New Orleans - Jacksonville (Orlando) connection

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David Benton
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Re: New Orleans - Jacksonville (Orlando) connection

Post by David Benton » Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:16 pm

There is no existing service. The dotted line represents an old service that has been "suspended" since Hurricane Katrina.
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Noel Weaver
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Re: New Orleans - Jacksonville (Orlando) connection

Post by Noel Weaver » Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:41 am

Rail connections are possible between New Orleans and Jacksonville but they will involve a long detour north through North Carolina via Charlotte and Raleigh. One can also use Amtrak between New Orleans and Atlanta and bus from Atlanta to either Savannah or Jacksonville.
I have strong doubts if the Sunset will return between New Orleans and Florida although I think a daily daylight train between New Orleans and Jacksonville could be made to work although it would be a long trip.
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Backshophoss
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Re: New Orleans - Jacksonville (Orlando) connection

Post by Backshophoss » Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:41 pm

The "missing link" betweeen Jacksonville-New Orleans is owned by CSX,and is stonewalling any attempt to restart
passenger service on that route,this has become the "lost cause" at Amtrak. :(
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Gilbert B Norman
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Re: New Orleans - Jacksonville (Orlando) connection

Post by Gilbert B Norman » Fri Oct 18, 2013 7:25 am

Mr. Backshop, I have to disagree with your immediate statement that CSX is the 'efficiency test' in the way of resuming Sunset East; rather I think it is Amtrak themselves.

To reiterate points I have made at a number of topics, Amtrak is not about to compromise their own victory in that they successfully discontinued a service without giving 180 Day Notice under ARAA 97. Amtrak knew early on that Sunset East was a loser every way possible; namely with low ridership, political patron saints that had moved on, i.e. out of office, and a myriad of operational issues.

Katrina gave Amtrak the excuse to test the law with regards to Notice during 2005. It was of course understandable that in Kat's aftermath, rail service was going to be suspended, but CSX restored the line; however Amtrak failed to follow suit with Sunset East. Even though Amtrak had never been denied permission to discontinue a service, the array of public hearings in which every advocacy group (ad-hoc and a few of the otherwise varietal) got their chance at the soapbox became a spectacle casting Amtrak as somekind of villain.

Once again and in closing, why compromise your victory of management prerogative?

Noel Weaver
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Re: New Orleans - Jacksonville (Orlando) connection

Post by Noel Weaver » Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:26 am

At the time of its demise the Sunset between Jacksonville and New Orleans had the lowest ridership of any train in the Amtrak system. It only served a small number of intermediate stops that amounted to much and these mostly in middle of the night hours. It only ran three times a week and its timekeeping was dreadful. Now if a daylight train could be established on this run with finalcial support of the states involved maybe it could do better but none of the states that this route passes through or serves is the least bit interested in rail passenger service. I agree it is not CSX but on the other hand if you were head of Amtrak with doubt as to where the dollar is coming from would you want to operate a service like this that spells huge losses on every trip? I live in Florida and I would love to see an expansion of intercity services in this state but in order for it to happen the state has to get involved and so far our state has not chosen to do much to help so I don't think you will see its return.
Noel Weaver

Greg Moore
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Re: New Orleans - Jacksonville (Orlando) connection

Post by Greg Moore » Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:25 pm

Noel Weaver wrote:At the time of its demise the Sunset between Jacksonville and New Orleans had the lowest ridership of any train in the Amtrak system. It only served a small number of intermediate stops that amounted to much and these mostly in middle of the night hours. It only ran three times a week and its timekeeping was dreadful. Now if a daylight train could be established on this run with finalcial support of the states involved maybe it could do better but none of the states that this route passes through or serves is the least bit interested in rail passenger service. I agree it is not CSX but on the other hand if you were head of Amtrak with doubt as to where the dollar is coming from would you want to operate a service like this that spells huge losses on every trip? I live in Florida and I would love to see an expansion of intercity services in this state but in order for it to happen the state has to get involved and so far our state has not chosen to do much to help so I don't think you will see its return.
Noel Weaver
It's always surprised me the eastern leg of the Sunset Limited did so poorly, though I think you outline the reasons why pretty clearly.

