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niemi24s

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Started to update my paper copies of this map (dated 3/2015) to delete now-defunct bus connections but found the process nearly as tedious as finding fares for the bucket chart. The route map available online is no help as it's dated 10/2018 and shows essentially the same thruway bus connections as my older paper one - and most of the ones I've checked so far are no longer bookable.

Anybody know of a source for a current, updated Amtrak route map?
 
Started to update my paper copies of this map (dated 3/2015) to delete now-defunct bus connections but found the process nearly as tedious as finding fares for the bucket chart. The route map available online is no help as it's dated 10/2018 and shows essentially the same thruway bus connections as my older paper one - and most of the ones I've checked so far are no longer bookable.

Anybody know of a source for a current, updated Amtrak route map?
Here's one https://www.amtrak.com/content/dam/...lic/documents/Maps/Amtrak-System-Map-1018.pdf
 
Sorry, but that's the 10/2018 version referred to previously and is out of date.

I've a hunch there is no up-to-date version available online, but I've been wrong before. Lots of times.
 
Finally broke down and counted up all the bus-only places listed in the front of my 11 Jan 2016 paper copy of the system timetable and came up with a total of 347 places served only by the Thruway bus network. This is 36 more than all those found by looking at both the online and paper route maps, so that's about 90% of the ones shown seven years ago.

Looks like the only way to find out which of those 347 stops is still bookable is to make about twice that number of dummy bookings because some can be booked from one direction and not the other. I did about 140 of them and then quit. Here's a recap of what was found about bus-only destinations:

• CA had the most with maybe 71 and has lost maybe 1
• OR is next with maybe 37 and has lost maybe 6
• WA is next with about 24 and has lost around 9
• MI had 14 or so and has lost 6 or so
• WI had 14 too and has lost 1 I think
• FL & ME each had 12 and have lost none.
• NH had 9 and doesn't seem to have lost any
• TX had 8 or so and has lost all but 1
• ID had 8 too but has lost 3
• MT also had 8 and has lost them all

These 11 states back in 2016 had perhaps 217 of the 347 bus-only stops and seem to have lost about 35 (or 16%) of them. The sad part is not their loss but that average folks can't really find out all the places now served by Amtraks trains and buses unless some extra effort is made.

Note the iffyness in that listing, above.
 
Modified the last paper copy of the system map using the more recent (but still outdated) map plus all of those archived timetables containing route maps. The result (hopefully) was all the bus routes that ever existed in the Amtrak system. Then wasted a few days doing dummy bookings to see which had been deleted up to now. The deleted ones are shown by the brown dots on this thing:

ATK Bus Route deletionsA.jpg

I'd be the last to claim it has no errors, so if you find some let me know. Hopefully, the remaining un-dotted green bus lines are actually bookable as most have been checked.
 
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Nice work. If you just want to verify the bus stations, see the map and downloadable table here: Amtrak Stations

It is a station map, not a route map, updated Dec. 20, 2023 (it says). If you click "Download", ignore the animated icon for "file generation in progress." It never finishes. Instead click "Download Options" and the Dec. 20 file is there.

There are route maps on the same GIS site, but they exclude the buses. Click "View Full Details" at the above link and scroll down, down. There you will see "You may be interested in" followed by links to four additional maps.
 
Interesting map, but the very first indicated possibility I tried was from Port Huron or Battle Creek to Alpena Michigan and reverse and Arrow tells me they cannot be booked. If the Alpena route is defunct, how many others might there be - in spite of it saying it was updated six weeks ago.

Of course you can still get to Alpena, but not via the Amtrak system. Same goes for Galveston TX, Omak & Kettle Falls WA and perhaps more. Just because there's a station code in Arrow doesn't mean it can be booked. Methinks the only sure-fire way to know is with a dummy booking.
 
Thanks for your hard work, patience and perseverance. Quality of information matters! This is getting to be the story for so many aspects of life now, and I appreciate the care and thought you put into this.
 
Thanks for the kind word.

While riding a bus/train combination may be the best or only way to get between some places, looking at a map is (to me, at least) a quick and easy way to look at the possibilities. If you know where you want to go, the transit mode in Google Maps seems pretty adept at showing Amtrak train & bus connections - if available.

[edit] Duluth is another place you can't now get to or from using the Amtrak system (train & bus) yet the two station codes for Duluth (DUL and DUU) are still in the booking system - even though they cannot be booked from either MSP or MKE. Maybe it takes an act of Congress to delete unbookable station codes?
 
