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Disney gets on board with fast-train proposal

googilycub

Active Member
infrastructure is too old to maintain.


Your ignorance is showing. While there is some old rail infrastructure still out there, most has been replaced or is scheduled to be replaced in the next few years. My company annouced last month that they will spend 1.8 Billion dollars next year on infrastructure, up from 1.5 billion last year. At the same time it posted a 69% operating ratio, which means for every $1.00 it earns, $.31 is pure profit. I am not quite sure how that makes rail "dead." The Northeast corridor is a success at moving mass amounts of people. Does it run on taxpayer support? You bet, however please show me a form of passenger transportation that doesn't.
 

bugsbunny

Well-Known Member
Ignorance? On my end? No...its reality. There is something cheaper, faster, and more economical. You're very answer signifies your company's existence: being propped up by tax payers. It CANNOT make a profit...ever. And for the very reasons I said before. You skipped right over that to tell me its good simply becuase Congress funded your company's ability to buy more track and that because you work for them, its a good product. That's all you got? Rebuild the infrastructure all you want, but by the time it takes me to drive to the train station in Philly and go from Philly to DC on the Acela, I can DRIVE TO DC! The Acela is about $200 each WAY. You're defending this? If you worked for a "for profit" company like the rest of us, you'd be worried about layoffs. Instead, you're propped up by tax payer money and you are defending its efficiency?

And yes, I do think we need to subsidize rail, but more so that freight costs keep down. Passenger traffic simply ain't what it use to be. Just go ask Greyhound and Trailways how the bus passenger business worked out for them. The jet liner did the same thing to the cruise ship industry what the car is doing or has done to rail. It's reality and evolution of technology, not ignorance.
 

googilycub

Active Member
Ignorance? On my end? No...its reality. There is something cheaper, faster, and more economical. You're very answer signifies your company's existence: being propped up by tax payers. It CANNOT make a profit...ever. And for the very reasons I said before. You skipped right over that to tell me its good simply becuase Congress funded your company's ability to buy more track and that because you work for them, its a good product. That's all you got? Rebuild the infrastructure all you want, but by the time it takes me to drive to the train station in Philly and go from Philly to DC on the Acela, I can DRIVE TO DC! The Acela is about $200 each WAY. You're defending this? If you worked for a "for profit" company like the rest of us, you'd be worried about layoffs. Instead, you're propped up by tax payer money and you are defending its efficiency?

.

Umm, I do work for a for profit railroad. Hence the statment that 31 cents of every dollar we earn is pure PROFIT. We are also the most fuel efficient way to move freight. As I said, ignorance!


BTW, the question still stands, show me a form of passenger transportation that is not subsidized by the American taxpayer.
 

bugsbunny

Well-Known Member
No, there probably isn't a transportation infrastructure that does not get its money from the federal government. I cannot debate that fact, but I'm asking why keep asking for more and more and more when it has a diminishing return? Look at the postal system. They handle about half as many letters as before and are exponentially as inefficient. Their profits were hiding their deficiencies. Is anyone in favor of expanding the postal system? Or thinking that building them faster mail trucks will get the mail there any faster or more efficiently? People are now using more convenient and efficient methods and the postal service is getting is going under.

Hypothetically, your company comes along and replaces $1.8 billion in mail bags and the blue boxes on the corner nobody uses anymore....and all of the sudden we should all think that the postal business is now peachy and all of its problems are gone simply because your company made 31 cents on the dollar replacing aging infrastructure?

You are STILL defending that somehow your company gets $1.8 BILLION from Amtrak and that is somehow great. YOU make a profit because all you do is supply a service to someone that has all the problems. You get paid either way...and from subsidized tax dollars. Of course YOU make a profit! DUH!! Of course you think the rail business is great! :ROFLOL:
 

TP2000

Well-Known Member
BTW, the question still stands, show me a form of passenger transportation that is not subsidized by the American taxpayer.

