• Amtrak Expansion Plan

  • 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 Westernstar1
 
mtuandrew wrote: Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:02 pm
WhartonAndNorthern wrote: Mon Aug 19, 2019 4:32 pmOr take the actual Starlight since it's probably leaving around the same timeframe. I get that the SB Starlight which starts in Seattle might be late to Oakland.

On the bright side UP hardly uses the Coast Sub so there won't be a fight for access. Crossing inventory for Salinas and Atascadero show only 2 switching freight movements per day.
Sure seems like a waste to have two trains on each other’s markers, doesn’t it? Might be an excuse for Amtrak to shift the Coast Starlight to an earlier departure time so the Amtrak California Coast Daylight can have a 10am-10pm schedule.
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I quite agree.

The present Starlight leaves LA at 10:10 AM. It arrives into the Bay Area (Emeryville) at 10:04 PM. Way too late, in my opinion. The arrival time for Sacramento is Midnight. What if the Starlight were to leave LA at 6 AM. The Bay Area arrival time would then be about 6 PM, and 8-8:30 PM for Sacramento. However, some would say that 6 AM is too early a departure for LA, and that you would lose passengers connecting from other train systems. Possibly some of the smaller towns, in Southern Calif. could be eliminated as stops, to allow a bit later departure time (from 6 AM) out of LA in that scenario.

Why couldn't they run the Pacific Surfliners north, from San Luis Obispo, to the Bay Area? Sort of a "new Coast Daylight". That might also allow for a more flexible Starlight schedule.

Some have suggested that the Coast Starlight schedule be kept, as is, but have the Starlight terminate in the Bay Area. Then have a new train from Emeryville or Jack London Square to PDX and SEA (A new "Shasta Daylight" ? One thing I don't like about that idea would be the very long coach ride (18 hrs to Portland), if the train started out in the morning. It wouldn't arrive into PDX until midnight or later. However, a late afternoon departure, from the Bay Area would get the "Shasta Daylight" or "Shasta Starlight" into Portland the next morning. It would need sleepers, however. Maybe even a "Pacific Parlor Car", but just a pipe dream. I would hope the new train would travel along the lower Cascades, Klamath to Eugene, during daylight hours as that is a very scenic stretch.

Western Star
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
I think Manchester, NH will be in the MBTA network if it is ever served again by passenger rail.
  by Rockingham Racer
 
njt/mnrrbuff wrote: Fri Dec 06, 2019 4:17 pm I think Manchester, NH will be in the MBTA network if it is ever served again by passenger rail.
I'm not so sure. But I think you meant to post this in another topic?????
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
The most economicsl solution to the "Stsrlight problem" would be to "chop it" at Oakland and otherwise bresk the through SEA-LAX train.

Passengers desiring to travel "through" would transfer to the "CalBus" at MTZ and be on their way to Valley and "Basin" points.

The revived "Coast Daylight" would be a Surfliner equipped train devoid of Sleepers and Diners, but originating at 4th St. (reportedly no longer "wine country") providing service to San Francisco and Silicon Valley.

Lest we forget, the "Starlight" was an Amtrak-era creation.
  by John_Perkowski
 
ExCon90 wrote: Fri Sep 27, 2019 2:04 pm As to Mr. gokeefe's post above, Amtrak's services in California do indeed far outpace both those of SP and ATSF put together. At no time in history was there as much service between the East Bay and Sacramento and between LA and San Diego as there is today (clockers?! on the Surf Line?!),
California’s population has more than doubled in the past sixty years, from under 16 million in 1960 to 39.5 million in 2018. That alone is a major demand factor for increasing service in all modes of transportation.
  by eolesen
 
Yes, but keep in mind that growth is concentrated into a relatively small footprint. The urban areas got considerably denser, but once you get outside of LA/SD, Bay Area, and Sacramento, the rest of CA is relatively unchanged.
  by Tadman
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Fri Dec 06, 2019 5:42 pm

