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Train Poll

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by MGarrison, Apr 14, 2010.

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How do you feel about passenger rail travel?

Trains Suck! You'll get me away from my steering wheel when you pry my cold, dead hands off it! 1 vote(s) 3.4%
I'd consider the train for long trips if it went where I needed to go. 18 vote(s) 62.1%
Trains, schmains - who cares when you can get there via airplane!? 4 vote(s) 13.8%
I might take the train if I my car could come along for the ride. 6 vote(s) 20.7%
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    Scott Stowell mentions how mind-numbingly boring some highway cruising can be. Even though BMW's are supposed to be the Ultimate Driving Machine and all about the Joy of Driving, we all know there's little joy in a long cruise where you can only safely go so quickly without risking a ticket or your license and it's really more a matter of just keeping going to get there and get the miles under you.

    It's trips like that which make me wish we still had the passenger rail network across this country that was in place up into the 60's, particularly if wherever I'm going is someplace where having a great, fun-to-drive car isn't going to mean much; city-to-city for family visits and what not, trips like that.

    Anyone ever find themselves wishing for a train-ride vs. hours of forced attention & cruise control?
    • Member

    az3579

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    How could you even bother asking me that?
    I'm surprised not everyone chose THE FIRST OPTION. :confused:


    Trains, buses, taxi's... PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION IS THE DEVIL!

    BMWtoyz guest

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    I like steam trains and often visit them for the sheer enjoyment of reliving the past, however I would not ride AmTrack anywhere!
    • Member

    CRKrieger

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    This is the kind of attitude that keeps all the morons out on the road to annoy us. Hey, most people would ride trains and buses if they didn't have the aura that guys like YOU create: that it's something dirty, for the poor, and to be avoided. No one forces you to ride public transportation, so do as you choose, but don't impede or disparage it for others! Think about it. If we didn't have this idiotic sense of entitlement in this country, we could actually implement real driver training and testing and we wouldn't be saddled with the huge majority of really bad drivers who insist that their car is the only way to get anywhere - because in truth, it is.

    Would I rather ride a train across Kansas, Nebraska, the Dakotas, or the middle of Illinois and Indiana instead of driving it on the Interstate at current speed limits? HELL YES!
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    eam3

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    I have taken the Autotrain a couple of times from Sanford, FL (outside of Orlando) to Washington D.C. and it was worth every penny just to avoid the dreary drive that Florida provides (straight, flat and boring). You put your car in the train, train starts rolling around 3pm, you have a wonderful dinner (yes, I'm not kidding, the food is quite good on the train), go to sleep and wake up at 6am outside of Washington D.C.. I only wish they would provide service to other cities because my wife and I loved it.
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    Zeichen311

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    Amtrak is a sorry excuse for rail travel, with a few exceptions. The Acela "high-speed" service along the Northeast Corridor is almost passable, but so much of the trackage is substandard that "high speed" is almost a joke except for a few sections.

    Me too x10, but not on our current, abysmal passenger rail network. I wish, oh how I wish, the US would construct a European-style intercity rail network. Service like Deutsche Bahn ICE, Eurostar, even SBB ... <sigh>. I fear we'll never see the like here.

    After every trip to Europe, the first time I board a train back here I want to go to Washington and punch an airline lobbyist and any three Congressmen in the head. :mad:

    drummerfc guest

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    I normally want to do that (especially to the Congressmen) every single day!! :p
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    bcweir

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    I'm shocked (but not offended) that I find myself siding with CR Krieger on this one

    I own a BMW, but I also actively ride my bicycle and public transportation. I love my 750...BUT it gets about 12 miles to the gallon in the city, and if you people could see the abysmal level of driving here in Dallas, TX, you'd probably want to protect your automobile also. There's nothing wrong, pedestrian, or "base" about public transportation. My tax dollars pay for it -- why NOT use it?

    CR's statement on the horrific state of driver education in this country is totally spot on. We don't have one standard of driver education in this country, we have more than 50! They don't teach you how to drive in this country, they teach you how to pass a freaking test! In Germany (or so I have read), it takes two YEARS to get a driver's license, and only after you pass a far more comprehensive exam on your driving skills and knowledge of traffic laws. Germany's population is but a fraction of ours, yet proportionately, they have a far lower incidence of vehicle-related fatalities.

