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INFINITI329
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Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Wed Jun 04, 2014 8:26 pm

There is currently a proposal to connect Dallas and Houston by (Japanese- style ) high speed rail. obviously WN will not support this as this one their oldest or most important routes with at more than 15x daily. But if this gets the go ahead how will WN respond?

http://www.politico.com/story/2014/0...ton-commute-at-205-mph-107392.html
 
avi8
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Wed Jun 04, 2014 8:35 pm

I personally think this is an opportunity to grow in other markets. The route is currently flown wih approximately 25 daily flights with WN alone. If the rail opened I guess it would go down to maybe 12. That should free up a couple of aircraft that could be used for growth. In my inexperienced, humble opinion, it is not a trashiest for WN.
avi8
 
AAIL86
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Wed Jun 04, 2014 8:40 pm

Hopefully for the people of Texas, they will back away this time. They did do some heavy lobbying last time around and killed the last major plan (in the 1990s - when the State of Texas put out bids to the French and German railways).

This plan is being financed by JR (Japan Railways) and is backed by the mayors of Houston, Dallas, and Fort Worth. WN can amp up lobbying again, hopefully this time common sense will prevail if they. The US needs viable high speed rail between major metro areas, with the relatively flat terrain, moderately priced right of away, and exploding populations, Houston-Dallas/Fort Worth is ideal place to start.

[Edited 2014-06-04 13:43:06]
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AWACSooner
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Wed Jun 04, 2014 8:41 pm

Considering how fast the high-speed rail agenda in the US has progressed in the past, I don't think WN is worried at all by this proposal.
 
KELPkid
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Wed Jun 04, 2014 8:44 pm

Quoting avi8 (Reply 1):
I personally think this is an opportunity to grow in other markets. The route is currently flown wih approximately 25 daily flights with WN alone. If the rail opened I guess it would go down to maybe 12. That should free up a couple of aircraft that could be used for growth. In my inexperienced, humble opinion, it is not a trashiest for WN.

  

Reduced demand for air travel on WN on one corridor opens new opportunties elsewhere in the network. It is not like WN cannot connect new destinations to DAL or HOU...it might, short term, screw up WN's intra-Texas strategy of rotating planes into and out of DAL daily though  
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ScottB
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Wed Jun 04, 2014 8:56 pm

Quoting infiniti329 (Thread starter):
There is currently a proposal to connect Dallas and Houston by (Japanese- style ) high speed rail. obviously WN will not support this as this one their oldest or most important routes with at more than 15x daily. But if this gets the go ahead how will WN respond?

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.

All that said, I really don't see how rail service in the Dallas-Houston corridor works without a subsidy. Let's assume that they can actually get it built as cheaply as the $10 billion in the proposal. The debt service on the bonds, assuming today's historically low rates of around 3.25% on AAA-rated tax-free municipal bonds, would be roughly $325 million/year at 4%, or $890,411/day. In 3Q2013, total O&D air traffic between HOU+IAH and DAL+DFW was 2891 passengers per day (both directions, combined) at an average fare of $169.58 -- for a total revenue of $490,256/day. So if we assume that rail takes every single air passenger, they're still over $400,000/day short of paying for the debt service, and that doesn't even include the direct operating costs of running the trains.

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).
 
lhcvg
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Wed Jun 04, 2014 8:58 pm

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 4):

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.
 
ScottB
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Wed Jun 04, 2014 9:10 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.

I wouldn't say that's accurate at all. DL and US still offer roughly the same number of daily flights in the DCA-LGA-BOS Shuttle markets as they did 15-20 years ago, but the equipment has shrunk from 727's/A320's/737-800's to A319's/E190's/E175's. And back in the day, the Shuttle routes were highly profitable in their own right. Today, they're mostly loss leaders operated to retain business traveler loyalty.
 
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jfklganyc
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Wed Jun 04, 2014 9:18 pm

The Shuttles are bleeding money because of Acela.

US and DL would end them tomorrow if LGA were a free market airport and they could fly anywhere. But both US and DL do have the LGA issue to deal with...how many slots does one airline need for flights within 1500 miles. Especially if every large route has hourly or greater service on various airlines.

