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美国的火车有多糟 – 译学馆
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美国的火车有多糟

Why Trains Suck in America

面对现实吧,美国的火车太烂了
Let’s face it: train’s kind of suck in America.
不仅慢 还贵
They’re slow, expensive,
而且国内很多地方并不存在
and just don’t exist in many parts of country.
这种现象的最简单理由是美国人口稀少
The simple reason for this is because the US is so sparsely populated.
暂且不谈这里 这里 这里
Aside from here, here, and here,
城市之间相距较远
cities just are not close together
这使得旅行中飞机比火车更快更便宜
to make travel faster or cheaper than plane travel.
但是如果城市之间的距离在200-300英里以内
When cities are within 200-300 miles of each other,
通常来说坐火车穿梭不同市区会更快
it’s often faster to take a train from downtown to downtown
相反坐飞机要开车到机场 检票 安检 起飞 再从机场开到市区
rather than driving to an airport, checking in, going through security, flying, then driving downtown.
然而 就像我说的 美国许多城市之间的距离
However, as I mentioned, there definitely are regions in the US with cities this distance
差不多都这样 那为什么火车还是这么烂呢?
with cities this distance away from each other, so why do trains still suck?
美国的某些特定地理条件非常适合火车运行
The United States has the geography to support trains in certain areas
但是从哥伦比亚特区到纽约要花费差不多49美元
and yet a train from DC to New York costs at least $49 dollars
花费3小时29分钟,只比开车快30分钟
and takes 3 hours and 29 minutes, only 30 minutes less than driving.
而从法国雷恩到巴黎的火车,差不多的距离只要27欧元,
A train from Rennes to Paris, France, a very similar distance, costs 27 euros,
相当于30美元,耗时仅2小时4分钟
the equivalent of 30 dollars, and takes only 2 hours and 4 minutes.
美国的确有高速火车,阿西乐特快,
The US does have one high speed train, the Acela express,
但是从哥伦比亚特区到纽约的行程,最少要120美元
but it costs at least $120 dollars for a ride from DC to New York
行程要2小时50分钟
and still take 2hours and 50 mins.
土耳其,波兰,乌兹别克斯坦
Turkey, Poland, and Uzbekistan all have trains
甚至都有比美国快的多的火车
that travel faster than America’s fastest train.
好吧,要理解整个问题产生的原因需要点背景知识
Alright, so understanding the whole issue requires a bit of background knowledge.
回到当时火车全盛时期,美国的铁路是…无与伦比的
Back in their heyday, railroads in America were… amazing.
1826年修了第一条铁路,1896年就已经拥有一列州际专线,
We built our first in 1826 and had a transcontinental line by 1869
这些在加利福尼亚州成为一个州的十九年之后就实现了。
only 19 years after California even became a state.
火车几乎能够到达任何地方,而且大多数历史学家认为
Trains travelled almost everywhere and most historians agree that
火车的快速发展
the development of railroads was an absolutely crucial catalyst
是加速美国从1843到1860工业化进程的关键因素
to the American industrialization period from 1843 to 1860.
他们甚至促使美国制定了全世界第一个标准化记时系统
They even prompted the US to create one of the world’s first standardized time systems
这个我在之前的视频里讲过,视频在这里
as discussed in an old video of mine which you can find here.
虽然火车能通过载人获得盈利
While passenger trains could sometimes be profitable,
货运才是真正赚钱的方法
freight services were where the real money was
所以大部分火车公司在载人的同时
so most rail companies basically ran passenger services
让乘客作为他们货运服务的流动广告
as a mobile advertisement for their freight services to the executives
然后让领导们更好的决定哪家公司能运载货物
that would decide which company to ship goods on.
总体来说,当时的火车是最有魅力和高效的旅游方式
Trains were, after all, the most glamorous and efficient way to travel.
然而,就像火车在30年代盛行,飞机也开始在50年代盛行起来,
However, as cars became popular in the 30’s and planes became popular in the 50’s
利用火车乘客当流动广告不再流行
there was little purpose any more to set up passenger services as advertisements
商家更愿意使用当时流行的汽车,或飞机
to executives who would be taking the more trendy car or plane instead.
正因为这个,火车当时只剩小部分利润
At this point, the few profitable passenger services only made money
因为火车还负责着美国邮政服务
because of their contracts with the US Postal Service.
大部分的火车要有单独的一个车厢 作为火车邮政办公室
Most trains would have one car that serves as the railway post office
一个移动的办公室能让邮递员在运输途中进行邮件分类,从而节省时间
an offices on wheels where workers would sort letters enroute to the destination to save time.
但从19世纪60年代开始,邮件分类慢慢由机器完成,货车和飞机也开始能够运输信件
In the 1960’s, mail sorting was mechanized, trucks and planes began to transport letters,
火车邮政就此结束
and railway post offices were discontinued.
