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mgh

Railway Speed Record

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Yesterday French railways (SNCF) set a new world speed recordfor a train running on wheels of 357 mph (574 km/h) with its high-speed TGV.Even at the present speeds, TGV is competitive with internal air transport. It runs from city-centre to city-centre and there's no delays to check-in and to recover baggage etc.

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I wonder how the cost factors compare,(aviation vs rail). It might be more lucrative for a passenger to take rail, but does it make sense from a business point of view? That will be the final decision maker.John M

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In the US, where rail companies are private, building a TGV-like network with dedicated lines would probably not be realistic from a business point of view. But in Europe and Asia railways are often tax funded, like roads, so the whole undertaking can be viewed more like a public infrastructure project for the greater good of society. That said, a rail line between two major cities may be profitable, and tickets are sometimes more expensive than airline tickets. With the recent safety hysteria at airports I know I would prefer the train if time-loss is not significant.-

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In the UK the rail network is a mix of Gov funded and private.We have companies such as Virgin Trains, C2C and First but companies that maintain tracks (network rail) seem to be government supported?Im not too sure how it all works, maybe somone could enlighten me?Dave

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I think eventually, as in decades to come, there will be more pax train service in the USA...but never to the extent to which rail is used in Europe.I think the fossil fuel situation will necessitate greater use of mass transit in the states. The limiting factor is distance, which in the USA is much greater than in Europe.When I was in Europe I found train use vs. auto use one of the striking differences in day-to-day life between the USA and Europe.RhettAMD 3700+ (@2310 mhz), eVGA 7800GT 256 (Guru3D 93.71), ASUS A8N-E, PC Power 510 SLI, 2 GB Corsair XMS 2.5-3-3-8 (1T), WD 250 gig 7200 rpm SATA2, CoolerMaster Praetorian case

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In the US, most (all?) pax service is government operated, but most of the trackage is private, creating problems. I think the only route which is profitable, or near profitable is the Northeast corridor, which is electrified between Washington DC and Boston Mass. I think for the most part pax trains run on their own set of tracks there. Trying to develop a right-of-way for a high speed track in that area would be a real challenge. ISTM in the US that there is a push to partial ownership or rent-a-jet service to avoid the sked airline security hassle.scott s..

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>In the UK the rail network is a mix of Gov funded and>private.>>We have companies such as Virgin Trains, C2C and First but>companies that maintain tracks (network rail) seem to be>government supported?>>Im not too sure how it all works, maybe somone could enlighten>me?>>DaveI'm not sure it does work ;-) I live in Poland, not the richest country in Europe, but despite their railway funding problems, they manage to provide a better service than the overpriced, late, dirty UK system that I do my best to avoid when I'm back home.

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>I'm not sure it does work ;-) What you say is probably a view shared by many here in the UK. However my local rail operator (c2c) has got rid of the old slam door style trains and rolled out new stock, all times i have used it they were on time and cheap, even getting into london! This probably changes all over the UK with different comapanies chargeing differently, using different stock etcDave

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but in the US they are highly subsidized. I took a train ride from Seattle to Vancouver BC and it was only $18 both ways!

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>Even at the present speeds, TGV is competitive with internal>air transport. It runs from city-centre to city-centre and>there's no delays to check-in and to recover baggage etc.Hmmm, I wonder how long they will be able manage without airport style security. Obviously a train can't be diverted to hazard other assets, but the train and the passengers aboard it could still be a target. More so when traveling between cities because there would be more people with luggage.

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They'll probably manage quite well without airport style security.There were no demands to introduce that level of security after the recent Madrid, London and Mumbai bombings. Most people realise that it is completely impractical to apply such standards to railways.Surface railways in the UK carry 1,070M pax/year, London Underground railways carry 976M pax/year compared with 67M pax/year for Heathrow airport. Many passengers are commuters who would not be prepared to arrive 2 hours before their train was due to leave in order to go through security on their way to and from work every day - adding 4 hours to their daily journey time. Also, many railway stations are in urban areas where there simply isn't any space for airport style security facilities.

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