them. However, denying any government assistance when in the same breath asking for it for air travel is just hypocritical. The gas tax doesn't bring in enough to cover the cost of roads, those who are against subsidies should be the first ones out there demanding a higher gas tax or replace it with a mileage tax. Not to mention more interstates should be tolled to fund themselves.
 
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Boeing717200
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Sat Jun 14, 2014 1:30 pm

Quoting ouboy79 (Reply 70):

At least air and roads make an attempt to be as financially self sufficient as possible where rail doesn't even bother trying. Note the difference, because it does matter.

By the way, the highway trust fund problems stem from massive amounts of trust fund dollars being used for the subsidization of public transportation systems, including light and regional rail. So spare the "other modes require massive subsidies" line of BS. There are some in government that want to raid the AATF for rail projects too instead of keeping that money with airports which is primarily spent on airfield projects. Wonder why? Could it be that air and highway trust funds actually have money and rail is a useless money pit? If rail is so great, they should set up a trust fund like air and highway. Charge taxes on people that use rail like they do on gas and airline tickets and do their own part to support themselves. If rail is unwilling to do so, they can pound sand until they are.

[Edited 2014-06-14 06:42:43]
240 years and the top two candidates are named Dumb and Dumber. Stay classy!
 
ouboy79
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Sun Jun 15, 2014 7:15 am

Quoting Boeing717200 (Reply 71):
At least air and roads make an attempt to be as financially self sufficient as possible where rail doesn't even bother trying. Note the difference, because it does matter.

LOL roads self sufficient? That's a pretty delusional statement. Gas taxes haven't been raised in years and have no chance of covering the cost of upkeep of existing roads - let alone new ones - regardless of how much intercity rail is supported with the trust fund.

Quoting Boeing717200 (Reply 71):
If rail is so great, they should set up a trust fund like air and highway. Charge taxes on people that use rail like they do on gas and airline tickets and do their own part to support themselves. If rail is unwilling to do so, they can pound sand until they are.

Rail definitely has it's place. The problem is the US has been so detached from it for years that we are too auto focused. However, it can be argued that we are molded to remain focused on living an autocentric life style. Though with new urbanism and movements to remove intercity highways definitely shows we are starting to move away from that. Though this is going to go way off topic, so I'll stop there.
 
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Boeing717200
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:14 am

Quoting ouboy79 (Reply 72):

The highway trust fund ran a surplus until it was raided for mass transit, including rail. This is fact. What is also fact is rail does nothing to even effort to be financially self sufficient. That is also fact. Also a fact, I didn't say roads were self sufficient, so you should have stopped there. I said they make an effort to be as financially self sufficient as possible. Also fact. It's why they have trust funds.
240 years and the top two candidates are named Dumb and Dumber. Stay classy!
 
ouboy79
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Mon Jun 16, 2014 8:50 am

Quoting Boeing717200 (Reply 73):
The highway trust fund ran a surplus until it was raided for mass transit, including rail. This is fact. What is also fact is rail does nothing to even effort to be financially self sufficient. That is also fact. Also a fact, I didn't say roads were self sufficient, so you should have stopped there. I said they make an effort to be as financially self sufficient as possible. Also fact. It's why they have trust funds.

You are claiming a lot of facts but have done nothing to provide support for your claims. I'll let you locate those items and then come back and share them to support your claims. Then we can discuss the actual factors.
 
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Boeing717200
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Mon Jun 16, 2014 2:03 pm

Quoting ouboy79 (Reply 74):

So you have nothing to offer then. Google is your friend. Trust fund history is well known.

I'll help you out though:

http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/aap/primer98.pdf

[Edited 2014-06-16 07:08:57]

A little more:

http://www.taxpayer.net/user_uploads...20TCS%20-%20FINAL%202012-01-18.pdf

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/26/9503

http://reason.org/files/restoring_highway_trust_fund.pdf

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/fil...434-HighwayTrustFund_Testimony.pdf


[Edited 2014-06-16 07:16:03]
240 years and the top two candidates are named Dumb and Dumber. Stay classy!
 
slider
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Mon Jun 16, 2014 2:41 pm

The pie in the sky crackpipe chatter in this thread kills me.

This country has hundreds of bridges that are literally crumbling, infrastructure that is woefully inadequate in so many places, and the so-called 'shovel ready' projects from the porkulus bills didn't happen (hmmm....funny how no one was held accountable for that either)....

But TX is a ginormous state and while there are massive cities and growing ones, the population density is still too low to efficiently connect and distribute people among these cities. Also, what's the daily PDEW on DFW-IAH? SAT-DFW? AUS-DFW? You can't assume a train will capture all of that traffic, much less do so in a manner that is economically viable.

Right of way, easements, property aquisition issues are NIGHTMARISH. There's no way any Texan would tolerate eminent domain either for stealing their land for a choo choo. Won't happen.
 
brons2
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Mon Jun 16, 2014 2:48 pm

Quoting Boeing717200 (Reply 71):
Could it be that air and highway trust funds actually have money and rail is a useless money pit?

Because of all the opposition to developing any sort of rail network, critical mass for railway usage is never reached to where it could actually be cost effective. When you've got a train here and a train there that don't connect to a national system of trains, or more accurately you could say an extremely rudimentary system of SLOW trains, the whole thing doesn't really work that well.

"Rail doesn't work" is sort of a self fulfilling prophecy, because the infrastructure to make it work is not built.
Firings, if well done, are good for employee morale.
 
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exFWAOONW
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Mon Jun 16, 2014 3:00 pm

Quoting Boeing717200 (Reply 23):
Rail subsidy is obscene. Aviation gets about $4 billion General Fund but self pays another $10-12 billion. Rail wants $6.6 billion ($50 Billion over 10 years), no self pay, plus $1.65 Billion for Amtrash.

So you admit, air travel is subsidized, just like every other form of transportation.

Quoting Boeing717200 (Reply 37):
Rail doesn't even try to break even.

You know this how? I think you're confusing government agencies with for-profit businesses. (Some are cleverly disguised, so I can see your dilema)

Quoting mercure1 (Reply 47):
So unless US wants to enter model of endless subsidy of rail at the expense of money going to other opportunities, I think they should forget rail and stick with what already works well - cars and planes.

Neither of which would exist without government subsidy. Airports and airways weren't built by the airlines using them. The government did and charges airlines user fees that don't quite cover the costs. Same thing for cars. It's subsidize folks. Get over it.

Quoting ScottB (Reply 49):
In the Northeast Corridor, the least expensive intercity option by a wide margin is a bus.

Only because they use government built highways to provide that service. Intercity rail operates on tracks built by the railroads. Oh, and they pay property taxes on those tracks to fund highways and air travel.

Quoting atpcliff (Reply 69):
ALL TRANSPORTATION is heavily subsidized.

Finally, a voice of reason.

Quoting ouboy79 (Reply 70):
Now now. Stop speaking sense to those that live with their head in the sand. I just laugh (or shake my head) at those that complain about subsidies for rail when in the same breath trumpet support for more highways or air travel. It is all subsidized. The federal highway fund can't cover the costs of our highways and will soon require the government to dip into the general fund to cover all the costs.

It's hard to know where to start when fighting this much mis-information.

Quoting Boeing717200 (Reply 71):
At least air and roads make an attempt to be as financially self sufficient as possible where rail doesn't even bother trying. Note the difference, because it does matter.

And how do they try? How does the street in front of your house try to be finacially self-sufficient? I don't use and yet I had to pay for it (directly or in-directly). How does the sidewalk (if there is one) ? Only tollroads make an attempt to be financially self-sufficient.
Air travel lost every dollar of profit it ever made. Remember the bailout? Air travel is hardly self-sufficient.

Quoting Boeing717200 (Reply 71):
Could it be that air and highway trust funds actually have money and rail is a useless money pit?

Rail was profitable until the government eroded their customer base by building alternative transportation modes. It was built using mostly private funds (not government funded except a few cases). Rail pays taxes on their property. Streets and roads are removed from the tax base, so everyone else has to make up the difference.
Don't forget the trust funds were started with our tax money. That money didn't magically appear out of thin air and small ticket taxes. The trust funds let congress be lazy when it comes to funding infrastructure. (they don't have to "go on the record" voting for/against projects. They also don't have to spend time investigating/debating/funding a projects on its merits) If Amtrak/rail had a trust fund, like the other forms of transportation, it wouldn't be a whipping boy/punching bag for congress to have for "show".
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slider
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Mon Jun 16, 2014 3:14 pm

Quoting brons2 (Reply 77):
"Rail doesn't work" is sort of a self fulfilling prophecy, because the infrastructure to make it work is not built.

