• North Carolina NCDOT-Amtrak Carolinian 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 Gilbert B Norman
 
Mr. NJT, if "Virginia is for 🚄❤", is spending "whopperbux" to rebuild the abandoned SAL Norlina Sub, it would figure they would want any passenger train routed over it they could have. Further the NS, I'll lay odds, will be happy to have the Amtrak "two a day" gone.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
Virginia has been very supportive of passenger trains for a while and obviously, it will be up to Virginia if Amtrak wanted to run trains on the old S Line through the Old Dominion State. While Rocky Mount and Wilson might be large towns and are presently served by the Silver Star, we want to ask ourselves the question-do we want to inconvenience 200 or 2000 people if the Star does get rerouted over the SAL Norlina Sub if it gets built to handle passenger trains. I read that the State of NC is looking at running 110 mph north of Raleigh. On the A Line, it's 79 and the speeds could probably be raised along the A Line given the fact that it's very straight.
  by Jeff Smith
 
njt/mnrrbuff wrote: Fri May 08, 2020 5:10 pm Within the next decade as part of the improvements for Virginia to buy the RF&P and the possibility of the S-Line being reactivated, Virginia DOT, NCDOT is going to give Amtrak the approval to run four additional Carolinian trains each way from NYP to Charlotte and back. In addition, NCDOT is going to allow Amtrak to add some more Piedmont trains. With the addition of the increased Amtrak frequencies in the next 10 years, it's going to be critical to have that brand new yard built west of Charlotte.
...
Although off-topic, allowing that it was in response to Mr. Roberts, to whom I defer on all matters NC, I'm going to answer with a question: Where do you think Amtrak is going to find four slots (eight round trip) in the North River Tunnels? Or will VA acquiesce to NC plans, since they'll own the ROW?What's your source? Also, who's funding this? My impression is the Piedmont and Carolinian are NC funded, not Amtrak.

NOTE: I"ll move this to the NC topic, and edit out the OT portion in this thread. No harm, no foul.
  by SouthernRailway
 
If the Carolinian is truly profitable, why isn’t a private investor running it? Why isn’t Norfolk Southern or CSX? North Carolina has some pretty conservative politicians and so I’d think that they’d be pushing for privatization especially of a profitable train.
  by Jeff Smith
 
Good point! If Brightline makes it out of COVID alive, this would be a type of corridor train they could be interested in.
  by nomis
 
North Carolina (NCDOT) was inquiring in 2017 into the prospect of extending the Carolinian up to New Haven, CT and thus getting it reclassified as a long distance train (750+ miles).

Privatization (and a operating as a split route) would be a hindrance to the success it has seen.
  by SouthernRailway
 
Why would privatization be a hindrance?

If it is profitable, why would government need to operate it; why not farm it out to a private operator? That would free up the NCDOT for other things.

I last took the Carolinian about 12 years ago from Washington to Charlotte. It was OK. Standard Northeast Corridor Amfleet train.

But an operator like Brightline could make it a lot snazzier and probably have different service levels that could attract higher fares and more riders.
  by Pensyfan19
 
I originally proposed something like this a while ago. If certain lines are profitable enough, then they should be sold off to the private sector so that state and federal governments can have more money to spend on other things. (This is all I will say about this topic.)
  by RRspatch
 
SouthernRailway wrote: Sun May 10, 2020 2:44 pm If the Carolinian is truly profitable, why isn’t a private investor running it? Why isn’t Norfolk Southern or CSX? North Carolina has some pretty conservative politicians and so I’d think that they’d be pushing for privatization especially of a profitable train.
This again?

The freight railroads want absolutely NOTHING to do with passenger trains no matter how profitable they might be (hint: they won't be). Liability in carrying people has a HUGE thing to do with it. Another issue is that when Amtrak started the freight railroads were able to shut down entire departments devoted to passenger trains. These days what with Pretty Sh;++y Railroading ....er, Precision Scheduled Railroading (aka: asset stripping) no freight railroad is going to want to go down that road again. Most of the class 1's are in heavy layoff mode at this time and would not want to hire people to deal with passenger trains.

