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Date: 11/04/19 20:49
Logical routes
Author: Drknow

If the Bizarre mess that is Amtrak were suddenly “fixed” as it were and the class ones suddenly welcomed passenger rail, what would be the routes that should be restored/added to actually make money and increase ridership? Here’s mine, IMHO. Twin star rocket, Twin Cities-DFW(San Antonio connections). Houston-DFW-Denver. Desert wind/Pioneer. Chicago-Florida(Miami). Denver connection to the southwest Chief. The mess that is Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania with Chicago/St. Louis and the East. The Eastern Seaboard is beyond me so y’all have to figure that one. I also in this dream world put at least bulk mail back on some trains or routes to defray costs. What I’m thinking here is something that COULD conceivably happen if the political and economic will was there, not magically put on every train that was there in 1915. Discuss, comment or flame away.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 11/05/19 06:49
Re: Logical routes
Author: mp51w

This may be the ultimate solution to an extension of the Heartland Flyer North of Oklahoma City.



Date: 11/05/19 10:32
Logical routes
Author: 79mph

Restore a trans-Florida panhandle route.
Restore Pioneer and Desert Wind.
Restore National Limited.
And of course one of the Chicago-Nashville-Florida runs, preferably with auto-racks.
In short, put the system back like it was more or less in 1971 (with the addition of Florida panhandle).



Date: 11/05/19 10:38
Re: Logical routes
Author: Spongebob-Trainguy

Sounds good to me. More seems better.



Date: 11/05/19 10:39
Re: Logical routes
Author: ts1457

79mph Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> In short, put the system back like it was more or
> less in 1971 (with the addition of Florida
> panhandle).

and ignore the demographic changes of the last five decades? 

We need to be looking for the future instead of looking back to the past.



Date: 11/05/19 10:54
Re: Logical routes
Author: 79mph

I understood the question to be about routes, not necessarily frequencies and timetable speeds.
Removing routes since 1971 has been responsible for most of the ignorance of demographic changes.
Phoenix had service then, and no longer does.
Las Vegas had service then,  and no  longer does.
Nashville, Atlanta, and Louisville used to have north-south service, etc
Houston and Dallas used to have a connection that was severed (supposedly to be replaced by high-speed privately operated corridor).
Well, there was no San Antonio to Dallas link, but old Herb took care of that by "inventing" Texas triangle service on a napkin.
The list goes on and on...

Always thought it would be nice to have Baton Rouge-New Orleans to Kansas City passenger route restored on the KCS.
But if you look forward, you will see that south Florida and south Louisiana are expected to be gone by 2050 or so.

Many of the needed changes to reflect demographics have already taken place in California.
The one glaring exception being Bakersfield-Los Angeles through or tunnelled under the pass.
And we all know that cannot and will not ever happen due to politics, inflated engineering fees, and cost overruns.
 



Date: 11/05/19 10:59
Re: Logical routes
Author: joemvcnj

Politics or bad track have determined most train-offs, not demographics. Can you say Boise, ID ? 



Date: 11/05/19 11:51
Re: Logical routes
Author: SilverView

When I worked at Chicago Amtrak Reservations Center for nearly 7 years, the CONSTANT requests for DIRECT service which Amtrak did not provide were:
CHICAGO DIRECT TO FLORIDA
CHICAGO DIRECT TO PHOENIX/TUCSON
Since 1989, when I left Amtrak, I imagine the market demand for these routings has gotten even greater. Amtrak has certainly missed out on the revenue potential from these routes.
Those who have posted recently are probably correct that the Amtrak corporate mindset really only focuses on the NEC and East of the Applachians. There are so many potential and viable midrange 100-500 miles routes in the Midwest [ie. Chicago-Cleveland, Cleveland-Cincinnati, Chicago-Indianapolis-Cincinnati, Twin Cities-Kansas City, etc.). Track conditions, cooperating railroads, AND FUNDS are the major reasons why we do not have them today. 
It will take the showcase successful PRIVATE service of  the Virgin/Brightline-FL route to finally convince naysayers that there IS a demand for quality rail passenger service. I wish I would be able to see quality renaissance in rail passenger service in my remaining lifetime. I've been waiting since 1971!!!
Mike-Silver View



Date: 11/05/19 11:52
Re: Logical routes
Author: Molino

Purely an academic question in a fantasy world when I've read that NO passenger train service has ever made money (though your scenario presents that as a possibility).

My understanding is that is the main reason the freight carrier's abandoned it decades ago. It wasn't a profitable business. 

Also for clarification,  I'd like to hear what the " bizarre mess" is that you mention in the beginning of the thread please. I'm kinda hoping it won't be discussing dining car food exclusively.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/05/19 11:55 by Molino.



Date: 11/05/19 12:12
Re: Logical routes
Author: ProAmtrak

All I can say is that if he US Government didn't create Amtrak to fail (1971-1974) and just invested the money improve it and add the right leadership from the get go, Amtrak would've been so much better today than what we got now, especially with the Amleadership of Propeller Head and Gardner who are still trying to claim they want corridors only, downgradeable service, etc. just to break even!



Date: 11/05/19 12:22
Re: Logical routes
Author: ctillnc

Given NS attitudes these days, forget a Chicago-Florida train that uses NS anywhere. In the past CSX would have fought tooth and nail to keep a passenger train off of Chattanooga-Atlanta, but PSR has put a big dent into traffic on that line. Also it's easy now to run through downtown Atlanta, exit on the ex-A&WP, and still get onto the ex-ACL at Union City toward Waycross.

