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H222
August 4th, 2011, 05:17 AM
Hi guys

I don't mind if the Almighty Janitor locks this but I'm wondering why people were talking about 'the good old days' who were in the good old days, and the thread gets locked, because people are talking about 'the good old days'

Jamie

EDIT: I mean this thread http://forums.auran.com/trainz/showthread.php?t=76712

oldfartdan
August 4th, 2011, 05:44 AM
The good old days I remember them well....as you get older like me they say the sillier you get .... so what I do remember travelling on steamers around Victoria not these you beaut fangle high sped trains today.... when you could stick your head out the window and get an eye full of coal dust and smoke,,,Oh good were the good old days and it took endless hours to get there.

Just my memories thats why I have Trainz.:cool:

Ian_Coleman
August 4th, 2011, 05:59 AM
My memories of the good old days were very similar to the memories of oldfartdan. I'm talking about the days of WW2 when everyone pulled together, and you didn't have to make sure your doors were locked before you went out. Crimes were properly punished - not like today -no death penalty, and no-one serving their full sentence behind bars!

kaasmetpitjes
August 4th, 2011, 06:10 AM
My memories of the good old days were very similar to the memories of oldfartdan. I'm talking about the days of WW2 when everyone pulled together, and you didn't have to make sure your doors were locked before you went out. Crimes were properly punished - not like today -no death penalty, and no-one serving their full sentence behind bars!

... and millions were killed in concentrationcamps for the sole reason that they were Jewish or homosexual or gypsies. I am not even mentioning the millions who died on the battelfields and during bombraids and entire cities were blown to hell. The only time when two atomicbombs were dropped on cities with no military strategic importance at all. You have to effing kidding me that you call this the good old days!

H222
August 4th, 2011, 06:13 AM
Don't drag this thread off topic please,

WW2 was a very stressful time for many but humans can shine in their moment of need

Jamie

colourlight
August 4th, 2011, 06:36 AM
In the good old days I remember standing on Peterborugh Station watching the non stop expresses thundering through the station at 20 mph, Deltics (my favourite, class 47,s, 40,s 46,s Pullmans, overnight sleepers, mail trains, travelling post office,s

pware
August 4th, 2011, 07:01 AM
I don't mind if the Almighty Janitor locks this but I'm wondering why people were talking about 'the good old days'

The "good old days" where when the Trainz community did not spend all its time "whinging" (US translation = "whining") about this or that and no-one was a "gimmee pig".


who were in the good old days

Technically we all are in the "good old days" now - today will be the "good old days" after enough time (and a few too many drinks and brain cells) have passed.


and the thread gets locked, because people are talking about 'the good old days'

More likely the Mod/Janitor was (or was not) an Amy Winehouse fan.

Cheers

pfx
August 4th, 2011, 08:32 AM
@ H222 - Having read the thread, it was locked as it had gone so far OT. The reference to the "good old days" was specifically about the Trainz forum and not about how much better life or railways were 20/30/40 + years ago. There was little if any mention of the forum by the end of the thread. The mod even gave 2 warnings so was quite right to lock the thread when discussion still didn't rejoin the mainline.

mackieman
August 4th, 2011, 08:48 AM
good old days aye. would that cover the, what i think, is the proper traction eras. For me that would be either the 50s when steam was king in the UK or the 80s with class 31 37s and the rest of the clag monsters :D

mind you you cant forget the 90s when i was growing up.. :/ long gone the days of NSE, anglia, intercity from my line. i do miss the 86 with dbso and the class 312s! :( its not the same without the blower motors of the 86 in the distance until 86501 (if not on fire....) or a 86/6 comes through :D

trainz wise what happened to the slow server where you didnt need the FCT?

Dep
August 4th, 2011, 09:50 AM
@ H222 - Having read the thread, it was locked as it had gone so far OT. The reference to the "good old days" was specifically about the Trainz forum and not about how much better life or railways were 20/30/40 + years ago. There was little if any mention of the forum by the end of the thread. The mod even gave 2 warnings so was quite right to lock the thread when discussion still didn't rejoin the mainline.

And it appears this thread isn't about the Trainz Forum either. I was a participant in the other thread and got a lot of laughs and fun read out of it. Oh well....I'm IBTL on this one too. (In Before The Lock). Are you a big fan of Amy Winehouse too? :D

Dep...an Anita Bryant fan.

shaneturner12
August 4th, 2011, 09:58 AM
Hi guys

I don't mind if the Almighty Janitor locks this but I'm wondering why people were talking about 'the good old days' who were in the good old days, and the thread gets locked, because people are talking about 'the good old days'

Jamie

EDIT: I mean this thread http://forums.auran.com/trainz/showthread.php?t=76712


You seriously need to read the Code of Conduct, specifically number 19.

"Interfering with, criticising and / or publicly commenting about moderation decisions. Messages commenting on or criticizing forum administrative actions will be removed without warning. Any complaints or disagreements regarding forum or chat room moderation should be made by contacting Helpdesk."

Basically, if you wish to comment about a locked thred, you must contact Helpdesk, not post another thread about it, as it is likely to be removed without warning, and possibly one or more users receiving warnings and/or bans.

I have noticed a few posters in this thread that are running very close on that rule.

Shane

wholbr
August 4th, 2011, 10:28 AM
Hi Everybody.
If it is the good old days with regard to Trainz and this forum this thread is devoted to, then for me that would be theperiod between the release of TC3 and 2010. I had been using Trainz for a number of years before I realized that this forum even existed.

With the above in mind, when I first joined the forum it seemed to be much more international with British, American and other European posters making it very cross-border with everybody joining in topics and debates no matter where there origins were based

However, that seems to be very much changed in the last year or two. Trainz seems to have become a very American simulator and the forum seems to have gone the same way. Railworks seems to have gone very much in the opposite direction with its content and forum UK dominated with some other European interest.

I find the above a great shame as far as the Trainz forum is concerned. Of course there have always been flaming and closed threads but I felt that because of its wide-ranging international posters the forum had a much lighter feel (if you can call it that) than the present-day.

As an example, a few months ago there was a discussion on the future of American passenger trains. I remember two of us Brits entered the discussion to speak of passenger rail transport in Britain. The opening poster who was American then came in stating that “ as British nationals we should have asked his permission to join the thread as it was American”.

Perhaps these days there should not be so many threads regarding the differences between Railworks and Trainz regarding content etc. it should be the difference between American Trainz and British Railworks. Indeed I would have to say that not being American you sometimes feel unwelcome on the this forum.

Bill
Posted from the 11:10 am Edinburgh to Plymouth cross-country Voyager using Samsung galaxy tab and flex T9 on 3G (I'm not a dinosaur)

leeferr
August 4th, 2011, 10:35 AM
Hi Everybody.
If it is the good old days with regard to Trainz and this forum this thread is devoted to, then for me that would be theperiod between the release of TC3 and 2010. I had been using Trainz for a number of years before I realized that this forum even existed.

With the above in mind, when I first joined the forum it seemed to be much more international with British, American and other European posters making it very cross-border with everybody joining in topics and debates no matter where there origins were based

However, that seems to be very much changed in the last year or two. Trainz seems to have become a very American simulator and the forum seems to have gone the same way. Railworks seems to have gone very much in the opposite direction with its content and forum UK dominated with some other European interest.

I find the above a great shame as far as the Trainz forum is concerned. Of course there have always been flaming and closed threads but I felt that because of its wide-ranging international posters the forum had a much lighter feel (if you can call it that) than the present-day.

As an example, a few months ago there was a discussion on the future of American passenger trains. I remember two of us Brits entered the discussion to speak of passenger rail transport in Britain. The opening poster who was American then came in stating that “ as British nationals we should have asked his permission to join the thread as it was American”.

Perhaps these days there should not be so many threads regarding the differences between Railworks and Trainz regarding content etc. it should be the difference between American Trainz and British Railworks. Indeed I would have to say that not being American you sometimes feel unwelcome on the this forum.