Once again, give it a rest ....
  by Rockingham Racer
 
Amtrak gave another private service quite a hard time: Iowa Pacific's service between CHI and IND. They won't make it easy between DC and Shell [New Rochelle].
  by Tadman
 
Rockingham Racer wrote: Mon May 11, 2020 5:48 am Amtrak gave another private service quite a hard time: Iowa Pacific's service between CHI and IND. They won't make it easy between DC and Shell [New Rochelle].
Keep in mind the Iowa Pacific failure on the Hoosier State route (a) happened before the last governor of Indiana became vice president; (b) had some pretty bad blood between the IP CEO and Amtrak management. All the false starts of IP Hoosier reeked of Amtrak throwing every stop in the way of IP, IP being poorly prepared, and Washington not caring. Then you had the contract with CSX that assumed there would always be delays, and that financial arrangement was built into the model. Oops.

I think today the outcome would be different if a firm like Abelio or MTR tried to do PPP with Amtrak and Indiana. They have professional experience running passenger trains and there is no personal baggage. They could also have buy-in literally from the top. It would be good optics for VP Pence to sternly ask Amtrak to cooperate. In the past we've seen quite a few high-level interventions resulting in dismissed Amtrak CEO's.
  by Jeff Smith
 
nomis wrote: Sun May 10, 2020 3:30 pm North Carolina (NCDOT) was inquiring in 2017 into the prospect of extending the Carolinian up to New Haven, CT and thus getting it reclassified as a long distance train (750+ miles).

Privatization (and a operating as a split route) would be a hindrance to the success it has seen.
Re: New Haven, CT, I did merge a few Carolinian threads in including one on that very idea. But why New Haven? Why not make it a "full" regional, and run it to Boston?
  by Jeff Smith
 
Tadman wrote: Mon May 11, 2020 8:22 am
Rockingham Racer wrote: Mon May 11, 2020 5:48 am Amtrak gave another private service quite a hard time: Iowa Pacific's service between CHI and IND. They won't make it easy between DC and Shell [New Rochelle].
Keep in mind the Iowa Pacific failure on the Hoosier State route (a) happened before the last governor of Indiana became vice president; (b) had some pretty bad blood between the IP CEO and Amtrak management.

I think today the outcome would be different if a firm like Abelio or MTR tried to do PPP with Amtrak and Indiana. They have professional experience running passenger trains and there is no personal baggage. They could also have buy-in literally from the top. It would be good optics for VP Pence to sternly ask Amtrak to cooperate. In the past we've seen quite a few high-level interventions resulting in dismissed Amtrak CEO's.
IIRC, wasn't there a law a few years back allowing private bids on Amtrak routes?
  by SouthernRailway
 
Jeff Smith wrote: Mon May 11, 2020 8:25 am
Tadman wrote: Mon May 11, 2020 8:22 am
Rockingham Racer wrote: Mon May 11, 2020 5:48 am Amtrak gave another private service quite a hard time: Iowa Pacific's service between CHI and IND. They won't make it easy between DC and Shell [New Rochelle].
Keep in mind the Iowa Pacific failure on the Hoosier State route (a) happened before the last governor of Indiana became vice president; (b) had some pretty bad blood between the IP CEO and Amtrak management.

I think today the outcome would be different if a firm like Abelio or MTR tried to do PPP with Amtrak and Indiana. They have professional experience running passenger trains and there is no personal baggage. They could also have buy-in literally from the top. It would be good optics for VP Pence to sternly ask Amtrak to cooperate. In the past we've seen quite a few high-level interventions resulting in dismissed Amtrak CEO's.
IIRC, wasn't there a law a few years back allowing private bids on Amtrak routes?
Yes. As far as I know it was for Federally-supported long-distance routes.

I have seen Iowa Pacific’s antics and think that tit has a pretty low image in railroad circles. Even assuming that Amtrak wouldn’t like any private operator, Iowa Pacific may have contributed to bad blood due to poor behavior that other railroads wouldn’t do.
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