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  • #61
    Re: WDW to provide 50 acres of free land for high speed train

    Anybody who's interested in this:

    FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION : PASSENGER RAIL

    Here's a map of the various corridors
    “designated” as high-speed intercity passenger rail corridors based on their present utility and their potential for future development.

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    • #62
      Re: WDW to provide 50 acres of free land for high speed train

      I haven't examined the situations around any of the other high-speed rail corridors outside of Florida's so I can't speak to their merits or flaws.

      Comment


      • #63
        Re: WDW to provide 50 acres of free land for high speed train

        Build the local transit first.. then bring in high speed rail interconnecting the transit systems. That's why this build the fancy stuff first is just a money sink. It's the 'train to nowhere'.

        People aren't going to take high speed rail so they don't have to drive for 2hrs and then take taxi cabs all over the place for a week. They'll just drive the 2hrs and keep their car.

        This is why HSR first is backwards.
        Check out my blog - Coreplex: Rambling from inside the Grid


        Am I evil? yes, I am
        Am I evil? I am man, yes, I am

        Originally posted by sleepyjeff
        Disneyland was meant to be sipped not chug-a-lugged

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        • #64
          Re: WDW to provide 50 acres of free land for high speed train

          If you're going to attempt HSR, then I agree this is the way to go. I'd consider taking a high speed rail into a place like Chicago or NY because once I get off the HSR I can get right onto the subway system of those cities and go wherever I need.

          If Orlando had a good transit system in place so that I could get off the HSR and then take a train to whatever hotel, or amusement area I wanted then I'd consider it as well. But I'm not going to take a train to Orlando just so I have to go rent a car or take taxi's everywhere. Its just not worth it for that distance. I'll just take my own car instead.

          American's are married to their cars. To get them to get rid of them you either have to make the public transport much more cheaper or either incredibly more efficient. For example, there's no way I'd consider driving my car in NY. If I lived there I'd just take the train. But there's not a single place in FL I can think of that has traffic bad enough to make me consider taking public transport. So it would have to be significantly cheaper than driving (which we've already seen that it won't).

          Comment


          • #65
            Re: WDW to provide 50 acres of free land for high speed train

            American's are married to their cars. To get them to get rid of them you either have to make the public transport much more cheaper or either incredibly more efficient. For example, there's no way I'd consider driving my car in NY. If I lived there I'd just take the train.
            I can agree with that. I'm not opposed to local municipalities adding a light rail into the mix, in fact I'm a supporter of it, I have been closely following the development of Los Angeles' light rail / subway system.

            When I travel, if there's a train I can take instead of driving, I opt for it, whether it's Seattle, San Francisco, Vancouver, Paris etc. When I travel to Downtown LA, I often take the Red Line.

            Clearly the Federal transportation planners have zeroed in on corridors that would make sense.

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            • #66
              Re: WDW to provide 50 acres of free land for high speed train

              Originally posted by CaliforniaAdventurer View Post
              Clearly the Federal transportation planners have zeroed in on corridors that would make sense.
              Except it's not the planners that are deciding who gets the money - it's the politicans and their agendas. The White House backing this project really says little about it's worthiness.

              You conveniently skip over the fact it will cost billions and decades to build such local transit systems this rail would feed... and it will take money the states don't have right now. So in the interim... the state gets to spend billions to build and maintain a system that will never see a return, and isn't suitable for the vast majority's need.

              Hence.. the train to nowhere... and why people like kcnole who have to foot the bill aren't just oooing and ahhing over a promise for federal money.

              Spend the billions where it matters... in local transit and urban planning to make public transit viable. Not trophy projects that are really just albatrosses around tax payers necks.
              Check out my blog - Coreplex: Rambling from inside the Grid


              Am I evil? yes, I am
              Am I evil? I am man, yes, I am

              Originally posted by sleepyjeff
              Disneyland was meant to be sipped not chug-a-lugged

              Comment


              • #67
                Re: WDW to provide 50 acres of free land for high speed train

                They never should have laid the transcontinental railroad, because the West was just a big empty space. Provo had no built-in transit feeder lines.

