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  1. #1
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Well, its a start...

    Light rail will soon be connecting Tulsa and OKC (actually it will be connecting Sapulpa and Midwest City).
    http://www.newson6.com/story/2427789...nect-okc-tulsa

    Only thing is, it is not a commuter train, nor will it run daily. Maybe if they get a high enough ridership they may expand service...
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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    I wonder what destinations this new rail line will serve. Usually train service works best when it connects two or more popular destinations.


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    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
    Light rail will soon be connecting Tulsa and OKC (actually it will be connecting Sapulpa and Midwest City).
    http://www.newson6.com/story/2427789...nect-okc-tulsa

    Only thing is, it is not a commuter train, nor will it run daily. Maybe if they get a high enough ridership they may expand service...
    Good luck. I really have my doubts about this one. No daily service (Not even a consistent day of the week) and prices about twice what it would cost to take a bus. A maximum of 8 hours there before you'd have to get a hotel room to stay for a week or so. It certainly seems as though they are trying to prove that no one would want to take the train from Tulsa to OKC by fudging the data.

    If you want decent service, it looks like you'll need to start hammering on the Tulsa-Oklahoma City Corridor Investment Plan.
    Last edited by Artkansas; 12-27-13 at 01:46 AM.
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  4. #4
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    I wonder what destinations this new rail line will serve. Usually train service works best when it connects two or more popular destinations.
    Well, it looks like this is geared more for excursions/day trips than anything. "Packages start at only $70 for adult fare"- which gets you a ride on the train, then a chartered bus to either Bricktown* or the Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Museum, with some dates to include OKC Thunder games.

    As far as I can tell, this new Eastern Flyer doesn't even come close to the Heartland Flyer that connects OKC to Ft. Worth (and is part of the Amtrak system).

    *Bricktown is part of the revitalized area of downtown OKC that includes retail, shopping, and entertainment venues. They even rerouted the Oklahoma River (partially, at least) into the district (borrowing the concept from San Antonio's RiverWalk).
    Last edited by no1mad; 12-27-13 at 02:17 AM.
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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
    Well, it looks like this is geared more for excursions/day trips than anything. "Packages start at only $70 for adult fare"- which gets you a ride on the train, then a chartered bus to either Bricktown* or the Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Museum, with some dates to include OKC Thunder games.

    As far as I can tell, this new Eastern Flyer doesn't even come close to the Heartland Flyer that connects OKC to Ft. Worth (and is part of the Amtrak system).

    *Bricktown is part of the revitalized area of downtown OKC that includes retail, shopping, and entertainment venues. They even rerouted the Oklahoma River (partially, at least) into the district (borrowing the concept from San Antonio's RiverWalk).
    Well, trains are fun so they might get some to try it. A lot of towns have dinner trains and mystery trains. These trains don't really go anywhere at all, just drive around on the tracks while people enjoy dinner and a show.

    A real train needs to connect popular destinations and have regular fixed schedules. It takes a lot of passengers to make a train line economically successful. But like you said, it's a start. If the track is there and it's in good condition, the most expensive part is taken care of. I'm sure Oklahoma has a colorful railroad history, so maybe people will give it a try.


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    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    It takes a lot of passengers to make a train line economically successful. But like you said, it's a start.
    Are there any passenger train lines anywhere in the U.S. that have been economically successful in the past 60 years?

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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Are there any passenger train lines anywhere in the U.S. that have been economically successful in the past 60 years?
    I believe northeast corridor and Acela Express.

    Can you name a highway in America that made a profit?

    Why do trains have to make money? Highways get a 100 % government subsidy for the infrastructure, and also require each user to provide a vehicle at their own expense.
    Last edited by Roody; 12-27-13 at 12:29 PM.


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    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    What does "economically successful" mean? I'm pretty sure the Des Moines public transit isn't economically successful. But if you want to attract industry and the type of people that promote modern business, you need to act like a world-class city.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    I believe northeast corridor and Acela Express.

    Can you name a highway in America that made a profit?

    Why do trains have to make money? Highways get a 100 % government subsidy for the infrastructure, and also require each user to provide a vehicle at their own expense.
    Many urban rail lines, like BART in the Bay Area and the light rail in Portland, OR and Sacramento, CA have more than paid for themselves by reducing roadway congestion, reducing smog, and delaying/preventing the building of ever more subsidized highways.

