Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Another train of thought

Expand Messages
  • Andrew Dawson
    This list might enjoy this as well. Till later, Andrew wallyworld wrote: RE: HIGH-SPEED RAIL SERVICE Posted: 28 Oct 2003, 08:43:33 AM Location: North Carolina
    Message 1 of 11 , Dec 3, 2003
    • 0 Attachment
      This list might enjoy this as well. Till later, Andrew

      wallyworld wrote:
      RE: HIGH-SPEED RAIL SERVICE
      Posted: 28 Oct 2003, 08:43:33 AM
      Location: North Carolina

      By the reply to my post I understand some clarfication is due. I am not
      opposed to HSR. However it is not a matter of simply being negitive or
      thinking within a box when you take an objective survey of the political and
      social barriers to begin a national consensus toward funding such a massive
      project out of the public purse . Especially when that purse is not only
      empty, it will shortly contain an estimated 500 billion dollars worth of
      IOU's. Rather than being in a box or being negitive I think a better term is
      being realistic. I am as idealistic as the next person, and can appreciate
      the great engineering projects of past centuries but none of these
      attributes contributes one iota to getting a project off the ground.
      Appealing to either past glories or idealism won't get two cents out of
      every gallon of gas sold. The simple math of investing billions of dollars
      to travel 16 hours coast to coast when I am loathe to do the same now in
      much less time does not appeal to the vast majority who have less and less
      time to devote to a personal life let alone killing even more time on a
      train while paying even more to use my car.

      America right now has a shortage of both idealism and a real appreciation of
      history, let alone knowing who the current speaker of the house is. You need
      to work from the bottom up. If we saw only a fifteen second spot on tv that
      showed a TGV flying past at warp speed, a shot of hundreds of frustrated
      airline passengers in line waiting to be frisked, another shot of expressway
      traffic stalled while a narrator asks " Think theres no alternative? Join
      us. WWW. Alternative." Or a shot of horrific hurricanes, devasting wildfires
      and droughts with the narrator asking " Think there's no alternative? Join
      us in a cleaner world with less pollution at WWW. Alternative."

      Forget about economics, studies or patriotic appeals. This is America-you
      have to sell, sell sell. Get an alliance going with the railroads ( they
      would like electrification), passenger groups etc to fund an ad campaign.
      Use a website to build petitions, activist groups, etc. I would be willing
      to contribute to some reasonably realistic effort toward a sorely needed
      national dialog as would others as evidenced by these posts. Until we have
      the leadership capable of focusing a vision toward a goal, all of this
      discussion is like pouring from the empty into the void. You need to bypass
      professional politics and do an end run on the electorate and have the
      numbers to drive decisions from them that you want.

      The railroads are their own worst enemy. See the Union Pacific ad running
      now? Some old grizzled voice says they have been around forever while a
      freight train the public has no relation to runs through a barren landscape.
      Railroads are so far below the public radar, the only exposure they receive
      is negitive. A train hits a car. A train derails. You sit in stalled traffic
      behind gates down for a train. Their biggest public relations effort while
      laudable is another negitive- Operation Lifesaver -how not to be killed by a
      train. They desperately need a more positive image but they too are in the
      19th century in their thinking. Until they realise the public are their
      customers who happen to also make shipping decisions in their employment
      which provides them profit, they will remain stuck with a shrinking range of
      services and commodities to ship. My point is until a product is agressively
      marketed directly to the public in a positive manner, you are relying soley
      on fate, politicians and fortune cookies.

      http://www.trains.com/community/forum/topic.asp?page=3&TOPIC_ID=7894

      _________________________________________________________________
      The new MSN 8: advanced junk mail protection and 2 months FREE*
      http://join.msn.com/?page=dept/bcomm&pgmarket=en-ca&RU=http%3a%2f%2fjoin.msn.com%2f%3fpage%3dmisc%2fspecialoffers%26pgmarket%3den-ca
    • Mike Harrington
      Aircraft really only make money when they are flying in the stratosphere at subsonic speeds. No one who advocates high-speed rail is proposing traveling coast
      Message 2 of 11 , Dec 3, 2003
      • 0 Attachment
        Aircraft really only make money when they are flying in the stratosphere at
        subsonic speeds. No one who advocates high-speed rail is proposing
        traveling coast to coast with high speed rail. As long as oil is still
        cheap, those markets are better left to airlines. When energy prices
        increase, transcontinental and intercontinental travel will be the hardest
        hit in the long run.