                Comment


                • #68
                  Re: WDW to provide 50 acres of free land for high speed train

                  Originally posted by CaliforniaAdventurer View Post
                  They never should have laid the transcontinental railroad, because the West was just a big empty space. Provo had no built-in transit feeder lines.
                  Uhh.. really?

                  Just who exactly do you think the commuter population was back in 1860s that was so slighted by the transcontential railroad?

                  The TCR wasn't anything to do with commuting and little to do with human passengers period. It was about HAULING FREIGHT. It's more akin to building the interstates today - nothing to do with people transit systems.

                  Second... do your research. There WAS feeder lines. The TCR was about connecting what were seperate rail systems between the east and west.. not about trailblazing into the unknown.

                  The TCR didn't need billions in grants to even get it off the ground either - it was privately funded because it was commercially viable. All they got from the government were the land grants through federally owned land.
                  Check out my blog - Coreplex: Rambling from inside the Grid


                  Am I evil? yes, I am
                  Am I evil? I am man, yes, I am

                  Originally posted by sleepyjeff
                  Disneyland was meant to be sipped not chug-a-lugged

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Re: WDW to provide 50 acres of free land for high speed train

                    Originally posted by CaliforniaAdventurer View Post
                    They never should have laid the transcontinental railroad, because the West was just a big empty space. Provo had no built-in transit feeder lines.
                    Apples to Oranges. There were no other options besides foot or wagon. It was the best way.

                    In this case, you already have airplanes cars and trains. This is not a solution, it is another option, and to be viable, it needs to have a purpose.

                    A high speed train across the country makes sense. A high speed train needs to be a better option than motor vehicles. It either needs to connect to someplace with an existing mass transit system, or to a destination where efficiency (ie tourists, not commuters) isn't the highest priority (ie arriving on vacation and still needing to take a taxi like arriving in LA from Chicago).

                    Tampa to Orlando has no destination. It doesn't replace cars for efficiency for locals.

                    It does have tourists, except that it is a 3rd step (a train to NYC and then a taxi is different than a plane to Tampa, a train to Disney and then a taxi).

                    But it could very well happen, this is the chance for Tampa's airport to offer lower prices and convince people that the train's added cost will still equal savings flying to Tampa. It can happen. I know the best way to Disneyland Paris is to fly to Charles du Gaulle airport and take the train to the resort. This could have advantages for Disney, but it needs to be efficient on both ends, from the airport to the train, and from the train to the hotels.

                    They need it to be efficient so the tourists will use it. That is all they can get. While a commuter system works for local visitors in Hong Kong and Tokyo, Florida's local visitors arn't clustered enough for it to be efficient.

                    Though maybe we need to give this a few years. Orlando and Tampa get bad, but their traffic is not legendary (a la Boston). We learned in Shanghai, the train is the better option. But as it stands right now the extra cost of the train doesn't carry a benefit over a towncar.
                    In the future traffic could suck so badly that a train becomes the best way (a la Boston). But they'll will still need a way to disperse traffic once they arrive.

                    I've arrived where I started: still torn. Glad we're moving forward with modernizing our transportation...but still thinking it could go some place more efficient. Hell...even Orlando to Miami could be considered a better use of the system IMO.
                    Last edited by tloolgb; 02-08-2010, 03:02 PM.

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                    • #70
                      Re: WDW to provide 50 acres of free land for high speed train

                      I think High Speed Rail is a great idea for all of America. I hope that all of the corridors are successful so that they can expand and start connecting. The fact that disney is helping by giving land is great because that will make that section just a little bit closer to actually being built.

