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Re: [carfree_cities] Mineta on Amtrak

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  • The Wogster
    ... David Gunn, is good when a system is being patched together while governments are deciding what to do with it, he used to run the local transit system
    Message 1 of 7 , Nov 18, 2005
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      Andrew Dawson wrote:

      >Robert Madison wrote:
      >
      >
      >>I know there's not much of a consensus on this list regarding whether
      >>long-distance trains are good or bad, but be clear on one thing: Mineta
      >>wants nothing to do with Amtrak. The administration talks about
      >>promoting rail corridors, but have yet to put any money where their
      >>mouth is.
      >>
      >>
      >
      >Just look at how Amtrak's CEO David Gunn was fired recently, don't tell me
      >that wasn't a political thing.
      >
      >
      David Gunn, is good when a system is being patched together while
      governments are deciding what to do with it, he used to run the local
      transit system (TTC - Toronto, ON, CA), when more senior levels of
      government were cutting back the funding, he was able to keep it patched
      together, by rebuilding then 15 year old buses, and 30 year old street
      cars, to give them a little longer life. If there is efficiency to be
      found, Mr. Gunn is the one to do it. Of course once the city decided it
      needed to either complain louder, ask for a new deal or fund the capital
      projects itself, then it was time for Mr. Gunn to move on.

      Amtrak was a disaster, and still is, it's heavy rail, and it needs money
      to match, the big problem for Amtrak (our Via Rail is in the same boat),
      is that it is directly subsidized, and needs to compete with other modes
      of transportation that are indirectly subsidized. For example, I have
      heard that for the road users to pay their share of costs, motor fuel
      would be subject to anything from $5/US Gallon to $5/Litre in taxes.
      If the feds or provinces/states owned the tracks, and local governments
      owned the stations, then heavy rail would be on par with road users.

      Amtrak also needs light rail, where smaller cars can be used on lighter
      traveled lines to reduce costs.

      W
    • Todd Edelman
      The Wogster wrote: For example, I have ... YES, related to this whole true costs question in the area of airline travel vs. rail travel,
      Message 2 of 7 , Nov 18, 2005
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        The Wogster <wogsterca@...> wrote: >For example, I have
        >heard that for the road users to pay their share of costs, motor fuel
        >would be subject to anything from $5/US Gallon to $5/Litre in taxes.

        YES, related to this whole true costs question in the area of airline travel vs. rail travel, if airlines paid the same tax on fuel that car drivers CURRENTLY pay, a flight from UK to Southeast Asia and back would cost about EUR 1000 in fuel tax per passenger...

        Todd. GIF



        ---------------------------------
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        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Andrew Dawson
        ... Hey David Gunn has done dumb things too, he was the one who got rid of the trolley buses in Toronto and he eliminated Amtrak s express business. ... I m
        Message 3 of 7 , Nov 18, 2005
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          The Wogster wrote:
          > >Robert Madison wrote:
          > >
          > >>I know there's not much of a consensus on this list regarding whether
          > >>long-distance trains are good or bad, but be clear on one thing: Mineta
          > >>wants nothing to do with Amtrak. The administration talks about
          > >>promoting rail corridors, but have yet to put any money where their
          > >>mouth is.
          > >
          > >Just look at how Amtrak's CEO David Gunn was fired recently, don't tell
          >me
          > >that wasn't a political thing.
          > >
          > >
          >David Gunn, is good when a system is being patched together while
          >governments are deciding what to do with it, he used to run the local
          >transit system (TTC - Toronto, ON, CA), when more senior levels of
          >government were cutting back the funding, he was able to keep it patched
          >together, by rebuilding then 15 year old buses, and 30 year old street
          >cars, to give them a little longer life. If there is efficiency to be
          >found, Mr. Gunn is the one to do it. Of course once the city decided it
          >needed to either complain louder, ask for a new deal or fund the capital
          >projects itself, then it was time for Mr. Gunn to move on.

          Hey David Gunn has done dumb things too, he was the one who got rid of the
          trolley buses in Toronto and he eliminated Amtrak's express business.

