Trains, planes and autohypnosis

April 6th, 2009

Flight time from Chicago to Minneapolis is less than 1.5 hours.

Distance between Chicago and Minneapolis is around 400 miles.

The high speed trains they are proposing to run out of Chicago apparently cruise at around cialis usa unhealthy w-high-speed-rail-030909.article”>110 mph.

That would make it about 3.5 hours by train.

That’s already significantly slower than going by plane.

Now add 1/2 hour stops in Milwaukee, case Madison, and St. Paul.

Now your “high speed” trip from Chicago to Minneapolis is a 5 hour ordeal. Hell, the DRIVE from Chicago to Minneapolis only takes about 6.5 hours.

Going from Chicago to Minneapolison Southwest is already less expensive than taking the train. Do you really think a brand new high speed train’s ticket prices will be less than Amtrak’s current prices?

So, the only reason I can think of for us spending $8 billion dollars to create a slower more expensive way to go from Chicago to Minneapolis is that somebody must have hypnotized themselves into thinking it was a good idea.

Entry Filed under: Observations

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. capper  |  April 6th, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    This post gave me PTSD from grade school math problems.

  • 2. Elliot  |  April 6th, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    lol. I love you, man.

  • 3. capper  |  April 6th, 2009 at 10:59 pm

    Oh. Oh, my. What would our wives say?

  • 4. Debunked  |  April 7th, 2009 at 9:37 am

    Half hour stop in St. Paul? Last I checked, Minneapolis and St. Paul were essentially the same city. There would likely be only one major hub they shared. So you can drop back down to 4.5 hours using your calculations.

    And, last I checked, you have the 1.5 hour wait time for the the plane plus boarding. Then you need to factor in exiting of the plane, waiting for luggage, and getting a vehicle (if not being picked up). Trains tend to have multiple doors making loading an unloading much easier, already, so we’ll keep your 30 minute times as calculating most of that already.

    And now that 1.5 hour flight is up to 3 hours.

    So, let’s revisit those numbers. 3 hours versus 4.5? And what’s the cost of the tickets?

  • 5. Elliot  |  April 7th, 2009 at 10:09 am

    Right now the train would only be going to St. Paul.

    Minneapolis wants them to extend it to Minneapolis which would put us right back at three intermediary stops. (Assuming Kenosha doesn’t lobby for a stop, too.)

    I didn’t include the original wait for the airline OR the train. So if you want to add 1.5 for waiting at the airport (very fair, I might add), you need to slap at least another 1/2 hour onto waiting for the train/boarding in Chicago.

    So that puts the train at 5.5 hours and the plane at 3. Still a significant advantage…especially when the flight is almost certainly going to cost lost. (The plane costs less than the train now.)

    Now, you can make a better argument for the intervening steps. A faster train between Minneapolis and Milwaukee would be a winner. As would a fast train from Milwaukee to Madison. (Although it would have to be downtown Madison. Right now, they plan on going to the Airport which would be a total loser.)

    I’d have to do the math, but Milwaukee to Minneapolis might be borderline sensible.

    But Chicago to Minneapolis is just not going to be competitive at 110 mph. (Or worse, 89 mph.)

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