SLCSFOPDX
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Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 1:30 am

The link is below. It says that there are a couple companies that might want to invest in a high-speed rail line between Dallas and Houston. If this happens, could this potentially hurt WN, UA, and AA on their flights between Dallas and Houston? Or is the high-speed train catering to a different type of people than the airlines?


http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/lon...xas-express/ar-BBhfdOm?ocid=TSHDHP
 
maxamuus
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 1:36 am

I am not holding my breath. Hell, Houston cant even building light rail across town, let alone high speed rail to Dallas.
 
BA0197
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 1:37 am

Quoting maxamuus (Reply 1):

I am not holding my breath. Hell, Houston cant even building light rail across town, let alone high speed rail to Dallas

You sir, have hit the nail on the head. Being a Houstonian resident for some time- IT WILL NOT HAPPEN. The mentality is not there and it is not necessary.
 
29erUSA187
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 1:44 am

Quoting BA0197 (Reply 2):
Quoting maxamuus (Reply 1):

Its like the proposed high speed SFO-LAX-SAN train. big planes, big expense, no chance of it happening. High Speed rail is huge overseas, but not in the US (excluding some east coast ones)
 
FlyingSicilian
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 1:55 am

Unless a court stops them this line will most likely happen. The state supports it, and the public is happy with the private money.

Land owners are the biggest holdouts.

The biggest controversy in the Houston area is where they are routing it north, west of IH-45 and not putting a stop in The Woodlands.

As for air service, unlike the late 80s early 90s Texas Bullet train that Southwest helped to kill, they are neutral on this project. They can just put planes on other routes.


I put this at 80% chance of happening, and 50-60% of being on schedule.
“Without seeing Sicily it is impossible to understand Italy.Sicily is the key of everything.”-Goethe "Journey to Italy"
 
IMissPiedmont
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 1:56 am

Quoting 29erUSA187 (Reply 3):

And in 20 years we will be moaning about the lack of affordable inter-city transportation. The heyday of short range air travel is past, we just won't accept it.
The day you stop learning is the day you should die.
 
BA0197
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:00 am

Quoting FlyingSicilian (Reply 4):
Unless a court stops them this line will most likely happen. The state supports it, and the public is happy with the private money.

The market is not there- that is what will stop the project. Unless you are telling me that people will forgo their cars/trucks and the convenience that brings in Texas in regards to getting around the cities in a state that prides on having the biggest everything- including driving distances. Don't forget that Houston and Dallas are not more than 4 hours drive apart.

They want to attract business persons commuting-fine. They better have 2-4 services an hour, be cheaper than the planes and have good, central stops- and the key- be quicker than the planes.

The business case is not there.
 
FlyingSicilian
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:28 am

Quoting BA0197 (Reply 6):
The market is not there- that is what will stop the project. Unless you are telling me that people will forgo their cars/trucks and the convenience that brings in Texas in regards to getting around the cities in a state that prides on having the biggest everything- including driving distances. Don't forget that Houston and Dallas are not more than 4 hours drive apart.

They want to attract business persons commuting-fine. They better have 2-4 services an hour, be cheaper than the planes and have good, central stops- and the key- be quicker than the planes.

The business case is not there.

The drive is four hours on a good day to certain parts of town, and it is predicted to be closer to 7 hours by 2030 due to congestion.

10,000s of people fly between Houston and Dallas daily for business, so the argument that rental cars or other end of line accouterments are somehow different from airports does not fly (no-put intended).

I routinely fly Houston-Dallas for day trips, I send dozens of employees of the trips as well. 100s of other companies do as well. The train planners have surveyed the business community and many are behind the project.

Yes they want to get some cars off the road too, but the ridership will be there just on the airplane business commute. Private companies with the investors like this one do not go into such things without doing their homework.
I've read several of the studies, know parties involved, and have seen and heard some of the local meetings firsthand.

Yes there are the Vidor-esq dually truck crowd who think they will never leave their vehicles, but they are not the ones flying now.
“Without seeing Sicily it is impossible to understand Italy.Sicily is the key of everything.”-Goethe "Journey to Italy"
 
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7BOEING7
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:39 am

A partial replacement for air travel within the US may not be that far off. Note the map.

http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/n...sks-hyperloop.html?s=image_gallery
 
Okie
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:44 am

Quoting FlyingSicilian (Reply 4):
The biggest controversy in the Houston area is where they are routing it north, west of IH-45 and not putting a stop in The Woodlands.

