• Amtrak: Connects US // American Jobs Plan Infrastructure Legislation

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

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

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  by njtmnrrbuff
 
Yes, looking into having service to Wilmington, NC from the Piedmont region would be nice. There are probably plenty of people living in the main population centers of NC who would want to take a train to the coastal communities. I don't know the right of ways too well that would connect Selma-Smithfield with Wilmington as directly as possible. I take it at some point, the route would run in some sort of arc but would still be doable.

Another route that I would love to see happen is the New Hampshire Capitol Corridor. In the past, it has been mentioned that MBTA would run the service to Nashua and if the service would go as far as Concord, NH, then perhaps MBTA should operate the service. I think Amtrak would probably do great with running trains from Boston North Station to Manchester and Concord. What would be nice is if Amtrak happens to operate the service to Manchester and Concord, NH, perhaps they can look at extending to Vermont and even Montreal from Manchester.
  by west point
 
Having lived close to Asheville the instituting of an Amtrak train just does not meet any kind of being reasonable. A train route following I-40 although rather slow would be faster than NS.
  by STrRedWolf
 
Pensyfan19 wrote: Sun May 30, 2021 2:26 pm Has anyone considered adding a second track for some of these routes? The ex- NYC and ex-IC used to have 2-4 tracks where there are currently one or two. Additional tracks could also be added in areas with open space such as the ex-Santa Fe and ex-Burlington Main Lines.
I've long been an advocate for double-tracking when passenger trains are involved. Single tracking when it's freight for the long haul I can see... but things are a mixed bag. I don't understand why companies wasted money raising track when they'll have to lay it back down again.

I kinda foresaw the Yuma-Phoenix-Tuscon link. It made more sense to have that routing for a passenger train. The issue though is putting a station somewhere in Phoenix. OpenStreetMap locates a station at South Robson and West 3rd Ave... Although it may be easier to put it near South 44th street near the airport and close to their SkyTrain and light rail system.
  by west point
 
What is needed is a property tax exemption of any passenger rail improvements. Make it Amtrak owned leased to freight RR. That includes all signaling and switches.
  by ExCon90
 
When I worked for the PRR the rule of thumb was that if a track was expected to be out of service for a year or more it was cheaper to remove it and put it back later if necessary; the savings on maintenance -- and in some states, taxes -- were worth it. And when a lot of that trackage was taken up, freight business was declining and passenger service other than commuter was expected to disappear. Back in the 1960's you looked at each new General Order to see which tracks were removed, which interlocked switches changed to hand-thrown, etc., etc., etc. After the Staggers Act it was something of a culture shock to find traffic actually coming back after years of annual decreases -- under ICC regulation it was believed that if only we could get out from under regulation the railroads could grow again, and what a lift it was to find it actually happening. Of course there was a scramble to put back some of that track, but back then, who knew?
  by wigwagfan
 
$75 billion over fifteen years - $5 billion per year.

To, in Amtrak's own words, Provide $800 million in total Amtrak revenue growth
versus FY 2019.


If I really wanted to piss away $4.2 billion a year, I can come up with a gazillion better ways to do it. Like, build homes for every American so that we don't have a homelessness crisis in every city. Build hospitals and provide healthcare to every American. Provide more education.

Or, just give that money back to the American people.
  by Arlington
 
The $4.2 is being spent with American contractors to build American assets. It will quickly and repeatedly get to all kinds of American people, and with greater multiplier than, say, some rich guy adding to his horse farm
  by Rockingham Racer
 
njtmnrrbuff wrote: Sun May 30, 2021 4:27 pm Yes, looking into having service to Wilmington, NC from the Piedmont region would be nice. There are probably plenty of people living in the main population centers of NC who would want to take a train to the coastal communities. I don't know the right of ways too well that would connect Selma-Smithfield with Wilmington as directly as possible. I take it at some point, the route would run in some sort of arc but would still be doable.

