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Largest Metros Served By Only One Train (How to Serve Them Better?)


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#41 jis

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 09:41 AM

One thing we seem to be ignoring in all this is that the freight railroads are really more into serving their own intersts than their customers, until they are forced to serve their customers' interest by the government. Try sending some freight interline, or try to negotiate a tariff for something like grain from a captive silo. There are very few rail customers who actually like them. they are able to make money mainly because a government setup regime of regulations allows them to maintain what amounts to complete monopoly and rate setting freedom voer vast swaths of the country. Let us not kid ourselves. Buffett is right, but he is not telling the whole story as far as government support is concerned.



#42 west point

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 12:26 PM

Some one who can find it. There is a FRA report of anticipate freight traffic in 2040. The need for additional infrastructure is very large. The problem will be inability of Class 1s to construct necessary infrastructure.

#43 Carolina Special

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 08:22 PM

Search for "National Freight Strategic Plan". I believe that may be what you're looking for.

#44 railgeekteen

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 08:59 AM

Atlanta: I'd extended the Carolinian down there, it is also on my proposed Floridan route. 

Houston could be on an extension of the Heartland Flyer.


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#45 brianpmcdonnell17

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 09:50 PM

Atlanta: I'd extended the Carolinian down there, it is also on my proposed Floridan route. 
Houston could be on an extension of the Heartland Flyer.

Both Dallas-Houston and Atlanta-Charlotte are viable corridors, but I doubt that those extensions are the best way to serve them. Without speed improvements and a schedule change, the Carolinian would serve Atlanta in the middle of the night if it was extended there. There is also always the issue of building a new station and storage facility there. If the facilities were improved, I think an extended Piedmont or a new train that may or may not extend to Florida would be a better idea. As for Dallas-Houston, High Speed Rail is being developed for the corridor that would make Amtrak irrelevant. An extension of the Heartland Flyer to Dallas with a connection to the High Speed Rail could drastically improve ridership, however.
<p>Routes Travelled: CL WAS-CHI, Card. CHI-WAS, Caro. CLT-RGH, CS SEA-LAX, CZ CHI-RIC, Cre. BAL-ATL, EB SEA-CHI, ES NYG/NYP-NFL, LSL BOS/NYP-CHI, ML ALB-NYP, NER FBG-RVR+WAS-BOS, PS LAX-ANA, Pen. NYP-PGH, Pie. RGH-CLT, SM ORL-NYP, SS FTL-NYP

#46 neroden

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 09:32 PM

One policy thought which comes to mind, by the way, would be for the government to take not the railroads but the underlying rights-of-way (with the railroads getting operating rights, etc. for 999 years or some absurdly long timeframe like that).  The only "lost" right would be the ability to break up the ROW (with possibly some restrictions on total abandonment without the government getting a chance to pay to keep the line in place), something which I think some reasonable compensation would cover, but in doing so you'd also arguably upend the local government's tax authority...and the simple removal or restriction of that might be enough.


No less than Wick Moorman has suggested this -- freight railroads becoming tenants and the government the host (with the existing railroad retaining "freight operating rights" in perpetuity), and of course it has *actually been done* in several states (Masachusetts's MBTA purchases of lines often have such clauses, and there's something like that with the NCRR too). The "lost" powers of the freight railroad are the right to prevent passenger service, and the right to prevent upgrades, and the right to run additional freight service without doing commensurate upgrades (no overloading the system). The benefits are that they stop paying property taxes and the government covers most routine maintenance (apart from an access charge for the freight trains). On the whole it is financially a massive benefit for the freight railroads.

Of course, this is also what I've been advocating basically everywhere for everything. It's akin to what we do with roads and airlines and it *just makes sense*.

Edited by neroden, 11 April 2018 - 09:34 PM.

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#47 neroden

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 09:36 PM

IMHO Buffett is right and our current freight railroad system works just fine.


No, it's failing. Service levels for freight customers are appalling, particularly east of the Mississippi (look at the current CSX debacle, or the prior CN debacle, or the NS debacle) and trucks are outcompeting rail on price and service, which is absurd..

This is probably because the railroads are paying for the tracks and ROW, which is government-controlled for all their competition. Wick Moorman was smart.
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#48 cpotisch

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Posted 22 April 2018 - 11:45 AM

Not that many come to mind, but here are a few I can think of:

  • Tucson (though I guess you could say that the TE and SL count as two routes),
  • El Paso (same possible problem)
  • Denver
  • Albuquerque

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#49 railiner

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Posted 22 April 2018 - 12:19 PM

 

One policy thought which comes to mind, by the way, would be for the government to take not the railroads but the underlying rights-of-way (with the railroads getting operating rights, etc. for 999 years or some absurdly long timeframe like that).  The only "lost" right would be the ability to break up the ROW (with possibly some restrictions on total abandonment without the government getting a chance to pay to keep the line in place), something which I think some reasonable compensation would cover, but in doing so you'd also arguably upend the local government's tax authority...and the simple removal or restriction of that might be enough.


