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  1. #1

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    Feb. 18, 2011: The Fastest Ride at Walt Disney World

    It's not a thrill ride. It's a plan for high-speed rail service on dedicated tracks between Tampa and OrlandoŚwith service to Walt Disney World.

    This week, Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced his state doesn't want $2.39 billion from the Federal Government.


    Please discuss it here.
    Werner Weiss
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    Re: Feb. 18, 2011: The Fastest Ride at Walt Disney World

    I live in Southern California and a rail system is very much needed. It is quite sad how far behind the U.S is when it comes to a high speed rail system.

    I have been to Japan twice and it is amazing how solid the rail system is.
    Last edited by Brisal73; 02-18-2011 at 06:53 AM.

  3. #3

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    Re: Feb. 18, 2011: The Fastest Ride at Walt Disney World

    Hard to believe that alot of tiny countries in Europe and Asia are already on this. We could've used a high speed rail system like years ago. Amtrak is a slowpo joke peoples!
    Toonaspie: I have Asperger's. I like cartoons. Toonaspie!

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    Re: Feb. 18, 2011: The Fastest Ride at Walt Disney World

    It's one of the very few ideas Obama has that I like.
    High speed rail all through Europe makes so much easier.
    Mark

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    Re: Feb. 18, 2011: The Fastest Ride at Walt Disney World

    The one on the map that most caught my eye was the L.A.-Vegas leg. I have heard rumors of this for years. I agree with all above, the rail industry has definitely been a thing of the past for the US.

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    Re: Feb. 18, 2011: The Fastest Ride at Walt Disney World

    I love trains, especially those made by the company I work for. However the passenger trains currently in use in the US do not make money.

    The governor was right to not take this initial money for the train as everyone knows any government project will cost twice the projected price. So where would the extra money come from? Florida taxpayers. And where would the yearly upkeep come from? Ticket prices would have to be very high to cover the cost, so FL taxpayers would be on the hook for that too.

    Its unfortunate, but passenger rail service does not make money in the US. The ones in Europe makes sense as they have many small countries linked together, and their governments either own or subsidize the rail service there. Does anyone here know the tax rates in those countries with high-speed rail service? I'm pretty sure no one in the US wants to pay those tax rates. Anytime there has been any talk of starting an income tax in FL, it has been shot down quick.

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    Re: Feb. 18, 2011: The Fastest Ride at Walt Disney World

    Based on where it will stop like WDW, International Drive, and the Airport, it appears to only be designed for tourism. This is insufficient to sustain a train service. It is suicidal for the state to only cater to tourism with this expensive train set. They need to figure out to better service its citizens.

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    Re: Feb. 18, 2011: The Fastest Ride at Walt Disney World

    Quote Originally Posted by Goofy173 View Post
    I love trains, especially those made by the company I work for. However the passenger trains currently in use in the US do not make money.

    The governor was right to not take this initial money for the train as everyone knows any government project will cost twice the projected price. So where would the extra money come from? Florida taxpayers. And where would the yearly upkeep come from? Ticket prices would have to be very high to cover the cost, so FL taxpayers would be on the hook for that too.

    Its unfortunate, but passenger rail service does not make money in the US. The ones in Europe makes sense as they have many small countries linked together, and their governments either own or subsidize the rail service there. Does anyone here know the tax rates in those countries with high-speed rail service? I'm pretty sure no one in the US wants to pay those tax rates. Anytime there has been any talk of starting an income tax in FL, it has been shot down quick.
    I agree with you. These high speed trains don't make sense in the U.S. It sounds good, but doesn't make any money and will only hurt the state financially. Amtrak trains in the Northeast are expensive, slow, and losing millions of dollars every year. We are not like Europe and Asia where population is high and countries are small. We are too spread out, and the most efficient way to travel right now is by car. If I was the government I would rather have this money go towards research and development of efficient cars and transportation infrastructure.

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    Re: Feb. 18, 2011: The Fastest Ride at Walt Disney World

    Comparing USA to other countries on this issue isn't appropriate because USA is the only country that has privately-owned and run airlines...if a railway were so smart, why hasn't the private sector already pursued it?

    Why should we go into deeper debt just to run the privately-owned airlines (and jobs) out of business?

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    Re: Feb. 18, 2011: The Fastest Ride at Walt Disney World

    Quote Originally Posted by Goofy173 View Post
    I love trains, especially those made by the company I work for. However the passenger trains currently in use in the US do not make money.