Another route that I would love to see happen is the New Hampshire Capitol Corridor. In the past, it has been mentioned that MBTA would run the service to Nashua and if the service would go as far as Concord, NH, then perhaps MBTA should operate the service. I think Amtrak would probably do great with running trains from Boston North Station to Manchester and Concord. What would be nice is if Amtrak happens to operate the service to Manchester and Concord, NH, perhaps they can look at extending to Vermont and even Montreal from Manchester.
That's not possible anymore. The old B&M Northern Route to White River Jct was abandoned a few decades ago. Concord will have to be the terminus.
  by RRspatch
 
Pensyfan19 wrote: Sun May 30, 2021 2:26 pm Has anyone considered adding a second track for some of these routes? The ex- NYC and ex-IC used to have 2-4 tracks where there are currently one or two. Additional tracks could also be added in areas with open space such as the ex-Santa Fe and ex-Burlington Main Lines.
The line from Albany to Cleveland used to be four tracks wide before CTC in the 1950's. Other people and myself have suggested two tracks for passenger trains and two tracks for CSXT. The answer is we can't do what the New York Central did 100 years ago for a variety of reasons.

As for high speed rail sorry, this isn't Japan, China or Europe. There isn't the political will in this country to make it happen. While it's possible that climate change *might* change this sometime in the future for now we're stuck at 79 MPH in most places and maybe 110 MPH in some places. The only place I see high speed rail in this country is Brightline (which will be "underwater" both literally and figuratively in 30 to 40 years), California with the help of Freddy Bucks and MAYBE Texas Central if the NIMBIES here in Texas don't kill it first. The airlines and the highway interests have the money and power to kill anything else that gets proposed.

For now increasing frequency on short, medium and long distance services is the way to go. Increased frequency has proven successful on several routes around the country.
  by cle
 
I agree. Focus on the existing enhanced corridors (Michigan, Illinois, Keystone + NEC) to drive frequencies and speed improvements to boost mode shift. Daily 79mph mail trains through the night is not the fix. Some markets will be car or air, and that's fine. Focus on the wins.

To that point, 90 mins from NYC to Albany is a huge deal.

I think major works at Hudson station would be needed (Rhinecliff is already in the works for a high-level platform and is longer/straight). The cynic in me thinking 90 mins only doable by missing Hudson. Dwells are just awful on Amtrak and even though there is multiple track, loops are slow and short. Below Poughkeepsie, I agree - it's all crossings and MNR conflicts but there is a lot of triple/quad on the lower sections. It takes a good while out of Penn/GCT to get going. That would benefit the faster MNR services too.

I'm curious also about the doubling in Empire frequency. I could see 1tph NYC-ALB making today's main stops, possibly Beacon too. And 1tph which goes onwards, first stop Poughkeepsie. But with 4tph in and out of Penn, how does that work on the single track and the line north? Might wires be in the mix too?
  by R&DB
 
The Scranton connection is a waste. The I-80 traffic reason only applies for rush hours and Amtrak is not a commuter service. It will only be slower than than driving or bus. If Scranton wants PAX service, talk to PennDOT. Maybe they can make a deal with NJT like Metro North does.
Reading should be done be SEPTA. Allentown by NJT.
Long Island?
Ashville?
Rockford?
Baton Rouge?
S-line - Yes.
The Phoenix Sunset re-route makes sense. Lots of potential business.
Nashville - Savannah should have been continued to Louisville. And Montgomery to Mobile. The Issue for people in the Southeast is if you want to go West of the Mississippi, you have to go to Chicago via DC.
The Front Range is a good idea.
The SWChief should be re-routed through Pueblo.
Connect Mobile and Jacksonville.
My $0.02.
One more thing...speed up what you got!
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
NJT is better off running as far as E. Stroudsburg and then passengers continuing to Mt. Pocono and other stations north of E. Stroudsburg to Scranton can board feeder buses. Unless is very sharp curves get eliminated, the ride will be very slow north of E. Stroudsburg.

I don't know Rockford very well nor the right of ways linking Metra at Elgin with Rockford but it might be good for Metra to run to Rockford.

