View Full Version : Rail -Chicago to St. Louis (RESPONSES TO CECIL'S COLUMN)
02-11-2010, 10:34 AM
I have seen figures that indicate a 400 mph plane trip averages 60 mph over a 250 mile trip. I only mention this as a suggestion that comparisons of modes of travel (and their associated 'true' costs) will need to be carefully compared, on multiple criteria, to establish a level field for judgment.
Perhaps what is needed is not "high" speed trains but a return to the intercity passenger train speeds of the 1930 that were quite dependable, weather tolerant and much faster, compared to today's trains. Upgrading with today's computer, satellite,( etc. ) technology should not be difficult, expensive or require long construction times. Present inta-Illinois train routes, that are FAR from optimized, are apparently succeeding.
C K Dexter Haven
02-12-2010, 06:29 AM
tandem300: since this is in response to Cecil's current Chicago column (found here: http://chicago.straightdope.com/sdc20100211.php ), I've moved it to start a separate thread. I've also edited your title slightly so that other readers know this is in response to a column.
No big deal, you're new here and we're glad to have you. Welcome!
02-12-2010, 03:35 PM
I would like to know how many passenger rail lines, say in the last 90 years, have functioned WITHOUT some form of government subsidy, world wide. Back in the glamour days of nationwide rail service, today's Liberals are either unaware, or like to forget, that federal mail transit contracts justified passenger service. There were special cars that would pick up, sort and drop off mail sacks. Anyone who has seen a Yosemite Sam cartoon will recall. Even Democrats. They were what justified train robberies.
Federal, state and local property taxes, ICC over-regulation and ticket rate manipulation, and union greed, managed to butcher the system. When the USPS started using trucks, and Ike's new interstate system to tranfer mail cargos, passenger service died a quick death. Only when traffic on the Boston-Washington corridor was affected, and the railworker's unions started to suffer, did Eastern democrats start pumping tax money into Amtrak, with the result that Amtrak has had no less than 4 new federal reorganization and "improvement" (read increased funding), bills passed since 1997. We taxpayers are still paying the pensions for "firemen" who never worked more than 3 1/2 hours a day, 70 years ago.
Only Obamas's closet-communists want light rail.
02-12-2010, 06:11 PM
Let me see if I'm following this:
1. Government assistance in days of yore was good for interstate rail service.
2. Government interference in days of yore was bad for interstate rail service.
3. Railroad unions lobbied on behalf of interstate rail service on the east coast.
4. Therefore, local light rail service is bad.
Better get some blankets, coffee, and a couple patient friends for when the drugs wear off.
02-17-2010, 10:34 PM
I just wanted to point a little omission in the column : the data don't
take into account the buses for one simple reason : bus traffic between
major french cities is prohibited by law in all France, in order
to protect the SNCF's monopoly.
That's also one reason of the TGV's success : the people have no choice but
to use the train, and the price difference between the TGV and the regular
train is small, so people go with the TGV.
Many people would love to see cheap buses between paris and lyon,
like you have in the US, but it probably won't happen anytime soon ...
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