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

Thu Jan 01, 2015 4:39 pm

So how does an airline passenger take their car? What you do on either end of the trip is not really dependent upon the mode of transportation you used to get between the two cities. So that is not really an issue there.

The great thing about rail is that you don't have to run it like an air route. Every train does not have to stop at every station. Wile not something done normally in the US so far, there is no reason why stations have to be online even - stations should be set up offline, so that a train wanting to stop at a particular station switches to the station tracks, and trains bypassing the station can breeze right through. But also keep in mind stopping at a station is no big deal for a train - it doesn't involve a complicated process of landing, taxing, jet bridge, safety spiels, pushbacks, take offs, etc. Those alone cost a huge amount of time when flight legs are so short.
"Six becoming three doesn't create more Americans that want to fly." -Adam Pilarski
 
HPRamper
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Thu Jan 01, 2015 4:53 pm

Quoting cloudboy (Reply 100):
But also keep in mind stopping at a station is no big deal for a train - it doesn't involve a complicated process of landing, taxing, jet bridge, safety spiels, pushbacks, take offs, etc. Those alone cost a huge amount of time when flight legs are so short.

That is a great point. With Amtrak for instance, most "stops" are maybe five minutes, unless it's a major station. They basically stop, open a door and put out steps, let a person on or off and close up and go.
 
cloudboy
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Thu Jan 01, 2015 5:12 pm

Quoting HPRamper (Reply 101):

That is a great point. With Amtrak for instance, most "stops" are maybe five minutes, unless it's a major station. They basically stop, open a door and put out steps, let a person on or off and close up and go.

That also holds true at the end of the journey as well. Train pulls into the station, passengers walk out the door onto the platform, new passengers get on the train. Maybe you take a few minutes more to do a crew change, or load some catering supplies (easier with several doors to load through), but no luggage loading, no issues trying to fit too large bags into small overheads, no refueling. Then the train simply starts on its way back, no taxing out to the runway and flying patterns. Rail travel actually has quite a few efficiencies.
"Six becoming three doesn't create more Americans that want to fly." -Adam Pilarski
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Thu Jan 01, 2015 5:26 pm

Quoting KD5MDK (Reply 96):
How is the yield on DAL-DCA and DAL-LGA?

Nowhere near as high. WN gets about 69 cents/mile on DAL-HOU. DAL-DCA is 1184 miles, so that equates to a fare of $820. The highest fare WN sells for a nonstop DAL-DCA (never mind the average) is only $488.
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YoungDon
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Thu Jan 01, 2015 6:12 pm

Quoting NOLAWildcat (Reply 99):
Frankly, I think the only way HSR will be successful between Dallas and Houston is if the train sets are set up to take cars like the Chunnel train sets.

I find this to be an interesting idea as well, but what would load times look like to load, say 50 cars onto a train? I honestly have no idea but could be an additional revenue stream (provided the additional design, acquistion, and operational costs aren't prohibitive).

Quoting cloudboy (Reply 100):
The great thing about rail is that you don't have to run it like an air route. Every train does not have to stop at every station. Wile not something done normally in the US so far, there is no reason why stations have to be online even - stations should be set up offline, so that a train wanting to stop at a particular station switches to the station tracks, and trains bypassing the station can breeze right through. But also keep in mind stopping at a station is no big deal for a train - it doesn't involve a complicated process of landing, taxing, jet bridge, safety spiels, pushbacks, take offs, etc. Those alone cost a huge amount of time when flight legs are so short.

This is true, but I think they need to be careful with the number of stops, as the accel/decel time required for HSR is significant. While the time of the stop itself may only be 2-3 minutes, decelerating from ~180 mph to 0, then accelerating back to that 180 mph cruise speed probably adds something like 7-10 total minutes to the trip per stop. That's kind of a big deal if you start talking about multiple stops in each metro area.

As an example, I took the KTX HSR from Busan station to ICN airport yesterday. The distance is about 215 miles as the crow flies, but total track distance is probably closer to 300 miles, as it takes a somewhat indirect route between the two areas to hit cities like Gwangju and Daegu. I think the train I took had something like 6 stops, and it took 3 hours and 40 minutes.

Dallas-Houston would likely have a slightly shorter track distance, but a 3 hour 40 minute travel time is not acceptable. In my opinion, for that market, anything above about 2 hours is not going to offer enough benefit over the airlines or driving. With that said, as another poster expressed earlier, not all trains must make all stops. You could theoretically have some express trains that only do downtown to downtown, and then some other trains that make limited stops.
 
AAIL86
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Thu Jan 01, 2015 6:25 pm

Quoting nomorerjs (Reply 77):
High speed rail will not happen, if it does, it will fail miserably in Texas. People in Texas drive or fly, the train is minimal (as mentioned, local service in Houston is a joke and DART misses many suburbs with light rail).

This is happening. Not only does it have the full backing of Japan Central Railways but it has attached significant support from high-ranking political and business leaders here in Texas, including the joint support of the mayors of Dallas, Fort Worth, and here in Houston. Also, it has the advantage of being a private project, making it far more palatable to the political climate here in Texas.

I live in the Sawyer Heights/First Ward neighborhood about 0.1 miles from downtown Houston. One of Houston's original wards, the neighborhood has been massively transformed by gentrification in the last 5 years. Union Pacific owns two east -west mainlines that run right through our neighborhood (my 2012-built townhouse is about 300 feet from one of them- I watch freight trains while having morning coffee). This line is one of the two preferred routes for the project.
There was a public meeting with representatives from the railroad on December 20th, where it was stated that a decision on route is expected in the first half of this year. The line will run 20-40 feet off the ground and require 80-100 feet of right of way on each side.

Like high speed rail or not, this project has much higher support then Texas' mid-1990s previous attempt and the airlines won't bat an eyelash this time around. HOU-DAL is not anywhere near as important to WN nowadays as it was in 1992.

