Gilbert B Norman wrote: ↑Tue May 26, 2020 11:48 am First Mr. Dawe, some private sector party other than the UP themselves, need have expectations of making a buck/loonie from operating a passenger train over the D&RGW. They first need remunerate Amtrak for surrendering their "franchise" to them, and additionally to the UP for the interference the Amtrak additional Overland Route frequencies would cause (remember; this is not for the convenience of the UP when they do trackwork on the D&RGW). UP would continue to collect from Amtrak the trackage charges due under their Agreement.Half agreed. I don't know why Amtrak needs more than $1 for their franchise. Right now it's a financial drag on Amtrak to cross the Rockies. If Belmond shows up tomorrow and buys the Denver-SLC franchise for $1, Amtrak still serves Denver (and gets the state's vote in congress). Amtrak probably also gets the same annual funding, but has 500 miles less to worry about.
I also don't know how much more the remuneration to UP is. Because we're no longer trying to get to Oakland and pretend to be drive/air competitive, the train can follow a freight and pay market rate for freight rights. It's a plus for UP to no longer have a high priority train that doesn't fit their timetable.
You can also attach a subsidized rider car for "essential transport" and scale back to 1-2x/week, better for UP. Although I don't think the ex-DRGW is that busy that it matters.
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