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Proposal for Extending Crescent to SAS & Improving TE schedule


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#41 jis

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Posted 01 January 2016 - 04:02 PM

I guess I don't think of any of Amtrak's time as old time :) What I find interesting is that the LD network that remains differs very little from the corresponding routes and timings of Pre-Amtrak days. Tis is in huge contrast to development in say Asia and Europe. I suppose it is a result of what is essentially a stagnant system that is just puttering along somehow.



#42 west point

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Posted 02 January 2016 - 06:06 PM

A proposal would be put some Sunset cars onto the Crescent. Take the cars to Atlanta, then continue Sunset from Atlanta - Savannah / or Jacksonville.  Then combine Sunset at either SAV or JAX with Palmetto and go to Miami.  Would serve much higher population centers and give ATL Florida service.

Also fewer new train miles and new stations.  Give a route that is longer but about same amount of time NOL - JAX.

There would be no need for any train schedules to change but ATL station with two trains same time  ............????????????


Edited by west point, 02 January 2016 - 06:07 PM.


#43 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 02 January 2016 - 08:26 PM

A proposal would be put some Sunset cars onto the Crescent. Take the cars to Atlanta, then continue Sunset from Atlanta - Savannah / or Jacksonville.  Then combine Sunset at either SAV or JAX with Palmetto and go to Miami.  Would serve much higher population centers and give ATL Florida service.

Also fewer new train miles and new stations.  Give a route that is longer but about same amount of time NOL - JAX.

There would be no need for any train schedules to change but ATL station with two trains same time  ............????????????

 

I had suggested Atlanta to Florida service previously:

http://discuss.amtra...lotte/?p=635903


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)

 

Bring back the Broadway Limited (or Three Rivers or any Chicago-Pittsburgh-Philly train)!
 

https://www.facebook...roadwayLimited/

 


#44 jis

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Posted 03 January 2016 - 09:38 AM

A proposal would be put some Sunset cars onto the Crescent. Take the cars to Atlanta, then continue Sunset from Atlanta - Savannah / or Jacksonville.  Then combine Sunset at either SAV or JAX with Palmetto and go to Miami.  Would serve much higher population centers and give ATL Florida service.

Also fewer new train miles and new stations.  Give a route that is longer but about same amount of time NOL - JAX.

There would be no need for any train schedules to change but ATL station with two trains same time  ............????????????

The only question in my mind is why would anyone in their right mind put together such a Rube Goldberg scheme? :P

 

Thinking about starting something between Atlanta and JAX preferably via SAV makes quite a bit of sense. But sending Sunset Limited cars for a general tour of the South makes no sense at all. Just IMHO of course.



#45 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 03 January 2016 - 12:04 PM

 

A proposal would be put some Sunset cars onto the Crescent. Take the cars to Atlanta, then continue Sunset from Atlanta - Savannah / or Jacksonville.  Then combine Sunset at either SAV or JAX with Palmetto and go to Miami.  Would serve much higher population centers and give ATL Florida service.

Also fewer new train miles and new stations.  Give a route that is longer but about same amount of time NOL - JAX.

There would be no need for any train schedules to change but ATL station with two trains same time  ............????????????

The only question in my mind is why would anyone in their right mind put together such a Rube Goldberg scheme? :P

 

Thinking about starting something between Atlanta and JAX preferably via SAV makes quite a bit of sense. But sending Sunset Limited cars for a general tour of the South makes no sense at all. Just IMHO of course.

 

 

Pick your poison, NOL to Florida via ATL where you would need to establish service from ATL to JAC (or ATL to Savannah) or use the SL East route. Which is easier to implement? Certainly in terms of obtaining new train miles, west point is correct as it would be fewer new (or reintroduced) miles.


Edited by Philly Amtrak Fan, 03 January 2016 - 12:04 PM.

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)

 

Bring back the Broadway Limited (or Three Rivers or any Chicago-Pittsburgh-Philly train)!
 

https://www.facebook...roadwayLimited/

 


#46 jis

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Posted 03 January 2016 - 12:17 PM

My problem is with using Sunset Limited cars. It was a problem in the original Sunset East and it will continue to be a problem no matter which way you send it.

As for the relative difficulty of starting services in the real world, one route has an active process in place and the other route is being discussed basically by foamers and no one else, and requires funding from a state that is one of the most strongly opposed to rail service. Guess which one is easier to get going ;)

#47 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 03 January 2016 - 02:58 PM

My updated plans are attached.

