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Largest Metros Served By Only One Train (How to Serve Them Better?)

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I previously started a thread of the largest metros without Amtrak service (http://discuss.amtraktrains.com/index.php?/topic/66538-largest-metros-without-amtrak-service-how-to-serve-them/).

 

So I'd like to discuss the largest metros that have service but not much and ways to serve them better.

 

Using https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Metropolitan_Statistical_Areas

 

Since Las Vegas and Columbus who have no Amtrak service at all have populations of about 2 million, I will only list those with populations above 2 million.

 

The following metropolitan areas are served by only one train (Thruway buses don't count and Sunset Limited/Texas Eagle where combined counts as one train):

 

Houston (Sunset Limited, 3x/week)

 

Atlanta (Crescent)

 

Phoenix (If you consider Maricopa part of the Phoenix metro area, then Sunset Limited, 3x/week. Phoenix was not listed in Wikipedia's list of metros without Amtrak so they assume it is)

 

Minneapolis (Empire Builder)

 

Tampa/St. Petersburg (Silver Star)

 

Denver (California Zephyr)

 

Cincinnati (Cardinal, 3x/week, graveyard shift)

 

Austin (Texas Eagle)

 

Of these markets, ridership totals (https://www.narprail.org/site/assets/files/1038/cities_2015.pdf):

 

Daily service:

Denver: 122,554

Tampa: 117,401

Minneapolis/St. Paul: 90,650

Atlanta: 83,762

Austin: 32,920

 

3x/week service:

Houston: 19,857

Cincinnati: 12,326

Phoenix (Maricopa): 12,066

 

I believe the Atlanta station/situation has been beaten to death but imagine how much more ridership/revenue Amtrak can get from 1-2 more trains serving Atlanta.

 

Assuming only LD trains,

 

Denver could be served by restarting the Desert Wind, the Pioneer, or just a stand alone Chicago-Denver train (ideally passing through new markets the CZ doesn't pass through). I also remember someone mentioning Denver to Dallas (Caprock?)

 

Tampa could be served by another Florida LD train, either from the NEC or from Chicago and/or New Orleans

 

Minneapolis/St. Paul? I guess North Coast Hiawatha or a second Empire Builder but to me that would be a waste of money. Maybe extend the CONO to MSP (and you pick up Milwaukee as well)?

 

Austin? Probably a 2nd Texas Eagle or if the proposed Crescent Star goes all the way to San Antonio

 

Other than changing the non daily trains to daily,

 

Houston? Restart the Houston section of the Texas Eagle (http://www.timetables.org/full.php?group=19901028&item=0054) or the Lone Star

 

Cincinnati? An NYP-CIN train through upstate NY? If CIN can't service a LD train, I did propose New York-Dallas in the other thread (http://discuss.amtraktrains.com/index.php?/topic/66538-largest-metros-without-amtrak-service-how-to-serve-them/?p=691909) which would also take care of three large markets without Amtrak trains (Columbus, Louisville, and Nashville)

 

Phoenix? Having the SL actually serve Phoenix would be a start. For a second route, perhaps this route between LAX and Dallas/Ft. Worth ("Ft. Worth to El Paso via Abilene and Midland-Odessa")? https://ntbraymer.wordpress.com/2016/12/02/back-to-the-future-of-amtraks-long-distance-trains/

 

You can see that corridor service would dramatically help several of these metro areas without the expense of LD trains but Congress refuses to do so (not that they would fund any of the LD trains suggested either). As for the states, we know Ohio, Texas, and Florida governments are hard to get rail funding from. The best hope for a state supported train looks to be MSP. Denver is stuck in no man's land as they are nowhere close to any metros with 2 million or more people (SLC is 570 miles away and they have barely over 1 million). It is amazing that Denver has as high a ridership as they do without a nearby metropolitan area as is the case for Tampa (Orlando and Miami nearby).

Edited by Philly Amtrak Fan

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If the planned service to Rockford and Dubuque ever comes to fruition that could be extended to MSP or one or more Hiawatha Service runs could be extended. Even though you exclude Cleveland because of it's two trains, I think a day train would hugely increase ridership there.

