markhb wrote: ↑Wed Jan 03, 2024 10:26 am
Do any of you think there's a chance this thing could have worked out, if the P&W had stayed independent? Obviously it was dead when the G&W showed up, but small independent roads have been known to try innovative things (witness the old St. Lawrence & Atlantic and the Sunday River ski train in the 90's).
Yes, could have happened. Probably will happen as a government-operated service within the next 30 years. The only difference between them and Brightline is BSRR didn't own any of the real estate or have any experience running a railroad. So basically everything would be contracted out and somehow they would make money and maintain exclusivity while operating in the shadows of MASSDOT and the MBTA. And when they started, second-hand equipment was readily available instead of being in short-supply. As a private company they could get started years or even decades faster, they could pay competitive wages instead of government-mandated wages. They claimed to have agreements worked out with cities, state of RI, host railroads and Amtrak.
They never communicated properly with the public, setting unrealistic expectations then going radio silent when they missed deadlines. The biggest unanswered questions would have been how they would have paid for liability insurance, how they would get access to Providence Station for free or low cost, and how they would have maintained peace with the unions. If they had solved those last three problems they could have been successful