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Re: [carfree_cities] Rail Travel Advantages

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  • Philip Riggs
    ... I think this is currently a relevant and important topic that really needs to be emphasized due to the recent increase in news coverage of aging city
    Message 1 of 6 , Jul 21 6:58 PM
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      On Jul 21, 2007, at 4:33 PM, Jim Gagnepain wrote:

      > 9 Railroad tracks are cheaper and easier to maintain than roads and
      > highways.

      I think this is currently a relevant and important topic that really
      needs to be emphasized due to the recent increase in news coverage of
      aging city infrastructures (and how to pay for improvements and
      replacements) brought about by the New York steam pipe explosion.
      City planners really need to be sold on this idea and citizens need
      to be more informed about the cost of road infrastructure compared to
      rail. Perhaps we could put together a form letter backed by studies
      that can be customized for local situations to be sent to city and
      regional planners? I would be happy to get the ball rolling, but just
      don't have the information or knowledge that I know many on this list
      have.



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Erik Sandblom
      ... need ... to ... studies ... and ... just ... list ... There s an easy way to illuminate how space-efficient rail is. Look at the timetable, look at how
      Message 2 of 6 , Jul 22 10:28 AM
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        --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, Philip Riggs <priggs@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > City planners really need to be sold on this idea and citizens
        need
        > to be more informed about the cost of road infrastructure compared
        to
        > rail. Perhaps we could put together a form letter backed by
        studies
        > that can be customized for local situations to be sent to city
        and
        > regional planners? I would be happy to get the ball rolling, but
        just
        > don't have the information or knowledge that I know many on this
        list
        > have.


        There's an easy way to illuminate how space-efficient rail is. Look
        at the timetable, look at how many coaches are being used in each
        train and find out how many seats are in each train.

        For instance, Stockholm has two branches of commuter trains. Each
        branch has a train every 15 minutes. The trains are run with two
        articulated cars, so there are 740 seats in each train. The two
        branches run on the same two tracks over about ten kilometres.
        http://sl.se/templates/Page.aspx?id=1638

        So that section of double track takes eight trains an hour, for a
        total of 5920 seats per hour in each direction. Plus a number of
        intercity trains.

        In rush hour, all the seats can be assumed to be full, and
        automobile occupancy can be expected to average between one and two
        per car. A highway can be expected to take one car every two seconds
        per lane (the two-second rule says to stay two seconds behind the car
        in front of you).

        So the highway needs between four and eight lanes to reach the
        capacity of the commuter trains on double track, not counting the
        intercity trains.

        Now assume that the tracks are dedicated to commuter trains only.
        Now we can run a train every five minutes, that's twelve trains per
        hour or 12 x 740 = 8880 seats per hour. For that capacity you need
        between six and ten lanes of highway. And a lot of parking.

        Mr Crawford has some examples like this in the book.

        Keeping an eye out for terms like "bloomberg" and "congestion" might
        also yield useful factoids.

        Erik Sandblom
      • J.H. Crawford
        ... Actually, the comparison is even more favorable than that. Quoting myself in Carfree Cities: A single metro track can move more than 50,000 seated
        Message 3 of 6 , Jul 22 3:27 PM
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          Erik Sandblom said:

          >Now assume that the tracks are dedicated to commuter trains only.
          >Now we can run a train every five minutes, that's twelve trains per
          >hour or 12 x 740 = 8880 seats per hour. For that capacity you need
          >between six and ten lanes of highway. And a lot of parking.

          Actually, the comparison is even more favorable than that.
          Quoting myself in Carfree Cities:

          A single metro track can move more than 50,000 seated passengers per hour. This is derived as follows:

          Minimum headway (minutes) 1
          Trains/hr 60
          Cars/train 12
          Seats/car 80
          Seated passengers/hr 60 x 12 x 80 = 57,600

          I suspect that some metro lines in Tokyo operate far
          above this figure during rush hour. They LITERALLY
          pack them in. My numbers are based on seated passengers.

          Even Amtrak manages to run 20 trains an hour in each
          direction through the Hudson tunnels.

          It's only at extreme traffic levels that more than
          two tracks are needed to carry all passenger traffic.

          Most US freight railroads operate these days with
          single-track main lines and still manage to move
          37% of the nation's ton-miles on such skimpy
          infrastructure. (These lines were once all two-track
          territory. The New York Central was, I believe, once
          four tracks between New York and Buffalo. If I'm not
          mistaken, quite a lot of this is single-track territory
          today. Signaling and control improvements have allowed
          extremely intensive exploitation of track.

