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  #481  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2022, 7:22 PM
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Originally Posted by electricron View Post
I'm not going to stop preaching some truths as I see them. You can just stop reading them if you don't like what your eyes see.
If I could block you I would. You are not being at all helpful here. You clutter up this thread with negativity and miss the point entirely.
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  #482  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2022, 3:42 AM
Delthayre Delthayre is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electricron View Post
I'm not going to stop preaching some truths as I see them.
If you must think so highly of yourself rather than being highly thought of by others, perhaps you don't deserve to be thought highly of by anybody.
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  #483  
Old Posted Jan 14, 2022, 4:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrt's friend View Post
Definitely, there needs to be construction of new passenger railway corridors to really make a difference and you provided a list of examples. There needs to be more of this. Yet despite the problems, passenger rail has been on the upswing anyways. Why? Increasing highway and urban congestion and a generational change in which younger people have a lower desire for the expense of car ownership and car dependency in general.

This is still not contrary to what I said earlier. And I would further argue that the interstate highway system was not the primary cause of passenger rail decline. This was already well underway by the time of the main period of interstate construction in the 1960s.

I believe it was the smaller things that you dismissed that were bigger factors, the paving, straightening and widening of roads that started by the end of World War I. This can be correlated with the decline in passenger rail ridership that had already begun by the 1920s. Already cars could travel faster than trains and with declining ridership and private ownership, there was no incentive to improve right of ways or rolling stock for passenger trains.

By the time of the passing of legislation that produced the interstate highway system, most interurban railways, municipal railways, intercity passenger railways and the manufacture of passenger railcars in North America were in rapid decline or wiped out entirely. The interurban rail lines which mostly operated for passenger service in their own right of way were simply abandoned. Improved highways replaced them. Municipal railways often had private right of ways but were replaced by buses in mixed traffic simply because it was too costly to renew the rail infrastructure that was often over 50 years old.

You couldn't even buy a new electric streetcar after the early 1950s in North America.
https://www.wyohistory.org/encyclope...highway-system

It took Ike and his company of Army convoy 62 days to travel from DC to San Francisco in 1919. 62 days.
Train passengers, even with multiple changes of trains, could do so in less than a week. Heavyweight coaches and Pullman sleepers pulled by steam locomotives were at least 8 times faster than driving over dirt and gravel roads.
As you suggested, trains did not get faster, but driving vehicles over improved paved roads did by WW2. Even then, drivers could only drive fast in the rural highways between cities and towns, because the speed limits for vehicles dropped in them. On the east coast, with towns averaging around 5 miles apart, most likely you would have 3 miles of high speed highways between towns, with 2 one mile stretch of low speed roads into or out of a town. So average speeds were still not so great. The Interstate Highway system bypassed all the cities and towns with high speed highways, so one could maintain high speeds seemingly forever.

The truth remains is that railroads are no longer 8 times faster than driving, most likely not even 2 times faster than driving anymore.
I repeat, if you want trains to be more competitive, they will need to go much faster. More of the same will not make them go faster.

Please debate the issues, not personalities. I do not expect everyone will agree with me, but I am writing truths as I see them, and can often link news articles to back them up.
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  #484  
Old Posted Jan 14, 2022, 7:38 AM
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I think it stands to reason that trains have to do something better than their competitors, just like any product, whether it be being faster, cheaper, safer etc.

This is why I think that the train between Seattle and Portland works, for example, because it is safer than driving (2017 accident notwithstanding), and is not much slower.
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  #485  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2022, 10:28 PM
plutonicpanda plutonicpanda is offline
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Originally Posted by mrnyc View Post
no, slow your roll el lay -- you do realize highways were built to support expedited military movement during the cold war and we had cars before then, don't you? also far better passenger rail services.
Nope. That is a common misconception though!

Defense was the primary reason for the Interstate System.

