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#21 Seaboard92

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Posted 05 April 2015 - 12:02 PM

1. Chicago-Indy-(Cincinnati)-Louisville-Nashville-Chattanooga-Atlanta-Jacksonville-Orlando-Miami. Not only is this a big gap in the map but it serves ten major cities. I put Cincinnati in parenthesis seeing there is a route direct to Louisville from Indy. If the Hoosier State ceases to run this train could easily fill the CHI- IND run.
2. A feeder train for the first option Detroit-Cincinnati via the three C route. Time one train to connect the Florida train.
3. A charlotte-Atlanta train extension of the piedmont. Maybe even route it via Columbia and Augusta. There is a higher population base on the indirect route.
4. Auto train extension Chicago-Sanford.
5. Auto train extension New York metro area to Chicago.
6. Auto train extension Chicago to LA metro.
7. Auto train extension Chicago to Pacific Northwest.
8. Figure out how to add intermediate stops to the auto trains.
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#22 Guest_Guest_*

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Posted 05 April 2015 - 12:23 PM

4. Auto train extension Chicago-Sanford.


Wasn't that a total waste, major money looser, back when it was in operation? What has dramatically changed such that it would be different now?

 

5. Auto train extension New York metro area to Chicago.


You would need a lot of seasonally migration between Chicago and NYC to support it (windbirds vs snowbirds?). Does such really exist?

#23 Chey

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Posted 05 April 2015 - 12:54 PM

The Caprock Chief - FTW to DEN

#24 Palmetto

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Posted 05 April 2015 - 03:10 PM

 

4. Auto train extension Chicago-Sanford.


Wasn't that a total waste, major money looser, back when it was in operation? What has dramatically changed such that it would be different now?

 

5. Auto train extension New York metro area to Chicago.


You would need a lot of seasonally migration between Chicago and NYC to support it (windbirds vs snowbirds?). Does such really exist?

 

Sorry about the double post.  I don't know how to delete one.  IIRC, they tried an Autotrain to Louisville and it did not do well.



#25 Palmetto

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Posted 05 April 2015 - 03:13 PM

I liked the Caprock Chief proposal.  I realize that there are not many megacities on the route, but it would've opened up loads of new city pairs.  We are woefully short on north/south routes, and I think this one would've had possibilities.



#26 wjh2

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Posted 05 April 2015 - 04:20 PM

I've often wondered if a New Orleans to Kansas City route would be possible.  Maybe use Kansas City Southern ROW and even possibly extend up north to Omaha.



#27 jis

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Posted 05 April 2015 - 04:27 PM

Maybe they should try the Caprock out with a Thruway Bus first before throwing the necessary mucho dinero at it!

Edited by jis, 05 April 2015 - 04:28 PM.


#28 jis

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Posted 05 April 2015 - 04:31 PM

I've often wondered if a New Orleans to Kansas City route would be possible.  Maybe use Kansas City Southern ROW and even possibly extend up north to Omaha.

There used to be a through car from STL to NOL for a short while AFAIR. There was a connection for much longer period, first via the National Limited and then by a little two car train.

#29 Paulus

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Posted 05 April 2015 - 05:22 PM

1) Thruway buses just about everywhere, it's hard to go wrong with them.
2) Multiple daily Los Angeles-Indio daylight trains, ideally with several of them extending north to Santa Barbara.
3) Multiple Sacramento-Redding daylight trains, some extending to Bakersfield.
4) Multiple daylight intrastate Ohio trains, using Class III railroads would probably be the best basis.
5) Multiple daily Minneapolis-Chicago
6) Spokane-Seattle daylight train

#30 DetroitTed

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Posted 05 April 2015 - 05:38 PM

An additional connection with VIA Rail in Canada would be nice, but I think the the only reasonably doable one is Port Huron MI to Sarnia ON with only about 3 miles of track separating the two stations.  But the one train a day on both sides of the border involves a 6 to 8 hour hour layover in Sarnia - an unmanned station -  from about 2200 to 0600 hours going either way.  

