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Date: 03/12/19 07:14
Restored Amtrak Service to Duluth?
Author: gbmott

Amtrak's Joe McHugh, VP-State Supported Services, was in Duluth yesterday talking about the possibility of initiating service between Minneapolis and Duluth/Superior   https://www.duluthnewstribune.com/news/4583341-amtrak-official-were-going-deliver  

This is the first new service that I have heard about.  When there was service from the mid-70's to the mid-80's (when Minnesota pulled their funding) the service was considered one of the more successful 403b routes.  Since then, however, the direct route between Duluth and Superior which involved two moveable bridges has been abandoned and it now requires a roundabout trek over unsignalled lines all within Yard Limits adding a half hour to the old schedule which was already half-again the time to drive I-35.  It would be nice to see this succeed, but I think it will be a real uphill battle.  But interesting that Amtrak appears to be launching their new strategic plan.  

Now I'll sit back with my popcorn.

Gordon



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/12/19 07:45 by gbmott.



Date: 03/12/19 07:18
Re: Restored Amtrak Service to Duluth?
Author: joemvcnj

"The $550-million project has cleared planning hurdles and is ready to seek funding."

Wake me when it's over.



Date: 03/12/19 07:24
Re: Restored Amtrak Service to Duluth?
Author: gbmott

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> "The $550-million project has cleared planning
> hurdles and is ready to seek funding."
>
> Wake me when it's over.

To clarify, that's the local newspaper referring back to the (in my opinion far-fetched) effort that began several years ago to establish a true High Speed Rail corridor, later revised down to "Higher-Speed" that, I think, included new trains, new stations, etc.  What is being promoted now is far less ambitious, though still would not be cheap. For one thing, almost the entire route does not currently require PTC.

Gordon 



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/12/19 07:40 by gbmott.



Date: 03/12/19 07:36
Re: Restored Amtrak Service to Duluth?
Author: CP8888

Who will pay for PTC ? BNSF AMTRAK state of Minnesota ?

Posted from Android



Date: 03/12/19 07:52
Re: Restored Amtrak Service to Duluth?
Author: Flyer92122

Still waiting for my Moline/Quad cities train it’s been fast tracked, off tracked, on again off again at least 7 years. The problem with state funding is its not stable long term funding. Look at the Cascades arguably the best state system outside of California. It may be going away. It’s all at the whims of the 2 year state election cycle or a governorship change. 

New routes take so long to start up that by the time the studies and prep work get done a new legislator is in place and they may not want anything to do with it. That’s what happened with the Quad Cities service, 3 governors now in IL. Literally  we’ve be ON, OFF and now tentatively ON again. It’s insanity.



Date: 03/12/19 08:01
Re: Restored Amtrak Service to Duluth?
Author: Duna

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> "The $550-million project has cleared planning
> hurdles and is ready to seek funding."
>
> Wake me when it's over.



"Keep hope alive" as the folks up there are fond of saying.

Few riders at a high capital and operation cost means enormous subsidy per passenger. More frequent private sector buses on existing highways make far more sense.  Use that 1/2 billion for something that's needed.

It will be low, but what is the forecast ridership? Moot, because it won't happen.



Date: 03/12/19 08:05
Re: Restored Amtrak Service to Duluth?
Author: joemvcnj

From the article, we don't know the operating cost or farebox recovery, just the initial capital cost.
Of course Amtrak says nice things about it - it's not their money to build and run it, and the happy-talk fits their anti-LD agenda.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/12/19 08:06 by joemvcnj.



Date: 03/12/19 08:23
Re: Restored Amtrak Service to Duluth?
Author: PC1974

Preferred routing is abandoned? Takes twice as long to ride train than drive? Multiple frequencies: NOT?

Where have you heard that before?? HINT: Hoosier State

More hog wash from Joe trying to play to the corridor crowd... Dead on arrival.

PS: I use the Duluth Shuttle operated by Groome Transportation.. Clean and well run. Takes me right to my terminal at MSP! Check it out.

https://groometransportation.com/duluth/



Date: 03/12/19 08:28
Re: Restored Amtrak Service to Duluth?
Author: joemvcnj

I wish it were the 70's again. It was a nice little overnight Heritage sleeper and Amfleet-1 train from Chicago, then daytime up to Duluth or Superior and back. But it's not.

McHugh is getting as good at the snow jobs as Magliari.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/12/19 08:35 by joemvcnj.



Date: 03/12/19 09:07
Re: Restored Amtrak Service to Duluth?
Author: RichM

Hey for what it's worth...

My organization is making a significant investment in Minnesota. When we made the cursory call to the state economic development people, they were pushing Duluth hard, with lots of incentives. Wasn't in the cards for us, we needed to be in the Twin Cities area, and that's where we are going.

So... my guess is part of this is being pushed by the local politicians...



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/12/19 12:17 by RichM.



