• They Got Away!!! Trains discontinued before we rode

  • General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.
General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

Moderators: mtuandrew, gprimr1

  by Gilbert B Norman
 
OK, let's be straight up, this topic is directed more towards our "elder Statesmen" around here, now that the Amtrak-era is closing in on fifty years. In short, anyone short of "seventysomething" cannot be expected to "have known it when".

What are the routes that you would have liked to have ridden, including discontinued Amtrak routes, but didn't?

Mine:

NKP-DL&W(EL) "City of Chicago"; what hurts the most is that during Dec '61, I was running down the platform (yes a 20yo could do that stuff) at LaSalle St. as it was pulling out. By the time I did get to ride during Dec '62, the "Blue Bird" PA's and the Chi-Hoboken Pullman line were gone. The ride to Cleveland and a transfer to NYC #16, Ohio State Limited, was an experience with more negatives than positives.

KCS; I was going to do a KC-NO joyride during Spring Break '62, but didn't. KCS was pro-passenger and even ordering new cars during '65 (those cars are still in NCDOT service), until they suddenly pulled the.plug during '67. Funny how TRAINS had an October '67 article then declaring "we have no intention of getting out of the passenger train business", and just as it hit the newsstands, they did just that.
  by amtrakhogger
 
The Canadian when it ran on CP.
  by bdawe
 
The Cariboo Prospector, which was shuttered in 2002, only 18 years ago now, which ran daily from North Vancouver to Lillooet and tri-weekly to Prince George with Budd RDCs
  by JimBoylan
 
Norwich (Conn.) & Worchester (Mass.) RR, on which PennCentral ran a passenger train out of New London, Conn. until Amtrak.
New York & Harlem RR to Chatham, N.Y., which lasted 6 months after Amtrak. I only rode the night train, Southbound from Chatham about 7 p.m. on Sundays.
ConRail - Penna. Dept. of Transp. between Bethlehem and Allentown. It ran for a short time around 1978.
  by CarterB
 
Always wanted to ride the Cal Zephyr, Olympian Hiawatha, City of San Fran, and Super Chief west, never got the chance.
  by Anthony
 
CarterB wrote: Fri Feb 21, 2020 4:09 pm Always wanted to ride the Cal Zephyr, Olympian Hiawatha, City of San Fran, and Super Chief west, never got the chance.
You can still ride one of these routes and parts of two others. The California zephyr still runs on its original route east of Salt Lake City, and west of SLC, it follows the route of the City of San Francisco. The Super Chief still lives on today as the Southwest Chief.
  by CarterB
 
Anthony wrote: Fri Feb 21, 2020 8:18 pm
CarterB wrote: Fri Feb 21, 2020 4:09 pm Always wanted to ride the Cal Zephyr, Olympian Hiawatha, City of San Fran, and Super Chief west, never got the chance.
You can still ride one of these routes and parts of two others. The California zephyr still runs on its original route east of Salt Lake City, and west of SLC, it follows the route of the City of San Francisco. The Super Chief still lives on today as the Southwest Chief.
Yes, but not NEAR as good as the originals!
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Mr. NS, does on an engine count? Same for Pipestone Pass.

Durn; Sixteenmile was on a track car.
  by RRspatch
 
On May 1st 1971 I was 13 years old at the start of Amtrak. My only train ride prior to Amtrak was a round trip between Washington and Baltimore on the B&O to visit the B&O Museum. Today that trip can still be made on MARC.

Other than that all my train riding in the US and Canada occurred during my 19 years (1977-1996) with Amtrak. During that period I pretty much got the entire system. Below are the segments that I missed due to trains being discontinued -

The Montrealer via New London.

The Niagara Rainbow Buffalo to Detroit.

The International between Port Huron and Sarnia. Now this one takes some explaining. When the Blue Water started running I rode it from Chicago to Port Huron. From there I took a taxi to Sarnia where I spent the night before riding VIA onward to Toronto the next day. I never did get back to ride the International. So yes, I have a two mile gap in this route.

The Prairie Marksman to East Peoria. This was one of those out in the evening, spend the night and back to Chicago the next morning trains. Those types of trains never worked for the limited vacation time I had.

The Northstar between MSP and Duluth.

The St Louis section of the City of New Orleans.

The Sunset Limited New Orleans to Jacksonville.

The Mobile section of The Crescent (819/820 I think). I think it was called the Gulf Breeze. This train needs to come back now that Amtrak is returning to Mobile .... but of course it won't.

The Broadway Limited via the CSXT (B&O) route after CR downgraded the Fort Wayne line.

The Adirondack railroad service between Utica and Lake Placid. I believe the NIMBY's up there are trying to convert the last couple miles of track into Lake Placid into a rail trail. I remember hearing about the large numbers of passengers they were hauling during the Olympics. Unfortunately once the snow melted so did the service.

So there you have it, the one's that got away that I wish I had rode.

As for the one's that DIDN'T get away during my Amtrak days ....

The National Limited (including the Port Road branch on the Washington section).
The Shenandoah
The Hilltopper
The Floridian
The Lone Star
The Inter-American (Fort Worth to Laredo and back)
The North Coast Hiawatha
The Conrail/TH&B/VIA service Buffalo to Toronto.

Hopefully some of these routes, or parts there of, will come back someday.
  by jonnhrr
 
A second for the New London - Norwich - Worcester service that was run by PC up to the Amtrak takeover. As I recall by the end PC had moved the Worcester stop out of Union Station to an inconveniently located freight house which would have made connecting with service to Boston difficult.

Also the Philadelphia to Newark NJ RDC remnant of the famed RDG "Crusader" which I believe lasted until Conrail exited the passenger business in the early 1980's. As I recall they had one RDC configured as a snack bar in the morning and a bar car in the evening. By that time is was essentially a commuter train but would have been an interesting alternative to the NEC.

I was fortunately able to ride the RDC's from Philadelphia to Bethlehem and Reading/Pottsville just before they were discontinued.

Jon
  by JimBoylan
 
The Reading Company's Newark, N.J. trains had 2 of those RDC snack cars, since there was also the "Wall Street" as the 2nd named train on the route. One had been an RDC-2, the other had been an RDC-3.