    Can anyone imagine New York City without its subway? (I can't, but then I have never been to NYC.)

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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
    Many urban rail lines, like BART in the Bay Area and the light rail in Portland, OR and Sacramento, CA have more than paid for themselves by reducing roadway congestion, reducing smog, and delaying/preventing the building of ever more subsidized highways.

    Can anyone imagine New York City without its subway? (I can't, but then I have never been to NYC.)
    Agreed, but ILTB had specifically asked about passenger trains.

    Anyway, one thing about NYC is that it's an island, or rather three islands. Without the trains, gridlock on the bridges and tunnels would be unbearable. San Francisco, on a peninsula, is similar. When properly located and run, railroads of all types pay for themselves hundreds or thousands of times over. But they're not the best idea for every location.


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  11. #11
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    Agreed, but ILTB had specifically asked about passenger trains.

    Anyway, one thing about NYC is that it's an island, or rather three islands. Without the trains, gridlock on the bridges and tunnels would be unbearable. San Francisco, on a peninsula, is similar. When properly located and run, railroads of all types pay for themselves hundreds or thousands of times over. But they're not the best idea for every location.
    We all know the answer about why railroads have to make money, they tend to be private and have to answer to stock holders. Freight is a lot easier to move and freight is where the money is for railroads. A freight car can be loaded on a spur and picked up when it is ready. Passenger rail has to run on a regular schedule and make the trip full or empty. The rails like roads don't have to make money the trains and rail cars have to make money because the expenditure is higher than passenger cars. Passenger rail failed all by itself years ago in the US. It was simply cheaper and faster to fly or easier and more direct to drive.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
    We all know the answer about why railroads have to make money, they tend to be private and have to answer to stock holders. Freight is a lot easier to move and freight is where the money is for railroads. A freight car can be loaded on a spur and picked up when it is ready. Passenger rail has to run on a regular schedule and make the trip full or empty. The rails like roads don't have to make money the trains and rail cars have to make money because the expenditure is higher than passenger cars. Passenger rail failed all by itself years ago in the US. It was simply cheaper and faster to fly or easier and more direct to drive.
    Without arguing over whether passenger rail failed all by itself or had help (since it will doubtless end with us agreeing to disagree), are you sure it's quite dead yet? After the '89 Loma Prieta quake, there was a push to get more rail connections in NorCal. At the time, there were two trains per day from Sacramento to the Bay Area. Today the Capitol line has something like twelve trains each way daily and they are quite popular. These trains connect to the light rail in Sacramento, BART in Richmond and to whatever they call the light rail in Santa Clara County. It also has bike hangers.

    It seems like I have been hearing about expanded rail services in the southern part of CA too, but I don't know any details. Here in Oregon, we have had the Cascades line expanded over the past decade and there is finally talk of further expansion, likely due to what has happened with the Capitol Corridor line. I grant that our passenger rail in this country is grossly inadequate, but it looks to be in the early stages of a rebound.

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    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
    Many urban rail lines, like BART in the Bay Area and the light rail in Portland, OR and Sacramento, CA have more than paid for themselves by reducing roadway congestion, reducing smog, and delaying/preventing the building of ever more subsidized highways.

    Can anyone imagine New York City without its subway? (I can't, but then I have never been to NYC.)
    Can anyone [Edit: besides Roody] tell the difference in scale between an urban public transit light rail/subway line and an intercity passenger train line?

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    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
    We all know the answer about why railroads have to make money
    Not everybody does, as this thread illustrates.

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    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
    Without arguing over whether passenger rail failed all by itself or had help (since it will doubtless end with us agreeing to disagree), are you sure it's quite dead yet? After the '89 Loma Prieta quake, there was a push to get more rail connections in NorCal. At the time, there were two trains per day from Sacramento to the Bay Area. Today the Capitol line has something like twelve trains each way daily and they are quite popular. These trains connect to the light rail in Sacramento, BART in Richmond and to whatever they call the light rail in Santa Clara County. It also has bike hangers.


    It seems like I have been hearing about expanded rail services in the southern part of CA too, but I don't know any details. Here in Oregon, we have had the Cascades line expanded over the past decade and there is finally talk of further expansion, likely due to what has happened with the Capitol Corridor line. I grant that our passenger rail in this country is grossly inadequate, but it looks to be in the early stages of a rebound.


