Wednesday, December 28, 2005


Europe is again buying trains:

Bombardier Gets $262 Mln Order From Deutsche Bahn
Published: December 28, 2005

Do they know something We don't know? Let's see if We can figure that out. Trains cost a lot less than big Jets. Trains used a lot less fuel than large Jets. Trains haul a lot more than the barns in the Sky. The load of three Semi-tractors can fit on one train flatcar. The load of four Semi-tractors can fit in one train boxcar. Let's be honest: a Train locomotive uses about Seven times the fuel as does the Semi-Tractor, but can haul the equivalent of about 55 Tractor-trailers. Train locomotives, working in tandem, are able to haul a Train over 3 miles long for about the fuel cost of 15 Semi-Tractors. (the later statistics Author estimates--therefore questionable)

Business and industry talk about slimming Inventories and Speed; they stipulating We live in a new business environment where the 3-day cross-country trip by Train is too long a period to Order and Stock. Where did this excessive hurry come from, and why can't We meet the slower Production schedules used by Everyone else on this planet?

The irony of this Argument states the Airlines are going bankrupt anyway--Fuel Costs are too high. Aircraft remains the worst Carrier of bulk freight, because of Weight and Fuel Costs. We are the only Nation on Earth who lacks effective Passenger trains, when maintenance of such Service costs immeasurably less than maintaining Our commercial Air fleet. Travel by Rail actually is more comfortable, safer, and more spacious; the Time expended in Rail traffic easily utilizable for entertainment or Paperwork. Business moguls will not be restricted from flying through the air, but why join them? An effective, expanded Rail system would not only cancel extreme Fuel Costs, by also Traffic congestion, Pollution emissions, and Routing problems. lgl

1 comment:

t11s said...

Europe has trains because Europe has several flat & straight right-of-ways and short inter-city distances.

London to Paris is a 3 hour train trip. Paris to Madrid is 12 hours. Paris to Munich is 10 hours. In many cases, these are on the same level as many inter-US airplane trips (when you throw in security, airport hassle, etc.)

Note that the few major short train routes in the US (like Washington to New York ~5 hours on slow trains) are popular, especially in the post 9-11 flying environment.

Moreover, Inter-European airlines are growing. In 2004, European scheduled passenger growth was 4% and revenue passenger kilometers grew by 5.6%.

The U.S. could have more passenger train traffic if it was willing to be more aggressive with eminent domain in creating straight right-of-ways for fast trains, but the investment level in new tracks and land buyouts would be huge, with an unclear payback.

Also airplanes are much more flexible investments than trains. If a destination becomes less popular (like New Orleans), you can just fly the plane somewhere else.