Lest we forget, the "Starlight" was an Amtrak-era creation.
Agreed. In fact it once went all the way to San Diego. Cooler heads prevailed when they realized a corridor route shouldn't waste a slot on an unpredictable long distance train when regular riders needed a predictable corridor train. They should take the same idea and truncate the Starlight to Portland and give that Seattle slot to a Cascade. It would also give the carrier a bit more time to turn the train.
  by ryanch
 
eolesen wrote: Tue Dec 10, 2019 4:42 am Yes, but keep in mind that growth is concentrated into a relatively small footprint. The urban areas got considerably denser, but once you get outside of LA/SD, Bay Area, and Sacramento, the rest of CA is relatively unchanged.
Your point really seems like "yes and" rather than "yes but." It strengthens Mr. Perkowski's explanation rather than contradicting it.
  by eolesen
 
Since you're confused, here's the clarification....

No question there's a current need and demand for more rail **within** the LA-SD corridor, and in the Bay Area.

That said, even with the growth, there's not nearly as much demand to have rail between them, or to try to add rail within the Central Valley as a bridge between the two megapolises.

To add to my earlier vague comment.... California's bigger problem will be water, not rail.

Some people are forecasting that California's population growth has already peaked as it's flattened out in the last couple years, and may actually start a decline within the next 20-30 years.

There's already notable out-migration due to real estate prices and taxation, and birth rates aren't quite keeping up with mortality rates. Throw in concerns over water and energy availability/pricing, and that need for more transportation infrastructure might not be as high come 2050.
  by ryanch
 
eolesen wrote: Wed Dec 11, 2019 3:25 am Since you're confused, here's the clarification ...

No question there's a current need and demand for more rail **within** the LA-SD corridor, and in the Bay Area.

That said, even with the growth, there's not nearly as much demand to have rail between them, or to try to add rail within the Central Valley as a bridge between the two megapolises.
Thanks for acknowledging my point with your second paragraph.
  by Westernstar1
 
As per Mr. Eolesen's comment, Calif's big problem is and greatly will be getting enough fresh water into the state. There have been proposals for a water pipeline from OR, WA, BC, & Alaska into Calif. Even for a subsea pipeline from those states.

There are more people leaving Calif. than entering, Reasons given are crime increases, traffic congestion, the homeless problem, wildfires, earthquakes, high taxes, and some really bad politicians, at least in my opinion.

Back to passenger train corridors, I would like to see a daytime train from the Bay Area and Sacramento to some of the northernmost communities in northern Calif. I was planning a trip to Dunsmuir and the Shasta area, but the arrival times, for both northbound and southbound Starlights, are unreasonable. I'm hoping, someday, that an Amtrak Capitol Corridor train might venture north of Sacramento to the far north of Calif. But, I guess, many would think the ridership numbers would be low and the Caps would not consider it. Too bad that the Siskiyou pass has long been not navigable. A train from the Bay Area and SAC to Redding, Mt.Shasta, Ashland, and Medford might be popular.

Western Star
Last edited by Westernstar1 on Wed Dec 11, 2019 11:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by gokeefe
 
If California is able to desalinate and take advantage of solar resources to do it (in whatever way that implies) they will be fine.

New rolling stock coming soon will greatly assist in service expansions which then likely result in consideration of new routes.
  by rcthompson04
 
What about some relatively short corridors like Scranton to NYP and Reading to NYP via the Lehigh Valley?
  by David Benton
 
gokeefe wrote: Wed Dec 11, 2019 5:58 pm If California is able to desalinate and take advantage of solar resources to do it (in whatever way that implies) they will be fine.

New rolling stock coming soon will greatly assist in service expansions which then likely result in consideration of new routes.
Or use salt water / brackish water on their lawns/ golf courses etc. Lots of research going into this in the Middle East.

It will be interesting to see hat difference the single level equipment will make. Perhaps a couple of higher speed expresses on each route?
  by Suburban Station
 
rcthompson04 wrote: Wed Dec 11, 2019 9:15 pm What about some relatively short corridors like Scranton to NYP and Reading to NYP via the Lehigh Valley?
I think scranton would be an extension of an njt route but reading would make a lot of sense as a Keystone type route. if it went to harrisburg from reading you could even use the same facilities though that might be a steeper ask than just reading.
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