[Edited 2015-01-01 10:29:06]

[Edited 2015-01-01 10:29:57]
The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason - Benjamim Franklin
 
IAHWorldflyer
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Thu Jan 01, 2015 6:52 pm

Just to add something for the non-Texans looking at this post: do you realize that both the DFW metro and the Houston metro have in excess of 6 million people living in them? That's a cachement area of 12 million people for any transit option. That's huge, and larger than say Munich-Frankfurt or Milan-Rome.
This project is actually pretty far along in planning stages, and there was a meeting in my area last month to discuss the possible route, and environmental impact. I think it has a better than 60% chance of becoming a reality in the next decade.
Today, lots of people drive between these two cities. Lots of people also fly. In the future, I could see a share of both going to rail. Rail would not be the answer to everyone, but it would be a viable option for some. And even capturing 20% of the market for travel between DFW and Houston would mean over a thousand people riding HSR each day.
Finally, yes there are office sub-markets in both places that are spread out, but many people still fly and rent a car to get there. I assure you, rental car companies would have counters at the train stations on both ends.
As to affecting air service, look at what happened when the AVE opened in 2010 between Barcelona and Madrid. Prior to high speed rail, the MAD-BCN corridor was one of the most heavily traveled in the world, and IB operated their Puente Aria service sometimes every 30 minutes. Since rail opened, air service is only about 30 % of what it once was. It exists mostly to enable people to make connections at one of the airports onward to a longer haul route. I could see the same happening at both IAH and DFW, where UA and AA would connect the cities in order to provide feed for long haul, and leaving the daily business commute traffic to the trains.
 
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thekorean
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Thu Jan 01, 2015 6:56 pm

Quoting iahworldflyer (Reply 106):

The problem with Texas cities as I read from people in Texas, is that it is too spread apart unlike cities in northeast like Philadelphia or New York.
 
turbineseaplane
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:02 pm

I LOVE efficient train systems (light, heavy, high speed -- all of it)

I go to Seattle all the time as I'm from there and I have rented a car maybe 2x in the last 4 years now thanks to the light rail to downtown (which, accounting for picking up a rental car and driving to downtown is easily faster, and that's with no traffic and not even counting parking the car in downtown).

... and I go there probably 12-15 times a year.

Love it. I always always want more trains (assuming well planned).

I'm a lifelong pilot and aviation lover, but trains have tons of advantages for a lot of scenarios.

-- Added: Another great example is the Sky Train in Vancouver, BC. Driving downtown from that airport is atrocious. SkyTrain? Relax for 25 minutes and you're there -on time, basically always.

[Edited 2015-01-01 11:03:55]
 
justplanenutz
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:03 pm

Quoting thekorean (Reply 107):
The problem with Texas cities as I read from people in Texas, is that it is too spread apart unlike cities in northeast like Philadelphia or New York.

And yet people still manage to drive themselves to airports to catch a plane. What is so different about a train station that they can't drive themselves to it to catch a train?

[Edited 2015-01-01 11:14:51]
 
turbineseaplane
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:05 pm

Quoting justplanenutz (Reply 109):
And yet people still manage to drive themselves to airports to catch a plane.

Bingo!
 
IAHWorldflyer
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:07 pm

Quoting thekorean (Reply 107):
The problem with Texas cities as I read from people in Texas, is that it is too spread apart unlike cities in northeast like Philadelphia or New York.

Have you ever tried travelling from Westchester, NY to JFK airport during daylight hours? You'll see that the NY metro is also VERY spread out, and congested.

Both Dallas and Houston have seen a huge boom in housing construction within a few miles of their respective downtowns over the last 10 years. In Houston, there are currently 15,000 apartment units scheduled for completion in 2015 that are in a 6 mile radius of downtown ( within Loop 610, for those that know Houston). Lots of young people, even in Texas, want and seek out housing that is more urban that what their parents lived in.
 
neutronstar73
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Thu Jan 01, 2015 8:20 pm

Quoting IMissPiedmont (Reply 5):

Love airplanes but we desperately need high speed rail in America. Much more efficient and environmentally friendly. I'm with you on this point. Intercity rail needs big investment. Public transportation improvements will only help air travel, IMHO.
 
KD5MDK
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Fri Jan 02, 2015 6:14 am

Quoting YoungDon (Reply 104):
This is true, but I think they need to be careful with the number of stops, as the accel/decel time required for HSR is significant. While the time of the stop itself may only be 2-3 minutes, decelerating from ~180 mph to 0, then accelerating back to that 180 mph cruise speed probably adds something like 7-10 total minutes to the trip per stop. That's kind of a big deal if you start talking about multiple stops in each metro area.

I don't expect there to be more than 6 stops total at final build out.
Fort Worth - Dallas Union - Dallas Suburban - College Station - Houston Suburban - Houston Downtown
I expect the 90 minute travel time is between Dallas Suburban and Houston Suburban, wherever those end up being located.
 
zippy
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Fri Jan 02, 2015 8:03 am

Quoting cloudboy (Reply 100):
The great thing about rail is that you don't have to run it like an air route. Every train does not have to stop at every station. Wile not something done normally in the US so far, there is no reason why stations have to be online even - stations should be set up offline, so that a train wanting to stop at a particular station switches to the station tracks, and trains bypassing the station can breeze right through. But also keep in mind stopping at a station is no big deal for a train - it doesn't involve a complicated process of landing, taxing, jet bridge, safety spiels, pushbacks, take offs, etc. Those alone cost a huge amount of time when flight legs are so short.

Additional stops actually do place a big burden on rail service. Both in terms of braking/acceleration and dwell times.

