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Amtrak route with least amount of support?

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The problem faced by the Sunset Limited is a remarkable lack of local political support in almost every major urban area on its route.

Wonder if there would be support if it ran daily or even better twice daily on mirror schedules?

Everything would be more popular if there were more frequencies!

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The problem faced by the Sunset Limited is a remarkable lack of local political support in almost every major urban area on its route.

Wonder if there would be support if it ran daily or even better twice daily on mirror schedules?

Everything would be more popular if there were more frequencies!

 

 

In my snarkier moments, I believe that that's exactly what UP and Amtrak are afraid of....

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The problem faced by the Sunset Limited is a remarkable lack of local political support in almost every major urban area on its route.

Wonder if there would be support if it ran daily or even better twice daily on mirror schedules?

Everything would be more popular if there were more frequencies!

 

That is precisely the Catch 22. There will not by higher frequency unless there is more political support, and without higher frequency it is unlikely that there will be more political support.

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As WoodyinNYC has said so often on this forum, “the cure for Amtrak is more Amtrak!”

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As WoodyinNYC has said so often on this forum, “the cure for Amtrak is more Amtrak!”

A relatively hard to operationalize slogan I am afraid. ;)

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I'm actually thinking it's time to give up on the Sunset Limited. We all know that it lacks any meaningful political support west of Beaumont. There's no population between San Antonio and El Paso, the longest really depopulated gap on any of the routes I can think of. As for Louisiana...

 

https://www.arcgis.com/apps/MapJournal/index.html?appid=b53e9dd7a85a44488466e1a38de87601

 

The track in Louisiana is going to be underwater.

 

Maybe a route from LA-Phoenix-Tucson-El Paso heading east through Midland and Odessa to Fort Worth would make more sense. It would help to actually stop in Phoenix.

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I'm actually thinking it's time to give up on the Sunset Limited. We all know that it lacks any meaningful political support west of Beaumont. There's no population between San Antonio and El Paso, the longest really depopulated gap on any of the routes I can think of. As for Louisiana...

 

https://www.arcgis.com/apps/MapJournal/index.html?appid=b53e9dd7a85a44488466e1a38de87601

 

The track in Louisiana is going to be underwater.

 

Maybe a route from LA-Phoenix-Tucson-El Paso heading east through Midland and Odessa to Fort Worth would make more sense. It would help to actually stop in Phoenix.

Sad but probably true. :(

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On 10/24/2018 at 8:13 AM, neroden said:

I'm actually thinking it's time to give up on the Sunset Limited. We all know that it lacks any meaningful political support west of Beaumont. There's no population between San Antonio and El Paso, the longest really depopulated gap on any of the routes I can think of. As for Louisiana...

 

https://www.arcgis.com/apps/MapJournal/index.html?appid=b53e9dd7a85a44488466e1a38de87601

 

The track in Louisiana is going to be underwater.

 

Maybe a route from LA-Phoenix-Tucson-El Paso heading east through Midland and Odessa to Fort Worth would make more sense. It would help to actually stop in Phoenix.

Sounds cool, but Houston would be left would no service, which would be insane.

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4 hours ago, railgeekteen said:

Sounds cool, but Houston would be left would no service, which would be insane.

I don't think he's saying that this would at all be ideal, just that poor circumstances and lack of political willpower might necessitate it. And it's also insane that Phoenix currently doesn't have any service, so...

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Service from Houston northwards would make  a lot more sense than the Sunset Limited.  A second "Chicago to Texas" train could be a hit, ideally via College Station.  Galveston - Houston - College Station - Bryan - Cleburne - Waco Airport - Fort Worth would probably be the best route.  Problem is Union Pacific, of course.

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I think a (big) problem with the Sunset is that it doesn’t offer a same day connection to the Crescent. Houston-Atlanta/Carolinas for example could be a large market. Plus it’d be much more convenient than taking the bus up to Longview and then having to catch two trains to WAS/NYC.

The only problem is, obviously, the schedule would have to be altered greatly.

I also think overnight between HOS and NOL would be good. It’s a long slow journey so just hop on, go to sleep, and wake up in either city in the morning.