Bill
Posted from the 11:10 am Edinburgh to Plymouth cross-country Voyager using Samsung galaxy tab and flex T9 on 3G (I'm not a dinosaur)


As an American, I don't feel that way about Brits and I honestly don't think that the majority of Americans do either. Forget what poison the press spits out. I find Americans quite fond of the Brits. Of course, there are idiots in every culture. 'The good old days' is only relevant from each person's perspective. These will be the good old days for some two years from now.
Mike

pfx
August 4th, 2011, 10:42 AM
Post removed

tomurban
August 4th, 2011, 11:07 AM
"As an American, I don't feel that way about Brits and I honestly don't think that the majority of Americans do either. Forget what poison the press spits out. I find Americans quite fond of the Brits. Of course, there are idiots in every culture. 'The good old days' is only relevant from each person's perspective. These will be the good old days for some two years from now.
Mike"

This forum should be open to anyone from anywhere. Let's keep it that way. As a noobe I received valuable advice and encouragement from Forum members all over the globe, for which I am very grateful. Probably the main reason I am still here.

tomurban

Deano5
August 4th, 2011, 12:02 PM
Wholbr.
I must agree with you wholeheartedly on that.
I do remember joining these forums way before the big crash, and had never really spoke to anyone outside of the UK much. The chats we used to have (called waffle then) and the stories that were told and compared from all around the world were always of great interest to me. That is one aspect of the forum that seems to have vanished now, such a shame. The good old days have passed us by. :'(

Dep
August 4th, 2011, 12:51 PM
Hi Everybody.
If it is the good old days with regard to Trainz and this forum this thread is devoted to, then for me that would be theperiod between the release of TC3 and 2010. I had been using Trainz for a number of years before I realized that this forum even existed.

With the above in mind, when I first joined the forum it seemed to be much more international with British, American and other European posters making it very cross-border with everybody joining in topics and debates no matter where there origins were based

However, that seems to be very much changed in the last year or two. Trainz seems to have become a very American simulator and the forum seems to have gone the same way. Railworks seems to have gone very much in the opposite direction with its content and forum UK dominated with some other European interest.

I find the above a great shame as far as the Trainz forum is concerned. Of course there have always been flaming and closed threads but I felt that because of its wide-ranging international posters the forum had a much lighter feel (if you can call it that) than the present-day.

As an example, a few months ago there was a discussion on the future of American passenger trains. I remember two of us Brits entered the discussion to speak of passenger rail transport in Britain. The opening poster who was American then came in stating that “ as British nationals we should have asked his permission to join the thread as it was American”.

Perhaps these days there should not be so many threads regarding the differences between Railworks and Trainz regarding content etc. it should be the difference between American Trainz and British Railworks. Indeed I would have to say that not being American you sometimes feel unwelcome on the this forum.

Bill
Posted from the 11:10 am Edinburgh to Plymouth cross-country Voyager using Samsung galaxy tab and flex T9 on 3G (I'm not a dinosaur)

Hmmmm....interesting perspective. Although I don't agree with it. :)
For me, the "golden year" of Trainz was 2004.
Newer releases left me pretty lukewarm to feeling downright ripped off. I'm pretty happy with TS2012AE and was glad to pay the extra amount for the gold ticket (haha...I'm joking on the ticket thing). Only disappointing thing for me was the hardware demands and the performance hit of the Speedtrees. I just don't think they are worth it.

I definitely think that the early Trainz was aimed at more of the "international" crowd than Americans. I actually made that comment back in 2006 and got a rather nasty reply from a Euro. Oh well:p . As to newer editons of Trainz being aimed at Americans...I see that as Trainz playing "catchup" after ignoring America in the earlier releases. So it all balances out.
I am a recent user of Railworks 2 and am impressed with the "balance" of locos and roling stock and routes available with that sim. I have had minimal experience on their forum, but I had a problem and folks from England didn't hesitate to help, and their help was quite valuable. I get the impression that people using Railworks tend to be generally be older than those using Trainz. I get this impression from the quality and content of the posts on their forum. I could be mistaken, of course.:)

Let me apologize to you for the terrible conduct of that American. I would NEVER do that to anyone. It's inexcuseable.

However, I don't think you will see less posts comparing Trainz and Railworks. There are very few railroad sims available, and just as there were comparisons of Trainz and MSTS, you will see comparisons of Trainz and Railworks. It's just human nature. It's also a way to improve both sims. The overhead map in Railworks is obviously a copy of the Trainz overhead map. It was something lacking in MSTS. But Railworks did make some nice improvements to the Trainz map.

At any rate, you should NOT feel unwelcome on this forum. We Americans are individuals just like the English. Some are nice and some are...well...can't say that without getting banned;)

Dep

sniper297
August 4th, 2011, 02:35 PM
Some of us can't help throwing your tea in the harbor, it's a psychotic compulsion - not to mention being SO much fun!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HOc9WVZbts

Seriously, I did a search for "future of american passenger trains" and came up empty, you got a link or was the thread deleted? Whoever said it, I would think he ended up on a lot of ignore lists. :hehe:

Vern
August 4th, 2011, 03:06 PM
Earlier versions of Trainz did have a more international feel. The good old days was probably 2007/2008 when TRS2006 still largely ruled, TC1 and TC2 were a bit of a distraction and of course along came TC3 very much British orientated, that is if you could get it to run with all those poly-heavy telegraph poles everywhere.

TS12 does of course cater to the UK market along with the US with the behemoth ECML. What's more puzzling to the core audience is the inclusion of the largely fictional and relatively minority interest routes from China, Russia and Romania.

So far as the forums are concerned, maybe it's a preconception but most of the gimmie pig/text speak/gramatically incorrect/I saw a train today style posts do seem to come from "junior" in one of the 49 (or should that be 50?) states of the US.

wholbr
August 4th, 2011, 03:17 PM
Hi Sniper and Everybody.

Some of us can't help throwing your tea in the harbor, it's a psychotic compulsion - not to mention being SO much fun!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HOc9WVZbts

Seriously, I did a search for "future of american passenger trains" and came up empty, you got a link or was the thread deleted? Whoever said it, I would think he ended up on a lot of ignore lists. :hehe:

Thanks for that sniper, it was a few months back so I cannot actually remember what the full title of the thread was. However, perhaps I am being a bit disingenuous to the poster who made the remark. The thread had been running a couple of days and there was some fierce argument going on regarding funding and whether passenger trains will ever be at all viable in the states.

As it had been all Americans posting on the topic, I did state on joining the thread that I hoped the participating members would not mind me joining in the thread. Another brit also joined and commented before the opening poster replied with his comment.

It could have been that the thread argument was not going his way, and at that point he was not interested in the wonders of the British railway passenger system. (Perhaps understandable)

Anyway, I did not wish to be disparaging about all or any Americans on the forum particularly the member who made the comment. I was traveling on a crowded train when I typed that paragraph and perhaps I did not convey my thoughts that well.

What I was trying to get across was my feeling that Railworks and Trainz are going there diverging ways both in the simulators and forums which I feel is a great shame.

Perhaps my feeling of being unwelcome on the Trainz forum at times is the fact that there is so much talk now of America railways that it leaves the British forum members who regularly post feeling that we are often on the sidelines. Also there are often so few replies to postings regarding British and European Trainz content or real life trains in general that it strengthens the conviction that the forum has become very American.

Anyway, especially for our British forum members and not wishing to go off-topic for more than a minute. I have traveled down from Edinburgh on a Aberdeen to Penzance cross-country Voyager today in my usual standard class accommodation seat. As the train approached Birmingham at around 5 PM I was approached by one of the train crew who advised me that there would be seats in the first-class accommodation and I was welcome to a free upgrade for the rest of my journey on that train to Bristol.