The primary justifications for the Interstate System were civilian in nature. In the midst of the Cold War, the Department of Defense supported the Interstate System and Congress added the words “and Defense” to its official name in 1956 (“National System of Interstate and Defense Highways”). However, the program was so popular for its civilian benefits that the legislation would have passed even if defense had not been a factor.

https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/interstate/....cfm#question3
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  #486  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2022, 10:30 PM
plutonicpanda plutonicpanda is offline
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Originally Posted by lrt's friend View Post
Even if cars remain king, we see congestion increasing at a pace that road expansion cannot keep up with.

Everywhere else in the world, it is understood that alternatives need to be offered.

Passenger rail failed in North America simply because we invested so much public money in roads that private rail modernization was not possible.

Not everybody wants to drive everywhere especially as congestion increases, so investment in a better rail network will provide the alternative that is sorely missing at the present time.
I think it is becoming more understood here in the state that we need to increase emphasis on alternative transit. You aren't ever going to build enough lanes to create congestion free freeway in major cities during rush hour. But that doesn't justify keeping road lanes maxed out at 6-8 lanes either.

Not everyone wants to ride trains or bikes everywhere either, something it seems like many on this board fail to comprehend. Passenger rail failed because people chose the car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Busy Bee View Post
The same year we, the world's premier superpower, were wrecking Penn Station,
Now that was an absolute travesty no doubt. We should be building MagLev across the country, not this slightly better than 19th century rail crap.
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  #487  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2022, 1:22 PM
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Deal between CSX and Amtrak could help pave the away for East-West Rail
The freight railroad operator agreed to concessions to help grease the wheels for federal approval for its Pan Am Railways acquisition

By John Chesto
Boston Globe
Jan. 30, 2022

"After years of sitting at the platform, can a proposal for East-West rail service across Massachusetts finally leave the station?

It’s certainly more likely now, thanks to some legal maneuvering amid giant freight railroad operator CSX’s proposed acquisition of the smaller Pan Am Railways, a regional freight carrier based in Billerica.

So-called East-West Rail service from Boston to Springfield and beyond isn’t part of this merger, or at least it wasn’t supposed to be. But Florida-based CSX controls the rail right of way west of Worcester, all the way to the Albany station in Rensselaer, N.Y. And Amtrak is using some tough regulatory scrutiny of the merger as leverage to ensure it can expand passenger service in the CSX corridor when the time is right..."

https://www.bostonglobe.com/2022/01/...ast-west-rail/
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  #488  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2022, 5:09 AM
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Improving the Boston to Albany rail line would go a long way to making the Lake Shore Limited a much more attractive Boston-Chicago route.
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  #489  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2022, 7:58 PM
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The interstate highway system has nothing to do with the military. It was built as a toll-free network in order to send the railroads into bankruptcy, and it didn't take long, since the railroads were still heavily regulated by the ICC and so couldn't save/invest their "excess" profits. The Penn Central bankruptcy - the largest in U.S. history until Enron, occurred just 15 years after the highway bill passed, and years before the highway network was fully built-out.

This followed the NYC IND strategy - build a competitor to a monopoly, watch it die thanks to old debts that anticipated continued monopoly status, then buy up the wreckage for cheap.

Amtrak has been kept in a moribund state so that people think "passenger rail can't work in the United States because the distances are further than in Europe and Japan".
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  #490  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2022, 2:59 PM
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The Points Guy has a good profile of the new Amtrak cars. Amtrak will be able to get more capacity (and more revenue) with these slimmer seats, allowing for more passengers on each car.

Faster Wi-Fi but slimmer seats: Here’s a first look on board Amtrak’s newest trains

By Chris Dong
The Points Guy
Feb. 8, 2022


Image courtesy of the Points Guy.

"This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

You can experience the future of U.S. train travel today.

