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Is a coast to coast train feasible?


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#61 Manny T

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Posted 19 December 2015 - 11:36 PM

The link Philly posted above about the 1997-98 run of the "National Chief" (Southwest Chief + Capitol Ltd.) is quite a good read and explains why LA-WAS on a single train was and is a no-go. First, it involved an 8 hour layover in Chicago for cleaning and maintenance with the "option" to leave the train. Apart from physical disability, I can't imagine wanting to spend 8 hours sitting on a stationary train--and that impeded cleaning.

 

Second, sleeping PAX were not guaranteed the same bedroom or roomette on the CHI-WAS segment. Maybe it was a reservation's glitch at the time that computers today could handle--but for sure Amtrak would find other ways to inconvenience passengers going across the country, so seamless cross country train travel does not seem feasible to me. Unfortunately.



#62 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 11:50 AM

Well if it ever became feasible, here's a proposal for a train NYP to LAX. It's basically the old Broadway Limited (routed through Michigan, as All Aboard Ohio proposed) and the old Desert Wind (http://www.timetable...1030n&item=0032) combined.

 

The gaps in Chicago were chosen to provide "reasonable" times for the western cities (LAX eastbound had to be in the graveyard shift but not that bad). If the travel time between LAX and CHI on the DW route is longer it would help with the eastbound (could leave LAX before midnight) but would screw the westbound schedule to arrive in LAX after midnight. Outside of that, the train seems to put the least populous areas in the graveyard shift (eastbound LAX/Las Vegas is almost overnight). Unfortunately Grand Junction, CO would be late night (11:55pm east and 1:35am west). When I took the CZ I remember the store there. I highly doubt they will be open for this train.

 

The train wouldn't be competitive for NYP-LAX vs. LSL/SWC because of the detour to serve DEN/SLC. But SLC and Omaha/Lincoln (along with CLE) are outside the graveyard shift. The train would serve as a second train between NYP and DEN and the schedule is pretty competitive compared to LSL/CZ. Plus, you get Vegas service back.

 

The old transcontinental SL was 3066 miles between LAX-MIA (http://www.timetable...1030n&item=0030) and this train checks in at 3318 miles, longer than any Amtrak train. It looks like 7 Viewliner sets since the train should be able to be turned around in NYP.

 

If the three day schedule is unrealistic, maybe just the NYP-DEN train would be. It would be about the same as most of the western trains and provide a second train between CHI-DEN which I believe Nathaniel has proposed before.

 

I am open to any other name suggestions if you're really bored today like I was.

Attached Files


Trains Traveled:
 
Broadway Limited (CHI-Harrisburg, PA) 
Three Rivers (Harrisburg, PA-CHI, Altoona, PA-CHI, PHL-CHI)
Capitol Limited (CHI-WAS)
Lake Short 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)

 

All I want for Amtrak is a direct train from Philly to Chicago in less than 24 hours 
 
 


#63 ScouseAndy

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 12:01 PM

Why does it have to run through Chicago? Could it not run further south such as via St Louis and then Kansas then up to Denver? Yes it would be more convoluted but would also offer more cities direct services to each coast and avoid congestion in and out of Chicago?

#64 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 12:11 PM

In fantasy land we could do old National Limited to STL/KCY to bypass CHI but I'm not aware of any train west of KCY in Amtrak history other than the SWC or its predecessors and I don't remember any KCY-DEN train in Amtrak history.


Trains Traveled:
 
Broadway Limited (CHI-Harrisburg, PA) 
Three Rivers (Harrisburg, PA-CHI, Altoona, PA-CHI, PHL-CHI)
Capitol Limited (CHI-WAS)
Lake Short 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)

 

All I want for Amtrak is a direct train from Philly to Chicago in less than 24 hours 
 
 


#65 ScouseAndy

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 12:14 PM

So is Kansas to Denver not feasible?

#66 maxbuskirk

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 08:28 PM

What route would you use? I'd probably do KCY-LAJ-DEN.

I have ridden Cascades #516 (SEA-STW), Coast Starlight #14 (LAX-SLO), Southwest Chief #4 (LAX-CHI), Cardinal #50 (CHI-NYP), Northeast Regional #85 (NYP-WAS), Capitol Limited #30 (HFY-WAS), Coast Starlight #14 (LAX-PDX), and many Pacific Surfliners with Amtrak. I have seen, including the previous, California Zephyr #5 at SAC (with luck), what I guess to be Crescent #19 (at WAS) and Silver Meteor #97 (at WAS), and Empire Builder #28 at PDX. I have also ridden the Hokutosei in Japan, Ueno - Sapporo (now discontinued).


#67 zephyr17

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 03:23 PM

When Amtrak first started they had a through sleeper that ran Los Angeles-Kansas City on the Super Chief and Kansas City-New York on the National Limited.


Edited by zephyr17, 21 January 2017 - 03:23 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 (Amtrak),  Hoosier State (Iowa Pacific), Ann Rutledge, Adirondack, Maple Leaf, NE Regional, Capitol Limited, Via Canadian (CP route), Via Super Continental, Via Atlantic Limited, Via Hudson Bay, Via Skeena, Via Canadian (CN route), Via "Corridor" (Toronto-Montreal), BC Rail Cariboo Dayliner, Eurostar, Thalys, DB, Netherlands Rail, Austrian Railways, BR, Korail (conventional), Korail KTX


#68 neroden

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 04:55 PM

The fundamental issue is that it is generally better for ridership for trains to stop at larger cities.  It's worth the detour.

 

Chicago is a very, very large city.  We'd have to have several times as many trains running through Chicago before it would make sense to have a train which bypassed it.


Edited by neroden, 21 January 2017 - 04:56 PM.

--Nathanael--

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#69 Longhai

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 06:05 PM

When Amtrak first started they had a through sleeper that ran Los Angeles-Kansas City on the Super Chief and Kansas City-New York on the National Limited.

 

That was a very cool itinerary.  If we would have it today, it might mean a mixed consist, which would complicate things. 

 

I would imagine the most feasible way to have coast to coast train is to bring the 2005 Sunset limited back.  



#70 west point

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 06:57 PM

All our experience tells us passengers are not very tidy. This poster certainly would not to board a train going from LAX at Pittsburg to NYP. If you make passenger get off once or twice on a coast to coast train wouldn't it be better to just have them make a cross platform transfer to another clean and with no mechanical problems car ?

#71 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 07:30 PM

All our experience tells us passengers are not very tidy. This poster certainly would not to board a train going from LAX at Pittsburg to NYP. If you make passenger get off once or twice on a coast to coast train wouldn't it be better to just have them make a cross platform transfer to another clean and with no mechanical problems car ?

 

I'm pretty sure it won't be two times. The SWC does not force passengers to get off while they clean the train (at least not in the times I rode it) and it is 2265 miles. Correct me if I'm wrong but the TE also doesn't require clearing the train to clean it and there's plenty of maintenance in SAS that they do without clearing the train. What about the old transcontinental SL? Maybe once you have to get off but you know for sure the train won't leave without you (unless you're stupid enough to go too far away) unlike the connections in Chicago which I'm guessing quite a few of you have been stranded at least once overnight. Was the transcontinental SL really that horrible an experience to ride in? Was the train a pig sty when you got to Florida or California? If Katrina hadn't happened, would the train be running today?

 

If the SWC, CZ, and EB work as trains that cross two time zones, surely a NYP-DEN train would work too and if you took my proposal and terminated it at DEN then you'd have the PHL/Eastern PA-CHI train I covet as well as a second train between CHI-DEN with better boarding times for Nebraska.


Trains Traveled:
 
Broadway Limited (CHI-Harrisburg, PA) 
Three Rivers (Harrisburg, PA-CHI, Altoona, PA-CHI, PHL-CHI)
Capitol Limited (CHI-WAS)
Lake Short 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)

 

All I want for Amtrak is a direct train from Philly to Chicago in less than 24 hours 
 
 





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