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Old 08-03-2010, 12:49 PM   #21
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Road from DC up to Meriden CT. I enjoyed it, but then I was just out of college, doing volunteer work and had flow to DC to visit my grandparents and had time.

Would I do it again, not when compared to the price of a flight. I would only do it if I wanted to take a scenic route but if thats the case I can just go north of houston to the Historic Texas Railroad and ride in an old fashion steam locomotive and get my kicks with out turning it into a major trip.
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Old 08-04-2010, 01:17 AM   #22
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Honestly, I just don't get it.

If it were a great deal most cost-effective, and perhaps just a tad quicker, I'd actually rather enjoy the experience. Did a bit more rooting around, and apparently it is possible to make the trip in only four days, but for around the same cost. Honestly, I can't figure out why:

1: To travel from a city which is on the Mexico border to an area that is within spitting distance of Cuba, it seems to be absolutely necessary to first travel to a city which is practically in Canada, and

2: Why the hell it costs so bloody much.

Seriously- I could rent a comfortable full-sized car and drive to Florida and back, paying for gas, meals, and reasonably priced hotels along the way, and arrive in roughly 2/3 the time, for less money, and get to stop wherever and whenever I wanted to. And I'd have a car while I was there!

I just don't understand how they can still be in business. I know, I know- govt subsidy... Let me rephrase: I don't understand why anybody would choose to travel this way, given their routings and costs.
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Old 08-04-2010, 01:38 AM   #23
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I think it comes down to a couple things:

You have to be going from and/or to somewhere with no or shitty air service

You probably want to be able to accomplish something other than driving while you travel

You aren't in the US
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Old 08-04-2010, 05:53 AM   #24
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I honestly wish they had more railroads to the various cities in america, its too bad they don't. Riding on the rail in Japan is fun and can get you about everywhere.

The golden years of trains in america has been dead for a long time.
oh well.
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Old 08-04-2010, 07:11 AM   #25
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I took a train from Baltimore up to NJ when I bought Gary Fischman's first Miata. Cost me like $60 one way.

It's probably easier to take a transmission and your drugs on a train if you stay in the US vs a plane.

One other thing about airlines and flights. Add on the hour and a half of BS getting through security checks and all that BS prior to boarding. Law of diminishing returns the further you travel.

Frank
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Old 08-04-2010, 07:50 AM   #26
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If we got high speed, cross country rail, I would fork over the extra cash just to experience it every now and then, but overall, I see no point in rail travel. Leave it for freight, I'll take a plane or a car. I rate bus even lower though. NO ******* WAY I would take a bus across the country.
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Old 08-04-2010, 08:31 AM   #27
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Joe Perez, you are an incredibly smart guy, and I am sure the following should be a no brainer..

*USA is the largest and biggest and mostest market in the world for the automotive industry.
*While the US is no longer what it used to be in the automotive manufacturing business, it still retains its major player namebadge in the oil game.

*Railway transportation, pretty much anywhere outside the US is cheap, fast, reliable and popular. Hmmm.
*Even Japan spends gazillions on train related R&D. Japan does not do jack if there is no return in it.

* A nation like the US does not become the largest auto market overnight. Or on its own. Or by chance. Or without some serious ******* help from the oil people, namely the ******** of the planet.
In order to accomplish that goal, one must either popoo, discredit or generally undermine the competition. These competitors include "trains", too.

If your mother is baking delicious brownies and the whole neighborhood is lining up for those treats, and if my name happens to be, say, Nabisco, I either blow her out of the water (from a business standpoint!) or just buy her out and wither your mom's brand away. Shark eat shark.
This is the exact demise of the railway system in the US.
Look at Greyhound's past. Pretty similar.

I mean trains literally fly all over Europe. How is that possible, then?

The same mentality that insists on the godforsaken B2 bomber program at a cost of nearly 2 billion dollars per ******* plane, an influence of that magnitude is capable of pretty much anything.
Including choosing not to educate its population, and hauling its young males halfway around the planet to kill and plunder to protect the integrity of its very own balance sheet.

Yes, the rail system sucks in the states. But there are reasons for that.
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Old 08-04-2010, 10:52 AM   #28
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You do understand the difference in population density between the U.S. and Western Europe, right? I'm not saying it couldn't have been a massive conspiracy between Oil/Automotive/Nabisco, but I think there are some pretty obvious explanations that avoid that possibility.
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:00 AM   #29
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The train from DC/Baltimore to NYC/NJ is great. I used to take that weekly for work. Sit down, plug in your shitty air card, plug in your laptop, whee. More expensive but 1-2 hours quicker than driving.

