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Texans Against High-Speed Rail

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Texans Against High-Speed Rail

Old 02-06-16, 06:47 PM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by blackieoneshot View Post
I live in DFW and grew up in Houston. It's a service I would use, can't speak for my neighbors.....
So... no viable economic benefits. But they use trains in old Europe and Asia.... so shouldn't America have trains too since the Environmentally faithful consider as them.... holy? Even though we've already been through the whole "train thing". And it didn't work out and we know why. It is a desirable act of attrition for the environmental religionist.
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Old 02-06-16, 07:04 PM
  #52  
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The whole reason Amtrak is here is because several lines that were mainly passenger oriented and a few that had endangered freight operations were going bankrupt and nowhere fast.

Like the EPA and USPS, 501(c)...not-for-profit corporations, Richard Nixon's administration brought us Amtrak AND Conrail IIRC.

So he was a BENEVOLENT crook.

Now can we keep 'hillbillies' and politics out of this? I'd be willing to bet that the drive from Dallas/Fort Worth to Houston is a Texas Sigalert.
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Old 02-06-16, 08:07 PM
  #53  
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Hopefully this won't end up like the super collider project...
How Texas Lost the World's Largest Super Collider - Texas Monthly
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Old 02-07-16, 01:27 AM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by Mr Grinch View Post
Part of the problem is that you need a comprehensive Metro system to feed and disseminate the riders on the HSR line. Otherwise, by the time you rent a car, you'd be better off driving. The city transit systems in the cities being talked about for HSR systems generally suck.
How is this different from airports?
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Old 02-07-16, 01:48 AM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
So... no viable economic benefits. But they use trains in old Europe and Asia.... so shouldn't America have trains too since the Environmentally faithful consider as them.... holy? Even though we've already been through the whole "train thing". And it didn't work out and we know why. It is a desirable act of attrition for the environmental religionist.
I'm one of those rare environmentalists who is not gung-ho for expanded passenger rail. Someday, maybe, but I'm not sure the time is right today in the the USA.

Trains, particularly HSRR, are an expensive add-on when we're barely paying for existing infrastructure. They seem to benefit mostly the wealthier classes, whereas I think government-sponsored transportation should benefit all classes more equally. And cars are at their most efficient on the medium-long range trips, which is also where HSRRs shine.

Environmentally and economically, I would like to see more fuel-efficient automobiles used in the medium-long travel range, along with improved inter-city bus service, as opposed to expensive new HSRRs.

I have also read studies that point out that a very good use of railroads is for freight cargo. I think it's to our advantage that, compared to Europe, the US makes better use of freight trains, even if this is often to the detriment of passenger rail travel.
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Old 02-07-16, 08:24 AM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
....... I think government-sponsored transportation should benefit all classes more equally......
You "think" that?!?!?!? In other words... you mean you've worked out the math? Or do you really mean your "feel" that would be so?

OMG man.... how could that ever happen?!?! I worked (one of my) an entire career with the federal government. I know of no program... not even one... that wasn't made more expense because of governments involvement. It's true... taxes do lean on the poorest and favor the richest.... on face value. Making anything more costly harms the poorest the most.

You want cost effective transportation? Keep government of it! America by global standards is a geographically large nation. Yet even most of what America calls poor (actually wealthy people in most nations) can get in their cars and drive across this huge land mass as needed or if desired.

I been around a bit myself... and I confident that Americas poor enjoy more affordable transportation than most people (of any income class) in the world. Let things like Googles driverless cars effect the free market... and watch transportation costs drop even more. Throw billions at government-built trains..... where free markets forces are known to not be profitable..... and you create a sink hole for tax dollars and corruption.
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Old 02-07-16, 08:34 AM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
..................I worked (one of my) an entire career with the federal government. I know of no program... not even one... that wasn't made more expense because of governments involvement. It's true... taxes do lean on the poorest and favor the richest.... on face value. Making anything more costly harms the poorest the most.

You want cost effective transportation? Keep government of it! America by global standards is a geographically large nation. Yet even most of what America calls poor (actually wealthy people in most nations) can get in their cars and drive across this huge land mass as needed or if desired.