Ideally you’d also adjust 19/20, have 19 run an hour earlier into NOL (630p arrival) and have 20 run an hour later (800a departure).

Something like this...

Dp. LAX-700a
Dp. PSP- 940a
Dp MRC- 230p
Dp. SAS-300p
Dp. HOS-845p
Dp. NOL-615a

On the return...

Dp. NOL-900p
Dp. HOS-645a
Dp. SAS-1215p
Dp.MRC-905a
Dp.PSP-205p
Ar. LAX-535p

Downsides:

* No more connection with Starlight in LAX
* Eagle thru cars would be history (unless TE schedule drastically altered)

Upsides:

* Better times for SAS, PSP, MRC
* Easy access to/fr ATL/Carolinas and HOS/SAS/Southwest.

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Good idea, but the plan is to make the Texas Eagle a Daily Train CHI-LAX with a Stub Train between SAS and NOL.( the negotiations with UP were sabotaged by Amtrak last time)

 

Perhaps this Stub Train ( maybe in our youngest members Lifetime?)could be scheduled to coordinate with the Crescent,City of New,Orleans and the long talked about Coast Train between NOL and Florida!

Edited by Bob Dylan

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Yeah, I remember that proposal.

 

Initially I was against it because selfishly I’d lose my one-roomette ride to LAX (). But heck, it’s so hard to schedule a trip on 1/2 with its tri-weekly schedule that daily with a short connection in SAS wouldn’t be terrible.

 

I just think it’s wise to take advantage of NOLs geographic position somehow since it’s the only place in the nation besides CHI that can get you to both coasts.

 

But that probably won’t even happen in my lifetime.

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I'm way more in favor of same day connections in New Orleans than Los Angeles to the CS (especially since PHL actually has daily one seat service to NOL and not to CHI).

Besides, the current SL schedule is horrible in San Antonio and the arrival time in LAX is too early. 

 

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1 hour ago, Bob Dylan said:

Good idea, but the plan is to make the Texas Eagle a Daily Train CHI-LAX with a Stub Train between SAS and NOL.( the negotiations with UP were sabotaged by Amtrak last time)

 

Perhaps this Stub Train ( maybe in our youngest members Lifetime?)could be scheduled to coordinate with the Crescent,City of New,Orleans and the long talked about Coast Train between NOL and Florida!

It would be sad to lose the only non Chicago transfer point though. 

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53 minutes ago, NativeSon5859 said:

Yeah, I remember that proposal.

 

Initially I was against it because selfishly I’d lose my one-roomette ride to LAX (emoji23.png). But heck, it’s so hard to schedule a trip on 1/2 with its tri-weekly schedule that daily with a short connection in SAS wouldn’t be terrible.

 

I just think it’s wise to take advantage of NOLs geographic position somehow since it’s the only place in the nation besides CHI that can get you to both coasts.

 

But that probably won’t even happen in my lifetime.

I thought the plan with the stub train idea was to have NOL-LAX through cars between it and the Eagle, with the TE being the “main train” between SAS and LAX?

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What say we extend the Crescent through NOL, arriving Houston (with sleepers) about breakfast time and in San Antonio by lunch; same day transfer to the Texas Eagle to California? Need an expanded maintenance/crew base and maybe a commissary at SAS, but is that really a showstopper?

I'd also be willing to coordinate this with the never-realized Crescent Star section from Meridian west to Shreveport and Dallas.

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32 minutes ago, ehbowen said:

What say we extend the Crescent through NOL, arriving Houston (with sleepers) about breakfast time and in San Antonio by lunch; same day transfer to the Texas Eagle to California? Need an expanded maintenance/crew base and maybe a commissary at SAS, but is that really a showstopper?

I'd also be willing to coordinate this with the never-realized Crescent Star section from Meridian west to Shreveport and Dallas.