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State of Minnesota keeps working on a "corridor" train from MSP to Chicago.

 

For Cincy and Houston, daily service would be the first priority.

 

Phoenix needs both daily service and a restoration of a reasonable route to downtown. I'm crazy enough to believe that they should leave town on BNSF via Grand Avenue and head west on the Arizona & California... but whether they do that or simply restore the old Southern Pacific route, it means $$$, and the state of Arizona doesn't seem to care. Maybe after the city of Phoenix finishes building out its metro system, the city will care.

 

Atlanta needs a new, better-located station before service can be improved.

 

Austin? Hmm. Pity many of the cities south of Austin were totally uncooperative with the Lone Star Rail project, or it might have commuter rail.

Edited by neroden

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The ridership numbers show trains are a hard sell to the two Texas cities and Cincinnati. Even if they had daily service but one train on the same schedule and ridership tripled (more than the proportional 7/3 factor) in those cities, Houston and Cincinnati would still be way lower than Atlanta and Minneapolis. Cincinnati does have significantly fewer people than Atlanta and Minneapolis but Houston has way more than both. And the lack of daily service doesn't explain Austin (looking at the schedule between Austin and either Dallas or San Antonio it looks like it's too slow). San Antonio has one daily and one 3x/week and has only a ridership of 54,502 so it might be a Texas problem outside of Ft. Worth (which has over 100,000 because of the HF).

 

Cleveland was mentioned. Of the over 2 million people metros, the only ones that have only graveyard service are Cleveland and Cincinnati. If you extend it to graveyard or none, you get four metro areas (out of 33( and three of the four are in Ohio. You can blame Kasich all you want but why doesn't Amtrak on a federal level better take care of Ohio? Indianapolis is just under 2 million. They essentially have one train per day and their ridership between the Hoosier State and Cardinal combined is still less than 30,000. Indy is closer to a major city than most of the metros on the list (Denver isn't anywhere near any other major city). Could the time of day be a factor???? CIN-IND are close enough markets where train travel might be a good alternative but with the schedule they have good luck getting anyone to ride it between the two cities.

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In my neck of the woods, I'd like to see the Cardinal route extended to Newport News (NPN). As of now, only the NER train serves both that station and the Norfolk (NFK) station. However, I think that between the two, NPN would be a better place to which to extend the Cardinal.

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In my neck of the woods, I'd like to see the Cardinal route extended to Newport News (NPN). As of now, only the NER train serves both that station and the Norfolk (NFK) station. However, I think that between the two, NPN would be a better place to which to extend the Cardinal.

 

 

There are two trains in each direction between NPN and BOS. On Friday, there are actually three inbound trains from BOS. That is a heavy travel market. Additionally, there is no real way to "extend" the Cardinal to NPN. You would have to reroute it entirely since there is no way to operate it to WAS and back to NPN without reversing direction. There is a direct route from CLF to NPN. You could use CSX's James River Subdivision to the Rivanna Subdivision which ultimately connects to the Pensinula Subdivision, which is what the existing NPN trains use now. Unfortunately, the Rivanna and James River subs are mostly single track with passing sidings. Even with the diminishing coal traffic, the journey would be uphill for a passenger train, Additionally, the maximum speed for freight is 40mph on the Rivanna subdivision and 35mph on the James River sub. That would mean the best a passenger train could manage is 60mph. This assumes that CSX doesn't downgrade the route and equips the line with PTC. It is 229 railroad miles just to connect to the 79mph Peninsula Sub. That is a long travel time that creates an orphan set of long distance equipment in NPN. BTW, who is going to service it? Where will you store it on the days the Cardinal doesn't run? What happens to the marooned crew?

 

 

Finally, extending the three day a week Cardinal to NPN would sever some of the biggest city pairs on the route. This reroute has completely wiped out the top three city pairs and I doubt the Tidewater market could make up for it.

