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#21 NewMarketSean

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Posted 12 May 2015 - 11:18 AM

The Penn Line of the MARC runs all day.

 

http://mta.maryland...._northbound.xls

 

It's the Camden Line that runs for commuters.


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#22 NewMarketSean

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Posted 12 May 2015 - 11:19 AM

I like your "Can Do" attitude   :wink:

 

http://www.thehotais...never-take-off/

This city can't even break ground on a light rail system that's been planned for 12 years.

 

Now you want them to do MAGLEV?


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#23 RShack

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Posted 12 May 2015 - 11:40 AM

This city can't even break ground on a light rail system that's been planned for 12 years.

 

Now you want them to do MAGLEV?

 

I want them (and gov't in general) to get back to doing things that are exciting and get people jazzed...  


 "You say you've lost your faith, but that's not where its at.

  You have no faith to lose, and ya know it" - Bob Dylan


#24 SammyBirdland

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Posted 12 May 2015 - 12:09 PM

I want them (and gov't in general) to get back to doing things that are exciting and get people jazzed...  

 

Sounds expensive.


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#25 DJ MC

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Posted 12 May 2015 - 12:18 PM

So, for reasons way beyond what I want to get into, I have to be in DC Court tomorrow by 9 AM for a few hearings.  Anyway, I figured rather than fight traffic and park at Greenbelt, I could just take the MARC to Union Station and back.  Well, apparently this thing only runs during rush hour?  I need to come back around noon and nothing runs during those hours.

 

Seems pretty pointless to me, but what do I know?

 

Just explore DC for a few hours :P

 

As Sean said, the Penn Line runs all day (looks like northbound leaves about every hour from 9:30 to 3:20).


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#26 RShack

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Posted 12 May 2015 - 12:40 PM

Sounds expensive.

 

It's cheap in the long run... plus, the country's incredibly wealthy... it's just that all the money's in the wrong place...

 

We used to cool things back when we had less money... 


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  You have no faith to lose, and ya know it" - Bob Dylan


#27 Pedro Cerrano

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Posted 12 May 2015 - 12:47 PM

The Penn Line of the MARC runs all day.

 

http://mta.maryland...._northbound.xls

 

It's the Camden Line that runs for commuters.

 

Thanks.  I live closer to the Dorsey station but I guess I could swing going to BWI or Halethorpe.


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#28 BSLMikeLowe

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Posted 13 May 2015 - 01:51 PM

I want them (and gov't in general) to get back to doing things that are exciting and get people jazzed...  

 

How's this for exciting?

 

Source: Amtrak train thought to be going twice as fast as it should have been



#29 NewMarketSean

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Posted 13 May 2015 - 01:59 PM

How's this for exciting?

 

Source: Amtrak train thought to be going twice as fast as it should have been

I was wondering about speed as well. I know those trains don't normally go too fast for too long since the track is mostly located near populated areas.


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#30 BSLMikeLowe

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Posted 13 May 2015 - 02:04 PM

I was wondering about speed as well. I know those trains don't normally go too fast for too long since the track is mostly located near populated areas.

 

Other than a collision, which apparently has already been ruled out, speed seemed like the most obvious explanation.

 

And lest there be any misunderstanding, my post above was entirely sarcasm, made mostly in disgust. I'll respect board rules in not going into why, but it bothered me that the day after the accident this happened.



#31 NewMarketSean

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Posted 13 May 2015 - 02:07 PM

Other than a collision, which apparently has already been ruled out, speed seemed like the most obvious explanation.

 

And lest there be any misunderstanding, my post above was entirely sarcasm, made mostly in disgust. I'll respect board rules in not going into why, but it bothered me that the day after the accident this happened.

 

They need more money to build and widen roads I guess.

 

Shame what has happened to train travel in this country. 


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#32 BSLMikeLowe

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Posted 13 May 2015 - 02:12 PM

They need more money to build and widen roads I guess.

 

Shame what has happened to train travel in this country. 

 

I can't disagree at all with the desire or need to upgrade our roads and bridges.....many of them are in terrible shape and well over capacity. I would just like to see more investment in multiple modes of transportation.

