Response to Anderson:
With my Cardinal shift, CVS-NYP is still preserved. You would leave NYP much later and arrive in NYP much earlier. If I were visiting New York from VA, I'd probably rather leave around the lunch hour than before 7am and I'd probably like to arrive before rush hour than just before 10pm but others can disagree.
Response to MaxBusKirk:
Honestly, I had not heard of the New River Gorge before you said it and I barely know the Cardinal stops in West Virginia.
Your proposal to preserve the scenic route and have the train leave CIN before midnight and arrive after 7am certainly helps CIN but unless you have a separate CHI-IND train you've then put IND in the dark. Also, you've taken away NYP/PHL from CIN and IND (if it arrives in WAS at 10:19pm then I doubt they will want to travel further than that and arrive in NYP after midnight). You also take away the CVS-NYP leg Anderson referred to. I'd be open to pushing the westbound Cardinal back and the eastbound Cardinal forward as you proposed but that could hurt if the STL leg starts. If the westbound 51 doesn't get into IND until 2:30pm can you go from IND to STL in time to catch the TE (8:00pm)? You also have less time between STL and IND eastbound.
I'm sure there are people who take the train for the scenic aspect but in reality train travel is #1 a source of transportation. The Cardinal times for CIN are especially horrible with IND not much better and to me fixing them should be a higher priority over scheduling a train for the benefit of river gorge watchers.
Edited by Philly Amtrak Fan, 30 January 2016 - 09:49 AM.