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Subject: Is this as obnoxious as I think it is? rss

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This Guy
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A friend on Facebook posted a conversation he had with his daughter where he told her "Some Democrats have proposed getting rid of air travel and replacing it with high speed rail." His daughter said that was stupid and he agreed. High fives!

As far as I've seen, the resolution is vague and Ocasio-Cortez has said something close to that, on her web site: ... "build out high-speed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary."

This doesn't propose getting rid of air travel, by my read. I feel like characterizing it this way to your children is a shitty way to poison the well.

Am I missing where somebody said something so absurd?
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Bill Cook
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It's not obnoxious, it's just flat out wrong. Lies meant to make the other side look bad.
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Jeff Saxton
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More high speed rail where it will get used is a good idea, but the U.S. is still a huge swath of country. By my math, the latest French TGV stuff at normal speeds would still take us 12+ hours New York to Los Angeles -- and that's not allowing stops to pick up or detrain folks anywhere in between.
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Michael Carter
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I might take rail from here to Chicago or Minneapolis, but that would be it.
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Ken
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Aetheros wrote:
A friend on Facebook posted a conversation he had with his daughter where he told her "Some Democrats have proposed getting rid of air travel and replacing it with high speed rail." His daughter said that was stupid and he agreed. High fives!
Massive lies are always obnoxious. Sadly, they're also pretty much standard conservative fare. I'm sorta surprised it wasn't "They propose using Mulsim high-speed marijuana rail to eliminate godly air travel."
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Ken
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Mack_me_Bucko wrote:
More high speed rail where it will get used is a good idea, but the U.S. is still a huge swath of country. By my math, the latest French TGV stuff at normal speeds would still take us 12+ hours New York to Los Angeles -- and that's not allowing stops to pick up or detrain folks anywhere in between.
Sure, but that's not how anyone suggests using it. It's more a replacement/supplement to regional air routes. Which could actually be useful - a lot of cities no longer have good air service due to airlines cutting routes.

The question is whether or not you can make it feasible economically. It's a lot of money to build the track to support the trains. Unless the government is going to subsidize the hell out of it (worth discussing, but not a slam-dunk), it's unlikely to be cost-effective for anyone on most routes.
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Jeff Saxton
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Occasionally the idea is trotted out on a St. Louis to Chicago high speed route, or StL to Kansas City. But for the number of passengers using it, a dedicated bus line works well enough. Amtrak is seldom full on either route (except StL to Columbia or KC to Columbia for Tigers games).
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Ken
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Mack_me_Bucko wrote:
Occasionally the idea is trotted out on a St. Louis to Chicago high speed route, or StL to Kansas City. But for the number of passengers using it, a dedicated bus line works well enough. Amtrak is seldom full on either route (except StL to Columbia or KC to Columbia for Tigers games).
Population density is a huge problem. Which is why subsidies would be just about a necessity. The California proposals from LA to San Francisco have the right numbers to make it work, as did the Acela lines on the east coast. But it'll be hard in a lot of the rest of the country.
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Jeff Saxton
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I'll note I'm a railroad nutter -- there's over 3300 railroad history books in the basement -- U.S. railroads were losing money on passenger service as early as 1930 -- there's a reason they ditched passenger trains. In most cases, the only reason to keep a passenger train running was that the U.S. Postal Service was paying the subsidy to use them for bulk mail transit. Once trucks took that from trains, trains died fast.
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Jorge Montero
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perfalbion wrote:
Mack_me_Bucko wrote:
Occasionally the idea is trotted out on a St. Louis to Chicago high speed route, or StL to Kansas City. But for the number of passengers using it, a dedicated bus line works well enough. Amtrak is seldom full on either route (except StL to Columbia or KC to Columbia for Tigers games).
Population density is a huge problem. Which is why subsidies would be just about a necessity. The California proposals from LA to San Francisco have the right numbers to make it work, as did the Acela lines on the east coast. But it'll be hard in a lot of the rest of the country.
Yes, it's a population density problem. I've done both of those trips on Amtrak, but it's only a sensible thing to do if you really aren't going to need a car on the destination. Even a tourist going to St.Louis or KC is going to need a car: They are cities where you can only handle having no car if you plan to never leave a hotel, probably for a convention. This is what also makes people drive those routes instead of flying: You are going to have to rent a car on the other side regardless.

Looking at the St Louis downtown, which is mostly single purpose office buildings with no stores on the ground floor and a sea of parking lots, This isn't changing any time soon.
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Aetheros wrote:
A friend on Facebook posted a conversation he had with his daughter where he told her "Some Democrats have proposed getting rid of air travel and replacing it with high speed rail." His daughter said that was stupid and he agreed. High fives!

As far as I've seen, the resolution is vague and Ocasio-Cortez has said something close to that, on her web site: ... "build out high-speed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary."

This doesn't propose getting rid of air travel, by my read. I feel like characterizing it this way to your children is a shitty way to poison the well.

Am I missing where somebody said something so absurd?
If you can pass your beliefs and biases to your children, what's the point?
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Edgar the Woebringer
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Well, that's the lovely thing about Facebook; you get to see just what utter mouthbreathers some of your "friends" and relatives really are. My stress levels have dropped significantly in the six months I've been off the drug.

What the hell would be wrong with high-speed rail in the first place, if it makes sense to use it? Is air travel such a wonderful thing that we can't look for better ways to get around? Morons. Nothing wrong with looking at alternatives, weighing the facts and then going with what makes sense. Everyone seems to want to pre-pick a side in every single issue. Also see: The Wall (tm) and Climate Change.
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Josh
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Just a shoutout for the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento, where I learned (among many other things) that there was no reason for different locations to be on a standardized time until the railroads connected them. Each little town would have declared noon to be whenever the sun was highest overhead, and margins of error had no importance.
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Olli Juhala
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edgarthewoebringer wrote:
Well, that's the lovely thing about Facebook; you get to see just what utter mouthbreathers some of your "friends" and relatives really are. My stress levels have dropped significantly in the six months I've been off the drug.

