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Hitachi wins $798 mil order for San Francisco train control system

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We could have a much more efficient passenger rail system in the States if the big oil corporations would stop spending their money to prevent the expansion of passenger rail. It is bad enough that big oil has a business model that depends on destroying the biosphere, but the American oil corporations are actively fighting to prevent anyone from stopping global warming.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

There still isn't a high speed train connecting north and southern California. Bart needs to loop and connect Fremont with the peninsula through San Jose.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Well done Japan. The Japanese government should be pushing hard to construct a shinkansen line linking the cities on the West Coast of USA.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Is the BART still as terrible as when I rode it 10 years ago? Can still smell the urine.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

America's train system sucks big time.

It is time the USA jumped upon 'real' rapid transport.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

We could have a much more efficient passenger rail system in the States if the big oil corporations would stop spending their money to prevent the expansion of passenger rail.

It's not the oil companies. The problem for passenger rail is the necessity of using rail lines owned by freight railroad companies. Example, Union (Useless) Pacific and its predecessor on the line in question, Southern Pacific. will not permit passenger trains to use their lines over the Tehachapi Mountains. Because of that there is no through rail service from LA to Bakersfield connecting to the existing San Joaquin Line. Passenger trains are forced to sit on sidings to let freight trains by. Long stretches of track owned by Useless Pacific in the San Joaquin Valley are too bumpy and poorly maintained to allow the Amtrak trains to use their top speeds between stations. The line between Stockton and Martinez is so poorly maintained, running across wetlands, that trains have to crawl along at 15 mph. The freight rail lines are not going to spend a penny to facilitate passenger service on these lines and the Federal government is no friend of passenger rail either.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Well done Japan. The Japanese government should be pushing hard to construct a shinkansen line linking the cities on the West Coast of USA.

I will forever wish California had hired the companies that built and still build Shinkansen lines in Japan to build their high speed rail system. They are the most qualified in the world but laws concerning public contracts and low bid requirements stuck the state with Tudor Saliba. Sigh.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

America's train system sucks big time.

It is time the USA jumped upon 'real' rapid transport.

The US is the only developed nation that doesn't subsidize passenger rail service. The advent of jet aircraft with the range to fly across the continental US stripped passengers from passenger rail service just as those same long ranged aircraft ended the reign of big fast ocean liners for moving people across the ocean. Where it used to require five days to cross the Atlantic jets could do it if 5 or 6 hours. Same thing crossing the US by train. A few states like California throw their own money at Amtrak to subsidize passenger service within their state but on a national level Congress demands that Amtrak be self funding. There just aren't enough people willing to take two and a half days to cross the US by train when they can do so in half a day by air, and too few states have resources available to subsidize passenger service within their state much less the ability to work with neighboring states to subsidize a regional passenger rail system across state lines. The Northeast Corridor might be the only rail line in the US with enough patronage to pay for itself but I don't know if the states it crosses throw any of their own money at it.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

America's train system sucks big time.

It is time the USA jumped upon 'real' rapid transport.

Yes it is. BART gets people around fast and easy. Yet other large cities in America don't have this luxury at all. NYC does, Boston does but most US cities still don't and the traffic sucks.

OTOH, Toronto and Montreal in Canada have fast, clean and efficient train systems. Their only glitch is that they're very noisy (unlike BART) but they get you where you wanna go.

America depends too much on oil, our soldiers die and kill for it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

America's train system sucks big time.

Not true. America has the world's most efficient and most advanced freight rail system.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Not true. America has the world's most efficient and most advanced freight rail system.

And as I pointed out above that very same freight rail system places impediments to developing passenger rail systems all across the US.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

America depends too much on oil, our soldiers die and kill for it.

Rail transportation relies on oil for diesel locomotives or for electric systems natural gas or coal for the generation of the required electricity.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Desert Tortoise

 that very same freight rail system places impediments to developing passenger rail systems all across the US.

So, the US has decided to dedicate its capacity to freight, rather than to passengers. Nothing wrong with that. Just because most of us laypeople don't directly experience or see the huge environmental, economic and logistical advantages of the US strategy, doesn't mean they don't exist.

Japan's Shinkansen is largely financially sustained by the large and artificial costs shifted to motorists, making intercity car travel uneconomical. That kind of policy would never fly among Americans. So... shift goods on rail rather than on diesel burning trucks.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So, in 10 years there will be not much progress, but more people involved in the infrastructure. Doesn’t seem like a progress. I would expect the automation will make less people doing silly jobs and cheaper, faster transportation...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Southern California at one time had the largest light rail transportation in the world. More mileage, and more passengers, than anyone else. Three corporations - Standard Oil, General Motors, and Firestone Tires, but mostly Standard Oil - purchased the area's light rail system. The rail cars were mostly stacked up and incinerated. The tracks were pulled out of the ground. The companies in most instances still own the right of way, preventing anyone else from using it.

At the same time, these companies purchased the light rail systems in over 50 other cities across America, in all instances shutting them down. Chicago and New York refused to sell, but Los Angeles did.

The three companies mentioned were sued, and the case wound its way all the way up to the US Supreme Court. The companies were found guilty, and fined the monstrous sum of $5,000. (five thousand dollars.)

It is not an accident that light rail systems largely do not exist in the USA, but rather it is the direct result of carefully laid out plans from a few large American corporations who decided that they could increase their profits by buying and shutting down America's light rail system.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So... shift goods on rail rather than on diesel burning trucks.

Not really true either. Trucks have displaced rail for most cross country freight. Trucks are less costly and more flexible. You get door to door service with the same truck, something you most often cannot do with rail. The only things keeping the railroads alive in the US are bulk commodities like coal, calcium carbonate (aka "trona") or similar, bulk grain shipments, oil and chemical shipments and hauling trainloads of containers across country from west coast ports. General freight is hauled in trucks.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Southern California at one time had the largest light rail transportation in the world. More mileage, and more passengers, than anyone else. Three corporations - Standard Oil, General Motors, and Firestone Tires, but mostly Standard Oil - purchased the area's light rail system. The rail cars were mostly stacked up and incinerated. The tracks were pulled out of the ground. The companies in most instances still own the right of way, preventing anyone else from using it.

More nonsense. In 1953 the Southern Pacific Railroad, the owner of the old Pacific Electric Railway, ended all passenger service everywhere in it's system. They also sold their Mexican subsidiary in its entirety to Ferrocarril Nacionales de Mexico. SP like other railroads could not compete with the airlines for fast inexpensive passenger service. They were among the first to see it coming and abandoned passenger rail service before taking a big financial hit. Every other railroad in the US eventually followed suit and there would be no passenger rail service whatsoever in the US were it not for the Federal government establishing Amtrak. Btw, you are wrong on the rights of way as well. Unless they are active spur tracks, and many are (you will see the trains on them late at night but almost never during the day) there was a Federal act that returned all of those unused rights of way to their adjacent land owners. Btw, I am old enough to remember PCC cars and electric trolley buses in Los Angeles and rode them often as a kid. Everyone hated the tracks in the street and they were treacherous on the old skinny bias ply tube tires the cars had when I was a kid, especially in the rain. The tires would get caught in the groove in the street. Having passengers get on and off in the middle of the streets was a big pain. The trolley bars used to skip off the overhead wires, forcing the driver to get out and gram a big insulated rope on the back and maneuver the trolley bar back onto the overhead wire. Lots of sparks and the street car or bus would be dark while this was going on. Nobody liked the system and it was decades before anybody missed it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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