I nearly fell through my standard class seat and immediately went through to the first-class with all the free coffee and biscuits. I did not know they did upgrades on Trains, so am i the only one to have received this, or are there others out there.

Cannot even begin to think why they did that other than the standard class became very full after Birmingham.

for whatever reason I was very appreciative:D
Bill

sniper297
August 4th, 2011, 03:39 PM
Hmmm. Well, gotta keep in mind it might be a subjective impression, you get robbed by a left handed red haired American one day and it's natural to dislike all left handed red haired Americans for a while afterwards. The land mass of the UK is about the size of California and Nevada as I recall, don't remember what the population difference is but you gotta keep in mind there are a lot of us. In the screenshot forum is a USA thread and a UK thread, difference should reflect whatever the Yankee Doodle to Redcoat ratio is, but it don't;

USA pics; 12,883 posts 1,165,584 views
UK pics; 11,242 posts 1,221,674 views

Considering the difference in population the USA should be way ahead, but it's actually about even, indicating a higher percentage of Brits interested in Trainz.

Anyway, back to the good old days, I was with MSTS in the good old days. I recently found the copy of the February 2003 Model Railroader magazine that had a couple pics of my MSTS route in it;

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=649761&l=6cdad95837&id=100001028687859

From the same issue, can anyone ID the routes and creators featured in the Trainz article?

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=649760&l=e0edde9c34&id=100001028687859

pware
August 4th, 2011, 04:28 PM
For me, the "golden year" of Trainz was 2004.

I agree, the 2004 release was a revolution in the Trainz lineage - the addition of interactive industries and transportable cargoes (including passengers) made the sim come alive. I could be wrong on this but the current AI interface and driver control system was also introduced in that version (or am I merely looking back at the "good old days" through rose coloured glasses?).

The releases since then (2006, 2009, 2010, 12) have been more or less evolutionary developments on 2004, some with a greater "quantum leap" than others. although each have had its usual share of problems.


Newer releases left me pretty lukewarm to feeling downright ripped off. I'm pretty happy with TS2012AE ... Only disappointing thing for me was the hardware demands and the performance hit of the Speedtrees. I just don't think they are worth it.

While I never felt "ripped off" with each new purchase, I was a bit "underwhelmed" with 2009 - it just took too long for content creators to come to grips with it - look at all the new content that is only now flooding in for 2009. I agree that 12 is by far the best of the whole lineage. I like speedtrees but, like any asset on the DLS, you need to select which ones to use.


As to newer editons of Trainz being aimed at Americans...I see that as Trainz playing "catchup" after ignoring America in the earlier releases. So it all balances out.

ditto for China and Eastern Europe.

Peter Ware

martinvk
August 4th, 2011, 07:22 PM
My original good old Trainz days were when TRSs2004 ruled the rails. By the time SP4 was installed, it was quite a simulator. A great combination of ease of use and capabilities. Easy to get under the hood, so to speak and tweak various parts. And then there was Trainztools. With that controlling the assets, wonders were achieved.

But that was then and this is now. Having skipped several subsequent versions, I finally got back on track with TS2009 and have continued today to TS12. Each one an improving and adding to my enjoyment.

As for the world wide scope of Trainz, I always appreciated that there was an effort to include a sampling of rolling stock from many different countries.

The forum also reflected that diversity. This, not just during the good old days but even today. A quick look at the countries list (https://www.auran.com/planetauran/stats_country.php?MaxDisplayCount=0) shows that there are still many people from many countries among our ranks. I think the list could use some cleanup since some countries are listed multiple times using different names or abbreviation.

Dep
August 4th, 2011, 10:11 PM
So far as the forums are concerned, maybe it's a preconception but most of the gimmie pig/text speak/gramatically incorrect/I saw a train today style posts do seem to come from "junior" in one of the 49 (or should that be 50?) states of the US.

57 states if you believe our current president. And he visited all of them. :o :D

Dep
August 4th, 2011, 10:21 PM
I have no doubt that the interest in real trains in the USA is pretty slim and dimishing daily. Nowadays most folks (including kids) consider them an inconvenience that stops them from gettting where they are going in their cars. Where they are going is playing soccer, video games, and going to eat at McDonalds. When we were kids the whole family used to be fascinated by watching passing boxcars from all different railroads and parts of the country. Now there are very few railroad companies in the USA and kids have very little interest in them. When I said this on the Lionel forum, they ripped into me like crazy. But those guys wear those rose-colored glasses all the time. :D Since coming back to Trainz with 2012, I have made a few friends from other countries on this forum and have PMed them. Of course, I am sure I have made a few enemies because I am outspoken and don't hold back. :D

Dep

JCitron
August 5th, 2011, 12:06 AM
The earlier versions of Trainz were really the golden years for everyone. This was when Auran's big guys were fully involved with the forums, and long before the big crash and then the corporate changes when Fury took everything off on a big spiraling tangent.

Anyway. All the old versions had their great points and I look at them as stepping stones to get us to where we will be, hopefully.

Bill - I remember the thread too. I recall it was really anyone who didn't see his point of view was knocked at. Typical of someone trying to get a community up in a snit of a rather hot topic right now.

The community I too noticed has gone mostly American, and a along with that a younger, less mature, market as well. Times are changing, and i wish I had a magic clock where I could turn the hands back to another time and start over, or maybe not!

John

fastdraw
August 5th, 2011, 12:47 AM
How many here can remember the excitement over the Khristmas Kroc 'gift' to all the trainz users? :udrool:

AJ_Fox
August 5th, 2011, 12:56 AM
On Topic and no political comments please.

Cheers

AJ

Euphod
August 5th, 2011, 01:30 AM
Someday "the good old days" of these forums will be the days you could still read the words on the screen. Or maybe the days your health actually allowed you to sit up long enough to use the PC to get to the forums. For some, the good old days will be way back before you had to sell your PC or laptop in order to pay the bills. Maybe you'll have a library with PCs close enough to walk to after the angry mobs steal yours. Maybe the libraries will still be funded, and still be open. Maybe the streets will be safe enough to actually walk down. The "good old days" will certainly depend on your experiences in life.

One observation I will make about changes seems to be related to entertainment, advertising, and the world in general. It may not be, and probably isn't limited to these forums, but I find it amusing none the less. Have you noticed the advertising lately for many television shows, the ones targeted at the masses? The "Tow Truck" shows and the "Pawn Shop" shows and the "Sheriff this or that" shows. I swear they are daring me to NOT watch the programs, every commercial has a bunch of low life's standing with their arms crossed, glaring out at you, like they want to show you how tough they think they are?

Yeah, I've noticed that attitude creeping into the forums too.

Usually, if a person lives long enough, they look back upon that behavior and cringe...

AJ_Fox
August 5th, 2011, 01:40 AM
Yea Ed I know what you mean. Does it seem to you too that all the new CD jackets have group members that all look angry for some reason?

But that is off topic. Anyway it was a beautiful day here in Cali today. High temp was like 78 F.

Cheers

AJ

H222
August 5th, 2011, 02:03 AM
"Interfering with, criticising and / or publicly commenting about moderation decisions. Messages commenting on or criticizing forum administrative actions will be removed without warning. Any complaints or disagreements regarding forum or chat room moderation should be made by contacting Helpdesk."

Shane

I wasn't talking about the mod descision, I was talking about the actions of the forum members that were talking about the good old days

Jamie

wholbr
August 5th, 2011, 03:44 AM
Hi Everybody.

I have no doubt that the interest in real trains in the USA is pretty slim and dimishing daily. Nowadays most folks (including kids) consider them an inconvenience that stops them from gettting where they are going in their cars. Where they are going is playing soccer, video games, and going to eat At McDonalds. When we were kids the whole family used to be fascinated by watching passing boxcars from all different railroads and parts of the country. Now there are very few railroad companies in the USA and kids have very little interest in them.
Dep

To get the thread back on topic, I believe the above very thoughtful post from Dep along with the one from John Citron is perhaps another reason why European and American forum members view things so differently.