I been around a bit myself... and I confident that Americas poor enjoy more affordable transportation than most people (of any income class) in the world. Let things like Googles driverless cars effect the free market... and watch transportation costs drop even more. Throw billions at government-built trains..... where free markets forces are known to not be profitable..... and you create a sink hole for tax dollars and corruption.
I'm going to agree with you on this one.
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Old 02-07-16, 09:56 AM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by dksix View Post
I'm going to agree with you on this one.
Are you going to rely on the "free market" to build and maintain the roads and highways those vehicles run on?
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Old 02-07-16, 10:18 AM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
Are you going to rely on the "free market" to build and maintain the roads and highways those vehicles run on?
At this point that's not really possible but as I believe the government is already over extended I don't think that it should be trying to solves problems that don't exist. Is there a problem with people not currently being able to travel between these 2 cities? From what I can find in a quick search it would seem that there is already planes, trains and automobiles hauling people by the thousands everyday.
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Old 02-07-16, 11:08 AM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
Are you going to rely on the "free market" to build and maintain the roads and highways those vehicles run on?
Roads and highways no, that usually doesn't work with the exception of some toll-roads which are government sanctioned and regulated, so even those are not strictly free market.

A high speed railway as an alternative, why not? The big impediment as far as I know is obtaining right of way for the rail, which requires government involvement, courts and so on. But ultimately it's not worthwhile unless it is sustainable by the free market.
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Old 02-07-16, 11:38 AM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
Your post reminds me of an awful old 1950's joke about a blonde that thought she had money.... because she still had checks in her checkbook.

Printing money does NOT create wealth (it actually does just the opposite). Taking money from your brother... and giving it to your sister does NOT create wealth. Taking your brothers money away from your sister, and paying someone to do something that doesn't need done.... DOES NOT CREATE WEALTH.
No, and creating sprawl by funding road contracts and jobs that pressure people into spending more on cars, driving, insurance, etc. also doesn't create wealth EXCEPT for those who make money from the taxes and corporate revenues that get extracted from the economy after it's been stimulated. They don't care whether or not real wealth is created because all they really want is money to flow so they can channel it into their bank accounts. They don't even care about inflation because they figure their wages can just be raised at the rate of inflation, so they figure they're only taxing savings, which they don't care about protecting. Few people understand the benefits of fiscally conservative economies these days. Those who do don't favor big spending on things like roads and highways any more than they do on things like social services.

The Interstate Highway System made America wealthier. It allowed market forces to work for people. Those hardworking people created wealth through the sweat of their efforts. Products that previously could never be shipped to market... were. And the shipping prices for many (previously rail shippable) products plummeted.
If shipping prices dropped, it was because the costs of all the road-buidling wasn't added to those costs as tax. Rail shipping is more efficient with less friction, tire deterioration, etc. You have to understand how waste stimulates economic commerce. If tons of vehicles are wearing out tires, they have to pay to dispose of those tires and buy new ones. This stimulates the economy along with all the road repairs, fuel sales, vehicle maintenance, insurance finance, etc. Basically, they just put everyone to work in a much more inefficient system and then made money on all the waste to fun the job-creation. Fiscal stimulus at the expense of efficiency and natural land preservation.

You really have no idea how markets and economy's work.... not that that is surprising.... as many people really don't. It is similar to the old saying: Teach a man to fish.... you feed him for life. Give a man a fish... and you create a lifelong welfare dependent.
I agree that independence is far better than dependency, but more dependency was created by expanding sprawl, highways, and motor-vehicle dependency. It would have made much more sense to create more independence for workers within the rail system by training more people to spread out the work more so that they would all have more time to do other things than running the railroads. Now, instead of depending on a relatively small number of people to run and maintain rail systems, we depend on a much larger number of people to maintain roads, highways, and all the motor-vehicles being built and operated.

