A new Super Chief

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Rover

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A look back at what train travel was like in it's Golden Age through Santa Fe ads...

 

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railiner

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Love them, thanks for posting....:cool:

I recall Trains magazine once had a parody of the ad "She came in on the Super Chief", with the photographers moved over to shoot the observation car, instead of the starlet...

After clicking on the link, scroll down to the fourth ad. And imagine if the four photographer's were moved over to the right, ignoring the starlet.

 
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MARC Rider

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While business travelers would make a good demographic for Amtrak, trains simply are not in their equations, especially long distance trains.
Well, the Northeast Corridor and associated branches get their fair share of business travelers. They can compete with airlines for any trip that's under 4 hours. They can compete with cars even better, especially if they can get point-to-point average speeds of 60 mph at least.

There are some business travelers who use long-distance trains for overnight runs. I was one of them. But it's really a niche market, not one that political leaders will want to subsidize.
 

railiner

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Well, the Northeast Corridor and associated branches get their fair share of business travelers. They can compete with airlines for any trip that's under 4 hours. They can compete with cars even better, especially if they can get point-to-point average speeds of 60 mph at least.

There are some business travelers who use long-distance trains for overnight runs. I was one of them. But it's really a niche market, not one that political leaders will want to subsidize.
Agree...a very small niche. And probably most of those, are railfans.
 

MARC Rider

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Airline and private jet travel being curtailed to combat global warming would certainly help passenger train traffic. Not likely to happen, however, as the ruling classes like their ability to fly around as desired.
That's no problem, they could reregulate the industry, limit the number of flights, and let the fares "fly" upwards. Part of this could be done with a carbon tax on flights, too. The ruling classes would still be able to afford to fly, but no more cheap fares for the masses.
 

Bob Dylan

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A look back at what train travel was like in it's Golden Age through Santa Fe ads...

As one lucky enough to have ridden the Super Chief( but didnt get to eat in the Turquoise Room) this certainly brings back good Memories!
 

railiner

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As one lucky enough to have ridden the Super Chief( but didnt get to eat in the Turquoise Room) this certainly brings back good Memories!
When not reserved for private parties, the Turquoise Room was employed as 'overflow seating' for the adjacent diner. Super Chief diner's only had 36 seats (4&2) instead of the standard 48 seats.
 

Bob Dylan

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When not reserved for private parties, the Turquoise Room was employed as 'overflow seating' for the adjacent diner. Super Chief diner's only had 36 seats (4&2) instead of the standard 48 seats.
Yep, but I couldn't afford to est in the Diner as kid! The $1.75 Meals were to expensive!😄
 

Charles785

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Forgive me if this has already been asked and answered, but since the title of this discussion is "A New Super Chief" it's interesting to wonder if enough sleeper passengers who do ride the Southwest Chief for long distance purposes could potentially make it profitable for BNSF themselves to resurrect the Super Chief, complete with all the amenities of the original train including Fred Harvey-quality cuisine.

Would there be a market for that in 2021, and can some knowledgeable folks hazard an educated guess as to what the fares would need to be to make it worthwhile for BNSF?
 

railiner

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Forgive me if this has already been asked and answered, but since the title of this discussion is "A New Super Chief" it's interesting to wonder if enough sleeper passengers who do ride the Southwest Chief for long distance purposes could potentially make it profitable for BNSF themselves to resurrect the Super Chief, complete with all the amenities of the original train including Fred Harvey-quality cuisine.

Would there be a market for that in 2021, and can some knowledgeable folks hazard an educated guess as to what the fares would need to be to make it worthwhile for BNSF?
BNSF, and the rest of the freight railroads have no desire to get back into the passenger business themselves, after having being relieved of that money losing responsibility with the creation of Amtrak, 50 years ago.
There have been a few private attempts during that time to bring back luxury passenger trains, but all of them eventually failed. The notable exception is in Canada, where privately owned Rocky Mountaineer has been somewhat successful, albeit without operating overnight, or sleeping cars.
 

Rover

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BNSF, and the rest of the freight railroads have no desire to get back into the passenger business themselves, after having being relieved of that money losing responsibility with the creation of Amtrak, 50 years ago.
There have been a few private attempts during that time to bring back luxury passenger trains, but all of them eventually failed. The notable exception is in Canada, where privately owned Rocky Mountaineer has been somewhat successful, albeit without operating overnight, or sleeping cars.
The problem is, I think that most people with means, would rather fly 1st Class to their destination, and then stay at a 1st Class Hotel to be pampered and wined and dined, to then watch 1st Class travel films in their room on the big screen TV.
 
