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David S
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Message 1370632 - Posted: 22 May 2013, 16:34:56 UTC - in response to Message 1370456.  

And believe it or not there is a plan to link the Alaska RR with Railroads in the lower 48 states and in Canada too and in 6 years.

The two-track, Canadian-Alaska railroad will be built by the year 2018, if we get the required $4.5 million and start working now.

That's a BIG if. i'll believe it when I see it.

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Message 1370635 - Posted: 22 May 2013, 16:41:37 UTC - in response to Message 1370632.  

And believe it or not there is a plan to link the Alaska RR with Railroads in the lower 48 states and in Canada too and in 6 years.

The two-track, Canadian-Alaska railroad will be built by the year 2018, if we get the required $4.5 million and start working now.

That's a BIG if. i'll believe it when I see it.

Agreed, but the road to Alaska was built and is slowly being paved with asphalt, so who knows? It could happen.
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Message 1370647 - Posted: 22 May 2013, 17:00:18 UTC - in response to Message 1370635.  

And believe it or not there is a plan to link the Alaska RR with Railroads in the lower 48 states and in Canada too and in 6 years.

The two-track, Canadian-Alaska railroad will be built by the year 2018, if we get the required $4.5 million and start working now.

That's a BIG if. i'll believe it when I see it.

Agreed, but the road to Alaska was built and is slowly being paved with asphalt, so who knows? It could happen.

As I recall, the road to Alaska was built for military purposes during wartime. A railroad to Alaska, now, faces opposition from environmentalists too shortsighted to see that it will actually benefit the environment in the long run.

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Message 1370789 - Posted: 23 May 2013, 2:06:55 UTC

The highway is "paved" of sorts. They don't use traditional asphalt as it can not take the flexing from the freeze and thaw. So they use this nasty concoction.

Bituminous surface treatment (BST) or chipseal is used mainly on low-traffic roads, but also as a sealing coat to rejuvenate an asphalt concrete pavement. It generally consists of aggregate spread over a sprayed-on asphalt emulsion or cut-back asphalt cement. The aggregate is then embedded into the asphalt by rolling it, typically with a rubber-tired roller. This type of surface is described by a wide variety of regional terms including "chip seal", "tar and chip", "oil and stone", "seal coat", "sprayed seal"[12] or "surface dressing".[13]
BST is used on hundreds of miles of the Alaska Highway and other similar roadways in Alaska, the Yukon Territory, and northern British Columbia. The ease of application of BST is one reason for its popularity, but another is its flexibility, which is important when roadways are laid down over unstable terrain that thaws and softens in the spring.


They spread this out and roll it and leave it for a few days for the traffic to pack it down. When dry it throws more dust than an Indiana gravel road and when wet is a soupy nightmare to ride a motorcycle through. After a few days / weeks, they come back and sweep off the loose bits. Then you can run over 100 mph on it with a bike.

But this has nothing to do with our homage to railroads. ;-)
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Message 1370933 - Posted: 23 May 2013, 14:38:17 UTC

Domino effect on burning railroad bridge in Texas.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22641179
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Message 1371040 - Posted: 23 May 2013, 19:17:17 UTC - in response to Message 1370933.  

Domino effect on burning railroad bridge in Texas.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22641179

$10 million, wow! Great link Winter Knight.
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Message 1375101 - Posted: 2 Jun 2013, 3:14:25 UTC

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2333385/Record-breaking-steam-locomotive-Mallard-goes-display-sister-trains-time-mark-75th-anniversary-126mph-journey.html
A bit long, but enjoy.
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Message 1375371 - Posted: 2 Jun 2013, 14:05:19 UTC
Last modified: 2 Jun 2013, 14:05:41 UTC

The reason I didn't post at all on Friday is that I got up at 3:30 to drive to Fostoria, OH, to chase Nickel Plate 765 back to her home in Ft. Wayne, IN (actually New Haven). I'll try to post a couple of pics later.
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Message 1377516 - Posted: 6 Jun 2013, 16:47:39 UTC

A Facebook friend posted this link to me and said the part at the bottom may apply to me. He was right.

I'm posting it as a link because the picture would be too big for this forum.
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Message 1377925 - Posted: 7 Jun 2013, 9:37:15 UTC - in response to Message 1377910.  

So you can go from San Fran to Vancouver by train then?

Certainly as far as Seattle. Sometime last year, I was playing around with an armchair fantasy of visiting Berkeley some day and making a circular trip of it - I found the Coast Starlight. Never got far enough out of my armchair, though.
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Message 1378008 - Posted: 7 Jun 2013, 13:15:12 UTC - in response to Message 1377910.  
Last modified: 7 Jun 2013, 13:21:27 UTC

So you can go from San Fran to Vancouver by train then?


