Wha? No ayn rand there.
Agreed. For reference, looks like about 1,700 for LIRR+NJ Transit+Metro North. Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, and SF have what looks like a few hundred each per day.
That’s the thing: you guys bitch about them because you notice when it’s not working. Most of us haven’t ever had any experience with our rail system, except light rail/subways for those of us in cities.
I think a lot of the problem is that road building is the federal subsidy of first resort. So Americans don’t really understand the advantage of rail cos they don’t pay the bill and their states do get “free” roads but not free rail.
This is such an excellent point.
“You have pockets of people (sometimes very dense pockets) that are closer to each other in, say, Delaware than you do in Brewster County, Texas (which is as big as three Delawares in area, but has less than 10,000 inhabitants). Given the density, it makes (or made) more sense to link them with rails”
Makes sense. Doesn’t explain why anyone built roads for those 10k people.
I guess we are train-spoiled brats On a more serious note, train is not cheap anymore and peoples are more and more share cars and use bus.
Right I can take a bus to NYC and save myself 40 minutes of driving, $5 dollars, and about an hour on the actual trip by taking a bus. If I want to wend my way to Philly to see people I can drive it for 1/2-3/4 of a $60 tank of gas in 4ish hours. Spend ~$40 on 2 buses and spend 5.5-6 hours. Or I can go 3 trains, like $70 frikin dollars, and nearly an entire day making the trip. Last time I did the trains it was took me 9+ hours.
Maybe I didn’t look far enough in advance, but Amtrak wanted $35 per person (one way) to go from New Carrolton, MD to BWI Airport, which is about 20 miles.
That’s absurd. And why I tend to stick to regional rail. Less convenient but significantly cheaper. Regardless of how far your going the LIRR and air Tran can get you to JFK cheaper.
A Scottish author and friend of Lord Byron.
The people to whom the “more” is paid benefit like crazy. And they know how to protect those benefits to the bitter end.
Probably because those 10K were producing food and minerals that were needed by several millions more, and running rails to every single ranch and mine is a helluva lot more costly than running asphalt.
Incidentally, a one-way train ticket from Sydney to Katoomba (about 70 miles) costs roughly AU$8 (so about US$6) in peak hour, AU$5 off-peak.
Could well be. But there are plenty of roads built in the US which are in very rural areas which don’t produce enough food or minerals to justify the federal subsidy to local road building. I think one had to look at these things on a case by case basis but road building is subsidized very heavily by the federal government. Much more so than rail.
For teh lulz I lookep up prices between Wiesbaden and Frankfurt Airport (with 30 km a similar distance and the chance to get two prices: one for Deutsche Bahn as national carrier and the regional rapid transit). €5 with the S-Bahn, an ICE ticket costs €13 - both connections have a travel time of a little bit over half an hour.
A ride of about the same distance where I am (Eastern LI, to Manhattan) costs something like $18.50 us ($24.25 aus). Its been a while since I road it. I think off peak is $13.75 us ($18.03 aus). And that’s regional/commuter rail. So there’s a stop every 5 miles or so, and it takes 2-3 hours.
Another factor in why US long-distance passenger trains have tended to suck was the 1947 Naperville train wreck. Following this disaster, passenger trains were limited to 79 MPH unless cab signals or automatic train control systems were installed, and few lines were willing to spend the money to upgrade their signal systems - and this foot-dragging has continued to this day with the slow rollout of Positive Train Control systems.
Now that I’ve checked, the same trip is $6.00 on MARC – the same route, but making local stops. (On Amtrak, there are no stops between those two stations.)
ETA: IIRC, Amtrak actually operates the MARC trains on that route.