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Boston to Phoenix Plane and Train?


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#41 edding

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 12:37 PM

Scottsdale is actually on the side closer to Flagstaff, though the difference is negligible.

Looking at a Google map you might get the impression that Scottsdale is closer to Flagstaff than Phoenix, but I believe that Phoenix is actually closer. You even have to drive through the northern end of Phoenix when leaving Scottsdale before you reach I-17 heading north to Flagstaff. However, I do agree that the difference is negligible when comparing it to the overall distance to Flagstaff.

Just as a side note, once you're on I-17 heading north, MO is that the drive is a bit mundane. But eventually the drive becomes more scenic and enjoyable as you get further north!


While a side note, yes Phoenix is probably literally closer to Flag, but that's only because they leap-frogged and annexed all the way out to Anthem to get the tax dollars from a development and discount shopping mall. With anywhere in the Phoenix metro area( which is HUGE geographically), it depends on where you're going as to what's closer to where and how best to get there. Most likely your best bet will be I-17 south from Flag( fastest but not most scenic) to loop 101 east(south of Happy valley rd exit.) If you decide to drive and would like directions from someone who lives in the Valley, just let me know.

Ed

#42 sky12065

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 01:02 PM

Scottsdale is actually on the side closer to Flagstaff, though the difference is negligible.

Looking at a Google map you might get the impression that Scottsdale is closer to Flagstaff than Phoenix, but I believe that Phoenix is actually closer. You even have to drive through the northern end of Phoenix when leaving Scottsdale before you reach I-17 heading north to Flagstaff. However, I do agree that the difference is negligible when comparing it to the overall distance to Flagstaff.

Just as a side note, once you're on I-17 heading north, MO is that the drive is a bit mundane. But eventually the drive becomes more scenic and enjoyable as you get further north!


While a side note, yes Phoenix is probably literally closer to Flag, but that's only because they leap-frogged and annexed all the way out to Anthem to get the tax dollars from a development and discount shopping mall. With anywhere in the Phoenix metro area( which is HUGE geographically), it depends on where you're going as to what's closer to where and how best to get there. Most likely your best bet will be I-17 south from Flag( fastest but not most scenic) to loop 101 east(south of Happy valley rd exit.) If you decide to drive and would like directions from someone who lives in the Valley, just let me know.

Ed

Thanks Ed! I had a feeling that you might chime in if you've been checking posts.

As for me, I won't be needing any directions since the only occasion where I might be in Phoenix is for an Elks National Convention in 2011 and should we choose to go, it probably won't be through Flagstaff. We might take the TE to El Paso or Tucson and take a rental from there. I say El Paso because that's the end of a 2 zone AGR trip from Albany. Who knows this far out?

Anyway, stay cool this summer and say hello to the Monsoon for me when it arrives! If you remember my mentioning, the Monsoon hit Mesa real bad just a few hours after our arrival last July!

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#43 JackieTakestheTrain

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 05:14 AM

Good Morning everyone!

Well, in 3 hours I will be on my way to South Station and on my way to Chicago and then Flaggstaff via the LSL and the Southwest Chief!

I am so excited, I could scream...

Turned out I could get the accessible bedrooms all the way if I changed my date from returning one day versus the next day. I told my boss this yesterday when she asked about my vacation plans and I told her I was still not going (that was Friday am), she asked how much longer it would take by train if I could get the accessible room and I told her just one and she told me to go for it!

Of course, I am taking work with me on my vacation, but small price to pay for not sitting around moping around the house next week wishing I were someplace sunny and warm.

As it would turn out, I am getting a bonus trip to NYC -- with the busing between Albany and Boston, I opted to take the #48 from Albany back to NYC, spend the night there and head back to Boston the next morning.

I have to say that the Amtrak reservation agent was *excellent* helping me with getting all the accessible rooms and answering my questions. She even recommended that I get accessible seating in regular coach on the Albany-NYC-Boston legs of my trip to be closer to the train doors (something I didn't think about!)

One little downside, I will spend Easter day in the lounge in Chicago... maybe the Easter Bunny will stop by and bring me a basket! :)

Will definitely post more when I return from my travels.

I have to go pack :)


Thanks again to all of you for your advice and encouragement!

#44 sunchaser

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 08:04 AM

Good Morning everyone!

Well, in 3 hours I will be on my way to South Station and on my way to Chicago and then Flaggstaff via the LSL and the Southwest Chief!

I am so excited, I could scream...

