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(Slate)   "In liberals' dreams, this Is what America's high-speed rail network looks like." Gee only 18 hours from NY to LA eating Amtrak food? Who wouldn't spend 200 billion for that?   (slate.com) divider line 373
    More: Interesting, Los Angeles, Amtrak, high-speed rail  
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5715 clicks; posted to Geek » on 09 Feb 2013 at 4:08 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-09 09:23:43 PM
It seems to me that the only people in this thread who believe HSR is doomed to spectacular failure think two things: HSR will only be used to link New York to Los Angeles, and HSR will make every stop at every po dunk town on the line thus negating any benefit of HSR.

To prevent those failures from being realized, they need regional HSR systems set up that serve as hub and spoke systems across the country with long distance travel coordinated between hub cities. Secondly, they need tiered service so you can take the express train from New York to Chicago with stops in only Pittsburgh and Cleveland instead of hitting Buttfark PA, State College PA, and Shifferbrains PA as well.
 
2013-02-09 09:27:30 PM
Butbutbut profitable! Socialism! My tax dollars!
And then you point to airlines as a model of what you would prefer? What in the actual f*ck.
 
2013-02-09 09:29:25 PM

Giltric: Wouldn't it be easier for you guys to move to the countires that give you a 30 hour work week with 8 months vacation, HSR from where you are to where you want to go, and free health care?

Sort of like how teatards are told to move to Somalia?


Doing the right thing is rarely the easy thing.

I'm not really interested in what is easier.

That's how we got in this boat to begin with, we let rich farkwads sell our nation out from under us because it was easier to hand over all control and responsibility for our nation's future than to tend it responsibly ourselves.

Not that I expect much better out of our morbidly obese nation.

Constantly looking for the easiest way to duck out of our problems. As long as our fat asses are comfortable, consequences can be damned, right?
 
2013-02-09 09:34:19 PM

gas giant: Butbutbut profitable! Socialism! My tax dollars!
And then you point to airlines as a model of what you would prefer? What in the actual f*ck.


I think people are trying to point out that it would cost the same and be quicker to fly to most areas. Train travel in this country right now isn't much cheaper then flying, you think it's going to go down after all the money needed to build out and maintain this HSR infrastructure is spent?
 
2013-02-09 09:34:24 PM
i would really like to see high speed rail someday but they would have to start with routes that would makes sense. phoenix - LA - Vegas triangle would be a good start. on those routes, the train could compete because it would be faster and cheaper than flying or driving. high speed rail from LA to NY is dumb as shiat for sure. flying will always be faster and better for that route.
 
2013-02-09 09:36:38 PM

DamnYankees: Who did the mayor of Cheyenne pay off to get not just a stop, but an out of the way stop?


Not like theres any important defense sites in the area that the DoD might want alternative transportation to and from in case of something...
 
2013-02-09 09:36:51 PM

TwistedFark: I have a cunning plan to get this through - all we have to do is convince someone at Fox News that a conservative came up with this idea first.


That didn't work out so hot for Obamacare.
 
2013-02-09 09:37:24 PM

GF named my left testicle thundercles: i would really like to see high speed rail someday but they would have to start with routes that would makes sense. phoenix - LA - Vegas triangle would be a good start. on those routes, the train could compete because it would be faster and cheaper than flying or driving. high speed rail from LA to NY is dumb as shiat for sure. flying will always be faster and better for that route.


I'd love to see the north east corridor replaced with high speed rail, it's another area that makes sense to put it in.
 
2013-02-09 09:37:47 PM

St_Francis_P: Let's face it; the Interstate Highway System turned out to be a useless liberal boondoggle, and this will be no different.


The Interstate Highway System is a huge success because it allows trade to flow very quickly at all times of day.  Our comprehensive rail system does the same, as does our network of airports, and even allows for passenger traffic just like the highway system.  The high speed rail networks being proposed are just for moving people, and transit that only moves people is only affordable on certain routes with a certain time efficiency.  The high speed rail from LA to SF probably won't be high speed at all, because it will have a dozen stops along the way and spend half the time in areas with at grade crossings, noise ordinances, etc.
 
2013-02-09 09:38:03 PM

MurphyMurphy: Constantly looking for the easiest way to duck out of our problems. As long as our fat asses are comfortable, consequences can be damned, right?


