View Full Version : High-speed rail to link Tulsa\OKC\Dallas and more...



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OKCisOK4me
01-17-2011, 03:01 PM
I just don't know if a Tulsa to OKC HSR is even feasable. It is only 90 miles and take just over an hour to drive. Even if HSR averaged 200 mph (not just top speed but average) it would only save 45 minutes and you would lose that by having to get to the train station early. Then there is the cost of a train ticket vs the cost of gasoline. A train ticket would cost about $100 round-trip so gas would have to go to $10 per gallon to make it cost effective, but if you have two people in the car gas would have to cost $20 per gallon. Now if they just want to expand the Hartland Flier to Tulsa (which is not HSR) then that is another story.

Rail works great in Europe and Asia because traffic congestion is the big problem and many people don't even own a car.

I've ridden to Tulsa so many times in a confined car as a child and now driving myself as an adult, that it would be nice to sprawl out and relax or even walk around on a multicar passenger train while going to or coming from Tulsa. Also, when there's concerts up there, and the weather is inhospitable for you to drive but the train is in full working order, I'm sold! People will pay for this service.

Superhyper
01-17-2011, 03:07 PM
Tulsa will need to be thinking about a streetcar too, were this to occur. One of the problems with traveling to both cities via something other than car is that once you get there, there's no great way to get around. It would take a lot of land to create car rental agencies around the rail hub, and they're not very attractive.

Very true, considering Tulsa can't even pay for their street lights I'm curious to see how they'd pull this off. I fully believe they're capable of it, they just need leadership with a good long-term vision and the ability to sell it.

Kerry
01-17-2011, 06:23 PM
Very true, considering Tulsa can't even pay for their street lights I'm curious to see how they'd pull this off. I fully believe they're capable of it, they just need leadership with a good long-term vision and the ability to sell it.

Rent a mini-van with three friends. Would you and three friends really pay $400 for a round trip to Tulsa? Heck, get 6 friends and rent a stretch lemo.

Caboose
01-17-2011, 06:43 PM
I just don't know if a Tulsa to OKC HSR is even feasable. It is only 90 miles and take just over an hour to drive. Even if HSR averaged 200 mph (not just top speed but average) it would only save 45 minutes and you would lose that by having to get to the train station early. Then there is the cost of a train ticket vs the cost of gasoline. A train ticket would cost about $100 round-trip so gas would have to go to $10 per gallon to make it cost effective, but if you have two people in the car gas would have to cost $20 per gallon. Now if they just want to expand the Hartland Flier to Tulsa (which is not HSR) then that is another story.

Rail works great in Europe and Asia because traffic congestion is the big problem and many people don't even own a car.

THIS.

Also European cities are extremely walkable. Most of our cities west of the Mississippi are not. Why would I take a train to Tulsa or OKC if I have to rent a car once I am there? Dallas and Houston present the same problem - un-walkable sprawl.

Urban Pioneer
01-17-2011, 07:06 PM
Basically, their talking about "Acela" trains. Not true European HSR.

“With upgrades, the speed could be increased to 120 mph,” Stair said.

If Tulsa also invested in a streetcar, Betts is right. It would connect the two densest areas of the state without the need for a rental car.

In reality though, the real hidden message is connectivity through OKC to DFW. The same could be said for OKC to St. Louis. It really doesn't get practical until you factor a "third" city and realistically compete with regional airlines. IE- "the chaos and inconvience at airports."

mcca7596
01-17-2011, 07:35 PM
It really doesn't get practical until you factor a "third" city and realistically compete with regional airlines. IE- "the chaos and inconvience at airports."

Something that I have always been interested in having explained is what the difference would be in going through security at a train station rather than an airport that would be more comfortable.

Superhyper
01-17-2011, 07:52 PM
How many train stations have you been through? The security process is totally different, the most you generally see is randomized visits from sniffer dogs. The TSA has little to nothing to do with rail security, it's usually managed by Amtrak police or local contractors.

mcca7596
01-17-2011, 08:01 PM
I haven't been through any honestly; thanks for the answer. Who's to say that if rail service became more prolific, the TSA wouldn't get more involved though?

TulsaRobert
01-17-2011, 09:09 PM
Very true, considering Tulsa can't even pay for their street lights I'm curious to see how they'd pull this off. I fully believe they're capable of it, they just need leadership with a good long-term vision and the ability to sell it.

