Brightline takes over XPress West!

Discussion in 'High Speed and Other Non-Amtrak Intercity Rail' started by Brian_tampa, Sep 18, 2018.

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  1. Sep 10, 2019 at 3:40 PM #126

    VentureForth

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    That makes perfect sense. It did seem like a wacky mix of combined trains that just couldn't possibly be efficient. So with that in context, it would seem that a dedicated, specific train from LA to Las Vegas could be done efficiently and could retain a huge demand. Well, until the passengers lose all their money on the slots...

    Honestly, most major cities in the West that were abandoned when the Desert Wind/Pioneer were discontinued are still serviced by SOME service, except Las Vegas and Boise, ID. The LV link is important, albiet not looking like it would be a part of the Amtrak network. Boise would be the largest city in the West previously served that would remain without rail service.
     
  2. Sep 10, 2019 at 4:17 PM #127

    crescent-zephyr

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    ahhhhh yes that does make sense. And honestly... probably a good move. Having daily service on core trains is probably better than having 3 day a week service scattered around the country.
     
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  3. Sep 10, 2019 at 5:02 PM #128

    Siegmund

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    The overnight traffic SLC-Vegas wasn't that bad either, at least in the years that the time in SLC was palatable. The CZ's schedule east of Denver got slower and slower, and pushed the SLC times into the middle of the night. (In the 70s and 80s, SLC was ~6am eastbound and ~11pm westbound; by the end of the Desert Wind it was more like 3am and 1am.)

    That, ironically, meant that southern Idaho had better times the last few years of the Pioneer than it previously had - at the expense of Ogden.

    I have my doubts about the equipment claims. The "old" CZ/Wind/Zephyr of the 80s ran daily, with no Hi-Level equipment except the second dining car. The 3- and 4-day-a-week operation is spectacularly inefficient for trainset utilization. Now, perhaps they didn't buy enough equipment for the Capitol and City and cannibalized western trains when they were converted.
     
  4. Sep 10, 2019 at 5:06 PM #129

    Siegmund

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    Phoenix might disagree.

    Though by a funny coincidence, a restored Pioneer would miss Boise for the same reason the Sunset misses Phoenix - one of the two ends of a former loop off the main line having been severed.
     
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  5. Sep 10, 2019 at 5:51 PM #130

    jis

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    You have to look at the total bilevel equipment available system wide. There was a big discussion about whether the EB should remain at thrice a week to have enough equipment to continue running the DW and Pioneer at least a few days a week or not. It was not just what exact equipment was used for the CZ/DW/Pioneer pool. The Capitol and CONO were converted because not enough single level LD equipment was ordered to cover everything as the second tranche of the once considered Amfleet II and Viewliner I orders never came about. If they had enough single level equipment left after the toilet conversion they could have run the DW and Pioneer in their original form, but somehow by then the mantra of overnight trains must have Sleepers had caught on anyway, and that was not given any serious thought either. Not that there was enough equipment left to do that either. And remember, a significant portion of the Superliner II order got siphoned off to the Auto Train too. You have to look at the entire system and what was available or not, to run which trains or not. Those were tough times. Some of us lived through those arguments back then too.

    Unfortunately at Amtrak it has always been living hand to mouth and making tough choices about robbing Peter to pay Paul. That is the way it has been and is. Hopefully it might change some day.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019 at 11:44 PM
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  6. Sep 11, 2019 at 9:02 AM #131

    Anderson

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    I believe the line still runs through Phoenix. The main issue there is that Amtrak agreed to move to its current line before the UP/SP merger (when the line was set to be abandoned) and then the merger threw those plans out the window.
     
  7. Sep 11, 2019 at 1:32 PM #132

    jiml

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    I think you'd have to look at how the hi-levels were distributed system-wide. For example, during the period we rode a Texas Eagle that had only two Superliners in the consist - our sleeper and the diner. All the coaches and the lounge were ex-Santa Fe hi-levels.

    Edit to add: I just caught the post which was below this one and says much the same thing.
     
  8. Sep 11, 2019 at 1:34 PM #133

    jiml

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    I believe the one side is severed.
     
  9. Sep 11, 2019 at 1:50 PM #134

    jis

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    Correct. West of Phoenix at present it is not in an usable form, and part of that segment is used for storage of out of use freight cars. It will take some significant amount of money to get it back into main line shape again.
     
  10. Sep 11, 2019 at 2:38 PM #135

    jiml

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    A lot of money! In the documentary about the 1995 incident on those tracks (and the many subsequent YouTube explorations) I think it was shown to be mostly jointed rail. Between that and lack of use, meeting current passenger trains standards would be a stretch likely not met by even the most optimistic ridership projection.
     
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  11. Sep 12, 2019 at 11:31 PM #136

    Anderson

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    So, I get why the Heritage sleepers were pulled. Why were the Hi-Levels taken out of service?
     
  12. Sep 12, 2019 at 11:40 PM #137

    Bob Dylan

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    Same reason, they were Old and Maintence Nightmares, with Parts having to be Custim made @ Great Expense!( plus the Heritage Cars had the Retention Toliet Issue as Cliff said))
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019 at 1:30 PM
  13. Sep 13, 2019 at 4:40 AM #138

    Anderson

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    Actually, the Heritage sleepers were pulled because of the dump toilet issue IIRC (otherwise, I think Amtrak would have preferred to keep running them versus having to slash routes).
     

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