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Thread: What drives the operation of a railroad?

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enzo1 View Post
    Hmmm, I guess in europe rail compaines are still carrying passengers and freight? Here in america, those days are well gone.... There hasnt been a company to do that since 60's......
    Actually, Alaska RR is in America, although it doesn't seem like it. Probably the only USA RR that still does both.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enzo1 View Post
    Hmmm, I guess in europe rail compaines are still carrying passengers and freight? Here in america, those days are well gone.... There hasnt been a company to do that since 60's......
    Actually, Alaska RR is in America, although it doesn't seem like it. Probably the only USA RR that still does both.

  3. #18
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    I must correct you about this comment. There is a freight railroad that also operates passenger trains: the Alaska Railroad. This railroad is a small, 'regional' railroad. Some examples of this is the Montana Raillink and Iowa Interstate. The Alaska Railroad runs passenger trains all year round, including the winter. Their most well-known train is the Denali Star, which runs from Anchorage to Fairbanks, stopping at several places inbetween, including Denali National Park, home of Mount Denali, the highest mountain in North America. The number of passengers has resulted in the Alaska Railroad to purchase passenger cars when Amtrak was unable to purchase new cars, only able to repair older passenger cars to handle the increase in ridership (yes there are more and more people riding Amtrak. I wish that the people in Washington would notice the increase the ridership on Amtrak trains; that could get Amtrak more money). However, the Alaska Railroad is owned by the state of Alaska. Perhaps you should look into what services the Alaska Railroad offers on their trains.

  4. #19
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    Hi,

    I appreciate this thread, because it touches a subject, which has been occupying my mind since quite some time. The focus of my involvement with trainz stems from the option and challenge, to generate realistic visual and operational simulations of train traffic by allowing users to create content of all kinds. I am concentrating presently on the Grandduchy of Baden Railways which existed between 1838 and 1920, when it merged with other state railways to form Deutsche Reichsbahn, the national German state railway.

    Here one has to keep in mind, that railways have changed considerably since the days of the Stockton-Darlington railway. These changes are occuring in three areas: 1) Increasing demands in passenger and freight carrying capabilties, as well as increasing demands on safety of operation. 2) Technological progress affecting all aspects of railway operation. 3) Increasing experience in how to manage railway operations efficiently.

    Because of this, thorough knowledge is required not only on the design of locally used assets like track, signals, buildings and rolling stock, but also operational procedures, particularly the stage of development.

    Since the developmental processes leading to todays railways occured parallel in many differnt countries all over the world, we can observe considerable differences not only in the hardware of contemporary railways but also operational procedures, the software, so to speak. I therefore think it a good idea to discuss and exchange of information on railway operations both, yesterday and today.

    The other comment I would like to make is, that on a worldwide basis, some common trends can be observed: 1) If properly employed, railways are superior air and road traffic under certain conditions. Good transportation politics should be based upon considerations on the advantages and disadvantages of road, rail and air traffic.
    2) Railways are capable of providing more rapid transport in passenger services than aircraft up to distances of about 500 km.
    3) They have much higher capacity for passenger transport, they are therefore superior to automobiles in metropolitan areas.
    4) In relatively thinly populated rural areas, on the other hand, automobiles and trucks are superior for both freight and passenger traffic.
    5) Along major traffic lanes which see heavy freight traffic, railways are superior to trucks over long distances, mainly because their freight carrying capacity outweights the effects of congestion on motorways caused by trucks and effort to transship from trucks to trains as well as the relative inflexibility of freight train operation.
    6)Up to the second half of the 20th century railway were considered a "natural monopoly" because it was believed, that ownership of the tracks and rail operation had to be in one hand. Nowadays it emerges, that railways can be very efficiently managed if ownership of trains and their operation is different from the ownership of tracks and fixed installations.

    Examples can be seen in the US where is Amtrack is conducting passenger traffic over tracks belongig to different private railway companies.
    In Europe, in most countries, ownership of the permanent way remains in the hands of national governments because it is considered part of the public infrastructure, while increasing numbers of railway companies are aquiring rights of way to conduct rail traffic with own or leased rolling stock in specified areas of railway traffic, like commuter traffic, carrige of specialized freight traffic ec.

    From the early beginnings railway operations, the question of ownership in particular, has been subject to ideologically motivated debates. The continuation of these debates can be observed in both the US, here over the implementation of high speed passenger services in certain metzropolitan areas, as well as in the European community, where the European comission, dedicated to doctrines of economic liberalism, is pressing for opening rail traffic over existing state owned rail lines to private companies, while the supporters of state owned and operated railways are resisting fiercely.

    Cheers,

    Konni

  5. #20
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    Hi,

    Why can't I edit my post anymore?

    Konni

  6. #21

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    Thanks for your Information...

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCitron View Post
    Your picture looks like a Z scale model railroad.

