Hoosier State Discussion (both Amtrak and Iowa Pacific)

Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

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Suburban Station
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Re: Hoosier State on the Chopping Block?

Post by Suburban Station »

lirr42 wrote:
Station Aficionado wrote:...But as of next year, Amtrak can't legally pay for it and, apparently, Indiana won't...
Why can't Amtrak legally pay for it? Isn't it considered a long-distance train?
welcome to America where Amtrak can pay for an extremely long, out of the way route to NYC (the cardinal) but cannot "pay" for a CHI_Indy or Chicago_Cincy train since they don't meet arbitrary mileage requirements. seems to me a farebox requirement would make a lot more sense

ThirdRail7
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Re: Hoosier State on the Chopping Block?

Post by ThirdRail7 »

MikeEspee wrote: Kill the Hoosier and run an extra hospital train into and out of Chicago as needed? Maybe... but good luck coordinating with the CSX, CN, UP, BRC, METRA and the NS to get it into or out of the city - and be damned on the days where you might have to run 50 or 51 and an extra for an unexplainable reason. It's hard enough to get into Chicago with a schedule even if you're on time. An extra Amtrak train on the Monon or Indy Terminal is two steps below a CSX yard job and one step below dirt.
Along those lines, would it be possible to keep the "operating slots" for 850/851 and use them as needed for the hospital train?
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lirr42
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Re: Hoosier State on the Chopping Block?

Post by lirr42 »

ThirdRail7 wrote:...Along those lines, would it be possible to keep the "operating slots" for 850/851 and use them as needed for the hospital train?
I don't think the host railroad would like to keep giving Amtrak slots that they'll only use on occasion.
Plus doesn't Amtrak have to pay for those slots? That's a waste of money for slots they'll only use once and a while.

Tadman
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Re: Hoosier State on the Chopping Block?

Post by Tadman »

The Cardinal is a product of Robert Byrd and Harley Staggers, two of the most powerful senators our nation has ever seen. They were adamant that Amtrak serve West Virginia, a nice state, but not a state for Amtrak. Ergo, you get a train from the nearest metro area - NYC - through WV - to wherever it can be most conveniently pointed afterward, which evidently is Chicago.

The train is a total waste of space. It's too bad someone like Rocky Mountaineer doesn't operate a scenic day train from suburban Washington (like Lorton) to the WV mountains and back, maybe with an overnight at somewhere scenic like the Greenbrier.
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Pacific 2-3-1
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Re: Hoosier State on the Chopping Block?

Post by Pacific 2-3-1 »

Amtrak's Cardinal, and the "Chessie" route, might have received a needed PR boost a few years back if Martha Stewart had chosen to ride it on her return to New York State from her extended stay in West Virginia.

Unfortunately, she chose to fly back.

David Benton
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Re: Hoosier State on the Chopping Block?

Post by David Benton »

Its hard to see what function the west end of the route has , absent Beech grove traffic . Going through 2 states that have shown little interest in amtrak service , even for free .
What if the Cardinal contiuned southwest from , say , Huntington , through louisville , either continuing west to St Louis , or south to Nashville and Memphis ? then see if Ohio and Indiana want to pay for a train other than the other 2 they get for free ?
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CHTT1
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Re: Hoosier State on the Chopping Block?

Post by CHTT1 »

Tadman wrote:The Cardinal is a product of Robert Byrd and Harley Staggers, two of the most powerful senators our nation has ever seen. They were adamant that Amtrak serve West Virginia, a nice state, but not a state for Amtrak. Ergo, you get a train from the nearest metro area - NYC - through WV - to wherever it can be most conveniently pointed afterward, which evidently is Chicago.

The train is a total waste of space. It's too bad someone like Rocky Mountaineer doesn't operate a scenic day train from suburban Washington (like Lorton) to the WV mountains and back, maybe with an overnight at somewhere scenic like the Greenbrier.
Yeah, they could charge $2,000 plus, like the Rocky Mountaineer does. Sure wouldn't help the people who actually live along the route.

CHTT1
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Re: Hoosier State on the Chopping Block?

Post by CHTT1 »

David Benton wrote:Its hard to see what function the west end of the route has , absent Beech grove traffic . Going through 2 states that have shown little interest in amtrak service , even for free .
What if the Cardinal contiuned southwest from , say , Huntington , through louisville , either continuing west to St Louis , or south to Nashville and Memphis ? then see if Ohio and Indiana want to pay for a train other than the other 2 they get for free ?
Given the current state governments of Indiana and Ohio, they couldn't care less.

Station Aficionado
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Re: Hoosier State on the Chopping Block?

Post by Station Aficionado »

Tadman wrote:They were adamant that Amtrak serve West Virginia, a nice state, but not a state for Amtrak.
Actually, I think WV needs good train service. Air service is sparse and expensive--last time I flew from DC to Charleston, I think the price was around $800. I agree, though, that the Cardinal doesn't do much good. If it were possible to run a daily train on the BBRR, I'd think about running a long distance day train from Huntington to NYP (a la the Palmetto). I don't think Amtrak can do an effective job trying link WV to both NY and Chicago. They should just pick one.

Tadman
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Re: Hoosier State on the Chopping Block?

Post by Tadman »

That's the best idea I've heard all week, is just a WV-NYP train. Right now, if both Hoosier and Cardinal were canceled, what would we lose? Just about nothing. Midnight service to Indy and Cinci, and a thrice-weekly dog to WV? I bet more people drive or fly from those areas in ten minutes than ride the trains all week.
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M&Eman
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Re: Hoosier State on the Chopping Block?

Post by M&Eman »

I spent some time in the Hinton area doing some community service last spring. They cherish the Cardinal over there. It is their connection to the outside world. It is a tiny railroad town nestled in the mountains.
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CComMack
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Re: Hoosier State on the Chopping Block?

Post by CComMack »

And yet, Cincinnati gets decent ridership for having three a week in the middle of the night in a state that hates rail; ridership is 58% higher than Charleston, which gets the same train at civilized hours. Sometimes, strength just does come from sheer weight of numbers. Unfortunately, CHI-CIN is still short enough to require state support as a corridor train under PRIIA, and a daylight corridor run on that stretch wouldn't be able to serve the Hoosier State's hospital train function very well either (does anyone remember the particulars from the brief Kentucky Cardinal era?). But I would respectfully submit that detaching the Cardinal from either of its endpoints would fatally weaken it.

mtuandrew
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Re: Hoosier State on the Chopping Block?

Post by mtuandrew »

I don't blame Indiana for not wanting to fund the current Hoosier State, with how much of a dog it is and how limited the utility to its citizens has been. Shame there aren't any more direct (or at least faster and better-maintained) routes into Chicago!

Amtrak could help the performance to try to sell the train to Indiana, at the very least. I think they can start by formally adopting the all-CN route to Union Station from Maynard through Harvey and up the SCAL. The current CN-UP-BRC-Metra-NS mess theoretically takes less time, but in practice the CN from Maynard through Harvey to 21st Street has proven to be faster and far less complex.

spatcher
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Location: NW Indiana

Re: Hoosier State on the Chopping Block?

Post by spatcher »

ryanch wrote:
I believe there was a failed vacation home development that used part of the right away not too far north of Medaryville, just north of the Kankakee.
I think that is incorrect.

goodnightjohnwayne
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Re: Hoosier State on the Chopping Block?

Post by goodnightjohnwayne »

M&Eman wrote:I spent some time in the Hinton area doing some community service last spring. They cherish the Cardinal over there. It is their connection to the outside world. It is a tiny railroad town nestled in the mountains.
8,600 annual passenger boardings for a community with a population of 2,900.

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