Inefficiency and dependency generate more jobs and spending, which amounts to fiscal stimulus, but it's not good for the long-term economic prosperity that results from consolidating, conserving resources, and freeing up people's time to pursue new projects. It's an economy of time-waste on unnecessary busy work. Yes, most road/highway projects and motor-vehicle building and maintenance are 'busy-work' because they are unnecessary; and what's worse is they impede the ability to conserve land, resources, and prevent sprawl, which is its own form of inefficiency in terms of the time wasted on traveling long distance to accomplish 'local' errands.
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Old 02-07-16, 12:04 PM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
But ultimately it's not worthwhile unless it is sustainable by the free market.
I'm not a slave to the so-called free market. I don't expect (or even want) the trains I ride on (or the police and fire departments that protect me or the medical service I rely on...) to turn a profit.
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Old 02-07-16, 12:18 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
I'm not a slave to the so-called free market. I don't expect (or even want) the trains I ride on (or the police and fire departments that protect me or the medical service I rely on...) to turn a profit.
I don't care about their profit either. The advantage of the free market is that it efficiently allocates resources and eliminates failures. So without some overweening reason such as monopolistic control or some necessity for the public welfare, letting the free market determine what works, works best.

It seems to me that a high speed railway between Dallas and Houston is competing against commercial flights, private transportation on the highways, and possibly some types of freight. People will use it if it's more convenient and/or inexpensive than the alternatives. That's appropriate for free market dynamics.

I don't know what the transportation between those cities currently looks like either. How many people, how frequently, how much freight, modal share etc. Presumably someone's looked at it before proposing something this expensive, and that analysis must be available. I'd be curious if anyone knows of some more detailed information in that regard.
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Old 02-07-16, 01:03 PM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
You "think" that?!?!?!? In other words... you mean you've worked out the math? Or do you really mean your "feel" that would be so?

OMG man.... how could that ever happen?!?! I worked (one of my) an entire career with the federal government. I know of no program... not even one... that wasn't made more expense because of governments involvement. It's true... taxes do lean on the poorest and favor the richest.... on face value. Making anything more costly harms the poorest the most.

You want cost effective transportation? Keep government of it! America by global standards is a geographically large nation. Yet even most of what America calls poor (actually wealthy people in most nations) can get in their cars and drive across this huge land mass as needed or if desired.

I been around a bit myself... and I confident that Americas poor enjoy more affordable transportation than most people (of any income class) in the world. Let things like Googles driverless cars effect the free market... and watch transportation costs drop even more. Throw billions at government-built trains..... where free markets forces are known to not be profitable..... and you create a sink hole for tax dollars and corruption.
Why do you post this in this thread? Where do you see that there is goverment funds involved in this project? On their site, they say that it is a privately funded project that is not backed by public funds.
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Old 02-07-16, 01:34 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
I don't care about their profit either. The advantage of the free market is that it efficiently allocates resources and eliminates failures. So without some overweening reason such as monopolistic control or some necessity for the public welfare, letting the free market determine what works, works best.

It seems to me that a high speed railway between Dallas and Houston is competing against commercial flights, private transportation on the highways, and possibly some types of freight. People will use it if it's more convenient and/or inexpensive than the alternatives. That's appropriate for free market dynamics.
The widespread adoption of automobiles was a trojan horse for the free market the way amphetamines undermine the health of a worker who uses them to work 140 hour weeks. Once cars became available to practically everyone, developers could buy up cheap land far from existing developments and build sub-divisions. Since these houses were more affordable than those in the city, there was economic rationality in choosing them over more expensive housing. However, the more sprawl expanded, the more time people needed to spend commuting and the choice (i.e. freedom) not to drive began to erode. So what you have now is highly inelastic demand for automotive transportation, which is contrary to a free market.

