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Passenger Trains > Restoring E/W Florida Service


Date: 06/13/19 12:12
Restoring E/W Florida Service
Author: twropr

A previous post featured an FRA press release announcing an award to FL for the purpose of restoring passenger service between Mobile and Jacksonville.
I wonder if Florida, Gulf and Atlantic having taken over the former SAL/L&N line between Baldwin and Pensacola from CSX will have any affect on these plans.
CSX had CTC in place between Baldwin and Tallahassee, with a 79 MPH speed limit, and the track west of Tallahassee had a passenger maximum speed of 59 MPH.
There are some examples of Amtrak running over short lines.  The CARDINAL over the Buckingham Branch at 79 MPH, the Ethan Allen over Vermont Rail Systems at 59 MPH and the VERMONTER over New England Central at 79 MPH (for a few miles) and mostly 59 MPH.
Should be interesting to learn how this pans out.
Andy



Date: 06/13/19 12:17
Re: Restoring E/W Florida Service
Author: Lackawanna484

Florida is considering at least two cross state toll roads.  There's some push back about a) whether there's a need, and b) whether this will open undeveloped areas for development.



Date: 06/13/19 12:30
Re: Restoring E/W Florida Service
Author: Jimbo

The Cardinal's maximum speed over the Buckingham Branch Railroad is 60 MPH, not 79.  Class 3 track.  



Date: 06/13/19 21:17
Re: Restoring E/W Florida Service
Author: ln844south

Retired off the old L&N/CSX out of Pensacola as a Locomotive Engineer. Attended a get together in Pensacola last month. Told by current T&E crews that CSX had allowed the route to deteriorate and most was now 25MPH.
Unless someone comes up with big bucks to rebuild the railroad, don't hold your breath. The current employees felt CSX rerouted the traffic off the former Sunset route was to get around investing in PTC.
Went from a nice railrod, even though dark from Tallahasse to FLomaton, Al, had 10 scheduled freights plus extras and Amtrak. Now a wooden axle railroad!

Steve Panzik
Chiloquin, Or



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/14/19 08:07 by ln844south.



Date: 06/14/19 07:29
Re: Restoring E/W Florida Service
Author: Dcmcrider

Jimbo Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The Cardinal's maximum speed over the Buckingham
> Branch Railroad is 60 MPH, not 79.  Class 3
> track.  

True, but a lot of the former C&O was never good for 79 mph anyway, due to curvature and grades and a number of tunnels, with the exception of the former Washington SD between Gordonsville and Charlottesville. The BB's short line status also makes it eligible for state funding that's unavailable to CSX. In hindsight I'd say the transfer from CSX was a "win" for Amtrak. CSX was making noises about a drastic downgrade.

Paul Wilson
Arlington, VA



Date: 06/15/19 08:18
Re: Restoring E/W Florida Service
Author: ctillnc

There is 0.001% chance that passenger service will ever operate again between Mobile and Jacksonville. I'd say the odds of New Orleans-Mobile are 10%.



Date: 06/15/19 09:11
Re: Restoring E/W Florida Service
Author: jp1822

Amtrak lost the window to get back on this route after CSX did the restoration work post-Katrina and even extended the olive branch to Amtrak to re-start service. Now it's being treated as a total new route and startup. Not sure what Amtrak was thinking in terms of not RESTORING service after the route had been repaired from the damage of Katrina. Amtrak kept looking at restoring service as it had existed with the Sunset Limited, from Los Angles to Jacksonville. 

If anything, it should have given Amtrak the opportunity to restructure service so that the City of New Orleans became the Chicago to New Orleans to Florida train. Would have strengthened the Florida market, made the City of New Orleans more relevant and robust (shorter route for those trying to get from Chicago to Florida - could have been a one seat ride!). Amtrak needs to never let a route be abandoned. Otherwise, it's a $400M PLUS investment to get back on the rails. The more I look at the choreography of the CA Zephyr, Pioneer, and Desert Wind, the more I lament the cutting of those later two trains.  



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/15/19 09:15 by jp1822.



