Admit it. Just too far to be a day train, Atlanta-Dallas.
Starting with the current Crescent in ATL at 8:30 a.m. It is scheduled to arrive in Meridian at 3 pm Central (4 p.m. Eastern), so, 7 hrs 30 min later. Then another 7 hrs (taken from the Thruway Bus schedule) gets it into Shreveport about 10 p.m. and into Dallas at 3:40 a.m. Not viable for the Big D.
Starting with the fabled Atlanta day train, leave ATL around 9 pm. Then 7 hrs 30 min passing thru Anniston (116,000 metro), Birmingham (1,146,000 metro), Tuscaloosa (240,000), and Meridian (105,000) in the dark of night. Then another 1 hr 30 min or so to Jackson, MS (579,000 metro) for a 6ish arrival time. Then daylight thru small cities -- Vicksburg (57,000)-Monroe (179,000)-Ruston (48,000 LA Tech U)-Shreveport (444,000 riverboat gambling)-Marshall (67,000)-Longview (218,000)-Dallas-Ft Worth -- to arrive in Dallas in the evening, 7ish, and Ft Worth 8ish. Worth doing.
I'm always skeptical of long Long Distance trains, with big anchors at the end but too thin in the middle. Like the Southwest Chief CHI-L.A., supported, barely, by "intermediate destinations" Kansas City and Albuquerque, but dust bowl desert empty aside from that. And end-to-end passengers comprise less than 15% of the total ridership.
This Meridian Speedway route has big anchors, ATL-DAL. But how we gonna fill this train, if only 15% of the riders going between the anchor cities? After all, the trip will take all night and all day.
Suppose we don't get many riders from Anniston, Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, and Meridian due to their dark-of-night service. (Their total pop. is 1.6 million, so we'll get some riders.) But adding up those small-city figures from Jackson thru Longview, well, 1.5 million looks like a population base to work with.
As a bonus, the route would create the beginning of a corridor Ft Worth-Dallas-Longview/ Shreveport, because the Texas Eagle already uses the tracks Dallas-Longview/and offers a Thruway bus for the 62 miles to the riverboat casinos in Shreveport. Then to the two LDs, add a corridor train over the 220 miles Ft Worth-Shreveport and it's a strong start.
Edited by WoodyinNYC, 27 April 2016 - 11:23 PM.