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Largest Metros Without Amtrak Service (How to Serve Them?)

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One idea would be to also extend it south to New Orleans along the old Louisville & Nashville Humming Bird Train: http://www.american-rails.com/humming-bird.html. That would give Amtrak a 2nd NYP-NOL train but serving Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee instead of the Crescent route and if you use the Humming Bird you also pick up Montgomery and Mobile.

 

Does Amtrak need a 2nd NYP-NOL route?

 

Just for the sake of argument, we need to avoid the trap of an endpoint mentality anyway, because relatively few passengers travel the entire distance. Two trains on mostly or completely different routes, even between the same origin and destination, serve two different markets and complement rather than compete with each other (for instance, Cardinal and Lake Shore Limited, New York to Chicago).

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I have family in Augusta, so it would be great to have Amtrak stop there. From what I can tell, there are (4) possible train routes that could service the CSRA (that's what the Augusta metro area is known by locally): Palmetto, Carolinian, Silver Meteor and Silver Star.

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I have family in Augusta, so it would be great to have Amtrak stop there. From what I can tell, there are (4) possible train routes that could service the CSRA (that's what the Augusta metro area is known by locally): Palmetto, Carolinian, Silver Meteor and Silver Star.

 

The Carolinian is out since it's a state funded train and why would North Carolina pay to extend a train to Georgia (and if they did, Atlanta would be the more popular destination although it's a mess down there).

 

How would you reroute one of the Silvers or the Palmetto to serve Augusta?

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Palmetto and Silver Meteor are completely out of the question. Theoretically Silver Star is a possibility, but it would probably require adding another several hours to its already excrutiatingly long itinerary, if possible at all on the routing Columbia - Augusta - Savannah

Edited by jis

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That all makes sense. Being a newbie still, I know very little about the logistics of train routings and all the implications of such.

 

Which is one reason why I joined this forum, to learn more about the inner workings of rail travel...............:)

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I have family in Augusta, so it would be great to have Amtrak stop there. From what I can tell, therre are (4) possible train routes that could service the CSRA (that's what the Augusta metro area is known by locally): Palmetto, Carolinian, Silver Meteor and Silver Star.

 

Augusta had a beautiful Union Station that has been torn down that was well served by trains into the mid 1960s. Atlantic Coast Line later Seaboard Coast Line ran trains to Augusta with through car from New York. Georgia Railroad ran trains from Augusta to Atlanta and included through cars from ACL from New York. Southern ran the Augusta Special to Augusta with the through Sleeping cars from New York. The Georgia Railroad did not join Amtrak and continued to operate their mixed train from Augusta to Atlanta, though the train departed from the freight yards in both cities. Today there is very little evidence existing in Augusta to show passenger trains ever served the city. So Georgia would need to provide some funding for the service and the City of Augusta would need to provide some infrastructure for what was demolished. That is very likely not going to happen.

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I have family in Augusta, so it would be great to have Amtrak stop there. From what I can tell, therre are (4) possible train routes that could service the CSRA (that's what the Augusta metro area is known by locally): Palmetto, Carolinian, Silver Meteor and Silver Star.

 

Augusta had a beautiful Union Station that has been torn down that was well served by trains into the mid 1960s. Atlantic Coast Line later Seaboard Coast Line ran trains to Augusta with through car from New York. Georgia Railroad ran trains from Augusta to Atlanta and included through cars from ACL from New York. Southern ran the Augusta Special to Augusta with the through Sleeping cars from New York. The Georgia Railroad did not join Amtrak and continued to operate their mixed train from Augusta to Atlanta, though the train departed from the freight yards in both cities. Today there is very little evidence existing in Augusta to show passenger trains ever served the city. So Georgia would need to provide some funding for the service and the City of Augusta would need to provide some infrastructure for what was demolished. That is very likely not going to happen.

 

My family moved for Augusta to Delaware in '67 and my mom, 2 sisters, 1 dog & 1 cat took the train. Wish I could remember the station, but being 11 at the time, I only have vague memories of the trip. But I'm sure it planted the seed to want to travel by train again (and again and again....)

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Could service a train in Nashville fairly easy. All you would need is to lease space in the Tennessee Central Railway Museums coach yard. It has HEP ground plugs and a decent platform. I'm sure they would welcome the income.