So the airlines sit on the slots and use smaller equipment to lose less money...or turn a small profit.

In DAL and HOU...this would be a totally different story.
 
Prost
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Wed Jun 04, 2014 9:27 pm

LON-PAR flights have been drastically reduced since the Chunnel opened, and from my experience, travel between the cities has increased.
 
MIflyer12
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Wed Jun 04, 2014 9:43 pm

Quoting Prost (Reply 9):
LON-PAR flights have been drastically reduced since the Chunnel opened, and from my experience, travel between the cities has increased.

Yes, and Thalys pretty much killed Paris-Brussels as an air route, too.
 
AADC10
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:03 pm

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.

All that said, I really don't see how rail service in the Dallas-Houston corridor works without a subsidy.

All transportation gets huge subsidies. Most runways are built and maintained with FAA funds while control towers and air traffic control are federally operated and do not collect nearly enough in direct fees to pay their cost.

Rail needs a subsidy because it needs to compete with air subsidies and road subsidies. I do not see it happening in a red state like TX. Rail uses less fuel per passenger than aircraft or automobiles so that could not have much appeal in an oil state and the conservatives will not like a new subsidy.
 
Sooner787
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:17 pm

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 11):
Rail needs a subsidy because it needs to compete with air subsidies and road subsidies. I do not see it happening in a red state like TX. Rail uses less fuel per passenger than aircraft or automobiles so that could not have much appeal in an oil state and the conservatives will not like a new subsidy.

My understanding is this rail proposal is a private venture.

I hope it comes to fruition......I live in DFW, my family lives
in HOU.....the drive on I-45 is a nightmare as is security at Hobby.

Only downer is we have to wait another decade for the service.

[Edited 2014-06-04 16:17:58]
 
AS739BSI
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:18 pm

Quoting jfklganyc (Reply 8):

It is why the perimeter rule needs to be lifted further, make more efficiency of the limited capacity by permitting larger aircraft.

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 11):

   Yup, exactly. For Southwest, this would give it the opportunity to add more non-stops from Dallas to other destinations with Wright being over and free up equipment for longer hauls. I think in this case they would not be opposed given that short-haul flying is not highly profitable. Even if San Antonio and Austin become connected, I don't think WN would put up as much of a stink given it should allow more capacity for long-haul.
 
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N62NA
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:29 pm

This reminds me of our "All Aboard Florida" rail service that will begin run Miami - Ft. Lauderdale - Palm Beach - Orlando in another year or two. Privately funded and a very good idea.

The real money to be made is in real estate development around the stations. If this rail company can acquire some land around the stations, and the stations are located in each city's downtown, this could be very profitable indeed.
 
lhcvg
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:07 am

Quoting ScottB (Reply 7):
I wouldn't say that's accurate at all. DL and US still offer roughly the same number of daily flights in the DCA-LGA-BOS Shuttle markets as they did 15-20 years ago, but the equipment has shrunk from 727's/A320's/737-800's to A319's/E190's/E175's. And back in the day, the Shuttle routes were highly profitable in their own right. Today, they're mostly loss leaders operated to retain business traveler loyalty.

That's exactly my point -- they have been right-sized (on DL at least) to 2-class RJs with no on-demand backup planes like they used to have, and they continue the Shuttle at least partly for slot reasons at one/both of DCA and LGA plus whatever loyalty or contracts they can keep along the way. I realize it's not a perfect comparison, just noting how there are ways to survive without being the 800Lb gorilla on these short, high O&D business travel routes.
 
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OzarkD9S
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:20 am

Quoting Sooner787 (Reply 12):


as is security at Hobby.

What are the security issues at HOU? I've changed planes there but never gone thru security.

[Edited 2014-06-04 18:20:34]
"My soul is in the sky". -Pyramus- A Midsummer's Night Dream
 
IAHflyer97
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:22 am

Quoting OzarkD9S (Reply 16):

Everytime I fly out of there, it's a breeze! I've never had an issue.
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FlyingSicilian
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:28 am

Quoting OzarkD9S (Reply 16):
What are the security issues at HOU? I've changed planes there but never gone thru securit

I tend to fly into and out of IAH more since I am normally flying international but my flights at Hobby have never been horrid re: security, no more so than they already horrid TSA so I'm curious too.

