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What states are the least/most friendly to Amtrak and passenger rail?

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For least friendly, one could nominate Georgia -- currently the 8th most populous state -- which has allowed the inadequate station in Atlanta to remain unaddressed for nearly 40 years. Nor has Georgia been able to do anything for intrastate service or commuter rail for metro Atlanta. When the Jesup station burned, the city bought and rebuilt it; a federal grant covered most of the cost, and the city ate the rest. The state didn't pay a dime. The station in Savannah is in decent shape, but again it was owned by a city-related entity until Amtrak bought it several years ago.

 

For most friendly, among the southern states the answer is probably Virginia and North Carolina.

Edited by xyzzy

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Wisconsin is rather bipolar or schizophrenic (in the colloquial sense) on Amtrak.

 

+ Unlike many states, it pays for Amtrak service, taking up 75% of the subsidy for the Hiawatha service vs. 25% by Illinois. That alone puts it above the Georgias and Arizonas of the nation.

 

- However, it (or more precisely Gov. Walker) also soundly rejected an extension of the Hiawatha to Madison at mostly federal expense. Ohio was merely copying Wisconsin/Walker when it rejected federal funding for the 3C corridor.

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One could argue that the states that have absolutely zero passenger rail service of any kind - South Dakota and Wyoming - would be the least passenger rail friendly. I'm not sure how you can get any lower than zero.

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One could argue that the states that have absolutely zero passenger rail service of any kind - South Dakota and Wyoming - would be the least passenger rail friendly. I'm not sure how you can get any lower than zero.

 

But other states contribute zero state money, they just get free service from Amtrak's national routes. You can't say SD and WY are worse than other freeloaders.

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I agree with the nomination of Ohio as least friendly. Governor Kasich's decision to turn down federal funding for the Cleveland-Columbus-Cincinnati train was well publicized. But few people know that the state has cut funding for urban transit systems by 95 percent from 2001 through 2015. The state's subsidy is now less than a dollar per resident, leading Cleveland's RTA to double the fares on its local rail lines since 2006 while offering poorer service. If I give someone $1 to help with their fare, I have helped them more than the entire state government for that year.

 

There is some hope for rail funding, as Ohio will have a new governor seated in 2019.

Edited by bms

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I'd guess that Oregon and Washington are at least as friendly to rail as California. We're bigger so we have more, but I doubt we do significantly more passenger rail proportionately, if at all. California does support connecting bus service to a greater degree though.

 

Sent from my ZTE A2017U using Amtrak Forum mobile app

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Can you define friendly? I remember a certain state insisting that service continue to their state but they had a senator that routinely called for privatizing Amtrak.

 

You can be friendly to rail without being friendly to Amtrak and vice versa. I know of another state that is supportive of Amtrak but puts their own regional, state services through the wringer when it comes to funding and support.

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I'd guess that Oregon and Washington are at least as friendly to rail as California. We're bigger so we have more, but I doubt we do significantly more passenger rail proportionately, if at all. California does support connecting bus service to a greater degree though.

 

Sent from my ZTE A2017U using Amtrak Forum mobile app

 

I think service between SEA and SPK outside of the graveyard shift could be useful. Maybe Washington state can fund that in addition to the Cascades service.

Edited by Philly Amtrak Fan

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I'd guess that Oregon and Washington are at least as friendly to rail as California. We're bigger so we have more, but I doubt we do significantly more passenger rail proportionately, if at all. California does support connecting bus service to a greater degree though.

 

Sent from my ZTE A2017U using Amtrak Forum mobile app

I think service between SEA and SPK outside of the graveyard shift could be useful. Maybe Washington state can fund that in addition to the Cascades service.

That has been discussed, usually via Stampede Pass via Ellensberg, Yakima, and Pasco, but it never has been a high priority. Edited by zephyr17

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You could make a blanket statement that states that are proactive about supporting and funding passenger rail are in the plus column. Those that are successful establishing NEW service get a double-plus.

 

The lack of passenger service supported with state dollars would therefore put a state in the minus column. Rejecting federal dollars to establish passenger service puts a state in the double-minus column.

 

This is rather black-and-white for me. Therefore, I don't know how to call out the very worst; you're either with us or you're not. There could be a formula for identifying the very best, however, but that's for people with access to a lot more data than me.

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Indiana would be one, despite having Beech Grove, the government is pretty anti-Amtrak. Even switched their corridor train from Amtrak to Iowa Pacific. They've been a hassle for Amtrak, MDOT, & NS to get the Michigan Services thru & upgraded.

 

peter

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New York is definitely up there. We contribute a tremendous amount of money to the Empire Corridor fleet and commuter rail.

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New York is definitely up there. We contribute a tremendous amount of money to the Empire Corridor fleet and commuter rail.

Begrudgingly though. We're not getting creative like California and North Carolina have.

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New York is definitely up there. We contribute a tremendous amount of money to the Empire Corridor fleet and commuter rail.

Begrudgingly though. We're not getting creative like California and North Carolina have.

 

You might be right about creativity, but NY seems pretty willing to spend plenty on higher-speed rail, Empire Corridor equipment, and infrastructure improvements.

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New York is definitely up there. We contribute a tremendous amount of money to the Empire Corridor fleet and commuter rail.

Begrudgingly though. We're not getting creative like California and North Carolina have.

You might be right about creativity, but NY seems pretty willing to spend plenty on higher-speed rail, Empire Corridor equipment, and infrastructure improvements.
Not going to completely disagree, but there's more we could be doing. New equipment, a new Livingston Avenue bridge, a new EIS...

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