It is currently Fri Nov 17, 2017 3:36 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 66 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: Amtrak - Geographical Service Gaps by Rail, Why?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 12:31 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 3:25 am
Posts: 1025
As a traction fan, I hear quite a few references to National City Lines, and sometimes GM in particular. This is especially true if I'm working in the LA Railway streetcar barn at Orange Empire (where some of the cars still have the NCL "fruit salad" color scheme). There's a recently published book (from Canada) that supposedly lays out the whole sad story of the demise of most US streetcar systems at the hands of this "great transit conspiracy"; then there are other authors who don't like GM, Firestone, et al. either, but think blaming them for the current state of public transit in the US is an over-simplification.
Be that as it may, we really can't blame NCL for the lack of medium and long-distance passenger trains. Among other factors that can be considered: Development of jet-powered transport planes, which got a major boost from military aviation, especially the B-47 bomber. The Interstate Highway program, sold to Congress and the public as a way to move military traffic in wartime, and said to have been inspired by President Eisenhower's observations of the German Autobahn network. Diversion of US Mail business to air and highway carriers.

_________________
Bob Davis
Southern California


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Amtrak - Geographical Service Gaps by Rail, Why?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 3:37 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3030
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
An earlier development (maybe):

J3a-614 wrote:
I've wondered if the interest in modern passenger rail could be leveraged into interest in rail preservation. Something like that just may be happening here:

http://millennialtrain.co/


And a possible sequel?

http://narprail.org/news/narp-blog/2371 ... ntostation

Of particular interest are the vintage interfaces with modern technology, such as the old typewriter that connects with Twitter, and the classic radio that incorporates an I-pod. Wonder how big a job it was to rig that up?


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Amtrak - Geographical Service Gaps by Rail, Why?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 12:59 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3030
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Story on Amtrak's finances and an interesting comment in there:

http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/201 ... l/?hp&_r=0

Quote:
Mr. Coscia believes that young urbanites have finally discovered the pleasures of traveling by rail. The average age of passengers is getting younger, he said. And as people move back into cities, they’re learning that it’s convenient to take trains from one urban center to another. Driving is time spent away from the computer, the cell phone, the afternoon nap. Why not let the conductor take over?


Can we harness this renewed interest in railroading into the preservation field?


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Amtrak - Geographical Service Gaps by Rail, Why?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:22 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3030
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
More on Amtrak's financial performance--surprisingly, it does about as well as SBB (Swiss rail system):

http://www.railwayage.com/index.php/pas ... ratio.html


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Amtrak - Geographical Service Gaps by Rail, Why?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2013 2:11 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3030
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
On the value of perseverance:

http://www.railwayage.com/index.php/blo ... l?channel=

I'll add that we may finally--FINALLY--be getting to where we might get some respect:

Quote:
But some [people in the professional railroad community, such as equipment suppliers] keep their belief under wraps and, as a rail advocate myself for some decades, I understand why. I’ve heard the slurs and derogatory comments up close and personal from all kinds of sources. From NIMBYs. From local officials. From transit agency representatives, though seldom in New Jersey, at least face-to-face. From the Garden State’s Department of Transportation, where I indeed did hear such opprobrium delivered, sometimes sotto voce, sometimes spat at me with venom and without reservation.

Trolley jolley. Foamer. “FRN,” to be charitably translated as “freaking rail nut,” though more often offered in variants (plural) a bit more coarse. I’ve heard them all. I guess I’ve been them all, in the eyes of this officious person or that. The dismissive vitriol is enough to turn the hair grey on any rail advocate. Works on me. . .

In turn, it’s my duty to urge our readers, including our supplier community, to keep close tabs on just whom your business allies really are – not just in Cincinnati, but in all the U.S. and Canadian municipalities climbing onboard the streetcar and LRT wave. Suppliers: Forget the trash-talk acronyms and pejoratives. Thank the advocates.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Amtrak - Geographical Service Gaps by Rail, Why?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:39 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3030
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Rather than start a new thread, I'm just placing this here (and even then I'm not sure this is the right place):

http://www.floridanotallaboard.com/

https://www.facebook.com/floridanotallaboard

For the record, this is in reference to "All Aboard Florida," a proposal by the Florida East Coast Railway to reenter the passenger market. Partially driven by Florida traffic congestion, higher gasoline prices, the observed changing shift away from cars, plus hopes of more property development, the FEC is working at returning to privately operated passenger service.

http://www.allaboardflorida.com/

However, as noted, not everyone is happy with the idea.

To tell you the truth, the first time I saw this, I asked the fellow in Florida who forwarded it to me, "Are these guys real? I say, this looks more like a spoof of NIMBYism than a real effort." His reply was that these guys are real, and really are afraid of trains, apparently.

I bring this up because one of the things that stood out about this bunch, particularly on the Facebook page, was how much they sounded like the trail people in New York. All the elements are there--the trains will need a subsidy, questions about rich people making money off the trains at public expense, the notion that railroads are outmoded, concerns about safety and noise and pollution (as if the highway system doesn't have those things in far greater measure and doesn't need a subsidy, either)--even awful graphics and the talk about "stopping the choo choo."