LOL we're talking about HSR, not energy independence.

HSR will never be as fast or faster than flying, and when people have a limited amount of time for vacation I doubt they would pick the 20 hour rail trip over the 6 hour flight.

The TSA does not add extra time only to flying, the TSA will be involved in HSR security. You will have the same hassle, you will not avoid the hassle.
 
2013-02-09 09:38:31 PM
Amtrak from Charlotte to Atlanta is 112 bucks round trip, the train only runs both ways in the middle of the night and takes 5 and 1/2 hours. Flights from Charlotte to Atlanta cost around 130 dollars, you can catch a flight anytime of the day, and takes not even 1 and 1/2 hours(not including all the check in time, waiting for luggage that may or may not be there, etc).

At Amtrak I can show up 5-10 minutes before boarding time and park for free, when I get to Atlanta I walk off the train with my bags and 5 minutes later I am inside a van taking me to my hotel(usually a 15 minute ride tops). Flying, actually takes about the same amount of time when you add it up; checking in, boarding, waiting to land, actually getting out of the airport, time spent getting back to the center of town(yes, the train station is actually in Atlanta).

I take the train, the only pain in the ass is the time of the train, but it does get me there early in the morning. If they were to offer an option that left at 7am and got me there by noon  I would pay $200(round trip) for it.

I take the train, and if they added a day trip for $200 I would gladly pay it.
 
2013-02-09 09:39:55 PM

mjones73: gas giant: Butbutbut profitable! Socialism! My tax dollars!
And then you point to airlines as a model of what you would prefer? What in the actual f*ck.

I think people are trying to point out that it would cost the same and be quicker to fly to most areas. Train travel in this country right now isn't much cheaper then flying, you think it's going to go down after all the money needed to build out and maintain this HSR infrastructure is spent?


Do you know why it's cheaper to fly?
Do you understand the concept of an investment?

We get what they are trying to point out.

I just try not to get my directions from people that can't see 2ft past their own noses.
 
2013-02-09 09:43:39 PM

Giltric: MurphyMurphy: Constantly looking for the easiest way to duck out of our problems. As long as our fat asses are comfortable, consequences can be damned, right?

LOL we're talking about HSR, not energy independence.

HSR will never be as fast or faster than flying, and when people have a limited amount of time for vacation I doubt they would pick the 20 hour rail trip over the 6 hour flight.

The TSA does not add extra time only to flying, the TSA will be involved in HSR security. You will have the same hassle, you will not avoid the hassle.


Did you mean to respond to someone else?

When did I say anything about the TSA? Did I say trains are faster than planes somewhere? What the flying fark are you on about?
 
2013-02-09 09:51:17 PM

MurphyMurphy: Giltric: MurphyMurphy: Constantly looking for the easiest way to duck out of our problems. As long as our fat asses are comfortable, consequences can be damned, right?

LOL we're talking about HSR, not energy independence.



HSR will never be as fast or faster than flying, and when people have a limited amount of time for vacation I doubt they would pick the 20 hour rail trip over the 6 hour flight.

The TSA does not add extra time only to flying, the TSA will be involved in HSR security. You will have the same hassle, you will not avoid the hassle.

Did you mean to respond to someone else?

When did I say anything about the TSA? Did I say trains are faster than planes somewhere? What the flying fark are you on about?



The bolded part is what you said and my response. The rest is a response to the rest of the posters in case you didn't have time to read the thread in your fury to show everyone, while using the doll, where Haliburton touched you.

HSR is a convienence to a very small number of people. It is a pipe dream in the US.
 
2013-02-09 09:53:48 PM

MurphyMurphy: mjones73: gas giant: Butbutbut profitable! Socialism! My tax dollars!
And then you point to airlines as a model of what you would prefer? What in the actual f*ck.

I think people are trying to point out that it would cost the same and be quicker to fly to most areas. Train travel in this country right now isn't much cheaper then flying, you think it's going to go down after all the money needed to build out and maintain this HSR infrastructure is spent?

Do you know why it's cheaper to fly?

