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  #21  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2009, 6:42 AM
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Let's remember that just because the train will go all the way to San Antonio, it could be used as a more local commuter rail as well. For instance, someone in Round Rock could use this to travel to downtown Austin, and back again.
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  #22  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2009, 6:43 AM
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It would really benefit SA visitors who want to take the train downtown for their stay. God I hope this gets built.
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  #23  
Old Posted Nov 13, 2009, 1:33 PM
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It will never get 'built'; we'd have to come up with multiple billionS of dollars to get UP to move most (not all, just most) of their freight traffic, just to be able to run trains reasonably often on the existing track - the existing track that doesn't penetrate downtown Austin and has even less opportunities for TOD than does the awful Red Line.

Complete waste of time and money. Even one dollar spent on this thing is one dollar that could be more productively spent on urban rail.
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  #24  
Old Posted Nov 13, 2009, 5:09 PM
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78 miles - Austin and San Antonio are 78 miles apart. And actually, the south side of Austin and the north side of San Antonio are more like 65 miles apart. We can get into North San Antonio in around an hour.
What you state is true. Never-the-less, the Lone Star plans to run all the way north pass downtown Austin to Georgetown, and pass downtown San Antonio to A&M-SA. That's why they and I state 100+ miles of railroad corridor.

While it is true most will not ride the train all 100+ miles, some will.

Let's consider how long it'll take to ride the Lone Star from downtown San Antonio to downtown Austin. The best way to figure that is to look at the Texas Eagle schedule, then tack 15 more minutes on top of that to account for all the station stops along the way the Texas Eagle doesn't do. There's 8 stops in total, 2 minutes for each station should account for the time of deceleration, wait, and acceleration for each station.

The northbound Texas Eagle schedule shows 2 hours and 31 minutes and 82 miles. http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/BlobSe...Amtrak_P21.pdf
The southbound schedule shows more time elapse because Amtrak always places padding in the schedule for the last station on a route, therefore the northbound reflects what they really expect.

My 45 mph average was very optimistic, the Texas Eagle actually averages 33 mph per Amtrak's train schedules. The Lone Star taking three hours from end to end is an honest prediction. Significant amount of track work will be required to make the trains go faster, both on the freight bypass and on the UP mainline.
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  #25  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2009, 6:46 AM
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Lets not forget that there are plans for light rail to go to ABIA already. I would assume that it would be accessible to LSTAR even if LSTAR does not go to ABIA.
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  #26  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2009, 8:56 PM
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[QUOTE=KevinFromTexas;4552324]78 miles - Austin and San Antonio are 78 miles apart. And actually, the south side of Austin and the north side of San Antonio are more like 65 miles apart. We can get into North San Antonio in around an hour.

I do think the trains would still be faster time wise than driving. Trains obviously wouldn't have the traffic issue that I-35 deals with on a daily basis. Good grief, they're doing some roadwork on I-35 right now south of Slaughter past SH-45, and it's bumper to bumper for miles every night.


Yeah but if the trains stop along the way in Buda/Kyle,San Marcos,New Braunfels that might take a little longer hopefully they will have a nonstop train.
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  #27  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2009, 4:54 AM
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Originally Posted by KevinFromTexas View Post
78 miles - Austin and San Antonio are 78 miles apart. And actually, the south side of Austin and the north side of San Antonio are more like 65 miles apart. We can get into North San Antonio in around an hour.

I do think the trains would still be faster time wise than driving. Trains obviously wouldn't have the traffic issue that I-35 deals with on a daily basis. Good grief, they're doing some roadwork on I-35 right now south of Slaughter past SH-45, and it's bumper to bumper for miles every night.


