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View Diary: Sunday Train: Going on the Attack for Amtrak (57 comments)

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  •  so your answer is more service? (1+ / 0-)
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    How many people go from Chicago to Springfield every day?

    From Rockford to Springfield?  Decatur to Springfield?

    I'm just not sure the demand is there for rail service.  

    The reason why rail service was popular in the pre-50's America was that people generally didn't have cars and they had no choice but to take the limited number of trains available to them each day for intercity trips.

    •  No service in Rockford or Decatur (4+ / 0-)

      Chicago to Springfield - the trains are packed.  I often left Chicago in the AM, got to Springpatch between 10:30-11, worked until 5 and took the train home.  Cheaper than flying or driving, more relaxing for me.

      If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

      by marykk on Sun Jan 23, 2011 at 08:30:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  However, it seems that Americans are ... (5+ / 0-)

      ... not a homogeneous mass of identical clones with identical tastes. Some like driving, some don't. Some are taking trips with a group, some are traveling alone. Some are traveling on their own funds, so are traveling for business.

      At the speed and frequencies available after the freight railroads downsized their tracks to cut down on property taxes (which roads and airports do not normally pay) and reduced their speed limits to 79mph, there are only a few areas were 79mph services will dominate the market.

      There are, however, quite a number of corridors across the country where there is a substantial demand for service. Very few people are forced to ride Amtrak at gunpoint, so the fact that ridership is growing, revenues are growing, and the ratio of revenue to operating cost is rising seems to indicate that improvements which increase the reliability and frequency of even Amtrak speed services will result in greater demand for the available seats.

      End 2010 with Lesbian Creative Works from ALC Publishing on your Holiday list.

      by BruceMcF on Sun Jan 23, 2011 at 08:39:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The amount of traffic in and out of Chicago (6+ / 0-)

      every day, in almost every direction, is simply astounding.  A great deal of it has always come from the Quad-Cities, an area of 400,000 people a mere 180 miles to the east — the closest port to Chicago on the Mississippi River.  And no rail connection. The nearest train stations are in Galesburg or Macomb, each about 40 minutes away.  

      It's a basic truism of transit planning that more service increases ridership because having more time options for travel brings people into the system who might have chosen other modes.  

      Finally, a major part of this diary was predicated on the idea that we will experience major oil price shocks in the next decade, which is the closest thing to certain after death and taxes.  Air travel plummeted in the last decade and the industry's economic model appears precariously unstable.  As the economic hurt from the stagnant job market ripples out and the middle class continues to collapse, the automobile is likely to follow the airplane as transportation for those who can afford it.

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