True to some extent. But unlike years past, you can't create rail corridors given property rights now. It's SO politically charged as well--where to put stops, how many stops, how that affects route times, local bureaucrats wanting to get their snout in the trough, all that.

Quoting exFWAOONW (Reply 78):
Rail was profitable until the government eroded their customer base by building alternative transportation modes.

To this, and the prior point above, it's a shame because so many American cities had streetcars back in the day that operated on heavy rail lines. Buffalo, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Kansas City, numerous others. They were all dug up and torn out for the sake of "progress"...such a shame. Hard to have had the foresight, in context, however, of what a critical mistake that would end up being in many cities.
 
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exFWAOONW
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:06 pm

You forgot Los Angeles on that list. Pacific Electric was the largest street-car/interurban network in the country. It was bought out to sell buses. Now that they have discovered they can't build enough highway lanes, LA is spending billions to get back a shadow of what they used to have.
Most people would agree that LA is spread-out and auto-centric, but they see the value of having rail as an alternative.

There is one more reason why rail can do a better job of moving people is personal space. Seat pitch. I have never had to wedge my knees into the seat in front of me to sit for hours on a train. I don't need to see a chiropractor afterward like I do when I fly. I arrive feeling good not in pain. Of course, YMMV.
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brons2
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:33 pm

Quoting Slider (Reply 76):
Right of way, easements, property aquisition issues are NIGHTMARISH. There's no way any Texan would tolerate eminent domain either for stealing their land for a choo choo. Won't happen.

I will agree with you there. Private property issues are sacrosanct to Texans. The project would be more likely to happen in a more liberal state.

A few years back Governor Goodhair (Perry) had a "great" idea of something called the Texas Transportation Corridor, which would have built a more freeway conduits throughout the state to improve commerce. It failed to fly because landowners were not going to give up that much land without some major court battles. I believe the plan called for a quarter-mile wide right-of-way for the Corridor.

Here's the folks that opposed it:
http://www.corridorwatch.org/ttc/index.htm

If they can't even get support for building more freeways, the chance of claiming right of way for trains appears to be slim and none. And Slim just left town...
Firings, if well done, are good for employee morale.
 
slider
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Mon Jun 16, 2014 5:00 pm

Quoting exFWAOONW (Reply 80):
You forgot Los Angeles on that list.

Of course! Heck, LA had a very robust streetcar system. Declined postwar from what I understand, but for its time was very massive (around turn of century and 1910s? maybe someone can add color here, as I can't recall offhand)....

Quoting brons2 (Reply 81):
If they can't even get support for building more freeways, the chance of claiming right of way for trains appears to be slim and none. And Slim just left town...

Exactly right. I remember what a melee the whole "NAFTA superhighway" stuff was, and that was largely just using the US-59 corridor that already existed!

Still, there does need to be a vision for mass transit and expanded roadways for a growing Texas, as well as an honest to goodness discussion of the funding mechanism. I'm not a fan of taxation, but whether it's gas taxes, or added toll roads, etc, that discussion does have to happen statewide.
 
DCA-ROCguy
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Mon Jun 16, 2014 5:15 pm

Texas has, up and running today, an efficient system for getting between Dallas and Houston: DAL-HOU on WN. They don't need to pour billions of dollars down a rathole to service rail enthusiasm or anti-car or anti-air ideology. If I lived in Texas, I would urge my reps to vote against the rail line. Same in California for the massive boondoggle being discussed there.

Jim
Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
 
brons2
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Mon Jun 16, 2014 5:37 pm

Quoting DCA-ROCguy (Reply 83):
Texas has, up and running today, an efficient system for getting between Dallas and Houston: DAL-HOU on WN.

Or I-45. Efficiency on that route depends on the economy of your car. I have a relative who had a Golf TDI and could make it round-trip from downtown Houston to the northern suburbs of Dallas and back on 1 tank of fuel.

