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Thread: Worthy Transit Improvements

  1. #256

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjahedge View Post
    That is where luxury comes in. Why are cruises so popular if they take so much longer than a flight? You give people a full bar or other amenities, they may prefer the space and comfort they can get for less (per SF) on a rail than at 30,000 feet.
    cruise ships are for vacations, trains/planes are for transportation. as well, new larger planes can be equipped with full bars and other amenities.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjahedge View Post
    There is a critical time element though, and if you can get someone cross-country overnight, in a bed, for less than first class on a plane, you might find a market...
    i thought it was about amenities.. why sleep through them? anyways, cross country would take upwards of a few days, not overnight.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjahedge View Post
    $30 to $40 is being a little rediculous. Point made, but you can't get a cab from the airport for that much, what makes you think that an express would be that cheap?
    i dunno... thousands of people in one train vs one person in a car

  2. #257

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjahedge View Post
    You think buisness travelers don't drink?
    they can drink on a plane

    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjahedge View Post
    What might be looked into would be why trains lost their popularity. There WAS a time when both were available and people still chose rail over air. Was it speed, convenience, comfort, cost, availability? What pushed it over and what would push it back?
    i would imagine air travel wasn't very safe or at least had the misconception of not being very safe. my dad still refuses to fly.

  3. #258
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by philvia View Post
    cruise ships are for vacations, trains/planes are for transportation. as well, new larger planes can be equipped with full bars and other amenities.
    At a significant price point.


    i thought it was about amenities.. why sleep through them? anyways, cross country would take upwards of a few days, not overnight.
    You do not consider a full bed an amenity?

    And high speed at 200 MPH would take less than a day. It would all depend on how "express" it was.

    i dunno... thousands of people in one train vs one person in a car
    Pointless comparison. What I am saying is that one car traveling less than 30 minutes costs more than a train traveling 250 miles? Not in my world.

  4. #259
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    Quote Originally Posted by philvia View Post
    they can drink on a plane
    Please show me where I said they can't. Also, we are getting back to price points. In a train, especially a high speed train, there is little to NO "turbulence". You can sit at the bar and have a pint, not at your seat with a little screw-top bottle of chivas and a plastic cup with ice.


    Point being, you can have a bar on just about anything, but making it viable and affordable is easier on a train than a plane. Therefore, more people could afford to travel in "luxury" rather than "coach" all the time.


    i would imagine air travel wasn't very safe or at least had the misconception of not being very safe. my dad still refuses to fly.
    Possibly. I was also wandering about cost, comfort (noise), convenience (non-stop?) and the like. Something pushed plane travel over the line. Railway travel used to be the big thing (ref movies like "Murder on the Orient Express and similar titles of that age). The train was seen as more luxurious, the plane more matter-of-fact expedient.

    What could the rails do to bring that image back? How could they combine that with speed and modernity to a point where it would be feasible to ride rail to Wichita rather than Continental?

  5. #260

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    Quote Originally Posted by alonzo-ny View Post
    I think trains lose appeal after a certain journey time. Id say anything over an overnight 12 hour shot perhaps loses alot of appeal.
    Point-to-point non-stop overnight hotel trains could really take off in the US if managed correctly.

    Start with sleeper coaches of top quality materials and design.



    Schedule all trains for 6pm departure and 7am arrival.

    A business trip might look like this:

    6am Departure, get settled in room, make contact with cabin porter.

    6:15 A drink or two in the lounge car to find a dinner companion.



    7pm Dinner for two in the dining car. I’ll have the brook trout meuniere with baby potatoes and a Bibb lettuce salad ($19), washed down with a couple of Gössers ($9) or splurge on a bottle of Korbel Brut ($21). And a lemon meringue pie ($4.50) will suit me just fine.



    8pm Back to the lounge, and a couple of hands of bridge.



    Tip the piano player.



    9:30 Retire to room, to post on Wired New York (wireless connection $6 through porter), followed by a current or classic movie on the flat-screen TV ($9).

    Midnight: turn in, after room service brings a piece of Stilton ($5) and a nice glass of Madeira ($7).

