High Speed Trains Coming to Midwest.

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This is certainly a good news. The administration just announced a funding program for R&D in high speed rail. The line I am interested in is the is the one from Louisville to Chicago. The I-65 is extremely congested in that stretch and driving is a major hassle. A high speed train would make my trips to Chicago much more enjoyable. There are a number of times that I want to go to Chicago for an art exhibition, concert or just to have a nice time and a meal on top of the Hancock Tower. But when I think that I would be driving back on a highway congested with trucks, I usually abandon the idea.
 
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Frickin' awesome. I think this is a great idea. ...but where is he getting the money?
 
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Why should the entire country pay for a regional or local train line that will not be profitable and probably will end up graffiti sprayed and crime ridden? I have been labeled.
 
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Our Amtrak Chicago/Milwaukee to Minneapolis route is horrible. It takes the same amount of time as driving (5.5 hours) and costs more, at $88 round trip. And the customer service is worse than an airline. My heart would really like a high speed line, but everything I have experienced screams to head the opposite direction. Give me one more lane of expressway and increase the speed limit to 75. Heck, after a decade it would probably cost less.
 

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 Originally Posted By: bepperb
Our Amtrak Chicago/Milwaukee to Minneapolis route is horrible. It takes the same amount of time as driving (5.5 hours) and costs more, at $88 round trip. And the customer service is worse than an airline. My heart would really like a high speed line, but everything I have experienced screams to head the opposite direction. Give me one more lane of expressway and increase the speed limit to 75. Heck, after a decade it would probably cost less.
The US is perfectly suited for high speed rail given the distances. Adding one more lane will not improve anything - in a couple of decades you end up with the same situation - on top of that you consume a lot of oil and pollute your air. I have watched documentaries about the world class rail travel in the past with top of the line service and speed. But because it fell from favor as the jet travel took off, now it's mostly not a pleasant experience to travel in clunky old trains.
 
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Why wouldn't it be sustainable if the traffic is very congested along the route? You either build a high speed rail, low speed rail, or road. A public transit usually takes longer than driving, but it is more efficient during peak hours and reduce commuters stress.
 
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The problem (for Amtrak anyway) is they don't own any track. Back in Oct 07 oilBabe and I took Amtrak from Kirkwood, MO to Hermann, MO for a day of visiting wineries. The trip there was uneventful and we were patting ourselves on the back for the great decision to take the train. No driving or parking hassles, no danger of DWI, etc. Day of visiting wineries, no actual case purchases, which is OK because you can usually find the wine CHEAPER outside the winery properties. The return train is delayed to the station by nearly two hours. Then, the just over an hour train ride back to Kirkwood, MO turns into a three hour ride because we are sharing tracks with the freight lines that actually own the tracks. So unless any high speed train comes with it's own dedicated tracks, it's going to be a pretty miserable experience. Why should a train be two hours late in good weather and take 3 hours to travel 75 minutes worth of track? I've had enough Amtrak for quite a while now. I don't think the lines are profitable, so this is likely throwing money away. I'm sure we could use the jobs here in IL, but it's just waste at this point. Turn Amtrak loose and let them be profitable, just like the banks, LOL.
 
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 Originally Posted By: javacontour
The problem (for Amtrak anyway) is they don't own any track. I don't think the lines are profitable, so this is likely throwing money away.
If memory serves me correctly, Bush Sr. said he would come into office and cut off welfare money to Amtrak. It never happened and Amtrak has never been able to keep afloat without a handout. So what are we to do, build dedicated track for Amtrak AND fund their high speed rail also? Track owned by other railroads cannot handle high speed trains and the Accela, (sp?) Amtrak's high speed rail has had some teething problems, probably now mostly fixed. What is the ratio of good government projects verses failed government projects? Never mind. I already know.
 
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 Originally Posted By: Pablo
Why should the entire country pay for a regional or local train line that will not be profitable and probably will end up graffiti sprayed and crime ridden?
Trains were profitable and efficient until the Eisenhower defense plan of the Federal Highway Network came into being. It destroyed them. Rail was too vulnerable to strategic attack and resource deployment was too dependent on them. Why do you think highways are rated for 80k? It's much more efficient than OTR transport. It's just harder to JIT in its current state.
 
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Not sure why there is expectation that this needs to be run @ a profit. I drive to Western VA and back and the entire out of pocket expense is $1.50 for crossing the Hudson River. I don't see the roads being run in a "for profit" model...
 
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 Originally Posted By: simple_gifts
Not sure why there is expectation that this needs to be run @ a profit.
Yea. Our government hasn't been running on a profit for a long time and it's healthy............isn't it?
 
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 Quote:
The distance £10 will take passengers is now just 27 miles, down from 55 miles in 2002. This compares to 38 miles in Ireland, 58 miles in France, 91 miles in Italy and 383 miles in Latvia. The cost of a 100-mile rail journey in Britain has also soared to an average £48, up from £18 in 2002.
 Quote:
UK fares are rising partly because the Government is cutting its rail subsidies from 50 per cent to 25 per cent within the next six years.
http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/32160/Train-fares-rip-off-is-worst-in-Europe The only reason trains work in Europe is because they are heavily subsidized by the government.
 Quote:
Commuters across Europe complain about their train services. London commuters about late trains, in Paris French rail unions strike against government railway reforms and in Barcelona both regional and local trains are being plunged into chaos due to construction accidents on the new adjoining AVE line being built into the heart of the Spain's second city. Britain's hard pressed commuters complain about some of the highest fares in Europe, and France's SNCF & Spain's RENFE provincial passengers, are angry that services are being cut back as many hard pressed regional governments can no longer afford to pay the massive subsidies necessary to keep services running.
http://my.telegraph.co.uk/journalist/blo...ormal_commuter_
 
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 Originally Posted By: Kruse
 Originally Posted By: simple_gifts
Not sure why there is expectation that this needs to be run @ a profit.
Yea. Our government hasn't been running on a profit for a long time and it's healthy............isn't it?
Yes, this is what I can never figure out. Highways, schools, etc. don't make a profit, but public transit is somehow expected to make a profit. John
 
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 Quote:
The only reason trains work in Europe is because they are heavily subsidized by the government.
The only reason cars work in the US is that we don't pay for all the costs of gasoline at the pump. There's a sizable military expense defending oil resources that we don't pay for with a gallon of gas. We're probably paying more than Europe if you compare how much they directly (and collectively) contribute to global defense of stable energy supplies.
 
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 Originally Posted By: Gary Allan
 Quote:
The only reason trains work in Europe is because they are heavily subsidized by the government.
The only reason cars work in the US is that we don't pay for all the costs of gasoline at the pump. There's a sizable military expense defending oil resources that we don't pay for with a gallon of gas.
And the road's expense are subsidized by other taxes, rather than the fuel cost. Just look at how much gas cost outside of the U.S. We subsidized the fuel, the road, and the traffic, so that it works in America. High speed rail isn't profitable if you build it incorrectly. It is not comparable to Amtrak because Amtrak share the rail with freight train, and the route was not connecting where it needed the most. For a high speed rail to work, it must be short, connecting high population area that have the volume of passengers due to traffic congestion. Having a high speed rail in Vegas or Alaska probably won't be a good idea, but having it along all the "cities" from L.A. to San Diego makes perfect sense. BTW, those "links" Tempest provide to prove trains doesn't work in EU makes perfect non-sense. Minor annoyance and expense increase is nothing compare to the cost of owning a car there, including the fuel, the tax, the traffic congestion, and most importantly, the space to park them.
 
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