 

Via Rail has more trains in and out of Windsor (across the river from Detroit) but a rail connection there looks almost impossible because of the trackage.

 

I think any other connection across the border West of Detroit would be a sure money pit - even bigger than the Port Huron/Sarnia one.

What he/she said and restore Detroit - NYC service.  Also bring Amtrak back to Phoenix/Tempe( and no, for the multiplicity of times, Maricopa does NOT count).



#31 neutralist

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Posted 05 April 2015 - 05:44 PM

1. Chicago - Wisconsin Dells via Elgin, Rockford, Janesville, Madison.

2. Chicago - Denver Auto Train on the CZ route, intermediate stop at Omaha only

3. Chicago - Jacksonville via NOL (combined CONO and Sunset East operations)

4. Chicago - Los Angeles Auto Train on SWC route ( intermediate loading points at KCY, ABQ only)

Seriously we need more variants of the auto trains since air travel are inherently dangerous. (MH370,MH17,QZ8501,4U9525....)

Edited by neutralist, 05 April 2015 - 05:55 PM.


#32 jis

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Posted 05 April 2015 - 06:17 PM

Actually air travel is at par or possibly safer than Amtrak travel, depending on how one is counting.

#33 lo2e

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Posted 05 April 2015 - 06:56 PM

I for one really wish Amtrak would offer sleeper service to every single state in the lower 48 (heck, I'd love if they went to Alaska and Hawaii too, but I won't get too wishful thinking!)  :giggle:

 

Seriously, there are several states in the lower 48 that have zero sleeper service - in alphabetical order, CT, ME, MI, NH, OK, RI, SD, VT, WY (and SD and WY have zero service at all unless there are Thruway buses that service them).  I wish this was priority one to any expansion of service.



#34 keelhauled

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Posted 05 April 2015 - 07:04 PM

What is the obsession with adding more Auto Trains? I don't understand why people seem to expect the fairly unique Northeast--Florida market to suddenly replicate itself between any random city pairs you can throw a dart at.

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#35 DryCreek

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Posted 05 April 2015 - 07:10 PM

Actually air travel is at par or possibly safer than Amtrak travel, depending on how one is counting.

That's an interesting position - one I hadn't thought of before.  Do you have numbers to corrorobrate your statement?  I naturally would have thought that the reverse was true - based on how few fatal (for passenger) train wrecks I have read about.  It seems like the last one I remember was the (Sunset Limited) wreck where a barge struck the rail bridge and then the train ran into the bayou.  I also vaguely remember some passenger train collisions with a freight train (Colonial?) - but those just don't stand out in my mind like the recent spate of airline disasters.  On the other hand, most of the recent airliner crashes have been overseas.  I know that in India they have horrific train wrecks because of overloading issues, and there was that one little problem with China's high speed rail.

Any way, I would really like to see a comparison, and it would be fine if it was just narrowed down to mainland US data.



#36 DryCreek

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Posted 05 April 2015 - 07:12 PM

I for one really wish Amtrak would offer sleeper service to every single state in the lower 48 (heck, I'd love if they went to Alaska and Hawaii too, but I won't get too wishful thinking!)  :giggle:

 

Seriously, there are several states in the lower 48 that have zero sleeper service - in alphabetical order, CT, ME, MI, NH, OK, RI, SD, VT, WY (and SD and WY have zero service at all unless there are Thruway buses that service them).  I wish this was priority one to any expansion of service.

Well, If they can have an Interstate System (H-1 and H-2) on Oahu, I can't see why Amtrak couldn't get involved there.  Still, I'm not so sure that sleeper service could be very cost effective.......



#37 chrsjrcj

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Posted 05 April 2015 - 08:00 PM

Airplane crashes and passenger train crashes (at least in N. America) are so rare compared to say automobile crashes, that when one happens it becomes national news. Though I don't have the statistics to back it up, it seems that when a plane crashes the survival rate is a lot lower than when a train crashes. 



#38 ljohn2030

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Posted 05 April 2015 - 08:28 PM

Love to see the return of the Desert Wind, and extend it to Reno!