    No wonder our speed limits are 70 to 80 miles an hour -- because the majority of American drivers were never trained to competently operate an automobile at HALF those speeds. In that regard, THANK GOD for those who stay off the roads and take public transportation.

    The next time you encounter a crazed maniac (and trust me you will) weaving in and out of traffic at lunatic speeds, rethink whether or not you feel safe sharing the road with that "accident waiting to happen."

    Nuff said.

    I agree, but sadly, with nearly EVERYTHING subject to being politicized by partisan talking heads, the moment you start talking about hauling people out of their hulking, 9-mile per gallon SUV's, you can count the number of seconds on a stopwatch before somebody screams "socialism."

    Personally, I'd have no problem sharing the road with a competent driver if I didn't have to worry about putting my life at risk every time I enter the highway from an exit ramp.
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    az3579

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    Wow, looks like some people got their panties in a bunch.


    The public transportation system in this country (and ESPECIALLY locally where I live) is a joke. If it was better then I'd support it, but there would still be no way in hell I'd take it. I enjoy driving way too much to be sitting amongst a bunch of rude, disrespectful people, that cough and sneeze all over without covering their mouths, talk as though the English language was made of words like "yo" and "homie", people that smell bad, kids with parents that are the very definition of IDIOTS, and worst of all, dealing with transfers and waiting around in the freezing cold in the winter or scorching heat in the summer because the buses and trains have intervals that are way too long due to a poorly thought out public transportation system...

    Yes, this is what you'd have to deal with in my neck of the woods. So, the second you start to tell me public transport is superior, I'd tell you to move along; I'll take my chances on the roads.

    Even if the public transportation system was anywhere near as good (or even better) than Europe's, I'd still drive myself, because driving is BY FAR the thing I MOST like doing, and if you ever try to take that away from me (ya hear, government?), I WILL raise hell.
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    MGarrison

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    Well... I had a nifty little reply all composed and my damn cat walks across the desk and steps on the laptop power button... bye, bye reply! argh! If there's one downside to msg. boards like this it's the lack of an autosave function, and rarely do you bother to write your reply up in something that won't disappear when the browser or whatever flash-java-yadda-yadda app. goes kablooey.... or when your cat shuts your computer off for you! Guess I'll need to find a power-button cover now :p

    Anyway.... Yo Botond.... Watup Homie! :p
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    az3579

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    lmao


    That's why if you're paranoid about cats walking all over your laptop, you use Word and hit Ctrl+S every time you finish a sentence. :D
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    Brian A

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    Whoooboy. Looks like I missed some high paced forum action as I spent the day jetting across the country (writing from Houston).

    Me? I love a good train system (London Underground, SNCF, etc), but tend to travel very long distances that makes plane flights better. (When I'm home, I bicycle commute to work 12 months a year.)

    Locally, I would certainly use a subway system. Our Bay Area Rapid Transit is a good regional railway, but you have to drive to get to a station and you have to be wanting to get to somewhere near a station. Its not like London, Tokyo or Paris (... or NYC??).
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    eam3

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    Another plus for public transportation is any time that my wife has to go to Miami (I hate the traffic in that city) she takes the Tri-Rail. It's fast, comfortable, efficient and cheap. Granted, she always has her best friend waiting for her at the station because getting around Miami in buses is a nightmare, but still, what she saves in gas and mileage on compared to her 535i is worth it. And believe me when I tell you that driving a BMW to Miami from PB county is not even remotely pleasant.

    BMWtoyz guest

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    "Wow, looks like some people got their panties in a bunch."

    They sure did, and every BMW driver thinks they are the worlds best driver! I however do agree that driver's training is a joke.