And yes, perhaps a daylight train might make more sense.

Or here's a radical thought, wonder if, with the additional sleepers, etc eventually coming) you could do a New Orleans-<somewhere in Florida> night train that then went on to NYP.

I.e. basically The Crescent turns into "The Gulf Wind" (or some other name) at New Orleans which turns east and then into Florida and then takes over from the Palmetto.

You're Basically connecting the Palmetto and Crescent with some additional equipment and making a giant loop.
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Noel Weaver
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Re: New Orleans - Jacksonville (Orlando) connection

Post by Noel Weaver » Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:52 pm

Greg Moore wrote:
Noel Weaver wrote:At the time of its demise the Sunset between Jacksonville and New Orleans had the lowest ridership of any train in the Amtrak system. It only served a small number of intermediate stops that amounted to much and these mostly in middle of the night hours. It only ran three times a week and its timekeeping was dreadful. Now if a daylight train could be established on this run with finalcial support of the states involved maybe it could do better but none of the states that this route passes through or serves is the least bit interested in rail passenger service. I agree it is not CSX but on the other hand if you were head of Amtrak with doubt as to where the dollar is coming from would you want to operate a service like this that spells huge losses on every trip? I live in Florida and I would love to see an expansion of intercity services in this state but in order for it to happen the state has to get involved and so far our state has not chosen to do much to help so I don't think you will see its return.
Noel Weaver
It's always surprised me the eastern leg of the Sunset Limited did so poorly, though I think you outline the reasons why pretty clearly.

And yes, perhaps a daylight train might make more sense.

Or here's a radical thought, wonder if, with the additional sleepers, etc eventually coming) you could do a New Orleans-<somewhere in Florida> night train that then went on to NYP.

I.e. basically The Crescent turns into "The Gulf Wind" (or some other name) at New Orleans which turns east and then into Florida and then takes over from the Palmetto.

You're Basically connecting the Palmetto and Crescent with some additional equipment and making a giant loop.
In my opinion this would be another "dud". Outside of Tallahassee and Pensacola there is not much in Florida and none of the states have any interest as I said before. The only thing that has a chance on this route is a daily stand alone Jacksonville - New Orleans round trip and it would be a long ride for a day train. In addition I did not say it earlier but with no passenger trains on this line for several years now, the line would likely need upgrading and work in order to restore service and that is probably a non starter as well. I think there is a lot of 40 - 45 MPH track today and with I-10 at 70 MPH
Amtrak would not have much chance. The market in Florida is between Jacksonville and points south of Jacksonville and not west of Jacksonville in the panhandle.
Noel Weaver

Lincoln78
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Re: New Orleans - Jacksonville (Orlando) connection

Post by Lincoln78 » Sat Oct 19, 2013 6:56 am

I-10 between Pensacola and Jacksonville is one of the most boring drives east of the Mississippi. That said, this is another route that would need an unjustified frequency to generate any ridership. The panhandle is less empty than before, but still not at a density to justify rail investment. When they were running, the trains came through Pensacola around 2-4 AM. I don't think even the Navy could work with that.

There is a tunnel in Mobile that causes significant delays. Otherwise I-10 seems to be able to hold all the traffic. Do the Mississippi casinos bus people from NO?

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Re: New Orleans - Jacksonville (Orlando) connection

Post by Patrick Boylan » Sat Oct 19, 2013 8:22 am

the link's title at http://www.msn.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; is "Grambling players snub bus", and at first I thought this was a perfect answer to your question, possibly that nobody could entice people to ride bus to their casinos, but the actual url is
http://msn.foxsports.com/collegefootbal ... ate-101813" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
oh, that's gRambling, never mind. Grambling college's footbal players decided to forfeit their game, presumably because their record's so bad they didn't expect to win.

Back on topic, Louisiana, and New Orleans in particular, have their own casinos. Just as with Philadelphia and Atlantic City, I'd expect that to cut into the casino bus traffic between them, although Philly-Atlantic City is a different critter, since Atlantic City has many casinos concentrated in a smaller area vs Mississippi, which has fewer casinos'.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ca ... New_Jersey" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; says 12, quick look Miss's expedia provided http://www.mississippicasinos.com/Map.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; and I count 3-5 along the gulf coast, and spread out to several places. It's hard for my old man eyes to tell if some of those blobs are 1 or 2 casino icons. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ca ... ississippi" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; is more generous, it lists 12 on the Gulf Coast, but comments say 3 are still closed.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ca ... ississippi" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

jp1822
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Re: New Orleans - Jacksonville (Orlando) connection

Post by jp1822 » Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:31 pm

Of interest - would a train from Atlanta to the Atlantic make any sense?

Noel Weaver
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Re: New Orleans - Jacksonville (Orlando) connection

Post by Noel Weaver » Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:07 am

jp1822 wrote:Of interest - would a train from Atlanta to the Atlantic make any sense?
I don't know how much sense but probably more than a train between Jacksonville and New Orleans and in this case you could to Jacksonville - New Orleans without going all the way north to North Carolina or doing a bus enroute. There are a lot of corridors both in the southeast and elsewhere that could make a lot of sense, the main problem is that the states involved are not interested in rail passenger service, they would rather spend big bucks to expand an airport here and there and build and expand more super highways.
Noel Weaver

Greg Moore
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Re: New Orleans - Jacksonville (Orlando) connection

Post by Greg Moore » Mon Oct 21, 2013 5:01 am

Noel Weaver wrote:
jp1822 wrote:Of interest - would a train from Atlanta to the Atlantic make any sense?
I don't know how much sense but probably more than a train between Jacksonville and New Orleans and in this case you could to Jacksonville - New Orleans without going all the way north to North Carolina or doing a bus enroute. There are a lot of corridors both in the southeast and elsewhere that could make a lot of sense, the main problem is that the states involved are not interested in rail passenger service, they would rather spend big bucks to expand an airport here and there and build and expand more super highways.
Noel Weaver
And Georgia seems pathetically uninterested in expanding rail. (They talk from time to time of HSR between Atlanta to Chattanooga, with the excuse to connect the... wait for it... airports, but the reality is, it appears (from talking to locals) that plan is in part a cover to acquire the ROW for a water pipeline to bring in water from the Tennessee river.)

You also have the problem that the current Atlanta train station really isn't equipped for expansion.

Otherwise, I like the idea.
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lpetrich
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Re: New Orleans - Jacksonville (Orlando) connection

Post by lpetrich » Thu Nov 21, 2013 11:12 am

I've even seen a proposal for a maglev line between Atlanta and Chattanooga, but that's very hard to take seriously. The only way it could ever get funded is as massive pork barrel.

Greg Moore
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Re: New Orleans - Jacksonville (Orlando) connection

Post by Greg Moore » Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:43 pm

lpetrich wrote:I've even seen a proposal for a maglev line between Atlanta and Chattanooga, but that's very hard to take seriously. The only way it could ever get funded is as massive pork barrel.
Like I said the real reason appears as much to get a ROW for water as anything else. (the theory too is that Atlanta airport could then focus on the long-haul flights and Chattanooga on the smaller flights. While the airport isn't tiny, it's not exactly huge either. I just don't see it happening in our lifetimes. Or put it this way, it has about as much chance of happening Georgia wining a lawsuit on where its northern border is SUPPOSED to be. :-)
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KV1guy
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Re: New Orleans - Jacksonville (Orlando) connection

Post by KV1guy » Sat Nov 23, 2013 7:14 pm

Ok guys, we all know Mr. Norman's repeated "Amtrak triumph in ending service for the SL". Quite frankly....it was the best move possible.

Next, there is a new "Am-mang" in place, and it welcomes the idea of bringing a STATE sponsored daily service train back into service at some point. Not anytime soon, primary focus is the return of 89/90 to FL once the new cars come on line. The States ARE actually interested in using BP settlement funds to sponsor a daily train. It will not be the SL. It would prob require an extra set and interchange equipment with the CNO.

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