• Hoosier State Discussion (both Amtrak and Iowa Pacific)

  • Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.
Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

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  by Tadman
 
Absolutely not. The state of Indiana had a dog with fleas and got rid of it. Please keep in mind Indiana has a robust electric railway running 24x/day to left-leaning areas despite being a hard red state.

Just because Indiana recognized a sick dog and put it down doesn't mean they were the bad guy. The route is awful, the carriers unfriendly, the contractors difficult and expensive, the schedule poor, the list goes on and on. There was literally no upside. The subsidy alone was a joke - $3m/year to run half a train per day for 100 people when $12m/year got the entire NICTD subsidy, including double track, constant tension cat, 85 cars, 2 engines, 12 stations, and 12,000 riders/day.

Instead of sticking their head in the sand and spending good money after bad, they called it off.

Meanwhile we are seeing billion dollar investments in the South Shore for double tracking the east end and creating an entire new line.
  by Jeff Smith
 
Don't know if it's been said, but Virgin, interstate median. :P
  by justalurker66
 
If anyone, including Amtrak, wants to come to the state and spend their money to build a service feel free to do so. Just don't do it in a way that leaves debt or expense for the State of Indiana or their taxpayers (of which I am one).

While I was disappointed to see Ohio and Wisconsin turn down Federal funding for passenger rails I understand having a long term perspective. The projects the State is supporting have long term value ... perhaps not exclusively to Amtrak passengers, but to the people of Indiana.
  by Pensyfan19
 
Jeff Smith wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 8:22 am Don't know if it's been said, but Virgin, interstate median. :P
I think I might have said this earlier in this discussion, but a corridor route such as this one would be perfect for Virgin or another private corporation like it (again, NOT Iowa Pacific) to run frequent service on.

Speaking of which, before we start beating the dead horse about Virgin, what are other private operators who could run the same service in order to have competition between private operators, so that Virgin isn't the only one on the table? Some ideas that come in mind for something like this could be JR (Japan), First Group, Trenitalia, DB (Germany), Arrivia, SNCF, and Renfe.
  by scratchyX1
 
Pensyfan19 wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 2:15 pm
Jeff Smith wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 8:22 am Don't know if it's been said, but Virgin, interstate median. :P
I think I might have said this earlier in this discussion, but a corridor route such as this one would be perfect for Virgin or another private corporation like it (again, NOT Iowa Pacific) to run frequent service on.

Speaking of which, before we start beating the dead horse about Virgin, what are other private operators who could run the same service in order to have competition between private operators, so that Virgin isn't the only
one on the table? Some ideas that come in mind for something like this could be JR (Japan), First Group, Trenitalia, DB (Germany), Arrivia, SNCF, and Renfe.
Last decade, SNCF wrote proposals for four HSR routes in the US. Last century, they tried to build a route in Texas, which was beaten down due to lobbying from southwest air lines.
https://www.thetransportpolitic.com/200 ... corridors/
Take a look, the florida, texas, las vegas routes all look familiar, as they are currently, or about to be under construction.
  by CarterB
 
James Whitcomb Riley schedule, clone this timing, and you might have a winner.

Chicago (Central Station) 4:30 p.m.
Woodlawn, 63rd Street 4:40 p.m.
Kankakee 5:35 p.m.
Lafayette 6:52 p.m.
Indianapolis 8:00 p.m.
Cincinnati (Union Terminal) 11:00 p.m.

Morning Riley left Cin at 7:30a Ar CHI 1:50 pm
  by justalurker66
 
Don't forget the reverse trip (morning to Indy, evening to Chicago) for the massive number of people who want to go to Indy for a few hours.
  by gokeefe
 
There are no alternatives in the U.S. at present that have a proven track record of unsupported operations. All the other operators you mentioned would be contractors for a state agency.

