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


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#61 west point

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Posted 20 January 2018 - 12:49 PM

Just to amplify the equipment problems highlighted by the 501 derailment now we have LAX.  There is not enough spare equipment to cover the Santa Barber mudslide demands on the Surf liners.



#62 AmtrakWPK

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Posted 25 January 2018 - 04:47 PM

One reason for the horrible OTP was the three-times-per-week schedule. The freight roads never really bother setting things up for it, I don't think. That would also have to be changed to daily to have a real hope for OTP change.  We're still shackled to the freight, though. And just-barely-kept-running maintenance funding. I'm WELL AWARE of the OTP. We got back to WPK on Sunset at 2am-4am (or later) several times instead of early evening the previous day (IIRC the schedule correctly).  Even really late, it was still a great ride WPK-NOL-WPK (sigh...).



#63 WoodyinNYC

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Posted 27 January 2018 - 10:47 AM

We got back to WPK on Sunset at 2am-4am (or later) several times instead of early evening the previous day (IIRC the schedule correctly).  Even really late, it was still a great ride WPK-NOL-WPK (sigh...).

WPK is the code for Winter Park, Florida. This info for those of us who memorized the 500+ Amtrak codes when young, but have forgot them in our dotage. ;)


Edited by WoodyinNYC, 27 January 2018 - 10:48 AM.


#64 WICT106

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Posted 27 January 2018 - 08:54 PM

Time to resurrect the recommendation to bring Amtrak through Madison, WI. 


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#65 Anthony V

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 01:38 PM

Time to resurrect the recommendation to bring Amtrak through Madison, WI. 

For Madison service, I recommend two routes, this first would be restoring the Varsity route via Janesville, WI, which would be better for travel between Chicago and Madison. The second would be a separate Milwaukee to Madison run independent from the Hiawatha Service. However, before any of this will even start to take shape, you'll need to kick Walker out at the upcoming gubernatorial elections.



#66 dlagrua

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 02:25 PM

IF Amtrak had the equipment, new routes could be created on the many short lines across the country as on the Louisville and Indiana that connects Indianapolis to Louisville. Such lines run far less freight than the major carriers so there should be plenty of space available for Amtrak.  Short lines such as the L & I would probably be eager to have extra revenue for leasing route mileage to Amtrak. I believe that this line was formerly a portion of the route that the Chicago to Miami  Amtrak Floridian and Midwest Autotrain used.



#67 Anthony V

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 12:35 PM

IF Amtrak had the equipment, new routes could be created on the many short lines across the country as on the Louisville and Indiana that connects Indianapolis to Louisville. Such lines run far less freight than the major carriers so there should be plenty of space available for Amtrak.  Short lines such as the L & I would probably be eager to have extra revenue for leasing route mileage to Amtrak. I believe that this line was formerly a portion of the route that the Chicago to Miami  Amtrak Floridian and Midwest Autotrain used.

The Floridian used that route until 1974. The Midwest Auto-Train terminated in Louisville. Finally, from 1999-2003, the Kentucky Cardinal used the L&I.



#68 GrandRiver

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 05:07 PM

What about increased frequency of Pere Marquette? Has anyone mentioned that. The other Michigan services have multiple options but Pere Marquette is once daily each way. Especially since it stops in so many popular summer vacation towns for Chicago tourists.

 

Also The Cincinnatian (Detroit to Cincinnati version) maybe? Although Cincinnati to Chicago is a current route that has terrible timing in Cincinnati...maybe fix that first. 



#69 Pere Flyer

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 06:10 PM

What about increased frequency of Pere Marquette? Has anyone mentioned that. The other Michigan services have multiple options but Pere Marquette is once daily each way. Especially since it stops in so many popular summer vacation towns for Chicago tourists.

YES for increased frequencies of the Pere Marquette! I don’t know the double tracking situation, but a simple reflection of the current timetable, adding 0600 CHI and 1830 GRR departures, would make the train attractive to Chicago-based travelers, perhaps for vacationing spots.

On the note of single frequency state supported routes, the same thing could be done with the Heartland Flyer. Add an 0800 (or so) FTW - 1227 OKC and 1725 OKC - 2047 FTW. Would make day trips to OKC feasible from Norman, Ardmore, etc., including the moneyed Metroplex. I’d rather have that than a single frequency HF extension to Kansas or Tulsa.


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Edited by Pere Flyer, 05 February 2018 - 06:11 PM.

Pere Marquette: 370 (CHI, HOM, GRR); 371 (GRR, HOM, CHI) | Heartland Flyer: 821 (OKC, NOR, FTW); 822 (FTW, NOR, OKC) | Texas Eagle: 21 (FTW, SAS); 22 (SAS, FTW, AUS, CHI) Cardinal: 50 (CHI, IND, CIN)

 

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#70 GrandRiver

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 07:46 PM

 

What about increased frequency of Pere Marquette? Has anyone mentioned that. The other Michigan services have multiple options but Pere Marquette is once daily each way. Especially since it stops in so many popular summer vacation towns for Chicago tourists.

YES for increased frequencies of the Pere Marquette! I don’t know the double tracking situation, but a simple reflection of the current timetable, adding 0600 CHI and 1830 GRR departures, would make the train attractive to Chicago-based travelers, perhaps for vacationing spots.

On the note of single frequency state supported routes, the same thing could be done with the Heartland Flyer. Add an 0800 (or so) FTW - 1227 OKC and 1725 OKC - 2047 FTW. Would make day trips to OKC feasible from Norman, Ardmore, etc., including the moneyed Metroplex. I’d rather have that than a single frequency HF extension to Kansas or Tulsa.


