Possible EuroStar partnership on the horizon

Discussion in 'Amtrak | Guest Rewards' started by Wandering Aramean, Oct 16, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    desamo and MX like this.
  2. dc3
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    dc3 Silver Member

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    I got the same survey. Wish they would get the Eurostar tracks and trains here, not just a potential points earning ability.
     
    Wandering Aramean and desamo like this.
  3. skyvan

    skyvan Gold Member

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    This would get me to actually use Amtrak Guest Rewards since I'd have points to burn from my Eurostar trips.
     
  4. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    [quote="dc3, post: 1712119, member: 2459 I Wish they would get the Eurostar tracks and trains here, not just a potential points earning ability.[/quote]

    Dream on
    Not gonna happen never, ever, ever..
    1) Who is going to pay for the the cost in hundreds of billion of dollars of rolling stock and purchase the roadways.
    2) Who going to be prepared to take a high speed train to the outskirts of any city where the stations would have to
    be established (becuase very few perhaps under 5 ) US even has a large enough city centre station ad track
    structure to support such.
    3) Most US cities are too far apart to support such a system.
    4) American like their cars
     
  5. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Far more than 5 US cities have a train station in the center which can support such service. And there are regions where the density can work. You won't see Atlanta to Washington, DC or New Orleans on HSR but connecting the Washington DC to Boston corridor, LA to San Francisco, Tampa/Miami/Orlando and St. Louis/Chicago/Milwaukee/Indianapolis/Minneapolis region all could work. Many of those already have the station in place, though the rail works and rolling stock are a whole different beast.
     
  6. legalalien
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    legalalien Gold Member

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    Most places in the US lack supporting infrastructure around train stations, e.g., parking, car rental, or convenient public transportation options. Many Amtrak stations are actually quite far from the center of business activity, since aside from a few larger cities, downtown is not where most businesses are located anymore. While airports have experienced somewhat of a renaissance lately, train station are often...well...let's just say they don't look like NYC Grand Central.

    High-speed rail won't solve any of these problems, and IMHO won't succeed unless those problems are addressed.
     
  7. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I know. But the areas I named above are not affected by these limitations the same way.
     
  8. legalalien
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    legalalien Gold Member

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    They are, with the exception of NE corridor.
     
  9. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Chicago's station is in the heart of the city. So is San Francisco. And LA. Tampa and Orlando are decent; Miami not quite as good. Minneapolis is not great but Milwaukee and St. Louis are pretty well located.
     
  10. legalalien
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    legalalien Gold Member

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    Chicago Union Station has no long-term parking and only 1 car rental company (Hertz). If you want to get anywhere in the city, you have to walk with your bags a few blocks in the rain or snow to CTA, or take a (very slow) bus. If you want to go somewhere in the suburbs, you better show up during rush hour, otherwise service is once per hour or less. It's a great station for commuters who work in the city during 'normal' business hours, but business travel to other places?

    San Francisco Amtrak station is in Oakland.

    Milwaukee and St. Louis stations are somewhat close to the center of the city - though neither location seems safe to walk around after 5 pm. St. Louis station has 116 long-term and 40 short-term parking spaces - my neighborhood Wal-Mart has more. In any case, majority of local businesses are not near those stations anyway - a good number are in the suburbs - and there are even fewer public transportation options in Milwaukee and St. Louis than there are in Chicago.

    I don't know much about Florida or LA stations. Maybe things are different there, but I have never thought of LA as a city with good public transportation. How would one get to businesses in Orange County or to various universities?

    ***

    Now, the proposed "high-speed" rail link between Chicago and St. Louis will shave about 40 min off the current time, I think. I seriously doubt it will be sufficient to entice many people to switch to rail unless major improvements are done to the way they get to and from train stations.
     
  11. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    You don't need extensive long-term parking when you're picking passengers up and dropping them off in dense areas. And if there is demand for a rental car facility it'll show up pretty quickly.

    Sure, if you're visiting a corporation on the outskirts then you need to rent a car. Just like if you're flying in. But all of those downtown areas have reasonably dense commercial districts. I traveled 30-45 weeks/year for 7 years and rarely had to rent a car when visiting my customers in downtown areas in Orlando, Minneapolis, Chicago, San Francisco and many other cities around the country. If you do need one then you need one whether you fly or drive. But if you can be in the heart of the city anyways the need can be rather reduced.

    Yes, there is a lot of urban sprawl in the USA but there are still many cities where downtown really is reasonable. Especially if you're willing to walk 5 minutes or take a cab a couple miles rather than insist on having your own car.
     
  12. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    New and bigger chunnel coming from Ireland to Newfoundland, maybe? ;)
     
  13. legalalien
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    legalalien Gold Member

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    I don't need to be sold on the virtues of public transportation. I'm on board, really.

    I'm just saying that without major improvements in intra-city transportation high-speed rail only helps those going from one downtown to another downtown - and I question whether there are enough people doing that to warrant huge investment that is being proposed.

    My take is that the money would have been better spent on other public infrastructure projects that would benefit a larger slice of the population. For example, frequent and convenient rail links into cities, including fast trains to/from airports and commuter parking lots.
     
  14. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    In the final anlysis try convincing the the Senators from Idaho and Montana to vote for a 3 trillion dollar project In the Transportation budjest so one can get from Atlanta to New York in under two hours.
     

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