• The big ax just fell. Long distance to 3x/week.

  • 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 justalurker66
 
In the long run the daily LD trains will return. Only passenger demand that exceeds what the restored trains (locals and regionals) can handle would be a demonstration that more trains would be needed. I don't believe there is any level of demand that would get services restored before spring except Congress making a demand accompanied by a big check.
  by GWoodle
 
David Benton wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:02 pm I always thought another direct daytime Chicago - Kansas city train would work well. Is there a rail connection from Quincy across the river to the La Plata line ?
At La Plata ATSF now BNSF is the only route in town. ATSF ran 6 trains/day with an overnight Kansas City Chief.
The Burlington has a direct route from Quincy to Kansas City & St Joseph. The Burlington one ran a daytime Kansas City Zephyr and an overnight American Royal Zephyr on a 8-9 hour schedule. The Illinois Zephyr & Carl Sandburg run most of the route.

I do agree I'd like to see Amtrak do some regional Chicago- Kansas City, Chicago-Iowa-Denver, Chicago-St Paul daytime trains. Take some pressure off the LD's to be on time & add some other small town stops.
  by Matt Johnson
 
Chicago - KC would be a nice route for corridor service if they could work around the freight traffic. Unlike Chicago - St Louis, where they spent $2 billion+ to maybe go 90 mph someday, the line is already good for 90 mph today as is!
  by John_Perkowski
 
Matt Johnson wrote: Tue Oct 27, 2020 9:00 pm Chicago - KC would be a nice route for corridor service if they could work around the freight traffic. Unlike Chicago - St Louis, where they spent $2 billion+ to maybe go 90 mph someday, the line is already good for 90 mph today as is!
Chicago-St Louis-Kansas City has three cities and two state capitals on the route. The historic CB&Q or ATSF routes have? Peoria, Galesburg, and cornfields. Improve the Missouri Pacific to a 90MPH line.
  by mtuandrew
 
Matt Johnson wrote: Tue Oct 27, 2020 9:00 pm Chicago - KC would be a nice route for corridor service if they could work around the freight traffic. Unlike Chicago - St Louis, where they spent $2 billion+ to maybe go 90 mph someday, the line is already good for 90 mph today as is!
John_Perkowski wrote: Wed Oct 28, 2020 12:36 pmChicago-St Louis-Kansas City has three cities and two state capitals on the route. The historic CB&Q or ATSF routes have? Peoria, Galesburg, and cornfields. Improve the Missouri Pacific to a 90MPH line.
¿Porqué no los dos?

-second train on the Southwest Chief route

And

-ATS/PTC on the Missouri Mule route to allow 90 mph
-hold Union Pacific accountable and start actually running trains at 110 mph on the Alton Lincoln Service route (don’t worry, UNP holders, we’ll figure out some way to increase their CHI-STL throughput elsewhere )
  by lordsigma12345
 
Absent a full bailout and congressional instruction to resume daily service ASAP, they will apparently be making a decision in February as to which trains will resume daily service in June. The decision will be made route by route - some routes may make the cut while others do not. Flynn mentioned the February timeline was selected as that is their estimate as to how early they’d need to get the ball rolling to resume in June and complete all tasks such as recall of furloughed crew, pull long equipment out of mothballs, and performing any requalification of crews as needed on the routes.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
A corridor train running from Chicago to Kansas City following the same route as the Chief would be nice! The westbound should depart CHI mid morning and the eastbound should depart Kansas City mid to late morning.
  by John_Perkowski
 
njtmnrrbuff wrote: Wed Oct 28, 2020 6:58 pm A corridor train running from Chicago to Kansas City following the same route as the Chief would be nice! The westbound should depart CHI mid morning and the eastbound should depart Kansas City mid to late morning.
I live in Kansas City. Why would it be nice?

Even with slack time for KCI inbound, even including TSA at each end, it's 2 1/2 hours plus my ground transport. (Where I happen to live, time to KCI and time to KC union station is a wash). Amtrak is 7 hours and 20 minutes enroute. My experience with Amtrak wi-fi is less than stellar. In addition, there are areas along the route of the Santa Fe that have ***no cell service whatsoever***.

Simply put, Amtrak cannot compete for the business traveler KC to Chicago.
  by electricron
 
Chicago to Kansas City services is an excellent example what trains states are willing to subsidize. Illinois is willing to subsidize a route 99% within Illinois and Missouri is willing to subsidize a train 100% within Missouri. There is already at least twice a day pre covid regional day trains between Kansas City and Chicago, indirectly through St. Louis to go with the more direct long distance train that bypasses St. Louis.

