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cross-posted from Voices on the Square

The Northeast Indiana Passenger Rail Association, on 28 June 2013, announced the results of their study of a Northern Indiana / Ohio rail corridor to Chicago:

The proposed system would operate twelve trains each way per day, including at least six express schedules.  With modern diesel equipment running at speeds of up to 110 miles per hour to start, the three-hundred mile trip between downtown Chicago and downtown Columbus would normally require only three hours, forty-five minutes (express service), or four hours (local service).  Track and safety  improvements in a potential future phase would support speeds up to 130 mph and a downtown Chicago to downtown Columbus express time of three hours, twenty minutes.
Longer time readers of the Sunday Train may recognize this as a piece of the Ohio Hub project, first developed in the 1990's. At the time that the Ohio Hub was originally developed, the Fort Wayne to Chicago link was slated to be the second connection from Ohio to Chicago, with the envisioned phasing being:
  • Phase 1: Chicago to Detroit; and Cincinnati - Columbus - Cleveland ~ the Triple C backbone of the Ohio Hub
  • Phase 2: Cleveland to Toledo, Toledo to Detroit, completing Cleveland to Chicago via Michigan
  • Phase 3: Fort Wayne to Chicago; Toledo to Fort Wayne; Columbus to Fort Wayne; Cincinnati - Indianapolis - Gary - Chicago, completing Dayton/Cincinnati to Chicago via Indianapolis and Columbus/Cleveland to Chicago via Fort Wayne
  • Phase 4: Cleveland to Pittsburgh via Youngstown, connecting with services to Philadelphia / New York on the Keystone Corridor
  • Phase 5: Columbus to Pittsburgh, connecting with services to Philadelphia / New York on the Keystone Corridor
  • Phase 6: Cleveland to Toronto via Buffalo and Niagara Falls, connecting with services to New York and Boston on the Empire Corridor

So what the Northeast Indiana Passenger Rail Association is doing is pulling out a section of the Phase Three of the Ohio Hub and proposing it as a free-standing project. This free-standing project would bring intercity rail service back to Columbus, the largest or second largest urban area lacking rail service (depending on how you count Phoenix), and to Fort Wayne, the largest urban area in Indiana without intercity passenger rail service.

Columbus to Chicago via Fort Wayne by the Numbers

As described above, this is not a bullet train High Speed Rail proposal. It is rather what I have taken to calling a Rapid Rail proposal. Unlike conventional Amtrak services, this is faster than driving, and door-to-door it is faster than air travel for the intermediate cities to either end, but it is not faster than air travel door-to-door between Columbus and Chicago. The economic cost/benefit of this project therefore does not rest on capturing an extremely large share of intercity passenger traffic on this corridor, but rather on having relatively low capital costs, with the study completed by TEMS Inc. [executive summary, pdf] estimating a capital (one-off) cost of $4m per mile, for a total capital cost of about $1.3b.

To put that cost in perspective:

  • That is about $250 per passenger over 2020 to 2040 on the projected ridership
  • That is 77% of estimated economic benefits at a 7% discount rate and 59% of estimated economic benefits at a 3% discount rate
  • Compared to the 1.9m population of the towns and urban areas being connected to Chicago (I use city populations for areas without  urban area population rather than metro area population for this), that is $679 per person in the cities and towns served.

This is preliminary planning. The next phase would be engaging in an Environmental Impact Report. Since this is a project that engaged in improvements of existing operating rail corridors, including substantial upgrades to level crossings to provide four-gate level crossings and Positive Train Control along the route, it is quite unlikely that the Environmental Impact Report will turn up any substantial problems, but it is still work that must be done before the project can be considered for Federal funding.

And then the next phase would be to win support from Ohio and Indiana for the required 20% of local funds, about $260m, and apply for Federal funding for 80% of the capital costs, about $1.04b. Of course, this is completely infeasible under present political conditions, but the earliest the project could start construction would be 2016 in any event, so that its quite reasonable to target this for 2017. So the Fort Wayne-based Northeast Indiana Passenger Rail Association (NIPRA) is engaged in what may be termed opportunistic planning, laying the groundwork and trying to recruit political allies so that if there is a shift in the current political climate, they will be positioned to take advantage of the opening.

If the capital works are performed, the rail service that they propose can be operated at a surplus, assuming tickets costing 2/3 current equivalent air tickets. Therefore they are not proposing a subsidized public authority to operate the service. Rather, they propose that the public authority that develops the corridor will franchise out the operation of the service.

The economic benefits of the service are estimated to result in increases in Federal tax revenues of $894m, State tax payments of $345m, and local Property tax payments of $694m. These are cumulative increases over the life of the project, but it does help illustrate why NIPRA has been making presentations in affected cities, including importantly Columbus, Ohio (10TV report), since at the level of state public finances, this is in effect state investment in local economic benefit, which would be a reversal of the trend under the Republican-controlled state governments has been to shirk state spending at the expense of pushing local budgets into the red.

A New Ohio Hub

I do not know what the odds are that NIRPA will be successful in getting this project launched. Indeed, in a real sense it is impossible to know these odds, since they depend upon political fortunes of various forces within both the Democratic and Republican parties at both the national and state levels in both the 2014 and 2016 election cycles. To take just one example, an ascendent "Tea Party" wing of the national Republican Party in 2017 could easily put the project on the back burner until 2021 at the earliest, while a "Tea Party" wing in defeat and disarray and a resurgance in power and influence of local Chamber of Commerce type Republicans would make for much more favorable political terrain.

However, if NIPRA is successful in winning support for this project, it lays the foundation for an entirely different phasing of the Ohio Hub system than the original plan ~ so this is by contrast to the original phasing illustrated above:

  • Phase 1: Chicago to Fort Wayne to Columbus
  • Phase 2: Cleveland to Toledo, Toledo to Fort Wayne
  • Phase 3: Pittsburgh to Cleveland; Pittsburgh to Columbus; Toledo to Detroit
  • Phase 4: Chicago - Lafayette - Indianapolis; Cincinnati to Columbus to Cleveland
  • Phase 5: Cleveland to Buffalo to Toronto; Cincinnati to Indianapolis

In Phase 2, not only is a Cleveland to Chicago day corridor established, but one of the Amtrak services that run through Cleveland in the middle of the night may be re-routed to run on the 110mph corridor from Chicago to Cleveland in the afternoon/evening and then from Cleveland at 7:30pm to New York as a sleeper train arriving 8:15am.

In Phase 3, multiple Chicago / Pittsburgh trains via both Cleveland and Columbus connect with planned increase in Keystone Corridor services connecting Pittsburgh to Philadelphia and New York, with connections in Philadelphia to Maryland, DC and Virginia via Amtrak Acela and Northeast Regional services.

In Phase 4, the political base of the Triple-C corridor has gained substantial leverage since in addition to the primary access Cincinnati/Columbus, Dayton/Cincinnati and Dayton/Columbus, and secondary access Cincinnati/Cleveland, it gives Cincinnati/Dayton access to both the East Coast and Toledo/Detroit via Columbus. The political leverage for upgrading the existing once-a-day Indianapolis to Chicago via Lafayette corridor is not the Route Matrix as much as envy-thy-neighbor, with Fort Wayne having enjoyed the benefits of two hour connections to Chicago since Phase 1, and Indianapolis still relegated to the once a day, slower-than-driving four hour Amtrak service. And, of course, it is because the Amtrak service has a transit speed slower than driving that it is limited to once a day, since unlike the Rapid Rail services, the slow long-haul Amtrak operations require operating subsidies.

Phase 5 completes the Ohio Hub with the two corridors that would not offer the prospect of an operating surplus without other parts of the system already be in place, with the Indianapolis / Cincinnati link sharing Cincinnati/Dayon - Chicago, Cincinnati/Dayton - Indianapolis and Columbus - Indianapolis patronage, and the Cleveland - Buffalo - Niagara Falls - Toronto corridor collecting patronage from Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati/Dayton, Detroit/Toledo and Chicago.

None of this involves establishing an all-new rail corridor. Most of these are rail corridors presently in active use, with the capacity for the new passenger services provided by other 10 miles of passing track per 50 miles of running track or a third dedicated passenger track in higher freight traffic areas with dedicated freight tracks each way. Two sections, between Toledo and Detroit, and between Columbus and Pittsburgh, included retired rail corridor that have been reserved for use as rail corridors.

Therefore, the pace at which phases of this project can be rolled out depend largely upon whether or not a reliable source of funding can be established. If so, then it would be possible to commence the Environmental Impact Analysis of later phases as construction commences on the first phase, begin construction on the following phase while construction is being completed on the preceding phase, and roll out one completed phase per year. Indeed, if federal transport policy was not in paralysis, and if we had started the original Amtrak-Speed Triple C section of the Ohio Hub in 2011, that would have gone into service last year, the upgrade to 110mph could have been completed this year, and we could have been putting this Columbus to Chicago via Fort Wayne section into service in 2016, with a completed Ohio Hub available by 2021 by the earliest.

On the other hand, if we have to pursue the kind of opportunistic strategy that NIPRA is pursuing for each stage of the system, lobbying to get Environmental Impact Analyses done and having a shovel-ready projects available for the next time that funding becomes available, there is no telling how long it might take.

Beyond the Cost/Benefit Analysis

Part of the Rules of the Game for the kind of Cost/Benefit Analysis performed for the Columbus is that it is performed under the assumption that current conditions prevail for the indefinite future.

And it is under those conditions that this is a transport service of secondary importance in the larger urban areas of Chicago and Columbus, only rising to primary importance as a transport option in the smaller towns and urban areas along the route. The total transport market in this route is dominated by car transport, as shown in this market share projection if this service is established. Of course, the total capital investment in highways in this region ~ Interstate, National, State, County and Township Highways ~ is an even larger share of total capital spending for intercity transport, with estimates of new road construction costs running from $1.7m per mile for a two lane undivided rural road with paved shoulders to $4.2m for a divided four lane rural Interstate highway.

Given the current dominance of car travel for all travel along this corridor, it is also no surprise that the large majority of patronage for this rail service, about 80%, is projected to be from existing car trips. This kind of Rapid Rail service is far more in competition with car trips than with air travel, which provides less than 9% of total rail trips and when competing against rail is projected to account only 3% of total travel in this corridor. People switching from Bus to Rail are projected to account for under 6% of total rail trips, and account for less than 1% of total travel in this market if the rail service is established.

But this is all under status quo conditions. And we know that the cheap source of petroleum from the large oil fields discovered in the 1930's through 1950's are becoming depleted, while the new petroleum sources that we have been finding since then are either smaller pockets of oil, in remote and difficult to access areas in polar or deep sea locations, or are energy-intensive and water-intensive deposits in non-porous rock or uncapped deposits of tar which the liduid and gas portion long since lost.

So we know that coming changes in the status quo are biased toward more expensive gasoline and other petroleum products. The uncertainty is not whether gas prices that were unimaginable ten years ago will become the norm, but rather how quickly and whether we are talking a real (corrected for inflation) price of $6/gallon or $10/gallon.

So on top of the estimated economic benefits under status quo conditions, we know that this project also offered implicit insurance against severe oil price shocks. Part of this is automatic, since Rapid Rail with diesel power is more energy efficient than both conventional Amtrak Rail and intercity automobile transport, when operated at the high occupancy that a gas price shock would make likely. And if we encounter not just price shocks but also supply interruptions, bio-diesel is a more compatible substitute for petro-diesel than various liquid bio-fuels as replacements for gasoline.

If the price shock is a permanent state of affairs rather than a temporary emergency, the implicit insurance extended to the prospect for electrification of the rail corridor. It is, after all, simpler and less expensive to electrify an existing passenger rail corridor than it is to electrify an equivalent share of our automobile transport system. We could clearly electrify from Chicago to Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne to Columbus, and Columbus to Pittsburgh in three phases, completing a phase per year once the Environmental Impact Analysis of the first phase has been completed. Indeed, with hybrid 125mph passenger rail locomotives already in use overseas, we could begin to take advantage of a corridor electrification project as each phase is completed.

Further, in conditions of an oil price shock, the use of the electrified transport would not be limited to passenger trains. Electrification of a corridor from Chicago to Pittsburgh via Columbus from the one side, and electrification of the Keystone West corridor from Harrisburg, PA to Pittsburgh PA from the other side would offer an electric container freight rail corridor from northern New Jersey through to Chicago.

Conversations, Considerations and Contemplations

This appears, to my eyes, to be a sound project which warrants public capital investment to establish a corridor in which to franchise operation of a passenger service, and so I will be adopting a watching brief on the work of the Northeast Indiana Rail Passenger Association.

And now, as always, rather looking for some overarching conclusion, I now open the floor to the comments of those reading.

If you have an issue on some other area of sustainable transport or sustainable energy production, please feel free to start a new main comment. To avoid confusing me, given my tendency to filter comments through the topic of this week's Sunday Train, feel free to use the shorthand "NT:" in the subject line when introducing this kind of new topic.

And if you have a topic in sustainable transport or energy that you want me to take a look at in the coming month, be sure to include that as well.

Originally posted to Sunday Train on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 06:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Central Ohio Kossacks, Climate Hawks, Voices on the Square, and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  They're Also Why This Was the Industrial Belt. (23+ / 0-)

    You can still paddle on water of parts of the Ohio & Erie canals that were the high speed water connecting Akron and Cleveland to both the N. Atlantic and the Gulf, as well as to the upper midwest.

    Soon lowspeed rail surpassed the canals and then highspeed highways.

    It's time for the next generation.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 07:01:22 PM PDT

    •  Indeed, if my bike was in better repair ... (11+ / 0-)

      ... I could cycle out to the towpath bike trail over at the eastern edge of Akron.

      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

      by BruceMcF on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 08:08:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Electric Bikes (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus

        If 20MPH electric bikes were cheap, even more people would take the bike trails. If they weighed under 10 pounds folded, more people would bike them to the remaining trains connecting to the paths.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 08:53:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The cheapest electric bikes are cheaper ... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DocGonzo, libnewsie

          ... than some of the bikes I see on the bike trail between here and Kent, but that requires putting a kit together or hunting for a direct from China export on ebay... the pre-built electric bikes tend to be $1,000 - $2,000.

