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  1. Nick Farr

    Need Amtrak trip and route planning help. Who should I contact?

    It's a handy tool to have if your dates are flexible and you want to know if you're getting the lowest price.
  2. Nick Farr

    Brightline, "conservative" policy, and the future of rail

    Well, you know how much snowpack you have for the year by late February.
  3. Nick Farr

    Brightline, "conservative" policy, and the future of rail

    Yet, you know it's measured differently from precipitation that falls on the population area and the volume of supply is known months in advance so you can plan accordingly. There's not much you can do when you count on unpredictable rainfall. An area that gets virtually no precipitation can...
  4. Nick Farr

    Need Amtrak trip and route planning help. Who should I contact?

    Agreed. The other non-obvious thing is that the bucket chart refers to pricing across the entire route. What would be most helpful is actually giving routing and costs, perhaps competing to see who can craft the cheapest journey across that route.
  5. Nick Farr

    Brightline, "conservative" policy, and the future of rail

    Most of Phoenix's water comes from salt river valley snowpack. By virtue of being a valley with one outlet, the area is more suited for groundwater replenishment than other desert cities. You're always going to have some evap, especially in sprinkler usage. The critical thing is making sure...
  6. Nick Farr

    Brightline, "conservative" policy, and the future of rail

    The question is not so much the amount of rainfall as much as what's captured over a very long period and what leaves the area (into the ocean). The primally problem with most drought areas is fresh water bring flushed out into the ocean faster than it gets replenished, usually with snowpack.
  7. Nick Farr

    Brightline, "conservative" policy, and the future of rail

    Mostly rainwater, runoff and reclaimed water. They actually treat wastewater specifically for groundwater replenishment.
  8. Nick Farr

    Need Amtrak trip and route planning help. Who should I contact?

    It is. $656 and $799 are the lower buckets I found in February. You might be able to find a slightly lower fare for the whole trip starting in late January. Shall we play Fare Golf?
  9. Nick Farr

    Need Amtrak trip and route planning help. Who should I contact?

    If we're playing Amtrak Fare Golf: $4,827 I'm actually a bit surprised I could do an around-the-country trip in sleepers for under $5k. All prices quoted in Roomettes for two Passengers, assuming Rail Passenger Association discount. (Family membership is $80). Prices searched on 9/12/21...
  10. Nick Farr

    Need Amtrak trip and route planning help. Who should I contact?

    Well, it's the only national passenger railroad for one. Beyond that, billions of dollars in subsidies from the government.
  11. Nick Farr

    Need Amtrak trip and route planning help. Who should I contact?

    In many ways, yes. You can take the train, but you'll probably have to book each section separately. Amtrak doesn't show fares across a range of dates on it's website as we've been lamenting as of late. Also, driving will probably be cheaper depending on how fuel efficient your vehicle is...
  12. Nick Farr

    Brightline, "conservative" policy, and the future of rail

    Groundwater sources get replenished from many different places. They're also harder to cut off entirely, unlike say the Colorado River.
  13. Nick Farr

    Short Consists of Long Distance Trains

    Jim Mathews was talking about Freight Railroads, who have a clear motive to lie and have been proven doing so in a slew of operational contexts. They have actively lobbied against enforcement of the law regarding on-time performance. There's no proof that Amtrak has any clear motive other than...
  14. Nick Farr

    Brightline, "conservative" policy, and the future of rail

    Arizona is also not entirely dependent on the Colorado River for water *or* power, unlike Las Vegas. Their junior rights to the Colorado are primarily why they've been doing more to prepare than Las Vegas. Phoenix is 70/30 split between river and groundwater, whereas Las Vegas is 90/10 river...
  15. Nick Farr

    Brightline, "conservative" policy, and the future of rail

    I would. Phoenix is leading the nation in wastewater reclamation projects and making sure new development doesn't outstrip the water supply. As a state, Arizona is far more prepared for the looming water crisis and doing more to replace infrastructure to conserve water than any other state.
  16. Nick Farr

    Short Consists of Long Distance Trains

    First: Specific decisions on consists is subject to all sorts of weird irrational decision-making. That being said, dying of COVID actually isn't terribly off-point. Once you mothball old transportation equipment, putting it back into service is difficult. They had a lot of problems with the...
  17. Nick Farr

    Is Solo a Good way to Travel Amtrak?

    The primary reason is pet allergies. There's no way they can clean allergens created by pets completely out of a sleeper car as part of the normal cleaning process. Generally, in the coaches, there's enough air circulation to effectively mitigate the allergens given normal cleaning procedures...
  18. Nick Farr

    Is Solo a Good way to Travel Amtrak?

    Dogs and cats up to 20 pounds (combined weight of pet and carrier) are welcome on trips up to seven hours on most routes Pets should remain entirely inside a closed carrier while in stations and onboard trains and must remain with you at all times; do not leave them alone. Onboard, place your...
  19. Nick Farr

    Short Consists of Long Distance Trains

    The point of running the LD trains is not to make a profit and never has been. Amtrak was brought into existence by the US government to relieve railroads of their obligations to run these money-losing services. To say the LD trains should be profitable is kind of like saying the Interstate...
  20. Nick Farr

    Short Consists of Long Distance Trains

    Can you provide an actual link to a document that provides actual numbers? I don't think you understand how money or profit works. How is Amtrak profitable when it sucks up billions of dollars from Congress, collects millions in fares, doesn't build new facilities and still loses money? Where...
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