no more high speed rail?

Please limit discussion in this area to local and state politics.
Maggie
Forum Addict
Posts: 141
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:39 pm
Location: Near East Side Madison

Re: no more high speed rail?

Postby Maggie » Fri Feb 14, 2014 3:29 pm

The rejection of high speed rail in Wisconsin by the Walker administration is a travesty.

Scott Walker - just as corrupt as Chris Christie but only skinnier.

Henry Vilas
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 21594
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2002 8:57 pm
Location: Name sez it all
Contact:

Re: no more high speed rail?

Postby Henry Vilas » Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:21 am

Most of the federal dollars that Walker turned down for high speed rail would have been used to improve the existing railbed and tracks where freight trains already run. Rejection of that grant is coming back to bite Wisconsin in the ass.

Safety and reliability issues plaguing railroads across the state

kurt_w
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 6095
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2003 3:11 pm
Contact:

Re: no more high speed rail?

Postby kurt_w » Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:53 am

The pathetic lack of high-speed rail in this country drives me nuts.

All over Europe and Asia, HSR networks are being expanded, improved, and interconnected. They're clean, fast, and easy to use. I've been on HSR in both China and Europe and in both cases it beats air travel hands-down.

The US barely manages to have a single sorta-kinda-HSR line from Washington DC to New York. Whoopee.

I got back from a recent trip to France where I took the TGV all the way across the country. The trip was 450-500 miles each way. Duration was around 3 hours each way, and cost was $70 for the round trip (TGV is incredibly cheap if you get your tickets 3 months in advance).

This is a distance that's equivalent to going from Madison to Cleveland and back. In the US, that would mean:

* By train (Amtrak): 10 hours on the train plus a 5-hour layover in Chicago ... each way. Lowest cost is $160.

* By car: 8 hours each way, and the fuel alone would cost $280 (plus tolls, and wear and tear on car).

* By plane: 3+ hours each way including a stop in DTW, plus the damned necessity to allow 1+ hours for airport security, baggage, etc. Cost $450.

So if we had a TGV-style rail system, that trip would be cheaper and faster and more comfortable than going by car, plane, or non-high-speed rail.

:evil:

snoqueen
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 12940
Joined: Fri Feb 14, 2003 11:42 pm

Re: no more high speed rail?

Postby snoqueen » Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:55 pm

Plus last time I checked all the Cleveland stops were in the middle of the night.

kurt_w
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 6095
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2003 3:11 pm
Contact:

Re: no more high speed rail?

Postby kurt_w » Mon Mar 24, 2014 1:07 pm

I picked Cleveland as a more or less random example because it's the right distance from Madison and it's on a route that would be logical for high-speed rail.

But I've always liked Cleveland anyway. There's worse places one could go.

Zoti Bemba
Forum Addict
Posts: 418
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 7:34 pm
Contact:

Re: no more high speed rail?

Postby Zoti Bemba » Mon Mar 24, 2014 6:36 pm

kurt_w wrote:
* By train (Amtrak): 10 hours on the train plus a 5-hour layover in Chicago ... each way. Lowest cost is $160.


I realize that you're trying to make a point, but I do have to say that a 5-hour layover in Chicago each way is a bit of exaggeration (unless you are figuring on catching the Empire Builder in Columbus? ) If you follow Amtrak routing from Madison to Cleveland you would be ticketed for the Van Galder bus from Madison to Chicago Union Station, 2-3 hour layover and then on to Cleveland. If you follow my favorite route, you would take the Badger Bus to the Milwaukee intermodal station, wait about an hour and then pick up the Hiawatha to Chicago Union Station (90 minutes, almost always on time!) hang out about two hours and off you go! It is a bit of a drag, and I curse Gov. Walker every time I have to squeeze on to a bus when I could have stretched out on the train, or get caught in a traffic jam (the weakness of the Madison to Chicago direct-by-bus route), but, thank goodness, it's nothing like the horror of five hours trapped at O'Hare.

As for Cleveland: at least it has two trains going in each direction every day (very early early morning and a little later early morning). Try getting to Buffalo or Pittsburgh sometime -- catch that train or come up with a fun way to spend a the next 23 hours!

By the way, my understanding is that along with the track repair and improvement some of the towns that were chosen as stops on the derailed Milwaukee-Madison line had plans to work their stations into larger downtown development and revitalization efforts. Also derailed. When it comes to messing up plans it seems that Governor Walker hates to leave anyone out. He goes for the total foul up every time.

kurt_w
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 6095
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2003 3:11 pm
Contact:

Re: no more high speed rail?

Postby kurt_w » Mon Mar 24, 2014 6:42 pm

Yeah, that was based on taking the train all the way (from Columbus, WI) but you're right that there are easier connections if you take the bus for the first part. That's what I did, lo those many many years ago, when I first arrived in Madison as a bright young newly minted student. But I've also got some great stories about catching the train in Columbus....

And your points about the multiple ways in which Gov. Dumbass's cancellation of the high-speed train is having ripple effects are spot-on.

Zoti Bemba
Forum Addict
Posts: 418
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 7:34 pm
Contact:

Re: no more high speed rail?

Postby Zoti Bemba » Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:18 pm

kurt_w wrote:That's what I did, lo those many many years ago, when I first arrived in Madison as a bright young newly minted student. But I've also got some great stories about catching the train in Columbus....


Ah, yes! I, too, first arrived in Madison via Columbus, stepping off the train in the January early evening gloom, wondering about that bus indicated on the schedule, the one that was supposed to whisk me to Madison... There was snow everywhere. It was 20 degrees out. I thought that was really, really cold, then.

Fortunately, an elderly couple that was also getting off at Columbus had seen enough naive young travelers like me to suss out what was up before the train had even left the station. They gave me a lift into Madison and treated me to dinner at Denny's along the way and seemed quietly amused that I wanted to be a writer. It took me a couple of months to figure out why. I still regret that I didn't get back in touch.


Return to “Local Politics & Government”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests