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Crescent to Texas via Meridian Speedway?


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#41 jis

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 10:26 AM

That is exactly the point I made further back in the thread, and I was poo-poohed away by a certain someone .

#42 WoodyinNYC

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 03:59 PM

It will require 5 consists of the Fort Worth section and 4 for the New Orleans section. If they simply split the current train into two, then the Fort Worth Section would probably consist of one Viewliner Sleeper, one Amfleet II Cafe, two Amfleet II Coaches, and possibly a Bag Dorm.

 

So net net [the Ft Worth extension] will require one additional Viewliner Sleeper, one Amfleet II Cafe, two Amfleet II Coaches, and 5 Bag Dorms, which is within the realm of possibilities even without ordering additional equipment.

Amtrak needs to order more equipment while it can. The full 70-car Viewliner II option order is surely beyond reach, but another 10 or 12 sleepers and 10 or 12 bag dorms would at least barely cover a small number of new or revived routes or extensions.

 

At the current rate of production, those 24 cars could keep CAF's production line in Elmira open for another two years. LOL. Then before that time runs out, order 10 to 20 more Sleepers and about as many bag dorms or full baggage cars. Another 50 cars @ $2.5 million, nah, let's say $3 million each, will cost about $300 million.

 

If the crazies in Congress block that puny $300 million investment, try to order the shells only for 50 more Viewliner IIs. Then slip in an order for enuff trucks for those 50 cars. The next year's budget could cover the modules for the sleepers and bag dorms.

 

The process would drag on awhile, but otherwise we squander the last best chance to properly equip this future ATL-Ft Worth extension, a Broadway Ltd revival, or a Cardinal splitting in Cincinnati or Indianapolis to reconnect to St Louis and Kansas City.

 

Amtrak could be much better with another 50 Viewliner IIs.


Edited by WoodyinNYC, 29 April 2017 - 04:02 PM.


#43 WoodyinNYC

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Posted 30 April 2017 - 12:42 AM

NARP is on it! And the Governor of Louisiana is too!

 

The NARP item is based on a story on myarklamiss.com, linked here.

http://www.myarklami...ilway/699820604
 

The link to the NARP Hotline is here

https://www.narprail...ornia-hsr-sees/

Northern Louisiana is one step closer to getting Amtrak passenger rail, as Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has come out in favor of restoring the service to Northern Louisiana ... negotiations are underway with Amtrak and ... freight railways. ...

 

"All of our cities ... air service is an issue, bus service is an issue. It's hard to get anywhere. ..." Southern Rail Commissioner Knox Ross said.

 

Ross says a test run could come as early as next fall ...

Belated edit, trimmed from NARP Hot Line.


Edited by WoodyinNYC, 02 May 2017 - 08:17 PM.


#44 neroden

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Posted 30 April 2017 - 04:53 PM

 

If it could be done with 4 consists instead of 5 I'd say there would be no equipment problem.  As it is they have to scrounge up an extra consist to go to Fort Worth.

 

Not a complete consist though, just the cars split into the Texas section (presumably lounge, sleeper, and a couple coaches).  The remainder of the train can continue with the existing four sets.  Seems possible, even with Amtrak's perennial equipment constraints.  

 

Really?  Amtrak says it doesn't have enough coaches and sleepers to run the through cars from the Pennsylvanian to the Capitol Limited, which IIRC required around the same number.

Doesn't seem possible unless the cars are stolen from someone else.  Need to order more cars.


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#45 west point

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Posted 30 April 2017 - 08:46 PM

Really? 

Amtrak says it doesn't have enough coaches and sleepers to run the through cars from the Pennsylvanian to the Capitol Limited, which IIRC required around the same number.

Doesn't seem possible unless the cars are stolen from someone else.  Need to order more cars.


That is the point many of our posters have been trying to make ! For the minimum of just our present LD single level trains at least 18 coaches and sleepers are needed to add just one of each to a LD train. Now proper marketing would then be required to fill out these trains additionally 36 sleepers and 72 coaches. More single level service for Palmetto and its extension back to MIA, Texas Crescent, Capital limited replacement with single level, Pennsylvanian & thru extension to CHI, needed cars for Empire service, Vermonter, Downeaster, Adirondack, fill out Regional trains, VA DOT expansions, 65/66 sleeper(s).

