• Vision For Long Distance Trains

  • 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

  by Gilbert B Norman
 
ExCon90 wrote: Sat Oct 10, 2020 6:35 pm Just to refresh my memory, how was the original Railpax/Amtrak map drawn? Was it the result of a midnight Senate-House conference committee, with individual senators and representatives making sure their respective states were included, or was a separate group constituted for the purpose, as was done with USRA for the freight railroads in the Northeast? In other words, was an objective study made of which population centers could best be connected by what routes, or was it a case of if you're getting that train through your state I want this train through my state?
Mr. ExCon, first your quote is repeated here in tis entirety because, first it appears on a preceeding page, and my answer is "all of the above". The Incorporators retained consultants, Booz Allen, and Arthur Andersen to select the routes. While I think their rationale was flawed in some instances, namely too much "end point" emphasis over intermediate stops, i.e. Builder over North Coast and Chief over City, they largely held to historical routes. No doubt "Harley's Comet" Wash Parkersburg was political pull (small price to pay for the man who saved the railroad industry) and likely some new routings such as Seattle-San Diego and NY-Kansas City, which actually were running through cars over pre existing routes.

At one time I had that report in print, but something tells me it ended up with "Squealer", the Chief Clerk, when I left the MILW and he held his big ritual that I "turned everything in" - even property I don't think he ever knew I had.

But I was a "good company man" right to the end (Dec '81).
Last edited by Gilbert B Norman on Sat Oct 17, 2020 4:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by David Benton
 
amtrakowitz wrote: Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:54 am
David Benton wrote: Sun Oct 04, 2020 2:56 pm What you guys consider “going left” , most of the rest of the western world consider providing basic human rights and needs. Hence , if this discussion was going on in (E)urope you would add a zero or two to the $$$$. On the left side of the dot that is .
Eh? Please explain just how the USA is bereft of “basic rights and needs”. Also please explain how this really relates to passenger rail.

If this discussion was “going on in Europe” (which part?), it would be heavily censored depending on which government did not like the content.
To keep it to transport, I think european's might view having good public transport, as a "basic right",in the same way American s might view having good roads and cheap fuel as a "basic right".
I don't know of any Western European govt that would bother censoring discussion, and I am very much against any censorship
  by wigwagfan
 
David Benton wrote: Sat Oct 17, 2020 4:19 pm To keep it to transport, I think european's might view having good public transport, as a "basic right",in the same way American s might view having good roads and cheap fuel as a "basic right".
I would argue that Amtrak's existence would thus be a violation of my basic human rights, as it explicitly denies me the right to travel anywhere within reason, but rather to a select, politically chosen set of destinations.

The violation would only be relieved by Amtrak's immediate takeover of Greyhound and all intercity bus service, and incorporating AmBus into its service, and guaranteeing every American the full right of intercity travel to any city, within reason. Even in Europe, many cities are not accessible by rail and thus have a large network of intercity buses operated as part of the rail network, or in conjunction with.

Amtrak Thruway is pathetic in comparison.
  by mtuandrew
 
wigwagfan wrote: Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:05 pmI would argue that Amtrak's existence would thus be a violation of my basic human rights, as it explicitly denies me the right to travel anywhere within reason, but rather to a select, politically chosen set of destinations.

The violation would only be relieved by Amtrak's immediate takeover of Greyhound and all intercity bus service, and incorporating AmBus into its service, and guaranteeing every American the full right of intercity travel to any city, within reason. Even in Europe, many cities are not accessible by rail and thus have a large network of intercity buses operated as part of the rail network, or in conjunction with.

