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Re: Do you think, that revenune passenger service.
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photoman475
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Posts: 870
Re: Do you think, that revenune passenger service.
 
« Reply #20 on: Apr 17th, 2010, 9:37am »
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Jerry:
 
The examples you've given are wonderful and well detailed.  Since I was just finishing grade school at the time Amtrak was created, I was never really aware of the process that train offs had to go through before Amtrak; that there was state involvement on interstate runs as well.
 
The examples you gave are what I'd been wondering about when I was referring to "cooking the books".  As I've gone through working for a paycheck, I've seen enough in various jobs and read about too many business shennanigans that I've turned into a real cynic about business.  
(The on-going banking and credit crisis and Bernie Madoff being the latest examples.)  
 
As to the continuing of express business after Amtrak's creation; would that have been from what existed of the old Railway Express Agency at the time?  I know that eventaully died too-mid 1970s, maybe?  Or did the roads that Vern mentioned solicit this business?
 
Alan


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HwyHaulier
Historian
Posts: 3448
Re: Do you think, that revenune passenger service.
 
« Reply #21 on: Apr 17th, 2010, 10:17am »
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Alan - Jerry - All -
 
Alan, yeah, I think what we had on the rail was "last gasp" from REX (Railway Express). Its final shutdown was marked with a good bit of scandal.  
(Same way with YALE Express.) A lot of hands were dirtied, and not rewarded for huge efforts to save it, and transform to an all road carrier. Too  
little, too late... (In any case, it was chump change stuff, compared with current day finance scandals!)
 
Jerry, well that's one view of what was happening. Alan expressed no enthusiasm for an accounting seminar, so I have refrained (tho not a CPA,  
and I have never played one on TV). Indeed, what the rail carriers did, for the most part, was a Holy War over the ICC Uniform Accounting Rules.
 
OK. In any case, the ICC Rules evidently allowed reckonings based on Fully Distributed and Allocated Costs, or, same way with Incremental Costs.  
And, I suspect (tho don't claim to personally know), some sort of "blended" variations. Trains carried a thorough analysis of how the entire Burlington  
Zephyr System
shut down, once "fully allocated" tests applied.
 
End of the Zephyr System? The Trains article explained that CB&Q President, Lou Menk, was very much aware of the introduction of the Boeing 727.  
The aircraft had capability in reliable operation in and out of high altitude Denver. With that, he knew the entire CB&Q "hub and spoke" over Denver  
jeopardized, and had no future. (And, Menk had stock holders to whom he answered.)...
 
In any case, I am unsure whether you may be attaching too much "bad faith" to various railroad operations and management folks. The underlying  
troubles with all of it? These same folks had, "...you know, there's people we have to answer to..." in all of this. Besides that, they were seeing more  
empty seats, and otherwise (what was thought) "locked in" Express and Mail disappear. I'll spot them an appraisal they were doing the best they  
could with the hands dealt them.
 
................Oh, well! FWIW................Vern....................


« Last Edit: Apr 17th, 2010, 10:18am by HwyHaulier » Logged

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Walt_C
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Posts: 2934
Re: Do you think, that revenune passenger service.
 
« Reply #22 on: Apr 17th, 2010, 7:42pm »
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One other thing to remember in all of this is that, for the private railroads, their freight operations subsidized their passenger operations for a major portion of their history. The situation in the 1960's for many of them was that over the road truck competition had reduced the profit from freight operations to the point that they could no longer use that revenue to subsidize passenger service, especially their local or branch line services. And remember that, at least in the east, freight service in the late '60's and early '70's was in almost as much trouble as was passenger service. However the government found itself able to do, using Conrail, what it has not been able to do using Amtrak--rescue the service to the point that it could be sold back to private operation. This happened with freight service, it obviously cannot happen with passenger service.

« Last Edit: Apr 17th, 2010, 7:44pm by Walt_C » Logged

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HwyHaulier
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Posts: 3448
Re: Do you think, that revenune passenger service.
 