          Of course, when you have a train station in your home town, there's less need to have an electric motor on your bike ~ I had an aluminum foldable bike in Australia and it was great for mixing with other modes of transport ~ it fit on the luggage racks of the new city buses, the overhead luggage racks of the Hunter trains to Maitland, underneath the seat of the electric trains to Sydney, and in the trunk ("boot") of a cab if I had ridden in Friday morning, it was late Friday evening and I didn't want to ride home.

          Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

          by BruceMcF on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 10:42:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Unfortunately You Can't Get To Ohio (0+ / 0-)

      from the East Coast.  I sent my poor, 81 year old mother back to Toledo by train. The trip was an unmitigated disaster.  She was four hours late and incredibly confused by the train that seemed never to arrive at its destination.  I drive the trip because Albany/Ohio rail service is reliably unreliable.  

      All up and down the East Coast, trains are frequently scheduled and arrive pretty much on time. Not so, the East West corridor.  I've alternately cursed Amtrak and the government for the hideous train service along the Great Lakes.  I did, that is, until I read the response of a freight line executive who threatened bloody havoc if Amtrak deprived the freight companies of the passenger line windfall they have come to rely on. Basically, East West passengers are being held hostage for the booty the freight companies won't give up without guns held to their directors and stockholders' heads.

      Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

      by tikkun on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 09:09:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So that's why OH GoP killed high speed rail (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kovie

    So they could run a back door maneuver and get the passenger corridor to run to Columbus instead of Cleveland.

    I hate the Ohio GoP with a burning passion.

    So who the hell wants to travel from Chicago to the arsehole of Ohio?  I doubt there will be much traffic on this line.

    "The international world is wondering what happened to America's great heart and soul." Helen Thomas

    by Betty Pinson on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 07:53:22 PM PDT

    •  But there's no either/or ... (24+ / 0-)

      ... keeping the 3C money and starting service Cleveland / Columbus / Cincinnati last year would have put Ohio on track to have the Columbus / Chicago route just as quickly as this could do, plus have additional useful routes besides.

      No, it seems much more likely to have been fulfilling a campaign promise to the Road Lobby to kill the project. And that same Road Lobby will oppose this project as well ~ the point it to make sure that Columbus never gets intercity rail service of any kind, to avoid the establishment of the same kind of cross-party alliance in support of intercity rail that has gotten entrenched in Illinois.

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      by BruceMcF on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 08:06:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And the freight lobby as well (0+ / 0-)

        The freight lines feed on the rents paid by the passenger lines.  When the separate, faster line from the East Coast along the Lakes was suggested, the freight companies screamed bloody murder.

        Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

        by tikkun on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 09:16:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I take issue with the comment about the city (18+ / 0-)

      I live in, and have lived in since birth.  It's really a good place to live, and would be better if we ran some of the Republicans from Broad and High Streets.

      I wouldn't badmouth your city, and would appreciate it if you don't badmouth mine, either.  Next time you come to Columbus, I or one of the Central Ohio Kossacks would be happy to spend some time with you to help change your sour attitude about our home.

      Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

      by Ohiodem1 on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 08:24:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, that uninformed and aggressively offensive .. (17+ / 0-)

        ... remark was why I didn't tip the comment.

        Its actually fairly aggressively clueless as an insult, since the rap against Columbus was never that it was run down, it was that Columbus was a "cow town", another one of a series of Midwestern cities that roll the sidewalks up at nights when the sun goes down. And with the growth of Columbus over the past three decades, even that rap is several decades obsolete.

        Plus the premise of the statement betrays a misunderstanding of basic transport policy. What matters is whether the ridership and the economic cost/benefit justifies the investment. If every bit of the ridership out of Chicago was return trips from people in Ohio and Northern Indiana who had originally taken the train to Chicago, at the ridership estimates given by TEMS, its well worth a $1.3b capital investment.

        Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

        by BruceMcF on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 08:37:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Southwest Airlines fills 3 737 airplanes each (13+ / 0-)

          way between Columbus and Midway airport.  There are at least three other airlines putting another 8 to 10 flights each way between Columbus and O'Hare, and from a lot of experience on these flights, most are full.  American Eagle, Delta Connection and perhaps one other commuter airline use Canadair or Embraer commuter jets of 48 or 52 seats and there are very few empty seats, so there is likely demand for 1200 travelers each way between the cities.  It is unlikely that there would be a mass switch to rail, as many airline travelers are making connections to other cities.  However, reasonably fast, comfortable travel between the three cities are likely to find some demand, particularly if the business or pleasure travel is to be conducted a few miles of the central stations.

          Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

          by Ohiodem1 on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 08:57:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Taking the 8% traffic diverted from air ... (10+ / 0-)

            ... and the 3% air traffic share with rail, that implies a 3.25% air traffic share without rail. Of course, with a station at Columbus airport, and connections from Chicago Union Station to Chicago airports, some of that could be taking the rail to catch a longer flight originating in Chicago or Columbus, cutting out a commuter aircraft leg from the trip.

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            by BruceMcF on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 09:25:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That 47 minute flight from CMH to ORD takes (18+ / 0-)

              3 hours from airport entrance to airport exit, at least, on a good day.  Add half an hour if you checked a bag, and another half hour if you rent a car, and the tradeoff on time isn't so bad.  No security lines at rail stations either, or at least I am not aware of security issues at rail terminals.

              Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

              by Ohiodem1 on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 09:34:11 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes, if the ... (8+ / 0-)

                ... rail trip was 3hrs, it would be quite competitive with flying end to end, and at 2hrs would dominate ...

                ... and Fort Wayne to either Chicago or Columbus is about two hours, which is why the "middle to either end" traffic is particularly likely to be replacing air trips.

                By contrast, at least for daytime rail corridors, the end to end four hour rail trips tend to capture people who were going to drive or take a bus if the train is not available.

                I expect we'll see similar with the four hour Chicago to St. Louis Rapid Rail service when it comes into service in 2015 ~ most of the trips diverted from air to rail will involve destinations or origins in the middle of the corridor.

                If the northern end of the corridor ended at Midway or O'Hare, it would likely capture more "last leg" travel from longer air trips, but neither of those are as straightforward as Columbus Convention Center to Columbus Airport by rail.

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                by BruceMcF on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 09:50:15 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  It's only 7-9 minutes from the airport to (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  BruceMcF, clecinosu, Aunt Pat

                  convention center by taxi.

                  Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

                  by Ohiodem1 on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 10:11:03 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  But people from Columbus ... (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    clecinosu, Aunt Pat

                    ... wouldn't be using an intercity train to connect to a flight at Columbus International ... that would be people who are from one of the other towns or cities along the corridor.

                    And for people from out of town, there is a strong tendency to be reluctant to rely on local transport for making a mid-trip connection to a flight.

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                    by BruceMcF on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 10:59:16 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  "Port Columbus" :). (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      BruceMcF

                      I'm not a fan of Columbus, I don't regret leaving (but I won't go all Betty Pinson, I totally respect the people who stayed - I just can't live in a city without viable transit because of my disabilities).  But they are a fan of their airport (it is a nice little airport, reminds me a lot of PDX, but PDX is a bit nicer - CMH may have also been upgraded since I moved away) and everyone but no-one calls it Port Columbus, which I think is a cool name.  I actually wish more airports got names like that; Phoenix ended up with Sky Harbor, which is also a cool name, but I'm not aware of other airports that have "cool" names in the states.

                      "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

                      by auron renouille on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 02:11:45 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Is it Port Columbus? (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Ohiodem1

                        Its been quite a long time since I lived in Central Ohio and flew out of the Columbus Airport.  I drove down to Knoxville for Grad School, so I guess the last time I flew out of the Columbus Airport was to go down to Grenada to teach math for the Peace Corps, shortly after Ronnie Raygun had the Marines invade Grenada and drive away their foreign math teachers with the Caribbean Spanish accents.

                        Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

                        by BruceMcF on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 04:09:57 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  It is Port Columbus International Airport, code (3+ / 0-)

                          CMH, which comes from out of history and the letters mean Columbus Metropolitan Hangar.  The airport was founded in 1929 and the original tower and terminal building still stands on East Fifth Avenue.  It's vacant awaiting rehab as office space.

                          The current terminal building was constructed in 1957 and has had several upgrades including one taking place now.  They are re-habbing Concourse A, which serves SW and AirTrans airlines.  Next will come a re-habbing of Concourse C, which primarily serves Delta Airlines.  Concourse B will be re-habbed next, and it serves most of the other airlines (USAir, American, and most commuter airplanes).  The South runway, 10,200 feet long has just been replaced by a new South runway, 10,100 feet long, which has enough separation from the existing North Runway (both are oriented 10-28 or 100 degrees, and 280 degrees from the opposite direction), to allow simultaneous operations on both runways.

                          It is in the plans to replace the existing terminal with a new terminal, but it won't happen until 2020 or later.  The new facility will have more gates and replace the existing terminal which is inadequate for the traffic loads expected later in the century.

                          Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

                          by Ohiodem1 on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 04:52:34 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Odd that I only remembered the ... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            tikkun

                            ... "Columbus International Airport" part of Port Columbus ... it must be from being a kid in the 70's making fun of the "International" for an airport that was mostly a place to catch a shuttle to O'Hare.

                            Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

                            by BruceMcF on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 05:30:59 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  They were upgrading almost all municipal (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            BruceMcF, libnewsie, bleeding heart

                            airports in the country to international status including Indy, Dayton, St. Louis and many others who served very few international passengers.  Today, in CMH, we may have a few flights from Toronto or Ottawa, but that's about it as far as international flights go.  Rickenbacker Field in the South  part of Columbus has more international flights, but they are all cargo.

                            Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

                            by Ohiodem1 on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 05:50:34 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Looking on the web ... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Ohiodem1

                            ... three a week to Toronto, and the occasional seasonal flight to Cancun.

                            Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

                            by BruceMcF on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 05:53:57 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                •  The rest of the world already has this. (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  BruceMcF, redwagon, tikkun, Odysseus

                  And have had it for at least 20 years.  
                  This is not about economics, it's about freedom of movement.  All American mobility is based on expensive, tightly regulated modes like cars and planes.  You must have papers to travel.

                  The end of American mass transit after WWII was the beginning of the end of personal mobility.  Although the auto was presented as 'freedom' the cost of operation is now prohibitive.  
                  Post Katrina, Mayor Nagin's business based philosophy led him to shut down public transit to avert potential 'bankruptcy.'  He then invited vulnerable, social services reliant citizens to return to the city - which had no social services, no transit, no health services and no access to food.  Unless you bought a personal automobile and took on the associated expense, you could not survive in the stricken area.  
                  So, the Federal money for recovery instead had to be spent on private transit tosurvive.  Gas stations were few and crowded, grocery stores were at least 6 miles away and no one, from UPS to Lowe's, would deliver to the 70117 area. For almost 2 years.

                  However, the US Post Office came through like champions.  That is a story of a government service being a real life line. Which is why the GOP wants to kill it and force you to rent delivery services.

                  Service worker's wages had to rise to cover the cost of taxis, car insurance, parking and gas.  Insurance went through the roof.  Almost every family had to fork over the first $400 earned each month to maintain the ability to reach work and services.

                    And Bobby 'sox' Jindal turned down 700 million transit dollars of our own money to further his political career.

                  The lack of true public transport is a national shame.

                  Joy shared is doubled. Pain shared is halved. Spider Robinson

                  by nolagrl on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 11:44:35 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  There are times I *wish* the sidewalks would (6+ / 0-)

          still roll up at sundown.  I fear my beloved Short North has finally gone over the cliff from "exciting and vibrant" to "aggressive and annoying".

          I like to think that's just me getting old(er) and cranky(er), but some other folks I've talked to who exist in the area have been feeling the same way - the past couple of years in particular.

          Ahh... "progress' :/

          For the record, I'd be on that train every damned weekend if I could :)

          Where's your Tebow now, G-d?

          by here4tehbeer on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 02:03:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  'Vibrant and exciting' (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            here4tehbeer, tikkun

            Post Federal flood, the scallywags rolled in with their magic solutions.

            The words 'vibrant' and 'diverse' popped up like cockroaches.

            I finally lost it, and explained to the contractor that my neighborhood was so vibrant, diverse and exciting that you could be murdered, mugged, and solicited people by people of every gender, color, age -  24/7, 365.

            It's less vibrant now, which is a good thing.  We're still waiting for the streets to be repaired and the mass transit restored.

            Joy shared is doubled. Pain shared is halved. Spider Robinson

            by nolagrl on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 11:53:56 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Apologies (7+ / 0-)

          Its the result of many years of living in NE Ohio watching our tax dollars drained to the rest of the state while we deal with conservative downstaters running the show.  The latest example is Kasich and the Ohio GA trying to steal revenues from the Ohio Turnpike.

          It's always frustrating to see our own infrastructure, schools, etc. decline while every burg south of here gets new roads, schools, etc.  

          Nothing personal intended, but this has been a problem for many, many years, even with Dem governors.

          "The international world is wondering what happened to America's great heart and soul." Helen Thomas

          by Betty Pinson on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 07:25:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  It's the biggest city in Ohio. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        US Blues, Aunt Pat, Ohiodem1

        And is the home of Ohio state.

        So, it should have service.

        •  Comparing metropolitan areas, its not (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nolagrl

          The city itself seems large because it annexed surrounding suburbs. Greater Columbus is the same thing as Columbus.

          The greater Cleveland area is a much larger population center, with more businesses, more universities, larger population and, best of all, more Democrats.

          "The international world is wondering what happened to America's great heart and soul." Helen Thomas

          by Betty Pinson on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 09:33:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Comparing urban areas, though ... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ohiodem1, redwagon, tikkun

            ... which is more relevant to this discussion, in the 2010 US census, Cleveland is 1.7m, Cincinnati is 1.6m and Columbus is 1.4m. Half a century ago, the Cleveland urban area would have been over three times the size of Columbus, as Cleveland was substantially larger and Columbus much, much smaller. Now the Cleveland urban area is more like 20% bigger.

            And while Northeast Ohio Democrats are a shrinking share of Ohio's population, Columbus' Democrats are a growing share of Ohio's population.

            Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

            by BruceMcF on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 10:32:36 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  People are people (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              redwagon, tikkun, Ohiodem1

              There are more people in Greater Cleveland and in NE Ohio in general than in Columbus.