    The governor was right to not take this initial money for the train as everyone knows any government project will cost twice the projected price. So where would the extra money come from? Florida taxpayers. And where would the yearly upkeep come from? Ticket prices would have to be very high to cover the cost, so FL taxpayers would be on the hook for that too.

    Its unfortunate, but passenger rail service does not make money in the US. The ones in Europe makes sense as they have many small countries linked together, and their governments either own or subsidize the rail service there. Does anyone here know the tax rates in those countries with high-speed rail service? I'm pretty sure no one in the US wants to pay those tax rates. Anytime there has been any talk of starting an income tax in FL, it has been shot down quick.
    Quote Originally Posted by HBKRocco View Post
    I agree with you. These high speed trains don't make sense in the U.S. It sounds good, but doesn't make any money and will only hurt the state financially. Amtrak trains in the Northeast are expensive, slow, and losing millions of dollars every year. We are not like Europe and Asia where population is high and countries are small. We are too spread out, and the most efficient way to travel right now is by car. If I was the government I would rather have this money go towards research and development of efficient cars and transportation infrastructure.
    Quote Originally Posted by vnormth View Post
    Comparing USA to other countries on this issue isn't appropriate because USA is the only country that has privately-owned and run airlines...if a railway were so smart, why hasn't the private sector already pursued it?

    Why should we go into deeper debt just to run the privately-owned airlines (and jobs) out of business?
    COMPLETELY agree with all of these statements. I think that the idea for high speed rail sounds good, but honestly, the proposed high speed rail projects are, as i like to call them "railroads to nowhere". first of all, the government should not be involved in the railroad business at all. just look at amtrak, a government owned railroad corporation. the PROPOSED speeds of those trains are supposed to b over 100mph, but the reality is that those amtrak trains rarely reach those speeds and have a hard time even reaching speeds of 80 mph. why? because the railroads that the trains run on r very old and cant handle very high speeds, making them incredibly inefficient. Secondly, enough people do not ride trains that would warrant the building of a high speed railroad at this point in time. According to some studies, the cost to the tax payer of current trains is $462 PER PERSON!! y? because hardly anyone rides trains. But finally, the BIGGEST reason why we should NOT be building a high speed rail right now is because we simply DO NOT HAVE THE MONEY. Why is obama so intent on spending so much money we dont have? we have an ENORMOUS deficit and a huge debt that will consume most of our GDP w/ in the next 10 years. spending billions of money we dont have at a huge cost to the taxpayer will not help our country in the long run. Again, another unintended consequence that the government fails to see.
    Last edited by DlandresortCalifan; 02-18-2011 at 11:39 PM.

  11. #11

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    Re: Feb. 18, 2011: The Fastest Ride at Walt Disney World

    The dirty little secret that is rarely mentioned is that in Germany and Switzerland -- the most efficiently operated trains in Eruope are privately held and not subsidized through taxes. These would also be the ones to emulate. And I remember how awful the trains in other countries which subsidized their networks were.

    In other words, in the countries where the system is cost-effective, efficient, and economical, you pay the actual cost of a fare. They are more economical in Europe because the gas prices are through the roof -- I remember being shocked in Switzerland that our price per gallon was their price per liter.

    Here, however, people will not ride a train unless it is cheaper or more convenient than driving a car. I don't believe that we should be subsidizing a system which is incapable of generating a profit. Until we see a shift of economic factors, I think in many instances, a train could be quite a dud.

    And NO, I'm NOT anti-train. I love trains, and was very impressed with the trains in Germany and Switzerland (not so much in Italy or Netherlands, though). They were clean, efficient, and 2nd class on a DB ICE train rivals 1st class on an airplane. I'd love to see the days when we are capable of having a high-speed rail network across the United States, and I love taking trains even for the scenic views.

    But we simply can't toss aside the economics of the situation beyond the initial investment of money -- on some rail lines in the US, the cost of a fare exceeds the cost of taking a taxi the same distance. And no, I don't see this situation as analogous to the formation of the Interstate Highway System.

    As far as Amtrak goes -- it's an utter joke. Amtrak trains are not high speed, and share trackage with freight rail on private lanes. Amtrak operates on an easement on these lines, meaning that often times freight travel is given priority over passenger travel. It's a joke.
    Last edited by The Shadoe; 02-18-2011 at 03:11 PM.

  12. #12

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    Re: Feb. 18, 2011: The Fastest Ride at Walt Disney World

    I enjoy reading the comments about how heavily subsidized the European rail system is, and so it is a bad model to follow.

    Guess what?