          Regards,






          ----- ### -----
          J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
          mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
        • Erik Sandblom
          ... per ... need ... per hour. For the general public, a number like 50 000 passengers per hour is hard to relate to. Many people will be unaware of what a big
          Message 4 of 6 , Jul 22 5:21 PM
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            --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "J.H. Crawford" <mailbox@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > Erik Sandblom said:
            >
            > >Now assume that the tracks are dedicated to commuter trains only.
            > >Now we can run a train every five minutes, that's twelve trains
            per
            > >hour or 12 x 740 = 8880 seats per hour. For that capacity you
            need
            > >between six and ten lanes of highway. And a lot of parking.
            >
            > Actually, the comparison is even more favorable than that.
            > Quoting myself in Carfree Cities:
            >
            > A single metro track can move more than 50,000 seated passengers
            per hour.


            For the general public, a number like 50 000 passengers per hour is
            hard to relate to. Many people will be unaware of what a big
            contribution public transport is already making to their own cities,
            here and now. To make that clear, it is very helpful to take the
            existing timetable as a starting point. Anyone can verify a
            timetable, and finding out the seating capacity of a train is not
            very hard.

            Together with the two-second rule, it becomes very easy to explain
            that public transport is already doing the work of several freeway
            lanes, and can be expanded to do more. I often see a fatalistic
            attitude that more freeways are somehow inevitable, and the timetable-
            and-seats approach is a very effective eye-opening medicine against
            that fatalism.

            Once eyes are open, you can show how huge, crazy and monstrous the
            freeway projects most cities are being subjected to, really are. And
            how significant and how real the choice really is. Otherwise people
            will just say "it will never work in our city, it only works in
            Exotic and Faraway Places because they are Different".

            Erik Sandblom
          • Warren Weisman
            The other day I was cycling through town (Eugene, Oregon) and a train came through town carrying 40-foot van trailers from tractor-trailers on flatcars.
            Message 5 of 6 , Jul 22 7:21 PM
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              The other day I was cycling through town (Eugene,
              Oregon) and a train came through town carrying 40-foot
              van trailers from tractor-trailers on flatcars.
              Curiosity got the best of me, so I stopped and counted
              the trailers. Just how many tractor-trailers can a
              train with two engines do the work of? There was 120
              trailers. That is: one hundred and twenty.


              --- Erik Sandblom <eriksandblom@...> wrote:

              > --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "J.H.
              > Crawford" <mailbox@...>
              > wrote:
              > >
              > > Erik Sandblom said:
              > >
              > > >Now assume that the tracks are dedicated to
              > commuter trains only.
              > > >Now we can run a train every five minutes, that's
              > twelve trains
              > per
              > > >hour or 12 x 740 = 8880 seats per hour. For that
              > capacity you
              > need
              > > >between six and ten lanes of highway. And a lot
              > of parking.
              > >
              > > Actually, the comparison is even more favorable
              > than that.
              > > Quoting myself in Carfree Cities:
              > >
              > > A single metro track can move more than 50,000
              > seated passengers
              > per hour.
              >
              >
              > For the general public, a number like 50 000
              > passengers per hour is
              > hard to relate to. Many people will be unaware of
              > what a big
              > contribution public transport is already making to
              > their own cities,
              > here and now. To make that clear, it is very helpful
              > to take the
              > existing timetable as a starting point. Anyone can
              > verify a
              > timetable, and finding out the seating capacity of a
              > train is not
              > very hard.
              >
              > Together with the two-second rule, it becomes very
              > easy to explain
              > that public transport is already doing the work of
              > several freeway
              > lanes, and can be expanded to do more. I often see a
              > fatalistic
              > attitude that more freeways are somehow inevitable,
              > and the timetable-
              > and-seats approach is a very effective eye-opening
              > medicine against
              > that fatalism.
              >
              > Once eyes are open, you can show how huge, crazy and
              > monstrous the
              > freeway projects most cities are being subjected to,
              > really are. And
              > how significant and how real the choice really is.
              > Otherwise people
              > will just say "it will never work in our city, it
              > only works in
              > Exotic and Faraway Places because they are
              > Different".
              >
              > Erik Sandblom
              >
              >




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