I'm unsure about other systems in the country, but Caltrain (regional Bay Area from SF to San Jose) has regularly scheduled runs that don't stop at every station. Some of the runs are local runs that stop at every station, most are limited that stop at most stations, and they run a few so-called "baby bullets" that only stop at a handful of stations. Depending on the length of your trip, the limited and "baby-bullet" trains actually save a significant amount of time over the local service. From San Mateo to San Francisco (about twenty miles) you save about fifteen minutes by catching a limited run vs a local one.

Additionally, one of the things being looked at to speed up Caltrain service is level boarding. Currently regulations require Caltrain to keep the cars set back from the platform to accommodate the mere possibility of extra wide freight cars (no such cargo is currently transported along these tracks). I think dwell times are typically around two minutes, with about 55 seconds of that spent getting passengers on and off the trains (the situation is much worse if you've got to deal with a wheelchair bound passenger) -- the expectation is that level boarding alone would shave ten minutes from a local San Jose to San Francisco trip. All of which is a really verbose way of saying: the number of stops hugely impacts rail performance.
 
Oykie
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Fri Jan 02, 2015 11:41 am

Quoting iahworldflyer (Reply 106):
Just to add something for the non-Texans looking at this post: do you realize that both the DFW metro and the Houston metro have in excess of 6 million people living in them? That's a cachement area of 12 million people for any transit option. That's huge, and larger than say Munich-Frankfurt or Milan-Rome.
This project is actually pretty far along in planning stages, and there was a meeting in my area last month to discuss the possible route, and environmental impact. I think it has a better than 60% chance of becoming a reality in the next decade.

I love politics, technology and transportation. I have read extensively about this project and I agree that this project has the political will, capital needed and and the correct people to make this happen. I believe this project will be realized. No matter people's opinion. It may be delayed, and suddenly you vote for someone who sabotage this. But this is one of the more realistic rail projects in the U.S. Florida and California will also happen. Florida is a low risk project, while California being funded by state funds are a bit riskier.
Dream no small dream; it lacks magic. Dream large, then go make that dream real - Donald Douglas
 
us330
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Fri Jan 02, 2015 2:00 pm

Quoting thekorean (Reply 107):
The problem with Texas cities as I read from people in Texas, is that it is too spread apart unlike cities in northeast like Philadelphia or New York

That's why there is park and ride for lots of these light rail stations. Love Field is only about a 10 minute drive from Downtown Dallas (and Union Station). Hobby (the main airport used by Love travelers) is a little farther out from Downtown Houston than Love is from Downtown Dallas.
The major time saving will occur from the absence of the need to pass through security. Texans aren't wedded to their cars because of love--it's because of necessity--and won't mind abandoning them if you can provide both time and cost effective alternatives.

Quoting iahworldflyer (Reply 111):
Lots of young people, even in Texas, want and seek out housing that is more urban that what their parents lived in

I grew up in Dallas and regularly go back for the holidays and for family visits. The gap between Downtown and Uptown looks nothing like it did even a decade ago. The city is starting develop a dense, semi-urban core.

Quoting KD5MDK (Reply 113):
Fort Worth - Dallas Union - Dallas Suburban - College Station - Houston Suburban - Houston DowntownI expect the 90 minute travel time is between Dallas Suburban and Houston Suburban, wherever those end up being located

I can understand the need for a stop in Katy or the Woodlands, but in Dallas, the moneyed/white collar suburbs are north of the city. So, I'd almost recommend a Y-type routing, with the hub being Dallas' Union Station. One segment would go Downtown Fort Worth, DFW Airport, Union Station, the other would start up in the Frisco/Legacy or Plano area, and then go to Union Station.
 
dtwpilot225
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Fri Jan 02, 2015 2:19 pm

They are proposing this between Detroit and Chicago as well. For o/d it may work but if you fly in from overseas having a connecting flight between the two is still necessary. Even if it works I could see air service but maybe at a reduced frequency.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Fri Jan 02, 2015 2:26 pm

Quoting dtwpilot225 (Reply 117):
They are proposing this between Detroit and Chicago as well. For o/d it may work but if you fly in from overseas having a connecting flight between the two is still necessary.

Chicago is maybe a bit different than the Texas cities in that the HSR won't likely go anywhere near the airports. So a Detroit business traveler who needs to visit Allstate (Northbrook) or McDonalds (Oak Brook) might prefer to fly because he will "land" closer to his destination. Depending on the route taken from downtown Dallas to Fort Worth (and without the Y routing wisely suggested by US330), the same might arguably be true of someone who needs to go from Houston to any of the businesses in Plano.
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brilondon
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Fri Jan 02, 2015 2:52 pm

Quoting 32andBelow (Reply 22):
I lived in LA for 20 years and never heard of anyone taking a train on this route.

That is because it stops in Oakland and continues north to Seattle, it is called the Coast Starlight. Not the most efficient or quick travel modes but doable.

Quoting cloudboy (Reply 92):
Why can't an airline run the train system?

Which airline? WN, UA, AA, or even DL? Why would they invest millions of dollars to take away business from themselves. There is nothing in it for them.

Quoting NOLAWildcat (Reply 99):
Frankly, I think the only way HSR will be successful between Dallas and Houston is if the train sets are set up to take cars like the Chunnel train sets. Unlike some of the major East Coast cities (and Chicago), Houston's and Dallas's respective downtowns aren't quite as massive compared to the large business parks and satellite business districts in the surrounding suburbs

What will happen if this does come to fruition is a stop will have to be made in the outlying areas where there is or if there is a demand. Rail works in the east and should work in the west, but I maybe myopic about Texas but I don't think that there will be enough of a demand to make it work to travel between only two population centres.
Rush for ever; Yankees all the way!!
 
luckyone
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Fri Jan 02, 2015 3:43 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 118):
Chicago is maybe a bit different than the Texas cities in that the HSR won't likely go anywhere near the airports. So a Detroit business traveler who needs to visit Allstate (Northbrook) or McDonalds (Oak Brook) might prefer to fly because he will "land" closer to his destination.