The one exception was once when both Galveston cruise ships dumped pax at the same time on a Saturday. The line was out the door though that was a few years ago.
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727LOVER
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:41 am

Quoting infiniti329 (Thread starter):
There is currently a proposal to connect Dallas and Houston by (Japanese- style ) high speed rail. obviously WN will not support this as this one their oldest or most important routes with at more than 15x daily. But if this gets the go ahead how will WN respond?

You are aware that AA and UA fly this route also.....so why the concentration on WN? They are not mentioned in the article.
"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
 
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777Jet
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:44 am

Quoting infiniti329 (Thread starter):
obviously WN will not support this as this one their oldest or most important routes with at more than 15x daily

The thing is what will the fare cost compared to a WN flight? It might cost more than an airline ticket? The rail has to be paid for somehow and I assume the ticket price will reflect that. It also depends on what areas you are coming from and going to. I would assume that one advantage of rail is that you wouldn't need to arrive at the station to check in and go through security for as lengthy a time as you do when flying...

BTW, if this goes ahead, I'd expect it to pass Austin along the way with possible a branch off in Austin for a line that goes down to San Antonio...
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ouboy79
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Thu Jun 05, 2014 3:43 am

In addition to the Texas Central don't forget about TxDOT's own proposal which is under going a study through the end of the year. It'll be OKC-Dallas/Fort Worth-San Antonio.

http://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/pr...statewide/texas-oklahoma-rail.html
 
seat38a
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Thu Jun 05, 2014 7:41 am

Here are some pictures of the Amtrak station in Houston from my to NOLA in January. If anything happens, I think it will be a LONG time to wait. Houston currently only gets train service 3 times a week in each direction. Better chance of, baby steps with say 5X daily "Higher Speed" 90/mph service to Dallas before any full fledged dedicated high speed rail is built. Houston definitely does not have the station infrastructure in place as other big cities.

P1000135 by seat38a, on Flickr

P1000134 by seat38a, on Flickr

P1000142 by seat38a, on Flickr
 
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Boeing717200
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:06 am

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 11):
Most runways are built and maintained with FAA funds while control towers and air traffic control are federally operated and do not collect nearly enough in direct fees to pay their cost.

This is woefully misleading. The runways are built with Trust Fund money or bonds issued by the airport, Trust Fund money comes from the ticket taxes, fees etc.... and bond payback comes from airline rates and charges. The ATC component is also covered by the Trust Fund, its the bureaucracy, R&D and equipment outlay that it not always covered.

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.
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INFINITI329
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:30 am

Quoting 727LOVER (Reply 19):
You are aware that AA and UA fly this route also.....so why the concentration on WN? They are not mentioned in the article

1. Only WN flies to both "downtown" airports, the rail service aims to connect the two cities downtown to downtown

2. Neither AA or UA flies the Houston - Dallas route with as much frequency as WN.. Today had 26x DAL-HOU flights.. neither AA or UA flies half of that
 
UALWN
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:41 am

Quoting MIflyer12 (Reply 10):
Yes, and Thalys pretty much killed Paris-Brussels as an air route, too.

BCN-MAD was the busiest air route in the world until the HSR between both cities started service in 2008. Now the air route is a shadow of its former self, and IB has lost its main cash cow.
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justplanenutz
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:27 am

Quoting AAIL86 (Reply 2):
This plan is being financed by JR (Japan Railways) and is backed by the mayors of Houston, Dallas, and Fort Worth.

It is privately financed only to one station in Dallas (either downtown or SE Dallas). The mayors of Ft. Worth and Arlington only support it to the extent that the line is extended the their cities, which will cost the public a couple billion.

Wonder what the federal legislation prohibiting HSR to Dallas only will be called? Maybe it will just require Dallas passengers to get off the train someplace before Houston.
 
r2rho
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:53 pm

Given the history of HSR projects in the USA, WN has nothing to worry about...

But if this nevertheless gets built, if WN were smart they could turn it into a win-win situation and codeshare with HSR like AF does with Thalys or LH with DB (I'm assuming of course that this proposed rail would also link up with DFW - if not it would be a terrible mistake).

From an overall tranportation point of view, it is more sustainable to serve short/medium distances between large cities with HSR, leaving aviation to serve long distances and/or small/medium cities. The triangle Dallas-Houston-Austin/San Antonio is an excellent candidate for HSR.
 
PHX787
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:09 pm

First- I know nothing about this rail system. Only way it's going to work Shinkansen style is if it is a private line (or funded publicly only to be privatised, just like JR)


Second, it should work if the above is true...therefore, RJ service between the two cities, on top of reduced WN service, will be all that remains.


In Japan, despite the 10000s of pax that use the Tokaido Shinkansen between Tokyo and Osaka, the two cities are linked by an air bridge used by NH and JL and BC....expect something smaller but similar.
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DTWPurserBoy
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:26 pm

I could see a high speed rain from Dallas-Houston, Houston to SAT and SAT-AUS-Dallas. I would probably be faster if you include the drive time to the airport, security scheck, actual flight and drive time at destination and would be most likely quite profiatable and popular. Look at AMTRAK from WAS to NYC and BOS.
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MIflyer12
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:34 pm

Quoting UALWN (Reply 25):

BCN-MAD was the busiest air route in the world until the HSR between both cities started service in 2008. Now the air route is a shadow of its former self, and IB has lost its main cash cow.

I looked at BCN-MAD before I commented on BRU-CDG. BCN-MAD still had 30+ mainline flights each direction on the day I looked. But the Chunnel and Paris-BRU rail options have been around longer, it is fair.
 
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yellowtail
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:49 pm

Airlines are in the asset allocation business. If the rail were to happen…WN would just pick up its moveable assets (planes) and take them elsewhere.

Quoting 777Jet (Reply 20):
The thing is what will the fare cost compared to a WN flight? It might cost more than an airline ticket?

There are many days on which a Eurostar ticket is more expensive than an air ticket LHR-CDG. So who says the rail will be a cheaper ticket. Passengers will play for convenience and the simple fact is that on routes such as Dallas to houston rail will be more convenient for most.

And yes, just like air transportation system, Gov't will need to subsidise
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SCQ83
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:56 pm

Quoting MIflyer12 (Reply 30):
I looked at BCN-MAD before I commented on BRU-CDG. BCN-MAD still had 30+ mainline flights each direction on the day I looked. But the Chunnel and Paris-BRU rail options have been around longer, it is fair.

They are not comparable.

Paris-Brussels is 1h20' in Thalys. Also Air France sells tickets Brussels Zuid Station-CDG-XXX. So the only remaining thing on that line is Brussels Airlines with some regional jets just to connect passengers to/from Paris. O&D traffic is non-existant.

London-Paris is 2h20'. There is still quite a lot of service from BA/AF to connect passengers to the other city. Some marginal LCY-ORY service and easyJet also flies CDG-LTN/LGW. Overall a healthy number of connections and a marginal O&D traffic.

Madrid-BCN is 2h40' to 3h10' depending on the number of stops. There are still a reasonable number of flights; Vueling, Air Europa and Iberia fly the route. IB keeps the "Puente Aereo", and flying has still about half the market. MAD-BCN is still the busiest domestic route. I guess an additional advantage of this route is that BCN and specially MAD are quite accesible to the city center and business areas.

So there are probably two measures: time and location of airports. Dallas to Houston is 239 miles according to GMaps.

If Dallas-Houston would get a real HSL with travelling time of less than 90 minutes it would kill air traffic (other than connections). However a longer trip would rather keep some O&D traffic. Specially considering how sprawled Houston and Dallas are.
 
czek6
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:59 pm

Any high speed rail project within the Texas Triangle of Dallas/Ft Worth-San Anotion-Houston will be an amazing benefit to the people of Texas. It will get people off the roads, get people of silly short hop flights that fly a 1000 flies to to go 300.

