• Forbes Article - Amtrak Expansion Will Increase Shipping Costs

  • Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.
Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

  by rcthompson04
 
scratchyX1 wrote: Mon Aug 08, 2022 11:55 am
ConstanceR46 wrote: Mon Aug 08, 2022 3:30 am america wasn't too big for passenger rail 70 years ago and china, which is even larger than us, can do it. this is the same tired fallacy trotted out by think tanks that just Hate Trains
Ok, Then, morraco, egypt, isreal, india, the list goes on.
and germany has both hsr and the autobahn.
The United States doesn't have comparable population density to any of them. Sweden seems to be the only country that is first world and comparable in density that has good rail transport. If you look at the countries relatively closer in density (Canada, Australia and Russia) the passenger side of the service isn't considered that strong even though all of them have some honorable mentions.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Mr. Thompson, it appears that the State owned intercity services along Australia's East Coast Brisbane-Sydney-Melbourne appear to be much like Amtrak with regards to amenities and age of equipment:

https://youtu.be/WaRZVxSQbv8

This of course is independent of the private sector "Luxotrains".
  by west point
 
eolesen wrote: Mon Aug 08, 2022 9:35 am it's pretty clear people don't voluntarily choose train travel when other options are available... and it's been that way for over 60 years.
How can you say that today.? How many LD trains are close to sold out every day?. Not sold out you say? There are always last minute cancellations that other potential passengers do not have time to plan .
  by eolesen
 

west point wrote: How can you say that today.? How many LD trains are close to sold out every day?
Aside from Autotrain, the data clearly shows that no LD is selling more than half of its available seats.

Sleepers might be sold out, but that's a minority of the capacity, and by far the most expensive service to deliver in terms of nonrevenue space and manpower.

Sent from my SM-G981U using Tapatalk

  by rcthompson04
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Mon Aug 08, 2022 6:51 pm Mr. Thompson, it appears that the State owned intercity services along Australia's East Coast Brisbane-Sydney-Melbourne appear to be much like Amtrak with regards to amenities and age of equipment:

https://youtu.be/WaRZVxSQbv8

This of course is independent of the private sector "Luxotrains".
Correct. The offerings in Australia and Canada seem quite similar to the US in many respects. Australia and Canada do not have high speed rail.
  by HenryAlan
 
eolesen wrote: Mon Aug 08, 2022 9:35 am Well, you might like trains, but when well over 98% of long and medium distance travel is taking place by other means, it's pretty clear people don't voluntarily choose train travel when other options are available... and it's been that way for over 60 years.
For the vast majority of trips in this country, the car is the only option, so of course it is the dominant mode. But where rail is available, the ratio shifts some. The Northeast corridor is an example of rail enjoying a very high mode share. The 98% figure may be correct, but that doesn't at all mean it's the preferred or only viable mode in this country. Where passenger rail exists, people use it.
  by eolesen
 
If you say so... The main reason NEC has market share is because of all the % of people who live in the megapolises up and down the east coast and can't afford cars because of rent and exorbitant insurance rates...

Anywhere else, rail is just an afterthought or "a carnival ride"....

My son wants to go to a Vikings-Cowboys game in MSP this fall. We just priced out Amtrak at $240 per person, and their schedule forces two hotel nights. He can drive it in about six hours (including stops) for about $110 in gas -- up the morning of the game, and come home that night or the next morning as an option...

I don't know anyone in the midwest, south, or west who has deliberately chosen Amtrak for a long distance trip twice. My son did it once because his wife's family lives in one of the stops on a CHI-West Coast itinerary.... They'll never do it again because of the time wasted.

And the data supports that.

Including Auto-train, Amtrak carries around 2.5M people each year on the long distance network. State services carry another 5.5M give or take.

TSA cleared almost 2.5M people yesterday....

Assuming that 20% of that was international travelers (which is probably way too high), on an annual basis, that works out to 99% of domestic travel on airplanes compared to 1% on trains.... And that doesn't even start to factor in trips by car.