          >Amtrak was a disaster, and still is, it's heavy rail, and it needs money
          >to match, the big problem for Amtrak (our Via Rail is in the same boat),
          >is that it is directly subsidized, and needs to compete with other modes
          >of transportation that are indirectly subsidized. For example, I have
          >heard that for the road users to pay their share of costs, motor fuel
          >would be subject to anything from $5/US Gallon to $5/Litre in taxes.
          >If the feds or provinces/states owned the tracks, and local governments
          >owned the stations, then heavy rail would be on par with road users.

          I'm Canadian too(I live in Montreal). Just look at how the Canadian National
          Railway was privatized. It should have been done in a British Rail style(aka
          open access). Even then look at how all CNR track on PEI and Newfoundland
          was ripped up(with NF the province was given $800 million in highway funds
          by the federal government for lifting the track). Now the lines are part of
          the Trans Canada trail. These lines were crown property, but they weren't
          treated as such.

          >Amtrak also needs light rail, where smaller cars can be used on lighter
          >traveled lines to reduce costs.

          http://www.coloradorailcar.com/dmuhome.htm

          Take care, Andrew
        • Robert Madison
          ... No, Gunn s predecessor got rid of the trolleys. The last TTC trolley buses were discontinued in 1993, Gunn came in around 1995. ... He did so because, at
          Message 4 of 7 , Nov 18, 2005
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            on 2005-Nov-18 10:01 Andrew Dawson said the following:

            >The Wogster wrote:
            >
            >
            >>>Robert Madison wrote:
            >>>
            >>>
            >>>
            >>>>I know there's not much of a consensus on this list regarding whether
            >>>>long-distance trains are good or bad, but be clear on one thing: Mineta
            >>>>wants nothing to do with Amtrak. The administration talks about
            >>>>promoting rail corridors, but have yet to put any money where their
            >>>>mouth is.
            >>>>
            >>>>
            >>>Just look at how Amtrak's CEO David Gunn was fired recently, don't tell
            >>>
            >>>
            >>me
            >>
            >>
            >>>that wasn't a political thing.
            >>>
            >>>
            >>>
            >>>
            >>David Gunn, is good when a system is being patched together while
            >>governments are deciding what to do with it, he used to run the local
            >>transit system (TTC - Toronto, ON, CA), when more senior levels of
            >>government were cutting back the funding, he was able to keep it patched
            >>together, by rebuilding then 15 year old buses, and 30 year old street
            >>cars, to give them a little longer life. If there is efficiency to be
            >>found, Mr. Gunn is the one to do it. Of course once the city decided it
            >>needed to either complain louder, ask for a new deal or fund the capital
            >>projects itself, then it was time for Mr. Gunn to move on.
            >>
            >>
            >
            >Hey David Gunn has done dumb things too, he was the one who got rid of the
            >trolley buses in Toronto
            >

            No, Gunn's predecessor got rid of the trolleys. The last TTC trolley
            buses were discontinued in 1993, Gunn came in around 1995.

            > and he eliminated Amtrak's express business.
            >
            >

            He did so because, at the time, the express business was doing the
            company more harm than good. While a healthy, properly functioning
            Amtrak should be able to handle mail & express without any problem, Gunn
            (correctly) realized that, at the time, M&E was only serving to delay
            passenger trains while cars were switched in and out of consists en
            route. Plus, there wasn't any real certainty that express was bringing
            in more in revenue than it was costing to operate.

            >>Amtrak also needs light rail, where smaller cars can be used on lighter
            >>traveled lines to reduce costs.
            >>
            >>
            >
            >http://www.coloradorailcar.com/dmuhome.htm
            >
            >Take care, Andrew
            >
            >

            Part of Amtrak's short-range plan, under Gunn, was to acquire some
            DMU-type car for its shorter routes. Unfortunately, since congress has
            been unwilling to fund any more than basic, limp-along operations, there
            was no money available to make those purchases.

            --
            Robert Madison
            Milwaukee, WI

            http://community.webshots.com/user/rmadisonwi
            This message was composed using Mozilla Thunderbird


            "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
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