STrRedWolf wrote: ↑Wed Sep 15, 2021 8:30 am
Okay, I grabbed my old Pennsy calculated schedule spreadsheet and plugged in the timings from the Capital Limited between Pittsburgh and Cleveland. And one thing is apparent:
It's a 12 hour train.
That means it needs a diner or enhanced cafe car... and you might as run it overnight. But... you got the Lake Shore Limited, and that complicates things. Lets ponder a few scenarios, with the basis being the 2018 time table.
Some state, either NY, PA, OH, or a combination of all them, will be expected by Amtrak to subsidize the New York City to Cleveland regional train losses no matter which route and tracks are chosen. I doubt few states will be willing to subsidize losses of any train that arrives in their major city in the wee hours every night. So right off-hand we must recognize that fact and limit the train to daylight hours as much as possible. Which will be difficult to do for a 12 hour train. Never-the-less, operating times for such a train should be limited to between 6 am and 10 pm. I would suggest those same time limitations for every regional train Amtrak expects losses to be subsidized by states. No exceptions.
As a State Legislator from any state, would you vote to subsidize an Amtrak train that arrives in your state after midnight? Of course not. Then why do we see passenger train advocates keep suggesting this?
I expect someone will pipe in and suggest the Keystone trains run after 10 pm; but that occurs in NJ and NY - not in PA which subsidizes their losses..
The best link I can find that looks at time of day boardings involves NYC's MTA.
https://www.metrotransit.org/Data/Sites ... apter4.pdf
Look at the charts on page 40 of this pdf.
Ridership during the wee hours of the morning is very bleak.
Why would anyone think the opposite is true for Amtrak's intercity trains?
On paper, looking just at scheduling, running trains in the middle of the night looks right and balanced, but in reality when ridership is added to the equation - running trains in the middle of the night is absolutely the worse thing you can do - by far!