The biggest issue is that it is a private enterprise that is trying to build a rail through political districts.
That has thrown every county, city official and dog catcher into the mix between Decatur to McKinney on the north end and every township in between as to how many and where they want stations same on the south end not just the Woodlands.
They will be fighting the same issue as California when politics get involved.
The local politicians will want a high speed rail with a stop every 3 miles.

Political pressures will cause the failure long before it comes to fruition. There is no infrastructure on either 4-6 stops on either end that politicians are proposing without an automobile.

Okie
 
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N62NA
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:49 am

With a rental car option at each of the terminating stations, there's no reason why this couldn't work. It's just a matter of "when" at this point.

Also - watch very closely what happens in Florida in the next 3 to 5 years when the "higher speed" All Aboard Florida train starts running from Miami to Orlando.
 
Okie
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:50 am

Quoting FlyingSicilian (Reply 7):
10,000s of people fly between Houston and Dallas daily for business, so the argument that rental cars or other end of line accouterments are somehow different from airports does not fly (no-put intended

Your article does not state that 10,000 per day fly between HOU and DAL only people who travel by all modes of transportation.
Do you realize how many 737's flights that would be? 70+

Okie
 
FlyingSicilian
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:57 am

Quoting okie (Reply 11):
Your article does not state that 10,000 per day fly between HOU and DAL only people who travel by all modes of transportation.
Do you realize how many 737's flights that would be? 70+

I meant travel, you caught me as I typed "fly", but there are many flyers in that number, and drivers, and bussers. But you are correct I did miss-type


As to the political points, most of the right of way can be had without the political issues you all are mentioning.
“Without seeing Sicily it is impossible to understand Italy.Sicily is the key of everything.”-Goethe "Journey to Italy"
 
mysterzip
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:59 am

The existing infrastructure favors road and air traffic. Especially in Texas.

Has this been tested? Sure, in the Northeast. We have Amtrak, the various airline shuttles, and buses. While Amtrak made a dent in the marketshare, it is because the trainst links 3 major metropolitan areas, but these areas have something Texas does not - reliable public transportation. With all due respect to light rail everywhere, I don't see too many people taking it. It's pretty much political fluff.
 
Alnicocunife
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 3:00 am

Cost will kill the rail....and no long term plan to anything but widening the freeway, oh and all of the people who will lobby to kill the project because if effects them directly.

In 2014 the World Bank reported that the per kilometer cost of California's high-speed rail system was $56 million

Cost estimates Houston to Dallas would $21,616,000,000 in 2014 dollars. Plus what would the ongoing costs be to run the system and how much would a ticket be?

At $21B+ and the Government running the train under 3 party support contracts reality to get a high speed rail in the USA on a large scale, ZERO.
 
32andBelow
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 3:12 am

We don't need high speed rail! America is more spread out then Europe and Japan.
 
57AZ
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 3:15 am

Quoting okie (Reply 11):
With a rental car option at each of the terminating stations, there's no reason why this couldn't work. It's just a matter of "when" at this point.

Also - watch very closely what happens in Florida in the next 3 to 5 years when the "higher speed" All Aboard Florida train starts running from Miami to Orlando.

Very true. Not to mention that All Aboard Florida is a project of the private Florida East Coast Railway. Imagine that, a railroad seeking to resume privately operated inter city passenger service. Also, they could experiment with auto train style service-allowing passengers to take their cars and trucks on the train with them as Amtrak currently does between Lorton, Virginia and Sanford, Florida (but that's a ways down the road yet).
"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
 
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exFWAOONW
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 3:30 am

Quoting maxamuus (Reply 1):
Hell, Houston cant even building light rail across town, let alone high speed rail to Dallas.

Politicians can't do much of anything these days. That is why private companies are funding and building this.

Quoting BA0197 (Reply 6):
Unless you are telling me that people will forgo their cars/trucks and the convenience that brings in Texas in regards to getting around the cities in a state that prides on having the biggest everything-

I take it you walk from the airport to your meeting/hotel.

Quoting okie (Reply 9):
Political pressures will cause the failure long before it comes to fruition.

