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I'm confused about why everyone is obsessed about daytime Ohio trains but no one cares that Salt Lake City is in the graveyard shift. If another Chicago-Denver train is established, it could overnight through the mountains and reach Salt Lake City during the day.

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Mainly because of a combination of population (Ohio is a far bigger state than Utah; the Cleveland metro area is about 3x the size of the SLC metro area) and more destinations to be had (on the present network but with different timings, Cleveland is a reasonable daylight ride from Pittsburgh, Buffalo, and Toledo and a long-ish ride to Chicago or Albany). SLC has Denver on the present map (even Reno is a stretch, though at ten hours it at least works on paper, but that run is effectively comparable to somewhere between ALB-CLE and NYP-CLE). You also have actual connection options at either end (the Chicago hub and Washington, New York, and/or Philly on the other)...and finally, you can arguably work one of the two routes from New York to Cleveland to Chicago into a corridor.

IIRC the timings are such that either Denver or Salt Lake gets screwed eastbound. Westbound you have a bit more flexibility, but eastbound on the present route you have no real way to serve both cities particularly well. Arguably your best bet for serving both would be either the Overland Route (through Wyoming) or to run the train overnight between Denver and Salt Lake...but both options would lose a decent amount of tourist travel, and I'm not sure how connections would look on either end (remember, if the train hits Chicago much later than at present you'd drop eastbound connectivity while if it hits it too early in the morning you'd have to let pax "lie in" or lose a lot of business; the same applies, generally, in California as well).

Edited by Anderson

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I put together this schedule which gives both CLE/TOL and SLC "daylight" hours (better than 3am!). It's a combination Broadway and Desert Wind and is a New York to Los Angeles train. It would run for 3318 miles and about 3 days in length and it looks like it would require 7 sets (same day turn around in NYP). I know we don't have the equipment.

Coast to Coast LAX to NYP January 2017.pdf

Edited by Philly Amtrak Fan

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I'm inclined to treat that as two separate trains (with the standard split at Chicago), but for each of those two trains it's (mostly) not a horrid timetable. The main exceptions I see are:
-The LAX departure is problematic. Even if you allow early occupancy of the cars, advertising a departure around 0100 isn't likely to be a winner.

-Ironically, for the SLC-CHI segment I would actually want to push things later by a bit (to try and pick up some Winter Park/Granby-Denver traffic; Glenwood Springs-Denver is a lost cause EB, even though it works nicely WB). The 0615 arrival into Chicago could also be an issue, though I understand wanting to get the train into CUS before rush hour).

-Ideally I'd like to move the EB PGH stop up by a bit (even if we're just massaging a few minutes to get it to show as being before midnight...midnight seems to be quite the "witching hour" for demand).

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Yes, people don't like to leave in the middle of the night if it can be avoided. OTOH, I just looked into a trip between JFK and Manila, and Cathay Pacific has a departure at 1:30 AM. And this is not uncommon. I once arrived in Apia, Western Samoa at 3:30 AM, and returned back to the US at about the same time.

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Yes, people don't like to leave in the middle of the night if it can be avoided. OTOH, I just looked into a trip between JFK and Manila, and Cathay Pacific has a departure at 1:30 AM. And this is not uncommon. I once arrived in Apia, Western Samoa at 3:30 AM, and returned back to the US at about the same time.

When a huge time zone change is involved during a segment, then all bets are off. It is apples and aardvarks to compare Amtrak schedules with intercontinental flight schedules IMHO.

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I put together this schedule which gives both CLE/TOL and SLC "daylight" hours (better than 3am!). It's a combination Broadway and Desert Wind and is a New York to Los Angeles train. It would run for 3318 miles and about 3 days in length and it looks like it would require 7 sets (same day turn around in NYP). I know we don't have the equipment.

This looks like a good route. However, between DEN and SLC, I would've taken the faster Overland route through Wyoming instead of the Rio Grande route over the Rockies so passengers wouldn't be missing any beautiful scenery on the overnight portion.

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I put together this schedule which gives both CLE/TOL and SLC "daylight" hours (better than 3am!). It's a combination Broadway and Desert Wind and is a New York to Los Angeles train. It would run for 3318 miles and about 3 days in length and it looks like it would require 7 sets (same day turn around in NYP). I know we don't have the equipment.

This looks like a good route. However, between DEN and SLC, I would've taken the faster Overland route through Wyoming instead of the Rio Grande route over the Rockies so passengers wouldn't be missing any beautiful scenery on the overnight portion.
I don't think it makes any sense to take a route because of a lack of scenery. However, the Overland Route may make sense in this case due to the faster running time, as you stated.