The simple answer is no. As I found last year not all towns and cities have a passenger rail connection.

You can however take a bus at both ends and for the princley sum of $212 (£137) you can make the approx 930 mile (1,500km) trip in around 27 hours. Unfortunately all journeys seem to be overnight and I cannot find a daytime one! That is the Weekend price, drops to $136 on a weekday.

(Edit) Wasn't awake then, that's why it'll be called the Coast Starlight then DUH!!



My experience is that the majority of Americans don't travel by train, they either drive or fly and if cost is an option take the bus. Hence the fact that Amtrak is mostly government funded, I believe if it wasn't then it would have collapsed years ago.
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Message 1378044 - Posted: 7 Jun 2013, 14:21:05 UTC - in response to Message 1378008.  
Last modified: 7 Jun 2013, 14:23:04 UTC

So you can go from San Fran to Vancouver by train then?


The simple answer is no. As I found last year not all towns and cities have a passenger rail connection.

You can however take a bus at both ends and for the princley sum of $212 (£137) you can make the approx 930 mile (1,500km) trip in around 27 hours. Unfortunately all journeys seem to be overnight and I cannot find a daytime one! That is the Weekend price, drops to $136 on a weekday.

(Edit) Wasn't awake then, that's why it'll be called the Coast Starlight then DUH!!



My experience is that the majority of Americans don't travel by train, they either drive or fly and if cost is an option take the bus. Hence the fact that Amtrak is mostly government funded, I believe if it wasn't then it would have collapsed years ago.

That's cause airports and interstate highways(aka freeways) are federally funded to a larger extent, Amtrak is grudgingly funded and there have been attempts to exterminate passenger rail service in the US by some in Congress, Like Rep Jeff Denham(R-CA) and the Republican party are against HSR, they largely don't like it cause a Black Man in the White House is for it, plus they don't really like foreign ideas for the most part, though they do like austerity...

Also there are areas of this country that need Amtrak, as their not served too well by other modes of transportation.
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Message 1378049 - Posted: 7 Jun 2013, 14:35:08 UTC - in response to Message 1378008.  

So you can go from San Fran to Vancouver by train then?

The simple answer is no. As I found last year not all towns and cities have a passenger rail connection.

You can however take a bus at both ends and for the princley sum of $212 (£137) you can make the approx 930 mile (1,500km) trip in around 27 hours. Unfortunately all journeys seem to be overnight and I cannot find a daytime one! That is the Weekend price, drops to $136 on a weekday.

(Edit) Wasn't awake then, that's why it'll be called the Coast Starlight then DUH!!

With over 22 hours on the train alone, some of it more or less *has* to be in darkness - the only question is 'which end'.

That sounds easily 'doable', but I don't think I would want to follow it immediately with three hours on a bus and an after-midnight arrival. Far better to take a night or two in Seattle (sleepless or otherwise), and then finish the trip on a - presumably available - daytime bus a couple of days later.
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Message 1378053 - Posted: 7 Jun 2013, 14:43:04 UTC

That's cause airports and interstate highways(aka freeways) are federally funded to a larger extent, Amtrak is grudgingly funded and there have been attempts to exterminate passenger rail service in the US by some in Congress, Like Rep Jeff Denham(R-CA) and the Republican party are against HSR, they largely don't like it cause a Black Man in the White House is for it, plus they don't really like foreign ideas for the most part, though they do like austerity...

Also there are areas of this country that need Amtrak, as their not served too well by other modes of transportation.


Strange you wouldn't have thought congress would like it that most Europeans, Chinese and Japanese can easily say they have a better public transport than the US.

I have traveled Amtrak, NY to Washington and NY to Boston and have to say while the trains are probably larger and more comfortable than the UK the infrastructure leaves a bit to be desired, on both journeys I was delayed at least one way due to "power or track" problems.

PS The Wi-Fi was free, please note UK train companies.
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Message 1378072 - Posted: 7 Jun 2013, 15:09:10 UTC - in response to Message 1378053.  

That's cause airports and interstate highways(aka freeways) are federally funded to a larger extent, Amtrak is grudgingly funded and there have been attempts to exterminate passenger rail service in the US by some in Congress, Like Rep Jeff Denham(R-CA) and the Republican party are against HSR, they largely don't like it cause a Black Man in the White House is for it, plus they don't really like foreign ideas for the most part, though they do like austerity...

Also there are areas of this country that need Amtrak, as their not served too well by other modes of transportation.


Strange you wouldn't have thought congress would like it that most Europeans, Chinese and Japanese can easily say they have a better public transport than the US.

I have traveled Amtrak, NY to Washington and NY to Boston and have to say while the trains are probably larger and more comfortable than the UK the infrastructure leaves a bit to be desired, on both journeys I was delayed at least one way due to "power or track" problems.