I am always amazed that so many American forum members never or very rarely ever see a train. There is a thread which I think is still ongoing entitled train sightings which invites members to report when they actually see a train and when.. The thread has been exclusively populated with postings from America members advising on their sightings and how rare it is to witness such events.

In contrast to that here in Britain and throughout Western Europe (if it is still permissible to call it that) train sightings are an everyday event. In Britain parts of Scotland and North Wales would be the exception to that but the large majority of the population in the UK live within a couple of miles of railway. Along with the foregoing the use of railways has become once again a common event for both work commuting and recreational trips.

With the above in mind there is perhaps two distinct communities on the Trainz forum one of which would be members who perceive their railways through books, photos and memories without actually having any real experience of that transportation in any part of their lives. The other would be those of us who see and use railways as part of their work, recreation and hobby.

The above would account for the diversification between European and America members who see things from two totally different spectrums. Britain and Europe with its growing use of railways, by contrast America with its much smaller networks and which is still debating there future.

Bill

pfx
August 5th, 2011, 05:43 AM
I am always amazed that so many American forum members never or very rarely ever see a train. There is a thread which I think is still ongoing entitled train sightings which invites members to report when they actually see a train and when.. The thread has been exclusively populated with postings from America members advising on their sightings and how rare it is to witness such events.

Bill, I read that thread and thought it was only asking if people had seen a train. I was going to reply and say "I've seen a train", but thought I might get flamed for trying to be humourous.

Not posting from a train today I see.

leeferr
August 5th, 2011, 09:37 AM
I am always amazed that so many American forum members never or very rarely ever see a train.
Bill

Bill, a very well thought out post except for you being amazed. It's not very amazing at all. Great Britain has 10,106 miles of standard gauge rail compared to 140,490 miles of the US (2006 figures), but considering the vast expanse of the US that rail must traverse, it's not really amazing at all that many in the U.S. never see a rail. The exception would probably be the eastern seaboard and the NE corridor where rail traffic is a common part of the landscape. Even with all of the rail mileage in the U.S., common passenger traffic is uncommon in most of the U.S.

It's very difficult to compare the two systems and cultures. I'm not saying that either is better, they're just different.

Mike

wholbr
August 5th, 2011, 11:39 AM
Hi pfx, leefer and everybody.

Bill, I read that thread and thought it was only asking if people had seen a train. I was going to reply and say "I've seen a train", but thought I might get flamed for trying to be humourous.

Not posting from a train today I see.


pfx bringing humour to this forum these days can be a very hazardous business. I posted what I thought was a somewhat funny posting yesterday after I arrived home, only to finish up with more flames coming out of me than a Guy Falkes on bonfire night.

Also,I am definitely not posting from a train today after spending more than seven hours traveling down from Edinburgh yesterday. (I believe that used to be your neck of the woods originally pfx). However, despite all my travels I had never been to Edinburgh before and was very impressed. Having said that, It is not very often you see a city without roads just the holes where they used to be. I spent some considerable time scratching my head trying to figure out why they were digging so many holes everywhere and nobody seemed to keen to explain, and I just cannot understand why.


Bill, a very well thought out post except for you being amazed. It's not very amazing at all. Great Britain has 10,106 miles of standard gauge rail compared to 140,490 miles of the US (2006 figures), but considering the vast expanse of the US that rail must traverse, it's not really amazing at all that many in the U.S. never see a rail. The exception would probably be the eastern seaboard and the NE corridor where rail traffic is a common part of the landscape. Even with all of the rail mileage in the U.S., common passenger traffic is uncommon in most of the U.S.

It's very difficult to compare the two systems and cultures. I'm not saying that either is better, they're just different.

Mike

Thank you for the compliment Mike (I am always open to them). However, You make a very good point in comparing the size of the countries against the railway track mileage plus size of population. I have never had a great interest in American railways so this may sound a naïve question, but do the western seaboard states and cities have any railways whatsoever. I have always imagined that cities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco would be connected to other states and cities by a railway network or is that just my imagination.

Also what percentage of the population of America as a rough guess do you reckon would witness a rail movement of any kind in the course of a 12 month.

Bill.

pfx
August 5th, 2011, 12:17 PM
Also,I am definitely not posting from a train today after spending more than seven hours traveling down from Edinburgh yesterday. (I believe that used to be your neck of the woods originally pfx). However, despite all my travels I had never been to Edinburgh before and was very impressed. Having said that, It is not very often you see a city without roads just the holes where they used to be. I spent some considerable time scratching my head trying to figure out why they were digging so many holes everywhere and nobody seemed to keen to explain, and I just cannot understand why.

Hi Bill.

You're correct with the Edinburgh connection regarding me. I decided I would take a risk with the humour though as I think it's becoming more rare around here these days though you can always rely on a few 'old' faithfuls to come up with the comedic stylings...

As for the holes in the roads, I take it you mean on Princes Street and perhaps further afield too. I can only guess you haven't heard of the Embra trams debacle? That is mostly to blame for roadworks around the city centre and of huge embarrassment to the council and even greater annoyance to traders and residents. This site http://www.edinburghtrams.com/ gives the glitzy side but what has actually happened is the biggest pantomime since Snow White at the Kings Theatre.

I hope you enjoyed Embra otherwise? Spent 10 years there and since we seem to have an American/European thing going here, I'll share a few tourist related musings, the most common of which you've probably heard as being asked on Princes Street, "Where is the castle?". Having now been there, you'll know how mad this is. I was also asked for a pint of eighty slash dash when I worked in a bar. I was at a loss so asked the customer what he meant and he pointed to the tap marked 80/- (which for those who don't know, is referred to as eighty shilling or heavy).

Ever been to ten N A? Nope? Nor me but when you see it on the map it's IONA. Harhar. Finally, standing outside the Balmoral Hotel at Waverley Station, I was asked how to get to Waterloo Palace. After a few minutes conversation and finally a map being used, I explained to the visitors that what they were looking for was Waterloo Place which was directly across the street.

I'm sure I could make an idiot of myself if I were to visit the states and asked where to catch the Chatanooga Choo Choo how to get to bum****, Idaho (sorry if anyone is offended by the fruity language).

I am, perhaps, veering away from the good old days which I currently deem to be the 80s during my high school days. I think I may be having the rumblings of a midlife crisis which is why I may see them as the halcyon days. No desire to buy a Vespa yet though. I'm happy to 'play' with the locos at the local heritage railway.

Cheers,
Innis

sniper297
August 5th, 2011, 01:58 PM
Big thing is the importance of where and when - when I was a wee tot, President Dwight D Eisenhower decreed There Shall Be An Interstate Highway System. That was built, it became practical to travel by car without carrying seven spare tires and a mechanic, along with cheap gas that made it practical to ship medium distances by truck, along with the Boeing 707 which made it cheaper for more people to travel by air. Early 60s began the decline of American railroads simply because people and freight flocked to alternatives. What did not decline was urban mass transit railroads, since traffic jams and the expense of downtown parking lots means most big city commuters still commute by rail today.

The importance of where - My oldest son's wife grew up on a farm in central Wisconsin, her dad is about my age, and he mentioned that he never saw a train until he was 16 years old - I never saw a farm tractor until I was 19. Where I grew up on the west side of Chicago there were three rapid transit elevated lines, two city belt railways, six major railroads and about a dozen second class railroads within a couple miles of my house. Looking out the kitchen window I could see the Lake Street Elevated, the Chicago & NorthWestern, and the Belt Railway of Chicago at the same time, very rare for an hour to go by even on Sunday without seeing at least one train. People who don't live near railroad centers (and Chicago is still the railroad hub of the universe even today) won't see many trains, people who live near them will see more.