Funny thing is since they aren't paying, politicians have little say in where this stops/goes. (and that's a great reason why it has a chance to succeed.)
Is just me, or is flying not as much fun anymore?
 
Okie
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 3:39 am

Quoting 57AZ (Reply 16):

I am not sure how you got me on that quote.

Quoting FlyingSicilian (Reply 7):
The drive is four hours on a good day to certain parts of town, and it is predicted to be closer to 7 hours by 2030 due to congestion

I travel to HOU from OKC several times a year. Sometimes fly and drive others.
I can drive from OKC to HOU in 7 hours, however I am usually going over on the northwest side of HOU so I miss Dallas and Houston traffic and not really making it all the way to Houston.
Now Baytown would be a different proposition.

Okie
 
cloudboy
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 3:42 am

The companies looking to invest are not looking at this route to be particularly profitable. This is a get your foot in the door deal - something they can use as a showcase and an example of built in America. Unlike Us companies, many foreign companies are willing to invest long term.
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TWA772LR
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 4:12 am

Quoting BA0197 (Reply 2):
You sir, have hit the nail on the head. Being a Houstonian resident for some time- IT WILL NOT HAPPEN. The mentality is not there and it is not necessary.

Houston's MetroRail is expanding. Granted it took us 30 years to hop on the light rail bandwagon. And we only did it to get Super Bowl XXXVIII.

The HSR concept idea is picking up steam in Texas, and I believe it could happen in the next 10 years. BTW, the HSR could also be expanded from Houston to New Orleans, that's a huge market in itself.

To answer the OPs question of its affect on air traffic, of course it will affect it. But that means the aircraft that are pulled off of routes/frequencies can be used to expand other routes or open new markets or even upgauge flights through out a particular airlines network, in this case WN UA and AA.

[Edited 2014-12-26 20:15:59]
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57AZ
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 4:29 am

Up in PHX, Skytrain now links the outer parking areas and Metro light rail to the airport.

Right now, the only advantage that airlines really have over passenger rail in the city pair markets such as DCA-EWR-NYC-BOS or LAX-SFO or PDX-SEA is capacity. Multiple departures daily. If the intercity rail had the ability to offer more capacity at convenient times for the traveling public, they would take a larger bite out of the market, but not a lot. What part of the market is a whole other consideration. Premium privately operated passenger rail services are now being offered on the City of New Orleans by Pullman (a subsidiary of Iowa Pacific, LLC). Right now, the service is only provided on a weekly basis, but Iowa Pacific is expanding it's operations. What we might possibly see is the introduction of private operators coming back to passenger rail in select markets-specifically the Florida market.
"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
 
32andBelow
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 4:38 am

Quoting 57AZ (Reply 21):
LAX-SFO

I lived in LA for 20 years and never heard of anyone taking a train on this route.
 
ChinaClipper40
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 4:44 am

Quoting mysterzip (Reply 13):
Has this been tested? Sure, in the Northeast. We have Amtrak, the various airline shuttles, and buses. While Amtrak made a dent in the marketshare...

A "dent?" Your definition of "dent" must be significantly different than mine. At present, Amtrak carries 75% of all air-or-rail passenger traffic between DC and NYC, and 55% between NYC and Boston. By 2040, given current ridership trends, Amtrak will be carrying approximately 45 million passengers in the Northeast Corridor - four times today's levels. And that's at speeds that don't even come close to the world-wide consensually-accepted definition of "high-speed rail" (186 mph). And, even at speeds that make Europeans, Japanese, and Chinese laugh, Amtrak's profit last year on its Northeast Corridor passenger service was $400 million. If Amtrak's experience tells us anything, it is that even moderately fast passenger rail service DOES diminish airline passenger service at distances of 250 miles or less. And the European and Japanese experience is that REAL high-speed rail service puts passenger airlines literally out of business over such distances. Texans may well have love affairs with automobiles and crowded expressways, but that in no way diminishes the business case for high-speed rail in North America. With REAL high-speed rail within the Northeast Corridor, travel times from downtown NYC to either downtown Boston or downtown DC would be 1.5 hours. Does that beat air travel? Only by a country mile. And any prudent analysis of similar transit corridors between high density population centers in North America reveals that there are many places where high-speed rail would work wonders at decongesting our highways and airways. It's not about "hurting" airlines. It's about planning a rational user-friendly modern-technology-based transportation structure for the entire country.
 
