Why can't the US build basic rail?

royal744

Ad Honoris
Jul 2013
10,383
San Antonio, Tx
The US of A is deciding whether it wants to build high speed railtracks. Currently it is in an impasse as your beloved President thinks it might be a bit pricey to build trains which run about 225kph, as opposed to the new Chinese trains which run at 400 kph.. With the price of Airlines, trains might seem dearer but, they deliver from city centre to city centre! Add the the times spent to travel from airport to airport and the difference will be negligable. Just build the lines!
The US has a vast railroad network. Long distance travel in this country is usually by Interstate Highways or by passenger airlines. The Northeast corridor is OK for rail traffic because it has a high population density, elsewhere, not so much. There are probably a few north-south routes that might work well in California, Oregon and Washington. People need to stop dreaming about “high-speed rail” where the distances don’t make that a very smart response.
 

royal744

Ad Honoris
Jul 2013
10,383
San Antonio, Tx
If, in the USA, the train companies could run at a profit, but there are all sorts of costly impositions by government, you can blame government for that.
Don’t be silly. There’;s plenty of rail capacity here in ALL directions; it’s just that passenger rail is not needed (except in a few instances in high traffic density areas, such as on the East Coast). We have AMTRACK, but most people west of the East last don’t use it much.
 
Likes: sparky

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
33,174
T'Republic of Yorkshire
Railways and other transport infrastructure should not need to run at a profit. Hood transport infrastructure brings economic benefits to the areas it connects, thus it's worth subsidising it. If it does run at a profit, that's a bonus.
 
Likes: Edratman

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,383
Sydney
" Railways and other transport infrastructure should not need to run at a profit. "
that's an old and valid discussion ,it can be justified as

. essential services have to be under public protection and scrutiny
. keeping the user price low is a direct financial assistance to a large section of the working population
. it can extend or maintain services which marginal economics would see cancelled , I.E. a return of 0.99 could lead to thousands of users losing a vital service


on the other hand
it tend to be costly ,
the organism develop a strong corporate identity and become a law unto itself
politics make it into a sacred cow
 
Dec 2011
2,175
Don’t be silly. There’;s plenty of rail capacity here in ALL directions; it’s just that passenger rail is not needed (except in a few instances in high traffic density areas, such as on the East Coast). We have AMTRACK, but most people west of the East last don’t use it much.
Who's being silly? I was reply to Willempie who said that a private company will get a contract to run the railway but the government will impose lots of mandatory investments in the contract that the company has to pay for. I was simply saying that, if government imposes those conditions, then it is the government that is to blame.
 

Willempie

Ad Honorem
Jul 2015
5,037
Netherlands
Who's being silly? I was reply to Willempie who said that a private company will get a contract to run the railway but the government will impose lots of mandatory investments in the contract that the company has to pay for. I was simply saying that, if government imposes those conditions, then it is the government that is to blame.
The core of the problem is the structure. Firstly the operator doesn't own the line, secondly the whole tender process is rather ridiculous (which is why the gov has to put in those mandatory investments) and thirdly the operator is not the one responsible for the rail infrastructure.

This situation still however is much better than the previous government operated railway.
 

Willempie

Ad Honorem
Jul 2015
5,037
Netherlands
Railways and other transport infrastructure should not need to run at a profit. Hood transport infrastructure brings economic benefits to the areas it connects, thus it's worth subsidising it. If it does run at a profit, that's a bonus.
If the majority agrees, then yes.
Otherwise it is just screwing with taxpayer's money, see California or other idiotic infrastructure projects such as the bridge to nowhere.
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
33,174
T'Republic of Yorkshire
If the majority agrees, then yes.
Otherwise it is just screwing with taxpayer's money, see California or other idiotic infrastructure projects such as the bridge to nowhere.
It isn't a case of the majority agreeing, it needs to be demonstrable. Governments meed to do comparative studies to prove it.

But like all the useless politicians in this country, they will only look at the bottom line.
 

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