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Passenger Trains > End Of An Era...


Date: 10/12/20 05:44
End Of An Era...
Author: ats90mph

In 1886, Barstow, CA began receiving daily passenger service in the form of A&P Trains 1&2, The Atlantic Express, and the Pacific Express. Looking at an 1888 timetable, it took an excruciating 9 Hours to reach Needles, and 5 hours to reach San Bernardino. For 109 of the 134 years of passenger rail service, the "Casa Del Desierto" has never had a day that a train wasn't scheduled to stop at it (save for temporary disruptions). Today is also a historic day, because for the first time, no train is coming. Last night, I traveled to just one of the hundreds of communities, and 15+ states that are loosing over 60% of their passenger rail service, to document the end of an era...


1. Train 4, the Southwest Chief arrived into Barstow, CA early, and departed on time. This allowed me to get ahead of the train, and take record east of town.

2. About 8-10 people boarded in Barstow, for points east. While the trip east won't take 9 hours to go the 166 miles to Needles, as it did in 1888. Nevertheless, service today is worse than 131 years ago in terms of frequency...

3. The Harvey House built in 1911, greets it's last daily eastward passenger train.








Date: 10/12/20 05:45
Re: End Of An Era...
Author: ats90mph

Because the train arrived early, I had about a 10 minute lead to get east of town. Newberry on Barstow's eastern outskirts has a track speed of 90, the last daily #4 does "better than 80" heading off into history. Hopefully the future will have restorations of service. But for myself, and the tens of thousands of others in the passenger transportation business that have lost our jobs, there isn't a lot to be optimistic about. The truth is, nobody knows what the future of our industry will be. Despite the best intended conjecture. Tonight's train, and the absence of one tomorrow (despite 134 years of precedent), is just the latest example of that uncertainty, along with it's real world effects...



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 10/12/20 07:27 by ats90mph.

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Date: 10/12/20 07:34
Re: End Of An Era...
Author: Hou74-76

I appreciate and share your somber and sober look at the demise of daily train service over this route.  The gleaming reflections of light shown in your photos offer a symbol of hope that we may see improvements and NOT further decline to rail passenger services for long distance travel.  It is great that you have documented this with such clear photos. Thank you.



Date: 10/12/20 11:01
Re: End Of An Era...
Author: IC_2024

Hou74-76 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I appreciate and share your somber and sober look
> at the demise of daily train service over this
> route.  The gleaming reflections of light shown
> in your photos offer a symbol of hope that we may
> see improvements and NOT further decline to rail
> passenger services for long distance travel.  It
> is great that you have documented this with such
> clear photos. Thank you.

I share and second your comments, here, Hou74-76, while remaining cautiously optimistic, too, after seeing daily trains return again after Tom Downs cut them in the 1990’s.

As background, I was hired by NRPC as a dining car waiter shortly after the Reagan cutbacks in the 1980’s where dining cars were cutback to a waiter-in-charge and a chef, w/ microwave food and paper plates— it was a very bleak time in NRPC’s existence, like now, sadly.

Things turned around then, and perhaps they will again... Hope springs eternal.



Date: 10/12/20 11:51
Re: End Of An Era...
Author: atsf121

Excellent photos of a sad end. Fingers crossed that things will improve in the future. Love the sounds of the train flying by in your video.

Nathan

Posted from iPhone



Date: 10/12/20 15:54
Re: End Of An Era...
Author: mp51w

I believe it will break a 149 year run of daily passenger train service at Newton KS early Tuesday morning!  Sad!



Date: 10/12/20 18:09
Re: End Of An Era...
Author: steamloco

Amtrak quickly becoming irrelevant. (I think that's a word)



Date: 10/13/20 23:24
Re: End Of An Era...
Author: SantaFeRuss

steamloco Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Amtrak quickly becoming irrelevant. (I think
> that's a word)

Amtrak is relevant, it's the so-called powers that be that are irrelevant.

SantaFeRuss



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