PS The Wi-Fi was free, please note UK train companies.

I think except for the NEC area of the US(North East Corridor, it's the New England area), Amtrak is on rails that Amtrak does not own or maintain, it's a guest of the Freight railroads, Here in CA the amount of people riding on Amtrak California which is owned by the state of California and run by Amtrak is breaking ridership records, if Repubs in Congress think they can stop HSR in CA, they need to think again, CA has the tax base to fund HSR in CA all by itself if needed, CA is not a poor state like some states(Mississippi, Alabama, etc, etc)... CA has an economy that could make CA a country in it's own right(8th or 9th largest in the world)...
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Message 1378141 - Posted: 7 Jun 2013, 16:53:21 UTC - in response to Message 1378008.  
Last modified: 7 Jun 2013, 17:00:54 UTC

So you can go from San Fran to Vancouver by train then?


The simple answer is no. As I found last year not all towns and cities have a passenger rail connection.

You can however take a bus at both ends and for the princley sum of $212 (£137) you can make the approx 930 mile (1,500km) trip in around 27 hours. Unfortunately all journeys seem to be overnight and I cannot find a daytime one! That is the Weekend price, drops to $136 on a weekday.

(Edit) Wasn't awake then, that's why it'll be called the Coast Starlight then DUH!!



Not quite. You didn't dig hard enough, or you tried to make it all one continuous trip.

First, Amtrak does not directly serve San Francisco. The Coast Starlight comes up from L.A. and makes a right at San Jose to go east of the bay to Oakland. They have a bus connection from downtown SF to Oakland; personally, I'd rather take a cab, or the Caltrain commuter line out to San Jose. Or, you could take an early Capitol Corridor train to Sacramento and spend a day there (at the California State Railroad Museum, of course) before boarding the Starlight. Anyway, you'll go through northern California overnight (something has to be at night, it's a 22.5 hour, 913 mile trip from Oakland) and Oregon and Washington in daylight, arriving in Seattle at 8:37pm.

Second, there are two daily trains from Portland to Vancouver, part of the Cascades corridor supported by the two states. But to take the train the whole way, you'd have to stay overnight in Portland or Seattle. Really, though, you should stay there two or three days anyway and see the city (either one, or both). [edit] Note: the Cascades usually run with Talgo trains, a Spanish design modified to meet US crash safety standards. The existing trains were paid for by Washington, and two new ones bought by Oregon now exist; one is currently at a testing facility in Colorado to make sure it's as safe as it's designed to be, and the other is in Washington for testing on the route.

(Getting approval for the second round trip to Vancouver was a Royal pain, from an unexpected source. Canadian Customs wanted Amtrak to pay its costs to inspect the train and all the passengers. Amtrak, of course, would pass the cost along to Washington State as part of the operating subsidy. Customs finally agreed to temporarily add a second trip for the Vancouver Olympics and then, at the last minute, dropped the charge to keep it permanently. I think the political pressure on them came not only from Washington but also from Vancouver and British Columbia, which saw it as a tourism opportunity.)
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Message 1378156 - Posted: 7 Jun 2013, 17:20:46 UTC - in response to Message 1378072.  
Last modified: 7 Jun 2013, 17:25:47 UTC

That's cause airports and interstate highways(aka freeways) are federally funded to a larger extent, Amtrak is grudgingly funded and there have been attempts to exterminate passenger rail service in the US by some in Congress, Like Rep Jeff Denham(R-CA) and the Republican party are against HSR, they largely don't like it cause a Black Man in the White House is for it, plus they don't really like foreign ideas for the most part, though they do like austerity...

Also there are areas of this country that need Amtrak, as their not served too well by other modes of transportation.


Strange you wouldn't have thought congress would like it that most Europeans, Chinese and Japanese can easily say they have a better public transport than the US.

American conservatives tend to respond to that argument with "we're Americans! Why should we copy what other countries do?" ignoring that it's a better way than what we have.


I have traveled Amtrak, NY to Washington and NY to Boston and have to say while the trains are probably larger and more comfortable than the UK the infrastructure leaves a bit to be desired, on both journeys I was delayed at least one way due to "power or track" problems.

PS The Wi-Fi was free, please note UK train companies.

Amtrak's wi-fi is free, but not all that great. It depends on the wireless carriers in the area. (Each train's lounge car has four antennas on the roof, one for each major wireless carrier, with the idea that at any given time at least one of them should have a usable signal, which is then piped through the train.) They only have it in the NEC and, I think, California. Maybe the Northwest too, I'm not sure. I think it's supposed to be coming to Illinois sometime soon.