The streetlights have been back on for a few months.

mugofbeer
01-17-2011, 09:10 PM
America needs to re-emphasize rail travel. The OKC-TUlsa route wouldn't be so much for OKC citizens but for DFW and Tulsa folks. THe real dream would be an eventual extension to KC or St. Louis on the north and the Austin/San Antonio extension on the south. Then we'd be talkin!

ljbab728
01-17-2011, 11:07 PM
Then there is the cost of a train ticket vs the cost of gasoline. A train ticket would cost about $100 round-trip so gas would have to go to $10 per gallon to make it cost effective, but if you have two people in the car gas would have to cost $20 per gallon. Now if they just want to expand the Hartland Flier to Tulsa (which is not HSR) then that is another story.


How did you come up with that $100.00 figure, Kerry? A roundtrip from OKC to Fort Worth on Amtrak is less than that. Fares start at around $52.00 roundtrip for a trip that is more than twice as far. Fares on high speed rail could be higher but how can you judge?

Kerry
01-18-2011, 06:07 AM
How did you come up with that $100.00 figure, Kerry? A roundtrip from OKC to Fort Worth on Amtrak is less than that. Fares start at around $52.00 roundtrip for a trip that is more than twice as far. Fares on high speed rail could be higher but how can you judge?

I was just going by what other high speed rail system charge and then made it a little cheaper for Oklahoma. How much do you think a ticket would cost?

CaseyCornett
01-18-2011, 07:31 AM
High speed trains in Europe always seem to cost about a euro per min.

So my guess would be that this ticket to Tulsa (going 120 mph) would be about $50. Of course, the many trains in Europe go faster 120mph so maybe the price should be in the $40-45 range.

Kerry
01-18-2011, 07:43 AM
High speed trains in Europe always seem to cost about a euro per min.

So my guess would be that this ticket to Tulsa (going 120 mph) would be about $50. Of course, the many trains in Europe go faster 120mph so maybe the price should be in the $40-45 range.

each way right.

kevinpate
01-18-2011, 07:47 AM
+ cab on the Tulsa end to event, + cab back to station ... Probably could limo it for 4-8 at a fairly close price and not have that much more travel time, plus no strangers or kiddos in tow as travel companions

Kerry
01-18-2011, 07:53 AM
If OKC and Tulsa had their current population crammed into an area 1/5 the size then it would make sense to connect the two by rail. However, for those that are in favor of the idea, how many trains a day do you envision between the two cities and what are the hours of operation? Are we talking one train a day each way or 10 trains a day each way? Even at 10 trains a day that would be over one hour between trains - which would render the service useless since you could drive it faster than waiting for the next train. I also assume you will have to pay to park your car in downtown OKC while you take the train.

CuatrodeMayo
01-18-2011, 08:25 AM
A round-trip ticket would cost $35, Stair said. Stair, who has been working on the issue for 10 years, suggested a public-private plan would ease the state’s cost.

Reading comprehension, people.

CaseyCornett
01-18-2011, 08:34 AM
Reading comprehension, people.

:) You win.

Kerry
01-18-2011, 09:47 AM
Reading comprehension, people.

You got me there but I don't think that price is realistic. Anyone who can look at the current allignment of the existing rail line and then say with a straight face that it can be turned into a high speed line with just a few modifications is not playing with a full deck. The tracks crosses about 1000 streets at grade, goes through the heart of small towns, and has hundreds of turns. For HSR that route is completely useless.

OKCisOK4me
01-18-2011, 11:17 AM
You got me there but I don't think that price is realistic. Anyone who can look at the current allignment of the existing rail line and then say with a straight face that it can be turned into a high speed line with just a few modifications is not playing with a full deck. The tracks crosses about 1000 streets at grade, goes through the heart of small towns, and has hundreds of turns. For HSR that route is completely useless.

Kerry, I looked up prices for four adults (one of them 62+ for a whopping $3.77 discount each way) and for all of us to FTW and back to OKC (twice the distance to Tulsa) it was $200.20. You just can't beat that. That's $25 a pop. I think the reason the Tulsa ticket would cost $35 is to pay back the $20 million spent to upgrade that line. It's joint track and has a lot of curves which makes the current top speed on it probably a max of 45 miles per hour. They're talking about 80mph. That's a lot of straightening. Oh and just like OKC/FTW, FTW/OKC, it'd only be one train a day (down and back or in the case of Tulsa, over and back).