All in all we can anticipate at least 50 additional sleepers and just a WAG 500 additional coaches Then more Chargers ( 50 - 100 ? ). We believe that all this new route dreaming is useless unless we can get additional rolling stock onto Amtrak trains. The additional sleepers and a fraction of additional coaches will allow a broader use base of diners on the LD trains with the ability to get food to a break even point.

This post does not even consider the needs of Bilevel cars

Edited by west point, 30 April 2017 - 08:56 PM.


#46 A Voice

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Posted 30 April 2017 - 10:34 PM

 

 

If it could be done with 4 consists instead of 5 I'd say there would be no equipment problem.  As it is they have to scrounge up an extra consist to go to Fort Worth.

 

Not a complete consist though, just the cars split into the Texas section (presumably lounge, sleeper, and a couple coaches).  The remainder of the train can continue with the existing four sets.  Seems possible, even with Amtrak's perennial equipment constraints.  

 

Really?  Amtrak says it doesn't have enough coaches and sleepers to run the through cars from the Pennsylvanian to the Capitol Limited, which IIRC required around the same number.

Doesn't seem possible unless the cars are stolen from someone else.  Need to order more cars.

 

 

More cars are slated to be released back into service this year from wreck repair and cafe/lounge conversions than the number required by the Crescent Star and Pennsylvanian through-cars combined.  Granted, those cars are also needed elsewhere and for other purposes, but the argument that the train can't happen because Amtrak can't find a grand total of four cars just doesn't hold water.  

 

Now, if only Amtrak were expecting some additional sleepers this year.....



#47 jis

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Posted 30 April 2017 - 10:36 PM

 

If it could be done with 4 consists instead of 5 I'd say there would be no equipment problem.  As it is they have to scrounge up an extra consist to go to Fort Worth.

 
Not a complete consist though, just the cars split into the Texas section (presumably lounge, sleeper, and a couple coaches).  The remainder of the train can continue with the existing four sets.  Seems possible, even with Amtrak's perennial equipment constraints.  
 
Really?  Amtrak says it doesn't have enough coaches and sleepers to run the through cars from the Pennsylvanian to the Capitol Limited, which IIRC required around the same number.

Doesn't seem possible unless the cars are stolen from someone else.  Need to order more cars.

Frankly I do not recall Amtrak ever saying we don't have two Amfleet coaches available, which is all that is needed to start through Coaches. Did you just make that up? There should also be no major problem finding a Cafe car since there are a few surplus floating around.

I can understand the Sleeper issue, but a vast majority of those that transfer at PGH are Coach passengers who would be served well with just two through Coaches.

Amtrak basically dropped the PIPs on the floor because Boardman really did not want to do anything about improving LD service. Congress forced the PIPs on Amtrak and he behaved like a good bureaucrat and fired everyone involved and buried the entire thing. It had nothing to do with equipment. ;)

#48 WoodyinNYC

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Posted 30 April 2017 - 10:49 PM

 

(Actually, Neroden said this, but I often fall into quoting hell. :( )

Amtrak says it doesn't have enough coaches and sleepers to run the through cars from the Pennsylvanian to the Capitol Limited, which IIRC required around the same number.

Doesn't seem possible unless the cars are stolen from someone else.  Need to order more cars.

That is the point many of our posters have been trying to make ! For the minimum of just our present LD single level trains at least 18 coaches and sleepers are needed to add just one of each to a LD train. Now proper marketing would then be required to fill out these trains additionally 36 sleepers and 72 coaches. More single level service for Palmetto and its extension back to MIA, Texas Crescent, Capital Limited replacement with single level, Pennsylvanian & thru extension to CHI, needed cars for Empire service, Vermonter, Downeaster, Adirondack, fill out Regional trains, VA DOT expansions, 65/66 sleeper(s), [ plus a daily Cardinal, adds Woody]

All in all we can anticipate at least 50 additional sleepers and just a WAG 500 additional coaches Then more Chargers ( 50 - 100 ? ). We believe that all this new route dreaming is useless unless we can get additional rolling stock onto Amtrak trains. The additional sleepers and a fraction of additional coaches will allow a broader use base of diners on the LD trains with the ability to get food to a break even point. ...

The most needed next order would be the smallest: more Viewliner II sleepers from CAF, as well as at least another 10 or 12 baggage cars. OK, no more diners until we see how the first 25 work out with another sleeper added to every consist. If Amtrak decides that diners are not the way to go, then perhaps another kind of food service car. Maybe order more spare baggage cars as the tail end of the "option" order, cars which can be converted in a modular way to more sleepers, or with more work, to more diners.