This makes it very difficult for the free market to resolve the problems of sprawl and driving-dependency, because a codependency has evolved between road building/maintenance and automotive industries. Neither stays soluble without the other, so if one is failing, the government steps in to bail it out, which effectively subsidizes the other by fiscal stimulus. So it's really no longer a free market because the government won't let it collapse under its own weight. The consequences are too horrible; i.e. total degeneration of most areas as blight overwhelms people's ability to buy/drive themselves out of the area.
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Old 02-07-16, 03:47 PM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
The widespread adoption of automobiles was a trojan horse for the free market the way amphetamines undermine the health of a worker who uses them to work 140 hour weeks. Once cars became available to practically everyone, developers could buy up cheap land far from existing developments and build sub-divisions. Since these houses were more affordable than those in the city, there was economic rationality in choosing them over more expensive housing. However, the more sprawl expanded, the more time people needed to spend commuting and the choice (i.e. freedom) not to drive began to erode. So what you have now is highly inelastic demand for automotive transportation, which is contrary to a free market.

This makes it very difficult for the free market to resolve the problems of sprawl and driving-dependency, because a codependency has evolved between road building/maintenance and automotive industries. Neither stays soluble without the other, so if one is failing, the government steps in to bail it out, which effectively subsidizes the other by fiscal stimulus. So it's really no longer a free market because the government won't let it collapse under its own weight. The consequences are too horrible; i.e. total degeneration of most areas as blight overwhelms people's ability to buy/drive themselves out of the area.

Alternatives produce greater elasticity of demand. I think here, with the high speed rails, the price of automobiles isn't really a factor. The rail is not going to replace cars, but will replace trips.
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Old 02-07-16, 04:59 PM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
The widespread adoption of automobiles was a trojan horse for the free market the way amphetamines undermine the health of a worker who uses them to work 140 hour weeks. Once cars became available to practically everyone, developers could buy up cheap land far from existing developments and build sub-divisions. Since these houses were more affordable than those in the city, there was economic rationality in choosing them over more expensive housing. However, the more sprawl expanded, the more time people needed to spend commuting and the choice (i.e. freedom) not to drive began to erode. So what you have now is highly inelastic demand for automotive transportation, which is contrary to a free market.

This makes it very difficult for the free market to resolve the problems of sprawl and driving-dependency, because a codependency has evolved between road building/maintenance and automotive industries. Neither stays soluble without the other, so if one is failing, the government steps in to bail it out, which effectively subsidizes the other by fiscal stimulus. So it's really no longer a free market because the government won't let it collapse under its own weight. The consequences are too horrible; i.e. total degeneration of most areas as blight overwhelms people's ability to buy/drive themselves out of the area.
How does all of that square with history. Sprawl of in reality expansion has been with human societies well before cars and well before capitalism. Road building and transportation has been a part of the civilized world almost as long as recorded history. The city fringes, the suburbs, rural and country free space have been tied to each other as long as we have had trade.

Road building for trade and transportation existed well before cars. Cars simply made it easier. Just as trains had before cars and even Bicycles. If you read the book "Roads were not built for Cars". You will find it was cyclists that pushed for smooth roads and started the make suburban expansion easier.

For the HSR to work it will have to be easier to use than cars and planes. It will have to cost less to use and it will have to win over the people. At this point it seems they are having trouble with the winning over part. And it doesn't matter one bit how we got to where our system is today. All that matters is what we are willing to do from here.
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Old 02-07-16, 07:52 PM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
No, and creating sprawl by funding road contracts and jobs that pressure people into spending more on cars, driving, insurance, etc. also doesn't create wealth .............
....... I agree that independence is far better than dependency, but more dependency was created by expanding sprawl, highways, and motor-vehicle dependency.
Sprawl or urban sprawl is an ancient Old English word originated in Europe. By definition you are misusing the word. However.... as the word is used in it religious context...... I guess Al Gore would be fine with your loose interpretation.

I prefer a more traditional religion... with a higher power that is concerned more about those made in his image.... than vacant lots next to the mall. But I respect your beliefs and your rights to them. I have no desire to argue theology here or anywhere.
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Old 02-07-16, 08:16 PM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
Sprawl or urban sprawl is an ancient Old English word originated in Europe. By definition you are misusing the word. However.... as the word is used in it religious context...... I guess Al Gore would be fine with your loose interpretation.

I prefer a more traditional religion... with a higher power that is concerned more about those made in his image.... than vacant lots next to the mall. But I respect your beliefs and your rights to them. I have no desire to argue theology here or anywhere.
Quite common for the meaning of words to change over time. And using a word with its current meaning rather than an ancient one does not make the usage incorrect.

