Effective Travel by Train Can be Found in Europe

traingeekboy Sep 21, 2018

  1. ddechamp71

    ddechamp71 TrainBoard Member

    1,901
    301
    34
    True. I read here and there Amtrak often asked SP, then UP, to proceed on famed Tehachapi Pass, which was denied as this single track railroad is already close to congestion, leading to the idea that tolling Amtrak to allow it to proceed on one's track is not that interresting...

    Dom
     
  2. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    59,880
    4,414
    600
    Remember- Amtrak using host railroads tracks and expediting Amtrak's trains was all part of the legal agreement which got Amtrak started. UP, SP, BN, etc, etc, all of those who willingly signed on. Their successors and assigns all obligated to comply- and too often failing.... Congestion or not, it is still a legal obligation.
     
  3. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

    11,897
    1,817
    149
    There also are clauses in the agreement that stipulate fines for causing Amtrak delays and late schedules. Unfortunately those fines were fixed in 1971 Dollars. Now, nearly fifty years later, the fines are merely a minor cost of hosting Amtrak, hardly detrimental to the host railroads' bottom lines.
     
  4. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    59,880
    4,414
    600
    Yup. And after they write them off, (bookkeeping techniques/tax deductions), even more insignificant. These numbers need to be revisited and the fines stiffened to what some folks might believe as being harsh numbers. IT NEEDS TO HAPPEN. Should have been done, long ago. :(
     
  5. hoyden

    hoyden TrainBoard Supporter

    725
    267
    20
    This is a tough crowd! I doubt anyone back when Amtrak was birthed could have imagined how railroads would change in 50 years. I'm re-reading "The Men Who Loved Trains" that tells the story of the Penn Central merger and bankruptcy, rise of Conrail and Amtrak, and the Conrail split.It's a fascinating glimpse into railroad business practices, culture, and how it played out on the national scene. There are no simple answers and there are no winners
     
  6. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

    11,897
    1,817
    149
    Nancy Jean, Amtrak was "birthed" with the intent that it would last five years at the most because our Congress wrote the law to ensure its demise, then planned to do everything to assure ridership would fall to zero. Unfortunately for Congress that did not happen. So we, the riding public, are left with a Government Corporation controlled by Congress whose members could care less if it survives, with the exception of Joe Biden of course.
     
  7. chadbag

    chadbag TrainBoard Member

    41
    35
    2
    I think Japan has the most effective passenger rail service though Europe is very good. They privatized their national railway service in 1987 and they have taken off. They have the first tier JR services (the various companies split out of the national service), larger private companies and then the third tier public/private companies (usually smaller lines split off from one of the JR companies and run as private/public partnerships). Very good coverage (though lots of lines have been closed out in the boonies) and easy to use.

    We go to Japan about every other year as my wife is from there. We get the JR Pass and go all over. I’ll get up early and take the kids on a day trip for Osaka to Tokyo or Hiroshima or even Kyushu (and I don’t speak Japanese). And they have a very dedicated railfan community as well.

    I’ve not been in Europe on the rails much since the 80s when I lived in Germany for 2 years and rode several times a week. And 3 weeks by Eurailpass in 1991. (We did do Stockholm to Gothenburg and a few days later Gothenburg to Copenhagen in 2016). Not much since the liberalization of the rails. I am headed that way in 2020 and am excited to ride and see the changes with all the various companies now offering services.

    As has been pointed out the distances are much greater in the US than in Europe and in most places the population densities are not there to support extensive passenger rail. In the Northeast and in California you can see it and new lines in Florida and Texas and to Las Vegas have been made or are being made so some areas have some regional support.
     
    SLSF Freak and r_i_straw like this.

Share This Page