FT, agree that PL post is weird but there is no denying most trains in the US are a shame (and certainly not what is to be expected from the so called most powerful country on earth).
China is a developing country you can't compare the two.
It may be worth mentioning that the US had a 'European' or Chinese style long distance train system for many years, until 30 or 40 years ago, when it was realized that no one wanted it and it was just sucking up public sector money. There's a great Arlo Gunthrie song, "The City of New Orleans" about the dying of passenger trains in the US. They aren't needed, or wanted.
There is no need for a developed country to 'compete' with a developing country in the space of an inefficient form of long distance transport. It's a little like China starting a space program now - sure, they get to brag about possibly going to the moon, but it's been done, and it would be a waste of money to emulate.
Green trains started to be in service in the 1950's. They are not the mainstream trains any more. However, the old-style trains still have some market because poor people like the cheap fare. Actually even the green train is better than Vermonter in terms of being on time. I took Vermonter once. It stopped in the middle of nowhere several times. Much much slower than driving to NYC. But I did hear nice things about Acela Express
Last edited by pizzalover; 31-07-2011 at 08:03 PM.
Saying nobody uses the train because it is crap is not an answer.
Millions of people use US rail systems every day - I am sure more people use them in the US than in France - so what are trying to say?
If you are suggesting that people in the US should use a rail system to ride from New York to San Francisco - a distance of well over 3000 miles (sorry - 5000 kms), and a journey that would take at least three full days - then you are simply insane.
Who exactly are you suggesting should be riding the rails? And please explain your flippant accusation that Americans are somehow hostile to the environment (an accusation that is laughable coming from a Frenchman)? Maybe it would help you if you didn't come from a post-card sized country and had to deal with the tyranny of distance.
Also, considering the fact that the environmental movement essentially began in the US, your comment about Americans hating the environment would be offensive if it didn't eloquently display your total ignorance.
Mat will never understand the USA and travel considering France is postage stamp sized.
It takes roughly 3 to 4 days to go between both coasts by train and the price is actually more on the train than flying.
On a train you leave Monday you arrive Thursday. On a plane you leave in the AM Monday, you arrive Monday afternoon.
Yeah it really makes a whole lotta friggin sense to take the train. Sign me up for that.
Last edited by Editor; 02-08-2011 at 11:41 AM.