Kerry
01-18-2011, 01:07 PM
So one train a day to Tulsa rules out concert trips unless you want to stay the night. Assuming it connects to the Heratland Flier it would need to leave Tulsa at 6AM and return to Tulsa at about 11:30PM.

SkyWestOKC
01-18-2011, 01:38 PM
Take your train to Dallas, I'll ride on a plane. Why are we going back to the 19th century with trains all of the sudden? On one thread we all are wishing for better air service, yet in this thread we try to steal demand from our already weak air service and invest it into trains! Tulsa...ok I'll give you that one. But we already have 12 flights a day to Dallas, there's plenty of flexibility to travel via air to Dallas, instead of the once daily train. We also have good air service to Chicago and St. Louis. Why add trains which would take twice as long, and less frequent service.

OKCisOK4me
01-18-2011, 01:40 PM
So one train a day to Tulsa rules out concert trips unless you want to stay the night. Assuming it connects to the Heratland Flier it would need to leave Tulsa at 6AM and return to Tulsa at about 11:30PM.

That sounds about right....but of course, when they were talking about a train from KC to OKC via Wichita, they would have two trains running both ways daily at different times. In the case of Tulsa (a 90 mile extension) I don't think that would happen unless the route was either extended to KC or St. Louis.


...Why are we going back to the 19th century with trains all of the sudden?...

Skywest, not everyone and their dog are in a hurry to get somewhere. Some people want to relax and enjoy the view or actually get into a book as opposed to reading two chapters cause you've already hit the runway in Dallas...

Superhyper
01-18-2011, 02:38 PM
Take your train to Dallas, I'll ride on a plane. Why are we going back to the 19th century with trains all of the sudden? On one thread we all are wishing for better air service, yet in this thread we try to steal demand from our already weak air service and invest it into trains! Tulsa...ok I'll give you that one. But we already have 12 flights a day to Dallas, there's plenty of flexibility to travel via air to Dallas, instead of the once daily train. We also have good air service to Chicago and St. Louis. Why add trains which would take twice as long, and less frequent service.

Some people just prefer to avoid the hell of flying as much as possible, especially for a short trip like Dallas. Also for anyone who has seen the TGV in europe the Shanghai transrapid in China it's pretty hard to describe them as "19th century". I understand some people prefer one method or another, but there isn't one method that works for everyone. Personally, air travel simply can't offer the comfort or reliability that trains do (in my experience). There are those on the opposite side who will only fly, which is just fine too.

Kerry
01-18-2011, 02:39 PM
Take your train to Dallas, I'll ride on a plane. Why are we going back to the 19th century with trains all of the sudden? On one thread we all are wishing for better air service, yet in this thread we try to steal demand from our already weak air service and invest it into trains! Tulsa...ok I'll give you that one. But we already have 12 flights a day to Dallas, there's plenty of flexibility to travel via air to Dallas, instead of the once daily train. We also have good air service to Chicago and St. Louis. Why add trains which would take twice as long, and less frequent service.

Amen. I don't even understand the whole HSR push for 95% of the country. Spend the money getting people to work 5 days a weeks with streetcars, commuter rail, and light-rail, not on 2 hour trips to the next city.

OKCisOK4me
01-18-2011, 02:50 PM
Amen. I don't even understand the whole HSR push for 95% of the country. Spend the money getting people to work 5 days a weeks with streetcars, commuter rail, and light-rail, not on 2 hour trips to the next city.

That doesn't really explain why Amtrak's Southwest Chief or Empire Builder are still profitable. For example, the Southwest Chief still rolls over Raton Pass, while BNSF (the railroad on which they barrel across) sends their freight through Texas and Oklahoma. The only reason Amtrak goes on the original route is because of scenery. Same goes for the Empire Builder. It rolls across the Midwest out of Chicago and continues through the far north plains states and doesn't even touch mountain country until central Montana before settling back down into Seattle. Both routes are at least 50% comprised of desolate, flat, countryside, with far as the eyes can see farming fields. There are still people left that actually like to gaze out of a window and enjoy the wide open spaces of America. I concur that from a plane, the view isn't as pleasing considering it looks like a splotch from 35,000+ feet up.

PS....and some people just don't like being in a confined space and/or have a fear of flying.

ou48A
01-18-2011, 02:59 PM
I would favor an OKC to Tulsa train if its average speed was faster than what they currently claim it will be.
Any train service should have fairly frequent service and run special limited trains for large events of state wide interest,,,,,
such as OU football games.

Kerry
01-18-2011, 03:06 PM
We seem to be talking about two different things. Are we talking High Speed Rail or regular slow moving Amtrak?

ou48A
01-18-2011, 03:19 PM
I would like to see class 6 tracks

Superhyper
01-18-2011, 05:37 PM
I'm not sure if anyone here would know or not, but from a technical perspective is it impossible to build tracks that can handle high speed (at least what the acela can do) but still be fully useable for normal speed trains? Basically what I'm wondering is, would it be possible to go ahead and upgrade the tracks but still keep running normal trains until demand is sufficient for high speed rolling stock?


We seem to be talking about two different things. Are we talking High Speed Rail or regular slow moving Amtrak?

Kerry
01-18-2011, 06:07 PM
I don't think you would want to run freight train on high speed rail track. If you did that you might as well throw a couple of passenger cars on the back of a regular freight train.

HOT ROD
01-18-2011, 06:46 PM
hyper isn't talking about running a freight train on HSR track, he/she's talking about running a 'normal' train for now and when the funds/drive exists to get HSR trains, we just buy them and dont have to worry about upgrading the track infrastructure.

the answer is yes, although most HSR includes infrastructure for electricity as well. Im not sure we'd want to build that then let it sit and wait. However, the rails themselves could be (and I think all passenger rail going forward should be) HSR compliant. This is what China is doing, they build the track now then shell in the cars and power (electricity) infrastructure when demand sees fit.

Also, whomever commented on the nationwide HSR push - this was a stimulus idea from our president as a way to not only put people back to work but also use the same method to combat the rise and dependence upon oil and people's frustration with airlines. I think most people might agree it is a good idea, but the problem is the expenditure was way too low. That part isn't Obama's fault since the senate controls the dollars but it is why HSR isn't really catching on except in the big hub areas of Chicago and the North East, because the upgrading track costs significantly more than the $8 Billion that was approved my congress.

I think it all boils back to the question: what is the role of the Transportation Department - roads or rails? Aviation has it's own department (and funding), so why doesn't the government separate ground transportation and dedicate more funding to rails? It's a question that few are chosing to answer and most are saying why subsidize rail (when in fact highway is subsidized far more). I think an 80/20 split would do significant improvement to the rail network of America and the ending result could provide stiff competition in travel and not paralize the country when extreme events happen (like 911 [hope it NEVER happens again] or natural disasters/weather).

Everyone should really take a minute to see what China is doing, but look at it from 4th grader's eyes (ie, be objective). It is truly amazing and as a business professional who regularly travels between Asia and N America, I am utterly amazed at the progress China has made over even the past 5 years with their infrastructure AND how their government is running that country. They're not perfect, but there are some significant lessons learned that America could take from them just like they've adopted only the best from the West in their push to modernize their great country. The results are fascinating, regardless of your political view or opinion. ......

Kerry
01-18-2011, 06:55 PM
If only China was full of Walmarts selling goods made in America and we had $100 billion every month via a trade surplus that we didn't know hat to do with. In other words, it is too bad we are broke.

mburlison
01-18-2011, 07:12 PM
The "Experience" of flying is not near what it used to be. That train ride is pretty nice, relaxing - nice change of pace. I'd drive any day before I flew up to OKC from here, unless it's private plane.

ou48A
01-18-2011, 07:29 PM
Very good post Hot Rod

For a very long time I have felt that there should be a tax on imported oil (with a floor price for US oil) and or an additional tax on gasoline that would help pay for HSR and other energy efficacies.
It is extremely important IMO to stop buying crude from OPEC and other unfriendly sources.

bluedogok
01-18-2011, 07:42 PM
Take your train to Dallas, I'll ride on a plane. Why are we going back to the 19th century with trains all of the sudden? On one thread we all are wishing for better air service, yet in this thread we try to steal demand from our already weak air service and invest it into trains! Tulsa...ok I'll give you that one. But we already have 12 flights a day to Dallas, there's plenty of flexibility to travel via air to Dallas, instead of the once daily train. We also have good air service to Chicago and St. Louis. Why add trains which would take twice as long, and less frequent service.
Because flying sucks......and I used to like flying.

