You are viewing an obsolete version of the DU website which is no longer supported by the Administrators. Visit The New DU.
Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Reply #55: Let's compare apples to apples. Amtrak claims 28% higher fuel efficiency than passenger vehicles. [View All]

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » General Discussion: Presidency Donate to DU
slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-14-11 04:05 PM
Response to Reply #51
55. Let's compare apples to apples. Amtrak claims 28% higher fuel efficiency than passenger vehicles.
Edited on Mon Feb-14-11 04:19 PM by slackmaster
...According to U.S. Department of Energy data, Amtrak is almost 20 percent more efficient than domestic airline travel and 28 percent more efficient than auto travel on a per-passenger-mile basis.

http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentServer?c=WSArticle...

The claim in the OP of 468 passenger-miles per gallon isn't sourced, and I find it hard to believe unless it assumes some very high figure for ridership. (A Wikipedia article cites the figure as the result of a test of a particular system with the assumption of every seat being filled, but the source document is not found - See footnote 31 at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_efficiency_in_transpo... ).

People are light as cargo goes. An empty passenger train burns just about as much fuel as a full one. Rail is certainly efficient at moving heavy cargo, but you don't see many empty rail cars crossing the country. Non-expiring subsidies for rail transport take away the incentive to continually assess which lines are pulling their weight financially and which are not, like Amtrak's Los Angeles to New Orleans line. Taxpayers carry the burden of under-utilized Amtrak routes.

It's an undeniable fact of physics that the effects of air friction become exponentially worse the faster you go. If all other factors are equal, a faster train is always going to be less efficient than a slower one.

Using Amtrak's real-world figures as a guidepost, we could achieve the same fuel savings without spending a dime of public money by using tax incentives or penalties to force vehicle makers to improve the efficiency of the nation's passenger vehicle fleet by 28%.

I love trains, but "progress" for its own sake isn't really beneficial.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 

Home » Discuss » General Discussion: Presidency Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC