OK, fantasy exercise here:
You can add up to 5,000 train miles to the Amtrak map. This doesn't include multiple frequencies of a current route. You can choose any old route (Amtrak or otherwise), you don't have to worry about the ownership/ condition of the tracks or stations within the 5,000 track mile limit. Don't worry about putting routes together or one seat rides. If you want to bring back the 1995 BL, you only get charged the route between PGH-CHI since PGH-NYP is still being used.
We can play this really old Wheel of Fortune style ... "For 788 miles, I'll take the Desert Wind between LAX and SLC..."
90's Amtrak (timetables.org):
Sunset Limited East (MIA-NOL): 1033 miles
Desert Wind (SLC-LAX): 788 miles
Texas Eagle (DAL-HOS): 264 miles
Lake Cities (DET-TOL): 56 miles
Since my "ideal" Amtrak "BL" route would be via Michigan and I could live with it going via CLE-TOL-South Bend, I don't "need" the portion between PGH and CHI.
National Limited (PGH-STL): 611 miles
Lone Star (OKC-Newton): 197 miles
Floridian (IND-Nashville): 298 miles (When it ran via Indy)
Cincinnati Limited (CIN-Columbus): 124.9 miles (http://www.american-...m/cinn-ltd.html)
Dixie Flagler (JAX-Nashville): 642.8 miles (http://streamlinersc...flag194106.html)
Phoebe Snow (Hoboken-BUF): 396.2 miles (http://www.american-...hoebe-snow.html) (Shout out to Neroden!)
Total so far (rounding up): 3,997 miles
My ideal CHI-Florida route would be via IND-Louisville-Nashville-Chattanooga-ATL-Jacksonville-ORL-MIA and/or TPA.
I don't have records of the mileage of any CLE-Columbus route or the proposed Meridian-DAL route. I certainly want CLE-Columbus included (AAO puts it at 135 miles, http://freepdfhostin...f26514bc8.pdf).I'm not 100% sold on Meridian-DAL since if HOS-DAL are hooked up that would give you a potential shorter route between NOL-DAL (via HOS). Maybe you could just extend the Crescent to DAL or HOS or SAS (again, fantasy thread!!!!) Meridian-Dallas via the Thruway bus is 507 miles so that is a huge bit of real estate for Shreveport. If you include those, that would leave around 450 miles. I also would like routes for both Allentown/Bethlehem and Tulsa. Allentown to Philly would be really "cheap" (maybe 50 miles?) I don't think I can fit Boise in (I certainly won't include all 1,625 miles of the old Pioneer between DEN-SEA).
If you have any accurate train miles for any of the missing portions feel free to do so and I'll update my list.
The Soo Line (CN) route from CHI-MSP (~450 miles)
The CNW (UP) route from CHI-MSP (~400 miles)
The CB&Q (BNSF)route from CHI-MSP (~400 miles)
The Milwaukee Road (CP) route CHI-Green Bay, WI (~200 miles)
The BNSF Hinckley Sub MSP-Duluth (~220 miles)
Part of several railroads (MSP-DEN via CZ) (~400 miles?)
The BNSD line GFK-Winnepeg, MB (~150 miles?)
The ex CNW route MSP-Mankato (~150 miles?)
CP route from MSP-Rochester-Winona (~100 miles)
I want my midwest MSP based service back if you can tell
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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