Turned out I could get the accessible bedrooms all the way if I changed my date from returning one day versus the next day. I told my boss this yesterday when she asked about my vacation plans and I told her I was still not going (that was Friday am), she asked how much longer it would take by train if I could get the accessible room and I told her just one and she told me to go for it!

Of course, I am taking work with me on my vacation, but small price to pay for not sitting around moping around the house next week wishing I were someplace sunny and warm.

As it would turn out, I am getting a bonus trip to NYC -- with the busing between Albany and Boston, I opted to take the #48 from Albany back to NYC, spend the night there and head back to Boston the next morning.

I have to say that the Amtrak reservation agent was *excellent* helping me with getting all the accessible rooms and answering my questions. She even recommended that I get accessible seating in regular coach on the Albany-NYC-Boston legs of my trip to be closer to the train doors (something I didn't think about!)

One little downside, I will spend Easter day in the lounge in Chicago... maybe the Easter Bunny will stop by and bring me a basket! :)

Will definitely post more when I return from my travels.

I have to go pack :)


Thanks again to all of you for your advice and encouragement!


Jackie,
That's so awesome that you were able to get the accessible bedroom!! :P I think you will be way more comfy! Please post your trip as soon you can, I for one want to hear how it works out for you! Have a good trip! Sorry you will be at the the lounge on Easter....I'll be thinking about you, though, already on your trip!




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Trains we have taken: California Zephyr (8 times)-7 bedrooms/1 roomette, Coast Starlight (6 times)- 6 bedrooms, Amtrak Cascades, (5 times) Business Class

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'I'm packed, tickets in hand, I'm ready to go-Is it train time yet?'
Sunchaser


#45 JackieTakestheTrain

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 03:10 PM

Hey everyone!
Just wanted to report that I am back from my trip to Phoenix/Flagstaff on the Southwest Chief and Lake Shore Limited with my bonus trip on one of the Northeast regional trains between NYC and Boston.

Overall, it was a spectular trip..even with my bad leg. I had many,many, MANY fantastic Amtrak staff helping me throughout -- I intend to write a letter (any ideas who to send to?)

Also, I will write about my trip in the Travelogue and if anyone is interested in photos of the accessible bedrooms on the LSL and the Southwest Chief, I took some and they turned out very well. I would be happy to email to anyone thinking of using those rooms on those trains.

It all ended too soon ...but it was worth every mile! :) :) :)

#46 p&sr

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 03:25 PM

Hey everyone! Just wanted to report that I am back... a spectacular trip...

Great news! Looking forward to reading your Trip Report!
P&SR

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#47 ALC Rail Writer

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 03:46 PM

Hey everyone! Just wanted to report that I am back... a spectacular trip...

Great news! Looking forward to reading your Trip Report!


1500 words by tomorrow if it pleases...

Amtrak Routes Travelled: Capitol Limited (x12s), Northeast Regional (x10), Pennsylvanian (x10), Empire Builder (x6), Cascades (x4), Empire Service (2), Acela Express (3), New Haven Shuttle (2), Vermonter (1), Lake Shore Limited (x3), Lincoln Service (3), Coast Starlight (x2), California Zephyr(1), Capitol Corridor(1), Southwest Chief (1), Missouri River Runner (1), Downeaster (2), Crescent (2)
Amtrak Rail Miles: 34,568

My most recent Amtrak trip report!

 

All Aboard Ohio - Advocacy group for intercity travel in Ohio


#48 sky12065

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 03:52 PM

Hey everyone!
Just wanted to report that I am back from my trip to Phoenix/Flagstaff on the Southwest Chief and Lake Shore Limited with my bonus trip on one of the Northeast regional trains between NYC and Boston.

Overall, it was a spectular trip..even with my bad leg. I had many,many, MANY fantastic Amtrak staff helping me throughout -- I intend to write a letter (any ideas who to send to?)

Also, I will write about my trip in the Travelogue and if anyone is interested in photos of the accessible bedrooms on the LSL and the Southwest Chief, I took some and they turned out very well. I would be happy to email to anyone thinking of using those rooms on those trains.

It all ended too soon ...but it was worth every mile! :) :) :)

I too will be in the H room of the LSL & SWC in a little over two months. Did you carve your initials anywhere in the room so I can tell if I got the same room(s)? :lol:

Don't forget to take the survey and enter the sweepstakes if it's not too late!

You can email your comments to Amtrak about your trip experiences. Click here: Contact Us

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#49 sunchaser

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 04:42 PM

Hey everyone!
Just wanted to report that I am back from my trip to Phoenix/Flagstaff on the Southwest Chief and Lake Shore Limited with my bonus trip on one of the Northeast regional trains between NYC and Boston.

