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Proposals for Restored Gulf Coast Service


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#41 jis

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 02:15 PM

No. They will not be running it to SAS. it will be a purely NOL - ORL service. There is already a train that runs to SAS. Just making it daily should be the first project. Please stop thinking up various schemes for mucking up something that we are close to getting in the bag.

 

Besides the very reason why they want a local train covering just the four states is defeated by extending it to anywhere else.

 

There is a separate effort in the works for what was called the "Crescent Star", the Meridien to Fort Worth section off of the Crescent. But that is not as far along as the Gulf Coast effort. As for Sunset Limited, I get the sense that the politics of it is more complicated and no one wants to touch it with a ten foot barge pole at this time.


Edited by jis, 05 May 2016 - 03:15 PM.


#42 Bob Dylan

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 02:49 PM

Old sayings:

" Half a loaf is better than none! "

" Be careful what you ask for, you might just get it! " 😯
"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

#43 Hytec

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 03:04 PM

 

 


"Don't know what you are thanking Woody for considering that I posted the response to your post giving you all the information :P"

 

Mea Culpa.... :giggle:

 

Though I say again, thanks for the information, regardless of messenger. Definitely relieves my uninformed concerns.

 

Are there any reliable rumors as to funding sources and availability? The MS legislative session ended a few weeks ago without mentioning this issue. I doubt if Gov. Bryant would call a special session for this, especially since he signed corporate, individual, and economic inducement tax cuts, while simultaneously reducing most budgets by about 5%.  Questionable economic frugality in light of projected lower FY16 income.  :unsure:


Edited by Hytec, 05 May 2016 - 03:05 PM.


#44 jis

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 03:09 PM

The Senators and Congress(wo)men are figuring out ways to add explicit funding/language either in the Amtrak LD operations appropriation or in some other suitable pot in the federal appropriation. Afterall, adding $5 to $10 million or so (with special instructions attached) to a $1 billion plus National Operations Appropriation should not be rocket science. But there are other possibilities that have been discussed too apparently.



#45 maxbuskirk

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Posted 20 August 2016 - 12:28 AM

How long would a restored Gulf Coast Service take to operate NOL-JAX right now, taking into account the condition of the tracks? I know that the reason that Amtrak didn't reinstate service immediately after the tracks were fixed, was that the condition of the tracks weren't acceptable for passenger rail (too slow). Anyone have ideas, other than looking at the employee timetables for all the subdivisions and doing the math?


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).


#46 dogbert617

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Posted 20 August 2016 - 01:05 AM

 


..... but I would prefer to see a restoration of a service more like the Floridian that hits Louisville and Nashville on the way to Orlando and Miami.

I am also an advocate of expanded Amtrak day service to Memphis via the Illini or the Saluki out of Carbondale. ... The TN Assoc. of RR Passengers is a tireless advocate for restoring/expanding passenger rail in TN.                                                     

 

The day train to Memphis should come first, of course.

 

No extra equipment required. Just extend the Saluki. It now departs CHI at 7:15 a.m., reaches Champaign at 10:25 a.m., and stops at Carbondale at 1:45 p.m. Instead keep it going for 220 miles, another 5 hours or so at the same speed as the CONO, and it would stop in Memphis in the evening, 7ish. Morning return, the same equipment could head northbound at 11:15 a.m., picking up the existing schedule of the Illini at Carbondale at 4:15 p.m., arriving CHI 9:45 p.m. as now. Riders would have a choice of the overnight CONO or the new day train to/from Memphis, and riders love choices.

 

This extension of the existing state-supported train would double the service to Memphis (1,344,000 metro). And it would require very little additional subsidy, because Illinois already pays for most of the mileage, and the ridership gains from Memphis would greatly help the revenue side.

 

Of course you'll know that Amtrak floated this idea, even sent representatives to Memphis to talk it up, but got no money from Tennessee. So it's no go.

 

Adding, or restoring, the train along the Gulf Coast, and adding service Atlanta-Dallas-Ft Worth, would change the Southern conversation from "When will Amtrak die?" to "Can we get one of them new trains?" Virginia will help by talking up its plans to serve Bristol -- and then Knoxville and Chattanooga. That would build political support for trains at the two ends of Tennessee. Then a successful second train to Memphis will have a big impact. It will take a while, no doubt, but keep up your good work.

 

 

I love that idea of extending the Illini and Saluki trains to Memphis, wish that would occur. It'd probably take Tennessee deciding to fund that extension(and maybe also Kentucky, if it were to stop in Fulton, KY?), for this to ever occur. And like others, I greatly agree in wishing there was some sort of Chicago to Florida train service. The Floridian never should've been eliminated all those years ago, but I suppose extending the CONO to go east to Florida to make up for the Sunset's elimination east of New Orleans is better than nothing. It really is sad that cities like Louisville and Nashville have no train service at all. :( And I think the Floridian also served Bowling Green, KY, Birmingham, and Dothan, AL, right? Correct me if I'm wrong, I looked up that train and am only sure about it stopping in a few mentioned cities.

 

Trying to remember the URL of that historic Amtrak pdf timetable website, but I'm oddly forgetting it for whatever weird reason.



#47 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 20 August 2016 - 06:53 AM

Best source for old timetables: timetables.org

 

Floridian, 1979: http://www.timetable...90429&item=0041. Also comes with an old Panama Limited schedule.


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 DryCreek

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Posted 20 August 2016 - 11:04 AM

There is a separate effort in the works for what was called the "Crescent Star", the Meridien to Fort Worth section off of the Crescent. But that is not as far along as the Gulf Coast effort.

Well, that would make a lot of sense.  That could open up a lot of city pairs for travel to the east coast again.  I say build HSR tracks right down the middle of I-20.  Nothing would get the attention of sleepy drivers with bored, fussy kids better than to be passed by a train while "zooming" along the highway at 70 mph.