The data doesn't lie. Train travel in the US is an afterthought. A carnival ride. An imposition on the freight railroads.
  by Greg Moore
 
Sorry, but I'm going to call you out on your claims.
While it's true most in NYC don't own cars, the truth is the ridership is far more than the lack of cars. The Empire Service is not considered part of the NEC and yet the station with the 10th highest ridership is on the Empire Service, and trust me all those folks have cars.

I'll add too that while just over 1/2 of the folks in NYC don't own cars, in the other locations along the NEC 60-70% of the folks do own cars.

The truth is, where trains are frequent, on-time, and ideally fast, people will take them. Even those with cars.

But more important, you made a classic argument which is completely disingenuous. You're comparing TSA clearance with Amtrak ridership and claiming no one likes to ride the train.

Let's look at more realistic numbers.
Let's look at LIRR daily ridership: currently about about 164K/day.
Add in Metro North, that's another 137K a day (note both are currently at about 60% of precovid numbers).
That's another 300K, just in NYC. Now you can add in ridership for Boston, Chicago and other metropolitan areas.

Funny enough there's a lot of folks riding trains in this country.
And prior to covid it was climbing and it's continuing to climb again post-Covid.
  by eolesen
 
Sorry Greg, but the discussion was over long and medium distance travel. Not commuting.

If you want to compare the number of people who take the train to work to those who drive 5-75 miles, I suspect you'll lose that line of argument as well.

Let's say 2M daily commuters on rail... Heck, let's go to 4M to include people taking buses and light rail.

I'd guess there are easily 100M+ driving to work. That's still 96% or less taking the train....
  by David Benton
 
Of course not many people ride LD trains, because there are hardly any trains to ride. It has been proven all over the world when There are fast frequent trains, people ride them. It's a bit like saying people don't fly because not many fly out of podunk.
  by Arborwayfan
 
I live in the Midwest and I've taken many LD trips. I can get to Salt Lake City from Terre Haute faster by train than by driving, even including inconvenient connection times in Chicago. And the train's arrival time is usually more predictable than my arrival time if I were driving.

I've sat with lots of people on CZ dining cars and whatnot who were repeat passengers, especially on the Chi-Denver and intermediates portion of the route. I have various local friends who make LD Amtrak trips often--people who aren't railfans and who don't even live in a town with a station.

Where there are more trains, more people ride them. When I lived in Boston, sure, people took the bus to NYC or flew to NYC, but most people at least considered taking the train, and (as the stats show) large numbers of people took the train sometimes. And the people who live in the region where the trains are at least that frequent (the Boswash megalopolis, essentially) are 50 million people, more than 1/7 of the country, so they aren't exactly an "only".
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
An advocate responds in the pages of Railway Age:

https://www.railwayage.com/news/the-big ... d-cook-it/

Fair Use:
The dictionary defines a “canard” as a false or unfounded report or story, especially a fabricated report, or a groundless rumor or belief. “Canard” actually is the French word for “duck.” Nobody knows for sure why the French used an innocent (and delicious animal) to stand for false reporting. But before you dismiss “canard” as Gallic capriciousness, please remember that in American English, a bogus physician is called a “quack.”

A canard is not exactly the same as a lie, which most of us understand from childhood to be a desperate attempt at escaping blame. “Johnny, did you paint your sister’s bike black?” says Daddy. And Johnny says, “No,” which Daddy quickly identifies as a lie and then punishes Johnny not just for the paint job but for trying to escape responsibility for it. That’s how most of us understand “lie.”

The canard type of lying is different. It’s used not to dodge blame but to distort reality and set the listener up for a shakedown. A good example is the canard often used to discredit the idea of creating a modern passenger rail system in the United States.

The canard goes like this: “Passenger trains make sense in Europe because European countries have a high population density, but in the U. S. our population is too spread out to support a passenger rail network. Cars and airplanes are all we need to get around.”
Sometimes I wonder if Railway Age - the industry's house organ - is trying to become another Passenger Train Journal.

Finally, we should note that this author is "not exactly" simply a concerned citizen. He has an interest in Corridor Rail Development - the concern that acquired the ATSF Hi-Level fleet from Amtrak and has tried without success to "peddle" these cars to one passenger train agency or the other for the past ten years.