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Old September 5th, 2012, 02:43 AM   #2421
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Originally Posted by Stainless View Post
I know it is true for systems that are already there, I was thinking more about areas where the train left a long time ago. Many people will not notice that. Even in the UK many people I speak to are unaware that rail use has basically doubled in a decade.
When they reinstall Rail in those areas it becomes very well used....whether it be the Midwest or Northeast or West Coast.
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Old September 14th, 2012, 06:42 AM   #2422
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Three new Amtrak stations are opening this fall for brand-new service. Here are the stations:

Brunswick, ME - Nov 1
Freeport, ME - Nov 1
Norfolk, VA - Dec 12
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Old September 17th, 2012, 05:58 PM   #2423
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Retired firefighter goes missing from Amtrak train

Strange story, yet another case that shows why full passenger manifests and boarding/de-boarding control are needed in one way or another.

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Amtrak police are searching for a retired San Francisco firefighter who went missing while traveling to visit family in Montreal.

Charlie Dowd, 69, left the Bay Area on Wednesday. He last spoke to his son by cell phone Thursday night, saying he was just outside of Denver, Colorado, his family said.

When Dowd's train arrived in Chicago on Friday, he was not on it. His luggage, cell phone and medication were found in his sleeping car, [...]

An Amtrak conductor may have spoken with Dowd early Friday near Omaha, Nebraska, one of the stops along the route, the family said.

Dowd was confused about his whereabouts and believed he was in an apartment, not on a train, and needed to find the front door, the family said.

Amtrak is investigating the possibility that Dowd got off the train during the night and may have gotten disoriented, and then didn't get back on, the family said.
If someone was in a clear state of mental instability, Amtrak should have called an ambulance and rushed him to hospital, which it didn't.

Full CNN article here.
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Old September 17th, 2012, 10:40 PM   #2424
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National Association of Railroad Passengers "White paper":

Long Distance Trains: Multipurpose Mobility Machines

Summary

Long distance train routes form the foundation of the national passenger train network.
Their unique capabilities allow them to connect congested urban areas and bring economically viable mobility to rural areas and small towns, many of which are becoming more
isolated from major cities as regional airline and intercity bus service disappears.
They represent a strategic platform for scaling up passenger train service that will improve
American mobility.
The time has come to transform the national passenger train network from a neglected,
barebones operation to a robust and thriving mobility machine by:
1. Filling gaps in the current network to create a grid and gateway system
2. Increasing frequencies to allow daytime service to all stations.
3. Procuring high-performance trainsets suitable for overnight and longer distance trips.
4. Making track improvements that increase reliability and decrease trip times.
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Old September 17th, 2012, 11:15 PM   #2425
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I think the disappearance of other modes of transportation from small, isolated towns/settlements just goes to show that they are not economically viable. I don't care to help provide services inefficiently to someone who is needlessly and wastefully consuming more resources than I am, via Amtrak or anything else. Rural poverty is a national blight, and a much more difficult one to address or even bring to public consciousness than urban poverty. Resettle the rednecks in even moderately-sized towns and cities, say I, and bring civilization to the countryside by getting removing the people from it.

Argh. Rant over.
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Old September 17th, 2012, 11:15 PM   #2426
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Ridiculous, if you ask me.

Trains with average speed half of those of cars, requiring up to US$ 250 in direct subsidization per Chicago-West Coast trip.

It is a typical fanboy mentality: it must look good on a map, regardless of economic sense.
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Old September 18th, 2012, 01:39 AM   #2427
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Strange story, yet another case that shows why full passenger manifests and boarding/de-boarding control are needed in one way or another.



If someone was in a clear state of mental instability, Amtrak should have called an ambulance and rushed him to hospital, which it didn't.

Full CNN article here.
If the Family would have told Amtrak he had mental issues they would have assisted....so stop bashing Amtrak. It not have been clear...
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Old September 18th, 2012, 01:40 AM   #2428
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Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Ridiculous, if you ask me.

Trains with average speed half of those of cars, requiring up to US$ 250 in direct subsidization per Chicago-West Coast trip.

It is a typical fanboy mentality: it must look good on a map, regardless of economic sense.
Its not a fanboy mentility , its those stupid republican small towns , Fanboys or Rail fanners would only stop in large towns or cities.... Research before you open your mouth which you never do...
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Old September 18th, 2012, 04:20 AM   #2429
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Ridiculous, if you ask me.

Trains with average speed half of those of cars, requiring up to US$ 250 in direct subsidization per Chicago-West Coast trip.