    If you are talking about Amtrak that is not a real rail line it has to rent track it doesn't own just to run, hence a horrid on time record. The rail lines like the old Santa Fe, Union Pacific and Southern Pacific dropped Passenger rail long before Amtrak as not being cost effective, even before most were bought out. Freight is what the rail lines use to make money and without freigt they don't make money. Even HSR is being fought tooth and nail here in Southern Cal. This from just last month. http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/11/25/...-setbacks.html And you can google Passenger rail and get wikipedia to point out the only real standard passenger rail in the us is Amtrak, hardly a prime example when it has to rent the track in rolls on and is subject to delays if they conflict with the "owners" of the rails frieght schedules. So no passenger rail is not on the rebound even if light rail is. Just pull up Amtrak's own on time information and see how many routes get a D and how many get and F when it come to making connections. No there is very little evidence that true Passenger rail is on the mend here in the US. Plus look at the Amtrak causes on why they have so many delays? Who here feels 80 percent on time is a positive? And I am sure no one feels 70 percent or less on time is acceptable. 50 percent, yes some Amtrak lines are that low. Sorry I was going to make it easy and post the Amtrak site. http://www.amtrak.com/historical-on-time-performance
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
    If you are talking about Amtrak that is not a real rail line it has to rent track it doesn't own just to run, hence a horrid on time record. The rail lines like the old Santa Fe, Union Pacific and Southern Pacific dropped Passenger rail long before Amtrak as not being cost effective, even before most were bought out. Freight is what the rail lines use to make money and without freigt they don't make money. Even HSR is being fought tooth and nail here in Southern Cal. This from just last month. http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/11/25/...-setbacks.html And you can google Passenger rail and get wikipedia to point out the only real standard passenger rail in the us is Amtrak, hardly a prime example when it has to rent the track in rolls on and is subject to delays if they conflict with the "owners" of the rails frieght schedules. So no passenger rail is not on the rebound even if light rail is. Just pull up Amtrak's own on time information and see how many routes get a D and how many get and F when it come to making connections. No there is very little evidence that true Passenger rail is on the mend here in the US. Plus look at the Amtrak causes on why they have so many delays? Who here feels 80 percent on time is a positive? And I am sure no one feels 70 percent or less on time is acceptable. 50 percent, yes some Amtrak lines are that low. Sorry I was going to make it easy and post the Amtrak site. http://www.amtrak.com/historical-on-time-performance
    Compared to the on time records of most airlines, Amtrak is looking better all the time. (I'll take 85+% for on-time performance and that 95% on the Capitol Corridor looks downright awesome.) Saying it isn't a passenger rail is just nonsense. You can dislike it, but it is passenger rail.

    Obviously, you don't ride trains much if you think there haven't been major expansions of service in the past decade or so. Fifteen years ago, it was a loooong wait for a train from Sacramento to Oakland. Today, people don't even bother checking the schedule, not because the trains won't be there at the scheduled time, they are, but because they run so frequently there is no need to worry. A similar story is unfolding here in the Willamette valley, although we are still well behind NorCal, as usual. Even so, I regularly ride the Coast Starlight between Eugene and Davis and it is quite rare that I don't arrive at my destination on time.

    As to who owns the rail and the consequences of that, that's a matter if history, politics and law. On the history front, we "paid" the robber barons and their successors to build rail lines to connect the country. IMO, allowing the private ownership of the rail lines that we paid to put in was as big a mistake as it would be to hand over our highways to private interests.

    There is an interesting recent history regarding the conflicts between the corporate owners of the lines and Amtrak. The freight carriers were "siding" the Amtrak trains and causing huge delays. It turns out that such behavior was illegal, but no one was doing anything about it. Well, along comes a passenger rail fan who also happened to be intimate with the Bush family. He called in a favor from then-President G.W. Bush and that nonsense stopped just before the end of his second term. As a regular rider, I can tell you that there was a noticeable difference in the on-time performance once W. stepped in.

