• If you could restore a defunct Amtrak route

  • 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 Tom6921
 
Imagine if you had the resources to restore a previously discontinued Amtrak route to operation and if equipment was not a problem, what route would you restore if you could only choose one route?

Based on previous trips I've taken and might take in the future, I'd choose the following:

National Limited (Went to Dayton once)

Floridian/Gulf Breeze (I went to Montgomery Alabama last December. I BARELY made my connection in Birmingham with Greyhound because the Crescent was late.

Montrealer as an overnight train as it would be easier to connect to with VIA in Montreal and other Amtrak trains going south from NYP/Washington.

A
  by electricron
 
If money and rolling stock difficulties didn't apply, I would reinstate Amtrak's Lone Star, it's renaming of the Texas Chief. Here's the route: Chicago, Illinois, to Galveston, Texas via Kansas City, Wichita, Oklahoma City, Fort Worth, and Houston. Well, it could be stopped short in Dallas if the next paragraph were to happen.
Once this train is implemented, I would eliminate the Heartland Flyer, Texas Eagle, and Southwest Chief entirely. In their place I would run a new rerouted daily Sunset Limited from New Orleans to Los Angeles via Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Abilene. Lubbock, Clovis, Albuquerque, Flagstaff, Barstow, Los Angeles.

This takes four trains, Heartland Flyer, SW Chief, TX Eagle, and Sunset Limited and makes two trains out of them. The new Lone Star train runs on the eastern half of the existing SW Chief corridor, while rerouting of the Sunset Limited runs on the western half of the existing SE Chief schedule. The new Lone Star train would also replace the Heartland Flyer. An interchange of cars between trains in Fort Worth would make the rolling stock of the two new trains into 4 trains, with car sections extensions of the Texas Eagle going both east and west of Fort Worth on the new rerouted Sunset Limited. My plan would eliminate the lowest population density running sections of both the Sunset Limited and Southwest Chief.

But I realize my plan will never happen. ;) but I can dream! :)
  by Matt Johnson
 
Desert Wind and Pioneer were both unfortunate losses to the network. I wish one or both could return.
  by bdawe
 
In a hypothetical world where long distance train subsidies rained down from congress for some bizarre reason, could you run the Pioneer by way of Stampede Pass rather than through the Columbia Gorge? You could time it to connect with the Portland section of the Empire Builder for Portland-bound passengers.

This could have the benefit of (maybe?) faster travel times between Seattle and Salt Lake City, serve the cities of the Yakima Basin along the old NP with a direct train to Seattle, and not tie up track capacity on the Seattle-Portland line with a chaotically-timed long distance train that could be used to slot more Cascades service
  by Backshophoss
 
Bring back the "Inter-American" as an extension of the Eagle from San Antonio to Laredo Tx.
Combine the Desert Wind and Pioneer as a LA to Portland train via Salt Lake City,exchange passengers with the CZ
at Salt Lake City. as a nod to UP,a rename as the "Overland Trail"

With the Cardinal about to be slowed down by CSX,how about a return of the Shenandoah as a Washington- Chicago
via Cincinnati and Indy.
  by AgentSkelly
 
bdawe wrote:In a hypothetical world where long distance train subsidies rained down from congress for some bizarre reason, could you run the Pioneer by way of Stampede Pass rather than through the Columbia Gorge? You could time it to connect with the Portland section of the Empire Builder for Portland-bound passengers.

This could have the benefit of (maybe?) faster travel times between Seattle and Salt Lake City, serve the cities of the Yakima Basin along the old NP with a direct train to Seattle, and not tie up track capacity on the Seattle-Portland line with a chaotically-timed long distance train that could be used to slot more Cascades service
I always thought it would interesting to take the Pioneer and the Desert Wind and make a Portland-Las Vegas Train out of it...
  by Rockingham Racer
 
Did that in the 90's and yes: it was fun. Left Eugene OR on # 11, changed at Martinez CA to a San Joaquin to Bakersfield. Immediate transfer to a Thruway bus to Las Vegas. Lost some money there, of course. Then the Desert Wind up to Denver. After an overnight, Pioneer back to Portland, with a connection on the Coast Starlight down to Eugene.

In those days, the Cascades did not exist.
  by Greg Moore
 
Just too many to list.

Yes, Pioneer/Desert Wind would be one.

Niagara Rainbow would be another (though I'd continue that onto Chicago).
  by vermontanan
 
Backshophoss wrote: With the Cardinal about to be slowed down by CSX,how about a return of the Shenandoah as a Washington- Chicago
via Cincinnati and Indy.
Not feasible. Much of the 274 miles between Clarksburg, WV and Cincinnati just isn't there anymore.

--Mark Meyer
  by vermontanan
 
Such "what if" discussions come up from time to time. With the possible exception of Newton, KS to Oklahoma City (only 200 miles), the immediate likelihood of any long distance routes being reinstated is not good. What I think would be more "bang for the buck" would be adding additional frequencies on existing routes, starting with New York-Florida and New York-Chicago. This would cost much less, and trains would use existing infrastructure or would require only moderate infrastructure upgrades (compared to starting a completely new service). The biggest problem Amtrak long distance trains have is their high cost due to they have no economy of scale: One train (or less) daily requiring station facilities and staffing. Adding trains would only increase these costs minimally, but would increase revenue by more than double (giving people more travel alternatives). After Amtrak long distance route ridership is bolstered, THEN there might be the political will to make the rather hefty investments in reviving past routes.

--Mark Meyer
  by Jeff Smith
 
Assuming suitable or improved routing could be had:

Floridian
Broadway Limited
Sunset East (as a separate train, to improve timekeeping)
A restored full Silver Palm, but over the FEC, not via Ocala/Gainesville
  by Larry
 
The Montrealer and I would like to see the Cape Codder come back. Both of these trains I have taken a ride in and loved them very much. One more would be a train from Maine to New York.
  by Suburban Station
 
I'm going to go with one in each region in order of preference
Broadway limited
Texas chief
city of San francisco or San Francisco chief
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