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I'm not really optimistic, but it would be nice. Caldwell Idaho is 30 min west of Boise. If they could only go to Ogden, there is a FrontRunner commuter train from SLC up to Ogden.

UP passenger station in Boise

 

Willbridge

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The full Pioneer run from PDX to Boisie to Ogden and on to Cheyenne, would be my dream. I think almost all the stops have rehab-able stations and almost everyone has grown in size since then.
In 2008, in preparation for the 2009 round of studies, ColoRail sponsored an exhibition to look at every station and some possible new locations on the former Pioneer route. We missed Stanfield as a replacement for Hinkle, instead of Boardman, Oregon. C. B. Hall of WashARP (All Aboard Washington) found Stanfield to be interested. Also, I have been told that Nampa has been cleaned up since we visited.

I put together a PowerPoint presentation which is available in:


or in YouTube, starting with:

 
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Interesting video presentation. Thanks for posting, Mr. Willbridge.

I wonder what the schedule would look like if the Pioneer, out of Portland, would return. The old Pioneer route connected with the San Francisco Zephyr at Ogden. If a new Pioneer train should emerge, could it connect with the Amtrak Calif. Zephyr at Salt Lake City? (the present Zephyr arrives at SLC @ 3:30 AM eastbound). If so, possibly a new Pioneer train could have sleeping cars for people wanting to, say, travel to as far as Denver or Chicago Have it merge with Zephyr at SLC, similar to the merging of trains #28 & #8 at Spokane, on the eastbound Empire Builder.

Just some thoughts. I guess the main objective would be any sort of passenger train from Salt Lake City or Ogden to the Northwest without the need to first go to the Bay Area.
 

zephyr17

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The old Pioneer route connected with the San Francisco Zephyr at Ogden
The Pioneer connected at various places, Ogden when 5/6 took the Overland Route. SLC after 5/6 were shifted to the D&RGW and ex-WP (SLC to Alazon, outside Wells, NV), and ultimately Denver, when it was shifted back to the Overland Route to restore service to Wyoming and provide better times in Seattle due to a faster route.

It also provided through coaches and sleepers to Chicago for most of its life. There may have been a cross platform transfer at Ogden for a relatively short time in its very early years, like the Desert Wind initially had.

5/6, 25/26, 35/36 were Amtrak's "City of Everywhere".
 
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Willbridge

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The Pioneer connected at various places, Ogden when 5/6 took the Overland Route. SLC after 5/6 were shifted to the D&RGW and ex-WP (SLC to Alazon, outside Wells, NV), and ultimately Denver, when it was shifted back to the Overland Route to restore service to Wyoming and provide better times in Seattle due to a faster route.

It also provided through coaches and sleepers to Chicago for most of its life. There may have been a cross platform transfer at Ogden for a relatively short time in its very early years, like the Desert Wind initially had.

5/6, 25/26, 35/36 were Amtrak's "City of Everywhere".
The cross-platform transfer at Ogden Union Station is how the train was first set up. The Pioneer was the first Amtrak train into SLC. I believe that arrangement lasted until 1981, when through cars with the SF Zephyr were introduced. In that era, the train crews east of PDX were UP employees, complete with classic uniforms and the old-time UP "on time or else" enthusiasm.

Amtrak's Marketing department had a draft schedule for the Columbia River Limited that required an overnight stay in Ogden and the train terminating in Portland instead of Seattle, with economic consequences. Art Lloyd of Amtrak in San Francisco and me (at ODOT) agreed that would be the dog that people in DC thought it should be and we mailed each other our draft ideas. They passed in the mail, and we discovered that they were almost identical. That schedule replaced the weakest of the PDX<>SEA trains, with an extra coach being added on that segment.

Other issues were triggered with the re-route of the Zephyr, both good and bad. SLC Rio Grande / Western Pacific Station was set up for switching three trains and there was room for a fourth (the National Parks Special?). As KSL radio's booming signal proclaimed, Salt Lake City was for a time on Amtrak the "Crossroads of the West."

Salt Lake City at train time (1991:

IMG0100.jpg

IMG0099.jpg

A typical station on the Pioneer route:
IMG0103.jpg

Rail Travel News, three months after the Pioneer began. It took a year to get the Ogden route into the reservation system.
1977 10 RTN2 Deny Pioneer002.jpg
 
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Willbridge

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Zephyr and Willbridge, thanks for the history!
And then there's always more. I'm sorting through things and came across the attached consist of Train 5/25 arriving in Denver and then departing as Train 5 and then as Train 25. Usually, another unreserved coach was added PDX<>SEA, although that was not enough. Both my father and I on separate occasions rode as standees on Train 25.

This is from the period when 5/6 ran four days a week, 25/26 ran three days a week, and 35/36 ran the other three days a week.

1995 11 22 Consisrts 001.jpg

1995 11 22 Consisrts 002.jpg
 

zephyr17

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This is from the period when 5/6 ran four days a week, 25/26 ran three days a week, and 35/36 ran the other three days a week.
The infamous Mercer cuts.

Nobody knew when anything ran. The Builder ran on the four days the Pioneer didn't run. The Starlight ran five days a week.

Mercer Consulting told their fellow brainiacs in Amtrak management that they could cut costs but maintain ridership and revenue by cutting back from daily frequencies. Well, they cut costs, but it cut ridership and revenue more. It wound up increasing loses.

They also dropped the Santa Fe Hi Levels at the same time. Without the Hi Levels padding out the fleet, they were unable to resume daily service on all trains when the Mercer cuts turned out to be a disaster, so the Pioneer and Desert Wind were killed off, mostly due to equipment shortages.

Everything old is new again...
 
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oregon pioneer

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...the Pioneer and Desert Wind were killed off, mostly due to equipment shortages.

In the late 90s, when Hubby and I were ready to take our first Amtrak trip together, I called to make a reservation so we could board the Pioneer in Baker City. We even had a friend's house lined up to park our car. The Pioneer was running at the time, and I was so very disappointed to hear that by the time of our travel in November the Pioneer would be gone! We ended up boarding the Builder in Pasco for that trip.
 
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