Now I only fly for real long trips or short time lines, I prefer driving to most anywhere else. We did take a day trip from Boston to Mystic on an Amtrak when we were up there and it was a nice trip. As far as security, there were no security headaches at that time (2007) at the Boston South Station. The station at Mystic was a quaint little station like something out of a movie. If we did live in Boston we would take the train quite a bit for travel to the other cities in the area and take the car or motorcycle for trips out to the rural areas.

Oil Capital
01-29-2011, 10:34 AM
That doesn't really explain why Amtrak's Southwest Chief or Empire Builder are still profitable. For example, the Southwest Chief still rolls over Raton Pass, while BNSF (the railroad on which they barrel across) sends their freight through Texas and Oklahoma. The only reason Amtrak goes on the original route is because of scenery. Same goes for the Empire Builder. It rolls across the Midwest out of Chicago and continues through the far north plains states and doesn't even touch mountain country until central Montana before settling back down into Seattle. Both routes are at least 50% comprised of desolate, flat, countryside, with far as the eyes can see farming fields. There are still people left that actually like to gaze out of a window and enjoy the wide open spaces of America. I concur that from a plane, the view isn't as pleasing considering it looks like a splotch from 35,000+ feet up.

PS....and some people just don't like being in a confined space and/or have a fear of flying.

Do you have a source for the claim that those two routes are profitable?

Kerry
01-29-2011, 03:11 PM
According to this map the Empire Builder loses $40.5 million per year. The Southwestern Chief loses $45.9 million per year. The Hearland Flier is one of the best performing, losing only $200,000 per year.

http://subsidyscope.org/transportation/amtrak/

Snowman
01-29-2011, 04:21 PM
According to this map the Empire Builder loses $40.5 million per year. The Southwestern Chief loses $45.9 million per year. The Hearland Flier is one of the best performing, losing only $200,000 per year.

http://subsidyscope.org/transportation/amtrak/

Most trains lose money, I saw a study on the ones for Europe witch was interesting. Disclaimer: It was arguing against rail so might have been funded by those against HSR. It's main issue was that high speed rail costs were too high and were use by too few to justify the costs, and where a lower speed lower cost rail for same route it was often used by more people due to it being cheaper, also in order to get the a small fraction of travelers on HSR it displaced an order of magnitude higher amount of cargo onto roads. The main argument it made for rail was for subway or like Chicago's Metra service where it does get high ridership and costs to implement are much lower.

Kerry
01-29-2011, 08:27 PM
I still say if you are going to spend billions of dollars on rail, do it getting people to work 5 days a week. We are having a big debate here in Florida over the billions it will take to get HSR from Tampa to Orlando (keep in mind there is no place to go at either end unless you rent a car on top of your rail fare). We could put streetcars, commuter rail, and lightrail in every major city in Florida for that amount of money.

betts
01-29-2011, 09:41 PM
I still say if you are going to spend billions of dollars on rail, do it getting people to work 5 days a week.

Agreed. And, they might use it to go into the city via the hub on weekends too.

swilki
01-30-2011, 10:07 AM
I still say if you are going to spend billions of dollars on rail, do it getting people to work 5 days a week. We are having a big debate here in Florida over the billions it will take to get HSR from Tampa to Orlando (keep in mind there is no place to go at either end unless you rent a car on top of your rail fare). We could put streetcars, commuter rail, and lightrail in every major city in Florida for that amount of money.

Kerry - Please stop using logic when it comes to stimulus money. :smile:

Rover
01-30-2011, 10:48 AM
Take your train to Dallas, I'll ride on a plane. Why are we going back to the 19th century with trains all of the sudden? On one thread we all are wishing for better air service, yet in this thread we try to steal demand from our already weak air service and invest it into trains! Tulsa...ok I'll give you that one. But we already have 12 flights a day to Dallas, there's plenty of flexibility to travel via air to Dallas, instead of the once daily train. We also have good air service to Chicago and St. Louis. Why add trains which would take twice as long, and less frequent service.

