• 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 jonnhrr
 
Mr. Norman, sounds like I have another reason to take the train rather than fly (unless I am going overseas, if that is ever allowed again in my lifetime).

I even heard of a rumor of planes with no windows at all (which is probably better from the structural standpoint) and video screens instead showing you what is outside, at least when they feel like showing it and if they can resist the temptation to plaster them with commercials like they do for the map screens now.
  by lordsigma12345
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Wed Aug 04, 2021 7:32 am Even if there were to be an orderly discontinuance plan, i.e. cut the Sunset before you cut the City; the Lake Shore probably "last one standing", the whole process could well take ten years - or past the existing Superliner's and A-II's remaining service life.
I think the Auto Train would be the last one standing - unless you don't count that one. I think even if they actually phased out the network they'd keep going with the Auto Train - it's a decent business model. But it's going to be a long time if the bill passes - the language pretty much solidifies the network for the current reauthorization period. And if they replace Amfleet IIs and begin a Superliner I rehab that could extend the life of those cars by another couple decades.
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Wed Aug 04, 2021 7:32 am Now tonight is my first flight ever on a B-787-9 (Dreamliner; to EDDM/MUC). To make sure the passengers get their "dreams", the blinds reportedly will automatically close - UGH.
Safe travels.
  by lordsigma12345
 
MikeBPRR wrote: Sun Aug 01, 2021 10:32 pm Well, folks, here is the text of the bill. At 2,702 pages, it’s perfect, light beach reading. https://www.epw.senate.gov/public/_cach ... w21a09.pdf

I’m still combing through it. Here are some preliminary observations:

1. The section on rail starts on page 697 and is entitled “Passenger Rail Expansion and Rail Safety Act of 2021.”
2. Over the next five years, Amtrak will receive $6.5B to distribute as grants for the NEC and $12.6B to distribute as grants for the national network.
3. Current law states, “A greater degree of cooperation is necessary among Amtrak, other rail carriers, State, regional, and local governments, the private sector, labor organizations, and suppliers of services and equipment to Amtrak to achieve a performance level sufficient to justify expending public money.” That is changed to “A greater degree of cooperation is necessary among Amtrak, other rail carriers, State, regional, and local governments, the private sector, labor organizations, and suppliers of services and equipment in order to meet the intercity passenger rail needs of the United States” (emphasis added). That strikes me as they see Amtrak as important now.
4. Upgrades for food and beverage must be studied, recommended, and implemented.
5. Ticket agents at every station with 40 or more daily passengers OR if they had an agent as of October 1, 2027, unless there is an agent from an adjoining commuter rail service.
6. Some amendments to PRIAA from 2008, although I’m not sure what they mean.
7. Study for daily long-distance study, including along discontinued routes.
8. Money for railroad R&D.

I’m not sure what it all means, and whether it’s all good or bad. I don’t see any specifically marked projects in here, but I guess that’s what the amendment process is for.
The section beginning at page 697 is the reauthorization of Amtrak for the next few years. Further on in the bill, as I posted before, is the appropriations portion of the bill. This bill includes both policy/reauthorization and appropriations (actual spending) it’s basically a giant combining of the surface transportation reauthorization and infrastructure stimulus .
  by eolesen
 
David Benton wrote:How we get to think there is even a possibility of the long distance trains been discontinued , given the subject of this thread , is beyond me.
That's simple. Look at the aspirations of the original Obama HSR plans and what actually was delivered...

A grand vision like this can be easily un-done at the ballot box in as little as 18 to 31 months from now.

Sent from my SM-G981U using Tapatalk

  by RRspatch
 
David Benton wrote: Wed Aug 04, 2021 6:32 pm How we get to think there is even a possibility of the long distance trains been discontinued , given the subject of this thread , is beyond me.
Getting rid of all long distance trains is the dream, fantasy or mental masturbation of a few anti-Amtrak posters here on railroad.net . Even though the authorization calls for money for the long distance trains as well as studying *bringing back* discontinued trains, they continue post the same "copy and paste" messages here. The people have spoken, congress has spoken and the Amtrak fan in the White House has spoken. I don't see the long distance trains getting discontinued anytime soon. While I sometimes reply to their messages I have found it's better to just ignore them rather than argue in circles.