        But Houston-Austin or Milwaukee-St.Louis are not intercontinental markets,
        and the Interstate Highways in major corridors get slower every year due to
        increased traffic. The only reason airlines can serve corridors, as opposed
        to transcontinental markets, is that they are heavily subsidized by
        government in Canada and the US, and government also ensures that airlines
        like Southwest have no serious competition in those corridors. Ninety
        percent of the fuel used by a jet between Houston and Dallas is used in
        takeoff. It doesn't take much of an increase in the price of oil to make
        that cost per mile prohibitive, so the first thing to disappear will be
        short-haul flights, followed by, not some, but all airline flights.

        These are corridors, like Paris to Lyon and Paris to Brussels, where over
        90% of the tickets are sold by high-speed train. Or the more recent
        Marseille-Paris train, which was 60% last year and 75% this year.

        Which service do you think will be running in 2020, TGV Paris-Marseille or
        Southwest Air from Houston to Dallas? The book Limits to Growth was
        essentially correct, it's just that now we know that it will happen sooner
        than thought.

        The one good piece of news in all this is that we'll only have to listen to
        late-20th century economics for a few more years.
      • Andrew Dawson
        ... Coast to coast would be expensive, but funny enough during the energy crisis of the 1970 s there were some big electrification proposals. The Santa Fe from
        Message 3 of 11 , Dec 3, 2003
        • 0 Attachment
          Mike Harrington wrote:
          >Reply-To: carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com
          >To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
          >Subject: Re: [carfree_cities] Another train of thought
          >Date: Wed, 3 Dec 2003 07:41:39 -0600
          >
          >Aircraft really only make money when they are flying in the stratosphere at
          >subsonic speeds. No one who advocates high-speed rail is proposing
          >traveling coast to coast with high speed rail. As long as oil is still
          >cheap, those markets are better left to airlines. When energy prices
          >increase, transcontinental and intercontinental travel will be the hardest
          >hit in the long run.

          Coast to coast would be expensive, but funny enough during the energy crisis
          of the 1970's there were some big electrification proposals. The Santa Fe
          from Los Angeles to Chicago, Illinois Central from Chicago to New Orleans
          and Southern Pacific from L.A. to El Paso.

          For Southern Pacific this would have been like reviving Pacific Electric and
          extending it to Texas.

          Also I've heard that, even GM in the 70's did studies and found 25kv
          electrification to be 30 - 60% cheaper to run than diesel operation.

          >But Houston-Austin or Milwaukee-St.Louis are not intercontinental markets,
          >and the Interstate Highways in major corridors get slower every year due to
          >increased traffic. The only reason airlines can serve corridors, as
          >opposed
          >to transcontinental markets, is that they are heavily subsidized by
          >government in Canada and the US, and government also ensures that airlines
          >like Southwest have no serious competition in those corridors. Ninety
          >percent of the fuel used by a jet between Houston and Dallas is used in
          >takeoff. It doesn't take much of an increase in the price of oil to make
          >that cost per mile prohibitive, so the first thing to disappear will be
          >short-haul flights, followed by, not some, but all airline flights.
          >
          >These are corridors, like Paris to Lyon and Paris to Brussels, where over
          >90% of the tickets are sold by high-speed train. Or the more recent
          >Marseille-Paris train, which was 60% last year and 75% this year.
          >
          >Which service do you think will be running in 2020, TGV Paris-Marseille or
          >Southwest Air from Houston to Dallas? The book Limits to Growth was
          >essentially correct, it's just that now we know that it will happen sooner
          >than thought.
          >
          >The one good piece of news in all this is that we'll only have to listen to
          >late-20th century economics for a few more years.