 

SL schedule changed for better connections in NOL east and better arrival time in LAX (departure time may be worse).

 

SL/TE connection broken but through cars DAL-SAS connect with the SL in SAS and the wait time is shorter going west (2:55-4:45pm).

 

Heartland Flyer extended to HOU and times changed to connect with the SL in HOU (Seaboard92 suggested OKC-SAS and I thought it wouldn't work but then I came up with the HOU extension). I used an old TE schedule from 1994 (http://www.timetable...1030n&item=0031) for a rough schedule. If Oklahoma/Texas don't want to spend the money, either consider it part of the SL or create an OKC-NOL train which would be > 750 miles.

 

If you have both the new DAL-SAS train and the DAL-HOU extension of the Heartland Flyer, then DAL/FTW can go to the west via SAS (through cars) or east via HOU (transfer). Going DAL to ORL or ATL would require transfers in HOU and NOL but currently it also requires two transfers (CHI and WAS). Therefore, I was able to have the DAL-SAS branch leave DAL later and arrive in DAL earlier because I didn't need for the train to catch the SL the other way.

 

Some additional possible combos using my proposed schedules:

 

NYP-HOU (19/1): 2:15pm to 8:18am two days later (43 hrs, 3 min)

NYP-SAS (19/1): 2:15pm to 2:05pm two days later (48 hrs, 50 min)

 

CHI-HOU (59/1): 8:05pm to 8:18am two days later (36 hrs, 13 min)

 

ORL-HOU (58/1): 4:15pm to 8:18am two days later (41 hrs, 3 min)

ORL-SAS (58/1): 4:15pm to 2:05pm two days later (46 hrs, 50 min)

ORL-LAX (58/1): 4:15pm to 7:35pm three days later (76 hrs, 20 min)

 

ATL-HOU (19/1): 8:38am to 8:18am next day (24 hrs, 40 min)

ATL-SAS (19/1): 8:38am to 2:05pm next day (30 hrs, 27 min)

ATL-LAX (19/1): 8:38am to 7:35pm two days later (61 hrs, 57 min)

 

ORL-DAL (58/1/822): 4:15pm to 4:05pm two days later (48 hrs, 50 min)

ATL-DAL (58/1/822): 8:38am to 4:05pm next days later (32 hrs, 27 min)

NOL-DAL (1/822): 11:00pm to 4:05pm next days later (29 hrs, 5 min)

 

The ORL times are longer because the layover in NOL is longer for the CONO to the SL than the layover in NOL for the Crescent to the SL. The goal was to connect the Crescent and SL. The SL-CONO connection (if you assume the CONO extension to Florida comes to fruition) was improved as well in both directions. I didn't think too hard about CONO south to SL west until I realized CHI-HOU and the schedule does line up better than the current CONO/SL connection (currently 3:32pm to 9:00am next day, proposed 3:32pm to 11:00pm same day). I wanted to do CHI-DAL-HOU using the extended HF but the northbound HF just missed the northbound TE in DAL and the southbound TE would give you just 30 minutes in DAL.

 

This is a dream scenario schedule so you don't need to tell me Amtrak doesn't have the money or equipment since that's obvious. I feel my proposed SL with the already proposed CONO extension to Florida would be way better than what we have right now. Of course some would lose but I feel the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks (feel free to argue).

Attached Files


Edited by Philly Amtrak Fan, 03 January 2016 - 03:27 PM.

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)

 

Bring back the Broadway Limited (or Three Rivers or any Chicago-Pittsburgh-Philly train)!
 

https://www.facebook...roadwayLimited/

 


#48 jis

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Posted 04 January 2016 - 01:28 PM

Since it is a dream scenario where equipment availability etc are to be ignored, why do you selectively worry about 750 miles? ;)



#49 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 04 January 2016 - 03:42 PM

Since it is a dream scenario where equipment availability etc are to be ignored, why do you selectively worry about 750 miles? ;)

 

I'm selectively choosing what parts are fantasy ($) and what parts are reality (PRIIA)


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)

 

Bring back the Broadway Limited (or Three Rivers or any Chicago-Pittsburgh-Philly train)!
 

https://www.facebook...roadwayLimited/

 


#50 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 04 January 2016 - 10:37 PM

I guess I push the 750 mile rule because I would like to believe (maybe unjustifiably) that Amtrak would add shorter day routes with high potential (Texas routes, Florida routes, 3-C) if they weren't hampered by the 750 mile rule. They don't require the sleeper cars that are in short supply. My proposals would re-introduce DAL-HOU service and double DAL-SAS service, both of which require state funding. The only new trains that Amtrak can start without state funding are the > 750 mile LD trains that require sleepers they don't have and in general are less popular and lose more money than shorter regional trains. With airplanes, customers are more likely to ride a train for 3-4 hrs than a whole day or more. 