Pretty much the same reason Amtrak is only $1 billion in the hole every year, government money.
Do you understand the concept of an investment? Yep, given my previous point that Amtrak can't turn a profit even with government backing now, how do you expect them to do the same once this HSR is built? The investment is only going to pay off if enough people use HSR once it's built. Short of giving away train tickets, grounding airlines or taxing airfare to the point it's undesirable, I don't see that happening anytime soon.

We get what they are trying to point out.

I just try not to get my directions from people that can't see 2ft past their own noses.
 
2013-02-09 09:56:20 PM

muck4doo: HighZoolander: Darth_Lukecash: muck4doo: Di Atribe: rev. dave: Money should not get in the way of doing what is right.

With conservatives, it all comes back to money. That's all that matters to them.

While I despise making everything a partisan issue, the author of the article fired the first shot.

Money doesn't grow on trees. We don't live in Jerry Jones world.

We are one if the wealthiest countries in the world. And yet we don't have the money to improve our society.

Why is that?

Why are conservatives such cowards?

Because they favor corporate welfare for the oil and gas industry, and have an irrational fear of choo-choo trains.

That's the retard perspective of it. You got that nailed down.


You're right, I'm sorry. That was pretty high-brow for your average conservative. In the future I'll try to say things as if I'm speaking to Peter or a creationist.
 
2013-02-09 10:01:29 PM
I bet if we invaded Iran, you could get from NY to LA in like, two minutes. And they'd pay you to do it.
 
2013-02-09 10:03:57 PM
$200 Billion? So... One fiscal quarter's worth of Obama deficit spending? Go for it.
 
2013-02-09 10:07:15 PM

Giltric: The bolded part is what you said and my response. The rest is a response to the rest of the posters in case you didn't have time to read the thread in your fury to show everyone, while using the doll, where Haliburton touched you.

HSR is a convienence to a very small number of people. It is a pipe dream in the US.


Just because it's convenient for you to separate the HSR issue from it's obvious realm of infrastructure investments doesn't make it so.

And this is ultimately what this discussion is about, not energy independence or just the HSR, but the entire logic behind the b.s. argument of why this along with every other proposed domestic spending project, isn't possible. Keep repeating it's a pipe dream over and over, your only convincing yourself.

The only fury I have is aimed at people so miserably stupid they can't even realize they aren't discussing the issue, they are obfuscating it.

Case in point: The HSR is a convenience to only a very small number of people?
Huh, who knew?
Wow, that changes everything entirely!
Except for it being a completely made-up pile of steaming shiat.


The planes vs trains discussion is repeated in this thread several times. We all know the status quo is the preferred and easier travel option. It's why they call it the status quo. But no one wants to have a substantial discussion about the whys behind that being the case.

If we'd spent the last 50 years focusing on rail travel the way we have automobile and air you could replicate this discussion switching every instance of plane with train (and vice versa).. it's pointless. Your not discussing why HSR is a bad idea, your just repeating the obvious regarding our current culture and status quo. It's not even an argument, in either direction.
 
2013-02-09 10:11:06 PM

muck4doo: How was building the bridge to nowhere in Alaska fiscally responsible?


Perhaps it was "nowhere" because there was no bridge?
Infrastructure often creates demand that didn't exist when it was built.
 
2013-02-09 10:23:41 PM

mjones73: Do you know why it's cheaper to fly? Pretty much the same reason Amtrak is only $1 billion in the hole every year, government money.
Do you understand the concept of an investment? Yep, given my previous point that Amtrak can't turn a profit even with government backing now, how do you expect them to do the same once this HSR is built? The investment is only going to pay off if enough people use HSR once it's built. Short of giving away train tickets, grounding airlines or taxing airfare to the point it's undesirable, I don't see that happening anytime soon.


And this is the discussion worth having.

It's hard to even produce solid numbers regarding how much (and in how many ways) the various elements of both industries are subsidized by the Federal Government.

You say it wouldn't be used enough to pay off long term. It may very well be the case. I think, as has been mentioned many times, that the coastal portions of a HSR system would be used greatly but it's hard for either of us to know 100%, either way unless we give it a fair shot somewhere.

I would go so far as to say it's nearly impossible to write a comprehensive cost/benefit analysis comparing HSR to the current air and road, nationwide.