这使得火车运输变了一个不可能挣钱的方式
It became essentially impossible to make money with a passenger railroad.
60年代末,火车运行存在的唯一原因是因为
By the end of the 1960’s the only thing keeping the few passenger routes alive
这是洲际商业委员会合法义务
was a legal obligation by the Interstate Commerce Commission
这才让那些火车公司依旧保持运营
for the train companies to keep running those routes.
这时美铁出现了
But then Amtrak came along.
70年代,美国总统尼克松在《铁路客运服务法》中指出
In 1970, President Nixon signed into law the Rail Passenger Service Act
联邦政府将资助国家铁路公司
which formed the federally funded national rail company
确保客运火车能重新振作,并越来越好……除非它没达到预计效果
that promised to save and make great again passenger rail travel… except it didn’t.
美国,一个拥有3.19亿人口的国家
In the United States, a nation of 319 million people,
美铁一天运行仅300次
Amtrak operates a mere 300 train journeys a day
但是在法国,一个6千6百万人口的国家
while in France, a nation of 66 million people,
法国国营铁路公司
the Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Francais, also known as SNCF
一天的运行次数是14000次,其中800次是高速列车
operates 14,000 trips every single day, 800 of which are high speed.
美国铁路公司被批评的主要原因是不准时
One common criticism of Amtrak is its unreliability.
美国铁路公司平均只有72%的火车能够准时到站
On average, only 72% of Amtrak’s trains arrive on time.
从芝加哥到旧金山的加州西风线路
The California Zephyr route from Chicago to San Francisco
在2016年6月中准点时间仅为31%
even arrived on time a paltry 31% in June of 2016.
美国铁路公司将延迟的责任归于:货运车
So what does Amtrak blame the delays on: freight trains.
据显示,能够运作的21300英里的铁轨中,美国铁路公司仅仅拥有730英里
You see, Amtrak only owns 730 miles of the 21,300 miles of track it operates on.
在加州西风路线上面,联合太平洋公司占一半铁轨
On the California Zephyr route, Union Pacific owns about half the track
而另一半属于北伯林顿铁路公司
and BNSF owns the other half.
根据美国铁路公司的说法,线路上只有1.4%的延迟是他们的错误。
According to Amtrak, only 1.4% of all delays on this route were their fault.
而另外的98.6%是该部分铁轨所属公司的错误
The other 98.6 percent were reportedly the fault of the rail companies who own the track.
而联合太平洋公司自然是优先他们自己的火车而不是美国铁路公司的
Union Pacific will naturally lend priority to their own trains on their tracks instead of Amtrak ‘s
所以美国铁路公司的火车经常被告知需等待运货车通过
so Amtrak trains are often told to wait to let a freight train pass.
之后才能继续运行
after all Amtrak can go used competing tracks
所以客运列车优先的情况是不存在的
so there is little incentive to give priority to passenger trains.
大多欧洲铁路经营者就不会遇到这个问题
Most rail operators in Europe don’t have this problem.
例如,法国国家铁路公司拥有全部铁轨使用权
In France, for example, the national rail company owns all the track
所以客运列车能够优先通过
so priority can be given to passenger trains.
并且,欧洲的货物只有8%是通过铁路运输
Also, only 8% of freight in Europe is moved by rail
相比之下美国是38%
compared to 38% in the United States
所以欧洲货运火车很少会导致铁路拥堵
so there are far fewer freight trains congesting the tracks.
美国铁路公司成立时间短,没有机会去建立自己的铁路网
Since Amtrak is so young, they never got the theopportunity to build their own tracks.
东北面的地带尤其适合
The Northeast corridor—which is absolutely perfectly shaped
建造高铁线路,并且沿途直线经过五大主要城市
to have a high speed rail network with five major urban centers located on a straight line
而且在18世纪就建造了铁路系统
bulit up it’s rail system in the 1800’s
但是恰恰和铁路相冲突的是
and the railroad had such an impact that
这片区域人口聚集,城镇拥挤
town and people flocked to the area around it.
正因为此,这片区域拥挤程度难以想象
For that reason, this area is incredibly densely populated
而且现实是城市之间并没有开放区域
and there truly is no open space between the cities.
除此之外,要把一大片房屋夷为平地
Consequently, it would be unbelievably expensive to raze a bunch of houses
并且建造一个新的从哥伦比亚到波士顿的铁道消耗太高
and build a new straighter route of high speed tracks from DC to Boston.
美国铁路公布说这将花费大概一千五百一十亿
Amtrak says that it would cost an estimated $151 billion dollars
在北部长廊建造一个能和法国相比的高速火车
to build tracks up the spec of France’s high speed rail network in the Northeast corridor.
在东北部地区,火车在哥伦比亚,巴尔德莫,费城
Since the Northeast Regional, the train running between DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia,
纽约和波士顿的运行是仅剩的几条盈利的路线
New York and Boston, is one of the few routes that makes money,
但是对美铁升级的后续资助几乎没有了
there is little incentive for Amtrak to sink a lot of funds into upgrading the tracks.
