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Comparing Amtrak Schedules, Past vs. Present


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#41 railiner

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Posted 03 August 2016 - 08:56 PM

 

Why go back when we could have better? Why not figure out new, more useful routes rather than recreating old ones (not saying some aren't useful)?

That would not satisfy the "nostalgia" aspect, which is a major pastime of many railfans. ;)

 

Exactly....I don't expect to see in the rest of my life, any semblance of the service that I did see in my lifetime...I would love to be able to go back in time to see them again, and of course to ride routes that I never got a chance to.... :)


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#42 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 03 August 2016 - 10:57 PM

Why go back when we could have better? Why not figure out new, more useful routes rather than recreating old ones (not saying some aren't useful)?

 

New, old, as long as it serves NYP-CHI via NJ-PHL-HAR-PGH I'm happy. 

 

The one advantage to old routes is Amtrak has some familiarity with the routes. Now some may not be usable anymore but some are. Also, maybe a city that used to have Amtrak but doesn't now might still have the station in place.


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/

 


#43 railiner

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Posted 04 August 2016 - 06:58 PM

 

Why go back when we could have better? Why not figure out new, more useful routes rather than recreating old ones (not saying some aren't useful)?

 

New, old, as long as it serves NYP-CHI via NJ-PHL-HAR-PGH I'm happy. 

 

 

 

If you were around before Amtrak, your favorite train would have to have been, The Pennsylvania Limited....unlike the other PRR New York-Chicago limiteds, it served PHL...that is Thirtieth Street Station (it actually was hauled backwards from New York to Philly to facilitate the move).  The other trains stopped in North Philadelphia, and took the  "subway" bypass to the Main Line....


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#44 jphjaxfl

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Posted 05 August 2016 - 06:52 AM

 

 

Why go back when we could have better? Why not figure out new, more useful routes rather than recreating old ones (not saying some aren't useful)?

 

New, old, as long as it serves NYP-CHI via NJ-PHL-HAR-PGH I'm happy. 

 

 

 

If you were around before Amtrak, your favorite train would have to have been, The Pennsylvania Limited....unlike the other PRR New York-Chicago limiteds, it served PHL...that is Thirtieth Street Station (it actually was hauled backwards from New York to Philly to facilitate the move).  The other trains stopped in North Philadelphia, and took the  "subway" bypass to the Main Line....

 

The Pennsylvania Limited left Chicago later at night so it provided overnight service to Pittsburgh and daylight service through the Horsehoe Curve.  It provided a good connection to trains like Santa Fe's Chief which was a 2 day, 1 night trip from Los Angeles to Chicago on a time schedule close to the Super Chief.



#45 Seaboard92

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Posted 05 August 2016 - 06:26 PM

The Chief was the premier ATSF train before the Super Chief started running. And if it had been any other railroad it probably would have been the highest of the fleet.

View my pictures at http://trainboy1.rrpicturearchives.net

Amtrak Routes I've riden: Silver Star(NYP-ORL), Silver Meteor(KIS-NYP),Carolinian(CLT-NWK), Palmetto (FLO-NYP), Acela(WAS-NYP), NE Regional(WBG-RVR), Pacific Surfliner(SAN-OSD), Piedmont(CLT-SAL), Crescent(NYP-CLT), Cardinal (WAS-CHI), Capitol Limited (CHI-WAS), Cascade (PDX-SEA)

Steam Engines I've worked behind

Norfolk & Western No. 611

Nickel Plate Road No. 765

Southern Pacific No. 4449

 


#46 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 05 August 2016 - 07:07 PM

Sadly (or happily depending on how you look at it), I wasn't born before the start of Amtrak. So I do get jealous of all these pre-Amtrak trains/services described. But of course back then train travel was a competitive market and not a Congress run service with no competition and no incentive to improve service or attract business.