              In spite of the Ohio GOP's efforts to gerrymander NE Ohio out of power, the sheer numbers, will keep our area the political powerhouse of real Dem activity.   Columbus Dems have their problems, they sometimes forget which party they belong to.

              Columbus itself has a limited capacity to grow, primarily because of its limited water resources.  

              "The international world is wondering what happened to America's great heart and soul." Helen Thomas

              by Betty Pinson on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 11:16:55 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  A declining share is a declining share ... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Bush Bites, Ohiodem1

                ... gerrymander or not, Democrats relying on their Northeast Ohio base alone is a recipe for permanent minority status for the Democrat Party, and for that reason alone, I doubt that even the famously dysfunctional Cuyahoga County Democratic Party is likely to hold onto that self-destructive course as tightly as you seem to want them to do.

                As far as "Columbus itself has a limited capacity to grow, primarily because of its limited water resources", Sunday Train is supposed to be reality based. Adopting absurd arguments because you like the conclusion they arrive at is not reality based.

                Looking at Metro Area population, Cleveland is shrinking by 0.66%, 2010-2012, Cincinnati is growing by 0.66%, 2010-2012 and has already passed Cleveland MSA in size, and Columbus is growing by 2.21%, and Columbus MSA is only 6% smaller than Cleveland, so with a net growth differential of 2.87% per two years, Columbus MSA will be larger than Cleveland MSA by the end of the decade and will be gaining ground on Cincinnati MSA.

                You can add in all of Northeast Ohio and compare it in population to Columbus alone without the balance of Central Ohio and get back to an appreciable population advantage for Northeast Ohio, but then again you could compare all of Central Ohio to just the Cleveland urban area and get a population advantage for Central Ohio, so that only proves that when you cherry pick your comparisons its easier to get numbers that line up with your preconceived ideas.

                However, it remains strategically foolish to give the Ohio GOP what they want, a game in which Northeast Ohio dominates the Ohio Democratic Party and is always playing against the rest of the state, and therefore the Ohio GOP always wins.

                Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

                by BruceMcF on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 11:45:20 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Ohio DLC Dems have been saying this for decades (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  redwagon, tikkun

                  It's the same old BS coming from the DLC/Ohio GOP veal pen in Columbus.  They forget they're Democrats until its time for statewide or national elections, when they start sucking campaign donations from NE Ohio.  

                  I recall going to fundraisers for these idiots in Columbus.  Republicans always came in, demanded drinks for free, then sat and talked poltical strategy with the dumbass Columbus Dems.  I even pulled one of them aside and asked him WTH he was doing.  I swore I would never trust another Columbus Dem after that.

                  Stick with them if you want, but I left that crowd back in 1996.  

                  "The international world is wondering what happened to America's great heart and soul." Helen Thomas

                  by Betty Pinson on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 12:13:13 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  What possible relevance are those stories to ... (0+ / 0-)

                    ... this project?

                    Are you seriously trolling a Sunday Train about a proposed rail corridor Chicago / Fort Wayne / Columbus that, if it got up, would offer excellent prospects for getting 110mph service from Cleveland to Chicago ...

                    ... based on your negative reaction to the behavior of some DLC type party insiders?

                    The across the board stereotyping you are engaging in of the other 2/3rds of the state's population is substantial aid and comfort to the DLC types.

                    Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

                    by BruceMcF on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 12:54:51 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  Ah you know (0+ / 0-)

            People still call LA the second biggest city, even though it's all annexed suburbs with an empty middle.

            That's the way it goes.

            •  Its the second biggest urban area ... (0+ / 0-)

              ... which is the measure I normally use for intercity rail, its the second biggest metro area ... Cleveland is still the largest urban area, though the Cleveland MSA has fallen behind the Cincinnati MSA.

              Its just nowhere near the lead in population in reality that it holds in Betty Pinson's head.

              Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

              by BruceMcF on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 12:57:09 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  I'm From Ohio (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          libnewsie, Betty Pinson

          and I really prefer Ann Arbor for excitement and culture.  The Ohio State Fair is one of the better reasons for visiting Columbus.  The southern tier of Indiana is the only good reason for visiting there and no one is planning any transportation in that direction.

          Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

          by tikkun on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 09:29:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I visit Columbus several times a year (0+ / 0-)

        An even better idea would be for more downstaters to visit Cleveland & NE Ohio more often.  

        "The international world is wondering what happened to America's great heart and soul." Helen Thomas

        by Betty Pinson on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 09:30:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  An even more better idea ... (0+ / 0-)

          ... would be for people in Northeast Ohio to abandon decades obsolete ideas of Columbus being part of a homogenous mass called "downstate". Its much harder to win political fights if the fighters are operating with out of date political maps.

          Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

          by BruceMcF on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 10:34:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  President Obama won in 2008 and 2012 with (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BruceMcF, bleeding heart

            big wins in Columbus, Dayton, Cincinnati and Toledo proper.  Had the urban parts of these cities voted the same as the suburban parts, Obama would have lost Ohio.  Not that he would have lost the election because of that, but we really have some seriously progressive people here in central Ohio.  Senator Sherrod Brown has told lots of people in the party that the model to emulate for a local grass roots organization is my group Upper Arlington Progressive Action, which is actively working to make a previously red area, now purple, and in the near future, blue.

            Many of the DLC types running the Ohio Democratic Party here in Columbus are upstate Democrats from Cuyahoga, Summit, Portage and other NE Ohio counties.

            You (Betty Pinson) are free to alienate anyone you wish to, just don't expect those you choose to alienate, snub, put down and denigrate to either like it or to agree with you.  If you don't like things, change them.  Just quit bitching about it.  Signed, a hick from central Ohio.

            Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

            by Ohiodem1 on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 06:13:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Never mind if the urban parts had voted ... (0+ / 0-)

              ... like the suburban parts for Obama 2012: if the urban parts had simply voted 50:50, with no net margin either way, Obama would have lost Ohio.

              Sherrod Brown would have won (though fairly narrowly) in 2012 with a Presidential year electorate if Franklin, Lucas, Butler, Lucas with its blue neighbors, Hamilton and Athens counties had voted 50:50 ... but he would have lost if they had all voted like their outer-suburban neighbors.

              Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

              by BruceMcF on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 01:16:23 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  I'll take Columbus... (5+ / 0-)

      ...over San Francisco, New York, D.C. or Chicago any damn day.  And I've lived in three of four of those places.

      It's a city with all the big-city amenities and quite a bit of the culture - hell, Cirque du Soleil and Blue Man Group now makes Columbus a regular stopping point for its touring shows.

      Only you don't have a two-hour commute to get in and out of Columbus if you work there.  That's what killed my quality of life in S.F., what killed it in D.C., and what killed it in Chicago.  Plus, the fact that you had to make more then $100K to have any quality of life in nearly any of those cities.  In Columbus, I made a graduate student stipend and yet still had a high quality of life.  Good luck with that in any of the majors.

      •  Besides that...... (4+ / 0-)

        For Cleveland to thrive, it has to be hooked into the state capital.

        That's why Illinois makes Chicago-to-Springfield such a high priority and, unlike Ohio, Illinois doesn't even have a major university and economic incubator in its state capital.

        •  No, it doesn't, sadly. (3+ / 0-)

          I went to school in UIUC (Urbana-Champaign) in the mid 1990s, and both of the cities seemed to be far poorer and crappier then I would have expected for collegetowns.  Lacking a car, I spent quite a few weekends just taking a bus (or Amtrak) to Chicago to visit with my family there.

          I never got that feeling from Columbus.  Was very, very sorry to leave that city for D.C., and my 3 years in Maryland were complete misery.

        •  There's great fear of the 3 C Corridor (4+ / 0-)

          People living downstate are afraid of minorities traveling from the north to their predominantly white towns and cities.

          Sadly, racism is the biggest factor in preventing a passenger rail corridor from Cleveland.

          "The international world is wondering what happened to America's great heart and soul." Helen Thomas

          by Betty Pinson on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 09:50:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I followed the 3C debate closely during ... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Rolfyboy6, concernedamerican

            ... the 2010 gubernatorial campaign, and the main line of attack was that the QuickStart phase one of operating the 3C at Amtrak speeds was too slow and nobody would ride it.

            There may have been a bit of what you describe in some of the argument made in Cincinnati that what was needed was a commuter rail line.

            But if that was the case, it would be monumentally short-sighted for anybody up here in Northeast Ohio who wanted to see progress made in services in Greater Cleveland and Youngstown and along the Lakeshore to pick a pointless name-calling fight with Central Ohio under an vague and decades behind the times impression that Central Ohio is a political part of Cincinnati/Dayton, when the political reality is that if Northeast Ohio wants that, it is far more likely to get it in a political alliance with Central Ohio.

            Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

            by BruceMcF on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 10:27:07 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Collaboration hasn't worked (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              tikkun

              NE Ohio has tried countless times over the years to work with downstate pols.   Perhaps its better for them to accept the two areas of will never have much of a cooperative relationship.  I'd much rather see NE Ohio work to protect its assets in efforts to advance its own future.  

              There's no benefit for NE Ohio taxpayers in continuing to subsidize development downstate, especially now that the Ohio GA has gerrymandered state districts. That's kind of the last straw. With gerrymandering and its distorted representation, NE Ohio will continue to be milked for its tax revenue and other assets for the foreseeable future.

              Our funds and political clout are better spent on our own regional development instead of circling the economic drain with the rest of the state.  

              "The international world is wondering what happened to America's great heart and soul." Helen Thomas

              by Betty Pinson on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 11:12:24 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  When you continue to ... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                poligirl

                ... use an outmoded concept to claim that Northeast Ohio politicians have "tried to work with" "downstate" politicians and it didn't work, it doesn't make your claim sound any more persuasive. "Downstate" Ohio doesn't exist anymore, except, it seems, in the out of date mental models of some Northeast Ohio residents.

                Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

                by BruceMcF on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 11:51:24 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  A couple of examples (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  redwagon, tikkun

                  Downstate Dems are anti-labor, anti-women's rights, anti health care reform and real wobbly on voting rights.  I know because I've had to lobby the "Dem" leaders they elect over the last decade.  Their hero, Chris Redfern, is a perfect example of someone who hangs out with the GoP and is married to one of their most influential fundraisers.  They repay his friendship by breaking into the Ohio Dem headquarters and stealing the computers.

                  There was a recent article about Dan Froomkin's new book covering Obama's 2012 campaign.  He points out Obama was able to win Ohio thanks to the backlash from the GOP's SB 5 - the union killing bill.  It mobilized pro-labor voters, turning out enough to help win.  Given downstate Dem's anti-labor leanings, I'd say good luck winning any elections without pro-labor, pro- women's rights Dems in NE Ohio.

                  "The international world is wondering what happened to America's great heart and soul." Helen Thomas

                  by Betty Pinson on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 12:23:31 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Chris Redfern ... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    poligirl

                    ... from Ottawa County in Northwest Ohio, representing, among other areas, Cedar Point in the state House of Representatives is your idea of "downstate"?

                    So basically in your mind, there's Northeast Ohio, and there's everywhere else, called "downstate", even the parts that stick further north than Cleveland, and rural Ottawa County is identical to downtown Toledo, Franklin County is identical to Licking County, and Hamilton County is identical to Sciota County, all of them "downstate"?

                    If that is the mindset that went into the supposed Northeast Ohio politicians that "tried" but failed at coalition building elsewhere in the state, then that would be sufficient explanation for the effort failing ... no additional explanation would be required.

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                    by BruceMcF on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 12:32:18 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Nah, he's your guy (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      tikkun

                      Typical bigoted, conservative Dem.  

                      Last time I saw him he got up in my face and started yelling while we discussed his collaboration with the GOP.  

                      Glad the Obama Administration recognizes Chris's talents and promoted him to a good job in DC.  Oh, wait.

                      "The international world is wondering what happened to America's great heart and soul." Helen Thomas

                      by Betty Pinson on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 12:36:53 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  See what I mean about ... (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        poligirl

                        ... what happens when you pick your beliefs to reach your conclusions rather than based on looking out in the real world?

                        You end up calling me a conservative Democrat.

                        Because you assume that only a conservative Democrat would want Northeast Ohio Democrats to have reality-based mental maps of the political terrain in Ohio, allowing them to be more effective than we can ever be if we remain trapped in an obsolete mental model from half a century ago.

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                        by BruceMcF on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 01:00:42 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Here's an interesting essay (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          tikkun

                          written by a foreign student who attended school at OSU.  It gives a fairly accurate description of people there, not just at the university, but the Columbus area.

                          Ohio State University & Racism

                          Based on my experience as an active Dem who has worked on many campaigns in Ohio, yes, most active Dems and elected officials in Columbus are conservative.  I can't think of one liberal down there, with the possible exception of a couple of state reps from urban Cincinnati.  As the essay above illustrates, many of them (Columbus, rural Ohio, etc.) probably don't realize just how conservative they are because they're seldom exposed to people who are different and have more liberal points of view.  

                          "The international world is wondering what happened to America's great heart and soul." Helen Thomas

                          by Betty Pinson on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 01:27:03 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  What I find most interesting about that essay ... (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            poligirl, concernedamerican

                            ... is that his description of the reaction of people from all around Ohio going to University in Columbus to people from Kentucky fits your reaction to people from Columbus.

                            Jesus, if everybody living in Columbus are such redneck hicks, surely in the world of your stereotypes, living in Portage County must mean that I am a conservadem. Because after all, my State Rep is not a left-wing Democrat, so nobody living in her district could conceivably be a left-wing Democrat.

                            The scary thing is you're claims that you are an active Dem engaged in electoral politics, implying that your sabotage of progressive populist issues is not limited to trolling diaries at dkos, but extended to actually sabotaging the establishment of any progressive populist alternative to the Hedge Fund wing of the Democratic Party.

                            Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

                            by BruceMcF on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 02:31:35 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

            •  Columbus Has Never Wanted (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Betty Pinson

              a relationship with Cleveland, or Toledo, for that matter.  Forgive us if we're not impressed with all of this.  Columbus has always been aligned culturally and geographically with southern OHio.

              Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

              by tikkun on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 09:38:16 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  How current is your connection with ... (0+ / 0-)

                ... urban Columbus? Your description sounds more like Licking County than the Columbus Urban Area.

                And, indeed, your framing seems designed to mislead on a question of a Rapid Rail corridor that is cheaper per mile while having substantially greater passenger capacity than a new Interstate Highway.