What we do know is that at the basics, rail as a mode of transportation is less resource intensive and has proved much more economically viable (provided consumer demand/use) when compared dollar to dollar against other forms of travel. This has been proven to be true internationally (and historically) especially for areas with populations and distances that we see in coastal US and European nations.

Can the same be said of HSR as traditional rail? I don't have the numbers but I'd love to see them from nations that have been using HSR for years.

The yea's saying to do it because we believe it to be a good idea, and the nays saying not because it's impossible or unrealistic can talk past each other (as we have). I support the former because I think we won't know until we try and there is a lot worse we can do (we DO do) with our money than try new infrastructure projects that if they pay off at all could pay off in a really really big way for our economy.
 
2013-02-09 10:24:06 PM

CujoQuarrel: SacriliciousBeerSwiller: Sounds great if the ticket price is right. Why do conservatives hate all forms of progress? Should we just ban all forms of infrastructure improvements until we can teleport people?

I'm all for this as long as none of my money is involved (and that includes tax money)

This is just a boondoggle. Money pissed away on something not needed.

We have a good air travel infrastructure already for long distance travel. We have a good road travel infrastructure for short distance travel. We don't need this. It's just a waste.


How much is spent per year maintaining all those roads?
 
2013-02-09 10:34:19 PM
Are airlines subsidized or given tax breaks currently?
 
2013-02-09 10:36:15 PM
Everyone is focusing on this for passenger transport, high speed rail for freight would be a HUGE time saver, can't ship most of it via plane, cuts down on inventory because shipments are faster, even more of an impetus to bring manufacturing back to places on the line, and could even give it a military impetus, large shipments of military hardware across country more quickly.
 
2013-02-09 10:39:26 PM

MurphyMurphy: If we'd spent the last 50 years focusing on rail travel the way we have automobile and air you could replicate this discussion switching every instance of plane with train (and vice versa).. it's pointless. Your not discussing why HSR is a bad idea, your just repeating the obvious regarding our current culture and status quo. It's not even an argument, in either direction.


This is absolutely true, and absolutely not an argument in favor of HSR.  Had we spent the last 50 years investing in rail travel, it would make sense to expand that to include HSR.  But we've spent so much money on automobile and air infrastructure that it makes more sense to invest the $1 trillion+ that you would spend on national and regional rail systems (much of which would duplicate what we already have) on technologies to expand and more efficiently use the infrastructure we already have.  Let's invest in driveless cars.  In new battery technologies.  In renewable energy sources.  Things that will let us move our cars and planes faster and further than they can go now.

Our interstate highway system is amazing at moving people around cities and through the less populated areas and remains an incredibly cheap method of transportation (show me another means of travel that can move 7 people from NYC to St. Louis for $100).  Air travel is capable of getting people across the country in 1/4 of the time of HSR.  Let's spend money making these technologies faster, better, and cheaper rather than throwing trillions of dollars reinventing the wheel.
 
2013-02-09 10:43:58 PM
Yeah, I still want a glass tube through the sky to ride my bike on.
 
2013-02-09 10:59:30 PM

0Icky0: muck4doo: How was building the bridge to nowhere in Alaska fiscally responsible?

Perhaps it was "nowhere" because there was no bridge?
Infrastructure often creates demand that didn't exist when it was built.


Sure, build a bridge to nowhere and people will flock there, right? There's a bridge to Isleton CA, and I don't see tons of people moving there.
 
2013-02-09 11:01:16 PM

rugman11: Our interstate highway system is amazing at moving people around cities and through the less populated areas and remains an incredibly cheap method of transportation (show me another means of travel that can move 7 people from NYC to St. Louis for $100).


again, that's the tricky part of this is identifying true cost. The analysis is almost impossibly complex.

The cost to move those 7 people from NYC to St Louis is so much more than $100 (even if that were all the gas it cost). Everything from DMVs to the highway system maintenance to State Police/Highway Patrol must be factored in.

And I won't even try to argue which is, short term, cheaper for the nation. I don't think that's a question here. But sometimes spending more today can save us magnitudes more in the future.

And if we move away from economics for a second and into more subjective fields we might ask "what is better?" in many other respects. Safety comes to mind, as we love to turn a blind eye in this nation to just how hazardous our auto and highway culture has become. And speaking of the incredible number of auto accidents in our nation... viola... in these subjective discussions we can find even more costs we probably didn't include in our original equation.
 
