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Best Chicago-Florida Route?

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What's the best Chicago-Florida route


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    37

crescent-zephyr

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If you wanted to serve Lexington then you could use the CNO&TP (aka the former Ponce de Leon) route although you'd miss Knoxville. The CNO&TP also serves Chattanooga.
You could choose Knoxville and bypass Downtown Chattanooga with a stop at Ooltewah if you wanted.
 

Swadian Hardcore

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You could choose Knoxville and bypass Downtown Chattanooga with a stop at Ooltewah if you wanted.
The CSX Etowah Subdivision would still be preferable because a stop at Ooltewah would need a back-up move from the NS Knoxville District to the NS Atlanta North District.

If you really wanted to get closer to Chattanooga then I'd stop at Cleveland and take the Cohutta District to Cohutta, the Atlanta North District to Dalton, and then the W&A Subdivision into Atlanta.
 

crescent-zephyr

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The CSX Etowah Subdivision would still be preferable because a stop at Ooltewah would need a back-up move from the NS Knoxville District to the NS Atlanta North District.

If you really wanted to get closer to Chattanooga then I'd stop at Cleveland and take the Cohutta District to Cohutta, the Atlanta North District to Dalton, and then the W&A Subdivision into Atlanta.
Oh yeah, I was thinking the split was in Ooltewah. Probably best to just bypass Knoxville.

All of the routes would have pros and cons, it's really a shame we don't have trains operating on most of these.
 

jruff001

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By the new CHI-CLE-PIT-PHL-NYP high speed route, connecting to the new NYP-DC-Raleigh-Florida high speed route via the upgraded Harrisburg-Baltimore Susquehanna River cutoff. :)
 

toddinde

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Amtrak said last week they aren’t interested. The Amtrak rep said a Chicago to Florida one seat ride isn’t in the cards. Sad.
 

Swadian Hardcore

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Oh yeah, I was thinking the split was in Ooltewah. Probably best to just bypass Knoxville.

All of the routes would have pros and cons, it's really a shame we don't have trains operating on most of these.
It'd be redundant to operate trains on "most of these" routes and why would you bypass Knoxville? Knoxville is the biggest metro area between Cincinnati and Atlanta.

The most cost effective route is: Cincinnati - Winchester - Knoxville - Cleveland - Dalton - Cartersville - Atlanta - Macon - Jesup. You're going to hit the most population for the lowest cost.

Name it the Flamingo and run it 3 times a week. Truncate the Cardinal back to Washington, DC so that you can use Superliners on both, and combine the 2 between Chicago and Cincinnati to save money.
 

crescent-zephyr

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It'd be redundant to operate trains on "most of these" routes and why would you bypass Knoxville? Knoxville is the biggest metro area between Cincinnati and Atlanta.

The most cost effective route is: Cincinnati - Winchester - Knoxville - Cleveland - Dalton - Cartersville - Atlanta - Macon - Jesup. You're going to hit the most population for the lowest cost.

Name it the Flamingo and run it 3 times a week. Truncate the Cardinal back to Washington, DC so that you can use Superliners on both, and combine the 2 between Chicago and Cincinnati to save money.
I don't think it would be redundant to have multiple Chicago - Florida trains hitting different markets.

There is no possible way that any of us can know what the most cost-effective route is. It depends on way too many factors that we are not aware of. I think keeping to 1 host railroad, with a railroad that is in the best shape for fast passenger service, and that can hit the most major cities should all be factors which is why I like the all NS Cincinnati-Chattanooga route. But as I said, there are pros and cons to each.

I don't want to bypass Knoxville, that's why I mentioned routing the train through Knoxville... it's just out of the way. Would be more direct to stay on the main through Dayton and go through Chattanooga. It doesn't make sense to hit both Knox and Chatt directly, so pick the one that makes the most sense time-wise. Chattanooga and Knoxville are almost identical population-wise.
 

Seaboard92

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Honestly if I were to put this together I would still stick to the Chicago-Indy-Louisville-Nashville-Atlanta-Macon-Valdosta-Jacksonville-South Florida route.

With a section coming out of Detroit. And if I can find the time between my two large projects I'm working on I would make a dummy timetable to show you guys just how fast it would be. That will come sometime soon I promise.
 

MARC Rider

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By the new CHI-CLE-PIT-PHL-NYP high speed route, connecting to the new NYP-DC-Raleigh-Florida high speed route via the upgraded Harrisburg-Baltimore Susquehanna River cutoff. :)
What do you mean "Harrisburg-Baltimore Susquehanna River Cutoff?" We obviously need to rebuild the Northern Central Railroad between Baltimore and Harrisburg as a high speed line that includes extra tracks for commuter service, too. :)
 

Dakota 400

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The most cost effective route is: Cincinnati - Winchester - Knoxville - Cleveland - Dalton - Cartersville - Atlanta - Macon - Jesup. You're going to hit the most population for the lowest cost.
[/QUOTE

Why Cleveland and Dalton with no stop in Chattanooga? Potential passengers from the Dalton/Cleveland area could easily get to Chattanooga to board the train.