Amtrak Thruway is pathetic in comparison.
Glad to see you’re in support of vastly expanding Amtrak and nationalizing the taxi, bus, and airline industries :wink:
  by Amtrak706
 
Again, I don't think we need to do any of this. There was none of this constant existential crisis in the boardman years. The Amtrak 2.0 conspiracy has planted this idea in people's heads that the current system is inherently in need of major structural change. I would argue that it needs careful, measured improvement from its current status and not a complete re-think.
  by STrRedWolf
 
Amtrak706 wrote: Sun Oct 18, 2020 2:45 am Again, I don't think we need to do any of this. There was none of this constant existential crisis in the boardman years. The Amtrak 2.0 conspiracy has planted this idea in people's heads that the current system is inherently in need of major structural change. I would argue that it needs careful, measured improvement from its current status and not a complete re-think.
I think those who are pushing for Amtrak 2.0 "RIGHT NOW" need to be countered with "(unghodly huge number) Trillion dollars. Cash. Up front. No refunds. No conditions. You want it done, you pay for it." Then see what they sputter off with.

Why? Because to do Amtrak 2.0 right, they got to own everything, from the land and the rail all the way to the equipment and power. In other words, it has to be greedy and follow Cassatt's lead:
  • Money to buy the land and develop it, including tunneling, bridging, new stations, terminals, yards, repair shops, etc.
  • Money to buy the equipment, from the engines and passenger cars to maintenance vehicles, etc.
  • Money to buy the power, including generating it.
  • Money to repair or decommission existing infrastructure.
  • Money to HIRE the people needed to do all this.
  • Money for the lawyers, because there's going to be complaints.
My first guess was $3 Trillion, but more that the coffee I had while writing this is kicking in, I'm thinking more $27 Trillion.

If they don't balk at that, then take the money and run! :-D
  by Amtrak706
 
Allow me to clarify what I mean by Amtrak 2.0, because I don't really know what all that is referring to. Amtrak's three service lines at the moment are the NEC, state-supported corridor trains, and long distance trains. The long distance trains are to be killed, and the state-supported corridor trains are to be gradually transitioned to either a position where Amtrak is just an operating contractor or is not involved at all. The new equipment for the corridor trains is owned by the states, and the service is now completely paid for by the states, so once the old equipment is gone Amtrak will just be providing crews and a ticketing infrastructure, plus pocketing the all of the revenue. That leaves Amtrak to become "the NEC railroad" which in their eyes is really what they already are anyway.
  by Pensyfan19
 
Or Amtrak can be broken up into numerous different regions and ran by private operators (or the states in some cases) and can focus only on one region and provide much more intercity and regional service than Amtrak ever has such as having one company only focus on current and future passenger routes in Ohio such as Cincinnati to Toledo and Cleveland. Just saying... :wink:
  by dowlingm
 
While Biden has oft been known by Amtrak Joe, his main usage of their service is as an NEC commuter. Has he even been known to travel LD (as an LD route, not spare seats on a Silver Service etc)

It might shed some light on whether he (and a continued Dem House) is likely to benefit Amtrak generally, or lean more to favouring/expanding NEC/State Supported.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Mr. Dowling, should there be an incoming Biden Administration, I think there are a "few things on the plate" that need be addressed before one moment of thought be given to Amtrak affairs.

Win or lose, I think Joe has seen the last of Amtrak. The "whistle stop" was "it". Should he become the 46th or 47th POTUS (47th? succeeding Acting 46th POTUS Nancy), no way will he be near anybody's train. If he loses, he still enjoys lifetime Secret Service protection - and I think they would "frown" on Joe making like Julius La Rosa - the voice for '70's Amtrak "see the country" ads.
  by John_Perkowski
 
wigwagfan wrote: Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:05 pm
[font=SARCASM]I would argue that Amtrak's existence would thus be a violation of my basic human rights, as it explicitly denies me the right to travel anywhere within reason, but rather to a select, politically chosen set of destinations.