There is subsidy practically throughout the transportation system. But the question is how big is the subsidy? With Amtrak it's huge, with the freight railroads it's much smaller but still there. Since 1971 the Federal Government has spent about $35 Billion on subsidies to Amtrak. Local state governments have poured in Billions more to keep shorter regional routes going within their states (California, Oregon, Washington, Michigan, Illinois, North Carolina, etc.). With high speed rail the subsidy is going to be massive, far exceeding what we have spent on Amtrak.

If the railroad company you work for is making 31% profit, then why go begging for our tax money at all to subsidize those profits? What would the profit margin of this private company be without those gub'ment subsidies I wonder?

As for high speed rail in Florida, if the thing gets built, it will need massive subsidies every year to keep the trains running half-empty (one-fourth empty?) even with the huge one-way fares of $50 or more they are meekly stating they will charge upon startup. No one in Florida government has the guts to mention that, or even suggest where all that money will come from year after year, decade after decade, once the zippy train to Disney World gets built. The same scenario, on a much larger scale with much larger amounts of money, also plays out in California.

As I said earlier, this will be fun to watch in 2011.
 
Rail is DEAD....PERIOD. On the East Coast, it cannot be ran for a profit or probably anywhere else in the U.S. Land is too expensive and the infrastructure is too old to maintain. They don't have money to maintain the existing, so they cannot find money to build new. Nobody wants to ride the train, so building a new one certainly won't suddenly make people decide to ride it instead of driving.

And building new does not mean more efficiency or benefit. The right of way for rail might be there, but the right to travel any faster than 25mph probably isn't...so why bother?

Rail is not considered public infrastructure where it can be completely funded, like an interstate highway system. Or if it gets funded to get built, it cannot be ran for a profit and suffers in every aspect of cleanliness, scheduling, etc. When your whole purpose to move people conveniently and quickly, it gets nullified when you can't run tracks or build a station where you want to or if it takes longer AND more expensive by rail then it does by car.

As an example, if me, my wife, and son take Amtrak from here in Philadelphia to Orlando.....brace yourself for this.....

21 HOURS
to get there, $300 for seats (yeah...21 hours in a seat with a 6 yr old)
or $700 for a 2 person room or $1100 for a suite....ONE WAY!
A round trip by train from Philly to Orlando and back is 40+ hours and about $1400+ So the train is 2000% longer than flying for me and about 150% longer than driving! I can fly round trip from PHL to MCO for $400-600, depending on sales, and its 2 hours each way!

I can't imagine what building light rail will do in Florida or anywhere else even seems remotely attractive. People simply WANT to sit in traffic versus giving up their freedom through the inconvenience and inefficiencies of rail travel, IMHO.

Not a chance.. You can tell that to Warren Buffett who not long ago just bought BNSF.

I ride the Metra train almost everyday.. Sooo much easier getting into Chicago than driving and finding 50 bucks for parking for the day.

Actually.. using Chicago again as an example.. There are 8 major rail crossings throughout the city.. Those have gotten private and federal funding to become major rail overpasses.. Which will speed trains up from 15 mph to 30-35 mph.. Freight trains can take 3 days to completely get through Chicago yards with the old bottleneck system.. So imagine what it will do for Metra (the regional commuter) and Amtrak.. Wait I've already seen what it will do.. Cut passenger commuting time by 20 minutes on several of the Metra routes servicing the western suburbs.. Also it will be making the Amtrak routes from the west and south their own individual lines.. Which they obviously need to avoid freight traffic and keep better time.

Wow.. The public highway system isn't really that great.. You drive over potholes at any time? 98% of Class 1 rail line is in tip top shape.. The last 2% approx is used sparingly in portions of the US by sidings to get businesses which most have been replaced in the last 20 years.

The point of "high speed rail" isn't to have a cross country system. It's a regional system that can give other options mainly to businessmen and regional travelers.. I'll give you another example.. Chicago to STL is already in construction.. I've ridden that route before on Amtrak.. It takes the same amount of time as it does in a car. 4 hours. With high speed it will take about 1 hour and 30 mins to 1 hour and 40 mins depending on crossing/speed restrictions in certain areas.

I don't think anyone is fighting you on the longer distances.. I'd rather fly from Chi to Orl.. Thats a given.. I rode a bus to Disney when I was in high school.. that was 24 hours from hell..

