Loc: Alexandria, VA
Originally Posted By: Mike
How far we're falling behind!!
a) IIRC, there isn't a national passenger rail system in the world that is profitable or even self-sustaining. Good luck getting support in the U.S. for something that doesn't directly line someone's pockets …
b) Smaller countries with shorter distances = more affordable rail systems …
c) As it is, a rail ticket costs almost as much as an airplane -- even more in many cases. In order to compete, rail would have to be either noticeably faster or significantly cheaper than air … *maybe* you'd get one of those along a seaboard corridor, but unlikely on a national scale.
Don't get me wrong: I'd LOVE to see a national high-speed rail system. I just don't see it happening with the priorities our society has these days ...
2. ONLY stop at major cities (>400,000) ... no milk runs** !!
**[HELL one Amtrack stop is at Mineola, TX (10 miles from us) pop ~5000 !! It was lobbied by a Congressman !! It's political BS !! It's supposed to be the smallest Amtrack station (stop) in the country !!]
That'd make it more competitive with airlines... They tried to get a system going in Texas between DFW – Houston - and San Antonio - Austin. Was going to call it the Texas triangle. But they could never get enough right-of-ways. They need to try again... it would be VERY doable for Texas travelers. Time you get from downtown to airport + 1 hr early, your flight time, land, -get baggage etc and go from airport to downtown , you could be there as fast by train !!
If they didn't have but like NY to LA via Chicago - Denver etc I think many would try it. Maybe a couple of stops in OH.... How about NYC, Pittsburg, Cleveland, Toledo, Chicago, St Louis, KS City, Denver, Las Vegas, LA ?? 10 Stops !! At 200 mph, it'd take about 16 hours... flying takes 7-8 when you add in early arrival and baggage etc + driving to downtown areas. I think shorter distances would be more appealing like they proposed in Texas. Boston to DC via NYC-Newark. Philadelphia, and Baltimore... travel 440 mi = 2.25 hours-- 3.5+ with stops.... flight is 1.75 hours ! That's competitive. Add 1.5 hours (45 on each end of flight and they're about even).
We need politicians that think like Spock... logically... not this what's in it for me or my contributors BS !! Course that'll happen real soon !!
Smaller countries with shorter distances = more affordable rail systems
That's the bottom line, it's like people comparing the lack of US high speed internet saturation and speed to a country smaller than Texas, the UK for instance. Japan is about half the size of Texas with a population density 10x the US. The UK is 3-4 times.
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