 

The CAF order was about $300 million for the cars, then extra for parts, some maintenance, or sumpin later brought the total up near $350 million. Roughly $2.5 million per car, better figure $3 million because CAF says it has already lost more than $40 million. (So we can't count on any more bargain bids from them!)

 

I'd like to think that CAF has learned $40 million worth of lessons in building Viewliners. Don't like to think of paying another company to make all the mistakes all over again. Much better to buy more Viewliners while CAF's production line is open, the set-up costs and worker training costs have been amortized, and before the now-trained labor force is dispersed.

 

So $3 million each for 50 more Viewliners, mostly sleepers, a mere $150 million. Or $3 million each for 70 more cars -- 200 was the number in the original order cut back to 130 cars with an option for 70 more. So 70 more Viewliners at $3 million apiece would come to $210 million. It would be doable in normal times.

 

Then the blockbuster multi-Billion order for hundreds of single-level cars, to replace the current Amfleets and expand the fleet to allow a handful of extensions of service.

 

And this post also does not even consider the needs of bi-level cars.


Edited by WoodyinNYC, 30 April 2017 - 11:01 PM.


#49 neroden

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 02:39 PM

More cars are slated to be released back into service this year from wreck repair and cafe/lounge conversions than the number required by the Crescent Star and Pennsylvanian through-cars combined.

Good to know there are still more wreck-repair and cafe-lounge conversions left to do. I thought they ran out of those several years ago.
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#50 neroden

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 02:42 PM

Amtrak basically dropped the PIPs on the floor because Boardman really did not want to do anything about improving LD service. Congress forced the PIPs on Amtrak and he behaved like a good bureaucrat and fired everyone involved and buried the entire thing. It had nothing to do with equipment. ;)

OK, this is a direct slander of Boardman, and perhaps a sharper attack than you realize. You're saying he wanted to *lose money and reduce ridership* by not implementing fairly simple stuff which would *improve the bottom line and increase ridership*. That honestly does not sound like Boardman at *all*. If it got stopped by the bureaucracy, I would guess it got stopped by someone other than Boardman.

Someone who needs to be identified and removed.

I think NARP needs to push the Pennsylvanian/Capitol Limited through cars and the daily Cardinal pretty hard. They're being ignored by Amtrak for no readily explicable reason, and at the very least Amtrak should be forced to give reasons; sufficient political pressure can force that.

Edited by neroden, 01 May 2017 - 02:44 PM.

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#51 jis

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 02:58 PM

The Cardinal issue is being pushed hard since there is ample grassroots political heft behind it. The through cars Pennsy to Cap, not so much, since no one in Pennsylvania or Ohio seem to be willing to raise a finger about it. Indeed there appears to be more support for it in NJ than in Pennsylvania, even though one of our resident Pennsylvanians here seems to be all for it. but not so much the NARP and various ARP folks in Pennsylvania, and there appear to be more than one of those. They are more interested in a second PGH frequency than connecting the state to anywhere else, unfortunately, not that those two missions need to be exclusive. But at least I have tried to talk to them. They are simply not interested in doing anything about it. There is only so much that can be done by remote control.



#52 A Voice

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 03:28 PM

 

Amtrak basically dropped the PIPs on the floor because Boardman really did not want to do anything about improving LD service. Congress forced the PIPs on Amtrak and he behaved like a good bureaucrat and fired everyone involved and buried the entire thing. It had nothing to do with equipment. ;)

OK, this is a direct slander of Boardman, and perhaps a sharper attack than you realize. You're saying he wanted to *lose money and reduce ridership* by not implementing fairly simple stuff which would *improve the bottom line and increase ridership*. That honestly does not sound like Boardman at *all*. If it got stopped by the bureaucracy, I would guess it got stopped by someone other than Boardman.

 

 

The damage done to Amtrak, through missed opportunities and poor or absent leadership, by Joe Boardman probably won't be fully appreciated for years.  



#53 jis

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 03:41 PM

At one level I feel some amount fo sympathy for Boardman. But at the end of the day there is no denying the fact that he was the boss and presumably the buck stopped at his desk, and he at least bore some responsibility for everything that happened at Amtrak under his watch. I would be reluctant to give him an absolute pass using the bureaucracy argument. It was his job to manage his bureaucracy.

