Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by Amtrakfflyer, Jun 10, 2019.
That's not quite all bad news. It's also not surprising since Minnesota decided to not put up funding, so Wisconsin decided to not provide funding, since they view it as a train that benefits Minnesota more than Wisconsin. They will revisit the issue when Minnesota passes a bonding bill next year. The good news is the 35 million for the Hiawathas, which is not insignificant.
Also not surprised as the Wisconsin state assembly is still a republican majority and there was no way they were going to approve such spending.
And yet they approved 35 million for the Hiawatha service. So such spending was approved. Wisconsin's been pretty clear for years that they view the Hiawatha improvements as the higher priority.
Yeah, I think the more important thing to note is that the Wisconsin legislature actually put some state funding into the effort to add additional Hiawatha frequencies, despite the questions surrounding that effort on the Illinois side of the state line, not that the WI legislature failed to approve funding for the CHI-MSP second train.
This is the trouble with making passenger service dependent on states having to pay part of the bill. I don't believe that passenger rail before Amtrak was dependent on a state funding much of the route. The idea of Amtrak was to maintain passenger service, not pan it off onto people who will never want to help fund it. Trains should be operated like highways, you don't see highways ending at certain states because of funding disputes. We pay for those highways as well.
Well, you also have to consider that we’re sort of in “uncharted territory” here. Amtrak was never meant to last more than a few years before the feds shut it down because of the “final blow” to passenger rail. The general public, however, surprised the Nixon Administration and the pax numbers started climbing. No one ever came up with a long-term solution because no one ever thought it would get this far. And here we are, 49 years later.
I thought Amtrak was created to "Save" passenger train travel? I know they have tried, and still try to shut much of it down but if they were going to just let it die they should have left it with the railroads. We might actually have better outcomes with them than we do now what with the diners being destroyed and other issues.
It’s all attributed to Anderson and Gardner, when they are out of the picture Amtrak will be better off.
Amtrak was created to take pax services off of freight company hands because it was generally believed in the Nixon Admin that it wouldn’t be around much longer. When the numbers started climbing again, they weren’t quite sure what to do and kept funding it. It was never meant to be long term but that’s what we have and that’s what it needs to be treated like.
A good summary of what always has been a peculiar situation. I've been kicking ideas around for a LinkedIn article discussing employees who have sabotaged their bosses by doing their jobs well. Early Amtrak was a good example of that. The Important People in the Nation's Capitol said that Amtrak would improve the remaining rail passenger service; privately they went along with the stereotype that its demise -- other than their pet NEC -- was imminent. The problem that they didn't recognize was that to run the thing they had to hire people who knew what needed to get done. I knew a couple of them and saw the work of others. They quickly undid some of the worst things, such as the piecemeal West Coast service and customers responded. Both of the gentlemen who I talked with admitted to running things past President Roger Lewis that he did not understand would increase ridership and revenues.
State sponsorship of added service was tossed in the founding act as a sop, so the problem of interstate trains was left to the states to figure out. Follow the history of state sponsorship and you will see that the federal rules, the equipment shortages, etc. have been continuously tightened to try and head off rampant service additions. In spite of that, some states work well with each other (Oregon loaned me to Washington to work on what later became the Tukwila suburban station.). Others come from a history of conflict with their neighbors. Perhaps Minnesota should propose reviving the Twin Cities Zephyr route bypassing Milwaukee or bring back the Pioneer Limited and go through Milwaukee in the wee hours.
Yeah, have to give the Nixon admin credit here. Not just Amtrak bur Environmental Protection Act. Clean Water Act, Superfund, etc. etc. God forbid anyone try to enact legislation today that actually protects the health and welfare of the people. I don't comprehend how "regulations" got to be the enemy. Even people who deplore them rely on them to live.
I will happily share that article with my network and anyone else who will listen. Speaking of Amtrak presidents, I believe my "hero" would be David Gunn. He took no crap from Congress, the Board, or anyone else. Managed costs while ensuring that maintenance backlogs were resolved. Something we need a lot more of.
One of the few things Nixon did right
And for his efforts.......you see where that got him, right?
Why are you assuming the Trumplings won't replace them with even worse anti-pax train demagogues?
My assumption and yes its an assumption is they will be gone along with Trump in 2020, which is already next year. The best we can fight for is “status quo” until then.
This wasn't that much of a surprise. Nor is the state supporting the Hiawatha. Even Wisconsin's beloved overwhelmingly not reelected Gov. Walker was in favor of improving it. Now we'll see if Illinois can figure out a siding plan to get service increased.
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