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Bidding opens to outsource up to three Amtrak long distance trains


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#101 Thirdrail7

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Posted 22 July 2017 - 11:20 AM

Has anyone heard any rumors about an entity making a bid?


They say laughter is the best medicine. Obviously they never posted on AU.


#102 A Voice

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Posted 22 July 2017 - 11:24 AM

Has anyone heard any rumors about an entity making a bid?

 

Hmm.....can we assume you wouldn't be asking if you didn't already know?   :unsure:



#103 Anthony V

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 10:27 PM

If there ever is a bid from a private operator to operate a long distance route, that route would likely be the Auto Train. Why? This train is the one that is doing the best financially. In the event of such, and with the private operator providing the equipment, that would free up some much-needed Superliners for other trains out west. With these additional Superliners, Amtrak would have enough rolling stock to make the Sunset Limited daily, and perhaps bring back the Pioneer and/or Desert Wind, pending funding availability. The $750 million UP requested back in 2010 for a daily SL was nothing more than a ransom to exploit Amtrak's desire for making the SL daily, which would've unfairly forced Amtrak to pay for the double-tracking project on the Sunset corridor in exchange their daily SL, even though UP was planning to do these infrastructure improvements anyway, with or without a daily SL. Amtrak was smart and didn't fall for that ransom, so UP was forced to pay for the infrastructure upgrades themselves. While the schedule was improved somewhat in 2012, this came with a catch that Amtrak would not ask for daily service again until 2015. That window has long since passed, so now the only thing standing in the way of daily service is the lack of sufficient spare Superliners. This problem would be solved by privatizing the Auto Train to an operator who can provide their own equipment so the Superliners can be freed up to go towards a daily SL.


Trains I've traveled on:

 

Metra:

BNSF Railway Line

Union Pacific Northwest Line

Union Pacific West Line

 

Tourist railroads:

Rockford Park District Trolley Car #36 - Rockford, IL

Illinois Railway Museum - Union, IL

Mid-Continent Railway Museum - North Freedom, WI

 


#104 bmjhagen9426

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 10:37 PM

If there ever is a bid from a private operator to operate a long distance route, that route would likely be the Auto Train. Why? This train is the one that is doing the best financially. In the event of such, and with the private operator providing the equipment, that would free up some much-needed Superliners for other trains out west. With these additional Superliners, Amtrak would have enough rolling stock to make the Sunset Limited daily, and perhaps bring back the Pioneer and/or Desert Wind, pending funding availability. The $750 million UP requested back in 2010 for a daily SL was nothing more than a ransom to exploit Amtrak's desire for making the SL daily, which would've unfairly forced Amtrak to pay for the double-tracking project on the Sunset corridor in exchange their daily SL, even though UP was planning to do these infrastructure improvements anyway, with or without a daily SL. Amtrak was smart and didn't fall for that ransom, so UP was forced to pay for the infrastructure upgrades themselves. While the schedule was improved somewhat in 2012, this came with a catch that Amtrak would not ask for daily service again until 2015. That window has long since passed, so now the only thing standing in the way of daily service is the lack of sufficient spare Superliners. This problem would be solved by privatizing the Auto Train to an operator who can provide their own equipment so the Superliners can be freed up to go towards a daily SL.

What about the other two? And what if there are no bidders to outsource the routes to?


Trains taken (US): Coast Starlight, San Joaquins, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Hoosier State, SP4449 excursion 2015
Current Amtrak mileage: 20271 miles plus 130 Ambus miles


#105 Thirdrail7

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 11:22 PM

This problem would be solved by privatizing the Auto Train to an operator who can provide their own equipment so the Superliners can be freed up to go towards a daily SL.

 

What operator has 35 to 40 cars to provide service? Additionally, what happens if a new operator wants to take over the Auto train and wants to use Amtrak's equipment to do so? How will that help?


They say laughter is the best medicine. Obviously they never posted on AU.


#106 Bob Dylan

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 09:21 AM

This idea is a Non-Starter!🤔
"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

#107 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 10:41 AM

Personally I think the Auto-Train has a decent chance of an exploratory bid. If someone is willing to test the current administration's desire and willingness to destabilize Amtrak that would be the route to go for. There could also be some quid pro quo bids that are intended to fail but leave Amtrak weaker in the process.

We've got provisions and lots of beer. The key word is survival on the new frontier. 





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