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    Checking up on Amtrak's (lack of) ADA compliance

    OK, so in this era where parts of Amtrak's own management are trying to kill Amtrak, this is the ADA update. First, a review of the stations which lacked wheelchair access last time I reported on this: Ashland VA -- still under construction, supposed to be done this fall Westerly RI --...
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    How much would it cost for Amtrak to build their own tracks nationwide?

    No, it wouldn't. Ever looked into Constitutional law? Crystal clear it's constitutional. Not debatable. Textbook regulation of interstate commerce. I agree that it would be a very heavy lift to get Congress to pass such a law.
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    RFP issued for Amfleet I replacement

    PSR has been a scam (it is neither precision nor scheduled), and people have been making up new meanings for the acronym, such as Poor Service Railroading. It's done serious damage to freight service because it is neither precision nor scheduled. The one railroad who has not adopted this...
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    Silver Service changes?

    I should probably share the history of how, in the 19th century, the town I live in had a private for-profit water system. It spread a cholera epidemic. The system was taken over by government as a public service after the cholera epidemic. We haven't had a single cholera epidemic since then...
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    Inconsistent Service: A bigger problem than the food?

    It would work fine if the trains ran on time. Back to the sabotaging by criminal freight railroad hosts.
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    Amtrak Service Reductions

    Agreed, I've seen that a lot. The demand destruction is real: every railfan group I've been in has people coming and saying "Has Amtrak stopped service betweeen Chicago and NY? Has Amtrak stopped service between Chicago and Denver? " etc. because they tried to book and found no trains on the...
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    Brightline/Virgin Trains (FEC) Update

    The idiot part of I-ETMS was the attempt to rely on GPS, which isn't precise enough to be useful. If I-ETMS can be fed information from track circuits, it should actually work pretty well.
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    Metra UP service shenanigans

    I don't think I could pin down a dollar value, since it's a negotiation matter. (It is, in a real sense, related to the cost of operating that particular route vs. the payments for operating it -- how expensive the obligation actually is, in other words. But how much they pay to buy their way...
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    Amtrak Service Reductions

    Flynn was forced on record to Congress saying that daily service will return. That's a good start. Roger Harris is also on record as supporting the return of daily service. Someone within Amtrak (probably not Harris) is still lying to Flynn. (Smart money says it's Stephen Gardner lying to...
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    How much would it cost for Amtrak to build their own tracks nationwide?

    Yes, that was my route. :) From west to east, Port Mathilda to State College, more or less following state route "Business 322" under State College. Then punch a base tunnel from Boalsburg (or maybe Tusseyville) to Woodland. One more tunnel and a few bridges gets you to Burnham, where the...
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    How much would it cost for Amtrak to build their own tracks nationwide?

    Courts? No, Congress would have to do it. The courts would happily enforce it, but it would have to be passed by Congress first.
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    Food Delivery to Denver Union Station

    Amtrak is always on one of the center two tracks -- usually the more southerly (the more northerly is for Ski Train) but it can be the Ski Train track occasionally. The reason it's always on those tracks is that those are the low-platform tracks, and the other tracks have high platforms - you...
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    Food Delivery to Denver Union Station

    I once dined my way through a 14 hour delay on the eastbound Zephyr by going from restaurant to restaurant. at DUS. Fun time. For dinner, I recommend Next Door American Eatery, now that they're doing takeout -- they were very good.
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    Flexible dining - Requesting a review from a recent rider

    Chef Madi Butler, who has substantial experience in the industry, has pointed out that there are *plenty* of options for high-quality prepackaged meals -- Amtrak is just choosing to provide garbage.
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    Flexible dining - Requesting a review from a recent rider

    Yep. This is why I had to bring my own instant oatmeal. It's just *pathetic* that Amtrak can't provide plain oatmeal.
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    Inconsistent Service: A bigger problem than the food?

    The problem is a combination of bad top management and management churn. It's impossible to engage in any form of supervision of workers when top management repeatedly disappears and is replaced with new top management who abandons all the initiatives of the previous top management. There was...
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    USA Today Article on LD Service Cutbacks

    I would not be surprised if part of it is the infamous "Driving While Black" phenomenon where African-Americans get disproportionately harassed by bad police while driving. A motivation to catch the train instead of driving long distances through jurisdictions where they have no idea how...
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    Metra UP service shenanigans

    Look up: 1 - the foundation of Amtrak 2 - the buyouts of service obligations on what are now the Metra Electric and Milwaukee District lines 3 - Most recently, the buyout of commuter service obligations which might have been retained by CSX on the MARC-operated B&O line 4 - the history of the...
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    Time to Change the Paradigm?

    Trucks basically get a free ride. The amount they pay in fuel taxes is peanuts, and hardly pays for any of their damage to the roads. We rail passengers pay a lot more in ticket prices which goes for rail maintenance (what do you think those "host railroad fees" which Amtrak is charged pay...
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    How much would it cost for Amtrak to build their own tracks nationwide?

    If you substitute "straight under mountains" for "straight over", there is a famous tradeoff related to speed (and early-19th-century technology was slower, obviously). Early designs aggressively avoided grades in favor of curves, which is right for low speeds and heavy loads. But for high...
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