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Old May 11th, 2009, 10:52 PM   #1481
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyFish View Post
I want to see it too where it makes sense but how are you going to pay for it? It isn't hard to do at all but there just isn't a large enough public outcry for it to make it any kind of priority. Amtrak is a historical money pit and thus it will be very difficult to get a majority Congresspersons to approve large expenditures for it. That's the reality. Although, if it is ever going to get funded now is the time. This current bunch of clowns will print money they don't have for just about anything.
Technically ALL forms of transportation (from highways, air travel, even public transportation) are "historic money pits" so your point is moot.
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Old May 14th, 2009, 09:56 AM   #1482
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"Mass transit is for poor people"

What a load of bull.
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Old May 15th, 2009, 01:04 AM   #1483
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Whoever said that is quite ignorant.
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Old May 15th, 2009, 01:22 AM   #1484
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"Mass transit is for poor people"

What a load of bull.
So what if it is? Abraham Lincoln said: "God sure must have liked poor people, since He made so many of them."

That's why we speak of mass transit; public transport for the many.
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Old May 15th, 2009, 01:34 AM   #1485
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And yet a large portion of transit serves commuters. People with decent jobs who don't want traffic or would like a chance to read the paper and drink a coffee on the way to work. In my view, transit is for anyone who would prefer not to use a car for that trip, period. Now that can definitely be because someone has no choice as they can't afford a car, but that is not the purpose of mass transit. The purpose is to move anybody as efficiently as possible, because the car is not the only option and is definitely not the most efficient.

If you look outside America, in many parts of Europe people bike to work in suits, and biking in my view would be a bigger step away from cars.
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Old May 15th, 2009, 09:17 AM   #1486
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That's why we speak of mass transit; public transport for the many.
We do not live in 1865 (actually, the wealthy took trains back then, while vagabonds and homeless people had nothing, maybe a mule).

Mass transit is a modern term applied for the modern world. If applied to the US, 'mass transit' would refer to the middle class, and the middle class is not poor.
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Old May 18th, 2009, 10:19 PM   #1487
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Amtrak Power!

Dash 8

The Dash 8 (GE Dash 8-32BWH), is a freight locomotive made by GE Transportation Systems. It is a part of the Evolution series of locomotives. In 1991 Amtrak bought 20 of them, with a distinctive paint scheme. They have since been repainted and are now mostly relegated to yard duties, occasionally substituting for their Genesis replacements. Two of the Dash 8s are in regular service with Amtrak California.








Original "Pepsi" livery.
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Old May 19th, 2009, 10:24 AM   #1488
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Those Amtrak GE's (the P32) were the first group of modern GE locomotives bought by Amtrak. As a young railfan, they were a welcome sight in California at a time when the ubiquitous F40 "blast boxes" had monopolised passenger train runs. Their 4 cycle engines with the distinctive GE FDL exhaust "chug" seemed both more purposeful and elegant than the vacuum cleaner din put out by the EMD units.
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Old May 21st, 2009, 07:24 AM   #1489
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Amtrak SUCKS!

One time I was in the middle of Iowa and took a train to Chicago.... the train arrived in Iowa with a 12 hour delay and took an extra 2-3 hours to get to Chicago!

It's worse than Italian railways!
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Old May 21st, 2009, 07:27 AM   #1490
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I found it interesting that all of my train rides in Italy when I visited in 2007 were pretty much close to being on time during the week I was there.

I got a "sorry, we will be 12 minutes late to Roma" on my first train ride from Milano.
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Old May 21st, 2009, 07:34 AM   #1491
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Quote:
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I found it interesting that all of my train rides in Italy when I visited in 2007 were pretty much close to being on time during the week I was there.

I got a "sorry, we will be 12 minutes late to Roma" on my first train ride from Milano.
what can I say you're a really lucky guy!

Usually though I gotta say the network between the main cities (which is sort of like the backbone of their system) is pretty efficient, although they do adjust timelines in such way that official times are higher than really needed, so in case any delays occur they still don't get so late to destination (and they don't have to refund passengers as much as they should if they had more reasonable timelines ).

But once you take a train outside the Turin - Venice/Milan - Naples network, then you'll see it's sort of like going thirty years in the past.

I remember an epic ride in the Summer of 07 between Verona and Bologna which took me about three hours (for what is I believe something like 75% of the distance between San Diego and LA).

And those cities are quite large and important cities for a country such as Italy!
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Old May 21st, 2009, 08:24 AM   #1492
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayOOfoshO View Post
Amtrak SUCKS!

One time I was in the middle of Iowa and took a train to Chicago.... the train arrived in Iowa with a 12 hour delay and took an extra 2-3 hours to get to Chicago!

It's worse than Italian railways!
Lol, that's still better than some airlines.
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Old May 21st, 2009, 11:45 PM   #1493
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Originally Posted by He Named Thor View Post
Lol, that's still better than some airlines.
hah yeah right
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 09:00 AM   #1494
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayOOfoshO View Post
hah yeah right
Try flying somewhere when it's snowing. Even a little bit.



Anywho,

I was in Sturtevant the other day and decided to stop by the train station for some photos. The Hiawatha (Milwaukee-Chicago) stops there, and the Empire Builder (Chicago-Seattle) passes through without stopping. I only managed to sit long enough to get a few pics of one Hiawatha.

Approaching Sturtevant from Chicago.


Power was provided by one Genesis.


An F40ph "cabbage" car. As I explained previously the engine was gutted, with the space being used for luggage. The cab still has working controls, and is used while going in the other direction so that the train doesn't need to be turned around.


The train leaving again. It only stops long enough for everyone to get on/off.


Kind of sad though. It's a hodgepodge of Amfleet and Horizon cars. Supposedly the F40 is a new addition to the Hiawatha. It was running a Genesis on each side. That suggests that they needed the other on another route. Though the F40 probably works just as well, and eliminates the need for a seperate baggage car.


Sturtevant's station
[IMG][/IMG]
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 04:53 PM   #1495
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Does all of Amtrak's money come from the Federal government, or do the states provide some funding?
Eg, Amtrak California - is that funded more by the state or the federal government?

Also, does Amtrak/US Government ask that the Canadian government fund services within their territory?
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 08:00 PM   #1496
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Originally Posted by MelbourneCity View Post
Does all of Amtrak's money come from the Federal government, or do the states provide some funding?
Eg, Amtrak California - is that funded more by the state or the federal government?

Also, does Amtrak/US Government ask that the Canadian government fund services within their territory?
The states do provide some funding, but it varies wildly. Amtrak California is actually part of the California DOT. They provide tons of money to Amtrak, and their stuff is unique because of it.

Check out their Superliner coach, for instance:

They also have two doors on each side of the car for exit/entry.

This is a regular Amtrak Superliner for comparison:



I believe North Carolina puts more into Amtrak as well. I'm not sure if Canada does or not. I'd be willing to bet that Ontario and British Colombia do pay for their Amtrak service.
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Old May 24th, 2009, 10:32 AM   #1497
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Washington state also provides funds for Amtrak to operate Portland, OR - Seattle, WA and Seattle, WA - Vancouver, BC passenger trains. They have special "Cascades" colors in reference to the Cascade Mountains. Locomotives used are F59PHI and F40 Cabbages. The passenger cars are manufactured by Talgo.



image hosted on flickr

image hosted on flickr



The interior of the Talgo passenger cars are also very nice.

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Old May 24th, 2009, 04:05 PM   #1498
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Very nice!
Is there any evidence that says that Amtrak usage is higher in those states where more money is provided?
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Old May 24th, 2009, 09:14 PM   #1499
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Washington state also provides funds for Amtrak to operate Portland, OR - Seattle, WA and Seattle, WA - Vancouver, BC passenger trains. They have special "Cascades" colors in reference to the Cascade Mountains. Locomotives used are F59PHI and F40 Cabbages. The passenger cars are manufactured by Talgo.
Oh duh! How could I have forgotten that one?
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Old May 24th, 2009, 09:23 PM   #1500
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Very nice!
Is there any evidence that says that Amtrak usage is higher in those states where more money is provided?
From Amtrak's website:
Four other corridors had ridership in excess of a half-million passengers:


Empire Service (New York-Albany-Niagara Falls): 1,348,785
San Joaquin Service (Oakland-Sacramento-Bakersfield): 949,611
Amtrak Cascades Service (Eugene-Portland-Seattle-Vancouver, B.C.): 760,323
Hiawatha Service (Chicago-Milwaukee): 749,659

Fourteen states contract with Amtrak for the operation of trains that supplement the national Amtrak network by extending the reach of passenger rail services or provide additional frequencies on Amtrak routes. State and regional agencies pay most of the cost of these services, reimbursing Amtrak for direct expenses. Continued operation of these state-supported routes is subject to annual contracts and state Legislative appropriations, along with Amtrak financial participation. In addition to operating funds, many of these states also provide funds for infrastructure or other capital improvements to Amtrak routes in their states.

California: Capitol Corridor Service (San Jose-Auburn), Pacific Surfliner Service (San Luis Obispo-San Diego); and San Joaquin Service (Bakersfield-Sacramento/Oakland, plus an extensive system of connecting Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach routes

Illinois: Hiawatha Service (Chicago-Milwaukee), Lincoln Service (Chicago-St. Louis), Illini & Saluki (Chicago-Carbondale) and Illinois Zephyr & Carl Sandburg (Chicago-Quincy)

Maine: Downeaster (Portland-Boston)
Michigan: Blue Water (Port Huron-East Lansing-Chicago) and Pere Marquette (Grand Rapids-Chicago)
Missouri: Missouri River Runner (Kansas City-St. Louis)
New York: Adirondack (New York City-Montreal, Q.C.)
North Carolina: Carolinian (Charlotte-New York City) and Piedmont (Raleigh-Charlotte)
Oklahoma: Heartland Flyer (Oklahoma City-Fort Worth)
Oregon: Amtrak Cascades Service (Eugene-Portland-Seattle-Vancouver, B.C.)
Pennsylvania: Keystone Corridor Service (Harrisburg-Philadelphia-New York City)
Texas: Heartland Flyer (Fort Worth-Oklahoma City)
Vermont: Ethan Allen Express (Rutland-New York City) and Vermonter (St. Albans-Washington)
Washington: Amtrak Cascades Service (Vancouver, B.C.-Seattle-Portland-Eugene)
Wisconsin: Hiawatha Service (Milwaukee-Chicago)

Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia make payments to Amtrak through transit agencies or state transportation departments for use of the Amtrak-owned Northeast Corridor facilities by commuter trains. These agencies or states also provide other funding on the Northeast Corridor, including capital funds for infrastructure and/or stations. Amtrak has agreements for access and/or maintenance where Amtrak trains operate over locally-owned portions of the Northeast Corridor in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York.



http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/Conten...=1081442674300


Also, out of their 25 busiest train stations list:

7 are from California
Seattle comes in at #16
Portland at #18

I can't find just a list with each route and ridership though.
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