Some stats from National Geographic;

USA;
Population: 296,483,000
Area: 9,826,630 square kilometers (3,794,083 square miles)

UK;
Population: 60,068,000
Area: 242,910 square kilometers (93,788 square miles)

Someone else can do the math, but basically there's a lot more empty space in the US.

wholbr
August 5th, 2011, 03:02 PM
Hi Everybody.


Some stats from National Geographic;

USA;
Population: 296,483,000
Area: 9,826,630 square kilometers (3,794,083 square miles)

UK;
Population: 60,068,000
Area: 242,910 square kilometers (93,788 square miles)

Someone else can do the math, but basically there's a lot more empty space in the US.

As you so rightly point out with your statistics sniper there is a lot more empty space in the USA. However, Britain is now one of the most heavily populated countries in the world per head per square mile. That undoubtedly has brought about the rebirth of rail transport for the simple reason that you cannot guarantee to get anywhere by road at a specific time these days.

Thus many of us have little option but to turn back to the train, although it is a much better option (or will be if they can get rid of the overcrowding)

pfx, great to hear of your past in Edinburgh though I suspect there would be much you would not care to tell us. :D

As I stated I have never traveled much in Scotland and although I was buried in a meeting in Edinburgh for much of the short period I was there, it has really wet my appetite to see and travel more in the land of your birth, if ever I get round to actually retiring.

Bill
:)

ish6
August 5th, 2011, 03:19 PM
The good old days....?

I, sometimes, wonder where they went!!!:(

Retro00064
August 5th, 2011, 03:25 PM
<snip> ...and although I was buried in a meeting in Edinburgh for much of the short period I was there, .... <snip>

Wow, how interesting to hear from someone who was once buried and then rose! :eek:

Sorry, had to post this. :p

Regards,

Retro. :D

wholbr
August 5th, 2011, 04:07 PM
Wow, how interesting to hear from someone who was once buried and then rose! :eek:

Sorry, had to post this. :p

Regards,

Retro. :D

that ok retro. At the age of 67 the one thing you fear is the day that you are unable to rise.:hehe:

Bill

leeferr
August 5th, 2011, 04:21 PM
Thank you for the compliment Mike (I am always open to them). However, You make a very good point in comparing the size of the countries against the railway track mileage plus size of population. I have never had a great interest in American railways so this may sound a naïve question, but do the western seaboard states and cities have any railways whatsoever. I have always imagined that cities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco would be connected to other states and cities by a railway network or is that just my imagination.

Also what percentage of the population of America as a rough guess do you reckon would witness a rail movement of any kind in the course of a 12 month.

Bill.

I'm not expert on west coast rail, but from my meager studies, there's some, but not on the scale of the East Coast. I'll have to bow to someone else on that. I can tell you that in the State of Tennessee where I live, unless you live in one of the major population centers, you could go months without ever seeing a train. You may cross some tracks now and then, but you could be sitting and waiting quite a while to catch a glimpse of a train and none of them will be passenger oriented unless it's an excursion of some sort.

I live in a town southeast of Nashville that has lots of single line freight traffic, but they never stop in town except to pick up and drop cars at the Nissan Plant. There is a short little commuter rail that recently started up running east out of Nashville, but I believe it only runs into town in the mornings and out in the afternoon. Nothing in-between. The majority of land space in this country is just too sparsely populated to justify the expense of regular passenger traffic.
Mike

JimDep
August 5th, 2011, 04:40 PM
that ok retro. At the age of 67 the one thing you fear is the day that you are unable to rise.:hehe:

Bill

Well, maybe this will help.


http://img832.imageshack.us/img832/8264/image1hj.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/832/image1hj.jpg/)

aardvark1
August 5th, 2011, 04:42 PM
Bill,

Please see the link below from the USA Census of 2000

http://www.census.gov/geo/www/mapGallery/2kpopden.html

Click where it says JPEG 169KB to enlarge.

You will see that at a point just about in the middle of the US, the population density drops off.

The West coast shows LA and SF as having some population density, but that's about it.

I have personally driven across the USA in 2002. Once we left California, the open space is real until we got to Dallas, TX.

Regards.
Ron

shaneturner12
August 5th, 2011, 04:48 PM
I wasn't talking about the mod descision, I was talking about the actions of the forum members that were talking about the good old days

Jamie

It may not be, but discussing/continuing from a locked thread can be shaky grounds.

Also, your thread title does not help you any.

The original thread was locked for a reason - there's a chance that this one may go the same way.

Shane

pware
August 5th, 2011, 05:13 PM
I have no doubt that the interest in real trains in the USA is pretty slim and dimishing daily. Nowadays most folks (including kids) consider them an inconvenience that stops them from gettting where they are going in their cars.

In a recent trip (May of this year) to the USA I was struck by the opposite impression. I travelled on a number of long distance trains - the Downeaster between Boston and Portland ME, the Acela Express from Boston to Washington and Washington to Philadelphia, the California Zephyr from Chicago to Emeryville (San Francisco), as well as regional, local commuter and many metro trains. In most cases the trains were full and not just during rush hour.

I learned that patronage is up significantly on virtually all of Amtrak's trains. Amtrak was expanding its network with new track from Portland north to Brunswick and are considering a new service from Chicago to LA via Los Vegas.

A common complaint I heard from my fellow passengers on the long distance trains was the increasing costs and difficulties of air travel - the latter I experienced myself on several internal flights within the US. One airline in particular that I travelled on did not have a single flight that was not "delayed", not "cancelled" or not "undergoing maintenance". That seems to be the mantra of budget airlines everywhere.

Peter Ware

bobhahn
August 5th, 2011, 05:24 PM
Jim mentions the building of the Interstate Highway System in the U.S. contributing to people not riding trains. It also contributed to people not seeing trains. Many of the older U.S. "routes" (like the famous "Route 66") paralleled railroad tracks (in the case of Route 66, the old Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe from Chicago to Los Angeles). By and large, the Interstates were built miles away. In some cases this wiped out whole towns whose only purpose was to feed, house, and gas up travelers.

One good thing came out of this: Kentucky Fried Chicken. Colonel Sanders was one of the restaurant operators wiped out when his town got bypassed by a new Interstate. To survive, he hit the road selling franchises and his chicken recipe. The rest is history.

pfx
August 5th, 2011, 05:39 PM
One good thing came out of this: Kentucky Fried Chicken.

I can only guess that Dirty Chicken in the US is a whole lot better than Dirty Chicken on the other side of the pond? Hehe.

Zapata935
August 5th, 2011, 05:47 PM
Bye the way, a classically good topic! Diptheria, Whooping cough, all sorts of illnesses and conjucture that our doctors and practioners were trying to think the names up for, never mind cure them. The difference is what every one else does not mention above is the quality of life.
That is what is held most precious in the minds of people who lived through the 50's and 60's. The war had been won, Britain was on the up, people were characters, they had personalities, love or hate them, you could pick and choose!
Sadly today that quality of life has gone! the reason is political correctness, you can't breathe, fart or say anything out of place in case your upsetting Jo next door! The good old days are gone, never to be seen again, thanks to Messrs Blair, Thatcher and especially Bill Gates with all his happy, shiny people in his adverts!
Best Wishes Zapata935

JimDep
August 5th, 2011, 06:22 PM
Sadly today that quality of life has gone! the reason is political correctness, you can't breathe, fart or say anything out of place in case your upsetting Jo next door!

+1

Make one move over the line and there are some PC correct people just waiting and sometimes hoping to pin you with a label, regardless of the accumulation of positive things you've contributed.

Retro00064
August 5th, 2011, 06:29 PM
This thread is going off topic again, methinks. :(

Regards.

pware
August 5th, 2011, 06:31 PM
The good old days are gone, never to be seen again

What a depressing view.

For me the "good old days" will always be the "here and now". This will be as true in 10 years time as it is today.

