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bozeman residents on board with train service

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#1 yarrow



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Posted 27 May 2009 - 08:28 AM

bozeman residents on board with train service

amtrak miles-133,508
great northern miles-876
northern pacific miles-28
via rail canada kilometers-8,848

bnsf miles-62

#2 Cascadia



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Posted 27 May 2009 - 12:24 PM

Thanks for posting some northwest train news. It's nice to see that the Montana residents are enthusiastic for additional passenger rail. It makes sense since the history of their state is all intermingled with the history of the railroads.

I won't hold my breath for anything to change soon but I'm glad they are talking about it.

#3 BuzzKillington


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Posted 27 May 2009 - 12:54 PM

They only have a total of 54 signatures on their petition. Is anyone actually gonna ride these trains?

#4 GoldenSpike


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Posted 27 May 2009 - 01:03 PM

bozeman residents on board with train service

The article mentions in that study Amtrak is looking at going via Helena instead. The map shows it
would come out at Livingston bypassing Butte and Bozeman.

When Amtrak did have the route it was Missoula-Butte-Bozeman-Livingston.

Posted Image

In 1976, Amtrak ran both the current EB route and the southern route. In population terms given the growth on the southern route it makes no sense to justify the current EB route. Perhaps part of the justification is tourist traffic at Whitefish and Glacier Park.

The Livingston stop provides quick access to Yellowstone/Teton Nat'l parks.

I've wondered about the feasibility of serving both routes. For example the south route 4 days a week where the population is, and the EB route 3 days. Serves towns and national parks on both. It would still provide daily service between SEA and CHI.

An added bonus during the frequent annual flooding problems on the EB route when it is shut down completely the other route could revert to daily service.

Edited by MrFSS, 27 May 2009 - 01:23 PM.
Fix Quote

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Imagehttp://oi56.tinypic....com/111ntdy.jpg

U.S. - 100,000 + miles


Russia: Moscow Vladivostok [Trans-Siberian Express - 7 time zones - 6,152 mi.] o/w
Canada: Vancouver BC - Thunder Bay ON
o/w; Winnipeg MB - Vancouver BC o/w; Sault St. Marie ON - Hearst ON r/t
Kenya: Mombasa - Nairobi
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#5 Montanan



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Posted 27 May 2009 - 04:35 PM

FYI, the old North Coast Hiawatha routing through Butte is no longer feasible, because the tracks over Homestake Pass (just east of Butte) have been out of service since the early 1980s.

There were periods back in the 1970s when Amtrak ran one daily Chicago-Seattle train, via the Empire Builder route 4 days a week, and the Hiawatha route the other two days. I doubt they'd do something like that again, though, and I'd strongly advise against it ... Amtrak rightfully seems to be trying to get away from less-than-daily service on routes, because of the scheduling difficulties for passengers and high relative fixed costs.

And though the Hiawatha route served more on-line population centers in Montana than the EB route, note that the reverse was true in North Dakota. In addition, many of the Hiawatha route cities in Montana have excellent air service ... and they're all on interstate highways, and rail service there wouldn't be time-competitive. None of those points are true for the EB route.

Note that I'm not arguing against resumption of Amtrak service to southern Montana -- I'd love to see it happen, though I don't think it will in the foreseeable future. It's just that there are hurdles to overcome that the EB route doesn't face. And I don't want to see Amtrak's most successful LD train sacrificed for a new experimental project.

#6 Montanan



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Posted 27 May 2009 - 04:41 PM

bozeman residents on board with train service

The article mentions in that study Amtrak is looking at going via Helena instead. The map shows it
would come out at Livingston bypassing Butte and Bozeman.

When Amtrak did have the route it was Missoula-Butte-Bozeman-Livingston.

P.S. The eastern junction between the Helena route and the old Butte route is at Logan, which is about 25 miles west of Bozeman ... so Bozeman would definitely be on the route of any new southern Montana service.

The two North Coast Hiawatha stops in Montana that would be missed by a resumed service are Butte and Deer Lodge. Helena would receive passenger service for the first time since 1971, but that would likely be the only new stop that wasn't on the North Coast hiawatha route.

#7 Bierboy



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Posted 27 May 2009 - 06:53 PM

We took the EB to Glacier and have been staying with friends in Missoula the past week. At a farmers market last Saturday (located next to the Missoula Northern Pacific Depot), we signed a petition to bring Amtrak service back to Missoula. Curiously, the friend with whom we are staying knows someone who works for Montana Rail Link who is adamantly opposed to Amtrak service resuming here. She claims it will greatly increase her workload. They move freight in Montana, Idaho and Washington and employ about 1,000. They use 2,100 freight cars and 176 locos. I say "tough for her.." :)

Edited by Bierboy, 27 May 2009 - 06:54 PM.

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#8 JayPea



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Posted 27 May 2009 - 08:21 PM

I'd love to see service resumed to Southern Montana. And, from a purely selfish perspective, one that doesn't necessarily have any basis in reality and logic :lol: I'd like to see these things happen in conjunction: Make this one a daylight train through Spokane. Then, route it along the current Empire Builder/Portland section (and add a stop in Cheney, about 15-20 miles west of Spokane, to accomodate students from my alma mater, Eastern Washington University), as far as Pasco, giving Pasco better hours for service. Then, continue along the old NP route over Stampede Pass, restoring service to Yakima and Ellensburg (and, if so desired, the Seattle suburban stop of Auburn as well).

Pipe dream, I know, but realities don't become reality without dreaming first!
Amtrak Routes Traveled: City of New Orleans, State House/Lincoln Service, Empire Builder, California Zephyr, Southwest Chief, Cascades, Crescent, Capitol Limited, Coast Starlight, Texas Eagle/Sunset Limited, Silver Meteor, Lake Shore Limited, Pacific Surfliner, Cardinal, Vermonter, Northeast Regional, Downeaster
Pre-Amtrak Routes Traveled:
Empire Builder (Great Northern), North Coast Limited (Northern Pacific), Abraham Lincoln (Gulf, Mobile, and Ohio), City of Hinkle  (Union Pacific) Panama Limited (Illinois Central)

Bustitutions: Portland-Spokane (EB),Galesburg-Bloomington (CZ/Lincoln Service )

Amtrak Miles: 85410

Pre-Amtrak Miles: 8478

Bustitution Miles: 450

Excursion trains ridden:  Centralia and Chehalis Railroad, Mt. Hood Scenic Railroad, Alaska Railroad, 1880 Train (Black Hills Central RR) and trains at the Illinois Railway Museum, California Railway Museum, and the Monticello (IL) Railroad Museum.

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