West Texas is in dire need of passenger rail service. There are already tracks everywhere, but loaded with oil tankers. Texans are too used to driving an hour for a gallon of milk, they are ripe for reasonably priced rail traffice.

High speed rail from Houston to Dallas to San Antonio to Odessa/Mildland, to El Paso.

Extend the heartland flyer to Kansas City or somewhere to intersect with the Southwest Chief

#39 FormerOBS

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Posted 05 April 2015 - 08:54 PM

Those Auto train routes are interesting.  Here are a few points:

 

Several years ago the Amtrak marketing Dept. studied the idea of adding auto carriers to the SW Chief between Chicago and Flagstaff.  It had been determined that Chicago-LA would be unsuccessful because it would bypass intermediate tourist destinations.  Flagstaff would have been preferred because it provided access to Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, and Phoenix/Tucson, as well as California. The cost of transporting an auto increases as the distance increases.  A Chicago-LA Auto Train would have to charge double the cost of the  current Auto Train auto charge.  Unless you're spending a LOT of time at the opposite endpoint, it would be much cheaper for customers to rent a car when they get there.  Nobody wants to start a service that is too expensive to attract enough customers.  Such a service would probably have to start as auto carriers added to an existing train such as the CZ or Chief. For any service west from Chicago, the point of origin for the auto carriers probably should be Aurora (CZ) or Joliet (SW Chief) so that people don't have to drive into the heart of Chicago. The Flagstaff plan was never implemented because of scheduling conflicts, lack of equipment, the cost of creating new terminals to handle the autos, etc.  Remember that such a new service would be an experiment, and Amtrak doesn't have the money to experiment unless somebody else foots the bill.  I got this info in a conversation with a certain Marketing Dept. employee (name withheld) who rode in my car when I was a SCA many years ago. 

 

Intermediate loading points for autos on any Auto Train service would require the building of loading facilities and the provision of switching crews and contract auto drivers at all such loading points.  They would seriously eat into the train's schedule.  In addition, the short-hauls would have to be transported at a lower charge because of the shorter distance hauled, while introducing those additional problems, thus increasing operating costs.  It would probably mean more miles hauling empty or half-empty auto carriers. By the way, these proposed intermediate loading points must be served at convenient hours of arrival and departure. 

 

Nobody has figured out a way to provide intermediate auto loading in a cost effective way. If you can figure out a way to do it, I'll nominate you for the Nobel Prize for Transportation.  There MUST be such a thing.

 

I don't want to sound too critical.  A certain amount of thinking outside the box can sometimes produce unforeseen imaginative solutions. Besides, most of the suggestions I made above are quite unlikely to se the light of day any time soon, if ever.

 

Tom


Edited by FormerOBS, 05 April 2015 - 08:56 PM.


#40 jis

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Posted 05 April 2015 - 09:03 PM

Actually air travel is at par or possibly safer than Amtrak travel, depending on how one is counting.

That's an interesting position - one I hadn't thought of before.  Do you have numbers to corrorobrate your statement?  I naturally would have thought that the reverse was true - based on how few fatal (for passenger) train wrecks I have read about.  It seems like the last one I remember was the (Sunset Limited) wreck where a barge struck the rail bridge and then the train ran into the bayou.  I also vaguely remember some passenger train collisions with a freight train (Colonial?) - but those just don't stand out in my mind like the recent spate of airline disasters.  On the other hand, most of the recent airliner crashes have been overseas.  I know that in India they have horrific train wrecks because of overloading issues, and there was that one little problem with China's high speed rail.
Any way, I would really like to see a comparison, and it would be fine if it was just narrowed down to mainland US data.
I will dig up the info after I get back to the U.S. Next Sunday. But meanwhile consider how many air fatalities have occurred in the US in the last 10 or 15 years and divide that by the total passengers or passenger-miles. Do the same for rail. US DOT has these figures somewhere, but I am a bit challenged at present being on the road.

Air travel in the US is actually incredibly safe, contrary to the belief of those that do not like air travel for various reasons.




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