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Boeing778X
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 4:48 am

Quoting 29erUSA187 (Reply 3):
High Speed rail is huge overseas, but not in the US (excluding some east coast ones)

Amtrak's Acela competes quite nicely along the Northeast Corridor between Washington and Boston. They've been able to compete against airlines here.
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ctnyc12
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 4:53 am

Quoting 57AZ (Reply 21):
Right now, the only advantage that airlines really have over passenger rail in the city pair markets such as DCA-EWR-NYC-BOS or LAX-SFO or PDX-SEA is capacity. Multiple departures daily.

Thats not true for the Northeast Corridor... I commute from NYC to Washington weekly on the Acela, and it has hourly departures (same as the Delta Shuttle, US Shuttle), and it is way easier to change trains last minute on the Acela than on the DL Shuttle in my experience. On top of the Acela, there is the Northeast Regional, which has up to two hourly departures, making three hourly departures for Amtrak .. way more capacity than the airlines for sure.
 
ctnyc12
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 5:00 am

Quoting ChinaClipper40 (Reply 23):
And the European and Japanese experience is that REAL high-speed rail service puts passenger airlines literally out of business over such distances

It works in Europe, Japan and China as well as the NE Corridor here in the US because of two reasons.
1. Many cities that are close together
2. Extensive public transportation in the city centers, as well as suburban transit options (Dallas, Houston and most US cities do not have this). The majority of the population of most major US cities do not live in the city centers, and instead are more spread out in suburban areas, making train travel to a station in the city center more of a hassle than going to the airport

[Edited 2014-12-26 21:28:04]
 
hohd
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 5:21 am

It takes about an average of 5 hours from Houston to Dallas and in heavy traffic even more. Plus it is very tiring. Planes are efficient, but door to door still takes an average of 3 to 4 hours. Trains can make a dent, provided the train goes from HOU to DFW via Houston Downtown, IAH and Dallas downtown with stops in Woodlands may be. There are no other major towns between these two cities.
 
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TWA772LR
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 5:32 am

Quoting hohd (Reply 27):
There are no other major towns between these two cities.

Huntsville on the Houston end and Corsicana on the Dallas end are about the same size and about an hours drive from their respective cities, with Huntsville being the bigger city.

There's also Madisonville about halfway between the cities with Bucee's, which is practically an institution in Texas. Some people even make the long drives to the various Bucees' in the state and make a day trip out of it.
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ScottB
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 6:18 am

Quoting BA0197 (Reply 6):
The market is not there- that is what will stop the project. Unless you are telling me that people will forgo their cars/trucks and the convenience that brings in Texas in regards to getting around the cities in a state that prides on having the biggest everything- including driving distances. Don't forget that Houston and Dallas are not more than 4 hours drive apart.

They want to attract business persons commuting-fine. They better have 2-4 services an hour, be cheaper than the planes and have good, central stops- and the key- be quicker than the planes.

The business case is not there.

The business case is laughable. Accepting the numbers in the Reuters article as accurate, the backers claim it will cost $10 billion (I'll assume 2014 dollars) to build. The debt service at 5% interest would be $500 million/year (and that assumes no pay-down of principal). The article claims that 50,000 people travel between the two cities weekly; that is approximately 2.5 million passengers annually. Even assuming that the high-speed rail service achieved 100% market share of those 2.5 million annual passengers, fares would need to be $200 each way just to cover the interest on the debt -- we're not even talking about any operating costs yet. And even though the backers claim that they'd come in lower than airfares between Houston & Dallas, WN's average HOU-DAL fare in Q1 of 2014 was $171. So I simply cannot see how high-speed rail could come in at a lower cost than the existing air service when the debt service alone would be higher than the dominant carrier's average fare.

And the people who are driving today probably aren't going to switch to rail, especially if fares are comparable to the current air service. Most people traveling between Houston and Dallas (let alone Fort Worth) aren't going from city center to city center; neither city has a good public transit infrastructure and driving into downtown Houston or Dallas to access high-speed rail is no treat.

Quoting FlyingSicilian (Reply 7):
Yes they want to get some cars off the road too, but the ridership will be there just on the airplane business commute. Private companies with the investors like this one do not go into such things without doing their homework.
I've read several of the studies, know parties involved, and have seen and heard some of the local meetings firsthand.

