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#1 RichardK

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 01:29 PM

Amtrak calls itself a "national network". That may be true for some people. Don't get me wrong, I am a big supporter of Amtrak and passenger trains in general. However, that said, from Dallas I cannot travel to the following major destinations directly:

Seattle

San Francisco

Denver

Minneapolis

New Orleans

Houston

Anywhere on the east coast

New Orleans has three trains with service to the east coast, midwest, and west coast. Houston has one train. This is a metropolitan area of over 5 million people. I don't understand what Amtrak's thinking is.

We need more service without having to go through Chicago. I know this is just dreaming. Wishing and hoping is not going to make it happen. But, it sure is frustrating.


Edited by RichardK, 30 May 2013 - 01:44 PM.

I rode on an X2000 (anybody remember that?)


#2 Rail Freak

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 01:53 PM

I have only been traveling on Amtrak for 5 years ( WOW, seems a lot less!). I have been able to see the country as I never thought possible because I can't drive! Amtrak has given me the "Network" of connections so I could experience the country not possible by any other form of transportation!!!!

Our interstate network even demands a change of Highways to get around the countryside, but there  are many, many places the roads can not take you, that Amtrak can!

I'm just thankful for what Amtrak provides!

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Edited by Rail Freak, 30 May 2013 - 01:57 PM.

A Rookie No More! But Still A Lot Of Track To Travel !!!
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#3 MikefromCrete

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 02:02 PM

Unfortunately there are those who want to shrink the national network ever further. As rail travelers we must be vigilant, stay in touch with our elected representatives and join groups that are fighting for rail service. 



#4 crescent2

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 02:09 PM

I think ATL is lucky to still have the Crescent, but more would be better.  Not holding my breath, though!



#5 BCL

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 02:11 PM

What's the issue getting to San Francisco?  There's a bus linking the Texas Eagle to the California Zephyr.  And Emeryville is only 7 miles from San Francisco, with full-service buses including checked-in baggage to the San Francisco Ferry Building.

 

I really can't see Amtrak actually running trains to San Francisco.  The topography just isn't amenable because it would just be a strange looking spur, and building a railroad bridge or tube just isn't going to happen along with the practical impossibility of building rail lines into San Francisco from across the bay.



#6 the_traveler

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 03:09 PM

Well, if you want to look at it that way I can say that none of the airlines are "national" either. Except for certain cities on the east coast, of those you listed in post #_1, î have to change planes in Newark, Philadelphia, Washington, Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit or Minneapolis.

Say, isn't it funny that some of those are the same cities where you have to change trains too?

Without riding Amtrak, I would be unable to say that I've been to 47 of the 50 US states! (Somehow I got to Hawaii.) I'd probably never get to ND, IA, KS, KY or WV.
Take it easy .......

Take the train instead!

#7 chrsjrcj

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 03:34 PM

Amtrak has too many N-S gaps.

 

Dallas and Houston

Miami and Chicago (via Atlanta and Nashville)

New Mexico, Denver, and Cheyenne

Pioneer/Desert Wind



#8 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 03:41 PM

Without riding Amtrak, I would be unable to say that I've been to 47 of the 50 US states! I'd probably never get to ND, IA, KS, KY or WV!


Amtrak. We go everywhere you don't want to be.  ^_^


Any views expressed are my own and do not represent the views of my employer, parent companies, partners, or subsidiaries.

Over 50,000 people just like you recently signed a petition to expand high speed passenger rail in the United States of America.

Long live The Coast Starlight, The California Zephyr, The Empire Builder, The Southwest Chief, and The Canadian.


#9 afigg

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 03:41 PM

 
I really can't see Amtrak actually running trains to San Francisco.  The topography just isn't amenable because it would just be a strange looking spur, and building a railroad bridge or tube just isn't going to happen along with the practical impossibility of building rail lines into San Francisco from across the bay.
Not from the east, but the planned Coast Daylight would go to SF from the south. With CA now having a solid amount of funding to spend on passenger rail projects, odd are good that a Coast daylight will happen in 3-4 years when the new bi-level equipment arrives in quantity. But from across the Bay? Yea, no one is going to build a conventional rail tunnel or bridge across the Bay for Amtrak service. Even a HSR line tunnel under the Bay doesn't make the cut in the plans.

