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  #21  
Old Posted Sep 16, 2017, 9:07 PM
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Just looking at that pitiful map, one bonkers missing route would be Chicago-Nashville-Atlanta-Florida. Not sure if any fallen flag RR traversed that route but it makes a ton of sense.
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  #22  
Old Posted Sep 17, 2017, 3:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Busy Bee View Post
Just looking at that pitiful map, one bonkers missing route would be Chicago-Nashville-Atlanta-Florida. Not sure if any fallen flag RR traversed that route but it makes a ton of sense.
The Dixie Flagler ran that very route. Departing Dearborn Station on the Chicago and Eastern Illinois Railroad, the Dixie Flagler traversed along six different railroads on the way to Miami. A connecting train to Tampa/St. Pete was available at Jacksonville.

The Pennsylvania Railroad's South Wind ran Chicago-Indianapolis-Louisville-Nashville-Birmingham-Jacksonville-Miami.

Illinois Central's City of Miami routing was Chicago-Carbondale-Birmingham-Jacksonville-Miami.

All three trains used Florida East Coast Railroad from Jacksonville to Miami. The FEC line will now serve new passengers as part of the Brightline Service. FEC trackage will be used as far as Cocoa, with hopes among many that one day Brightline might be extended to Jacksonville.
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  #23  
Old Posted Sep 17, 2017, 5:03 AM
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We have such a pitiful rail network here in the United States. So many major cities with little to no rail service at all. I would give my left arm and leg to have a rail system comparable to that in Europe. The list of unserved or underserved routes would take up an entire page or more when it comes to the US rail network. Investment in a true high speed rail system would absolutely spur ridership given the less than pleasant experience flying has become for many. I'm not very optimistic on that occurring, unfortunately. The Swiss just finished building a 57 km tunnel through the Alps to support HSR and freight rail last year. Sad to say, but that's too much to ask from our state and federal govt. here in the USA.

https://company.sbb.ch/content/dam/s...NS_en_2016.pdf

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  #24  
Old Posted Sep 17, 2017, 6:00 AM
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[*]Detroit-Flint-Lansing-Grand Rapids
Historically, trains have gone from Detroit to Grand Rapids via Lansing, and state transit advocates are currently pushing for this connection to be made again. There really isn't any demand for anything that connects Flint into this. More likely Flint would connect in with Detroit and interchange there, or you'd just take the train to Lansing and change trains there.

As far as ridership is concerned, all plans go through the south, with the only question being that after Ann Arbor do you connect to Grand Rapids via only Lansing or do you add in an intermediate stop through Jackson? The initial studies on this have shown the route only going through Lansing yields the highest ridership numbers, but that the route going through both Lansing and Jackson yields the highest ROI. The other route skipping Ann Arbor and Jackson altogether has been eliminated even though it's the most direct. Basically, you can't have any plans that leaves out Ann Arbor, which has the current highest ridership and highest ridership potential.



We're also trying to reconnect Northern Michigan to the state's passenger rail network with A2TC2, though that would be heavily seasonally focused given the small population up north.

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  #25  
Old Posted Sep 17, 2017, 6:43 AM
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LA and San Diego are connected by train, but not a very good one.
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  #26  
Old Posted Sep 17, 2017, 7:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlidellWx View Post
We have such a pitiful rail network here in the United States. So many major cities with little to no rail service at all. I would give my left arm and leg to have a rail system comparable to that in Europe. The list of unserved or underserved routes would take up an entire page or more when it comes to the US rail network. Investment in a true high speed rail system would absolutely spur ridership given the less than pleasant experience flying has become for many. I'm not very optimistic on that occurring, unfortunately. The Swiss just finished building a 57 km tunnel through the Alps to support HSR and freight rail last year. Sad to say, but that's too much to ask from our state and federal govt. here in the USA.
America has a great rail system when it comes to freight. Every major city in the USA has mainline freight services. I'll admit passenger services aren't as good.
America moves 910.8 billion ton-miles by rail every year, Europe moves 36.8 billion tkm.