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Re: WDW to provide 50 acres of free land for high speed train

                        Originally posted by kcnole View Post
                        what they fail to realize is that America is much more spread out that Europe is. You can easily link all of Europe with trains, because of our suburban lifestyles in the US it doesn't work that well
                        The geography argument against passenger rail in the United States is largely a myth. The train from Chicago to California this afternoon, for instance, does have a roughly 2200 mile trek ahead of it, but most passengers are traveling to/from intermediate points. The average distance trip is comparable to travel lengths in Europe.

                        I hope that all of the corridors are successful so that they can expand and start connecting
                        Actually, they're already connected. A New York to Miami train, for example, links the Northeast Corridor (and connecting transit systems) with developing corridor operations in Virginia and the Carolinas and the future Florida project. These connections are just as important, if not more so, than the local mass transit systems which support and feed the high-speed lines (and which aren't being built, for the most part). The Lynx bus system is a good start, but nobody should pretend such a bus network will not be woefully inadequate to accompany the conceived Florida HSR proposal.

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Re: WDW to provide 50 acres of free land for high speed train

                          Originally posted by Mikado View Post
                          The geography argument against passenger rail in the United States is largely a myth. The train from Chicago to California this afternoon, for instance, does have a roughly 2200 mile trek ahead of it, but most passengers are traveling to/from intermediate points. The average distance trip is comparable to travel lengths in Europe.
                          an interesting choice of analogies... considering the route to LA from Chicago is not even one of the top routes... for the west OR midwest regions and is pretty much the poster child of the types of routes that are unprofitable - losing almost $200 per passenger from stats in 1997
                          Amtrak Subsidies and Profits by Route

                          Originally posted by Mikado View Post
                          Actually, they're already connected. A New York to Miami train, for example, links the Northeast Corridor (and connecting transit systems) with developing corridor operations in Virginia and the Carolinas and the future Florida project. These connections are just as important, if not more so, than the local mass transit systems which support and feed the high-speed lines (and which aren't being built, for the most part).
                          But when you interconnect dead-ends... you still end up with a system no one wants to ride. The train works in the NEC for commuter traffic because of the cost and delays on I-95, and reliability and time commitment vs airlines. It works for local transit for people going between cities.. most of which on the route all have well developed public transit (DC, Philly, NYC, Boston).

                          None of these conditions apply to Tampa-Orlando.. or much of anywhere in FL. FL has one thing going for it.. distance. But distance is easily beaten by cars. The problem is there is little disadvantage to cars in Florida and way more advantages to using cars for potential passengers.

                          The only people you can attract are those who can't afford to drive.. and that means you need highly subsidized pricing. And when we are talking about not being able to afford to drive less then 2hrs... this isn't a potential customer anyways. The only profitable route Amtrak has is one that interconnects DENSE, highly matured cities.
                          Check out my blog - Coreplex: Rambling from inside the Grid


                          Am I evil? yes, I am
                          Am I evil? I am man, yes, I am

                          Originally posted by sleepyjeff
                          Disneyland was meant to be sipped not chug-a-lugged

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            Re: WDW to provide 50 acres of free land for high speed train

                            Why are you so intent on derailing these plans?

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              Re: WDW to provide 50 acres of free land for high speed train

                              Originally posted by flynnibus View Post
                              the route to LA from Chicago is not even one of the top routes... for the west OR midwest regions and is pretty much the poster child of the types of routes that are unprofitable - losing almost $200 per passenger from stats in 1997
                              That's false - undoubtedly the biggest myth in all of passenger railroading. Loss per-passenger statistics are completely meaningless ("made-up") figures, often compiled by passenger rail critics to make rail look bad, always misleading - sometimes deliberately. Look at it this way: If you sell even one more ticket for todays train, does it lose more money or less? Operating costs don't change a penny by putting a warm body in an otherwise empty seat, nor do you save anything by hauling around passenger cars with a bunch of empty seats. Just like any business you want to maximize revenue; Since your operating costs are largely fixed, the more tickets you sell, the smaller the operating loss. The mistaken $200 per-passenger argument makes it sound like you lose more money the more people you carry.

