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About WICT106

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  1. Yes, I have -- Traveling out from Saint Cloud, MN, there were a couple of Christmases where the train was late ( by a couple hours ), so I could see the engineer appear in a Santa Claus outfit while driving the train. The engineer would ring the engine bell a couple more times than usual. He appeared to be having a good time. Unfortunately, I cannot recall one single instance of the train being on time on Christmas day. The trains at Chicago and DC were packed.
  2. http://discuss.amtraktrains.com/index.php?/topic/24943-travel-to-florida/ http://discuss.amtraktrains.com/index.php?/topic/25585-chicago-to-florida/ http://discuss.amtraktrains.com/index.php?/topic/61517-how-viable-would-an-amtrak-line-be-from-chicago-florida/ These three threads discuss issues related to train travel between Chicago, or the northern Midwest, and Florida.
  3. WICT106

    Recent SAC Photos?

    "Peace is Our Profession."
  4. Time to resurrect the recommendation to bring Amtrak through Madison, WI.
  5. One issue that I see is that this re-route would end service to Raton, NM, with all of the Scouts that use that station. That would result in less exposure to train travel, as for many Scouts, their first train trip is the one taken to Philmont. These Scouts would then have no exposure to train travel at all. A second issue is wither or not there is any alternative transportation along the existing route, that could replace the SW Chief's service.
  6. To this, I add the view of Saint Anthony's Falls. People enjoy looking at waterfalls, even when said waterfall has been artificially reinforced.
  7. WICT106

    Which route(s) do you travel the most?

    For me, the routes are Thruway bus between Madison, WI, and Chicago, then the Capitol Ltd. between Chicago & DC, then the Silver Meteor between DC and Florida.
  8. WICT106

    Second train CHI-MSP

    Agreements with host railroads, and the inevitable eight- or nine-figure price tag they're going to ask for to accommodate another train on the line, and a funding mechanism in place to pay for the service (one which would span three states, including a state that has a government that already turned down the option to extend rail service west of Milwaukee). But other than those details, not really. I just found the study, which estimates a cost of $95 million. The most fair way to split it would probably be around 50% Minnesota, 40% Wisconsin, and 10% Illinois. Assuming the states could put together the funding, would there be a delay for the start of service because of infrastructure improvements or could the service start immediately once the funds and cars are received? Sent from my SM-J327P using Amtrak Forum mobile app Yes, there would be a delay, in order to add a modest amount of track capacity. When service through Madison is returned, the track both entering and exiting Madison will require significant upgrades, as there are some segments that travel through some marshes.
  9. WICT106

    Second train CHI-MSP

    Some questions for which you should have answers for in order to advocate this: How many people will this serve ? What are the populations of the Metropolitan Statistical Areas included ? How do you intend to introduce train service to a population accustomed to driving everywhere ? And ( this is the same question asked during the discussion of extending the Hiawatha Service through Madison ) How are you going to get others to support this when they have never taken a train for any reason and cannot perceive themselves ever taking a train trip anywhere ? Then, one will also have to deal with those who don't want to invest in the service because "it doesn't stop in MY town," etc., etc. The issue with any service expansion in Wisconsin is that you will encounter the same, or similar, objections that were used during the 2010 efforts to extend and re- introduce service through Madison. Then, you will encounter the issues of that the WI DOT has not done any environmental assessment for the segment of track under discussion here, and opponents will use the environmental assessment process to stall, or obstruct, or delay, or hamper, efforts to expand service. Overall, a larger hill to climb than the Madison Hiawatha extension. However, there is talk of a second MSP-- CHI train over the present route: There are others who want to have more Wisconsin train service to more Wisconsin places, but it is a tough, uphill battle. Have you considered joining WisARP ? https://wisarp.wordpress.com/
  10. WICT106

    How Many "Union Stations" Are There?

    Also, Des Moines Union Depot, Jackson, MS Union Station, and Milwaukee Union Depot, and Toronto, ON Union Station. For a starting point, see also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Union_stations_in_the_United_States.
  11. To reiterate what previous posters have stated: No. The long distance, intercity trains serve as placeholders for any future service, as well as serving locations and markets that are not well served by other modes of transportation. The long distance, intercity trains also serve a political purpose, in that they are the return in exchange for taking federal taxpayer dollars to support the NEC. You want "Feddybucks" for the NEC ? Then, places such as ND and WI and NE get their train (s) as well -- even if it is only one train per day each way.
  12. WICT106

    St Cloud, MN - Parking Question

    Having taken the Builder on numerous occasions while a student at St. Cloud State University, I have parked my car right at the depot and not had any problems. You should be OK.
  13. WICT106

    Train Songs!

    Pat Methany, "Last Train Home" : https://youtu.be/Sq5oqY3-vhg
  14. Well, I'm working on expanding passenger train service through Madison, WI. The Northern Lights Express looks like they're coming along fine in MN, between Duluth & Saint Paul. No word on the expansion of service ( or, reintroduction, if you will ) between Saint Paul & Winnipeg.
  15. WICT106

    FY2017 Federal budget news is good!

    The Koch brothers (and related groups) stated goals of lower taxes and less government spending are generally speaking worthwhile and admirable goals which virtually everyone would support. The problem arises when blind ideology and selfish pursuit of policies which support your own interests conflict with government programs which are desirable or even necessary - such as passenger rail and mass transit. Has it ever been stated what precisely is the Koch brothers's specific opposition to transit, beyond ideology and the fact it costs taxpayer dollars? As we are all aware, such programs consume (at most) a marginal amount of state or federal level spending. There are larger and more significant portions of the budget to attack; Why transit? One issue is that there is a large number of citizens in the United States who have never had any reason to ride transit or ride trains. This segment of society sees no value in spending money on something neither they nor anyone they know uses. I encounter one version of this when I advocate for train service in Wisconsin & the Great Lakes area -- people are against trains because they cannot envision any instance why they, or anyone else, would take a train trip.