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Thread: Transportation for America

  1. #46

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    The definition of a great investment is one that returns a higher profit than more standard ways of investing money. High speed rail is almost always a money loser.

    To your other point, the reason using high speed rail is expensive is that it has to charge a lot to cover it's expenses. Unliess they get huge operating subsidies, they can't charge fares low enough to keep them filled.

    Quote Originally Posted by ForestHillsGardens View Post
    @BBMW:
    Well, it is at least an great investment in the long run, HSR is way faster than a regular Amtrak Train and much comfortable to ride than jets. I also feel that it'll thrive if the price of HSR is comparable to road transportation prices, not the price of operating jets. I feel the main problem in America is rail transportation is too expensive, way too expensive and not competitive. If the price was to be more affordable for all people, including at least the upper-end of the poor, it would be an hit. Just add more railcars onto the line and work harder, it would work.

  2. #47
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    Actually all the Northeast routes break a profit , the Acela is an Amtrak Cash cow....... Subsides to Transit and Rail would be less if everything was upgraded , like Bridges , signals , switches , stations , some lines wouldn't need subsides at all if these things were to happen. Of course the lines that aren't used that much would still need subsides , but you can reduce that.

  3. #48
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    The key would be to find a way to make teh system more durable and efficient, not necessarily faster in terms of velocity.

    You make delays and signal problems less recurrant, you get a faster system. You can also start putting trains running closer together if the system was better at keeping things in line.

    Lastly, spending more on a proper design, something that will last 100 years with no significant repair needed, would definitely reduce overall cost. With our inefficient and underfunded maintainence systems, any reduction in the REQUIRED maintenance would invariably lead to reduced cost in the long run as these tasks are ignored, short shrifted or improperly executed.


    Question, compared to a roadway, what would be the net cost to return on ahigh speed rail along a major corridor? You can't tell me that a 4x2 highway is less expensive to maintain than a rail line...... (especially with all the bridges, intersections and overpasses....)

    OK, maybe you can, but I would be surprised.....

  4. #49

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    You should separate intracity and intercity transportation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjahedge View Post
    Without him building these roads in the first place, would we have ever had the expanded development of the surrounding burbs to the extent they are now?
    NYC, and those cities that existed before the automobile, expanded quite nicely with mass transit before cars took over.

    The question would be, would any other figure have had the power and push to put ANY form of conduit through the already densely populated boroughs?
    The problem wasn't the method of Moses; it was his vision of cities.

    Back to the original question though. What would NYC have been like w/o these ugly arteries? Would it have grown so readily after the wounds healed?
    Easy enough to answer. You don't have to go back too far to see what NYC was before expressways.

    As far as intercity transport, you really can't fault anyone for highway construction. America outside of cities was still very rural, and railroads were in decline. Auto companies were a major component of the economy. A national highway system was the way it was done at the time.

    As far as railroads turning a profit, the question should be asked: Does the interstate system, including construction and maintenance, actually turn a profit? Even if it doesn't turn a profit on a ledger, it has to be acknowledged that it's a component of productivity. So in the big picture, it is profitable.

    My complaint is that we are not looking at a national high speed rail system with the same energy that we tackled the highway system over half a century ago.

  5. #50
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    I know what you are saying Zip, the only question comes back rather simple as is seen with other municipalities.

    Towns seem to thrive only where people can get to them easily. The rail system worked well, but how far out, and how solid a development would have been possible without the roadways? Without the belt, cross island and others? Queens and Brooklyn are some of THE biggest and most uniformly densely populated boroughs I have seen, but even then, the further you get from a Highway or Train station, the less dense the population becomes. I wonder how much of an expansion would have occured from their previous levels if roadways were not built, if it would resemble more likebuds along the branches of the railway than a uniform spread of people.



    Odd second observation. Due to the initial development during the 1800's and 1900's, many NJ cities grew up around the train stations. Almost ALL good town centers are in towns with these stations with access to the city. All others were either sparsely or newly populated with no real center.

    In the land of the Highway Exit and Suburban SUV, it is odd that the most desired cities ($$) are the ones that started from that original rail transport.

  6. #51
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    Los Angeles is pretty expensive.

  7. #52
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    There are also suburban towns throughout the metro that used to have rail access but don't anymore. Their rail stations are abandoned and some tracks were even pulled up and the right-of-way sold or became roads/highways. These towns would be better off if they still had rail access, residents sure wish they had it. And not just here, when I was working on light rail construction in cities throughout the U.S. there were similar stories: they once had rail and are now paying to buy back old rail routes or they have to take newer property in order to install them (Denver, Tampa, Norfolk, and Atlanta for example). It may have been necessary to build roads, of course, but so much was done at the expense of the railroad because too often it was decided that roads would replace railroad and not run in conjunction with them. Big mistake.

  8. #53
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    The Northern Branch extension of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail is going to be built along a former right of way of a former commuter railroad. It's funny because many of these people along the line don't want it with fear of "outsiders" coming up to Bergen County. It is suppose to break ground in 2011.

  9. #54
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Well, riding along that one strip of Tonnele avenue by that one station, I can kind of see what they may be fearing. That area reminds me of some of the abandoned areas in Hoboken 15 years back, or industrial parts of Hackensack. Not exactly Patterson, mind you.

    The thing is, they are fearing something that they have no real evidence to back up. NYC has had no real problems with crime riding the rails out to the nicer portions of town, and this light rail might make it much easier for areas like JC to contuinue its development of its buisness district.

    Is this extension planned for that strip of tracks that crosses route 17 right by route 80? (Home Depot, that Discount store.....)

  10. #55
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    I see where you're coming from. Tonnele Ave. around the station and further north is alot of light industrial on one side and neighborhoods on the other. Jersey City and Hoboken will definately benefit from this extension to the suburbs north of Hudson County. The further north you go that stretch gets much more appealing.

    No the extension is going to parallel Tonnele Ave/1&9 all the way to Tenafly, NJ.
    http://www.northernbranchcorridor.com/

  11. #56
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    Suburbanites will no longer have to DRIVE into Hoboken to get drunk on the weekend!!!!

    You will be able to ride 495 to the tunnel with little delay!

  12. #57
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    Lol problems solved.

  13. #58

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    They need to hurry up and build those high speed networks. Get it done already, or else Asia will laugh at us as we turn in butter for the next 100 years while their economies skyrocket.

  14. #59

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    ^
    Actually China is actively looking to emulate our use of automobiles. They saw how the growth of the auto industry and and the resulting mobility caused our economy to skyrocket if the first three quartes of the 20th century. They're actually building highways as fast as they can.

  15. #60

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    Maybe China should better take a look at Japan. Still the second economy in the world, with a sufficient highway network, but above all a superior public transport system. In Japan you don't take the train just because you have to (on longer distances it is rather expensive), but simply because in most of the country it's unbeatable for speed, reliability and even comfort.

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