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Lennie

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How exactly does Amtrak come up with new routes? And how do they come about implementing them into the system?

I have always wondered that why doesn't Amtrak consider using the CSX rail line here on the Delmarva peninsula for a sort of seasonal rail line. Every Summer, the population explosion is unimaginable and the whole area, all 300 miles of it, becomes a big traffic jam. Adding Amtrak durign the summer would...

-bring about new business

-ease much of the roadway congestion for the million tourists coming here

-promote even more tourism

-bring serive that the locals once had back in the 60's that we all want

Does anyone see this as a good idea for Amtrak or am I just making myself look dumb?
 

Trogdor

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Amtrak hasn't implemented a new route in several years, and adding service is next to impossible with the budget (and political restrictions) the system is faced with. When new service was proposed about 8 years ago, it faced lots of opposition from the host railroads (such as CSX) over which the service was to operate.
 

PRR 60

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Lennie said:
I have always wondered that why doesn't Amtrak consider using the CSX rail line here on the Delmarva peninsula for a sort of seasonal rail line. Every Summer, the population explosion is unimaginable and the whole area, all 300 miles of it, becomes a big traffic jam. Adding Amtrak durign the summer would...
-bring about new business

-ease much of the roadway congestion for the million tourists coming here

-promote even more tourism

-bring serive that the locals once had back in the 60's that we all want

Does anyone see this as a good idea for Amtrak or am I just making myself look dumb?
One correction. The former PRR Delmarva line is now mostly owned by Norfolk Southern, not CSX.
 

Rafi

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rmadisonwi said:
Amtrak hasn't implemented a new route in several years, and adding service is next to impossible with the budget (and political restrictions) the system is faced with. When new service was proposed about 8 years ago, it faced lots of opposition from the host railroads (such as CSX) over which the service was to operate.
Out of curiosity, what new service was proposed 8 years ago?

-Rafi
 

Trogdor

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Actually, I'm not sure exactly when it was proposed, but I believe it was before the year 2000, but after George Warrington took over as president of Amtrak (which was 1997 or 1998).

Anyway, among the service was proposed included three that actually made it into service (all of which have since been eliminated/reverted to their old form):

*Kentucky Cardinal: Daily service between Chicago and Jeffersonville, IN/Louisville, KY; combined with the Cardinal three days per week between Chicago and Indianapolis; discontinued mid 2004

*Lake Country Limited: Daily service between Chicago and Janesville, WI; reduced to one round-trip per week in September 2001 along with 180-day notice to discontinue service; service ended March 2002

*Pennsylvanian: Rerouted from New York-Pittsburgh into a Philadelphia-Chicago train, changed back in early 2003 or 2004, IIRC

Other service proposals included (and I may be wrong on some details, others may add or correct as necessary):

*Crescent Star: Branch of Crescent, to operate New York-Dallas or Fort Worth, via Meridian, MS

*New England States: This train was to replace the Boston section of the Lake Shore Limited with its own Chicago-Boston train, on a different schedule. (This one actually made it into the reservations system, and was a week or two from running when Amtrak pulled it)

*Skyline Connection: Chicago-Philadephia train which would have complemented the Pennsylvanian and Three Rivers (running overnight between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, then daytime across Ohio, evening arrival, early afternoon departure in/from Chicago; appeared briefly in timetable with footnote: "Service to commence on date to be announced")

*Michigan Service restructuring: Among the possibilities included rerouting one train (the 350/355 pair, IIRC) to Toledo, from Dearborn, to connect with train service down there; rerouting the International to operate via Detroit instead of Lansing; extending a Michigan train across Canada and over to Niagara Falls, where it would run to New York (my memory is foggy on the details of the Michigan service)

*Hiawatha: Extend one trip to Fond du Lac, WI (appeared briefly in timetable with footnote: "Service to commence on date to be announced")

*Reroute the Sunset Limited from El Paso to Fort Worth, then back south (I forget via which cities) to the current route to New Orleans and Florida

*Reroute at least one Florida train to operate via the Florida East Coast

There may have been a couple of others that I forgot. I don't think Amtrak really made any mention of where the equipment was supposed to come from for this service. Nevertheless, it never happened, and (most, if not all of it) probably never will.
 

Trogdor

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In fact, NARP had a decent synopsis (which is pretty much what I listed) on their website.
 