I would surmise what is more likely than HSR is that TxDOT puts tolled additional lanes on I-45 at least on the Houston side so that you can pay to get out of town faster if you like. This model has already been implemented on the Katy Freeway (I-10 west of downtown Houston) and seems to be fairly well accepted. I use it when visiting Houston if I get into traffic and I am glad the option is there. They are also using this model of tolled additional lanes to put another lane onto the Mopac Expressway (Loop 1) in Austin, and probably elsewhere in the state as well. Toll roads are the new reality...

From the WN side, I think Gary Kelly's taking a wait and see attitude is probably prudent here, there's not really anything to fight as of yet.

I personally am a rail supporter and would love to see more of it, but I'm also a realist and I would not be surprised in the least to see this whole HSR idea go nowhere.
Firings, if well done, are good for employee morale.
 
ouboy79
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Mon Jun 16, 2014 5:40 pm

Quoting exFWAOONW (Reply 78):
It's hard to know where to start when fighting this much mis-information.

I think we are just at a genuine clash of special interest and cultures. OKC is one of the most sprawled cities in the nation (over 600 sq miles itself not including suburbs). Local voters approved to start implements street car service in the CBD. The next step is commuter rail to the major suburbs. As anyone who understands rail knows you need to have the last mile covered or the service can fail.

A HSR line is planned from OKC to Dallas, as part of the Texas plan. Many see it as an opportunity to live in OKC and work in Dallas and commute if travel times are down to around 90 minutes give or take. The problem is having the support on either end of the line to make it work.

There will be a natural object to rail here (A.net) it seems, especially when it may definitely impact the industry we are all drawn too. However, you can't deny that rail still costs less than the continuous build/replace cycle that the highway system undergoes. I'm not saying highways a bad, they keep the economy going - but they also don't pay for themselves. The gas tax needs to be increased dramatically or simply be replaced with a mileage tax. I also wouldn't be completely against tolling the majority of them and letting people who use them actually pay for them. I've always thought that as part of a way to downsize the federal government would be to simply turn over the interstate ownership to the states completely. Allow them to toll the roads and let them be self sufficient. That eliminates the annual pork hand outs to get certain projects ahead of the others. It should also help control some of these areas that feel they need massive interstate quality roads to every little corner of their area.
 
cjpark
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Mon Jun 16, 2014 7:22 pm

Quoting brons2 (Reply 81):
A few years back Governor Goodhair (Perry) had a "great" idea of something called the Texas Transportation Corridor, which would have built a more freeway conduits throughout the state to improve commerce. It failed to fly because landowners were not going to give up that much land without some major court battles. I believe the plan called for a quarter-mile wide right-of-way for the Corridor.


The Trans Texas Corridor had many other issues besides right of way complications.

1. The State insisted that the TTC would be owned and operated by a foreign owned company.
2. The State still had to fund I think half of the project with the stipulation that it would be paid back from revenue from the project.
3. In order to protect the investment made by the foreign company it would be forbidden for future parallel roads to be built and forbade improvements to existing parallel roads all ready in place.

There was enough opposition to the project it was quietly dropped. We are still dealing with the precedent Perry set for building Toll roads in Texas.

Concerning High Speed Rail in Texas and in the rest of the United States it will eventually have to be built regardless of current alternatives for transportation. The promise of High Speed Rail transportation will not be realized in comparable commute times but in economy of scale and better air quality by removing many of the buses, cars and aircraft required to move people between our cities.
"Any airline that wants to serve the [region] can go to DFW today and fly anywhere they want," WN spokesman Ed Stewart
 
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Boeing717200
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Mon Jun 16, 2014 7:24 pm

Quoting exFWAOONW (Reply 78):

So you admit, air travel is subsidized, just like every other form of transportation.

Never said it wasn't. Read next time.

Quoting exFWAOONW (Reply 78):

And how do they try? How does the street in front of your house try to be finacially self-sufficient? I don't use and yet I had to pay for it (directly or in-directly). How does the sidewalk (if there is one) ? Only tollroads make an attempt to be financially self-sufficient.
Air travel lost every dollar of profit it ever made. Remember the bailout? Air travel is hardly self-sufficient.

