Discussion in 'Amtrak’s Future: Member Ideas and Discussion' started by railgeekteen, Apr 17, 2019.
on or before A-day.
Not exactly what your asking but the Desert Wind and Pioneer. Both are/were just as viable as the Texas Eagle which was on the list to be discontinued with the Pioneer and DW.
The Texas Eagle was saved by grass roots efforts the other two obviously weren’t.
Both the DW and Pioneer were one night trains. I’m sure bringing them back they would be right in the middle of the pack as far as LDT’s cost and ridership numbers. It’s a shame we don’t have them today.
Interestingly none of Pioneer, Desert Wind or Texas Eagle were in the A-Day map. The trains that were there, that are no longer with us in the LD category are Broadway Ltd., National Ltd., Lone Star and Floridian, and the North Coast Hiawatha (sort of). It would be good to have all of them back, though hardest to get back would probably be the North Coast Hiawatha and the Pioneer, and easiest might be the Lone Star, or at least some train on its erstwhile route.
The Peninsula 400 on the C&NW between Chicago and Ishpeming, Michigan
Anything between the Midwest and Florida
Key word is before Amtrak. These are trains that never had equivalent Amtrak service
Cincinnati Limited (Cincinnati-Columbus-Pittsburgh-Harrisburg-Philadelphia-New York)
Ohio State Limited (New York-Syracuse-Buffalo-Cleveland-Columbus-Cincinnati)
Dixie Flagler (Chicago-Nashville-Atlanta-Jacksonville-Miami) and/or
South Wind (Chicago-Indianapolis-Louisville-Nashville-Jacksonville-Orlando-Tampa-Miami) (Merge these to serve all the big cities)
Lark (San Francisco-San Jose-Santa Barbara-Los Angeles overnight)
Anything from Detroit to the East Coast
There were a lot of option from before Amtrak east of the Mississippi that would be viable if these routes were restored using the methods that Brightline is doin on the FEC. This includes rebuilding the tracks and stations and newer equipment.
The population density is similar to Western Europe. Chicago, Indianapolis, Louisville, Nashville, Chattanooga, and Atlanta is one corridor that could flourish with proper infrastructure investment and progressive planning with freight railroads.
Well, this is easy. Local bias speaks now.
The Ithaca & Owego, later Cayuga & Susquehenna, later Delaware Lackawanna & Western, later Erie Lackawanna, route from Ithaca to Owego.
Plus, of course, the DL&W's route from Owego to Binghamton to Hoboken.
Alternatively, the Lehigh Valley route from Ithaca to Jersey City.
Alternatively, the Erie route, though it kind of sucked compared to the other two.
Alternatively, any combination of the above which runs Ithaca-Binghamton-New York.
The Ithaca-Cortland Lehigh Valley route.
Unfortunately, the Ithaca routes were all lost circa 1958; both the DL&W route to Owego and the Lehigh Valley routes in five directions.
There's a lot of viable missing routes like this in the Northeast. Famous ones include Scranton-NYC (last train ran in 1970, before Amtrak) and Allentown/Bethlehem-NYC.
Allentown/Bethlehem-Philadelphia and Reading-Philadelphia would fall in this category but were actually discontinued *after* Amtrak by SEPTA, in 1981.
FWIW, there's hope for Scranton.
Outside my local bailiwick, some more obvious ones are:
-- the Cincinnati-Columbus-Cleveland routes
-- train service to Madison Wisconsin
-- the entire Rock Island route Chicago-Moline/Rock Island-Iowa City-Des Moines-Omaha. If the Rock Island passenger service cuts had been postponed until after Amtrak, and Rock Island's bankruptcy had been wrapped into the Penn Central/New Haven/Erie Lackawanna/Lehigh Valley bankruptcies, I'm quite sure the California Zephyr would have followed this route (which would have been part of Conrail) instead of the silly route it follows through Iowa today. At least the track still exists, though it needs massive upgrades for passenger service.