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Yes, people don't like to leave in the middle of the night if it can be avoided. OTOH, I just looked into a trip between JFK and Manila, and Cathay Pacific has a departure at 1:30 AM. And this is not uncommon. I once arrived in Apia, Western Samoa at 3:30 AM, and returned back to the US at about the same time.

When a huge time zone change is involved during a segment, then all bets are off. It is apples and aardvarks to compare Amtrak schedules with intercontinental flight schedules IMHO.

 

The point I am making is you leave or arrive when the conveyance does. People on here have pointed out that this is a problem with one-a-day-only service. ["It has to arrive in the middle of the night somewhere."]

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The eastbound schedule between LAX-CHI was problematic. If you left Los Angeles any earlier, you get into Chicago before 6:15am which isn't good either. I obviously wanted the "Desert Wind" portion on an opposite schedule to the CZ to have a second schedule between CHI-DEN-SLC (consistent to the OP's suggestion) and there are only so many feasible schedules that keep the main cities at reasonable times.

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Utah, with a total area of some 84,899 sq. miles, is nearly 2x larger when compared to Ohio at 44,825 sq. mi.

Ohio has a population of about 11.6 million (7th nationally) to Utah's 3.1 million (13th nationally).

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Utah, with a total area of some 84,899 sq. miles, is nearly 2x larger when compared to Ohio at 44,825 sq. mi.

Ohio has a population of about 11.6 million (7th nationally) to Utah's 3.1 million (13th nationally).

I'm not talking about the state, I am just talking about Salt Lake City.

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I put together this schedule which gives both CLE/TOL and SLC "daylight" hours (better than 3am!). It's a combination Broadway and Desert Wind and is a New York to Los Angeles train. It would run for 3318 miles and about 3 days in length and it looks like it would require 7 sets (same day turn around in NYP). I know we don't have the equipment.

 

Interesting. If you went by the overland route instead of the mountains, and thus moved Denver farther "west" on the schedule in both directions by about an hour, could you free up enough time to go Denver-Kansas City-Chicago instead of Denver-Omaha-Chicago while keeping the Chicago and east timing the same?

 

Ainamkartma

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I put together this schedule which gives both CLE/TOL and SLC "daylight" hours (better than 3am!). It's a combination Broadway and Desert Wind and is a New York to Los Angeles train. It would run for 3318 miles and about 3 days in length and it looks like it would require 7 sets (same day turn around in NYP). I know we don't have the equipment.

This looks like a good route. However, between DEN and SLC, I would've taken the faster Overland route through Wyoming instead of the Rio Grande route over the Rockies so passengers wouldn't be missing any beautiful scenery on the overnight portion.

 

 

Would that be the route the old Pioneer took between Denver and Ogden through Wyoming? Then would it go from Ogden to SLC?

 

http://timetables.org/full.php?group=19961110n&item=0039

 

 

 

 

 

Interesting. If you went by the overland route instead of the mountains, and thus moved Denver farther "west" on the schedule in both directions by about an hour, could you free up enough time to go Denver-Kansas City-Chicago instead of Denver-Omaha-Chicago while keeping the Chicago and east timing the same?

 

Ainamkartma

 

 

I'd need a schedule/routing between Kansas City and Denver. I don't believe Amtrak ever ran a train between KCY and DEN so timetables.org wouldn't help.

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Utah, with a total area of some 84,899 sq. miles, is nearly 2x larger when compared to Ohio at 44,825 sq. mi.

Ohio has a population of about 11.6 million (7th nationally) to Utah's 3.1 million (13th nationally).

I'm not talking about the state, I am just talking about Salt Lake City.

 

 

You said:

I'm confused about why everyone is obsessed about daytime Ohio trains but no one cares that Salt Lake City is in the graveyard shift. If another Chicago-Denver train is established, it could overnight through the mountains and reach Salt Lake City during the day.

 

KmH's point was that the entire state of Utah has a quarter the population of Ohio. So it helps a hell of a lot more people to add a daytime Ohio train than to add a daytime SLC train.

 

Another thing to note is that Salt Lake City has a significantly smaller population than that of Toledo, Cleveland, or Cincinnati:

  • SLC – 193,744
  • Toledo – 278,508
  • Cleveland – 385,809
  • Cincinatti – 298,800

So if you compare the population of Utah to that of Ohio, Ohio wins. If you compare the population of SLC to that of the major Ohio cities, Ohio wins.

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If another Chicago-Denver train is established, it could overnight through the mountains and reach Salt Lake City during the day.

Also isn't Salt Lake City well past Denver? So a CHI-DEN train wouldn't serve Utah at all.

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If another Chicago-Denver train is established, it could overnight through the mountains and reach Salt Lake City during the day.

Also isn't Salt Lake City well past Denver? So a CHI-DEN train wouldn't serve Utah at all.

 

I mean extended from Denver.

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Utah, with a total area of some 84,899 sq. miles, is nearly 2x larger when compared to Ohio at 44,825 sq. mi.

Ohio has a population of about 11.6 million (7th nationally) to Utah's 3.1 million (13th nationally).

I'm not talking about the state, I am just talking about Salt Lake City.

 

 

You said:

I'm confused about why everyone is obsessed about daytime Ohio trains but no one cares that Salt Lake City is in the graveyard shift. If another Chicago-Denver train is established, it could overnight through the mountains and reach Salt Lake City during the day.

 

KmH's point was that the entire state of Utah has a quarter the population of Ohio. So it helps a hell of a lot more people to add a daytime Ohio train than to add a daytime SLC train.

 

Another thing to note is that Salt Lake City has a significantly smaller population than that of Toledo, Cleveland, or Cincinnati:

  • SLC – 193,744
  • Toledo – 278,508
  • Cleveland – 385,809
  • Cincinatti – 298,800

So if you compare the population of Utah to that of Ohio, Ohio wins. If you compare the population of SLC to that of the major Ohio cities, Ohio wins.

 

Salt Lake City-Provo-Orem, UT Combined Statistical Area 2,423,912

Columbus-Marion-Zanesville, OH Combined Statistical Area 2,398,297

Cincinnati-Wilmington-Maysville, OH-KY-IN Combined Statistical Area 2,208,450

Toledo-Port Clinton, OH Combined Statistical Area 648,610

Cleveland is bigger though.

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I put together this schedule which gives both CLE/TOL and SLC "daylight" hours (better than 3am!). It's a combination Broadway and Desert Wind and is a New York to Los Angeles train. It would run for 3318 miles and about 3 days in length and it looks like it would require 7 sets (same day turn around in NYP). I know we don't have the equipment.

This looks like a good route. However, between DEN and SLC, I would've taken the faster Overland route through Wyoming instead of the Rio Grande route over the Rockies so passengers wouldn't be missing any beautiful scenery on the overnight portion.

 

 

Would that be the route the old Pioneer took between Denver and Ogden through Wyoming? Then would it go from Ogden to SLC?

 

http://timetables.org/full.php?group=19961110n&item=0039

 

 

 

 

 

Interesting. If you went by the overland route instead of the mountains, and thus moved Denver farther "west" on the schedule in both directions by about an hour, could you free up enough time to go Denver-Kansas City-Chicago instead of Denver-Omaha-Chicago while keeping the Chicago and east timing the same?

 

Ainamkartma

 

 

I'd need a schedule/routing between Kansas City and Denver. I don't believe Amtrak ever ran a train between KCY and DEN so timetables.org wouldn't help.

 

 

streamliner memories has the timetable for the old City of St. Louis, which went St. Louis-Kansas City-Denver-Wyoming-Salt Lake City-Las Vegas-Los Angeles in 1964:

 

KCY 9:20 PM 9:05 AM

Manhattan 11:20 PM 6:43 AM

Salina 12:45 AM 5:02 AM

Denver 7:50 AM 7:55 PM

Laramie 11:25 AM 4:50 PM

Green River 3:25 PM 12:35 PM

Ogden 7:00 PM 8:30 AM

Salt Lake 8:20 PM 7:35 AM

 

 

Lots more stops in between and beyond the ends of what I have copied here, of course.

 

Cha,

Ainamkartma

Edited by ainamkartma

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I came up with a "Denver Zephyr" proposal a while back. The CZ leaves Chicago midday, arrives Denver in the morning, leaves Denver in the evening, arrives Chicago midday.

 

The Denver Zephyr would leave Chicago late in the evening (cleanup train :-)) and arrive Denver midday, leave Denver midday and arrive Chicago in the early morning (better connections).

 

The timing doesn't work to extend this to Salt Lake though. It doesn't come out nearly as clean as my daytime-through-Ohio TWO A DAY proposal for the LSL route.

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What about a 1055PM departure out of LAX with a 0600 arrival and longer stop in Las Vegas? This would make Fullerton and San Bernadino a bit better I also agree about the overland route between SLC and DEN. You could then add Lairme, Cheyanne Fort Collins, Boulder, etc.

 

Going to NYP would require the entire route to be served by single level cars. Do we have enough of these? Would two separate trains through Chicago make more sense (not sure we have enough of the Superliners either if it were two different routes.

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While it is always fun to speculate on such dream addition's, the current reality of things at Amtrak, unfortunately is a struggle just to keep the status quo... :(

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While it is always fun to speculate on such dream addition's, the current reality of things at Amtrak, unfortunately is a struggle just to keep the status quo... :(

All too true. :unsure:

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Utah, with a total area of some 84,899 sq. miles, is nearly 2x larger when compared to Ohio at 44,825 sq. mi.