Overall, it was a spectular trip..even with my bad leg. I had many,many, MANY fantastic Amtrak staff helping me throughout -- I intend to write a letter (any ideas who to send to?)

Also, I will write about my trip in the Travelogue and if anyone is interested in photos of the accessible bedrooms on the LSL and the Southwest Chief, I took some and they turned out very well. I would be happy to email to anyone thinking of using those rooms on those trains.

It all ended too soon ...but it was worth every mile! :) :) :)


Glad is was a good trip for you!!!! :D :D I was wondering how it went.. waiting patiently for your trip report!!!!

Edited by sunchaser, 21 April 2009 - 04:47 PM.




event.png






Trains we have taken: California Zephyr (8 times)-7 bedrooms/1 roomette, Coast Starlight (6 times)- 6 bedrooms, Amtrak Cascades, (5 times) Business Class

Heber Creeper (1)
'I'm packed, tickets in hand, I'm ready to go-Is it train time yet?'
Sunchaser


#50 birdy

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 11:43 PM

Hey everyone!
Just wanted to report that I am back from my trip to Phoenix/Flagstaff on the Southwest Chief and Lake Shore Limited with my bonus trip on one of the Northeast regional trains between NYC and Boston.

Overall, it was a spectular trip..even with my bad leg. I had many,many, MANY fantastic Amtrak staff helping me throughout -- I intend to write a letter (any ideas who to send to?)

Also, I will write about my trip in the Travelogue and if anyone is interested in photos of the accessible bedrooms on the LSL and the Southwest Chief, I took some and they turned out very well. I would be happy to email to anyone thinking of using those rooms on those trains.

It all ended too soon ...but it was worth every mile! :) :) :)


Glad is was a good trip for you!!!! :D :D I was wondering how it went.. waiting patiently for your trip report!!!!


Please address your compliments to the Amtrak attendants to the Hon. John McCain and the Hon. Jon Kyl. Suggest they support HSR from Phoenix to San Diego. Ask them why Phoenix is the largest city in the country without Amtrak service.

#51 edding

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 12:16 AM

Hey everyone!
Just wanted to report that I am back from my trip to Phoenix/Flagstaff on the Southwest Chief and Lake Shore Limited with my bonus trip on one of the Northeast regional trains between NYC and Boston.

Overall, it was a spectular trip..even with my bad leg. I had many,many, MANY fantastic Amtrak staff helping me throughout -- I intend to write a letter (any ideas who to send to?)

Also, I will write about my trip in the Travelogue and if anyone is interested in photos of the accessible bedrooms on the LSL and the Southwest Chief, I took some and they turned out very well. I would be happy to email to anyone thinking of using those rooms on those trains.

It all ended too soon ...but it was worth every mile! :) :) :)


Glad is was a good trip for you!!!! :D :D I was wondering how it went.. waiting patiently for your trip report!!!!


Please address your compliments to the Amtrak attendants to the Hon. John McCain and the Hon. Jon Kyl. Suggest they support HSR from Phoenix to San Diego. Ask them why Phoenix is the largest city in the country without Amtrak service.


Glad you had a great trip! You left Phoenix just in time -- the heat's back( flirting with 100). Although this actually isn't that early and hopefully we'll get a short reprieve before the 6 mths of He** descends. While writing the Arizona Senators is a good idea in theory, it's unfortunately the literal definition of "falling on deaf ears". I'd write Harry Mitchell ( my representative and a sane voice in the desert wilderness)_ or Ed Pastor. Glad you had a good safe trip.

Ed

#52 jmbgeg

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 07:02 AM

There has been discussion as to why Amtrak does not have Amtrak service. What is the story on Phoenix?

Edited by jmbgeg, 22 April 2009 - 07:03 AM.

jmb<br /><br /><span style='font-family: Palatino Linotype'>Select Plus Traveling the Empire Builder, Coast Starlight, Cascades, California Zephyr, San Joaquins, Capitol Limited, Southwest Chief and Lakeshore Limited</span>

#53 amtrakwolverine

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 07:08 AM

phoenix did have rail service at one time

Amtrak's reliance on freight railroads also has caused its service elimination. Passenger rail service was entirely discontinued to Phoenix, Arizona, in 1997, after the Union Pacific Railroad, which owns the tracks that served Phoenix, announced that it was abandoning the right of way. Amtrak did not have the funds to maintain the trackage. Today, the city proper is served only by Thruway Motorcoach, although Amtrak rail service is available about 37 miles (60 km) to the south in the rural town of Maricopa (Phoenix passengers also travel often to Tucson or Flagstaff by car or Greyhound bus to pick up those Amtrak trains which continue to make stops in those cities).


http://en.wikipedia....Gaps_in_service

Edited by KISS_ALIVE, 22 April 2009 - 07:09 AM.