I do not want to go back to the 50s and 60s - they were the "good old days" for corrupt police and politicians, the Berlin Wall, the cold war, the "hot" wars in Korea and Vietnam (x2), the Cuban missile crisis, and no Trainz (back on topic). Who remembers the Hungarian Uprising of 1956 and the "Prague Spring" of 1968 and the brutal Soviet invasions and repressions that followed? While not wanting to belittle the current troubles and sacrifices in Iraq and Afghanistan, these seem minor in comparison to the impact and fears generated by those earlier conflicts.

I do not want to go back to the 70s and 80s with their economic upheavals, company "downsizing" and moving "offshore" to where cheaper labour was found; the "killing fields" of Cambodia where an estimated one-quarter of the population were murdered; the CIA led invasions (notably Chile in 1973 plus others) to destroy democratically elected governments.

The list goes on. Who really wants to go back to those "good old days"?

Peter Ware

rjhowie
August 5th, 2011, 08:52 PM
Much of a hear, hear for that last comment. We now live in a world with Trainz not without it and that is satisfying.......

JimDep
August 5th, 2011, 11:35 PM
Go back to the 50's and 60's? Sign me up !! ; Elvis, The Beatles, Chuck Berry, Nat King Cole, Anita Bryant, Fender amps with point to point wiring vs Fender made in China, Steam still served, kids went outside after school, Christians and prayer not under attack by the ACLU.. Role models were John Wayne and Donna Reed vs Snoop Dawg and Amy Winehouse.

Our diversified members are never going to completely see eye to eye on this, but we don't need to be rescued either...
AJ, I give you credit for not feeling the need for a quick hook.

OK off topic police, your turn.

Deano5
August 6th, 2011, 05:16 AM
Now this is getting good, a lot of very interesting points and facts. I never knew that one about KFC, and it never crossed my mind that some people may live a hundred miles from the nearest rail line but obvious now you mention it.
I don't see why the thread would be locked as so many of you seem to think, it's all about the old days and a good lesson in other peoples version of history. :wave:

JCitron
August 6th, 2011, 09:55 AM
Jim mentions the building of the Interstate Highway System in the U.S. contributing to people not riding trains. It also contributed to people not seeing trains. Many of the older U.S. "routes" (like the famous "Route 66") paralleled railroad tracks (in the case of Route 66, the old Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe from Chicago to Los Angeles). By and large, the Interstates were built miles away. In some cases this wiped out whole towns whose only purpose was to feed, house, and gas up travelers.

One good thing came out of this: Kentucky Fried Chicken. Colonel Sanders was one of the restaurant operators wiped out when his town got bypassed by a new Interstate. To survive, he hit the road selling franchises and his chicken recipe. The rest is history.


This is still true today, Bob.

I have been severe storm and tornado chasing across the middle parts of the US for the past 4 years. There are whole sections where the towns have all but disappeared because of the interstate highway system. The once beautiful downtowns are pretty empty, but the strip malls up near I-70 with Braums, Sonic, and WalMart are booming.

During the late 1950s and 1960s this happened up in the Merrimack Valley where I live. Route 110, which ran from Worcester to Salisbury Beach, via Lowell, Lawrence, Haverhill, and other smaller towns, hosted all kinds of restaurants, ice cream stands, gift shops, and other businesses. This back road was the main street in many of the smaller towns such as Merrimac, parts of Methuen, and even downtown Haverhill. These businesses did very well during the summer months feeding and catering to the the summer beach traffic, and survived the winter months catering to the locals.

When I-495 opened in the early 1960s in its entirety at the time, from Foxboro to Salisbury, businesses closed. These stores and restaurants shutdown, and the town centers dried up.

In Haverhill, for example where I live, Merrimack and Washington streets are the downtown. Route 110 is essentially Washington Street up to Post Office Square. At one time this was a big shoe manufacturing center up until the 1970s. Today many of the stores are now empty, both in part due to business moving to sales-tax free New Hampshire, which is only 4 miles away, loss of blue-collar work, and the I-495 bypassing the downtown. The city was surviving the decline, but I-495 took away any visitors that would have stopped on their way to the beaches.

What's interesting is the area of the city that does pretty well is nearest the train station. There are now numerous smaller shops and restaurants along that corner of Washington, and Railroad Ave. Beyond that point, the stores peeter out to a few shops here and there (it's now mostly banks and a few bar rooms), and then nothing closest to the real Main Street - Route 125.

John

JimDep
August 6th, 2011, 01:11 PM
Beyond that point, the stores peeter out to a few shops here and there (it's now mostly banks and a few bar rooms), and then nothing closest to the real Main Street - Route 125.

John


Which reminds me John , have you been out to Hodgie's Ice Cream

on Hwy 110 in Amesbury yet this summer? I'm pretty sure you know this, but Hodgie's has THE BEST icecream in the WORLD !! They make their own ice cream and give you more in a single scoop than most places give you with a triple scoop. One half "kiddie cone" was enough for me but I found out the hard way when we fist moved there.

My first Trainz project was the textile mill yard in Amesbury MA and the Amesbury Chamber of Commerce provided me with references to find 60 year old train maps of the area to assist with my project, which at that time was being designed as tool to help teach local history for Amesbury Public Schools.

What I found interesting too was that their was a public trolley system that went along HWY 110 in the Merrimack Valley area and even went over the Chain Bridge (USA's first ever suspension bridge), over the Merrimack River from Aimsbury to West Newbury (HWY 113). Those were the good old days.

Here in Colorado, the BNSF line runs close to I -25 in North Central Colorado, crosses over into an interesting wye before the Wyoming border. The UP line that runs along I -85 in eastern Colorado runs a close parallel to the BNSF line before reaching Cheyenne.
I 25 was was constructed during the good old days when Ike was president. I know local business were hurt along Hwy 287 after interstate traffic was diverted to I-25. Recently, a friend of mine owned a restaurant in Berthoud, Colorado that had a big percentage of their business cut off when Hwy 287 was diverted away, so through traffic would no longer go through Berthoud. He couldn't afford to stay open after that. Before his restaurant closed, we used to sit on the patio and watch the BNSF trains go past about a half block away, through town and past the grain silos. Sad it's no longer there.

Dep
August 7th, 2011, 05:28 PM
In a recent trip (May of this year) to the USA I was struck by the opposite impression. I travelled on a number of long distance trains - the Downeaster between Boston and Portland ME, the Acela Express from Boston to Washington and Washington to Philadelphia, the California Zephyr from Chicago to Emeryville (San Francisco), as well as regional, local commuter and many metro trains. In most cases the trains were full and not just during rush hour.

I learned that patronage is up significantly on virtually all of Amtrak's trains. Amtrak was expanding its network with new track from Portland north to Brunswick and are considering a new service from Chicago to LA via Los Vegas.

A common complaint I heard from my fellow passengers on the long distance trains was the increasing costs and difficulties of air travel - the latter I experienced myself on several internal flights within the US. One airline in particular that I travelled on did not have a single flight that was not "delayed", not "cancelled" or not "undergoing maintenance". That seems to be the mantra of budget airlines everywhere.

Peter Ware

Ahhhh...but what you don't know or perhaps forgot, is that Amtrak is a LOSING business that has to be propped up by Uncle Sammie to the tune of billions of dollars. Check this article:
http://www.dailyfinance.com/2009/10/29/study-shows-that-amtrak-costs-38-per-passenger-how-much-do-hig/

Amtrak LOSES $32 per passenger. And that was back in 2009. It's a lot wprse today. What is really scary and amazing is that the POTUS wants to put high speed rail on US tracks. US FREIGHT tracks. There are a LOT of accidents already with low speed passenger and freight trains in the US. And the trackage is in need of major upgrade to make it suitable for high speed travel. That is spendign money we DON'T HAVE. Passenger trains have enjoyed a resurgence because of the idiotic TSA and their stupid seraching procedures for airline flights. I hate to say it, but terrorists haven't gotten around to trains yet. But I suspect they eventually will because they are a very easy target. Once there is a large train crash with fatalities that can be directly attributed to terrorism, you can say goodbye to train ridership.
In England and Australia you may not have the options of being able to drive or take a plane to get where you are going. I can tell you right now there is no way I would take a plane to go ANYWHERE. Trains or cars would be my two options.

