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When it comes to growing Amtrak, what service expansion(s) do you view


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#21 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 05:15 PM

What would make the most sense is the restoration of service on lines that formerly had passenger service like PHL to CHI Broadway Ltd via the refurbished old PRR Mainline, but more importantly the through lines that ran directly West (from NY-PHL-WAS) to St Louis and Kansas City, saving time and avoiding a CHI connection and layover. The big problem is that additional equipment for route expansion does not exist. The will in Washington for an expanded national passenger rail network is just not there. The numerous small towns and cities along these old routes would probably welcome new service.

 

Obviously I (and I'm guessing you too dlagrua should since you're from NJ) should be more concerned about eliminating the PGH connection between the CL and Pennsylvanian instead of the CHI connection between the SWC and CL/LSL since the connection(s) in CHI are at pleasant hours and at CUS while the connections in PGH are at lousy hours and at the Pittsburgh Am-Shack. Sure, long term, let's do both! But let's have priorities! Don't forget about the Thruway-TOL connection too. We can get rid of that it would be nice (direct train between Michigan and the East Coast via TOL).


Trains Traveled: Broadway Limited (CHI-Harrisburg, PA), Three Rivers (Harrisburg, PA-CHI, Altoona, PA-CHI, PHL-CHI), Capitol Limited (CHI-WAS), Lake Shore Limited (NYP-CHI), , Silver Meteor (PHL-ORL), Southwest Chief (CHI-LAX), California Zephyr (CHI-SLC, SLC-EMY), City of New Orleans and/or Illini (CHI-Champaign, IL), Texas Eagle (CHI-DAL)
Bring back the Broadway Limited (or Three Rivers or any Chicago-Pittsburgh-Philly train)!
 
https://www.facebook...roadwayLimited/


#22 keelhauled

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 05:42 PM

Keelhauled's Law:
 
"As an AU discussion grows longer, the probability of the Broadway Limited being dragged into it approaches 1."


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#23 jis

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 09:34 PM

Keelhauled's Law:
 
"As an AU discussion grows longer, the probability of the Broadway Limited being dragged into it approaches 1."

With a side mention of canceling the Cardinal, or at least an oblique snide comment about it?


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#24 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 06:17 AM

 

Keelhauled's Law:
 
"As an AU discussion grows longer, the probability of the Broadway Limited being dragged into it approaches 1."

With a side mention of canceling the Cardinal, or at least an oblique snide comment about it?


Sent from my iPhone using Amtrak Forum

 

 

Gee thanks jjs. you had to remind him?


Trains Traveled: Broadway Limited (CHI-Harrisburg, PA), Three Rivers (Harrisburg, PA-CHI, Altoona, PA-CHI, PHL-CHI), Capitol Limited (CHI-WAS), Lake Shore Limited (NYP-CHI), , Silver Meteor (PHL-ORL), Southwest Chief (CHI-LAX), California Zephyr (CHI-SLC, SLC-EMY), City of New Orleans and/or Illini (CHI-Champaign, IL), Texas Eagle (CHI-DAL)
Bring back the Broadway Limited (or Three Rivers or any Chicago-Pittsburgh-Philly train)!
 
https://www.facebook...roadwayLimited/


#25 Lonestar648

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Posted 26 November 2017 - 09:21 PM

The issue for expansion is the available inventory, and how long it would take to physically receive new inventory (i.e. CAF and the V2 cars).  Even the low hanging fruit requires inventory.  With the do nothing Congress (Dem or Rep), I don't see additional support for system expansion plus the needed additional inventory with such a long lead time to actually receiving inventory.  



#26 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 09:17 PM

I personally think y'all should concentrate on the coming cuts.
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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#27 CCC1007

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 10:45 PM

I personally think y'all should concentrate on the coming cuts.

I certainly will, once any are announced...

#28 neroden

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 09:08 AM

There won't be any cuts.  The thing some may be missing is, with a moderately competent CEO -- and Anderson is one -- you don't cut profitable services unless you physically lack the equipment to run them.  Essentially all of the services are profitable at this point and there is enough equipment to run them.  If there are any remaining unprofitable services, and I'm not sure there are, they can be brought to profit by (a) making the three-a-weeks daily, for which there is enough equipment, (b) having through cars from the Pennsylvanian to the Capitol Limited, and (c ) waiting two years.  Anderson has also directly decried nickel-and-diming, so there probably won't be any of that either.


Edited by neroden, 29 November 2017 - 09:08 AM.

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#29 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 10:10 AM

This assumes he is not ordered to do something stupid. That assumption is far above your level of naïveté so I am astonished you are making it.
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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Avatar and sig were done by my fiance, Corvidophile.

