American Solidarity Party and Rail Legislation

General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

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Cameron Wolk
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American Solidarity Party and Rail Legislation

Post by Cameron Wolk » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:21 pm

Hello railroad.net members,
my name is Cameron Wolk and I am a national representative of the American Solidarity Party, a third party based on Christian Democratic values. It has come to our party's attention that in a series of recent events Amtrak is planning to curtail certain aspects of their operations including long distance routes, dining cars, public excursions and private car services. I cannot stress enough how important passenger rail service is to the future of this country as both an affordable and efficient way of travel. We plan on introducing legislation to Congress beneficial to the expansion of such public transportation systems however we would like to ask of your guidance and expertise as railroaders to help us solve this serious conflict at hand. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and advice regardless of the current circumstances.

Sincerely,

Cameron Wolk
ASP NY State Secretary
(516) 350-2166
camwolk@gmail.com

https://solidarity-party.org/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

mtuandrew
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Re: American Solidarity Party and Rail Legislation

Post by mtuandrew » Fri Apr 27, 2018 3:00 pm

Moderator's Note: Feel free to go ahead with discussion about train service specifically, not the rest of the ASP platform. Please contact Mr. Wolk directly if you have wider questions about the organization.

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Tadman
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Re: American Solidarity Party and Rail Legislation

Post by Tadman » Fri Apr 27, 2018 4:56 pm

Cameron Wolk wrote: It has come to our party's attention that in a series of recent events Amtrak is planning to curtail certain aspects of their operations including long distance routes, dining cars, public excursions and private car services.

I cannot stress enough how important passenger rail service is to the future of this country as both an affordable and efficient way of travel.
On the face of it, this sounds good, but it's a bit like saying "sandwiches are important to the future of hunger". Okay.... 6" or 12"? Barbecue, sprouts, hoagie, submarine...? You have a big category here.

With regard to passenger trains, yes, they are important and more so by each day. That said, some facets of the current operations are not critical to supporting travel and commerce. This includes diner cars, long distance trains, excursions, and private cars. The long distance train is less than 1% of intercity travel. Clearly it's not a critical part. Private cars and excursions are incidental even to the operation of long distance trains.
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Eileensmith
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Re: American Solidarity Party and Rail Legislation

Post by Eileensmith » Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:12 am

It's crucial to keep the current long-distance routes operating and any political group that recognises this deserves support. Climate change may mean that the future requires much more rail travel but once the rights for Amtrak to use a freight railroad track is lost it might not be possible to get it back except at prohibitive cost.
'Nothing beats flying across the country on a train.' - Homer Simpson.
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mtuandrew
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Re: American Solidarity Party and Rail Legislation

Post by mtuandrew » Wed Jun 19, 2019 7:22 am

Eileensmith wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:12 am
It's crucial to keep the current long-distance routes operating and any political group that recognises this deserves support. Climate change may mean that the future requires much more rail travel but once the rights for Amtrak to use a freight railroad track is lost it might not be possible to get it back except at prohibitive cost.
Welcome, Ms. Smith!

I note that you’re located in the UK, and am wondering if you have experience with the transportation plans of Christian Democratic parties similar to ASP.

Eileensmith
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Re: American Solidarity Party and Rail Legislation

Post by Eileensmith » Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:27 am

Thanks!

The UK doesn't really have an equivalent to the Christian Democrats. Transport policy is something of a political football between the major parties so that a coherent long term plan is unfortunately non-existent. British Rail, created in the 1940s, was a comprehensive, much-maligned nationalised system, drastically reduced in the 1960s and starved of resources. Train operating services were franchised out to private companies, resulting in chaotic timetables and rocketing ticket prices. The Labour party, if elected, has plans to renationalise, reinvest and expand the UK's railways - an overwhemingly popular policy according to public opinion polls.
'Nothing beats flying across the country on a train.' - Homer Simpson.
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ConstanceR46
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Re: American Solidarity Party and Rail Legislation

Post by ConstanceR46 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:23 pm

The central failure of amtrak is tied to privatized freight rail which isn't punished one bit for slowing down passenger trains; the downsizing of Amtrak and any lapses in service that result from it are just offshoots of this.

The ASP, from my understanding and at the risk of being "too political", is a Free Market Anti-Regulation party - the exact sort of party that wouldn't want to put penalties on delaying amtrak and reducing frequencies. At the risk of sounding like a Dirty Gommie, i maintain that the only way Amtrak's services can truly be fixed is seizing the Big 4.

mtuandrew
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Re: American Solidarity Party and Rail Legislation

Post by mtuandrew » Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:52 pm

That’s a hard sell, Constance. Leasing a second, third, and/or fourth track from said Class 1 companies, or purchase/trackage rights, is a lot more palatable option in this governmental system that has aspects ranging from communism to fascism to libertarianism under the same roof.

That said, the other opportunity for America to nationalize passenger lines is by allowing a regulated monopoly by freight lines. It’s not something I prefer, but that kind of deal with the devil has public benefits. As an example, I truly hope the state of Illinois and Amtrak are ready to step up and insist that UP sell them the ex-Alton Railroad should a last round of Class 1 mega-mergers ever come to pass. Same for at the CP ex-Milwaukee Road (EDIT: or the UP ex-CNW Lakeshore) between Chicago and Milwaukee, and some sort of lease or joint ownership from there to St. Paul.

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BandA
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Re: American Solidarity Party and Rail Legislation

Post by BandA » Wed Jul 17, 2019 4:14 pm

It is unclear to me how this American Solidarity Party can introduce legislation when it has no members elected to the House of Representatives or Senate (or state legislature or local elected government, apparently).

I looked at their web page, i fundamentally disagree with this party, but there are a few things that are interesting.

The only references to trains that I could find were on their platform page: https://solidarity-party.org/about-us/platform/
Under Stewardship of the Environment:
Improved access to affordable, convenient public transportation, and the promotion of healthy alternatives to the individual use of motor vehicles, such as cycling, and walking.
Boring! The devil is in the details, and there are no details here.



Under Public Services:
The public ownership of natural monopolies, such as toll roads and bridges, community policing, parking enforcement, public transportation, prisons, and energy and water utilities.
This is really interesting, except for parking controls/facilities/enforcement which governments have completely screwed up.

ConstanceR46
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Re: American Solidarity Party and Rail Legislation

Post by ConstanceR46 » Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:29 pm

The thing just reads like "We support thing. We want basic level of thing. We will not elaborate, and also we really don't like abortion."

I'm not trying to tear into unrelated policies but this is barely legible

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BandA
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Re: American Solidarity Party and Rail Legislation

Post by BandA » Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:04 pm

+1

But it did get me thinking, how would you advocate for certain transportation legislation / projects? What we do here is talk and argue and persuade and ask questions. Occasionally there is a Call For Action (give money to .... , go to meeting... ). Eventually someone says, "contact the officials or railroad directly" Then we all fall silent :wink:

mtuandrew
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Re: American Solidarity Party and Rail Legislation

Post by mtuandrew » Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:34 am

+1 (personally) to both of you :-D

mtuandrew
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Re: American Solidarity Party and Rail Legislation

Post by mtuandrew » Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:35 am

Mod Note: thanks for keeping things civil. I’m supremely tired of talking points, and this is a breath of fresh air.

Rbts Stn
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Re: American Solidarity Party and Rail Legislation

Post by Rbts Stn » Fri Jul 19, 2019 2:48 pm

This is the first I've seen this thread, and I like the way it started. I am concerned about a representative of a party looking for support not returning to a thread s/he started and replying to inquiries. I do see Cameron has posted elsewhere on Railroad.net in the past 90 days but not here.

Were I to consider supporting this party and it's grassroots effort to attract folks likely to agree with this single issue, the lack of followup would certainly drive me away. One post/manifesto does not an argument for support make!

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