Date: 06/15/19 09:17
Re: Restoring E/W Florida Service
Author: ts1457

jp1822 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> .... If anything, it should have given Amtrak
> the opportunity to restructure service so that the
> City of New Orleans became the Chicago to New
> Orleans to Florida train. Would have strengthened
> the Florida market, made the City of New Orleans
> more relevant and robust (shorter route for those
> trying to get from Chicago to Florida - could have
> been a one seat ride!). 

Chicago - Florida via New Orleans is so circuitous that it only makes sense to a railfan.



Date: 06/15/19 15:56
Re: Restoring E/W Florida Service
Author: retcsxcfm

ts1457 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> jp1822 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > .... If anything, it should have given Amtrak
> > the opportunity to restructure service so that
> the
> > City of New Orleans became the Chicago to New
> > Orleans to Florida train. Would have
> strengthened
> > the Florida market, made the City of New
> Orleans
> > more relevant and robust (shorter route for
> those
> > trying to get from Chicago to Florida - could
> have
> > been a one seat ride!). 
>
> Chicago - Florida via New Orleans is so circuitous
> that it only makes sense to a railfan.

No worst than Chicago-Florida via DC.
Uncle Joe
Seffner,Fl.



Date: 06/15/19 16:18
Re: Restoring E/W Florida Service
Author: ts1457

retcsxcfm Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> No worst than Chicago-Florida via DC.
> Uncle Joe
> Seffner,Fl.

Are the fares the sum of Chicago-DC and DC-Florida, or does Amtrak give the traveler a break?



Date: 06/15/19 21:48
Re: Restoring E/W Florida Service
Author: brc600

Amtrak crews swear that the Pioneer and Desert Wind had stronger per capita patronage than the Zephyr.

jp1822 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Amtrak lost the window to get back on this route
> after CSX did the restoration work post-Katrina
> and even extended the olive branch to Amtrak to
> re-start service. Now it's being treated as a
> total new route and startup. Not sure what Amtrak
> was thinking in terms of not RESTORING service
> after the route had been repaired from the damage
> of Katrina. Amtrak kept looking at restoring
> service as it had existed with the Sunset Limited,
> from Los Angles to Jacksonville. 
>
> If anything, it should have given Amtrak the
> opportunity to restructure service so that the
> City of New Orleans became the Chicago to New
> Orleans to Florida train. Would have strengthened
> the Florida market, made the City of New Orleans
> more relevant and robust (shorter route for those
> trying to get from Chicago to Florida - could have
> been a one seat ride!). Amtrak needs to never let
> a route be abandoned. Otherwise, it's a $400M PLUS
> investment to get back on the rails. The more I
> look at the choreography of the CA Zephyr,
> Pioneer, and Desert Wind, the more I lament the
> cutting of those later two trains.  



Date: 06/16/19 06:57
Re: Restoring E/W Florida Service
Author: Duna

brc600 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Amtrak crews swear that the Pioneer and Desert
> Wind had stronger per capita patronage than the
> Zephyr.



What do you mean by "per capita patronage"?

 



Date: 06/17/19 14:56
Re: Restoring E/W Florida Service
Author: brc600

The Desert Wind and Pioneer segments were hauling more passengers than the core Zephyr and were also turning away more passengers as they sold out faster. The ticket agents along the Zephyr route knew this well. They're likely all retired now.

Duna Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> brc600 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Amtrak crews swear that the Pioneer and Desert
> > Wind had stronger per capita patronage than the
> > Zephyr.
>
>
>
> What do you mean by "per capita patronage"?
>
>  



Date: 06/17/19 15:04
Re: Restoring E/W Florida Service
Author: Duna

brc600 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The Desert Wind and Pioneer segments were hauling
> more passengers than the core Zephyr and were also
> turning away more passengers as they sold out
> faster. The ticket agents along the Zephyr route
> knew this well. They're likely all retired now.
>
> Duna Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > brc600 Wrote:
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> > -----
> > > Amtrak crews swear that the Pioneer and
> Desert
> > > Wind had stronger per capita patronage than
> the
> > > Zephyr.
> >
> >
> >
> > What do you mean by "per capita patronage"?
> >
> >  



That doesn't answer the question.



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