#49 jis

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Posted 20 August 2016 - 11:36 AM

How long would a restored Gulf Coast Service take to operate NOL-JAX right now, taking into account the condition of the tracks? I know that the reason that Amtrak didn't reinstate service immediately after the tracks were fixed, was that the condition of the tracks weren't acceptable for passenger rail (too slow). Anyone have ideas, other than looking at the employee timetables for all the subdivisions and doing the math?

 

Ask and we shall deliver. No need to guess and do any math.

 

The current proposals are to run NOL to ORL, with a stop at JAX, which will involve wying the train to get it to head out in the right direction. Maintenance at the Florida end will be at the Sanford Auto Train facility.

 

Look at pages 21 and 33 for conceptual schedules developed by Amtrak taking into consideration all current facts on the ground, in the following document:

 

http://static1.squar...Report 2015.pdf


Edited by jis, 20 August 2016 - 11:40 AM.


#50 Palmetto

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Posted 20 August 2016 - 01:55 PM

All very interesting.  I'm wondering how far along the discussions are between Amtrak and CSX concerning infrastructure improvements required by the latter, if any.  My impression is that the route is not heavily populated with CSX traffic for most of the way, so perhaps there'll be nothing earth-shaking coming from CSX.



#51 jis

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Posted 20 August 2016 - 02:01 PM

PTC requirements from FRA may be an issue.



#52 Palmetto

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Posted 21 August 2016 - 08:17 AM

PTC requirements from FRA may be an issue.

A BIG issue.



#53 jis

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Posted 21 August 2016 - 08:34 AM

All very interesting.  I'm wondering how far along the discussions are between Amtrak and CSX concerning infrastructure improvements required by the latter, if any.  My impression is that the route is not heavily populated with CSX traffic for most of the way, so perhaps there'll be nothing earth-shaking coming from CSX.

Overall the current state that I have heard from various sources is that it is at least three to five years away. It will take that much time to line the ducks up and execute on the modifications needed to get the thing going. Some very optimistic people are saying two years, but I cannot see how anyone would be able to pull that off even if Congress actually appropriated the money in the 2018 spending bill.



#54 Shanghai

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Posted 21 August 2016 - 09:00 AM

Perhaps the termination point should be Tampa rather than Orlando.

The currently is a wy capability in use for the Silver Star and the city

of Tampa is one of the fastest growing cities in the USA.


Spirit of St Louis, Broadway Limited, Three Rivers, Cardinal, Lake Shore Limited, Silver Star, Pennsylvanian, Keystone, Silver Meteor, Regional, Acela, Capitol Limited, Hoosier State, Texas Eagle, Maple Leaf, Empire Service, Ethan Allen, Eurostar, TGV, BR, Orient Express, Netherlands Rail, SCNF, DSB, Deutsche Bahn, KCRC, MRT, MTR, California Zephyr, Carolinian, Missouri River Runner, Lincoln Service, Crescent, Sunset Limited, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Coast Starlight, Cascades, Pacific Surfliner, BART, CalTrain, NJ Transit, SEPTA, PATCO, Dinky, MBTA, Downeaster, UTA Trax, Heartland Flyer, Hiawatha, Illinois Zehpyr,Carl Sandburg, Piedmont, Vermonter, Metro North

#55 jis

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Posted 21 August 2016 - 09:15 AM

Perhaps the termination point should be Tampa rather than Orlando.

The currently is a wy capability in use for the Silver Star and the city

of Tampa is one of the fastest growing cities in the USA.

The choice of Orlando is because it is close to Sanford where the consist can be serviced. There is more to turning a train than just putting it around a wye. The Tampa servicing base could be reinstated, but that costs more money, when we don;t even have the money to start the basic service, and Florida State that will not throw in a single dime as long as we have the current government in Florida. Florida DOT is conspicuously absent from the group that is trying too restore this service, and no attempt so far to get the current government to make a move on that has born any fruit so far.



#56 ToniCounter

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Posted 21 August 2016 - 09:42 AM

were there ever any Amtrak service from Chicago to stations in Florida?



#57 jis

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Posted 21 August 2016 - 10:01 AM

Yes. The Floridian. Chicago to Miami.

#58 battalion51

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Posted 21 August 2016 - 10:03 AM

Yes, the Floridian was run until 1979 via Nashville and Birmingham.

Also, as to the Tampa idea, it looks like they're going to try and turn the eastbound train for the westbound same day (note only two additional sets of equipment needed). If the train continued to Tampa that would be impossible. Even turning same day in Sanford seems like a heavy lift to me, but I guess if the eastbound is late they could just make up a set from equipment in the yard at Sanford.

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#59 ToniCounter

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Posted 21 August 2016 - 11:21 AM

Yes. The Floridian. Chicago to Miami.

 

What Amtrak trains would I have been on, if travelling from Washington, DC to Orlando, FL, back in 1980 or 1981?  

 

(sadly, I only remember 2 things about the train... pretty good food in the dining car... and multiple BIG roaches in the coach cars!!!)   :) :(

 

Thanks!


Edited by ToniCounter, 21 August 2016 - 11:22 AM.


#60 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 21 August 2016 - 11:39 AM

 

Yes. The Floridian. Chicago to Miami.

 

What Amtrak trains would I have been on, if travelling from Washington, DC to Orlando, FL, back in 1980 or 1981?  

 

(sadly, I only remember 2 things about the train... pretty good food in the dining car... and multiple BIG roaches in the coach cars!!!)   :) :(

 

Thanks!

 

 

Same ones that exist today:

 

http://www.timetable...11025&item=0029

 

They also had the Silver Palm/Palmetto to Florida but they eventually got truncated to Savannah.


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/

 





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