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Amtrak Timeline Map, 1971-2017


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#1 DoB

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 10:44 AM

 https://www.cambooth...k-timeline-map/



#2 KmH

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 12:47 PM

Already in progress;

http://discuss.amtra...nd-cartography/


1963U. S. Congress - underground trolley system • Disneyland train (1968/various other dates) • Old Tucson steam train (1969)

Amtrak: California Zephyr Coast Starlight •  Southwest ChiefSunset LimitedTexas Eagle • Illinois Zephyr

. . . . . . . Amtrak miles - 16,383, so far.

 

 

 

 

 


#3 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 04:51 PM

I think I asked the question once but I can't find it. What was the best time during the Amtrak era (I know most of you who pre-date Amtrak will say rail travel was better before Amtrak but for the sake of this question consider only during the Amtrak era). Also for this question only consider the maps Cameron Booth provides. 

 

The original map (05/1971) leaves out two major cities, Cleveland and Dallas. Also the CZ and CS isn't daily. By 06/1976, Dallas is served but not daily (the CS and CZ is daily but the Crescent is not daily ATL-NOL). In June 1976 there are multiple trains CHI-CIN and CIN-? Between 06/1976 and 04/1981, there was mainly some trade offs in service as we lost some routes (Floridian, Lone Star) but gained some (Desert Wind, Pioneer, daily service on Texas Eagle). By 04/1991, DAL-HOS was added. Booth calls that the peak time. I think it was after the SL was extended east to Florida but before the cuts force the western trains were cut back. Once that happened, it was downhill.


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)
Bring back the Broadway Limited (or Three Rivers or any Chicago-Pittsburgh-Philly train)!
 
https://www.facebook...roadwayLimited/


#4 neroden

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 02:58 PM

I'd say 1976 was actually the high point from the point of view of the map -- it's got important connections which have never been restored since, such as the National Limited.  Unfortunately it was under active schedule sabotage by the freight railroads; from what I can tell, the OTP appears to have been terrible, so in practice it wasn't as good as the map looks; the situation was unsustainable due to track deterioration.  And the condition of the stations was deplorable.

 

After that the 1991 map is very good.  The Downs cuts were idiotic, unjustifiable, and extremely destructive.

 

The third-best map is, honestly, today.  And we've got better stations, better OTP, and much more state control over trackage than in 1976, and even than in 1991.  I think today's situation is a much better base to build on than the unstable situation in 1976.


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#5 DoB

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 06:38 PM

 

Sorry about that!

 

(If somebody has the ability to merge the two threads, that might make sense. Otherwise, I suppose it's not the end of the world if they stay separate.)



#6 railiner

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 10:41 PM

If you are just looking at the map, I agree that the late 70's were the peak, just before the big route cuts....as mentioned.   But if you are looking at service, I believe there was a time in the early '80's, when Amtrak perhaps operated it's youngest overall fleet, with Superliner's, Amfleet, Turboliner's, Metroliner's, as well as Heritage equipment all converted to Head End Power, and before the OMB forced the cutback in dining car services...the time that some refer to as Amtrak's "Camelot Era", when every thing was freshly prepared on dining cars, and served on china, etc...


metroblue?

okay on the blue!

#7 neroden

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 12:57 AM

If you look financially, this is the start of the golden age.  Amtrak is in a better position to expand than it has *ever* been.  Although there's some shuffling of report formats going on, it looks like Amtrak will run an operating profit in 2018; nearly all the individual trains are profitable before overhead; and this is happening while the capital backlog is possibly smaller than it's been since 1971 (it was monumental in 1971) and the high-interest-rate debt is gone.  And, although I mention it often, more track is controlled by friendly entities than ever before.


Edited by neroden, 16 November 2017 - 12:58 AM.

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#8 cirdan

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 04:00 AM

If you look financially, this is the start of the golden age.  Amtrak is in a better position to expand than it has *ever* been.  Although there's some shuffling of report formats going on, it looks like Amtrak will run an operating profit in 2018; nearly all the individual trains are profitable before overhead; and this is happening while the capital backlog is possibly smaller than it's been since 1971 (it was monumental in 1971) and the high-interest-rate debt is gone.  And, although I mention it often, more track is controlled by friendly entities than ever before.

 

This

 

And despite fare hikes, ridership is at its highest level in Amtrak's history. That's a good situation to be in.

 

Obviously there are still many hickups to be sorted out and some underperforming areas that need looking at. A bolder and more visionary leadership style would also not be amiss.

 

But overall things are better than they have been in a long time.

 

That's not saying very much of course, as most of Amtrak's history has been about storm clouds with just the occasional brief patch of silver lining, and the present silver lining is only slightly brighter than the previous ones. And of course Amtrak is still very vulnerable, especially with regard to funding cuts and pointless meddling.

 

But the potential is there for things to get better.



#9 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 07:12 AM

 

 

 

And despite fare hikes, ridership is at its highest level in Amtrak's history. That's a good situation to be in.

 

 

 

But isn't population at its highest in America's history too? You should probably calculate per population and see if it compares to the 70's and 80's.


Edited by Philly Amtrak Fan, 16 November 2017 - 07:13 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)
Bring back the Broadway Limited (or Three Rivers or any Chicago-Pittsburgh-Philly train)!
 
https://www.facebook...roadwayLimited/


#10 jis

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 09:33 AM

Irrespective of the population, financially Amtrak is better placed now than it has almost ever been.