I declare, these guys would be at home in the pages of "The Onion."

It's also another example of how rail promoters, including heritage people, are "red headed stepchildren" who can't "get no. . ."--no, I won't say it here, I've said it often enough, and to say it again might upset certain people.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Amtrak - Geographical Service Gaps by Rail, Why?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 5:41 am 
User avatar

Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2013 2:42 am
Posts: 1676
Location: Seattle, WA - Land of Coffee
For those who follow, or are interested in, court decisions regarding Amtrak:

Department of Transportation, et al., Petitioners v. Association of American Railroads

Docket No. 13-1080

This case regards Section 207 of the Passenger Rail Investment & Improvement Act (PRIIA) of 2008, which relates to Amtrak's on-time performance, and as the SCOTUS blog states:

Supreme Court of the United States Blog wrote:
Issue: Whether Section 207 of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008, which requires the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and Amtrak to “jointly . . . develop” the metrics and standards for Amtrak’s performance that will be used in part to determine whether the Surface Transportation Board (STB) will investigate a freight railroad for failing to provide the preference for Amtrak’s passenger trains that is required by federal law, and provides for the STB to appoint an arbitrator if the FRA and Amtrak cannot agree on the metrics and standards within 180 days, effects an unconstitutional delegation of legislative power to a private entity.


The case was last heard by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case on June 23rd. As of September 4th, argument before the Supreme Court has been scheduled for Monday, December 8th.

Supreme Court Webpages on the Case:

http://www.supremecourt.gov/Search.aspx?FileName=/docketfiles/13-1080.htm

http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/department-of-transportation-v-association-of-american-railroads/

Related news articles from June when the Court granted the Petition:

Railway Age: http://www.railwayage.com/index.php/passenger/intercity/supreme-court-to-consider-usdot-vs-aar-re-amtrak.html

Associated Press: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/supreme-court-hear-amtrak-dispute

Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/articles/supreme-court-to-review-amtrak-role-in-setting-rail-regulations-1403531638

Bloomberg: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-06-23/amtrak-rulemaking-clash-draws-scrutiny-from-supreme-court.html

_________________
Ted Brumberg


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Amtrak - Geographical Service Gaps by Rail, Why?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 12:20 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3030
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Just a general article on the increasing interest in modern passenger service--but take note that heritage service is considered in the mix, too, at least by some people.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/15/travel/ir ... ?hpt=hp_c4

Can we tap into this?


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Amtrak - Geographical Service Gaps by Rail, Why?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2014 6:56 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:54 am
Posts: 725
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Part of the reason for the gap between Chicago and Florida is that the lines from Nashville to Atlanta are still primarily single track. The biggest obstacle is on the old Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis where it crosses Cumberland Mountain. Steep grades, narrow cuts and a single track tunnel that's long and deep means that double tracking is not an option on that portion of the line. There is no economic way for Amtrak to compete with the airlines for the passenger traffic on those city pairs.

_________________
"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."- Conductor Nimrod Bell, 1896


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Amtrak - Geographical Service Gaps by Rail, Why?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2014 7:22 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:28 am
Posts: 2438
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Alan Walker wrote:
Part of the reason for the gap between Chicago and Florida is that the lines from Nashville to Atlanta are still primarily single track. The biggest obstacle is on the old Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis where it crosses Cumberland Mountain. Steep grades, narrow cuts and a single track tunnel that's long and deep means that double tracking is not an option on that portion of the line. There is no economic way for Amtrak to compete with the airlines for the passenger traffic on those city pairs.


Mr. Walker raises a good point. I believe The Floridian in Amtrak times took the "long way" to Florida through Birmingham. The IC-CofG route was equally non-direct.

Even getting to Louisville is more challenging with the south end of the old Monon now long gone. The Louisville & Indiana's ex PRR line to Louisville is restricted to slower speeds. You could race down the C&EI to Evansville, then use the former L&N to Nashville, but you miss an important city-Louisville along the route.

_________________
--
David M. Wilkins

"They Love Him for the Enemies He Has Made!"


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Amtrak - Geographical Service Gaps by Rail, Why?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2014 9:54 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2013 2:42 am
Posts: 1676
Location: Seattle, WA - Land of Coffee
For anyone who is following the case Department of Transportation, et al., Petitioners v. Association of American Railroads, here's the full transcript from the arguments heard by the Supreme Court this past Monday, December 8th:

http://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/argument_transcripts/13-1080_4f15.pdf

Also some new entries on the SCOTUS blog regarding this case:

By Stephen Wermiel, posted Thursday, December 4th: http://www.scotusblog.com/2014/12/scotus-for-law-students-non-delegation-doctrine-returns-after-long-hiatus/

By Lyle Denniston, posted Saturday, December 6th: http://www.scotusblog.com/2014/12/argument-preview-a-doctrinal-trip-back-to-the-1930s/