My back-of-the-envelope computation very much does imply that they haven't done their homework. There's no way the numbers work without massive public subsidy.

Quoting 57AZ (Reply 16):
Also, they could experiment with auto train style service-allowing passengers to take their cars and trucks on the train with them as Amtrak currently does between Lorton, Virginia and Sanford, Florida (but that's a ways down the road yet).

An Auto Train service on short-haul doesn't work logistically due to the time needed to load and unload the cars. If you have to arrive two hours before departure for your car to be loaded, it would be faster to just drive. The Auto Train works due to the longer distance and the fact that time spent overnight sleeping on the train (as opposed to in a hotel room) gets you to your destination.

Quoting hohd (Reply 27):
It takes about an average of 5 hours from Houston to Dallas and in heavy traffic even more.

The 240 miles between Houston and Dallas takes about three-and-a-half hours in traffic moving at near the speed limit. Sure, traffic happens, but that would also be a problem getting to & from downtown rail stations.

Quoting FlyingSicilian (Reply 4):
As for air service, unlike the late 80s early 90s Texas Bullet train that Southwest helped to kill, they are neutral on this project. They can just put planes on other routes.

WN doesn't have to try to kill it. The economics don't work.
 
Curiousflyer
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 7:11 am

High-speed train stopping in small towns between large towns are generally not a great idea. It is not profitable and adds time to the journey, every lost mibute costs passengers. So unless the Woodlands willl bring millions of riders, the train should just zip through them.
 
KD5MDK
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 7:32 am

I'm a little confused how people are able to bring themselves to travel from DAL-HOU but Dallas Union Station to downtown Houston is much harder.
 
SLCSFOPDX
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 7:57 am

I think to have a successful high-speed train system (bullet train), there needs to be a few things already in place.

First, the demographics and culture of the type of people that ride them and that live in the areas need to be in place. With that, I don't think Houston and Dallas have as many of those type of people compared to places such as Tokyo, Philly, New York, etc. Look at Japan and the NE U.S. They have more fast paced, up to date, street smart, hip, culturally well informed, creative, travel junky, artistic, type of people, and people overall that tend to use high-speed trains than Dallas or Houston (none of this is made to offend or make people upset, I just don't know how else to word or describe what I'm talking about). Even though Dallas and Houston are large cities, they do not have the same demographic of people that ride trains.

Second, if you look at the high-speed train network in Japan, the train system goes through other large cities. For example, between Tokyo and Hiroshima, you go through Yokohama, Nagoya, Osaka, Kobe, all highly populated areas. The NE network between Boston and DC you have Providence, Hartford, New York, Newark, Wilmington, Philly, and Baltimore. Between Houston and Dallas, there are no major or large scale cities to help make a high-speed train even more successful. You can say that having less stops and not has many large cities will get you to either Dallas or Houston faster, but you need other large cities between the two to have success.

Third, Japan, and NE U.S. are geographically much different than Texas. Both have oceans next to the major cities that have the trains run through them. With that, it causes to have a much more dense population. In Houston alone, we all know the city is so spread out, that it could take up to 30-40 minutes to even get to the train station.

[Edited 2014-12-27 00:07:18]
 
KD5MDK
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 8:14 am

Quoting SLCSFOPDX (Reply 32):
Look at Japan and the NE U.S. They have more fast paced, up to date, street smart, hip, culturally well informed, creative, travel junky, artistic, type of people,

Japan has more hip, artistic, up to date people who are the demographic to buy business class tickets on the Acela?
 
EricAY05
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 8:18 am

Quoting 32andBelow (Reply 22):

Sheldon and the guys did it in an episode of The Big Bang Theory  
 
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MillwallSean
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 8:30 am

High speed trains are awesome and I hope that our North American brothers and sisters will get to experience the convenience of them. Acela isn't high speed trains but its already a market leader in the NE. Imagine if they got real speed what it would do.

However if you want high speed trains to succeed in the USA and I'm sure all of us wants it since choice breeds invention and competition has always benefited mankind. But why would you start in Texas?

Build proper high speed rail in the north east, build it in California and take it from there. As said before highspeed rail is even better where there is a real public transport network. Thats why New York is made for high speed rail.