2013-02-09 11:13:46 PM

MurphyMurphy: The planes vs trains discussion is repeated in this thread several times. We all know the status quo is the preferred and easier travel option. It's why they call it the status quo. But no one wants to have a substantial discussion about the whys behind that being the case.

If we'd spent the last 50 years focusing on rail travel the way we have automobile and air you could replicate this discussion switching every instance of plane with train (and vice versa).. it's pointless. Your not discussing why HSR is a bad idea, your just repeating the obvious regarding our current culture and status quo. It's not even an argument, in either direction.



True...given enough times trains will be able to travel as fast as planes do currently, but by that time planes will be crossing the continent in under an hour.
 
2013-02-09 11:23:57 PM
Because, you know, we've never ever subsidized airline travel or its infrastructure in any way, ever, period, full stop, end, fin.
 
2013-02-09 11:54:21 PM

Eatin' Queer Fetuses for Jesus: Daedalus27: Those cost estimates are ludicrously small.  Hell the high speed rail project from San Diego through LA to Sacramento and San Francisco is estimated to cost 200 billion.  A nationwide network of that size would probably end up several trillion dollars at minimum.  Last time I checked we were having some bugetary difficulties so I don't see that happening any time soon even assuming there was a huge demand that would help pay for the costs of construction and operations and maintenance budget.

High speed rail can work among major ctiies in close proximity. There is no transeuropean high speed rail.  Just national systems that sometimes run a little over their borders.  With this in mind, the DC/Philly/NY/Boston corredor is suited to high speed rail  and would benefit from a more dedicated faster line than the 150mph system at present that is slowed at several spots.  The California High Speed rail is doomed to failure as the distances are too far, the demand to low, and the routing woefully done to promote legislative votes rather than economic realities.  National high speed rail would be upon similar lines and would end up an expensive legacy cost or abandoned boondoggle of epic proportions.

Kind of like those epic boondoggles of the Interstate Highway System and Rural Electrification? Let's not forget about Seward's Folly - Alaska state income taxes are horrendous!


The Interstate Highway System had a massive demand as the existing system failed to provide all weather transport links between major population centers allowing for redeployment of military and evacuation of civilians in the case of nuclear war.  Rural Electrification is a bit more debatable in terms of overall demand and benefit per costs but it certainly does allow areas outside population centers to develop more effectively.  Seward's Folly really was a folly until technology uncovered minerals and oil so sometimes you get lucky.

Tell me what benfit high speed rail will provide?.  What demand it is serving that isn't already better served by the highway system, air traffic, freight rail (which high speed rail cannot service).  It is an extremely expensive method to move individuals around that isn't as effective as other technolgy both at short range and long.  It is only in rare areas where it can make some sense where demand provides sufficient economic incentives to justify the huge investment costs.  Why is the California High Speed rail construction commencing from Madera to Merced (south bumfark central valley to more northern slightly less podunk central valley) beyond political considerations when an actual market from San Francisco to San Jose would have a much larger demand and a potential market. High speed rail is a gimmick utilizing an older technology to do a job that is better done by other techniques which are faster and cheaper in the short and medium term.
 
2013-02-09 11:55:05 PM

irving47: $200 Billion? So... One fiscal quarter's worth of Obama deficit spending? Go for it.


well, it's not like it's at george w. bush levels, so why not?
 
2013-02-09 11:56:30 PM

uksocal: Everyone is focusing on this for passenger transport, high speed rail for freight would be a HUGE time saver, can't ship most of it via plane, cuts down on inventory because shipments are faster, even more of an impetus to bring manufacturing back to places on the line, and could even give it a military impetus, large shipments of military hardware across country more quickly.


High speed rail can't do freight.  It is only designed for passenger loads.  If you want to move massive quantiies of raw materials, finshed goods and the like, you have to use the heavy duty freight locamotives to get the heavy loads started and stopped.  High speed rail is a cheetah, not a draft horse.
 