Edited by jis, 02 May 2017 - 09:26 PM.


#54 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 03:59 PM

 

 

 

Really?  Amtrak says it doesn't have enough coaches and sleepers to run the through cars from the Pennsylvanian to the Capitol Limited, which IIRC required around the same number.

Doesn't seem possible unless the cars are stolen from someone else.  

 

 

I don't have a problem with that (well it does depend on who the "else" is).


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Bring back the Broadway Limited (or Three Rivers or any Chicago-Pittsburgh-Philly train)!
 
 


#55 neroden

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 03:27 PM

Lest we forget, the Boardman years were a very substantial improvement on the Crosbie, Kummant, Hughes, Gunn (killed some of the most important trains in the system, even if it was an emergency situation), Warrington, and worst of all, *Downs* years. 

 

While everyone loved Claytor and I have a lot of respect for Reistrup, the Boyd years were also a disaster, and Roger Lewis is the one who actually told Congress that he couldn't use $10 billion if they gave it to him (possibly the worst thing any Amtrak President has ever said to Congress). 

 

That makes Boardman at least the third-best Amtrak President (after Claytor and Reistrup) if we assume that the jury is still out on Moorman.

 

I think Boardman just sort of retired mentally two years before he actually left.  :-P  Everything started to fall apart in 2014.  But there was so much progress from 2008 to 2014.


Edited by neroden, 02 May 2017 - 03:29 PM.

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#56 WoodyinNYC

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 08:21 PM

Moderators:

With the exception of post #43, from post #42 thru to Post 55 to here, none of the posts are on topic to "Crescent to Texas via Meridian". Maybe my fault, as we veered off into equipment discussion.

 

Interesting stuff,figuring equipment needs and the blame Boardman game. But could you break it out into its own thread?



#57 brianpmcdonnell17

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 03:48 PM

Has there been any consideration of running a train Chicago to Atlanta via Jackson? If the Dallas thru cars were implemented, it would require no new trackage and could make it Chicago to Atlanta in 24-25 hours as well as add a second frequency Chicago to Memphis. The current route via Washington takes about 36 1/2 hours and in my experience is often very expensive. I realize the Atlanta station is an issue, but the train could be run through to Charlotte or even Florida. I considered a transfer at Jackson between the Crescent Star and CONO, but it appears that they would misconnect by a few hours.
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#58 brianpmcdonnell17

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 04:28 PM

Has there been any consideration of running a train Chicago to Atlanta via Jackson? If the Dallas thru cars were implemented, it would require no new trackage and could make it Chicago to Atlanta in 24-25 hours as well as add a second frequency Chicago to Memphis. The current route via Washington takes about 36 1/2 hours and in my experience is often very expensive. I realize the Atlanta station is an issue, but the train could be run through to Charlotte or even Florida. I considered a transfer at Jackson between the Crescent Star and CONO, but it appears that they would misconnect by a few hours.

Looking at the the cities on the route, there seems to be two primary scheduling options for such a route. One would be to extend the early southbound and late northbound Illini/Saluki trains. This would provide daytime service all the way from Chicago to Jackson, but all of Alabama including Birmingham would have middle of the night service. The other option would be to run a similar schedule to the CONO, most likely later southbound and earlier northbound. This would provide daytime service from Atlanta to Memphis, but make little difference north of Memphis and require another slot north of Carbondale. To avoid that issue, it may make more sense to have it terminate in Jackson with a connection to the CONO and possibly thru-cars. In my opinion, the best option would be to extend an Illinois Service train as far as Memphis and have the Atlanta train continue to Chicago as part of the CONO.

Edited by brianpmcdonnell17, 23 May 2017 - 04:29 PM.

Trains travelled: Capitol Limited WAS-CHI, Carolinian CLT-RGH, Coast Starlight SJC-LAX, Crescent BAL-ATL, Empire Builder MSP-CHI, Empire Service NYP-NFL, Lake Shore Limited BOS-ALB, Maple Leaf ALB-NYP, Northeast Regional FBG-RVR+WAS-BOS, Pacific Surfliner LAX-ANA, Piedmont RGH-DNC, Silver Meteor ORL-NYP, Silver Star FTL-WAS, 2016 Autumn Express NYP-HAR-NYP

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