Crossing America By Rail?

BarstowRick Mar 22, 2019

  1. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    The US culture, both individual and political, either has to accept that passenger rail travel between cities is a public service and support it accordingly as federal, state, and local governments do now by providing roads, airports, and traffic control systems, or drop it entirely. Passenger rail started to fail when governments became their major competitor by building more and better roads and airline facilities. That's unfair competition because governments don't declare profits and distribute dividends to tax payers as private corporations do to their share holders if they want to stay in business.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2019
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  2. minesweeper

    minesweeper TrainBoard Member

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    Exactly, here in Europe with the EU law on competition for rail service, the governments are responsible for building and maintain the right of way, and the operators pay a toll.
    Anyway ALL passenger service except the high speed is subsidized one way or the other.
    Here in Italy competition on the high speed lines brought good service at an honest price without taxpayers money, and ridership in airplane and cars has been cut by half.
    But we are talking 600 miles here, not 3000.

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  3. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    Maurizio, I agree with your dimensional comparison. My state of Mississippi is larger than the Country of France. So it's difficult, if not impossible to compare what works for Europe to operations in the US. Thank you for your input.
     
  4. CarlH

    CarlH TrainBoard Member

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    In square miles, France is pretty close to the size of the state of Texas. But France has more than double the population of the state of Texas.
     
  5. minesweeper

    minesweeper TrainBoard Member

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    I intended to stress your point that rail transport suffers from unfair competition in the US due to the government subsidizing infrastructure for road and air.

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  6. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    Thank you Maurizio. The US still suffers an embedded cultural hatred to railroads, started by unscrupulous land barons of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Unfortunately no one today remembers why this hatred started, why it exists, or even what it means. Sadly, our culture just knows that railroads are nasty and must be combated and destroyed at all costs. Our politicians are the most ignorant, yet most vociferous of the antagonists.
     
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  7. trainman-ho

    trainman-ho TrainBoard Member

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    I heard somewhere, that Railroads are the most economical method of transporting large quantities of freight, or large numbers of people. However timing, areas served and population densities have a huge effect on the profitability, and any private enterprise or corporation must be profitable.

    Imagine if the roads in North America were all toll roads....... How busy would they be?

    Jim
     
  8. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    Jim, you are correct. Sadly Americans have the mindset that they must be transported to their destinations as fast as absolutely possible. American railroads can't do that. However the SST, an economic failure, is again being proposed to meet this idiotic demand for speed. Whatever...:rolleyes:

    BTW, the corollary to your tag line is, A Waist is a Terrible Thing to Mind.
     
  9. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

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    If you're a typical working schmuck, who only gets two weeks of vacation per year, then you want to waste as little of that precious time as possible in transit to Orlando with your kids whining "are we there, yet".
     
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  10. trainman-ho

    trainman-ho TrainBoard Member

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    Gee......I'm still learning new things at 74....Thanks Hytec!
     
  11. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    You're right, though my kid-filled vacations were 50+/- years ago and we usually went camping or similar.
     
  12. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

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    Chicago to LA in 66 hours.
    Pullman's finest and Santa Fe's fastest.
    First-class travel 115 years ago:

    [​IMG]
     
  13. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    Right now 9:39 a.m. MTN, Idaho Daylight Saving Time, there are two #5 California Zephyrs in very close proximity to each other. Headed in the same direction, westerly. One East of Denver and the other west of Denver dead stopped at Granby. That means the one at Granby is running as much as 10 to 11 hours late. It may be having problems with the front end power.

    See: Amtrak Track Your Train, for details.

    Just one of those fluks that doesn't happen every-day.
     
  14. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    It'd be amusing if the Dispatcher routed one past the other so that the first train out was the last to arrive. o_O
     
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  15. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    As close to each other as they are, that could happen. o_O:):confused::cool:
     
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  16. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    Update: Westbound #5 at Granby, CO is back under way. Currently at 70 mph. It might meet an easterly, #6, CA Zephyr, at Grand Junction not at 71 mph. Most likely the two will meet just East of Grand Junction. Great idea though. Wouldn't that be fun to watch?
     
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  17. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    10:38 a.m. Idaho Mtn. Time.

    Here's another oddity to report. #3 SWC is arriving at Flagstaff in a matter of minutes. This is a train that usually arrives around 11:00 p.m. AMT time. Running approximatley 10 to 11 hours late.

    This means it will be coming through Barstow later this evening.

    You can catch it on Virtual Railfans Live Railcams. Just do a You Tube search. It doesn't to much good to give you a link. You still have to go through Railfan to pick it up. Piggy back easterly as I write. Amtrak arriving now. Sorry, didn't get the heads up out on time.

    Who said we run on time?

    Enjoy!
     
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  18. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

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    Did you catch the doubleheader on #3 of BNSF 6616 leading Amtrak 36?
     
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  19. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    No I missed that. I was busy typing with my eyes focused on the large screen. Amtrak pulled in and I looked down to see the baggage car go by on my smarter then me phone. Amtrak has been having front end power failures left and right. You have to wonder how well they are monitoring and servicing their equipment.

    Oh by the way. The two Amtrak #5's CA Zephyr, never did catch up with each other.
     
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  20. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    Okay, #3 that left Flagstaff earlier is now running 15 hours and 6 mins late. ETA Barstow, Ca., 6:46 p.m. PT Daylight Saving Time. This should have BNSF 6616 leading Amtrak 367, thank-you Point 353. Again the previous link for Virtual Railfan will get you in on the fun and if you want you can sound off on the chatter box. :);):cool:
     

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