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Expanding the Amtrak Route Map


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#121 JRR

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 03:02 PM

The Chicago & Northwestern used to run from Chicago up through Wisconsin including Oshkosh, Milwaukee, Greenbay, Menominee, Marinette, up in the UP to Powers and both.

I used to ride it from Powers to Chicago, and then on the “James Whitcomb Riley” to Cincinnati.


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#122 DSS&A

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Posted 14 December 2017 - 07:40 AM

Hi,
An expanded Hiawatha service from Milwaukee to Green Bay should have been done a long time ago. One thing that stopped it was that Wisconsin law PREVENTED the state to subsidize passenger trains until the law was changed. I recall this happened when Gov. Thompson was in office.

The expanded Hiawatha Service could have a combination of through service to Chicago and also one train consist operating just between Milwaukee and Chicago for greater frequencies on the south end. For example, the first train out of Milwaukee will still be the same, but the early morning train out of Green Bay would become the second southbound train out of Milwaukee for Chicago. In addition to high populations, there are also a few universities on the route, including UW Stevens Point if a Thruway connection is operated.

JRR, how did you like riding the Penninsula 400 train? I was able to ride those passenger cars when the were in Hiawatha service in 1986 and they were still comfortable cars to ride in. The cafe-coach was on the train that I rode. I was also able to ride in two cars after they left Amtrak service on the old DSS&A in 1994 on a passenger train charter out of Marquette.

Edited by DSS&A, 14 December 2017 - 07:44 AM.


#123 JRR

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Posted 14 December 2017 - 10:54 AM

The train was ok. Double decker and a good view from upstairs. I remember speeding along and watching the ice boats race in Lake Winnebago, often faster than the train!


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#124 west point

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Posted 14 December 2017 - 03:42 PM

"IF"  the Siemens  cars can replace all the Amfleets, Horizons, & Superliners presently in state service then ----- The freed up cars can probably expand the LD Superliner trains and the single level car trains.  That may allow for one each of SLs and AM-1s to start a new train.  Until more cars are built that will be the limit of expansion.  Pick your one potion of poison.  Any expansion will require at least 3 train sets each + 12 -16 additional P-42 displaced by the new Chargers.



#125 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 14 December 2017 - 06:40 PM

One day it is going to occur to you people that cars have a limited service life. The Amfleets and Superliner I cars are over 30 years old! And the Horizon fleet is awful in cold weather and inadequate for NEC service.

By the time even Siemens cars have funding secured (presumably after our current President and GOP dominated legislature are out, or at least done making more noise than progress) , And the RFI, RFP, and contract award are done, and the construction starts and cars are delivered, both the Superliners and Amfleets, intended for a 30 year or so life, will be well past their 40th birthday. The only thing they will be supplementing is the stainless steel scrap Business.
Travelled: Broadway Limited (1), Lake Shore Limited (6), Capitol Limited (7), Empire Builder (1), Southwest Chief (2), Sunset Limited (1), California Zephyr (3), Coast Starlight (2), Silver Meteor (5), Silver Star (5), Silver Palm (2), Crescent (1), Cardinal (4), Auto Train (4), Pennsylvanian (2), Palmetto (1), Acela Express (1), Empire Service (1), Northeast Regional (11), Keystone Service (1) --- Total Miles: 50,144 --- Total Trains: 61
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#126 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 06:00 AM

I take that back. My brain farted. The Amfleets are already over 40, and by the time the process is completed, theyll be approaching the average age of the Heritage coaches when they were retired- about 50.
Travelled: Broadway Limited (1), Lake Shore Limited (6), Capitol Limited (7), Empire Builder (1), Southwest Chief (2), Sunset Limited (1), California Zephyr (3), Coast Starlight (2), Silver Meteor (5), Silver Star (5), Silver Palm (2), Crescent (1), Cardinal (4), Auto Train (4), Pennsylvanian (2), Palmetto (1), Acela Express (1), Empire Service (1), Northeast Regional (11), Keystone Service (1) --- Total Miles: 50,144 --- Total Trains: 61
Most important: Keep it Simple, Stupid!
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#127 neroden

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 08:14 PM

Carshells do more or less last forever, and interior replacements are fairly routine. The Heritage cars really retired because the running gear was obsolete and replacement parts had become "unobtanium".

There's been a lot less change in running gear since then, which means cars could potentially last even longer... but the Amfleet carshell design is kind of crap to start with, and the vestibules have been routinely salted. Ugh. At least it's a very large fleet, and some of the trains running Amfleets are arguably longer than they need to be, which gives some flexibility.

The Superliner design is old enough and unusual enough that it's heading towards having unobtainable parts pretty quickly, and it's much harder to replace the interior than it is on an Amfleet or a Viewliner. Double ugh. Any Superliners freed from corridor service will go to patching up the long-distance Superliner fleet as cars get wrecked and break down.

The Horizons will be fine for warm-weather service for a long time to come, although rather downmarket.

When thinking about new car orders, it's also worth thinking about "bang for the buck". Any new cars ordered by Amtrak rather than the states are going to go where they can make Amtrak the most money, with the older cars cascading to other places. There's some question as to whether new cars will make more money on the Northeast Regionals or on the eastern Long Distance trains; the NER makes more money to start with but its passengers are also more of a captive audience. Unfortunately, there's no question about the long-distance Superliner trains; they are an inferior place to invest money and they will not get anything new until the single-level trains have been upgraded. It's also proving much easier and cheaper to get single-level cars than to get bilevel cars, which are a less common order. :-(

Edited by neroden, 17 December 2017 - 08:15 PM.

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