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Some corrections to the map. Delete the connections between:

• Flagstaff & Sedona AZ
• Williams Junction & Williams AZ
• Lansing and Gaylord MI

Restore the connection between Louisville and Nashville

Please note that some bus connections can only be booked with one direction of train travel, such as Phoenix from the SL/TE.

Anyone see any other errors? Don't be bashful!
 
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With the transition to Flix from GL, The Dalles and Hood River are deleted.

WIth the end for GL's DEN<>RAT Thruway trips, Trinidad is deleted. Pueblo and Colorado Springs still have Thruway access from Train 5 and to Train 6.

In all of these cases there still is one bus a day, but either connections have been broken or the carrier has changed.
 
[edit] Duluth is another place you can't now get to or from using the Amtrak system (train & bus) yet the two station codes for Duluth (DUL and DUU) are still in the booking system - even though they cannot be booked from either MSP or MKE. Maybe it takes an act of Congress to delete unbookable station codes?
The Duluth Thruway bus ended in 2022 according to someone on the Wikipedia page for the St. Paul station. I can't find any other information about it. Non-Amtrak bus service between Duluth and the Twin Cities runs several times a day I think.

A while back I started a collection of state rail plans, from the FRA list, since I was curious how many are up to date. It's cumbersome to get them all, so I haven't worked on it recently. I did automate getting whatever the FRA list links to, but that's not always exactly the plan. As far as Minnesota goes, the rail plan is older than most, 2015. A state rail plan includes passenger and freight, and it's interesting to see how many grants go to freight improvements. Since the 1630s, investing in infrastructure! I think that one was a mill in Massachusetts, but I suppose it was publicly owned.

The following quotes are about building a new state rail plan. The last sentence is a bit of a downer.

Our family of plans
The State Rail Plan is part of MnDOT's Family of Plans that support Minnesota GO, the 50-year vision for our state’s transportation system. The highest-level plan is the Statewide Multimodal Transportation Plan...

The State Rail Plan is a mode-specific plan that builds on the Minnesota GO vision. We're updating our State Rail Plan to guide the development of Minnesota’s rail system for the next 20 years. We're committed to hearing from everyone in Minnesota about the value and impact of railroads as an element of the state's Multimodal Transportation System...

This project is unique among MnDOT's family of plans as it does not have a dedicated source of funding.
 
With the transition to Flix from GL, The Dalles and Hood River are deleted.
Thanks for noting that error. I had them shown as deleted on my working paper copy, but neglected to do that on the version scanned for posting here.

FWIW, have been making corrections to the map that was originally posted, and should post the amended one in a few days. Who knows, additional errors may yet be found.
 
Things have changed in 3+ years. Looks like now all you can do is book a trip to or from LVS from or to several places in California.
 
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Things have changed in 3+ years. Looks like now all you can do is book a trip to or from LVS from or to several places in California.
This illustrates a problem with Amtrak's reservation "system" ("I'm shocked, shocked..."). If one looks for itineraries to LAS (the airport), then the Kingman link comes up. I almost missed the Airporter van from Las Vegas because the cabbie tried to let me out at the South Strip Transit Center (LVT).
 
Don't think it's so much a problem with the system itself but the comprehension of the multiplicity of possibilities when there are 3 separate destinations in Las Vegas NV (LAS airport, LVS bus station and LVT the strip) and getting to (or from) these 3 from (or to) about a dozen likely starting (or ending) points.

Anyhoo, thanks for the info. The Kingman AZ to Las Vegas NV bus ink has been restored on the master copy of the map. This one's bookable to or from the East (like FLG) but is not bookable to or from the West (like NDL).

On second thought, you're correct - when you try to book EMY to LAS instead of just saying it's not bookable, why can't Arrow offer the bookable EMY to LVS or LVT instead?

FWIW, all this turned up another of those "one way" only links - LAX to LVS is bookable with the transfer at Oxnard, but LVS to LAX is not bookable. Here's a map of the area:

MAP - ATK SO. Cal & NV.jpg
 
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The Las Vegas situation would benefit if it was set up like the Deutsche Bahn (and some other sites) in which you can search by a generic city name or for service at a specific location.

Flix does that in a slightly different way, for their three different Las Vegas stops plus Henderson service. They're all listed together in chron order.
 
Thanks for noting that error. I had them shown as deleted on my working paper copy, but neglected to do that on the version scanned for posting here.