    In response to your other thread, I used to work with Schenker a few years ago. They are a great company to do business with, and from what I understand, they now run a fleet of trains throught to Mainland China for freight. Is this true now?

    I agree the freight and passenger service is much more efficient and better than the US. In part it is because the railroads were beaten up terrible by the airline and trucking companies which got big subsidies in the 1950s and 60s while the railroads had to pay for everything themselves. In fact all their taxes went to subsidize the competition, and they ended up cutting service to keep up. Today things are getting better, but a lot has changed, and sadly we've lost a lot too in the meantime that will never be regained.

    In Europe too people are more accepting of railroads, their added value, and more respectful of the danger that they represent. In the US, the neighbors complain about the trains making noise and ruining their property values rather than seeing the rail service as a bonus to their transportation problems. In a local town near me, Winchester, MA, the locals are complaining about Tighe Trucking reactivating a freight siding. They're complaining already that a few deliveries a week are going to cause the neighborhood to devalue and there will be noise and polution. Oh by the way, the people complaining to the newspaper are also out of town real estate agents! One of the woman complaining doesn't even live near the tracks, but is complaining anyway because she can!

    Many of these people also would rather sit in traffic for hours each way to work rather than taking the trains. People here also think nothing of walking on a ROW, and the parents will blame the railroad for hitting their children who walk on the tracks. It seems that the only time they like a railroad is when it becomes a rail-trail (path) for them to jog on with the old depots becoming ice cream parlors with a few freight cars on static display.

    John
    ​Couldn't have put it better myself. The horns only make noise but they don't pollute the air. Hence the reason the are called air-horns. And I do get sick of people(parents) blaming railroads for kids getting hit by trains. There's a reason that there's fences wherever railroad tracks that are active are in use where there is buildings of any sort. Plus it's their property. Unfortunately parents don't teach their kids in America anything since they probably weren't taught any moral values themselves. I think it should be a felony or federal offense to trespass railroad property. That should certainly deter people from trespassing railroad property.

  8. #23
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    One thing you have to take in account here in the States is that since the end of WWII, we have become a car centric nation. After the war, gas was cheap and plentiful, and cars were cheap and plentiful as manufacturers ramped up production. As more highways were built, especially the Interstate system Americans took to driving as their primary means of transportation. Owning a car became part of the American dream, almost a birthright. In a country where some States take hours or even days to drive through, the car became king. You could leave when you wanted, take any route you wanted, and stop anyplace you wanted. Americans love convenience and freedom and the car gave us that, beyond anything the railroads could ever do. Couple that with bad business practices by the railroads themselves, and government policies that were not conducive to the railroads benefit and it pretty much sealed the fate of the railroads.

    Even today, we still would rather get into our cars as opposed to riding a train or other mass transit service. I live about 40 miles from New York City. By train it's from 90 minutes to 2 hours depending on if I have to make a connection. If I am headed into the city for a leisurely day, I will usually take the train. But if time is of the essence, I'm going to get in my car and drive and I can be there in under an hour. I can leave whenever I want, and not be bound by a timetable.

    When I travel to Europe, I admire and envy even the public transportation systems. But here, it's a different story, I don't ever see it getting anywhere near the "golden days" of yore. Never mind needing the infrastructure, culturally it's just not something we would embrace on the whole, not to mention the influences of the oil and automobile industries bent on maintaining their footholds.
    "My wife says that if I buy one more train, she is going to leave me. I'm going to miss her."

    US Army 1978-84

  9. #24
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    Well, we were car minded before WWII as well. Remember the Ford Model T take off?

    :P We were born a car loving national, all set backs and advantages included!

    - Joshua

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by SantaFebuff View Post
    Well, we were car minded before WWII as well. Remember the Ford Model T take off?

    :P We were born a car loving national, all set backs and advantages included!

    - Joshua
    True but we didn't have the high speed/capacity highways until after the war for the most part. before that, roads were dusty, bumpy and slow moving. People would drive locally, but for long trips they took trains.
    "My wife says that if I buy one more train, she is going to leave me. I'm going to miss her."

    US Army 1978-84

  11. #26

    Default railyway operation

    The operation of the railway is via a control system,basically by mechanical means, but now more commonally electronic and computerized.

  12. #27
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    Darrrr, What ?

    Why the over 3 y/o bump ?

  13. #28
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    Why not? It's not like we're flooded with new posts to contend with.

  14. #29
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    So what you are saying: "The operation of the railway is by an electronic and computerized, mechanical control system" ? ... What does that mean exactly ??? It sounds like a brilliant assumption

    Just as: "The operation of Ward Trucking Company, or United Airlines is by an electronic and computerized, mechanical control system" NoDarr

  15. #30
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    Although not known to all unless you have traveled Amtrak in the 15 or twenty years, Amtrak does carry freight wagons in the rear of the train.

    Cheers

    AJ

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