                If we were talking about something like the $130m/mile California bullet train system, then, yes, it would have to include as anchors to quite large population areas with a large amount of the travel market in each focused on going to the other ...

                ... but for a $4m/mile Rapid Rail, remember that when we were building Interstate Highways, we didn't refuse to build I-81 between Columbus and Cleveland based on people's ideas of whether a majority of people in Columbus wanted to go to Cleveland or visa versa.

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                by BruceMcF on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 01:20:51 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Actually its likely that a 4hr train ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          concernedamerican

          ... trip to Chicago and a 2hr train trip to Columbus would be of similar utility ~ as the largest urban area in the Industrial Great Lakes region, there is a substantial benefit in being able to get to Chicago and back as a day corridor while taking the slower trip to NYC as a sleeper in both directions.

          And the patronage between Cleveland and Columbus would not have been one way by any means ~ there would have been both substantial traffic originating in Cleveland for Columbus and substantial traffic originating in Columbus for Cleveland.

          The 3C corridor remains the strongest corridor in the Ohio Hub system, the problem is that its been smeared politically, and this proposed Columbus to Chicago corridor neatly sidesteps the investment of the Ohio GOP in smearing the 3C.

          And since it also overcomes the biggest bottleneck in improved service to Chicago from Cleveland, anybody in Northeast Ohio interested in laying the foundation for improved rail service in this part of the state, as opposed to engaging in pointless name-calling and divisive infighting ought to support this project.

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          by BruceMcF on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 03:21:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  This Doeson't Hook Columbus to Anything (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          libnewsie, Betty Pinson

          in Ohio.  it hooks Columbus to Fort Wayne.

          Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

          by tikkun on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 09:35:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  They are referring to the 3C ... (0+ / 0-)

            ... which would have hooked Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton and Cincinnati.

            Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

            by BruceMcF on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 03:53:23 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  And that one is out. right? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Betty Pinson

              Color me less than impressed.

              Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

              by tikkun on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 08:56:30 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes, it is for the near term (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                tikkun

                As I pointed out in another comment, racism and zenophobia in downstate and rural Ohio are the biggest barriers to building high speed or any other kind of passenger rail service in the 3 C corridor.  

                As for the plan presented in the diary, from Cbus to Ft. Wayne, it's another example of something "centrists" have devised because they prefer to work with Republicans in Ohio.  

                This plan has two goals that Ohio DLC Dems and their pals in the GOP always promote in their agenda

                1. Damage and undermine economic development in the heavy Dem voting Cleveland/Cuyahoga County

                2. Promote the economic prospects for Columbus

                Downstate DLC Dems have been working this same strategy since the late 80's early 90's.  They prefer working with the GOP to undermine their fellow Dems in the north & east.

                "The international world is wondering what happened to America's great heart and soul." Helen Thomas

                by Betty Pinson on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 09:21:37 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Your claim that the ... (0+ / 0-)

                  ... Northeast Indiana Rail Passenger Association is really a sock puppet for the entirely racist and xenophobic Central Ohio Democrats is quite daft.

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                  by BruceMcF on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 11:59:41 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  No, but they're probably hoping (0+ / 0-)

                    to have IN & OH GOP legislators (Indiana is a very red state, 100% run by Republicans) approve the plan and secure the funds for a study.

                    Instead of central Ohio Dems working with their fellow party members in Ohio to get a Dem governor elected, so Obama's original high speed rail plan can be adopted, some may be undermining  fellow OH Dems by throwing in their lot with the OH & IN GOP on this alternative.  

                    It also undermines OH Dem's chances of electing Ed Fitzgerald as Ohio's next governor.   If central OH DLC Dems throw their lot in with the GOP on this plan, it gives Kasich something to use in his re-election campaign - "See, I'm bringing you a better and cheaper passenger rail plan for Ohio that bypasses the places where all the brown people live."  Kasich is probably going to catch a lot of criticism for turning down jobs and money for the high speed rail plan in Ohio, so his best option is to get Ohio's DLC Dems on board with the suburban white guy's plan.

                    I think the above scenario is possible because the presumed 2014 Dem candidate for governor is from "liberal" Cuyahoga County, running against Kasich, the GOP incumbent.  Columbus Republicans know that DLC Dems are an easy touch to help sell out their Dem challenger.  Columbus Dems have often believed they could benefit more by helping Columbus Republicans than if they work with the "liberals" in Cuy Co.

                    "The international world is wondering what happened to America's great heart and soul." Helen Thomas

                    by Betty Pinson on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 01:55:56 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Except this is all simply a mental projection .... (0+ / 0-)

                      ... without any actual information to back it up ...

                      ... from a mind that projects me to be a bigoted conservadem.

                      So what reason does anyone have to believe it is not pure delusion?

                      As I already pointed out in the diary, its not an available issue for 2014, so the whole theory of the Central Ohio insider Democratic party establishment doing the same kind of deal that was done to get the 12:4 Republican gerrymander passed in return for one of the Democratic seats being a majority minority district is a dubious one.

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                      by BruceMcF on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 09:26:08 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

    •  Really?? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      libnewsie

      Fort Wayne?

       I understand Chicago.  I even understand Columbus but the more important connections are Cleveland and Toledo to Columbus.  

      Ft. Wayne???

      Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

      by tikkun on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 09:13:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The way rail corridors work ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus

        ... is that they run through places. A 110mph rail corridor between Columbus and Chicago that ran through Fort Wayne because that is where the track is located yet didn't stop in Fort Wayne would not perform as well financially as one that has a stop in Fort Wayne.

        In order to grasp the concept of a Fort Wayne station, you need to grasp the concept that people in Fort Wayne might want to go to both Chicago and to Columbus.

        Also, that trains are not airplanes, and a 110mph train only sacrifices a few minutes as a result of a stop at a station: consider that the 11 stop local is only fifteen minutes slower than the four stop express, so that is less than three minutes lost per stop. Even if 0 people in Columbus wanted to go to Fort Wayne and all the people originating in Columbus were headed for Chicago, it would still be worthwhile stopping to let off the Fort Wayne residents returning from Columbus and pick up the Fort Wayne residents heading to Chicago.

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        by BruceMcF on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 03:49:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  A couple comments (4+ / 0-)

    There's currently no direct Interstate Highway along this corridor. The most direct route pretty closely follows the rail proposal: US 30 across Indiana, then cut down to US 33 into Columbus. Most of this route is a mid-speed four-lane surface road with bypasses around towns. The shortest all-Interstate route goes via Indianapolis and adds about 30 miles (but saves 20 minutes according to the Goog).

    The CSX-owned rail line across Indiana is leased to a short line, the Chicago, Fort Wayne and Eastern Railroad. This has certain potential disadvantages (more parties to negotiate with, more track work required) and advantages (less freight traffic). Dunkirk (east of Lima) to Columbus is owned and operated by CSX, but is one of two closely parallel lines between Toledo and Columbus, so again freight interference can probably be kept to a minimum.

    warning: snark above

    by NE2 on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 08:04:01 PM PDT

    •  TEMS have already held discussions ... (4+ / 0-)

      ... with the freight operators along the various rail corridors identified for the Ohio Hub, and indeed those discussions where part of the process of identifying the corridors to use.

      As far as the track work required, the amount of freight traffic to accommodate is a major part of determining how much track work is required, since less work is required where 10 miles passing track for 50 miles of track gives adequate capacity than where a dedicated passenger track is required. That's a substantial factor behind keeping the capital cost down to $4m/mile.

      The lack of a direct Interstate route between Columbus and Chicago via Northern Indiana is part of why this route is faster than driving, even though the alignment is not as direct as the Cleveland/Columbus alignment of the 3C corridor. As you note, the route is formed from the junction between a Columbus / Toledo corridor and the Northern Ohio to Chicago corridor via Fort Wayne, and if the more direct Columbus / Chicago corridors had not been abandoned, it would have been possible for a 110mph corridor to trim a bit more time off the trip.

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      by BruceMcF on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 08:19:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  As for track work (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BruceMcF, Aunt Pat

        I'm thinking a major freight line is more likely to be able to support mid-speed passenger trains (where there's room in the schedule, of course) than a stereotypical short line with numerous slow orders. I don't know which one the CFW&E is, but I do seem to recall that it doesn't get much if any through interchange traffic.

        warning: snark above

        by NE2 on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 10:57:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'd flip that around ... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NE2, US Blues

          ... either way requires maintaining a path plus whatever passing is required of passenger trains going in opposite directions as Class 6 track.

          The slow orders on the stereotypical short line is a symptom of the smaller number of freight movements, which is the same thing that makes it easier to maintain the track as Class 6 track than mainline track that is seeing a lot more freight traffic. In other words, the resleepering, reballasting, etc. to upgrade Class 3 track to Class 6 is not far off in original capital cost to what is needed to upgrade 79mph Class 5 (freight) to Class 6, and its easier to maintain a more lightly used corridor as Class 6.

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          by BruceMcF on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 11:10:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Cincinnati, Indianapolis earned better service (9+ / 0-)

    Earlier this year, I rode the Cardinal from Baltimore to Indy. The crowds in Cincy waiting for the train at 1:30 am were more than I expected--until I realized that the 3 times a week train was all they had.

    I think that the whole region deserves better service as soon as possible--and that service to Louisville should be included.

    The furor over Friday's [10.5] job report revealed a political movement that is rooting for American failure, so obsessed with taking down Obama that good news drives its members into a blind rage. -Paul Krugman

    by Judge Moonbox on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 08:17:47 PM PDT

    •  That's true ... (9+ / 0-)

      ... I talked about the Cardinal in February 2010, ...

      ... and then, as I described back in June 2012, the Cardinal would operate with a smaller subsidy per passenger if it was upgraded to a daily train, as Amtrak has proposed, which is estimated to reduce subsidy per passenger mile from $0.42 to $0.29.

      However, the total subsidy would increase modestly, from $19.5m to $21.6m, and even though this would be serving almost twice as many passengers, still, getting an extra $1.1m in subsidy out of a House of Representatives that has been trying to shut Amtrak's long distance routes down altogether is like pulling teeth.

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      by BruceMcF on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 08:28:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  At the VERY least (5+ / 0-)

        the Cardinal should be restored to 7 day service during the peak summer and fall travel season, as a lot of people take it to resorts or for sightseeing along the way. It's an extremely scenic route through the Appalachians.

        •  Once its restore to daily service ... (4+ / 0-)

          ... there's no reason to make it seasonal. They just need to add extra passenger cars during peak seasons.

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          by BruceMcF on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 10:10:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Works for me (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Rolfyboy6, Judge Moonbox

            Although I imagine that they could make the case that the extra overhead of off-season daily runs might not be worth it even with short trains. By starting out with the seasonal approach, enough demand might be expressed to make it year-round. I'm looking at this from the political angle.

            •  The benefit of ... (4+ / 0-)

              ... running every day at 96% increase in ridership for a 6% increase in subsidy is too strong to be restricted to just the strong seasons ... upgrading from three times a week to daily attracts new riders all through the year.

              Consider that the principle benefit from central WV through to Cincinnati is getting on the train in the afternoon through evening and arriving in Chicago 10:05am near the start of the business day. And then consider that if you only need to be in Chicago for the day, you could leave at 5:45pm ... except the train does not leave until 5:45pm the following day.

              And consider people who have two day trips ... but the first day is not the day that the Cardinal arrives. Relying on the three-a-week Cardinal schedule forces that to be a four day trip, at which point many people would drive, and many of the rest would the Greyhound (or Megabus) instead.

              The three-a-week trains are the worst performing trains financially, and all of them would operate at substantially lower subsidies per passenger mile if upgraded to daily service. But all of them would require a larger total subsidy and some arm twisting of freight railroads to achieve those gains.

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              by BruceMcF on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 10:56:45 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You've sold me (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Judge Moonbox, BruceMcF, spacecadet1

                The hard part is convincing congress, many of whose members aren't so good with the numbers, subscribing to the magical Jesus pony school of economics.

                •  Since small town Chambers of Commerce ... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  kovie, spacecadet1

                  ... are often in favor of things that don't fit the big moneybags ideologue's extreme ideas, a big part of that may hing on whether the "Tea Party" extremist strategy blows up in their face and we start to have some Republican Congressmen as worried about the General Election as the Primary.

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                  by BruceMcF on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 08:17:18 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The fact that business relies heavily (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    BruceMcF, Odysseus

                    on government programs, spending and initiatives is one of the teabagger movement's Achilles heels. You can't be publicly against and privately for the same things forever and not have it blow up on you in terms of PR, revenue or both. Plus, this movement has become a self-defeating monster with its crazy racist inanity about socialism and birth certificates. I think its high water mark has long since passed and it's not long for this world. We need to make the business world remember that infrastructure spending is GOOD for business, and spending cuts are BAD. They made their point. Now time to move on.

      •  On time service on the Cardinal is horrible (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BruceMcF, Judge Moonbox, libnewsie

        I live in Charlottesville, VA along it's route and that train rarely runs on time. It's a one track line through here and CSX runs empty coal trains, westbound only, along it every hour or so. I imagine that the eastbound Cardinal has to spend hours sitting on sidings to let 100 car trains run in the other direction so I don't know how you can improve that. Even if I was going to Chicago from here I would take the Cresent or the Lynchburg-Boston train to DC and transfer to the Capitol Limited.

        “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.” Lyndon Baines Johnson

        by spacecadet1 on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 10:00:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  How you can improve that is ... (4+ / 0-)

          ... more sidings and extending sidings so that coal trains can sit in the sidings while the Cardinal goes by. Plus real enforceable standard for what the legal requirement to give priority to the Amtrak passenger trains means. Both of those require an effective pro-rail caucus in both the House and Senate ... the more Rapid Passenger Rail services are available, providing service in both urban and rural areas, the better the prospect for that kind of caucus in the House.

          Also, improvements from Chicago to Cincinnati would help on-time performance eastbound, since delays tend to snowball, and if the eastbound Cardinal was reliably on time coming out of Cincinnati heading east, it would be less likely to miss assigned slots for it, which can cause hours of delays when a slow coal train is already occupying a single track section heading the other way.

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          by BruceMcF on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 10:09:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And That Helps the Great Lakes When? (0+ / 0-)

            I'm really not interested in Cincinnati, lovely as it is.  I'm interested in business travel.  Ohio doesn't have the means for it and won't get serious about it.  That's really why I moved and it's really why a plethora of educated young Democrats, dedicated for a long time to Ohio, finally had to get the hell out.

            Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

            by tikkun on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 09:06:24 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  As the diary itself points out ... (0+ / 0-)

              ... the natural next step after the Columbus / Fort Wayne / Chicago is a 110mph Cleveland / Toledo / Fort Wayne corridor which can connect to Chicago from there, and the Cincinnati to Chicago improvements would have to wait until later improvements from Chicago to Indianapolis.

              So the question "And That Helps The Great Lakes When" doesn't make much sense in context, even under the divide-and-conquer definition of "Great Lakes" aimed at preventing any useful infrastructure investments in rail corridors from being made based on the fact that corridors are likely to be built in sequence rather than all at once.

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              by BruceMcF on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 11:56:42 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Practically Speaking (0+ / 0-)

                I don't really give a damn if they get fast trains in Columbus and Ft. Wayne, nor do any of the other people who can't hang around and wait for the high population corridor to be properly served.

                Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

                by tikkun on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 12:57:38 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Which high population corridor are you talking ... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Judge Moonbox

                  ... about? The highest population corridor in the state is, of course, the 3C, but you've said that you have no interest in Cincinnati, Dayton or Columbus, so serving the largest population corridor in the state does not seem to be your thing.

                  Here you are expressing no interest in solving the biggest bottleneck for improved rail service in the Cleveland / Toledo / Northern Indiana / Chicago corridor.

                  And you have already said you have no interest in Cincinnati / Chicago.

                  So with your reactions ruling out the Cleveland / Columbus / Cincinnati corridor, the Cleveland / Toledo / Northern Indiana / Chicago corridor, the Columbus / Northern Indiana / Chicago corridor and both the Cincinnati / Central Indiana / Chicago and the Cincinnati / West Virginia / DC corridor ...

                  ... that leaves either Columbus / Pittsburgh or Cleveland / Youngstown / Pittsburgh.

                  But since you seem to lean toward reflex reactions without much clear analysis laying behind it, its difficult to tell what your actual argument is, if you have one.

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                  by BruceMcF on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 08:25:45 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  We subsidize parking and highways. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Judge Moonbox, spacecadet1

        Why not trains?

        Joy shared is doubled. Pain shared is halved. Spider Robinson

        by nolagrl on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 11:58:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Re-published to Central Ohio Kossacks. nt (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BruceMcF, RunawayRose, clecinosu, Aunt Pat

    Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

    by Ohiodem1 on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 08:25:25 PM PDT

  •  Indiana? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BruceMcF, Betty Pinson

    I don't think it will happen.

    Trains are the things that slow their pickup trucks down at rail crossings.

  •  This is great news ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marykk, BruceMcF

    A little sorry it's not the 3C route from Cincy to Cleveland, but great to hear that they're thinking of funding any of it at all.

    Hopefully, they can start with something and build it bigger.

    •  Different "they" ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... but given the way that the Ohio Republican Party got on board smearing the 3C route, the prospects of getting the to agree on the 3C to restart things seems less bright than getting them willing to consider a different part of the Ohio Hub altogether.

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      by BruceMcF on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 10:01:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for Correct Terminology (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    US Blues, spacecadet1

    Kudos for stating right off the bat this is not high speed rail.

    There's a similar project linking Chicago to St. Louis (100-120 mph) which has been labeled by Illinois politicians and clueless media as "high speed rail".

    France's TGV typically reaches speeds of 200 mph and above. That is the standard for high speed rail. When you're fifty years behind the technology, you don't get to define what it is.

    Regarding this project, I support it but don't get the lack of a stop in South Bend, home to a major university. yes, the rickety old South Shore Line and Amtrak links the two cities, but it's the Columbus link to South Bend that I think would be compelling.

    and no stop in Cleveland?

    "The 1% don't want SOLUTIONS; they've worked very hard the last four decades to get conditions the way they are now".

    by Superpole on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 05:27:48 AM PDT

    •  Its a purely semantic argument. (0+ / 0-)

      Under current legislation, the 110mph corridors are High Speed Rail. Under the George HW Bush era legislation that it replaced, 90mph or higher was "High Speed Rail". And the Illinois DOT is getting the majority of their funding from the US DOT HSR funding, so its no surprise if they use the US DOT language.

      And if they are upgraded to 125mph (normally at more than double the cost, because of the need to close down or harden level crossings), they would be considered High Speed Rail  in many parts of Europe. Indeed, at 125mph they'd be faster than the original bullet train in Japan in the 1960s.

      But quibbling over the names strikes me as a pointless side argument, since what matters for public transport infrastructure investment is whether the benefit/cost justifies the investment of public funds under current economic conditions and whether it makes our transportation system more adaptable to coming changes or locks us into our current unsustainable system.

      110mph is certainly higher speed rail than anything we have in the United States outside of the Northeast Corridor.

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      by BruceMcF on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 09:59:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So It's "All Relative" (0+ / 0-)

        Back in the 1800's when we had steam powered rail travel going what? thirty miles an hour... that can be considered "high speed rail" because it was faster than a horse and carriage?

        Look, as I've stated here before, I've ridden actual high speed rail-- the Eurostar between London and Paris and back to London.

        it was fun, amazing, a great example of advanced technology in action.

        Call it quibbling or whatever, but I refuse to participate in the dumbing down of nearly everything that made our nation great.

        The U.S. is constantly compared to other first world of nations and touted as being sooooooo much better, more advanced when in fact we are not.

        Rail travel is just one example.

        "The 1% don't want SOLUTIONS; they've worked very hard the last four decades to get conditions the way they are now".

        by Superpole on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 02:12:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Accepting the dumbing down .. (0+ / 0-)

          ... would be buying into the idea that there is some magic threshold maximum speed beyond which a train is "High Speed Rail".

          Indeed, if one raised the effective speed limit on the Northeast Corridor to 130mph through most of the corridor, it would offer substantially more rapid transit on most of the corridor than it does with the 150mph top speed Acela.

          In the real world, how fast is fast enough depends upon the distribution of population along a corridor and the existing range of transport alternatives available.

          A far more useful threshold to look at than maximum train speed is the threshold effective transit speed beyond which the rail service runs an operating surplus. All bullet train High Speed Rail services around the world that I am aware of achieve that threshold, but a number of trains in the class the the British long called "High Speed Trains" are also able to do so.

          The Chicago / Columbus corridor is an example of a corridor that can generate an operating surplus running at a top speed of 110mph.

          Given US history, with the FRA attempting to impose Positive Train Control by mandating it on corridors with speed limits of 80mph or higher, and freight companies responding by putting 79mph speed limits on their rail corridors, the 110mph and 125mph options are quite distinctly higher speed than the slower-than-driving speeds that we have been imposing on Amtrak outside the Northeast Corridor ... up to 39% faster for the 110mph version and up to 58% faster for the 125mph version.

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          by BruceMcF on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 04:05:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Phase 4 follows the former Monon Railbed. Central (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    US Blues, BruceMcF

    Indiana railtrails have been renovated enough that you can bike from northern Hamilton County, across Marion County (Indianapolis) then on across much of Johnson and Shelby Counties. The Monon railbeds still exist from Chicago to Cinncinati and spurs to Louisville.

  •  The older I get the more I need trains (7+ / 0-)

    to get around. Air is an unbelievable hassle doe an older person (not the flight, but the process of getting to the airport and especially getting on an airplane). I love a drive of a couple hours, but more is physically tough. On a train you can stretch out and get up and walk around, crucial.

    Anyway I live an hour or so from Toronto and the piece missing in this Northeast/Midwest someday system is Buffalo to Detroit through Toronto. There must be 12 plus million people on or near that route, not counting Buffalo and Detroit. It could easily link them up to Chicago. I have gone to Detroit several times by bus and have driven to Ann Arbor and gone by train to Chicago, both work fine but Rapid train would work even better. A link up from Toronto to Detroit by train would be a boon to Detroit (and Toronto).

    We have only just begun and none too soon.

    by global citizen on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 07:09:41 AM PDT

    •  Yes, I've mentioned before ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      global citizen, Turbonerd

      ... the benefit of an Ontario line Toronto / London / Detroit passenger corridor over the Sarnia rail bridge.

      But the route that goes to Toronto via Buffalo is the southern Lakeshore route, since Buffalo to Toronto has the train coming in west to east, and rather than reversing the Buffalo to Toronto service, it would seem more natural to continue that corridor on to Ottawa and Montreal.

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      by BruceMcF on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 09:48:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  But...FreeDumb! Private sector! America woohoo! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    US Blues, BruceMcF, Betty Pinson

    Plus, it's ObamaRail, and he's a socialist. And trains are commie.

    Guvmint git yet hands off my Amtrak!

    •  Well, there, you have listed ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kovie

      ... some more reasons why its more plausible that it might get funded in 2017 than in 2016.

      A lot of infrastructure investment depends on whether the "Tea Party" radical reactionaries in the Republican Party implode between now and then.

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      by BruceMcF on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 09:41:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I believe that it's less about opposition (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BruceMcF

        from sincere if misguided ideological libertarians than from lobbies representing entrenched transportation industry interests such as airlines, automakers, oil companies, trucking companies and road construction firms that would stand to lose big if rail were more heavily built up in the US, who hide behind these obvious astroturfing movements. I've got to wonder if this would change if someone like Elon Musk got into rail (as opposed to that hyperloop silliness).

        However, there is definitely also ideological resistance, from RW leaders and voters, the unfortunate residue of decades of far-right propaganda spread by the RWNM. Lots of people actually do believe the nonsense that our economy has historically thrived only when government got out of it, which couldn't be further from the truth. It's the old Jefferson vs. Hamilton debate, on which Hamilton was clearly the winner, in theory and practice.

        •  When I write 'Tea Party' Republicans ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kovie

          ... corporate interest groups manipulating big chunks of the GOP primary base electorate is what I am talking about.

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          by BruceMcF on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 12:15:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, just want to make sure it's clear (0+ / 0-)

            that both things are going on. Neither would have pull without the other.

            The real question is where our power comes from. We have lots of popular support--and our supporters tend to be smarter, saner and more decent. But where does our money power come from? Surely there's a lot of money to be made in a push for rail expansion in this country, in all its facets, light rail, intercity, HSR, etc. Why are not able to ally with interests that would stand to benefit financially from this (including banks, who'd be financing it all)?

            •  The fact that there is a strong ... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              kovie

              ... and effective rail caucus in the Senate shows that there is a power base there ...

              ... but so long as outer suburban and rural Americans are under the impression that passenger trains only benefit large cities, then it will be harder to replicate that in the Republican-gerrymandered House.

              That's one reason that intercity passenger rail service tends to be infectious inside states that start investing in it ~ California Illinois, Virginia, etc. ~ because then local experience shows the benefit to Small Town America and people in small towns and rural areas that are not served start lobbying to get service.

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              by BruceMcF on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 01:07:54 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Plus the propaganda nonsense (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                BruceMcF

                that's been implanted in red/rural/exurban America that public debt is evil and government-run programs are inherently corrupt and inefficient interference in the magical free market, even though without both we'd be economically dead.

                These people are stupid and economically ignorant, and many of them are also racist, which is relevant to this issue because they believe that passenger rail mostly benefits poor inner city people (translation: blacks and Latinos) who don't own cars, can't afford to fly, and would otherwise stay put (and thus not invade their perfect white enclaves) or take the bus.

                I.e. they're Jeffersonians, in all the bad ways, except that Jefferson wasn't stupid. But he was an economic Luddite and a racist to boot, who opposed nearly all government interference in he economy. I don't mean to beat this (iron) horse to death, but the ideological aspect of this issue and the way that it holds back development of rail is pretty big and one of the things that has to be turned around. We have often been held back by our Jeffersonian roots.

                Properly managed government debt, used to finance worthwhile public works and infrastructure projects, has not only been hugely beneficial to the US economy historically, it has been ESSENTIAL to it. To deny this is to profess one's ignorance of what's in large part made the US economically successful.

                Hopefully, with the GOP's base literally dying out, we're moving past this latest "know nothing" era of economic ignorance and stagnation, and will soon begin a new era of (broadly and fairly shared) economic growth and prosperity, enabled in large part by massive government investment in infrastructure projects like passenger rail, of all kinds, and will no longer be held back moronic questions of how will we pay for it.

                •  One benefit that Rapid Rail projects like this ... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  kovie

                  ... have is that since they can run at an operating surplus, their operations can be put out to bid as a franchise. That means that people who have suffered from contagion with the anti-government fever don't have to get all the way better before being able to support this.

                  It does require them to make it from "Tea Party" extreme anti-government to small town Chamber of Commerce moderate anti-government, but its possible to get moderate republicans and conservative Democrats on board, so long as neither are simply acting out of fear of "Tea Party" extremists.

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                  by BruceMcF on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 03:52:56 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I'm convinced that there are far fewer (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    BruceMcF

                    truly extreme Paulian teabagger types than the media and tea party astroturf leaders makes them out to be, and that many self-described teabaggers are just ignorant and confused Fox Nuz watchers who would be responsive to an economically appealing argument that promised them jobs and prosperity. We have tried the far-right economic approach for over 30 years and it doesn't work. It creates phony short-term "prosperity" that mostly benefits the very rich and corrupt and eventually devastates everyone else. These people are seeing this with their own eyes and need only be lobbied convincingly to move closer to the center (I don't expect most of them to become liberals, but they don't need to). Of course, actual results such as what you refer to speak the loudest. And the racism continues to be a major obstacle, as they just don't like or trust a black president, but I think that can be overcome too.

                    Why Obama & Dems don't make a huge PR push for this is beyond me.

                    •  I do think that's right ... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      kovie

                      ... which is why the enemies of improved intercity passenger rail really needed to kill all of the projects ... just killing some of them just wasn't good enough.

                      As the projects that were funded start operating, and people start riding them, and word spread to neighboring states that the reality doesn't match the fictions spread by Fake Noise ...

                      ...we are going to see a rising amount of "we want what they have".

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                      by BruceMcF on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 04:21:30 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

  •  Who is served by this? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raines, Miggles, BruceMcF

    As I read this diary it occurred to me that many of the folks who would benefit from this train service cannot afford to fly, and may not own a car worthy enough of a long drive from one city to another. And with this thought came the recognition of how this type of train service could benefit families and individuals, giving them the freedom of mobility that may be constraining their lives.