Really.. I think youre just missing the point on high speed rail.. It's not meant to be a cross country proposition.. It's only going to work.. and be completely implemented where it can succeed.. There are great regional options for it in this country.

Not me.. Rail works just fine for me.. It is Chicago though :D
 

TP2000

Well-Known Member
Really.. I think youre just missing the point on high speed rail.. It's not meant to be a cross country proposition.. It's only going to work.. and be completely implemented where it can succeed.. There are great regional options for it in this country.

Not me.. Rail works just fine for me.. It is Chicago though :D

I think you're missing the point on what we were discussing. :)

No one here was arguing against Commuter Rail systems. Commuter rail can work great in urban areas transporting office workers from the suburbs and exurbs to a dense urban core like Chicago, Boston, New York, San Francisco, even Los Angeles (Metrolink in SoCal is one of the largest commuter rail systems in the world).

High Speed Rail between two smallish cities like Orlando and Tampa, is a dubious prospect. That's what we were discussing.
 

googilycub

Active Member
You are STILL defending that somehow your company gets $1.8 BILLION from Amtrak and that is somehow great. YOU make a profit because all you do is supply a service to someone that has all the problems. You get paid either way...and from subsidized tax dollars. Of course YOU make a profit! DUH!! Of course you think the rail business is great! :ROFLOL:


Reading is a skill:ROFLOL: Please show me where I said anything about getting any money from Amtrak.......


BTW here is where the ignorance comment comes into play, I am not the only one that thinks rail business is great, far from it.


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703440004575548371204181354.html
http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Investing/CompanyFocus/BuffettOnRightTrackBuyingRailStocks.aspx

http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Investing/top-stocks/blog.aspx?post=1802702

http://money.cnn.com/2008/03/07/pf/sivy_apr.moneymag/index.htm?postversion=2008032012

http://www.usatoday.com/money/companies/management/2009-11-04-buffett-interview_N.htm
 

Fuzz

Member
While buses are easier has anyone looked into the aspect of flying into Tampa then taking the train to WDW? Would the option of flying into a different airport lower the cost of airfares or give consumers cheaper options of getting to WDW. With a high speed train you could fly into either city and the speed of the train wouldn't set you back to much time.
 

DVCOwner

A Long Time DVC Member
In the US:

High Speed Rail = Airline Service

Due to the size of the US; we have the greatest airline service in the world and that is why high speed rail will never work. We can fly between every major city in the US at a low cost and faster than rail.
 

fillerup

Well-Known Member
It's a given that no one at the Orlando Sentinel knows much more than any of us concerning HSR, but here's some commentary with a little inside info on the players in this drama:

Has GOP roadblock fallen on tracks of Florida's high-profile rail projects?

You are a fiscal conservative, a Republican politician well versed in attacking federal spending, and there, sitting on the table in front of you, is $2 billion for your state, with love from Barack Obama.

All you have to do is build train tracks from Orlando to Tampa and it's all yours.

There was a time when this was a no-brainer. You would build the Tower of Babel if the feds paid for it.

But now a new political dynamic is in play, one in which rejecting Washington's largess has become a badge of honor.

That has put high-profile rail projects under the gun.

Mike Thomas full article

 

spaceghost

Well-Known Member
Rail is DEAD....PERIOD. On the East Coast, it cannot be ran for a profit or probably anywhere else in the U.S. Land is too expensive and the infrastructure is too old to maintain. They don't have money to maintain the existing, so they cannot find money to build new. Nobody wants to ride the train, so building a new one certainly won't suddenly make people decide to ride it instead of driving.

This is not entirely accurate. It all depends on the location and the service. The Nor'Easter service by Amtrak between Portland, ME and Boston has been extremely profitable since it launched a few years ago. It is actually being extended further north in the near future due to its success. I have used the service before and found it a perfectly agreeable alternative to driving to Boston. It would be an even better service if it was in fact high-speed rail.

Not that anyone cares, but I agree with some of the other posters - high speed rail is not a bad idea, it just needs to be implemented in the correct locations. Tampa to Orlando could be one of those locations. It will not, and should not be intended to, be replacing air for long distance trips.
 

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