Yeah but if the trains stop along the way in Buda/Kyle,San Marcos,New Braunfels that might take a little longer hopefully they will have a nonstop train.
Yea a nonstop and they can call it the A-SA-P ...ASAP!
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  #28  
Old Posted Nov 23, 2009, 4:55 AM
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Visitors in San Antonio who come in via plane can now take a day or two and go cheap by train to visit Austin....ahhhhhhh I'm liking this! As someone else said, it could be used locally nice. My girlfriends aunt lives off Slaughter...and works downtown...so this would definitely work for her.

Last edited by jtown,man; Nov 23, 2009 at 5:14 AM.
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  #29  
Old Posted Nov 23, 2009, 6:46 AM
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Visitors in San Antonio who come in via plane can now take a day or two and go cheap by train to visit Austin....ahhhhhhh I'm liking this! As someone else said, it could be used locally nice. My girlfriends aunt lives off Slaughter...and works downtown...so this would definitely work for her.
Your girlfriend would be just as happy if this train never went north of Slaughter too. San Antonio doesn't need commuter rail all the way to Austin initially. The section between Austin and San Marcos is where the commuter train needs less UP trains the most. But south of San Marcos, there's already an alternate UP rail line where much of the freight trains can be moved, therefore LSTAR could build south of San Marcos first while waiting on a solution between San Marcos and Austin.....
The idea they need the entire distance of the corridor before building is foolish. They were probably going to build the LSTAR a section at a time anyways. What's so wrong building from the south to the north?
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  #30  
Old Posted Nov 23, 2009, 6:11 PM
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Your girlfriend would be just as happy if this train never went north of Slaughter too. San Antonio doesn't need commuter rail all the way to Austin initially. The section between Austin and San Marcos is where the commuter train needs less UP trains the most. But south of San Marcos, there's already an alternate UP rail line where much of the freight trains can be moved, therefore LSTAR could build south of San Marcos first while waiting on a solution between San Marcos and Austin.....
The idea they need the entire distance of the corridor before building is foolish. They were probably going to build the LSTAR a section at a time anyways. What's so wrong building from the south to the north?
I don't agree with your logic at all. Might as well build the whole stretch at once or not at all in my opinion. Your basically saying lets not include the Metropolitan area of Austin with more than 1.7 million people for now because um they don't need it as badly???
No, we need the entire region connected by this, it is important for both cities and for the region as a whole.
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  #31  
Old Posted Nov 23, 2009, 7:32 PM
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We need to spend this money on urban rail and not waste time on a commuter service that would otherwise just deposit people to be picked up by buses - because the people who would be willing to ride those buses already have bus options to ride.
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  #32  
Old Posted Nov 23, 2009, 9:30 PM
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I don't agree with your logic at all. Might as well build the whole stretch at once or not at all in my opinion. Your basically saying lets not include the Metropolitan area of Austin with more than 1.7 million people for now because um they don't need it as badly???
No, we need the entire region connected by this, it is important for both cities and for the region as a whole.
Your point is good, but looking at it from the opposite point of view, you're suggesting that San Antonio can't build a commuter rail line along this corridor now because of an issue north of San Marcos....Sorry, I strongly disagree with that. Both Baltimore and Memphis were able to stop Interstate highways through their inner cities. I would hate to think that none of I-70 and I-40 were built because 10 miles or less holes existed in the whole. Believe it or not, there's also a 50 mile hole in I-95 in central New Jersey.
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  #33  
Old Posted Nov 23, 2009, 9:33 PM
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We need to spend this money on urban rail and not waste time on a commuter service that would otherwise just deposit people to be picked up by buses - because the people who would be willing to ride those buses already have bus options to ride.
I'll agree that urban rail needs to be built along with suburban/rural rail. But I disagree one needs to be built before the other. Let each corridor's needs determine what gets built. Let them get built in the order they can be financed. I believe it is a major mistake to not build something that can be financed today.
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  #34  
Old Posted Nov 24, 2009, 3:20 AM
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I definitely want this built, but yeah, don't hold up the whole line because UP can't get their act together to move their freight off the line. At least build it from San Antonio to San Marcos for starters. In the meanwhile, work on moving UP off the line.