I personally think the Crescent Star makes a lot more sense than an extension through New Orleans, as the former is significantly more direct. It would definitely be awesome to have a one seat ride to San Antonio, but I just think that if I had to go with one or the other, I'd choose the Crescent Star. :)

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2 minutes ago, cpotisch said:

I personally think the Crescent Star makes a lot more sense than an extension through New Orleans, as the former is significantly more direct. It would definitely be awesome to have a one seat ride to San Antonio, but I just think that if I had to go with one or the other, I'd choose the Crescent Star. :)

The two plans are compatible; the Crescent Star was originally intended to be a section split off the Crescent in Birmingham or Meridian heading west to Shreveport and Dallas. No reason we can't do that and still extend the main portion of the Crescent west to Houston and San Antonio.

It does look as if it would be difficult to have reasonable arrival times in Dallas unless you built in substantial dwell time and padding along the way. It would probably be best to terminate that section in Fort Worth, actually, to take advantage of infrastructure there.

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18 minutes ago, ehbowen said:

The two plans are compatible; the Crescent Star was originally intended to be a section split off the Crescent in Birmingham or Meridian heading west to Shreveport and Dallas. No reason we can't do that and still extend the main portion of the Crescent west to Houston and San Antonio.

It does look as if it would be difficult to have reasonable arrival times in Dallas unless you built in substantial dwell time and padding along the way. It would probably be best to terminate that section in Fort Worth, actually, to take advantage of infrastructure there.

I think the plan all along was to terminate in Fort Worth, not Dallas. And I understand that an extension past New Orleans would be compatible with the Crescent Star, however from a practical standpoint, it makes sense to think abotu which one would make the best use of equipment and most improve service.

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1 hour ago, cpotisch said:

I think the plan all along was to terminate in Fort Worth, not Dallas. And I understand that an extension past New Orleans would be compatible with the Crescent Star, however from a practical standpoint, it makes sense to think abotu which one would make the best use of equipment and most improve service.

If you tasked me with the detailed implementation of this plan, here's what I would propose:

Standard consist:

  • Bag-dorm (SAS) - Only carries bags to/from points west of Birmingham
  • Viewliner Sleeper (SAS)
  • Viewliner Diner (SAS)
  • Coach (SAS)
  • Coach (SAS)
  • Coach (FTW)
  • Coach (FTW)
  • Business/AmLounge (FTW)
  • Viewliner Sleeper (FTW)
  • Full Baggage - DAL/FTW bags and all bags east of Birmingham

Tracks diverge at Meridian, but operational split to occur in Birmingham as it is a staffed station with checked baggage and facilities. Timetable east of Birmingham essentially unchanged. Extra dwell time in Birmingham to make the split. Approximate timings to/from the west:

SAS Section WB: Dep. Birmingham 1230P; NOL 745P/845P; HOS 600A/645A; SAS 1145A

SAS Section EB: Dep SAS 400P; HOS 900P/930P; NOL 600A/700A; Arr Birmingham 200P

FTW Section WB: Dep Birmingham 100P; Meridian 400P/415P; Jackson 715P/730P (Connection from NB CONO); Monroe 1115P; Shreveport 215A; DAL 715A/730A; Arr FTW 900A

FTW Section EB: Dep FTW 530P; DAL 700P/715P; Shreveport 1215A; Monroe 315A; Jackson 700A/715A (Connection to SB CONO); Meridian 1015A/1030A; Arr Birmingham 130P

Large express items transferred to/from Texas Eagle in FTW.

Mini-commissary in SAS restocks Texas Eagle en route as well as Crescent upon termination.

Thoughts?

Edit To Add: Oh, yes; I'd also adjust the schedule of the through transcontinental Texas Eagle both ways to achieve a reasonable layover for connecting passengers bound to/from the West Coast in San Antonio.

