Jump to content




Photo

Expanding the Amtrak Route Map


  • Please log in to reply
52 replies to this topic

#21 Eric S

Eric S

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,229 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Milwaukee

Posted 30 November 2016 - 01:52 PM

 

Wondering if there are usable tracks today Kansas City-Springfield-Memphis? And if so, who runs the trains?

 

BNSF operates the old Frisco trackage. I *think* it's still a mainline in relatively good shape.



#22 west point

west point

    Conductor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 923 posts

Posted 30 November 2016 - 02:26 PM

let us look at some numbers for expanded services. Assume that there is no reduction in the present fleets. That is unlikely due to accidents. assume no change of trains either bi-levels or single levels. Also hopefully the 25 additional V-2 sleepers will finally enter service probably not all for the summer 2017 season. Surge times can add more cars in revenue service but maintenance requirements will reduce available totals other times.
1. It takes approximately 25 additional cars of any type to cover all LD single level routes. There are seasonal variations in demand but how much is unknown. So if 4 sleepers and 6 coaches on each train would require ~~ 75 more serviceable cars. 13 car trains appear to be practical limit of NYP ? Only Lake Shore can be longer due to no capacity limitations with the Albany addition of BOS cars.
2. Required Single level routes eat up a lot Amfleet-1s. Hove no idea how many train sets of single levels but there are many. Downeaster 2 sets, Vermonter - 2. Adirondack -2, NY & Maple leaf ( State wants ~ 14 now and more later ) - 10?, Keystone - 5. NEC regionals ~30 ? Lynchburg, Norfolk. Newport news - 6 .
So to fill out the single level trains is going to take a lot of cars.
3. Superliner consists appear to require 42 additional serviceable cars to add one car to each train. With the states buying the new Nippon (NS) cars no new bi-levels SLs will be needed for Short distance trains.
4. With no new SLs to delivered before 2021 any expansion of SLs trains much less new ones appear problematic. If several SLs trains are converted to single level probably Sunset east of DAD, CNO and Capitol that equipment release of 5 train sets will not even add one coach and sleeper to each SLs sets.ose
Then we have the need for current LD routes to add another train such as Florida, WASH - ATL, CHI - NYP, CHI - MSP, CHI - DEN. Also SD trains Downeaster, Empire, Pennsylvanian, Several Va. trains may also require more single level cars ?
As much as this poster wants more service just adding to present trains gets the operating ratio closer to 100 or below. Plus with Amtrak not adding trains to new routes means no new infrastructure is needed.

To predict how traffic will be 5 - 7 years in the future is just a WAG. We will need to revisit high demand potential routes 3 - 5 years in the future when enough rolling stock is available.

.

#23 MARC Rider

MARC Rider

    Conductor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 769 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 30 November 2016 - 04:35 PM

I vote for more corridor service to feed into existing hubs and increase the market share of passenger rail.

 

Lots of possibilities if unconstrained by political reality, etc., but my first one is restoring service Washington - Baltimore - Harrisburg.  The easy way is to use the line running down the Susquehanna River through Columbia, Port Deposit and Perryville, but the service would have more utility if a successor to the Northern Central as a sort of Shinkansen/TGV Lite parallel to I-83 that would connect, Baltimore, its northern suburbs and York to Harrisburg, maybe including commuter service between Baltimore and York.  If Harrisburg and York have easy access to Washington, it could stimulate their local economies by attracting government contractors and other industries that need access to DC with their lower coast of living and lower real estate values. 

 

At the very least a Thruway bus from Baltimore that would allow a more convenient connection to the Pennsylvanian.  My daughter went to college in Huntingdon, a 3 hour drive from Baltimore.  Her public transportation choices were either a Greyhound bust to Harrisburg to connect to the Pennsylvanian with a 4 1/2 layover, or an 8 hour 2-seat ride via a Northeast Regional to 30th St. and the Pennsylvanian to Huntingdon. 



#24 MARC Rider

MARC Rider

    Conductor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 769 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 30 November 2016 - 04:41 PM

Fellas, C-mon. We can make a much bigger list than this!