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We need to spend this money on urban rail and not waste time on a commuter service that would otherwise just deposit people to be picked up by buses - because the people who would be willing to ride those buses already have bus options to ride.
Maybe I missed something, but there aren't any buses that connect Austin and San Antonio. The only thing that comes close is Texas State University's shuttle that stops in South Austin to take students to campus. And if you're talking about greyhound buses and such, that's lame.
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  #35  
Old Posted Nov 24, 2009, 2:06 PM
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Greyhound is actually a superior service between these two cities than Amtrak is at this point - and the ASA commuter rail will be Amtrak-level service unless we can come up with billions to move most of UP's freight - at which point it'll catch up to Greyhound-level service.

And as for electricron, there's very little money available for rail at any level of government. We can't afford to waste BILLIONS of it on a project that will be this lame.
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  #36  
Old Posted Nov 24, 2009, 3:50 PM
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Greyhound is actually a superior service between these two cities than Amtrak is at this point - and the ASA commuter rail will be Amtrak-level service unless we can come up with billions to move most of UP's freight - at which point it'll catch up to Greyhound-level service.

And as for electricron, there's very little money available for rail at any level of government. We can't afford to waste BILLIONS of it on a project that will be this lame.
What's being wasteful is in the eyes of the beholder.

Let's assume San Antonio finds funding for several rail projects, streetcars here, light rail there, and commuter rail here. Are you suggesting they can't build all three? I know you'll prefer building the urban rail component first, but would you prevent San Antonio from building suburban rail before Austin builds urban rail?

I know San Antonio isn't as large as DFW, but I don't believe they will be more growth in urban San Antonio than there will be in the suburbs. Transit agencies need to be looking at accommodating suburbanites too, or they will quickly become useless to them. As long as transit agencies rely on tax support from the suburbs, they need to cater to all the taxpayers to survive. If they ignore significant percentages of their population, the likely-hood transit agencies will survive this political suicide diminishes.
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  #37  
Old Posted Nov 25, 2009, 2:27 PM
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The money wasted on suburban commuter rail in San Antonio could be used in urban parts of that city to vastly greater effect - and the federal dollars presumably counted on for matching could be used almost anywhere else in the country to vastly greater effect. Likewise for Austin suburban commuter rail.

Commuter rail that doesn't deliver passengers to a station within walking distance of their final destination in a city without a mature and well-functioning urban rail network is a complete waste of time and money.
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  #38  
Old Posted Nov 25, 2009, 3:25 PM
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Commuter rail that doesn't deliver passengers to a station within walking distance of their final destination in a city without a mature and well-functioning urban rail network is a complete waste of time and money.
Likewise, having an urban rail network that doesn't really go anywhere isn't well-functioning either. A well-functioning "Metro" rail network uses multiple means of transport to provide its service....
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  #39  
Old Posted Nov 26, 2009, 1:26 PM
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78 miles - Austin and San Antonio are 78 miles apart. And actually, the south side of Austin and the north side of San Antonio are more like 65 miles apart. We can get into North San Antonio in around an hour.
I drove up from San Antonio to Austin earlier today and measured the distance from the northern edge of San Antonio city limit to the southern edge of Austin city limit along I-35: 53.1 miles (44 minutes). Of course, city center to city center is 78 miles, but it's interesting to note how much closer the cities are if measured from edge to edge.
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  #40  
Old Posted Dec 2, 2009, 4:15 PM
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Likewise, having an urban rail network that doesn't really go anywhere isn't well-functioning either. A well-functioning "Metro" rail network uses multiple means of transport to provide its service....
An urban rail network need only connect a substantial number of residences to a substantial number of workplaces to be well-functioning. It's easy - but you can't use DMUs to do it, and you can't really use shared-lane streetcar to do it, either, unless your city's built form and employment centers already heavily discourage driving.
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