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I have been amazed for years that Amtrak has a train to Tucson and not Phoenix. Tucson is about half the size of Phoenix. Why don't they have a train going there?

 

 

The Sunset Limited used to go thru Phoenix, but the main freight route bypasses it to the south, and some years ago, the passenger line could no longer be sustained economically, so the Sunset was shifted over to the freight line, and part of the former passenger line was taken out of service. Maricopa, is now the closest station to Phoenix....

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I have been amazed for years that Amtrak has a train to Tucson and not Phoenix. Tucson is about half the size of Phoenix. Why don't they have a train going there?

 

 

You should look back on Page 2 for my response to essentially the same inquiry from you less than three weeks ago.

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I have been amazed for years that Amtrak has a train to Tucson and not Phoenix. Tucson is about half the size of Phoenix. Why don't they have a train going there?

You should look back on Page 2 for my response to essentially the same inquiry from you less than three weeks ago.

Brian, you gave a fine reply when he posted the same question before.

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I keep reading how the rerouting of the Sunset was all the fault of the freight railroad.

 

Am I the only one who recalls what may have been an example of domestic terrorism when a bomb blew up a bridge, throwing the Sunset into the dry riverbed below?

 

After that incident, UP moved its trains and Amtrak to the Maricopa route. It remains an unsolved crime, but it certainly shouldn't be forgotten.

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I keep reading how the rerouting of the Sunset was all the fault of the freight railroad.

 

Am I the only one who recalls what may have been an example of domestic terrorism when a bomb blew up a bridge, throwing the Sunset into the dry riverbed below?

 

After that incident, UP moved its trains and Amtrak to the Maricopa route. It remains an unsolved crime, but it certainly shouldn't be forgotten.

 

Hmm, were the trains permanently rerouted immediately after that incident, which occurred in October 1995? I thought it occurred later, sometime in 1996. The April 1996 Amtrak timetable shows the Sunset Limited still serving Phoenix, but with a note that there might be changes in May (of 1996).

 

(I also think it was still SP [southern Pacific] at the time.)

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More about the derailment, better than my faulty memory (no bomb involved).

 

http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/best-reads/2015/10/10/amtrak-train-derailment-sunset-limited-arizona-1995/73604602/

 

And from Wikipedia:

On October 9, 1995, saboteurs derailed the Sunset Limited near Harqua, Arizona by removing 29 spikes from a section of track, and short-circuited the signal system to conceal the sabotage.[3]

On June 2, 1996, the Sunset Limited was rerouted to a more southerly route between Tucson, and Yuma, Arizona, bypassing Phoenix, in order to accommodate the Union Pacific Railroad's desire to abandon a portion of its Phoenix-to-Yuma "West Line".

 

Edited by WoodyinNYC

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I have been amazed for years that Amtrak has a train to Tucson and not Phoenix. Tucson is about half the size of Phoenix. Why don't they have a train going there?

 

 

 

You can ask this question about a hundred other instances in this country, replacing Tucson and Phoenix with another smaller city and another larger city. Proving once again Amtrak doesn't make sense. Or CENTS.

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I have been amazed for years that Amtrak has a train to Tucson and not Phoenix. Tucson is about half the size of Phoenix. Why don't they have a train going there?

 

 

 

You can ask this question about a hundred other instances in this country, replacing Tucson and Phoenix with another smaller city and another larger city. Proving once again Amtrak doesn't make sense. Or CENTS.

 

Except for the Northeastern US where Amtrak owns the right of way (in conjunction with some commuter entities) Amtrak has to travel on tracks owned by the freight railroads which say where Amtrak can operate. When Amtrak started, the traveling public was lead to believe that service would eventually be restored on many lines that lost service 5/1/1971. That was far from true because Amtrak was set up to fail and many thought it would be gone of 10 years except for the Northeast Corridor. A few political routes were restored such as the North Coast Hiawatha and some West Virginia routes where locals pressed their congress people to bring back service. Given the current political climate in Washington, we are fortunate to have the very skeletal system that exists. That is why Amtrak doesn't make sense.