#30 west point

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 10:55 AM

"IF"  Amtrak gets to increase its total rolling stock inventory then 1st fill out LD trains on present routes.  Next add other trains on the parts of present routes that are underserved especially the present night time sectors.  3rd Then start services that are partially on present routes going to new or past routes   All these subject to acquiring the necessary capital for any route "improvements".


Edited by west point, 29 November 2017 - 10:56 AM.


#31 railiner

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 11:45 AM

"IF"  Amtrak gets to increase its total rolling stock inventory then 1st fill out LD trains on present routes.  Next add other trains on the parts of present routes that are underserved especially the present night time sectors.  3rd Then start services that are partially on present routes going to new or past routes   All these subject to acquiring the necessary capital for any route "improvements".

I agree...most logical plan.... :)


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#32 west point

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 12:55 PM

The "IF" as stated is to keep Amtrak's operating costs increasing the minimum amount.  Additional trains on a present route enables operating crews to be used more efficiently.  Examples a daily Cardinal or Sunset will not require twice as many C&E persons.  As well a daily day train WASH <> ATL will not require as many C&E as on a "virgin" route. 

 

Amtrak owned stations or agent staffed stations will not require doubling of staff or additional costs to operate station.  Granted a very little cost increase for utilities and cleaning. 


Edited by west point, 29 November 2017 - 12:57 PM.


#33 neroden

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 11:32 AM

This assumes he is not ordered to do something stupid. That assumption is far above your level of naïveté so I am astonished you are making it.


Anderson doesn't have a single boss. It has a board with quite a lot of members, and they answer to an even larger body -- Anderson can only be "ordered to do things" by a combination of 535 members of Congress. If you take a look at the current state of Congress and their inability to agree with each other on anything, it will become quite clear that they will not be "ordering" Amtrak to do ANYTHING, certainly not to cut any service, given that each service is the pet service of at least one Congressman.

Most likely bad scenario is an across-the-board funding cut through a "sequester", which Amtrak would respond to, basically, with more deferred maintenance, as it and its predecessors have been doing since the 1930s. After all, the operating side is breakeven now (Anderson stated outright it would be profitable in 2018), it's the capital side which needs money.

Anderson seems to have some actual skills at doing deferred maintenance "better" than average: making old equipment limp along in the most cost-effective manner. I think he can handle a sequester.

Edited by neroden, 03 December 2017 - 11:36 AM.

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#34 DesertDude

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 12:06 AM

I know it's not within Amtrak's control given PRIIA rules and a messy history, but I think expanding Hoosier State service to 3 times a day (at least) is definitely "low-hanging" fruit. If the Downeaster can be a success as a 5x a day train, so can the Hoosier state. Indy-Chicago is in that sweet spot of too close for a commercial flight, but still not convenient to drive.



#35 west point

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 04:41 AM

"IF" and when Amtrak can get more total rolling stock it will probably add service where the most revenue per seat mile will occur.  Where that is just speculation on our part.



#36 Anderson

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 05:30 AM

"IF" and when Amtrak can get more total rolling stock it will probably add service where the most revenue per seat mile will occur.  Where that is just speculation on our part.

That's likely tempered by political considerations.  For example, I'd say that right now the Southern Rail Commission's projects (Sunset East, Crescent Star, and possibly Birmingham-Mobile[-New Orleans]; remember, New Orleans-Baton Rouge is probably a commuter-ish project even if there might be some strange case for something like Baton Rouge-New Orleans-Mobile as a through service) might have some shot at happening even if their numbers wouldn't be as good as, say, a Daily Cardinal.


Capitol Limited (7), CA Zephyr (4) Lake Shore Limited (1), Acela (2), NE Regional (2), Sliver Meteor (4)

Upcoming: Silver Meteor (1), Lake Shore Limited (1), SW Chief (2), MO River Runner (1), Texas Eagle (1)

Possibly Upcoming: Either Texas Eagle (1), Capitol Limited (1), Silver Meteor (2) or Texas Eagle (1), Capitol Limited (1), Silver Meteor (1)

#37 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 05:51 AM

 

"IF" and when Amtrak can get more total rolling stock it will probably add service where the most revenue per seat mile will occur.  Where that is just speculation on our part.

That's likely tempered by political considerations.  For example, I'd say that right now the Southern Rail Commission's projects (Sunset East, Crescent Star, and possibly Birmingham-Mobile[-New Orleans]; remember, New Orleans-Baton Rouge is probably a commuter-ish project even if there might be some strange case for something like Baton Rouge-New Orleans-Mobile as a through service) might have some shot at happening even if their numbers wouldn't be as good as, say, a Daily Cardinal.

