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  1. M

    What if the Milwaukee Road didn't de-energize the Pacific Extension

    The NP/MILW merger is an oft-touted scenario. But it never would have happened. For one thing, NP owned half of the CB&Q (along with GN) and they would hardly give up their half of the CB&Q to merge with the MILW which had a route structure which was highly inferior to the CB&Q. This unlikely...
  2. M

    What if the Milwaukee Road didn't de-energize the Pacific Extension

    Seaboard92: The Milwaukee line over Snoqualmie Pass was indeed worth keeping, but BN (which actually acquired it after the Milwaukee shut down) was in the getting-rid-of-as-much-as-possible mode in the 1980s (hence, the gift that keeps on giving in the form of Montana Rail Link…). The 20/20...
  3. M

    What if the Milwaukee Road didn't de-energize the Pacific Extension

    Toddinde: I think you are missing my point about electrification. Yes, I have heard the story about the GE’s electrification and “closing the gap” in doing so. It’s not about whether or not to electrify the gap or upgrading the system. It’s all about dedicating a large amount of resources...
  4. M

    What if the Milwaukee Road didn't de-energize the Pacific Extension

    Again, the salient question is: Did the Milwaukee not maintain the track because it didn’t make enough money to do so, or because it was a lost cause due to competition with superior routes and a prescient understanding of a Staggers Act at some point in time? And again, it wasn’t just...
  5. M

    What if the Milwaukee Road didn't de-energize the Pacific Extension

    Who were the interested parties? I know the UP inspected the track from Marengo to Seattle, but east of there – especially since the UP didn’t have a presence east of Council Bluffs – there would be little reason anyone would want it. After all, the population base wasn’t that great, and...
  6. M

    What if the Milwaukee Road didn't de-energize the Pacific Extension

    Great comeback. So rich in facts and detail, as expected. Scranton? Iowa? No explanation, of course, especially as to why they are supposedly deficient. Scranton isn’t on a major east-west freight route anymore and shouldn’t be, just like the Milwaukee Road Pacific Extension shouldn’t be...
  7. M

    What if the Milwaukee Road didn't de-energize the Pacific Extension

    Re: neroden’s latest “Drive-By” treatise: . Blaming Milwaukee Road mismanagement is the ultimate copout. If a railroad has value, someone (even if not associated with that railroad) will see it and save it. The Rock Island is the perfect example. Even the thousands of miles of redundant branch...
  8. M

    What if the Milwaukee Road didn't de-energize the Pacific Extension

    The Milwaukee Road's electrification - and really the entire Milwaukee Road Pacific Extension - was/is considered a novelty. Hence the enduring interest and "what if" speculation even though such scenarios are contrary to reality. How a railroad which could not even install CTC, power switches...
  9. M

    South Dakota Passenger Rail

    A Twin Cities- Sioux Falls routing via Mankato would require much more infrastructure investment. Any train would need to originate somewhere in Minneapolis, and then go to St. Paul (via BNSF, not the current Amtrak route) then UP to Agate (Worthington) on a combination of CTC, ABS, and TWC...
  10. M

    South Dakota Passenger Rail

    Twin Cities to Sioux Falls is definitely a route that should be pursued, right after the extension of the second Chicago-Twin Cities train to Fargo or Grand Forks. Sioux Falls has a metro area of one-quarter of million people. An all-BNSF routing via Willmar is doable. Willmar is currently a...
  11. M

    Empire Builder 90th birthday commemorative print is now available at the Amtrak store

    This week marks the 90th anniversary of continuous service by the Empire Builder passenger train. The first Empire Builder was launched on the CB&Q from Chicago on June 10, 1929, but the generally-recognized anniversary of the train is June 11, the day it first departed from St. Paul and...
  12. M

    What's the longest vacation you've taken by train?

    In 1985 when it looked like the Reagan Administration might succeed in getting rid of Amtrak, I took a long (potentially) "last ride." 15729 miles and 16 CONSECUTIVE nights on the train: 1. Empire Builder Cut Bank to Seattle 2. Coast Starlight Seattle to Sacramento 3. California Zephyr...
  13. M

    What train discontinued before Amtrak would you like to see brought back?

    I have a large collection of Official Guides from the 1980s back to the 1940s, so I am very familiar with the devolution of the Milwaukee Road and other granger lines that abandoned many many branch lines in the Midwest. But your original statement was that the Pacific Extension was the part...
  14. M

    What train discontinued before Amtrak would you like to see brought back?

    I agree. The problem is that we have no national transportation policy to facilitate this. Freight railroads are private infrastructure that costs money to maintain, so there is little incentive to keep extra capacity (i.e. no return on investment for stockholders). But say that there was...
  15. M

    What train discontinued before Amtrak would you like to see brought back?

    If the "second factory" is the Milwaukee Road Pacific Extension, definitely not. No "supply chain resiliency" when you're adding a high-cost route. No leverage with any union because everyone knows that little or no traffic could be lost to the high-cost route because no one would want to pay...
  16. M

    What train discontinued before Amtrak would you like to see brought back?

    This is ridiculous. Say you have two factories, each producing widgets. One produces them for 30 cents each, and the other for 50 cents each. The cost for each widget reflects the production cost of each factory. Because of its inefficiency, the factory with the 50-cent widget closes because...
  17. M

    What train discontinued before Amtrak would you like to see brought back?

    Well, if you think actual operating expenses of the Milwaukee Pacific Extension compared to that of the competition is irrelevant, it is no wonder you have come to the conclusion you have. The accounting aspect is debatable, regardless of what you think. There are plenty of arguments both...
  18. M

    What train discontinued before Amtrak would you like to see brought back?

    Not schooled. Not fooled. This article has been around for years and I am very familiar with it. There simply is no reason to take it as the definitive description about "What Really Happened" and ignore everything else. And it has totally been "countered" at...
  19. M

    What train discontinued before Amtrak would you like to see brought back?

    Sorry, but you have fallen for propaganda created by revisionist historians. The Milwaukee went bankrupt (again) before the Pacific Extension was abandoned. But no matter. When it comes to accounting, figures lie and liars figure. You can believe the Pacific Extension made money, but then...
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