Texas finally solving traffic

Discussion in 'The Red Room' started by Ancalagon, Feb 27, 2021.

  1. MikeH92467

    MikeH92467 RadioNinja

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    California took the money with all that being true. Rick Scott killed the Florida project when the rights of way were already in hand and the route on the I-4 corridor was already at grade. It truly was a "shovel ready" project. The claim was the maintenance would be too expensive...as if expanding interstates doesn't cost anything. Of course Republican opposition to high speed rail is nothing new. JEB! Bush simply ignored a consitutional amendment approved by voters requiring a bullet train. Of course, a private company run by Rick Scott's cronies is taking shape on the east coast. It's not just Scott taking care of his friends, he has an indirect financial interest. I told you not to get me started... :brood:
  2. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    It's a bit more complicated than that. Airlines have only ever been profitable when they've had massive government subsidies (and the same is kinda true of rail service). In fact, the only reason airlines were able to survive the wooly pre-war era is because of Air Mail. They were all like dotcom companies in the early 2000s that didn't really have an idea of what they should be, but since they were the "wave of the future" everybody kept pouring money into them and it was only when the USPS figured that they'd be a good way to send mail around, did any of them start to become financially viable.

    As for ground-based mass-transit systems, well, let's just take a few examples to discuss the problems there. Those of you who remember Judge Doom's plan in Who Framed Roger Rabbit to destroy the Red Car line in LA, might think that the film accurately described what happened (with some fudging about the toons and some minor bits). You'd be wrong. You see, it wasn't GM buying out the Red Car line that doomed it (which had actually happened at the time that the movie was set), the Red Car line was basically doomed from the moment it was created.

    A real estate developer in the early 1900s had bought up all this land outside of what was then LA. He got the land cheap because it was basically worthless. Nobody wanted to live that far outside of the city proper as the roads were kinda shit and cars weren't exactly much more than go-karts at that point. So, he hit on the idea that if there was trolley/bus service to the places where he owned land, people would want to move there. As long as he had plots of land to sell, he could afford to subsidize the trolley/bus lines. Once he sold all the plots of land, he couldn't afford to fund the trolleys/buses (and folks weren't willing to pay the necessary fares for it all to be profitable, because humans are assholes). So, he found some saps to take it off his hands. The saps were, in no particular order, the city of Los Angeles and GM. Neither group wanted the responsibility for the upkeep, so it eventually died and we now have a city that's basically the textbook definition of sprawl.

    Detroit, at one time, had such a world-leading mass transit system that they could build this
    [​IMG]

    And nobody really batted an eye. After all, if you're a city that's been labeled as "the Paris of the West" and an economic powerhouse of the world, you really should have something like that. The problem was that despite efforts by both Republican and Democratic governors to support and expand the mass-transit system, it was undercut by the actions of the state assembly. Can't possibly imagine who might have bought them off.

    Fast forward to the late twenty-teens and Nashville elects a mayor who says she's interested in expanding and improving the mass-transit system here, and suddenly, all kinds of money from the Koch brothers starts showing up in the coffers of Republican state assembly members. Next thing you know, the state government has passed a law saying that Nashville basically can't expand their mass-transit system without permission from the state government. Why? Because reasons. Nevermind the fact that Nashville is starting to have an air quality level equal to that of Los Angeles and that mass-transit would help solve this. Nope. Should I point out that the Koch brothers are fossil fuel folks?
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  3. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 high speed, low drag

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    I love rail travel but I don't know about a Japanese style bullet train. Nothing wrong with zipping around at insane speed, but I'd rather be in the air while doing it. Okay if the shit hits the fan in a train going hyper fast you might end up in the air for a brief period, but the landing might not be too pleasant. :bergman:
  4. MikeH92467

    MikeH92467 RadioNinja

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    Since bullet trains started running in 1964, there have been two derailments and zero fatalities.
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  5. Asyncritus

    Asyncritus Expert on everything

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    A funny thing about bullet trains: when you're inside them, they don't seem to be going fast.