From the Online Etymological dictionary:
"
sprawl (v.) Old English spreawlian "move convulsively," with cognates in the Scandinavian languages (such as Norwegian sprala, Danish sprælle) and North Frisian spraweli, probably ultimately from PIE root *sper- (4) "to strew" (see sprout (v.)). Meaning "to spread out" is from c. 1300. That of "to spread or stretch in a careless manner" is attested from 1540s; of things, from 1745. Related: Sprawled; sprawling.sprawl (n.) 1719, from sprawl (v.); meaning "straggling expansion of built-up districts into surrounding countryside" is from 1955."
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Old 02-07-16, 08:26 PM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
Sprawl or urban sprawl is an ancient Old English word originated in Europe. By definition you are misusing the word. However.... as the word is used in it religious context...... I guess Al Gore would be fine with your loose interpretation.

I prefer a more traditional religion... with a higher power that is concerned more about those made in his image.... than vacant lots next to the mall. But I respect your beliefs and your rights to them. I have no desire to argue theology here or anywhere.
Hmm, it seems to me that those religions that insist that people are made in the image of their imaginary friend are hardly traditional, being rather recent creations relative to the length of humanity's existence. Believe what you will, but please don't try to make a case for precedence for these sort of things.
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Old 02-07-16, 08:44 PM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
Hmm, it seems to me that those religions that insist that people are made in the image of their imaginary friend are hardly traditional, being rather recent creations relative to the length of humanity's existence.
Sorry if my selected quote was something you didn't understand.

Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
Believe what you will, but please don't try to make a case for precedence for these sort of things.
I didn't.
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Old 02-07-16, 08:46 PM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
You want cost effective transportation? Keep government of it!
Fantasy economics. No such system exists.
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Old 02-08-16, 12:34 AM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
Fantasy economics. No such system exists.
+1.
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Old 02-08-16, 12:37 AM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
Sprawl or urban sprawl is an ancient Old English word originated in Europe. By definition you are misusing the word. However.... as the word is used in it religious context...... I guess Al Gore would be fine with your loose interpretation.

I prefer a more traditional religion... with a higher power that is concerned more about those made in his image.... than vacant lots next to the mall. But I respect your beliefs and your rights to them. I have no desire to argue theology here or anywhere.
Please stop your trolling, politicking and Bible thumping. We discuss car-free living here, in case you'd forgotten.
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Old 02-08-16, 01:10 AM
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StephenH
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Right now, there's two ways to travel between Houston and Dallas. You drive or fly. Driving takes 4-5 hours depending on which part of each city you start from. Flying is faster, theoretically. But you have to get to the airport early, the flight itself takes an hour or so, you have to get a rent car at the far end. And you lose flexibility so you can spend an extra hour or so there. Result is that it's very nearly a wash as to which is quicker. The drive is all on freeway, by the way.

It seems to me that essentially 100% of the potential traffic for a high speed rail system would be those people who currently fly. You'll likely still have the same schedule as flying, the same security issues as flying. The most efficient way to work this would be to go from Love Field to Hobby Airport, since you have all the other facilities you need at both places, and could make connections to flights at both places. You wouldn't get cars off the road, you'd just be competing with Southwest Airlines.

it's hard for me to imagine that the enormous cost of thus rail system could ever be recovered in operation.

Dallas currently has a fairly extensive commuter rail system, but with limited usefulness. I can commute to work with it, but my house is 5 miles from the rail station, I have to change trains once, and my work is 2 miles from the station. So a 45-75 minute car commute becomes a 120-minute bike/train commute. I see these same type of issues plaguing a high speed rail system. I think the money would be better spent on improving local rail systems. One really effective rail system would be better than two half-baked systems.

One issue that comes up, especially in Houston, is that the area is not a city-suburb type of layout as much as some other urban areas. At rush hour, you've got people headed every which way. That makes it harder to work local transit, but also makes city to city rail transportation harder to work out as well.
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