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Biden on high speed rail - "I'm Mr. Amtrak"

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PatSeg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-18-07 02:20 PM
Original message
Biden on high speed rail - "I'm Mr. Amtrak"
The next question from the audience came from Jeff Kurtz, the legislative representative for the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and the Teamsters Rail Conference. He does the political and safety work for the 800-plus members around the state.

Kurtz' concern was the topic of climate change, but he already had a solution in mind. He said high-speed rail would make a definite impact and wondered if Biden would promote that as an alternative.

Biden apparently was a kindred spirit of rail transportation and assured the audience that this was not a planted question.

I commute 250 miles a day on high-speed rail, Biden said. I'm Mr. Amtrak.

Biden proposes an interstate high-speed rail service similar to the interstate highway system.

One mile of one lane of I-80 costs $22 million, Biden said. One mile of I-95 (on the East Coast) holds more traffic and costs $41 million. By contrast, One mile of high-speed rail costs $1 million.

You can fit more people on a rail car and you'll be taking 50 automobiles off the road. Rail uses 1/50th of the cost (of a car) in terms of energy consumption.

Biden said the reason why railroads haven't been used more in the past is because of special interest groups, most notably the airline industry. They get $350 million a year to go where no one wants to go, Biden said, qualifying that by saying that there is not enough business to support a commercial flight. He said people don't like the idea of subsidizing railroads, yet the airline industry gets subsidies to fly to sparse locations.

http://www.dailydem.com/articles/2007/12/18/news/news3....

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skipos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-18-07 02:31 PM
Response to Original message
1. These are the kinds of "little" things that voters would like about Biden
It is nice to have a candidate who has one of the lowest net worths in the senate, and uses public transport.
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Scriptor Ignotus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-18-07 03:25 PM
Response to Reply #1
10. i agree
although the acela lines here on the east coast cost just as much as an airline ticket. not exactly like riding the bus or the metro lines.

not trying to knock biden, because he's so on the money on this issue. just trying to put your statement in perspective.
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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-18-07 02:34 PM
Response to Original message
2. I like a lot of what Biden has to say...
and I definitely like what he says about rail!

I didn't realize the $$$ stats were so extreme. Thanks!
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PatSeg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-18-07 02:47 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. I love the way he throws those stats out there
Reminds me of Jed Bartlet.
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Steely_Dan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-18-07 02:37 PM
Response to Original message
3. It Just Doesn't Stop...
Biden keeps coming. Imagine what we could do with just a fraction of what we are spending in Iraq. It's a shame.


-P
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PatSeg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-18-07 02:48 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. And actually Biden has itemized what he could do
with that money at home. Iraq is more than a foreign policy issue. It is dramatically affecting domestic issues as well.
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Mark Twain Girl Donating Member (410 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-18-07 02:42 PM
Response to Original message
4. I like this answer immensely -- with the data to back it up
I'd love some high speed rail in my state. It makes sense on a number of levels -- a sane, solid answer by Biden.
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PatSeg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-18-07 03:01 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. I like his comparisons of airline subsidies to
rail subsidies. I had no idea.
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Drunken Irishman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-18-07 03:06 PM
Response to Original message
8. Biden gets it. We need a national high-speed rail system connecting all our major cities.
Edited on Tue Dec-18-07 03:06 PM by Drunken Irishman

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monmouth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-18-07 03:06 PM
Response to Original message
9. Boy, for a guy who has had his head opened up a few times for
serious medical reasons, his command of stats and the language never cease to amaze me. Go Joe, you're the best....
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gateley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-18-07 03:27 PM
Response to Original message
11. Hi speed rail is used so successfully in Europe. I would love to see us take
this step. And according to Joe's stats, it would be a plus in many areas.
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NI4NI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-18-07 03:29 PM
Response to Original message
12. commutes 250 miles a day on a train
The DMR's comment essentially calling Biden an insider because his entire adult life was spent in the Senate, and therefore may not have as much experience on what goes on outside D.C. as other candidates do was confusing, and IMO not very well considered.
That is, unless they think Amtrak afforded Biden his very own private passenger car; or unless Biden traveled each day surrounded by secret service; or that he dressed incognito with dark glasses and a fake beard; or that he simply ignored other commuters completely.
So, I'm I suppose to believe he never ever conversed or listened to the common citizens all around him that he commuted with for 36 years to know what Americans really thought.
Yeah, Right!