    I have done a lot of rail travel in France. I can remember taking sleepers overnight from Paris to Marseille. Then along came the bullet trains, cutting the travel times on the main lines by a factor of 3 or 4. The first time I rode one, I was going from Lyon to Paris. It had always been a 6-hour ride, but the bullet train was supposed to do it in 2 hours. I was looking forward to the thill of going that fast in a train.

    We got going, and the train didn't speed up right away. At first I thought it was just because it had to get out of town, maybe navigate some curves or something. But nothing happened. The train never did speed up. It was just like an ordinary train. So I figured something had gone wrong, that it hadn't been able to run at full speed, and that I would get to Paris 4 hours later than I had expected.

    2 hours after we left Lyon, we were pulling into the Paris train station.

    They are so smooth that you just can't feel the speed.
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  6. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 high speed, low drag

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    A very commendable safety record.....in Japan. Here in America we would be hard pressed to keep Ricky Schroeder's "Silver Spoons" house train upright & functional. :(
    Yet another TV reference, here is how things would play out here on the home front:

    Af_trainwreck.jpg
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  7. MikeH92467

    MikeH92467 RadioNinja

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    So we’re inferior to the Japanese?
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  8. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 high speed, low drag

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    When it comes to train safety I would think so. And factor in going an insane speed? The fatalities would be off the scale. :( Then the finger pointing and lawsuits would of course begin immediately.
  9. Shirogayne

    Shirogayne 1/06 Was An Inside Job Formerly Important

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    Toldja OF was racist :diacanu:
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  10. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 high speed, low drag

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    You've been to Japan - they have their oddities - but would you rather have them running high speed trains or Americans? Just sayin'
    Yes I'm definitely an "America first!" guy but I'm not a fan of throwing caution completely to the wind.
  11. Tererun

    Tererun Troll princess and Magical Girl

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    I would have to go with OF on this one. The culture of Japan seems to be a lot different than the US when it comes to safety and preparedness. When you look at things like the fukashima meltdown and how they have preparations for tsunamis I would have to say they seem to have a much lower rate of failure than the US has because of their culture. I do not think the US would get away with just one reactor melting down if we were hit with problems like that because of all the corruption and how we half ass our regulations and safety. Just look at how people do not evacuate when hurricanes come because freedumb. Just look at americans when the water rushes out from the shoreline. It is not run for the high ground. It is fuck you warning siren I have a right to go look where the ocean went. It seems when the water goes away in the ocean around japan run for the hills. Americans would be like you cannot keep me away from that fukashima reactor. I do not see any radiation. You are trying to take away my freedoms, and Jesus will protect me if I am wrong.
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  12. Elwood

    Elwood I know what I'm about, son.

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    Two quick tidbits. First, I've been a life-long fan of everything to do with railroads. My home office looks like a Southern Railways and L&N Railroad gift shop threw up all over the room. I'm actually wearing this hat while typing this.

    Passenger service was already rapidly declining in the 1930's. WW2 gave it just enough of a shot in the arm to languish until the Feds stepped in with AmTrak. Secondly, fuel prices made all of AmTrak's services outside of the Northeast subsidy hell-holes. Until the last ten years or so, I could buy a one-way ticket on Southwest Airlines from BHM to MSY for a weekend getaway for $75. $150 per person to fly out on Friday evening and return Sunday evening. with a total of 90 minutes in the air. Or, I could spend $200 one-way on AmTrak's Crescent for a basic coach seat and spend 14 hours going from Birmingham to New Orleans, a trip I could drive in five hours.
  13. MikeH92467

    MikeH92467 RadioNinja

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    When you combine the fact that railroads don't give a shit about passenger traffic and there's a huge lobby doing everything possible to undermine it, it's no wonder rail is the ugly stepsister when it comes to passenger travel.
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