Instead of proposing a day train along the long distance route, what would be so wrong with redirecting the long distance train to the existing regional train route? At least twice a day service would be upgraded to thrice a day service.

One could easily argue the long distance train is skipping dozens of passengers from St. Louis on a daily basis by bypassing it. I’m sure redirecting the Chief through St. Louis would add time to its journey, but look at the potential customers it could gain by doing so.

Moving the most passengers possible has never been Amtrak main mission. If it was, the Chief would have been rerouted decades ago. Amtrak’s mission for long distance trains has always been maintaining the trains that survived the 1950s and 1960s as much as possible. Amtrak has never taken the step to stop and look at how to increase ridership by rerouting trains to visit as many larger cities as possible.

Let’s switch trains for another example, the Zephyr through Iowa. It now runs east to west along the southern border of the state, bypassing larger cities more central to the state such as the Quad Cities and Des Moines. Why is Amtrak continuing to bypass all these larger cities with potential higher ridership?

If Amtrak really wishes to save long distance services long into the future, now is the time to haggle with the freight railroad companies and reroute the trains. We need a better design long distance network.
  by mtuandrew
 
electricron wrote: Thu Oct 29, 2020 10:53 am Chicago to Kansas City services is an excellent example what trains states are willing to subsidize.

...

Let’s switch trains for another example, the Zephyr through Iowa. It now runs east to west along the southern border of the state, bypassing larger cities more central to the state such as the Quad Cities and Des Moines. Why is Amtrak continuing to bypass all these larger cities with potential higher ridership?

If Amtrak really wishes to save long distance services long into the future, now is the time to haggle with the freight railroad companies and reroute the trains. We need a better design long distance network.
To address the Zephyr first, yes, Amtrak uses the single worst existing route. It isn’t the fastest (UP ex-C&NW), the most populous (IAIS ex-Rock followed closely by UP), or even the least congested (pretty sure that’s CN ex-IC.) Any of those three would be preferable, and IAIS/Rail Development Corporation might even be willing to wheel and deal. Only reason the California Zephyr is on BNSF ex-CB&Q is because that’s what the legacy road used, just like BNSF ex-ATSF was what the Super Chief road used from Newton to Albuquerque.

The BNSF cross-Iowa route is well-maintained and Ft Worth is a good host, I’ll say that.
John_Perkowski wrote:I live in Kansas City. Why would it be nice?

Even with slack time for KCI inbound, even including TSA at each end, it's 2 1/2 hours plus my ground transport. (Where I happen to live, time to KCI and time to KC union station is a wash). Amtrak is 7 hours and 20 minutes enroute. My experience with Amtrak wi-fi is less than stellar. In addition, there are areas along the route of the Santa Fe that have ***no cell service whatsoever***.

Simply put, Amtrak cannot compete for the business traveler KC to Chicago.
The time-conscious business traveler no, but that 7h20m actually beats the drive time KCY <-> points in Illinois (Google estimates ~7h45m nonstop.) Shave the time to 7h flat, which I think you could for a stand-alone corridor that didn’t need LD recovery time, and that becomes even more competitive with driving. I’m having trouble finding travel statistics between CHI and KCY though - it’s possible the end-to-end potential market isn’t nearly as large as I think - but I suspect it’s underserved.

I consider CHI-KCY in the same vein as MKE-MSP and PGH-WAS. Despite having few intermediate stops of any size (MSP-MKE has the most mid-size stops), they have good load factors and are at least reasonably competitive with drive time - especially in foul weather. Amtrak National is the only agency able to shepherd routes that primarily serve end-to-end traffic, because as you said, there isn’t much between Fort Madison and Kansas City so Missouri wouldn’t see a lot of benefit in taking its residents out of state.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Observed #6(27) running "ahead of time":

"Two of a kind": 6 cars
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Diner. Lounge = two Food Service

Oh, and two P-42's

OK. to my usual formal self

#6(27)

P-42
P-42
32XXX Sleeper
32XXX Sleeper
380XX Diner
330XX Lounge
310XX Coach-Bagg
34XXX Coach
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Observed:

#5 (9) 2 P-42, 2 Sleeper, Diner, Lounge, 2 Coach, DH Diner
#3 (9) 2 P-42, 2 Sleeper, Diner, Lounge 3 Coach

Seems like 610XX V-IIB have become "scarce" of late.
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