Delete Sunset Limited and Extend Crescent to Houston

Discussion in 'Amtrak’s Future: Member Ideas and Discussion' started by iliketrains, Jan 1, 2019.

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  1. Jan 1, 2019 #1

    iliketrains

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    iliketrains

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    Here is my idea:  Delete the Sunset limited and extend the daily Crescent to Houston (NYC to Houston daily).  Rename the entire Chicago-San Antonio-Los Angeles route the Texas Eagle and operate it daily.  The only leg missing would be Houston- San Antonio.  I lived in Houston for many years and absolutely no one traveled between Houston- San Antonio using Amtrak because it took so long!  Everyone either drove, flew, or boarded Greyhound. There is a huge amount of people traveling between the two cities. Therefore, if a truly high-speed train between Houston- San Antonio was developed, it would be highly successful in my opinion.

    Houston is the 4th largest city and it should be connected to NYC, Washington DC, and Atlanta via Amtrak and have high speed rail to San Antonio.  With the high speed line between Houston and Dallas about to start, a high speed train to San Antonio probably is not a far-fetched idea!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2019
  2. Jan 1, 2019 #2

    Thirdrail7

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    This should probably be in the member’s ideas and discussion forum but until I’ll take s stab at this subject.

    The Crescent shouldn’t get extended anywhere until whatever is causing the extreme delays is remedied. That train is too unreliable to extend and ridership would really suffer.

    You think no one uses the Houston leg now?
     
  3. Jan 1, 2019 #3

    iliketrains

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    Sorry I didn't know there were issues with delays.  Yes that should be solved first.  If Amtrak could get things speeded-up, there is a huge potential between New Orleans and Houston.  You won't believe the high amount of traffic between the two cities!  Lots of folks take the Mega Bus.  Lots of people drive and fly.  My daughter always took the Mega Bus and they were always full.  I frequently flew between the two cities and the planes were always full to the max.
     
  4. Jan 1, 2019 #4

    the_traveler

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    So you’re saying that if someone from New Orleans wanted to go to El Paso, someone from LA wanted to go to Houston or someone from Lafayette wanted to go to Tucson they couldn’t. Just because the people in Houston want to drive to San Antonio! :wacko:
     
  5. Jan 1, 2019 #5

    iliketrains

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    The amount people traveling Houston to San Antonio is humungous. Amtrak could make a killing if the service between the two cities was high speed.  
     
  6. Jan 1, 2019 #6

    the_traveler

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    But you’re saying Amtrak should eliminate that section totally! I’m confused. :wacko:
     
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  7. Jan 1, 2019 #7

    iliketrains

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    Eliminate it but REPLACE it with a new  high speed route just between these two cities.  If not high speed, at least some type of faster regional service between the two cities.
     
  8. Jan 1, 2019 #8

    railiner

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    Get that 'high speed service' started first, before thinking about eliminating the Sunset...
     
  9. Jan 1, 2019 #9

    bratkinson

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    Getting Union Pacific to agree to ANY additional trains, much less faster trains is nearly impossible...unless they get many millions of dollars up front.
     
  10. Jan 1, 2019 #10

    iliketrains

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    The upcoming bullet train between Houston and Dallas is being developed without the freight train companies.  Am I correct?
     
  11. Jan 1, 2019 #11

    west point

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    Not enough single level LD coaches available/  + we do not know if the V-2 sleepers will be delivered.
     
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  12. Jan 1, 2019 #12

    Philly Amtrak Fan

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    If they ever decide to require transfers in San Antonio between NOL-SAS and SAS-LAX, I can see combining the Crescent with NOL-SAS (assuming the Crescent becomes reliable).
     
  13. Jan 1, 2019 #13

    MARC Rider

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    Having driven on parts of I 10 east of San Antonio, I can believe that.  Actually, passenger service wouldn't have to be Shinkansen style "high speed," a 60 to 70 mph point to point average speed would be competitive when you consider traffic gridlock.  
     
  14. Jan 1, 2019 #14

    the_traveler

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    What is the average speed now? Service between Houston and San Antonio is now non-stop with no intermediate station stops.
     
  15. Jan 1, 2019 #15

    FrensicPic

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    Last October on #2, it took us 4:15 to travel the 210 miles = 49 mph

    Departed SAS at 0759; arrived HOU 12:17
     
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  16. Jan 1, 2019 #16

    PRR 60

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    Scheduled 310 minutes for 210 miles = 41mph.
     
  17. Jan 2, 2019 #17

    AGM.12

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    This route may work for Brightline/Virgin. 
     
  18. Jan 2, 2019 #18

    me_little_me

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    On our trip last March from El Paso, we arrived in Houston an hour early. Surprised us so we just hung around the station wondering why. That would have made it 210 miles in 250 minutes. So that would have meant we AVERAGED over 50 mph. Wow! Didn't know humans could go so fast! We made up for it, though. Left HOU on time. Arrived in NOL about midnight.
     
  19. Jan 26, 2019 #19

    Siegmund

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    I think OP is on to the start of a good idea here.

    In the context of reimagining a whole national network... I have pictured DFW and Atlanta as the south-central hubs, not New Orleans. There has been talk before of bringing back the Texas Chief/Lone Star, of a Dallas section of the Crescent, of a bunch of other things. Rather than extending the Crescent westward, I would run Chicago-Kansas City-Ft. Worth-Houston-New Orleans-Chicago as a loop using the same equipment. Meanwhile the Texas Eagle would either remain on its current route or go directly from Ft. Worth to El Paso. The DFW-San Antonio-Houston triangle needs frequent regional service which is a separate issue from what to do with the long distance trains.

    For a Sunset Limited replacement, I would either look at creating a connection in Dallas between the Texas Eagle and the Crescent, or I'd run a transcontinental Sunset Limited Dallas-Shreveport-Birmingham-Atlanta-Florida. I see a lot more potential in developing east-west traffic on that route than I do on trying to recreate essentially non-existent connections between the 3 trains serving New Orleans now. 
     
  20. Jan 26, 2019 #20

    west point

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    This is much better traffic potential than New Orleans - Florida  gulf coast.   NOL only has very sporatic travel demand. If timing is correct east bound train from DFW could drop passengers for NEW Orleans  at Meridian to connect to NOL and opposite direction travel  timing l as well.  Biggest problem will probably be another train on the Meridian <> ATL NS route.  Next problem is the ATL station problem. 
     

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