Build between Toronto and Montreal etc but Dallas to Houston? Hmm I hope it works but I am a bit skeptical. However private money so let them do as they please. However if they build it ensure it doesn't have many stops. More than five incl both terminus and the route is destined for failure.
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SLCSFOPDX
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 8:37 am

Quoting MillwallSean (Reply 35):

Between Vancouver-Seattle-Portland might work. I'm not sure how the immigration issues would work in Vancouver. But those seem like cities that would work for high-speed rail a lot more than Dallas and Houston. Even just a Portland-Seattle high-speed rail link would be sweet. I'm sure AS/QX would hate a high-speed train between the two cities though.
 
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thekorean
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 8:49 am

Quoting ctnyc12 (Reply 26):

This

I am all for more public transportation but Texas needs to focus on inner city services, walk before run, HSR can not work without decent not even great, public transit.

Area that needs a real high speed rail is between Philadelphia and Boston via NYC.

Need to kill off regional airline services between NYC and Boston/Philadelphia to lessen the congestion.
 
SLCSFOPDX
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 8:54 am

Quoting thekorean (Reply 37):

Good luck getting B6, DL, and US to "kill off regional airline services between NYC and Boston/Philadelphia".  
 
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Francoflier
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 11:20 am

Quoting MillwallSean (Reply 35):
build it in California and take it from there.

The California HSR is in the final stages of selecting contractors. I believe most companies that re to build the track itself have been chosen. The next stage is to select a rolling stock provider. I'm not sure if the track layout is completely finalized yet.
The point being that it is well on its way to becoming a reality.

And Yes, after the Eastern corridor and California, Texas is probably the best choice for a HSR in the US. Apart from these three, I suppose Florida could use some service, the Northeast network could be improved and even extended down south. Not much else so far I guess.
Still, it's a start.

Quoting thekorean (Reply 37):
HSR can not work without decent not even great, public transit.

I keep hearing that argument but do not understand it.
There is even less public transportation available from an airport far away from the city than there is from a downtown train station, and that doesn't prevent people from flying. Why should it be an impediment to train travel?
I'll do my own airline. With Blackjack. And hookers. In fact, forget the airline.
 
tomcat
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:14 pm

When comparing the development of HST in Europe and in the US, don't forget to take into account the price of gas in Europe (above $6 per gallon with today's oil prices) and the non-car friendly design of our medieval and very dense city-centers. On top of that, the traffic is generated not only by the mass of commuters but also by million of tourists that find very convenient to travel from downtown Paris to downtown London/Brussels/Amsterdam at Mach 0.25. The prevalent market conditions in Texas are very different.
 
stlgph
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:36 pm

Quoting thekorean (Reply 37):
Area that needs a real high speed rail is between Philadelphia and Boston via NYC.

That's decades and decades from ever really happening.

1. The overhead catenary supports on the whole line aren't up for it.

2. Too much shared commuter rail traffic.

3. The current Hudson River needs another 2 + tunnels. There are presently 2 and Amtrak says they can get another (maybe) 10 years out of them before they have to start shutting down tunnels one by one for a year or more at a time for a complete rebuild.

4. The geography of Connecticut on the shoreline along the current route curves too much, doesn't bank enough, and also again, too much shared commuter rail traffic.

5. Penn Station needs a huge major overhaul for support of such operations.


If anything, NYC/Boston/Philly/DC will become more reliant on air traffic, especially if the tunnels under the Hudson are not built.
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usdcaguy
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:52 pm

Quoting SLCSFOPDX (Reply 38):

Quoting thekorean (Reply 37):

Good luck getting B6, DL, and US to "kill off regional airline services between NYC and Boston/Philadelphia".


It's no longer as big of a deal as it used to be to offer intercity shuttle services. Each carrier would gladly pull back services in the high-density, high-demand markets if everyone else did. Right now, it's a competitive requirement, but look at how much capacity has thinned out. There are also other places to put those planes.

Quoting thekorean (Reply 37):
I am all for more public transportation but Texas needs to focus on inner city services, walk before run, HSR can not work without decent not even great, public transit.

All you need really are car rental agencies at the stations. However, Amtrak has never pulled this off. It doesn't matter if rail goes into downtown if few people are actually going there. You have to make taking rail a no-brainer, and that would include making cars part of the equation. The car companies would gladly offer the services if revenue guarantees were offered.
 