But let's face it, this is fantasy.



Date: 11/05/19 12:35
Re: Logical routes
Author: ts1457

SilverView Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> CHICAGO DIRECT TO PHOENIX/TUCSON ...

That is an interesting one, but it begs the question of what route would it use?



Date: 11/05/19 12:45
Re: Logical routes
Author: dan

Molino Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Purely an academic question in a fantasy world
> when I've read that NO passenger train service has
> ever made money (though your scenario presents
> that as a possibility).
>
> My understanding is that is the main reason the
> freight carrier's abandoned it decades ago. It
> wasn't a profitable business. 
>
> Also for clarification,  I'd like to hear what
> the " bizarre mess" is that you mention in the
> beginning of the thread please. I'm kinda hoping
> it won't be discussing dining car food
> exclusively.

do interstates make any money, airports?  airlines? once heard in history of airlines profits have been very small, bus companies?  



Date: 11/05/19 15:39
Re: Logical routes
Author: ATSF3751

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Politics or bad track have determined most
> train-offs, not demographics. Can you say Boise,
> ID ? 

The track through Boise was in excellent condition in 1997 when the Pioneer was discontinued. Not sure what your point is exactly. 



Date: 11/05/19 15:43
Re: Logical routes
Author: ATSF3751

dan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Molino Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Purely an academic question in a fantasy world
> > when I've read that NO passenger train service
> has
> > ever made money (though your scenario presents
> > that as a possibility).
> >
> > My understanding is that is the main reason the
> > freight carrier's abandoned it decades ago. It
> > wasn't a profitable business. 
> >
> > Also for clarification,  I'd like to hear what
> > the " bizarre mess" is that you mention in the
> > beginning of the thread please. I'm kinda
> hoping
> > it won't be discussing dining car food
> > exclusively.
>
> do interstates make any money, airports? 
> airlines? once heard in history of airlines
> profits have been very small, bus companies?  

Money for those services (bus excepted) went there because those are the modes of transport travellers prefer, espically driving. Not defending those choices, just stating the facts. 
As was allegedly asked of a famous bank robber....."why do you rob banks?" to which he replied...."because that is where the money is". 
Why did/does money flow to improve airports and highways....because those are the modes of transport people prefer. 



Date: 11/05/19 15:43
Re: Logical routes
Author: ATSF3751

Spongebob-Trainguy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Sounds good to me. More seems better.

Be lucky to keep what currently operates.



Date: 11/05/19 15:46
Re: Logical routes
Author: joemvcnj

ATSF3751 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> joemvcnj Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Politics or bad track have determined most
> > train-offs, not demographics. Can you say
> Boise,
> > ID ? 
>
> The track through Boise was in excellent condition
> in 1997 when the Pioneer was discontinued. Not
> sure what your point is exactly. 

I said politics or bad track. In this case, it was mostly politics, and no, the track through Boise was not in great shape - about 30 MPH with jointed rail, which is also a detour off the main line.   



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/05/19 15:50 by joemvcnj.



Date: 11/05/19 17:50
Re: Logical routes
Author: toledopatch

ATSF3751 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> dan Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Molino Wrote:
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> > -----
> > > Purely an academic question in a fantasy
> world
> > > when I've read that NO passenger train
> service
> > has
> > > ever made money (though your scenario
> presents
> > > that as a possibility).
> > >
> > > My understanding is that is the main reason
> the
> > > freight carrier's abandoned it decades ago.
> It
> > > wasn't a profitable business. 
> > >
> > > Also for clarification,  I'd like to hear
> what
> > > the " bizarre mess" is that you mention in
> the
> > > beginning of the thread please. I'm kinda
> > hoping
> > > it won't be discussing dining car food
> > > exclusively.
> >
> > do interstates make any money, airports? 
> > airlines? once heard in history of airlines
> > profits have been very small, bus
> companies?  
>
> Money for those services (bus excepted) went there
> because those are the modes of transport
> travellers prefer, espically driving. Not
> defending those choices, just stating the
> facts. 
> As was allegedly asked of a famous bank
> robber....."why do you rob banks?" to which he
> replied...."because that is where the money
> is". 
> Why did/does money flow to improve airports and
> highways....because those are the modes of
> transport people prefer.

And of course 75 years of public policy that has been variously hostile or, at best, indifferent to rail transportation had nothing to do with cultivating and nurturing that preference.



Date: 11/05/19 18:12
Re: Logical routes
Author: mpe383

A fun fantasy.  But, as long as Amtrak wants to charge me $1,200 for a "super saver" seat on a round trip I can make in 2 hours by air for $450 round trip there won't be any more long distance trains.  I regularly check Amtrak fares for my work travel but I can't justify the additional cost (or two days of travel) to be an Amtrak customer.



Date: 11/05/19 18:49
Re: Logical routes
Author: CPRR

mpe383 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> A fun fantasy.  But, as long as Amtrak wants to
> charge me $1,200 for a "super saver" seat on a
> round trip I can make in 2 hours by air for $450
> round trip there won't be any more long distance
> trains.  I regularly check Amtrak fares for my
> work travel but I can't justify the additional
> cost (or two days of travel) to be an Amtrak
> customer.
I was in the same boat in June, LA to Chicago. 2 1/2 days vs 6 hours/ two stops via plane. 1200$ for the train, 800$ for Southworst. Money talks, BS walks.

Posted from iPhone



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