This past July, Amtrak placed a $7.3 billion order with California-based Siemens Mobility for as many as 83 trains, replacing rail cars up to 50 years old. This includes new equipment on the pivotal Northeast Corridor network connecting Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C..."

https://thepointsguy.com/news/amtrak...train-onboard/
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  #491  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2022, 3:28 PM
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The most obese nation on earth. Slimmer seats.
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  #492  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2022, 4:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Busy Bee View Post
The most obese nation on earth. Slimmer seats.
We're actually 14th. The various South Pacific island nations lead the world. I am surprised Australia and New Zealand rank as high as they do. I would have thought both countries, especially New Zealand, are healthy.

https://data.worldobesity.org/rankings/
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  #493  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2022, 5:12 PM
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I'm glad the Venture coaches are starting to enter service in the Midwest. Seems like they have sorted out the lead-in-water issue with only about 6 months of delay, I was worried it would spiral out into years. I just saw 4 more Venture coaches arrive in Chicago yesterday from the plant in CA.

I have to say the interiors look very underwhelming in photos. If you're not looking closely it might as well be a Horizon or Amfleet... if we're gonna run passenger service that is a joke in the developed world, we might as well have some style at least. Why is the ceiling just a flat gray? Where is the mood lighting that is basically standard on all airliners now? I'm not really impressed by USB ports, especially when the Amfleets have had on-board outlets for years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 202_Cyclist View Post
We're actually 14th. The various South Pacific island nations lead the world. I am surprised Australia and New Zealand rank as high as they do. I would have thought both countries, especially New Zealand, are healthy.

https://data.worldobesity.org/rankings/
I'm not surprised, ANZAC/Canada are the closest approximations to US lifestyle outside of the US. The Pacific Island nations are sort of asterisked as those groups have a strong genetic predisposition to larger bodies/higher BMI. Calling that "obesity" implies that it's pathological, but for those groups it's perfectly healthy to have higher BMI (I admit there may be additional issues in those groups with modern diets, etc).
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  #494  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2022, 6:52 PM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post

I have to say the interiors look very underwhelming in photos. If you're not looking closely it might as well be a Horizon or Amfleet... if we're gonna run passenger service that is a joke in the developed world, we might as well have some style at least. Why is the ceiling just a flat gray? Where is the mood lighting that is basically standard on all airliners now? I'm not really impressed by USB ports, especially when the Amfleets have had on-board outlets for years.
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No, it's not pronounced "Keeve."
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  #495  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2022, 7:28 PM
Obadno Obadno is offline
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Originally Posted by Busy Bee View Post
The most obese nation on earth. Slimmer seats.
Not on earth but pretty close.

But Britts and Germans are rapidly closing the gap

That being said Amtracks seats are NOT the problem they are quite comfy
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  #496  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2022, 8:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Obadno View Post
But Britts and Germans are rapidly closing the gap
No. In spite of all the beer or dog piss they're supposed to drink on a daily basis, Germany would still be closer to the Dutch, French, Portuguese, Italian or Scandinavian obesity rates.
The Spaniards would actually be doing worse than the Germans in that matter.
But the Brits and the Irish are indeed the worst in Western Europe.

I think beside going to the gym and walking, advertising cycling as some efficient and healthy transit means in cities may help very much people in remaining fit.
Here in Paris, we're truly lucky like it's indecent in that respect. The town is pretty and interesting, so it's a delight to cycle it as often as weather allows it comfortably.

It's up to other cities to get better in this healthy cycling culture.
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  #497  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2022, 8:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Busy Bee View Post
The most obese nation on earth. Slimmer seats.
Supremely unhelpful comment.
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  #498  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2022, 9:00 PM
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It wasnt meant to be helpful.
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No, it's not pronounced "Keeve."
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  #499  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2022, 9:57 PM
jmecklenborg jmecklenborg is offline
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I've been on Amtrak trains with Amish families sleeping on the floor of the railcar, under the seats, stretching the length of 2-3 rows.
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  #500  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2022, 3:03 AM
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The seats in the coach cars look fine. They are supposedly 1/10 of an inch wider than Brightline's coach seats, and lots of folks think Brightline is The Second Coming.

For anyone who has a real problem with the seats, they can wait for the new Business Class/Economy Coach combo cars. Business Class seats are supposedly 26 inches wide, and the number of Business Class seats increases to 36; the current BC/café Amfleet cars have 18.

Last edited by Mister Uptempo; Feb 10, 2022 at 7:01 AM.
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