eolesen wrote:Considering the distance to Montauk is longer than several other Amtrak routes (e.g. NYP-PHL and CHI-MKE), it's not out of the question to see a splitting out of the LIRR's operation:
* LIRR runs within the footprint of the existing electrified territory
* Port Jeff Line finally sees electrification all the way to Port Jeff
* NYS takes the remaining dieselized territory i.e. east of Ronkonkoma/Babylon and assigns Amtrak as the operator
That would convert the LIRR over to all-electric fleet, and maybe even lower the fleet and crew costs for the diesel operations since those could be spread across both Empire Service and Long Island Services.
I think when Amtrak was first formed, the LIRR Montauk line was actually eligible to be handed to them.
East of KO, third rail to RIverhead is a no brainer. Beyond that, there's really no good answer (DMUs, or abandonment. There really aren't any riders out there). Where you extend the rial to on the Montauk is a bigger question. But Port Jeff and Osyet Bay are almost prerequisites for any further extensions west, anyway. And realistically, it should be done no matter what - it's insane that the LI is running the amount of diesel services it still does. LI isn't a ghost town west of 110, and hasn't been for a few decades now. As for the OB - there's zero reason it should be a diesel line, the density right up to Locust Valley is heavy, and Glen Cove is starting to build up like crazy now. Port Jeff? That should have been done 20 years ago...
I could see Amtrak running a premium Hamptons-centered service, but not regular commuter. Anything they run will supplement existing LIRR services.