• WashPost article on track fights

  • 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

  by farecard
The battle that will determine the future of American passenger rail

Amtrak has money to expand, but it doesn’t own the railroad tracks. A stalled effort along the Gulf Coast is a test of its ability to grow.
By Luz Lazo
July 6, 2022 at 6:00 a.m. EDT

Months after Washington approved billions to significantly expand Amtrak’s footprint across the country, an early attempt at growth has reached an impasse in a test case that could define the American rail network for a generation.

The escalating clash is playing out on the Gulf Coast, where Amtrak wants to restore service 17 years after Hurricane Katrina flooded the region’s rail infrastructure. Amid fanfare over federal money as a president nicknamed “Amtrak Joe” watches from the White House, the passenger rail and the freight railroads that control the tracks are in mediation to resolve disputes over Amtrak’s proposed service levels.

At the core of the conflict is a mandate that requires freight railroads to give passenger trains access to rail track and preference over other rail traffic.....

[A lot of detail on the issue followed.]
https://www.washingtonpost.com/transpor ... ght-rails/
  by Gilbert B Norman
First, allow me to note that it appears The Post has at present, a "heads up gal" on the transportation beat:


Now returning to the immediate issue, existing law first established under RPSA70 and upheld in subsequent legislation that the roads must "negotiate in good faith" with Amtrak regarding to any additions beyond the "Basic System" under that Act. Amtrak simply cannot "demand" just because they have "loot to burn".

Chessie must have sufficient "plant" to keep her principal customers between NO and Mobile happy. I think that means Ingalls at Pascagoula and the Port of Mobile. That does not include potential Amtrak passengers. But, if she reads "The Gospel According to Saint Elwood" too fervently, she could jeopardize that existing business.

Somehow, when my Mother went to a Farrel Lines christening at Ingalls during '63 (chartered Sleepers including "Crescent Moon" handled on "Crescent" going from NY; "Piedmont" on the return. My Father "couldn't be bothered" and flew down on a chartered Delta plane) I think the line was double tracked, as the photos in the article suggest it once was. But today, that appears no longer the case, beyond what is needed to handle the "monster trains" Saint Elwood envisioned for his disciples.

So it appears that NO-Mobile is a Corridor that could do worthwhile business (the '84-'85 Expo apparently did OK), but by the same token, Chessie has structured her investor's road so as to maximize operational efficiency and to keep her customers happy.