I'm not surprised there aren't any alternatives. It's too soon for anyone else to take an interest. I think Virgin/Brightline will have the U.S. to themselves for at least another 10 years. Las Vegas/LA is going to make them *a lot* of money.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

  by CarterB
 
Other than for the 500, who wants to go to a cornfield with electricity...Indy?
  by scratchyX1
 
CarterB wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 6:01 pm Other than for the 500, who wants to go to a cornfield with electricity...Indy?
GENCON provides 1/3 of the yearly budget for Indy. So, when not in pandemic mode, 70000 people in the middle of july.
  by CarterB
 
Gencon is 4 days long, so run special trains for the 500 and Gencon. Rest of the year ....nada.
  by mtuandrew
 
CarterB wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 6:01 pm Other than for the 500, who wants to go to a cornfield with electricity...Indy?
Indy is more a “have to go” than a “want to go” :wink: Maybe it’s sports, maybe events like Gencon, maybe some other sort of business since it’s such a corporate city. I’ve never heard of it as an entertainment town, but I’m also not an expert.
Jeff Smith wrote:Don't know if it's been said, but Virgin, interstate median. :P
Pretty sure it’s been said by a poster whose name rhymes with “Chef Myth” :P

———

But let’s see this through. I think the traffic is there (will be there after COVID is controlled) for three daily turns to start, up to five or six round trips within ten years. That is, between Wolverine and Downeaster levels of service. That isn’t enough for a private firm to justify building a line though, not when half the route is soybean fields and another quarter is tract houses :wink: You could justify a suburban stop for both Chicago and Indy (Lebanon perhaps, though that’s an exurb), and you’d be daft to skip the Boilermakers in Lafayette.

It is enough for the State of Indiana to invest. Indiana isn’t big on social programs, but y’all do love your infrastructure development like I-69 construction and I-65 improvements. They’re (planning on?) building the NICTD West Lake Corridor south to Munster/Dyer; that’s nearly a quarter of the way to Indy. And as the state-owned railroad, NICTD is a friendly connection from Dyer into the heart of Chicago via Metra Electric; Amtrak never had a friendly connection into Union Station from Dyer.

And let’s run it off DC catenary. It’s essentially free energy - if you’ve ever driven through Indiana you’ve seen thousands of wind turbines, turning day and night. Add a hundred more on state-owned property, pair them with substations and rectifiers, and sell the excess power on the grid. It solves the first-mile problem in Chicago too, and you would only need diesels for rescues.

“But 1500 VDC isn’t suitable for high speeds! And it isn’t a standard voltage!” True, 1.5 kVDC is a little marginal for high speeds (you can do it, but you have to deliver a lot of amps), but step it up to 3000 VDC and now you’re talking. Trenitalia’s older ETR450 and ETR460 run 250 km/h on 3.0 kVDC every day (a hair over 150 mph), and I think their new ETR600 and ETR610 do the same. Just have the voltage break at Dyer (or Lowell if the extension ever happens) and you’ll be good, since it’s nearly no trouble for DC equipment to shift from full to half-voltage (and operate at half-speed.)

I have another post in the works about operators and route, but that’s later.
  by gokeefe
 
Let's put it this way ... If Portland, Maine to Boston can justify six round-trips per day I'm sure Indianapolis to Chicago can. But the service has to be high frequency, reliable and Track Class 4 or better between stations. This isn't asking for the world just for what's reasonable.

Indiana didn't want to pay for that kind of service even if there were federal dollars available for operations and capital projects.

I completely agree that they are doing a good job with NICTD of course but that service gets plenty of FTA money as well. That's the key in my opinion. You have to run enough to unlock FTA funding. Otherwise it's just going to feel like a waste (because it is).

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

  by justalurker66
 
gokeefe wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 6:17 pm Let's put it this way ... If Portland, Maine to Boston can justify six round-trips per day I'm sure Indianapolis to Chicago can. But the service has to be high frequency, reliable and Track Class 4 or better between stations. This isn't asking for the world just for what's reasonable.

Indiana didn't want to pay for that kind of service even if there were federal dollars available for operations and capital projects.
The State of Indiana was not offered that level of service. They were offered a $3million/year bill that worked out to $14k per round trip train. Not high frequency or Class 4 track.
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