 

Still, I think service was better in the Amtrak era than it is today since my first appearance with Amtrak way back in the early 90's and while the 1979 cuts were bad, there were some steps forward in Amtrak between 1979-1994 (SL East, Auto Train, Lake Cities, DAL-HOU via College Station) and there have hardly been any steps forward since 1994 outside of state supported routes. Also, several trains schedules are longer today than they were back in the 90's which seems backwards.  We can argue about frequencies, service, etc, but the biggest selling point of train service is simply having one to go from point A to point B and no one can argue there's less today than 1994.


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/

 


#47 railiner

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Posted 05 August 2016 - 07:54 PM

 

 

 

Why go back when we could have better? Why not figure out new, more useful routes rather than recreating old ones (not saying some aren't useful)?

 

New, old, as long as it serves NYP-CHI via NJ-PHL-HAR-PGH I'm happy. 

 

 

 

If you were around before Amtrak, your favorite train would have to have been, The Pennsylvania Limited....unlike the other PRR New York-Chicago limiteds, it served PHL...that is Thirtieth Street Station (it actually was hauled backwards from New York to Philly to facilitate the move).  The other trains stopped in North Philadelphia, and took the  "subway" bypass to the Main Line....

 

The Pennsylvania Limited left Chicago later at night so it provided overnight service to Pittsburgh and daylight service through the Horsehoe Curve.  It provided a good connection to trains like Santa Fe's Chief which was a 2 day, 1 night trip from Los Angeles to Chicago on a time schedule close to the Super Chief.

 

The Pennsylvania Limited departed New York at around 11:30 PM...about an hour later than NYC's Chicagoan....

And I believe it departed Chicago also around that time...I guess you could call it the ultimate "clean-up" train....


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#48 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 08 August 2016 - 05:29 AM

Some more discussion on old Amtrak routes: http://discuss.amtra...-revived/page-3

 

The discussion was from 2003 while the Three Rivers was still running so they aren't included in the poll.


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/

 


#49 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 08 August 2016 - 02:17 PM

In the old Texas Eagle Houston leg (http://www.timetable...1030n&item=0031), they list "Southern Pacific Lines" for DAL-HOS by way of College Station. I don't believe Southern Pacific is still around today, did they get merged into Union Pacific? Does UP still own the DAL-College Station-HOS line? If not, who does? And what is the conditions of the track?


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 Seaboard92

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Posted 08 August 2016 - 06:13 PM

Union Pacific merged Southern Pacific, Western Pacific, Rio Grande, KATY, and Missouri Pacific into it. I think the track is still there.

View my pictures at http://trainboy1.rrpicturearchives.net

Amtrak Routes I've riden: Silver Star(NYP-ORL), Silver Meteor(KIS-NYP),Carolinian(CLT-NWK), Palmetto (FLO-NYP), Acela(WAS-NYP), NE Regional(WBG-RVR), Pacific Surfliner(SAN-OSD), Piedmont(CLT-SAL), Crescent(NYP-CLT), Cardinal (WAS-CHI), Capitol Limited (CHI-WAS), Cascade (PDX-SEA)

Steam Engines I've worked behind

Norfolk & Western No. 611

Nickel Plate Road No. 765

Southern Pacific No. 4449

 


#51 railiner

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Posted 08 August 2016 - 07:39 PM

Going back into the pre-Amtrak era, the principal rivals to SP on the Dallas-Houston route were the joint operation of the Burlington/Rock Island, who's Zephyr and Rocket actually had the fastest (4 hours) time.  Santa Fe also ran service, but a lot slower....as did the Katy, and via a circuitous connection,  the MP....


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#52 Metra Electric Rider

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 01:31 PM

Sadly (or happily depending on how you look at it), I wasn't born before the start of Amtrak. So I do get jealous of all these pre-Amtrak trains/services described. But of course back then train travel was a competitive market and not a Congress run service with no competition and no incentive to improve service or attract business.