Ohio has a population of about 11.6 million (7th nationally) to Utah's 3.1 million (13th nationally).

I'm not talking about the state, I am just talking about Salt Lake City.

 

 

You said:

I'm confused about why everyone is obsessed about daytime Ohio trains but no one cares that Salt Lake City is in the graveyard shift. If another Chicago-Denver train is established, it could overnight through the mountains and reach Salt Lake City during the day.

 

KmH's point was that the entire state of Utah has a quarter the population of Ohio. So it helps a hell of a lot more people to add a daytime Ohio train than to add a daytime SLC train.

 

Another thing to note is that Salt Lake City has a significantly smaller population than that of Toledo, Cleveland, or Cincinnati:

  • SLC – 193,744
  • Toledo – 278,508
  • Cleveland – 385,809
  • Cincinatti – 298,800

So if you compare the population of Utah to that of Ohio, Ohio wins. If you compare the population of SLC to that of the major Ohio cities, Ohio wins.

 

Salt Lake City-Provo-Orem, UT Combined Statistical Area 2,423,912

Columbus-Marion-Zanesville, OH Combined Statistical Area 2,398,297

Cincinnati-Wilmington-Maysville, OH-KY-IN Combined Statistical Area 2,208,450

Toledo-Port Clinton, OH Combined Statistical Area 648,610

Cleveland is bigger though.

 

Also, keep in mind that a daylight Ohio train potentially serves Pennsylvania (or PA and New York) in daylight too. From the Ohio border on the Capitol Limited route, you get Toledo (650k, Sandusky included here), Cleveland (3500k, Elyria included here), Youngstown (650k, served by Alliance), and Pittsburgh (2600k). No matter how you finesse those numbers, it is impossible for SLC or even Utah to compare. That's 7.4 million people along that route. Even a LSL routing still gets Buffalo and Erie in daylight, which puts it more like 6 million. Still far more people than Utah can muster.

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Utah, with a total area of some 84,899 sq. miles, is nearly 2x larger when compared to Ohio at 44,825 sq. mi.

Ohio has a population of about 11.6 million (7th nationally) to Utah's 3.1 million (13th nationally).

I'm not talking about the state, I am just talking about Salt Lake City.

 

 

You said:

I'm confused about why everyone is obsessed about daytime Ohio trains but no one cares that Salt Lake City is in the graveyard shift. If another Chicago-Denver train is established, it could overnight through the mountains and reach Salt Lake City during the day.

 

KmH's point was that the entire state of Utah has a quarter the population of Ohio. So it helps a hell of a lot more people to add a daytime Ohio train than to add a daytime SLC train.

 

Another thing to note is that Salt Lake City has a significantly smaller population than that of Toledo, Cleveland, or Cincinnati:

  • SLC – 193,744
  • Toledo – 278,508
  • Cleveland – 385,809
  • Cincinatti – 298,800

So if you compare the population of Utah to that of Ohio, Ohio wins. If you compare the population of SLC to that of the major Ohio cities, Ohio wins.

 

Salt Lake City-Provo-Orem, UT Combined Statistical Area 2,423,912

Columbus-Marion-Zanesville, OH Combined Statistical Area 2,398,297

Cincinnati-Wilmington-Maysville, OH-KY-IN Combined Statistical Area 2,208,450

Toledo-Port Clinton, OH Combined Statistical Area 648,610

Cleveland is bigger though.

 

It'd be a lot easier to establish a daytime Amtrak train to Salt Lake City, if say like the Desert Wind(this is the long distance train that served Las Vegas till the mid 90s) was ever brought back as a separate train from the California Zephyr. IIRC till about 1997(or whatever year it was eliminated for good, along with also the Pioneer which served Wyoming, Boise, ID, etc) the Desert Wind operated like how currently the Sunset Limited and Texas Eagle are in San Antonio, where they are separated(going east) and combined there(going west) to run together between San Antonio and LA. Correct me other posters on this board, if my memory of the Desert Wind is wrong. :) My gut feeling is that it'd be a tough sell, for Union Pacific to agree to new passenger train service. Since as it is, I know whatever freight railroad that runs the tracks east of New Orleans continually blocks any efforts to restore long distance train service between NOLA to Jacksonville. :(

 

Not saying it's impossible though to ever see happen, since Metra(Chicago commuter rail agency) finally put enough pressure on CN where they relented, and allowed an extra afternoon outbound train run on the Heritage Corridor Metra commuter train line. But that was a battle that dragged on for years, as I remember.

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