« Reply #23 on: Apr 18th, 2010, 9:35am »
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on Apr 17th, 2010, 7:42pm, Walt_C wrote:       (Click here for original message)
...One other thing to remember in all of this is that, for the private railroads, their freight operations subsidized their passenger operations for a major portion of their history...

 
Walt - All -  
 
I have never been comfortable with use of term, "subsidy" to explain operations decisions of privately held firms. Perhaps I am being entirely  
too sticky in precise use of terms. See: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/subsidy.html
 
In the environment of a privately held business, we are getting into the work of the cost accountants. It is all a daily grind of crediting sales  
(revenues) and debiting (charging) assignments of costs. With a railroad, it gets rather involved, and fast. Recall, Ed Ellis noted a railroad  
carries, "...a mix of businesses...". Micro-managing to one distinct train in a system, notice must be taken of the different "business units" of  
every car, freight bill and ticket on the schedule.
 
The "...devil is in the details..." is the assignment of costs to each piece of business. Under private operations, the discussions over endless  
possibilities. High end in Fully Distributed and Allocated Costs. Low end, evidently, in Avoidable Marginal (Incremental) Costs. And so, the  
completely vexing arguments of: What to be charged for the last minute, unexpected carload on a given train? What are appropriate cost charges?
 
The shipper protests, in the era, of "subsidy" to passenger schedules was (as so it has always been) self serving nonsense. It must be viewed in  
context of (esp. Eastern Lines) declines in coal loadings, and (IIRC) in many years the industry in classic lows in "long wave cycle" declines.  
So that: I'm not persuaded the rail lines ever knowingly provided "subsidy" in any activities. Rather (and charitably), the folks involved just tried  
to get through the day with the messes they had on their desks.
 
BTW. In my BURLINGTON example, earlier. What this was really all about? The Passenger people insisted the system made attractive levels of  
net money. On study, it was clear their advocacy based on use of Incremental Cost work. Upon outside review, by Dr. W. Edwards Deming, he  
documented they were not correctly identifying all related Incremental Costs. Lou Menk was deeply disturbed by the competing B-727 aircraft.  
He could not imagine how the railroad could possibly grow its way out of the problems. An intuitive, he knew the times were changing too much?..
 
With above, any wonder I try to avoid arcane discussions of allocations of costs, and all the rest of it? It is another "shared right of way" problem.  
We all know where that goes in Highway discussions...
 
......................Vern................  


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photoman475
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Posts: 870
Re: Do you think, that revenune passenger service.
 
« Reply #24 on: Apr 18th, 2010, 11:10am »
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Vern:
 
I'm willing to bite on a "mini-seminar" of the ICC's accounting rules.  I never did too well in accounting as a student and dealing with numbers leaves my eyes glazed over.  If you could provide an overview of the basics, that I could go for.
 
Now, the company I work for is having me go to some sort of "training" for the next two weeks, so responses or questions from me might not be very prompt.  Just thought I'd let you know ahead of time.
 
Alan


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HwyHaulier
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Posts: 3448
Re: Do you think, that revenune passenger service.
 
« Reply #25 on: Apr 18th, 2010, 11:48am »
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Alan -  
 
In the beginning, all was darkness. A few days later, no one who wants to take credit for it, devised a Uniform System of Accounts. This obviously  
dated to any time past 1886, the start of the ICC...
 
Under the Federal, ICC regulation, it was evident that all playing the railroad game had to use the same sets of accounting principles. Else, and  
"game stats" meaningless otherwise. Comparable figures sorely needed, anyway, if "conference rate making" figures were to have any credibility...  
 
Much of the later discussions about passenger services noted in third paragraph of my earlier Sermon of the Day. It gets into truly murky debate  
of merits of Fully Distributed, Pro Rated Costs, or Marginal (Incremental) Avoidable Costs, or somewhere in between. That's the "glazing of the  
eyes" and permanent brain damage part!
 
