- Apr 19, 2018
Look at the freight carriers that Amtrak utilizes assets. BNSF=$59B, UP=$59B, CSX=$36B, NS=$36B, CN=$29B, CP=$21B and AMTK=$22B comes to $266B. That was just with a very quick Google search.
And further keep in mind that much of that is depreciated. To build new from scratch...just wow.Look at the freight carriers that Amtrak utilizes assets. BNSF=$59B, UP=$59B, CSX=$36B, NS=$36B, CN=$29B, CP=$21B and AMTK=$22B comes to $266B. That was just with a very quick Google search.
Paging Ryan!! lolIn any case, lack of political will is the primary problem. If there is [political will, money can always be found. Just curtailing a few of the fancy aircraft and sea craft programs of the DoD will be enough to fund a significant part of the basic network. LOL!
This is true in terms of speed, but speed isn't the only thing that matters when people are making transportation decisions. If a government seriously dedicated to GHG reductions built out then started heavily subsidizing rail because of environmental and social benefits, I suspect it would become a primary choice even for long distance transportation. Sure, people with extreme efficiency needs/time constraints might fly (sort of how private jets work today) but if it only costs $20 (or nothing!) to travel from LA to Chi, and $50 will upgrade you to a sleeper pod or roomette, then a lot of people would likely choose the slower, more leisurely option.If you want rail to be genuinely competitive on something like a coast to coast line, even HSR isn't fast enough to be a genuine alternative to airlines. You'd have to look at something like maglev or a hyperloop for that. The costs would be immense.
So, pretty cheap then. We spend roughly 3 times that much on the US military every year, and the US military appears to exist primarily to threaten our national security by angering and alienating foreign govenments and foreign citizens -- it certainly hasn't won any wars. At that price, we should just do it, nationalize the railroads, it's cheap. Of course, what prevents this is political -- we have a lot of Congressmen who like blowing money on completely counterproductive military spending (probably because they get kickbacks) but reject any spending which might actually make life better for Americans. (Yes, I am cynical.)Look at the freight carriers that Amtrak utilizes assets. BNSF=$59B, UP=$59B, CSX=$36B, NS=$36B, CN=$29B, CP=$21B and AMTK=$22B comes to $266B. That was just with a very quick Google search.
In some places, it might be possible for Amtrak to co-exist with other freight tracks and simply “lease” one track for its own use from the host railroad. And then lease back operating rights for freight on schedules that won’t interfere with passenger train operations. Amtrak dispatchers would decide.
Wow! Would that it could be the case! So many of the railroads have ripped up "surplus to needs" tracks that could have been turned into a revenue source.
This might mean upgrading track, if it already exists beside other tracks, for faster speeds that make the train a better option than private autos. It would not need to be “high-speed” tho.
Other places it would involve brand new tracks.
Speaking of Florida Amtrak routes, what was the reason Amtrak stopped running through Ocala, FL? It's too bad you no longer can take a train, to there. And also to a station (I think Waldo), which wasn't too far from Gainesville. Am I right in think Amtrak no longer doing train service to Ocala, was because of Amtrak no longer running the Silver Palm(IIRC now the Palmetto to only Savannah) through central Florida?It would seem that there is a movement afoot in some states to provide Amtrak with its own trackage. Michigan has already done this for the Wolverine service. VA and NC are in the process of doing this as well. Even in states not receptive in supporting corridor trains Amtrak is taking the steps in this direction, such as Florida where they acquired a 50 some mile section of the CSX A line north of Deland to Palatka. I would not be suprised to see Florida unload the line through Orlando as well as the line Tri Rail uses from WPB to Miami onto Amtrak.
Thanks for posting the photo. It brings back wonderful memories. I traveled to and from Waldo many times. In fact, when I first traveled to college, it was by train (pre Amtrak) to Waldo.Yes, the station in Waldo, Fl is just east of Gainesville.
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It has been closed for many, many years although it is listed as a depot for the thruway bus
The building was built in 1963 to replace the old on - which had, at one time, been a divisional headquarters for the Seaboard Air Line Railway.
Which is strange considering the amount of open land in that part of the state. There should be a Florida west coast line that runs from Miami to Atlanta using the right of way on Interstate 75. You would have stops in Naples, Ft. Myers, Sarasota, Tampa, Ocala, Gainesville. Then once it crosses into Georgia it would stop in Valdosta, Macon before ending in Atlanta. You could crate a station near the I-75/I-10 interchange that would connect with a Jacksonville to New Orleans route using the right of way from Interstate 10.There are no longer tracks in Gainesville that would allow service to go anywhere ... rails-to-trails have claimed the connecting tracts that would link the Ocala area to Gainesville
There are also NO direct tracks between Gainesville and Tallahassee - connecting the two Universities by rail