It is obvious and understandable you are biased towards air travel. However, you must not have taken any trains in Europe or Japan in awhile. The new high speed trains are lightning quick and as smooth as silk. Leaving in the city center and arriving in the city center is easy and convenient. Car rental or connecting transit is available right at the stations.

Modern train cars are comfortable with much more leg room and ability to get up and walk around. If you want to work on the train, it is much easier than in a plane. And you don't have to wait for 10,000 ft. to fire up your ipad. Internet service is available always with wire cards. And, for a little bit longer trips, actual food is available, not just peanuts.

So don't discount the attraction of intercity trains. They are much more modern than most planes...especially as airlines keep cutting back on real service and keep adding fees for things like taking clothes with you.

SkyWestOKC
01-30-2011, 11:44 AM
It is obvious and understandable you are biased towards air travel. However, you must not have taken any trains in Europe or Japan in awhile. The new high speed trains are lightning quick and as smooth as silk. Leaving in the city center and arriving in the city center is easy and convenient. Car rental or connecting transit is available right at the stations.

Modern train cars are comfortable with much more leg room and ability to get up and walk around. If you want to work on the train, it is much easier than in a plane. And you don't have to wait for 10,000 ft. to fire up your ipad. Internet service is available always with wire cards. And, for a little bit longer trips, actual food is available, not just peanuts.

So don't discount the attraction of intercity trains. They are much more modern than most planes...especially as airlines keep cutting back on real service and keep adding fees for things like taking clothes with you.

I am a little bit because my pay-check depends on it every other Wednesday. The more people use alternative means, the more flights are cut, the more service is reduced and fees are added to cover costs, and the more people are laid off and forced to leave an industry they love to do something else. It's a snowball effect. It can go either way, the more people fly, the more service is added, the more revenue is taken in, fees reduced, airlines begin competing on service rather than price, etc.

ljbab728
01-30-2011, 11:00 PM
The more people use alternative means, the more flights are cut, the more service is reduced and fees are added to cover costs, and the more people are laid off and forced to leave an industry they love to do something else. It's a snowball effect. It can go either way, the more people fly, the more service is added, the more revenue is taken in, fees reduced, airlines begin competing on service rather than price, etc.

Skywest that sounds like an ideal situation but do you honestly think that with increased traffic the airlines will consider reducing or dropping fees? I've been in the travel business for over 20 years and that doesn't sound like the airline industry that I've seen developing. They are looking for ways to increase fees and revenue and the only thing that will change that is a revolt by enough airlines like Southwest that they start to see a significant decrease in business. The flying public has become very aware of the fees for baggage and I promise you that is a major consideration for many travelers. Many of the other fees are small annoyances but baggage fees aren't. One of the recent ideas I've seen proposed is charging a fee for talking to an airline employee at the airport. I think the public might revolt over that.

Kerry
01-31-2011, 06:18 AM
Who is going to operate these high speed trains? In Europe they appear to be public sector corporations but the US doesn't fare very well with this kind of business structure (Post Office, Amtrak, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, Maiden Lane).

Maybe it would be better for the US government to build the rails but for private companies to establish train service. This could give existing transportation service providers an opportunity to expand their operations beyond intercity bus and air travel. For example, maybe Southwest could run 3 trains a day between downtown OKC and downtown Dallas, American could run 2 trains, and Greyhound could run 1; each with different levels of services and on-board amenities. The only requirement is that the trains meet a minimum speed requirement to keep the system flowing. This would also allow service to smaller towns if a provider so chooses.

The goal of HSR should be to eliminate air travel under 3 hours and working with existing airlines could be a win/win. Keep in mind, I am not suggesting that HSR link airports together, just that airlines be allowed to operate HSR rail trains from city center to city center (or wherever the stations end up being – which might include airports).

This is just a thought. Of course, HSR would only make sense linking cities that had local rail at each end.

Here is an article about state owned railways buying each other in Europe.

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/transport/article5327300.ece

Oil Capital
01-31-2011, 07:28 AM
The flying public has become very aware of the fees for baggage and I promise you that is a major consideration for many travelers.

The baggage fees are not a major consideration for enough travelers for it to matter. Continental was the last "legacy" carrier to charge checked bag fees. They finally did so because they were gaining zero customers. People didn't care enough about checked bag fees to switch airlines.