 

You may as well just hand the equipment over to someone else. I'm sure someone else has a better idea for it. :)

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Regarding daytime service to Cleveland, feel free to help promote my idea:

 

If I hadn't been so sick and preoccupied lately I might have worked harder on pitching it to other people :-(

TWO A DAY.pdf

Edited by neroden

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In my neck of the woods, I'd like to see the Cardinal route extended to Newport News (NPN). As of now, only the NER train serves both that station and the Norfolk (NFK) station. However, I think that between the two, NPN would be a better place to which to extend the Cardinal.

 

 

There are two trains in each direction between NPN and BOS. On Friday, there are actually three inbound trains from BOS. That is a heavy travel market. Additionally, there is no real way to "extend" the Cardinal to NPN. You would have to reroute it entirely since there is no way to operate it to WAS and back to NPN without reversing direction. There is a direct route from CLF to NPN. You could use CSX's James River Subdivision to the Rivanna Subdivision which ultimately connects to the Pensinula Subdivision, which is what the existing NPN trains use now. Unfortunately, the Rivanna and James River subs are mostly single track with passing sidings. Even with the diminishing coal traffic, the journey would be uphill for a passenger train, Additionally, the maximum speed for freight is 40mph on the Rivanna subdivision and 35mph on the James River sub. That would mean the best a passenger train could manage is 60mph. This assumes that CSX doesn't downgrade the route and equips the line with PTC. It is 229 railroad miles just to connect to the 79mph Peninsula Sub. That is a long travel time that creates an orphan set of long distance equipment in NPN. BTW, who is going to service it? Where will you store it on the days the Cardinal doesn't run? What happens to the marooned crew?

 

 

Finally, extending the three day a week Cardinal to NPN would sever some of the biggest city pairs on the route. This reroute has completely wiped out the top three city pairs and I doubt the Tidewater market could make up for it.

 

You may as well just hand the equipment over to someone else. I'm sure someone else has a better idea for it. :)

 

A few thoughts:

(1) There's also the BBRR from CVS to, roughly, RVM. This is the route that the Charles Nelson Riley (sorry, James Whitcomb Riley;)) took back in the 1970s. I cannot speak to the condition of those tracks, however; they might well manage to be in even worse shape. There's also the option to go to NFK instead of NPN. I think the case for this might be a bit weaker (WBG has quite a bit of ridership), but it's an option that could be supplemented with an NPN bus (see #2 below). Additionally, I think when anyone says "extended", they are presuming that the train would be split somewhere (CLF, CVS) like it was back in the 1970s rather than cutting off WAS/NYP. I won't speak to the practicality of such an arrangement, but my read is that this is always the presumption.

 

(1b) If you go to NPN you presently have a storage problem, though the new NPN station is supposed to contain three trains' worth of storage space and a turning loop. We'll see if that all survives into action, but even with three trains on the Peninsula, 65 arrives well after 94 departs and 66 departs before 95 arrives so no matter when a theoretical third train were timed you'd never have more than two trains present. If you go to NFK, there's three trains' worth of storage space at NFK in line with the 3x daily plans (which, to be fair, have their own issues...so there's probably a spare track there even if you're looking. So ultimately you should be able to park the equipment somewhere in either event. As to the crew situation, I want to assure you that I'm not being cheeky, but depending on precisely where you base them out of you'd end up doing whatever it is you presently do with the crews that are marooned at the end of less-than-daily routes. As to servicing, there I'm going to readily agree there's a problem...but I think the problem there is that VA is running a ton of trains, planning to run more into Hampton Roads and Richmond, and doesn't have any servicing facilities. The flipside to this, however, is that clearly Amtrak did something when it was still running a BOS-NPN sleeper.