          Great, now we just need the re$ource$ allocated for infrastructure and
          rolling stock.
          Till later, Andrew Dawson

          _________________________________________________________________
          Tired of spam? Get advanced junk mail protection with MSN 8.
          http://join.msn.com/?page=dept/bcomm&pgmarket=en-ca&RU=http%3a%2f%2fjoin.msn.com%2f%3fpage%3dmisc%2fspecialoffers%26pgmarket%3den-ca
        • Chris Loyd
          ... at ... What happened in the 1970s, to airline travel? ... to ... opposed ... Rural Interstate congestion is becoming more noticable, year by year. Traffic
          Message 4 of 11 , Dec 5, 2003
          • 0 Attachment
            > Aircraft really only make money when they are flying in the stratosphere
            at
            > subsonic speeds. No one who advocates high-speed rail is proposing
            > traveling coast to coast with high speed rail. As long as oil is still
            > cheap, those markets are better left to airlines. When energy prices
            > increase, transcontinental and intercontinental travel will be the hardest
            > hit in the long run.

            What happened in the 1970s, to airline travel?

            > But Houston-Austin or Milwaukee-St.Louis are not intercontinental markets,
            > and the Interstate Highways in major corridors get slower every year due
            to
            > increased traffic. The only reason airlines can serve corridors, as
            opposed
            > to transcontinental markets, is that they are heavily subsidized by
            > government in Canada and the US, and government also ensures that airlines
            > like Southwest have no serious competition in those corridors. Ninety
            > percent of the fuel used by a jet between Houston and Dallas is used in
            > takeoff. It doesn't take much of an increase in the price of oil to make
            > that cost per mile prohibitive, so the first thing to disappear will be
            > short-haul flights, followed by, not some, but all airline flights.

            Rural Interstate congestion is becoming more noticable, year by year.
            Traffic between San Antonio and Houston has inched down the speeds since I
            started going to school in Houston. It used to flow in the upper 80s,
            around 90 or so. Now, it just hangs around 85, with occasional drops to 10
            during accidents. Traffic at night has gotten especially worse, with speeds
            dropping from the mid-70s down to the mid-60s. Driving from Houston to
            Austin is even worse, thanks to a stoplight or two on TX-71.

            I used to fly back-n-forth between Houston and San Antonio on Southwest. It
            would take about 25 minutes by bus to get from UH to Hobby Airport, arrive
            two hours early to get on boarding group A, then a forty minute flight, and
            a twenty minute drive home. About three-and-a-half hours. If you get train
            speeds to average over 100 mph along I-10, and not need to arrive hours
            earlier to be screened and herded, and sell the tickets for less than $50
            per person, you got yourself a deal.

            > Which service do you think will be running in 2020, TGV Paris-Marseille or
            > Southwest Air from Houston to Dallas? The book Limits to Growth was
            > essentially correct, it's just that now we know that it will happen sooner
            > than thought.

            In 2020? Neither. More like an interurban-style train, because the market
            won't that big for intersate travel, especially between Houston and Dallas.
            Southwest will probably be either bankrupt or nationalized. The freeway
            pavement will still exist, though its condition will be a mystery.

            > The one good piece of news in all this is that we'll only have to listen
            to
            > late-20th century economics for a few more years.

            You don't need to listen to them now, or ever.
          • dubluth
            ... But won t it be nice when the 19th century economists come back to life?.
            Message 5 of 11 , Dec 5, 2003
            • 0 Attachment
              --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "Chris Loyd" <tybalt@p...>
              wrote:

              > > The one good piece of news in all this is that we'll only have to
              > > listen
              > > to late-20th century economics for a few more years.
              >
              > You don't need to listen to them now, or ever.


              But won't it be nice when the 19th century economists come back to
              life?.
            • Chris Loyd
              Message 6 of 11 , Dec 6, 2003
              • 0 Attachment
                <<You don't need to listen to [20th century economics] now, or ever.

                > But won't it be nice when the 19th century economists come back to
                > life?.>>

                As zombies? Euww.

                Seriously, what are you talking about, and how does it bare on
                carfreedom/resource-depletion/etc?
              • dubluth
                There seems to be some advocacy for more primitive thinking. I don t know if it would be in line with any 19th century economists -- I suspect that most of
                Message 7 of 11 , Dec 6, 2003
                • 0 Attachment
                  There seems to be some advocacy for more primitive thinking. I don't
                  know if it would be in line with any 19th century economists -- I
                  suspect that most of them would want to use their critical faculties.
                  At least they wouldn't know about the tools, techniques and
                  conclusions that were to develop in the 20th century.

                  I was indulging in a bit of gently mockery those on the list I regard
                  as taking an anti-science stance. I apologize for being too vague.

