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Old 06-18-2009, 09:54 AM   #59
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Bouncing off the Rev Limiter
Posts: 437
Just to clear it up, the diesel electric trains aren't capable of running on both systems. The diesel motors in newer more modern train engines acts as a generator, only running at a constant rate to generate electricity. All propulsion is done via electric motor. This way the trains burn vastly lower amounts of fuel.

It should be possible to make these trains run on both overhead wires when available or on the diesel-generated power when not....probably a bit much to retrofit but possible and feasible in newer models.

As for trains, I would be all for them if the fares are as cheap or involved less hassles as flying. Considering how far apart cities and destinations are here in the US (especially out west), trains would take many hours to days to get from A to B even at high speed through the nothingness that is Utah, and that's assuming non stops or infrequent stops. The beauty of the European rail system is that Europe is so much closer together than things are here, it makes more sense. For us, flying makes more sense.

It all comes down to money though; if it can a) be built economically, b) have low enough fares to where people choose rail over flying, and c) there is less of a hassle when compared to flying (more luxury, amenities, less pointlessly useless security, etc) or similar transit time considering security, delays, baggage, etc, rail would make more sense.

A racing addiction makes a crack addiction look like a vague desire for something salty. -Randy Hickman

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