mtuandrew wrote: ↑Sat Sep 26, 2020 1:24 pm
KCY-TOP-WIC-OKC comes to mind; I think it could stand alone rather than as a new Lone Star. Not sure that Amtrak has ever had a STL-MEM line but I think that has potential too.
Ten years ago, at railforum, I was deeply involved in a debate over extending the Heartland Flyer to Kansas City. It was in the time when President Obama’s HSR funding was in its first round. I had some key points in that debate...
- Kansas’ grant app was for 79MPH service. The call for apps defined the minimum speed for an app was 110MPH. (Needless to say, Kansas’ app didn’t get past the GS-14 screener)
- The proposal bypassed Wichita.
- The streamliner era rate of advance was 13hrs 30 minutes for Dallas Union Station to Kansas City Union Station with the Texas Chief (ROA 43.6 MPH) and 14 hrs 25 minutes with the Ranger (ROA 40.9 MPH) . Today, on I-35, I can, with two 15 minute gas stops and a 30 minute lunch stop, make it in 8 hrs, 46 minutes, at ROA 62MPH. If Amtrak is to compete, it must at least equal the ROA.
- One A Day Service is a vitamin, not a transportation solution. There are 22 daily nonstops MCI to Dallas. Even service air service Wichita to Dallas is faster than the streamliner era time of 7 hours 25 minutes. If Amtrak wants to compete Dallas to Kansas City, it must be part of the solution. That means more than pro forma one a day service.
- Finally, there must be political support, and advocates must build it. In the 2008 debacle, the advocates in Kansas had the State Senate in the bag, but didn’t put a full court press on to win the House. When Sam Brownback and the Tea Party won the Governorship in 2010, that was all she wrote for this proposal, and ids been deader than the dodo since.