Total inland freight transport in the EU-28 was estimated to be just over 2 200 billion tonne-kilometres (tkm) in 2014. The share of EU-28 inland freight that was transported by road (74.9 %) was more than four times as high as the share transported by rail (18.4 %), while the remainder (6.7 %) of the freight transported in the EU-28 in 2014 was carried along inland waterways.
Math = 0.184 x 200 billion tkm = 36.8 billion tkm.
Within the U.S. railroads carry 39.9% of freight by ton-mile, followed by trucks (33.4%), oil pipelines (14.3%), barges (12%) and air (0.3%).
Total freight was 2,283 billion ton-miles. They originated 39.53 million carloads (averaging 63 tons each), the average haul was 917 miles.
Math = 39.53 million x 63 tons x 917 miles = 2,283 billion ton-miles
Math = 0.399 x 2,283 billion ton-miles = 910.9 billion ton-miles.

Sources of data
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rail_freight_transport
http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statist...ort_statistics

What I found interesting in the data was the average distance railroads moved freight, 913 miles (1469 km). To put that into perspective, 1469 km is the distance from London to Warsaw (1453 km). London to Budapest is 1459 km, London to Bratislava is 1292 km, and London to Prague is 1036 km.
Yes, the average distance freight railroads moves goods in America would take you from western to eastern Europe.

As for the recent rail tunnel opening in Switzerland, check out who actually pays for it. Believe it or not, it is not the Swiss.
From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gottha...unnel#Politics
21 May 2000, Bilateral EU Agreements / 40-tonne Trucks / Heavy Traffic Fee : As part of a whole package of several bilateral agreements with the EU the Swiss also accepted by 67.2% yes votes (declined by 2 cantons, turnout 48.3%) the shift of an upper limit for trucks from 28 tonnes to 40 tonnes, but at the same time the EU agreed to a new heavy-traffic fee, which will also be used to finance the NRLA (New Railway Link through the Alps).
It's amazing what you can afford to build when you find someone else to pay for it.

FYI, a typical 28 tonne lorry and a 40 tonne lorry drawings
3 axels, not tandem
https://gpslogistics.co.uk/fleet-08-26-ton-lorry/
5 axels, not tandem
https://gpslogistics.co.uk/fleet-09-40-ton-arctic/

Last edited by electricron; Sep 17, 2017 at 8:06 AM.
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  #27  
Old Posted Sep 18, 2017, 4:34 AM
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Agree that freight rail is very well connected in the United States, but our passenger rail system is absolutely lackluster. My post was all about the lack of passenger rail service here.

As far as funding of rail goes, someone is always going to have to pay whether it's the user of that service or the government. I don't mind subsidizing an effective high speed passenger rail service with my tax dollars.
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  #28  
Old Posted Sep 18, 2017, 5:19 AM
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Originally Posted by ChargerCarl View Post
LA and San Diego are connected by train, but not a very good one.
Not sure what this means, but the route between SD and LA is the second busiest corridor in the US and has several Amtrak trains daily plus commuter rail service.
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  #29  
Old Posted Sep 18, 2017, 11:40 AM
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Not sure what this means, but the route between SD and LA is the second busiest corridor in the US and has several Amtrak trains daily plus commuter rail service.
It's the second busiest Amtrak corridor, which is saying nothing, considering Amtrak has barely any passengers and half of them are riding a single corridor.

The LA-SD corridor is single tracked in significant portions, and even runs right on the beach. It's a joke compared to European standards. If in Europe, it would be electrified, four track, high-speed the whole way.
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  #30  
Old Posted Sep 18, 2017, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by SlidellWx View Post
W

Map is interesting in that many of the wealthiest and most successful European states have crap or no HSR. The UK, the Nordics, and really all the prosperous parts of Northern Europe have limited HSR. France, Spain and Italy, all relative "sick men" of Europe have the best systems.

Based on my travels, France has, by far, the best system. Traveling from Frankfurt to Paris a few months ago, wow, what a change when you cross the border. And Germany has a good system overall (just not enough HSR routes). Not arguing causation or anything, but there's definitely a correlation.

Probably the coolest HSR line, though, is between Frankfurt and Hannover. Half the line is underground. It's like an HSR subway or something. It travels through a number of lower mountain ranges and just tunnels through. Can you imagine something like that in the U.S.?
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  #31  
Old Posted Sep 18, 2017, 3:05 PM
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I know the train for most of the distance between Dresden and Berlin is extremely fast and not reflected on the map. It shows that incremental improvements are possible.
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  #32  
Old Posted Sep 18, 2017, 4:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
It's the second busiest Amtrak corridor, which is saying nothing, considering Amtrak has barely any passengers and half of them are riding a single corridor.