I disagree. Both of those areas are well-served by Metra out of Union (where Amtrak stops) or Oglevie, which is just a few blocks from Union.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Fri Jan 02, 2015 3:47 pm

Quoting luckyone (Reply 120):
Both of those areas are well-served by Metra out of Union (where Amtrak stops) or Oglevie, which is just a few blocks from Union.

You ever walked from the Metra stations in Wheeling or Northbrook to Allstate?
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
slider
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Fri Jan 02, 2015 4:51 pm

Quoting thekorean (Reply 107):
The problem with Texas cities as I read from people in Texas, is that it is too spread apart unlike cities in northeast like Philadelphia or New York.

This topic comes up rather frequently and I've made my opinions known on the matter repeatedly.

The population density just doesn't exist in any Texas city to make this viable. A lot of people want to quote macro population numbers and say that DFW and Houston are so big that a train is automatically a good thing.

I don't see it happening, I think it's a capital disaster, a pork barrel waste of funding. Hell, right now given the growth in TX we can't fund the existing road infrastructure. The gas tax is low and there is a severe DOT funding shortfall at present time. Adding a monstrous capital project on top of that is foolish.

http://www.k5rcd.org/TEXAS%20EUROPE%20SIZE%20COMPARISON%20MAP.jpg

Take a look at Texas superimposed onto Europe. Now consider the population and density differential. Then add the cultural issues of Americans preferring driving vs the train infrastructure in Europe.

We can't even get light rail to work worth a damn in Houston. I think DFW has done it a little better with DART, but even reviewing their ridership numbers, it's no great shakes. So what makes anyone think a LARGER, more expensive high speed rail project would work?

http://dallasmorningviewsblog.dallas...res-for-darts-rail-ridership.html/

Where is there ANY hint of credulity as to the viability of this? There isn't. Just a lot of political platitudes as a way to spend money and engage in graft, slush and create patronage jobs.
 
AAIL86
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Fri Jan 02, 2015 5:33 pm

Quoting Slider (Reply 122):
This topic comes up rather frequently and I've made my opinions known on the matter repeatedly.

The population density just doesn't exist in any Texas city to make this viable. A lot of people want to quote macro population numbers and say that DFW and Houston are so big that a train is automatically a good thing.

I don't see it happening, I think it's a capital disaster, a pork barrel waste of funding. Hell, right now given the growth in TX we can't fund the existing road infrastructure. The gas tax is low and there is a severe DOT funding shortfall at present time. Adding a monstrous capital project on top of that is foolish.

http://www.k5rcd.org/TEXAS%20EUROPE%20SIZE%20COMPARISON%20MAP.jpg

Take a look at Texas superimposed onto Europe. Now consider the population and density differential. Then add the cultural issues of Americans preferring driving vs the train infrastructure in Europe.

We can't even get light rail to work worth a damn in Houston. I think DFW has done it a little better with DART, but even reviewing their ridership numbers, it's no great shakes. So what makes anyone think a LARGER, more expensive high speed rail project would work?

http://dallasmorningviewsblog.dallas...res-for-darts-rail-ridership.html/

Where is there ANY hint of credulity as to the viability of this? There isn't. Just a lot of political platitudes as a way to spend money and engage in graft, slush and create patronage jobs.

You are exactly right that the US and Europe have far different population density. Even so, with 6 million + plus in each metro area both Dallas and Houston have significant enough populations to make this viable, even now. And what about 2025, when both have 7-8+ million, or 2035, when each have who knows how many people? Road and air should not be the only options. Rail is by far the most efficient form of transportation on the planet, it should be considered here.

Also, your dislike for government projects is noted, but completely irrelevant to this discussion because this is a private project backed by Japan Central Railways.
The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason - Benjamim Franklin
 
cloudboy
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Fri Jan 02, 2015 6:42 pm

Quoting AAIL86 (Reply 123):
Also, your dislike for government projects is noted, but completely irrelevant to this discussion because this is a private project backed by Japan Central Railways.

In fact one of the reasons why you should be supporting this project. Unlike highways, which are publicly funded, this rail project is private. that may not be great for the long term, but if Texas is really that bad off that they cannot afford infrastructure projects, then they need private investment projects.

I guess I still don't understand the density argument. Why does density matter? As pointed out above, there is no difference between driving to a train station or airport, and at the destination end you still need to find a way to get around. As for the rail lines, lower density is a plus - it makes it easier to find a good route.
"Six becoming three doesn't create more Americans that want to fly." -Adam Pilarski
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:03 pm

Quoting cloudboy (Reply 124):
Why does density matter? As pointed out above, there is no difference between driving to a train station or airport,

. . . except that train stations tend to be in the densest portions of cities. Would you rather drive to Washington Union Station or to DCA? Unless you are a serious masochist, the answer is DCA.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
wwtraveler99
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:55 pm

Ok I still simply do not get the fascination about these trains. Can someone please help me understand why HSR would be better and cheaper than air travel??

I can not for the life of me see how they would be faster. Lets use DAl-HOU. It take 40 minutes in the air. Add about 1.5 hrs for getting in and out of the airport, which seems a little high. That's 2 hrs 10 min in total. Is a train really going to be that much better at a better price?


Thx


WW
 
turbineseaplane
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Fri Jan 02, 2015 8:33 pm

Quoting wwtraveler99 (Reply 126):
why HSR would be better and cheaper than air travel?

So many examples of ways it can be preferable.

My #1 is probably the experience overall of "being onboard" (jammed into ever tighter airliners). It's so much more enjoyable to be on a train (and I absolutely love flying) and in train stations.

Commercial air travel has become totally awful.

Zipping around on HSR in Europe is simply delightful and if you've ever done it, you probably wouldn't be asking this question to be honest.

I'm sure many will chime in with thoughts.

