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Lack of Des Moines-Osceola Bus


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#1 Anderson

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 01:38 PM

I'm just wondering why there's no Thruway connection from Osceola to Des Moines, and why no connection was considered in the Zephyr PIP. As it stands, there's a decent amount of Des Moines traffic that comes and goes at Osceola (you often get 30 people boarding and disembarking...that's nothing to sneeze at), but there's no reliable link short of hiring a cab or calling a limousine (that is, a car-and-driver) service, which can get very expensive.

Des Moines is big enough that I would think they could sell close to a full bus worth of seats if there were one on offer (and even at less than that, bus operations can be cheap enough that you'd cover the bus cost with a low load factor). The main reason I can see this not being done is that the Zephyr is crowded enough as it is, and there's no good way to accommodate the extra ridership (i.e. this would wreak havoc with load factors).
Capitol Limited (7), CA Zephyr (4) Lake Shore Limited (1), Acela (2), NE Regional (2), Sliver Meteor (4)
Upcoming: Silver Meteor (1), Lake Shore Limited (1), SW Chief (2), MO River Runner (1), Texas Eagle (1)
Possibly Upcoming: Either Texas Eagle (1), Capitol Limited (1), Silver Meteor (2) or Texas Eagle (1), Capitol Limited (1), Silver Meteor (1)

#2 MrEd

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 04:05 PM

I always had someone from work come pick me up in Osceola.

They mentioned bus server for des moines.
http://www.jeffersonlines.com/

Also, I think cab was $50.
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#3 coachseats

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 05:03 PM

Between Jefferson Bus Lines from DM to Osceola and Burlington Trailways from DM to Ottumwa you can make most, but not quite all of the coming/going connections, although it is certainly not as good as a thruway service. I do think a van type thruway could probably make a profit between Des Moines and Osceola, since it would wait no matter how late the train. Of course the best would be to have a train right to Des Moines. We were very close to this being a reality under the last governor but the current administration has been quite a bit cooler to even accepting federal funding to continue the CHI-Quad Cities line IL is paying for to continue through IA City and then to DM. I think that such a train could make nice connections with the CZ at Omaha early morning EB and late night WB- giving Des Moines travelers direct access to both CHI/East Coast destinations and DEN/West Coast.
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#4 Anderson

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 08:37 PM

Between Jefferson Bus Lines from DM to Osceola and Burlington Trailways from DM to Ottumwa you can make most, but not quite all of the coming/going connections, although it is certainly not as good as a thruway service. I do think a van type thruway could probably make a profit between Des Moines and Osceola, since it would wait no matter how late the train. Of course the best would be to have a train right to Des Moines. We were very close to this being a reality under the last governor but the current administration has been quite a bit cooler to even accepting federal funding to continue the CHI-Quad Cities line IL is paying for to continue through IA City and then to DM. I think that such a train could make nice connections with the CZ at Omaha early morning EB and late night WB- giving Des Moines travelers direct access to both CHI/East Coast destinations and DEN/West Coast.


Well, that assumes that the train is on time. Making the WB arrival on time in the winter can get a bit hairy, since every Christmas for the last three years, it's been a snowy wreck going out there. EB, it's an utter crapshot because of how long the route is (if your train gets delayed in Reno, you're probably up the creek, though at least then you have a few days to try and make arrangements).

Honestly, I think there's definitely a market for what you're saying on doing a Regional train to Omaha via Des Moines. Actually, I'm wondering if a Thruway from Davenport-Des Moines wouldn't also make sense in lieu of the rail connection for now (and acting as a stopgap for the next few years).
Capitol Limited (7), CA Zephyr (4) Lake Shore Limited (1), Acela (2), NE Regional (2), Sliver Meteor (4)
Upcoming: Silver Meteor (1), Lake Shore Limited (1), SW Chief (2), MO River Runner (1), Texas Eagle (1)
Possibly Upcoming: Either Texas Eagle (1), Capitol Limited (1), Silver Meteor (2) or Texas Eagle (1), Capitol Limited (1), Silver Meteor (1)

#5 johnny.menhennet

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Posted 15 October 2011 - 09:13 PM

Des Moines is big enough that I would think they could sell close to a full bus worth of seats if there were one on offer (and even at less than that, bus operations can be cheap enough that you'd cover the bus cost with a low load factor). The main reason I can see this not being done is that the Zephyr is crowded enough as it is, and there's no good way to accommodate the extra ridership (i.e. this would wreak havoc with load factors).


