Gilbert B Norman wrote: ↑Sat Nov 26, 2022 7:38 pm
How say everyone dig out their New Haven RR Form 200 (System Public Timetable) for April 27, 1952, and turn to Table 32. There you will see #125, State of Maine, departing GCT 900P and arriving Portland 640A, or 9h 40m.
Do the math, and there is the nine hours noted here as being in the ballpark.
Yes, doing the math requires the distance traveled divided by the time to find average mph.
To find the elapse time, the math requires the distance traveled divided by the average mph.
Or we could just look at ancient timetables, modern trains can not tun over the same tracks faster than trains have in the past, speeds are still limited by the railroad corridor itself.
Highways miles New York City to Portland Maine is 316 miles per Travel Math.
316 miles / 9.66 hours = average speed of 32.9 mph.
Back in the 1800s when trains were the fastest way to get anywhere, 33 mph is very, very fast compared to a horse and buggy averaging 3 to 4 mph. It's 10 times faster.
Automobiles required paved highways to average faster than 33 mph. Lt. Col. Dwight David Eisenhower commanded an Army convoy of Model T based Ford vehicles across America on the famed Lincoln highway in 1919, when most of the roads were not paved but were dirt and gravel, taking 62 days from D.C. to San Francisco Bay. They averaged 5 mph driving 10 hours per day before setting up camp again. I repeat averaging 5 mph.
Before controlled access Interstate Highways, you would consider yourself lucky to average 45 mph on a day long 10 hours or so trip over 2 lane paved highways. You did not see speeds averaging 60 mph or more until the Interstate Highways were mostly completed.
Meanwhile, passenger trains continue to average 33 to 43 mph over most of America's railroad tracks. Passenger trains are no where close to being 10 times faster anywhere in the USA. Even Amtrak's fame Acela services on the NEC average less than average freeway speeds in most of America - although along the very congested NEC region, they acheive slightly faster average speeds than automobiles.
That is the reason why so many are wishing for much faster HSR trains that average 125 or higher mph speeds.