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More ETT

From: kaladorn@m...
Date: Thu, 7 Nov 2002 19:13:02 -0500
Subject: More ETT

OO said:

Conventional rail *today* is far cheaper than the air net mainly 
because the railways were built half a century or more ago. For the 
most part, the investment has already been paid off.

However, if you compare the cost efficiency of a *new* long-distance 
railway line to that of using aircraft (and building a new landing 
strip at either end of the route) it'll take quite a long time before 
the railway beats the aircraft, simply because the initial investment 
is so much larger for the railway than for the two airports.

[Tomb] An average train can easily move tens of metric tons of 
cargo.(100,000kg wasn't an unusual number IIRC) How many planes does 
this take? And do you honestly want to tell me that maintaining a 
properly run airport (with appropriate ATC - properly manned, with 
SAR/fire emergency) is cheaper (over a twenty or fifty year period of 
life cycle costing) than a train link which has a far lower emergency 
recovery overhead and doesn't need the same type of traffic control? 
And trains have a much lower per-hour maintenance-cost per kg*km of 
cargo I believe. The maintenance cycles on planes are far more 
regular and intensive than those on most trains and train parts. 
(Now, the more you run trains over obstacles like rivers or through 
towns, the more maintenance you have on the track and crossings and 

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