• Illinois Amtrak Service

  • 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 Rockingham Racer
 
So for lines with colleges: Friday and Sunday service. I can tell you, though, that places that have a national draw, such as Notre Dame, do not empty out such that a state university might.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Without turning this topic into a "my School's better than your School", let us note that college represents a market which can generate significant "downstream" traffic.

It seems that the "Millennial" generation (and even isn't there a newer one for those born post-9/11 that are now matriculating?) is not as interested in owning an auto as previous ones, such as my "Silent". They gravitate on graduation to cities (as distinct from me who has never lived in one), again without owning an auto where the only option is to "gutter park" it (would you ever catch me "gutter parking" MY car?). They will likely stay there even after saying "I do", and only leave when "little ones", and an SUV, are in the picture.

That represents a rail travel market of long term riders, if Amtrak and it's Local sponsors "do it right". It would behoove them not to provide service to the college market that once had a Fraternity Brother of mine remark upon seeing an IC train, "this looks something out of Dr. Zhivago".
  by Arborwayfan
 
Also consider the numbers: Can the 40,000+ students, 2,000+faculty, etc., at the U of I provide a few dozen passengers on weekdays and fill a couple of coaches on weekends? That's the real question, not whether any of them will go every week. In our wildest dreams on this board we're talking about three or four trains of 4-5 coaches a day, so max around 1600 pax a day each way. We're not remotely hoping to turn Chi-Chm into Amterdam-The Hague, with service every 15 minutes and thousands of bikes at every station waiting for their riders to come into town and ride off.

If we can build/rebuild cities that make living in a dense neighborhood of houses with small yards, or in apartments, seem convenient and attractive for families with kids, then it's a whole other picture. I have lived in Oslo, where buses have special spots for strollers and daycares offer covered stroller parking and 1/3 of the population has no car and more of them have kids than in the US. See, if young people only knew how much easier their lives would be when their kids were 10-16 if the kids could go everywhere by public transportation, the cities would fill up; it is so much easier to be a parent when kids don't ahve to be taken places all the time. And then we could fill all the trains and buses imaginable.
  by electricron
 
No doubt college students can and will ride trains along with all other forms of transportation.
But do they generate enough traffic on a daily basis to target servicing just them?
Do you run a daily train service all seven days a week when there are only passengers on mostly two days?
  by mtuandrew
 
electricron wrote: Thu Oct 31, 2019 8:58 am No doubt college students can and will ride trains along with all other forms of transportation.
But do they generate enough traffic on a daily basis to target servicing just them?
Do you run a daily train service all seven days a week when there are only passengers on mostly two days?
Might be worth having a specific Friday-only and Sunday-only turn in addition to the regular trains, especially if CN has more availability those days.
  by Tadman
 
Arborwayfan wrote: Thu Oct 31, 2019 8:54 am Also consider the numbers: Can the 40,000+ students, 2,000+faculty, etc., at the U of I provide a few dozen passengers on weekdays and fill a couple of coaches on weekends? That's the real question, not whether any of them will go every week.
Agreed, and I think the answer is yes. Thurs/Fri/Sat/Sun probably enough to fill a coach.

Also consider that universities have other traffic than students. A school like U of I has multiple campuses, a vast research function, and a significant publishing presence. There are plenty of grownups going to/from universities to talk about new technologies, grants, books, etc... Our university system is a cut above the rest of the world because of all the side business they generate.