 

Baton Rouge-New Orleans

Beaumont-Houston

San Antonio-Houston

a second daily train San Antonio-Houston-Lafayette-New Orleans (complementing the Sunset Shuttle route coming when the Sunset Ltd goes daily and combines with the Texas Eagle CHI-SAS-L.A., so one morning and one evening run each way)

New Orleans-Baton Rouge-Alexandria-Shreveport-Dallas-Ft Worth

 

 

 

If you're doing all this Texas stuff.  How about Dallas - Ft Worth - Abilene - Midland -Odessa - Pecos - El Paso?

 

I was amazed at the amount of traffic on I-20 as it runs through the Permian Basin.

 

Also Del Rio - San Antonio - Austin corridor service, and San Antonio has grown to the point that they would benefit from commuter rail.



#25 Devil's Advocate

Devil's Advocate

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,704 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Paper Street
  • Interests:Travel by Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Posted 30 November 2016 - 05:15 PM

 

Fellas, C-mon. We can make a much bigger list than this!

 

Baton Rouge-New Orleans

Beaumont-Houston

San Antonio-Houston

a second daily train San Antonio-Houston-Lafayette-New Orleans (complementing the Sunset Shuttle route coming when the Sunset Ltd goes daily and combines with the Texas Eagle CHI-SAS-L.A., so one morning and one evening run each way)

New Orleans-Baton Rouge-Alexandria-Shreveport-Dallas-Ft Worth

 

 

 

If you're doing all this Texas stuff.  How about Dallas - Ft Worth - Abilene - Midland -Odessa - Pecos - El Paso?

 

I was amazed at the amount of traffic on I-20 as it runs through the Permian Basin.

 

Also Del Rio - San Antonio - Austin corridor service, and San Antonio has grown to the point that they would benefit from commuter rail.

 

 

This thread has completely jumped the shark at this point.  Even here in San Antonio we changed our city charter to prevent passenger rail from using government funds or government land.  Good luck building a usable commuter rail system under rules like that.  Even with private funding you'd get stuck the moment your passenger rail service reached government property, which is basically everywhere.


If I had a tumor I'd name it Marla.


#26 neroden

neroden

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,874 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Location:Ithaca, NY
  • Interests:Please feel free to moderate my posts

Posted 30 November 2016 - 08:06 PM

San Antonio jumped the shark a while back.  Pretty sad.


--Nathanael--

Please feel free to moderate my posts.

#27 norfolkwesternhenry

norfolkwesternhenry

    OBS Chief

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 373 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Minneapolis, MN
  • Interests:Trains, Boating, Trains, Mountain Biking, Trains, Having Fun, Trains, working on my bikes, Trains, planning my next trip, PV, trains, planning trips for family

Posted 09 December 2016 - 09:26 AM

 

the North Coast Limited would add the population centers of Montana and North Dakota.

 

I'm confused.  The Sunset Limited already passes by and through multiple cities and metros that each have populations larger than all the residents of Montana and North Dakota combined.  If we can't reasonably entertain a daily SL schedule then what legitimate hope do these expanded routes have?  Or is this is just another random wish list thread that's not based on any reasonable criteria for practicality and suitability beyond having connecting trackage of one sort or another?

 

 The service would provide an additional round trip between MSP & CHI, as well as the EB passes very little population in North Dakota and Montana, and serves Spokane at a dead hour, where the NCL would pass much more population.


Empire Builder MSP-CHI (2) CHI-MSP (2) MSP-PDX (1) MSP-CBS (5.5 H late) (1) MKE-MSP (1) MSP-SEA (1) Coast Starlate PDX-EMY (1.5H late) (1) California Zephyr DEN-SLC (1H late) (1) Hiawatha CHI-MKE (1) NE Regional WAS-BAL (1) WAS-NYP (1) Acela Express BAL-WAS (1) BOS-WAS (1) Late Shore (Limited service) CHI-BOS (On Time) (1) Capitol Limited WAS-CHI (1) Texas Eagle SAS-CHI (1.5 HR late, 1 HR late) (2) CHI-SAS (1) (55 min early) Wolverine DET-DER-ARB-CHI (35 Min late) (1) Cascades SEA-VAC (1)
Non-Amtrak: VIA: Corridor Service Q.C.-Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto-Windsor (1) Canadian: VAC-Winnipeg 4.5 H late (1) D. C. metro, Montreal Metro, Toronto subway, Portland streetcars, BART, Metra, NYC subway, Boston subway, Twin cities Blue/Green line
train cars travelled in: Superliner: Coach, Sleeper, Diner, CCC, SSL. Amfleet: LD Café, Café/Business, coach. Viewliner: Sleeper, Diner. Acela: Café, Business, quiet car. Horizon: Coach. Talgo: coach, diner, café; non Amtrak: ex CP Via Canadian Manor cars, Park car, diner,sleeper, Skyline lounge. LRC trainset: coach (tilt de-activated)


#28 jis

jis

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 19,164 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
  • Interests:Trains, Planes and Travel

Posted 09 December 2016 - 10:01 AM

San Antonio jumped the shark a while back.  Pretty sad.

 

I can't understand why we keep worrying incessantly about small parts of the country that go so far as to legislate "no passenger trains" for themselves. There is plenty of the country that actually wants passenger trains or at worst are somewhat indifferent and possibly open to persuasion. Why not concentrate on those and go for the low hanging fruits first?



#29 Philly Amtrak Fan

Philly Amtrak Fan

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,452 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Philadelphia Area

Posted 09 December 2016 - 12:16 PM

 

San Antonio jumped the shark a while back.  Pretty sad.

 

I can't understand why we keep worrying incessantly about small parts of the country that go so far as to legislate "no passenger trains" for themselves. There is plenty of the country that actually wants passenger trains or at worst are somewhat indifferent and possibly open to persuasion. Why not concentrate on those and go for the low hanging fruits first?

 

 

I wouldn't count San Antonio as "small". You'll never get Texas or San Antonio to pay for trains but if the federal government will pay for increased intercity trains to San Antonio, why not?

 

 

 

 

the North Coast Limited would add the population centers of Montana and North Dakota.

 

I'm confused.  The Sunset Limited already passes by and through multiple cities and metros that each have populations larger than all the residents of Montana and North Dakota combined.  If we can't reasonably entertain a daily SL schedule then what legitimate hope do these expanded routes have?  Or is this is just another random wish list thread that's not based on any reasonable criteria for practicality and suitability beyond having connecting trackage of one sort or another?

 

 The service would provide an additional round trip between MSP & CHI, as well as the EB passes very little population in North Dakota and Montana, and serves Spokane at a dead hour, where the NCL would pass much more population.

 

 

Then have the NCL replace the EB. You'd still have CHI-MSP and SPK-SEA/PDX and the train would go through more populous regions. Or have a split schedule where it takes the EB route 4 days/week and the NCL 3 days/week so both will have service and the important parts of the routes (CHI-MSP and SPK-SEA/PDX) will have daily 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)!
 
 


#30 Philly Amtrak Fan

Philly Amtrak Fan

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,452 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Philadelphia Area

Posted 09 December 2016 - 12:18 PM

 

Fellas, C-mon. We can make a much bigger list than this!

 

Baton Rouge-New Orleans

Beaumont-Houston

San Antonio-Houston

a second daily train San Antonio-Houston-Lafayette-New Orleans (complementing the Sunset Shuttle route coming when the Sunset Ltd goes daily and combines with the Texas Eagle CHI-SAS-L.A., so one morning and one evening run each way)

New Orleans-Baton Rouge-Alexandria-Shreveport-Dallas-Ft Worth

 

 

 

If you're doing all this Texas stuff.  How about Dallas - Ft Worth - Abilene - Midland -Odessa - Pecos - El Paso?

 

 

Is this the route discussed in this article? https://ntbraymer.wo...istance-trains/ (See the paragraph beginning with "Now let’s look back, to the future")


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)!
 
 


#31 CCC1007

CCC1007

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,449 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 09 December 2016 - 02:06 PM

 

San Antonio jumped the shark a while back.  Pretty sad.

 
I can't understand why we keep worrying incessantly about small parts of the country that go so far as to legislate "no passenger trains" for themselves. There is plenty of the country that actually wants passenger trains or at worst are somewhat indifferent and possibly open to persuasion. Why not concentrate on those and go for the low hanging fruits first?
 
 
I wouldn't count San Antonio as "small". You'll never get Texas or San Antonio to pay for trains but if the federal government will pay for increased intercity trains to San Antonio, why not?
 
 

 

 

the North Coast Limited would add the population centers of Montana and North Dakota.

 
I'm confused.  The Sunset Limited already passes by and through multiple cities and metros that each have populations larger than all the residents of Montana and North Dakota combined.  If we can't reasonably entertain a daily SL schedule then what legitimate hope do these expanded routes have?  Or is this is just another random wish list thread that's not based on any reasonable criteria for practicality and suitability beyond having connecting trackage of one sort or another?
 
 The service would provide an additional round trip between MSP & CHI, as well as the EB passes very little population in North Dakota and Montana, and serves Spokane at a dead hour, where the NCL would pass much more population.
 
 
Then have the NCL replace the EB. You'd still have CHI-MSP and SPK-SEA/PDX and the train would go through more populous regions. Or have a split schedule where it takes the EB route 4 days/week and the NCL 3 days/week so both will have service and the important parts of the routes (CHI-MSP and SPK-SEA/PDX) will have daily service.
The reason the EB is important in between spk and msp is that there isn't a parallel interstate highway for 150 miles + for much of that distance, there are no bus services along the route, and there are few commercial flights, all of which go north south, and all of them in the plains are EAS flights.

#32 Devil's Advocate

Devil's Advocate

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,704 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Paper Street
  • Interests:Travel by Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Posted 09 December 2016 - 03:08 PM

The reason the EB is important in between spk and msp is that there isn't a parallel interstate highway for 150 miles + for much of that distance, there are no bus services along the route, and there are few commercial flights, all of which go north south, and all of them in the plains are EAS flights.

 

That's the reason the Empire Builder is important?  Because a relatively tiny number of antisocial people chose to live along a 150 mile stretch of nothing?  The subsidized flights the rest of us are funding aren't good enough because they happen to travel N/S?  #RuralLogic

 

EAS_chart.png


If I had a tumor I'd name it Marla.


#33 CCC1007

CCC1007

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,449 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 09 December 2016 - 03:50 PM

The reason the EB is important in between spk and msp is that there isn't a parallel interstate highway for 150 miles + for much of that distance, there are no bus services along the route, and there are few commercial flights, all of which go north south, and all of them in the plains are EAS flights.

 
That's the reason the Empire Builder is important?  Because a relatively tiny number of antisocial people chose to live along a 150 mile stretch of nothing?  The subsidized flights the rest of us are funding aren't good enough because they happen to travel N/S?  #RuralLogic
 
EAS_chart.png
Might I refer you to the Culbertson, MT thread and the report released today?

#34 neroden

neroden

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,874 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Location:Ithaca, NY
  • Interests:Please feel free to moderate my posts

Posted 11 December 2016 - 05:48 PM

The point is that the lack of expressway and overpriced airline service makes the northern tier of North Dakota and Montana a *captive market* for Amtrak and as such significantly more profitable than a non-captive market.

 

I'm all for a daily Sunset Limited -- and Cardinal -- I think less than daily is ridiculous and needs to end -- but it'll still cost more than the Empire Builder.


--Nathanael--

Please feel free to moderate my posts.

#35 LookingGlassTie

LookingGlassTie

    Service Attendant

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 78 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Portsmouth, VA

Posted 29 December 2016 - 06:40 PM

Not sure if it's pertinent to this thread, but I would like to see the Sunset Limited route restored between New Orleans and Orlando, like it was prior to Hurricane Katrina.   Then you'd have the connection to the Silver Meteor or Silver Star like before.

 

Which reminds me; why is there so much political upheaval with regard to restored Gulf Coast service?



#36 west point

west point

    Conductor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 923 posts

Posted 30 December 2016 - 11:01 AM

Which reminds me; why is there so much political upheaval with regard to restored Gulf Coast service?


IMO it is lack of funds for expansion, lack of equipment, & most important serving an area that does not have a high density population.