2013-02-09 11:57:10 PM

irving47: $200 Billion? So... One fiscal quarter's worth of Obama deficit spending? Go for it.


www.investors.com
 
2013-02-09 11:57:50 PM

flucto: Hey just guarding the rail line from terrorists will generate 25,000+ full time jobs. Another thousand high speed snow plow drivers. A few thousand track workers. Guys to wash off the high speed bug splatters and birds every 1,000 miles or so. It all adds up.


Plus that guy that films every high speed snowplow and posts it to youtube.com.  good comment +1
 
2013-02-10 12:11:13 AM
People will use fast trains to travel to nearby cities but when the train ride starts getting upwards of six hours or so, mostly only the puslilanimous cowards who won't fly will still ride the trains for longer trips than that.  Plus the occasional adventurer and some people who want to save a little money.

Given the expense of high speed rail, and the fact that I don't care to set policy based on a few pusilanimous cowards who don't want to fly, I'd say just build them between close cities and forget about cross-country.

You know, most people who live in England are probably still going to fly down to Greece even though Europe has a good rail infrastructure.
 
2013-02-10 12:13:16 AM
It actually be nice if it is the trains that you can drive on like the Eurotunnel trains. Imagine putting a 100 trucks that have to travel cross country on one train and they able to travel 4x the normal speed. It will also allow people to travel faster and take their cars with them.
 
2013-02-10 12:23:58 AM
That would work out to about $100 per taxpayer per year, if they build this at Apollo-mission speeds.

Yeah, I'd be okay with that. Hell, at that price I'll take two.
 
2013-02-10 12:25:15 AM
The CA to FL rail is just I-10. That's farking lazy.

The Texas routes look stupid. No one's going to take a train from Dallas to Houston via Austin. Ya think maybe the most populous cities in the state might be connected directly?

Also I would totally be on board with this shiat. There's not much reason in connecting the major lines, but yanno how you can fly into Newark and take a train to NYC? It'd be nice if the rest of the country worked like that instead of this hub/spoke multiple feelup nonsense. Overseas travel from a spoke city plain old sucks.
 
2013-02-10 12:26:58 AM
You know who else really loved using his train systems?
 
2013-02-10 12:27:14 AM

aerojockey: pusilanimous cowards


Ok, first off: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/pusilanimous and secondly, you know you're saying COWARDLY COWARDS, right?
 
2013-02-10 12:35:18 AM

poot_rootbeer: So, that's not the transportation option that high-speed rail is going to replace. Think regional instead.

A flight from NYC to Savannah, GA might take five hours, including all the airport bullshiat. If a high-speed train route can get me there in six, for about the same price, it's well worth considering.


Ok either you win the thread or you just pointed out subby's strawman, I don't care which. And this is what DoT's across the country are considering.
 
2013-02-10 12:45:54 AM

Lsherm: FlashHarry: in before some conservatard divides the cost by the number of jobs created to come up with: "IT COSTS $300,000 PER JERB!!!!" forgetting, of course, that we also receive a shiny new piece of infrastructure that will generate revenue, facilitate commerce and make life easier for the public for a century afterwards.

There isn't a single passenger rail system in the world that generates enough revenue to cover the costs.  They are all subsidized.  Europe, Japan, and China all have to funnel money each year into their passenger rail systems above and beyond what they take in via tickets.

I believe it's a worthy subsidy, but liberals need to stop pretending that passenger rail isn't a money loser long-term.  Be honest about it: it's going to cost way more than it will ever bring in, but we do it for the same reason we keep the interstate system up and running - it's a public benefit.

So I'm in after a libtard tries to lie about the economics of passenger rail systems.


Actually, long haul high speed rail is a definite "loser" to long haul air traffic. Think for a second though, all those "spoke" airports that feed the "hub" airports. Those could easily be fed through rail in most of the country, for less than it is to run a plane there on what? 3 hour (or less) lengths? Use rail spoke to feed the hubs and you've lost nothing as a passenger. The regionals wouldn't like it, but the majors would love it. The trick is putting in enough rails for multiple trains to feed into the airport efficiently.
 
2013-02-10 12:48:20 AM
Given the statistics currently available, it would seem that regional improvements and high speed rail additions might prove more worthwhile than longer routes such as cross-country lines: Visualizing How Poorly Amtrak's Route Network Serves Most of the U.S.
 
