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  1. Siegmund

    New President of Amtrak

    Yes, they are shortstaffed, playing catchup, cancelling flights, and sometimes dropping cities from their map, as we saw in the SkyWest thread this past weekend. But none of them cancelled half their flights for several months.
  2. Siegmund

    New President of Amtrak

    It isn't. There wasn't any particular pressure to find interesting vs. boring results, or good vs. bad news. But you have to perform the work you promised to do, and submit a report at the end of the year describing what you did. If you get a grant to study coral reefs, and you spend all your...
  3. Siegmund

    New President of Amtrak

    Frankly, I find it hard to blame Congress for wanting to do so right now. They provided a ton of extra money to ensure the return of service to pre-pandemic levels and the railroad did not fulfill its contract, re-cutting service when there was no shortage of riders. If Amtrak was funded on the...
  4. Siegmund

    Trains in rural areas

    I've often mused about whether it'd be possible to get 'essential air service' modified to 'essential transportation.' Collecting the EAS subsidies for places like Jamestown and Miles City would make a big contribution to the operating costs of a restored North Coast Hiawatha.
  5. Siegmund

    Environmental Research paper help: Could we extend the Auto-Train to Chicago, Boston, Montreal and New York?

    IMO, no, it's quite sound. The point isn't just taking your own car, but taking a carload of stuff with you (sometimes everything you need for months at your second home in Florida) that you don't have to carry, don't have to pack into carrier-approved luggage, don't have to check, don't have to...
  6. Siegmund

    Amtrak engine trucks

    The Alaska Railroad has been using SD70MACs in passenger service for more than 20 years. But that wasn't because they needed 6-axle passenger power, a simple matter of ordering only one new model of power. The essential point made earlier in the thread --- that you use 6 axles when you need...
  7. Siegmund

    What is the Amtrak Exhibit Train?

    In the distant past, there was a smaller version of this that toured every summer to various towns around the system. My 80s memory is of either one or two baggage cars with exhibits, along with a couple cars for people to walk through and feel how comfy the seats were. It struck me as good...
  8. Siegmund

    Empire Builder consist?

    At least for the Seattle section, the folks who run the Skykomish webcam generally maintain a Google Doc listing all the trains that go past. Usually at least the engine numbers and the length of the consist are recorded for the Builder. 90% of the time, the westbound that arrives in Seattle on...
  9. Siegmund

    Reminiscing about SFZ/CZ, Pioneer and Desert Wind

    I have always wondered whether they were. I've never seen a photo of a Pioneer with a SSL. (I feel like I have seen some photos of a Heritage sleeper and Amdinette with bilevel coaches.) The only evidence I have of them ever being used is the Harold Russell article on Superliners in the...
  10. Siegmund

    Reminiscing about SFZ/CZ, Pioneer and Desert Wind

    I lived in Pioneer territory, not Desert Wind territory, but sometimes boarded at a (semi)civilized hour in Salt Lake rather than in the middle of the night in Pocatello. My recollections are mostly the same as what was previously posted: Yes, the odd zig-zag move to get the CZ in and out of...
  11. Siegmund

    SSLs used as axle count cars

    If extra equipment is already available, it makes sense to operate it. If one were contemplating buying extra equipment to make grade crossing circuits happy... IMO it would make considerably more sense to buy the necessary hardware to improve the circuits themselves. You can buy between-rails...
  12. Siegmund

    Is restoration of the National Limited feasible?

    Video is notable to show how Amtrak's equipment shortages have persisted across time. A major long-distance train, serving NYC and a half dozen other big cities, with one sleeper and an amdinette. Arrival of Superliners temporarily eased the Heritage sleeper shortage, though it seems to me a few...
  13. Siegmund

    SSLs used as axle count cars

    Some of each, but mostly axles. Oversimplifying, you detect a train by applying electricity to the track and measuring the resistance between the two rails. If you have an open circuit, there is is nothing on the track, if you have a short circuit, you have a metal axle making contact with both...
  14. Siegmund

    Need advice for short Empire Builder/Glacier National Park trip

    It's very likely that anywhere with an airport shuttle in Whitefish will be happy to do a train shuttle too (the train station is much closer, and easy to find.) There is also a new property, the Firebrand, in walking distance of the station. Belton Chalet is similarly right-across-the-street...
  15. Siegmund

    Need advice for short Empire Builder/Glacier National Park trip

    Still open, but the current owner wants to retire. Still is. An occupational hazard of putting roads and railroads in the bottom of canyons through the mountains. Expect no signal from 5 miles outside Libby until 5 miles outside Whitefish, and from the first curve after West Glacier to the...
  16. Siegmund

    Need advice for short Empire Builder/Glacier National Park trip

    They did, from 2007 to 2019, both inside the park and from Kalispell to West Glacier. They were operated by the Flathead County transportation department, who backed out of their contract in 2019. The park service found a new operator and gave them a two-year contract.... in March 2020. They...
  17. Siegmund

    Need advice for short Empire Builder/Glacier National Park trip

    You will find yourself very short on entertainment, and shorter on public transportation, if you spend a day walking around any of Cut Bank, Shelby, Havre, etc. You will have trouble enough getting from the Kalispell airport to Whitefish or West Glacier. Aside from your time actually in the...
  18. Siegmund

    Expected state of Amtrak for the summer and fall travel season (2022)

    It is not that simple, for pilots. There is a very long list of medications, and how long you must remain on the ground after consuming them. If you are a pilot and take any medication, you and your doctor are expected to look up whatever you are taking, and act accordingly. The rules are...
  19. Siegmund

    Texas Eagle 22(31), 3 car train on 3/31/22

    Remind me again how to tell Amcafe, Amlounge, Amdinette, and Amclub apart...
  20. Siegmund

    Amtrak serving every state capital

    Yes, but not mainline service. A Northern Pacific local from Seattle to Hoquiam and Moclips went through Olympia proper until the late 50s. The track running southwest from Olympia to Gates (where it met the Centralia-Hoquiam line) has long since been lifted, but there is still freight trackage...