New transportation technologies

Transportation topics in KC
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Eon Blue
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Re: New transportation technologies

Post by Eon Blue » Wed Feb 25, 2015 12:44 pm

In the olden days, the private railroads also made money off of passenger service by combining it with mail shipments (they actually had Post Office cars in the passenger train consist where they sorted the mail en route) and with less-than-carload time-sensitive parcel delivery (basically UPS and FedEx now.) Amtrak used to do both I believe, but for reasons doesn't anymore.

Ironically, UPS and FedEx are now huge intermodal customers of the railroads, confirming that it's a viable shipment method in certain circumstances.

Now, mandated route service and subsidized competition is a whole other discussion...

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Re: New transportation technologies

Post by NDTeve » Wed Feb 25, 2015 12:48 pm

DaveKCMO wrote:
NDTeve wrote:Why is Amtrak such a money loser?
- legacy cost structure (labor, outdated equipment, debt load)
- host railroad interference (drives up labor and fuel costs)
- limited connections when people arrive without a car (although you can rent cars near the KCY and STL stations)
- limited frequency everywhere except northeast and california

also, why are highways such a money loser? all that modot does is ask for MOAR money!
good points. Although I would argue that highways may be a money loser but certainly a job creator

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Re: New transportation technologies

Post by DaveKCMO » Wed Feb 25, 2015 12:50 pm

NDTeve wrote:
DaveKCMO wrote:
NDTeve wrote:Why is Amtrak such a money loser?
- legacy cost structure (labor, outdated equipment, debt load)
- host railroad interference (drives up labor and fuel costs)
- limited connections when people arrive without a car (although you can rent cars near the KCY and STL stations)
- limited frequency everywhere except northeast and california

also, why are highways such a money loser? all that modot does is ask for MOAR money!
good points. Although I would argue that highways may be a money loser but certainly a job creator
and the people working for amtrak in nearly every state are just... freeloaders?

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Re: New transportation technologies

Post by NDTeve » Wed Feb 25, 2015 12:52 pm

Not at all. Would argue that building and maintaining roads creates more jobs than Amtrak. All I"m saying.

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Re: New transportation technologies

Post by beautyfromashes » Wed Feb 25, 2015 1:44 pm

Amtrak is a money loser because of density. As opposed to the in city density discussion that gets talked about in the Streetcar & Light Rail discussions, this density is city density. In Europe, the cities are more tightly grouped. So, it's actually quicker and easier to jump on a train from Paris to London and be in the heart of the downtown, then to take a plane and be on the outskirts of town. I'm sure someone has done a study on the certain time/distance that it becomes more advantageous to take a plane than a train.

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Re: New transportation technologies

Post by flyingember » Wed Feb 25, 2015 2:23 pm

cities in Europe are father apart than you think. it's that the train is so much quicker between major cities.

Paris to London is 454km via road
KC to St. Louis is 398km via road

that trip is 5:20 in Europe (via the chunnel train) vs. 4:00 in the US
via train Eurostar takes 2:30. the river runner takes 5:40

there's no reason KC couldn't have train service equal to Eurostar.

I checked and London to Lyon is roughly the same speed as Amtrak from KC to StL and they're 925km apart, more than twice the distance.
KC to Denver is 970km. That gives away just how fast the European trains really are and the distances they travel. It's not between cities close together, the distances are just like the distance between cities in the eastern half of the US

European cities are also less dense than you think, the cores are dense while the whole city is not.
While Paris is 56,000 per square mile the paris metro area is only 1830 per square mile

Back to the urban core of cities, Chicago is more dense than Frankfurt but not by a huge amount, is a hair below Seville and is well above Oslo.

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Re: New transportation technologies

Post by swid » Wed Feb 25, 2015 2:42 pm

In case anyone's curious, the population density of the states entirely east of the Mississippi (+ DC) is about 190 people / sq mi.

The population density of the European Union is about 290 people/sq mi.

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Re: New transportation technologies

Post by beautyfromashes » Wed Feb 25, 2015 2:58 pm

London Population: 13.4M
Paris Population: 8.3M

Kansas City Population: 2.3M
St. Louis Population: 2.8M

If Chicago and Los Angeles were 250 miles apart, there would be a high speed train connecting them. But, this is my point. If large metros were closer together, then there would be higher speed service. Besides the NE corridor and SF-LA, I can't think of any places where it would make economic sense in America.

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Re: New transportation technologies

Post by flyingember » Wed Feb 25, 2015 3:51 pm

Lyon is an example to show how distance and size don't define rail as being better just because cities are closer together in Europe.

it's slightly smaller than KC and StL at 2.1 million people
It's 288 miles to Paris, KC to StL is 247 miles.

the train in Europe takes way less time. It's twice as fast.

So it's possible to connect the major Midwest cities with trains. Europe did it. It doesn't need to be LA and Chicago. They connected to cities like KC with 140mph service.