2013-02-10 12:53:26 AM

Lsherm: FlashHarry: in before some conservatard divides the cost by the number of jobs created to come up with: "IT COSTS $300,000 PER JERB!!!!" forgetting, of course, that we also receive a shiny new piece of infrastructure that will generate revenue, facilitate commerce and make life easier for the public for a century afterwards.

There isn't a single passenger rail system in the world that generates enough revenue to cover the costs.  They are all subsidized.  Europe, Japan, and China all have to funnel money each year into their passenger rail systems above and beyond what they take in via tickets.

I believe it's a worthy subsidy, but liberals need to stop pretending that passenger rail isn't a money loser long-term.  Be honest about it: it's going to cost way more than it will ever bring in, but we do it for the same reason we keep the interstate system up and running - it's a public benefit.

So I'm in after a libtard tries to lie about the economics of passenger rail systems.


When it comes to public spending, "generating revenue" isn't solely limited to money taken in by the program itself. Otherwise, you could say that public schools, the defense advanced research department, NASA, etc. etc. etc. never "generated revenue". Most public programs are public specifically because commercially, it may not be viable but that having such a system greatly benefits the economy as a whole. Think of how much commerce has been created because of the interstate highway or educated adults or the goddamn internet (another "non-revenue-generating" waste of public money?).

A national high-speed railway system would have the same benefit; it provides a link between giant economic hubs that is, in the long run, less costly than flight and has far greater capacity.
 
2013-02-10 01:14:22 AM
America isn't Europe.

/more at 11
 
2013-02-10 01:15:23 AM

muck4doo: cameroncrazy1984: muck4doo: My question is how much would tickets cost after spending 200 billion to make it happen? Like others said, this isn't a high speed railway through France or Belgium.

Like others have said, why not? Why CAN'T it be like that? Nobody says you have to use the whole system all at once.

I'd like it to be like that. I have already said so. Next trip to NY or San Jose I would love to take the train. But face it, 200 billion is a lot of money to make it happen. You can bring up our interstate highways, fact is, they are already there. People can drive or fly as it is. Amtrack is too damn expensive for the time and travel. I would like to see high speed rail, but I just don't see how it will be cost efficient compared to what we have now. This isn't Europe or Japan with a bunch of large population centers close to each other.


As others have mentioned, Europe's population centers aren't *that* close to each other. That being said, high-speed rail will, in the long term, be more economical than flying as a means for travel. The initial 200B is a large investment and I'm on the fence as to whether this is the right time to spend that. But we will have to eventually move towards it.

That being said, we don't have to wait for the government to pass a bill. There's nothing stopping private companies from forming railway systems. Elon Musk (founder of Tesla, Solar City, Paypal, etc.) said that'd be his next big company.
 
2013-02-10 01:25:53 AM

doyner: DamnYankees: doyner: DamnYankees: muck4doo: Money doesn't grow on trees.

Money is paper. It literally does grow on trees. I've never understood this expression.

Actually, US currency is made from cotton and linen....or electrons really.

So plants, not paper. I stand corrected.

Meh.  Most of our money is imaginary anyway.


*all* of money is imaginary; it only has value in that people believe it has value.
 
2013-02-10 01:28:55 AM

moothemagiccow: aerojockey: pusilanimous cowards

Ok, first off: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/pusilanimous and secondly, you know you're saying COWARDLY COWARDS, right?


www.aerojockey.com

Sometimes people write more than one word in a row with the same meaning for emphasis.
 
2013-02-10 01:31:10 AM

Giltric: MurphyMurphy: The planes vs trains discussion is repeated in this thread several times. We all know the status quo is the preferred and easier travel option. It's why they call it the status quo. But no one wants to have a substantial discussion about the whys behind that being the case.

If we'd spent the last 50 years focusing on rail travel the way we have automobile and air you could replicate this discussion switching every instance of plane with train (and vice versa).. it's pointless. Your not discussing why HSR is a bad idea, your just repeating the obvious regarding our current culture and status quo. It's not even an argument, in either direction.


True...given enough times trains will be able to travel as fast as planes do currently, but by that time planes will be crossing the continent in under an hour.


Judging by how much faster planes are today than they were 50 years ago, I'd doubt that. You can improve high-speed rails far more easily than you can a jet.
 
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