Amtrak funding and committment to restore Gulf coast service

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Alabama still not on-board.
CSX not on-board.
Half of the funds needed.
No schedule.
No equipment.


Movement but the light at the end of tunnel is not a train.

AL is too busy trying to bring its citizens back to the dark ages, this won’t happen in the foreseeable future.
Another reason why state funded corridors cant work under current law.
 

brianpmcdonnell17

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Especially no equipment
By the time this train is operating, at least some of the Midwest cars will likely be in operation. Besides, all this train would really need is two short Horizon sets, one of which was just made available by the cancellation of the Hoosier State. I'm not saying there is an abundance of free equipment, but I doubt that would be the reason for the route not being implemented.
 

Lake Country

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Why is it up to Amtrak or the FRA to provide funding for this line. It is 400 mi. To there fore less than the750 mi PRIIA requirement for local/state support. The Hoosier state is being cancelled at the end of this month because Indiana won't pay the 3 mil yr operating. Illinois is providing 100mil to start new service to the Quad Cities. No Amtrak support here. Seem so random appropations.
 

jis

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It is not an operating grant to Amtrak. It is a CRISI grant for infrastructure improvement to the Southern Rail Commission. Comparing this to the Hoosier State situation is an apples to oranges comparison. Hoosier State is getting discontinued because of withdrawal of operating grant. This proposed service will not operate unless the states involved come up with the money for operating grant, which incidentally, some have funded partly from other federally funded accounts too. Hence the continuing discussion about Governor Ivey's comments about such grant materializing or not, that is going on in parallel. But until there is money to get the infrastructure in shape, operating grant is not going to cause trains to operate. Federal grants from various sources like CMAQ, CRISI and other accounts have been used by states to fund infrastructure development at various places in the past, so that is not out of the ordinary at all.
 

bretton88

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To note, don't take it as a given that Alabama won't come up with the money. Through governor is right to ask for financial numbers and meet with the stakeholders to see if it makes sense. One of her big prior concerns was that the Federal funding would not be forthcoming. That concern has been answered. While I'm still skeptical that she'll approve it (I think the port, who is firmly anti passenger train has too much pull), it's not a given.
 

MikefromCrete

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AL is too busy trying to bring its citizens back to the dark ages, this won’t happen in the foreseeable future.
Another reason why state funded corridors cant work under current law.


State funded corridors work great in the states willing to put up the cash. Alabama is too busy trying to retreat into the past to see much of a future. If the citizens of Alabama want this service, they need to speak up and tell their elected representatives.
 
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They need to vote out the current majority in AL who want to keep the people repressed. The current administration in AL will fight anything for the public good. It’s up to the people to stop voting against their best interests. Unfortunately there’s a good chance Roy Moore may beat Doug Jones this time around, yes I know that’s Federal not State but same difference. The US really has become a tale of two countries.

All the more reason we need to keep nationwide Amtrak funded by the Feds. Hopefully the country will have a different make up politically in 10 years.
 
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Larry H.

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There had been talk of the City of New Orleans being extended to Orlando or somewhere that direction if a new route was again opened. Any idea if that would be a part of this deal. Would be a great boon to us here in Illinois or lots of people from the Chicago area that wants to go to Florida.
 

Devil's Advocate

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Hopefully the country will have a different make up politically in 10 years.

Doubtful. Then again the majority can't even elect the victor now so what difference will another ten years make? All indications are that the SCOTUS is about to enshrine this new normal for another generation or two. Maybe things will be different in 50+ years. Until then this goose is cooked.
 
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jis

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There had been talk of the City of New Orleans being extended to Orlando or somewhere that direction if a new route was again opened. Any idea if that would be a part of this deal. Would be a great boon to us here in Illinois or lots of people from the Chicago area that wants to go to Florida.

No. This is mainly to restore service between NOL and Mobile. Of course the infrastructure improvement will eventually be of use for the CONO extension to Orlando if it comes to pass.
 

brianpmcdonnell17

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There had been talk of the City of New Orleans being extended to Orlando or somewhere that direction if a new route was again opened. Any idea if that would be a part of this deal. Would be a great boon to us here in Illinois or lots of people from the Chicago area that wants to go to Florida.
I'm certainly in favor of a NOL-Florida train, but even if it has through service to Chicago it will do little for Chicago-Florida travel besides eliminating the connection in DC. Besides the fact that there will be no service south of Orlando, the route takes longer than the route via DC. The travel time not including connections or station dwells is proposed to be 33:08 from CHI-JAX via New Orleans whereas using the current CL and SM route only takes 29:59, which is also interestingly 6 minutes faster than the former Floridian route. If the priority was Chicago-Florida, it would be much easier to just implement through cars between the SS and CL, which would have the added benefit of serving Miami, Tampa, and Raleigh.
 

neroden

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Don't worry about the corrupt Republican judges. As FDR and Lincoln knew, court-packing is easy once you get control of the House, the Senate and the Presidency. The Presidency is a done deal, as is the House.

