"California Night Train" gaining interest

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railiner

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One interesting trivia about the Spirit....I believe it was the only state supported train to have sleepers. I am not sure if the short lived overnite train between New York and Niagara Falls went thru to Toronto, or had a connection, or if it had a sleeper....
 

jis

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One interesting trivia about the Spirit....I believe it was the only state supported train to have sleepers. I am not sure if the short lived overnite train between New York and Niagara Falls went thru to Toronto, or had a connection, or if it had a sleeper....
In any event that train was not state supported. It was an Amtrak funded train. Before PRIIA Section 209 came about, only the Adirondack was a 403b. Everything else in New York was Amtrak.
 

jiml

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One interesting trivia about the Spirit....I believe it was the only state supported train to have sleepers. I am not sure if the short lived overnite train between New York and Niagara Falls went thru to Toronto, or had a connection, or if it had a sleeper....
The weekend Niagara Rainbow with the single slumbercoach to Toronto was not 403b nor was the Maple Leaf at the time, as noted above.

 

Cal

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True, but sleeping at the wheel can lead to a very painful death, even in a Tesla...
:oops:

Seriously, though, average speed and trip times are a bit less than important if you are sleeping for most of the journey. I will admit to my bias, I love sleeper trains. LOL!
Yes, however I'm sure that would make some people re-think. And if they want to do corridor service...
 
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anumberone

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True, but sleeping at the wheel can lead to a very painful death, even in a Tesla...
:oops:

Seriously, though, average speed and trip times are a bit less than important if you are sleeping for most of the journey. I will admit to my bias, I love sleeper trains. LOL!
I like the sleeping part, not so much getting thrown off when I wake up.
 

jis

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Yes, however I'm sure that would make some people re-think. And if they want to do corridor service...
Notwithstanding all that, the coast route will never be speeded up significantly. It will remain a bucolic scenic route. All real travelers will travel via the inland route upon the completion of the HSR.
 

tomfuller

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And even at that, the schedule I posted is faster than the Coast Starlight schedule because of skipping several stops. I think the train to Bakersfield and the bus to Los Angeles is actually faster than the Coast Starlight the whole way.
Next month I'm taking the CS from Oregon to Sacramento, eating breakfast in SAC, taking the bus to Stockton and the San Joaquin to Bakersfield and a bus to LAUS. I will be in LAUS at least 2 hours ahead of the Coast Starlight (daylight?)
 

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If any state could pull off an intrastate night train it's California, but it would need new equipment. Best option would be to order versions of the new Nightjet trainsets from Siemens adapted for US safety & ADA requirements. I think the pod couchette concept could work as an intermediate option between coach and sleeper. Food service needs would be minimal.
 

railiner

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The weekend Niagara Rainbow with the single slumbercoach to Toronto was not 403b nor was the Maple Leaf at the time, as noted above.

Thanks...the linked timetable answered several of my questions. I remembered it being a once a week operation, but forgot that it had a Slumbercoach....
I wonder if the early Monday arrival in NY attracted commuters from Albany, Hudson, or Rhinecliff....the possible customs delay may have put the kabash to that....
 

jiml

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Thanks...the linked timetable answered several of my questions. I remembered it being a once a week operation, but forgot that it had a Slumbercoach....
I wonder if the early Monday arrival in NY attracted commuters from Albany, Hudson, or Rhinecliff....the possible customs delay may have put the kabash to that....
Interesting on this subject, @Seaboard92 has posted a review of the 1994 timetable showing the previous year to this, where there was a cross-platform transfer involved.
 

rickycourtney

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Removing stops to speed up trains is a red herring. Seems great on paper, but rarely makes a major impact. In fact, removing stops often causes ridership to drop. The better option is to remove chokepoints (like making sure that sidings are in the right spot) and make sure that stops are no longer than necessary. Compare an average Amtrak station stop to a commuter rail train and you see there's a lot of time wasted.

Another option would be to mess with the train timings. Move the Coast Starlight to be the overnight train between LA and Oakland -- and add the Coast Daylight as the daytime train between LA and SF. That would also allow the existing equipment to be used (Superliner for Starlight and Surfliner/CA Cars/Comet Cars for the Daylight).
 