:sarcasm:
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1corona4u Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-18-07 03:33 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. LOL..
you got that right. I bet he never stops talking to people on the train. He's very aware of the world around him.
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PatSeg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-18-07 03:36 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. Recently someone said here that he was on a Southwest
flight and was surprised to see Joe Biden on the same flight. I'm sure no one has seen a front-runner flying Southwest during their campaigns.
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itsrobert Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-18-07 03:36 PM
Response to Original message
14. So what are these small cities served by Airlines does he what to cut
in order to provide rail to the NorthEast states? It cost more to provide electricity. phone service, and cable tv to rural areas. Maybe he would like that cut that to?
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1corona4u Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-18-07 04:44 PM
Response to Reply #14
19. Sigh...
Edited on Tue Dec-18-07 04:45 PM by 1corona4u
I'm sure you know more than Joe Biden.... :sarcasm:

You're in Calipornia....I hardly think it will affect you.
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philly_bob Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-18-07 03:41 PM
Response to Original message
16. Oops, I just flip-flopped again, from Edwards to Biden...
Man, they're both good!
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K Gardner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-18-07 03:44 PM
Response to Original message
17. How does he just rattle off these numbers? LOL.. I for one live in an area where
we don't have rail service or Amtrak or any kind of feasible mass transit system. I'd LOVE to see this and kudos to Biden for yet another common sense idea..the guy is an encyclopedia.
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PatSeg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-18-07 04:02 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. It is mind-boggling how he has numbers & facts for just about
everything. I always wished I could do that.
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-18-07 04:54 PM
Response to Original message
20. He is indeed Mr. Amtrak.
Edited on Tue Dec-18-07 04:54 PM by Occam Bandage
Smooth, safe, and efficient, but most people don't consider him an option, in part due to lack of effective advertising in the heartland. Occasionally the butt of jokes, largely because of a few high-profile trainwrecks. Has many dedicated fans, and few real enemies, but most people remain ambivalent, simply because the inferior options are better at advertising and lobbying.
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high density Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-18-07 05:13 PM
Response to Original message
21. I'd love to have an alternative to air travel
The problem is that modern Amtrak simply isn't competing in most markets and areas. I'll definitely ride them between Maine and Boston to avoid the Boston traffic, but any distance beyond that and I'm hopping on a plane. (Not to mention the lack of an easy connection between North and South stations in Boston when you have luggage.) The ride between Portland, ME and Boston takes longer on the train than it does by bus, however the train is infinitely more comfortable than a bus ride. That makes the train a winner in my book for this trip.
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1corona4u Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-18-07 05:21 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. I'd go for it since I don't fly...at all.
If I have to go somewhere, I drive. If it was truly high speed, it would take a lot less time than the current Amtrak takes too. Last time I looked, it would have taken me like 5 days to get to Chicago, and mostly because I would have had to go all the way to NY, and then over to Chicago. NOT.
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PatSeg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-18-07 09:02 PM
Response to Reply #23
29. I don't fly
The atmosphere in airports these days is too stressful and intimidating. I don't mind the "flying" part, just the before and after.
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Joe the Revelator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-18-07 05:20 PM
Response to Original message
22. As a Railroader, I think this is a great idea...
As long as it doesn't affect current freight lines, they build rails without public grade crossings and they privatize it. It's absurd, to me at least, that Amtrak costs more then a flight, and takes days to get less distance then a car can take you in the same amount of time.
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gene430 Donating Member (55 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-18-07 05:27 PM
Response to Original message
24. Favorite Biden one liner
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1corona4u Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-18-07 05:29 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. Absolutely my favorite...
Edited on Tue Dec-18-07 05:30 PM by 1corona4u
ever.

On edit; he has such a good sense of self, and a great sense of humor...
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PatSeg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-18-07 09:01 PM
Response to Reply #24
27. Shoot it's not working
What was the line?
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1corona4u Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-18-07 09:01 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. "Yes"
Brian Williams, at the debate....you've seen it.
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PatSeg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-18-07 10:45 PM
Response to Reply #28
30. Ah, yes!
Priceless.
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antigop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-18-07 05:37 PM
Response to Original message
26. Good for Biden. Glad to hear this. n/t
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