 

Of course the fact that Amtrak has done nothing with 3-C in the almost 30 years before PRIIA dispute that theory. 


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)

 

Bring back the Broadway Limited (or Three Rivers or any Chicago-Pittsburgh-Philly train)!
 

https://www.facebook...roadwayLimited/

 


#51 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 05 January 2016 - 12:44 AM

I wanted to get more aggressive with some of the schedules.

 

The westbound SL (#1) leaves an hour earlier (10pm). This shrinks the delay in NOL by an hour as well as the delay in SAS from the DAL-SAS branch (although the SL would wait for that train under my proposal). This moves the northbound HF (#822) up an hour as well so the times north of FTW stay the same as the current HF.

 

I show the possible connection of the HF with the TE at DAL although it probably can't be guaranteed (#21-#821:11:30am-12:15pm, #822-#22: 3:05pm-3:40pm). Maybe the TE can be moved although that would hurt the TE-CL connection in CHI.
 

Using AMSAD for 2015:

 

#19 arrives NOL more than 2 hrs late 37 times (just over 10%)

#2 arrives NOL more than 1 hr late 39 times

 

Maybe the Crescent could be tweaked if this connection becomes problematic.

 

#1 arrives HOS more than 1 hr late 8 times (more than 30 min late 18 times)

 

#822-#22 may work depending on the OTP of the HOS-DAL leg. But #21-#821 will likely never work (158 times more than 30 min late into DAL, 130 times more than 60 min late). You probably can guarantee CHI-DAL-HOS or DAL-HOS-NOL but not both. Considering NOL-HOS is way more reliable than CHI-DAL, that would have to be the choice. To go from CHI-HOS you would have to go via NOL.

Attached Files


Edited by Philly Amtrak Fan, 05 January 2016 - 12:46 AM.

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)

 

Bring back the Broadway Limited (or Three Rivers or any Chicago-Pittsburgh-Philly train)!
 

https://www.facebook...roadwayLimited/

 


#52 trainviews

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Posted 05 January 2016 - 03:22 AM

I guess I push the 750 mile rule because I would like to believe (maybe unjustifiably) that Amtrak would add shorter day routes with high potential (Texas routes, Florida routes, 3-C) if they weren't hampered by the 750 mile rule. They don't require the sleeper cars that are in short supply. My proposals would re-introduce DAL-HOU service and double DAL-SAS service, both of which require state funding. The only new trains that Amtrak can start without state funding are the > 750 mile LD trains that require sleepers they don't have and in general are less popular and lose more money than shorter regional trains. With airplanes, customers are more likely to ride a train for 3-4 hrs than a whole day or more. 

 

Of course the fact that Amtrak has done nothing with 3-C in the almost 30 years before PRIIA dispute that theory. 

750 mile route or not the basic fact is that Amtrak will not start any new routes at all without new funding for it, simply because taking on new deficit will be political suicide. Additionally starting new routes has become very costly in capital improvements and having too little funds for capital costs to start with, there's no chance in hell Amtrak will use them for starting out new services (the very small incremental cost of the switch in Pittsburgh might be the exeption).

 

This was true many years before PRIIA and it is true today. The only things it does it stipulate that federal money can't legally be used to fund shorter routes. But it wouldn't happen anyhow. Likewise no new LD's will be started solely on Amtraks initiative. It will require an act of congress and possibly cofunding from states - at the very minimum for the capital costs. So there's really no need to keep harping at Amtrak. Save the effort for the guys with the money: Congress and state governments.



#53 neroden

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Posted 05 January 2016 - 01:20 PM

I keep pointing out that changing to a daily Cardinal would now be profitable for Amtrak, in that it would require *less* funding than the current arrangement.  (In fact it would make the Cardinal profitable before overhead.)  Which means that Amtrak *should* start it regardless of federal funding, because it *reduces* the need for federal funding.  Similarly, through cars from the Pennsylvanian to the Capitol Limited would now be profitable for Amtrak.

 

Taking on new operating deficit would be politically unwise, but *getting rid of* operating deficit by expanding would be politically very wise.  There may not be a lot of opportunities to do this, but I've already listed two.  These should be the priority places  to spend capital funds -- places where there is an actual, calculatable payback for Amtrak on them.  (By contrast, although Gateway is a good project, there is no payback for Amtrak from the Gateway tunnels.  They are entirely for the benefit of NJ Transit.  Amtrak should refuse to spend its own money on this project and should require specific federal grants for it.)