OK. Easy and convenient. Suppose you run a candy, cookies and confections store. You deign to determine how each product line performs in  
the "net left over at the end of the day" calculations. As Carlo, the Candyman, you have some concerns about whether a new line of (say) boxed  
fudge is carrying its own weight.
 
There are obvious added, incremental and avoidable costs. On top of that, however, the fudge should get its share of how much of the power, light,  
heat, rent, and telephone expenses? Can we identify the "800 Line" call expense for the fudge is such that there is no money in the candy?
 
Extrapolate all of it to a large railroad, and the sublety surpasseth all human understanding!  
 
.......................Vern...............  
 


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Walt_C
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Posts: 2934
Re: Do you think, that revenune passenger service.
 
« Reply #26 on: Apr 18th, 2010, 5:17pm »
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Vern--- I'll acknowledge that in todsy's supercharged political situation, use of the word subsidy will have negative conotations that are not intended. However, until the freight operations of the railroads, particularly in the east, began to suffer from the growing competition from the long haul trucking industry, they were able and at last somewhat willing to divert, of you will, some of the funds realized from those freight operations into the much less profitable passenger operations. In the late 1960's, the freight revenues fell off to the point where the railroads were no longer able, or willing to continue to divert funds to passenger service.
 
    The late '60s was not the first time this situation had been seen--- the electric interurban industry, particularly in the midwest, showed the devistating effect of the loss of freight revenues on the abiliy of the interurbans to provide any service , let alone passenger service. The abandonment of the Cinncinnati & Lake Erie and Lake Shore Electric, which were neighboring Ohio Interurbans which, in the 1930's had developed an extensive freight business running through freight trains between Cinncinnati & Cleveland. When the LSE shut down its freight operations in 1938, the effect on the C&LE was so devistating that that property immediately shut down its Long Springfield-Toledo Division, and shut the entire railroad down in 1939. Its passenger service could not keep that property running after it lost its freight business.  The LSE itself didn't last very long after that.  The class one railroads were faced with a similar dilema in the late 1960's, and, rightly or wrongly, the idea of relieving them of the burden of continuing to provide passenger service was seen as the way to keep, at least some of them, operating.


« Last Edit: Apr 18th, 2010, 5:18pm by Walt_C » Logged

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HwyHaulier
Historian
Posts: 3448
Re: Do you think, that revenune passenger service.
 
« Reply #27 on: Apr 19th, 2010, 9:37am »
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Walt -  
 
Good piece. When all is said and done, about the only ones who tossed around use of the "S Word"  were the big shippers. They wanted to whine,
anyway. Timing couldn't be better.
 
In the Northeast, the NY/NJ (especially) commutes were larger and larger sinkholes for money. Too much was otherwise happening. Example, the  
shifting and declining coal loadings. The "merchandise" work that was moving to all highway? I don't know. Many of the railroads attempted to keep  
much of it by "one bill" services, using own trucks at both ends of hauls. Besides, many lines had internal questions whether there was any money  
at all in 40,000 lb. retail carloads. (NYC a "thought leader" in this.)
 
It's a mess. The big shippers had new whiz kids on board, who could talk some basic economics lingo. The shippers always do "poor mouth". With  
use of the "S Word", they could appear smart, and make it resemble an equity and fairness issue. Neat timing! The rails also amidst some cycle  
lows. Widely understood economic "modeling" of the time demonstrated why there was little money to be made.
 
I continue to maintain there was no "cooking of the books" and no "bad faith" within the railroads, and their accounting work. All they did, for the most  
part, was follow the ICC Accounting Rules to the last letter, dot and punctuation. Compare, had they been caught as proved liars, some folks would  
have been at extended stays in public facilities...
 
Yes, I know the later part. That is, how the PC and MILW were very effectively cleaned out, and no one took much (if any) personal inconvenience in  
all of it. REX and YALE EXPRESS shutdowns were notable, too...
 
........................Vern...................


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Walt_C
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Posts: 2934
Re: Do you think, that revenune passenger service.
 
