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(Duluth News Tribune)   Mudslide derails three cars of an Amtrak train. No one on board injured. Or, being Amtrak, perhaps it was just no one on board   (duluthnewstribune.com) divider line 62
    More: Scary, Amtrak, Burlington Northern Santa Fe, trains  
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2506 clicks; posted to Main » on 08 Apr 2013 at 7:47 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-08 11:14:38 AM

LesserEvil: Generation_D: dukeblue219: LesserEvil: Who travels by train? I priced out a trip 10 or 12 years ago, and it was 4 or 5 times the price of an airline ticket.

Like folks have said already, for *most* of their network they are not, and don't claim to be, a cheap alternative to airfare. If you're trying to go cross country nothing will beat a cheap, deep-discount airline ticket other than maybe Greyhound and I'm not certain about that.

If you want to go DC-NY you can do it by Amtrak for $40/person each way and it's much more convenient, faster and more comfortable than flying. If you want a wonderful scenic vacation, take the train out west. But if you want to go from Orlando to Milwaukee.... or Chicago to Dallas or whatever... that's not what Amtrak is good at.

Usually it's just a little bit more than flying, though. What route did you find where it was 4-5 times the price of flying?

You're arguing with non specific very old information provided by an anonymous internet troll who looks like he is interested in grinding his own agenda rather than discuss. Good luck with him actually coming up with this "example" he claimed he had. And even if he did, from 12 years ago, does it matter? Plane fare was a whole lot cheaper 10 years ago than it is right now too. I fly 20 times a year for business, so that part I can back up.

Agreeing Amtrak fills a niche, I would like to see us actually publically fund a new rail grid through major metro areas, which Portland/Seattle/Vancouver BC are fast becoming. But we don't, because politics and money and inertia.

Oh noes! I've been outed as a shill for the ebil airlines!

I'm just sharing my experience. One $1200 ticket (one way) is enough to put trains on the back burner for any sort of meaningful travel. As others have said, it's fine if you are keeping it relatively short and traveling along the coast, where it is probably economic and convenient, but passenger rail fails when it comes to cross-country travel. I find this a sha ...


My point is 1 trip 12 years ago means fark-all.
 
2013-04-08 11:14:41 AM

LesserEvil: Old_Chief_Scott: LesserEvil: I'm just sharing my experience. One $1200 ticket (one way)

Chicago to NOLA is $125 one way next Wednesday. You must have booked a sleeper or something.

Well, as I said, this was years ago. My wife wanted some alternatives to traveling there. She also had to be there on specific days, which probably increased the price - and this was from Michigan, not Chicago, and Chicago is a big transportation hub for rail.


Looking at their site, it seems like the prices HAVE come way down. Thanks, Obama.
 
2013-04-08 11:17:47 AM

I_Am_Weasel: [www.kahlua.com image 430x520]


EUI-Engineering under the influence
 
2013-04-08 11:19:30 AM
The real question is did Walt and Jesse get enough methylamine before investigators showed up?
 
2013-04-08 11:25:23 AM

LesserEvil: LesserEvil: Old_Chief_Scott: LesserEvil: I'm just sharing my experience. One $1200 ticket (one way)

Looking at their site, it seems like the prices HAVE come way down. Thanks, Obama.


A lot of it is seasonal fare differences and 'revenue management' (starting with high prices, eventually cutting them back to fill every seat).

For as much as they've cut their fleets down, the airlines have substantially more flexibility on adding more flights/bigger planes/weird connections to take on a popular travel time.  Amtrak really can't add additional summer service... they have the cars they have and quite literally, as of 2013, the majority of cars on the rails were built in the Carter administration.  So if they have sellouts they've obviously missed some revenue (someone presumably would have paid more than their current fare to get the last seat).
 
2013-04-08 12:39:22 PM
I know exactly what stretch of track they're talking about. It's those jackasses who have property overlooking the cliff who trim their brush and trees so they can get a good view of the sound and people wonder why there are landslides. They need to put up a serious embankment or replant some growth to solidify the cliff wall or something.
 
