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Question about politics regarding freight usage and passanger usage on the same line.

Discussion in 'Metal Heads' started by coolname, Oct 12, 2003.

  1. coolname

    coolname Member

    Joined: Jan 6, 2003 Messages: 617 Likes Received: 18
    Even though Chicago, the railroad capitol of the world, has a suburban metrolpolition railroad... There are no trains that go to Rockford, IL only an hour and a half driving time from Chicago.------there is a Metra (Chicago Suburban Railroad (RTA) train that goes to Harvard, IL from Chicago, which is a hour and 40 minutes from Chicago (driving times * all times are driving times not railroad times). From Rockford, IL which has a population of 379,376 people, while Harvard has a population of only 7,996 people, there 1 hour and 7 minutes driving time. And from Rockford, IL to Chicago there is a 1 hour and 46 minutes driving time. Why would they devise building a suburban railroad to the northwerstern suburbs but not include Rockford IL. in the plan, especially when Rockford IL. has far more people than Harvard, IL by far????? That is a mystery to me, building the end of the line in a small town instead of a bigger area? Here is a map to go with it... Keep
    in mind the railraods and where they go, but alas there are lines that go to Chicago as seen in the other map of the railroad lines....Someone figure this out...was it a big waste of resources to plan a depot/end of the line in Harvard IL., rather then at Rockford, IL., a much more populated area? Was it really more efficient to build a railroad depot at Harvard than at Rockford?? The was some battling done with this topic for sure before the passanger railroads were made. Maybe it was due to
    lines, and how much traffic ran on each line. Anyone know anything further about this including the politics about traffic constraints on lines. I know the line that is run out to Harvard, IL is on UP, but there are lines running to Rockford, IL or closer suburbs of Rockford, IL. like the CPRS, the CCP (IC now CN), the BNSF, and the UP. So why the distance between end stations? Any thoughts?

    If any of yall want to see a map of the Metra sysytem let me know.
  2. DankLordz

    DankLordz Senior Member

    Joined: Nov 13, 2000 Messages: 1,983 Likes Received: 0
  3. amish son

    amish son Senior Member

    Joined: May 18, 2003 Messages: 2,149 Likes Received: 0
    was that a math question?
    i think the answer is 74.8 miles.
  4. type R

    type R Senior Member

    Joined: Sep 23, 2001 Messages: 2,456 Likes Received: 1
    post it. maybe we can get a better idea as to what you are talking about...
  5. soneMILWwi

    soneMILWwi Guest

    yo my freind coolname, i couldnt even get an amtrak to north platte when my rental car was gonna fall threw, the biggest train yard in the states is out that way, train tracks everywhere and yet amtrak wouldnt drop me off there. what u think about that?
    [email protected]

    still wish u could have come on the roadtrip...
  6. KaBar2

    KaBar2 Senior Member

    Joined: Jun 27, 2003 Messages: 2,128 Likes Received: 66

    You are correct in thinking that there are bigger forces at work here than just the size of the two respective cities. There are probably a great number of variables, including potential ridership, existing air connections/airports, interstate highways and so forth. Biggest influence of all may be political, especially with Amtrak.

    Why not pose this question to TRAINS magazine? I'm sure the staff there could shed some light on the subject.
  7. coolname

    coolname Member

    Joined: Jan 6, 2003 Messages: 617 Likes Received: 18
    There is no passanger rail service what so ever that goes to Rockford, IL. only Greyhound and Thurway (Amtraks bus). There are no airports whatsoever in Harvard, IL. and there may be one in Rockford, IL probably there is one. Right on for the help and no this wasn't a math question. About North Platte, what a decrepid rr system this country has, it would be such a treat to pass by the biggest yard in the world on an Amtrak.... oh well....

  8. KaBar2

    KaBar2 Senior Member

    Joined: Jun 27, 2003 Messages: 2,128 Likes Received: 66
    Catching out from New York City

    First of all, I know next to nothing about trainhopping in NYC or the surrounding area. But here's a few tips. First, catching out in NYC itself is extremely hazardous. It's a hell of a lot easier to start off in New Jersey. The only direct connection seems to be out of Penn Station, which goes across tro Union City, NJ. Seems a lot easier to just go there to start with and save yourself a lot of bullshit. The main junction in that area seems to be the Amtrak/ Conrail junction in Hunter, south of Newark. Norfolk Southern and CSX have divided up the old Conrail yards. Personally, I wouldn't go into Newark, NJ with a gun to my head, but that's me. The yard you want is the Oak Island Yard in Newark. CSX and Canadian Pacific both operate trains out of Oak Island. Trains to Allentown leave the yard headed westbound. Trains to Selkirk leave geographically eastbound. NS should have trains leaving for Allentown, Conway, Philadelphia and other destinations.

    I'd try for Elizabeth. I have no idea if it's really any better than Newark, but either way it probably sucks. In Elizabeth, you should be able to catch a train to Roselle, down through Bound Brook to Manville. In Manville, you can then hit the CSX south to Philadelphia (another town I wouldn't care to be in.) Manville is where the CSX line to Philly splits from the NS line to Allentown.

    I have never done this, but my guess is that Atlanta would be a good interim destination if you are heading to Florida.

    I'd try for Manville, then Philly, then Wilmington, then Baltimore. Hope that you by-pass Washington D.C. If you don't, I'd take a bus or something. All these cities are dangerous as a motherfucker, but Washington, D.C. is in a class all by itself. Alexandria, VA is a major yard and departure town, but I've never been there--it's just south of Washington D.C. I would try to catch the NS south to Lynchburg, VA, then on south through Greensboro, N.C. to Charlotte, then south through Columbia, SC, then to Savannah, GA, then southwest to Waycross, GA, then southeast to Jacksonville, FL. From there, you can take the Florida East Coast railroad right down the coast south.