Now abput railroad spotting....I live in Silver City, New Mexico. New Mexico as in Burlington/Northern Santa Fe and Union Pacific. I drove from Silver City to Tucson Arizona last Friday. Just for the fun of it, we did some train spotting . In all we counted SEVEN Union Pacific and BNSF freights that we passed by. All were moving and not parked. Most of them were pusher-puller consists. I wish I was better at identifying the newer locomotives, but I am kinda stuck in the days of F3/F7 and FM Trainmasters:hehe: . I know what I saw was VERY modern. What I didn't see at all were boxcars. All we saw were long strings of large hopper cars and auto and container cars. I used to live in a suburb of Chicago (Wilmette) until 2004, and I could go and see local RTA and Amtrak trains at the Glenview station, or if I wanted to see freights I could go downtown or to the suburb of Bensenville and see some really cool SOO Line locos. I actually saw one of their F3s that they had re-habbed to like new condition before they retired it in 1977.

http://sooline.dieselrosters.com/ImageProcessor.ashx?ImgDim=ImgDim_medium&photoId=435

Dep
August 7th, 2011, 05:31 PM
Well, maybe this will help.


http://img832.imageshack.us/img832/8264/image1hj.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/832/image1hj.jpg/)

ACK!!!!! Just when my sight was returning you inflict this on us again. Please Jim....NO MORE!!!! :eek: :eek: :D

pware
August 7th, 2011, 09:04 PM
Ahhhh...but what you don't know or perhaps forgot, is that Amtrak is a LOSING business that has to be propped up by Uncle Sammie to the tune of billions of dollars. [snip]

Amtrak LOSES $32 per passenger. And that was back in 2009. It's a lot wprse today.

You make a very good point and I concede to your local knowledge. Reading the article revealed that the $32 figure is an average with the actual figures ranging from a PROFIT of $41 per passenger (on the Acela Express) to a LOSS of $462 per passenger (on the Sunset Limited). The fact that the "high speed" service between Boston and Washington is actually making a profit, while the equivalent Northeast Regional service is making a loss of $5 per passenger, is a good sign for the future of high speed rail in the US. While I was there I also noted that the existing track from Chicago to St Louis (I believe) was being upgraded for a high speed service.

The article also stated that the problem with the profit/loss method of assessing the worth of rail services is that you cannot just take the services in isolation. Removing the loss making services is very likely to badly affect the profitable services as they are all part of an interdependent network.

I know of no commuter, regional or long distance passenger (ignoring the specialist tourist services) anywhere in the world that makes a profit on its rail operations alone. All are subsidised by governments or other commercial operations. Japan's much praised Bullet Trains, for example, have never made a cent on their rail operations but the railway company is making profits from land deals and activities associated with the operations of the railways such as shopping malls next to stations, etc.


What is really scary and amazing is that the POTUS wants to put high speed rail on US tracks. US FREIGHT tracks. There are a LOT of accidents already with low speed passenger and freight trains in the US. And the trackage is in need of major upgrade to make it suitable for high speed travel.

Yes, I did have a chuckle over the fact that high speed rail in Europe, Japan and China operates on its own dedicated tracks while the Acela Express shared its paths with freight, regional and commuter services. The two trips that I took ran without any delays which is probably a tribute to the traffic controllers on the NE corridor.


In England and Australia you may not have the options of being able to drive or take a plane to get where you are going. I can tell you right now there is no way I would take a plane to go ANYWHERE. Trains or cars would be my two options.

I can't speak for England (perhaps my next overseas trip) but here in Australia air travel is becoming more expensive and regional air services are slowly disappearing. Regional train services are either just "hanging on" or slowly dying in the eastern states but have disappeared completely just about everywhere else - so the choice is between the car or your feet.

I have been hearing a great deal about the safety record of your domestic US airlines - the one I flew on from Philadelphia to Scranton and then to Chicago was a frequent guest star on the TV show "Air Crash Investigation". It did not do my confidence any favours when they announced that my flight from Philadelphia to Scranton was delayed indefinitely because the aircraft was "in the maintenance hanger".

Here in Australia a major budget airline was recently grounded (and is still out of service) because its pilots flew too low on two separate landing approaches plus it was unable to find all its maintenance paper work.

Peter ware

Dep
August 8th, 2011, 09:46 AM
You make a very good point and I concede to your local knowledge. Reading the article revealed that the $32 figure is an average with the actual figures ranging from a PROFIT of $41 per passenger (on the Acela Express) to a LOSS of $462 per passenger (on the Sunset Limited). The fact that the "high speed" service between Boston and Washington is actually making a profit, while the equivalent Northeast Regional service is making a loss of $5 per passenger, is a good sign for the future of high speed rail in the US. While I was there I also noted that the existing track from Chicago to St Louis (I believe) was being upgraded for a high speed service.

The article also stated that the problem with the profit/loss method of assessing the worth of rail services is that you cannot just take the services in isolation. Removing the loss making services is very likely to badly affect the profitable services as they are all part of an interdependent network.

I know of no commuter, regional or long distance passenger (ignoring the specialist tourist services) anywhere in the world that makes a profit on its rail operations alone. All are subsidised by governments or other commercial operations. Japan's much praised Bullet Trains, for example, have never made a cent on their rail operations but the railway company is making profits from land deals and activities associated with the operations of the railways such as shopping malls next to stations, etc.



Yes, I did have a chuckle over the fact that high speed rail in Europe, Japan and China operates on its own dedicated tracks while the Acela Express shared its paths with freight, regional and commuter services. The two trips that I took ran without any delays which is probably a tribute to the traffic controllers on the NE corridor.



I can't speak for England (perhaps my next overseas trip) but here in Australia air travel is becoming more expensive and regional air services are slowly disappearing. Regional train services are either just "hanging on" or slowly dying in the eastern states but have disappeared completely just about everywhere else - so the choice is between the car or your feet.

I have been hearing a great deal about the safety record of your domestic US airlines - the one I flew on from Philadelphia to Scranton and then to Chicago was a frequent guest star on the TV show "Air Crash Investigation". It did not do my confidence any favours when they announced that my flight from Philadelphia to Scranton was delayed indefinitely because the aircraft was "in the maintenance hanger".

Here in Australia a major budget airline was recently grounded (and is still out of service) because its pilots flew too low on two separate landing approaches plus it was unable to find all its maintenance paper work.

Peter ware


Hi Pete,
Good points and thanks for posting them. Amtrak is fortunate in having backers within the House and Senate that push for subsidies for them. Especially in the East Coast area. We are getting many of the same horror stories here in the states about airline pilots as well as ground crews. Plus the TSA idiots and the way they search people and the fact that tons of valuables are stolen from baggage on a daily basis because the baggage can't be locked by the owner is really turning people off to air travel. Of course, that is the whole intent of the terrorists. :(
Plus the same story of air travel prices going up while service is going down is hurting the airlines. However, this society is still an "immediate gratification" society and taking a train vacation to California from New York doesn't sit well when it takes you 3-4 days just to get to California. People don't care about what they see along the way, which is a shame. All they care about is getting from point A to point B in the shortest amount of time. And THAT is what killed passenger train travel in the USA. While you will have small areas like the Northeast Corridor that depend on trains for commuter travel, long distance train travel just isn't in the cards for most folks.

JCitron
August 8th, 2011, 08:56 PM
Which reminds me John , have you been out to Hodgie's Ice Cream

on Hwy 110 in Amesbury yet this summer? I'm pretty sure you know this, but Hodgie's has THE BEST icecream in the WORLD !! They make their own ice cream and give you more in a single scoop than most places give you with a triple scoop. One half "kiddie cone" was enough for me but I found out the hard way when we fist moved there.