Kerry
01-31-2011, 09:56 AM
The baggage fees are not a major consideration for enough travelers for it to matter. Continental was the last "legacy" carrier to charge checked bag fees. They finally did so because they were gaining zero customers. People didn't care enough about checked bag fees to switch airlines.

It stops me from traveling by air with the family.

animeGhost
01-31-2011, 01:09 PM
As a less than wealthy person im game to pretty much any form of transportation that's gonna save me money! And for the airliner dude, im sorry your job is dependent on the airliners pricing situation... but maybe your company should lessen its revenue a bit and charge less for airfare to compete with alternatives transportation because for some ppl its just not affordable to fly especially with the extra fees and its just alot cheaper to drive, take bus or train than to fly. Maybe if they lowered the prices more ppl would fly, they wouldn't make as much profit percent wise but maybe the increased traffic could bring in more overall profit. This is something you can observe happening right now in the smartphone industry. With more smartphoes coming out for less than $100 or even free on contract more ppl are getting smartphones than ever. Its becoming commonplace to not just have a cell phone but to hav a smartphone! Just sayin it could happen.

Kerry
01-31-2011, 01:19 PM
As a less than wealthy person im game to pretty much any form of transportation that's gonna save me money! And for the airliner dude, im sorry your job is dependent on the airliners pricing situation... but maybe your company should lessen its revenue a bit and charge less for airfare to compete with alternatives transportation because for some ppl its just not affordable to fly especially with the extra fees and its just alot cheaper to drive, take bus or train than to fly. Maybe if they lowered the prices more ppl would fly, they wouldn't make as much profit percent wise but maybe the increased traffic could bring in more overall profit. This is something you can observe happening right now in the smartphone industry. With more smartphoes coming out for less than $100 or even free on contract more ppl are getting smartphones than ever. Its becoming commonplace to not just have a cell phone but to hav a smartphone! Just sayin it could happen.

I think skywestokc's concern is using taxpayer subsidies to create public sector corporations that put private sector companies out of business. That wouldn't be good for anyone because any lower price achieved from that would be short lived and barriers to entry would prevent the re-introduction of competition. Once the private sector transportation companies are gone, they are gone for good. That is why I am concerned about who would operate a High Speed Rail system. Do we really want a government agency putting airlines out of business or would it be better to have private sector rail companies compete with private sector airlines? Or better yet, having existing airlines running some of the HSR trains.

Let's say there is a dedicated HSR line from downtown OKC to downton Dallas. Based on capacity, the system can handle 2 trains an hour for 16 hours a day (6AM to 10PM). Companies could then bid on which time-slot they want (highest bidder picks first). It would then be up to that company to make a profit on the service. Prices would be kept low because if a company tried to over-charge a different provider might have service 30 minutes before or 30 minutes after at a cheaper price. Of course, it is possible that not all hours would be picked up right away leaving excess capacity for future expansion of service.

animeGhost
01-31-2011, 01:45 PM
I understand what your saying. I was simply stating what airliners could do to compete against private sector (fingers crossed) high speed, lower cost transortation. If it was up to me i would fly everwhrere (even work lol!) as i have an incredible love for airplanes. I wanted to be a pilot for the longest until i realized i wasn't very talented in math lol. Unfortunately i am not in a financial situation where i can afford to do so especialy in group situations where its much cheaper to rent a car than to buy 4 air tickets for a short trip.

Kerry
01-31-2011, 02:00 PM
lower cost transortation.

That is one of the concerns, without the subsidy I'm not sure how low the cost would be.

Company A completing against Company B is easy. Company A competing against Company B + Government is hard.