 

Here's some interesting reading on US passenger rail.

http://www.nationalj...trains-20150417



#33 Matt_P

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Posted 13 May 2015 - 02:36 PM

They need more money to build and widen roads I guess.

 

Shame what has happened to train travel in this country. 

 

My understanding is that it isn't easy to find land to build and widen those roads. You need a certain type of land (you want it to be level, right?) and it has to be all connected to each other and that just isn't easy to find in the Northeast Corridor.

 

To be fair, the House voted to increase funding in the Northeast Corridor while cutting funding elsewhere. There isn't the population density for train travel to be practical in most of the country.



#34 NewMarketSean

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Posted 13 May 2015 - 02:38 PM

My understanding is that it isn't easy to find land to build and widen those roads. You need a certain type of land (you want it to be level, right?) and it has to be all connected to each other and that just isn't easy to find in the Northeast Corridor.

 

To be fair, the House voted to increase funding in the Northeast Corridor while cutting funding elsewhere. There isn't the population density for train travel to be practical in most of the country.

 

Oh yeah I agree.


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#35 RShack

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Posted 13 May 2015 - 04:50 PM

To be fair, the House voted to increase funding in the Northeast Corridor while cutting funding elsewhere. There isn't the population density for train travel to be practical in most of the country.

 

To be fair, they've been refusing to spend money to fix stuff we *know* is dangerous... why?  Because of Freedom™

 

As for population density not justifying train travel, there are *lots* of places that do justify it... just not coast to coast, but *lots* of runs of a few hundred miles where it makes perfect sense...


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#36 BSLMikeLowe

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Posted 13 May 2015 - 05:05 PM

My understanding is that it isn't easy to find land to build and widen those roads. You need a certain type of land (you want it to be level, right?) and it has to be all connected to each other and that just isn't easy to find in the Northeast Corridor.

 

To be fair, the House voted to increase funding in the Northeast Corridor while cutting funding elsewhere. There isn't the population density for train travel to be practical in most of the country.

 

And other than within a few densely populated pockets, it never will be "practical", at least from a financial standpoint. But to be frank, neither is our interstate highway system.....that network of roads has never made any money, yet thousands of miles of paved highway transverse remote areas of the country. And it takes a significant investment (one in which we are also failing to adequately make these days) just to maintain it, let alone improve it.

 

But since its inception in 1970 we have always looked at Amtrak as a business that should be able to successfully pay for itself, like the airlines (which themselves bled cash for many years until recently, and they still need publicly-funded infrastructure on which to take-off, land, and process passengers). The simple truth is that if we want to have an efficient, functioning, and safe intermodal transportation system, it's simply something that we have to be willing to pay for as a whole society, for the whole society.


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#37 RShack

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Posted 13 May 2015 - 05:20 PM

And other than within a few densely populated pockets, it never will be "practical", at least from a financial standpoint. But to be frank, neither is our interstate highway system.....that network of roads has never made any money, yet thousands of miles of paved highway transverse remote areas of the country. And it takes a significant investment (one in which we are also failing to adequately make these days) just to maintain it, let alone improve it.

 

The Interstate system never made money directly... but it was a great thing for the country which made lots of money for lots of people in other ways... and then those people pay taxes... that's how it's supposed to work...you can't say it didn't pay for itself a zillion times over... it's just that the gov't didn't profit directly... but American society certainly did... WHICH IS THE ENTIRE POINT OF GOV'T PROJECTS like that...  Interstates, NASA, NOAA, EPA, doesn't matter... it's the same reason Jefferson built the Erie Canal, same reason Lincoln got the coast-to-coast railroad built even though he was busy dealing with a slight distraction called the Civil War... it's the same basic thing...  

 

From the narrow point of view that's used to diss train travel, passenger trains can never make sense... it's impossible for passenger trains to pay for themselves, simply because people don't weigh enough... and because you can't stack people in there like logs, so most of a fully occupied passenger car is just air... if everybody weighed 8,000 pounds, then trains would be the only option... but we don't... which is why we needed Amtrak because the private companies who run freight wanted no parts of passenger travel... the only reason they ever did it is because reg's made them do it...by definition, passenger trains are a cost center, not a profit center... just like roads are... if every road was a toll road to make roads break even, you'd never drive anywhere...lots of things society needs to work right are cost centers... pretending everything is supposed to make a profit is both crazy and naive...


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#38 BSLMikeLowe

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Posted 13 May 2015 - 05:37 PM

The Interstate system never made money directly... but it was a great thing for the country which made lots of money for lots of people in other ways, and then those people pay taxes... that's how it's supposed to work...you can't say it didn't pay for itself a zillion times over... it's just that the gov't didn't profit directly... but American society certainly did... WHICH IS THE ENTIRE POINT OF GOV'T PROJECTS like that...  Interstates, NASA, NOAA, EPA, doesn't matter... it's the same basic thing...

 

That's what I meant. Governments aren't going to see a surplus, or break-even, from interstate highways any more than they will a passenger rail network. Same with airports and the whole infrastructure that supports air traffic control.....airlines pay some money into keeping those things operating, but by-and-large building them and making significant improvements come at public expense. And plenty of people have profited as a result of our ability to move people and goods around the country by air....and not just airlines. But for whatever reason, train travel just doesn't have the same perspective and support in the US as planes and POVs.

 

You should read the link I posted above....part of it discusses the lack of any passenger train line in your neck of the woods since Katrina, nearly 10 years. It also mentions a relatively small investment that the state of MS made in passenger rail farther to the north (Hattiesburg), with the support of some people that may surprise, and the benefit it has had on the local economy.



#39 DJ MC

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Posted 13 May 2015 - 06:28 PM

And other than within a few densely populated pockets, it never will be "practical", at least from a financial standpoint. But to be frank, neither is our interstate highway system.....that network of roads has never made any money, yet thousands of miles of paved highway transverse remote areas of the country. And it takes a significant investment (one in which we are also failing to adequately make these days) just to maintain it, let alone improve it.

 

But since its inception in 1970 we have always looked at Amtrak as a business that should be able to successfully pay for itself, like the airlines (which themselves bled cash for many years until recently, and they still need publicly-funded infrastructure on which to take-off, land, and process passengers). The simple truth is that if we want to have an efficient, functioning, and safe intermodal transportation system, it's simply something that we have to be willing to pay for as a whole society, for the whole society.

 

The difference is that passenger rail isn't an essential economic or military system like we view the highways and freight rail systems. It has always been the secondary purpose within the rail system itself, and currently only is cost-effective over relatively short distances.

 

Now that doesn't mean there shouldn't be investment in it, in regions that could benefit from passenger service. However, subsidizing it at a national level has always been something like the government taking over telegraph/gram service from Western Union. There are valuable services that the company provides (mostly wiring money) but overall it's a dying system that doesn't need to be supported in full.


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#40 RShack

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Posted 13 May 2015 - 06:43 PM

The difference is that passenger rail isn't an essential economic or military system like we view the highways and freight rail systems. It has always been the secondary purpose within the rail system itself, and currently only is cost-effective over relatively short distances.

 

Now that doesn't mean there shouldn't be investment in it, in regions that could benefit from passenger service. However, subsidizing it at a national level has always been something like the government taking over telegraph/gram service from Western Union. There are valuable services that the company provides (mostly wiring money) but overall it's a dying system that doesn't need to be supported in full.

 

You are mirroring our history of vastly underestimating the numerous costs (hidden and otherwise) of favoring "more highways" over train travel...

 

There are good reasons why Europe does trains, and it's not all about population density...

 

In our case, it's not about primary vs secondary... it's about political decisions made in the 50's to *heavily* subsidize infrastructure for both cars and planes while not subsidizing infrastructure for trains... it really does boil down to that...

car companies don't pay for highways, and airlines don't pay for airports... but railroads do pay for train tracks *and* are taxed for every square foot of right-away that tracks are on..


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  You have no faith to lose, and ya know it" - Bob Dylan





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