My first Trainz project was the textile mill yard in Amesbury MA and the Amesbury Chamber of Commerce provided me with references to find 60 year old train maps of the area to assist with my project, which at that time was being designed as tool to help teach local history for Amesbury Public Schools.

What I found interesting too was that their was a public trolley system that went along HWY 110 in the Merrimack Valley area and even went over the Chain Bridge (USA's first ever suspension bridge), over the Merrimack River from Aimsbury to West Newbury (HWY 113). Those were the good old days.

Here in Colorado, the BNSF line runs close to I -25 in North Central Colorado, crosses over into an interesting wye before the Wyoming border. The UP line that runs along I -85 in eastern Colorado runs a close parallel to the BNSF line before reaching Cheyenne.
I 25 was was constructed during the good old days when Ike was president. I know local business were hurt along Hwy 287 after interstate traffic was diverted to I-25. Recently, a friend of mine owned a restaurant in Berthoud, Colorado that had a big percentage of their business cut off when Hwy 287 was diverted away, so through traffic would no longer go through Berthoud. He couldn't afford to stay open after that. Before his restaurant closed, we used to sit on the patio and watch the BNSF trains go past about a half block away, through town and past the grain silos. Sad it's no longer there.

Yes, I went to Hodgie's last weekend now that you mention it. Awesome as usual.

You can still see the old trolley ROW as it crossed near 110 and 150 in Amesbury. There's a string of power lines there, and the obvious raised rail grade is still visible today.

The old tracks that ran across the Chain Link Bridge were in place up until the mid to late 1960s. I remember seeing the tracks in the road up to the bridge, then they were tarred over. I could never figure out how they connected to anything back then, but knowing the area now, they must've come in from 113 (Storey Avenue) and possible Merrimack Street on the Newburyport side. This is an interesting area I would like to model some day when I get a chance, or possibly include it in my mega-route I'm working on now.

I know I-25 very well. I've been on it across Colorado and Wyoming. It's too bad about your friend's restaurant. That would have been a nice place to stop. Sadly there are many places like that out west. We were on the back roads out there, and went through Kicking Horse Pass. You'd think this was a big town, but in reality there's nothing there. The railroad is still there, but nothing else, perhaps a few houses and a gas station. The interstate, which is miles away took any local traffic away from the towns.

That was great use of Trainz. Have you done anything more like that since?

John

pware
August 8th, 2011, 09:23 PM
Hi Pete,
However, this society is still an "immediate gratification" society and taking a train vacation to California from New York doesn't sit well when it takes you 3-4 days just to get to California. People don't care about what they see along the way, which is a shame. All they care about is getting from point A to point B in the shortest amount of time. And THAT is what killed passenger train travel in the USA. While you will have small areas like the Northeast Corridor that depend on trains for commuter travel, long distance train travel just isn't in the cards for most folks.

My two long distance train trips in May, Vancouver to Toronto on the Canadian and Chicago to San Francisco on the California Zephyr, were taken because I wanted to see as much as I could of Canada and the USA from the ground level. I didn't care about the time they took (4 days for the Canada crossing and 3 for the USA crossing). I met many people on both trips who expressed exactly the same opinion - they were there for the journey, not just the destination.

I have also travelled by train across Australia, taking both the East-West Indian-Pacific and the North-South Ghan.

Peter Ware

martinvk
August 8th, 2011, 10:26 PM
My two long distance train trips in May, Vancouver to Toronto on the Canadian and Chicago to San Francisco on the California Zephyr, were taken because I wanted to see as much as I could of Canada and the USA from the ground level....

Peter Ware
I envy you your trip. Some day I hope to be able to do the same thing, as long as they continue those trains until I'm able to go. Was it a non-stop trip or did you get out and look around once in a while along the way? Was there a lot of planning or just a go with the flow trip?

Dep
August 8th, 2011, 11:11 PM
I envy you your trip. Some day I hope to be able to do the same thing, as long as they continue those trains until I'm able to go. Was it a non-stop trip or did you get out and look around once in a while along the way? Was there a lot of planning or just a go with the flow trip?

X2. I would love to take a train to actually SEE the sights along the way.

Dep

JimDep
August 8th, 2011, 11:28 PM
YWe were on the back roads out there, and went through Kicking Horse Pass. You'd think this was a big town, but in reality there's nothing there. The railroad is still there, but nothing else, perhaps a few houses and a gas station. The interstate, which is miles away took any local traffic away from the towns.

That was great use of Trainz. Have you done anything more like that since?

John

Hey John
That Kicking Horse Pass area looks really interesting. I just viewed some UTUBE videos and enjoyed the scenery and read up on some history. That's a place I know I'd enjoy visiting.

Glad to hear you are a Hodgies customer. Another good time to go there is around Columbus Day when they are getting ready to shut down for the winter. They have clearance sales for all their ice cream left over ! Hodgies, Corona's (on 110 between Merrimac and Amesbury) and Crossroads Pizza (we'd go there for the seafood) in Amesbury are all worth moving there for.
I'm getting home sick again.

I abandoned the mill yard project once it started to look like we'd be returning to the mid west. I began the North Central Colorado project in New England to get a jump on it before the move. Once here and getting settled in to the school district here, I presented my project to the school board after learning there was grant money for creative educational ideas. This was four years ago, and I wrote up a grant proposal to use this project as an education tool to help teach local history with a focus on the sugar beet industry and accommodating rail service. Sugar beets were the big cash crop here from the eary 1900's through the 1970's. Lots of the native folks here have or had relatives that either worked for the Great Western Sugar Beet factories or the railroad. That personal touch also helped sell the project and also including structural landmarks that are still standing (barely). For this area, those were the good old days as steam engines were still in service through 1983 for the local sugar beet short lines. Steam engine driven passenger service even made a short lived comeback at that time until the insurance demands made it unaffordable to continue.

Anyway, I had enough of the project done to put together a Power Point presentation. I was surprised that the gatekeepers of the school funds would even consider something like this, but they did. They seemed intrigued with the idea of local history being taught in a video game format (what a shock, eh?). Having sold the plan and getting support was a big incentive but I had a debilitating accident in the fall of 2008 requiring several subsequent surgeries and recovery time over the next couple years. This blew any chance of meeting the deadlines in my proposal. Over the last couple years the school budget funds have nose-dived so there is no money for anything but the basics.

I feel fortunate that I did get to experience this area back in the 1980's before the last of the sugar beet campaigns shut down. This area had a very unique agricultural atmosphere 25 years ago that is getting buried a little more every year. During the time we lived in Massachusetts, this area doubled in size and lost much of its character due to the modernization of the generic architecture. Thank God the remains of the sugar beet factory hasn't been torn down yet allowing me to get the pictures necessary to continue.

pware
August 9th, 2011, 03:08 AM
I envy you your trip. Some day I hope to be able to do the same thing, as long as they continue those trains until I'm able to go. Was it a non-stop trip or did you get out and look around once in a while along the way? Was there a lot of planning or just a go with the flow trip?

I started making bookings about 6 months before the trip. Some bookings took a lot longer to organise than others. The trans-Canada trip I made in three sections. I took the Rocky Mountaineer from Vancouver to Jasper with an overnight hotel stop at Kamloops - there is no sleeping accommodation on the train. I had 4 nights in Jasper (by far one of the highlights of the trip) then non-stop to Toronto on the Canadian (Canada has an awful lot of trees!!!). The Chicago to San Francisco trip was also non-stop but I was able to see the Mississippi in flood and witnessed some of the massive storms raging across the mid-west plains of "Tornado Alley", plus a snow storm crossing the Sierra Nevada mountains.

It is a trip that I will always remember.

Peter Ware