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Pioneer and Desert Wind


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#21 jis

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Posted 01 March 2018 - 02:16 PM

When I took the Pioneer, it originated in Denver, and it did not have a full dining car.  This would've been some time in 92-93  IIRC.

That would be Pioneer version 4.

 

Very roughly speaking, the versions were (AFAIR)

 

1. SLC - SEA Coach and Cafe train (single level) connecting cross platform with the San Francisco Zephyr at Ogden

2. SLC - SEA Coach, Sleeper and Cafe train (single level) connecting cross platform with the San Francisco Zephyr at Ogden

3. CHI - SLC - SEA Coach - Sleeper - Lounge/Cafe (Superliner)

4. CHI - DEN - SEA Coach - Sleeper - Lounge/Cafe (Superliner)



#22 Palmetto

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Posted 01 March 2018 - 03:59 PM

We went via Borie, Rawlins and Green River as well.  Very good trip.



#23 Dakota 400

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Posted 01 March 2018 - 04:40 PM

One of my favorite Amtrak trips was on the Desert Wind from Los Angeles to Chicago.  I was in the Sleeper at the end of the train and remember the wonder scenery I saw standing at the railfan window as the train went through the Cajon Pass.  And, seeing the bright lights of Las Vegas as we went through that city was a highlight as well.



#24 jis

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Posted 01 March 2018 - 05:13 PM

We went via Borie, Rawlins and Green River as well.  Very good trip.

Before they shortened the route via the Borie Amslab for the San Francisco Zephyr it used to go all the way into Cheyenne, backing one way and then forward the other from the Borie area. That used to be fun since Cheyenne has a passable downtown around the station.


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#25 neroden

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 05:58 PM

If you make a business case for these trains... it's terrible.  Even if you include state and local subsidies. The population density is horrifically low, with the sole exception of Las Vegas.

 

The NCH business case is a lot better (and has more state and local support).  The Gulf Coast business case is better than that (and has more state and local support).  The business case for a second frequency on the LSL route from Chicago to NY (...though preferably routed via Detroit) is much better than any of those business cases, even without state and local support.

 

I'd rather prioritize the routes with decent business cases, as it allows for future expansion later.

 

Las Vegas-LA as a standalone route might have an OK business case.  Las Vegas - Salt Lake doesn't.


Edited by neroden, 11 March 2018 - 06:00 PM.

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#26 railgeekteen

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Posted 23 March 2018 - 07:50 AM

If you make a business case for these trains... it's terrible.  Even if you include state and local subsidies. The population density is horrifically low, with the sole exception of Las Vegas.

 

The NCH business case is a lot better (and has more state and local support).  The Gulf Coast business case is better than that (and has more state and local support).  The business case for a second frequency on the LSL route from Chicago to NY (...though preferably routed via Detroit) is much better than any of those business cases, even without state and local support.

 

I'd rather prioritize the routes with decent business cases, as it allows for future expansion later.

 

Las Vegas-LA as a standalone route might have an OK business case.  Las Vegas - Salt Lake doesn't.

Pioneer is not much different from NCH. You get Wyoming and almost all of the major cities in Idaho. You also get a second CHI-DEN frequency. 



#27 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 23 March 2018 - 08:12 AM

I don't know if anyone had ridership/revenue of the Pioneer/Desert Wind from the 80's/90's. I'd be curious to see how they stacked up against the trains still running today. Were they bad? 

 

Clearly these two trains are the slower options to SEA/PDX and LAX but they do serve markets that aren't served today. In addition, weren't they both essentially through cars off the CZ? 


Trains Traveled: Broadway Limited (CHI-Harrisburg, PA), Three Rivers (Harrisburg, PA-CHI, Altoona, PA-CHI, PHL-CHI), Capitol Limited (CHI-WAS), Lake Shore Limited (NYP-CHI), , Silver Meteor (PHL-ORL), Southwest Chief (CHI-LAX), California Zephyr (CHI-SLC, SLC-EMY), City of New Orleans and/or Illini (CHI-Champaign, IL), Texas Eagle (CHI-DAL)
Bring back the Broadway Limited (or Three Rivers or any Chicago-Pittsburgh-Philly train)!
 
https://www.facebook...roadwayLimited/


#28 Woodcut60

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Posted 23 March 2018 - 08:13 AM

Personally, with my European perspective, I've always thought that it is very strange that there is no train between the Greater Los Angeles area and Las Vegas, NV. But that's just me. Surely there must be enough ridership for making that rail connection profitable?