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Having the Coast Starlight run overnight between LA and the Vay Area is probably the most realistic scenario for a night train, but what about connections with the Empire Builder in Seattle and Portland? Would those still be possible?
 
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Cal

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Having the Coast Starlight run overnight between LA and the Vay Area is probably the most realistic scenario for a night train, but what about connections with the Empire Builder in Seattle and Portland? Would those still be possible?
If I am correct the Portland connection would probably be gone, and there would be quite a long layover for the Seattle one. On the bright side, you should now be able to connect with the CZ
 

Ziv

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If I am correct the Portland connection would probably be gone, and there would be quite a long layover for the Seattle one. On the bright side, you should now be able to connect with the CZ
I may be missing the point entirely, but is it possible that San Diego to San Francisco (and vice versa) ought to be the limit of the train, no going on from there, just take the train to the barn, clean it and get it ready to head back to the other end of the route? SD to SF is 502 miles, which can be done in less than 10 hours if need be, but it might work best for arrivals/departures in LA and San Jose if they stretch it to 11 hours. The longer the route, the more likely cascading delays will mess with on time arrival. Plus 502 miles fits into the proposed change to the PRIIA 750 mile LD rule, which would become a 500 mile rule instead.
When it comes to sleeper trains in the US, I think that the KISS principle is a good one to follow.
A major problem with that idea is that I don't believe that there is anywhere to store a night train in either San Francisco or San Diego... In the immortal word of Rosanne Rosanadana, "Never mind." LOL!
 

anumberone

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Having the Coast Starlight run overnight between LA and the Vay Area is probably the most realistic scenario for a night train, but what about connections with the Empire Builder in Seattle and Portland? Would those still be possible?
One of the best advertising photos Amtrak has is the Coast Starlight running along the coast and you want to make it in the dark of the night.
 

rickycourtney

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So to be clear, the previously proposed "Coast Daylight" would have just extended one of the two daily San Diego-San Luis Obispo runs on the Surfliner north to San Francisco or San Jose.

There are facilities to overnight a Surfliner train in San Diego. Generally, they just keep the train on the station tracks, but they could also park trains at the SD&AE/San Diego Trolley yard where the Coaster trains are parked during the day.

San Jose Diridon Station and San Francisco King Street station both have similar options. You could just keep a train on a station track, or they could deadhead a train to the Caltrain yard in San Jose. The plan was always to have CA HSR trains sharing tracks with Caltrain between San Jose and San Francisco, so there are track slots available.
 

Cal

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I may be missing the point entirely, but is it possible that San Diego to San Francisco (and vice versa) ought to be the limit of the train, no going on from there, just take the train to the barn, clean it and get it ready to head back to the other end of the route? SD to SF is 502 miles, which can be done in less than 10 hours if need be, but it might work best for arrivals/departures in LA and San Jose if they stretch it to 11 hours. The longer the route, the more likely cascading delays will mess with on time arrival. Plus 502 miles fits into the proposed change to the PRIIA 750 mile LD rule, which would become a 500 mile rule instead.
When it comes to sleeper trains in the US, I think that the KISS principle is a good one to follow.
A major problem with that idea is that I don't believe that there is anywhere to store a night train in either San Francisco or San Diego... In the immortal word of Rosanne Rosanadana, "Never mind." LOL!
I was talking about if the Starlight schedule were to be changed so the Bay Are to LA is overnight.
 
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Ziv

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Yep, I was missing the point. Sorry.
And I was also wrong about which Saturday Night Live character had the catch phrase, "Never mind." I am batting 0 for 2 so far. I think it was the Emily Litella character not Roseanne. Oh well.
I was talking about if the Starlight schedule were to be changed so the Bay Are to LA is overnight.
 

Cal

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Ideally, the Coast Starlight would remain in its present schedule, and an additional train would run from Southern California to San Francisco, overnight on the coast route. With a connection at San Jose for a Capitol train...
I agree. With that being overnight, the CS will have to be renamed Starlight!
 
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