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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
    We all know the answer about why railroads have to make money, they tend to be private and have to answer to stock holders. Freight is a lot easier to move and freight is where the money is for railroads. A freight car can be loaded on a spur and picked up when it is ready. Passenger rail has to run on a regular schedule and make the trip full or empty. The rails like roads don't have to make money the trains and rail cars have to make money because the expenditure is higher than passenger cars. Passenger rail failed all by itself years ago in the US. It was simply cheaper and faster to fly or easier and more direct to drive.
    But the public funding of transportation is a choice that was made by governments and private corporations. In different times, different choices were made.

    Cars and trains can both efficiently move people and goods across the country. They are both very good modes of transportation. Which mode is "better" depends on financial inputs from public and private sources. If more money is spent on railroads, they will be better. If more money is spent on highways, they will be better.

    This fact is well demonstrated in American history. Rail was king in the 19th century when it was heavily subsidized by governments; publicly funded highways reigned in the 20th century. It remains to be seen what mode will rule the 21st century, but that will probably depend on choices made by governments and corporations.


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    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    But the public funding of transportation is a choice that was made by governments and private corporations. In different times, different choices were made.

    Cars and trains can both efficiently move people and goods across the country. They are both very good modes of transportation. Which mode is "better" depends on financial inputs from public and private sources. If more money is spent on railroads, they will be better. If more money is spent on highways, they will be better.

    This fact is well demonstrated in American history. Rail was king in the 19th century when it was heavily subsidized by governments; publicly funded highways reigned in the 20th century. It remains to be seen what mode will rule the 21st century, but that will probably depend on choices made by governments and corporations.
    Historically Trains moved freight best and most cost effectively. Reading about how Rockefeller made his fortune we see that Oil, textiles, livestock and timber were the driving forces in making fortunes, not passengers. And when you answer to stockholders they aren't interested in running half empty trains. They can hold freight till they have enough cars to make a profit but a successful passenger rail has to keep a schedule. That is what makes light rail work and why Amtrak is a drain on tax money. That was why the big rail companies dropped passenger rail, Like many I don't know what the future will hold but I don't see the Government stepping in and building new rail lines without a revolution from the very people they have promised to serve. Can it be done? Maybe but if our northern friend sees it being done they see something I don't. I have plotted a trip to San Diego from Riverside many times over the last few years and to be honest if I were going by myself it would be almost more convenient to ride my bike. Harder on my legs however. In most cases they suggest I take the bus to Fullerton and then Amtrak to San Diego. The cost is reasonable but by the time the bus would get me to Fullerton I could drive to the outskirts of San Diego and start spending my day before the train got to Oceanside. These are only some of the problems passenger rail has to address and I haven't seen them addressing them in the five years I have been retired and using some light rail for excursions. But I simply have given up on Amtrak to go to San Diego. Now if I lived close to Union Station maybe it would be a different story.
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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
    Historically Trains moved freight best and most cost effectively. Reading about how Rockefeller made his fortune we see that Oil, textiles, livestock and timber were the driving forces in making fortunes, not passengers. And when you answer to stockholders they aren't interested in running half empty trains. They can hold freight till they have enough cars to make a profit but a successful passenger rail has to keep a schedule. That is what makes light rail work and why Amtrak is a drain on tax money. That was why the big rail companies dropped passenger rail, Like many I don't know what the future will hold but I don't see the Government stepping in and building new rail lines without a revolution from the very people they have promised to serve. Can it be done? Maybe but if our northern friend sees it being done they see something I don't. I have plotted a trip to San Diego from Riverside many times over the last few years and to be honest if I were going by myself it would be almost more convenient to ride my bike. Harder on my legs however. In most cases they suggest I take the bus to Fullerton and then Amtrak to San Diego. The cost is reasonable but by the time the bus would get me to Fullerton I could drive to the outskirts of San Diego and start spending my day before the train got to Oceanside. These are only some of the problems passenger rail has to address and I haven't seen them addressing them in the five years I have been retired and using some light rail for excursions. But I simply have given up on Amtrak to go to San Diego. Now if I lived close to Union Station maybe it would be a different story.
    I think it's unnecessary to keep saying how poor American train service is, as nobody would ever say otherwise with a straight face. So can we move beyond that? It's also illogical to compare service levels of underfunded train travel to fully funded systems like highway travel and air travel.

    You and others continually ask the question: Are trains as good as planes and cars? That's a trivial question, IMO, with an easy answer--of course trains are not as good, in the present day world. The important questions are: Could trains be as good as cars and planes? And of course: Should we spend the money to make trains as good as planes and cars?