#37 jis

jis

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 19,164 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
  • Interests:Trains, Planes and Travel

Posted 30 December 2016 - 12:54 PM

Not sure if it's pertinent to this thread, but I would like to see the Sunset Limited route restored between New Orleans and Orlando, like it was prior to Hurricane Katrina.   Then you'd have the connection to the Silver Meteor or Silver Star like before.

 

Which reminds me; why is there so much political upheaval with regard to restored Gulf Coast service?

The Sunset Limited will not be extended to Orlando. There will either be a separate self standing train between New Orleans and Orlando or the CONO will be extended from New Orleans to Orlando. Both of those proposals gives a daily train which is an absolute requirement stated by the Souther Rail Commission. Sunset extension cannot provide that, in addition to toher issues that makes it less desirable operationally.

 

Gulf Coast Service is going to be restored as a result of said political upheaval which has been orchestrated by some Congresspeople and Senators from the area and pushed aggressively by the likes of NARP. It will happen only if local funding is found to match federal funding to set up the supporting infrastructure and then for the operating subsidies.



#38 LookingGlassTie

LookingGlassTie

    Service Attendant

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 78 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Portsmouth, VA

Posted 30 December 2016 - 09:03 PM

 

Not sure if it's pertinent to this thread, but I would like to see the Sunset Limited route restored between New Orleans and Orlando, like it was prior to Hurricane Katrina.   Then you'd have the connection to the Silver Meteor or Silver Star like before.

 

Which reminds me; why is there so much political upheaval with regard to restored Gulf Coast service?

The Sunset Limited will not be extended to Orlando. There will either be a separate self standing train between New Orleans and Orlando or the CONO will be extended from New Orleans to Orlando. Both of those proposals gives a daily train which is an absolute requirement stated by the Souther Rail Commission. Sunset extension cannot provide that, in addition to toher issues that makes it less desirable operationally.

 

Gulf Coast Service is going to be restored as a result of said political upheaval which has been orchestrated by some Congresspeople and Senators from the area and pushed aggressively by the likes of NARP. It will happen only if local funding is found to match federal funding to set up the supporting infrastructure and then for the operating subsidies.

 

 

 

 

Thanks for the info, that makes a lot of sense.


Edited by LookingGlassTie, 30 December 2016 - 09:04 PM.


#39 dlagrua

dlagrua

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,599 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hillsborough, NJ
  • Interests:Car collecting, Train Travel, Model RR, Visiting Historical sights, Cooking, Antiques, but above all love for friends and family.

Posted 02 January 2017 - 10:18 AM

Read this and weep.  Its a sorry testament to how the USA views passenger rail. If we have any chance of seeing some of these lost routes restored; the mentality in congress and of the American people must change This list will bring back fond memories for some of the older members. It must have been great back in the day.

https://en.wikipedia...r_Amtrak_routes



#40 A Voice

A Voice

    Conductor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 593 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 02 January 2017 - 11:05 AM

Read this and weep.  Its a sorry testament to how the USA views passenger rail. If we have any chance of seeing some of these lost routes restored; the mentality in congress and of the American people must change This list will bring back fond memories for some of the older members. It must have been great back in the day.

https://en.wikipedia...r_Amtrak_routes

 

How does a Wikipedia list of former Amtrak routes reflect American attitudes toward passenger rail?  Amtrak has traditionally enjoyed far greater support at a grass-roots level than in the halls of Congress, where ideology and politics drive anti-rail legislation and limit progress.  A mere list of train discontinuances doesn't tell you a thing about what people really think, the level of support for rail, or - indeed - anything about why a particular train was dropped.  Anyone want to argue Honda or Ford are not successful companies?  They've got a very long list of discontinued models.  

 

Regardless, that list doesn't just show actual route and service cuts, but also train identity and branding changes.  The Ann Rutledge, Merchants Limited, Metroliner, and San Diegans are all among services that survive, in generally improved and superior form.  They are really nothing to weep over.  Granted, there have been too many inadvisable and mistaken actual train and route cuts over the years - often politically motivated - but that doesn't necessarily reflect how the nation views passenger rail either.  More accurately, it reflects the "horse trading' of politics between passenger rail supporters and those who are ideologically opposed to anything which requires a subsidy (by their own definition of subsidy, of course).  






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users