另外 美国的城市建造和许多欧洲国家不同
Additionally, American cities just aren’t built like many European cities.
平均人口密度低于每平方英里15000人
with population densities averaging lower than 15,000 people per square mile,
美国城市较欧洲国家相比,步行不是太方便
cities in the United States are far less walkable than their European counterparts
因为欧洲国家的人口密度只有每平方英里55000人
which can have as many as 55,000 people per square mile.
由于欧洲特定的历史文化,欧洲国家的发展大多围绕城市中心
Due to their ancient roots, European cities naturally developed compact urban cores
因此 有钱的人除了步行也没有其他选择
since for all but the rich there was no option but to walk everywhere.
这正因为这个 在欧洲
Given that, it’s much easier to walk to your destination
步行到火车站要比美国方便的多
from a train station in the European city than it is in an American city.
许多美国人大多
It’s believed since most Americans have take another form of transport
都会在乘火车之后换乘另一种交通方式
to get to their destination after taking the train in America,
他们认为火车并没有飞机方便多少
they see the train as not that much more convenient they than the plane
因为乘坐两者之后都要再换另一种交通工具
where you also have to take another form of transport to get to your final destination.
所以解决办法是什么
So what’s the solution?
美国人怎么改造铁路呢
How should America fix it’s rails?
额…非常不幸
Well, unfortunately, we’ll probably never get
美国不可能有法国或者德国那样的庞大的铁路系统
a big network of fancy high-speed trainslike in France or Germany.
曾经多次计划在美国建造高速列车
There are dozens of plans in the US to build high-speed rail lines,
但是完成的很少
however few if any of them will likely come to fruition.
现在就有一条高铁正在建造
There is a high-speed rail line currently being built
由一个叫“AAF”私人公司建造在迈阿密和奥兰多之间
between Miami and Orlando by aprivate company called All Aboard Florida,
然而,它最高速度是有125英里每小时
however, with a top speed of 125 miles perhour,
只比开车快一点
the service will only be slightly faster than driving
因为许多线路限速就是125英里每小时
due to speed restrictions on many parts of the route.
加州也有一条在建的高铁
The state of California is also building a high-speed rail line
在旧金山和阿纳河姆之间
between San Francisco and Anaheim
大多行程需要2小时40分钟
with a estimated transit time of 2 hours and 40 minutes
这要比开车节省一半的时间
which would be less than half the driving time between the two cities.
尽管已经开始施工
Despite construction already beginning,
第一段项目竣工到等到2029年
phase 1 of the project isn’t estimated to be completed until 2029
而且得到的公众支持越来越少
and public support is diminishing
许多人提议说
Many have proposed that America shouldn’t
美国并不应该在高铁建造上花大功夫
be concerned with building a flashy high-speed network.
美铁花费一千五百一十亿建造的北部高速列车
Amtrak’s 151 billion dollar proposal for a true high-speed northeast corridor system
大约每英里花费3.2亿合成每英尺6万美元
divides down to $320 million dollars per mile or $60,000 per foot of high speed track.
如果提高列车限度速度的话
What would be far more efficient would be to upgrade current track
那火车的效率就会大大提高
to allow trains to operate at their top speeds.
在东北地区 火车最高限速每小时125英里
On the Northeast Regional route, trains reach a top speed of 125mph briefly,
如果提高了速度
and if they operated at that speed for all of the DC to New York leg,
哥伦比亚到纽约的列车将会提升最少两小时
the trip from DC to New York would take only slightly longer than two hours.
每分钟小小的改动 能节省几小时的时间
Small improvements can cut minutes from the journey times which can add up to hours.
不幸的是 美铁没有钱来提高任何性能了
Unfortunately, Amtrak is stuck in a rut where they have no money to improve anything,
因为乘坐的人少 他们没钱可赚
which causes low ridership, which worsens the problem of no money.
法国铁路则相反
SNCF in France is so great
因为每个纳税人都支付了行程一半的运营成本
because taxpayers pay for about half of the operating cost of every journey,
而此时美国还在研究一个靠政府资助才能盈利的公司
while Amtrak is designed to be a for-profit yet
government subsidized corporation.
现在 美铁就像在美国家庭中过继的小弟弟一样
Right now, Amtrak is kinda like the neglected little brother in the US transit family
直到彻底改变 不然得不到一分钱
who doesn’t get any money, and until that changes,
所以美国现在的火车依旧又慢又贵
we’re still going to have our slow, expensive trains.
谢谢观看
Thank you for watching!
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也可以在推特上关注我 观看视频的后续信息
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除此之外 可以在ML上观看我的最新视频
Aside from that make sure to check my last video on maritime law, here
再次感谢 我的另一个视频将会很快和大家见面
Thanks again, and I’ll see you soon for another Wendover Productions video.

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