• The All Stops Local

  • 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 CHTT1
 
What's the criteria for a stop? Any place along the line with 100 people? Operate like the Alaska RR's Hurricane Turn, stoping anywhere that somebody flags down the train? Honestly, in 21st Century America with paved roads, there's no need for such a service. Trains, both freight and passenger, work best on a volume basis. You need a lot of people to efficiently run a train. Having one coach attached to a freight train is a waste of time today. That may have worked in the late 19th Century or early 20th, but there's no need for it today. We need to look forward, not try to resurrect a long gone ghost.
  by mtuandrew
 
Funny you mention St. Paul to Minot, Pensyfan, I was thinking about that comparison.

Amtrak’s Empire Builder makes seven stops between MSP and MOT: St. Cloud (SCD), Staples (SPL), Detroit Lakes (DLK), Fargo (FAR), Grand Forks (GFK), Devils Lake, and Rugby. It takes 10 hours 9 minutes, but it’s overnight both ways so you can hopefully sleep through the trip. By car, it’s 7 hours 46 minutes nonstop - figure something more like 9 hours with a couple half-hour stops and a quick gas break, but you’d have some fatigue at the end.

For a local, you’d have to add a lot of stops. Every little burg would want one, especially if they had an existing depot. I’m also assuming you mean this to be a way-freight or at least have a lot of less-than-carload freight. So, let’s say that instead of just those seven, we have these twenty-seven:

St. Paul Union Depot
Minneapolis U of M (behind TCF Stadium)
Fridley (Northstar Commuter Rail)
Anoka (Northstar)
Elk River (Northstar)
Big Lake (Northstar)
Becker
Clear Lake

St. Cloud
Rice
Little Falls

Staples
Wadena
Pelham/New York Mills

Detroit Lakes
Hawley/Glyndon
Moorhead

Fargo
Hillsboro
Grand Forks
Emerado/Grand Forks AFB
Larimore
Michigan/Lakota

Devils Lake
Leeds
Rugby
Towner
Granville

Minot

Let’s say two-thirds of them also have a forklift handy for LCL palletized freight, and that on any one trip about 1/3 of the enroute stations are either shipping or receiving at least one pallet. From firsthand experience, if you are ready with the forklift when a truck comes and the pallet is ready, it only takes seconds to pick and pull it. But, figure it takes more like ten minutes to go get the forklift warmed up (probably more in North Dakota in January), unstrap the necessary pallet, shuffle around the other pallets with a pallet jack, pull the pallet off the truck (or baggage car) and fill out the receiving paperwork while the conductor straps down the pallet you just loaded for shipment. Maybe closer to five for an experienced forklift jockey, maybe more like twenty if the lift gets stuck on ice or they need to pull more pallets than expected. You’re also assuming you have at least a truck, shed, or trailer where you can stash the received pallet, because otherwise you’re stuck outside with a shipment of congealed paint at -40° until your truck comes.

Long story short, figure that 10 hour train ride to be at least 13 with a minimal 1 minute stop at each station, but far more if there’s freight at each one.
  by urr304
 
SouthernRailway wrote: Sat May 09, 2020 8:36 am
Unless a railroad was required to by the government, I don't see the point in spending the time and effort to attach a passenger-carrying car to a freight train if it'll carry only a handful of passengers. These days, it may be cheaper for the railroad to just use Lyft or Uber to ferry passengers around, at its own expense.
IIRC, the Southern Pacific proposed basically that in the 1960s to get rid of its suburban service on the Peninsula, somewhere about that time California politicians [state, county, city] got some money to subsidize the service because SP's proposal made sense.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
CHTT1 wrote: Sat May 09, 2020 6:54 pm What's the criteria for a stop? Any place along the line with 100 people? Operate like the Alaska RR's Hurricane Turn, stoping anywhere that somebody flags down the train?
Mr. Pennsy, as Mr. Chicago Heights Terminal Transfer notes in the captioned quote, the Alaska RR will stop for anyone along their line. As I noted earlier, when the main East West lines had a secondary train with names such as Western Star, Mainstreeter, Grand Canyon, UP #5-6, they would make a conditional stop at any station en route.

In Austria, I think it is possible to travel the 450 mile length of the country, as in St. Anton/Arlberg to Vienna, using regional Cityline local trains. Guarantee you, on any of my six trips over there (obviously not going this year), I wasn't about to try it.

Maybe you could piece together an itinerary at the OBB site; in which case, good luck and have fun.