Skip to comments.High-speed rail, the third-fastest way to Chicago!
Posted on 01/18/2012 7:48:57 PM PST by WOBBLY BOB
E.R. Companion, of Eagan, writing to the editor in Sunday's Pioneer Press, wondered why our elected officials would commit to spending billions of dollars for a so-called high-speed rail line from the Twin Cities to Chicago. (Well, because they're nuts.) Companion was referring to a story that appeared Jan. 12 featuring the idea that the Minnesota Department of Transportation has begun studying environmental impacts along the 400-mile route, which would take passengers to Chicago, through Milwaukee, in an advertised five hours and 30 minutes.
Companion wondered what was high-speed about that, and I could not agree more with his sentiment. Or maybe her sentiment.
(Excerpt) Read more at twincities.com ...
The Hiawatha, at least the one photoed in my link, was pulled by an Atlantic class steam locomotive with a streamlined shroud, at least until the steamer was retired around 1950. That particular engine with its shroud looks very much like a diesel.
“BTW government regs lowered speeds to 78 mph on existing track most trains can run faster but I believe they are governed”
The high speed trains of the past ran on improved roadbed. That roadbed is expensive, and the RRs quit maintaining that quality of roadbed when they abandoned passenger service. Freight traffic doesn’t need it. Main lines that once featured 100+ mph express trains are now nowhere near the quality that they once were, they couldn’t support high speeds.
If RRs decided to bring back express passenger trains the effort would still be hampered by the lack of infrastructure that used to service rail travel. There was an entire system of private transportation geared towards getting people to and from railroad depots. It would come back if there was enough demand, but there might not be enough demand if the infrastructure didn’t first exist. Chicken and egg.
If I was Emperor we would have both magnificent train depots and steam locomotives, diesels be damned. A N&W Y6b is my idea of technology at its greatest.
She should have kept her mouth shut.....now they will reduce the interstate speed to 55mph just so they can be right about rail being faster.
History lesson: The US Post Office paid for and operated a system of rail cars that would pick up, sort and drop off mail, while rolling, along all the major rail routes, nationwide. The railroads added passenger cars and sold tickets as an extra. Without the mail cars, they wouldn't have seen a profit. As mail delivery and handling switched from trains to central sorting and truck delivery, passenger rail died.
Ther local post office would sort mail to either east or west bound, and hang the bag out for the express to hook on the fly. Postal workers aboard the mail car would sort, bag and drop off bags, again on the fly, as they passed through the stations. (Remember Bugs and Yosemite Sam?) It was a wonder of logistics, when the Feds were still servants instead of our masters...
The commies, whose tiny little brains have an off switch that auto-engages at the word "profit," have never understood this. Hence, "high speed rail."
Mail traffic and freight service paid for those 100 mph steam engines. The freight trains loaded with grain from the elevators in the Twin Cities were what turned a profit for the Milwaukee Road.
As a railfan, passenger trainswill never be as popular as it is in other parts of the world. I would love to see a privatize AMTRAK, with trains across THEUSA.
RPO certainly helped pay the bills but I seriously doubt that it was the reason RRs ran passenger service. For one thing the PO had to resort to using buses in the 30s because RRs were dropping passenger trains due to a lack of riders during the Depression. Had RPO been the driving financial factor the trains could have continued to run as a one car train.
Easy way to get libs to forget about HSR..just tell them the rails will be made from Reardon metal..
“Mail traffic and freight service paid for those 100 mph steam engines. The freight trains loaded with grain from the elevators in the Twin Cities were what turned a profit for the Milwaukee Road.”
100 mph locomotives weren’t the greatest expense for a RR, high speed roadbed was. Mail couldn’t possibly cover the cost of either of them and grain shipments didn’t need them.
Railroads invested in improved roadbed and high speed locomotives for mainlines between major cities where they had high volumes of passenger traffic. RRs had a monopoly on travel in the first half of the 20th century. Cross country highways were primitive to non-existent and air travel barely existed. RRs made plenty of money on passenger service and when they didn’t they abandoned it.
RRs made enough money on passenger service to build grand union stations, to support Harvey Houses, to employ an army of Redcaps and porters, to modernize passenger cars.
As things stand now, the train will run from the Twin Cities to the northern Wisconsin border and then resume on the Illinois side of the southern border ...
I cut my teeth reading Soucheray’s columns in the Trib almost 35 years ago. He was right about the Hump Dome then just as he is about the rail line now.
I’m long since moved from the area but for some time I continued to check in on Joe via internet.
But then the station bosses screwed with the format & scheduling and I lost track of his Garage Logic show.
Can you tell me if/when it on these days?
Not only one of the worst voices on radio but Joe’s squeaking mule laugh has to be the worst in human history.
...and planned on not returning.A number of years ago one of the airlines here in Detroit ran flights from Detroit to Chicago for about $45.00......I don't know if they still do since I've never known anyone who ever took advantage of it.
Wisconsin high Speed Rail Ping
If you want on, or off, this Wisconsin interest ping list, just FReep Mail me and it shall be done.
Now a high speed train AWAY from Chicago might make sense...;-)
I’m all for the train if tying the politicians to the tracks is part of the package...move your head, Rahm...I want to put a penny on the rail.../s
Umm, to get it over with as soon as possible?
The Hiawatha (Burlington/Northern RR)
(harumph) The North Shore Line route of the “Electroliners” frozen out by being prohibited from using Chicago elevated line trackage (ahem)
Twin Cities to Chicago... 400-mile route... through Milwaukee, in an advertised five hours and 30 minutes.
(sigh)Something like that happened to the Chicago Aurora and Elgin when they ripped up the west side Chicago trackage which had provided direct access to downtown, in order to build the Congress (later the Eisenhower) expressway. I only got to ride it a few times before that happened. It had been very convenient to walk out the second-story front door of the Wells Street terminal of the CA&E directly onto the Loop L platform.(sniff)