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#54 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 05 January 2016 - 01:28 PM

I keep pointing out that changing to a daily Cardinal would now be profitable for Amtrak, in that it would require *less* funding than the current arrangement.  (In fact it would make the Cardinal profitable before overhead.)  Which means that Amtrak *should* start it regardless of federal funding, because it *reduces* the need for federal funding. 

 

 

Isn't that all dependent on fixing Buckingham Branch?


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)

 

Bring back the Broadway Limited (or Three Rivers or any Chicago-Pittsburgh-Philly train)!
 

https://www.facebook...roadwayLimited/

 


#55 CCC1007

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Posted 05 January 2016 - 01:35 PM

I keep pointing out that changing to a daily Cardinal would now be profitable for Amtrak, in that it would require *less* funding than the current arrangement.  (In fact it would make the Cardinal profitable before overhead.)  Which means that Amtrak *should* start it regardless of federal funding, because it *reduces* the need for federal funding. 
 

 
Isn't that all dependent on fixing Buckingham Branch?
yep, which is why those improvements should be funded asap.

#56 jis

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 10:01 AM

Virginia is funding those improvements already.



#57 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 10:48 AM

Virginia is funding those improvements already.

 

What do you think happens first, Buckingham Branch allows for a daily Cardinal or the Viewliner II's are ready to use?


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)

 

Bring back the Broadway Limited (or Three Rivers or any Chicago-Pittsburgh-Philly train)!
 

https://www.facebook...roadwayLimited/

 


#58 jis

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 11:49 AM

'Tis not Buckingham Branch, but CSX that has to agree to daily service. And we know how that goes.... :(



#59 trainviews

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 12:10 PM

I keep pointing out that changing to a daily Cardinal would now be profitable for Amtrak, in that it would require *less* funding than the current arrangement.  (In fact it would make the Cardinal profitable before overhead.)  Which means that Amtrak *should* start it regardless of federal funding, because it *reduces* the need for federal funding.  Similarly, through cars from the Pennsylvanian to the Capitol Limited would now be profitable for Amtrak.

 

Taking on new operating deficit would be politically unwise, but *getting rid of* operating deficit by expanding would be politically very wise.  There may not be a lot of opportunities to do this, but I've already listed two.  These should be the priority places  to spend capital funds -- places where there is an actual, calculatable payback for Amtrak on them.  (By contrast, although Gateway is a good project, there is no payback for Amtrak from the Gateway tunnels.  They are entirely for the benefit of NJ Transit.  Amtrak should refuse to spend its own money on this project and should require specific federal grants for it.)

 

 

Agree. I didn't count adding frequencies as starting a new route. Likewise neither are the Pennsylvanian-Capitol Ltd. through cars.

 

I'm just getting annoyed with the whole "It's over 750 miles so Amtrak could/should/will just fund it - piece of cake!". Fantasyland is fun. I just like to get pointed out when that's where I am. 

 

Edit: moved my answer out of the quote where it had mistakenly ended up...


Edited by trainviews, 07 January 2016 - 05:31 PM.


#60 west point

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 01:55 PM

The Cardinal is an interesting enigma. 

1.  It now takes two train sets to operate 3 times a week.  Making it daily only takes one more train set. additional locos  ???? 

2.  Train miles will increase 7 /3 and

3.  OBS costs may or may not increase a full 7/3 depending on work rules..

4.  Station agents for the 5 staffed stations past Charlottesville may need some more staffing ?

5.  Station costs about same except for slight utilities and little cleaning.

6.  From what we have been told T & E crews will have less lay over time.  Some more T & E crews will be needed but the extra boards for the route may not need any more ?      

7.  Sleepers may be a short term problem only until the V-2 sleepers come into service.  much of this past summer there were 2 sleepers on the 3 times a week trains.  Of course each daily train could go to one sleeper  ...  but in slack time ??

8.  How much will over all passenger traffic increase with daily service ? It all depends on the possible saturation of present trains and convenience of daily service.  That is a million dollar question.

     a.  None  -  no chance

     b.  2 times   -  unlikely

     c.  7/3   -  more likely

     d.  3 times still  most likely

     e.  But we have seen some routes that went daily increase ridership all over the map

So that is a million dollar question that will only be answered by actually beginning daily service.  Weather guessers have better luck.






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