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Re: New transportation technologies

Post by pash » Wed Feb 25, 2015 4:03 pm

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Re: New transportation technologies

Post by kcjak » Wed Feb 25, 2015 4:04 pm

I'd LOVE for the US to have train networks to rival Europe. But, gas is outrageously expensive in Europe, insurance is higher, fewer people own cars, toll roads are expensive and the governments subsidize most of the networks.

When grants were being given out for high speed rail, you had governors refusing to take the money or state governments screaming it was a socialist giveaway that should be used to lower taxes.

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Re: New transportation technologies

Post by aknowledgeableperson » Wed Feb 25, 2015 4:06 pm

pash wrote:What if my meeting is at 3:15, but Linda is always ten minutes late? Then when does the train get me there? Does it matter that my hypothetical meeting is in a hypothetical 2027? Is twelve hypothetical years enough time to get me there? Does the hypothetical part even matter? Please explain your answer, I think I'm starting to understand you.
Oddly enough, the thing that seems most off to me about Burke's imagined 2027 is that anybody would be driving to St Louis in the first place. In a future in which a fleet of cheap, autonomous cars is a voice-command away, far fewer people are going to own of car at all. So if you're asking Uber to take you to St Louis, why wouldn't Uber send you an Amtrak ticket, drop you off at Union Station, and pick you up in a couple of hours on the other end?
That's why. You won't be in StL in a couple of hours for one. Two, the train schedule may not fit your personal needs. You asked the question, I provided an answer.

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Re: New transportation technologies

Post by pash » Wed Feb 25, 2015 4:26 pm

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Re: New transportation technologies

Post by flyingember » Wed Feb 25, 2015 4:36 pm

we talk about autonomous vehicles. but why do they have to travel only on roads and only be cars? why not combine efforts with new intra-city rail service?

There's an auto-train on the NE corridor. Imagine a premium service where you reserve space on a special autonomous car-holding EMUs (electric multi-unit) much like those car carrying semi trailers. They hook together based on destination for aerodynamics and automatically decouple and head to the local terminals along the way to account for different destinations. You could buy direct fast service or slower, cheaper service where your vehicle pulls into nearby stations to pick up cars waiting.
aknowledgeableperson wrote: That's why. You won't be in StL in a couple of hours for one. Two, the train schedule may not fit your personal needs. You asked the question, I provided an answer.
With a direct route along I-70 the 110mph service IL is putting in would get you there in 2.3 hours.

It doesn't take too much more advancement to get to the point that access to StL in less than two hours and with hourly service is realistic to do. a TGV-type service would take an hour. Track speed is there, it's finding the way to do it so it's cost effective and price competitive with airplanes

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Re: New transportation technologies

Post by pash » Wed Mar 04, 2015 4:22 pm

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Re: New transportation technologies

Post by bobbyhawks » Wed Mar 04, 2015 6:53 pm

pash wrote:
When a car drives past a location that Ford recognizes as a parking space, the ultrasonic sensors get turned on and map out occupied and unoccupied spaces, uploading that data to create a near-real time parking map.
There will be a time in the relatively near future when parking lot operators are forced to lobby against various autonomous driving allowances due to the very real threat of self-parking cars. At present, the vehicles can just ease into a parallel parking space. In the near future (and perhaps already), cars are able to drive to meet you in private spaces:
http://mashable.com/2014/10/09/tesla-d-event/

I was leaving the KU basketball game last night and walking through traffic, and it dawned on me that within 10 years or so, there could be a line of warmed up and ready Lexus's and BMWs ready to pick up the wealthier donors, and perhaps a mix of a lot of other vehicles that are reasonably affordable. Without any rules to the contrary, those cars could park at a computer mapped, free parking space 20 blocks away. A push of a button, and the car heads your way. It is possibly one of the best things that could happen to devalue parking spaces, or it could result in subscription-like covered spaces that manage automated vehicles only (but are placed in non-prime locations).

How far will cars be allowed to drive without a passenger? Could a car take me to work and then head home to be available for someone else? Could I send a car to a kid in college? Or, are we talking about regulated parking perimeters? There will then need to be a way to manage the volume of vehicles lining up to pickup passengers at a sporting event, negotiating pickup locations so that all of the cars aren't piled up on the same street. This leads to a significant cyber security concern where cars are able to interact with one another either directly or through traffic management systems, but we generally create the technology before we worry about the implications anyhow, so...

All I really want is to be able to fall asleep in my car and wake up 8 hours away.

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Re: New transportation technologies

Post by pash » Wed Mar 04, 2015 7:57 pm

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Re: New transportation technologies

Post by FangKC » Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:09 pm

Some people may also opt to just keep one family car instead of two or three.

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Re: New transportation technologies

Post by pash » Fri Apr 03, 2015 3:37 pm

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Re: New transportation technologies

Post by pash » Sat May 23, 2015 2:56 pm

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