Perhaps not enough to fill a coach every train, but I bet there are 20+ grownups each day that need to get between U of I Champaign and the branch campus at Chicago, the corporate offices of major companies in the city, and perhaps banks, O'Hare, significant donors to be wined/dined, etc...
  by Arborwayfan
 
Tadman, I like your line of thinking here. Big universities generate travel, both as sources and as destinations. When I was a grad student at the U of I my dept had several guests a month, sometimes many at once for a conference. Most of them flew in--sometimes I picked them up at the airport in a university van--but some came by train or bus. Research faculty traveled to see clients off campus and to go to conferences. Chicago was a big destination. Some professors taught at UIC sometimes, too, things like that.
  by Tadman
 
Some day I'll tell you the story of my grad school days when the dean asked me to chauffer a visiting senator. They gave me a school minivan which I promptly took to CVS and stocked with bottled water, snacks, NY Times, WS Journal, et al and drove him around all afternoon. When I dropped him off I would drive around with booth sliding doors open chopper-style like I was on MASH. I thought I was pretty funny...
  by Arborwayfan
 
Me, I just got a little lost on the way to my advisor's house with Hugh, Lord Thomas of Swinnerton in a little Ford Tempo I borrowed from my wife. :-D I took them to the old Champaign Greyhound station the next day, too, because they wanted to see the country on their way up to Chicago and this was before the Saluki (and long after the IC's menu of trains).
  by MACTRAXX
 
Everyone:

I have been following this subject of an extension of Illinois Amtrak Service south to Memphis, Tennessee
since it was suggested - I wanted to get an idea of the added distance between Carbondale (306.9) using
an Illinois Central Panama Limited timetable for the mileage from Chicago (Central Station at the time):
360.2 Cairo (southernmost point in Illinois)
404.8 Fulton, Kentucky
449.9 Dyersburg, Tennessee
527.2 Memphis
From this information the distance between Carbondale and Memphis is 220.3 miles...

An extension of rail service south of Carbondale would likely require support from both KY and TN
and would require added equipment that would have to overnight in Memphis for a day train CHI-MEM.
The co-operation of CN would also be necessary...MACTRAXX
  by eolesen
 
Not sure why we're getting all caught up in the 20+ people a day that might be going between CHI and CMI daily -- they're already being accommodated on the existing schedule, no?...
  by Matt Johnson
 
First glimpse of one of the new Siemens coaches. I can't say much for the color scheme, but I'm sure they'll be nice cars. With two already shipped to TTCI, I'm surprised there aren't more photos out there...

https://www.railjournal.com/fleet/sieme ... r-testing/
  by ryanch
 
I'm sure this is up-thread, and I could just go back through the 95 pages to find it. Maybe I should remember.

But can someone remind me how Illinois tentatively plans to use these 88 new cars? Is this to add service to Milwaukee (for now thwarted by the combo of incalcitrant track owners and Glenview homeowners); add service to Spfld./St. Louis? actually inaugurate service to the Quad Cities or Galena? Or just replace existing cars?

What's the timeline?

Actually, looking for more info, I discover a slightly different take on the 88 cars destined for Illinois per Rail Journal. Other sources say "Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin. It may amount to the same thing - all cars destined for Chicago-originating service. And looking further, it would seem that these are states in the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission, a formal government authority with purchasing power that is headed by an IDOT rep.

Anyway, does anyone know how the cars will be allocated?
  by CHTT1
 
The 88 cars are for service on trains sponsored by Illinois, Michigan and Missouri. I'm not sure how the Hiawathas will be affected, since Wisconsin wasn't part of the original car order (preferring to buy two Talgo sets which were canceled after the election of Scott Walker, they're now sitting in Beech Grove awaiting purchase by somebody or settling of a lawsuit by Talgo vs. Wisconsin.) I imagine Illinois could contribute the new cars to the Hiawatha fleet.
The Midwestern cars will be used on the state supported services, replacing the Amfleet and Horizon cars now in use. The Amfleets and Horizons will be returned to Amtrak which could use the Amfleets to supplement existing cars in the Northeast and the Horizons for new services in warm weather areas.
I would imagine the new Midwest cars could be used for the Quad Cities service (which gained new life with Illinois' new transportation infrastructure program) or Rockford (I haven't heard much about this lately, the train certainly won't go to Galena or Davenport due to CN's typical obstruction) or any other new services planned by the three or four states.
  by gokeefe
 
Wisconsin got an award for coaches in the most recent round of CRISI grants.
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