2013-04-08 12:55:19 PM

LesserEvil: Who travels by train? I priced out a trip 10 or 12 years ago, and it was 4 or 5 times the price of an airline ticket.


Things change in "10 to 12 years". Hell, 12 years ago, airline passengers weren't groped by the TSA.

Orbitz shows the cheapest flight NYC to Chicago is $63. (For May 1st, any NYC airport any CHI airport). Amtrak is $99. But, need something a little sooner? Leave next Monday , April 15th, and you'll pay at least $135 for airfare, or ... $99 for train. Leaving tomorrow? Minimum $141 for air, ...$99 for train.

Now, the only issue is that the train trip takes about 19 hours, while the plane is 2.5 hours. This could change if we actually put any money into railroad infrastructure instead of fighting pointless wars on the other side of the planet. A cross-continental high-speed rail route would help a lot. 200mph gets you from NYC to CHI in just 4 hours, quite competitive with air travel (especially once you figure in the fact you need to arrive hours early to clear the TSA, etc)
 
2013-04-08 05:28:37 PM
what we need is vactrain. cheap to run (though expensive to build), faster than the concorde...
 
2013-04-08 06:32:24 PM
farking A, it'd be nice if a morning train and evening train ran EXPRESS from Chi to STL. Id bet that farker would sell out even if it cost $20 more each way.
 
2013-04-08 06:45:04 PM
This isn't even newsworthy around here.  This happens at least once a month in the same GD area; mudslides in Mukilteo.
 
2013-04-09 09:24:10 PM

fredklein: A cross-continental high-speed rail route would help a lot. 200mph gets you from NYC to CHI in just 4 hours, quite competitive with air travel (especially once you figure in the fact you need to arrive hours early to clear the TSA, etc)


While that would be awesome, the better first step is to do regional projects first which can become part of the spine of a real national HSR system.  On the west coast (assuming California's HSR goes on as planned) there's little reason, given the terrain involved, to build HSR from Portland to the Bay Area/Sacramento, but from the Bay Area/Sacramento and from Eugene to Vancouver BC make sense to build now.

By the time those projects are done (10-20 years) maybe there will be enough demand to make connecting them worthwhile, but until we have those parts done spending the limited resources available to connect from Eugene to Redding is putting the cart before the horse.  There are tracks there, and making the Cascades and PNW HSR plans a reality would make a train from Seattle to LA faster and more reliable for a big part of the trip, even if it has to slow down between SAC and Eugene to traditional speeds.

The same can be done by upgrading Albany to NYC to benefit trains from Montreal to NYC as well as Buffalo/Rochester/Syracuse to NYC as those trainsets are replaced.  Maybe the entire line isn't high speed, but making some segments still can help improve all the trains that cross those tracks.
 
2013-04-11 10:58:57 AM

davidphogan: By the time those projects are done (10-20 years) maybe there will be enough demand to make connecting them worthwhile, but until we have those parts done spending the limited resources available to connect from Eugene to Redding is putting the cart before the horse.


I think the emphasis should be connecting the coasts. Travel up and down the coasts already exists and can be upgraded in the future. But connecting, say, New York, Philadelphia, Columbus, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Kansas City, Denver, Salt Lake City, Reno, Sacramento, San Francisco would be a good start. At 200mph, that's 15 hours (overnight, basically) coast-to coast. Still pretty competitive with airplanes, which are 8-9 hours (plus groping time).

From the little bit of research (::ahem::one google search::ahem::), high speed rail costs around $50 million per mile. Figure about 3000 miles for that route, so... carry the two... 150 Billion dollars. Or roughly 1/4 the yearly Defense budget of the USA. (Of course, the rail wouldn't be completed in a single year, so that gets spread out over a decade or more.)

Why can't we shoot people with last year's rifles? Why can't we drop bombs from last year's bombers? Why can't we lower the defense budget a measly 2.5% for 10 years and actually build some useful infrastructure in this country, instead of destroying some other country's??

::sigh::
 
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