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  1. John Bredin

    Pittsburgh Amtrak Station past, present and future

    I've gone to the Einstein Bagels on Grant, the street leading from the station, when killing time changing at Pittsburgh. As I recall, I asked the station agent, and they had a photocopied map of nearby restaurants. That was in 2018, so it may be different now. I just checked Google Maps, and...
  2. John Bredin

    FRA Long Distance Service Study discussion

    Yes, and Chicago-Philly direct exists now too. But the Cardinal is significantly longer (albeit more scenic and serving other markets along the way) than a direct route via Pittsburgh, which is what the FRA is suggesting for Indy-Philly and I was suggesting for Chi-Philly.
  3. John Bredin

    FRA Long Distance Service Study discussion

    As a Chicagoan, I can't help notice that if this comes to fruition as planned, various direct trips would be possible -- for instance, Denver to Houston, Indianapolis to Philadelphia -- that Chicago doesn't get without a change of trains. I don't begrudge *any* of these proposed routes, as the...
  4. John Bredin

    Capitol Limited cancelled in both directions, 2/13/24

    Let me expand on my preceding post: sending the Monday westbound train east of the incident back to WAS makes sense, but it was short-sighted not to run the Cap from Chicago to Pittsburgh Monday night so there'd be a westbound Cap trainset Tuesday.
  5. John Bredin

    Capitol Limited cancelled in both directions, 2/13/24

    If the disruption is east of Pittsburgh in WV, why wouldn't Amtrak run a shortened Cap between Chicago and Pittsburgh? Some people take the Cap only for that portion and the Pennsylvanian for the first part of their westward trip or last part of their eastward trip.
  6. John Bredin

    Long Distance (LD) fleet replacement discussion (2022-24)

    I hope they retire them from scheduled service but keep them for charters and specials to state fairs, sports events, and conventions. All those college football rivalries beg for a train of alums going to the big game (not a bowl, "just" a game between schools with taunting chants passed down...
  7. John Bredin

    Letters sent to Senators and IDOT regarding Amtrak cancellations.

    Something can have more than one cause, but your letter points fingers and blame (disclaimer at the end notwithstanding) entirely and totally at Amtrak. My instinct with my limited knowledge, including that the weather really WAS atypical and fatally bitter some of the shutdown days, is that...
  8. John Bredin

    List of Upcoming New Routes? (as of Jan 2024)

    These things are at various stages. *Second train CHI-MSP is happening this year. It'll use existing equipment and existing Hiawatha slots. Money for track improvements has been appropriated, and it's been agreed to begin service without all the improvements completed and then update the...
  9. John Bredin

    Winter Storm 2024 cancellations

    The Metra commuter lines in Chicago use a lot of gas switch heaters with open flames to keep switches clear. The visual of multiple switches at a major crossing (like where the UP West crosses the Milwaukee lines by the latter's Western Ave. station) grabs the attention of TV and online news...
  10. John Bredin

    Progress on service to Madison WI

    Swapping ends is a lot less time-consuming and disruptive than a wye. And half the seats in the Venture cars face each way. I'm sure some people will sit with their traveling companion(s) in a four-seater with a table, get up at Madison to stretch their legs, and sit back down facing their...
  11. John Bredin

    Progress on service to Madison WI

    The old depot is still standing and is in the purple "Campus" alternative near the bottom of the map in the news article. South and slightly west of the Isthmus, Washington Ave. just north of Regent St. about 15 minutes' walk from the Capitol. For ease of finding it on the map, it contains a...
  12. John Bredin

    Progress on service to Madison WI

    I doubt there'd be any backing involved in serving a station on the Isthmus at or near Monona Terrace. A train with an engine at each end, or an engine at one end and a cab car at the other, would come into Madison station from the north and simply change which end of the train is controlling...
  13. John Bredin

    Progress on service to Madison WI

    :rolleyes: I'd bet there's some where there's (1) a large metro area electing multiple state legislators, to (2) a capital not in that metro area, with (3) sufficiently frequent service between the metro area and the capital. Albany on the Empire Service, Harrisburg on the Keystone Service...
  14. John Bredin

    Historical Amtrak equipment and travel experiences

    No final mile problem, as the page you mention says:
  15. John Bredin

    Historical Amtrak equipment and travel experiences

    There's a whole page for public transportation.
  16. John Bredin

    USDA Frontier and Remote (FAR) (less densely populated) areas, and Amtrak

    I'm curious if these people who live within reasonable range of large cities but consider themselves rural in places like Ohio: *actually avoid the city/cities because they consider them a different world and assume there's nothing there for them, or *go to the nearby city/cities for medical...
  17. John Bredin

    Amtrak Marketing

    When did Congress remove the profitability requirement from Amtrak's enabling legislation? During or after Covid as I recall. When did Congress finally come up with a real budget for Amtrak? About the same time. *Amtrak came up with the Corridor Development program, nobody forced that idea on...
  18. John Bredin

    Brightline Trains Florida discussion 2023 Q4

    No objection, jurisdiction. Brightline was trying to make itself wholly intrastate to Florida, with no interstate or foreign connections to bring it under STB jurisdiction.
  19. John Bredin

    Long Distance (LD) fleet replacement discussion (2022-24)

    This whole airplane thing is a bit of a tangent. *The Ventures weren't bought by Amtrak, which does seem to understand the difference between corridor and long-distance coach seating (Amfleet I vs. Amfleet 2, for instance). They were bought by the DOTs of California and Illinois, which...
  20. John Bredin

    Chicago Union Station discussion

    Probably BNSF, which like UP runs a commuter service under contract with Metra (but minus UP's petulant drama). BNSF has its own yard for commuter trains just west of Amtrak's yard.