Trump tweet on Amtrak crash not surprising forums forums Politics and other things Trump tweet on Amtrak crash not surprising

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    In regards to moving people, trains are indeed a 19th century technology. I use WES an example. Cost per rider is off the charts. And it’s slow as fuck.

    The only utility trains have these days is moving product from point A to B.

    When it comes to moving people from point A to B, trains are a miserable failure.


    Rivets are an even older technology, but they are holding up our bridges and holding our airplanes together just fine.

    What’s fucked up is that we aren’t keeping up with the rest of the world, instead putting taxpayer money in the pockets of Trump’s allies.

    WES and Amtrak Cascades aren’t even electrified for heaven’s sake. ELectric train tracks are the only thing you’ll see even in most third world countries today. Trains that are properly designed, built, and maintained and that get adequate public subsidy (like our airports, our highways) work beautifully.

    Folks who dump on trains and say they are obsolete are probably the same fools who say the post office is obsolete. (Or say RADIO is obsolete!) If Congress would let the post office run itself rather than keeping it under it’s thumb, it would continue to thrive and provide world class service.

    I could go on.


    Trains aren’t obsolete.

    OUR trains are obsolete.

    Travel most anywhere else in the world and you’ll notice that.


    Some places are worse…


    It was me! I said Trump wasn’t responsible! Looks like I have to take it back.

    There are those that love to bash WES
    But the thing is utterly predicable. You can plan your trip to the minute. It’s self propelled. You can get from PDX to Salem for under $5 bucks.

    You can argue that the cost is unjustified. But know this, without alternatives, max, Wes, et al., Most of those folks will be on the freeway, not in buses. For that, it’s priceless.

    Oregonian s are not going to build new freeways shutting down Wes or max.


    A lot of people have lost the fact that the investment in the Point Defiance bypass was about more than shaving a few minutes off the Cascades’ timetable. The current mainline is a major choke point for both passenger and freight traffic, and due to the geography there is very little that can be done to improve it. Moving the Cascades trains off that stretch allows BNSF/UP to run more traffic while at the same time allowing for additional passenger service (I believe the eventual target is 14 round trips a day between Portland and King Street).

    The stretch where the accident occurred is at the end of a long, slightly downhill straightaway (tangent in RR speak) and in addition to the curve for the flyover of I-5 also leads directly to the connection with the BNSF main (i.e. this is the south end of the bypass). Therefore, even if the money had been spent on a new overpass with a more gentle curvature, there’d still be speed reduction in that area as trains will likely end up getting at least an “approach” signal (yellow light) for the junction before proceeding onto the southbound main.

    The failure to slow for the speed reduction suggests the operator simply lost situational awareness. This is distressingly similar to the derailment near Philadelphia a couple of years ago in that respect.

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