Sigh. Before you post, get your facts straight. Property taxes fund the road in front of your house and construction of said road is typically borne by the developer. There is a highway and airway trust fund. No railway trustfund, wonder why? Maybe it's because it's been in decline since the 1920's and only freight rail is a going concern? Airline Bailout wasn't a bailout it was a $10 billion loan program where airlines took out a net of $1.79 billion in loans and every loan was paid back. United, the only large carrier, applied for $1.8 billion and was denied. Did you mention the government made $300 million off the program?
WSJ: US Gov. Makes $300mil Off $1.6bil Atsb Loans (by N328KF May 30 2006 in Civil Aviation)

[Edited 2014-06-16 12:31:10]
240 years and the top two candidates are named Dumb and Dumber. Stay classy!
 
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exFWAOONW
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Mon Jun 16, 2014 8:21 pm

Quoting Boeing717200 (Reply 87):
No railway trustfund, wonder why?

Because rail typically pays for itself. It's so rare for rail to get federal funding that congress never felt it necessary to create a trust fund to avoid an annual sqabble.

Up until the depression of 2008, railroads, both freight and Amtrak were setting records.

While the developer may pay for the street in front of your house if you live in a newer sub-division, maintenance (potholes, repaving, striping, lighting, sign replacement, and possibly snow removal) is taken over by a local government. The trust funds pay for more maintenance/improvements than virgin development.
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DCA-ROCguy
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Mon Jun 16, 2014 8:45 pm

Quoting cjpark (Reply 86):
The promise of High Speed Rail transportation will not be realized in comparable commute times but in economy of scale and better air quality by removing many of the buses, cars and aircraft required to move people between our cities.

And here's the unspoken premise of most streetcar, HSR, light rail advocacy, etc. "Removing" private transportation vehicles."

There's an underlying ideology here: that you having the freedom to go where you want, when you want, is a Bad Thing. Everybody should be using supposedly cheaper and cleaner public transportation, and just going where the advocates want you to go. In the end, this collectivist ideology is a form of tyranny. We tell you how and where to live. Coercion by transportation policy.

The fact is that cars, airlines. and individual mobility are good things. We of course can always work to increase efficiency, reduce pollution, and look for alternative energy. Generally, in most urban areas, a certain amount of public transportation is needed and can be economically maintained alongside most people having cars.

The argument that "individual mobility is a bad thing, everybody needs to ride the train and go and live where we collectivists tell you" ideology needs to be on the table, and needs to be discussed. This is not to say that the general 'New Urbanist" idea of city design is a bad thing as part of a larger picture of metropolitan areas. Having more parks, city squares, and walkable distances--as long as cars are allowed and properly provided-for--is a good thing. No one should be surprised that walkable living areas are becoming more common again.

But going beyond New Urbanism and syaing, public policy should force us out of cars and limit individual mobility, is a kind of tyranny. This ideology should be on the table when rail is discussed. I'm not giving up my car and roads so that people can spend billions on intercity trains.

Jim
Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
 
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exFWAOONW
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Mon Jun 16, 2014 9:34 pm

No one here (at least I'm not) is advocating you give up your car. It is and should be an option. It's almost always the first mile/last mile option on any trip, like how you get to the airport or bus station or train station.

I like freedom as much as the next guy. I just want to have all options on a fair and level playing field.
Is just me, or is flying not as much fun anymore?
 
brons2
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Mon Jun 16, 2014 9:42 pm

Quoting DCA-ROCguy (Reply 89):
There's an underlying ideology here: that you having the freedom to go where you want, when you want, is a Bad Thing

Why not have the freedom to go anywhere you want...on a train?
Firings, if well done, are good for employee morale.
 
ScottB
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:03 pm

Quoting exFWAOONW (Reply 78):
Quoting ScottB (Reply 49):
In the Northeast Corridor, the least expensive intercity option by a wide margin is a bus.

Only because they use government built highways to provide that service. Intercity rail operates on tracks built by the railroads. Oh, and they pay property taxes on those tracks to fund highways and air travel.