 

(2) I've actually been trying to nudge on improving east-west Thruway service in VA (via VHSR) to supplement the limited service NPN-RVR. I'm not a fan of buses, but I actually think that a straight NFK-CVS bus (take your pick on routing) instead of the bus-train-bus combo (or the absurdly long layover at RVR to make the bus) would serve this market set better. I think the real gripe to be had is that from NFK, which has train service, you have to go through something of a relay race to get to the Cardinal. It's not even great from NPN...I live not far from the NPN station and IIRC in order to make it to CVS I can leave something like two hours later from home (1100 versus 0850) and still make the Cardinal comfortably. No small part of this is the hour of waiting at RVR for the connecting bus. Going down to NFK, the bus leaves at 0740 and you get into CVS at 1330...or you can drive out at 1030 and arrive into CVS at 1330 and not lose three hours (potentially longer depending on any additional buffer you feel is necessary to comfortably make the bus out of NFK) making a string of connections and still have the same 20-minute buffer the bus does.

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In my neck of the woods, I'd like to see the Cardinal route extended to Newport News (NPN). As of now, only the NER train serves both that station and the Norfolk (NFK) station. However, I think that between the two, NPN would be a better place to which to extend the Cardinal.

 

 

There are two trains in each direction between NPN and BOS. On Friday, there are actually three inbound trains from BOS. That is a heavy travel market. Additionally, there is no real way to "extend" the Cardinal to NPN. You would have to reroute it entirely since there is no way to operate it to WAS and back to NPN without reversing direction. There is a direct route from CLF to NPN. You could use CSX's James River Subdivision to the Rivanna Subdivision which ultimately connects to the Pensinula Subdivision, which is what the existing NPN trains use now. Unfortunately, the Rivanna and James River subs are mostly single track with passing sidings. Even with the diminishing coal traffic, the journey would be uphill for a passenger train, Additionally, the maximum speed for freight is 40mph on the Rivanna subdivision and 35mph on the James River sub. That would mean the best a passenger train could manage is 60mph. This assumes that CSX doesn't downgrade the route and equips the line with PTC. It is 229 railroad miles just to connect to the 79mph Peninsula Sub. That is a long travel time that creates an orphan set of long distance equipment in NPN. BTW, who is going to service it? Where will you store it on the days the Cardinal doesn't run? What happens to the marooned crew?

 

 

Finally, extending the three day a week Cardinal to NPN would sever some of the biggest city pairs on the route. This reroute has completely wiped out the top three city pairs and I doubt the Tidewater market could make up for it.

 

You may as well just hand the equipment over to someone else. I'm sure someone else has a better idea for it. :)

 

Gotcha :)

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Finally, extending the three day a week Cardinal to NPN would sever some of the biggest city pairs on the route. This reroute has completely wiped out the top three city pairs and I doubt the Tidewater market could make up for it.

 

 

Correction: The top three city pairs by ridership on the Cardinal are CHI-IND, CHI-Lafayette, IN, and CHI-CIN (https://www.narprail.org/site/assets/files/1038/trains_2015.pdf). The next two are CVS-WAS and CVS-NYP which are probably two of the three you were thinking about.

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A few thoughts:

(1) There's also the BBRR from CVS to, roughly, RVM. This is the route that the Charles Nelson Riley (sorry, James Whitcomb Riley;)) took back in the 1970s. I cannot speak to the condition of those tracks, however; they might well manage to be in even worse shape. There's also the option to go to NFK instead of NPN. I think the case for this might be a bit weaker (WBG has quite a bit of ridership), but it's an option that could be supplemented with an NPN bus (see #2 below). Additionally, I think when anyone says "extended", they are presuming that the train would be split somewhere (CLF, CVS) like it was back in the 1970s rather than cutting off WAS/NYP. I won't speak to the practicality of such an arrangement, but my read is that this is always the presumption.

 

Whether you split it or reroute it, taking it away from the NEC, which drives a lot of the traffic is still a terrible idea. That was one of the reason they eliminated the transfer at WAS. Splitting the train is equally bad since that creates additional expenses and diverts ridership.