                  I should have sympathy for those who say that economics is not science
                  -- that was the position I maintained through an early period in my
                  studies. After learning more about foundations and techniques, I
                  couldn't begrudge the status of scientist to economists, even though
                  their conclusions seemed to have been reached without taking my
                  personal interests or biases into consideration.

                  Much of what I post on this list are hunches, impressions, and
                  conclusions based on private reasoning. They aren't the results of my
                  empirical research. One way to address something I post is to find
                  flaws in the material.

                  I know some people have a special fascination with an end to cheap
                  energy. I don't share that fear. I've indicated before why I think
                  it is a misdirection of concern. It is archived.

                  Others have pointed out that the motivation for car-free cities isn't
                  energy. I seriously doubt that it _could_ be a motivation. Car-fee
                  cities are a positive thing -- preferable to the status-quo. They
                  aren't something that we had better learn to like because steel wheels
                  on steel rail have a low rolling resistance.

                  Bill Carr

                  --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "Chris Loyd" <tybalt@p...>
                  wrote:
                  > <<You don't need to listen to [20th century economics] now, or ever.
                  >
                  > > But won't it be nice when the 19th century economists come back to
                  > > life?.>>
                  >
                  > As zombies? Euww.
                  >
                  > Seriously, what are you talking about, and how does it bare on
                  > carfreedom/resource-depletion/etc?
                • Chris Loyd
                  ... Oh! No worries! ... Nothing wrong with posting based on intuition. Especially regarding carfree cities -- they are so few in number, so small in scale
                  Message 8 of 11 , Dec 7, 2003
                  • 0 Attachment
                    > I was indulging in a bit of gently mockery those on the list I regard
                    > as taking an anti-science stance. I apologize for being too vague.

                    Oh! No worries!

                    > Much of what I post on this list are hunches, impressions, and
                    > conclusions based on private reasoning. They aren't the results of my
                    > empirical research. One way to address something I post is to find
                    > flaws in the material.

                    Nothing wrong with posting based on intuition. Especially regarding carfree
                    cities -- they are so few in number, so small in scale (meaning: impact), so
                    unlived-in by most of the posters here -- that there is little empiricism to
                    go by. Even the numbers presented differ a lot, because it is sometimes
                    impossible to know such things as number of years left until oil is
                    "impractical". Whatever that means.

                    > I know some people have a special fascination with an end to cheap
                    > energy. I don't share that fear. I've indicated before why I think
                    > it is a misdirection of concern. It is archived.

                    'Nuff said there.

                    > Others have pointed out that the motivation for car-free cities isn't
                    > energy. I seriously doubt that it _could_ be a motivation. Car-fee
                    > cities are a positive thing -- preferable to the status-quo. They
                    > aren't something that we had better learn to like because steel wheels
                    > on steel rail have a low rolling resistance.

                    Agreed. Carfree cities are desirable, even if oil supplies are effectively
                    infinite. The problem with cars remains largely one of geometry and
                    velocity.
                  • Mike Harrington
                    Oil supplies effectively infinite? You think that, if it gives you comfort. ... From: Chris Loyd Carfree cities are desirable, even if
                    Message 9 of 11 , Dec 7, 2003
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Oil supplies effectively infinite? You think that, if it gives you comfort.

                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: "Chris Loyd" <tybalt@...>
                      Carfree cities are desirable, even if oil supplies are effectively
                      > infinite.
                    • Bijan Soleymani
                      ... The idea is that even *if* oil reserves were infinite carfree cities would still be a better solution for human life. Bijan -- Bijan Soleymani
                      Message 10 of 11 , Dec 7, 2003
                      • 0 Attachment
                        "Mike Harrington" <mike@...> writes:

                        > Oil supplies effectively infinite? You think that, if it gives you comfort.

                        The idea is that even *if* oil reserves were infinite carfree cities
                        would still be a better solution for human life.

                        Bijan
                        --
                        Bijan Soleymani <bijan@...>
                        http://www.crasseux.com
                      • Mike Harrington
                        Preachin to the choir with me. ... From: Bijan Soleymani
                        Message 11 of 11 , Dec 7, 2003
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Preachin' to the choir with me.

                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: "Bijan Soleymani" <bijan@...>


                          > The idea is that even *if* oil reserves were infinite carfree cities
                          > would still be a better solution for human life.
                        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.