    I must tell you, this is pure speculation. There may be much easier and quicker ways to do this. The East Coast Corridor cities are extremely dangerous, and the parts of town in these cities where the rail yards are REALLY, REALLY SUCK. Personally, I avoid this area of the country as much as possible. Why don't you go west, instead? It's a lot nicer than all these urban ghetto shitholes on the east coast. In fact, all cities everywhere suck a big one. BE VERY CAREFUL.
  9. mikro137

    mikro137 Guest

    kabar is soooo on point with this , its unbelieveable.

    after my trips to philly and nyc this summer , i cant even possibly deny the truth behind what was just posted.
  10. Cracked Ass

    Cracked Ass Veteran Member

    Joined: Oct 24, 2001 Messages: 7,898 Likes Received: 47
    The original topic is about the politics of passenger service. There are two big issues. One, as mentioned, is RRs considering running pasenger and freight on the same line arguing about scheduling conflicts, liability for accidents, funding for track upgrades (your company, our company, or federal funds, and by the way the first one is not an option), etc. There is a lot of red tape, lawyers, crusty RR managers, politicians who are sick of funding Amtrak, etc.
    Before such a concept even gets that far, though, is the other politics, mostly about ridership and class issues. I don't know Illinois too well, but my guess is tiny Harvard is a rich town whereas Rockford is working-class. That could be a factor.
    The other topic we drifted into was east coast trainhopping. I would agree with most of Kabar's advice, except about the Jersey cities close to NYC (Newark, Elizabeth, etc.). Oak Island yards, and that whole general area (known as the Chemical Coast for its high concentration of refineries and chemical plants), is not only dangerous for the usual reasons but probably has higher security than ever due to the volume of hazmat traffic. I got kicked out of those yards twice, and found someone carefully sniffing my car for valuables on my way out one time, and this is back in the early 90's (and during the day). I wouldn't fuck with that yard now without a strong reason.
  11. rize415

    rize415 Senior Member

    Joined: Sep 15, 2002 Messages: 1,753 Likes Received: 0
    opinion by mikro137 , not rize415

    the theory ow workling class vs upsacle is probally one of the bigger factors. in pittsburgh , for example , there are 2 methods of "rapid" transit 1)busses which have the MLK east busway (in a mostly black neighborhood paralell to the NS mainline for almost its entire length) and the "T" which is a LRT system that travels through the prodominantly white upperclass area of south hills. the MLK east busway was supposed to be converted to LRT in the late 80's , do you see what im saying? i dunno never mind , maybe this helps , maybe not.
  12. Bosco

    Bosco Member

    Joined: Jun 21, 2003 Messages: 317 Likes Received: 0
    Trains magazine just had a huge article on Chicago and broke down all the major railroads and their operations a month or 2 back. I'll check it out tommorrow for you.

    I've wanted to see North Platte for a while, also the CSX yard down in Waycross, Georgia is fairly large as well, not that far behind in size from North Platte. I haven't seen CSX's Rice Yard in Waycross, only overview maps from a timestable, the yard is even listed in AAA book as a tourist destination in Waycross, although I believe 9/11 might have changed that.

    Amtrak's time is ticking, we had a siding here that spotted some nice Amtrak mail flatties that were loaded and rode on the end of Amtrak trains, but mail service was discontinued here and it also affected Norfolk Southern switching crews that worked the siding and adjacent layup during the week.
  13. KaBar2

    KaBar2 Senior Member

    Joined: Jun 27, 2003 Messages: 2,128 Likes Received: 66
    You really need an experienced east coast hopper to guide you.

    It's dangerous enough that I wouldn't attempt hopping into the northeast, or anywhere in the East Coast Corridor unless I was travelling with an experienced east coast rider. In general, there is a great deal of information available from railroad timetables, TRAINS magazine, online sources and maps and atlases, but eventually you are going to be faced with situations where general overall trainhopping knowledge is inadequate, and you need on-the-ground experience. Travelling into these industrial areas, or trying to move on foot through a ghetto area is pretty scarey. I have black co-workers who just shake their heads when I tell them that I catch out in Houston's Fifth Ward ("The Bloody Fifth? You must be crazy.") or frequent hobo jungles in the inner city and Houston's South Park district. I grew up in Houston, and feel pretty knowledgeable about it, and fairly comfortable being on foot in minority neighborhoods (Hey, no gangbanger is going to be interested in some old poor-as-shit looking white man dressed like a hobo--I got nothing valuable to him. Now if I was driving an expensive car, dressed in nice clothes, flashing some rings and whatnot, yeah, maybe then I'd be in some danger. And for somebody crazy enough or hateful enough to try and hurt me just to be hurtin' somebody, I got my .38.)
    I don't know shit about east coast trainhopping, except that it is pretty scarey. But I know several guys from the east (Tanner City Kid is from Massachusetts) who hop in big city yards frequently, all up and down the coast. Stretch & Burl and Collinwood Kid hop oput of EAST Cleveland, Ohio and Derail and Oops pretty much hop any place they feel like going. The difference is that these guys are VERY EXPERIENCED, ROAD WORN tramps. They know their shit, and they can survive anywhere. A couple of years ago at Britt, Texas Mad Man started a trip of a couple of thousand miles with $2.47 in his pocket, and arrived with about a dollar in change still in it.
    This is definately not me. I have some experience, and thirty years ago I rode a lot, but I am not in these guys' class when it comes to trainhopping in cities.