Edited by afigg, 30 May 2013 - 03:50 PM.


#10 afigg

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 03:49 PM

 
New Orleans has three trains with service to the east coast, midwest, and west coast. Houston has one train. This is a metropolitan area of over 5 million people. I don't understand what Amtrak's thinking is.
We need more service without having to go through Chicago. I know this is just dreaming. Wishing and hoping is not going to make it happen. But, it sure is frustrating.
You appear to have the impression that Amtrak's management sits around and decides not to have a Dallas to Houston corridor service or a direct Dallas to NYC train. The LD train system is the legacy of a long process of cuts in passenger service, politics and consolidation of freight railroad companies & routes. Some of the LD train routes hung on by their fingernails at times. What survives is a skeleton of a national passenger train system with a LOT of gaps. Amtrak runs what Congress and the states tell them to run.

If/when there is a revival of passenger train corridor service across the south, plain states, Mid-west, then you may see a return of more longer range train routes. This will take a long time, and some serious oil price shocks along the way, to happen.

#11 zephyr17

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 04:00 PM

What's the issue getting to San Francisco?  There's a bus linking the Texas Eagle to the California Zephyr.  And Emeryville is only 7 miles from San Francisco, with full-service buses including checked-in baggage to the San Francisco Ferry Building.

 

I really can't see Amtrak actually running trains to San Francisco.  The topography just isn't amenable because it would just be a strange looking spur, and building a railroad bridge or tube just isn't going to happen along with the practical impossibility of building rail lines into San Francisco from across the bay.

Even during the height of passenger train travel, San Fransciso was never served directly from points north and east.  Only Coast Line trains and the Penninsula commutes from the south served San Francisco directly.

 

The Ferry Building was San Francisco's primary intercity rail passenger terminal until 1958, all trains to and from the east, north, and south via the Valley connected to the ferries at the Oakland Mole.  After 1958, bus connections were run, much like they are today.


Edited by zephyr17, 30 May 2013 - 04:01 PM.

SP Coast Daylight, AT&SF San Diegan, AT&SF Super Chief, D&RGW Rio Grande Zephyr, Southwest Limited/Chief, San Diegan/Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin, Cascades, California/San Francisco Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Sunset Limited (LA-Orlando), Desert Wind, Pioneer, City of New Orleans, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Lake Shore Limited, Cardinal, Hoosier State, Ann Rutledge, Adirondack, Via Canadian (CP route), Via Super Continental, Via Atlantic Limited, Via Hudson Bay, Via Skeena, Via Canadian (CN route), BC Rail Cariboo Dayliner, Eurostar, Thalys, DB, Netherlands Rail, Austrian Railways, BR, Korail (conventional), KTX

#12 RichardK

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 04:54 PM

What's the issue getting to San Francisco?  There's a bus linking the Texas Eagle to the California Zephyr.  And Emeryville is only 7 miles from San Francisco, with full-service buses including checked-in baggage to the San Francisco Ferry Building.
 
I really can't see Amtrak actually running trains to San Francisco.  The topography just isn't amenable because it would just be a strange looking spur, and building a railroad bridge or tube just isn't going to happen along with the practical impossibility of building rail lines into San Francisco from across the bay.
Well, I should have said the Bay Area or Emeryville. The point is, I have to go south 300 miles, head west, and eventually north. Even a direct train to Denver with a connection to The CZ would be better.

I rode on an X2000 (anybody remember that?)


#13 RyanS

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 05:12 PM

The fact that you can do that is the whole point of a "network".

Expecting there to be a one seat ride between every possible city pair is a bit much.
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#14 RichardK

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 05:22 PM

Amtrak has too many N-S gaps.
 
Dallas and Houston
Miami and Chicago (via Atlanta and Nashville)
New Mexico, Denver, and Cheyenne
Pioneer/Desert Wind
Filling these gaps would solve much of the issue. Some type of north/south route would provide easier access to several cites by connecting with the SWC and CZ.

Edited by RichardK, 30 May 2013 - 08:32 PM.

I rode on an X2000 (anybody remember that?)


