mtuandrew wrote:I'm not clear on who AllEarth wants to have pay for this service. The state? The cities or counties affected? It's also not fully clear whether this is just Montpelier-Burlington or if there are more/different lines in play. (Burlington-Rutland-Bennington in particular.)
Didn't strike me until seeing pictures how well-maintained the RDCs are. Even if this intra-state service never gets off the ground, AllEarth has a small fleet it can probably sell for a profit.
Herzog did an excellent job maintaining and operating these RDCs for the TRE and DCTA. I wouldn't be surprised if the TRE chrome plated the one they kept, just kidding! But i do expect the stainless steel body will remain shiny with frequent application of elbow grease.
I believe they will be looking at every government body pitch in their own way. The state financing track refurbishments, cities with stations and their platforms, counties with crossing gates, and the Feds for environmental justice funds for operations.
One thing for certain; $300,000 to purchase each RDC is just the beginning of filling the "hole in the sea". 10 RDCs for significantly less than the $1,000,000 (+++) for a brand new passenger coach and even more for even used locomotives was a great deal. But there's more to running and maintaining a railroad than having cars for passengers to ride on. There's gaining trackage rights, FRA certifications, constructions permits, legal liability insurance, finding and qualifying certified drivers/engineers, fare colllections, policing aboard the trains, civil engineers building platforms, lawyers, acccountans; just about everyone you will need to run a small business. Expenditures will be going on for months, if not years, nd they don't start earning revenues until the first passenger buys a ticket to ride.
Some fun with math. I read recently that these RDCs average 2-2.5 mpg. Which doesn't sound good until you realize there's 88 seats on each RDC. If 88 passengers were riding the train, that's at least 176 mpg per passenge. If the train was half full, that's 88 mpg per passenger. With just 10 passengers, that's 20 mpg per passengers. The environmental justice these trains will supply really depends on how full they are with passengers...