-- the entire Milwaukee Road Pacific Extension from the Pacific Northwest through Spokane and Montana. The Miwaukee Road was one of the better routes from the Pacific Northwest to Chicago, and large portions were electrified, and it was profitable. This was killed by the idiot Milwaukee Road management looking at phony accounting (much like Amtrak's management is today) -- they were double-booking expenses on the Pacific Extension and accordingly underbooking them on the midwestern "granger" lines. Management thought the granger lines were profitable and the Pacific Extension was unprofitable, but they had it backwards. They dismantled the Pacific Extension, the only profitable part of the railroad, and promptly went bankrupt; the accounting disaster was discovered by the judge during the dissection of the bankruptcy. This was unfortunately ripped out entirely and the ROW would have to be re-acquired. They discontinued passenger service in 1961, and they really shouldn't have.
The North Coast Hiawatha route is arguably better for service east of Montana, though.
Actually, you are wrong on two counts when you say "never":
The South Wind was part of the original Amtrak network, it was later renamed the Floridian and died in the 1979 Carter Cuts.
The equivalent to the Lark was the Spirit of California overnight train between Los Angeles and Sacramento via the Coast Line and Oakland (AKA the "Medflyer") with the standard Amtrak cross-bay bus connection to San Francisco. It was a 403(b) train subsidized by the State of California and ran from 1981 to 1983 when California cut its subsidy for it . Unless you want to nitpick that the Bay Area service was provided into Oakland rather than San Francisco. By that standard, there was never an equivalent to SP's Coast Daylight, which the Coast Starlight clearly has always been.
Not really arguing that the CZ routing could be better, it manages to miss population centers, but I want to note that this route over the former Burlington is the California Zephyr's historical routing, having been a Burlington train.
Yeah, it's just a coincidence of history that BN hadn't discontinued passenger service and Rock Island had in 1971. Otherwise Amtrak would have picked the better route. :-( Similar with the Milwaukee.
The ICC was doing a bad job in the 1950s-1960s with discontinuance orders. I suppose they were supposed to do it on some sort of financial basis which didn't really meet the needs of the US public. The unfortunate result is that the network before A-Day had lost some of the best passenger lines due to stupid accidents of history, while retaining some awful passenger lines.
I pretty much agree there, had it been available on A-Day that would have been a decision much like that to route the Empire Builder via Milwaukee on the Milwaukee Road rather than stay on historic route on the Burlington. Otherwise Milwaukee would have lost service.
Rock Island actually still ran some Amtrak qualifying (non-commute) passenger services on A-Day, though only as far as the Quad Cities, and it made sense for them join Amtrak to be rid of it. My understanding is they could not afford the initial buy in. Amtrak did not want their cars, so it would have been cash and the Rock Island didn't have it. As it was, they were stuck maintaining their passenger services like other non-joiners, Southern and D&RGW, although for very different reasons.
I agree on the South Wind, my point was to combine the Dixie Flagler and the South Wind. If we just had a "Dixie Flagler", the train would miss Orlando and Tampa.
As for the Spirit of California, the train never served San Fran as did any Amtrak train to my knowledge. We have Thruway bus service to San Fran now, it's not the same as a train.
As one who grew up in California and lived there until age 35, I disagree. The short bus ride over the Bay Bridge makes little difference, and through service to the north or east is impossible directly serving San Francisco. So overnight service to the Eastbay with short connections to San Francisco would qualify as equivalent service to almost any Californian. I certainly considered it equivalent service to the Lark when I rode it, at least in terms of getting to and from San Francisco.
By the way, try calling San Francisco "San Fran" in San Francisco. It isn't as bad as calling it "Frisco" but almost.
I think there should be a new Southern Belle (KCY-NOL) (discontinued 1969). This would serve a market that has been largely overlooked by Amtrak. It would bring service to Joplin, MO, a second train to Texarkana, AR-TX, and would cut right through the heart of Louisiana, serving Shreveport, Alexandria, and Baton Rouge. This route would supplement the proposed NOL-Baton Rouge corridor train.