Date: 03/12/19 10:35
Re: Restored Amtrak Service to Duluth?
Author: joemvcnj

Compare that to the North Coast Hiawatha study results. The route is something like 1,300 miles Fargo - Spokane, require a capital investment of $800 million, and have a PMTM and avoidable cost per passenger mile much like the Empire Builder, which is a leading performer of the 15 trains. The NCH would rank about 4th highest in the system.

I am not saying we should do it or not, just saying even that would be a better investment than Duluth, and put it in perspective.



Date: 03/12/19 12:12
Re: Restored Amtrak Service to Duluth?
Author: SanDiegan

Duna Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> joemvcnj Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > "The $550-million project has cleared planning
> > hurdles and is ready to seek funding."
> >
> > Wake me when it's over.
>
>
>
> "Keep hope alive" as the folks up there are fond
> of saying.
>
> Few riders at a high capital and operation cost
> means enormous subsidy per passenger. More
> frequent private sector buses on existing highways
> make far more sense.  Use that 1/2 billion for
> something that's needed.
>
> It will be low, but what is the forecast
> ridership? Moot, because it won't happen.

Do it the California way. Get the Chicago-Twin Cities service going and have a dedicated Amtrak Thruway Bus from the Twin Cities to Duluth.



Date: 03/12/19 12:12
Re: Restored Amtrak Service to Duluth?
Author: ctillnc

When NC and Amtrak first began operating the Piedmont between Charlotte and Raleigh, it was carded for 3 hrs 45 minutes across 172 rail miles. Driving distance station-to-station is about 165. Using the driving distance as a basis for calculations, 44 mph didn't get anyone excited.

But today the schedule is 3 hrs 10 minutes. Meanwhile, population growth has made I-85 worse. Now the train is sometimes on par with driving. NCDOT has a reasonable chance of achieving 2 hrs 45 minutes with continued spend. 2:45 would be on par with driving in the middle of the night.

Point is, it's ok to start slow so long as you follow through with improvements to be competitive with the expressway.  



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/12/19 12:13 by ctillnc.



Date: 03/12/19 13:30
Re: Restored Amtrak Service to Duluth?
Author: abyler

Flyer92122 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Still waiting for my Moline/Quad cities train
> it’s been fast tracked, off tracked, on again
> off again at least 7 years. The problem with state
> funding is its not stable long term funding. Look
> at the Cascades arguably the best state system
> outside of California. It may be going away.
> It’s all at the whims of the 2 year state
> election cycle or a governorship change. 

Why would the Cascades route be going away?



Date: 03/12/19 13:33
Re: Restored Amtrak Service to Duluth?
Author: Dcmcrider

$550 million for 150 route-miles of Class 5, 90 mph track with PTC seems a little optimistic. The Hinckley Sub is currently a 50-mph railroad, with ABS and TWC. Then there's the connectivity (or lack of same) at St. Paul.

Paul Wilson
Arlington, VA



Date: 03/12/19 15:22
Re: Restored Amtrak Service to Duluth?
Author: mundo

Washington State may pull the funding, thats why.



Date: 03/12/19 15:28
Re: Restored Amtrak Service to Duluth?
Author: ProAmtrak

Washington State does that, it's gonna get very ugly, I bet that's what happened when Minnesota did that in the mid 80s with a Train with solid ridership which I bet was convenient for people connecting to the Builder!

Posted from Android



Date: 03/12/19 15:50
Re: Restored Amtrak Service to Duluth?
Author: joemvcnj

PRIAA trains in Washington state, Indiana, and Pennsylvania are all now in jeopardy. 

As for McHugh's happy talk on the Duluth service that will never happen, I don't know how he kept a straight face. It was obviously a photo-op to promote the concept of corridors and implicitly diss LD service. 



Date: 03/12/19 16:01
Re: Restored Amtrak Service to Duluth?
Author: PRSL-recall

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> From the article, we don't know the operating cost
> or farebox recovery, just the initial capital
> cost.
> Of course Amtrak says nice things about it - it's
> not their money to build and run it, and the
> happy-talk fits their anti-LD agenda.
So true! Since they received their questions to answer from the House Subcommittee we're getting sparks of activity to attract attention elsewhere. We're supposed to think they're doing something.
They seem to act like a bunch of kids, doing what they want to instead of what they were told.



Date: 03/12/19 20:49
Re: Restored Amtrak Service to Duluth?
Author: railcity

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> PRIAA trains in Washington state, Indiana, and
> Pennsylvania are all now in jeopardy. 
>
> As for McHugh's happy talk on the Duluth service
> that will never happen, I don't know how he kept a
> straight face. It was obviously a photo-op to
> promote the concept of corridors and implicitly
> diss LD service. 


What are you Smoking about the Pennsylvania are all in jeopardy?? who care about turnpike problems in are State of PA. Don't drink the kool-aid so much.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/12/19 21:47 by railcity.



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