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Should the Amtrak passenger rail service be expanded?

Asked at Royal Crest lanes, Ninth and Iowa streets on December 20, 2008

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Photo of Shawna Longhorn

“Yes, I believe it would free up travel for families and businesses.”

Photo of Oluwaseun Kalejaiye

“Yes, there should be (expanded service) because without transportation, civilization would crumble.”

Photo of Christine Moore

“Yes. … I think it would be fun. You get to look at the sites; it’s nostalgic.”

Photo of Jim Oroke

“I’m for it. … I went to Europe for three months, and the rail service there was great.”

Comments

average 5 years, 3 months ago

Yes, Gnome, I've heard of the North Sea. And, I've not only heard of the Chunnel, I've ridden through it.

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bearded_gnome 5 years, 3 months ago

When is Lawrence getting a zeppelin field?I heard the Oread Inn has a secret plan to put a Zeppalin mooring post from the roof up, fo they can dock there. ***average, no, you can't ride electric trains from scottland to vietnam or russia. ever heard of the north sea?

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average 5 years, 3 months ago

R_I: "How do you sequester carbon from a moving train?"Answer: you don't. You run trains on under-the-wire electric (like the US east coast, and most of Europe), with stationary power stations.Actually, the Russians have under-the-wire electric train service on the Trans-Siberian. You can ride on electric trainsets all the way from Aberdeen Scotland to Hanoi or Vladivostok.The US system is pretty sad in comparison.

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none2 5 years, 3 months ago

(continued)I always thought that trains were best for long hauls of freight and passengers with trucks (freight) and buses (passengers) branching off to make other destinations possible. I'm surprised that there isn't more of this kind of coordination. There is some. For instance, there is no train service south. However, Amtrak does have a bus (Jefferson lines runs it) that they have setup to go from KC to OK city (with a stop in Tulsa). This whole poll was setup because our state government wants Amtrack to switch this bus to an acutal train route from Kansas City to Oklahoma City with the idea that KC would then be connected to the route that goes on to Dallas. However, I cannot see them justifying this expense in these economic times. The full Amtrak route map can be found at:http://tickets.amtrak.com/secure/content/atlas/index.htmlSome of the bus routes (green) used to be train routes, but the volumes just weren't there. For instance, the route between Salt Lake City and LA was discontinued back in May 1997. I remembered it specifically as I had considered taking it one time. Its route was known as Desert Wind:http://www.trainweb.com/final35.htmlI wish passenger train service the best, but after over 35 years it still isn't doing that great. Sure part of that is how cars are so much more convenient, but another part of that is just how poor Amtrak is at running a business.

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none2 5 years, 3 months ago

OonlyBonly (Anonymous) says…And how many of the respondents would actually take a train within the United States? For that matter how many of them use the Public Transportation we now have? Enquiring minds want to know. Pun intended.===========================I've taken Amtrak several times. Each time was a disappointment. I kept trying thinking that eventually they would get better. It never happened. (I should state that all of my issues were with the Southwest Chief -- especially the east bound one.)There is nothing wrong with passenger rail. However, Amtrak isn't up to that task. Amtrak should fire a lot of their employees and instead hire people who have worked for an airline. I've flown many times, and never have had a bad experience. (Sure planes can get delayed. I even once had my luggage routed to the wrong place. However, their staff treat you like a human being. This was the case with multiple airlines. Amtrak staff, on the other hand, act as if they are transporting livestock.)As others pointed out, public trains will probably never be a big deal in the mid-west. We just don't have the population density. However, for those routes passing through on the way to larger cities, it would be nice if they had better service. If money were no object, it would be nice to adda) a train west (Salina);b) a train north (Omaha/Lincoln) c) a train south (Tulsa) to the existing trainsa) to the southwest (Wichita/Newton) b) a train northeast (Chicago)c) a train east (St Louis) [funded by the MO state]However, money is an issue. So It isn't going to happen... (continued)

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 5 years, 3 months ago

The proposed Minister of Business and Industry Bill Richardson?Tainted and not even from Chicago?

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Larry_The_Moocher 5 years, 3 months ago

As wonderful as Amtrack is... we were going to use it for a trip... you could not get there from here, and it was way more than flying. It would seem that it is somewhat like the empT, were it is a good thing to have, but there is not enough of it.I would guess, that over the years, the right of ways have been ripped out and the number of tracks for its use is limited. I would love to take a ride just to be riding somewhere out west to include the mountains, but it is not imho practical. Good luck to it... I would really like to see it as a travel option.

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Flap Doodle 5 years, 3 months ago

Isn't Bill Richardson, of NM, under investigation for playing loosey-goosey with some consulting firm that gave his campaign some big bucks?

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Multidisciplinary 5 years, 3 months ago

Yeah, you bunch of drunken clowns on a Zepplin..perfect.

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ariadne 5 years, 3 months ago

i like the zeppelins blue harley!wind energy & all!

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ariadne 5 years, 3 months ago

bring on the railthe governor of N e w M e x i c o - already has it running.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c329GE...

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ariadne 5 years, 3 months ago

interconnectedness is what's it is all about - the future.connect us to Omaha & points north.connect us to KC and points east.connect us to Ottawa & points southconnect us to Topeka & points west.ready for rail

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blue73harley 5 years, 3 months ago

Zeppelins! Perfect! No need for the SLT. A zeppelin route over the wetlands.Dibs on beer concessions.

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 5 years, 3 months ago

snap,They are working on the field and grandstand right now, but apparently a licensed but non-architect degreed architect wants it to resemble the Great Altar of Pergamon, and is raising a stink.