    The US highway and interstate system is completely government subsidized. The US trucking industry would be a shadow of itself if it actually had to pay more than the token fraction of the road construction and maintenance costs it currently pays. Personal driving is subsidized in the same way (and more).

    The cost of petroleum in the US is effectively government subsidized.

    The US air transportation system is government subsidized.

    At one point in time the railroads in this country were massively subsidized.

    If we are going to object to government subsidies for transportation systems, then lets object to all of them and really level the playing field.

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    Re: Feb. 18, 2011: The Fastest Ride at Walt Disney World

    States are broke, Fed is more than broke, spending is out of control and needs to be reigned in to reasonable levels.

    If high speed rail makes sense it should be a private not government effort.

    If this kind of transportation made sense maybe Disney would have built the monorail extension at WDW.

    A ticket on Southwest costs less than a ticket on Amtrak which would be much less than high speed rail and you get the pelasure of meeting a TSA agent up close and personal for no extra charge

  14. #14

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    Re: Feb. 18, 2011: The Fastest Ride at Walt Disney World

    California is a perfect example of why not to do this. A couple of years ago we (California) voted on a prop that would create a bullet train network for the state, I have to admit that I voted for it before I understood the boondoggle that it is. The connection between the Bay Area and LA/Disneyland was a motivating factor; I live in the Bay Area and it appeared to be faster than flying if you include the time it takes to travel to the Airport, shuttle ride, security, etc. In retrospect, I discovered driving with my family is the best and cheapest route. 5 hours from my front door to Disneyland's front gate, one tank of gas. Anyway, this massive project has been just one big nightmare after the next, it is wayyyyyy over budget and not one piece of track has been laid. Below is a quote from a Newsweek study regarding High Speed Rail which mentions CA. See quote below

    "Consider California. Its budget is a shambles; it furloughed state workers to save money. Still, it clings to its high-speed rail project. No one knows the cost. In 2009, the California High-Speed Rail Authority estimated $42.6 billion, up from $33.6 billion in 2008Śa huge one-year increase. The CHSRA wants the federal government to pay about half the cost. Even if it does and the state issues $9.95 billion in approved bonds, a financing gap of almost $15 billion would remain."

    There have been many micro studies done just on the corruption of the California High Speed Rail project, but this article mentions the problems with the idea on a national level. See the article's link below.
    Why High-Speed Trains Don't Make Sense - Newsweek
    Early to rise, early to bed, makes a man healthy... but socially dead.

  15. #15

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    Re: Feb. 18, 2011: The Fastest Ride at Walt Disney World

    Quote Originally Posted by wulfblat View Post
    I enjoy reading the comments about how heavily subsidized the European rail system is, and so it is a bad model to follow.

    Guess what?

    The US highway and interstate system is completely government subsidized. The US trucking industry would be a shadow of itself if it actually had to pay more than the token fraction of the road construction and maintenance costs it currently pays. Personal driving is subsidized in the same way (and more).
    .

    Roads and high speed rail are not a good comparison. Everything from city buses and garbage trucks, to passenger cars and 18 wheel freight haulers use the roads that our tax dollars pay for. Roads are a universal service that anyone can use. Mom, Dad and the kids, along with Walmart. Not to mention that Walmart's competitor Target uses the roads with out being at a disadvantage to its larger rival. Our military along with law enforcement and emergency services all use our roads. Roads cost pennies on the dollar when compared to high speed rail.

    High speed rail on the other hand is designed to do one thing and one thing only, move passengers from one specific point to another. Freight can not be moved on it, nor can a military transport. High speed rail doesn't bring the police to a crime scene or paramedics to a crash.

    If all the government were doing is laying track that anyone could use, I probably wouldn't have a problem with it, but what we are really doing is spending billions of dollars for a system that a rather small fraction of the population will ever actually use.

    I live in Arizona and I have no plans to travel to Florida. Why should I pay for a transportation system that is only designed to service a niche market? IE tourist going to Disney World.

    Additionally these systems when implemented are almost never what was promised. Here in the Phoenix area we voted for a thing called the metro rail system. (obviously not high speed but you get the idea) The system we were promised was supposed to share the freeway access and travel at speeds in excess of 50 miles per hour. What we got was little more than a street car that travels in the middle of major city streets, and never goes faster than 30 miles per hour. As a result trains run half empty most of the time. The system is losing money hand over fist and they have actually had to cut back the hours that the train runs. You better be on your way home by 9pm or you may miss the last train!

    Doug
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