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  1. John Bredin

    Republican coalition against Mobile Amtrak service

    In the meantime, better some train service than none. A New Orleans-Mobile service could build demand for a restored eastern Sunset Limited (I can go to Mobile, why not east of Mobile?) and make it somewhat more likely fiscally (money spent on capital improvements between New Orleans and Mobile...
  2. John Bredin

    New Amtrak Proposed Routes Map has Dropped

    A long-distance train is more bang for your buck, not less. Many towns aren't on an LD route. For those that are, though, service connecting a town to the rest of the nation daily can be justified by only a relative handful of people boarding daily, where it would definitely not be for even a...
  3. John Bredin

    Deadly train crash in Taiwan

    A train busy with holiday travelers derailed in a tunnel in Taiwan because a truck or construction equipment rolled down the embankment as the train was at the mouth of the tunnel. 51 dead at latest count, dozens injured. NY Times article. CNN article. BBC article. NPR article. The NPR article...
  4. John Bredin

    New Amtrak Proposed Routes Map has Dropped

    Possibly not federal funding, but the page before the map mentions that Congress can provide funding, track access, and enforcement tools for Amtrak's preference over freight trains. Maybe the state-funded plans are listed to illustrate the other two points: access and on-time enforcement. The...
  5. John Bredin

    New Amtrak Proposed Routes Map has Dropped

    Without googling for existing plans to support every light-blue line on the map, I'm fairly sure they're all rail plans that have been approved at some level (environmental impact statement, etc.) so not strictly speaking flights of fancy. If it really was flights of fancy, they've been too...
  6. John Bredin

    Span Unlimited

    Span would've kept front and center the purpose of spanning the nation. On the other hand, there's nothing particularly "railroad" about the name, as highways and air routes also span the nation.
  7. John Bredin

    Flynn on Amtrak

    Why the latter? More moving parts to fail; that is, if a group of cities combine to pay for a service, any one dropping out could be "fatal"? True, but conversely, if a state government is hostile to passenger rail (admittedly, more likely the legislature than the DOT, as DOTs are used to having...
  8. John Bredin

    Beaver on the Toronto subway

    A beaver found its way into a Toronto subway station. Article. Another article. Perhaps it confused the TTC Subway with the Canadian Pacific Railway? 😄
  9. John Bredin

    Dedicated Sleeper Lounge/Waiting Area in Seattle?

    The unstaffed lounge in St. Louis is pretty decent, as I recall from the one time I used business class on the Lincoln Service. You have to get a passcode for the door at the ticket counter, so random passengers or passersby can't just wander in. It's a quiet room with comfy furniture, its own...
  10. John Bredin

    Return of Vermont service... someday

    The only Amtrak stations still with no service due to Covid are the Adirondack and Ethan Allen stops north of Albany and the Vermonter stops north of Greenfield. Everywhere else, even on the long-distance routes with try-weakly, there's at least some amount of train service. Curioser and...
  11. John Bredin

    Legislation to Provide Permanent Funding for Amtrak

    I'm more than a bit wary of the language "dependence" on government funding. Should the Army, the courts, highways, or national parks be "free of dependence on government funds"? Amtrak is a public service financed publicly because (as you acknowledge) the private sector didn't want to keep...
  12. John Bredin

    6 hour delay between cities 200 miles apart is preposterous!

    😳 All-or-none is the opposite of what I'm suggesting. You noted that there are short sidings useful for MOW trains and storing freight cars but would unduly shorten freight trains if a railroad could run no freights longer than its shortest siding. I suggested that such sidings wouldn't count...
  13. John Bredin

    6 hour delay between cities 200 miles apart is preposterous!

    I've seen political movers & shakers in business class on the Lincoln Service traveling between Chicago and Springfield. I would be surprised if the same wasn't true on the Capitol Corridor in California, and possibly Carolinian-Piedmont service in North Carolina and Cascades to & from Salem...
  14. John Bredin

    Sumitomo/Siemens Contract for 137 Cars (former bi-levels)

    As I recall, the plan is to deliver the new train cars without cafes, which will be forthcoming in 2022. The plan was (again, as I recall) silent on what would be done for cafe service in the meantime as some trainsets are to enter service in 2021, but as the Midwest trains except the Hiawatha...
  15. John Bredin

    6 hour delay between cities 200 miles apart is preposterous!

    To your first point, make an exception whereby railroads designate short sidings for short non-freight trains and then enforce it if the railroad repeatedly or routinely sticks freight trains in those designated or exempt sidings. To your second point, I doubt the object of the hypothesized...
  16. John Bredin

    Amtrak BidUp (Bidding for Upgrades to Business Class/Acela First Class)

    I was in Chicago Union Station today, and one of Amtrak's screens said "Upgrades available" and mentioned sleeper cars as well as business class. But it also said to ask an "Amtrak representative" without mentioning the bidding process.
  17. John Bredin

    Amtrak goes straight to STB to restore Gulf Coast service.

    Which is better than the governors (Walker, Kasich, etc.) who refused federal funds for significant network-expanding improvements to passenger rail service because the funds were (approved by Congress but) associated with Obama.
  18. John Bredin

    Ex-Iowa Pacific / Pullman Cars for sale

    To clarify for those who want to go see this equipment in person, the steam engine, tender, orange passenger car, and orange caboose aren't by the fire station, they're a "stuffed and mounted" display in a park across from the Metra tracks a couple of blocks west of the Bensenville Metra...
  19. John Bredin

    How is tipping done in a cash-less Amtrak world?

    Personally I like going mostly cashless. I have to consciously remember to bring more cash on an overnight trip for cash tips (hotel cleaners as well as sleeping car attendants). But if you like using cash, Germany is the place for you. So many places in an otherwise ultramodern country that...
  20. John Bredin

    Empire Builder, Hiawatha, Cardinal, and Crescent

    Don't know about the relative price of rental cars at Gen'l Mitchell vs. O'Hare, but Glenview station would've left you about 20 minutes from the O'Hare consolidated rental car facility on Mannheim Rd. and less than 15 minutes from several non-airport rental offices. Oops, missed that you had...