I would like to see the return of The Alouette, from Boston to Montreal via Concord, NH.
Extended from WASH - Lynchburg - Roanoke - - Bristol - Knoxville - Chattanooga - 3 way split to Memphis / Birmingham / Atlanta
I'm thinking two: I'd like to see a train to Clarksville and a Cannonball to the Junction (along with a return of four door Lincoln convertibles).
The ICC certainly blew it, when they dragged out the Union Pacific's application process to acquire the Rock Island for so long, that The Rock degraded to the point where the UP finally lost interest (and later acquired the North Western). As a result, the Rock Island went bankrupt, and was subsequently liquidated, a few years later.
Had the UP + CRI&P happened, I would agree...the Chicago-Denver train would most likely have used at least the Rock Island's route from Chicago to Omaha. And perhaps a combination UP/BN route from Omaha to Denver via Lincoln, Grand Island, North Platte, Julesburg, Sterling, Union, Brush, Fort Morgan or other possible variation's available at the time...more or less parallel to Interstates 80 and 76.
Bringing back the Coast and Cascade Daylights would be good, along with the aforementioned Lark/Spirit of California.
I agree on the CZ routing now that I think about it. I live in the Quad Cities (Moline, Rock Island, Davenport, Bettendorf) population 400,000, progressive, with lots of industry and burbs. We aren’t the typical Iowa farmland. The biggest area no one’s ever heard of as I say.
It’s a pain driving the 50 mins to Galesburg for the CZ, SWC or any Chicago train.
Taking the CZ for example the Quad Cities (Moline) would be the biggest stop (population wise) between Chi and Omaha save for Naperville and about the 10th biggest stop on the route out of 30 plus.
All the current stops in IL and IA for lack of better words are podunk towns, equally important but tiny in comparison. If the CZ was routed through Moline ridership would rise significantly and the cities that loose service like Galesburg would still be within a 50 min drive.
I’m biased since I live here maybe the same could be said routing the SL through Phoenix to connect Tucson. I’m sure other examples exist. These are the kind of changes we should be examining for the LD network get the trains through major population centers as much as possible or in Gardner speak go where the millennials live.
Not this corridor at the expense of the network garbage.
Specially CHI-Moline corridor trains:
Chi- Moline corridor studies have been on the books since I’ve lived here 10 plus years and it ain’t happened yet. Even with the feds paying for the bulk of it. Iowa is a strong no and IL is a hesitant maybe. End result no trains. More ammunition against Amtrak’s delusional corridor plans.
Not to mention a bunch of SP routes were discontinued before Amtrak was created. The Capitol Corridor was the states answer to the Senator which was discontinued in the mid 60s. Or the Shasta Daylight which took away a day train from Northern California to Oregon. Also we lost trains between San Francisco and Monterrey. Lots of trains were lost before we even got Amtrak, not to mention Amtrak not having adequate resources to keep useful lines it did get going.
The way we now have it, is that people going West or even to many Mid West cities must go through Chicago to change trains and get to their destination. The way it was back in the day you could take a direct train West to Kansas City, St Louis, Omaha or catch a train that does't go through Chicago.. You could also take a single train ride from Chicago to Miami. Those are routes that I'd like to see restored but the probability of that happening is very low.
What I would really like to see is the return of the Broadway Ltd. I believe that its possible as the Northern line to Chicago that the CL and LSL take has heavy freight traffic and I can't see another train added there. In contrast the old Pennsylvania mainline through OH, and IN was put back in service by NS a few years back and probably has the space to accommodate a passenger train. This is still very unlikely as there is no political will to build the system. Its sadly just kept on perpetual life support.
What areas are between CHI and PGH then on this Pennsylvania mainline?
Separate names with a comma.