 

 

 

(1b) If you go to NPN you presently have a storage problem, though the new NPN station is supposed to contain three trains' worth of storage space and a turning loop. We'll see if that all survives into action, but even with three trains on the Peninsula, 65 arrives well after 94 departs and 66 departs before 95 arrives so no matter when a theoretical third train were timed you'd never have more than two trains present. If you go to NFK, there's three trains' worth of storage space at NFK in line with the 3x daily plans (which, to be fair, have their own issues...so there's probably a spare track there even if you're looking. So ultimately you should be able to park the equipment somewhere in either event. As to the crew situation, I want to assure you that I'm not being cheeky, but depending on precisely where you base them out of you'd end up doing whatever it is you presently do with the crews that are marooned at the end of less-than-daily routes. As to servicing, there I'm going to readily agree there's a problem...but I think the problem there is that VA is running a ton of trains, planning to run more into Hampton Roads and Richmond, and doesn't have any servicing facilities. The flipside to this, however, is that clearly Amtrak did something when it was still running a BOS-NPN sleeper.

 

 

Ultimately, you MAY be able to park the train but as of this discussion there are major issues with NPN and NFK. One of them being that when Amtrak ran the Twilight Shoreliner to NPN, it passed through WAS and NYP which had replacements available. If push came to shove, you could even swap it out with the Lake Shore in Boston if it arrived from Chicago in time. As such, there was protection along the line.

 

Ping-ponging this train between CHI and NPN/NFK results in the car running between two turn around points with very little protection for a long distance train. As a self cycling set, this consist is a complete island in the stream.

 

As for the crew situation, which route along a less than daily route has an end point at an outlying point? If you look carefully, they all connect to other routes and have terminal crews and often an extra list available. That's because there are usually more than one train the passes through. Are you going to put a terminal crew in NPN or NFK to switch one train as necessary?

 

This is a bad idea all around. If VA wants to run a circle route to NPN, that should be a separate service.

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, extending the three day a week Cardinal to NPN would sever some of the biggest city pairs on the route. This reroute has completely wiped out the top three city pairs and I doubt the Tidewater market could make up for it.

 

 

Correction: The top three city pairs by ridership on the Cardinal are CHI-IND, CHI-Lafayette, IN, and CHI-CIN (https://www.narprail.org/site/assets/files/1038/trains_2015.pdf). The next two are CVS-WAS and CVS-NYP which are probably two of the three you were thinking about.

 

 

There is no need for corrections, Philly Amtrak Fan. As I've mentioned in the past, you can't see everything that others can. While you're posting ridership numbers, I'm referring to revenue and I assure you, a reroute will wipe out the top three city pairs.

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OK, I would agree rerouting the Cardinal to go to NPN instead of to NYP makes no sense at all. Of course most people on AU would know what I'd rather do with the Cardinal.

Yup, one could imagine that the purpose of sending Cardinal to NPN would be to ultimately kill it, which is exactly what happened to the Tidewater part of the George Washington/James Whitcomb Riley. Why do we have to keep proposing things that have been known to have failed in the past?

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OK, I would agree rerouting the Cardinal to go to NPN instead of to NYP makes no sense at all. Of course most people on AU would know what I'd rather do with the Cardinal.

Yup, one could imagine that the purpose of sending Cardinal to NPN would be to ultimately kill it, which is exactly what happened to the Tidewater part of the George Washington/James Whitcomb Riley. Why do we have to keep proposing things that have been known to have failed in the past?

 

Because the question of what went wrong in the past is frequently up for debate. Taking the Riley/Washington situation, yes the NPN section got dropped...but the train was also misconnect-heavy at CHI (as of 1973 it would make the Super Chief and the Zephyr, but that was really about it) and prone to a ton of delays (and re-routes in Indiana in a vain attempt to fix those delays). There's also the fact that population patterns are a lot different now than they were in the 1970s, the equipment situation is different (we're a lot more stretched on sleepers, for example), etc.

 

There's also the question of what constitutes a "failure". Does a train "fail" if the reason it got pulled had a lot to do with a host not keeping up the tracks? What if the previous iteration of a train serving market set X failed due to bad connections (or connections it couldn't keep) or it got pulled strictly because of an equipment shortage, directly or indirectly (e.g. the National Limited, which IIRC was never given enough equipment to "clear the bar" for the Carter cuts)? And so on.