Buses pay for the facilities they use through taxes on motor vehicle fuels and tolls on the roads -- and there are plenty of tolls in the Northeast Corridor. The Northeast Corridor rail line is mostly owned by the government -- and exactly how much does Amtrak pay in property taxes on government-owned property?

Connecticut & Massachusetts siphon money off from their state highway trust funds to subsidize public transit -- money which largely comes from motor vehicle fuel taxes and registrations. Tolls on several bridges in NYC are used to subsidize the MTA.

Quoting exFWAOONW (Reply 78):
If Amtrak/rail had a trust fund, like the other forms of transportation, it wouldn't be a whipping boy/punching bag for congress to have for "show".

Commercial aviation largely pays its own way. The taxes and fees paid by general aviation users do not pay their costs. Passenger rail has zero tax or fee revenue which would pay into a trust fund, and it doesn't even cover its own operating costs in most markets.

Quoting brons2 (Reply 77):
When you've got a train here and a train there that don't connect to a national system of trains, or more accurately you could say an extremely rudimentary system of SLOW trains, the whole thing doesn't really work that well.

The United States is simply too large and population is too dispersed for a national network of high speed trains (even at 200 mph) to work effectively.
 
UALWN
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Tue Jun 17, 2014 7:24 am

It's all about policy choices. The discussion about taxes is a just red herring. Maybe a high-speed rail between Dallas and Houston will never pay for itself, it may always need government subsidies coming for the general tax pot. But so does the public school system. So does the Army. Nobody expects the Army to "pay its own way". Ditto for the public school system. Just two examples. Those are deemed public goods that the government finances. HSR may be deemed a similar public good, with benefits in curbing emissions, reducing congestion and limiting sprawl, for instance...
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razorbackfan
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Tue Jun 17, 2014 2:47 pm

Quoting ScottB (Reply 5):
They'd take very few passengers off the road since the folks driving aren't going to switch to rail if flying is already too expensive (the proposal envisions fares comparable to today's airfares).

I strongly disagree with this. The one HUGE advantage of taking a train vs flying is getting to the train station 5 minutes prior to you leaving vs. 1 hour. I have traveled Europe a lot, and the train travel is such a breeze. When I go to Houston, I don't drive because of the cost, I drive because the time it takes to go to the airport, waiting at the airport. Its a pain and most of the time I can drive in about the same amount of time. This would not be the case with rail travel.
 
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Boeing717200
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Tue Jun 17, 2014 3:54 pm

Quoting razorbackfan (Reply 94):

Only valid if you are within walking distance of the origin and destination train station. If not you need another mode to get to and from the train just like the airport. If you aren't on an express train, the time loss there makes rail far less competitive. What works in Europe, won't necessarily work here either. We are far more spread out.
240 years and the top two candidates are named Dumb and Dumber. Stay classy!
 
cjpark
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Tue Jun 17, 2014 4:23 pm

Quoting DCA-ROCguy (Reply 89):
And here's the unspoken premise of most streetcar, HSR, light rail advocacy, etc. "Removing" private transportation vehicles."

There's an underlying ideology here: that you having the freedom to go where you want, when you want, is a Bad Thing. Everybody should be using supposedly cheaper and cleaner public transportation, and just going where the advocates want you to go. In the end, this collectivist ideology is a form of tyranny. We tell you how and where to live. Coercion by transportation policy.

The fact is that cars, airlines. and individual mobility are good things. We of course can always work to increase efficiency, reduce pollution, and look for alternative energy. Generally, in most urban areas, a certain amount of public transportation is needed and can be economically maintained alongside most people having cars.

The argument that "individual mobility is a bad thing, everybody needs to ride the train and go and live where we collectivists tell you" ideology needs to be on the table, and needs to be discussed. This is not to say that the general 'New Urbanist" idea of city design is a bad thing as part of a larger picture of metropolitan areas. Having more parks, city squares, and walkable distances--as long as cars are allowed and properly provided-for--is a good thing. No one should be surprised that walkable living areas are becoming more common again.

But going beyond New Urbanism and syaing, public policy should force us out of cars and limit individual mobility, is a kind of tyranny. This ideology should be on the table when rail is discussed. I'm not giving up my car and roads so that people can spend billions on intercity trains.


