How come passenger trains can run everywhere in the UK, but have been almost completely nuked in the US?
- 8 months ago
It hasn't been nuked.
- StarryskyLv 78 months ago
My tiny little town of 67,000 and the next one up the Amtrak line of 46,000 do not have enough passenger revenue to support commuter and vacation trains without government subsidy. Add in the passenger and freight runs share a single main line. It makes Amtrak service late by an average of 19 minutes (over the last month). About 5 of the 60 runs were on time. Two were over 90 minutes late. This does not lend toward a wide acceptance of the train as reliable people moving.
- JonLv 79 months ago
There are two main reasons.
One is population density. References to the size of the USA are missing the point: of course air wins for journeys like New York to Los Angeles, but that does not explain why Americans don't use rail for journeys of under 200 miles. The much more influential factor is that many areas of the USA do not contain enough people either for rail to have a big enough customer base or for road congestion and parking shortages to make cars less attractive compared to rail. Rail should have a role in those parts of the USA where population densities do match those of Western Europe, but that leads to the second reason.
There seems to be a strong cultural and political imperitive in favour of the car in the USA, regardless of geographical issues. Cars fit the cowboy-film concept of the rugged individual (despite in fact making the USA dependent upon Arabic oil). This seems to lead to a negative perception of all forms of public transport apart from air travel. (In fact some, rather bizzarely, some Americans I have met do not seem to regard airlines as being public transport at all).
- ZheiaLv 69 months ago
It could be due to the different climates in the US, very cold in some places, hot in others. Also, the US has hurricanes.
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- MikeLv 79 months ago
1. Airplanes. NY to Chicago was a popular train route. It took about 18 hours. By plane you can be there and back in 18 hours.
2. Interstate highway system. A 200 mile drive before interstates was likely to take 5 hours. Now it will take about 3 hours, and you can drive directly to your destination without having to take a cab from the station.
Suburbs. People live in new sprawling suburbs which never had rail service. The population density is not sufficient to justify building a rail line to the suburb. Since the suburbanites already have to own a car, they might as well use it when they take a trip.
- David SLv 79 months ago
The distances in the U.K. a relatively small country are perfect for rail travel. For example London to Birmingham 120 miles. Not as many people drive as in the U.S. and congested roads and lack of city centre parking spaces often make it faster and more practical to travel by train.
- zipperLv 69 months ago
Because people like to travel by car or plane. Plus the train routes do not go any were near were they want to go.
- Anonymous9 months ago
is A LOT bigger
(with a lot more empty space)
- greenfrogsLv 79 months ago
What do you mean, completely nuked? Trains do run here. We just don't have the same systems that you do. It is a slightly bigger county, and many people choose to fly instead of catching a train.
- No BozosLv 79 months ago
The Wright brothers invented the airplane.