- 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.