Amtrak Service Chicago - St Paul (Empire Builder 2nd Freq)

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Re: Amtrak Service Between Chicago and St Paul (Empire Build

Postby David Benton » Mon Sep 05, 2016 5:24 pm

I recall that when I rode the route in the late 1980's, the track was really rough , in 2012 it was smooth as.
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Re: Amtrak Service Between Chicago and St Paul (Empire Build

Postby Ridgefielder » Tue Sep 06, 2016 11:47 am

Jeff Smith wrote:Admin: Repurposing; this topic was originally about the routing over which heritage roads. This discussion is for only this portion of the current Empire Builder routing; of course the new frequency would be named something else. EB Junior? :wink:

How about The Minnesotan? Historic name for a Twin Cities-Chicago service that doesn't share a name with a current Amtrak service (Zephyr, Hiawatha) and isn't as confusing/obscure/weird as The 400.
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Re: Amtrak Service Chicago - St Paul (Empire Builder 2nd Fre

Postby Jeff Smith » Sat Dec 24, 2016 6:38 pm

More talk about a second frequency: Star Tribune

Twin Cities passenger rail climbs back on track
...
Advocates of a second daily train to Chicago note that the turnaround is happening against the headwind of rock-bottom gas prices, reinforcing their case that there’s a demand out there for rail service.
...
Now Amtrak’s fiscal year 2016 results are in, ending in September. The Empire Builder this time saw a 3.7 percent increase, to just shy of 455,000 passengers. The percentage jump was fourth-highest among the long-distance lines, nine of which recorded declines.

Twin Cities rail advocates say Amtrak is artificially constrained in Minnesota by running just one train a day through the state, which limits departure options and forces overnight stays in some cases.

“Our studies show it would exponentially increase riders to have a second train,” said Ramsey County Commissioner Janice Rettman, who is chairwoman of the Minnesota High Speed Rail Commission. “The ability to, say, go to Red Wing and back on the same day, would make rail a lot more flexible.”
...
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Re: Amtrak Service Between Chicago and St Paul (Empire Build

Postby AgentSkelly » Sun Dec 25, 2016 3:43 am

Ridgefielder wrote:
Jeff Smith wrote:Admin: Repurposing; this topic was originally about the routing over which heritage roads. This discussion is for only this portion of the current Empire Builder routing; of course the new frequency would be named something else. EB Junior? :wink:

How about The Minnesotan? Historic name for a Twin Cities-Chicago service that doesn't share a name with a current Amtrak service (Zephyr, Hiawatha) and isn't as confusing/obscure/weird as The 400.


Could just bring back the Western Star ha.
New Westminster to Amtrak 516, whats up with the extra 4 axles, over?
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Re: Amtrak Service Chicago - St Paul (Empire Builder 2nd Fre

Postby gokeefe » Sun Dec 25, 2016 12:38 pm

It's interesting to see the increase in ridership. I was told in a recent conversation with a senior railroad executive with extensive passenger experience that station improvements have been shown to have a 20-30% positive impact on ridership.

Also worth noting that officials in Minnesota now seem determined to add trains to the beautifully restored St. Paul Union Depot. As noted in the article the former Midway station didn't exactly make a compelling case for additional service.
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Re: Amtrak Service Chicago - St Paul (Empire Builder 2nd Fre

Postby electricron » Sun Dec 25, 2016 12:42 pm

Build or restore it, they will come!
Has anyone taken the time to consider why it needed restoration in the first place?
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Re: Amtrak Service Chicago - St Paul (Empire Builder 2nd Fre

Postby mtuandrew » Sun Dec 25, 2016 6:33 pm

electricron: several reasons - Midway was a dump, the former Greyhound station was tiny and a dump, officials in St. Paul wanted to revitalize Lowertown, the St. Paul Gillette factory was moving out, the USPS was moving out, and it's the only legacy station in the Cities still on active rail. Also, it connects to every possible passenger rail route from the area.
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Re: Amtrak Service Chicago - St Paul (Empire Builder 2nd Fre

Postby njt/mnrrbuff » Mon Dec 26, 2016 12:35 pm

It would be very good to have an extension of the Hiawatha to the Twin Cities. Amtrak and the State of Wisconsin shouldn't just focus on the needs between MKE-CHI. There are plenty of towns between MKE-MSP that would benefit from running additional trains. I saw in a that the article in a previous post mentioned that you cannot do a daytrip from St. Paul to Red Wing. You can. In fact, you could spend an entire day in Red Wing. If Wisconsin gives Amtrak the approval to run the new train, then it should probably depart CHI and MKE early to mid morning so that way it gets to MSP in the late afternoon/early evening. The next day, its counterpart should depart MSP mid morning and then arrive back in MKE and CHI early evening.
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Re: Amtrak Service Chicago - St Paul (Empire Builder 2nd Fre

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Mon Dec 26, 2016 1:55 pm

Anyone recall if "The North Star" was an Amtrak created name or did it once belong to a predecessor road?
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Re: Amtrak Service Chicago - St Paul (Empire Builder 2nd Fre

Postby gokeefe » Mon Dec 26, 2016 2:14 pm

The wiki seems to think PRR and NYC used this name as well.
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Re: Amtrak Service Chicago - St Paul (Empire Builder 2nd Fre

Postby Suburban Station » Tue Dec 27, 2016 7:28 pm

njt/mnrrbuff wrote:It would be very good to have an extension of the Hiawatha to the Twin Cities. Amtrak and the State of Wisconsin shouldn't just focus on the needs between MKE-CHI. There are plenty of towns between MKE-MSP that would benefit from running additional trains. I saw in a that the article in a previous post mentioned that you cannot do a daytrip from St. Paul to Red Wing. You can. In fact, you could spend an entire day in Red Wing. If Wisconsin gives Amtrak the approval to run the new train, then it should probably depart CHI and MKE early to mid morning so that way it gets to MSP in the late afternoon/early evening. The next day, its counterpart should depart MSP mid morning and then arrive back in MKE and CHI early evening.

725 AM works pretty well for the eastbound Pennsylvanian. If this were an additional train to the Hiawatha service it could help expand that service
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Re: Amtrak Service Chicago - St Paul (Empire Builder 2nd Fre

Postby AgentSkelly » Tue Dec 27, 2016 8:46 pm

njt/mnrrbuff wrote:It would be very good to have an extension of the Hiawatha to the Twin Cities. Amtrak and the State of Wisconsin shouldn't just focus on the needs between MKE-CHI. There are plenty of towns between MKE-MSP that would benefit from running additional trains. I saw in a that the article in a previous post mentioned that you cannot do a daytrip from St. Paul to Red Wing. You can. In fact, you could spend an entire day in Red Wing. If Wisconsin gives Amtrak the approval to run the new train, then it should probably depart CHI and MKE early to mid morning so that way it gets to MSP in the late afternoon/early evening. The next day, its counterpart should depart MSP mid morning and then arrive back in MKE and CHI early evening.


*COUGH* Watertown *COUGH*
New Westminster to Amtrak 516, whats up with the extra 4 axles, over?
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Re: Amtrak Service Chicago - St Paul (Empire Builder 2nd Fre

Postby roadmaster » Tue Dec 27, 2016 11:35 pm

The PRR North Star, #17-18, ran summers only Chicago to Mackinaw City in 1930 and 31.


gokeefe wrote:
Gilbert B Norman wrote:Anyone recall if "The North Star" was an Amtrak created name or did it once belong to a predecessor road?


The wiki seems to think PRR and NYC used this name as well.
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Re: Amtrak Service Chicago - St Paul (Empire Builder 2nd Fre

Postby Allouette » Wed Dec 28, 2016 1:35 pm

The North Star Limited was a Minneapolis and St. Louis train from the Twin Cities to Albia IA,with through Pullmans to Chicago which were transferred to the Illinois Central at Albert Lea Minnesota.
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Re: Amtrak Service Chicago - St Paul (Empire Builder 2nd Fre

Postby mtuandrew » Wed Dec 28, 2016 10:55 pm

AgentSkelly wrote:
njt/mnrrbuff wrote:There are plenty of towns between MKE-MSP that would benefit from running additional trains.


*COUGH* Watertown *COUGH*

I figured you'd say La Crosse, but Watertown too. Is there already connecting service between Columbus, Madison, and Watertown?
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