    Thanks Bruce, for these always informative train blogs.

    "Political ends as sad remains will die." - YES 'And You and I' ; -8.88, -9.54

    by US Blues on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 07:39:16 AM PDT

    •  I wonder as well. Unless there is a huge (0+ / 0-)

      population needing this connectivity along these points, it doesn't seem worth it, especially if it will just use conventional locomotives at conventional speeds, making too many stops, as well as having to share track with freight rail.  So my hope would be that if this gets implemented that the design effort is made as early as possible to construct a separate express high speed rail corridor (with maybe just one stop in Ft. Wayne).  The problem is that if the planning for high speed rail isn't carried out now, it will keep on getting delayed.  Look at the Acela Express along the eastern corridor and how hobbled it remains 13 years after inception.

      •  Except that its worth it. (0+ / 0-)

        Even at a 7% discount rate, its worth it.

        Making investments in things that bring greater economic benefit than their capital cost is how we used to grow our economy. Not doing that as much anymore is a big part of why our economy is not growing as much as it used to.

        Who it would serve directly would be the people that experience across the US tells us would take a train at those travel times and at those ticket prices.

        The fact that its worth it while using 125mph locomotives operating at 110mph on corridors upgraded to share capacity between freight and passenger traffic does not modify the fact that its worth it.

        Indeed, given the fact that its worth it, that suggests that evaluating various proposal based on prejudice in favor of or against some particular transport technology is not the way to do, if what we want to do is to make the investments that will lead in the direction of sustainable economic growth.

        Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

        by BruceMcF on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 12:22:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  There is a distinct downside to this. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Betty Pinson, Miggles, spacecadet1, tikkun

    Building 110 mph passenger rail service would virtually shut out 250 mph (and faster) service for the near and medium future in the same area.

    Rail technology could replace air travel for all but transcontinental flights if we got to 300+ mph. Many of us would prefer a comfortable six hour rail trip to San Francisco from Chicago to a cramped and uncomfortable four hour flight.

    There are pneumatic schemes on the drawing board that could conceivably replace air travel entirely, and emit zero carbon in the process. I think we should aim for technology that improves on the best in the world to date, rather than settle for rail service that's only a few mph better that car travel.

    ... but He loves you! -- George Carlin -- (-7.25, -6.21)

    by Tim DeLaney on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 07:45:55 AM PDT

    •  You think "pneumatic schemes" are practical? (0+ / 0-)

      Sounded like a bit of a crock to me.

      •  Pneumatic driven trains have advantages. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        maybeeso in michigan, Miggles

        The power source is stationary, and does not need to be accelerated. KE = Mass x Velocity ^ 2.  Diesel engines and jet engines are usually pretty heavy.

        As a result, the power source can be electric. No fossil fuel required.

        Air resistance is not only eliminated, but air itself is a part of the propulsion system.

        But you're right, pneumatic schemes are impractical -- until they are built.  

        ... but He loves you! -- George Carlin -- (-7.25, -6.21)

        by Tim DeLaney on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 08:30:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The most recent ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Odysseus

          ... tube-train proposal to get wide public airing was a soft-vacuum minitrain, the "Hyperloop", from the outskirts of LA to the outskirts of SF, with extraordinarily optimistic assumptions made all around to turn an R&D project into an argument that it should replace the 220mph California bullet train project.

          The challenge for tube trains is capital cost. If we are struggling to get projects off the ground with 70% economic benefit return on public investment at costs of $4m/mile, and proven, established 220mph bullet train technology has had to fight to get up and running on one of its strongest target corridors in the country, getting funding for the $10b's to $100b's that a transcontinental tube train would cost seems a bit of a challenge.

          Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

          by BruceMcF on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 12:13:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I loved how Musk assumed that he could build (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BruceMcF

            it without having to buy the land because the government owns it, so he'd expect the Feds and/or California to simply surrender the land for his operation.  Because, you know, there are no rules anywhere about only transferring government property for value.

            I truly think that all of these wacky proposals are just ways to kill HSR - get the supporters to believe that the CAHSR project is somehow flawed and delude them into thinking that a better project can be built, politically and fiscally.  But maybe Musk opposes HSR - after all, to him, people who aren't driving are lost customers.

            "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

            by auron renouille on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 02:23:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I don't buy your premise ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      peregrine kate

      ... that building 110mph passenger rail service would virtually shut out 250mph (and faster) service for the near and medium future in the same area.

      Its the reverse ~ so long as cross platform connections are possible at strategic stations, the 110mph passenger rail services can act as recruiters for bullet trains.

      That would be particularly true for pneumatic train technology, versus maglev or bullet trains, as it tends toward being a point to point technology, rather than being able to offer the corridor service that bullet trains or Maglev could offer.

      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

      by BruceMcF on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 09:39:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What on earth is it with these gadgetbahns? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      terrypinder

      Wasting money on technology that doesn't pencil out takes that money away from proven technology that will work.  The Japanese, French, and Germans are doing the research for us - let them.  We ought to stick to off-the-shelf technology that works.  If you want super-fast, take a look at the new maglev that Japan is building to complement the Chuo line (the central rail line along on Honshu, Japan's largest and most populated island, akin to the 5 along the West Coast or the 95 on the East Coast).  I'm happy to sit back and let Japan figure out what does and doesn't work; license the technology from them and build it here, but let them do what they do best.

      "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

      by auron renouille on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 02:18:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  People who get the notion that ... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        auron renouille, Odysseus

        ... the obstacles to a more flexible range of intercity transport options are technology rather than our backward political systems naturally look for a solution in a technological leap.

        But given that we aren't making many low-risk, high-reward investments in systems like the one in this dairy, the odds that we are going to be plowing hundreds of billions of dollars into a high risk technological leap seems awfully low.

        Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

        by BruceMcF on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 03:48:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Berkshire Rail Road NY/CT/MA? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BruceMcF, peregrine kate

    Would you be interested in covering with one of your Sunday Train articles the proposed connection of passenger service from Grand Central Station through Connecticut and Western Massachusetts (the Berkshires) by the Housatonic Railroad that's currently only freight? There's a grassroots org, the Berkshire Train Campaign promoting it.

    The Campaign and the Railroad say it would require only about $200M, mostly to build and rehab passengers stations along the existing lines. MA has already assigned $118M in its 2013 budget. The Railroad claims it could move passengers 3 years from commencing the project.

    Plus, the route would interconnect the Danbury terminal on the MetroNorth's New Haven line over to the Brewster station on the MetroNorth's Harlem Line. So for the first time in generations, passengers could travel between stations around the greater NYC area without having to schlep hours roundtrip through Grand Central. Indeed, the Housatonic freight system also extends across to the Beacon station on the MetroNorth's Hudson Line, and within a few miles of the MetroNorth's New Haven terminal. If the original passenger renovation succeds, we could extend service to interconnect all MetroNorth's lines about an hour outside Grand Central, interconnecting points as far as 2 hours outside NYC with each other.

    It looks like it would boost the economy of the entire region north of NYC, while replacing inconvenient, inefficient, unsustainable road traffic. Opening the region to access by people in NYC and elsewhere served by the existing barely adequate rail systems. And already so close to getting started, that a little more public support could make it happen.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 08:51:35 AM PDT

  •  Costs and Benefits (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Betty Pinson, BruceMcF, catilinus

    We recently took a road trip from DC to Pittsburgh, Columbus, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, St. Louis, and Kansas City to visit museums AMTRAK's schedule had not made convenient for us. This improved service through Ohio and Indiana would be most welcome. But does it pencil?

    The text states:

    "To put that cost in perspective:

    "That is about $250 per passenger over 2020 to 2040 on the projected ridership
    That is 77% of estimated economic benefits at a 7% discount rate and 59% of estimated economic benefits at a 3% discount rate
    "Compared to the 1.9m population of the towns and urban areas being connected to Chicago (I use city populations for areas without  urban area population rather than metro area population for this), that is $679 per person in the cities and towns served."

    If those numbers are correct, $250/passenger seems much harder to sell than the $10/passenger my father in law used to criticize the DC metro. Can you supply some comparisons about the subsidies from trust funds for road and air travel per person and develop the dollar measures of benefits more fully?

    For example, the DC metro has lead to increased real estate values near its stations. Are there tangible that is on the ground benefits to the smaller cities that one can reliably predict and include in the cost benefit discussion?

    •  Its a 300+ mile trip ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      concernedamerican, Odysseus

      ... we subsidize individual interstate trips on the Interstate Highway system much more than we subsidize each daily commute on an Interstate Highway, simply because the interstate trips have a lot more miles per trip.

      As far as tangible on the ground benefits ~ that's where the cost/benefit figures come from. Increased property values around stations. Converting money spent to import petroleum into wages paid that are spent in the US. The economic benefits of a transport system that better fits people's needs.

      Costs that are 77% to 59% of gross benefits implies 23% to 41% of the total benefit is net benefit, after the value of the costs have been covered.

      Turning it around, its a 30% to 70% more benefit than cost, depending on how high a discount rate we apply. Given that we are not even counting the additional benefit of greater flexibility in responding to unexpected change, I'd argue for using the 3% discount rate, and the 70% return on the investment of public funds.

      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

      by BruceMcF on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 12:05:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Excellent point, and one that runs contrary (0+ / 0-)

      to the old battles I recall re: the LA Metro.

      For example, the DC metro has lead to increased real estate values near its stations. Are there tangible that is on the ground benefits to the smaller cities that one can reliably predict and include in the cost benefit discussion?
      Welcome from the DK Partners & Mentors Team. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Knowledge Base or from the New Diarists Resources Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.

      The Americas greatest political dynasty...the Kaan

      by catilinus on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 03:14:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great article as always (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BruceMcF

       I wonder if at some point in the future you might do a Sunday Train giving a clear overview of the status of the current rail improvements going on in the Charlotte-Greensboro-Raleigh, Raleigh-Richmond, and Richmond-DC corridor. I look for information on various sites, but it always seems either too detailed and technical like engineering specs for a particular intersection, or too general like the overall plan to improve rail service. I know that, for example, the old abandoned line between Raleigh and Richmond is under construction, and when done will make a huge difference in corridor speeds, but cannot seem to find any information at all about when this will be operational or how many trains per day will be run.  So a Sunday Train from you on this would be wonderful.

    "Something has gone very wrong with America, not just its economy, but its ability to function as a democratic nation. And it’s hard to see when or how that wrongness will get fixed." Paul Krugman and Robin Wells

    by Reston history guy on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 10:17:52 AM PDT

    •  I'm definnitely going to be looking at this ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Reston history guy

      ... sometime later this year.

      Actually, last week's started out as an overview of four Rapid Rail corridors under construction ~ Miami-Orlando, Chicago-St Louis, Washington/Oregon, and DC to Charlotte, but ended up just being about one of those four. So look for each of the other three to come around sometime in the rest of the year.

      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

      by BruceMcF on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 11:55:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BruceMcF

        Always look forward to your diary each week. Sometimes I read it it on iPad, and for some reason I can't seem to rec diaries or comments or even sign in. I am probably just ignorant, but perhaps something about DK is hostile to mobile devices.

        "Something has gone very wrong with America, not just its economy, but its ability to function as a democratic nation. And it’s hard to see when or how that wrongness will get fixed." Paul Krugman and Robin Wells

        by Reston history guy on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 11:58:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That I do not know ... (0+ / 0-)

          ... I don't know if the widgets are flash or javascript. When I have trouble with features on a site with my Android tablet, I flip the browser between PC mode and Tablet mode and try it again.

          Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

          by BruceMcF on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 12:07:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  So, here's my question. (0+ / 0-)

    I used to live in a rural town outside Columbus and before that in the urban heart of Columbus, in Clintonville.

    Frankly, when I lived there, COTA sucked, hard.  It was not a viable way to live, and Columbus, at least in the '90s and early '00s, was not a city with a lot of density.  Much of the development and business took place along the outerbelt, in cities like Gahanna (yes, they named a city after Hell), Dublin, and even out in New Albany, for Les Wexner's The Limited empire.  COTA doesn't get you there.  In fact, my memory of the '90s was that COTA only served the airport around OSU holidays.  Not an OSU student?  You're SOL.  I can't imagine that they still do that, but that's basically COTA for you.

    I like the triple-C plan because it'll serve Cincinnati and Cleveland, which both have at least passable transit, particularly Cleveland, and will serve folks who need to travel to Columbus on state business (until the last ten years or so, Columbus was smaller than Cleveland and Cincinnati, but I believe that Columbus is larger now).  But what is their plan to enable Chicago and Indiana travelers to make it to their final destination upon arrival in Columbus?  Chicago is a five hour drive and Fort Wayne is less than three hours - people are not going to take a train for under three hours and then pay to rent a car.

    I'm car-free myself, so that's why I wonder about these things.

    It's easier on the East Coast and in California and the Cascadia regions (e.g. Salem OR to Vancouver BC) because most of those places have great transit; even smaller California and Oregon towns have surprisingly good transit, at least those California towns west of the Coast Range and Oregon towns along the 5, have good transit for their size (I won't speak for the Central Valley towns outside of Sacramento, which I'm unfamiliar with).  So that's viable.

    I dunno.  I know that the Republicans have a stranglehold on the Ohio statehouse (don't get me started), so the idea of statewide transit improvements is probably fanciful.  But how do you do this kind of system without credible connecting services once you get to Columbus, particularly now that the city's private employers are now out on the outerbelt?

    This will, however, be great for OSU students from Indiana and Illinois or even Western Ohio, of which there are many.  But OSU students aren't going to be traveling back and forth all semester, only at holidays.

    "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

    by auron renouille on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 02:04:52 PM PDT

    •  Much of the Columbus bound traffic would be ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... for people who are either bound to downtown Columbus or bound to the airport.

      And bear in mind that if someone from Columbus is traveling to Chicago or northern Indiana, that is also a trip to Columbus when they are making their return trip.

      And of course OSU, the State Government, Batelle, etc. are going to generate both inbound and outbound travel all year round, not just when the students are heading home for the holiday ~ there is, for instance, a constant movement of faculty to and from academic departments at OSU.

      When looking at an intercity rail system that is cheaper to establish per mile than building a new interstate highway, and able to operate at a surplus instead of imposing the ongoing budgetary burden that an interstate highway imposes on a state, it doesn't have to cover a massive share of the travel market in order to be a sound public investment.