#54 George Harris

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 02:44 PM

phoenix did have rail service at one time

Amtrak's reliance on freight railroads also has caused its service elimination. Passenger rail service was entirely discontinued to Phoenix, Arizona, in 1997, after the Union Pacific Railroad, which owns the tracks that served Phoenix, announced that it was abandoning the right of way. Amtrak did not have the funds to maintain the trackage. Today, the city proper is served only by Thruway Motorcoach, although Amtrak rail service is available about 37 miles (60 km) to the south in the rural town of Maricopa (Phoenix passengers also travel often to Tucson or Flagstaff by car or Greyhound bus to pick up those Amtrak trains which continue to make stops in those cities).


http://en.wikipedia....Gaps_in_service


As is frequently the case, Wiki does not have it right. The following I put in an earlier thread:

This discussion comes up every few months. Go back to a thread in mid 2008 titled The Sun Never Sets in Phoenix.

I said this at that time:

Other than the date of change, which I really don't know the rest is somewhat less than accurate, which seems to be the norm for Wiki. Here are the facts:

The southern line, which UP calls the Gila subdivision was the original Southern Paciifc mainline. The loop through Phoenix was built much later, in the 1920's, and was always at best a secondary main built primarily so through passenger trains could serve Phoenix. It ran from Wellton at milepost 770.7 (zero at San Francisco) to Picacho. At Picacho the milepost is 979.7 on the Phoenix line but only 936.7 via the main through Maricopa. Thus, the route is 166.0 miles on the main and 209.0 miles through Phoenix, an additional distance of 43.0 miles. Phoenix yard is at milepost 907.0, so this 209 mile length represents 137.3 miles west of Phoenix with almost nothing there and 72.7 miles east of Phoenix through Tempe and a few other places.

The Phoenix line was all jointed rail with an automatic block signal system with semaphores. Generally the passenger train speed limit was 60 mph, although some parts east of Phoenix allowed 70 mph. Pictures I have seen of the line west show the rail as being 113 lb, a section unique to the SP and long obsolete and out of production. By the early 90's this line was needing major rail relay, major tie replacement, and signal system upgrades. The decision was make to concetrate on the 70 miles east of Phoenix in order to maintain freigth access to the city rather than attempt to keep the entire 209 miles up for 60 mph service.

To the best of my knowledge the track is all still in place, but not all in service, and the signal system is likewise all in place, but likely not functional for most or the line west.

With the same weasel words, here is the current status of the line as given in the employee timetable, going from west to east.

Yuma at mp 732.7
Wellton at mp 770.7, west end of Phoenix Sub.
mp 770.7 to 802.8: "Roll Industrial Lead" 20 mph - restricted speed
mp 802.8 to 854.0: Out of service
mp 854.0 to 904.8: 25 mph - may have slow orders to less
mp 904.8 to 905.6: 20 mph
mp 905.6 to 906.7: 15 mph (Phoenix passenger station at 906.0)
mp 906.7 to 907.9: 20 mph
mp 907.9 to 913.6: 25 mph
mp 913.6 to 916.5: 20 mph
mp 916.5 to 920.8: 40 mph
mp 920.8 to 922.0: 25 mph
mp 922.0 to 924.2: 40 mph
mp 924.2 to 957.0: 60 mph
mp 957.0 to 963.5: 40 mph
mp 963.5 to 975.6: 60 mph
mp 975.6 to 979.3: 45 mph
mp 979.3 to 979.7: 25 mph

Summarizing: For the 135.3 miles west of the Phoenix station, 51.2 miles is out of service and the remainder has a speed limit of 25 mph or less. But, it is all still there.

Wild guess: about $200 to $300 million to get the Phoenix line west to the point that it could carry the Sunset at 60 mph or 79 mph. (The difference in cost for getting it in condition for 60 mph and for 79 mph would be next to nothing.) There is no way that it makes sense for Amtrak or the state of Arizona to spend that kind of money for a three times a week train, and for sure it makes no sense for UP to spend it. The additional 43 miles and going through a major urban area is why it also make no sense for UP to increase the Sunset Route capacity by upgrading the Phoenix line for part of a directional running system with the Gila line instead of what they are doing, which is adding a second main along their original main line through a mostly unpopulated desert. Now, if it was decided to operate multiple passenger trains per day between Arizona and Los Angeles, that could change the picture.



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