Are you suggesting they should build a heavy rail line down the side of I-25, set up depots on costly real estate that could better serve people through other more appropriate uses, when there's already a regular rail line only a few miles away? What? How would that make any sense?I do question how useful light rail is going to be. Frankly I'd almost rather see ORDINARY rail - then run commuter trains on it. Then it has the OPTION of being used for freight too EVEN IF that cost more.
Passenger rail has never made money for any company. But freight rail is something we need desperately to keep our industrial economy running.
Frankly I don't think property owners would be very appreciative of noisy diesels and freight trains running through their back yards either.
On the other hand they could use the existing light rail for freight, using electric traction but there's no point in it. There's nothing stopping them from carrying freight really except that there's probably 0 demand for it.
For reasons stated above it's not that simple. Rail vehicles have lower drag from rolling resistance, and electric motors do not behave quite the same way as IC engines under load.And multiple carriages CANNOT take the same amount of electricity to pull them. The weight is more than double, etc.
Well that's the problem, and essentially the system is most profitable when there are fewer riders. Because while they might have fewer customers, they still get the same subsidy. Think about it like this: the city gives them a 50% subsidy that allows them to carry 10 people profitably. But then 20 people want to ride. So basically 10 of those people are eating up the profits. This is how I'm assuming RTD's bean counters view it anyway. I've heard that RTD price increases are not meant to increase profit, but actually to decrease ridership. Now that's a big problem. But it doesn't have anything to do with light rail.They may get the same amount of subsidy, but they have significant additional revenue from tickets.
By that logic, the system would be most effective with zero riders.