                              What various groups do, to create this little piece of fiction, is divide the trains total operating loss for the year by the annual number of passengers carried. Even if they got the total loss numbers right, the per-passenger statistic would still be meaningless because not all passengers travel the same distance or pay the same fare, nor do they consider overhead (capital) costs which still must be paid even if you didn't operate that one train. The figures are also too easily manipulated. If you have 300 passengers today with a (fictitious) $200 loss per person, then you can cut that loss almost in half by giving away an additional 300 tickets.

                              All passenger trains lose money - and that includes Acela (formerly Metroliner) service. The only way you can claim Acela is profitable is by conveniently forgetting to include certain (and significant) capital costs in the calculation. Indeed, Northeast Corridor capital costs included, it costs far more to subsidize supposedly profitable Acela than it does the entire national network of supposedly money-losing long-distance trains.

                              Now, I fully agree you need well developed public transit to feed the corridor or HSR routes. Lynx isn't going to cut it, and even a connection to Sun Rail is marginal, at best.

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Re: WDW to provide 50 acres of free land for high speed train

                                Originally posted by CaliforniaAdventurer View Post
                                Why are you so intent on derailing these plans?
                                If you mean me... its because I believe in spending money to actually achieve results. Not just spend money now, to lose money later. It's called looking beyond just tomorrow.
                                Check out my blog - Coreplex: Rambling from inside the Grid


                                Am I evil? yes, I am
                                Am I evil? I am man, yes, I am

                                Originally posted by sleepyjeff
                                Disneyland was meant to be sipped not chug-a-lugged

                                Comment


                                • #76
                                  Re: WDW to provide 50 acres of free land for high speed train

                                  Why are you so intent on derailing these plans?
                                  I don't know if you're talking to me or Flynnibus, but if it's me, its because I'm a citizen of Florida. I work in the government city and have connections to people involved in government. I know the financing problems the state of Florida has. The class size amendment alone is about to kill the states budget. I also know that this train will be a huge burden on the state to keep running and we can't afford it. Our unemployment numbers just reached a high we haven't seen since the late 70's. We're officially at 11.8 %. Our tax dollars are dwindling, and while this train might create a few jobs, the tax moneys required to keep it running will kill even more. There are things that desperately need money in Florida, HSR isn't one of them.

                                  The mistaken $200 per-passenger argument makes it sound like you lose more money the more people you carry.
                                  No it doesn't. It just shows that in that year the train lost a ton of money, and when averaged out it came to 200/passenger that somebody else had to pay for. Regardless of whether it was 200/passenger or 1 dollar for one and 2000 for another is not important. What is important is that the train is losing money, and lots of it. Somebody has to pay for that, those people are the taxpayers of the state.

                                  All passenger trains lose money
                                  Yes they do, which is why we need to look at transportation systems that are more affordable. I'm certainly not against trains in cities like NY even though they lose money. Transportation is a necessity and its the only way to truly move around those cities. The trains are used and used by a lot of people. That's simply not going to be the case in FL.

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                                  • #77
                                    Re: WDW to provide 50 acres of free land for high speed train

                                    The stimulus dollars have been allocated, so if Florida doesn't take the money, I'm sure California will take more. Arnold would even be happy to do free ads for Florida Orange Juice after he leaves office.

                                    Comment


                                    • #78
                                      Re: WDW to provide 50 acres of free land for high speed train

                                      Originally posted by Mikado View Post
                                      That's false - undoubtedly the biggest myth in all of passenger railroading. Loss per-passenger statistics are completely meaningless ("made-up") figures, often compiled by passenger rail critics to make rail look bad, always misleading - sometimes deliberately. Look at it this way: If you sell even one more ticket for todays train, does it lose more money or less? Operating costs don't change a penny by putting a warm body in an otherwise empty seat, nor do you save anything by hauling around passenger cars with a bunch of empty seats. Just like any business you want to maximize revenue; Since your operating costs are largely fixed, the more tickets you sell, the smaller the operating loss. The mistaken $200 per-passenger argument makes it sound like you lose more money the more people you carry.
                                      Only if you misuse the data - which an intelligent person looking at the chart doesn't do. The per person is as you say, just a way of looking at the aggregate vs the number of consumers - not a direct PNL comparison per rider. Your 'defense' assumes you are always going to run the train hence the costs are fixed. That's the flawed assumption. The very point of the comparison is to show its not profitable to run the train based on the number of consumers it's serving. Your logic takes the government approach of 'well we need to offer service regardless...'.