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Flap Doodle 5 years, 3 months ago

You have to be careful around that bayou. There was a carp swarm last week. A cow fell in the water & was stripped to a skeleton in less than a minute. When is Lawrence getting a zeppelin field?

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 5 years, 3 months ago

space,A scrapper cuts up metal for salvage. Hank Rearden could take this salvage metal, add some of Francisco d'Anconia's copper, and make Rearden Metal rails for the Dagny's bullet train from Lawrence to KC.But Wesley Barack Mouch will probably try to nationalize it.

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spacehog 5 years, 3 months ago

What is a scrapper? Unless it invovles prize-fighting I bet it's a sucky job.

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 5 years, 3 months ago

Where is Dagny Taggart when we need her?

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Liberty_One 5 years, 3 months ago

Decisions about expanding railway service should be in private hands, with private money taking the risk of failure.

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Multidisciplinary 5 years, 3 months ago

That Centennial Bridge is sure something. I've only seen it at night when it's two small lights, and total darkness. nothing. I just clicked on it and WOW!

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not_so_greek 5 years, 3 months ago

hey, those cams can be exciting drama during & after hurricanes. Especially if you know the people about to be flooded. Didn't know snap owned a bayou. That's Cool.

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Multidisciplinary 5 years, 3 months ago

You know snap's bayou?I haven't seen it full, but I also like the Panama Locks.Hey, this is the first time I've ever looked during daylight. They point the camera in the opposite direction at night, and it's all lit up.(I know, multi wins most'boring'life'ever award, but hey, i'm working on it!)http://www.pancanal.com/eng/photo/camera-java.html

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not_so_greek 5 years, 3 months ago

Hey Multi, I actually have a friend who lives near that top inlet. I watch that cam during their hurricanes and floods.

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Multidisciplinary 5 years, 3 months ago

(greek wins break-up-snappy-comeback award)

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not_so_greek 5 years, 3 months ago

you all want trains in the least dense part of the continent. I just want an international airport and ship terminal in Lawrence. Like Europe. Lets all get our transportation pipe dreams all at once.

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KU_cynic 5 years, 3 months ago

Expanding train service on high volume routes through dense urban areas like the Northeast might make economic sense given increasing traffic congestion and airport congestion. But out here in the vast interior of the country it just doesn't make any sense relative to personal cars, buses, and air travel.Face it, if someone wants to go from Lawrence to KC, Topeka, Wichita, Oklahoma City, or even Dallas it doesn't make sense to go by train.

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womanwarrior 5 years, 3 months ago

jumpin_catfish (Anonymous) says…Yes of course the government should expanded no matter the cost or how much money would be wasted. Taxpayers beware, Obama is coming and he's after your money.Is there going to be any left after Bush leaves, finally? Only 31 tortuous days left. But it's going to take a long time to recover from the slime bucket. Or are you one of those rich CEO's sucking the life out of what was once a productive nation? Or are you one of those living in the clouds, that yes I too will be filthy rich someday, just like Donald Trump. Get a real job and work for a living.

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Flap Doodle 5 years, 3 months ago

Can Amtrak get me to the Dillon's on 6th St?

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Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 3 months ago

I don't know about this. How many people are so keen on scenery that they are willing to pay a lot for it, Amtrak is expensive, a room the size and shape of a coffin is around a hundred dollars a night. For that you could drive and spend the night at a pretty good hotel. I can see it in parts of Europe where Americans with time and money are tootling all over the place. Here, no. Off the subject. Does anyone know why the bad weather goes all around Lawrence and avoids us like the plague? Is there a bubble over Lawrence? Are we the real Eureka?

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redmoonrising 5 years, 3 months ago

Multi, May I ask which.....oh, never mind.

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geekin_topekan 5 years, 3 months ago

In order to make it available to all yet remain an attractive alternative to airlines;you must seperate(no,segragate)the classes.

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Multidisciplinary 5 years, 3 months ago

greek..you have email.Py was teasing me about a mexican train (dominoes) today.She's over my head.You guys know what she's talking about?

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 5 years, 3 months ago

ariadane,How do you sequester carbon from a moving train?Damn earth hater. Not a green gene in you.Service should only be expanded if these trains can be powered by clean coal electricity.

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not_so_greek 5 years, 3 months ago

Ariadne wanted trains in Aspen too. He never got his set when he was 5 years old.

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ariadne 5 years, 3 months ago

YES, if the City Commission want to help the economy, linking Lawrence to Kansas City and also to points southwould be a fantastic step to begin the process of better integrating our economy with the region.

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Chris Ogle 5 years, 3 months ago

I think guy number 4 needs another beer, and a good nap. Then we can talk trains.

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labmonkey 5 years, 3 months ago

Forget Amtrak....I would like to see a bullet train system started in this country. If Japan and France can do it...so can we.

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jumpin_catfish 5 years, 3 months ago

Yes of course the government should expanded no matter the cost or how much money would be wasted. Taxpayers beware, Obama is coming and he's after your money.

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Sheila Couchman 5 years, 3 months ago

If I had to go somewhere to work every day in Lawrence, I would try to use Public Transportation. I would love to take the train! We did that all the time when I was growing up. What a great adventure!!

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OonlyBonly 5 years, 3 months ago

And how many of the respondents would actually take a train within the United States?For that matter how many of them use the Public Transportation we now have?Enquiring minds want to know. Pun intended.

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Multidisciplinary 5 years, 3 months ago

Won't that make it harder for the engineers to steer between the lines?It's pretty easy now, right?

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