What the hell would be wrong with high-speed rail in the first place, if it makes sense to use it? Is air travel such a wonderful thing that we can't look for better ways to get around? Morons. Nothing wrong with looking at alternatives, weighing the facts and then going with what makes sense. Everyone seems to want to pre-pick a side in every single issue. Also see: The Wall (tm) and Climate Change.
Mostly it's bad because it would change the things we are used to.
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I would guess it actually comes from the line "We set a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, in 10 years because we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast"

Which does read like she wants to get rid of airplanes even if that's not really her intent.
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Junior McSpiffy
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edgarthewoebringer wrote:
Well, that's the lovely thing about Facebook; you get to see just what utter mouthbreathers some of your "friends" and relatives really are. My stress levels have dropped significantly in the six months I've been off the drug.
If it makes you put scarequotes around “friends,” then yeah. It’s best you stay away. I mean, you can only be scarequote-friends-scarequote with a mouthbreather if you never know anything about them.
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As political mischaracterizations go, this strikes me as surprisingly accurate. It’s not perfect, of course, but seems way less obnoxious than “baby-killer”. There are contexts in which I would expect greater fidelity, but Facebook generally isn’t one of them.
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Steve Vondra
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I use Amtrak to go as far as NYC from Charlottesville,Va.. We wouldn't take the current Amtrak system much further than that. Yes it's about four and a half hours longer in travel time, but when you add in security gropings, the boarding zoo, and fighting for overhead space before shoehorning yourself into an ever-shrinking seat, it becomes a much more pleasant travel experience.
There is no way I would take a train cross-country, even the fastest train would take too long.
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AOC has likely only lived on a short stretch of the east coast. She doesn’t understand transportation for the majority of the nation.
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cooler king wrote:
There is no way I would take a train cross-country, even the fastest train would take too long.

I have taken the train cross country more than once. It is WONDERFUL.


Yes it takes longer than flying, but less time than driving and so much more relaxing than both!


So if you have the time ever... consider doing it.
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Junior McSpiffy
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Meerkat wrote:
cooler king wrote:
There is no way I would take a train cross-country, even the fastest train would take too long.

I have taken the train cross country more than once. It is WONDERFUL.


Yes it takes longer than flying, but less time than driving and so much more relaxing than both!


So if you have the time ever... consider doing it.
But delays are horrific. My brother-in-law took Amtrak to our family reunion. One delay caused them to be two days late because of how one delay ripples into the next. I'm assuming this plan would have tracks be two wide, one coming and one going, which I'm guessing would mitigate this problem quite a bit. But for how things are now, I'm gonna pass on rail having missed out on two whole days with the most game-oriented of my in-laws.
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Mack_me_Bucko wrote:
More high speed rail where it will get used is a good idea, but the U.S. is still a huge swath of country. By my math, the latest French TGV stuff at normal speeds would still take us 12+ hours New York to Los Angeles -- and that's not allowing stops to pick up or detrain folks anywhere in between.
congratulations on noticing that New York and LA are 2500 miles apart, good job

but seriously, the point of rail isn't to get rid of air travel entirely, it's to replace air travel (and, just as importantly, car travel) that can be reasonably replaced with rail - I mean, the two busiest air routes in the world are both domestic within Japan (Tokyo-Sapporo and Tokyo-Fukuoka), because even in Japan where the trains are magic it's still six to eight hours by train to get to either of those places (a big story over there right now is new train technology which will cut down Fukuoka to three and a half hours and Sapporo to five, which would actually start to compete with air travel if the price is right)

the point of trains is to standardize reasonably fast travel that is efficient both in terms of time and distance, and there's a lot of the USA that qualifies - the California corridor from San Diego to San Francisco (and you could reasonably argue for extending it up to as far as Seattle), the Acela corridor in the northeast (which already exists but needs upgrading and branching), Chicago-Milwaukee-Cleveland, the various corridors in the southeast, et cetera

in that regard the proposals are completely sensible
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This Guy
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mightygodking wrote:
Mack_me_Bucko wrote:
More high speed rail where it will get used is a good idea, but the U.S. is still a huge swath of country. By my math, the latest French TGV stuff at normal speeds would still take us 12+ hours New York to Los Angeles -- and that's not allowing stops to pick up or detrain folks anywhere in between.
congratulations on noticing that New York and LA are 2500 miles apart, good job

...
What’s with the snark on this?
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Aetheros wrote:
mightygodking wrote:
Mack_me_Bucko wrote:
More high speed rail where it will get used is a good idea, but the U.S. is still a huge swath of country. By my math, the latest French TGV stuff at normal speeds would still take us 12+ hours New York to Los Angeles -- and that's not allowing stops to pick up or detrain folks anywhere in between.
congratulations on noticing that New York and LA are 2500 miles apart, good job

...
What’s with the snark on this?
No no no, we're not able to note such things. This is just charm.
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Edgar the Woebringer
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GameCrossing wrote:
edgarthewoebringer wrote:
Well, that's the lovely thing about Facebook; you get to see just what utter mouthbreathers some of your "friends" and relatives really are. My stress levels have dropped significantly in the six months I've been off the drug.
If it makes you put scarequotes around “friends,” then yeah. It’s best you stay away. I mean, you can only be scarequote-friends-scarequote with a mouthbreather if you never know anything about them.
Ignorance is bliss!
 
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