Trains For America

More choices for better transportation

Alberta on board HSR

Not exactly a surprise, but the entire report appears in the Calgary Herald.

f a bullet train pulled into Calgary today, almost three-quarters of Albertans say they’d be up for a ride.

A new poll done exclusively for the Herald shows 70 per cent of Albertans would ride high-speed rail if it were to become a reasonably priced reality in the supercharged corridor from Calgary to Edmonton.

While the province awaits a feasibility study on high-speed rail, this Leger Marketing survey also reveals two-thirds of Albertans support investing taxpayers’ dollars in a bullet train.

High-speed rail is a way of life for European commuters.

High-speed rail is a way of life for European commuters.

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The $1-million report on high-speed rail, due back to government this month, is to deliver data on potential ridership and travel patterns in the Calgary-Edmonton corridor. It will also compare different rail technologies.

But the Leger poll of 900 Albertans likely foreshadows key information the government is waiting for.

The poll shows 67 per cent of Albertans believe the provincial government should invest public cash in high-speed rail, while 29 per cent rejected the idea


Filed under: International High Speed Rail

Photos: High-tech London St Pancras on track

Those Brits have lost thier minds. Don’t they know that High Speed Rail is the devil’s toll and a one-way rocket sled ride to Hell’s fire.

Those hopeless romantics, stock in the past, nostalgic Englishmen just don’t understand that man was never meant to travel in swift convenient comfort. Travel must be a penitential rite and the passenger must undergo pain and humiliation in order to be purified from all fleshy desires of sensible transportation.

Here is the link to a set of photo’s of London’s most alluring rail passenger station. I wanr you now, it is the portal to nether darkness.

Filed under: International High Speed Rail

Colorado concerns

Other than being called a “fool,” I guess Evelyn King is entitled to her opinion. In fact, you can read the entire piece in the Coloradan.

Let’s not get so emotionally involved in our arguments. Every transportation project should be subjected to careful study. There are both economic and social reason to build a road or HSR system. Taxpayers should be careful.

King might note that highways, even in Colorado, are maxed out. Building another transportation system is exactly what we need. It provides consumer choices and can relieve congestion. Good transport probably causes new trips to be taken because of increased convenience.

It you listen carefully, what King seems to be saying is that establishing a sensible alternative causes government money to be directed away from the previous favored highways and airports. I guess you can connect the dots.

Here is the meat of her commentary.

Perhaps you have delirious visions of being whisked along Interstate 25 on high-speed rail, but you want a convenient boarding location, just like everyone else. Every stop brings the “high-speed” down to something more like “stop-and-go.”

The quoted millions of trips “saved” by transit per year are dwarfed by the millions of all travel trips taken every day. The I-25 Environmental Impact Statement shows transit might relieve 2 percent of congestion. Denver’s FasTracks was planned to relieve only about 2 percent of its congestion, and notice that those highways are still very congested.

But you would like to take a bus or train to see a Broncos game, right? It might be fun, but it’s economically insane!

The not-so-nice consequences of transit are: union strikes, terrorist targets, crime targets, and higher accident and death rates per miles traveled than our vehicles cause.

What about the aging senior citizens? I’ll bet you working people know how crazy it is for anyone to think you can bail out our Social Security system, bail out Medicare/Medicaid; and you will also choose to pay for a huge and enormously expensive government transit system. It is beyond insane to put greater burden on our children and grandchildren.

When it comes to transportation needs, I suggest we grab onto a big dose of reality that transportation is no different than housing or food. We all have responsibility to provide for our own needs and can help the needy, just as we do with housing and food.

Only fools believe “mass transit” will in any way solve our congestion problems. It is quite insane to want to double the cost of transportation and complicate the highway system that is critical for the vast majority of citizens/businesses and most importantly, our economy.

Filed under: Passenger Rail Transportatio Policy, United States High Speed Rail

Tracks over trails

One of the greatest deceptions of the time is the “rails to trails” movement, designed by government servants of trucking and highway special interests. What better way to permanently cripple ground transportation?

In Newark, Ohio there is a bit of news that might be somewhat encouraging. The Advocate has a complete report.

The line’s owner, the state, has even grander plans; it wants to put high-speed passenger trains on the line, carrying people 110 miles an hour from Columbus to Pittsburgh, stopping in Newark.

For his part, Ohio Central President Bill Strawn said the railroad has no plans for the bike trail; indeed, he believes the company couldn’t touch it if it wanted to. And the Ohio Rail Development Commission doesn’t see an issue with the trail, either, unless it looks at passenger rail; that kind of speed 10 feet from a pedestrian might not be safe, it says.

If the Federal Highway Administration had its way, the trail and the track would be 28 feet apart. That ruling, though, came after the trail was built, and it’s more of a guideline than a rule, anyway.

That leaves the stretch of pavement on the north side of the fence looking lonely indeed.

For now, the lease that gives the Ohio Central control over the rail line doesn’t affect the bike trail one bit — Licking County has control over that in a separate lease. But there’s a clause in it that leaves some cause for concern.

“What the lease says, in a nutshell, is that if at any given time in the future that the line that the bike trail is on is needed for rail purposes, that the bike trail would cease to exist,” said Russ Edgington, director and secretary of the Licking Park District.

The rail line known as the Panhandle stretches some 161 miles, connecting Columbus to Mingo Junction, just south of Steubenville on the Ohio border. It passes through Newark, Frazeysburg and Coshocton along the way, and includes a spur south to Hebron

Filed under: Passenger Rail Transportatio Policy, Regional USA Passenger Rail

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October 2007