    I think for the Could question, the answer is yes. There could be an American train system as good as the current highway and airline systems. Train tracks can be installed anywhere roads can be built, and at a lower cost per mile. Interstate Expressways could be replaced with dedicated high speed rail lines. State highways could be replaced with regular passenger rail. Every town that now supports an airport could support a train station. This is, like I said before, a question of funding priorities.

    The trickiest issue is Should we bother to replace current infrastructure with railways? Personally, I don't know. I think there are good arguments pro and con extensive rail infrastructure. I would certainly be interested in knowing your opinions on this Should question.


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    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    I think it's unnecessary to keep saying how poor American train service is, as nobody would ever say otherwise with a straight face. So can we move beyond that? It's also illogical to compare service levels of underfunded train travel to fully funded systems like highway travel and air travel.

    You and others continually ask the question: Are trains as good as planes and cars? That's a trivial question, IMO, with an easy answer--of course trains are not as good, in the present day world. The important questions are: Could trains be as good as cars and planes? And of course: Should we spend the money to make trains as good as planes and cars?

    I think for the Could question, the answer is yes. There could be an American train system as good as the current highway and airline systems. Train tracks can be installed anywhere roads can be built, and at a lower cost per mile. Interstate Expressways could be replaced with dedicated high speed rail lines. State highways could be replaced with regular passenger rail. Every town that now supports an airport could support a train station. This is, like I said before, a question of funding priorities.

    The trickiest issue is Should we bother to replace current infrastructure with railways? Personally, I don't know. I think there are good arguments pro and con extensive rail infrastructure. I would certainly be interested in knowing your opinions on this Should question.
    Ok, fair question as long as we confess that the big major rail lines are not expanding passenger rail while some government agencies might be expanding light rail. I think we could have created a viable passenger rail system if we would have pursued something like a mono rail that could have been built as we expanded the highway system in this country. The median area would have made a prime right of way. The problem seems to be that the roadway is public transportation and a monorail might be private. That could have been worked out maybe. But we didn't and the current system is private for the most part.

    Should we? I am not sure because I don't know if it is the best system for servicing the most people at the least cost. In other words is there a way to connect all the places people need to go by rail at a cost we as a nation can afford? I believe we would almost have to start from scratch to create a passenger rail system that would support the needs of society and that would take massive amounts of funding just to start. Then you run into right of way road blocks like the HSR in California. If funds were unlimited and people were all working full time maybe we should give it a hard look. My problem is that now with things looking so dim for the economy the very idea that we need to spend more to get out of debt sound like pure stupidity.

    Should we expand light rail like they have in San Diego? Absolutely in my opinion because that is a local based project serving a local based consumer and managed by a local government responsible to voters that use the system. Fits my Libertarian idea of where government works best.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
    Ok, fair question as long as we confess that the big major rail lines are not expanding passenger rail while some government agencies might be expanding light rail. I think we could have created a viable passenger rail system if we would have pursued something like a mono rail that could have been built as we expanded the highway system in this country. The median area would have made a prime right of way. The problem seems to be that the roadway is public transportation and a monorail might be private. That could have been worked out maybe. But we didn't and the current system is private for the most part.

    Should we? I am not sure because I don't know if it is the best system for servicing the most people at the least cost. In other words is there a way to connect all the places people need to go by rail at a cost we as a nation can afford? I believe we would almost have to start from scratch to create a passenger rail system that would support the needs of society and that would take massive amounts of funding just to start. Then you run into right of way road blocks like the HSR in California. If funds were unlimited and people were all working full time maybe we should give it a hard look. My problem is that now with things looking so dim for the economy the very idea that we need to spend more to get out of debt sound like pure stupidity.

    Should we expand light rail like they have in San Diego? Absolutely in my opinion because that is a local based project serving a local based consumer and managed by a local government responsible to voters that use the system. Fits my Libertarian idea of where government works best.
    I always have to wonder why libertarians are ok with federal funding of highways, but oppose it for railroads. Certainly there has never been a successful national transportation system that was not federally funded and coordinated. (Libertarians in congress have so far obstructed the transportation bill, so there is NO funding in place at the moment, even for routine maintenance.)

