west point wrote: ↑Wed Nov 29, 2023 9:23 am
Brightline suddenly increases traffic Orlando <> West Palm beach & south over Amtrak failures to attract those passengers. That IMO proves just getting HrSR and not HSR. So why not just improve present tracks and the customers probably will come?
You have a part of the equation right, but there is more to it than just HrSR.
From what I understand, travel patterns south of Portland, PDX-SEA, and SEA-VAN are radically different. But we try to serve those radically different patterns with through trains (one from LA!) that were until recently fixed consist. If I I were searching for success in the PNW, I'd have three different routes - Eugene-PDX, PDX-SEA, SEA-VAN with departures and consist optimized for those routes.
I'd also have a lot more backbone to the Oregon/Washington agencies that run the service, with crew training and procedure reflecting local management rather than the indifferent management at the far end of the country. Brightline doesn't contract out operation to Amtrak despite having hubs in MIA and Sanford for a reason. They don't want them.
Same thing for equipment. 30yo Horizon cars are not my idea of banner equipment. Said bi-state agency had a good thing with locally-branded Talgo cars with big windows and ample business class seating that reflected a much better premium offering than just the "quiet" end of the Amfleet cafe, which is rarely quiet. Again Brightline could've bought a bunch of used gallery cars, geeps, etc... and painted them yellow but they didnt for a reason. They didn't want a third-rate commuter train, they wanted a premium offering in a densely populated area.
There are a lot of good lessons to be learned from Brightline and a few other independent operations.
The new Acela: It's not Aveliable.