Train is nice. Flying is stressful. Train isn't. Driving can be stressful. Train isn't. Should it cost more? Joe you forgot this country is about to go second world.

I have to go to DC today and would ride the choo choo down there but ****, then I would have to take metro, then walk blah blah and then the commuter train doesn't start up until 4pm so **** it. I'm driving.
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:26 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgeoffriau View Post
You do understand the difference in population density between the U.S. and Western Europe, right? I'm not saying it couldn't have been a massive conspiracy between Oil/Automotive/Nabisco, but I think there are some pretty obvious explanations that avoid that possibility.
Excuse me, but what does population density have to do with a rail system?

The main function of a railway system is transportation. Across vast distances.

Hauling people is a secondary function of a railway system to those such as carrying raw materials, finished goods, etc between points of supply and demand.

Think big.

BTW, big money, and its business patterns is not a conspiracy.
Just ask the millions who have suffered/died/wished to die in Central and Latin America.
Or, ask the people of Bhopal, India.
Or, the native peoples of Alaska.
Or, those rotting away in places like Guantanamo Bay.

Please do not get me wrong here. I am a US citizen.
Being an American, and upholding real American values does not mean tooting the horn of the crappy Republican rhetoric, as personified by the now thankfully defunct Bush administration.
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:47 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godless Commie View Post
Excuse me, but what does population density have to do with a rail system?
Seriously?
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:53 AM   #32
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all the places where high speed trains flourish have high population densities.

I dont understand why there arent a couple highspeed rails in the northeast US though. BTW I dont consider Acela to be a highspeed rail
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:37 PM   #33
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I don't quite agree with the point on Europe being more dense populated as a reason. You can see the same differences in population density thru Europe as you do thru USA. People seam to think about Italy, France and other 3rd world countries when we speak about "Europe". The northen part of Europe / Scandinavia have the same systems, but very few persons per km2.

BUT! We pay ~13,5kr/liter för gas. At an exchange rate rate of $1 = 7,5SEK, our gas price lands on $6,48/gallon. Prices are similar thru Europe. now THAT could have something to do with people looking for other ways of traveling. That and that trains are environmentally friendly = lots of easy politic-points for whoever is in charge at the moment.
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Old 08-04-2010, 01:20 PM   #34
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so trains literally fly, do they?

(maglevs dont really qualify)
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Old 08-04-2010, 01:41 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgeoffriau View Post
Seriously?
Seriously, do you ever read past the first line of a post?
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Old 08-04-2010, 01:43 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by y8s View Post
so trains literally fly, do they?

(maglevs dont really qualify)
You know, I have been to school once, and I remember someone talking about something called "figure of speech" there..
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Old 08-04-2010, 01:50 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godless Commie View Post
Seriously, do you ever read past the first line of a post?
I'm glad you're now posting 1 line comments, it makes things easier on me.

Do you realize that the vaunted Japanese high speed rail system is virtually bankrupt and the Japanese government has taken on about $200 billion in debt to keep it running?

Or that the EU rail subsidies total about $100 billion annually?

No thanks.
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Old 08-04-2010, 04:53 PM   #38
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One would have to look at the total costs, including subsidies, of Amtrak and of the roads. Roads are subsidized too.

I suspect that long distance trains are more expensive than driving in this country, and even more so than flying. Now what if the rail networks were more extensive and there were more users? Then obviously the cost per trip would come down. However, I still suspect that trains are more expensive - look at the cost of European long distance train rides, compared to driving - AFAIK the gas tax there pays for the roads.
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Old 08-04-2010, 05:24 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godless Commie View Post
You know, I have been to school once, and I remember someone talking about something called "figure of speech" there..
I'm familiar with figures of speech. you put "literally" in front of them to tell people you're not being figurative.
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Old 08-05-2010, 08:55 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faeflora View Post

I have to go to DC today and would ride the choo choo down there but ****, then I would have to take metro, then walk blah blah and then the commuter train doesn't start up until 4pm so **** it. I'm driving.
That's my daily commute. Odenton Marc to Union Station. Union red line to Silver Spring. Only takes about 50 minutes and fed pays for it. I'm so green that punching out my cats won't make me feel guilty!
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