FWIW, have been making corrections to the map that was originally posted, and should post the amended one in a few days. Who knows, additional errors may yet be found.

Another vote of thanks for doing this! A couple of updates:

--The Madison-Janesville-South Beloit-Rockford-Chicago bus still operates. You can book a trip on 2/16 from any of those destinations to St Louis (for examlpe) via the bus to Chicago.

--The brown dot at the top of Upper Michigan at Houghton / Hancock also seems to still be a route still operating. You can book a trip from either city to Chicago via a bus connection in Milwaukee on 2/16.

I know this has been said before but it really is maddening that information like this is not only unpromoted but it takes detective work to find. It's like the only people who use these sorts of services know of them by tribal word of mouth or something found in a desperate search. "Amtrak Thruway -- When you can't find a better option, try and find us!"
 
Took Arrow for a spin and typed in "las vegas" - lo and behold a drop down menu showed up with the station codes for Las Vegas NM and the three for various places in Las Vegas NV. Probably been that way all along and I didn't try booking to/from each one.

Thanks for the kind words and corrections moselman66. Will make corrections to the master map for later posting.

At some point when doing that marathon of bookings I must have (as written in Mad Magazine decades ago) numbnitized my sensory strunodes! :)
 
The Las Vegas situation would benefit if it was set up like the Deutsche Bahn (and some other sites) in which you can search by a generic city name or for service at a specific location.

Flix does that in a slightly different way, for their three different Las Vegas stops plus Henderson service. They're all listed together in chron order.
The Amtrak booking page now separates stations from destinations when you start typing. It used to be a mess, often fooling you into thinking there was no train if you picked a destination instead of a station. Or that's how I recall it. On the phone app, it only shows stations.

Hey niemi24s, if you want more info on that green Thruway line connecting CVS and RVR/RVM, it only runs on Cardinal days. It's been running since the 1980s, and is now timed for NPN in one direction and NFK in the other as far as I can tell. (It started way before NFK re-opened, and NFK and NPN have their own Thruways, for some trains, along with VAB.) The CVS-Richmond Thruway also connects to the Meteor section to the south, both ways, but with a 4+ hour layover. Using Staunton or a station further west is the best way to try to understand it, if someone would ever want to do that. Or ask the ticket clerk.

I don't know if anyone's written a history of the Amtrak Thruway specifically, but in the inaugural 1971 schedule at the Museum of Railway Timetables I saw only one "motor coach" in the whole system, connecting Newport News to Hampton, Norfolk and Portsmouth. Wikipedia says January 1973 was the first Thruway (first to use the name?). It ran between the Laredos, Texas and Tamaulipas, Mexico. By 1978 the system timetable is full of buses, Thruway, as well as Greyhound, etc. And car rental deals. In Florida, all you pay for is gas and taxes, for a week of "Airail." Before that you got a discount for a month in an AMC Hornet, Pacer, Matador or Station Wagon. Garth and Wayne would approve the Pacer. No telling why it was called Airail, except "airline" is old railway lingo for a fast train. Rail/air partnerships in Germany and Austria now use the name.

One thing about Amtrak in the 1970s, it had modern brochures and advertising. And then from 2011 to 2019 it ran a very good history site and blog. Many of the materials can be found by searching, even things that don't appear in blog articles, apparently, like the Florida brochures.
 
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Well, for better or worse here's the latest version:

ATK Bus Route deletionsA.jpg

As a reminder, this one has all the bus links I could find since October 2008 (the earliest on Juckins.net).

Q1: Were there any other bus links bookable at any time via Amtrak that are not shown?
Q2: Are there any other deleted bus links that are not shown as deleted?
Q3: Anybody feel sorry for those poor neglected folks in South Dakota? :)
 
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I don't know if anyone's written a history of the Amtrak Thruway specifically, but in the inaugural 1971 schedule at the Museum of Railway Timetables I saw only one "motor coach" in the whole system, connecting Newport News to Hampton, Norfolk and Portsmouth.
That was a holdover from the C&O using a chartered Greyhound to connect those points to the George Washington train in Newport News. The regular bus used for that, even had: "C&O Transfer Service" decals on is door. C&O used the Greyhound terminal in Norfolk for its station, and Greyhound agents sold train tickets. At departure time, they had a recorded announcement for the train made by the same professional announcer that Greyhound used nationally.

Besides that one, Amtrak always had buses to meet the trains terminating in Oakland to transfer to the Terminal in San Francisco, another holdover from the SP and AT&SF (and earlier the WP).
 
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