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My friends actually travel from Chicago quite a bit on the Pere Marquette, particularly for Founders new releases because then they can do a brewery "cruise" along the way. If you stop in St Joe you can get to Greenbush, Transient and Cultivate to name a few. Then in Holland you can go to New Holland or Saugatuck. And obviously Founders, Brewery Vivant and Perrin among others in GR. 



#71 Eric S

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 09:02 AM

What about increased frequency of Pere Marquette? Has anyone mentioned that. The other Michigan services have multiple options but Pere Marquette is once daily each way. Especially since it stops in so many popular summer vacation towns for Chicago tourists.

 

Also The Cincinnatian (Detroit to Cincinnati version) maybe? Although Cincinnati to Chicago is a current route that has terrible timing in Cincinnati...maybe fix that first. 

 

Of the two other Michigan services, one (Wolverine) is three-a-day, but the other (Blue Water) is also just once daily.



#72 keelhauled

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 09:25 AM

At one point there was the idea of running 370/371 2x daily with the second frequency only to Holland due to not being able to get all the way to Grand Rapids and back twice using a single trainset. That was why the schedule was changed several years ago to earlier westbound and later eastbound, but obviously the step of filling in with the second trip has not happened, with the exception of the Thanksgiving schedule.

We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works.


#73 cpotisch

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Posted 17 February 2018 - 02:00 PM

What about through-cars going from the Cardinal or Capitol Limited to a Silver train down to Florida. This would result in direct service from Chicago to South Florida. This plus an extended CONO or Sunset Ltd would make south Florida vastly more accessible by train.


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#74 Palmetto

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Posted 17 February 2018 - 02:45 PM

The Cardinal connection would require passengers to ride south-- the opposite way they arrived.  Some people don't mind riding backwards, but if I had a choice, I'd rather ride facing forward.  No matter, we've been told Amtrak hates switching cars en route.  Don't know if that's actually true or not, but a 29/97 connection should be doable at Washington.  There's Amtrak yard jobs there that could perform the drop and add.



#75 The 3 Ducks Quacking

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Posted 23 February 2018 - 02:42 PM

The Cardinal connection would require passengers to ride south-- the opposite way they arrived.  Some people don't mind riding backwards, but if I had a choice, I'd rather ride facing forward.  No matter, we've been told Amtrak hates switching cars en route.  Don't know if that's actually true or not, but a 29/97 connection should be doable at Washington.  There's Amtrak yard jobs there that could perform the drop and add.

There are seats that either rotate 180 degrees or flip over (walk over). So what's the big deal?   Amtrak trains are involved in drop and add movements every day--- the auto train.  Amtrak wants money, route changes or new routes will be only if Amtrak sees it can make money by the changes



#76 brianpmcdonnell17

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Posted 23 February 2018 - 04:59 PM

The Cardinal connection would require passengers to ride south-- the opposite way they arrived.  Some people don't mind riding backwards, but if I had a choice, I'd rather ride facing forward.  No matter, we've been told Amtrak hates switching cars en route.  Don't know if that's actually true or not, but a 29/97 connection should be doable at Washington.  There's Amtrak yard jobs there that could perform the drop and add.

I don't think it would make much sense to have Florida through cars unless schedules were changed or OTP improved so that 91/92 could carry them instead of 97/98. I doubt many people would use thru-service from 30 to 97, as the connection to 91 is guaranteed and that could get them south earlier. Either way, I would much prefer to see a 92/29 connection guaranteed before any thru-service is established. This would provide much easier access from Tampa, Columbia, and Raleigh to the rest of the network.
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 MIA-NYP

#77 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 07:33 AM

What about through-cars going from the Cardinal or Capitol Limited to a Silver train down to Florida. This would result in direct service from Chicago to South Florida. This plus an extended CONO or Sunset Ltd would make south Florida vastly more accessible by train.


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Amtrak has done that in the past and has proposed restarting that in the PRIIA. But there are issues (or as I like to call them excuses).

 

Chicago-Florida one seat rides are certainly desirable. There are three possible routings, CL-Silver (Star or Meteor), CONO-Gulf Coast, or old Floridian. The CL-Silver would be the "low hanging fruit" as it is all existing routes. You wouldn't even need new equipment or labor, just connect two existing trains (the PRIIA proposed having the Star begin in DC and the Palmetto go down to Miami instead). Extending the CONO would add service across the Gulf Coast. Restarting the old Floridian would restart service through Louisville and Nashville and add an additional frequency via Indy (hopefully at better hours than the Hoosier State). It would probably be the shortest in terms of distance but hardly any of the route is currently being run right now and unlike the Gulf Coast route there isn't the Southern Commission report and studies and political support.


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#78 railiner

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 12:14 PM

When is the Vermonter going to extend into Montreal?  Or is it?  I don't even see a 'Thruway' bus connection from St. Albans..... :unsure:


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#79 jis

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 03:08 PM

When is the Vermonter going to extend into Montreal?  Or is it?  I don't even see a 'Thruway' bus connection from St. Albans..... :unsure:

It will extend sometime after the C&I processing for the Adirondack moves to Gare Centrale. Who knows when that will happen, now that all the diplomatic and legislative niceties have been taken care of.


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#80 hundredakerwood

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 07:27 AM

It may be much easier to get state and local support than federal support in the current setup. Even trains that run way longer than 750 miles depend on local financial support to continue running. Think Southwest Chief through Colorado and New Mexico for example.


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I wonder if there is a case for franchising out the long distance services to private company's or interest groups, thus taking it away from ,Amtrak.  Here in the UK we have such a system of private firms running services on all lines and I know there is a lot of criticism from the die-hards of old but overall it is a system that gives a good service.  A broken up Amtrak with competitors......will the USA risk it?






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