 

 

It's always been my understanding that a lot more of the passenger service was indirectly subsidized by USPS contracts than we talk about today and once those ended passenger service tanked rapidly. That's the problem with competition - too many services competing for too few passengers (good, rail, but not distance examples, the two subway lines along or near the Grand Concourse in the Bronx cannibalizing each other as well as some areas of London which have parallel routes and stations from the Victorian era - though today with their loading, probably less duplicative). Plus there was lingering residual dislike, mis or distrust and suspicion of the Robber Barons which lingered through the progressive era, which I believe led to more road construction over rail investment (plus, obviously, not wanting to spend on private benefits). And the passenger network seems to have started contracting much earlier than the fifties - although it was also heavily overbuilt in some areas.

 

I firmly believe the future of Amtrak is more corridor trains with better service which may lead to a few more long distance services. I have to ask myself, as an aside, was rail travel really all that great 'back in the day' and what is left of the nostalgia just successful marketing for the crack trains. I've heard stories about the "student fares" between Chicago and Oakland from a friend and how dreary the trip was after the first few times... I can't remember the specific train at the moment, would have been in the mid sixties.


Edited by Metra Electric Rider, 10 August 2016 - 01:32 PM.

SJ - Norra Stambanan, Nordvästra stambanan, Södra stambanan, Dalabanan

NSB- Bergensbanen, Kongsvingerbanen, Rørosbanen, Dovrebanen, Flåmsbana, Roa–Hønefossbanen

Amtrak - Floridian, San Francisco Zephyr, Southwest Limited, Illini, State House


#53 Bob Dylan

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 02:51 PM

MER: your post pretty much nails it as pertains to passenger rail in the "Golden Days!"

I used to ride alot on the Southern,Mopac,Katy,Santa Fe and the SP back in the 40s and 50s and except for the Santa Fe, there was a world of difference between the Crack Trains and the rest. ( they were transitioning from Steam to Diesel then, but as a kid I loved Steamers!)

"Luxuries" such as Reclining Seats, AC and Dependable Heat, Cafe Cars Diners,Dome Cars and Luxury Lounges were the exception rather than the rule, and while there was extensive and frequent service to most places, the Fares were actually High for the times, especially in Sleeping Cars!

The strangest time was when the RRs, spearheaded by the SP, started their "run 'em off" campaign so they could get out of the passenger business!

Strange days indeed! Sort of like the current Bean Counter Management @ 60 Mass!😒 YMMV
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 
".. I ride on a Mail Train Baby, can't buy a thrill.."--I said that!
 
"..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#54 Seaboard92

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 08:22 PM

If you study the Penn Central you will actually find out today's trains are better then what we had back then. Back then hvac worked fifty percent of the time as well as the lights. Along with other issues. Including water between the double panes of glass creating a defacto aquarium. So in ways we've come far and lost a lot

View my pictures at http://trainboy1.rrpicturearchives.net

Amtrak Routes I've riden: Silver Star(NYP-ORL), Silver Meteor(KIS-NYP),Carolinian(CLT-NWK), Palmetto (FLO-NYP), Acela(WAS-NYP), NE Regional(WBG-RVR), Pacific Surfliner(SAN-OSD), Piedmont(CLT-SAL), Crescent(NYP-CLT), Cardinal (WAS-CHI), Capitol Limited (CHI-WAS), Cascade (PDX-SEA)

Steam Engines I've worked behind

Norfolk & Western No. 611

Nickel Plate Road No. 765

Southern Pacific No. 4449

 


#55 railiner

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 10:31 PM

Passenger rail peaked early in the twentieth century, and slowly started declining during the great depression, with a brief respite during WW II, and then, even when many railways invested in wonderful new streamliners and domeliners post war....passenger's deserted them to the new subsidized superhighways and airways.   

As was mentioned, the removal of first class mail from the railroads in the late sixties was the final nail in the coffin, and the railways had no choice but to attempt to exit the passenger business, hence the creation of Amtrak.