[Edited 2015-01-02 12:35:10]
 
IAHWorldflyer
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Fri Jan 02, 2015 8:40 pm

Quoting wwtraveler99 (Reply 126):
I can not for the life of me see how they would be faster. Lets use DAl-HOU. It take 40 minutes in the air. Add about 1.5 hrs for getting in and out of the airport, which seems a little high. That's 2 hrs 10 min in total.

Southwest blocks their DAL-HOU flights at 65 minutes southbound, and 60 minutes northbound.
Personally, I live about 4 miles west of downtown Houston. It takes me 30 minutes to get to HOU, and the same to IAH. So, if I want to travel to downtown Dallas, I would leave my house 1.5 hours before departure if parking in short term parking. On the other end, it would take about 20 minutes to exit the airport and cab into downtown Dallas. That's 2h50m door to door. The train we're discussing proposes 90 minutes downtown to downtown, so add on 15 minutes driving for me, and we're at 1h45m on the train.
Looking at a weekday departure on WN 2 weeks from now, with a next day return gives me a r/t fare of $332. So, if the train was less than $150 each way, it would be very competitive with flying.
 
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flyingclrs727
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Fri Jan 02, 2015 8:46 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 125):
. . . except that train stations tend to be in the densest portions of cities. Would you rather drive to Washington Union Station or to DCA? Unless you are a serious masochist, the answer is DCA.

It would make sense to have train stations for HSR at airports.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Fri Jan 02, 2015 8:47 pm

Quoting flyingclrs727 (Reply 129):
It would make sense to have train stations for HSR at airports.

How would you propose doing that at either Houston airport?
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
BigOrange
Posts: 2296
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Fri Jan 02, 2015 8:57 pm

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

Even the Acela Express between BOS, NYC and WAS is not exactly high speed, compared to other countries. I think even UK trains are faster than the Acela
 
cloudboy
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Fri Jan 02, 2015 9:04 pm

A bit of a comparison of potential trips. Of course this depends a great deal on what they finally do with the train - do they just use any old dilapidated station? Do they build a modern station with parking and rental cars and services? As this is planned by a Japanese company, I am going to assume they are going to do it the modern way. We will assume the station is not at city center, so we can factor in end point transportation.

Plane travel:
Drive to the airport and park
Check in your bag if you have anything over 22in
Go through airport security
Wait for your flight to board
Spend half hour boarding by zones, hoping your carry on gets aboard
Buckle up and sit tight while FA does safety announcements, while plane taxis and takes off, flies pattern and starts to destination
You get a few minutes to get up and go to the bathroom if you need to. If the FAs aren't in the way
Maybe they will make it to you with a drink. Maybe not.
buckle in for the 20 minute descent and landing
Taxi to the gate
Of the plane, out into the terminal
Collect your bag if you need one
Shuttle to the rental car.

Train Travel:
Drive to the train station and park. Less security means you can park closer or get dropped off right at the door
Wait for your train (no security, no need to check bags)
When the train pulls up to the platform, show the attendant your ticket (assuming they even check at the door)
Find a seat and sit down. If you want. Or go to the cafe car. Or stand if you really want to.
10 minutes later the train starts moving down the track.
Figure out what to do with the 90 minutes. hang out in the cafe, walk about, or just read.
90 minutes later the train pulls up to the platform.
Grab your suitcase and walk out the door. Walk out to the rental cars, which doesn't have to be separated from the station, or grab a cab.
"Six becoming three doesn't create more Americans that want to fly." -Adam Pilarski
 
taxpilot
Posts: 66
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Fri Jan 02, 2015 9:11 pm

On our recent trips to Europe, we have seen that, while Europe continues to have an extensive and efficient rail system, their extensive and ever expanding network of low cost air carriers have become the preferred travel choice of Europeans and tourists.

Two years ago, while trying to book an Amsterdam to Rome train trip, with a stop over in Germany, we got frustrated with the high prices. Instead we went Amsterdam, Stockholm, Rome (Via SAS) for half the cost of the train transportation!

The trains would be nice, but only if they can hold their own in the market place. Keep further government manipulation out.
 
Oykie
Posts: 1939
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 9:21 am

RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Fri Jan 02, 2015 9:31 pm

Quoting taxpilot (Reply 133):
Two years ago, while trying to book an Amsterdam to Rome train trip, with a stop over in Germany, we got frustrated with the high prices. Instead we went Amsterdam, Stockholm, Rome (Via SAS) for half the cost of the train transportation!

Trains will never be able to compete with airplanes when it comes to efficiency. Planes are much more efficient and in a free market with no politics involved taxiing the shit out of airlines like they would like in Europe then planes are more efficient. It just cost too much to build and maintain a sufficient rail infrastrucutre to offer the frequency and convenience of air travel. I am sorry, but that is just the facts. The only remote chance that trains can be more environment friendly is if all electricity comes from green sources, but in the U.S. It will pollute about as much or a bit more than a plane for the same travel distance. But people believe they are more environment friendly, but they are not. maybe the day when all electric power comes from green sources, but until then.
Dream no small dream; it lacks magic. Dream large, then go make that dream real - Donald Douglas
 
57AZ
Posts: 2371
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Fri Jan 02, 2015 9:38 pm

Quoting curiousflyer (Reply 30):
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

Actually, it can work on short haul if designed correctly . The Swiss do it using specialized flatcars for autos and trucks at facilities that are designed for "roll on-roll off" just like ferries.
"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."
 
turbineseaplane
Posts: 110
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2014 8:14 pm

RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Fri Jan 02, 2015 9:43 pm

Quoting oykie (Reply 134):
Trains will never be able to compete with airplanes when it comes to efficiency.

This is a ridiculously broad statement.

Trains are absolutely preferable in lots of scenarios of distance/density between locations.

There's a place for both trains and airplanes in a modern transportation infrastructure.
 