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We also have to keep in mind that, for large areas of the United States. the citizens have virtually no experience riding trains on a regular basis. With that in mind, it is no surprise when the average citizen sees no value, and no point, in spending money for something that passes through his or her town at the small hours of the night, and only once per day each way ( if they even have service at all ), and is not able to come up with a readily acceptable & available reason that people will ride a train. As we attempt to grow and expand the network, we, as advocates and passengers, have to be able to explain why folks will use a train to those who are accustomed to driving everywhere.

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We also have to keep in mind that, for large areas of the United States. the citizens have virtually no experience riding trains on a regular basis. With that in mind, it is no surprise when the average citizen sees no value, and no point, in spending money for something that passes through his or her town at the small hours of the night, and only once per day each way ( if they even have service at all ), and is not able to come up with a readily acceptable & available reason that people will ride a train. As we attempt to grow and expand the network, we, as advocates and passengers, have to be able to explain why folks will use a train to those who are accustomed to driving everywhere.

 

For that reason, I would recommend any new stations/areas should be scheduled outside the graveyard shift to give them a better chance of success. Schedule the graveyard shift for areas that already have other trains available.

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Yup. Have all the LD trains arrive and depart New York between 11pm and 4am. :) That should fix all the problems ;)

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Of all the cities to catch an early hours of the morning/middle of the night train NY would be amongst my most preferred- given the option of a station in the centre of a city which never sleeps or an Amshack shelter in the middle of no where I'm sure most would agree, a further positive is less likely hood of congestion caused by commuter services. Adelaide, Australia and Moscow actually insist the majority of LD services depart/arrive at the dead of night to some extent IIRC

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We also have to keep in mind that, for large areas of the United States. the citizens have virtually no experience riding trains on a regular basis. With that in mind, it is no surprise when the average citizen sees no value, and no point, in spending money for something that passes through his or her town at the small hours of the night, and only once per day each way ( if they even have service at all ), and is not able to come up with a readily acceptable & available reason that people will ride a train. As we attempt to grow and expand the network, we, as advocates and passengers, have to be able to explain why folks will use a train to those who are accustomed to driving everywhere.

 

For that reason, I would recommend any new stations/areas should be scheduled outside the graveyard shift to give them a better chance of success. Schedule the graveyard shift for areas that already have other trains available.

 

 

For a schedule longer than 16-18 hours, somebody by definition has to be served during the overnight hours. The proper solution is, of course, more than one train a day on most long distance routes (which practice has shown to benefit the economics and patronage of both trains), so that nearly every destination is served at "marketable" times. I fully realize how very far we are from that ideal when there are still two trains which don't even run daily, but even to an (at best) lukewarm Congress with varied agendas, such a growth strategy has merit.

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Yup. Have all the LD trains arrive and depart New York between 11pm and 4am. :) That should fix all the problems ;)

Not as bad an idea as you think. New York is the "city that never sleeps". And hotel prices are astronomical.

 

If you adjusted it to midnight to 5 AM, I know several people who would take the train down, arrive at 5 AM, spend a full day in NY, and leave at midnight very happy.

 

Heck, I'd take that train overnight from upstate NY.

Edited by neroden

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I think it is a good idea to have such a train as the second train on a route. I suspect you will lose ridership if it is the first and only train on the route. Just a guess though.

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New York is the "city that never sleeps".

I hear this all the time but it always strikes me a little odd. Most of New York seems to sleep just fine. Yeah there's a late night bar and club scene but 99% of what I want to see and do in New York begins and ends at similar times as any other large city. Same with London, Paris, Tokyo, etc. Closest I ever saw to a city that never slept was Bangkok. Then they started passing laws and sending out police teams to literally force businesses to close after a certain time. If there's a city that still doesn't sleep in 2016 I've yet to find it.

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New York is the "city that never sleeps".

I hear this all the time but it always strikes me a little odd. Most of New York seems to sleep just fine. Yeah there's a late night bar and club scene but 99% of what I want to see and do in New York begins and ends at similar times as any other large city. Same with London, Paris, Tokyo, etc. Closest I ever saw to a city that never slept was Bangkok. Then they started passing laws and sending out police teams to literally force businesses to close after a certain time. If there's a city that still doesn't sleep in 2016 I've yet to find it.

 

I agree. It is just much hype about New York when compared to many other cities in the world. Of course, in the US where most cities don;t even have a lively downtown during daytime, it is quite a novelty.

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New York is the "city that never sleeps".

