Amtrak should have an overnight LA-Bay Area train

Discussion in 'Amtrak’s Future: Member Ideas and Discussion' started by ParanoidAndroid, Nov 5, 2018.

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  1. Nov 28, 2019 #51

    Anderson

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    Anderson

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    Depending on how you define it, 200+ might be overkill, but I think that "clock" service on most of the major routes and significant north-south connectivity without forcing a mode shift (namely plugging the hole with buses). The main problem, at present, is that you have two ways to do that and both involve major time-killers (Tehachapi Pass is beautiful but slow, and so is the Coast Line).

    A pair of north-south overnight trains (one on each line) would be nice. But it's got practical issues in both cases. I guess the question is what the economics of a "baseline" overnight train with a significant complement of sleepers (the Spirit of California was notably mis-equipped...it had two sleepers that apparently had a tendency to sell out and a batch of coaches that went empty for much of the route; anecdotally, the train seems to have needed another few sleepers since there are only so many pax who are going to willingly go overnight in an Amfleet I) and a cafe.
     
  2. Dec 1, 2019 #52

    Philly Amtrak Fan

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    If I was a Californian, I'd trade a few San Joaquins for an overnight LA-Bay Area train along the CS route.
     
  3. Dec 1, 2019 #53

    jis

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    The problem in the US is a shortage of Sleeping Car inventory.

    Another problem is the inevitable desire to dress up a Sleeper service like a Christmas Tree, with progressively more features that are really quite unnecessary for just an overnight trip, thus unnecessarily increasing the cost of the service.

    Once we can start addressing both of these problems it might get easier to deploy more single night overnight service where trackage access problems can be resolved cost effectively. That problem hangs over all service whether overnight or day time.
     
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  4. Dec 1, 2019 #54

    Investroll

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    I agree that an overnight train from SF to LA (as well as DC to Boston) would be great. In terms of the sleeping cars, Amtrak should put in a bunch of airline business-class style lie-flat seats in first class without the separate bunks or showers. They could comfortably fit many more of these into a coach than roomettes, and they could retrofit an existing coach quickly at reasonable cost. It would make overnight trips desirable for business and other travelers. Having an 8 to 10 hour trip would allow enough time for a good night sleep.
     
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  5. Dec 2, 2019 #55

    seat38a

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    seat38a

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    But your not, and I'm pretty sure a super majority of voters in California, including myself would not agree to get rid of couple of San Joaquins which benefit the San Joaquin Valley, and also a service that I also use, plus agree to more taxes so we can have random visitors have a joyride on our dime.

    Oh but you know everyone is going to want a dining car with fresh cooked eggs delivered to their beds, somewhere near Burbank. Plus also be allowed to stay in bed after arriving at LAUS until they are ready to leave on their time.:D

    I'd be happy with Delta One or Polaris style seats, with maybe curtains like the open sections used to have.
     
  6. Dec 2, 2019 #56

    cirdan

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    so a train that runs only in leap years then :)
     
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  7. Dec 5, 2019 #57

    sttom

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    My definition of trip would be round trip, sorry I didn't put that. But the legislature needs to put money where it's mouth is.

    To have hourly service along the busier parts of the existing lines would lead to about 20 round trips per day on the Capitol and Surfliner along with 40 along the San Joaquins if there are 20 trips to each end of the line. That's 80 trips right there.

    Add in 12 for service to Redding, 12 down the Coast, including a couple overnighters, 12 down Tehachapi, 5 Reno trains, 5 Salinas trains, 10 Del Montes, 3 over the Shasta routew add 59 more (total 139) This doesn't include a Redwood route which could become a reality of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge gets rebuilt with a rail link. That could easily become another hourly corridor over some segment of it.

    Adding another 60 wouldn't be hard if we through in express service, limited stop trains and locals like what are planned on the NEC to lines like the Surfliner or Capitol.

    I get that this can't happen overnight (pun intended) but this state needs a bold push for rail. It's already faster to take the Capitol from where I live to Sacramento than it is to drive. As time goes on this problem will only get worse. The state needs to get off it's collective backside and live up to its its talk.
     
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