SkyWestOKC
01-31-2011, 02:01 PM
Kerry hit it spot on. If a private company wants to compete with the airlines via rail, fine, it's up to the airlines to compete. But using my personal money (via taxes) to compete with my company, where many like me (or me) would be out of a job....sounds great. Using my paycheck against myself. UPS and FedEx are not allowed to compete with USPS, only the USPS (govt. entity) is allowed to offer parcel post (the mail) except for time critical shipments. UPS and FedEx are unable to compete in the largest freight sector. I'm afraid widespread government operated HSR would place mandates that the airlines would not be able to carry local traffic (Origin and Destination) on those flights. For example, if OKC and Dallas had HSR connecting the two, American Airlines would be unable to sell tickets from OKC-DFW, only tickets connecting in Dallas, but not ending in Dallas. If Joe Schmo with a ton of money and a ton of investor friends brainstorm and come up with the money to convert the existing rail to HSR, buy a few trains and make a private company to compete with the airlines. Awesome, I'm sure we'll compete just fine. But allow the government to enter the competition, and the government will make rules that will help it's service, while limiting the competition. And the private sector can't do anything about it, because the government made it law.

animeGhost
01-31-2011, 02:19 PM
As a less than wealthy person im game to pretty much any form of transportation that's gonna save me money! And for the airliner dude, im sorry your job is dependent on the airliners pricing situation... but maybe your company should lessen its revenue a bit and charge less for airfare to compete with alternatives transportation because for some ppl its just not affordable to fly especially with the extra fees and its just alot cheaper to drive, take bus or train than to fly. Maybe if they lowered the prices more ppl would fly, they wouldn't make as much profit percent wise but maybe the increased traffic could bring in more overall profit. This is something you can observe happening right now in the smartphone industry. With more smartphoes coming out for less than $100 or even free on contract more ppl are getting smartphones than ever. Its becoming commonplace to not just have a cell phone but to hav a smartphone! Just sayin it could happen.

betts
01-31-2011, 02:56 PM
I don't think high speed rail will ever replace travel in the US, except perhaps for short hops. Very few people have the time to travel even vis high speed rail, and I find it hard to believe prices will be competitive, unless the government heavily subsidizes rail travel. Why should they do that? I'm fine with taking the train to Tulsa or Dallas, if I can get there quickly and I have a transport option once I get there. But I have no interest spending a eight hours getting to Atlanta via rail when I can fly there in two.

MustangGT
01-31-2011, 04:18 PM
A dedicated HSR track/corridor would be prohibitively expensive. It would have NO grade crossings, minimize curves. The straighter the better. Completely fenced in to prevent people and animals from getting on the track. I could see a dedicated line say LAX-LAV. I agree with betts it is a pipe dream at best unless and until the track costs can be lowered dramatically.

ljbab728
01-31-2011, 11:23 PM
The baggage fees are not a major consideration for enough travelers for it to matter. Continental was the last "legacy" carrier to charge checked bag fees. They finally did so because they were gaining zero customers. People didn't care enough about checked bag fees to switch airlines.

This may not be a factor for you but I'm in the travel business and deal with it every day. I assure you it does matter to a majority of the public. I am asked about that continously. That doesn't mean they will all fly with Southwest but it is definitely taken into consideration. For a family of four planning to fly for a vacation it can be a major consideration.

rcjunkie
02-01-2011, 05:25 AM
I don't think high speed rail will ever replace travel in the US, except perhaps for short hops. Very few people have the time to travel even vis high speed rail, and I find it hard to believe prices will be competitive, unless the government heavily subsidizes rail travel. Why should they do that? I'm fine with taking the train to Tulsa or Dallas, if I can get there quickly and I have a transport option once I get there. But I have no interest spending a eight hours getting to Atlanta via rail when I can fly there in two.


If you add in the ime it takes to go through baggage check in, safety screening, etc;, that 2 hour flight is probably close to 8 hours.

betts
02-01-2011, 07:36 AM
More like 3 and a half hours. It takes me ten minutes to get to the airport, and I've never gotten to the airport more than an hour early. Ah, I might take the train once, but not regularly. Eight hours is probably terribly generous for high speed rail too. I seriously doubt we're going to get express trains that go from OKC to Atlanta. They would stop in Little Rock, Memphis, Birmingham, I suspect, which would add considerably. Again, I really like the idea of rail for shorter, intercity hops, but we are a massive country and I can only imagine what it would cost to add a network of high speed rail across the country.

Kerry
02-01-2011, 08:12 AM
Oklahoma City to Atlanta is 862 miles. That is like going from Paris to Dubrovnik, Croatia. You are not doing that in 8 hours on a train. Upgrades to the Tulsa/OKC route would be more than just a few million dollars.

http://asiancorrespondent.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/China-High-Speed-Rail.jpg

http://morrisonworldnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/ChinaHighSpeedTrain.jpg