I know that Chicago-Denver always sells out quickly, but I don't think that's a reason to not include a Thruway connection. If that were the case, I don't see why the PIP for the Crescent involves no less than 3 Thruway connections at Atlanta, which will mostly all help traffic north of Atlanta rather than south, and we all know that north of Atlanta is a huge capacity constraint for Amtrak.

Amtrak: Pacific Surfliner (100000000000), Southwest Chief (5), California Zephyr (1), Coast Starlight (6), Capitol Corridor (1), Empire Builder (2), Acela Express (1), LSL (1), NE Regional (2)
Non-Amtrak: NCTD Coaster (at least 20), Metrolink (4), SD Trolley (at least 20), LACMTA Red Line (at least 50), Seattle Streetcar (1), Chicago 'L' (probably 13), NYC Subway (probably 15), WMATA Mass Transit (probably 20), LIRR (1), Las Vegas Monorail (at least 12), MBTA Mass Transit (16), NJ Transit commuter rail (3), I'm sure there are more that I can't think of right now

upcoming Amtrak: Pacific Surfliner (10000000000 more)
upcoming non-Amtrak: Coaster, Red Line/Expo Line in LA, NJ Transit (5-10)

Pretty good for a 16 year old :)


#6 Peter KG6LSE

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Posted 15 October 2011 - 09:33 PM

As a Iowan and a past Ottumwa resident I too wish we had a few more "feeder" busses

EG as of now I am NOT able to ride the train as I am in Cedar falls now ..... :( ..

Peter

#7 Anderson

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Posted 15 October 2011 - 10:39 PM


Des Moines is big enough that I would think they could sell close to a full bus worth of seats if there were one on offer (and even at less than that, bus operations can be cheap enough that you'd cover the bus cost with a low load factor). The main reason I can see this not being done is that the Zephyr is crowded enough as it is, and there's no good way to accommodate the extra ridership (i.e. this would wreak havoc with load factors).


I know that Chicago-Denver always sells out quickly, but I don't think that's a reason to not include a Thruway connection. If that were the case, I don't see why the PIP for the Crescent involves no less than 3 Thruway connections at Atlanta, which will mostly all help traffic north of Atlanta rather than south, and we all know that north of Atlanta is a huge capacity constraint for Amtrak.


Yes, but Amtrak is planning to fiddle with equipment there as well (turning a few coaches at Atlanta, which will increase ATL-NYP capacity without needing new equipment). The same can be said with the Thruway suggestions for the Silver service: They have equipment. When it comes to Superliners, we're up against a hard cap for at least the next 3-5 years (based solely on order turnaround time), and probably closer to 6-8. On equipment alone, I'm yet again left wondering if Amtrak isn't going to have to return one of the Superliner trains to single-level service on equipment shortages alone.
Capitol Limited (7), CA Zephyr (4) Lake Shore Limited (1), Acela (2), NE Regional (2), Sliver Meteor (4)
Upcoming: Silver Meteor (1), Lake Shore Limited (1), SW Chief (2), MO River Runner (1), Texas Eagle (1)
Possibly Upcoming: Either Texas Eagle (1), Capitol Limited (1), Silver Meteor (2) or Texas Eagle (1), Capitol Limited (1), Silver Meteor (1)

#8 johnny.menhennet

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 12:08 AM

You're absolutely right. If Amtrak wants to add any significant capacity to western Ld trains, they will have to make at least 1 single-level... My suggestion: Texas eagle/CoNO (since they share equipment)... There's not as much scenery and Amtrak's already making it a lower-class train by taking off a real diner, so you might as well. It's unfortunate that that's what it's come too

