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And of course it is Obama himself who represented Carbondale, as its former Senator.  As one who grew up and lived his life in the west I do not expect the density of mid-sized towns along these three routes.  Will there be service for all?  I can certainly see how tying Chicago to Urbana to Carbondale with rapid rail could facilitate sharing of human resources amongst Illinois universities, although I don't know how many daily passenger miles that would generate.  Density certainly favors mass transit.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Feb 17th, 2009 at 08:48:18 PM EST
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They certainly are not rival routes ... they don't really need density of population along the route that mass transit would require, they just need adequate population centers and transport hubs ...

... and, indeed, 180kph (110mph) trains can operate successfully at population densities that 130kph (80mph) trains simply cannot, because the intervening distance between population centers makes for slower trips at 130kph.

More than sharing human resource among Universities, Carbondale and Urbana will have a steady stream of trips to Chicago, for business travel as well as student and staff.

And the establishment of a Rapid Rail path also means that it is much easier to put in place a regional stopping train which will leave one main station after one Rapid and arrive at another main station in advance of the next Rapid ... that is the most normal way of putting the smaller towns on the route matrix.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Tue Feb 17th, 2009 at 09:46:29 PM EST
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