The LA-SD corridor is single tracked in significant portions, and even runs right on the beach. It's a joke compared to European standards. If in Europe, it would be electrified, four track, high-speed the whole way.
Amtrak may run empty, subsidized trains in many parts of the country, but the passenger loads on the Amtrak trains (and commuter trains) between LA and SD are quite high. Personally I've had times where I've had to stand the entire ride. Amtrak doesn't run 12 trains a day between LA and SD for no reason.

Regarding your off topic post about tracking, there is a major project underway to double track the route where single track exists.
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  #33  
Old Posted Sep 18, 2017, 4:27 PM
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Originally Posted by spoonman View Post
Amtrak may run empty, subsidized trains in many parts of the country, but the passenger loads on the Amtrak trains (and commuter trains) between LA and SD are quite high. Personally I've had times where I've had to stand the entire ride. Amtrak doesn't run 12 trains a day between LA and SD for no reason.

Regarding your off topic post about tracking, there is a major project underway to double track the route where single track exists.
How is tracking "off topic"? Isn't that kinda the the whole point of discussing transit quality? What is more essential to transit quality than right-of-way?

And 12 trains a day is absolutely pitiful. This is the main rail corridor connecting metros of 18 million and 3 million.
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  #34  
Old Posted Sep 18, 2017, 5:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
How is tracking "off topic"? Isn't that kinda the the whole point of discussing transit quality? What is more essential to transit quality than right-of-way?

And 12 trains a day is absolutely pitiful. This is the main rail corridor connecting metros of 18 million and 3 million.
What other Amtrak corridor runs 12 trains daily outside of the northeast?
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  #35  
Old Posted Sep 18, 2017, 9:22 PM
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^ the answer to that question is what other corridor, in the world for that matter, has such a beautiful connecting highway system? sorry foamers, but its still a john kasich suburban minded tunnel visioned car culture -- and that is where we are today. amtrak just picks up some of the slack.
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  #36  
Old Posted Sep 18, 2017, 9:52 PM
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^ the answer to that question is what other corridor, in the world for that matter, has such a beautiful connecting highway system?
Yep, very pretty:


So much red and orange it looks like a sunset. Goes well with the theme of California. The people there must be so happy all the time!
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  #37  
Old Posted Sep 18, 2017, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by mrnyc View Post
^ the answer to that question is what other corridor, in the world for that matter, has such a beautiful connecting highway system? sorry foamers, but its still a john kasich suburban minded tunnel visioned car culture -- and that is where we are today. amtrak just picks up some of the slack.
Actually, compared to Europe, China, and the rest of East Asia, America has terrible highways.
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  #38  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2017, 12:25 AM
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^Word. It's shocking how miserable much of our highway conditions are. Richest. country. in. the. world... It's a good visual reminder of where the world's largest defense budget comes home to roost.
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  #39  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2017, 1:56 AM
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Ahh, yes! The glorious, beautiful, and efficient highways of which we all adore.
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  #40  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2017, 2:53 AM
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Originally Posted by mrsmartman View Post
Amtrak Introduces New Era of Modernization, Customer Comfort with Interior Overhaul of Northeast, Midwest Trains

Refresh happening in phases through summer 2018



Read More: https://media.amtrak.com/2017/09/amt...idwest-trains/







Only four abreast? Are American passenger trains narrow? Chinese HSR trains are all 5 abreast in 2nd class - only first class is four abreast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
Map is interesting in that many of the wealthiest and most successful European states have crap or no HSR. The UK, the Nordics, and really all the prosperous parts of Northern Europe have limited HSR. France, Spain and Italy, all relative "sick men" of Europe have the best systems.

Based on my travels, France has, by far, the best system. Traveling from Frankfurt to Paris a few months ago, wow, what a change when you cross the border. And Germany has a good system overall (just not enough HSR routes). Not arguing causation or anything, but there's definitely a correlation.

Probably the coolest HSR line, though, is between Frankfurt and Hannover. Half the line is underground. It's like an HSR subway or something. It travels through a number of lower mountain ranges and just tunnels through. Can you imagine something like that in the U.S.?
The TGV is nice, but ridiculously expensive. I was in France in June and it cost me almost 50 euros to go from Paris to Lille (less than an hour). For the same money you can almost get from Shanghai to Beijing on Chinese HSR (and they still make money on that line despite the much lower fares!).

Quite a few HSR lines in China are heavily tunnelled, especially in mountainous regions in central China.
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