 

It seems to me that the current management has also started shifting its focus on cost cutting to areas where costs can be cut without reducing service, instead of focusing on pointless nonsense like removing false fire vases from Diners. The fact of the matter is getting rid on a manager or two whose only contribution was removing the vases would save more money than the removal of the vases, figuratively speaking.



#11 zephyr17

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 01:54 PM

Your 5/1971 map is inaccurate for startup service.  It shows Amtrak using the D&RGW between Denver and Salt Lake (and something, either D&RGW or UP from there to Ogden).  While NRPC intended to and initially published maps showing the D&RGW routing, D&RGW declined to sign an Amtrak contract and Amtrak did not operate over the D&RGW until 1983.

 

Amtrak operated via the Union Pacific KP and Overland Routes through Wyoming between Denver and Ogden.

 

Your maps should show Amtrak via Cheyenne, WY and the Overland Route between Denver and Ogden, and non-Amtrak D&RGW 3x week passenger service between Denver and Salt Lake City.  D&RGW briefly operated through to Ogden after the discontinuation of the WP portion of the California Zephyr to connect at Ogden with the CoSF.  I think that continued for a short time to connect with Amtrak's SFZ, but it was replaced by a bus connection farily early on between Salt Lake City and Ogden.  For 5/1/71, I think it would be accurate to show D&RGW rail service all the way to Ogden, but I am not positive.


Edited by zephyr17, 17 November 2017 - 01:57 PM.

SP Coast Daylight, AT&SF San Diegan, AT&SF Super Chief, D&RGW Rio Grande Zephyr, Southwest Limited/Chief, San Diegan/Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin, Cascades, California/San Francisco Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Sunset Limited (LA-Orlando), Desert Wind, Pioneer, City of New Orleans, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Lake Shore Limited, Cardinal, Hoosier State (Amtrak),  Hoosier State (Iowa Pacific), Ann Rutledge, Adirondack, Maple Leaf, NE Regional, Capitol Limited, Via Canadian (CP route), Via Super Continental, Via Atlantic Limited, Via Hudson Bay, Via Skeena, Via Canadian (CN route), Via "Corridor" (Toronto-Montreal), BC Rail Cariboo Dayliner, Eurostar, Thalys, DB, Netherlands Rail, Austrian Railways, BR, Korail (conventional), Korail KTX


#12 railiner

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 03:13 PM

The author of the map did state the innacuracy of the first Amtrak map...he is just reflecting what it depicted...
metroblue?

okay on the blue!

#13 Anderson

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 01:16 AM

Yeah...that first map (5/71) is based on Amtrak's proposed inaugural timetable.  If you look at that timetable, IIRC there are actually two versions of the Crescent which are listed (one by Southern, one by Amtrak) with different stopping patterns and timetables.

 

I'll agree with the above remarks: You've got a strong case for the nominal map of the mid-to-late 1970s, but there were issues and some cuts or reroutes were coming (the Penn Central/Conrail situation was a complete disaster).  Let's also not forget how thin service was on a lot of those corridors versus today (three San Diegans south of LAX versus a dozen now, for example).

I'm not quite convinced that Amtrak will manage an operating profit in FY18, but I suspect it'll be a close-run thing.  We'll probably also have a good bump to ridership from the extra Cascades and Shuttles (though I have no idea what the timeline is on the Quad Cities service or extra Piedmonts is, while the timeline on an extra Lynchburger and the second Norfolk train are also up in the air).  I think there's a good case we make it in the next few years, however...especially once the Acela IIs come online and once we get some Brightliners coming in.


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)

#14 jis

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 12:37 PM

I'm not quite convinced that Amtrak will manage an operating profit in FY18, but I suspect it'll be a close-run thing.  We'll probably also have a good bump to ridership from the extra Cascades and Shuttles (though I have no idea what the timeline is on the Quad Cities service or extra Piedmonts is, while the timeline on an extra Lynchburger and the second Norfolk train are also up in the air).  I think there's a good case we make it in the next few years, however...especially once the Acela IIs come online and once we get some Brightliners coming in.

Amtrak's 5 year budgetary plan does not get them to operational profitability in that period. It reduces the losses by another $150 million or so. They were a bit ahead of the plan in FY17. The plan is to get very close to that point by 2022, and if luck holds perhaps surpass it by then.

So yes, I agree. It is quite unlikely that they will reach that point in 2018, specially given that much of the planned added capacity will now not be deployed because of delay in the induction of new equipment.
 
Of bigger concern to me is the relatively large carryover of unspent capital funds (over a quarter billion dollars). Does this imply that equipment and infrastructure is not being brought to SOGR for whatever reason, as fast as Capital Budget would allow, perhaps due to lack of Expense funds to support such activity?

Edited by jis, 19 November 2017 - 04:06 PM.


#15 Bob Dylan

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 02:55 PM

Good post jis! And remember the Government Budget Mantra, "Use it or Lose it!"

As long as the Capital is there for equipment Amtrak needs to order it, guaranteed it will take years to get it into service!

Hopefully by that time all the Amtrak Haters and Bashers in Washington will be long gone, defeated,dead or both, and adequate Operating Funding will be in force!
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
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Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay




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