• North Coast Hiawatha Study

  • 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

  • 410 posts
  • 1
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 28
  by John_Perkowski
 
This isn’t the 50s. The railroads have replaced men with machines for a lot of MOW tasks. There are fewer snowplows, both wedge and rotary, than there used to be.

So yes, I can see BNSF embargoing Amtrak.
  by Rockingham Racer
 
eolesen wrote: Sun Jan 19, 2020 4:02 pm Any condition closing I-94 is going to shut down the BNSF....
Beg to differ, but I don't have facts. Do you? The highway was shut down for a couple of hundred miles a few days ago. I didn't hear of the BNSF Jamestown [and other] subdivisions being shut down.
  by Arborwayfan
 
There are plenty of times when a given stretch of highway is open but it would still be safer and less stressful to take a train if one were available.
  by vermontanan
 
dgvrengineer wrote: Wed Jan 15, 2020 7:49 pm The Western Star did not go to Great Falls as far as I can remember.
The Western Star indeed did operate via Great Falls from February, 1952 through May 1960.
  by Tadman
 
Rockingham Racer wrote: Mon Jan 20, 2020 3:48 pm
eolesen wrote: Sun Jan 19, 2020 4:02 pm Any condition closing I-94 is going to shut down the BNSF....
Beg to differ, but I don't have facts. Do you? The highway was shut down for a couple of hundred miles a few days ago. I didn't hear of the BNSF Jamestown [and other] subdivisions being shut down.
There was indeed a condition recently (this winter) that caused BNSF to curtail Builder operation. Freights were so backed up they basically told Amtrak the builder was off for a few days.
  by Tadman
 
Ridgefielder wrote: Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:46 pm
First, we're not talking about serving the farmers 100 mi off the main line. We're talking about the people in Williston (pop. 30k) trying to get to Fargo or the Twin Cities.

Second, nobody finds it "safe" to drive 100 mi in bad weather there-- fuel injection or no. Here for instance is today's forecast for NE North Dakota:

...
People die in this. Every winter. And as you can see from the above, it doesn't take *crazy* snow. It just takes a few inches with a 50kt wind behind it to make the roads deadly-- white-out conditions and drifts across everything. That's why, once you get out onto the open prairie west of the Twin Cities, the interstate highway on-ramps have gates that the Highway Patrol can swing shut to close the road when they hear that weather is moving in.
I agree with everything you say here. But what if you live more than walking distance from the station? If it's dangerous to drive to the next big city, it's probably dangerous to drive to the station. For every Williston, there's Tioga, Stanley, Bismark, Dickinson, Belfield, Medora... not to mention what happens over the border in Canada where the 2x/week Canadian doesnt' even come close. If it's essential transportation, it has to provide essential transportation to more than just a few towns on the main line.
  by Ridgefielder
 
Tadman wrote: Tue Jan 28, 2020 11:36 amI agree with everything you say here. But what if you live more than walking distance from the station? If it's dangerous to drive to the next big city, it's probably dangerous to drive to the station. For every Williston, there's Tioga, Stanley, Bismark, Dickinson, Belfield, Medora... not to mention what happens over the border in Canada where the 2x/week Canadian doesnt' even come close. If it's essential transportation, it has to provide essential transportation to more than just a few towns on the main line.
I'm not saying this to be a jerk-- it's a genuine question. Have you ever driven across eastern Montana, the Dakotas or western Minnesota?
  by Rockingham Racer
 
Tadman wrote: Tue Jan 28, 2020 11:32 am
Rockingham Racer wrote: Mon Jan 20, 2020 3:48 pm
eolesen wrote: Sun Jan 19, 2020 4:02 pm Any condition closing I-94 is going to shut down the BNSF....
Beg to differ, but I don't have facts. Do you? The highway was shut down for a couple of hundred miles a few days ago. I didn't hear of the BNSF Jamestown [and other] subdivisions being shut down.
There was indeed a condition recently (this winter) that caused BNSF to curtail Builder operation. Freights were so backed up they basically told Amtrak the builder was off for a few days.
If you're referring to the Stevens Pass closure of the railroad, then, yes. But that's the Scenic Sub, quite a distance away from the Jamestown Sub in North Dakota, the subject of my comment. The BNSF, I'm sure, rues the day they sold their Mullan Pass line to MRL.
  by Tadman
 
Ridgefielder wrote: Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:23 pm
Tadman wrote: Tue Jan 28, 2020 11:36 amI agree with everything you say here. But what if you live more than walking distance from the station? If it's dangerous to drive to the next big city, it's probably dangerous to drive to the station. For every Williston, there's Tioga, Stanley, Bismark, Dickinson, Belfield, Medora... not to mention what happens over the border in Canada where the 2x/week Canadian doesnt' even come close. If it's essential transportation, it has to provide essential transportation to more than just a few towns on the main line.
I'm not saying this to be a jerk-- it's a genuine question. Have you ever driven across eastern Montana, the Dakotas or western Minnesota?
Nope, but I grew up in one of the heaviest snow belts in the country, the farm fields off Lake Michigan. We got multiple feet of snow all winter and it blew and drifted like crazy.

That doesn't have any bearing on the fact that if it's dangerous to drive 2+ hours, it's probably dangerous to drive 30 minutes to the station, or even ten minutes to the station.
  by mtuandrew
 
Tadman wrote: Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:15 pm
Ridgefielder wrote: Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:23 pm I'm not saying this to be a jerk-- it's a genuine question. Have you ever driven across eastern Montana, the Dakotas or western Minnesota?
Nope, but I grew up in one of the heaviest snow belts in the country, the farm fields off Lake Michigan. We got multiple feet of snow all winter and it blew and drifted like crazy.

That doesn't have any bearing on the fact that if it's dangerous to drive 2+ hours, it's probably dangerous to drive 30 minutes to the station, or even ten minutes to the station.
Different animals altogether. Lake effect is fluffy and/or wet and there’s tons of it. Winds can be strong but it’s rarely below zero. You’ll get stuck in snowbanks all over, but as long as it has a plow your train should be fine. From western Minnesota out to the Great Plains, you get temps down to -40, 60+ mph winds, and the really fine, powdery snow that feels like a sandblaster against your skin. Plays hell with electrical systems apparently, definitely with air brake systems and rails, and unless it’s a life-or-death emergency I’d never send anyone out in that kind of weather.

BNSF, CN, CP, Amtrak, VIA and the short lines have to be extremely careful to keep their crews (and passengers) safe.
  by eolesen
 
Those same extreme cold conditions are much tougher on passenger cars and semis...
  by mtuandrew
 
eolesen wrote: Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:58 am Those same extreme cold conditions are much tougher on passenger cars and semis...
Indeed, which is why BNSF doesn’t like to send hi-rail trucks out when it’s -40 and 60 mph winds :wink: They could operate Amtrak and their own freights, and definitely do send them through in -30° weather with low winds, but there’s a limit.
  by east point
 
No matter what from Spokane to Seattle any second train will not make the Cascade route. BNSF is already contemplating a few additional trains thru Cascade tunnel.. That will leave no slots for an additional Amtrak round trip. The train will need to go thru Stampede pass and tunnel. The article in Trains magazine makes that clear.
  by Pensyfan19
 
There is a petition to reinstate the North Coast Hiawatha. Please show your support for this line and this petition! :-)

https://www.change.org/p/amtrak-reinsta ... yGBJKYqtfs
  by gokeefe
 
Of all the routes that Amtrak might ever choose to reinstate an additional transcontinental frequency through Montana is among the least useful.
  • 1
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 28