The focus is always on the big cities, but there will be other intermediate stops and that's where this makes sense. Even on the NEC there are no nonstop trips between NYC and DC.

And speaking of Amtrak, Amtrak provides a national service to a great portion of the country without access or affordable access to air transportation. Amtrak connects hundreds and small towns and cities across the country with each other and to major cities - including large populations like the Amish who don't fly. The airlines and even Greyhound forgot about these towns long ago. Yet because of Amtrak the people in these towns and cities are connected to the national transportation network.

There is more to transportation policy than profit, that's the difference between a company and government.
 
blueflyer
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Thu Jun 05, 2014 2:03 pm

There is no reason to assume Southwest will not fight this proposal as much as it has opposed previous one. If Southwest is still scheduling 20+ flights a day between DAL and HOU after the Wright Amendment is lifted in October, it is not out of romantic attachment to the route, but because it is a more profitable use of its fleet than the alternatives. If other options such as longer flights from DAL were more profitable, they'd be on the schedule already!

Just because someone wants to build a rail line doesn't mean that Southwest will suddenly roll over and send their planes to second best markets. A fight there will be, and if the recent showdown over the American Airlines gates at DAL has shown anything, it is that rail developers should expect no help from the city of Dallas...

That said I'd love to be able to take the train to Houston!

Quoting r2rho (Reply 27):
if WN were smart they could turn it into a win-win situation and codeshare with HSR like AF does with Thalys or LH with DB (I'm assuming of course that this proposed rail would also link up with DFW - if not it would be a terrible mistake).

That is actually one of the issues Southwest would have. The project includes a station at/near DFW, but not DAL, the airport used by Southwest. The area around DAL is completely built out. Even though, there is an existing rail line not too far from the airport, extending it to DAL would require either a tunnel or significant expropriation, neither is cheap.

Quoting Boeing717200 (Reply 23):
plus $1.65 Billion for Amtrash

Side issue, but if Amtrak was allowed to cut politically-mandated routes, it could be profitable and wouldn't need subsidies.
 
SCQ83
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Thu Jun 05, 2014 2:13 pm

Quoting yellowtail (Reply 31):
There are many days on which a Eurostar ticket is more expensive than an air ticket LHR-CDG. So who says the rail will be a cheaper ticket. Passengers will play for convenience and the simple fact is that on routes such as Dallas to houston rail will be more convenient for most.

I have lived in both cities (I mean London and Paris) and I haven't met ever a single person that has flown that route, specially since the HSL in the British part opened (and the travel time got reduced by almost 1 hour to the current 2h20'). And that considering that for Eurostar you have passport control (Schengen/UK) and security. Even if it is cheaper, you have to add the transportation cost to Heathrow and CDG if you are going London downtown to Paris downtown. It is really a no-brainer.

I used to make morning-round trip Paris-Brussels-Paris trip for a while and it simply amazing how flawless and relaxed the whole thing is. If you live/work in reasonable distance from Paris Gare du Nord and Bruxelles Gare du Midi (so you just hop in the metro), you can for instance take the Thalys at 8h20', work/sleep/read the newspaper/take breakfast on the train, arrive on the other side at 9h50', being in the office at 10h00' in a meeting for two hours, catch a train back at 12:40, again take lunch/sleep/work, and be in the office at 2:30 PM. So you avoid early wake-ups (those flights at 6 or 7 AM), security controls, restrained space, and you just "waste" half day. Impossible with flying... you would have lost the whole day and it would have been far tiring.
 
UALWN
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Thu Jun 05, 2014 2:53 pm

Quoting MIflyer12 (Reply 30):
I looked at BCN-MAD before I commented on BRU-CDG. BCN-MAD still had 30+ mainline flights each direction on the day I looked.

There used to be around 100 flights each direction before 2008.

Quoting SCQ83 (Reply 32):
Madrid-BCN is 2h40' to 3h10' depending on the number of stops.

The fastest trains now take 2h30' (non-stop).
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Boeing717200
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Thu Jun 05, 2014 3:27 pm

Quoting czek6 (Reply 33):
There is more to transportation policy than profit, that's the difference between a company and government.

