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

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  •  National defense (5+ / 0-)

    Maybe if Amtrak was running MX missile trains, then Republicans would finally get the idea that passenger rail is part of our national defense? Aside from running trains in and out of Manhattan, the Amtrak system kept running on and after September 11, 2001. The same could not be said about our air passenger system.

    •  One reason for calling the people ... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RunawayRose, Miss Jones, Magnifico

      ... from that absurd "a camel is a horse designed by a committee" Department of Faterland Security and grilling them on what they will do in various scenarios ~ including all planes ground.

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

      by BruceMcF on Sun Jan 23, 2011 at 09:09:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  ...or a hurricane hits a major US city... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marykk, BruceMcF

        and I don't mean New Orleans.  Recall Ike, and the 250-mile-long traffic jam when TxDOT turned both sides of IH-45 northbound for people to evacuate Houston.  It went from Harris County (Houston) all the way into Dallas County.  Four to eight lanes wide, 250 miles long, bumper to bumper.

        Which happens to be nicely in the range for train trips generally, and HSR particularly.  With no major ciy in-between to stop at, it would be a slam dunk.  And Southwest Airlines is no longer opposed to such a scheme.  And SWA runs 50 flights each direction on 737s between the two cities.  Tell me there is no travel demand.  

        A city center-to-center trip at 220 mph top speed should take on the order of 90 minutes, station to station.  Each city has a viable metropolitan rail system in place or under construction (DART has 76 miles of LRT in place, soon to be 96 miles in 2013; Houston METRO has 9 miles, with 25 more under construction to be done in 2014).  If offered the choice, wouldn't a significant number of travelers choose to take a train rather than drive or fly?  I believe they would.

        Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

        by tom 47 on Mon Jan 24, 2011 at 08:31:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  If there was even an Amtrak grade corridor ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          marykk

          ... that had sufficient capacity and stocks of spare rolling stock located in strategic stockpiles across the country, it would be straightforward in an emergency to acquire locomotives and start a shuttle to a receiving city out of reach of danger. Even on bi-directional single track, bring as many of the trains as you can down, then start filling them up and sending them on their way. The length of each train is the length of available platform, but trains load much faster than buses, and when running out as fast as they can load, that is multiple lanes of interstate capacity.

          There's a reason we turned to railroads in WWII. It fit the need of moving people around the country while conserving on scarce petroleum and the raw materials that would have been required for the same transport capacity in cars and buses. That same material efficiency means that we can have a far greater passenger capacity in a rail car ready reserve than in any bus & car only system.

          And, just as with the 100mph freight system and multimodel freight with trucks ... its a far more efficient use of vehicles such as school buses to haul people to the closest rail platform and turn around to get more than to leave them on the interstate fighting emergency evacuation traffic.

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

          by BruceMcF on Mon Jan 24, 2011 at 11:24:42 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

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