I should have used the correct term “reducing” instead of removing many of the number of buses, cars and aircraft required to move people between our cities.

I am not sure how you could equate my post to an argument that individual mobility is a bad thing? I merely stated the obvious. Trains are more efficient at moving material and people when travel time is not an issue than cars, buses, trucks and aircraft. Economy of scale is also present with buses and aircraft. They reduce the number of individual cars required to transport people between cities.

Individual mobility includes the access to all forms of transportation including rail service. Preventing access to High Speed Rail transportation to benefit one type of transportation over the other is also coercive transportation policy. It is also crony capitalism.

And FYI, I am not an urbanazi either.
"Any airline that wants to serve the [region] can go to DFW today and fly anywhere they want," WN spokesman Ed Stewart
 
slider
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Tue Jun 17, 2014 4:29 pm

Quoting exFWAOONW (Reply 88):
Because rail typically pays for itself.

Since when???? Are you talking about commercial rail? Because those lines are owned by the private entity, such as Union Pacific and others. They also bear the costs of maintenance.

Quoting exFWAOONW (Reply 88):
Up until the depression of 2008, railroads, both freight and Amtrak were setting records.

Really? Can you show me numbers on that? Amtrak's always been subsidized throughout its entire existence. The NE corridor is the only standalone profitable venture in its entire system!!

Quoting ScottB (Reply 92):
The Northeast Corridor rail line is mostly owned by the government -- and exactly how much does Amtrak pay in property taxes on government-owned property?

To the point I made above, I can't recall if that line is owned by the Feds or Amtrak, but I do know Amtrak maintains it. And maintaining rail is surprisingly VERY expensive. I was startled to learn how intensive that is, especially in the congested NE.
 
razorbackfan
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Tue Jun 17, 2014 4:34 pm

Quoting Boeing717200 (Reply 95):
Only valid if you are within walking distance of the origin and destination train station. If not you need another mode to get to and from the train just like the airport. If you aren't on an express train, the time loss there makes rail far less competitive. What works in Europe, won't necessarily work here either. We are far more spread out.

That is not true. If it were to take me 15 minutes to drive to the train station I can still get there a few minutes before I leave, and then if I'm doing something in downtown Houston, then I'm right there in the middle of it. I can rent a car or just take a taxi. I love flying, but taking a train is a lot easier...you don't have to check luggage, go through security etc...
 
YoungDon
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Tue Jun 17, 2014 4:45 pm

Quoting DCA-ROCguy" class="quote" target="_blank">DCA-ROCguy (Reply 89):
And here's the unspoken premise of most streetcar, HSR, light rail advocacy, etc. "Removing" private transportation vehicles."

There's an underlying ideology here: that you having the freedom to go where you want, when you want, is a Bad Thing. Everybody should be using supposedly cheaper and cleaner public transportation, and just going where the advocates want you to go. In the end, this collectivist ideology is a form of tyranny. We tell you how and where to live. Coercion by transportation policy.

Yeah I have to disagree - I don't think anyone feels that people shouldn't have the ability to go where they want. This is all about options. I live in both DC and Houston and I don't think that most of us Texans truly understand just how superior short-range high speed rail travel is to short range air travel.

Case in point - I was supposed to fly DCA-BOS a few months back. Flight was canceled due to weather because shorter flights generally tend to be canceled before longer flights when ground delay programs are enacted. Tried again, the next day, and the flight was canceled again for the exact same reason. I ended up getting a refund on my ticket and just buying an Acela ticket to Boston. The train ticket was about $15 more.

For that $15 you get the ability to show up 5 minutes before the train leaves, a dining car with reasonably priced food (which is generally better than that on airlines), a power port, free, reasonably fast Wifi, well more than sufficient legroom (for my 6 foot frame), and a trip to the city center. It's much better.

I think if a private company feels they can pull off something similar on a Dallas to Houston line, I say go for it! I don't think it will happen simply because I don't see anyway a profit could be made from it, but if they could navigate the land issues and and actually figure out a way to make the economics work, more power to them.

I do have concerns that the public transportation system, especially on the Houston side, might limit it somewhat. They would be smart to offer significant parking if they expect this to work. Houston and Dallas are not DC and New York or Boston from an urban form standpoint.

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