ryanch wrote: ↑Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:31 pmIt's very hard to see any purpose to running a 2nd frequency across North Dakota given current economics. In a setting where a significant majority of voters understand climate change, things could be very different.
I think the recent ridership surge to Williston has changed the economics somewhat. Furthermore, unlike virtually all other transcontinental or transcoastal LD services the Empire Builder
route serves communities that have a genuine need
for rail passenger service due to weather conditions in the winter. Rail itself as a mode for passenger service is the benefit and not just economic development, service to "no flys" or rural areas.
That is a unique situation that in my opinion would in fact justify additional service. It doesn't hurt at all that there are major metropolitan areas towards the ends of the corridor that could benefit from a second daily frequency as well. I know LDs aren't the best way to accomplish that but they provide a good foundation for additional future service.
We will know things are getting serious when someone official floats the Western Star
or it's modern day equivalent as a proposed service. Until then I think it's mostly pie in the sky. Nice to think about but permanently
Now ... Try branching service off of a corridor with "two a day each way"? ... Well then you might be on to something.