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  1. keelhauled

    EB/CL Connection in Chicago

    I have heard people say that they’ve been put up in a roomette in a Superliner parked at Union Station when their connection has been missed. I don’t know what the rhyme or reason is in determining what accommodations you get. Perhaps coach passengers get the roomette and sleeper passengers get a hotel.
  2. According to Bloomberg, the IPO has been delayed.
  3. Article, albeit thin on details. He said he plans to finish building the Central Valley segment that's under construction already.
  4. It depends on the execution. If the goal was to build out high speed rail to point where air travel stops being necessary for itineraries below, I don't know, 500 miles or something, 800 if you want to get ambitious, whatever, that I can get behind. But the idea that ground transportation is adequate to serve the entirety of a country as large as the United States is foolish. Air travel will always win out on transcontinental trips, and probably on inter-regional travel as well (Texas to pretty much anywhere, Northeast--Florida/Caribbean, Midwest--West Coast, etc) based on travel time, even in a universe where we had infrastructure capable of supporting 300 mph trains. And because we don't have that infrastructure, how can it be justified to pour the money and resources into building rail lines that become more costly and resource-intensive as they become longer and less competitive with air? How many trillions of cubic yards of concrete would it take, how much diesel burned in the construction equipment, how much wildlife destroyed to punch the rails through? And how in the world do you pay for it? The goal should be to better integrate America's various modes of transportation in ways that they support each other to make the whole system as efficient as possible. Rail lines should be anchored by significant population points, with buses or personal vehicles feeding them from outlying areas. In turn, in addition to serving city centers, rail lines should be laid into major airports to feed trans- and intercontinental flights, replacing inefficient regional aircraft and allowing greater overall passenger capacity through airports as larger aircraft on major long haul routes can take slots used by short haul flights now. Trying to make a single mode of transport the default doesn't work in a country and travel market as large as the US. It doesn't work for cars and airplanes, but it also doesn't work for rail. The idea that rail travel, at any speed, can somehow be a magic bullet that works for everyone is never going to happen, and trying to make it happen is only going to waste unfathomable sums of money and make lots of people very, very unhappy. Am I shouting at the wind here?
  5. This will never happen, and only serves to diminish the credibility of whoever advocates for it. There is a link to a PDF in the article, which appears to be the talking points the authors plan to use. Interestingly, the text of the resolution is far less expansive; its points on transportation are "overhauling transportation systems in the United States to remove pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector as much as is technologically feasible, including through investment in— (i) zero-emission vehicle infrastructure and manufacturing; (ii) clean, affordable, and accessible public transit; and (iii) high-speed rail."
  6. keelhauled

    Solari Board at PHL

    Apparently Amtrak has required whoever redevelops 30th Street to utilize the board in some way. In other news, the new display is scheduled for installation by March.
  7. Just bailed out of a nine and a half hour late CZ in Lincoln, Nebraska. First time I’ve jumped ship mid trip. Hopefully United will get me to Colorado in time for work tonight. Anyone got similar stories to make me feel better about watching $300+ go up in smoke?
  8. keelhauled

    weather cancellations for Midwest Jan 28-31, 2019

    I wish in these cases Amtrak was better at communicating the cause. Simply saying “trains are canceled due to temperatures” leaves so much open to interpretation that it invites people to leap to whatever conclusion they want, often directing their ire at parties who don’t necessarily deserve it. “CSX Transportation, over whose tracks the Lake Shore Limited operates, has informed Amtrak that as a result of extreme weather they plan to limit capacity on their network and reduce the number of personnel available to respond to en route events. As a result, in order to ensure the safety of our passengers and crew and to maintain acceptable timekeeping, the Lake Shore Limited trains departing Chicago on January 30 and 31 have been canceled. We regret the inconvenience etc etc etc.” There, I don’t think that’s too esoteric for most passengers to follow, gives them a better explanation, and perhaps most importantly punts blame away from Amtrak directly. If someone in DC is reading this, I can be hired as a freelance writer... Most conductor crews I’ve had recently take great care to drop the name of the host railroad as often as possibly when train/trackage/signal/whatever problems delay us; it’d be nice if the corporate communications staff would follow their lead.
  9. keelhauled

    weather cancellations for Midwest Jan 28-31, 2019

    The service restoration plan has been posted. Most long distance service (except LSL and Cardinal) resumes tomorrow; all service except for 390 on Friday.
  10. keelhauled

    Seating Protocol

    It is possible for a conductor to both have control over the train and also not exercise it in a way that makes passengers unhappy. Given reasonable explanation, most people are willing to follow instructions if they understand why they are being asked to do something. While I think it has improved somewhat in recent years, many Amtrak personnel act as though the passenger is not worthy of an explanation, and really should just be grateful that the crew is granting them the small mercy of a seat on the train. It seems that many on board crewmembers seem to view the passengers as an impediment to their true career of occupying tables in the lounge and drinking coffee.
  11. I thought it would have been obvious that the place is only for eligible passengers. My point still stands—Acela departures and passengers vastly outnumber sleeper passengers. It makes sense that it would be designed to primarily serve the dominant user.
  12. The target for an NYC club isn’t sleeper passengers, though, it’s for everyone on the Acelas and always will be. Those people aren’t going to spend much time there, just enough to grab a drink or snack and check their email. With trains every hour, it’s not like Chicago where most people in the lounge are on multi hour layovers, and with how limited NYP is in real estate it makes sense to design a layout that maximizes capacity.
  13. keelhauled

    2019 CA Zephyr Snow/Weather Delays

    It’s now in Nevada. The locomotive suffered difficulties early in the trip; it lost all of its time by Nebraska. The eastbound counterpart is getting walloped in Iowa, now five and a half hours late. I suppose I should count myself lucky in arriving CHI three and a half hours down last night.
  14. Good news! The west concourse at NYP is already open. You can escape Madison Square Garden’s basement for...the post office basement.
  15. keelhauled

    RFP issued for Amfleet I replacement

    And in any case Michigan is already getting their very own shiny new equipment from the CA/IL-led Siemens order.