                                      Any way you slice it - the train does not serve enough people to be able to collect enough revenues to offset it's expenses. And relative to other subsidized routes, its even FURTHER in the hole. So it's not just revenue negative, compared to it's peers its excessively negative.

                                      Originally posted by Mikado View Post
                                      Indeed, Northeast Corridor capital costs included, it costs far more to subsidize supposedly profitable Acela than it does the entire national network of supposedly money-losing long-distance trains.
                                      Yet the NEC represents basically 1/3 of all Amtrak total ridership. And numerous publications contradict your statements, from both Amtrak and external parties. Even if the NEC as a whole were not profitable, at least it's used. Compared to the arguement of 'we have to run these trains no matter how under utilized they are'... I'll take the in demand, but subsidized trains for $500 Alex.

                                      I don't see the business case for HSR between these cities in Florida in a scale that makes sense to invest IMO.

                                      Some recent blurbs on the NEC vs the rest of the system
                                      http://washington.bizjournals.com/wa...6/daily50.html
                                      Report: D.C.-Boston Amtrak route is least subsidized
                                      Washington Business Journal - by Tierney Plumb Staff Reporter

                                      The D.C. to Boston corridor was Amtrak’s least subsidized route in fiscal year 2008, according to a study by Pew Charitable Trusts.

                                      That Northeast corridor carried the highest passenger volume -- totaling nearly 10.9 million people -- among the train operator’s 44 routes.

                                      The Northeast corridor’s high-speed Acela Express, one of only three Amtrak lines to turn a profit, made an average of $41 per passenger. In comparison, the heavily utilized Northeast Regional lost nearly $5 per passenger.

                                      Still, 41 of Amtrak’s U.S. routes lost money in 2008, and the average loss per passenger was more than $32.

                                      That’s four times more than the estimated loss of $8 per passenger, which was calculated by Amtrak.

                                      Unlike Amtrak’s method of calculating the loss or profit per passenger on each of its rail lines, Pew’s study includes depreciation and overhead costs.
                                      Check out my blog - Coreplex: Rambling from inside the Grid


                                      Am I evil? yes, I am
                                      Am I evil? I am man, yes, I am

                                      Originally posted by sleepyjeff
                                      Disneyland was meant to be sipped not chug-a-lugged

                                      Comment


                                      • #79
                                        Re: WDW to provide 50 acres of free land for high speed train

                                        And for the number types... an interactive map of Amtrak revenues and passenger totals

                                        Subsidyscope.com — Transportation: Analysis Shows Amtrak Lost $32 Per Passenger in 2008
                                        Check out my blog - Coreplex: Rambling from inside the Grid


                                        Am I evil? yes, I am
                                        Am I evil? I am man, yes, I am

                                        Originally posted by sleepyjeff
                                        Disneyland was meant to be sipped not chug-a-lugged

                                        Comment


                                        • #80
                                          Re: WDW to provide 50 acres of free land for high speed train

                                          A friend sent me this link. I would expect more disappointment for Federally funding these corridors if I lived in a state that didn't have one. But you guys just don't want them at all?

                                          High-speed rail: Skipping your town

                                          High-speed rail small in scope - Feb. 9, 2010

                                          Take a look at the map. Some connections accross America will still be regular railroads into the forseeable future. But you've got to start somewhere, and these corridors are the ones that are considered feasible.

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