« Reply #28 on: Apr 19th, 2010, 11:09pm »
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I don't think that problems, real or imagined, with accounting pracitices is much of an explanation of the problem the private railroads had with long distance passenger service, and I don't think it explains why, at least IMHO,  it cannot be provided at a profit today. There are pretty significant differences in the conditions which surrounded passenger service in the '60's and those which related to freight service, particularly the long distance versions of each type of service. The major competition for rail passenger service was, and is, the combination of the speed of air travel and the convenience of the private automobile. And, unfortunately, most, if not all of the advantages, as it relates to long distance application, lies with the competition. Once it became possible for a business traveler to get anywhere in the country in hours, rather than days, as it is by air, there was nothing the railroads could offer in the realm of amenities which could make him or her willing to spend several days on a train rather than several hours on an airplane.--- especially when whatever cost savings existed using rail service were so small as to be practically non-existent.
And the vacation traveller, whose main interest is in getting to his destination, and not in the journey itself, also found that he was no longer willing to spend several days on a train when he could fly and get there more quickly, If he was interested in a leasurely journey, with sightseeing along the way, he would drive for the entire journey. If he wanted to get to his destination quickly and then take side trips, he would fly and rent an automobile at the destination---none of which involves travel by train.
   The major competition for rail freight service, on the other hand, is the over the road trucking industry, and here, for long distance service, there are definate advantages in favor of rail service, particlarly as it relates to the volume of goods that can be carried by each mode. The problems that the railroads experienced in the 1960's, particularly in the East, had to do with the relatively short intercity distances found there--- a situation which favored the use of trucks loaded once at the shipper's facility and driven directly to the receiver's facility. Here, the greater the distance goods have to travel, the greater becomes the advantage of shipping by rail. Airplanes have not developed into much competition for trucks or trains; speed is not much of a factor for most freight operations, and airplanes don't have enough carrying capacity to compete directly with either trucks or trains.  Once Conrail had pared off unnecessary and duplicative freight rail routes, rail freight service in the East regained a significant part of its former profitability-- enough to allow Conrail to be sold--- as was always the ultimate intent of Congress when it was formed.
   These differences in the condidtions attendant to the two forms of rail service are the major reason why privately run long distance rail freight service has survived, while privately run long distance rail passenger service has not.  Accounting, whether phony or legitimate, actually has very little to do with it.


« Last Edit: Apr 19th, 2010, 11:28pm by Walt_C » Logged

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jmlaboda
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Posts: 389
Re: Do you think, that revenune passenger service.
 
« Reply #29 on: Apr 20th, 2010, 3:43am »
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"I don't think that accounting problems, real or imagined, is miuch of an explanation of the problem the privatye railroads had with passenger service, and I don't think it explains why, at least IMHO, it cannot be provided at a profit today."
 
And I can see it now... you triple or quadruple ticket prices on trains that average 50 m.p.h. with station stops and loose all your customers because they could darn well drive cheaper and easier than take the train.  So then the train would still not make a profit but would be a dandy way of getting rid of it.
 
Amtrak is only now starting to really look at what maybe should be done in getting its act together and is trying (with some states' help) to create trains and schedules that are convenient to the traveling public but they still have a long ways to go before fares high enough to provide for profit would be justified.  Hopefully 10 years from now, once some of the purposed high-speed corridors are in place and service has proven itself then maybe people will be more willing to get out of their car and ride the train.
 
And as far as business travelers go, let them take a plane.  Who cares?  Their travel is a write off so why not take the more expensive route.  Except that you can offer competing service (as AMTK does in the North East Corridor) you won't get their attention.  Amtrak's bread and butter is the traveling public... singles, couples and families wanting to make a trip, typically 300 to 500 miles at a convenient time, reasonable cost and on the routes that they want to go on.  Until they can offer that on a much wider variety of routes you are just throwing good money after bad, just as has been true during most of AMTK's history.
 