Amtrak Routes Traveled: Lake Shore Limited, California Zephyr, San Joaquin, Pacific Surfliner, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Cardinal, Crescent, Sunset Limited, Southwest Chief, Hiawatha, City of New Orleans, Texas Eagle, Heartland Flyer, Missouri River Runner, Lincoln, Wolverine, Northeast Regional, Acela Express, Downeaster, Vermonter, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Capitol Limited, Pennsylvanian, Amtrak Cascades, Maple Leaf, Adirondack, Ethan Allen Express, Keystone, Carolinian, Piedmont.
Other Routes in North America: Denali Star (Anchorage-Fairbanks, Alaska Railroad), The Ocean (Halifax-Montréal), Corridor (Montréal-Toronto), The Canadian (Toronto-Vancouver).
Amtrak: approx. 29,000 miles and 47 states; VIA Rail Canada: approx. 4,300 miles and eight provinces.

#29 railgeekteen

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Posted 23 March 2018 - 08:17 AM

Personally, with my European perspective, I've always thought that it is very strange that there is no train between the Greater Los Angeles area and Las Vegas, NV. But that's just me. Surely there must be enough ridership for making that rail connection profitable?

A route is planned. 



#30 west point

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Posted 23 March 2018 - 06:56 PM

One idea that would require a lot of equipment. Over 120 bi level cars.

Run a second train daytime to DEN - Cheyenne - Ogden - Seattle.   Run another on the UP overland route to Cheyenne - Combine with the DEN train  split at Ogden to go to LAX.  Passengers could connect to other train  while traveling between Cheyenne and Ogden. 


Edited by west point, 24 March 2018 - 02:30 AM.


#31 Woodcut60

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Posted 24 March 2018 - 02:10 AM

@railgeekteen: Do you mean this train?

 

http://vegasxtrain.com/


Amtrak Routes Traveled: Lake Shore Limited, California Zephyr, San Joaquin, Pacific Surfliner, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Cardinal, Crescent, Sunset Limited, Southwest Chief, Hiawatha, City of New Orleans, Texas Eagle, Heartland Flyer, Missouri River Runner, Lincoln, Wolverine, Northeast Regional, Acela Express, Downeaster, Vermonter, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Capitol Limited, Pennsylvanian, Amtrak Cascades, Maple Leaf, Adirondack, Ethan Allen Express, Keystone, Carolinian, Piedmont.
Other Routes in North America: Denali Star (Anchorage-Fairbanks, Alaska Railroad), The Ocean (Halifax-Montréal), Corridor (Montréal-Toronto), The Canadian (Toronto-Vancouver).
Amtrak: approx. 29,000 miles and 47 states; VIA Rail Canada: approx. 4,300 miles and eight provinces.

#32 railgeekteen

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Posted 24 March 2018 - 09:08 AM

@railgeekteen: Do you mean this train?

 

http://vegasxtrain.com/

yes



#33 Eric S

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Posted 26 March 2018 - 11:04 AM

 

@railgeekteen: Do you mean this train?

 

http://vegasxtrain.com/

yes

 

I wouldn't suggest holding one's breath in anticipation of this service beginning...



#34 railgeekteen

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Posted 12 April 2018 - 09:53 PM

 

 

@railgeekteen: Do you mean this train?

 

http://vegasxtrain.com/

yes

 

I wouldn't suggest holding one's breath in anticipation of this service beginning...

 

Why? Funding issues? Track owners?



#35 Trogdor

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Posted 12 April 2018 - 11:26 PM

 

 

 

@railgeekteen: Do you mean this train?

 

http://vegasxtrain.com/

yes

 

I wouldn't suggest holding one's breath in anticipation of this service beginning...

 

Why? Funding issues? Track owners?

 

 

It all comes down to money.

 

I can't remember how many years ago I saw a presentation from these folks.  I want to say 2011-2012, but really can't remember.  They have made close to no progress since then.  Nonetheless, their own website says they hope to start service in "late 2017" in the company info section (the "purchase X Train seats" link says "late 2018").

 

The wikipedia entry on them basically says they came nowhere near meeting their fundraising targets through stock sales ($2.3 million vs. $35 million in startup costs, plus apparently between $56 million and $66 million in track improvements to UP).

 

The assets of that company were sold to Xrail Entertainment, but when you look at their website, all of their "Casino X Trains"  (except for the Vegas train) just have screenshots of Amtrak timetables.  Also, it's not obvious that any of these "trains" run (they're just PVs tacked onto the back of Amtrak).  The only thing the website seems to sell is polo shirts with their logo.

 

So, make of that what you will.


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#36 railiner

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Posted 13 April 2018 - 02:20 AM

Wasn't there some similar venture trying to raise money for a private Boston-Montreal train a couple of years ago?   Wonder what ever happened to them? :rolleyes:


metroblue?

okay on the blue!

#37 Lonestar648

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Posted 13 April 2018 - 02:30 AM

The one problem for the DW between LAX and Las Vegas is the time it takes to get through eastern LA to Union Station.  A HS solution had everyone drive northwest of LA into the Desert and ride to Vegas which no one would do, so that was scraped. If they did get the DW to Vegas revived I think they would need some luxury to entice the big spenders to ride rather than fly.






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