    I love to drive, however I drive less than 5,000 miles a year so do not give me sense of entitlement BS, I just have no need to use public trnasportation. Besides here in the Seattle area the "Sounder" (a full size train) that carries passengers from Tacoma to Everett broke down the other day blocking four lanes of traffic on each Smith and James Street causing a huge backup. You than had to wait 30 minutes for the next train and cram two train loads into one for the 20 minute ride to Seattle. You could not hop on the bus because they could not get across the tracks either!
    A few weeks ago the new "light rail" broke down and everybody knows the monorail collided with another monorail train a few years back! Oh I should mention that last year all the double busses broke down when they crashed them all in the snow.
    Let's all lighten up, we have no reliable train transportation here in Washington state.
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    Zeichen311

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    Public transit definitely has lopsided visibility: Nobody says boo when it's working, but listen to the uproar when it fails! :)

    I should have added to my earlier post that I do sometimes take trains into NYC and my BMW loves me for it. For one, NJ Transit recently replaced most of its rolling stock so the trains are actually clean, modern and comfortable (and slow and lurching). For another, the pavement in Manhattan is deteriorating to the point where it's only navigable by taxicabs and Land Rovers. :eek:
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    CRKrieger

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    Only because of the inherent illogic in your position. Here, watch:
    You won't support it because it's bad. It's bad because it isn't supported. Let's look at a historical analogy: People didn't support long distance travel in the automobile because the road system was bad. It was bad because it wasn't supported. What changed that? It certainly wasn't more people driving on abysmal roads; it was a huge investment of labor and capital to build better roads. Support. The same thing could happen with public transportation if we were at all motivated. In fact, I am certain that it will; just not in my lifetime. You know, in the extreme long term, we're gonna have to leave this planet because the sun will swallow it up. Do you support plans to make that happen?
    That's not universal by a long shot. It may only be New England (and, having lived there mercifully briefly, I could buy that). I found the D.C. system to be quite decent, in spite of my misgivings, when I visited there last year.
    I never said it was superior, did I? I'm saying that it could equal or exceed most people's expectations, leaving the roads to those of us who appreciate driving as an activity, not as a task. I could go into a litany of things wrong in your neck of the woods, but now's not the time.
    No one has even vaguely suggested that. It was you that got your panties all twisted up with what you thought I said. Try reading more carefully. I'm usually very precise in what I say and there should be little room for interpretation in it. I said what I meant: that an obstructionist attitude like yours is what perpetuates this problem. Supporting public transportation for others to use could make your driving a lot more pleasant, if you put a little thought into it.
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    Zeichen311

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    Depends. Can I drive there? :D
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    MGarrison

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    No. You'll have to take the train.

    ALLL ABOAAAAARD FOR MARS-JUPITER-SATURN-URANUS-NEPTUNE-PLUTO AND THE MILKY WAAAAaaaaay! Now boarding for the Milky Way Local! Solar Express with stops at Venus, Mercury, and one-way trips to the sun departs in 15 minutes!

    Autohaus guest

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    For pleasure I wouldn't mind taking the train once in a while, however, for work (once i get a job) I would need to drive. When I worked in NYC back in 06-07 I took the Metro North into Grand Central. I hated the train ride in but loved it on the way home. I paid about $400 a month to commute :eek:. Sometimes I went to the extreme and even drove to the city so I can drive and have a smile on my face. Call me crazy but I miss the days of sleeping in my car during lunch breaks and cleaning my wheels.

    As someone posted earlier, I also did take the Amtrak Auto Train from Sanford FL to Lorton VA with the 535i riding along. That trip saved me about 800 miles and it was fun, even though I traveled alone. I even considered taking the auto train last summer when we went to FL but the cost was so outrageous that it was almost double than flying. In the end I wound up driving 19 hours straight to Orlando.
    • Member

    lcjhnsn

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    ...and back

    With 25 years of Mom living in Fla and us in CT, we've had the opportunity to sample all three major travel options.

    I rather enjoyed the Auto Train ride even though I cheaped out with general seating instead of a sleeping compartment. I felt the cost, bordom & time trade-off of driving or flying the same route was worth it. I was able to sleep reasonably well in the train seats, but the remainder of the family did not have the same success. When the opportunity for another trip came along they over ruled me and bought airplane & rental car tickets.

    I also made the drive not long ago and with the right co-driver it was relatively enjoyable too. But I did it with 1 overnight stop on the way down and 2 overnights on the way home. The younger more adventurous can make it non-stop. But not me anymore!

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