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Let me remind you of the topic of the post, largest metros served by one train. NPN is served by two trains daily and there are several larger markets served by only one train/day or less (or none).

 

As for service to Chicago, I feel Harrisburg/Lancaster, etc. should have priority before Newport News. You keep saying the through cars off the CL, well get it done then!

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Let me remind you of the topic of the post, largest metros served by one train. NPN is served by two trains daily and there are several larger markets served by only one train/day or less (or none).

 

As for service to Chicago, I feel Harrisburg/Lancaster, etc. should have priority before Newport News. You keep saying the through cars off the CL, well get it done then!

I agree with you. NPN has all the train that it needs as compared to the situation west of HBG in PA.

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With the threat of LD cuts being discussed, the impact to most of these markets if all LD service went away.

 

LSL: None (CLE if you cut both the LSL and CL)

CL: None (CLE if you cut both the LSL and CL)

SM: None (Jacksonville, ORL, and MIA if you cut both the SM and SS)

SS: Tampa (Jacksonville, ORL, and MIA if you cut both the SM and SS)

Palmetto: None

Card: CIN

Crescent: ATL, Birmigham (NOL if you cut Crescent, CONO, and SL)

CONO: Memphis (NOL if you cut Crescent, CONO, and SL)

TE: Austin (SAS if you cut TE and SL, technically the city of Dallas would have no service but FTW would still have the HF).

SWC: None

CZ: DEN, SLC

EB: MSP

CS: None

SL: Houston, Tucson (NOL if you cut Crescent, CONO, and SL, SAS if you cut TE and SL)

 

Unfortunately many of the trains that serve no unique major markets are fairly successful and those that aren't successful have at least one major market you would lose if you cut that train. The SL, Crescent, and CZ serve two unique markets (and each serve a really large market, SL=Houston, Crescent=Atlanta, and CZ=Denver). Of the train serving just one market: EB (Minneapolis, 3.6M), Cardinal (Cincinnati, 2.2M), CONO (Memphis, 1.3M)

 

In reality, if only the CONO gets cut Memphis is the only major market you lose and Memphis is less significant than MSP or CIN based on population and not ridership (if ridership, CIN would be the smallest major market, lower than many of the markets with less than 1M, damn the 3 day/week and graveyard shift times!)

 

Parts of routes which would no longer be served if the train got whacked (this accounts for those slightly under 1M like Albuquerque):

LSL: CLE-BUF

CL: CLE-PGH, PGH-WAS

SM: ORL-MIA without going through Tampa

SS: CLT-SAV and ORL-TPA

Palmetto: None

Cardinal: IND-CVS

Crescent: CLT-NOL

CONO: Carbondale, IL-NOL

TE: STL-SAS

SWC: Galesburg, IL-Fullerton, CA

CZ: Galesburg, IL-Roseville, CA

EB: Milwaukee-SEA, Spokane-PDX

CS: SAC-Eugene, OR

SL: All of it!

 

The last line seems to favor the SL as well. Houston is a significant loss but shutting down the SL also means you have no route between Texas and California. Some have said the SL is the weakest route and it might be financially but there are really significant losses as to cutting it, especially if you cut the SAS-NOL portion. In addition if you lose the SWC you not only lose Albuquerque but the ability to go from CHI-KC on a one seat ride and the ability to go from CHI-LAX (or technically Galesburg-Fullerton). Cutting the TE means the Dallas/Ft. Worth area can only go north to Oklahoma City. No San Antonio/Austin, no Chicago/St. Louis, no Houston (oh wait, you can't do that now!)

Edited by Philly Amtrak Fan

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Cutting the TE means the Dallas/Ft. Worth area can only go north to Oklahoma City. No San Antonio/Austin, no Chicago/St. Louis, no Houston (oh wait, you can't do that now!)

 

If the Texas Eagle gets whacked, the smart money says the Heartland Flyer follows within 90 days....

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Cutting the TE means the Dallas/Ft. Worth area can only go north to Oklahoma City. No San Antonio/Austin, no Chicago/St. Louis, no Houston (oh wait, you can't do that now!)