I hear this all the time but it always strikes me a little odd. Most of New York seems to sleep just fine. Yeah there's a late night bar and club scene but 99% of what I want to see and do in New York begins and ends at similar times as any other large city. Same with London, Paris, Tokyo, etc. Closest I ever saw to a city that never slept was Bangkok. Then they started passing laws and sending out police teams to literally force businesses to close after a certain time. If there's a city that still doesn't sleep in 2016 I've yet to find it.

 

I agree. It is just much hype about New York when compared to many other cities in the world. Of course, in the US where most cities don;t even have a lively downtown during daytime, it is quite a novelty.

 

The city where I live starts winding down at 9:30PM and most establishments have closed completely by 10PM. Even full service bars generally start wrapping up around midnight. If I had to name a US city that came closest to never sleeping I'd probably put Las Vegas ahead of New York. It may have less to do overall but a larger percentage of what's available remains open during the late night and early morning hours.

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Let me be clear that I have never suggested scheduling a train so it passes by a major city during the graveyard shift. Ideally it should be the area of least population and/or moderate areas with other trains. For my proposed NYP-Texas train, having it run through upstate NY is ideal. Of course there are always other factors to consider. I would say leaving late at night and/or arriving early in a major city is way better than the other way around.

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Let me be clear that I have never suggested scheduling a train so it passes by a major city during the graveyard shift. Ideally it should be the area of least population and/or moderate areas with other trains. For my proposed NYP-Texas train, having it run through upstate NY is ideal. Of course there are always other factors to consider. I would say leaving late at night and/or arriving early in a major city is way better than the other way around.

I generally agree with that. Unfortunately the peculiarity of the requirements of almost everyone having to connect in Chicago places additional constraints on schedules at least for the first and only train on a route at Chicago, which then has ripple effects that flow all across the country every which way.

Edited by jis

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Yup. Have all the LD trains arrive and depart New York between 11pm and 4am. :) That should fix all the problems ;)

Not as bad an idea as you think. New York is the "city that never sleeps". And hotel prices are astronomical.

 

If you adjusted it to midnight to 5 AM, I know several people who would take the train down, arrive at 5 AM, spend a full day in NY, and leave at midnight very happy.

 

Heck, I'd take that train overnight from upstate NY.

I have, for business trips, taken the Crescent to Greenville, SC. 5 AM arrival from the north, a full day of business, and an 1130 PM departure. And I'm not the only one boarding or detraining.

 

I've also traveled through Toledo for trips to Ann Arbor. Sometimes taking the Ambus, sometime taking a $50 cab ride to the airport (which feels like it's in Indiana) to get a rental car. Arrival from the east at about 5, departure near midnight.

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My proposal for New York-Dallas via upstate New York, Ohio (3-C), Louisville, Nashville, Birmingham, Meridian Speedway to Dallas. It's kind of like the Crescent Star but going through OH, KY, TN instead of via the Crescent route. It's about a 46 hr trip and would look to require 5 sets. I will call it the Lone Star. Feel free to suggest another name. I didn't think Penn Texas was appropriate since it goes through just one PA city.

 

I used the Thruway schedule between Meridian and Dallas with a near hour layover in Jackson, MS but a Pan American schedule (http://www.american-rails.com/pan-american.html) from 1969 so end to end time might be about right or even longer.

 

I am unable to upload my file so I will highlight certain cities.

15 16

New York 9:30pm 11:27am

Cleveland 9:17am/10:00am 10:45pm/11:29pm

Columbus 12:30pm/12:35pm 8:00pm/8:05pm

Cincinnati 3:45pm/4:20pm 4:35pm/5:00pm

Louisville 7:35pm/8:05pm 1:00pm/1:25pm

Nashville 11:00pm/11:20pm 7:50am/8:10am

Birmingham 3:15am/3:38am 3:15am/3:35am

Jackson, MS 8:50am/9:45am 9:05pm/10:05pm

Shreveport 1:25pm/1:50pm 4:59pm/5:35pm

Dallas 5:20pm 12:30pm

 

I can also try the Pan American route all the way to New Orleans and then to San Antonio (it would serve Montgomery, Mobile, and Biloxi) but that would take a lot longer.

 

 

 

New York Dallas December 2016.pdf

Edited by Philly Amtrak Fan

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If you could figure out an effective way to go from Pittsburgh to Columbus, we can do NYP-PHL-PGH-Columbus-CIN-on the way to DAL via Louisville and Nashville. Otherwise, it's probably better to go through upstate New York.

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