It is a typical fanboy mentality: it must look good on a map, regardless of economic sense.
I think you should read it first? No need to be vitriolic.

They're specifically talking about the Gulf Coast (the southern part of the US from California to Florida). Anyways, they're simply saying Amtrack should begin operating that line again since they ceased after Katrina, given most of the population growth, and a lot of tourism, in the US is in this region.
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Old September 18th, 2012, 04:23 AM   #2430
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CSX wants several hundred million dollars (6, to be exact) to re-start operating that service. It has downgraded the line after Katrina and that other hurricane battered many sectors, and has no intention of restoring it to passenger-ready standards (@ 79mph maximum). The sector between Pensacola and Biloxi had one of the highest cancellation rates of long-distance trains as well before 2005...

So since CSX has no interest in investing that money (line doesn't see much traffic, which had been rerouted inland), Amtrak is out of luck, unless it tries to negotiate the purchase of tracks there with some provisions to guarantee CSX slots for the limited freight movements it has there... but that would certainly be very expensive, since CSX is in relatively good financial condition and doesn't need cash (= low incentive to sell permanent assets).
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Old September 18th, 2012, 05:06 AM   #2431
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Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
CSX wants several hundred million dollars (6, to be exact) to re-start operating that service. It has downgraded the line after Katrina and that other hurricane battered many sectors, and has no intention of restoring it to passenger-ready standards (@ 79mph maximum). The sector between Pensacola and Biloxi had one of the highest cancellation rates of long-distance trains as well before 2005...

So since CSX has no interest in investing that money (line doesn't see much traffic, which had been rerouted inland), Amtrak is out of luck, unless it tries to negotiate the purchase of tracks there with some provisions to guarantee CSX slots for the limited freight movements it has there... but that would certainly be very expensive, since CSX is in relatively good financial condition and doesn't need cash (= low incentive to sell permanent assets).

The cancellations were due to issues with CSX not investing (as per that report).
CSX has already restored these lines, but Amtrack didn't restore service. The service was making money and ridership was increasing prior to the performance issues (cancellations due to maintenance problems).

Anyways, the point of that report is that Amtrack doesn't WANT to bring service back...but it'd be nice if they did. And there's definitely a strong business case for it.
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Old September 18th, 2012, 05:55 AM   #2432
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The Sunset Limited had a farebox recovery ratio of 29% before it was cancelled. It was the least performing long-distance route.
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Old September 18th, 2012, 06:58 AM   #2433
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I already informed you earlier this year(?), that service is suspended, not cancelled, seven years and counting That southerly transcontinental route is too signature in stature to be outright cancelling
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Old September 18th, 2012, 04:20 PM   #2434
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I really can't say I understand the attitude many of you seem to have towards this service and others like it. Rail in the U.S. is in such a precarious state that we really can't afford to be spending money running a diesel locomotive that will average somewhere around 60mph through one of the least developed parts of the country along a line with such a small potential passenger base. Do we really want to be giving opponents of rail in the U.S. exactly the sort of image of it that they want to have?

It's impossible to ignore that doing fast trains in crowded places is much, much more expensive, but if it can make some amount of money and make rail look good while doing it, that's what we ought to be pushing for. Don't waste your time trying to get things like the Sunset Limited.
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Old September 18th, 2012, 05:19 PM   #2435
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
The Sunset Limited had a farebox recovery ratio of 29% before it was cancelled. It was the least performing long-distance route.
I don't know where that number is from really, I'd like to. All I can go on is what I read in the report: the ridership was increasing up until the last 3-5 years before Katrina due to issues with maintenance as well as the fact that they had performance (and budgetary issues) due to aging rolling stock. Honestly, I'm not antagonizing you or anything, just pointing out what was in the PDF. They gave very sound reasons. I'd LIKE to read the things that gave you your views so that I can have a better idea of the entire picture. But as of now, I'm going to have to agree with NAR on this one.

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Originally Posted by aquaticko View Post
I really can't say I understand the attitude many of you seem to have towards this service and others like it. Rail in the U.S. is in such a precarious state that we really can't afford to be spending money running a diesel locomotive that will average somewhere around 60mph through one of the least developed parts of the country along a line with such a small potential passenger base. Do we really want to be giving opponents of rail in the U.S. exactly the sort of image of it that they want to have?

It's impossible to ignore that doing fast trains in crowded places is much, much more expensive, but if it can make some amount of money and make rail look good while doing it, that's what we ought to be pushing for. Don't waste your time trying to get things like the Sunset Limited.
I agree to an extent; however, we still need a network...HSR in the long run is never going to make much sense unless mobility in areas between large population centers can make use of it. We're not talking about the middle of Montana or anything, we're talking about the region of the country that has 2 (3 if you're speaking in terms of "Cardinal South") most populated states. While it's true the vast majority of passengers won't be trekking from Jacksonville to L.A., the perception that long distance lines such as these can't be profitable is a bit unfounded.

Florida is a big destination and Florida is one of the biggest origins from which people travel to other places in the country. A complete Sunset Limited service just makes sense...at the moment it doesn't operate east of New Orleans.

I just don't get this perception that people here are undeserving of the service and that it is a "boondoggle." There are large population clusters in the region and the corridor parallels the I-10...
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Old September 18th, 2012, 05:31 PM   #2436
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Originally Posted by phoenixboi08 View Post
I don't know where that number is from really, I'd like to. All I can go on is what I read in the report: the ridership was increasing up until the last 3-5 years before Katrina due to issues with maintenance as well as the fact that they had performance (and budgetary issues) due to aging rolling stock. Honestly, I'm not antagonizing you or anything, just pointing out what was in the PDF. They gave very sound reasons. I'd LIKE to read the things that gave you your views so that I can have a better idea of the entire picture. But as of now, I'm going to have to agree with NAR on this one.
I got it from The Transport Politic website, they have loads of stuff from Amtrak and other rail agencies
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Old September 18th, 2012, 05:35 PM   #2437
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I agree to an extent; however, we still need a network...HSR in the long run is never going to make much sense unless mobility in areas between large population centers can make use of it. We're not talking about the middle of Montana or anything, we're talking about the region of the country that has 2 (3 if you're speaking in terms of "Cardinal South") most populated states. While it's true the vast majority of passengers won't be trekking from Jacksonville to L.A., the perception that long distance lines such as these can't be profitable is a bit unfounded.

Florida is a big destination and Florida is one of the biggest origins from which people travel to other places in the country. A complete Sunset Limited service just makes sense...at the moment it doesn't operate east of New Orleans.
The absurdity is to operate coast-to-coast multi-day routes that just propagate a delay in Yuma, CA to Moblile, AL - and includes several hours of schedule padding such as insane 3h-layovers for maintenance/cleaning on cars.

They could and should break these routes and operate them on daytime configuration only, with some overlaps where warranted, instead of putting a long single route from LA to Jacksonville. There could even be services all along a route, but without a mammoth sized route lasting 60h or more. Break them into several routes and if people want a single-seat ride from LA to Florida, send them to LAX
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Old September 18th, 2012, 06:45 PM   #2438
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I just don't get this perception that people here are undeserving of the service and that it is a "boondoggle." There are large population clusters in the region and the corridor parallels the I-10...
The point is that Amtrak has an exceptionally small pool of financial resources to make use of, and so even assuming that all lines were at least minimally self-sufficient, the resources should go to those lines which are most profitable.

And I agree with you, as well, in a certain way; people in these areas ought to have decent passenger rail service. But priorities must be set, and the NEC is not only more financially productive for Amtrak, but the region as a whole just generally more productive for the national economy. It ought to be rewarded by having its rail service upgraded to true, global HSR standards, almost before anything else.

There may be large population centers along the Sunset Limited's route, but none even approximating the size of the three or four metro areas that make up the Northeast megalopolis. That may change with time, and should the winds change and rail suddenly become a significantly more prominenty method of transportation in the U.S., decent rail service ought to be available to everyone. But right now, it can't.
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Old September 18th, 2012, 06:47 PM   #2439
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The best investment, short-term, for Amtrak would be buying longer trains to replace the 320-seat or smth Acelas and eliminate speed restrictions that originate from outdated switches.
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Old September 18th, 2012, 07:26 PM   #2440
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The absurdity is to operate coast-to-coast multi-day routes that just propagate a delay in Yuma, CA to Moblile, AL - and includes several hours of schedule padding such as insane 3h-layovers for maintenance/cleaning on cars.

They could and should break these routes and operate them on daytime configuration only, with some overlaps where warranted, instead of putting a long single route from LA to Jacksonville. There could even be services all along a route, but without a mammoth sized route lasting 60h or more. Break them into several routes and if people want a single-seat ride from LA to Florida, send them to LAX
I actually agree with this one. As long as the entire route is serviced, Shorter but connecting train services are fine. However disagree on sending people to LAX if they want to ride the entire route. Either let them transfer trains at changeover points or some coaches could also be exchanged between trains for end-to-end passengers.
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