If the Texas Eagle gets whacked, the smart money says the Heartland Flyer follows within 90 days....

That's a Lock! Book it Danno!🚫

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Cutting the TE means the Dallas/Ft. Worth area can only go north to Oklahoma City. No San Antonio/Austin, no Chicago/St. Louis, no Houston (oh wait, you can't do that now!)

If the Texas Eagle gets whacked, the smart money says the Heartland Flyer follows within 90 days....

 

That's a Lock! Book it Danno!

 

 

Of course, if saner heads prevail (that's a big if), the Heartland Flyer could be extended north to Kansas City/Chicago and south to Houston, becoming the Lone Star/Texas Chief once again....

 

Whistling in the dark...if the Texas Eagle gets whacked, especially for budgetary reasons, I still say the Heartland Flyer follows suit within 90 days, Oklahoma state support or no.

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Cutting the TE means the Dallas/Ft. Worth area can only go north to Oklahoma City. No San Antonio/Austin, no Chicago/St. Louis, no Houston (oh wait, you can't do that now!)

If the Texas Eagle gets whacked, the smart money says the Heartland Flyer follows within 90 days....

 

That's a Lock! Book it Danno!

 

 

Of course, if saner heads prevail (that's a big if), the Heartland Flyer could be extended north to Kansas City/Chicago and south to Houston, becoming the Lone Star/Texas Chief once again.... Whistling in the dark...if the Texas Eagle gets whacked, especially for budgetary reasons, I still say the Heartland Flyer follows suit within 90 days, Oklahoma state support or no.

 

We didn't vote for sanity; we voted for Hannity. Did saner heads prevail in any other proto-fascist uprising? Not until the domestic pain grew too great to ignore.

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We didn't vote for sanity; we voted for Hannity. Did saner heads prevail in any other proto-fascist uprising? Not until the domestic pain grew too great to ignore.

If you're referring to the recent presidential election, I dispute the implication that the other choice would have represented anything closer to sanity. The Republic faces dark days....

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We didn't vote for sanity; we voted for Hannity. Did saner heads prevail in any other proto-fascist uprising? Not until the domestic pain grew too great to ignore.

If you're referring to the recent presidential election, I dispute the implication that the other choice would have represented anything closer to sanity. The Republic faces dark days....

 

 

Regardless of individual position or perspective I think we need to acknowledge that the checks and balances we have relied on for generations are proving to be rather ineffective at preventing increasingly serious subversion. I believe that we also need to accept that the system we created for determining our future governance is becoming irreparably harmed. I'm not talking about armed revolution or anything crazy like that, but rather following peaceful but logical initiatives such as the widespread introduction of public election funding, easier and simpler access for new citizens to join and disillusioned voters to rejoin the election process, improved transparency in the voting rules and procedures, confirmation of a successful ballot recording, removal of partisan gerrymandering, and dissolution of the electoral college. I'd personally prefer a system that promoted middle road and middle class politicians over the return to gilded age style dynasties like we're seeing today.

Edited by Devil's Advocate

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Cutting the TE means the Dallas/Ft. Worth area can only go north to Oklahoma City. No San Antonio/Austin, no Chicago/St. Louis, no Houston (oh wait, you can't do that now!)

If the Texas Eagle gets whacked, the smart money says the Heartland Flyer follows within 90 days....

 

That's a Lock! Book it Danno!

 

 

Of course, if saner heads prevail (that's a big if), the Heartland Flyer could be extended north to Kansas City/Chicago and south to Houston, becoming the Lone Star/Texas Chief once again....

 

Whistling in the dark...if the Texas Eagle gets whacked, especially for budgetary reasons, I still say the Heartland Flyer follows suit within 90 days, Oklahoma state support or no.

 

 

Even easier. Through cars off the Texas Eagle running DAL (from the looks of the schedule it looks like Longview) to HOS via College Station. It's not like they haven't done it before: http://www.timetables.org/full.php?group=19941030n&item=0031

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