As for Amtrak service to Ronkonkoma, in my opinion, there are so many LIRR trains that people can choose from that would bring them to NY Penn Station. The extra slots for those Amtrak trains to Long Island can be used for Metro North's East Bronx service.
  by west point
 
I will only concentrate on Georgia. Living in Georgia it is unbelievable that Atlanta that has the world's busiest airport cannot have anything other than a third class RR station. But of course Georgia is in the bottom 4th of C-19 vaccinations and near top of infections.
Enough ranting If there is a new station this is what is most appealing as to service.
1. Crescent splits in ATL going to Montgomery , Mobile, new Orleans. The other half goes Birmingham - Meridian- Jackson- Dallas maybe Ft Worth. Bus few that need it Meridian - NOL.
2. Southbound Crescent would connect to the proposed Savannah - ATL - Nashville - maybe 1 RT either Louisville or connection to City of New Orleans.
3. Southbound Crescent connect to an ATL - Macon - Jacksonville - connect to Florida Silver.
4. Second Nashville train would connect to ATL - Augusta - Savannah train
5. Columbus - Tallahassee then ???
Later trains would go to station beyond Chattanooga - Cincinnati' Athens - Columbia;;; Florence;;; Manchester;; BHM - Memphis
But all that is completely unable until a proper 6 - 8 track 4 platform station is built.
  by wigwagfan
 
Arlington wrote: Mon May 31, 2021 8:05 amThe $4.2 is being spent with American contractors
Like Siemens? (You know, that German company headquartered in Munich?) Because so far they're the only ones winning any bids? And I'm sure when Siemens files its annual corporate income tax, it reports itself as a domestic corporation paying its "fair share" of taxes on its worldwide income, not just its U.S. operations, right? Like that big bad awful company called General Motors which is headquartered in, well, the United States - Detroit, Michigan, to be exact.
Arlington wrote: Mon May 31, 2021 8:05 amto build American assets.
So, like aircraft carriers, ballistic submarines, Interstate highways, schools, hospitals, National Park lodges, domestic water systems, fiber optic systems, runways, canals, military bases, universities, Federal buildings, Post Offices, and hydroelectric projects...basically anything in America paid for by taxpayers is an American asset. Next.
Arlington wrote: Mon May 31, 2021 8:05 amIt will quickly
Under what definition is 15 years quick?
Arlington wrote: Mon May 31, 2021 8:05 amand repeatedly
Like every single federal budget, it's repeated. And just like Amtrak it repeatedly asks for more money...
Arlington wrote: Mon May 31, 2021 8:05 amget to all kinds of American people
Shall we review Amtrak's ridership numbers again? Or its route map? Or the number of stations it serves compared to some of its competitors? I mean, sure, "all kinds of American people" but one small stretch of the Interstate Highway System serves "all kinds of people", just multiplied by a few hundreds compared to Amtrak. But, "all kinds".
Arlington wrote: Mon May 31, 2021 8:05 amand with greater multiplier than
Again, shall we look at Amtrak's ridership numbers and compare that to its competitors? My local airport - just one airport - carried 2/3rds that of the entire Amtrak system, nationwide. And that's just one airport...and doesn't account for the massive amount of freight moved through the airport. How much freight does Amtrak move again?

I guess it's a multiplier if you include decimals, and a bunch of zeros to the left.

Also, my local airport is self-funding, doesn't receive any tax dollars (other than taxes paid for by the aviation sector), and provides all the services of a local city without requiring subsidy from neighboring cities, like its own police and fire department, its own utility system, water and wastewater facilities, its own public works department...
Arlington wrote: Mon May 31, 2021 8:05 amsay, some rich guy adding to his horse farm
Or, the average Amtrak long distance sleeping car passenger or Acela first class passenger. Yeah, I feel like subsidizing the top 1%ers of rail passengers while we can't even maintain the roads that the bottom 99%ers depend on just to get to and from work - and Amtrak won't do a damn thing about that transportation need so that we have an employed workforce generating income to support our economy.

BTW: $4.2 billion would fix a lot of potholes. AND create a lot of jobs. AND invest in American infrastructure, on American soil, using American companies, with American raw materials and American suppliers. Last time I checked, Germany doesn't export asphalt.
  by Rockingham Racer
 
Let's get real. If what is going on now with the establishment of service on the Gulf Coast is any indicator, no one should be hopeful that most of this plan is doomed to fail. What a mess that proposal has become, and it's not going to be any different in places such as Ohio and Texas to name only two.
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