No less than Wick Moorman has suggested this -- freight railroads becoming tenants and the government the host (with the existing railroad retaining "freight operating rights" in perpetuity), and of course it has *actually been done* in several states (Masachusetts's MBTA purchases of lines often have such clauses, and there's something like that with the NCRR too). The "lost" powers of the freight railroad are the right to prevent passenger service, and the right to prevent upgrades, and the right to run additional freight service without doing commensurate upgrades (no overloading the system). The benefits are that they stop paying property taxes and the government covers most routine maintenance (apart from an access charge for the freight trains). On the whole it is financially a massive benefit for the freight railroads.

Of course, this is also what I've been advocating basically everywhere for everything. It's akin to what we do with roads and airlines and it *just makes sense*.

 

It's not quite "akin to what we do with roads and airlines", if the existing railroad retains exclusive operating rights in perpetuity...the rights would have to be open to all interested if they meet the operational standards required, or could be up for bid....


metroblue?

okay on the blue!

#50 Bob Dylan

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Posted 22 April 2018 - 07:09 PM

Austin,Temple,Little Rock,Memphis etc.
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#51 railgeekteen

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Posted 22 April 2018 - 09:04 PM

Austin,Temple,Little Rock,Memphis etc.

One of these cities are not like the others.



#52 cpotisch

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Posted 23 April 2018 - 01:18 AM

Austin,Temple,Little Rock,Memphis etc.

One of these cities are not like the others.

What?

Routes Traveled: Silver Meteor, Silver Star, CrescentLake Shore LimitedCalifornia Zephyr, Sunset Limited, Texas EagleEthan Allen Express, Empire Service, Maple Leaf, AdirondackAcela Express, Northeast RegionalKeystone Service

 

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#53 west point

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Posted 23 April 2018 - 01:51 AM

Atlanta -  Probably a CHI - Florida train


Edited by west point, 23 April 2018 - 01:52 AM.


#54 brianpmcdonnell17

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Posted 23 April 2018 - 03:35 AM

Austin,Temple,Little Rock,Memphis etc.

One of these cities are not like the others.
What?
He's probably referring to Memphis being on the CONO while the others are on the TE.
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<p>Routes Travelled: CL WAS-CHI, Card. CHI-WAS, Caro. CLT-RGH, CS SEA-LAX, CZ CHI-RIC, Cre. BAL-ATL, EB SEA-CHI, ES NYG/NYP-NFL, LSL BOS/NYP-CHI, ML ALB-NYP, NER FBG-RVR+WAS-BOS, PS LAX-ANA, Pen. NYP-PGH, Pie. RGH-CLT, SM ORL-NYP, SS FTL-NYP

#55 railgeekteen

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Posted 23 April 2018 - 09:46 AM

 

 

 

Austin,Temple,Little Rock,Memphis etc.

One of these cities are not like the others.
What?
He's probably referring to Memphis being on the CONO while the others are on the TE.

 

Temple was actually my odd one out.



#56 brianpmcdonnell17

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Posted 23 April 2018 - 10:09 AM


 

 

 

Austin,Temple,Little Rock,Memphis etc.

One of these cities are not like the others.
What?
He's probably referring to Memphis being on the CONO while the others are on the TE.
 
Temple was actually my odd one out.
Why? Is it because it's smaller?
<p>Routes Travelled: CL WAS-CHI, Card. CHI-WAS, Caro. CLT-RGH, CS SEA-LAX, CZ CHI-RIC, Cre. BAL-ATL, EB SEA-CHI, ES NYG/NYP-NFL, LSL BOS/NYP-CHI, ML ALB-NYP, NER FBG-RVR+WAS-BOS, PS LAX-ANA, Pen. NYP-PGH, Pie. RGH-CLT, SM ORL-NYP, SS FTL-NYP

#57 Bob Dylan

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Posted 23 April 2018 - 10:36 AM


 

 

 

Austin,Temple,Little Rock,Memphis etc.

One of these cities are not like the others.
What?
He's probably referring to Memphis being on the CONO while the others are on the TE.
 
Temple was actually my odd one out.
Why? Is it because it's smaller?
FYI: The Temple/Waco/Kileen Metro Area is one of the Fastest Growing Mid-Sized areas in the Country.
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 "..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

#58 railgeekteen

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Posted 23 April 2018 - 10:56 AM

 

 

 

 

 

 

Austin,Temple,Little Rock,Memphis etc.

One of these cities are not like the others.
What?
He's probably referring to Memphis being on the CONO while the others are on the TE.
 
Temple was actually my odd one out.
Why? Is it because it's smaller?
FYI: The Temple/Waco/Kileen Metro Area is one of the Fastest Growing Mid-Sized areas in the Country.

 

Waco could be served easily but Amtrak decides not to serve it for some strange reason. 



#59 jis

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Posted 23 April 2018 - 11:31 AM

Waco could be served easily but Amtrak decides not to serve it for some strange reason.

Another railroad, another contract, added cost.

The Metro area is already served through Temple.

#60 Pere Flyer

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Posted 23 April 2018 - 11:43 AM

And, IMHO, Temple Station is too beautiful to not have train service. The Santa Fe red-and-cream façade at dusk was the highlight on a FTW-SAS trip last year.

Edited by Pere Flyer, 23 April 2018 - 11:44 AM.

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