 

 

"Political"? There's that ugly P word again! And we wonder why Amtrak is in the mess it's in today.


Edited by Philly Amtrak Fan, 17 December 2017 - 05:52 AM.

Trains Traveled: Broadway Limited (CHI-Harrisburg, PA), Three Rivers (Harrisburg, PA-CHI, Altoona, PA-CHI, PHL-CHI), Capitol Limited (CHI-WAS), Lake Shore Limited (NYP-CHI), , Silver Meteor (PHL-ORL), Southwest Chief (CHI-LAX), California Zephyr (CHI-SLC, SLC-EMY), City of New Orleans and/or Illini (CHI-Champaign, IL), Texas Eagle (CHI-DAL)
Bring back the Broadway Limited (or Three Rivers or any Chicago-Pittsburgh-Philly train)!
 
https://www.facebook...roadwayLimited/


#38 Anderson

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 05:55 AM

Ok, practically speaking, if you've got two trains to pick from and there's a marginal difference in various performance stats between the projections, there's a good chance you're going to go with the one that's more likely to get you votes in Congress later.  If the "political" one is a turkey by comparison, Amtrak would probably demand dedicated funding, etc., but if you have a few decent proposals then making a couple of Senators happy is usually a fair tiebreaker.


Capitol Limited (7), CA Zephyr (4) Lake Shore Limited (1), Acela (2), NE Regional (2), Sliver Meteor (4)

Upcoming: Silver Meteor (1), Lake Shore Limited (1), SW Chief (2), MO River Runner (1), Texas Eagle (1)

Possibly Upcoming: Either Texas Eagle (1), Capitol Limited (1), Silver Meteor (2) or Texas Eagle (1), Capitol Limited (1), Silver Meteor (1)

#39 WoodyinNYC

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 12:05 PM

I know it's not within Amtrak's control given PRIIA rules and a messy history, but I think expanding Hoosier State service to 3 times a day (at least) is definitely "low-hanging" fruit. If the Downeaster can be a success as a 5x a day train, so can the Hoosier State. Indy-Chicago is in that sweet spot of too close for a commercial flight, but still not convenient to drive.

Here ya go:

 

http://www.in.gov/in...alysis_2013.pdf

 

It's been studied. Needs maybe $250 million investment to cut 29 minutes from the schedule, and then modest subsidies like every other corridor service. (More money could buy more time savings, thru CREATE, on the Illinois side of the state line.)

 

The study ain't great but it has good info. Conspicuously omitted is any mention, ridership or revenue, of how chopping 29 minutes off the run could help the Cardinal's bottom line. Or any mention of the benefit to the Cardinal of being part of a corridor service with multiple frequencies.

 

iirc About 10 or 12 year ago, Illinois paid to add two more Lincoln Service frequencies St Louis-CHI to the existing two corridor trains and the Texas Eagle on that route. So it went from three trains a day to five. Total ridership more than doubled in a year or two, and ridership improved even on the Eagle. The convenience of multiple departure and arrival times attracted more passengers to the Eagle than were lost to the other trains. We could expect a similar result for the Cardinal on that Indy-CHI segment if it were flanked by two or three or four daily runs of the Hoosier State.

 

A longer term goal would be to upgrade the tracks Cincinnati-Indianapolis-CHI to 110-mph as is being done St Louis-CHI. There is easily an hour and probably two hours or more to be chopped from the Cincy-Indy segment. Corridor service here would give Cincy daylight service and increase connecting traffic for Amtrak thru CHI. It could also boost the Cardinal ridership despite it still having at least one post-midnight stop in Cincy, because the train would arrive in CHI early morning in time for a full business day.

 

So we need a few Billion to upgrade the route Cincy-Indy-CHI and a Billion or more for additional equipment for these and other added trains. Let's hope the funding is included in the next Stimulus package.



#40 railiner

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 01:23 PM

 

 

"IF" and when Amtrak can get more total rolling stock it will probably add service where the most revenue per seat mile will occur.  Where that is just speculation on our part.

That's likely tempered by political considerations.  For example, I'd say that right now the Southern Rail Commission's projects (Sunset East, Crescent Star, and possibly Birmingham-Mobile[-New Orleans]; remember, New Orleans-Baton Rouge is probably a commuter-ish project even if there might be some strange case for something like Baton Rouge-New Orleans-Mobile as a through service) might have some shot at happening even if their numbers wouldn't be as good as, say, a Daily Cardinal.

 

 

"Political"? There's that ugly P word again! And we wonder why Amtrak is in the mess it's in today.

 

If it weren't for politics....there would be no Amtrak today...just a few corridor, or extended commuter operations around the country.... ;)


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