Why can't the US build basic rail?

Willempie

Ad Honorem
Jul 2015
5,037
Netherlands
It isn't a case of the majority agreeing, it needs to be demonstrable. Governments meed to do comparative studies to prove it.
The studies aren't the problem, the eventual practice is. I have yet to see a government sponsored infrastructure project of such scale (and railways aren't small) which doesn't run into huge budget overruns and delays. On top of that the studies are usually too positive with regards to the eventual benefits.
That being said, rail (both passengers and freight) should be much more on the forefront in government plans.
But like all the useless politicians in this country, they will only look at the bottom line.
If you can find me useful politicians I am all ears.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,383
Sydney
there are good argument against passenger rail
it is efficient only for mass transportation over short to medium distance
everywhere rail is complemented by buses for the less used network
even on rail optimum distance , coaches require far less investment and are more easily modulable for a variable demand
the trip cost is much cheaper
all cities now have coaches stations ,the land footprint is also much smaller , not an inconsiderate parameter in big cities
if one consider the total carbon cost of the building and vehicles , coaches are more economical
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
33,174
T'Republic of Yorkshire
I didn't realise this as in Current Events.

OP - read the description of the Current Events forum again. It is for "History in the making", events that will make the history books of the future, NOT for any random topic you feel like discussing.

Moved to general history.
 
Feb 2019
345
California
The problem with said projects is they usually end up a nightmare in the USA, between:

1-Those who have an interest to lobby against them. (Oil, Auto, Environmentalists, Local residents..etc)
2-Those who end up inflating the building and maintenance costs. (UNIONS)
3-Those who lead to post-completion performance issues due to lazy staffing (UNIONS)
4-People who use all of the above to squabble over the funding
A-Cutters because they hate the projects, the unions, and are in cahoots with lobbies.
B-Adders who believe throwing money is a solution and having these projects as "job programs" for otherwise unemployable and unfire-able people.

5-the delays of implementation, the guaranteed discovery of fatal mistakes in the construction that need to be fixed (further delay).
6-The Gender/Racial quota complaints in hiring individuals and/or companies in building or running.

By the time anything is done, those who wanted it would be either dead or retired (or close enough).

The problem with trying to push something like this through in the U.S. is that all the public dollars are converted into a slush-fund by liberal politicians, which dole out huge sums to companies formed by their cronies for the express purpose, which companies pay out huge bonuses to their "management" and then fold.
 
Dec 2011
2,175
The problem with trying to push something like this through in the U.S. is that all the public dollars are converted into a slush-fund by liberal politicians, which dole out huge sums to companies formed by their cronies for the express purpose, which companies pay out huge bonuses to their "management" and then fold.
Any examples?
 

royal744

Ad Honoris
Jul 2013
10,383
San Antonio, Tx
O
You might not believe it, but I simply refused to have a car till my late 20s. And I made almost half of Europe...

I had to have one later, because of the job.
Of course, most American cities - especially the suburbs - are designed around cars for driving and parking. Unlike older European cities, US cities re mostly designed around car dimensions, and not little ones, either.
 

royal744

Ad Honoris
Jul 2013
10,383
San Antonio, Tx
Have we got any US citizens on here to tell us why the US does not improve it's rail infrastructure?
Yes. Simple: there isn’t much domestic demand for long distance rail travel. The US had a huge passenger rail capacity in the past. It was basically destroyed by the big auto companies which didn’t like the competition. These rail lines are now used mostly for freight outside of the northeast corridor.. Besides, coast to coast and coast to Canada are just too long distances unless one is retired and has time on his/her hands.

Often, it is possible to “get there from here” by rail, but it is terribly slow and subject to all sorts of delays.
 

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