I don't want to bypass Knoxville, that's why I mentioned routing the train through Knoxville... it's just out of the way. Would be more direct to stay on the main through Dayton and go through Chattanooga. It doesn't make sense to hit both Knox and Chatt directly, so pick the one that makes the most sense time-wise. Chattanooga and Knoxville are almost identical population-wise.
I support your thinking. One reason for including Knoxville would be to hopefully obtain some patronage from the students attending the University of Tennessee.

However, such considerations don't seem to be attractive to Amtrak's schedulers. The Cardinal goes through Oxford, Ohio--the home home of Miami University--without making even a flag stop. Over the years, there has been efforts made to get a flag stop in that community with no success.
 

crescent-zephyr

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Knoxville to Atlanta would be more direct with only a Cleveland and Dalton stop.

Chattanooga also has colleges, and you can’t hit them both without backtracking. Ideally all of the cities would be connected by rail and you wouldn’t have to choose.

If the DC - Bristol train ever happens it could get extended to Chattanooga via Knoxville and then the Florida train could come down the Cincinnati line.

Even better, a second Florida train could come down through Nashville and Birmingham.
 

ehbowen

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Mar 22, 2011
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Honestly if I were to put this together I would still stick to the Chicago-Indy-Louisville-Nashville-Atlanta-Macon-Valdosta-Jacksonville-South Florida route.

With a section coming out of Detroit. And if I can find the time between my two large projects I'm working on I would make a dummy timetable to show you guys just how fast it would be. That will come sometime soon I promise.
I'd like to see that. I've been toying with the idea of a "Dream Trains" section on Streamliner Schedules, but I'd like to have more than just my own dreams!
 

Seaboard92

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I'd like to see that. I've been toying with the idea of a "Dream Trains" section on Streamliner Schedules, but I'd like to have more than just my own dreams!
I could help you with that project. Of course between my many projects I have little time. But I would be willing to give some of my time for them.
 

dogbert617

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I voted "other".

Chicago-Indianapolis-Cincinnati-Louisville-Nashville-Chattanooga-Atlanta-etc.

I'd love to include Dayton in the Indianapolis-Cincinnati segment, but it would not be reasonable to do so. A bit too much out of the way, plus Amtrak already uses the route between Indianapolis and Cincinnati.
I wish the National Limited could be brought back. That way, Dayton would have service again. Ditto with Columbus, as well.
 

Palmetto

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OT: I believe part of the route of the National Limited has been ripped up. Can someone confirm?
 

Dakota 400

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Mar 5, 2014
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The route between Pittsburgh and Columbus is partially gone...I believe most of the rest is intact...
I know that at least part of the route between Dayton and Columbus is gone; tracks removed and the "path" is now a bikeway. There might be other tracks between the two cities of which I am unaware. (Rather think there are when there was some serious discussion of a Cleveland-Columbus-Dayton-Cincinnati train about a decade+ ago.)
 

railiner

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I know that at least part of the route between Dayton and Columbus is gone; tracks removed and the "path" is now a bikeway. There might be other tracks between the two cities of which I am unaware. (Rather think there are when there was some serious discussion of a Cleveland-Columbus-Dayton-Cincinnati train about a decade+ ago.)
Between Columbus, Indianapolis, and St. Louis, both PRR and NYC had routes...
Penn Central started “rationalizing” them, and later Conrail finished them, at least as far as through mainlines.
 

Dakota 400

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Between Columbus, Indianapolis, and St. Louis, both PRR and NYC had routes...
Penn Central started “rationalizing” them, and later Conrail finished them, at least as far as through mainlines.
Probably the former NYC tracks between Columbus and Dayton still exist? (Not sure what you meant by "rationalizing" them and then "Conrail finished them".)

I recall traveling on PRR trains between Columbus en route to Chicago that stopped at Dayton. The National Limited, if I recall correctly, operated between DAY and CMH on the former PRR tracks.

In the community in which I live South of Dayton, our NS mainline was once a New York Central line. Remember back in the late 1960's seeing NYC's Ohio State Limited (Cincinnati-New York) speeding through our town. (Also being surprised at seeing the "hodge-podge" of different passenger cars on the train in its final years of service.)
 

bms

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Jan 29, 2018
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A pretty good Ohio Rail Transportation Map is found here.

According to this 2009 plan, the 3-C route was supposed to follow Norfolk Southern from Cleveland to Berea, CSX from Berea to Columbus, and Norfolk Southern from Columbus to Dayton. As of 2009, 58 miles of the line from Columbus to Dayton was single-tracked including speed restrictions of 15, 20, or 25 mph through Springfield.
 
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