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railiner

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The problem is, I think that most people with means, would rather fly 1st Class to their destination, and then stay at a 1st Class Hotel to be pampered and wined and dined, and then watch 1st Class travel films on the big screen TV in their room.
Agreed! Or, sightsee across the land in their custom Prevost Marathon motor home. Or take a luxury Tauck tour, and see all the really scenic sights by daylight, and rest overnight in first class hotels.
 

jiml

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The notable exception is in Canada, where privately owned Rocky Mountaineer has been somewhat successful, albeit without operating overnight, or sleeping cars.
And in one sentence you've captured why it is successful - not operating overnight so not needing sleeping cars. Removing those two elements and the few extra meals that overnight operation would necessitate (most evening dinners and some breakfasts), you reduce operating costs significantly. Once you factor in the prices they charge they should be successful. It just requires enough people to want to go.
 

Mailliw

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It's a fun idea, but baring massive government subsidies I don't see any private railroad getting back into the passenger transport. Even getting a private railroad to contract with an entity other than Amtrak for passenger service is next to impossible.
 

jis

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And in one sentence you've captured why it is successful - not operating overnight so not needing sleeping cars. Removing those two elements and the few extra meals that overnight operation would necessitate (most evening dinners and some breakfasts), you reduce operating costs significantly. Once you factor in the prices they charge they should be successful. It just requires enough people to want to go.
Is the Rocky Mountaineer a "common carrier" in the common meaning of the phrase? Or is it a tourist operation. I have not looked at it deep enough to figure out an answer for sure. If the latter then it is quite irrelevant in a discussion of providers of "common carrier"-like transportation service, no?
 

jiml

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Is the Rocky Mountaineer a "common carrier" in the common meaning of the phrase? Or is it a tourist operation. I have not looked at it deep enough to figure out an answer for sure. If the latter then it is quite irrelevant in a discussion of providers of "common carrier"-like transportation service, no?
I wasn't the one who suggested it; simply responding to another post.
 

railiner

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Is the Rocky Mountaineer a "common carrier" in the common meaning of the phrase? Or is it a tourist operation. I have not looked at it deep enough to figure out an answer for sure. If the latter then it is quite irrelevant in a discussion of providers of "common carrier"-like transportation service, no?
Whether riding one way on a tourist train like the Rocky Mountaineer, or say, the Durango and Silverton from point A to point B, for a published fare, available to anyone, constitutes being a common carrier....I can't say. But if it isn't, it further makes my point that privately owned trains have not been successful.🤷‍♂️
 

MARC Rider

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It's a fun idea, but baring massive government subsidies I don't see any private railroad getting back into the passenger transport. Even getting a private railroad to contract with an entity other than Amtrak for passenger service is next to impossible.
If they get government subsidies, they're not really a private railroad, in my opinion. It's the worst of both worlds. If private capital isn't interested in providing a needed service, then the government should run it themselves. After all, we have this organization called the U.S. Army that provides needed national defense, we don't send tax dollars to "Mercenaries-R-US." It didn't work that well for King George II and his Hessians, and it wouldn't work tooo well for us.
 

MARC Rider

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There have been a few private attempts during that time to bring back luxury passenger trains, but all of them eventually failed. The notable exception is in Canada, where privately owned Rocky Mountaineer has been somewhat successful, albeit without operating overnight, or sleeping cars.
I believe I read here that Pullman Rail Journeys might have been successful if Amtrak had been more cooperative. Perhaps there might be a role for private operators to provide the experiential "first class" accommodations for Amtrak trains, giving Amtrak a cut of the gross, and relieving Amtrak of the need to explain to their Congressional paymasters why they're running first class service with taxpayer money. Amtrak should still probably run cafe cars and budget sleepers for the masses, and the deal should allow the regular passengers to use the dining cars, paying for meals, of course. These "experiential" cars don't have to be vintage private varnish, they could be new equipment that is reliable, up-to-date, and fully compatible with existing Amtrak trains.
 

Mailliw

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Which is more or less the same relationship Pullman used to have with the private railroads. Supposedly that was the model François Rebello was trying to pursue with his Montreal to NYC Train Hotel proposal.
 
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