Rail roads and their tracks.

   / Rail roads and their tracks. #3,211  
I've read that a major limitation to passenger traffic here is that Amtrak rents access on freight rails that aren't designed or maintained for high speed, and also the scheduled unit trains can have priority at choke points - bridges etc.

Also US spec passenger cars are heavy, intentionally designed to survive a crash with a freight train.

Dedicated passenger service overseas can be designed and scheduled for much higher speed, without these limitations.
 
   / Rail roads and their tracks. #3,212  
Amtrak, underfunded and poorly managed.
Most other countries understand the importance of commuter and high speed rail between city hubs. Here the government looks at this, like the post office as a money loser rather than a service to the public.

I have not been on Amtrak in more than 10 years, since it became cheaper to fly most of the time. In Europe, Asia, Africa, India, Taking trains is the norm and it's relatively cheap and fast.

We have a lot of rail here and cost is super high to maintain, but do it correctly and the system attracts ticket sales, do it poorly and here we are...

We will be on NJ transit tomorrow, this rail has been given so much money an it just disappears.
Oversight=overlook :-(

Now they are spending $400 million to move offices, with plenty of parking spaces allocated since their employees know better than to take NJT train/bus anywhere.

It's $16 each way and always late or the train breaks down.
It is rare for them to not have a major issue during the week stranding thousands of riders.

We have SEPTA here in Southeast PA. My son took his girlfriend up to the train platform in Wawa to get back to Temple in Philly. The train actually left 2 minutes early. When she arrived the train was gone.
My son reported it to SEPTA and noticed that there were thousands of other reports of trains leaving/arriving at the wrong times this year.
 
   / Rail roads and their tracks. #3,213  
Yesterday afternoon on the way to walk the dog:
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20231111_163428.jpg
 
   / Rail roads and their tracks. #3,215  
A lightweight article, then followed by many insightful comments:

 
   / Rail roads and their tracks. #3,216  
A lightweight article, then followed by many insightful comments:

Like this “insightful” comment?

“I’d like to point out—as a way to bolster your already excellent argument, which, BRAVA—that trains could help us regain an awful lot of “me time.” My sister lives 1800 miles, or about 27 hours by train, away from me. Whenever I can take the train instead of a plane, I DO. The food is better, I can walk around freely, I’m not nickel-and-dimed to death, there’s plenty of foot room (I don’t even bother with a sleeper car because if you bring a blanket and pillow it’s perfectly comfortable to sleep in your seat!), and I can spend much of the trip chilling in the observation car with a book or my computer and latest piece of writing. There’s no internet—you’re completely unplugged. Sometimes you meet little kids who are tired of Disney movies and are totally down to learn cat’s cradle or how to fold a piece of simple origami and you get to have a very human, if passing, connection. If there was an actual train connection from Phoenix to Tucson do you know how often I’d be down there to check out museums and stuff? At least once a month. But no, the [f’ing] GM auto conspiracy had to happen, instead. (That’s a real thing and learning about it is literally what radicalized me into turning away from capitalism as an even remotely sane system of commerce.)”

Sounds like someone a little more into children and communism than we need to know about? I know I wouldn’t want to meet that guy on a train. :ROFLMAO:


Anyway, I think they tried HS railroads in California, but the French company they wanted to build it all took like a billion dollars and basically did nothing. Whoopsie daisies!

In my area, all you see are rail road tracks being closed and in some cases actually removed so beta males can ride bikes on their paved over road beds :ROFLMAO:

Most of the abandoned ones not paved over have 6” trees growing through them. It’s cause all our industrial base went to China, buuuut I guess this is off topic of rail roads, so.
 
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   / Rail roads and their tracks. #3,217  
Our local South Shore commuter train between here and Chicago gets cancelled quite often, too, it seems.

🙃
I took METRA commuter trains to/from Chicago from the (south) suburbs for 30 years, until COVID and then my retirement. Generally good, on time and reasonably priced (gubmet subsidized) service. There were occasional hickups, like when workers (not theirs) burnt down an old wooden bridge they were "repairing", or wires that got pulled down when CN had a derailment that really damaged the structures, or, or, or... but yes, stuff happens.
 
   / Rail roads and their tracks. #3,218  
I took METRA commuter trains to/from Chicago from the (south) suburbs for 30 years, until COVID and then my retirement. Generally good, on time and reasonably priced (gubmet subsidized) service. There were occasional hickups, like when workers (not theirs) burnt down an old wooden bridge they were "repairing", or wires that got pulled down when CN had a derailment that really damaged the structures, or, or, or... but yes, stuff happens.
Yep, Here's an article from 2012 and I'd venture to guess that is hasn't gotten any better.


Amtrak has been heavily subsidized for years, and you probably already vaguely knew that it operates at a loss, but the extent of the loss it takes on food -- $833 million over the last ten years, we learned in a congressional hearing Thursday -- is just staggering. For anybody who's ever boarded a train hungry and been forced to cough up the better part of $20 for a burger and a beer, it's terribly frustrating to learn that that sad $9.50 hamburger actually costs taxpayers more than $16. The main reasons government auditors found for that: Theft, waste, and bad oversight.

Amtrak has been trying to figure out how to break even on food since Congress required it to do so in 1981, and it's never been able to, The New York Times' Ron Nixon reports. That's because two different Amtrak departments oversee food service, and they haven't coordinated with one another to stop losses, largely from employee theft, Amtrak inspector general Ted Alves told the hearing of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Some 87 percent of that theft happens on long-haul routes, Alves said. In a report last year, he outlined some of the schemes, including shorting cash register sales, inflating first-class meal checks, selling non-Amtrak items, and plain old stealing. Amtrak has some plans in place to counter that theft and waste, including a loss-prevention unit, more cashless purchases, and a better inventory-tracking system. But so far, Amtrak's food service program still costs it, and by extension us, a fortune.
 
   / Rail roads and their tracks. #3,219  
Tourist train?
Yes, been on the steam one many times.

Old train tracks converted back into use and restored trains and cars.
The restoration yard is not too far from me, as well as the tracks.

We hear the steam train from our house, fun to hear.
Many people who live along the line decorate for the seasons.
 
   / Rail roads and their tracks. #3,220  
We took Amtrack from Burlington Iowa to Denver about 8 years ago. It was a horrible experience 3 or 4 hours late going to Denver and about 12 hours late coming back. Once they get behind they get bumped by freight trains and you sit on sidings for hour.

In spite of saying never again we rode the train from Macomb Illinois to Chicago and it was pretty much on time but it starts and ends all in Illinois.
 
 
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