The state of Virginia recently announced plans (don't know exactly when it will start) of running a pair of trains between D.C. and Lynchburg, Va.  It is on the same route that the Crescent takes at night and will offer part of the state the chance to finally have a chance at a decent train ride.  Service is expected to eventually expand on certain east - west runs as well, opening up more of the state to rail travel.
 
But you know what... its too little.  From Lynchburg there is still a hefty drive to the southern part of the state (VA. politics don't even want to consider them) and there are people in N.C. who would like to be able to reach points north in VA. and even D.C. in a quicker fashion than having to first travel to Raleigh and then north, which puts them out of reach of some of the cities they would likely go to, which is why there is so much highway traffic north out of Greensboro and on up through the center of the state.  Take a bus?  Several run each way on the same route through the day but unless you don't have a car (or at least a car that can make such a trip) why would you?  I've ridden buses and they are no fun, not to mention uncomfortable and too noisy to sleep in (unless you are like me and have to sleep with ear plugs in).  Those are missed customers who would welcome an alternative to the head-aches of congested city traffic and the pressures of driving the route.
 
Unless and until the traveling public (in case you didn't know business travel makes up a lesser percentage than other travelers) can get to point A to point B, C or even D at convenient times and at a reasonable speed profit is not possible.  It just doesn't enter into the equation... but I digress, this has already been stated in this thread.


« Last Edit: Apr 20th, 2010, 3:45am by jmlaboda » Logged

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HwyHaulier
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Posts: 3448
Re: Do you think, that revenune passenger service.
 
« Reply #30 on: Apr 20th, 2010, 7:44am »
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Walt C -
 
Good to have your added commentary. Absolutely correct! All the fancy accounting ever imagined can't do much to help any shop where  
notably fewer and fewer customers come into the store...
 
In the last several years before shutdown of private sector operated schedules, we had some of the odd and inconvenient trains. Most all  
of these were run because of stances by various regulators. That is, there were some sharp differences of opinion between the railroads  
and the regulators about precisely what demanded to satisfy, "...public convenience and necessity..." mandates.
 
The huge changes in rider habits and patterns such that little could be done for the railroads to reverse the trends. Examples abound:  
Aerotrain didn't work. PRR Keystone, its "last stand" didn't work. A case may be made for the long lived RDC, though largely used as a  
fix in provision of lower costs of operations services. Too much was changing, and the riders weren't coming back! Trains commented on  
all of it, in a landmark, exhaustive article dated 1950!
 
......................Vern....................


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HwyHaulier
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Re: Do you think, that revenune passenger service.
 
« Reply #31 on: Apr 20th, 2010, 11:38am »
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Jerry - All -
 
Noted. In most current copy of Trains (I think it was in the new equipment piece) some copy that AMTRAK mission defined as 700 miles or more,  
with exception of NEC. So, it is saying that much of the market (prospective riders) served by State operated trains?
 
Sigh! We'll never get the ZEPHYR SYSTEM back, serving any number of smaller markets. Yet, at the same time, there is funding to see town civic  
pride and boosters may be happy, with flights in and out of local airports. It's all Alice In Wonderland stuff...
 
....................Vern.....................


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ClydeDET
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Re: Do you think, that revenune passenger service.
 
« Reply #32 on: Apr 20th, 2010, 4:59pm »
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on Apr 20th, 2010, 11:38am, HwyHaulier wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Jerry - All -
 
Noted. In most current copy of Trains (I think it was in the new equipment piece) some copy that AMTRAK mission defined as 700 miles or more,  
with exception of NEC. So, it is saying that much of the market (prospective riders) served by State operated trains?
 
Sigh! We'll never get the ZEPHYR SYSTEM back, serving any number of smaller markets. Yet, at the same time, there is funding to see town civic  
pride and boosters may be happy, with flights in and out of local airports. It's all Alice In Wonderland stuff...
 
....................Vern.....................

 
Well, if they have decided AMTRAK mission is 700 miles or more - they aren't planning for a self-funded or non-subsidized operation, are they?
 