FlyingSicilian
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Fri Jan 02, 2015 10:22 pm

Quoting Slider (Reply 122):
We can't even get light rail to work worth a damn in Houston.

What are you babbling about? The Houston Light Rail has the second highest ridership per mile in the USA.

had politicians not blocked federal funds for it, it would be bigger now. Culberson controls the money in DC and has stated he will never fund rail in Houston.

Houston is doing it anyway the routes under construction now are predicted to do as well as the others.
yes it took Houston longer due to politics but the system is doing quite well.
“Without seeing Sicily it is impossible to understand Italy.Sicily is the key of everything.”-Goethe "Journey to Italy"
 
turbineseaplane
Posts: 110
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2014 8:14 pm

RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Fri Jan 02, 2015 11:28 pm

Quoting FlyingSicilian (Reply 137):
had politicians not blocked federal funds for it

Precisely the problem in a lot of cities.

Great transit projects get cock blocked to the point that the ultimate build out is inferior and usage, no big surprise, ends up suffering a bit.

Luckily, unless a truly atrocious plan gets rolled out, most light rail projects end up being HUGE successes and you just simply will never get negative detractors to admit they were wrong -- even while they are riding on the rail system the were against.
 
A342
Posts: 4017
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Jan 03, 2015 1:27 am

Quoting taxpilot (Reply 133):
On our recent trips to Europe, we have seen that, while Europe continues to have an extensive and efficient rail system, their extensive and ever expanding network of low cost air carriers have become the preferred travel choice of Europeans and tourists.

Two years ago, while trying to book an Amsterdam to Rome train trip, with a stop over in Germany, we got frustrated with the high prices. Instead we went Amsterdam, Stockholm, Rome (Via SAS) for half the cost of the train transportation!

You happened to pick a ridiculously long route for train travel. Of course flying beats this not only in terms of travel time, but also price.
For this reason, the generalization you make about LCCs being the preferred travel choice in Europe is not valid. Very few people take the train from say Germany to Spain or Belgium to Austria. However, a large number of people take the train from Germany to France, Belgium or Austria.

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).
Quoting NOLAWildcat (Reply 99):
Frankly, I think the only way HSR will be successful between Dallas and Houston is if the train sets are set up to take cars like the Chunnel train sets.
Quoting YoungDon (Reply 104):
I find this to be an interesting idea as well
Quoting 57AZ (Reply 135):
Actually, it can work on short haul if designed correctly . The Swiss do it using specialized flatcars for autos and trucks at facilities that are designed for "roll on-roll off" just like ferries.

  


In Europe, there are two different sorts of trains carrying cars:

1) Long holiday routes where the passengers sit in coaches, not their cars, and loading/unloading takes ages as the cars are secured on the train. These trains are realtively slow, operate once per week or so during holiday periods only and are often unprofitable. The German railways have discontinued them and now move the cars BY TRUCK. Yes, you read that one correctly.

2) Short routes through tunnels under the sea, through mountains or on artificial dams to islands. In other words, where no road exists, is closed during winter or is overcrowded. These routes are not longer than 50 km and passengers stay in their cars. They are also relatively slow, but on those short routes speed isn't too important. Loading/unloading is reasonably quick as the cars aren't secured on the train (use of handbrake and suitable gear selection is sufficient).

Carrying cars or trucks is a HORRIBLE idea when it comes to high speed rail. Drag, weight, energy consumption and cost all go through the roof. The terminals are huge and don't mix well with city centers. Vehicles would have to be secured on the train etc. It totally voids any advantages HSR has.

Again, this would be a TRULY HORRIBLE concept. Forget it for HSR, it won't work.
Exceptions confirm the rule.
 
KD5MDK
Posts: 818
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RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Jan 03, 2015 2:45 am

Quoting us330 (Reply 116):
I can understand the need for a stop in Katy or the Woodlands, but in Dallas, the moneyed/white collar suburbs are north of the city. So, I'd almost recommend a Y-type routing, with the hub being Dallas' Union Station. One segment would go Downtown Fort Worth, DFW Airport, Union Station, the other would start up in the Frisco/Legacy or Plano area, and then go to Union Station.

That would be very expensive, and the restrictions on the route would almost certainly require it to be relatively slow. It would be like flying a 777 from JFK-LHR-LCY. Sure, there's people in LCY who'd like to get to JFK, but it's not worth using the same massive expensive high performance vehicle when they could connect to it. If Plano wants rail service, they can take or get DART to Union Station and change trains.

Quoting dtwpilot225 (Reply 117):

They are proposing this between Detroit and Chicago as well. For o/d it may work but if you fly in from overseas having a connecting flight between the two is still necessary.

I realize price and airline captives exist, but how many destinations are served out of DTW that aren't served out of ORD or vice versa?

Almost all train systems are about O&D travel, with of course some passengers connecting to a train from other trains and a very few from flights. All of the public transit networks that have airport connectors have very low relative ridership on those lines. There's just too much other travel going on for air to be a significant component.

Quoting Slider (Reply 122):
Take a look at Texas superimposed onto Europe. Now consider the population and density differential.

It's a good thing that the train isn't covering the rest of Texas then. The population of Dallas and Houston are perfectly respectable, and that's all that matters for this project.

Quoting wwtraveler99 (Reply 126):
I can not for the life of me see how they would be faster. Lets use DAl-HOU. It take 40 minutes in the air. Add about 1.5 hrs for getting in and out of the airport, which seems a little high. That's 2 hrs 10 min in total. Is a train really going to be that much better at a better price?

The train is quoting 90 minutes in the air, and will probably take 10-15 minutes on either end for getting in and out. So total travel time of 2 hours, and prices will probably be the same or cheaper, unless it becomes seen as a premium form of travel and can charge even more. How much do you think people will prefer 2x2 seating with 34 or 36" of pitch
compared to 3x3 x32"? (I'm speculating on the sizes, but it seems likely to me.)

