• High-speed trains vs. airline service

  • General discussion of passenger rail systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.
General discussion of passenger rail systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

Moderators: mtuandrew, gprimr1

  by GWoodle
7express wrote:Los Angeles to Las vegas and Salt lake City might be a good idea for Boston to update on his map as well. Maybe a connection out to Denver as well, but thats pushing it.
Because of geography, I don't see how HSR from LA to Las Vegas, Salt Lake city & Denver is possible. Too many mountains with steep grades & curves in the way. From LA to Las Vegas may be a high density but slow speed route. The real attraction is to pull traffic from the interstate in all weather conditions. In this case the railroad would be some better than a 55-60mph average highway speed limit.

We have a similar problem in the southeast linking Nashville to the south or the east.
  by lpetrich
More and more.

China’s high-speed rail is so popular, it’s hurting the domestic airline industry – Quartz
China Southern Airlines is the latest Chinese airline to post miserable year-end 2013 results. Net profit dropped 24% to 1.99 billion yuan ($321 million), and operating profit fell 70%. China Southern Airlines joins Air China, where net profit dropped 32% in 2013, and China Eastern Airlines, where it fell by 25%.

High oil prices, as well as increased competition from low-cost carriers and each other, have taken a toll. But, as each airline has recently acknowledged, so has China’s massive and growing high-speed rail system.
More broadly, from High-speed rail in China - Wikipedia
Impact on airlines

The spread of high-speed rail has forced domestic airlines in China to slash airfare and cancel regional flights.[125] The impact of high speed rail on air travel is most acute for intercity trips under 500 km (310 mi).[125] By the spring of 2011, commercial airline service had been completely halted on previously popular routes such as Wuhan-Nanjing, Wuhan-Nanchang, Xi’an-Zhengzhou and Chengdu-Chongqing.[125] Flights on routes over 1,500 km (930 mi) are generally unaffected.[125] As of October 2013, high-speed rail was carrying twice as many passengers each month as the country’s airlines.[122]
(Fair-use quotes)
  by lpetrich
Why More Northeast U.S. Travelers Take the Train Instead of a Plane, in 2 Charts - CityLab working from Emerging travel trends, high-speed rail, and the public reinvention of U.S. transportation
In 2000, passenger rail captured about 37 percent of this market between New York and Washington, and 20 percent between New York and Boston. By 2012 those figures had reached 75 percent and 54 percent, respectively
Why it is happening:
The answer, in large part, is that train time is more productive than plane time. Whereas most of the travel time on Amtrak occurs in your seat during the ride, most of the total time spent flying requires a long list of what Kamga calls "pre- and post-flight inconveniences": getting to and from the airport, bag check or check-in, security lines, and waiting.
I read off of the graph the time in minutes aboard the vehicle and the total time, including time to get to and from the vehicle. Here goes:
  • Acela: 164, 260
  • Regional: 178, 279
  • IAD-LGA: 80, 266
  • IAD-JFK: 72, 273
  • DCA-LGA: 69, 220
  • DCA-JFK: 59, 225
  • Acela: 210, 306
  • Regional: 245, 341
  • BOS-LGA: 62, 222
  • BOS-JFK: 60, 235
BOS = Boston Logan, IAD = DC Dulles, DCA = DC National, LGA = NYC LaGuardia, JFK = NYC formerly Idlewild

I read off from these numbers an access time of 1.6 hours (96 min) for Amtrak's trains and 2.5 to 3.3 hours (150 - 200 min) for the airliners. Though the trains are slower, they are more accessible.
  by GWoodle
Not sure if your travel times are averages according to TT or real time when you add in weather & security delays. It would be nice if amtrak could keep the NEC up in a snow storm.
  by Greg Moore
I call this "effective time". On a recent trip from Albany NY to King of Prussia, PA (and then for the weekend to DC) I took the train.

Honestly, especially to KOP, it would have been faster to drive (by a couple of hours when all was said and done). But, by taking the train, I was able to sneak in reading the newspaper, about 2 hours of sleep, and an hour of work.