      That's how the Rapid Rail corridors tend to work: under conditions of cheap gas (that is, well under $6/gallon that would be required to cover all third party, pollution and climate risk costs), they attract a single digit share of the total travel market in the area that they run through, but because they are so cost-effective, they can still offer an economic return on public investment of 30% to 70%, and then see much of the original public investment return back in the form of a stronger tax base.

      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

      by BruceMcF on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 03:44:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is the Story of Ohio (0+ / 0-)

      The truly urban areas are being sucked dry by Columbus and the most backward people in the state have a choke hold on the direction of the state.  That hasn't really changed.

      Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

      by tikkun on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 08:47:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Would this being using existing rail routes? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BruceMcF

    I know that of course new rails would have to be put in but, if they are put on existing routes then it would cut down on right-of-way issues and disruptions to communities.

    •  Yes, this is all existing rail corridors ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... there would be some reactivation of presently shuttered rail corridor in the Toledo to Detroit section of the Ohio Hub and in the Columbus to Pittsburgh section, but Columbus to Chicago are all rail corridors in active service. Over 90% of the entire Ohio Hub system runs in existing freight rail corridors.

      That's one reason why there's little reason to worry about a negative Environmental Impact Report ... there is very little negative environmental impact of adding some passing tracks to rail corridors already in active use, set against positive environmental impacts of providing alternatives to driving.

      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

      by BruceMcF on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 03:32:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "Passing Tracks" (0+ / 0-)

        Can I assume this means sharing rail with freight trains?

        if yes, this means the passenger train pulls over and lets the freight train have priority.

        I've been on Amtrak from Chicago to sw Michigan and have seen this happen. it adds time to your trip, not a positive when comparing to other modes of transport.

        "The 1% don't want SOLUTIONS; they've worked very hard the last four decades to get conditions the way they are now".

        by Superpole on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 03:53:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Don't confuse short sidings that are ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Odysseus

          ... too short for a long container or coal train to pull into with a 10 mile long stretch of passing track.

          When you have bidirectional single track that runs for 200 miles or more without a siding long enough for a long freight train to pull into, then the shorter passenger train has to be the one that pulls over to let the freight train go by.

          And when Amtrak is running on freight track maintained by a freight railroad, they are not going to spend any extra money just to make it possible for that Amtrak to get by.

          On the other hand, when you have ten miles of passing track and a forty mile long single track section and then another ten miles of passing track, and so on, you actually can hold the freight train from entering the single track section until the passenger train has cleared the line.

          Since its running at up to 110mph, the passenger train it can clear that single track section in twenty to thirty minutes ... so if the freight train is coming on the passing track section at the same time as the passenger train is entering the single track section heading the other way, all the freight train has to do is slow down to 20mph and the single track section will be clear by the time the freight train gets there.

          Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

          by BruceMcF on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 04:30:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Those stops can add as much as 4 hour to trips (0+ / 0-)

          For that reason, business users cannot use the trains in the East West Corridor.  I have property in New York and in Ohio.  Three trips on the East West corridor trains proved, glaringly, that train travel on those lines was just not going to work.  Business users provide the continuity that makes transportation pofitable (if profitiablity is the only value of which we speak)  The trains are just not feasible due to their irregularity.

          Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

          by tikkun on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 08:53:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, which is why this corridor is ... (0+ / 0-)

            ... not designed like that.

            "Feasible" is not the term, since they evidently are feasible, but see my Steel Interstate diaries for the kind of freight rail corridors on which long distance passenger routes could operate at break even without experiencing those kinds of delays.

            Barring that, the establishment of the kind of corridors proposed by NIRPA here seem most likely to provide the political base of support that would be required to make the capital investments and changes in regulatory rules to eliminate those kinds of unpredictable and multi-hour delays.

            Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

            by BruceMcF on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 11:39:50 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Note, to be clear ... (0+ / 0-)

          ... that the 10:50 track layout is nothing like the layout that tikkun is referring to in the NYC / Chicago routes via either upstate New York or West Virginia. The design was created by people quite familiar with the delays when Amtrak run on conventional freight rail corridors. The point of the Midwest Regional Rail System track layout designs is to eliminate those long delays.

          Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

          by BruceMcF on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 08:46:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Clever (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BruceMcF

    I notice that there at least one stop in magor cities of all the congressional districts. This should help with funding and cut down on opposition.

  •  My God, yes, please give us train service! We (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BruceMcF, Odysseus

    are a ridiculously large city not to be served by train; and we are a big center for education, tech industry, and commerce.  Talkin' bout Columbus Ohio here.  We need to be connected to the rest of the country by rail!

    That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

    by concernedamerican on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 03:26:47 PM PDT

  •  Anywhere else, it's High Speed (HS) Rail... (0+ / 0-)

    Here, it will be some pastiche work.

    The Microsoft model for doing something.

    Might as well call it MS Rail.

    Ugh. --UB.

    "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Randian Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of West Dakota!"

    by unclebucky on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 06:30:22 AM PDT

    •  Actually, that's not true ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... the idea that all regular Intercity Express rail services were cancelled and replaced by bullet trains.

      This is similar to the type of corridor where the Spanish use the 125mph diesel train pictured, so in reality the 110mph system is only about 12% slower than the current normal state of the art for these type of regional corridors.

      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

      by BruceMcF on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 11:33:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hey, man, don't get me wrong... (0+ / 0-)

        I'd LOVE to see rail reconnecting US and Canadian cities from coast to coast. I would love to see my skies cleared of commuter planes (to some degree) and the traffic routed to rail.

        I am a RAIL supporter, in fact.

        But as I wrote elsewhere, I look here and see Metra in Chicago, the CTA "L" and I feel like I'm stuck in a Twilight Zone episode.

        Then I look elsewhere, South America, Asia, Europe, etc. and I see modern corridors without level crossings, modern rolling stock and engines, modern stations and approach infrastructure, and I wonder:

        But this is the USA... Why didn't we have this first? Why do we half-build patch-together plans and then see the results rusting on a siding 10 years later.

        I rode the French Turboliner from Bloomington, IL, to Chicago once. The car was beautiful. The engine at that time in comparison with other engines was like from the future.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/...

        And as the train moved from the deteriorating station and platform, the car rolled side to side because of the bad condition of the rails. It was disappointing as heck. Later I heard that the Turbo Train was only a demo and that we were back to the same old same old.

        Later, when I rode trains in Europe, the rolling stock, engines, infrastructure and everything was much sharper, the route rode straight as an arrow with little or none of that "romantic" tica tica tica of US rail.

        So, don't get me wrong. I love rail. I would love to see us move from the 19th to the 22nd century.

        But I don't see this country doing it because if any attempt is half-assed, it will be the Turbo Train thing all over again.

        Ugh. --UB.

        "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Randian Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of West Dakota!"

        by unclebucky on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 05:46:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We didn't have this first ... (0+ / 0-)

          ... because we went all in on subsidizing intercity car and air transport, going much further plowing money into bribing people to drive and fly between cities than any other advanced industrial economy.

          The effort half a century ago to force freight railroads to install Positive Train Control, which makes inter-operation between freight and passenger trains safe worldwide backfired, with freight railroads simply pulling their speed limits down to 79mph. Combine that with the roll-out of the Interstate Highways, and for most corridors, driving became faster than taking the train.

          The fact that you rode bullet trains in Europe does not mean that bullet trains were the only trains available to ride, it just means that the largest travel markets with the most intercity travel, including tourist travel, are the most likely to get bullet trains.

          If you had ridden the new Spanish 125mph or the new German 125mph trains in intercity transport markets that do not justify the $20m/miole to $50m/mile for a bullet train corridor, you would have also been impressed with those trains compared to US rail service ~ the speed of the trip, and the frequency of the services blow away anything in the US outside the Northeast Corridor.

          I don't see anybody arguing in this discussion thread of this entry into this ongoing series that the US should not build a bullet train corridor from Boston to DC, from Dallas to Houston, from San Diego to LA to San Francisco, from Chicago to New York.

          But I do not support the argument of fear that if we build the correct system for a transport market like Columbus to Chicago, for Jacksonville to Atlanta, for Colorado Springs to Denver to Boulder to Fort Collins, building the correct system for those places will make it impossible to build the correct system for SF/LA, Houston/Dallas, Boston/NYC/DC.

          My argument is the other way around, the argument of coalition building: that if we build both, we are able to offer more benefits to a broader share of the nation's people, so that its not just of direct benefit to 1/3 or less of the nation's population, but is rather of direct benefit to 4/5 or more of the nation's population.

          Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

          by BruceMcF on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 08:31:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It seems that you are way more invested... (0+ / 0-)

            in this than I am.

            I don't see REGULAR intercity train travel, much less BULLET or high-speed rail, happening in this country.

            And that will be one of the contributors to the crash of 2050 or thereabouts.

            We need dedicated rail corridors, 100km/h or 220km/h, not rail shared with freight. We don't need level crossings. We do need well-designed, well-placed stations, parking, intermodal access points and of course integrated baggage handling.

            We need point to point connections that make sense, not demo lines like the Skokie Swift (here in Chicago) that are almost an afterthought.

            I want to say "all or nothing" but you'll take that the wrong way. However, what I think we are headed for is nothing.

            Ugh. --UB.

            "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Randian Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of West Dakota!"

            by unclebucky on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 01:58:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  This project is based on how Americans actually .. (0+ / 0-)

              behave. The passenger demand modeling in this proposal is based on how Americans actually behave when offered the choice, and how they actually react when faster or higher frequency services.

              Indeed, a substantial part of it is how Americans actually behave when they have the opportunity to catch the train to Chicago, since there are similar regional corridors running from Chicago to Milwaukie, Qiincy IL, St. Louis, Carbondale IL and Detroit, and how their passenger demand fits into their travel markets is part of the information that goes into the modeling.

              So we don't have to guess or imagine how Americans would behave when presented with this kind of rail service. We would behave the way that we already do.

              As far as:

              I don't see REGULAR intercity train travel, much less BULLET or high-speed rail, happening in this country.
              Your previous objections were not on that line, but rather criticisms of the project for the basic MRRS model that it relies on. Those criticisms were already addressed over a decade ago in coming up with the MRRS model, so most of the criticisms were ill-founded.

              To argue with an essay that predicts that its highly likely that this project will be funded, you first have to find that essay. This essay points out that the project is justified, and the dispute with the above claim is that we simply have insufficient information to know whether it can be established. Your "I don't see" is valid in a sense, since nobody can see whether these kinds of projects can be established until we see how the political terrain is shaped over the coming three to five years.

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              by BruceMcF on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 01:31:53 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It's not happened yet. It will never happen. (0+ / 0-)

                Yet it needs to happen, or we will be the laughing stock of the rest of the world.

                Will? Hah. Already are.

                Now, remember, I am a rail fan.

                It's just that what is happening with rail here is greatly disappointing to me.

                And calling me "deceptive", that's not good. I am your audience, a real member, not from the audience you think is out here. And sadly, following how Americans use rail presently will only get you on a siding -- again.

                Ugh. --UB.

                "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Randian Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of West Dakota!"

                by unclebucky on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 02:18:14 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  What hasn't happened? (0+ / 0-)

                  Investments in improved rail service have been made in various parts of the US. They have delivered improvements, and the result has been improved ridership and lower subsidies per passenger mile.

                  Ignoring those projects is quite similar to your insistence on ignoring all intercity transport options in Europe that are in the same class as this proposal. You point to the German bullet train, and ignore the 200km/h (125mph) Nuremburg - Munich service. You point to the Spanish bullet train and ignore the 200km/h (125mph) Madrid - Cartegena service.

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                  by BruceMcF on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 02:49:12 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  I want this for the USA: (0+ / 0-)

            1. Metros (13 lines for Madrid, about the same size as Chicago), Light Rail, buses and stations:
            https://en.wikipedia.org/...
            https://en.wikipedia.org/...
            https://es.wikipedia.org/...
            https://es.wikipedia.org/...

            2. Suburban train system:
            https://en.wikipedia.org/...

            3. High-speed trains:
            http://www.eurail.com/...

            OK, that's Madrid.

            Now Chicago. Oh, heck you know that already. Let me suggest an image for Chicago: The Skokie Swift:
            https://en.wikipedia.org/...

            They just put a new station, the Oakton Station. Yahooo!

            Now, open these links in various windows, especially the stations and other infrastructure as well as the DEDICATED corridors with NO LEVEL CROSSINGS.

            The USA will never be able to build what they have centered in Madrid. Meantime, Latin America, China, Korea and a number of other places will "blow our doors off" simply because the powers that be here do not want the rail we have, much less the rail we could have.

            2050. Hah.

            Ugh. --UB.

            "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Randian Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of West Dakota!"

            by unclebucky on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 02:21:16 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  So? (0+ / 0-)

              The passenger modeling is not based on how Spaniards ride trains, but on how Americans ride trains.

              So all that argument by analogy is not really relevant to whether this system would work. The way that the ridership of the five existing multi-train per day regional corridors into Chicago is far more relevant to this project than the substantial recent investment in Spain into local rail transport, particularly in Madrid and Barcelona.

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              by BruceMcF on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 01:34:03 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Alternate Description of Skokie Swift: (0+ / 0-)

            Chicago L dot Org: The Yellow Line
            http://www.chicago-l.org/...

            Yellow: Appropriate color for rail in the USA.

            Ugh. --UB.

            "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Randian Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of West Dakota!"

            by unclebucky on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 02:28:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Without a dedicated track, this is a kludge... (0+ / 0-)

    "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Randian Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of West Dakota!"

    by unclebucky on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 06:34:42 AM PDT

    •  With dedicated tracks all the way ... (0+ / 0-)

      .. the benefit/cost ratio drops down, since you gain a 5% increase in transit speed for a 50% to 100% increase in cost.

      It would be foolish to insist on dedicated tracks for six services each way when for much of the corridor a 10:50 layout provides ample capacity.

      On a corridor that will support substantially greater frequency, the benefit/cost tradeoffs shift, and in sections of the corridor where there is not spare freight capacity, such as a busy two way mainline corridor, of course you add a dedicated passenger track, as noted in the diary.