Also, the ability to use a laptop from the time you sit down on the train to the time you arrive, no interruptions for takeoff and landing has to be valuable. You can count time on the train as time working (or having fun) much easier than you can time in flight.

Quoting flyingclrs727 (Reply 129):
It would make sense to have train stations for HSR at airports.

Trains in this kind of model are entirely about O&D, so people who want to combine it with a flight will have to take DART or some other local transit to reach there. It's the exact same as Chicago, DC, New York, Philadelphia, London...

Quoting BigOrange (Reply 131):
Even the Acela Express between BOS, NYC and WAS is not exactly high speed, compared to other countries. I think even UK trains are faster than the Acela

Yet because of their advantages they can charge the highest fares in the world per mile for train service, or nearly so.
 
cloudboy
Posts: 1123
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2004 12:38 pm

RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Jan 03, 2015 2:58 pm

Quoting KD5MDK (Reply 140):
The train is quoting 90 minutes in the air, and will probably take 10-15 minutes on either end for getting in and out. So total travel time of 2 hours, and prices will probably be the same or cheaper, unless it becomes seen as a premium form of travel and can charge even more. How much do you think people will prefer 2x2 seating with 34 or 36" of pitch
compared to 3x3 x32"? (I'm speculating on the sizes, but it seems likely to me.)

Acela is good example of this. Acela is able to charge a premium - not just over the normal Northeast Regional trains, but over comparable flights, because people prefer taking the train. And they take more passengers as well. Many people in the US have not really experienced modern train travel - their experiences have been wither tourist lines on old trains, or commuter operations. So it is hard for a lot of people to even conceptualize the experience. I think that once a fe wlines get built, people will naturally gravitate to more rail travel.
"Six becoming three doesn't create more Americans that want to fly." -Adam Pilarski
 
Oykie
Posts: 1939
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 9:21 am

RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Jan 03, 2015 3:39 pm

Quoting turbineseaplane (Reply 136):
This is a ridiculously broad statement.

Trains are absolutely preferable in lots of scenarios of distance/density between locations.

There's a place for both trains and airplanes in a modern transportation infrastructure.

I agree that trains are preferable for shorter distances, and I agree that the distance Houston - Dallas is distance that trains would be preferable. Their relatively short distance and huge cities will work. People will find out that they can take a taxi, use the Über app og take the bus. My point is that trains are more expensive to develop than airplanes. Even between Dallas and Houston.
Dream no small dream; it lacks magic. Dream large, then go make that dream real - Donald Douglas
 
ozglobal
Posts: 2596
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2004 7:33 am

RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Jan 03, 2015 4:00 pm

Quoting FlyboyOz (Reply 78):

Australia will have fast train in the near future. It will take more than 3 hrs from SYD to either BNE and MEL. But the flights take one hour to get there. Businessmen and I prefer to take a flights. If I want to trave from MEL to BNE by train, it takes six hours but the flights take 2hrs 30 mins. I still prefer to take a flight as well. Of course, it will not hurt airlines but will lose few customers.

This is an example of the real problem with analysis of HSR propositions: no serious engagement with the topic; half thought through, conventional positions, subconscious resistance to new and better ideas.

Just for starters, the plane does NOT take 1 hr to get from Sydney to Melbourne it takes:

- Up to 1hr trip to the airport (we'lll generously allow 30min)
- Up to 1hr airport transit and security time
- 1hr flight and taxi time
- Add any delays (e.g.. 15min)
- 15 - 30mins arrival in terminal (we'll assume 20mns)
- Up to 1hr trip from airport (we'lll generously allow 30min)

If we generously make the transfer times from and to destinations in Syd and Mel and the airports only 30mins instead of 1hr, we are left with 30min+ 1hr + 1hr + + 20min + 30min (not counting delays or longer transfers) = 3:20Hrs

The train, as you say, is 3hrs CBD to CBD, so for most business travel, the train BEATS the plane or is at least at par;

As someone who regularly uses HSR on routes exactly this distance, I can tell you most business people will take the train as they can work continuously and lose NO TIME during the journey and CBD(or city centre) to CBD is what they are looking for. Most of these trains have wifi now so you are even connected to the office during the journey.

BNE - MEL: take the plane as this is outside HSR range; For all business travel SYD-MEL or SYD - BNE, anyone in their right mind will take the train.

Please think the thing through.
When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 14228
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Jan 03, 2015 4:06 pm

Quoting cloudboy (Reply 141):
Acela is able to charge a premium - not just over the normal Northeast Regional trains, but over comparable flights, because people prefer taking the train.

True, but I'm not sure it's a good analog. You are dealing with some extremely congested airspace and airports, making Acela's more than occasional delays somewhat tolerable (I do BWI-WAS a lot on whichever train happens to show up first, and I can tell you that neither Acela nor the NEC trains run anywhere near the published schedule by the time you get that late in the run).

Moreover, not-so-nice train stations are no better than not-so-nice airports. If I'm taking the Metro in D.C., I actually prefer DCA to Union Station, which is dirty, crowded, and not much quicker for someone with TSA Precheck.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
slcdeltarumd11
Posts: 4463
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2004 7:30 am

RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sat Jan 03, 2015 10:46 pm

I think the Texas and Florida projects will happen. Personally I think more northeast makes more sense , a NY-Montreal or phl-pit train would be so welcomed and used. Those are routes that people drive a real high speed train would take alot of cars off the road.

Texas does seem less welcoming to the train concept but its super flat and warm so I see the attraction of the route.
 
ScottB
Posts: 6759
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2000 1:25 am

RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sun Jan 04, 2015 12:32 am

Quoting AAIL86 (Reply 123):
Even so, with 6 million + plus in each metro area both Dallas and Houston have significant enough populations to make this viable, even now.