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eisenbach
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 3:02 pm

Quoting ctnyc12 (Reply 26):
Extensive public transportation in the city centers
Quoting thekorean (Reply 37):
I am all for more public transportation but Texas needs to focus on inner city services, walk before run, HSR can not work without decent not even great, public transit.

I don't get it, why it should be easier to go from the airport to the appointment than from the railway station. Just take a cab or rent a car, like you do it when flying. When traveling to not so large cities in Germany, where I have no idea about the public transportation, I normally take a cab.

In the US, I would even suggest to build parking possibilities for the rail costumers, like airports do that. Just play airport  


A side information, maybe not 100% doable in the US:

In Austria we just build two years ago a new (nearly) high speed railway line and a new station in the middle of nowhere with a lot of free parking lots. So everyone was laughing, that this would never work out (only small villages,...). Guess what, now I drive by, these parking lots are crowded and the people of the region use the train for traveling or going to work. As there was no railway line before, these are all cars wich are now away from the roads.
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luckyone
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 3:18 pm

Quoting francoflier (Reply 39):
And Yes, after the Eastern corridor and California, Texas is probably the best choice for a HSR in the US.

I would argue that a line from Detroit-Chicago-Milwaukee-MSP with stops in say, Kalamazoo, MI and Madison, WI would be the better option. All of these cities have decent to excellent public transportation networks, and the demographics are there. People already regularly train from Chicago to Milwaukee and Detroit, so speeding up the network wouldn't be the mind-bending proposition it seems to be for the sensitive folks in Texas.

Or perhaps make a line from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh to Cleveland.
 
Okie
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 3:18 pm

Quoting ScottB (Reply 29):
Even assuming that the high-speed rail service achieved 100% market share of those 2.5 million annual passengers, fares would need to be $200 each way just to cover the interest on the debt -- we're not even talking about any operating costs yet. And even though the backers claim that they'd come in lower than airfares between Houston & Dallas, WN's average HOU-DAL fare in Q1 of 2014 was $171. So I simply cannot see how high-speed rail could come in at a lower cost than the existing air service when the debt service alone would be higher than the dominant carrier's average fare

  
Exactly why airlines are not commenting or objecting. Looks like it will provide and automatic 25% or more profit margin and still beat the price of a HSR ticket.
Quite frankly I would expect that they would promote the idea but know that federal subsidies to HSR will not be in their favor.
Once federal subsidies get involved then I would expect the airlines to object.

Okie
 
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RayChuang
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 3:23 pm

Despite what the skeptics think, the Texas Central Railway project is a viable idea for the following reasons:

1. They will use existing technology--essentially a modified version of the 700T high-speed trainset used in Taiwan, but certified up to a top speed of 330 km/h (205 mph). Because it is essentially (more or less) the same as the N700A Shinkansen trainset now already in production in Japan, production of the trainsets for the TCR could start almost immediately, saving many billions in R&D costs.

2. Because of the land topography between Dallas and Houston, construction costs will not be silly exorbitant like it is on the California HSR system, which has to tunnel through mountain ranges and include earthquake mitigation measures. That makes it possible to build the whole line on viaducts in non-tunnel areas like what JR East did with the Tohoku Shinkansen line and JR Kyushu did with the Kyushu Shinkansen line.

3. Given the rapid growth of both the Dallas and Houston metroplex regions and the gigantic amount of airline and road traffic between these two cities, there is enough ridership to justify building the line.

4. Future line extensions include Dallas to San Antonio via Austin and San Antonio to Houston, which would cover the "triangle" of metro areas originally described by Herb Helleher when WN was first envisioned.

Sure, it may hurt WN, AA and UA intra-Texas traffic in the short run, but then, the airlines can now concentrate to allocating their planes to flights in and out of Texas instead or other parts of their route system.
 
rtalk25
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 3:41 pm

Quoting luckyone (Reply 44):
Or perhaps make a line from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh to Cleveland.

There's already a line between Philadelphia-Harrisburg-Pittsburgh which gets subsidized from the state of PA. The line makes more stops also. The Philadelphia-Harrisburg segment has high frequency, and Harrisburg pax can transfer up to NYC.