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#56 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 08:14 AM

If you study the Penn Central you will actually find out today's trains are better then what we had back then. Back then hvac worked fifty percent of the time as well as the lights. Along with other issues. Including water between the double panes of glass creating a defacto aquarium. So in ways we've come far and lost a lot

 

If you live in New York, Washington, or other places, the trains are better today. If you live in Las Vegas, Nashville, Columbus, Phoenix, or Louisville, the trains with broken hvac/lights were better than the trains they have today. There are other cities that had many substandard trains today and only have one per day (or three per week) today. Would you rather have more lousy trains or fewer better trains?

 

 

Passenger rail peaked early in the twentieth century, and slowly started declining during the great depression, with a brief respite during WW II, and then, even when many railways invested in wonderful new streamliners and domeliners post war....passenger's deserted them to the new subsidized superhighways and airways.   

As was mentioned, the removal of first class mail from the railroads in the late sixties was the final nail in the coffin, and the railways had no choice but to attempt to exit the passenger business, hence the creation of Amtrak.

 

Of course train travel is less popular today than it was back before Amtrak. Of course there's way better highways, cheaper gas, more affordable airlines and more competition today. And of course trains are more popular among short distances than over long ones. But there are still 15 LD trains in the country but Pennsylvania outside of PHL, PGH, Erie, and Connelsville (wherever that is?) isn't good enough for one. Ohio has lousy service. Texas has lousy service. Florida only has trains going north (try even getting to ATL or NOL from Florida). But there's plenty of other smaller states have much better LD service than some big states. And don't blame it on their states don't spend money, most of the tiny states don't spend any money either. Pennsylvania doesn't have an LD route because LD travel is dead. They don't because Congress thinks other states are more important and worthy of federally funded LD service.


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/

 


#57 railbuck

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 12:54 PM

Of course train travel is less popular today than it was back before Amtrak. Of course there's way better highways, cheaper gas, more affordable airlines and more competition today. And of course trains are more popular among short distances than over long ones. But there are still 15 LD trains in the country but Pennsylvania outside of PHL, PGH, Erie, and Connelsville (wherever that is?) isn't good enough for one. Ohio has lousy service. Texas has lousy service. Florida only has trains going north (try even getting to ATL or NOL from Florida). But there's plenty of other smaller states have much better LD service than some big states. And don't blame it on their states don't spend money, most of the tiny states don't spend any money either. Pennsylvania doesn't have an LD route because LD travel is dead. They don't because Congress thinks other states are more important and worthy of federally funded LD service.

 

Almost half of those LD trains have stops in PA, a non-LD train traverses the entire width of the state with connections to LD trains on both ends, there are 20 corridor trains per day serving the state, and over 70 additional corridor trains per day stop in PA.  Seems to me Congress and Amtrak think PA is pretty important.  Looking specifically at LD trains, only two states (IL and VA) clearly have more service than PA, and most of the other 47 have substantially less.

 

What were you complaining about?



#58 Bob Dylan

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 02:17 PM

Philly wants to have his cake and eat it too!(Cardinal, bad bird! Go away!)

Edited by Bob Dylan, 11 August 2016 - 02:21 PM.

"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 
".. I ride on a Mail Train Baby, can't buy a thrill.."--I said that!
 
"..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#59 jis

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 02:18 PM

Actually PA is served by every LD train that serves Virginia and two additional ones. PA and NY are the only states that are served by all of the single level LD trains that are operated by Amtrak. There is no other state that has this distinction. PA in addition has one Superliner LD train which NY does not.

 

He is just ticked off that he can't ride the Broadway Limited any more. The rest is just mucho hot air.



#60 railbuck

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 04:58 PM

Looking specifically at LD trains, only two states (IL and VA) clearly have more service than PA, and most of the other 47 have substantially less.

Actually PA is served by every LD train that serves Virginia and two additional ones.

 

Auto Train would be the exception to that statement.  The number of stops in VA, though, offsets the slight advantage PA has in the number of LD trains.

 

He is just ticked off that he can't ride the Broadway Limited any more. The rest is just mucho hot air.

 

Yeah, I'd like to see the Broadway come back, too, but there does seem to be quite an obsession.






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