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I remember the SL stopping in Phoenix, but only stopping three times a week each way, didn't/doesn't produce enough revenue to keep a track being abandoned by the freight company that owned it, operational. Also, with Sen. McCain so anti-Amtrak, the people of Arizona are probably lucky the SL stops as often as it does in AZ.

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Light rail service to Maricopa? I just can't see it. Maricopa is way beyond what I'd consider a reasonable extension of Valley Metro light rail service. Given that there isn't even local bus service in Maricopa (as best I can tell), the recently-started Thruway connection between Maricopa - Tempe - Phoenix is probably going to have to suffice.

 

Palm Springs? California has been studying additional rail service from Los Angeles to the Coachella Valley. Most recently the thought had been 2 Amtrak roundtrips/day, but the cost numbers were, uh, not promising.

 

Ah, okay. It looked like local Valley Metro bus service only went as far south as Chandler(and about the SanTan Freeway), but not any further south than that sadly. It is too bad the political will wouldn't be enough to encourage UP to allow the Sunset to be restored onto the former Wellton-Phoenix track route, it used to run over.

 

I almost forgot about the bridge that was tampered with, which caused the derailment west of Phoenix. Was that bridge ever repaired, after this incident? It's too bad UP downgraded that track line, and that Amtrak was forced to reroute that train onto the main UP freight line to LAX(instead serving Maricopa) south of Phoenix.

Edited by dogbert617

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Light rail service to Maricopa? I just can't see it. Maricopa is way beyond what I'd consider a reasonable extension of Valley Metro light rail service. Given that there isn't even local bus service in Maricopa (as best I can tell), the recently-started Thruway connection between Maricopa - Tempe - Phoenix is probably going to have to suffice.

 

Palm Springs? California has been studying additional rail service from Los Angeles to the Coachella Valley. Most recently the thought had been 2 Amtrak roundtrips/day, but the cost numbers were, uh, not promising.

 

Ah, okay. It looked like local Valley Metro bus service only went as far south as Chandler(and about the SanTan Freeway), but not any further south than that sadly. It is too bad the political will wouldn't be enough to encourage UP to allow the Sunset to be restored onto the former Wellton-Phoenix track route, it used to run over.

 

I almost forgot about the bridge that was tampered with, which caused the derailment west of Phoenix. Was that bridge ever repaired, after this incident? It's too bad UP downgraded that track line, and that Amtrak was forced to reroute that train onto the main UP freight line to LAX(instead serving Maricopa) south of Phoenix.

Amtrak continued to operate on the line after the derailment so either the bridge was repaired or another was built.

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I thought Phoenix was cut about the time other cuts were happening meaning the atmosphere in WAS was not to spend money when there was a solution that didn't cost.

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n terms of political will, I think there may be light at the end of the tunnel here: AZ is trending Democratic in recent elections, and if this trend continues, soon pro-rail officials could be elected to state and federal offices in AZ. That would probably increase the likelihood of funding being dedicated to fixing up the Wellton Branch.

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Once Sen "Amtrak doesn't serve my State." McCain is replaced, ( hopefully by someone with sense) and the Dems get control of the Congress and Senate again, things should look up for Amtrak.

 

Don't think you'll ever see the Sunset serve Phoenix again though!

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Or Tucson and Phoenix could simply extend their LRT systems to join up midway :)

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Could commuter rail ever reach Tuscon from Phoenix? Would not require much new track work.

It requires no new trackwork. The embargoed line is west of Phoenix to the mainline at Wellton outside Yuma. The UP Phoenix branch between Phoenix and the mainline at Picacho Jct. is in fine shape.

 

What it requires is cooperation of UP and, again, money, for platforms, new/lengthened sidings UP would no doubt demand and money to UP for "cooperation".

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Could commuter rail ever reach Tuscon from Phoenix? Would not require much new track work.

There has been some efforts made to make that happen. For Amtrak, it would setup a situation similar to Caltrain in the San Francisco area. In that case, Amtrak still busses passengers from Oakland to San Francisco rather than advertise Caltrain from San Jose, although some passengers use it anyway when coming from points south on the CS. When coming from the north/east, it is very roundabout. I made the connection from Caltrain to the northbound CS in December, but very few passengers would make that choice unless they have a strong hate for busses.

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