Rail doesn't even try to break even. That's bad policy.

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 34):
Side issue, but if Amtrak was allowed to cut politically-mandated routes, it could be profitable and wouldn't need subsidies.

If they did cut them there would be little or no rail service. So you're right, there would be no subsidy.
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michman
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Thu Jun 05, 2014 3:41 pm

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 11):
All transportation gets huge subsidies. Most runways are built and maintained with FAA funds while control towers and air traffic control are federally operated and do not collect nearly enough in direct fees to pay their cost.

Rail needs a subsidy because it needs to compete with air subsidies and road subsidies. I do not see it happening in a red state like TX. Rail uses less fuel per passenger than aircraft or automobiles so that could not have much appeal in an oil state and the conservatives will not like a new subsidy.

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!
 
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777Jet
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Thu Jun 05, 2014 3:42 pm

Quoting yellowtail (Reply 31):
So who says the rail will be a cheaper ticket.

Not me. From the studies I've seen on HSR along Australia's East Coast the rail ticket would cost roughly $75 from SYD to BNE and take between about 4 hrs where as you can pick up a bargain air ticket for $29 and fly (I've never paid more than $60 to fly but I guess the average ticket might be $100 - I'm not sure as I always get deals) and the flight is about 1hr. It all depends on what area you live in and what you're willing to pay, but I wouldn't be surprised if the rail ticket costs more or less. I think the price wouldn't vary as much as an airline ticket though...

Quoting yellowtail (Reply 31):
Passengers will play for convenience and the simple fact is that on routes such as Dallas to houston rail will be more convenient for most.

Again, it depends on the area the customer lives in relation to the airport / train station. The only way to find out the exact response is to have the station at the airport at each end - so they show up at the same place and either fly or take the train  
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LAXintl
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Thu Jun 05, 2014 3:54 pm

Gary Kelley was asked about the HSR proposal only a few weeks ago at a transportation conference.

His answer was that SWA does not have a formal position on the project, they see its development as rather unlikely but will continue to monitor it.

As a private citizen he says his personal point of view is that he does not believe federal, state or local government should tie up any tax dollars when there are so many more important things to do with the money.
He also contends TX already has well established high speed transportation between the cities and does not see how rail can be commercially viable when one looks at today low airline fares in the market. Rail tickets would have to be significantly higher in price to recover its cost.
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PHX787
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Thu Jun 05, 2014 4:02 pm

Why does it take 20+ years to build these things in the states, whereas it's only taking a few years to build the tracks here in Japan?
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Boeing717200
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Thu Jun 05, 2014 4:24 pm

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 41):
Why does it take 20+ years to build these things in the states, whereas it's only taking a few years to build the tracks here in Japan?

Considering the only HSR project that has any actual movement in the US, Japan has nearly four times the number of people as California in country that is 10% smaller than California. They also didn't grossly overstate demand while understating cost for such a system which is why California is in trouble. Even still, Japan had to take a massive debt right down to balance its sheets because even Japan was losing money on HSR.

This is educational:

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

One also has to consider the impacts of WWII. While the US was advancing, much of the rest of the "First World" remained dependent on rail as they rebuilt their individual countries in the post WWII environment. The US, being far more spread out took to the skies. In a sense, the countries that stayed primarily with rail had an HSR advantage in that they needed corridor upgrades. In the US, to get to HSR you need a significant number of new corridors in places where corridor construction is substantially limited.

[Edited 2014-06-05 09:36:42]
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N62NA
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Thu Jun 05, 2014 4:44 pm

Quoting seat38a (Reply 22):
Here are some pictures of the Amtrak station in Houston from my to NOLA in January. If anything happens, I think it will be a LONG time to wait. Houston currently only gets train service 3 times a week in each direction. Better chance of, baby steps with say 5X daily "Higher Speed" 90/mph service to Dallas before any full fledged dedicated high speed rail is built. Houston definitely does not have the station infrastructure in place as other big cities.