Because of the the high frequency train service and ability to get from Harrisburg to NYC in 3-4 hours by train, it likely depresses any interest for DL and US to keep air service between MDT and slot constrained LGA

The Harrisburg to Pittsburgh segment is only operated once a day and it takes longer by train than by drive, and in general it's very long. There is an LNS-PIT flight now subsidized by EAS funding.

There is also train service between Pittsburgh and Cleveland but it appears it's one daily train and at unpopular times. I doubt it's used much atleast just between those markets, as driving is much easier.

[Edited 2014-12-27 07:57:44]
 
DDR
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 4:03 pm

Quoting okie (Reply 45):

Totally agree. Also, I would not blame the airlines for complaining if they had to compete against subsidized rail. Why should WN or AA be forced to compete in an unfair marketplace?
 
SCQ83
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 4:49 pm

Quoting SLCSFOPDX (Reply 32):
First, the demographics and culture of the type of people that ride them and that live in the areas need to be in place. With that, I don't think Houston and Dallas have as many of those type of people compared to places such as Tokyo, Philly, New York, etc. Look at Japan and the NE U.S. They have more fast paced, up to date, street smart, hip, culturally well informed, creative, travel junky, artistic, type of people, and people overall that tend to use high-speed trains than Dallas or Houston (none of this is made to offend or make people upset, I just don't know how else to word or describe what I'm talking about). Even though Dallas and Houston are large cities, they do not have the same demographic of people that ride trains.


You have many wrong assumptions. Have you ever rode a HS train in Europe or Japan? They target exactly the same market segment that business air traffic with the same perks (business lounges, fidelity programs, first class etc.). The experience does not differ in terms of "luxury" perks. Look at St. Pancras International in London, there is even a whisky bar and an oyster bar.

There is no "ideology" involved in flying VS train. Customers use the most convenient way of transportation, and HS trains would easily become the preferred way to travel between Houston and Dallas.

If you ever flew anything on the Paris-London-Brussels or Madrid-Barcelona (heavy business routes where HS is very competitive), you are likely to meet many more "casual" people on the plane (since most are connecting passengers to hubs and those looking for a cheaper fare than the train) than the train. You will not see many suits in an AF/BA PAR-LON flight... even in Cityjet's LCY-ORY there is a lot of leisure traffic today. If you try to catch a last-minute good fare on those routes, it is normally cheaper on plane (filling those economy seats on those "connection" flights) than on a train (the preferred way). So your travel junky hipster looking to save a few dozen euros is more likely to end on a CDG-LGW on easyJet or MAD-BCN on Vueling than on a train.

Most posters here assume that trains will need to undercut prices to compete with the plane but it will be the other way around. Every other company and business people will prefer trains for a few reasons:

- The whole process is far less stressing since it is pretty much like taking a tramway. Employees themselves will be the first to prefer the train (so for instance they avoid to get up much earlier, getting home much later - if there is no delay- etc.). I guess in the US they will implement some kind of security (TSA type) but this is in place in Spain or the Eurostar and it is still way quicker than any airport.

- For a Dallas-Houston train (90 min) that is a lot in time savings. At 90 minutes, there is no way a plane can compete (that is roughly Paris-Brussels; AF does not even fly to BRU). Things start to change at 3-4 hours. For companies time is money. 90 min is so competitive (depending on travel time to the stations) that it even allows a morning meeting on the other city and return for lunch, with no "early breakfast".

- You can effectively work in a train, there is Wifi or 3G/4G coverage, use the phone non-stop, there is way more space around (important in Texas   ), plugs, real tables, no seatbelts, no take off/landing, cafeteria/restaurant. Some HS trains (at least in Italy) even have meeting rooms for business purposes. Try that on a commercial aircraft.

- Trains are less prone to delays, cancellations, etc. Again, for a company that is money.

The only thing about Dallas and Houston is that they are very "sprawly" cities and hence there will be business for which any of the two airports in each city will be closer. But 90 minutes is extremely competitive. In the BRU-Paris route (80 min), it is just Brussels Airlines flying a few daily regional aircraft to connect passengers. No one flies P2P that route no matter where in Paris is heading. In Paris-London, there is BA/AF, easyJet flying CDG-LTN/LGW (a few daily flights) and Cityjet flying ORY-LCY which is the only P2P flight but it is really marginal in terms of passenger numbers. And that is between Europe's two largest metro areas.

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