    In the nineteenth century, railroad companies received huge federal subsidies to build a coordinated transcontinental system that led to rapid economic expansion. Nineteenth century highways, in contrast, were built and run by private companies with little government involvement. These were pathetic highways that were mostly useless for trans-regional travel.

    The situation reversed in the 20th century, with subsidies and good government planning for highways (and air travel), but inadequate funding and burdensome regulations for passenger rail.

    At this time in the 21st century, the excellent interstate highway system will soon reach the end of it's designed lifespan. It will require massive funding for redesign and reconstruction. I think it's time to consider what we want for the next 100 years. Like I said before, there are advantages to each mode. It would be nice if people would keep an open mind as the issues are studied, but I suppose that's asking a lot.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  22. #22
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    I always have to wonder why libertarians are ok with federal funding of highways, but oppose it for railroads. Certainly there has never been a successful national transportation system that was not federally funded and coordinated. (Libertarians in congress have so far obstructed the transportation bill, so there is NO funding in place at the moment, even for routine maintenance.)

    In the nineteenth century, railroad companies received huge federal subsidies to build a coordinated transcontinental system that led to rapid economic expansion. Nineteenth century highways, in contrast, were built and run by private companies with little government involvement. These were pathetic highways that were mostly useless for trans-regional travel.

    The situation reversed in the 20th century, with subsidies and good government planning for highways (and air travel), but inadequate funding and burdensome regulations for passenger rail.

    At this time in the 21st century, the excellent interstate highway system will soon reach the end of it's designed lifespan. It will require massive funding for redesign and reconstruction. I think it's time to consider what we want for the next 100 years. Like I said before, there are advantages to each mode. It would be nice if people would keep an open mind as the issues are studied, but I suppose that's asking a lot.
    Lets be honest, the subsidies for rail were graft to start with. Not that highway funding hasn't had its scandals. None the less the railroads were built and run by private companies and they simply couldn't run passenger rail with a group of investors and a CFO. So we know the answer to the question as to why the railroads need to make a profit to run passenger rail. That could not have been more than a rhetoric question. Private companies have to make a profit of go out of business. If we subsidize private companies we in effect have to nationalize them. They are then responsible to the government and the government does not run on a competition basis. So it would destroy the private industry part of the railroad. That is not how our form of government is supposed to work. Or at least it wasn't how it is supposed to work. We have seen in Greece, Spain, France what happens when the government tries to run everything. We saw what it did to the USSR and how it has stymied Cuba for all of these years.

    So what Libertarians would prefer is for even highways to be part of the capitalist system. Let the free market be free and people will fund what benefits the people not what benefits the government. JMHO. All forms of transportation should have to pay their own way, cars included. And by that is you tax cars and fuel to pay for the roads then plains, buses, trains and other forms of transportation should have to pay for the services and infrastructure they receive. I wouldn't have gone on this tangent but you made an assumption not based on what most Libertarians believe, if most even believe in the same thing. If we are going to have an open mind we have to include all forms of transportation and all forms of living centers as part of the future. We could be talking high speed transportation pods to some form of monorail to air cars and who knows what?


    By the way who obstructed any budget or transportation in the first two years when there was a "Super Majority" In the house and Senate plus a progressive president? Salvation didn't come then either did it? There is plenty of blame to go around but the economy has always been the controlling factor. I will say again, you can't spend your way into prosperity. And people will almost always vote with their wallet. That is just the way it is.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  23. #23
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
    Lets be honest, the subsidies for rail were graft to start with. Not that highway funding hasn't had its scandals. None the less the railroads were built and run by private companies and they simply couldn't run passenger rail with a group of investors and a CFO. So we know the answer to the question as to why the railroads need to make a profit to run passenger rail. That could not have been more than a rhetoric question. Private companies have to make a profit of go out of business. If we subsidize private companies we in effect have to nationalize them. They are then responsible to the government and the government does not run on a competition basis. So it would destroy the private industry part of the railroad. That is not how our form of government is supposed to work. Or at least it wasn't how it is supposed to work. We have seen in Greece, Spain, France what happens when the government tries to run everything. We saw what it did to the USSR and how it has stymied Cuba for all of these years.