Like we are seeing here in Miami, despite the new "Intermodal Center" at MIA which will be the new home to Amtrak here, All Aboard Florida will build their own station in the heart of downtown Miami, so it's not at all certain that a new Dallas - Houston rail service would use the existing Amtrak station.

Quoting yellowtail (Reply 31):
And yes, just like air transportation system, Gov't will need to subsidise

Not necessarily. Again, look at All Aboard Florida. There won't be government subsidies once it is up and running. The real money will be made by the new retail / office / apartment buildings clustered around the stations, built on land owned by the parent company of All Aboard Florida.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 41):
Why does it take 20+ years to build these things in the states, whereas it's only taking a few years to build the tracks here in Japan?

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.
 
AviRaider
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Thu Jun 05, 2014 4:55 pm

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 41):
Why does it take 20+ years to build these things in the states, whereas it's only taking a few years to build the tracks here in Japan?

Just going off my experience as a planner for road projects but these things are similar in how they play out in the end. Here's my list.

Infrastructure: There is no existing infrastructure, of this type, and must be built from scratch and planned.
NIMBYs: Lawsuits are usually inevitable with these things because some land owners just won't sell or hold out for more money and the government has to use eminent domain to force them to sell.
Public Perception: The public is used to such long construction times that is just flows into the whole process from start to finish.
Environmental: Due to federal regulations, environmental impact studies are required for these projects and they can last up to a decade. No construction can begin until it clears the EPA.
Politics/Bureaucracy: Every politician wants it in their backyard but wants somebody else to pay for it.
Construction Costs: Construction costs are outrageously expensive. Every contractor has to get their slice of the pie. It's all a scam if you ask me.
Engineering Expertise: Engineers are abundant but not ones that have a whole career in high-speed rail as would be seen in Japan. Only a minor inconvenience though, because they can be brought up to speed in a fair amount of time.
Taxes/Subsidies: People don't like taxes or bonds but these things are necessary for these large-scale projects. At least in Texas, the portion of taxes that are meant for transportation is barely enough to cover maintenance.


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.
 
seat38a
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Thu Jun 05, 2014 4:59 pm

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 41):
Why does it take 20+ years to build these things in the states, whereas it's only taking a few years to build the tracks here in Japan?

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.
 
AS739BSI
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Thu Jun 05, 2014 5:43 pm

Quoting Boeing717200 (Reply 42):

Why do you cite a Reason Foundation paper on high-speed rail? The Reason Foundation. From their website "Reason Foundation advances a free society by developing, applying, and promoting libertarian principles, including individual liberty, free markets, and the rule of law." - See more at: http://reason.org/about/#sthash.pBZItSKJ.dpuf

This has quite a slant and picks snippet after snippet of information. There are certain areas in this country where HSR is viable like within Texas given the distances and concentrations of people. With the potential for private real estate developments around transit and the desire for people to live in the city, it will only be a matter of time before we see new options and short-haul plane travel become less common to get from city to city.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 41):

The issue in the United States is the lack of political will to expend capital to build brand new large infrastructure projects due to litigation and controversy. Our planning process takes 7 years from feasibility to breaking ground. Do we really needs two different EIS tiers for projects and many opportunities to sue and delay? This is why we fall behind quickly on infrastructure.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 40):

If each air route had to cover its own costs, I am not sure you would have any regional flying in this country and EAS airports would be gone. Welcome to the concept of cross-subsidization, take profits from one route to subsidize another. For my slant on this, we can look to general fund expenditures for the airlines.

http://www.narprail.org/resources/fa...on-subsidies-obvious-and-otherwise

Quoting 777Jet (Reply 39):

Sure you might have $29 fares, but the question I have is what are the revenues vs. expenses. Someone else is probably subsidizing that from other profitable routes.
 
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mercure1
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Thu Jun 05, 2014 5:57 pm

I don't think comparing the US to Europe or Japan is very valid when discussion HSR.

Besides important differences in population density and size, the US is blessed with already cheap transportation.
The US is the land of the car, where cheap fuel, and lots of roads already provides US population cheap convenient means to get around. Then add in the freedom consumers have enjoyed since deregulation of lots of air travel, the choices are diverse and at very reasonable cost.

For all the beautiful HSR trains there might be in Europe, none are profitable and rely on either larger government subsidy or in many cases are simply part of the government themselves and require large burden on tax payers at the end.

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.
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Boeing717200
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Thu Jun 05, 2014 7:55 pm

Quoting AS739BSI (Reply 46):
Why do you cite a Reason Foundation paper on high-speed rail? The Reason Foundation. From their website "Reason Foundation advances a free society by developing, applying, and promoting libertarian principles, including individual liberty, free markets, and the rule of law." - See more at: http://reason.org/about/#sthash.pBZItSKJ.dpufThis has quite a slant and picks snippet after snippet of information. There are certain areas in this country where HSR is viable like within Texas given the distances and concentrations of people. With the potential for private real estate developments around transit and the desire for people to live in the city, it will only be a matter of time before we see new options and short-haul plane travel become less common to get from city to city.

First of all, the information is accurate. Second, the population density is not there. Third, did you even bother to read it? The only air service at risk is service to small markets and they gain nothing from HSR because HSR that stops in each of those places, isn't HSR anymore.

Quoting mercure1 (Reply 47):
I don't think comparing the US to Europe or Japan is very valid when discussion HSR.

It absolutely is. Transportation is about demand driven service which lives or dies by population density. Density that does not exist in the US. We are spread more spread out which is exactly why Europe and Japan are valid.
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ScottB
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RE: Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Link & WN

Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:41 pm

Quoting Boeing717200 (Reply 48):
Quoting mercure1 (Reply 47):
I don't think comparing the US to Europe or Japan is very valid when discussion HSR.

It absolutely is. Transportation is about demand driven service which lives or dies by population density. Density that does not exist in the US. We are spread more spread out which is exactly why Europe and Japan are valid.

I suspect the two of you actually agree. The point he makes is that comparing the U.S. to Europe and Japan is invalid due to the lack of population density in the U.S. along with other inexpensive modes of transportation.

Quoting AS739BSI (Reply 46):
If each air route had to cover its own costs, I am not sure you would have any regional flying in this country and EAS airports would be gone. Welcome to the concept of cross-subsidization, take profits from one route to subsidize another. For my slant on this, we can look to general fund expenditures for the airlines.

http://www.narprail.org/resources/fa...rwise

Actually, the position paper you cite does a poor job of supporting the existence of subsidies for commercial air travel. The aviation trust fund (which is funded by taxes on airline tickets) is the source of well over half of FAA's operations budget, and yet commercial aviation uses just about half of the resources supplied according to the first bullet point. Airport construction projects do indeed rely on tax-free financing, but then public transit projects also rely on tax-free financing coupled with outright subsidies from the general fund.

It cites the ATSB loans as a subsidy, and yet the vast majority (if not all) of those loans were repaid and nowhere near the authorized $10 billion was loaned. Contrast that with the billions poured into Amtrak with zero return to support money-losing long-haul service. The EAS program expenditure is, I agree, excessive, but passenger rail wouldn't be able to serve those communities in a cost-effective way, either. And citing pensions taken over by the PBGC as a government subsidy is disingenuous when one considers the subsidies paid into the Railroad Retirement Board from the Federal Treasury.

And while it is certainly true that certain routes subsidize others in air carrier route networks, that model works because the hub-and-spoke air travel model has enough profitable routes with sufficient volume. A high-speed rail network in the U.S. simply would not have enough profitable routes to cross-subsidize the many unprofitable ones.

Quoting AS739BSI (Reply 46):
Why do you cite a Reason Foundation paper on high-speed rail? The Reason Foundation. From their website "Reason Foundation advances a free society by developing, applying, and promoting libertarian principles, including individual liberty, free markets, and the rule of law."

The funny thing is that the Reason Foundation paper identifies high-speed rail correctly as a luxury mode of transportation. In the Northeast Corridor, the least expensive intercity option by a wide margin is a bus.

Quoting AS739BSI (Reply 46):
There are certain areas in this country where HSR is viable like within Texas given the distances and concentrations of people.

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.

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