Welcome to the "Amtrak" forum at Railroad.net
  by Pensyfan19
 
Don't count the Pioneer put just yet...

https://www.idahostatejournal.com/news/ ... 8182c.html
After more than a decade of quiet around the prospect of restoring Amtrak’s Pioneer passenger rail line through Pocatello and parts of the Northwest, talks are regaining steam as lawmakers and local officials daydream about what it would mean for East Idaho if the proposal ever left the station.

The train route, which once carried passengers from Salt Lake City through southern Idaho, with stops in Pocatello, Boise, Nampa and other Idaho cities, to Portland, could offer new jobs, increased tourism near stations and a more environmentally friendly way to travel across the region.

The proposal has the support of politicians and businesspeople throughout Idaho, including Pocatello Mayor Brian Blad, who said he’s on board with the line’s restoration for those reasons.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
From Imlauer Pitter Hotel; Salzburg (final day)--
jonnhrr wrote: Wed Aug 04, 2021 11:48 am Mr. Norman, sounds like I have another reason to take the train rather than fly (unless I am going overseas, if that is ever allowed again in my lifetime).

I even heard of a rumor of planes with no windows at all (which is probably better from the structural standpoint) and video screens instead showing you what is outside, at least when they feel like showing it and if they can resist the temptation to plaster them with commercials like they do for the map screens now.
Well John, I thank you for conceding your first captioned point, for over at a site more directed at advocacy than here, I wouldn't put it past someone to wonder "when are they going to build a Trans Atlantic bridge so.we don't have to fly overseas?".

Now regarding your second captioned point, United's 787-8 , and presumably the other varietals as well have just such windows, and at MUC, where the crew busses leave, I saw the Captain, and this is was I said to her (yes, HER):

"Captain, next time you have Lunch with Mr. Kirby (UAL CEO), please tell him that this paying Business Class passenger, who the only airline he knows is United, prefers the 777. He knows the 787 saves on gas, but the self darkening windows are something he can do without".

She thanked me for my thoughts; I assured her I'm not about to start flying someone else.
  by electricron
 
In what way does flying on United Airlines and self darkening windows features have anything at all to do with Amtrak's Connect Us planning and funding? Is misdirection the discussion "the" political ploy on every thread here?
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
From Pitter Hotel Salzburg---

Ron, considering how many here value sightseeing, and I'd dare say flightseeing as well, passenger control over window coverings is something Amtrak had best take to heart - especially if they comtemplate replacing the existing Long Distance fleet.
  by STrRedWolf
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Tue Aug 10, 2021 9:47 am From Pitter Hotel Salzburg---

Ron, considering how many here value sightseeing, and I'd dare say flightseeing as well, passenger control over window coverings is something Amtrak had best take to heart - especially if they comtemplate replacing the existing Long Distance fleet.
It's customer experience... and apparently some airlines don't value that as highly. But think about it while looking out the windows on an international flight? You have countryside, city... but you're too high for details, you got clouds in the way, and most of the flight is *)[email protected]#( ocean!!! And if you're sleeping, you're not looking out there, and folks aren't going to be sleeping deeply if some UFO is "visiting."

Amtrak does value it more, though, since you're "closer to the action."
  by lordsigma12345
 
The Infrastructure bill has passed the Senate today 69-30. It's now up to Nancy who seems to want to hold it until they try to pass the much more controversial reconciliation "human infrastructure" package which is not a sure thing in the Senate. Here's an RPA summary of what's in what just pass (obviously from an advocate perspective). Some aspects of the bill were must pass reauthorization items related to Amtrak and other surface transportation programs...this is the 5 year reauthorization along with containing spending measures.

https://www.railpassengers.org/happenin ... 0VkEHmJIqk
  by R36 Combine Coach
 
Regarding surface transportation programs and legislation (including USDOT), the existing transportation bill
(FAST act) was due up in 2020 and did receive a one year extension, though the controversial Mica amendment
was repealed.
  by lordsigma12345
 
It was - this bill renews for an additional four years. The previous bill removed the teeth of the mica amendment (that Amtrak must break even on food service by a certain date.) this bill removes all the remaining language of it outright.
  by gokeefe
 
The station agent requirement means every station with more than 14,600 passengers per year will get an agent. That is an *enormous* number of new agents to be hired. Likely in the hundreds.

Here's is a preliminary sample from Indiana:

1. South Bend (SOB)
2. Elkhart (EKH)
3. Waterloo (WTI)

I can't even begin to imagine how long it has been since South Bend was a staffed station ... WOW.

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