AlanB

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rmadisonwi said:
*Kentucky Cardinal: Daily service between Chicago and Jeffersonville, IN/Louisville, KY; combined with the Cardinal three days per week between Chicago and Indianapolis; discontinued mid 2004
It should be noted that in some sense, part of the Kentucky Cardinal does still exist today. When they pulled the K-Card, Amtrak did retain the portion of the run between Chicago and Indianapolis renaming the train to the Hoosier State.

rmadisonwi said:
extending a Michigan train across Canada and over to Niagara Falls, where it would run to New York (my memory is foggy on the details of the Michigan service)
That would have been the Twilight Limited train. It would have made no stops within Canada, so no customs worries there. The routing through Canada however allowed the train to avoid some of the busy NS tracks that run south of the lakes. Plus it provided direct service to parts of Michigan from NY, that currently one either has to take a bus or ride all the way into Chicago and then back out to reach.
 
G

~guest~

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Welcome to the club, Lenny.

This is a local problem which is under intense scrutiny at the moment. It is unlikely that Amtrak will be involved in any way with this problem(unless later contracted), and more likely that the state of MD will be completely involved. This fact is not lost to the state of MD. The summer population of OC, MD has remained relatively steady, while the summer population of the DE beaches has expanded considerably. The state of MD is not happy about building a new bridge so people can go vacation in DE!

NS does operate the north-south oriented line from wilmington DE , down to the former eastern shore railroad interchange in pocomoke. As the fledgeling regional transit authority (shore transit) begins to develop, they would be fools to not dream into the future about DMU service along the current line from pocomoke to wilmington. (Condition wise, ESR is in poor condition, and the NS line appears to be in good condition, not sure what would be required upgrades for passenegr service... must be slow limits, thought...) This is no where near reality today. But north-south traffic is not the real problem.

In the summer, Delmarva is overrun by touists from west of the Chesapeake bay. It is this east-west traffic that is the problem. The William P. Lane (US 50-301) bridge is already operating over it's capacity in the summer. There is an ongoing study to determine how to solve this problem. The current crossing approaches can not support additional lanes on the bridge, and NIMBY is preventing any of the other bridges from being seriously considered.

Public transit of some sort is the piece of this puzzle that has been strangely IGNORED. NO form of transit (bus, rail, ferry, ect) has even been considered.

(Ok, fast ferry was in a seperate study, but discarded. Ferry service is close to possible)...

When a vehicle crosses the US 50 bridge eastbound, there is a high likelyhood that it is headed to the beach (especially in summer). It is in these narrow pipelines that public transit can be very effective in.

In my dream, two stub trains begin their eastward journey... One starts up in Baltimore/hartford county, and the other starts south of DC. Both stubs meet and combine somewhere along the way to Annapolis, where they then head towards and under the chesapeake bay (It HAS to be a tunnel, and it's going to be deep and expensive, but I don't know where a ROW could be created).

The tunnel can emerge on the western side of the bay in the old ferry terminal. Once on the eastern shore, there are two routing possibilities I see, both terminate in Ocean City, MD.

The first travels east (new ROW?) towards harrington, DE (connect to the slots at harrington.... a tourist attraction), then follows south along the NS ROW into Salisbury, MD, and lastly follows the abandonded (but intact) ROW east into OC, MD.

The second follows route 50 through easton, cambridge, and into salisbury. This route would require many more bridges, and has significantly more engineering problems. But, this local route would serve the MD taxpayers much better. I'm not 100% sure this old ROW is still intact.

Most tourists don't need a car in the ocean resorts. They should be able to leave them on the western shore, and I believe this is a viable (but expensive) plan to do just that.
 
L

Lennie

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Yes Yes, I see your point, but you solve the problem for the MD shore. The DE shore, actually, the whole state, can use a transportation overhaul. I admit, it not a huge player in transportation, say like New York, but we still have our needs.

The NS rails are put in very limited use along the beaches since we do have one factory here that only has rail to depend on. So I would suggest a possible route setting like this, maybe branched off of a current route today

Start

-Wilmington

-Dover

-Harrington

Then splits into

-Saisbury then OC

or

-Georgetown then Lewes

Much of this is feasible passenger wise and rail wise. So many people are visiting down here and the cargo isnt really so bad as it is in other places.

I wish the gov't would give money out like it does to the suffering airlines. Amtrak would be in better shape and this route would actually be a possibility.

The one other thing I can think of if something like the Piedmont, where it is funded by NC. DE could sorta fund of train route during the summer and probably make plenty of money.
 
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