    6am Wake-up call, followed in five minutes by a complimentary cup of coffee and the Wall Street Journal, New York Times or USA Today (freshly picked up en route). In addition, I ask for and get a croissant ($3.50) and an orange juice ($2.50).

    Take a pass on the full breakfast in dining car.

    6:20 Shower and shave.

    6:30 Train has already arrived at destination. Can disembark if desired. All passengers to vacate train by 8:30.

    Tip the cabin porter. After renting a car at the station I go for a day of business in the city before heading back that evening. Since the train loiters all day on a siding in the destination city, I can leave my bag in my cabin for the return trip, while the porter tidies up and keeps an eye on things.

    Fare is pegged at exactly the same as flying.


    There ... isn't that nice?


    * * *

    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp View Post
    The route examples are generally in the 800 mile range I mentioned. They could compete successfully with the speed of air travel. But a coast to coast railroad would have difficulty maintaining financial viability.
    Overnight hotel trains averaging 60mph can travel 780 miles in thirteen hours. At 100mph, it’s up to 1300 miles.

    Here are some potentially lucrative pairings of cities:

    Washington-Atlanta or NewYork-Charlotte 620 miles/12 hours = 52mph avg.

    New York-Atlanta or Boston-Charlotte 850 miles/12 hours = 71mph avg.

    New York-Chicago or San Francisco/Oakland - Seattle 810 miles/12 hours = 68mph avg.

    Boston-Cleveland 660 miles/12 hours = 55mph avg.

    New York-Orlando 1090 miles/12 hours = 91mph avg. (84mph @ 13 hours)

    Washington-New Orleans 1100miles/12 hours = 92mph avg. (85mph @ 13 hours)

    San Francisco-Las Vegas 570 miles/12 hours = 48mph avg.

    Chicago-New Orleans 920 miles/12 hours = 77mph avg.

    Houston-Atlanta 790 miles/12 hours = 66mph avg.

    San Antonio-Atlanta 1000 miles/12 hours = 83mph avg (77mph @ 13 hours)

    Philadelphia-Chicago 790 miles/12 hours = 66mph avg.

    Washington-Miami 1060 miles/12 hours = 88mph avg. (82mph @ 13 hours)

    Houston-Phoenix 1160 miles/13 hours = 89mph avg.

    Houston-Denver 1030 miles/12 hours = 86mph avg. (79mph @ 13 hours)

    .
    Last edited by ablarc; December 29th, 2008 at 07:12 PM. Reason: added quote

  6. #261
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Thanks for the pics there ABL. That is what I was looking for.

    When your trip is no longer an inconvenience, the extra time is not as much of a concern.

    If you can leave your vehicle like you spent the night in a nice hotel rather than on a red-eye (or after 5 hours of sleep in a hotel after an express non-stop red eye).

    13 hours might be a bit much for business. It might need to be kept to about 10 (enough time to eat, sleep, and get ready for the next day).

    But on a high speed (200+ MPH) 10 hours can get you 2/3 of the way cross country!!!

    I think the only MAJOR obstacle to cross-country high speed are the rockies. Maybe they need to have a sort of popular hub destination? Not Denver, but maybe somewhere in Colorado? Las Vegas (Nevada)? A stop where enough people would want to go regularly to make it financially viable to run them often enough to make it convenient as well as accomodating......

  7. #262

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    You don't need a coast to coast train. If you want to travel cross country by train, you could arrange regional hookups, even a weekend layover in a city.

    In the early 50s, my parents' wedding present from their parents was a railroad trip to California. Trains had bounced back from development stagnation during WWII, and the effect of auto and air travel had not yet severely affected railroad ridership.

    Broadway Limited New York-Chicago. Stayed a few days in Chicago.
    Super Chief Chicago-LA
    Car LA-SF

    I doubt you will see a market for this sort of trip on one train on a regular basis. You could possibly see it as a special, once or twice a year, something like that, where a train is switched from one facility to another.

  8. #263
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    People used to have lunch in Chicago's Pump Room, as they waited to switch trains.

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