I think except for the NEC area of the US(North East Corridor, it's the New England area), Amtrak is on rails that Amtrak does not own or maintain, it's a guest of the Freight railroads, Here in CA the amount of people riding on Amtrak California which is owned by the state of California and run by Amtrak is breaking ridership records, if Repubs in Congress think they can stop HSR in CA, they need to think again, CA has the tax base to fund HSR in CA all by itself if needed, CA is not a poor state like some states(Mississippi, Alabama, etc, etc)... CA has an economy that could make CA a country in it's own right(8th or 9th largest in the world)...

Amtrak owns the Northeast Corridor from Washington, DC, to Boston, except for the segment from New Rochelle, NY (suburb of New York City) to New Haven, CT, which is owned by the states and managed by Metro North Commuter Railroad. Amtrak also owns a segment from Porter, IN (where it splits off of Norfolk Southern's Chicago-Cleveland mainline) to Kalamazoo, MI and has spent many years working to raise train speeds to 110MPH, which finally happened last year. The State of Michigan has recently purchased the line from Kalamazoo to Dearborn (suburban Detroit) and soon will start a project to raise it to the same standards as west of K'zoo.
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Message 1378277 - Posted: 7 Jun 2013, 20:59:53 UTC

For all you Euros (and Brits) it should be noted that there are lots of short distance passenger trains in North America, usually funded at a level below Federal, usually very busy, and usually breaking even (with the government subsidies). What we don't have is long distance inter-city trains with any future.

Don't have recent experience with Amtrak, but the Canadian equivalent is Via Rail. They seem to be slipping into the same death spiral as Amtrak: they will cut services and schedules until ridership picks up. And we taxpayers pay the managers big bucks to reach these decisions.

Today most Via Rail travel in Canada matches the cheap air fares, to the dollar. Sure, you get more leg room and less invasive security on the train, but I have a choice of two trains a day to the nearest big city, or 8 flights a day on two different airlines.

Long distance freight trains in Canada make big bucks, and make more every time the price of diesel goes up. To the managers of the railroads, passengers are a money losing pain in the neck that the government forces them to put up with. It will take a major change in government funding and policy to end the slow slide of long distance passenger trains into oblivion.

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Message 1378300 - Posted: 7 Jun 2013, 22:14:18 UTC - in response to Message 1378277.  

For all you Euros (and Brits) it should be noted that there are lots of short distance passenger trains in North America, usually funded at a level below Federal, usually very busy, and usually breaking even (with the government subsidies). What we don't have is long distance inter-city trains with any future.

Don't have recent experience with Amtrak, but the Canadian equivalent is Via Rail. They seem to be slipping into the same death spiral as Amtrak: they will cut services and schedules until ridership picks up. And we taxpayers pay the managers big bucks to reach these decisions.

Today most Via Rail travel in Canada matches the cheap air fares, to the dollar. Sure, you get more leg room and less invasive security on the train, but I have a choice of two trains a day to the nearest big city, or 8 flights a day on two different airlines.

Long distance freight trains in Canada make big bucks, and make more every time the price of diesel goes up. To the managers of the railroads, passengers are a money losing pain in the neck that the government forces them to put up with. It will take a major change in government funding and policy to end the slow slide of long distance passenger trains into oblivion.

Some Via trains are leaning toward being luxury cruise services instead of viable travel for local towns along the way. They increase the on board amenities a little and raise the fares a lot, and only people who are looking for something different than the ocean cruise they took the last three years can afford to ride it. Amtrak is resisting that trend, insisting that it must remain a travel option for rural communities that, in some cases, don't even have bus service.

However, in the short corridors, Via is doing as well as Amtrak. BTW, Amtrak's NEC makes a small profit on operations, but not enough to cover its capital expenses, or the losses of the long distance trains.

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Message 1378348 - Posted: 7 Jun 2013, 23:45:51 UTC - in response to Message 1378277.  

For all you Euros (and Brits) it should be noted that there are lots of short distance passenger trains in North America, usually funded at a level below Federal, usually very busy, and usually breaking even (with the government subsidies). What we don't have is long distance inter-city trains with any future.

Don't have recent experience with Amtrak, but the Canadian equivalent is Via Rail. They seem to be slipping into the same death spiral as Amtrak: they will cut services and schedules until ridership picks up. And we taxpayers pay the managers big bucks to reach these decisions.

Today most Via Rail travel in Canada matches the cheap air fares, to the dollar. Sure, you get more leg room and less invasive security on the train, but I have a choice of two trains a day to the nearest big city, or 8 flights a day on two different airlines.

Long distance freight trains in Canada make big bucks, and make more every time the price of diesel goes up. To the managers of the railroads, passengers are a money losing pain in the neck that the government forces them to put up with. It will take a major change in government funding and policy to end the slow slide of long distance passenger trains into oblivion.

Via Rail should change over to HSR, the Chinese do it over long distances and yeah it's done from Germany down to Spain.
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