Worry about the Senate.
 

brianpmcdonnell17

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What would the fastest Chicago to Florida train be with current infrustructure?

Chicago to Philadelphia and then straight South?
Definitely not through Philadelphia: the fastest I know of is the whole CL route followed by the SM route south of WAS. However, it is possible there is a more direct route that is faster which Amtrak has never operated on.
 

AGM.12

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At the risk of veering off topic, not all Republicans are knuckle dragging troglodytes who are anti passenger rail. This proposed service is bipartisan as are the leadership in passenger rail friendly states like VA and NC. I believe in fairness and honesty. I am sure everyone else does too.
 

Ziv

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I hear you, Brian. Even if there was a through service from Chicago to Florida via New Orleans, I don't think its main strength would be taking passengers from Chicago to Florida, it would be in making it much easier for people in Memphis, Jackson or Carbondale to get to Mobile, Talahassee or on to Orlando. I think that the NOL to Mobile and eventually on to FL service would be best serving the passengers if it was not an extension of another route but an independent train that has good departure times to make transferring from one train to another not a crippling problem.

I'm certainly in favor of a NOL-Florida train, but even if it has through service to Chicago it will do little for Chicago-Florida travel besides eliminating the connection in DC. Besides the fact that there will be no service south of Orlando, the route takes longer than the route via DC. The travel time not including connections or station dwells is proposed to be 33:08 from CHI-JAX via New Orleans whereas using the current CL and SM route only takes 29:59, which is also interestingly 6 minutes faster than the former Floridian route. If the priority was Chicago-Florida, it would be much easier to just implement through cars between the SS and CL, which would have the added benefit of serving Miami, Tampa, and Raleigh.
 
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At the risk of veering off topic, not all Republicans are knuckle dragging troglodytes who are anti passenger rail. This proposed service is bipartisan as are the leadership in passenger rail friendly states like VA and NC. I believe in fairness and honesty. I am sure everyone else does too.


Agreed and Republican Senator Moran from Kansas of all places is passenger rails biggest advocate at the moment. There is a stark difference between the two parties though.
 
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jis

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Lot of politics on this post. People forget that some of the biggest cuts to Amtrak took place during knuckle dragging Democrat troglodyte administrations.
Although, truth be told, even then the Republicans in general did not oppose those cuts too much. :cool: Yup, lived through those "save the trains" campaigns, and we could never quite raise the Republicans from their slumber enough to get anywhere near to block any of it. They generally cheered right along.
 

fredmcain

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At the risk of veering off topic, not all Republicans are knuckle dragging troglodytes who are anti passenger rail. This proposed service is bipartisan as are the leadership in passenger rail friendly states like VA and NC. I believe in fairness and honesty. I am sure everyone else does too.

You know, I feel like I have been watching the same movie over and over again since about 1970. It seems like Democrats talk very highly of rail when they are out of power but then when they get into power, the talk of rail just seems to quietly go away. It seems that they want to scrape every thin dime they can together to fund their so-called "social programs" and spending big bucks on rail gets in the awkward way of their agenda.

Meanwhile, Repubs are so business focused that they don't want to spend tax payers dollars on what they perceive as a poor business model (i.e. doesn't "make money" or "show a profit")

So, what we end up with is basically, which ever party happens to win an election - rail loses. It's the ol' "heads you win tails I lose" scenario".

We can change this - but, I don't know how.

Regards,
Fred M. Cain
 

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You know, I feel like I have been watching the same movie over and over again since about 1970. It seems like Democrats talk very highly of rail when they are out of power but then when they get into power, the talk of rail just seems to quietly go away.
I'm honestly not sure where you're getting this from. President Obama (D) and a Democratically controlled congress provided $8 billion for improved passenger rail funding as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Unfortunately, much of this money was returned/refused/ignored by the likes of Scott Walker (R), Rick Scott (R), and John Kasich (R). Obama also negotiated another $13 billion in funding for projects between New York and New Jersey. As expected this funding agreement was quickly undone and abandoned by Trump (R).

It seems that they want to scrape every thin dime they can together to fund their so-called "social programs" and spending big bucks on rail gets in the awkward way of their agenda.
I’ve read this statement several times and yet I still have no idea what you’re really trying to say. By any rational assessment government funded passenger rail would fall into “so-called” social programs.

Meanwhile, Repubs are so business focused that they don't want to spend tax payers dollars on what they perceive as a poor business model (i.e. doesn't "make money" or "show a profit") So, what we end up with is basically, which ever party happens to win an election - rail loses. It's the ol' "heads you win tails I lose" scenario". We can change this - but, I don't know how.
What you seem to be asking between the lines is “How can we improve government funded passenger rail while continuing to elect anti-rail politicians?"
 
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