Edited by ehbowen

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12 hours ago, ehbowen said:

If you tasked me with the detailed implementation of this plan, here's what I would propose:

Standard consist:

  • Bag-dorm (SAS) - Only carries bags to/from points west of Birmingham
  • Viewliner Sleeper (SAS)
  • Viewliner Diner (SAS)
  • Coach (SAS)
  • Coach (SAS)
  • Coach (FTW)
  • Coach (FTW)
  • Business/AmLounge (FTW)
  • Viewliner Sleeper (FTW)
  • Full Baggage - DAL/FTW bags and all bags east of Birmingham

Tracks diverge at Meridian, but operational split to occur in Birmingham as it is a staffed station with checked baggage and facilities. Timetable east of Birmingham essentially unchanged. Extra dwell time in Birmingham to make the split. Approximate timings to/from the west:

SAS Section WB: Dep. Birmingham 1230P; NOL 745P/845P; HOS 600A/645A; SAS 1145A

SAS Section EB: Dep SAS 400P; HOS 900P/930P; NOL 600A/700A; Arr Birmingham 200P

FTW Section WB: Dep Birmingham 100P; Meridian 400P/415P; Jackson 715P/730P (Connection from NB CONO); Monroe 1115P; Shreveport 215A; DAL 715A/730A; Arr FTW 900A

FTW Section EB: Dep FTW 530P; DAL 700P/715P; Shreveport 1215A; Monroe 315A; Jackson 700A/715A (Connection to SB CONO); Meridian 1015A/1030A; Arr Birmingham 130P

Large express items transferred to/from Texas Eagle in FTW.

Mini-commissary in SAS restocks Texas Eagle en route as well as Crescent upon termination.

Thoughts?

Edit To Add: Oh, yes; I'd also adjust the schedule of the through transcontinental Texas Eagle both ways to achieve a reasonable layover for connecting passengers bound to/from the West Coast in San Antonio.

Holy crap, well done! :)

I don’t think it will happen, but if it did, this is almost certainly the best way to do it.

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13 hours ago, ehbowen said:

If you tasked me with the detailed implementation of this plan, here's what I would propose:

Standard consist:

  • Bag-dorm (SAS) - Only carries bags to/from points west of Birmingham
  • Viewliner Sleeper (SAS)
  • Viewliner Diner (SAS)
  • Coach (SAS)
  • Coach (SAS)
  • Coach (FTW)
  • Coach (FTW)
  • Business/AmLounge (FTW)
  • Viewliner Sleeper (FTW)
  • Full Baggage - DAL/FTW bags and all bags east of Birmingham

Tracks diverge at Meridian, but operational split to occur in Birmingham as it is a staffed station with checked baggage and facilities. Timetable east of Birmingham essentially unchanged. Extra dwell time in Birmingham to make the split. Approximate timings to/from the west:

SAS Section WB: Dep. Birmingham 1230P; NOL 745P/845P; HOS 600A/645A; SAS 1145A

SAS Section EB: Dep SAS 400P; HOS 900P/930P; NOL 600A/700A; Arr Birmingham 200P

FTW Section WB: Dep Birmingham 100P; Meridian 400P/415P; Jackson 715P/730P (Connection from NB CONO); Monroe 1115P; Shreveport 215A; DAL 715A/730A; Arr FTW 900A

FTW Section EB: Dep FTW 530P; DAL 700P/715P; Shreveport 1215A; Monroe 315A; Jackson 700A/715A (Connection to SB CONO); Meridian 1015A/1030A; Arr Birmingham 130P

Large express items transferred to/from Texas Eagle in FTW.

Mini-commissary in SAS restocks Texas Eagle en route as well as Crescent upon termination.

Thoughts?

Edit To Add: Oh, yes; I'd also adjust the schedule of the through transcontinental Texas Eagle both ways to achieve a reasonable layover for connecting passengers bound to/from the West Coast in San Antonio.

Nicely done...now how about extending the FTW section on to ELP via the former Texas Pacific route?   or as an alternate, to ABQ via the former Santa Fe?:)

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21 minutes ago, railiner said:

Nicely done...now how about extending the FTW section on to ELP via the former Texas Pacific route?   or as an alternate, to ABQ via the former Santa Fe?:)

At that point you’re effectively turning an East Coast long distance train into a transcontinental behemoth, which I think is really unnecessary. Plus, I think we were talking about this with the idea that there would be a daily TE to LAX, in which case there would be *two* Fort Worth to El Paso trains, which I also think is pretty unnecessary.

Edited by cpotisch

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