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      by BruceMcF on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 11:19:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ah. Then it will be built TWICE... (0+ / 0-)

        maybe even three times. The first time, just to show those anti-rail freaks. The second time, after a significant passenger-freight accident, it will be all outfitted with safety features.

        And then the third time, the aliens will forces us to make it correctly, since everything we do in this country makes their ear hairs itch terribly.

        Yes.

        Ugh. --UB.

        "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Randian Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of West Dakota!"

        by unclebucky on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 12:43:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  This proposal already includes the safety ... (0+ / 0-)

          ... features, and with PTC in place there is no reason to expect a significant passenger-freight accident. So that gets rid of one of your rebuilds.

          And if additional capacity is required, there is no rebuild required either. Laying new track does not require tearing out the track already in place.

          So versus the two or three rebuilds that you are imagining, the reality would be no rebuilds at all. If later expansion is justified, it would simply be expansion, and given the space efficiency of rail capacity, less trouble than adding lanes to an interstate highway.

          Obviously we ought to build bullet train corridors in the corridors that justify building bullet trains, and the Sunday Train has, over the years, looked at a number of corridors where with sane intercity transport policy we would be starting projects tomorrow.

          But you have offered zero analysis to suggest that the Columbus to Chicago corridor would justify the cost of a bullet train, while the NIRPA analysis demonstrates that a regional rail service in that corridor is a sound investment.

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          by BruceMcF on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 08:40:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Then why were bullet trains built elsewhere... (0+ / 0-)

            decades ago?

            No, I don't have the analysis. I'm just a citizen looking at the USA and turning my head to look at Spain, France, UK, Germany, Japan, Korea, and China, seeing THEY had no problem doing this.

            Now. We agree that the corridor needs to be built, I think. Get that dedicated track in a corridor that will not be compromised by level crossings, freight and any other safety threats.

            However, IF we patch this together, it will never be accepted. And it will have to be built twice, where it is built ONCE elsewhere.

            Further, Columbus??? Chicago to Columbus? Who goes to Columbus? Again, I'm not an august member of some analysis team. But I see Chicago to Detroit, Chicago to Indianapolis, Chicago to New Orleans, Chicago to St. Louis, Chicago to DC and Chicago to NYC, etc. Columbus does not encourage anyone except who lives in Columbus.

            Seriously, I don't think that rail will ever come to the USA. We are seriously bent-railed in the heads in this country.

            Ugh. --UB.

            "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Randian Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of West Dakota!"

            by unclebucky on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 05:31:50 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Because they were appropriate in those corridors? (0+ / 0-)

              As a citizen of the USA, you should be seeing that Spain, France, the UK, Germany, Japan, Korea and China also have no trouble doing thesefamous does not mean that they have failed to upgrade their regular intercity rail service over the past half century while ours has been sliding backwards.

              They did not force themselves to choose between having bullet trains on the one hand and having regional intercity express services that are faster than driving on the other.

              We have neither: they have both.

              Your proposed reaction is to deny ourselves one because we have denied ourselves the other. My proposal is that we do both. Consider the Sunday Train in 13Feb2011, in 20Feb 2011, in 20 Mar 2011, in 15 May 2011, in 22May 2011, in 14Aug 2011, in 12Apr 2012, in 22Apr 2012, in 26 Jun 2012, in 1Jul 2012, in 8Jul 2012, in [15Jul 2015], in [14 Oct 2012], and in 18Aug 2013, so its not like I only ever look at Rapid Rail in the Sunday Train.

              I simply refuse to fall into either/or thinking on this issue. No other advanced industrial economy in the world that is large enough to host intercity rail pursues bullet trains to the exclusion of express intercity services on other corridors, as you seem to be proposing.

              You are proposing that we avoid running services on shared corridors between freight and passenger services because of "threats" that other advanced industrial nations of the world do not experience, because they have already installed the PTC technology that this project is based upon.

              As far as "Who goes to Columbus", its similar to the people that go to any one million population city with a growing population and employment base, one of the largest universities in the world and a cluster of technology companies that have emerged from that.

              If you think that "Chicago to Detroit" is a natural rail corridor, then that implies "Chicago to Columbus" is a natural rail corridor, since its a quite similar transport market.

              And Chicago to Detroit is a natural rail corridor, but under current conditions rather for the 125mph regional intercity rail than for bullet trains. So equally well, Chicago to Columbus is a natural rail corridor, under current conditions for the 125mph region intercity rail.

              If you run the numbers on either Chicago / Detroit or Chicago Columbus, then they would be marginal for bullet train corridors at best, and certainly no place to start work in the coming five years.

              By contrast, if you run the numbers on either corridor for the 110mph/125mph alternatives, they are strong candidates, with one presently under construction and no reason other than political intransigence and outdated stereotypes about the Chicago / Northern Indiana / Columbus intercity travel market that the other should not be started.

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              by BruceMcF on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 08:17:25 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Man, Bruce, settle down. You're way too... n/t (0+ / 0-)

                "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Randian Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of West Dakota!"

                by unclebucky on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 01:59:03 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Oh and please? Use km/h, not mph... n/t (0+ / 0-)

                "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Randian Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of West Dakota!"

                by unclebucky on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 01:59:42 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The essay is directed to an American audience ... (0+ / 0-)

                  ... why would I use km/hr in comments at dkos?

                  Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

                  by BruceMcF on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 01:35:18 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I am part of that American audience... (0+ / 0-)

                    Just not part of the American audience you are directing your comments to.

                    I want rail. But I don't think that following current American rail usage and building to that is going to get us anywhere but on a siding -- again.

                    Respectfully, a citizen, not a rail analyst.

                    --UB.

                    "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Randian Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of West Dakota!"

                    by unclebucky on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 02:21:37 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Fine, you want to put ... (0+ / 0-)

                      ... all your eggs in one $50m/mile to $200m/mile basket, go for it, but I don't see what benefit you get from insulting cost-effective transport alternatives for corridors where nobody could justify a dedicated $50m/mile to $200m/mile bullet train.

                      You may be under the impression that fewer rail passengers in a state makes that state more likely to support a bullet train corridor, but the real world doesn't work that way.

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                      by BruceMcF on Sun Sep 08, 2013 at 08:57:18 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

  •  I want this for the USA. (0+ / 0-)

    We cannot simply look at what we have and then say, "well, anything is better." No, that only does not work but it will be embarrassing. We have had our fill of underfunded demonstration projects, half-baked implementations and apologetic proposals for revitalizing rail in the USA.

    Have a look at a city, Madrid, Spain, about  the same size of Chicago (each about 3.5 million) and the hub of a myriad of public transport services, including metro, light rail, commuter and (sigh) high speed bullet train traffic. Note that that speeds and stats are given in METRIC, or km/h rather than mph. Also note that their solutions are more than track and rolling stock, but also include multimodal transfer points, sufficient parking at distance from the city center and a thoughtful interface between stations and the residential, commercial and public areas.

    1. Metros (13 lines for Madrid, about the same size as Chicago), Light Rail, buses and stations:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/...
    https://en.wikipedia.org/...
    https://es.wikipedia.org/...
    https://es.wikipedia.org/...

    2. Suburban train system:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/...

    3. High-speed trains:
    http://www.eurail.com/...

    I want THIS for the USA. Rather than a demo project that might suffer the fate of the Turboliner, Turbotrain and the Skokie Swift (Chicago), we need a total plan that incorporates a local implementation as one piece in a total rail plan for the USA.

    One example that saddened me was the French Turboliner, a demonstration project that served several markets including the Midwest for a short time in the 70s. I rode the Turboliner. The cars were great and the engine was futuristic compared with what we had. But the ride was horrible, having to share deteriorating tracks with overloaded freight trains, going side to side with a tica tica KLACK tica sound. We boarded from the bare ground, instead of from a purpose-built platform and station. "Turboliner equipment was withdrawn altogether in 1981. Their withdrawal was the end of Turboliner service in the Midwest." :(
    https://en.wikipedia.org/...

    Oh, and the most basic issue now is getting the old right of ways back from trails, property expansions, etc. We need DEDICATED CORRIDORS, not shared tracks with freight companies. Witness the plans for expanding the Skokie Swift (Yellow Line) an additional 2 km to the Old Orchard Shopping Center:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/...
    (Google Map the rights of way and the path from the Dempster/Skokie station to the Mall. No direct right of way to the mall, but rather a one track extention and a potential station-ette farther than the farthest parking space at the mall. Shuttle bus to the mall? Ridiculous, no one will use that. It'll never work...)

    If I sound pessimistic, it's because we've had 50 years of mainly crippled plans for re-expansion to and through areas that have been developed for car and air travel. Everyone else has done 100s of times better in the same amount of time, sometimes working from rubble or the wreckage of war. Good luck, USA.

    Respectfully submitted by a citizen, not an analyst,

    --UB.

    "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Randian Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of West Dakota!"

    by unclebucky on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 06:16:27 AM PDT

    •  You omit the rest. (0+ / 0-)

      Why do you want everything else they have, and do not want their "Median Distancia" trains?

      Its like you looked for everything else they have and deliberately ignored what they have which is like this project.

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      by BruceMcF on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 01:37:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're being combative. Do not reply. n/t (0+ / 0-)

        "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Randian Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of West Dakota!"

        by unclebucky on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 01:57:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're not? (0+ / 0-)
          We cannot simply look at what we have and then say, "well, anything is better." No, that only does not work but it will be embarrassing. We have had our fill of underfunded demonstration projects, half-baked implementations and apologetic proposals for revitalizing rail in the USA.
          You haven't done anything to establish that this applies to this project or any of the proposed MRRS system corridors, so you are just arguing by slinging insults here.

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          by BruceMcF on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 03:03:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not at all. I am only saying that... (0+ / 0-)

            every project that comes up for air in the USA turns out to be either a demo project like Turboliner or the Skokie Swift or gets going for a while, and because of being set up for failure, dies an ignominious death.

            I want this. I'll have to go elsewhere to see it.
            https://www.youtube.com/...

            I also want the whole connective tissue from bike to bus to tram to metro to communter to intercity to bullet.

            But I am not happy seeing another demo project, as in California, as in Illinois, as everywhere else, to be a pretty picture but no delivery.

            To me, every time I see plans that pander to the US public, that attempt to patch together with freight, putting temporary stations at a distance from real destinations and not linked to other transports in intermodal stations, I LAUGH.
            https://www.youtube.com/...

            Respectfully yours,

            A citizen, not an analyst.

            --UB.

            "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Randian Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of West Dakota!"

            by unclebucky on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 03:17:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  And part of the reason for that is the ... (0+ / 0-)

              ... anti-rail Texas Two-step.

              (1) Propose an all-new project that requires substantial investment to provide for a substantial transport task.

              Its untested in the US, costs too much, is a glamor project that takes resources away from school children and poor people, this kind of thing is successful overseas but those countries are different than the US.

              (2) Propose a modest investment that would provide an incremental improvement in transport options that is well worth the cost.

              Nobody would want to ride that, its a Train to Nowhere, that's not the fast trains they have overseas, its not fast enough.

              So instead of pursuing both the $50m/mile to $200m/mile bullet trains that we should be pursuing between major urban centers 300miles to 500miles apart and the $4m/mile to $8m/mile Rapid Rail projects connecting 500K to 2m population urban areas ...

              ... the outcome of the Texas Two-step is that we get neither.

              If we are able to get either, that would improve the political conditions for getting both.

              As far as "every project in the US", that's not true of the Cascade Corridor, it won't be true of the Chicago to St. Louis corridor, it won't be true of the Chicago to Detroit corridor, it won't be true of the DC to North Caroline corridors, and it won't be true of the Miami to Orlando corridor.

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              by BruceMcF on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 12:28:06 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I doubt that we will see a replacement... (0+ / 0-)

                for car and plane until donkeys are pulling the seating areas of BMWs and planes are so packed that you have to stand (that's coming). Otherwise, unless this is part of a national projected plan, and the tracks are not shared with rail, Pffuiii.

                It doesn't matter. No need to debate me. You believe what you will. The trendlines from 1930 to the present are the indicators we need to debate. And they are undebatable.

                Meantime, people can see rail examples on YT ELSEWHERE. Here, we can see examples on sidings or models in HO scale.

                Respectfully submitted by a citizen, not an analyst.

                --UB.

                "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Randian Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of West Dakota!"

                by unclebucky on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 03:31:57 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Rotting RTG Turbotrains... (0+ / 0-)

                  "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Randian Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of West Dakota!"

                  by unclebucky on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 06:31:19 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  There's two alternatives. (0+ / 0-)

                  We let the trends from 1930 to the present continue and are screwed or we don't, and possibly are not screwed.

                  So, fine, you sit back and declare that we are all screwed. But Sunday Train will continue to be focused on sustainable transport and energy solutions, as it has been since 2009.

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                  by BruceMcF on Sun Sep 08, 2013 at 08:53:46 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  As well you should do that. (0+ / 0-)

                    I am not saying that your presentation is wrong.

                    In a world where sustainability is the rule, we could do exactly as you propose, because the Texan anti-rail lobby would be mired in 2 meter oil spills having to pay through the nose as BP and Chevron should have (but didn't). So in that scenario maybe the gradual approach could yield us what the USA needs by the time of the non-renewable energy crunch arrive.

                    But in this world, we have to go faster. And run over a few people in the bargain (shades of Snidely Whiplash running over a GOP Nell). That's kinda why I disparage an "apologetic" route to nowhere, because that's exactly what they want us to propose so they can mess with the rail ties easier, since no one will be looking, and cause the whole thing to come crashing down.

                    I would ask you however, not to YELL at me. I'm not yelling here -- text is notoriously difficult for judging tone. What I am posting is not an attack at all. It is on citizen giving you a non-analyst response. And you don't kick potential supporters in the slats. ;o)

                    Ugh. --UB.

                    "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Randian Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of West Dakota!"

                    by unclebucky on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 01:34:16 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Personally, Texas is an impediment to world... (0+ / 0-)

                peace.

                Maybe we should move those destroyers offshore of the Republic of Texas, eh?

                Oh, I'm just musing.

                Ugh. --UB.

                "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Randian Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of West Dakota!"

                by unclebucky on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 03:33:54 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  There. (0+ / 0-)

        https://en.wikipedia.org/...

        I want that, too. But not alone. And not, certainly not, as a demo project that goes off the rails like the Turboliner.

        --UB.

        "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Randian Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of West Dakota!"

        by unclebucky on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 02:01:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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