Amtrak: Pacific Surfliner (100000000000), Southwest Chief (5), California Zephyr (1), Coast Starlight (6), Capitol Corridor (1), Empire Builder (2), Acela Express (1), LSL (1), NE Regional (2)
Non-Amtrak: NCTD Coaster (at least 20), Metrolink (4), SD Trolley (at least 20), LACMTA Red Line (at least 50), Seattle Streetcar (1), Chicago 'L' (probably 13), NYC Subway (probably 15), WMATA Mass Transit (probably 20), LIRR (1), Las Vegas Monorail (at least 12), MBTA Mass Transit (16), NJ Transit commuter rail (3), I'm sure there are more that I can't think of right now

upcoming Amtrak: Pacific Surfliner (10000000000 more)
upcoming non-Amtrak: Coaster, Red Line/Expo Line in LA, NJ Transit (5-10)

Pretty good for a 16 year old :)


#9 zephyr17

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 06:20 PM

Yes, but Amtrak is planning to fiddle with equipment there as well (turning a few coaches at Atlanta, which will increase ATL-NYP capacity without needing new equipment). The same can be said with the Thruway suggestions for the Silver service: They have equipment. When it comes to Superliners, we're up against a hard cap for at least the next 3-5 years (based solely on order turnaround time), and probably closer to 6-8. On equipment alone, I'm yet again left wondering if Amtrak isn't going to have to return one of the Superliner trains to single-level service on equipment shortages alone.

NS is going to let them switch at Atlanta? There isn't a station track and they hold a busy mainline there.

Edited by zephyr17, 17 October 2011 - 06:20 PM.

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#10 Anderson

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 08:12 PM


Yes, but Amtrak is planning to fiddle with equipment there as well (turning a few coaches at Atlanta, which will increase ATL-NYP capacity without needing new equipment). The same can be said with the Thruway suggestions for the Silver service: They have equipment. When it comes to Superliners, we're up against a hard cap for at least the next 3-5 years (based solely on order turnaround time), and probably closer to 6-8. On equipment alone, I'm yet again left wondering if Amtrak isn't going to have to return one of the Superliner trains to single-level service on equipment shortages alone.

NS is going to let them switch at Atlanta? There isn't a station track and they hold a busy mainline there.


It's in the PIP for the Crescent...I think they're somehow able to pull a couple of cars off and move them.
Capitol Limited (7), CA Zephyr (4) Lake Shore Limited (1), Acela (2), NE Regional (2), Sliver Meteor (4)
Upcoming: Silver Meteor (1), Lake Shore Limited (1), SW Chief (2), MO River Runner (1), Texas Eagle (1)
Possibly Upcoming: Either Texas Eagle (1), Capitol Limited (1), Silver Meteor (2) or Texas Eagle (1), Capitol Limited (1), Silver Meteor (1)

#11 Monon81

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 08:16 PM

As a Iowan and a past Ottumwa resident I too wish we had a few more "feeder" busses

EG as of now I am NOT able to ride the train as I am in Cedar falls now ..... :( ..

Peter

Once Chicago-Dubuque service is started again, do you suppose that extending the ride via bus to Waterloo/Cedar Falls would float? On the downside is that they would arrive and depart in the "wee hours". On the plus side, both ways could be covered by one bus driver.

#12 Peter KG6LSE

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 12:48 AM

It just might . BUt I stil feel a feeder bus to OTM might be better .

That is provided the old CZ can decide what Hour it will come each day ...

Peter...

#13 railiner

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 10:58 PM

Going way back, prior to Amtrak, the CB&Q used to show Continental Trailways connections from their trains to Des Moines at Creston.....I don't believe there is any bus service on that route any longer. Jefferson used to have more schedules (4 a day) between Osceola and Des Moines than they do now. And Des Moines/Ottumwa was served by both Continental Trailways and Greyhound. Like passenger rail, long distance bus service is but a shadow of what it used to be...
metroblue?

okay on the blue!



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