#15 BCL

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 05:25 PM

What's the issue getting to San Francisco?  There's a bus linking the Texas Eagle to the California Zephyr.  And Emeryville is only 7 miles from San Francisco, with full-service buses including checked-in baggage to the San Francisco Ferry Building.
 
I really can't see Amtrak actually running trains to San Francisco.  The topography just isn't amenable because it would just be a strange looking spur, and building a railroad bridge or tube just isn't going to happen along with the practical impossibility of building rail lines into San Francisco from across the bay.
Well, I should have said the Bay Area or Emeryville. The point is, I have to go south 300 miles, head west, and eventually north. Even a direct train to Denver with a connection to The CZ would be better.

 

I tried a sample booking, and it shows the 422 to Springfield, IL, 5522 bus from Springfield to Galesburg, IL, and the 5 to Emeryville.  I think this is the recommended route because it actually provides enough time for a transfer.

 

The 422 is scheduled to arrive in Chicago before the 5 leaves, but apparently it's only 8 minutes and I'm sure they couldn't do checked baggage even if it's on time.  Now it would be possible to do this by spending a day in Chicago, which doesn't sound that unpleasant.



#16 BCL

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 05:31 PM

Amtrak has too many N-S gaps.

 

Dallas and Houston

Miami and Chicago (via Atlanta and Nashville)

New Mexico, Denver, and Cheyenne

Pioneer/Desert Wind

 

I thought that Amtrak California would love to run the San Joaquin from Oakland to Los Angeles, but SP just isn't going to let passenger trains use the Tehachapi Loop except for some rare cases.



#17 June the Coach Rider

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 05:33 PM

I actually prefer the way the trains are now, having a break even if only for an hour or more between days on the train gives me a chance to get some fresh air. I love to travel as far as possible on the trains that I take, but I think without a break at the end of each train, it would be too much for even someone as crazy as I am.



#18 Bill Haithcoat

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 05:34 PM

New Orleans has three trains with service to the east coast, midwest, and west coast. Houston has one train. This is a metropolitan area of over 5 million people. I don't understand what Amtrak's thinking is.
We need more service without having to go through Chicago. I know this is just dreaming. Wishing and hoping is not going to make it happen. But, it sure is frustrating.
You appear to have the impression that Amtrak's management sits around and decides not to have a Dallas to Houston corridor service or a direct Dallas to NYC train. The LD train system is the legacy of a long process of cuts in passenger service, politics and consolidation of freight railroad companies & routes. Some of the LD train routes hung on by their fingernails at times. What survives is a skeleton of a national passenger train system with a LOT of gaps. Amtrak runs what Congress and the states tell them to run.

If/when there is a revival of passenger train corridor service across the south, plain states, Mid-west, then you may see a return of more longer range train routes. This will take a long time, and some serious oil price shocks along the way, to happen.

 

What a fantastic reply.  You saved me having to type all that with my arthritic fingers.;

 

One thing to add, Way back in history it somehow evolved into four gateways to the west.  These were  Chicago StLouis, Memphis and New Orleans.  Chicago by far became the busiest.



#19 RichardK

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 05:34 PM

The fact that you can do that is the whole point of a "network".

Expecting there to be a one seat ride between every possible city pair is a bit much.
We need more of a network with additional connection points or hubs. I agree, expecting more one seat rides is not feasible. The general traveling public, who are not rail fans, would certainly never consider going by rail to Denver by way of Emeryville or Chicago. Flying is not such an issue because of the shorter travel times (unless there are delays).

Edited by RichardK, 30 May 2013 - 05:36 PM.

I rode on an X2000 (anybody remember that?)


#20 BCL

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 05:45 PM

The fact that you can do that is the whole point of a "network".

Expecting there to be a one seat ride between every possible city pair is a bit much.
We need more of a network with additional connection points or hubs. I agree, expecting more one seat rides is not feasible. The general traveling public, who are not rail fans, would certainly never consider going by rail to Denver by way of Emeryville or Chicago. Flying is not such an issue because of the shorter travel times (unless there are delays).

 

I've had some doozies via air travel.  Chicago to San Francisco on Northwest was via Detroit, because that was a hub.

 

You deal with what you have.  There are definitely gaps in Amtrak's network, and probably nothing that a few billion dollars couldn't solve.





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