By Lyle Denniston, posted Monday, December 8th: http://www.scotusblog.com/2014/12/argument-analysis-decide-or-remand-thats-the-question/

_________________
Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

_________________
Ted Brumberg


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Amtrak - Geographical Service Gaps by Rail, Why?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 4:24 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:54 am
Posts: 725
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Rainier Rails wrote:
For anyone who is following the case Department of Transportation, et al., Petitioners v. Association of American Railroads, here's the full transcript from the arguments heard by the Supreme Court this past Monday, December 8th:

http://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/argument_transcripts/13-1080_4f15.pdf

Also some new entries on the SCOTUS blog regarding this case:

By Stephen Wermiel, posted Thursday, December 4th: http://www.scotusblog.com/2014/12/scotus-for-law-students-non-delegation-doctrine-returns-after-long-hiatus/

By Lyle Denniston, posted Saturday, December 6th: http://www.scotusblog.com/2014/12/argument-preview-a-doctrinal-trip-back-to-the-1930s/

By Lyle Denniston, posted Monday, December 8th: http://www.scotusblog.com/2014/12/argument-analysis-decide-or-remand-thats-the-question/

_________________
Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


And if you don't want to read it, you can go to the Oyez Project's page and listen to the audio file.

_________________
"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."- Conductor Nimrod Bell, 1896


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Amtrak - Geographical Service Gaps by Rail, Why?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2014 10:26 am 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2069
The Iraq war cost far more than paying for Amtrak, you could fund Amtrak a long time just from the Iraq war and include NASA in the whole deal. Somebody is screwed up.
Just thank GM for the Auto...


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Amtrak - Geographical Service Gaps by Rail, Why?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2014 9:02 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2069
Jeff Lisowski wrote:
dinwitty wrote:
The Iraq war cost far more than paying for Amtrak, you could fund Amtrak a long time just from the Iraq war and include NASA in the whole deal. Somebody is screwed up.
Just thank GM for the Auto...


Iraq or the larger picture of the Global War on Terror?

You can't compare any of them to Amtrak subsidies though.


I just did and it doesnt matter which.

ok, here goes some simple google digs

iraq war cost

Quote:
The U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq will cost taxpayers $4 trillion to $6 trillion, taking into account the medical care of wounded veterans and expensive repairs to a force depleted by more than a decade of fighting, according to a new study by a Harvard researcher.



Amtrak subsidie cost

Quote:
Since 1972 Amtrak has received more than $13 billion of federal subsidies.


2014-1972 = 42 years

309523809 dollars per year (309 million)

a lot of that is picking up routes the railroads dumped.

13 billion....the big box store I work at (its not walmart) makes more than that every year. If you ask me the money complaints is just bollucks, its all political.

It goes back to interurbans abandoning because of cars, ticket prices had trouble covering expenses and getting riders, but there were plenty who wanted to ride the passenger trains, you could not give them up. Thats why Amtrak, that why many transit systems went public because it was -needed-.

The railroad passenger service is still a core need for this nation however way you may find to support it. Otherwise you force people to cars and clog more highways.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Amtrak - Geographical Service Gaps by Rail, Why?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 1:32 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8353
Location: Baltimore, MD
The problems with such a comparison:

1) Just because a bigger and/or more questionable expenditure (shall we call it a "waste"?) was made elsewhere, that has nothing whatsoever to do with defending or excusing the validity or effectiveness of the expenditure being discussed (in this case, Amtrak). It's entirely possible neither of them should have ever been done/spent in the first place.

2) You can always steer the estimates of "costs" seventeen ways to Sunday to support or attack the cause in question.
Opponents of the Iraq War are, of course, eager to inflate the costs in any way they can, such as factoring in the long-term care of combat veterans as part of the cost. If we're going to be honest with ourselves and this discussion, we also have to add in the billions of capital and infrastructure costs spent on purchasing Amtrak rolling stock and maintaining the Northeast Corridor and other Amtrak-owned trackage in Michigan, Pennsylvania, etc. This money, which DOES NOT show up on the annual operations subsidy appropriation, at times equals or exceeds the operation appropriation. It's as intellectually dishonest as factoring in only the cost of gas and insurance as your annual driving cost, while ignoring the cost of the car or its repairs/maintenance. Never mind that that's exactly how too many people do accounting and budgeting, and is par for politics.

Quote:
13 billion....the big box store I work at (its not walmart) makes more than that every year. If you ask me the money complaints is just bollucks, its all political.

Here's a valid consideration: The "big box store", assuming you're talking about a large chain like Bullseye, Bunns & Noodle, House Station, etc. most likely directly serves far more individuals nationwide, and on a more frequent basis--all of whom have made a conscientious and deliberate decision to support said business voluntarily with their purchases (leaving aside the hazy issue of the occasional "subsidy" of stores and shopping centers with bus routes, tax breaks, etc.).


Offline
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 66 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


 Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to: