Populist movements don't build themselves ...

... It doesn't matter what the "horse race" outcome of the campaign is, if we fight the campaign. Fighting it, we learn how to fight. Learning how to fight political battles, we become citizens again. Becoming citizens again, we reclaim the Republic that lies dormant beneath the bread and circuses of modern American society.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sunday Train: Faster Trains Yields More Services Per Day

Burning the Midnight Oil for Living Energy Independence Back in the 29 Nov 2009 Sunday Train, Frequency and Waiting on a Train, I reacted to a point made in John McCommon's book, Waiting on a Train:
"Once those intermodal trains can go through Stampede Pass, it will take some traffic off the main line and free up more room for additional passenger trains," said Uznanski. By bringing the number of trains up to eight a day between Vancouver and Portland, ridership and ticket revenue will increase significantly. Currently ticket sales - what is known as farebox - cover 43% of the Amtrak Cascades' operating expenses; the state subsidizes the remainder. Run eight trains daily, however, the farebox recovery goes up to 70%. It's all about frequency. When trains are frequency and convenient, ridership - particularly business travel - grows dramatically, said Uznanski. It was a mantra I was to hear from experts all across the country - frequency builds ridership and only frequency significantly builds farebox recovery. Sure its great to have trains running more than 100mph in a corridor, but if there are only a couple of trains a day, they just aren't convenient enough to move people off the highway or away from the airport. - John McCommons, Waiting on a Train, Chelsea Green Publishing: Vermont, p. 51
This came back to mind when I was thinking last week about the "Cornhusker Rocket" proposal to reintroduce regular corridor service between Omaha and Chicago via Des Moines, Iowa City and the Quad Cities. Often times, a substantial benefit in getting train speeds up is that ability to operate more services per day with the same number of trains.
Read the Sunday Train and join the conversation at:

The Stars Hollow Gazette
Progressive Blue
Daily Kos

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