The violation would only be relieved by Amtrak's immediate takeover of Greyhound and all intercity bus service, and incorporating AmBus into its service, and guaranteeing every American the full right of intercity travel to any city, within reason. Even in Europe, many cities are not accessible by rail and thus have a large network of intercity buses operated as part of the rail network, or in conjunction with.[/font]

Amtrak Thruway is pathetic in comparison.
There, Erik. I fixed it for you. 🤪
  by mtuandrew
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Mon Oct 19, 2020 6:05 am Mr. Dowling, should there be an incoming Biden Administration, I think there are a "few things on the plate" that need be addressed before one moment of thought be given to Amtrak affairs.
True, but Amtrak will certainly be addressed in his potential first year. Probably as part of a nationwide stimulus based on his Build Back Better plans. Depending on his SecTrans and what sort of Congress he has, I expect him to be quite aggressive on expanding and improving passenger rail (and infrastructure generally.) He wants to spread money widely too, so LD service is a good way to do so.
“Gilbert B Norman” wrote:Win or lose, I think Joe has seen the last of Amtrak. The "whistle stop" was "it". Should he become the 46th or 47th POTUS (47th? succeeding Acting 46th POTUS Nancy), no way will he be near anybody's train. If he loses, he still enjoys lifetime Secret Service protection - and I think they would "frown" on Joe making like Julius La Rosa - the voice for '70's Amtrak "see the country" ads.
Nah, he will be taking between one and three more rides:
-WIL-WAS if elected & inaugurated
-WAS-WIL four years later
-to his final resting place
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
mtuandrew wrote: Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:53 am True, but Amtrak will certainly be addressed in his (Joe's) potential first year. Probably as part of a nationwide stimulus based on his Build Back Better plans. Depending on his SecTrans and what sort of Congress he has, I expect him to be quite aggressive on expanding and improving passenger rail (and infrastructure generally.) ......He wants to spread money widely too, so LD service is a good way to do so.
"I'll buy" the first part of your captioned quote, Mr. Stephens. Look for Gateway to be funded and digging commenced. The SecTrans would be Joe's pick, and if he has the opportunity to appoint one with transportation credentials, as distinct from a "reward", then all transportation interests will be benefitted.

Now regarding the second portion. I don't know if any Bush43 appointees remain, but there are still Obama appointees remaining on the Amtrak Board. I believe they want the LD's gone, and Joe @ 1600 notwithstanding, "it's time". I can only reiterate, from having "been there" on A-Day (not high up, just a trainee), they were to have been gone in five years.
  by mtuandrew
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Mon Oct 19, 2020 11:39 amNow regarding the second portion. I don't know if any Bush43 appointees remain, but there are still Obama appointees remaining on the Amtrak Board. I believe they want the LD's gone, and Joe @ 1600 notwithstanding, "it's time". I can only reiterate, from having "been there" on A-Day (not high up, just a trainee), they were to have been gone in five years.
We were supposed to have won the Vietnam War and Richard Nixon was supposed to have served into 1977 as well. A lot was supposed to happen in the 1970s that didn’t :wink:

And a board is fine, but a President of the United States can direct its actions if he (and likely she, within the decade) so chooses. I maintain that we will see restoration of the network pre-October.
  by David Benton
 
mtuandrew wrote: Mon Oct 19, 2020 2:04 pm
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Mon Oct 19, 2020 11:39 amNow regarding the second portion. I don't know if any Bush43 appointees remain, but there are still Obama appointees remaining on the Amtrak Board. I believe they want the LD's gone, and Joe @ 1600 notwithstanding, "it's time". I can only reiterate, from having "been there" on A-Day (not high up, just a trainee), they were to have been gone in five years.
We were supposed to have won the Vietnam War and Richard Nixon was supposed to have served into 1977 as well. A lot was supposed to happen in the 1970s that didn’t :wink:

And a board is fine, but a President of the United States can direct its actions if he (and likely she, within the decade) so chooses. I maintain that we will see restoration of the network pre-October.
Not to mention the oil crisis's, most relevant to transport.
We've had female prime ministers since 1997, England since 1979, worlds first in 1960 . Time to catch up !, LOL.
I wonder if a new set of Battleground states may change the attitude to LD trains ? I'm thinking of the likes of Georgia, a lot of people moving in form other states , and crying out for better rail service.