Not really. The only moderately successful HSR route in the United States connects metropolitan regions containing 23.5 million people (NYC), 9.4 million people (D.C.-Baltimore), 8.0 million people (Boston-Providence), and 7.1 million people (Philadelphia-Wilmington). So the comparison is between regions with nearly 50 million persons combined and roughly 14 million persons combined.

Quoting cloudboy (Reply 141):
Acela is able to charge a premium - not just over the normal Northeast Regional trains, but over comparable flights, because people prefer taking the train.

Nah, Amtrak doesn't really get a price premium. I can book Boston South Station to NY Penn Monday morning on the Acela for $151. Delta wants at least $430 for the Shuttle. WN charges $212 walk-up for DAL-HOU, so there's a lot less room to underprice the airline.

Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 143):
CBD(or city centre) to CBD is what they are looking for.

But in Houston & Dallas, this isn't really the case. Sure, there are people going from downtown to downtown, but in Houston, people are also going to/from the Galleria, Energy Corridor/Katy, the Woodlands, Clear Lake, Sugar Land, etc. In the Metroplex, you have passengers going to/from Fort Worth, Arlington, Plano, Frisco, Park Cities, etc. The airports in Dallas and Houston are typically easier to reach by car than the city centers, and that's key in regions where the car is the primary mode of local transportation.

In New York, well, LGA.

Quoting iahworldflyer (Reply 106):
And even capturing 20% of the market for travel between DFW and Houston would mean over a thousand people riding HSR each day.

That isn't even remotely near enough people to make HSR work financially between Dallas and Houston if the capital cost of the system comes in at the $10 billion proposed. Just the debt service on the capital expenditure works out to half a billion dollars a year or more.

Quoting iahworldflyer (Reply 128):
Looking at a weekday departure on WN 2 weeks from now, with a next day return gives me a r/t fare of $332. So, if the train was less than $150 each way, it would be very competitive with flying.

Sure, but that's still going to be too expensive to get most of the people who currently drive out of their cars. And the only way to make Dallas-Houston HSR work would be to take a significant chunk of market share from I-45.

Quoting FlyingSicilian (Reply 137):
The Houston Light Rail has the second highest ridership per mile in the USA.

Third, actually, but that's a meaningless figure as Houston has no heavy rail public transit/subway comparable to the NYC MTA, MBTA, WMATA, SEPTA, CTA, etc. If you include transit systems with heavy rail, Houston falls down to 11th or 12th in ridership per mile, below Atlanta and San Juan.
 
slcdeltarumd11
Posts: 4463
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2004 7:30 am

RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sun Jan 04, 2015 3:00 am

Quoting ScottB (Reply 146):
Nah, Amtrak doesn't really get a price premium

Delta only gets those fares because Amtrak sells out every week at popular times. They get the overflow and are able to milk last minute business travelers, that is why the fares are so high. Amtrak sells its last tickets at reasonable prices, but they have capacity limits. I used to travel alot to boston and DC and never wanted to fly, but had to quite a few times out of necessity. Flying is certainly the second choice for city to city travelers, flying is only better if you have a connecting flight or headed to a suburban spot closer to the airport.
 
cloudboy
Posts: 1123
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2004 12:38 pm

RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sun Jan 04, 2015 3:14 am

Quoting ScottB (Reply 146):
Nah, Amtrak doesn't really get a price premium. I can book Boston South Station to NY Penn Monday morning on the Acela for $151. Delta wants at least $430 for the Shuttle. WN charges $212 walk-up for DAL-HOU, so there's a lot less room to underprice the airline.

That's because Amtrak doesn't hike up their fares last minute like the airlines do. WE are not supposed to quote fares so I wont, but on average flying costs about 10%-20% less if you book more than a day or two in advance, and if you can do two weeks you are talking less than half the price of Acela. That is why I normally fly as a leisure traveler to NYC.

Quoting ScottB (Reply 146):
But in Houston & Dallas, this isn't really the case. Sure, there are people going from downtown to downtown, but in Houston, people are also going to/from the Galleria, Energy Corridor/Katy, the Woodlands, Clear Lake, Sugar Land, etc. In the Metroplex, you have passengers going to/from Fort Worth, Arlington, Plano, Frisco, Park Cities, etc. The airports in Dallas and Houston are typically easier to reach by car than the city centers, and that's key in regions where the car is the primary mode of local transportation.

So if the Main business districts are not the city centers, why is the train station going to be in the city center? The idea of the train station is that since it takes up so much less room and doesn't have issues with approaches, it can be built in a much more central location.

Quoting ScottB (Reply 146):
Third, actually, but that's a meaningless figure as Houston has no heavy rail public transit/subway comparable to the NYC MTA, MBTA, WMATA, SEPTA, CTA, etc. If you include transit systems with heavy rail, Houston falls down to 11th or 12th in ridership per mile, below Atlanta and San Juan.

But then that wouldn't be light rail now, would it? Different transit systems, different purposes.
"Six becoming three doesn't create more Americans that want to fly." -Adam Pilarski
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 14228
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

RE: Will High-Speed Texas Train Hurt Airlines?

Sun Jan 04, 2015 3:20 am

Quoting cloudboy (Reply 148):
So if the Main business districts are not the city centers, why is the train station going to be in the city center? The idea of the train station is that since it takes up so much less room and doesn't have issues with approaches, it can be built in a much more central location.

Especially in Houston, the point isn't that downtown isn't close to the middle of the demand. The point is that lots of passengers are going to places far from downtown. That's less true in New York or Washington. Ironically, the closest thing to the middle of the business demand in the Metroplex is probably DFW.

Quoting cloudboy (Reply 148):
That's because Amtrak doesn't hike up their fares last minute like the airlines do. WE are not supposed to quote fares so I wont, but on average flying costs about 10%-20% less if you book more than a day or two in advance, and if you can do two weeks you are talking less than half the price of Acela.

Of course, much if not most shorthaul business travel is booked close-in.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more

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