    So what Libertarians would prefer is for even highways to be part of the capitalist system. Let the free market be free and people will fund what benefits the people not what benefits the government. JMHO. All forms of transportation should have to pay their own way, cars included. And by that is you tax cars and fuel to pay for the roads then plains, buses, trains and other forms of transportation should have to pay for the services and infrastructure they receive. I wouldn't have gone on this tangent but you made an assumption not based on what most Libertarians believe, if most even believe in the same thing. If we are going to have an open mind we have to include all forms of transportation and all forms of living centers as part of the future. We could be talking high speed transportation pods to some form of monorail to air cars and who knows what?


    By the way who obstructed any budget or transportation in the first two years when there was a "Super Majority" In the house and Senate plus a progressive president? Salvation didn't come then either did it? There is plenty of blame to go around but the economy has always been the controlling factor. I will say again, you can't spend your way into prosperity. And people will almost always vote with their wallet. That is just the way it is.
    I'm sorry, but the idea that trans-regional transportation will ever work anywhere without government funding and supervision is fringe idealism with no grounding in reality. Can you name a single instance of successful transportation on a national scale that did not involve government oversight and investment? Or even on a local scale?

    Nobody would drive from Michigan to Florida if I-75 didn't flow seamlessly through five different states. Nobody would take a jet flight if there weren't federal air traffic controllers supervising the process. We don't want future monorail pods to be 13 feet above the ground in Maryland and 14 feet in Delaware.

    Public transportation is by far the greatest benefit of social cooperation in the history of humanity. Nothing contributes more to communication, exchange of ideas, and the creation of wealth. Tax dollars invested in good transportation are returned to the benefit of taxpayers a thousand times over.

    Now how does this tie into the topic of the thread? I guess it's the original idea that government can and should plan and finance excellent transportations. The rail system of the 1800s is one example and the interstate highway system of the 1900s is another good examples. Private companies will never develop good systems for the public. They never have and they never will. You said it yourself--a private company is motivated by investor profits, not the public good.

    So now, when it seems to be the time to start thinking about replacing the aging systems we have, let's get together and have some conversations about what we want and what will work best. This isn't about ideology. It's about what will work best for the people and for businesses.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  24. #24
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    I'm sorry, but the idea that trans-regional transportation will ever work anywhere without government funding and supervision is fringe idealism with no grounding in reality. Can you name a single instance of successful transportation on a national scale that did not involve government oversight and investment? Or even on a local scale?

    Nobody would drive from Michigan to Florida if I-75 didn't flow seamlessly through five different states. Nobody would take a jet flight if there weren't federal air traffic controllers supervising the process. We don't want future monorail pods to be 13 feet above the ground in Maryland and 14 feet in Delaware.

    Public transportation is by far the greatest benefit of social cooperation in the history of humanity. Nothing contributes more to communication, exchange of ideas, and the creation of wealth. Tax dollars invested in good transportation are returned to the benefit of taxpayers a thousand times over.

    Now how does this tie into the topic of the thread? I guess it's the original idea that government can and should plan and finance excellent transportations. The rail system of the 1800s is one example and the interstate highway system of the 1900s is another good examples. Private companies will never develop good systems for the public. They never have and they never will. You said it yourself--a private company is motivated by investor profits, not the public good.

    So now, when it seems to be the time to start thinking about replacing the aging systems we have, let's get together and have some conversations about what we want and what will work best. This isn't about ideology. It's about what will work best for the people and for businesses.
    But they do ship freight on private rail lines from the east to west coast now, and they have for a number of years and they are seen as the gold standard of moving freight. People not only drove on local roads the migration to the west coast happened before the interstate system. The government sponsored method of moving people is Amtrak, that is no ones gold standard. I am not saying government hasn't pushed transportation throughout our history I am saying I would rather the people had more say in it at the local level. At this time the rail lines running across the country are in private company hands and the Government lacks the ability to build their own rail lines to move passengers. I would never approve of nationalizing the rail lines so the point is moot. Any passenger rail running from New York to LA would have to show a profit just like any airline does. Otherwise government subsidized or not they go bankrupt. Like I believe GM and Chrysler should have if we indeed believed in our system. Ford deserves to succeed because they didn't take a bailout. I simply do see the government as the solution.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  25. #25
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Can anyone [Edit: besides Roody] tell the difference in scale between an urban public transit light rail/subway line and an intercity passenger train line?
    I can... Boston has subway(the T) as well as commuter rail and passenger rail, not to mention the buses and harbor ferries. They currently all fall under the MBTA umbrella.

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