Not that I don't LIKE long-distance trains; i just don't think they are gonna (as part of a separate, stand-alone operation instead of as part of an integrated rail system) male it economically without help of a substantial and continued basis.
 
It is to be noted that European passenger sytems operate in a geogrpahical area not much bigger than Texas.... offer food for thought?


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George_Harris
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Re: Do you think, that revenune passenger service.
 
« Reply #33 on: Apr 20th, 2010, 7:53pm »
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Being physically in California - hopefully mentally I never will be - I see how the state supported trains here function.  Very well.  Medium distance multiple frequencies per day generally reliable and not that far off best condition driving time.  I would suspect that the average trip length is quite short.  The longest of these corridors is 300 miles.
 
The usual consist is 4 coaches and one food service car, all bi-level, all operated push-pull.  The "low frequency" corridor is six trains down the valley, four with Oakland on the north end and two with Sacramento on the north end, and a bus connection to whichever location is not the train destinantion.  
 
All the station facilities are in good condition, with quite a few new buildings.  There are some of the old stations well restored.  Fresno has the nicn and nicely restored Santa Fe station building which is inadequate in peak periods, believe it or not.  
 
Terrain is a problem.  Given alignment allowing say 3 hours between Bakersfield and Los Angeles, I would expect the passenger count on the trains down the valley to double or triple.  Right now, the end to end time is possible, but it requires a bus between LA and Bakersfield.  
 
This sort of service would seem to be made to order for the northeast and mid-west with its closely spaced cities.


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HwyHaulier
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Re: Do you think, that revenune passenger service.
 
« Reply #34 on: Apr 21st, 2010, 7:55am »
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Clyde - George - All -  
 
I didn't take some time to chase the nuances of the "700 mile" reference I thought I read correctly in Trains. If such is the case, a reader can  
arrive at one's own inferences of the possibilities...
 
George. Agree. A "bonus points" within California in the presence of many of the existing station buildings. A "gee, it would have been nice"  
touch would have been at Oakland. Rather to have seen a replica, maybe a bit expanded if needed, of the earlier ESPEE Station that had  
been sited at Broadway. There's photos of the heritage building around. IIRC, photos in Oakland Heritage Association collection.
 
And, alas, the gods still present the challenges of "getting over the hill" between Bakersfield and L.A.?
 
.........................Vern..................


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HwyHaulier
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Re: Do you think, that revenune passenger service.
 
« Reply #35 on: Apr 21st, 2010, 1:14pm »
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on Apr 20th, 2010, 4:59pm, ClydeDET wrote:       (Click here for original message)
...It is to be noted that European passenger sytems operate in a geogrpahical area not much bigger than Texas.... offer food for thought?...    

 
Clyde -  
 
Many Thanks! This is an excellent sound bite to explain the problems! I plan to use it, now and then, in anticipated, future rants!
 
The Euro solutions are fine for "over there" (if they are agreed such is the case)! Compare, the US has a very large land mass. It is a blessing. It is a curse.  
I do know (deeply in my bones) we must have low cost, efficient and reliable cargo distribution throughout the US, in order for it to work...
 
The passenger work can take care of itself. We have seen what has happened, actually a huge transformation, over the decades. Better, perhaps, to  
consider trip needs of each rider? Tiresome arguendo over hypothetical modal advantages are "faculty party" chatter exercises...
 
.......................Vern................


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ClydeDET
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Re: Do you think, that revenune passenger service.
 
