Ornery.org
  Front Page   |   About Ornery.org   |   World Watch   |   Guest Essays   |   Contact Us

The Ornery American Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » Amtrak - Yea or Nay? (Page 2)

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!   This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2   
Author Topic: Amtrak - Yea or Nay?
Digger
Member
Member # 2341

 - posted      Profile for Digger   Email Digger   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"I say that trains are necessary for our national defense..."

Ok, I get it now. We're gonna part company on that one.

Posts: 1317 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
FiredrakeRAGE
Member
Member # 1224

 - posted      Profile for FiredrakeRAGE   Email FiredrakeRAGE   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Everard -

The argument that because we subsidize one industry we should subsidize others is a really bad argument. The fact is that if we subsidize all non-road forms of transportation, we'll soon have auto manufacturers asking for a subsidy. I do not wish to live in a country where the only money-making industry is the subsidized industry. I don't think you do either [Smile]

Everyone -

With regard to subsidy placement - if the train is running cross-country, and if we assume that subsidies are both what people want, and what the industry requires, it should be handled by the Federal government. Interstate commerce is one reason why the Federal government is around. If AmTrak runs a train from Boston to New York, and runs another train within Boston, Federal subsidies should pay for one, State or City subsidies for the other.

To be clear: I do not like subsidizing industry. Subsidizing infrastructure is one thing, but once you're throwing money at what ought to be a money-making enterprise, something is wrong. Airports: Maybe. Airlines: Never.

--Firedrake

Posts: 3538 | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Everard
unregistered


 - posted            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"The argument that because we subsidize one industry we should subsidize others is a really bad argument. The fact is that if we subsidize all non-road forms of transportation, we'll soon have auto manufacturers asking for a subsidy. I do not wish to live in a country where the only money-making industry is the subsidized industry. I don't think you do either "

The generic argument "If we subsidize X then we should subsidize Y," is a bad argument. But the argument "We should subsidize X because it does S better then Y, and we are subsidizing Y to do S," is a good argument.

IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Drake
Member
Member # 2128

 - posted      Profile for The Drake   Email The Drake   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If it did do it better, it wouldn't need subsidies. [Wink]
Posts: 7707 | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Everard
unregistered


 - posted            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Perhaps, though I'm not sure that argument can be made of any transportation endevor.
IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Drake
Member
Member # 2128

 - posted      Profile for The Drake   Email The Drake   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ah, yes, but I think you have to change tense if you're going to claim that subsidies in transportation are good.

"We should subsidize X because it will do S better than Y."

Posts: 7707 | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Zyne
Member
Member # 117

 - posted      Profile for Zyne   Email Zyne   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Ok, I get it now. We're gonna part company on that one.
National defense is the only justification I can get on board about for train subsidies.
Posts: 4003 | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mariner
Member
Member # 1618

 - posted      Profile for Mariner   Email Mariner       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Digger:
Not to derail my own thread
Lost my own track hunting for that Buffett quote...

So, um, were these intentional?

Everard, you've basically stated that Amtrak does stuff better than flight, which is why we should support it, right? What about speed, though? Does it make sense to spend 4 days or however long it would take to get to New York from LA for a business trip, for instance? It seems to me that there are advantages to being able to get anywhere in the US in 24 hours, as all the time travelling is lost productivity. Note that I'm not arguing for subsidizing airlines over trains or anything; I'm not arguing for anything at all. It's just that it seems there's one obvious area where airline is better, and I'm wondering why you think rail is so superior with that in mind.

Posts: 538 | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Everard
unregistered


 - posted            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"Everard, you've basically stated that Amtrak does stuff better than flight, which is why we should support it, right? What about speed, though"

No, I'm saying that WITH subsidies it could do stuff better then flight.

Not all stuff, but a lot. THe acela express was, for many travelers in the northeast, faster then flying. You could probably never get from NY to LA faster by train then by flying, but you could probably go from NY to chicago faster. Airlines are pretty ineffecient these days, time wise. For 2 1/2 hour flying time to madison, WI, a trip for me from wayland MA, takes about 9 hours. 30 minutes to the airport, which is there for a trip to the train station, but I have to be there 1 1/2 hours early, while for amtrak its 5 minutes, so I save a lot of time there. THen there's a layover, and one of the two flights will be delayed, and by the time I land, get off the plane, and get my luggage, I've wasted about 5 hours of traveling.

Its not inconceivable that high speed trains could do that trip in under 10 hours for most passengers.

[ November 09, 2005, 08:54 PM: Message edited by: Everard ]

IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
FiredrakeRAGE
Member
Member # 1224

 - posted      Profile for FiredrakeRAGE   Email FiredrakeRAGE   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The current trains (not the quickest in the world) require subsidies. There is always a tradeoff in cost vs speed. One could assume, then, that trains would require even more subsidies to continue running.

Perhaps we should leave trains to do what they do best - large haul, low speed cargo transportation.

Edited to add: That is, without subsidies. I have no problem with all of the (rather good) light rail companies sprouting in cities around the United States. They tend to work well. Of course if a specific company requires a subsidy to run, then that company is probably not a business model we should support [Smile]

--Firedrake

[ November 09, 2005, 09:15 PM: Message edited by: FiredrakeRAGE ]

Posts: 3538 | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
IrishTD
Member
Member # 2216

 - posted      Profile for IrishTD   Email IrishTD   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks for the answer Zyne!
Posts: 825 | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Digger
Member
Member # 2341

 - posted      Profile for Digger   Email Digger   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"So, um, were these intentional?"

Hey, Zyne said "get on board"... [Wink]

Posts: 1317 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lisa M.
Member
Member # 2398

 - posted      Profile for Lisa M.   Email Lisa M.   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think a big problem with Amtrak staying in the black is that so many customers are fed up with them. I would take the trains more often if the westbound train in New York (the New York to Buffalo train) didn't have to sit in a field for 2-4 hours somewhere between Utica and Syracuse EVERY SINGLE TIME that I have taken it over the past 15 years. We have to sit in that field to wait for some big cargo train to go by first, when really the big cargo train doesn't show up for 2-4 hours.

So basically, while taking trains home from college would be really nice as I don't own a car, it's horribly impractical because of the way that they schedule trains.

So I say take some of the subsidies away and make Amtrak figure out how to work. They could do it if they didn't dick everyone over all the time.

Posts: 845 | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
witless chum
Member
Member # 1643

 - posted      Profile for witless chum   Email witless chum   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've taken it on the Kalamazoo to Chicago run and the only wrong was we were overloaded for about 30 minutes, Kalamazoo to Dowogiac, then somebody got off and we got to sit in real seats.

They were a little late getting into Kalamazoo, but early into Chicago. On the trip back they were right on time. I think they're pretty much usually on time in Kalamazoo.

Posts: 642 | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lisa M.
Member
Member # 2398

 - posted      Profile for Lisa M.   Email Lisa M.   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
So I guess Amtrak just can't handle New York. Shame, really, as it would make life so much easier if the trains were reliable.
Posts: 845 | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
  This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Ornery.org Front Page

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.1