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Why Weren't The Railways Used?

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posted on Oct, 29 2006 @ 01:23 AM
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Empty train
Nagin, whose desperate plea for help in the days after the storm made him a folk hero to some, faces criticism for turning away resources that could have moved more people out of the city faster.

The mayor's disaster plan called for mobilizing buses and evacuating the poor, but he did not get it done. He said he could not find drivers, but Amtrak says it offered help and was turned down, so a train with 900 seats rolled away empty a day and a half before the storm.

"One of the problems that we're facing at the federal level and at the state level and at the local level -- and again, not casting blame anywhere, is a total systemwide failure, because people making decisions hesitated," Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a Republican from Tennessee, told CNN.


www.cnn.com...

I have wanted to know why the railroads where never used in the evacuation of the Gulf Coast before Katrina hit. It would have made sense to me that the railroads would have been a primary evacuation source because of the numbers of people to evacuate. Even persons that lived there before the last big storm hit New Orleans back in the 1960s. The thing is that no one thought that a storm of that size and power, like Katrina, would strike down there. They didn't realize that it could happen anytime, anywhere. Just happens to be that the Gulf Coast was that place and time.

I bet you that if the contracts where in place, at least one railroad would have fussed over it because it would disrupt their freight traffic. The name of that road, CSX, would have raised ten kinds of Hades to keep from having to live by the contracts. These contracts would have basically put a stop to all revenue freight service in the Gulf Coast area just days before the storm was to hit. To me, a person's life is worth more than a train load of freight that can wait to be delivered.

I am going to quote Louisiana Senator David Vitter(R).

"There was absolutely no execution."

Look at it this way, would you want to be cramped up on a bus for several hours or riding on a fully staffed passenger train heading north?

I have a system map, excluding CSX Transportation, from the railroads that come into New Orleans.
All lines that come into New Orleans

I would say something else but I am not because I am not here to offend anyone.

[edit on 10/29/2006 by gimmefootball400]




posted on Oct, 29 2006 @ 01:39 AM
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Great point.

I have never heard this theory before. Quite frankly it is depressing.

It is impossible that the authorities simply did not think of using the rail system.

This is another sad example of government inaction.

I am sure that lives could have been saved if the trains were used.

Thankyou for thinking critically gf400.



posted on Oct, 29 2006 @ 02:49 AM
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This is a figure that I came up with this equation right after the storm hit. Keep in mind that Amtrak has the "Superliner" cars that are used on most of their services.

300 - 350 people per train multiply that by 50 - 55 cars per train. That comes out to somewhere around. With that many cars, you would have been able to carry anywhere between 15,000 to 19,250 per train. With roughly three to million people living on the Gulf Coast before the storm and given the time it would have taken hours, it would have taken anywhere between 200 to 207 trains to successfully pull off the evacuations. This does not include the daily trains that go through New Orleans. The evacuations could have very well been possible if every one had been cooperating on the same page.



posted on Oct, 29 2006 @ 11:35 AM
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Amtrak had offered to take some people out and Nagin refused the offer.

Even if they didn't manage to evacuate everybody, the more evacuated is less people in harm's way. To just say it's too hard or we cannot evacuate everyone so don't bother doing anything at all is not acceptable response to a crisis. Those who give up without even put forth effort are a major problem to any civilized society.



posted on Oct, 29 2006 @ 12:33 PM
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Originally posted by gimmefootball400
This is a figure that I came up with this equation right after the storm hit. Keep in mind that Amtrak has the "Superliner" cars that are used on most of their services.

300 - 350 people per train multiply that by 50 - 55 cars per train. That comes out to somewhere around. With that many cars, you would have been able to carry anywhere between 15,000 to 19,250 per train. With roughly three to million people living on the Gulf Coast before the storm and given the time it would have taken hours, it would have taken anywhere between 200 to 207 trains to successfully pull off the evacuations. This does not include the daily trains that go through New Orleans. The evacuations could have very well been possible if every one had been cooperating on the same page.


I think your numbers are flawed estimates as to the amount of people American passenger trains could carry, given the relative lack of trains in the region.

Even in Europe you could never transport 15,000 to 19,000 per train. I doubt Amtrack trains are of the 50 to 55 train car size as well. Even on the way to Pamploma during peak season with the cars pack like sardines there was maybe 100-150 people on the car I was on max. That is with people sleeping standing up in the aisles finding any spot they could. The only trains that could move massive amounts of people would be freight trains with no facilities for people to use.



posted on Oct, 30 2006 @ 11:18 AM
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The thing is 50 - 55, maybe even somewhere around 100 car, passenger trains would have been permitted. One thing I forgot to add though. Not only would passenger trains be used, but trains with nothing but boxcars full of people could have been used. I know it sounds like something that the Nazis used to transport people to the concentration camps, but this was an emergency on a large scale. If that was a way to help evacuate the people from the city, then so be it. But I did not include the three trains that Amtrak runs to New Orleans on a daily basis. Those trains are the City of New Orleans, The Sunset Limited, and the Cresent Limited that go to New Orleans on a daily basis.



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