« Reply #36 on: Apr 21st, 2010, 5:33pm »
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Geography lesson (for those who never studied the subject) or reminder 9for those who did study geography:
 
Texas:
Area-
 Total 268,820[2] sq mi
(696,241 km2)  
 - Width 773[3] miles (1,244 km)  
 - Length 790 miles (1,270 km)  
 - % water 2.5  
 - Latitude 25‹ 50Œ N to 36‹ 30Œ N  
 - Longitude 93‹ 31Œ W to 106‹ 39Œ W  
Population-
- Total 24,782,302 (2009 est.)[4]  
 - Density 79.6[5]/sq mi  (30.75/km2  
 
France:
Area -
Total[2] 674,843 km2 (43rd)
260,558 sq mi  
 -  Metropolitan France  
  - IGN[3] 551,695 km2 (47th)
213,010 sq mi  
  - Cadastre[4] 543,965 km2 (47th)
210,026  sq mi  
Population -
 (1 January 2010 estimate)  
 -  Total[2] 65,447,374[6] (20th)  
 -  Metropolitan France 62,793,432[5] (22nd)  
 -  Density[7] 115/km2 (89th)
299/sq mi  
 
Belgium:
Area-
 -  Total 30,528 km2 (139th)
11,787 sq mi  
 -  Water (%) 6.4  
Population -
  1.1.2010 estimate 10,827,519[2] (76th)  
 -  2001 census 10,296,350  
 -  Density 354.7/km2 (33rd)
918.6/sq mi  
 
Netherlands:
Area -
-  Total 41,526 km2 (135th)
16,033 sq mi  
 -  Water (%) 18.41  
Population -
 -  2010 estimate 16,604,925[1] (61st)  
 -  Density 399.9/km2 (28th)
1,035.7/sq mi  
 
Germany:
Area -
  Total 357,021 km2 (63rd)
137,847 sq mi  
 -  Water (%) 2.416  
Population-
 -  Jan. 1, 2010 estimate ₯ 81,757,600[2] (14th)  
 -  Density 229/km2 (55th)
593/sq mi  
 
 
You can add other places as you wish - but consider the implications of the numbers (and especially the population density and potential trip lengths).
 
Much as I like trains, it is clear that a NATIONAL network comparable to Euopean national networks ain't gonna work or be possible, conditions are just different.  And we ought to have different solutions.
 
Consider - Texas is larger than France, noticeably larger than Metropolitan France. Population densities, however, are 299/sq. mi. in Metropolitan France - and 79.6/sq.mi. in Texas. Suggest anything about potential ridership? For a state-wide network similar to that found in France? Note that I do NOT like some of  the implications of those numbers, but i do recognize their existence.
 
 
And you can work the same equations for other places - say PRK and Japan...


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ehbowen
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Posts: 242
Re: Do you think, that revenune passenger service.
 
« Reply #37 on: Apr 25th, 2010, 12:11am »
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on Apr 21st, 2010, 5:33pm, ClydeDET wrote:       (Click here for original message)

Consider - Texas is larger than France, noticeably larger than Metropolitan France. Population densities, however, are 299/sq. mi. in Metropolitan France - and 79.6/sq.mi. in Texas. Suggest anything about potential ridership? For a state-wide network similar to that found in France? Note that I do NOT like some of  the implications of those numbers, but i do recognize their existence.

 
Clyde,
 
Your numbers are accurate enough, but keep in mind that in Texas you can pretty much write off everything between San Antonio (OK, Del Rio) and El Paso. West Texas makes the far side of the Moon look hospitable.
 


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Pennsy
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Posts: 4586
Re: Do you think, that revenune passenger service.
 
« Reply #38 on: Apr 25th, 2010, 10:32am »
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Quite correct. I have travelled that road many times and it is you, usually NO cars around you, no one coming the other way, and on either side of you, miles and miles of MILES. I once had a gal tell me that was her idea of what hell would be like. You would have a wait should your car break down, since the road is well patrolled and they use aircraft to patrol the area as well.

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ClydeDET
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Re: Do you think, that revenune passenger service.
 
« Reply #39 on: Apr 25th, 2010, 4:31pm »
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Yep, well aware of what West Texas (or for that matter - the Panhandle) is like. My own feeling is a Texas Triangle would work well - distances are about right for fast trains to beat both cars and planes, city center to city center, and there are adequate population densities to support service.  Plus terrain isn't a problem. Politics and Herb Kelleher (or his successors at SWA) are, though.

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