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Amtrak serving every state capital

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railgeekteen

Service Attendant
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Let's say that Amtrak received a mandate to serve every state capital on the lower 48, what routes would you propose to accomplish this goal?
 

PVD

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It might be a fun exercise, but some would be fantasy, like Dover, DE and Annapolis, MD or some of the midwest and plains... Problem is, some State Capitals have great historic significance, but may not hold the economic power or population that makes it worthwhile. Track access could be a real issue. But as I said, could bed fun to kick it around.
 

railgeekteen

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It might be a fun exercise, but some would be fantasy, like Dover, DE and Annapolis, MD or some of the midwest and plains... Problem is, some State Capitals have great historic significance, but may not hold the economic power or population that makes it worthwhile. Track access could be a real issue. But as I said, could bed fun to kick it around.
Dover DE has tracks through it. Most capitals do, except Annapolis.
 

PVD

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Tracks and track access are not the same (sadly) Also, the cost of and the willingness of the controlling RR can make it impractical. But like I said, it could be a fun exercise.
 

ehbowen

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Houston, Texas
How about that we amend that to serving the largest population center in every state, or the largest two population centers if both are over 1M in the Metropolitan Statistical Area?
 

WWW

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The Empire Builder could go through Madison WI - BUT presently it is a motor coach connection !

What would be the sense of having a railroad stop presence in a state capitol that has only seen better days with a covered wagon ?

Build it and they will come only to abandon it in favor of that SUV form of transportation.
The complexity of restoring rail service on previous routes or eminent domain to establish such service.
What time of the day or night would this service actually function for the traveling public consumer ?
Put politics on the back burner - good luck with this !
 
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railiner

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Mar 20, 2009
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Palm Beach County
Former SFZ...
Lincoln, Denver, Cheyenne, Salt Lake City, and Sacramento
Former Pioneer...
Lincoln, Denver, Cheyenne, Salt Lake City, Boise, and (E)Olympia
Silver Star...
Trenton, (does Washington, DC count as a capital?), Richmond, Raleigh, and Columbia
 

west point

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We do not know what "Sally" has done to the track ? Possible track will not be restored to passenger ability. We might only expect it to meet class 2 25 MPH specifications.
 

jiml

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Feb 27, 2019
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Toronto area
How about that we amend that to serving the largest population center in every state, or the largest two population centers if both are over 1M in the Metropolitan Statistical Area?
This would seem to make a lot more sense, since some capitals are so tiny or out-of-the-way. (See South Dakota discussion.) It's no different in Canada where VIA serves only half of the provincial capitals.
 

TWA904

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Montgomery, AL. You could split the Crescent in Atlanta and have a southern Crescent that goes Auburn, AL, Montgomery, AL continuing to Jackson, MS and Dallas.
 

Qapla

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Gator Country Florida
We do not know what "Sally" has done to the track ?
True. Katrina knocked out a bridge. They used that as an excuse for years after the bridge was rebuilt. They even successfully tested it for passenger after that and still did not restore the train.

So, even if Sally caused no damage to the tracks it would make a good excuse to keep passenger off those tracks.
 
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jimdex

Train Attendant
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Feb 19, 2020
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How about that we amend that to serving the largest population center in every state, or the largest two population centers if both are over 1M in the Metropolitan Statistical Area?
I don't think either of these criteria are particularly relevant if you're looking for the system that would serve the most Americans. What I propose instead is a route system that would include stops in each of the top US metropolitan statistical areas (regardless of which states those MSA's are in), with a further requirement that the top 20 or so MSA's must be served between the hours of 7 am and 11:30 pm, and linked together on reasonably direct routes that require no overnight stays between trains.
 

sttom

OBS Chief
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Jan 23, 2019
Messages
540
Connecting Carson City would require the construction of a brand new right of way since the V&T was dismantled sometime after WW2. I know the state says it wants to run trains between Reno and Carson City, but saying something sure as hell hasn't translated into constructive action.

I personally think having a mandate and appropriate funding commitments to build an interstate corridor network would be far more productive than mandating a city get Amtrak service. To put it mildly, having a train once a day isn't remotely an adequate form of transportation. And that is what Amtrak is stuck with providing even though they are mandated to maintain part of a "balanced transportation system".
 

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MARC Rider

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Serving Dover, Delaware would actually be a good use of government transportation funds. They spent a lot of money on the "new" freeway paralleling US 13 that connects Wilmington with Dover and the seashore points south. It's been 20 years since I spent a lot of time on Delmarva, but there was a lot of growth and traffic back them, and I can only imagine that there's been more since. The service could be a Northeast Region branch line similar to the various Virginia extensions to the NEC. I would probably run it south, with two branches, one to Salisbury, the other to Lewes/Rehobeth Beach and Ocean City. Surprisingly, there are a lot of people who live down by the ocean year-round.
 
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